Lazer Background Credit: Natalie Piserchio

Last year Laser Background main man Andy Molholt told music site ThrdCoast that from an early age he’s gleaned inspiration from composer Koji Kondo, who as the architect of the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the most influential composers in contemporary culture. “Those songs you can hear again and again on a loop,” Molholt explained. The Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist applies the lessons of repetition to indie pop, and his charmingly lo-fi Laser Background songs bridge the gap between the blocky eight-bit world he maneuvered as a child and the guitar-rock realities of his present. Though the pendulum of pop culture has swung away from the kind of music Molholt makes and more toward mainstream pop, hip-hop, and R&B, Laser Background’s new self-released Dark Nuclear Bogs shows there’s still life left in what today might feel like a mid-2000s relic. The chattering percussion and doleful keys that drive early single “Climb the Hill” achieve the same goal Kondo did with his Mario score—the simple, alluring carousel-like melody builds a world that reveals more of itself every time you press play.   v