Philadelphia duo Rush Week, built around the twin creativities of producer James Benjamin Thomas and singer Rachel K. Haines, has been making pop music that evinces a loving reverence for late '70s/early '80s sophisto-pop bands like Talk Talk and Roxy Music while also exploring a the effects of a more melancholy rhythmic perspective on these gossamer tones. This mixture of lighter and darker pop textures is what gives their work such an interesting personality, resulting in a surprisingly varied and self-assured take on these familiar sounds.
The band released their debut album, "Feels," last week on Madrid-based label Elefant Records. Produced by Thomas, the collection mixes pop, soul, R&B and Nu-disco into a gleaming, shimmering mass of danceable rhythms and pliable melodies that seem to go on for miles. Their brand of fascinating and transfixing pop music is marked by an adventurous spirit and their willingness to blend and repurpose different genres as needed.
On their latest single, "Be Like Mike," they pay homage to the sounds of '80s pop, and in particular, they address the shadow of Michael Jackson that looms large over their music. "'Be Like Mike' is an attempt to pay tribute to vintage Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson, where the melodies just seemed to float on air!," Thomas explains. And with Haines' infectious vocals, a wash of welcoming synths and a buoyant percussive drive, the track is both homage and adaptation, a catchy and versatile realization of their influences that'll leave you wanting more -- and probably dancing.