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Thursday, 31 May 2012 14:01

Class Actress 5/31/12

Class Actress 5/31/12 / Amanda Zackem
Written by Meghan McGlynn
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About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: May 31, 2012
  • Artist / Band: Class Actress
  • Hosting Show: Juxtaposition
  • Sound: Andy Coco

In a reverse story arc as old as Hollywood itself, Elizabeth Harper left Southern California for New York in search of an acting career.

Streaming Audio

Instead, she would find odd work at Carmine Street Guitars and an odder calling as the voice of synth-pop trio Class Actress. Harper's development from singer-songwriter to her present incarnation is credited to her collaboration with producers and keyboardists Scott Rosenthal and Mark Richardson. But her transformation has not been total: from the beginning this musician -- once dubbed "Brooklyn's very own Madonna" and even self-described as using arrangements a la Tears for Fears -- has been decidedly infused with '80s influences, something the band has not lost.

Whether you are a thirty-something, nostalgically rocking out to angst-ridden adolescent memories, or whether you are an American Apparel-clad hipster whose musical education began with VH1's "I Love the 80s," we can all agree that a remake of the Cure's "Pictures of You" is a beautiful thing. But the trio is more than a mere '80s tribute, with Rosenthal and Richardson bringing a signature weirdness to the Madonna-influenced music.

Their recent EP "Journal of Ardency" (2010) and more recent LP "Rapprocher" (2011) both show a full embrace of a nostalgia-cum-modern synth-pop aesthetic. Class Actress seems destined to make a new class of synth-pop altogether.

Jason Sindel contributed to this article.

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