Well that week has flown by! I celebrated surviving a festival weekend by going to a few gigs to keep my fix of live music topped up. Luckily work didn’t get in the way of getting to the gigs early, so I managed to catch the support bands.
And then I got thinking; who would envy the lot of the opening act, especially on a big tour or sell out gig? They’ll obviously have their own fan base to get the tour slot, but it can be a tough proposition for them. Most people will be there to see the headline band and may turn up late, chill out in another part of the venue or (for me the greatest sin of all) stand right in front of the stage, chatting through the entire set!
It’s all part of the downside of being a support band but obviously they do get to travel, have an opportunity to make new fans and see new places but it can still be hard for a band, as much as they love what they are doing. We will never will like every support band but it’s important to remember that they are part of the experience of going to a live event and for some people it’s an opportunity to see a band that otherwise might never come to their town or city. Oh, and bands members are people too, even the drummers so be nice!
First out of the gates this weekend is Out Of Time by American producer Michael Laurence Rogel. It’s an intriguing track which takes elements on EDM, trip hop and female vocal house and mixes it all up to make something that has a unique feel to it, accessible but with a bit of an edge.
Second track in and we hit Sweden already! YAYA serves up a ballad for the dark generation on Therapist – with a hint of 80’s synths, an amazing voice and a great production job delivering an epic piece of emotional music. If you can imagine a middle ground between the pop sheen of Roxette and the enveloping bleakness of The Knife, then that is where Therapist lives!
Back to America now with Motion Trap and their track Molecule, which features synth lines that you’d expect to hear on an early Vince Clarke submission. With some nice guitar leads, idiosyncratic lyrics (who wouldn’t want to be someone’s favourite molecule?) and some rather sweet male vocals from Nathan Rogers the song feels like more like an off-beat indie rom-com than a three minute pop song.
About Last Night is a collaboration between Australian singer-songwriter Charlz and British producer Maths Time Joy and is a bit of a gem. Sprinkling a bit of late night RnB stylings on a smooth slow tempo synth track and adding on lashings of sultry vocals; it’s a great piece of romantic pop. It’s not quite a ballad, but it certainly will put you in a loving mood!
Lightning by Vylet is a beautiful piece of music. A fusion of synthpop sensibilities and a musical structure that seems more inspired by classical music than current or popular styles, it really does fit the ‘baroque pop’ moniker that has been applied to her sound.
Some time ago we featured Retro Kid’s track of the same name and here he is again with something special in the form of Kool Kids. Utilising a 909 drum machine and some analogue retro sounds, Jake Juba serves up a modern take on a classic dance track. Not so much the sound of specific bands, more the feel of early 90’s rave parties as the dawn rises.
Cell Phone is the latest single from Birch’s upcoming EP Not Human – a song about misogyny on the internet. Brooklyn based Michelle Birsky and Mat Towles use loops and synths to deliver an upbeat synthpop track with a serious message. Political pop at its finest, that’s Birch!
French band Automatic Fiction deliver a novel take on French rock with The Gold Of Days. The breathless vocals of Lise Data intertwine with the more contemplative tones of Tom Data to give the track an other-worldly atmosphere. The tune brings to mind the wonderful Stereolab but with more of a cinematic scope to their sound, drawing you in to its rhythms rather than leaving you staring in from the outside.
Norwegian quintet Highasakite have combined the soaring signature vocal of Ingrid Helene Håvik with the skills of pop-production powerhouse STARGATE on 5 Million Miles. It’s an uplifting pop number with a sleek and accessible sound that makes great use of Håvik’s amazing voice. On this showing they have upped their musical game once again and it’s no surprise that the band has headlined stadium gigs in the home country and are going down well at festivals around Europe.
Kill the Noise from American band Me Not You has an a great 90’s feel to it, like a more electronic version of Lush; all hazy vocals and mellow distorted guitars and electronics. In an ideal world, this track would be at the top of the pop charts. Maybe it’ll get there but if not Me Not You can be proud of refreshing and revitalising the indie/electronica sound.
Hope you enjoyed this selection of tracks, I’ve only got two gigs lined up this week so it’s an easy one. Have a great week and make sure you check out more music by the bands featured above. I think you’ll like them!