This Is Our Jam: John Maus, "Believer"

John Maus is a philosopher. Like, a real philophser, as in he teaches philosophy for a living at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In his spare time, though, Maus makes his unique warped version of New Romantic pop. The early ‘80s sounds that John Maus mines for inspiration were associated with frills, ruffles, big hair, and makeup (lots of makeup), but on “Believer” Maus strips off all New Wave flamboyance. We are left with grating synths and a baritone buried under analog silt. If “Believer” were a bit cleaner, it would have topped the charts in 1981; Instead, the song sounds unearthed after 30 years of decay. What he is trying to say about pop music and the passage of time is open to interpretation, but “Believer” is no less philosophical than Maus’ day job. (Altered Zones)
John Maus—We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
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