‘Cruel Intention’ is the first single from synth pop duo Oh Baby’s forthcoming album Hey Genius, due for release in July. The track is a cool swagger of slick synths and drum loops with an eighties sensibility that will have you reaching for your finest pair of shoulder pads.
Lyrically, ‘Cruel Intention’ takes the perspective of a lover hopelessly doomed to return to the arms of a person determined to set everything on fire. Jen Devereaux’s vocal has hints of Alison Goldfrapp and saunters stylishly over Rick Hornby’s staccato synth basslines like a clubgoer sliding onto the dancefloor hoping to shake it all off. The despondent refrain “I knew you would” perfectly captures the lover’s expected disappointment and lingers long after the track has finished like a metaphorical earwig for the lovelorn.
The track’s synth textures are peppered with counterpoint guitar melody and build in waves throughout, culminating with the lover asking “if I go to the ocean, will you follow me?”. As the foreboding track title suggests, we all know how this one ends. The rejected lover aims for disconnection instead and the song’s instrumental outro is capped off with one final, muffled “I knew you would”.
Whilst the subject matter of ‘Cruel Intention’ isn’t overly joyous, the track is certainly no dirge. Oh Baby’s sound is reminiscent of Chvrches, Purity Ring, and eighties synth pop heroes Depeche Mode and the Human League – their sonic stylings practically drip with gold lamé and would be perfected placed on a John Hughes soundtrack. ‘Cruel Intention’ is best served with a bourbon on the rocks and a desire to detach from the one who’s no good for you.
‘Cruel Intention’ is taken from Oh Baby’s second album Hey Genius set for release on 23rd July via Burning Witches Records.
Photo Credit: Karen Hornby