John Maus – “Believer”

Like many others, I first became aware of John Maus several years ago via his name being dropped by Panda Bear.  I gave his previous releases Songs and Love Is Real a serious try but neither really clicked for me.  The compositions, lyrics and singing on those releases felt very arch and detached to me. Not to mention, there was a general lack of memorable songs.  Maus’ latest LP, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, is a quantum leap forward in all respects: his writing & singing ring with newfound sincerity and the melodies are inescapable.  Musically, Maus splits the difference between Stephin Merritt and Ariel Pink (his old friend and previous collaborator) but his brooding baritone and retro-synthscapes casually conjure Ian Curtis and David Bowie as well.  “Believer” is the album’s penultimate track and one of the finest songs I’ve heard this year – a towering synth-pop anthem that rides a massive Peter Hook-esque bassline ever skyward.

We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves is out now via Domino/Ribbon.

Download MP3: “Believer”

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