The New Division is the electronic synth-pop project of John Kunkel, a California-based musician, producer, and sound designer with Brazilian American heritage who just released his new single/music video, “One Day,” exploring topics of love, loss, and addiction.

The project began in 2005 in Riverside, California, when Kunkel was 18. Synth-pop was experiencing a revival as listeners were pervaded by ’80s nostalgia. The retro sound of synthesizers, different from post-grunge and nu-metal, caught on.

“One Day’s” intro features spacy, oscillating layers of synths topped by Kunkel’s rich, dreamy voice, followed by a brief bridge, opening the door to a progressive house rhythm travelling on a thumping kick-drum. A softly thrumming breakdown shifts the flow, highlighting Kunkel’s longing timbres, then rolls into a potently glittering outro.

The video, created by Pau Lara, is a throbbing, pixelated trip, conjuring up memories of the sci-fi movie Altered States crossed with a video game.

Saturated with gliding, soaring sensations replete with dark auras, “One Day” immerses listeners in a phantasmagoric soundscape.

The New Division, photo by Brad Kinnan
The New Division, photo by Brad Kinnan

Run Time: 5:08
Release Date: June 15, 2023
Record Label: Independent