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Thursday, 31 May essay writer 2012 14:01

Class Actress 5/31/12

Class Actress 5/31/12 classactress.com / 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.

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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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