Joey Broyles has already created a pop revolution. His debut album, Future Pop Revolution, can be seen as a document of the story so far. Broyles burst onto the scene with Project Famous, an online publication glorifying art, fashion, film and music. Photography and graphics are a key ingredient, bringing together makeup artists, independent film producers and innovators of all stripes all of whom are creating cultural paradigms that fuse present and future while harkening back to the days of glam and high-heeled boys. Broyles has taken the elements of the independent art movement RAW and fused them into a startling crusade that opines a new cosmopolitan identity for our funky little cow town.
Is Future Pop Revolution over-the-top? Yes and gloriously so. The recording sounds terrific – big, synthesized bass figures and electronic embellishments galore. Huge production and crunching guitars. Androgynous imagery in a world filled with aliens, ray guns and unceasing love. In Joey Broyles’ vision we are all stars in our cinematic lives and the future of mankind is at hand; our future lives infused with a power that lies just within our grasp.
This is not a simplified synthesis of pop music and EDM, these songs progress and the arrangements are often complicated excursions. Broyles music is a partnership with Shawn Tallard, one of those under-sung forces in Madison music, pushing forward burgeoning talent with admirable clarity. Tallard’s musical project Sun Voyage has seemingly morphed into his identity with recording, engineering, production, mixing and mastering being credited thusly. Tallard co-wrote all fourteen of the album’s tracks and played most of the instruments with Broyles tackling additional synths and, of course, vocals. What separates this recording from Broyles’ performances, where he often employs props, theatrics and choreographed dancers, is the vocals. While concerts take on a solo-artist character, the songs on Future Pop Revolution brim with backing vocals, harmonies, chants and spoken word.
Like Broyles’ idol Lady Gaga, this stuff is ripe for visual presentation and that means videos. Check out Broyles’ YouTube channel and this video for one of the album’s centerpieces, “Burn the Money:”
Sexy Ester’s Lyndsay Evans gets into the act on “Battleground,” a powerful piano-driven ballad that harkens back to all those star pairings of MTV’s heyday while utilizing modern sonic technology. “Repeat That” is credited as featuring Sun Voyage although the entire album could have been credited as such. Tallard sings the verses and electronically treated vocal parts. This one, like a majority of the album, is a dance floor hit and extended remixes seem mandatory.
Broyles is a warrior for gay acceptance and in this he is fearless. “Boys Don’t Do That,” draws the battle lines and the fight is for acceptance and the evolution of human compassion. “Muscle + Rod” is another call to the LGBTQ community for self-respect. In similar fashion, “Future Pop” is a manifesto: “I want your future pop where they sing to me / I want your future pop where we are all free / I want your future pop where they make me dream / In need your future, future, future pop.” R.Y.A. N. (Remember You are Just a Number)” is strong social commentary of a frightening Orwellian future with a great bridge offering hope, an effective emotional call to seize our destiny.
The album’s best track is “Andy Warhol” a paean to the pop-art icon who appears as a ghost. With a driving chorus and a monster hook in the melody, this one sheds some of the foreboding. One of the talents that Project Famous has helped gestate is Midas Bison. Check out this video remix of “Andy Warhol:”
Future Pop Revolution is the first chapter in a promising musical career, a story that Broyles has the courage and ingenuity to complete. The way forward requires diligence and fearlessness, qualities that Joey Broyles also possesses in spades and with genuine charisma. The album’s final track sums it up perfectly: “It’s written in the stars / I’m gonna raise the bar / I’m gonna go far / I’m gonna be a star.”