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Studio Session: Brothers revive synthpop duo Studio II after 30-year hiatus

Studio II image.jpg

On this episode of Kaleidoscope, synthpop duo Studio II join host Juliet Fromholt in the studio for an interview and live performance. Brothers David & Warren Harrison started releasing music under the name Studio II in 1986, but their new album, The Good the Bad the Odd and the Slightly Depraved is their first release after a 30-year hiatus -- and their first album ever. The record features a mixture of new songs and compositions from the brothers’ original period of activity, which have now been rearranged and recorded.

During the interview, the brothers joke that they decided to revive Studio II because “80s music got cool again.” One certainly doesn’t have to look far to find nostalgia for the 1980s in popular media; for example, Kate Bush’s 1985 synthpop track “Running Up That Hill” rose to the top of the Billboard charts this year after it was featured in the Netflix show Stranger things. But Studio II’s reunion and debut album feel like the start of something new, rather than a mere look into the past. Although they have not played consistently with one another since 1991, Warren and David have both been active in other bands during the intervening years. “I feel like an actual musician now,”' Warren, who plays synthesizers in Studio II, told Juliet. “Back then I was not.” David, who sings for the duo, also feels that his craft has improved over the years. “I’ve become, I think, a better singer and a better songwriter,” he said.

Warren and David say they plan to focus on performing their music live starting this Fall. This Thursday, September 15, Warren will perform live with Jess Lamb at Queen City Radio in Cincinnati.

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After joining the WYSO staff in 2009, Juliet developed WYSO’s digital and social media strategy, working closely with her colleagues on daily news coverage. In July 2021, Juliet stepped into a new role, becoming WYSO’s Music Director. An avid music fan and former record store employee, Juliet continues to host her two music shows, Alpha Rhythms and Kaleidoscope, which features studio performances from local musicians every week.
Peter Day began working in public radio in the summer of 2019, when he first interned at WYSO. He returned to the position the following summer, and served as the program director for Yale University’s student radio station for the 2020-21 school year. Now he works as an assistant to WYSO music director Juliet Fromholt and provides additional production assistance to senior producer Basim Blunt. Peter is a life-long Yellow Springs resident. In his free time, he likes to play music and walk in the woods.