Flavorwire Premiere: Soft Vision’s D.H. Lawrence-Inspired “Rocking Horse Winner”


Last month, Austin drone-pop duo Soft Vision released a striking 7″ called “Feel It Coming On”; its B-side was a song called “Willy Loman,” named for the protagonist of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Now the harmonious synth act, comprised of Kelly Winchester and Bradley Barr, offers up the opening track to their self-titled debut EP, out next week on Acoustic Division’s new pop counterpart, Hi-Definition. It, too, finds its inspiration in one of 20th-century literature’s famous working-class families: D.H. Lawrence’s 1926 short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Flavorwire is pleased to premiere the song, below.

“When we first started working on lyrics to ‘Rocking Horse Winner,’ we noticed themes similar to those in the short story by D.H. Lawrence,” the band tells Flavorwire. “The story portrays wealth largely as a result of luck, as opposed to how it is often presented, as a result of hard work.”

These reference points may seem like curious ones for a synth act in the year 2014, but critiques of modern society seem like the perfect fit for a band such as this. There’s a real sci-fi sensibility in their songs. Listening to the six-song Soft Vision EP, I was continually reminded of Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 musical addendum to dystopian silent classic Metropolis; or Lower Dens making a New Wave album.

“We like songs that evolve with repeated listens as opposed to those which are instantly striking, but tire quickly,” the band adds. “All songs are necessarily biographical, but ideally we appeal to universal experiences and feelings. We didn’t want to be exclusive. The goal was to keep every song accessible, but we also try to experiment with instrumentation and timbre.”