Paragon Cause unveil their version of cult A Flock of Seagulls track Modern Love is Automatic in aid of their home town‘s college rock radio station. The duo was asked to record and perform their interpretation of the song for a special release to support local indie and college radio in Canada.
The rich and powerful production re-imagines the song, making a statement on the current state of the world. “We all feel a bit automatic these days” says Michelle. After a psychedelic introduction, the song explodes into the progressive, sumptuous sound for which the duo is increasingly well known.
Jay and Michelle took an experimental approach to the song:
“We drew on a bunch of influences, Syd Barret, Trentemoeller, David Gilmour and Psychedelic Space Rock of the 60s and 70s. We also tried to use movies like Berberian Sound Studio by Peter Strickland as an inspiration for the tone of the first half of the song. Of course, we tried to stay true to the song, particularly the incredible guitar playing by Paul Reynolds. We never really took the time to listen to the guitar on A Flock of Seagulls songs, but after doing this, we were pretty amazed at his innovation, particularly during a time when synthesisers dominated music.”
Paragon Cause attempted to only utilise equipment that was available in the 80’s to produce the single:
“We learned from our frequent collaborator Sune Rose Wagner (The Raveonettes) that sometimes, setting limitations on your work spurs creativity. The entire song was made using a Roland JX-3P synth, a Roland SE201 Space Echo, a Yamaha SPX90II for the reverb and a more modern Reverb called the Oto Bam, which is based on the earliest 60s, 70s and 80s digital reverbs, before they were perfected. If we couldn’t reproduce the synths, Michelle sang the parts. If you listen closely, you will hear some of the parts with Michelle singing processed through the equipment. For the guitar parts, we used a Boss Chorus and Flanger from the 80’s to get that lush old school tone. It was a challenging experiment, but we feel it paid off.”
Modern Love is Automatic is the first cover song the duo has released. The band plan to continue their support of indie radio, presenting an album of b-sides and outtakes in support of Ottawa College radio station, CKCU. All proceeds from the album will be donated to the station and the band has announced that a lucky donor will be able to choose the next song for the band to cover.