CeladonCandy: “Celadonia” – lyrical depth and melodic soundscapes

Formed in 2010, CeladonCandy is currently Paul Allgood (Vox, Sampling) and Jorge Rangel (Programming, Keys). The alternative electro-pop duo are releasing the 10-track album entitled, “Celadonia”, which is due out on the 5th of July. If you’ve been combing through today’s electronic music looking for just a little bit of substance and a slight taste of yesteryear’s new wave synth sounds, you may have just found it with CeladonCandy. Paul Allgood and Jorge Rangel have somehow repackaged retro sounds and taken in new directions with the help of today’s technology, and it sounds like they have unearthed a whole new vibe. They have a keen sense for melody, which paired with their entrenched connection to electro sounds, creates a really cool synth affair.

What we have here is not your loud, crass, overrated pop-dance-techno album. “Celadonia” is something truly special that utilizes brilliant compositions and instrumentation, successfully personifying a seemingly unattainable, illusory alternative soundscape. In a sea of bland, irritating, unmitigated auditory garbage, CeladonCandy’s latest effort transcends genre to become a categorical classic. Literally anyone with any musical preference should find something to love.

The album cover
The album cover

They move from crushing uptempo tracks like “Socialist” and “Sweet” to melancholy slow-burners like “Snakes”. The closest I could come to explaining their sound to a friend was saying it sounded like a blend between Peter Gabriel and Depeche Mode. They have Gabriel’s lyrical depth, and his melodic soundscapes, while they also carry an iota of Depeche Mode’s dark, industrial synth sounds.

Headphones were actually invented for sonic experiences like this. From the opening notes of the first song, I got sucked in. Then I got hit with a curveball: Paul Allgood’s voice. When I first heard him sing “Undercutter” it gave me Goosebumps. The man can sing, and I don’t mean hitting all those funny notes like an R&B crooner. No, what Allgood does, is climb under the skin of every song, turning it inside out until the seeping raw emotion shows right through.

The best examples might be “Irritant” and “Snakes”, which are probably my favorite tracks on the entire album. These are considerate, heartfelt songs. For this reason there is almost an alternative-rock flavor, augmented by the frequency of Paul Allgood’s distinct voice.  Jorge Rangel gives you a better picture of the album’s continuum, implementing related timbres to make everything work within his massive synth soundscapes.

“Celadonia” is complex lyrically, textually, and rhythmically. On the first listen, it is a lot to take in all at once and it requires your attention to be fully enjoyed. An album like this demands to be treated as a reflection of an artistic existence, and features the sonic vehicles with which to fulfill that existence. There is no denying that this is an ambitious electronic album with great songwriting, incredible musicianship, and impeccable production quality.

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