Iwan Gronow has just released his second single, “Second Guess” following lead off “In the Mire”. The former member of Haven and current member of Johnny Marr’s band has offered something altogether new and different within those two songs, demonstrating range and deep references of an in-demand musician who’s honed his ideas for some time, brewing them until time permitted them to come forth.

“Second Guess” is a darkly cool, instantly memorable track, full of atmosphere, and dark wave that is yet melodic. The driving beat is one some would call throwback, but those in the know would simply call it great, full of sounds we miss and never stopped needing to hear. For comparison one could look to early Erasure and Depeche Mode, both pioneers of New Wave that invented their own climates and atmospheres in their sounds. Music like this reminds us that synth music is so much more than the name suggests when layered just so, with tones of high and low, deep and ethereal.

Like “In the Mire”, the music has an urgent message and feels strongly connected to the earth. Here, Gronow examines what we do when we second guess ourselves: brew feelings or restlessness, we open up space for disconnection – in love, and even in ourselves. It’s part of decision making, but drives us mad. The dance beat has always been the best way to ponder the harder questions of life and of our natures. Turn it up.

Jacqueline Howell