With a strong 8/10 given by The 405 for their latest release 'Souvenir', POP ETC are well on their way to pop stardom (no pun intended).

The 405's Christian K. Breedlove sat down with the band to get a song-by-song influence for each track from their new '80s drenched album, which you can stream in full below.


1. 'Please, Don't Forget Me'

Influence: Tears For Fears - 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' (1985)

"We just love everything about tears for fears. We love the emotional space a lot of their songs occupy- how the songs that sound happy and simple always have a darker or more complicated side to them. We love the production, clean and organized but never lifeless. They are a constant inspiration for us, and a huge influence on this album. Probably the biggest inspiration."


2. 'Vice'

Influence: Michael Jackson - 'The Way You Make Me Feel' (1987)

"Obviously Michael is the best, and he's influenced pretty much everyone making music today. I think the way he really hit me, especially during this era, was how important the phrasing of a vocal is. The way he says 'the way you make me feeeel' in the context of a shuffle like this, the way it interlocks, is just so incredible. Everything fits together perfectly. We thought about that a lot while making 'Vice'.Making sure the lyrics and vocal phrasing never butted heads with the feel of the song.


3. 'I Wanted To Change The World But The World Changed Me'

Influence: Kanye West - 'Paranoid' (2009)

"Even though a lot of the music we were listening to while making Souvenir was from the '80s or late '70s, it was really important for us to mix in certain production elements that were more modern. 808s and Heartbreak is my favorite Kanye album. I love how sparse it is. I think you can hear its influence on a few songs on Souvenir, especially 'I want to change the world.'"


4. 'Running In Circles'

Influence: OMD - 'Souvenir' (1981)

"Part of why we named our album Souvenir is because of this song by OMD. I love this song. It's kind of similar to how I was describing Tears for Fears, in that the song sounds so happy, almost sugary, but the lyrics are so dark. To me they're about losing yourself to unhealthy levels of obsession. We love the synth work on here, too. So simple and clean, but so effective and pleasing."


5. 'What Am I Becoming?'

Influence: The Walkmen - 'The Rat' (2004)

"I just love the feeling of the vocal on this song. The paranoia and anger and desperation. I love how it builds in intensity, which seems impossible at the outset because it's already so intense… But they do it somehow. For 'What Am I Becoming?' I really wanted the vocal to build like that. Starting out almost soft and creepy, and getting to a point where I'm basically screaming."


6. 'Backwards World'

Influence: The Blue Nile - 'The Downtown Lights' (1989)

"We discovered this album (Hats) pretty recently, and it's quickly become one of our all time favorites. It's incredible. I love Paul Buchanan's voice so much. So raw and cool. This record is incredibly flat, dynamically. There aren't a ton of big chorus sections, sometimes the choruses actually feel smaller. Almost all the songs are mid-tempo to slowish mid-tempo. Yet every song, and all its parts, are super memorable. We thought about that a lot while making 'Backwards World'. Trying to make the chorus feel like an emotional payoff even though it was kind of a smaller sounding section, dynamically."


7. 'Your Heart Is a Weapon'

Influence: The Smashing Pumpkins - '1979' (1996)

"There's something about the way this song drives, the momentum between the guitars and drums, that I kept thinking about while making 'Your Heart Is A Weapon'. I'm not sure why exactly. I've always loved this song though, so it's been an influence for a long time. I love the softer side of Smashing Pumpkins, where Billy Corgan isn't so gnarly sounding."


8. 'Beating My Head Against the Wall'

Influence: Kate Bush - 'Hounds Of Love' (1985)

"I love the drums on this song. They feel kind of disjointed on their own, but once you drop them in the context of the rest of the musical arrangement they totally make sense. We kind of wanted to do that with 'Beating My Head Against the Wall' since it's a song about frustration, and things not clicking the way you want them to. I love how this song turned out, it's probably one of my favorites on the album."


9. 'Bad Break'

Influence: Dire Straits - 'On Every Street' (1991)

"We definitely talked about Dire Straits a lot while making this song. The lead guitar parts are kind of a nod to Knopfler. I suppose a song like 'Money For Nothing' or something would probably be more relevant as a reference point in regards to 'Bad Break', but I wanted to post 'On Every Street' because I love it and less people have heard it as it's from a slightly later record in the '90s. Actually, come to think about it, I remember talking about 'On Every Street' with the band in regards to the ending of 'Your Heart Is A Weapon', too. I guess Dire Straits come up a lot for us! Hell of a band!"


10. 'I'm Only Dreaming'

Influence: Michael McDonald - 'I Can Let Go Now' (1982)

"I used to think Michael McDonald was cheesy (like a lot of people), but man, I'm so grateful I got over that. Cause when he nails it… he is the best. His voice is insane. His keyboard playing. The chord colors and melodies are so imaginative. The string arrangement on this song is amazing, too. Just so beautiful. Jon really loves him, and he definitely helped get me on board. Jon and I wrote 'I'm Only Dreaming' together, and it has a repeating piano/synth line that kind of reminds me, in a weird way, of the piano in the verses of 'I Can Let Go Now.'"