On their new single 'You Used To Be A Man,' New Young Pony Club ditch the LCD Soundsystem inflected drive of their last record 'The Optimist' in favor of a slicker slow burn. Building off a simmering 808 beat and the steady refrain “You used to be a man / Now I don't know what you are / Do you understand how hard it is to stand / And watch you fall hard?” The track is a vicious kiss-off hiding beneath a veneer of apathy. Singer Ty Bulmer describes it as a song “about betrayal. A situation where trust is continually extended and destroyed to the detriment of that relationship and ultimately your view of that person. He's not a man anymore in your eyes anymore. He's a mole or a mote of dust or a hatstand or whatever.”
Absent the omnipresent driving bass and half-spoken lyrics from 'The Optimist,' the new track shows a debt to early Depeche Mode. (and really, if the past decade has shown us anything it's that we all owe Vince Clarke something. Let's just hope he doesn't ask for his Gary Numan mixtapes back. They're mine now.) The chiptune synths and lo-fi retro drums are nothing new for New Young Pony Club but now they're front and center. Ty Bulmer trades her usually passionate vocal delivery for more Ladytron-esque emotionless vocals to great effect; as if to say “you're not even worth getting upset about.”
The fantastically retro video was directed by Irish installation artist Laura Buckley, and will induce the effect of being trapped inside a lost piece of rock candy from 1982.
- Contributor: Nathan Leigh