Fayetteville-based synthwave band Modeling recently released Lodestone, the first single from their upcoming record. The band describes it as “a love song lost in a 1980’s horror film.” I first listened on a bike ride to Lake Fayetteville and let it fill the moving greens and dark underpasses with mystery. It borrows some cinematic heft from John Carpenter and the airy europop of Cliff Martinez’s Drive soundtrack. Like the track’s retro influences, it’s an escapist jump to somewhere else. 

The lyrics mirror a dreamlike structure while the vocals weave into the music and never above it. The line “I need you like a nightmare” brings to life the urgency of finding love among dread, and the horrors of removing the blinders it creates. Astonishingly, the lyrics feel stream of unconsciousness and match the music’s careful chaos. 

Sonically, Lodestone is a marvel of nuance. Its distinct parts seamlessly fit together. It begins with a simmering menace. It contains a propulsive pop ballad that slowly boils into a dance song. It might end with a long aerial shot over a deserted city.  It’s a complex song without an obtrusive moment. I forgot about the outside world for a few minutes. Now I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.