Euphoric synthpop from Dublin duo
One of the star turns at the 2017 Synthetic City event was Irish synthpop duo Eden. Consisting of Mark Power and Ian Henderson, the duo delivered some polished tunes (culled chiefly from the duo’s 2016 album Outbound To Wonderland). Songs such as ‘Don’t Wanna Lose You’ and ‘New Age’ demonstrated Eden’s chops for delivering memorable pop, while Power’s driving vocal style gave the performance an engaging dynamism.
Before they became Eden, Power and Henderson originally debuted under the name In Utopia back in 1998. Signed to the Warner label, In Utopia released their first single ‘Only Lovers Do’ in 1998 – a track produced by U96/Boytronic duo Hayo Lewerentz and Ingo Hauss.
In a period where boybands were enjoying a flourish of success, In Utopia’s pop-flavoured synth tunes struck favour with Boyzone, who featured the duo as support for their UK/Ireland tour at the time. They switched their base of operations to Germany and, in 2001, changed their name to Eden.
Their achievements included playing to 100,000 people at the Brandenburg gate in Berlin in 2006 for Berlin Pride. Meanwhile, their 2001 single ‘Let It Flow’ enjoyed popularity in Germany (and Europe), care of a community that embraced synthpop during a period in which it had fallen out of favour in the UK and Ireland.
Eden’s material pulls from a variety of influences, notably the likes of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys (their 2010 single ‘If I Was Pet Shop Boy’ saw the duo throwing a nod to those influences). There’s a strong emphasis on pop for Eden, but also a firm hand on employing synths front and centre.
Deciding to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their debut single release, Eden are reissuing ‘Only Lovers Do’ as part of a plan for special projects this year.
‘Only Lovers Do’ boasts euphoric synth hooks and a dance-pop sensibility. Despite it being Eden’s first outing from 1998, the song has a remarkably timeless appeal weaved into its energetic electropop. Also included on the reissue is the more sober piano-led ‘Can You Remember’ which presents a wistful contrast to Eden’s otherwise jubilant synthpop.
Meanwhile, the Dublin-based duo have drawn up plans for releasing special editions of their earlier albums, including the reissue of their 2006 album Desolate Shores. This expanded edition will be remastered and will also feature unheard tracks, demos and remixes.
Only Lovers Do is due for release on 27th April 2018.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.