Premiere: Max Wood returns as Applied Communications, taps Emperor X and literally Has a Midlife Crisis

You may remember Washington D.C. native Max Wood, or you may not – it’s been a long while since they’ve last been around as Applied Communications. 2007, to be precise. More or less vanishing after the release of Heavenly Garden, they pivoted to working in politics and software engineering (ironically not doing anything with applied communications) and scrubbed all their music from the internet. Open and shut case, right?

Not so. Today, buoyed by a resurgence on TikTok, and proving that nothing is ever lost if you look hard enough for it, Wood returns with their first new music in 17 years, the weird and wonderful lead single and closing track from their forthcoming new EP. ‘Sinéad’, Wood says, 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.”

There’s a throughline from their past work, all now recovered and available on Bandcamp, to the left-of-centre outsider pop they make today. A fresh coat of paint aside, it seems like Wood is ready to pick up where they left off. We’re premiering ‘Sinéad’ below; the Applied Communications Has a Midlife Crisis EP follows on Friday April 26th.

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