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The world has changed a lot since John Kunkel started his project at the age of 18 when he moved to Riverside, California. So has the music scene and the interest in synth-driven sounds, which have become appreciated by the mainstream. The project led by the California-based musician, producer and sound designer, The New Division, has not stopped gaining fans all over the world. Today he’s presenting his new ten-track full-length album, Modern Life, and new visuals. And this release has a darker edge with which the artist continues to know himself.

"I remember going to shows back then (2005) and thinking, 'why aren't there more synth bands?' Everyone was making music I wasn't interested in, whether it was folk, emo, or just generic rock music, and I felt the drive to start my own synth-pop band,” says Kunkel when asked about his memories of the beginnings of his career. The music scene has indeed changed a lot, streaming platforms and social media have catapulted many projects to international stardom and many others have disappeared overnight. He advances step by step showing that he still has a lot to say with The New Division.

Through hard-hitting synths, expansive soundscapes and heightened melodies, Modern Life explores themes of chaos, isolation, and finding escape in music during the pandemic. Feelings enhanced as a result of the global pandemic and the consequent lockdown, which led the musician to continue exploring the world through his great passion, music. “A lot of this album was written when we were all stuck at home, unable to hang out with friends, be with our families. While I don't think the pandemic changed me drastically, I notice something different about myself when I play these songs back-to-back,” he adds.

David Alarcón

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