Modern Wing is an electro-indie pop duo from Chicago, Illinois, consisting of co-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Michael Mazza and Emily Quinn.
Complimenting each other's strengths, Michael handles guitar, bass, synthesizers, programming, and arranging duties, and Emily is the vocalist, lyricist, and melody writer and plays piano and synthesizers.
The recent release of their three-track EP "No Better Love" amalgamates eclectic elements that have us surfing through components of various genres. Emulating a medley of vintage and galactic resonance that pushes the envelope of common themes heard, Modern Wing takes the beauty of instruments in the analog and digital realm to expand their minds imaginatively and intuitively. The EP's lead single and title track, "No Better Love," cites the classic and iconic bands Garbage and Depeche Mode as key influences. It wraps us in an otherworldly atmosphere that combines dark nuances with buoyant lyrical motifs, wording like "And there's no better love, no better love than this," offer that gratified relief as we hypnotically slip into the alluring energy of this single. Emily's elusive croons teeter on a narrative about what happens when you choose a path that contradicts the one expected of you – quite like the contrast and dynamism heard throughout the song. Lush guitar riffs head the second song, "I Won't Stop." Brilliantly expanding into primitive, 80s-inspired synths, ambient pads, and a rhythmic bassline you feel in your chest, the day and night comparison between "No Better Love" and "I Won't Stop" tour you through a vocal warmth and effervescent nature that's instilled in the composition of infectious grooves. Speaking into not stopping no matter who or why tries to steer Modern Wing away from their loves and passions, you hear the authenticity pouring through empowering croons and instrumentation that radiates optimism, exploration, and the journey within. "If You Don't (Alternate Version)" comes to us as the final puzzle piece of "No Better Love." Michael's quick-paced guitar strums set the intensity as they bob and weave to round out a poignant showcase that flutters with airy synths and an ambiance of determination. Fixated on the soulful timbres that Emily performs wholeheartedly, we admire the acoustic forward power ballad as the EP's final note. Reiterating that there's no time to waste on people and opportunities not meant for you, "If you don't want me, if you don't feel me, I won't be waiting just to be hazy," are the words that we'll be chanting through and through. With a variety of themes that explore the depths and crannies of visited genres, Modern Wing has a way of sending out significant messages through untried sounds bound to find your heart. Delve into "No Better Love" as Modern Wings steers you into a life of originality and conviction.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Modern Wing. We loved taking in the entirety of your three-track EP, "No Better Love." With an array of sounds and concepts on this project, what is the central theme that ties this all together?
These three songs are tied together musically by how they each portray our sound, the guitar and synth lacing through the driving rhythms, the addition of the piano, and the vocals and melodic lyricism. Lyrically, “No Better Love” is about knowing who is there for you, no matter what. “I Won’t Stop” is about persistence to reach your goals, even when others put you down. They are related in that they both explore relationships and how to navigate through the influence of these relationships. Some are negative, some are positive, and those who love you will support you and be happy when you find success in a genuine way, being true to who you are. “If You Don’t (Alternate Version)” is a re-mix of a single we released a few years ago, but it does follow a similar theme in that it’s about the influence of a toxic relationship and how leaving that relationship is the best way to move forward in pursuit of one’s aspirations, happiness, and fulfillment.
We would love it if you could share a glimpse of the creative process endured when bringing "No Better Love" to life. How long did it take for you to create this body of work?
We worked little by little in our respective home studios, chipping away at the songs in our spare time. All three songs on this release started with a guitar riff or chord progression that Michael had and that we built upon from there. For example, the song “No Better Love” first started with an upbeat guitar riff and pop-sounding. Then we paired it with some underlying synths. The song took a slightly dark and dissonant turn sonically, which we liked and found interesting, particularly when juxtaposed with the positive lyrics.
We wrote the bulk of these songs a few years ago and slowly added to them and re-recorded parts until they were released. We both try to keep the creative process fun and low-pressure as we work toward our goals little by little. We both do this because we enjoy it and for the love of music, which in the end, is what we believe to be most important.
How important is it for you to boast positive themes throughout your music? What message do you hope your audience can take away from the EP?
Positive themes are important, but I wouldn’t say we focused on that too much. At times, what you need to say is not necessarily very uplifting or inspiring, and to me, it’s more important to speak the truth, that it comes from the heart and is genuine. Focusing too much on trying to make something a certain way can detract from overall creativity and often produces a forced, mediocre song. “I Won’t Stop” is a universal truth that I think a lot of people can relate to, and it held meaning to me personally, as one who can sometimes dwell too much on what others think.
If any lyric on this project could sum up who you are as Modern Wing, which one would it be and why?
If any lyric sums up who we are as a duo, I will say, "I won’t stop until my dying day!” It’s true. There were times when we might have stopped the project because it was moving slowly. We weren’t gaining any momentum with things going on in our personal lives and other music projects, but when it came down to it, we both kept going, even when it was just a little bit here and there, and didn’t stop. And, what came out of it, and what will continue to come out of it, are some great songs that we can be proud of and share with others. That’s what it’s all about.
What's next for you?
We have several new songs in various stages of completion that we hope to release at the end of this year. If all goes as planned, they will be released as part of a six-song EP titled “Lights.” The EP will feature a wider array of emotional sentiments, sonics, and a surprise 80’s cover song. We also may try to work up a live version of our songs to perform publicly on occasion in the Chicago area.