On May 5, Brendan Hourican and Joe Zorzi of Modern Chemistry released a split release from each of their solo aliases— Brendan the Navigator and thepaintingcompany respectively. These two side projects allow Zorzi and Hourican to explore their own unique styles, testing the waters with new ideas.
Zorzi teases that “Just A Little Off!” barely scratches the surface of his ideas for thepaintingcompany, saying it’s just a small “taste of what’s to come” in an Instagram post. If that’s true, then fans are certainly in for a treat. Vaguely reminiscent of fellow New Jersey band Bleachers, “Just A Little Off” is pure indie joy, mixed with a healthy dash of 80’s synth and electronics.
Accompanied with the release of a music video, Brendan the Navigator’s “Animal” sees Hourican running in front of a green screen with backgrounds shifting from the city to the country. Impressively enough, the almost cinematic music video was shot in his parent’s basement. Punctuated by Hourican’s spectacular vocal range, “Animal” proves to be a relaxing and beautiful song with lyrics like “I never learned how to lick my wounds. I’m an animal and I can’t find the hand that brings me food.”
It’s easy to see each members’ individual influence on previous Modern Chemistry releases. For example, there are a couple of moments on “Just a Little Off!” that sound similar to “Reflux Interlude.”
This split release is proof that the members of Modern Chemistry are constantly evolving, never content to just do the same thing over again. Hourican and Zorzi choose to venture out of their comfort zone and explore (or navigate in Brendan’s case) new paths for themselves, creating beauty along the way.
The singles can now be streamed on Spotify.