After two years of hard work and meticulous attention to detail (as well as a crucial Adderall binge?), Grand Rapids-based synth-pop band Stepdad has finally fathered what founding member Ryan McCarthy labels as the band’s first “straightforward pop banger.” At a somewhat lengthy four and a half minutes, “Running (Does That Mean You Care?)” showcases the band’s mastery of the pop anthem.
The track begins with an artfully fragmented lyrical sample and gradually introduces a powerful, club-inspired beat that links Ultramark’s understated verses with a poppy, upbeat chorus. Around the three-minute mark, the echoic vocals of the bridge slow down the track’s pace before segueing into one last, intensified chorus. In light of the success of Stepdad’s “Must Land Running” off Wildlife Pop in 2012 and the catchiness of “Running (Does That Mean You Care?)” this month, the band is well on its way to running with the big dogs. Keep an eye out for the group’s upcoming EP, out later this spring on Quite Scientific Records.