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Soft Complex

Who? Soft Complex are an assemblage of D.C.’s finest, drawing members from multiple members of the District scene. Vocalist Shane German, guitarist/keyboardist Chris Connelly, drummer Rich Dejong, bassist Mike Harbin, and cellist Alexia Kauffman make up this exercise in metropolitan musical synthesis, and the band are releasing their debut EP, Barcelona+, via Silverthree Sound Recordings.

What’s the Deal? “D.C. isn’t just a hardcore music town anymore,” German tells, and Soft Complex bear that out. Barcelona+ features three original songs, all of them seemingly learned at the velvet-clad knee of Uncle Morrissey. Fleshing out the record, though, are five remixes, and the Smiths vibe is pleasantly interrupted by Dntel-style bleeps and actual rapping. “We’re just as ready to play alongside an indie rock band as we would be alongside a trip-hop group or a DJ,” says Connelly, underscoring the fact that they don’t simply hail from England on the Potomac. The lyrics go a bit beyond the hopeless romance of lovelorn Mancunians, too, as Soft Complex occupies a world where “all the scenesters saw you fuck In the parking lot” (“Beat the Chill”). It’s mope-rock, yes, but it’s mope rock you can dance to.

Fun Fact: As is the case with many burgeoning bands, the members of Soft Complex all have day jobs. There are no burger flippers here, though. Other than Dejong, who is an energy policy analyst, they all work in the music industry in some capacity. Harbin co-owns Silverthree Sound Recordings, while Connelly works for a local venue. Kauffman and German work for SoundExchange, a job that German hints might hit close to home. “I have the amazing task of going out and finding recordings artists and record labels who are owed performance royalties from digital and satellite music subscription services like XM and SIRIUS and getting them paid,” he says. “Basically I manage Artist and Label Relations and work hard contacting thousands of recording artists and try to make their day by cutting them checks for their music.” JEFFREY PARKER

Now Hear This: Soft Complex – “Barcelona” Download MP3

Talk: Are you ready for a band with “soft” in their name from the birthplace of hardcore? COMMENT

On the Web:

>> Listen to Soft Complex on Napster