Miami's Awesome New Republic -- these days seeming to prefer the more compact version of that name, ANR -- has been churning out its unique take on Prince-influenced dance-pop for more than a half-decade. Throughout the band's existence, the duo of Michael-John Hancock and Brian Robertson has often been the proverbial square peg in a round hole. They're too bass-line-focused for the straight indie-rock types, too rock for the straight dance types, and so on. That kind of dance-floor-aimed genre-bending has long been encouraged in Miami's underground circles, but finally, the rest of the cool-kid world at large seems to be catching up.
After a few years of perpetual on-the-verge status, 2010 and 2011 have seen ANR tour the country repeatedly and gain particular favor in the U.K. There, they've been played on BBC radio and been written up glowingly in taste-arbiter the Guardian.
So why now? Well, we hate to use the word chillwave... but we're going to have to. That blog-hot movement of 2010 marked a sea change in music-fans' sensibilities. Suddenly, it was all about a blend of organic sounds with high technology, unabashed funk licks, and gently psychedelic vocals. These were, of course, things that ANR had been perfecting for years. So if it seemed like ANR was going chillwave, touring with Washed Out and buddying up with local acts like Millionyoung, consider it everyone else catching up to them.
It's clear that fans of those other musicians -- and the musicians themselves -- have embraced ANR. Further proof: a new MP3 released yesterday by Memory Tapes, remixing ANR's track "Stay Kids." The track will be familiar to anyone who checks in ever on South Florida's musical blogosphere, but the New Jersey-based producer has given the original Beach Boysesque version a more technotronic spin.
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Download the remix below for free, and check out Jorge Rubiera's slightly bleached-out, high-nostalgia video for the original version of the track. Meanwhile, the next local ANR show may be a ways off. They're headed back through the Northeast and Northwest in August and September and before that preparing for the rerelease (deluxe edition) of their Stay Kids album, due out September 13 on 10K Islands.
Download: ANR - "Stay Kids" (Memory Tapes remix)