“Chainmail is everything”: Public Circuit conduct synthpunk masterclass on Lamb (with interview)

Words by Jason Lee. Interview after the jump below.

If one were to create a new band by means of in-vitro fertilization using a frozen embryo donated by electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire (RIP) pollinated with genetic materials from the members of Belarusian post-punk band Molchat Doma; Parisian coldwave artist Marc Nguyen Tan a.k.a. Colder; Meat Beat Manifesto as remixed by Aphex Twin; Martin Gore via an old pair of bondage trousers from 1986’s Black Celebration tour; M83 circa Saturdays = Youth, and finally some backup DNA from various Hypnagogic pop and vaporwave artists looking to get out of debt…

…then they’d probably turn out sounding just just like…ok, we know yr waiting for us to say ‘Public Circuit since they’re who we’re discussing today…but we just can’t do it cuz the imaginary band above would probably sound nothing like NYC’s hottest new synthpunk darkwavers on the scene, namely, Public Circuit, who it so happens just released their debut album Lamb today á la á La Carte Records, cuz they’re their own thing but nonetheless we bet Public Circuit would dig the test-tube band’s music cuz all that stuff we listed above seems like it’d be right up their alley (ed: total conjecture) just listen to the Lamb LP’s opening track “Caustic Cross”…

…which, first off, great song title, cuz if you’ve ever been to a goth or postpunk themed 80s-revival type club night you know there’s bound to be lots of caustic people wearing crosses but if they heard the percolating arpeggios and washes of atmospheric synth; the heavy pulsating electro downbeats and stuttering hi-hat upbeats of “Caustic Cross” pumping over the PA they’d surely throw their heads back and sway back and forth with great abandon and clutch their hearts after the line: “fuck me til I cry”…

…and so it goes but with each of the eight tracks bringing in whole new wrinkles like how the next one “I’m the Man” brings to mind a glam-era terrace chant-along but minus the violence backed by music that sounds like it was written for an 80s aerobics VHS all while urging listeners to “take responsibility” for once in their lives (!) whereas “Kiss My Face” is driven by a Peter Hook-style bass line and a blurry, buzzy keyboard melody with poetic imagery ranging from “angels wings” to “rotting corpses” finally concluding that “those eyes are mine / it’s my design / I CAN KISS MY FACE!”…

…so yeah we don’t know what it means either–get it from the source in the interview below–but more importantly it sounds cool which should be the top priority of any upcoming or even declining band and we haven’t even gotten to the chiptune indie of “Soft Like Sugar” (made-up genre!) or the help me, I’m melting outro of “Heaven Waits” or the Boy Harsher-worthy grimding riff of “Bondage” or the dungeon-synth inspired, chainmail-enhanced music video for “Reach for the Knife” (see at top above) but now we better be kickin’ it over to the interview wherein P.C. mastermind Ethan Biamont and his bandmates were nice enough to share some thoughtful responses to some random questions…


Public Circuit is Ethan Biamont, Nelson Fisher, and Sean Holloway.

THE DELI: Can you tell readers a little more about “synth magic” and what it entails?

ETHAN BIAMONT: With multiple oscillators, Public Circuit trudges forward crafting an alchemical bond between analog synthesis and ourselves. In opposition to the dark powers that be, Public Circuit stands on two things: business and crafting danceably unorthodox melodies.

TD: Care to share any brief biographical details? And tell us about the new record?

EB: “Our new album, Lamb, is truly the FIRST Public Circuit record. The 8-song album embodies everything both audibly and visually that Public Circuit should and will be. The process to creating the record was just being able to hone in on those specific aesthetics that I (Ethan) mentally associate with Public Circuit.

As for the recording process, I wrote, recorded, and produced each track; bringing each to Sean and Nelson for new opinions and fresh takes for our “live” version of each track. Practicing the tracks in a live format affects each song in unique ways; inspiring small tweaks and changes to rhythms and melodies. With the addition of Sean in 2022, and Nelson in 2023, Public Circuit has finally achieved it’s true spiritual potential; evident throughout Lamb.

“Lamb’s 8-tracks all share a stark religious sentiment. One to be dissected by the ears of each listener. Feel it, and let it make you move. “Lamb” is a tale of masochism, strength, and subsequent defeat.” (Ethan) “It may be a myopic interpretation, but, to me, “Lamb” is a constant battle; struggling through the process of reckoning with self-identity, stagnant faith, and the fluid human-experience.”, says Sean. This album is Public Circuit’s first of many.

TD: If you wanna provide any BTS insights or liner notes for the record please do…

EB: The Korg MS-20 is all over Lamb. It’s ability to craft a beautiful dichotomy between soft and harsh sounds with each patch is thematic to the ebb and flow of the album. That feeling is present across our set in live settings as well. “Caustic Cross” is our opus, and (by far) a band favorite to play at shows. Nelson says, “As a often more ‘punk’ leaning band, its nice to dive into the softer emotions with a song like ‘Caustic Cross’.” He laughingly admits, “I have cried more than once while playing it.” Ethan adds to this saying, “Every song we play makes me want to dance, but ‘Caustic Cross’ is a break in which I find myself with eyes closes, entranced in an almost prayer-like state.”

TD: Any more fun facts to share?

EB: A big visually thematic element to the record is the high-fantasy / medieval motifs. I’m not a huge black metal nut, but I find a lot of inspiration through the genre and its offshoots like dungeon-synth. I love diving through Youtube for random and obscure music for inspiration. Chainmail is everything.” (Ethan)

Thanks to Ethan, Nelson, and Sean for accommodating my last-minute text interview and while they’re on tour no less. See tour dates below:

DEBUT ALBUM “Lamb” out MARCH 8th, 2024 on @alacarterecords_
2/29 ★ TROY, NY ★ @nofunonline
3/01 ★ PHILADELPHIA, PA ★ @haus.phl
3/03 ★ PITTSBURGH, PA ★ @thegovernmentcenter
3/06 ★ CINCINNATI, OH ★ @northsidetav
3/07 ★ CHICAGO, IL ★ @emptybottle
3/08 ★ ST. LOUIS, MO ★ @sinkholestl
3/09 ★ BENTONVILLE, AR ★ @backroom_socialclub
3/14 ★ DENTON, TX ★ @rgrsdentontx
3/15 ★ AUSTIN, TX ★ SXSW
3/16 ★ SAN ANTONIO, TX ★ @papertigersatx
3/17 ★ AUSTIN, TX ★ SXSW
3/22 ★ BROOKLYN, NY ★ @purgatory.bk
3/23 ★ NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ ★ @theroomnewbrunswick
3/26 ★ WASHINGTON D.C. ★ @pieshopdc
3/28 ★ RICHMOND, VA ★ @thecamelrva
3/29 ★ CHARLOTTE, NC ★ @petrasbar
3/30 ★ COLUMBIA, SC ★ @thelooneybinsc
3/31 ★ ATLANTA, GA ★ @innerspace_atl
4/02 ★ NASHVILLE, TN ★ @thecobranashville

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