Rational Youth | New Wave / Minimal Wave / Canada
Rational Youth was formed in 1981 in Montreal, Quebec by Tracy Howe and Bill Vorn, both of whom idolized Kraftwerk. Considered one of Canada’s first synthpop groups, their second gig saw them opening for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. After releasing their first single ‘I Want To See The Light’ in 1981 for YUL Records, an independent label established by Marc de Mouy and Pat Deserio, Howe and Vorn were joined by Kevin Komoda. Following Vorn‘s departure in 1983, the group — now consisting of Howe (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Komoda (keyboards), Denis Duran (bass) and Angel Calvo (drums) was signed to Capitol Records and released their eponymous EP that year. This was followed by the 1985 release of the ‘Heredity’ LP, produced by Howe and Dee Long, with three charting singles. Howe released it as the sole remaining member.
Many things changed in the band since then and in 2016, Rational Youth (now consisting of Tracy and Gaenor Howe), released the ‘Future Past Tense’ EP through Artoffact Records. That year, they appeared on the ‘Heresy‘ compilation, released by the Cold War Night Life label. A play on the title ‘Heredity’, this album also featured covers of Rational Youth tracks by 18 artists from various countries, including former bandmates Dave Rout and Kevin Komoda.