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Exclusive Premiere: Applied Communications Single 'Sinéad': Listen First Here

The moniker is the musical alias of musician Max Wood.

qappliedcommunicationstom friedl
Source: Tom Friedl

The past and future collide.

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Applied Communications has emerged from a long hiatus and will be releasing new single "Sinéad" on Feb. 23. Q has the exclusive song premiere today. Listen below.

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Source: ℗ © Applied Communications/SoundCloud


The song comes ahead of their first new material as Applied Communications in 17 years. The moniker as it relates here is the musical alias of musician Max Wood, a person who at first glance doesn't convey standard musical aspirations, nor someone who harkens back to the weird output from their past.

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Source: Applied Communications/ Tell All Your Friends

Applied Communications - Sinead

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With the Feb. 23 release of "Sinéad," Wood (in collaboration with Emperor X) has emerged from a self-imposed musical exile, wiping clean those past endeavors and moving into the culturally aware and inclusive community that can openly embrace their authentic self. The song's melody is upbeat but as Wood sings/narrates their day's journey, the story reveals a different narrative:

"Sinéad is about a pretty intense mental breakdown I had while visiting Los Angeles for work. I tried to capture the anxiety and mania of those feelings, but also keep the spirit of the song off-kilter and not too serious. I had a version of the song that was more straightforward and poppy, but it didn’t feel right. I then sent it to my friend Emperor X, who did all kinds of bizarre unexpected things to the music. I took his edits, doubled down on them, and ended up with a version that felt way more authentic to the experiences I had that day."

qappliedcommunicationstom friedl
Source: Tom Friedl

Applied Communications and the necessities of life: a dog and a keyboard.

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So how does a listener with no reference point understand the Applied Communications backstory? Their debut released in 2005, Uhhh, Sort Of didn't quite earn the accolades one would expect, as Pop Matters and Pitchfork were fairly blunt in their assessments of its artistic value (hint: not glowing). Yet, the nine tracks on Uhhh, Sort Of – available on Bandcamp – along with 2009's Heavenly Gospel and 2013's No Sleep Ever convey an avant-garde innocence that wouldn't be out of place on a listener playlist featuring musique concrète or experimental music.

However, the April 26 drop of their EP Applied Communications Has a Midlife Crisis is a return with new insights. As described it's "a collection of five alt-pop songs that navigate Max's journey through depression, gender dysphoria, existential panic, and self-love."

It's with this analysis in hand (and the combined efforts of deep-dive research from influencers and followers on TikTok), that had Wood "recommit to making music as a way to escape depression."


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