The two halves of indie-pop duo Modern Chemistry go solo together on their new split single, “Animal”  and “just a little off!”

Made up of Joe Zorzi and Brendan Hourican, Modern Chemistry separated briefly, with Hourican taking on the name Brendan the Navigator, while Zorzi assumes the moniker thepaintingcompay, respectively, in their solo efforts.

“Animal” opens on low-slung, delicate guitars atop a softly thumping kick-drum as Hourican’s gentle voice rides overhead. When the harmonics take shape, the tune evokes suggestions of U2 blended with The Police – humming with shimmering layers of sound tinted by the ache of desire.

According to Hourican, “Animal” is about “… feeling embarrassed about how much I want someone. And lacking the courage to do anything about it.”

“just a little off!” rolls out on buoyant ’80s pop coloration composed of percolating textures travelling on a syncopated rhythm, imbuing the tune with an ebullient cadence. Zorzi’s expectant vocals infuse the lyrics with vibrant flavours.

Lyrically, Zorzi says, “It just focuses on how easy it is to get stuck in your own head. It’s hard to stay in the present and focus on what you’re actually doing. Add in some choice paralysis, and it’s game over.”

The split, taken as a whole, projects a future nostalgia vibe, unapologetic about the exploratory emotions expressed therein.

Brendan the Navigator & thepaintingcompany, photo by Melissa McLaughlin
Brendan the Navigator & thepaintingcompany, photo by Melissa McLaughlin

Split Single Track Listing:

1. Animal
2. just a little off!

Run Time: 7:33
Release Date: May 5, 2023
Record Label: Big Mad Records