The members of Vancouver’s Mode Moderne have a penchant for all things dark and gloomy, but that doesn’t get in the way of their quest for the perfect pop song.

The hunt began in 2008, when scene vet Clint Lofkrantz approached production guru Felix Fung with plans to start a dance-oriented project. Teaming up with singer Phillip Intilé, the musicians spent the bleak winter months holed up in Little Red Sounds studio, listening to records and bonding over their love of classic new wave mope-pop.

They wrote and recorded at a prolific song-a-day pace, turning Lofkrantz’s scratchy cell phone demos into sweeping, synth-laden studio epics. The songs were further brought to life with help from Intilé’s sonorous vocals and brooding, image-rich lyrics. Drawing on the auteurism of Herzog, the prose of Knut Hamsun and the legend of Scott Walker, his words blended the autobiographical with the imagined, conjuring up late night tales of lost love and heartbroken malaise with a touch of “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”-esque cheek-tonguing.

These sessions resulted in the album Ghost Emerging, which the band self-released on vinyl in 2009. As Mode Moderne’s reputation spread through word of mouth, the musicians turned their studio experiments into a live band, which was eventually filled out by new additions Rebecca Marie Law Gray on synth and Sean Gilhooly on drums.

The outfit continued to win over audiences and tastemakers alike, earning the attention of Pitchfork, This Is Fake DIY and Vancouver’s own Light Organ Records. The label signed the band, and on June 14, 2011, released the seven-inch “Real Goths”/”Undiscovered Country.” Replete with pulsing electro beat, haunting stabs of guitar and synth, and Intilé’s signature self-deprecating croon, it’s another tantalizing glimpse into Mode Moderne’s eerie world. And with another full-length planned for the fall, the darkness will only keep spreading.


Review Of “Ghosts Emerging” By Mode Moderne

the new EP by Mode Moderne, you have Strange Bruises. No matter who you are, everyone has woken up with a random bruise as a reminder of a lost night. If this is a familiar notion, the sonic delivery of Mode Moderne’s latest output will ring a bell too, as the trio draw a strong influence from The Smiths, Joy Division and The Cure

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