Concert preview: Crying ditches Game Boy for guitars on 'Beyond the Fleeting Gales'

Joel Oliphint

On New York band Crying's first two EPs, which the trio combined on 2014'sGet Olde/Second Wind, many of the synthesizer melodies were created using a Game Boy, which gave the electro-pop songs a feeling of pixelated nostalgia.

New albumBeyond the Fleeting Gales (Run for Cover) is similarly nostalgic, but gone are the chiptune tendencies of Crying's earlier material, replaced instead by synth sounds that evoke the "Blade Runner" soundtrack and Van Halen's1984.

"The songs that were being written, they sounded best full and big," said guitarist Ryan Galloway recently by phone as he strolled alongside singer Elaiza Santos (drummer Nick Corbo, also of Sub Pop band LVL UP, rounds out the lineup). "It became very apparent that everything sounded better way more bombastic and rocking, so we just decided to go with it."

Galloway also experimented with vintage guitar tones, and he doesn't shy away from arena-rock shredding on the album. "It was more going by the rules of rock history, in terms of which guitar tones we needed to do," Galloway said. "It's all of our favorite things combined into one."

Santos' unhurried, never-forced vocal delivery provides a counterpoint to the layered riffage. She's more Frankie Cosmos than Freddie Mercury when she sings, which makes for an oddly compelling juxtaposition of sounds, made even more idiosyncratic by the fantastical imagery she employs.

"During this songwriting process I was reading a lot of graphic novels, likeAre You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel … and a lot of young adult fiction, mostly Philip Pullman'sHis Dark Material[trilogy]," Santos said. "A lot of that colors the writing."

The album is also inspired by an "intensely emotional" tour on which Santos lost her glasses. "They flew out onto the interstate," she said. "I think that was the catalyst, like, I'm gonna build on this recurring theme of vision, both literal and figurative."

"From underneath, the dark waves riled after a wind blew by, removing a pair of glasses from my face / And it occurred to me it wasn't worth just staying in place," Santos sings on leadoff track "Premonitory Dream."

"I think there's this conflict I go through on the album of wondering how I can successfully find the magic I'm looking for," she said, "but not in an explicit, traditional sense of magic. I'm trying to open my eyes to what is already available to me and changing the way I see things instead of looking for something that might not exist."

Double Happiness

8 p.m. Wednesday,

Nov. 2

482 S. Front St.,

Brewery District

ALSO PLAYING: Miranova, Wolfman and the Airship Captain, Smut