Seth Haley is many things, but he is no copycat. After the explosion of 80s nostalgia initiated by Stranger Things, there has been a flood of retro-minded synth artists hoping to tap into the latest trend. But Haley, who performs under the Com Truise moniker, has been at this for quite some time. His 2011 debut, Galactic Melt, signaled his arrival with a collage of vintage synth sounds and New Coke-induced energy. Six years later, he is now releasing his second album of completely new material (2012’s In Decay was largely a compilation of previously released demos) with Iteration.

If you have been a Com Truise fan, rest assured that the formula is relatively unchanged. Haley is still a skilled arranger of synthesized sounds. ‘Memory’ moves with jittery delight, ‘…Of Your Fake Dimension’ seems to signal a Blade Runner-style film in Haley’s head and so on.

Haley has said that Iteration is, however, meant to be a darker sort of Com Truise record. According to the synth virtuoso, the album is about “longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph.” With its nods to New Order’s sinister basslines and the general inclusion of low notes mixed around Haley’s signature twinkle, the feeling can be felt on occasion. However, with a wordless narrative, conveying your story “on occasion” doesn’t exactly make for compelling story telling. In fact, the remarkably danceable and instantly wonderful ‘Memory’ is one of the only tracks on the entire record to contain lyrics - and the song is all the better for it.

But Haley and his Com Truise project is based around instrumentation, and to expect too much out of a narrative is to do yourself a disservice. The feeling, whether it is the one he intended or not, is right there in the music. The best thing you can do is let Iteration’s rain-soaked neon lights wash over and see what you feel.

It is likely to Haley’s benefit that Com Truise records have not exactly been pouring out over the last decade. He punched out two winners right away, stepped back, and is just now offering us another full collection. If he hopes to continue the project, he may eventually need to adapt. But for now, his tried and true formula of evoking 80s nostalgia in an authentic and beautiful way continues to work.