The man behind The Goondock Saint is Thorsten, from Muenster, Germany. By day he works for a skateboarding company, but by night he’s a dedicated father and talented musician. He first started learning to play the keyboard when he was 10 years old, inspired by Nena’s 99 Red Balloons. The plethora of TV series’, movies and music that he consumed during his 80s childhood are the major influences behind his stirring and edgy compositions.
His first EP St. Demon’s Fire was released in February 2017, making The Goondock Saint a relative newcomer to the synthwave scene. All of his releases to date are dripping with a dark intensity and relentlessness that takes the listener on a fascinating journey through a macabre underworld. Thorsten’s music has grown in technical precision in almost no time at all.
Production values on his 2017 release N.E.O.N. showed considerable improvement, with the identity and sound of the act becoming more clearly defined and well crafted. The dark cinematic style he’s created is unmistakable and distinctive within the synthwave genre. Standing out from the crowd is something that is extremely difficult to achieve amongst the maelstrom of acts churning out sub-genre constrained releases, but stand out he does.
After contributing the track We Had Great Times to the #SYNTHAID charity project, also released in December 2017, Thorsten quickly followed up with a two track teen horror themed micro release called Prom Night Ripper in early 2018, continuing with the melancholic cinematic vibes of his previous releases.
This leads us to the most recent EP release, Dark.
In our Interview with Thorsten, he explained that there was really no specific concept for the album, only that it was intended to be “dark… just dark…”. Compared to N.E.O.N., it’s clear that Dark is an even more disturbing and morbid pilgrimage for both the ears and the soul. The Goondock Saint has become a creator of masterful imagined soundtracks that take the listener on adventures to places that exhilarate and terrify in equal measure. Thorsten’s music has the ability to transport you to a world that fuels the imagination and sends the pulse racing; it has the power to take you back inside your childhood memories. His tracks straddle the knife edge between storytelling and emotion, making the interpretation and experience unique for each person that hears them. That’s what makes The Goondock Saint such an intriguing artist in a scene crying out for originality.
If you are into cinematic soundtracks, teen movies or horror movies then The Goondock Saint is likely to be an act that you’ll fall in love with. His tracks will certainly strike a chord with listeners who are looking for more spiritual depth and emotional exploration when listening to music. In essence, he offers the same thrill-ride of emotion that you’d expect from any great movie soundtrack, evoking memories of a misspent childhood.
When I listen to Dark I imagine myself as an anti-hero fighting through a shadowy and mysterious underworld. It’s a thrilling and horrifying adventure that puts me through the ringer, pushing me to physical and mental exhaustion, before finally, redemption. If you choose to give this music the attention and investment that it deserves, and you immerse yourself in it completely, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how far away it can carry your imagination.
Article by Jonny Farmer, Steel City Synthwave / SYNTHAGEDDON.
Read our extended interview with Thorsten, The Goondock Saint, HERE.