The Values understand there is a singular magic about the combination of synthesizers and the human voice. That mix of cutting edge technology and deep vulnerability, of digital sounds and flesh and blood, of sleek and portable, portable yet opulent. It’s a city sound, sexy and rich and forward moving. There’s nothing like it — Suicide knew it in the grimy 70s. Yaz and Erasure knew it in the glossy 80s. LCD Soundsystem knows it in the 21st century. You can hear that on this, the Values’ first EP.
Some background: Mason Taub (the lady) and Evan Zwisler (the gent) have been together since 2014 and playing music together as The Values since 2017.
Theirs is a total collaboration in life and art.
Zwisler grew up in China, an expat who returned to the U.S. for college. Taub was a New York theater kid who has played classical piano all her life.
Together, they’ve worked with several different groups (Zwisler and Taub met the day before Evan’s first show in New York). Band members fell away but the relationship between Zwisler and Taub remained the music’s core, its heartbeat, its soul.
As Taub puts it, “we spent a long time getting to this, which is the truest form of the band.”
Which is to say, to think of the Values as an ‘80s throwback is to miss the point. Technology plus the human voice will always be the sound of now. The technology may change but excellent songcraft is forever.
“It’s a song about someone leaving someone else and just trying to be
civil,” Taub says. ““Civil is what Mason would say to me if we ever
broke up. She did such a great job capturing that feeling and
directing it at me,” Zwisler says. “It rings so true that the song is
sometimes hard to play.”
“I want to be able to write about sex from a feminine perspective,”
Taub says. “I wanted to write a song that made me feel empowered about
the female body and femme energy and how much of our culture hinges on
“Dancing in the Dark” (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Again, the trick is vulnerability, which Taub’s vocal has in spades.
But it’s also the Boss. “Springsteen helped me find my identity as an
American,” Zwisler says. “The first two CDs I got were ‘Doggy style’
by Snoop Dogg and and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Greatest Hits.’ He
symbolized what it is to be an American, his music is patriotic in
that he has built in a way to criticize things about America. And
wetour a lot and there’s nothing better to get you home than to play
‘Born to Run.”