Sexy robots and fictitious creatures like the human bird are brought to life through the music of five-piece synth pop/new wave band, Balloon Ride Fantasy, based in Pittsburgh, PA. Their set to release BRF, a new EP on the 20th of July. If the rest of the EP is as hypnotic as “Arcadia,” we’re all in for a treat. Chris Olszewski’s vocals are not unlike those of Victoria Legrand (Beach House), but not as deep. It’s a very asexual voice that glides in and around the synth work of guitarist/synth player Phil Conley like a DNA strand.
The band has crafted a sound of dreamy vocal harmonies that soar over rich, synth-heavy instrumentation and catchy, danceable beats. Inspired by fantasy fiction and pop nostalgia (Prince, MJ, Labyrinth, Bladerunner), their imaginative lyrics explore futuristic dream worlds. The group will soon debut their third release, the six-song EP BRF, which continues the evolution of the band’s colorful sonic escapade.
What started as a duo between longtime bandmates, Balloon Ride Fantasy’s songwriting foundation is the team Olszewski and Conley. Dynamic and pop-friendly lead vocals by Olszewski are complemented by the background vocals of Bethany Conley, Phil’s wife, who was initially drawn to the early BRF demos she’d heard while living across the globe outside of Seoul. A golden Craigslist find and holding down the low end, bassist Brad Schneider creates slick, enchanting and energetic riffs. The band practices at Schneider’s home on top of the city in Pittsburgh’s iconic Mount Washington neighborhood. Rounding out Balloon Ride Fantasy’s sound is keyboard and synth player extraordinaire Jordan Wood, who also programs and synchronizes lighting for the band’s live shows. You may know Wood from his appearances in TV shows such as HBO’s Mindhunter and NBC’s Downward Dog.