Another week, another eclectic mix of electronic goodness. I’ve especially enjoyed this week’s selection, especially the more experimental edge of some of the tracks. As the nights draw in, are my tastes getting darker?! Enjoy.
First up this weekend is Swedish singer YAYA with her track In My Body. The first in a trilogy of singles due out this year, the song channels open and honest lyrics over a gently meandering opening before the track hits full electro-ballad mode. If you’re a fan of Molly Nilsson, you’ll like In My Body – it utilises a similar musical palate but expresses its emotions in a less detached manner, providing a subtle twist with the use of the classic house piano sound towards the end of the track.
May Roosevelt is a Greek composer, producer and thereminist and her new track Air is just stunning. On the face of it Air is primarily a darkwave track, yet manages to channel warmth and emotion and minimal lyrics and vocals. For me, there’s a dark electro feel to the song that’ll strike a chord with those that remember Tristesse de la Lune, with its hints at experimental electronica, baroque and more. The track will feature on the upcoming JUNEA album which is out soon via Inner Ear Records.
Hailing from rural Louisiana, SKIES SPEAK creates a sound that feels more like it was it born in a teeming industrial metropolis – brutal, brooding and at times dissonant, Found A Way lives in some kind of null space between ambient drone and harsh noise, with its rhythmic and repetitive musical motifs drawing in the listener in and still maintaining a magical sense of removal.
Another month, another great track from Kauf! Let Slide features on the new album called Regrowth, and the track is another prime slice of emotional electronica – danceable, awash with melody and yet lyrically deep. Again, the fragile vocals entice the listener to pay close attention, as arpeggios wash themselves over your mind and soul in gentle waves of quiet joy. Ronald Kaufman (aka Kauf) spoke to Magnetic Magazine about the release and gives a great insight in to the man and his music.
Australian Lupa J is a 19-year-old, classically trained violinist turned indie electronic musician that is sure to turn heads with Moth – think Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins at the height of her most vocally gymnastic outpourings, or even an edgier Grimes, coupled with an arrangement that sounds at times like Depeche Mode at their most Teutonic… then you can get a feel for how this track manages to be both expressive and abstract in turns. Moth features on their new six-track A House I Don’t Remember EP and is sure to bring her attention outside her home town of Sydney.
Ned Douglas and vocalist Hetty Clark are the Londoners behind the now L.A. based The Dot And The Line. The Quiet Ones is a great vehicle for Clark’s vocals as the song builds from its initial metronomic intensity in to a track that is increasingly layered with meaning and depth. As the instrumentation becomes more complex, Clark’s voice grows in stature, as if her voice and the electronics exist symbiotically. The Quiet Ones succeeds in finding fresh ways to express the underlying nuances of trip-hop and downtempo whilst avoiding clichés and musical cul de sacs.
Brothers Paul and J.P. Rose are Tourist Club – an electropop duo from Silicon Valley whose love song to freedom Light My Way also features on their Dive EP. The duo say that Light My Way ‘is about the Statute of Liberty, and the promise she represents to the world … that the U.S. is strong because of – and not in spite of – immigrants’. The track is mid-tempo pop at its finest, with strong hooks and melodies that’ll please even the fussiest pop kid. With musical echoes of Empathy Test, Tourist Club show with Light My Way that synthpop can still have mass appeal.
Strangers by The Ramona Flowers is another mid-tempo piece but takes a very different musical route with its 80’s influenced but not retro take on pop-soul, courtesy of the sweetest of vocal performances from Steve Bird. It’s a song that feels like it lives somewhere between the dancefloor and the bedroom, with its funky rhythms and lyrical celebration of love and friendship. Strangers will be ‘that song’ for couples in the future, and a track for those that never fall out of love.
Jessica Frech revives the memories of Summer with Dopamine, a song that has clever, bittersweet lyrics and a playground rhythm giving this sort-of-love-song a real dreamlike feel. With a light and breezy arrangement, it’s catchy, likeable and most of all a lot of fun to listen to. Frech has branched out from her more folky roots into pop, but her music has become more intimate and personal as a result; certainly judging by Dopamine.
Last up this week is Propaganda which is the fourth single the Petra Glynt’s upcoming This Trip album. The track is a riotous run through multiple genres; a left field type of tribal electro-punk, with Glynt’s vocals giving the track what I can only describe as ‘avant-gospel’ overtones. You can check out the fabulous ultra-violet effect and highly stylised video for Propaganda over on Earmilk where it recently premiered.
That’s all for now. See you next week!