March has flown by, the seasons change, bands and people come and go. The only real constant in our lives is change and I guess many of us look to music to give us a soundtrack for the life we live today. I know I do, finding the right music makes work and play that more enjoyable – or bearable – depending on your frame of mind. Let’s get on with this week’s offerings, shall we?
Metal Mouth is the debut release by American artist Daiza. Such is the confidence and maturity in this slice of hazy, summery electronica that I initially found that hard to believe. It hits a sweet spot somewhere between Slowdive, the Cocteau Twins and Durutti Column if they all got together to drink some cocktails and make some music on a beach.
SONJO spins a beautiful line in emotional electronica, packed with reverb and introspection on new track Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. The song has an almost folkish feel to it, with an experimental centre all moulded in to an accessible sound by some very poignant male vocals.
The intro to Dreams by Élan Vital is very deceiving, as it led me to expect a light and airy but straightforward synthpop number. However it quickly became a more sombre beast, with swirling Hammond style organs, shades of Throbbing Gristle and Kraftwerk and a beat that rumbles along. The slightly distorted female vocals and deep male vocals give the whole thing a bit of a dark wave twist, creating a track that reveals more with each listen.
Singaporean musician The Analog Girl has recently released her fourth long player, Golden Sugar Crystals and What You Are Showing Me Is A Fantasy is a great advert for the album. Hushed vocals echo over a booming bass and synth leads that would leave the likes of Martial Canterel looking on in envy.
Australian act Amos & Emily hit all the right notes for me with Reaction. Their track just fizzes with a seductive energy that successfully pulls off what I could best describe as a more soulful take of the kind of uptempo synthpop you associate with Purity Ring. With Reaction, they really do put their own spin on the genre.
From Australia to Stockholm, we get Roya and her track Centrum. This American abroad creates a pulsating and minimal take on synthpop, which veers into an old school EBM rhythm at times. It’s a lot easier to listen to the track than it is to describe it, and I suggest you do just that!
Sinner from Parisian band DBFC has a real Madchester feel to it, maybe down to one of the being originally from that part of the UK. The track is situated on an interesting intersection of psychedelia, Krautrock and electronica creating a sound reminiscent of bands like Primal Scream or New Order when they were pumping out more leftfield tunes for the dance floor. Sinner is the first track to be aired from their upcoming album Jenks which will be released via PIAS.
It’s March, which here in Europe means it is still springtime. But it’s always summer somewhere and Turn on My Nightlife from Lightning Fantasy has a real Tropical feel to it that brings a warm feel to the occasionally cold nights. The breathy female vocals and bounciness of the track provide a neat counterpoint to the more solemn lyrical content.
Despite being only 20 years old, Victoria Celestine has been recording music for seven years already, which probably accounts for the maturity of Carrying On – a feel-good pop track about life’s obstacles and how we can overcome them. The track combines 80’s synth inspired beats with Celestine’s ethereal vocals, resulting in a piece that not so much feels like a retro/80’s offering but more one that make you think about times past.
Rounding off this weeks’ selection is ROULES and his track Actors. This New York based musician has something in common with others featured this week in that he takes the standard synthpop and twists it in to something that sounds very much his own, incorporating downbeat lyrics and driving synths to deliver a lovely slice of heartfelt electronica.
See you next time!