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The New Division

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Spearheaded by John Kunkel (vox/producer) and amplified by Micheal ‘Janzie’ Janz (sequencing/synths), Mark Michalski (synths) and Brock Woolsey (guitar), The New Division is an LA based tour de force. Influenced by Joy Division, New Order and Depeche Mode, they have taken the tastiest slices of these bands and infused some new life into them. Not stuck under the weight and spell of the greats that came before them, but perfectly inspired, these guys have done what most bands can’t do. They’ve remained faithful to their influence without being a copycat. Their sound feels comfortably connected to the past but with a momentum that fastens them to the future. The core stays true to electronic dance music while supporting thick branches of 80’s synth, italo disco and brooding chill wave. Kunkel adds tugging lyrics to the tracks, bringing satisfying emotion to the party.

Kunkel and his mates are constantly writing music. On any given day, they’ll have multiple songs going at once, expanding and editing whenever it feels right. In early 2011, they felt they had 6 songs right and put out the highly acclaimed EP, The Rookie. It wasn’t long after that they felt they had enough material for a full length, and in late 2011, they released Shadows. This album is generating a huge buzz. As more people put their ears to it, Shadows continues to climb up charts all across the US as well as internationally. Several music publications named the LP a top album of 2011 and as the new year unfolds, the masses are catching on.

The New Division are embracing today’s musical landscape by being multifaceted. Understanding the relevance of collaboration, they continue to drop remixes of their favorite artist’s tracks and in return, encourage others to remix their own music. They have also started a label, Division 87 Records, which scouts both in the States as well as overseas for new talent.

Several members also have side projects going (Gala, John Glenn). If you're lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you can hear the guys live before they inevitably head across the pond to appease their international fans.

No plans of slowing down, they are striking while the iron is hot. A new EP is due out in late Spring, more live shows are being announced and a festival in their future looks probable. If they continue at this pace, which seems likely based on the amount of started songs on Kunkel’s computer, it will be a very ear pleasing year. They’ve also decided to take a more collaborative songwriting approach on this new EP, which will only enhance and deepen their already solid sound. In sum, The New Division will make you want to get into your car on a dark, rainy night and take a drive though a glittering downtown. Into your soul they will instill a deep longing for the introspective 80’s, when emotions were pinned to your jacket and one glance from the girl gutted you. And above all, they will encourage you to honor your inner demons and in the same breath, remind you to roll down your window so you can blow them out with one long exhale.

 

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