Another weekend of gigs is behind us; from the harshest of breaks to the fluffiest of synthpop, and what good fun it all was. I try to keep as open a mind about music as possible, preferring to believe that it is not always a case of good or bad, but of what you like and what you don’t and that means that discovering new bands is a constant source of pleasure and excitement, right? But enough of that flummery – let’s get on with the show. Here are ten tracks that have piqued my interest this week.
New Yorker Karolina Rose is up first with Move With Me, a track that owes a debt to Blondie – not with vocals reminiscent of Debbie Harry per say, but song structures that are very similar to that band at their peak. Having said that, Move With Me certainly isn’t derivative in any great sense – it’s more that it captures an essence of Blondie’s wary and wry look at life. The vocals have a powerful and assertive richness to them that compliments the track perfectly, and the song really motors along in an 80’s New Wave influenced style. Highly recommended.
Canada has a great track record of producing outstanding synthpop acts that put their own twist on the genre, and Parallels certainly do that on Metropolis – the title track of their new album. Vocally there’s a slight debt to Kate Bush here (which is no bad thing!), whilst musically the band are spiritual twins to acts like CHVRCHES and Avec Sans. They manage to bring these quality acts to mind whilst doing very much their own thing, and that is largely down to the amazing voice of Holly Dodson.
Light Outside by Asbofacto has a lovely bittersweet quality to it. Over an indie electronic backing, Jonathan Visger sings of a love not so much gone wrong, but maybe not quite where it should be. It’s a great slice of melancholic angst pop with echoes of the dance floor and confessional in its lyrics.
SELKIRK is offering his latest track Tie It Off as a free download via Soundcloud and I’d advise you to snap it up. It’s kind of hip hop, like if Nirvana had signed to Def Jam, and kind of punk too, like if The Distillers had decided that their music needed a little bit of synthpop in the mix. And that voice – well, just listen to it.
I just love Sofi Tukker and their heady concoction of uptempo South American sounds which feature heavily on new track Greed. This track verges on baile funk at times, but vocally and lyrically Sofi takes it to an ever more raw and dirty place. There’s a very relevant political edge to the lyrics, but if you want to get buried in the bass and shake everything you have as much as you possibly can, then I guess that is very much allowed with a track as infectious as Greed.
Manchester based artist Mark Corrin collaborates with Luna on Drive The Bus (Off The Cliff). Another track with a political edge to it, this time with a more artistic bent to most of the electropunk stylings currently on offer and with a fuzzy bass line to die for. Corrin ploughs his own electronic furrow and it certainly bears fruit on this track.
Blindfolded is the first single from Swedish musician BONANDER (Ellinor Sterner). It has a lovely and almost scary quality to it; the vocals have a rounded almost operatic eeriness to them, the lyrics are passionate and sound almost Jungian, and the instrumentation and music itself is an amazing slice of rock tinged electronica. Sweden produces the most amazing artists and with Blindfolded as a debut outing it’s fair to say BONANDER can easily hold her own against her contemporaries.
Moving slightly west, we arrive at the Norwegian fjords and the sounds of Carl Louis. On Come With Me, Louis uses the vocal talents of Stockholm Syndrome singer Frøder to weave a magical track which tips its hat to classical music but lives firmly in the now with it’s unique and esoteric form of electronica. The artist describes it as ‘uplifting trip-hop’ and whilst it certainly has that going on, Come With Me has a more worldly but haunting feel to it than that simple description suggests.
Still on an uplifting vibe, this time from the east coast of the US comes Beauty Is Dope from Equanimous. It’s a great blend of bass music, conscious hip/hop and melodic electronica with some great vocals and high-class rapping all creating a unique and effortlessly classy, chilled out sound. Lovely stuff.
Lastly we have Estonian electronic pop group Würffel and their track Technical Honesty. Lyrically very clever, Rosanna Lint’s vocals give a almost liquid quality to the bright and bouncy, polished and glittery take on the almost electroclash sound that her band mates create. It’s hard not to instantly fall in love with this track, and I can’t wait to hear more.
See you next time!