Throughout six long years John Maus remained idle from music by occupying himself with his PhD in political science. Upon its completion, he actively engaged in building of his own modular synthesizer. With 2011's We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves, a remarkable pillar of his career and beyond, he consistently improved his status, got a core group of followers and also was lyrically incisive on top of his faded 80s-inflected lo-fi synth pop we learned and grew to love.

With Screen Memories, John Maus saw perhaps an opportunity to discreetly share a few thoughts but with a twist and exaggeration on the current status of the world. This new album, objectively not taking any political stands, is another successful achievement. Additionally, in support of another era of his spaced-out synth pop, he has converged into a more linear and simplified, honest even, phase of his music. To complete it, he also brought on board a band to accompany him.

Let’s just put it out there: John Maus’ kookiness is one of his best assets as an artist and we, by accepting his eccentricity, are embarking on an exciting journey through his wonderfully bizarre fantasies. First single ‘The Combine’ sets a dystopian sensation, an exaggeration but a possible metaphor for this bound-to-happen gut feeling of a contemporary Cold War, where Maus envisions “see the combine coming. It's gonna dust us all to nothing.” However, songs like ‘The People Are Missing’ or ‘Bombs Away’ also correlate to a recurring topic of conflict and hypothetical apocalyptical reality.

Through this journey, Screen Memories shifts between denser atmospheres, where the classic reverbed and echoed shouts narrate short quirky stories, bridging into songs with a more juvenile and lighthearted sing-along such as ‘Teenage Witch’ or ‘Pets’. A common pattern on this record? A feeling of positivity and amusement that shines through in almost every song, while still preserving a solemn mood. This allows room for Maus to explore in depth his trademark musical elements: several layers of sounds, highly and deeply reverbed dimensional vocals and minimalistic synth loops.

If there’s one thing John Maus knows how to do well and has been doing since is not to take himself too seriously. As a doctorate, but also a grand-master of witty-songwriting, melodic harmonies and schizophrenic performance, he was able to gather in Screen Memories a collection of songs that reflect and certify him as a reference to his genre. All his unconventionalism is what makes him so exciting as musician, thinker and creative, as he successfully manages to build bridges between his passions.