I’m a big fan of Depeche Mode and was thrilled they’d announced they were playing the UK this weekend. I’d been to see on the last two occasions they played Manchester and was hoping to enjoy their live show this time round. When they announced that there was one date at Wembley Stadium in London I knew I wouldn’t be going. Train fares, hotels, spending money in one of the most expensive cities in the world, getting the time off work; all meant that going to the gig was not going to be an option for me. There’ll be many reasons the DM played one large date – economies of scale, the size and nature of the stage show, or logistics being just a few. And in an era where touring may be a bands main source of income then it makes sense to one big show instead of a tour. In practice it is moving more of the cost of touring from the band to the customer. Ultimately that’ll reduce the overall audience for the live experience and mean many will miss out on seeing a favourite band. Maximising revenue is important these days but it always comes at a price, either for the band, their fans or both. And with that said, on to bands that could be playing stadia some day!
Alligator is the second solo release from Nashlyn – a Vancouver based musician that utilises ethereal guitars and synthesisers to great effect on this lovely slice of laid back dreampop. The track is the follow-up to Dark Moon and both show she has a great air for melody and moodily accessible songs – if she continues in this vein she’ll surely be one to watch!
The opening track and the lead single from the current Eagle Eyed Tiger album Separations, Forever is a chilled piece of electronica from the New York based producer who blends live instrumentation with electronics and says he’s not afraid to experiment with his sound. There’s echoes of the solo work of Thom Yorke, as well as nods to the likes of James Blake and Flying Lotus; but there’s also a rich seam of original sound going on here.
Sophisticated Norwegian electropop act Anna of the North give us a taster for their upcoming album by releasing the title track Lovers. It has a great melody and is easy on the ear but most of all it has the most amazing vocals from Anna Lotterud. Lovers demonstrates that there is still something new and interesting to be found in what has become a sound that is in overabundant supply there days! The album isn’t due out until September but until then you can check out more of their music over on Spotify.
Also from Norway and covering very similar territory is youth with Shame On Me. Here though, Helene Svaland takes a more commercial twist on the electropop sound. If you like Robyn and Tove Lo then this track will really tickle your musical tastebuds, managing to be instantly familiar yet still containing a solid core of musical originality.
Bobby Love is a young Toronto-based producer that has teamed up with Ben Stevenson for Still, which creates an entrancing, intelligent and soulful sound. The sweetest R&B vocals work perfectly with a track than has elements of house and downtempo in the mix. If you want to know more about the track check out Love’s interview on Huffington Post.
Lush guitar riffs and soft vocals reel the listener in on Back To Life from jACQ, right before the track explodes with energy and emotion. The second single from upcoming Cosmic Affair EP, the track alternates a loud/quiet/loud technique that you’d expect to be heard on a Pixies track but not on a slice of electronica. It works which is the main thing, and it works very well indeed! If you like what you hear, go check out her Spotify page for more goodness!
Toronto based producer Robotaki serves up some super summer chilled fun on Monkey Bars, which features the sublime vocal talents of Claire Ridgley. It has a polished feel to it and compliments that with a nursey-rhyme style chorus which is bouncy and catchy. He says of the track – “Monkey Bars was meant to capture the euphoria of being with someone you love during the summer. It feels like being a kid with your best friend on a playground during recess. I wanted to try and capture this carefree moment in time.” He certainly does that on Monkey Bars – a track you’re sure to be hearing a lot this summer!
Eden Warsaw does a mean line in emotional electronic rock, showcased effectively on Somebody Tell Me and blending alternative rock, electronica, and pop to deliver a unified but eclectic sound. It’s an emotionally intelligent fusion, taking the sounds of bands like Coldplay and AFI but removing to bombast and pomp to give the listener are more intimate, personalised yet hook-filled sound.
Lina & Kjeír are the brains behind Hexamoten, who say they were drawn together musically by their love of ‘unknown soundscapes and the emotional use of analog synthesizers and danceable electronic beats’. On Nightmares they paint an emotionally bleak sonic picture, with the track obviously inspired by the likes of Tricky and The Knife but with a more experimental edge that results in a very left field take on the downtempo sound. Nightmares is from the duo’s RISASTÓR album which is well worth a listen!
Silence In Your Eyes from Greek band Metal Disco rounds off this weeks’ playlist. A track from the forthcoming Devil Explicit EP released on 21st June, it captures strands of post punk, dark wave and EBM to form an icy, hook laden whole. We’ve had a listen to the six track EP and if you like your electronic music dark and emotional, it’s sure to please.
I hope you enjoyed this weekend’s roundup and that you come across something you’d like to support by streaming the tracks, buying the artists’ music or just spreading the word! Until next week, have fun and be safe!