Electric Youth first won over scores of fans with “A Real Hero” — a collaboration with French musician David Grellier (a.k.a. College) — which was prominently featured twice in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Ryan Gosling-starring 2011 film Drive.
The 1980s-styled pop song perfectly matched the doomed neo-noir tone of the crime drama, and presented an evocative cinematic scope that carries through all of the L.A. and Toronto-based synth duo’s music. That sense of timeless romance no accident; in fact, it’s almost too good to be true: Electric Youth’s members, Austin Garrick and Bronwyn Griffin, have been a couple since they were in 8th grade — and making music together since 2009. And as one might expect, there’s a seamless ease in the way the melodies unfurl and intimately intertwine on the band’s recently-released debut, Innerworld.
Inspired by countless films played on repeat while writing, recording and sculpting the sounds of Innerworld, the record is stunningly rich in imagery, tailor-made for pairing with visuals on the screen or in the duo’s stage shows. That’s especially true in this gorgeous video of the single “Runaway.”
At its core, “Runaway” is about escapism. The simple thematic refrain, “Maybe we could just run away / Maybe we could just leave this place for good / Cuz we’re both misunderstood” references Heavenly Creatures, the Peter Jackson film about two girls and the fantasy world they create when everyone tries to keep them apart. It’s a dreamy and starry-eyed sentiment that captures that all-consuming, heart-skipping love of your teens — an age when it feels like no one else in the world gets you, and it’s easy to get swept away in the heightened hazy melodrama.
Built around Garrick’s flittering synth arpeggios and pulsing programmed beats and Griffin’s aching vocals, “Runaway” has the wistful feeling of those last dance at prom scenes in ’80s movies and the best star-crossed young adult fiction. Yet despite the emotional melancholy, it’s a remarkably hopeful song about making relationships last and getting away from it all to start anew.