Blood v. Electricity
Like Kurt Cobain with a keyboard or Trent Reznor with a cooler head, Keith Lynch, the lone Iowan behind Unknown Component, channels his hopes and fears into bummed-out synth-pop. He loves his faux string and choral sounds—touches that turn his home studio into a gothic cathedral—but judging by his mumbled delivery and searching lyrics, he’s not super enthused about much else. “Nowhere is alone / when nothing is inside,” he sings at one point, but in truth, he’s very much inside his own head. As accessible as these songs are, they’re also quite impenetrable. “If you’re building up a wall, you had better build it tall,” he says elsewhere, having clearly taken his own advice.