San Francisco’s Cathedrals recently released their first single of the year, “Hits Me Like A Landslide,” in conjunction with Soundcloud’s First on Soundcloud series.

Artwork by Jack Vanzet

The duo consists of Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin, who made his debut vocal performance on the new single. Their last longer release was a self titled EP back in 2014. Since then, they’ve been releasing single after single, “Autumn Split” and “With You” among them.

Every single they’ve put out racks up tens of thousands of plays, building up momentum for the band to reach wider audiences. Their steady success allowed them to become part of the “First on Soundcloud” series, which features singles from other popular artists that made their debut on the platform, like Oakland musician Kehlani and Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett.

A spokesperson for Soundcloud told The Bay Bridged “The purpose of ‘First on SoundCloud’ is to celebrate and promote creators, such as Cathedrals, who started their creative journey on the platform. SoundCloud is the first place for creators to share what’s new, now and next in music culture, and the campaign underscores our commitment to empower creators with the best tools and vibrant community to build and grow their careers.” Cathedrals joined Soundcloud in 2013, and have been uploading their music on the platform ever since.

“Hits Me Like A Landslide” is the band’s most compelling single to date. The pulsating synths bounce back and forth in your head like he’s playing tennis with your eardrums. The lyrics “I got so used to being your lover / I can’t imagine you with another man” paint a picture of Johnny Hwin writing an emotional text to a lost partner.

“Written in the wake of a relationship falling apart, the song is both a personal and musical landmark for Johnny Hwin.” — Brodie Jenkins

The instrumentation and vocal range of the song calls to mind synth-pop bands of the 1980s, sharing a similar sound and theme with songs like Tears for Fears’ “Shout.” There’s a timelessness to the sound, which Cathedrals approaches with energy and vitality.