If you’ve been following JOVM for the past few years, you’d know that this site has increasingly followed my own personal philosophies – namely becoming a site that focuses on music regardless of genre or country of origin. Some of you, who have been following for quite some time may remember that a couple of years ago my previous employer had sent me on a business trip to Frankfurt am Main, Germany for the annual Frankfurt Book Fair and just as I was about to embark on my trip, I had heard from a Australian-born, Berlin-based indie pop artist Sophia Exiner, who writes, records and performs under the moniker (and childhood nickname) Phia. Her breezy single, “Do You Ever?” which employed the use of loop pedals, beatboxing, the kalimba, a thumb piano popularly used across the Sub-Saharan region of Africa paired with Exiner’s coquettish vocals received attention globally as that single and several other releases have been compared favorably to the likes of Bjork, tUnE yArDs, Regina Spektor and others.
Interestingly, the track also brought international attention to a fellow Austrian-born, Berlin-based artist, Joshua Teicher, Exner’s boyfriend, producer and collaborator. Teicher has written and performed both in a band, Mez Medallion, whose sound bore a resemblance to In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy, St. Lucia others; in other words shimmering synth and guitar based pop with tight grooves and sinuous bass paired with earnest, plaintive vocals and as a solo artist under the moniker of Josh The Cat. I had done a Q&A with Teicher sometime after the release of Mez Medallion’s Live in Berlin EP but in an email setting up the Q&A, Teicher had told me that he had found himself in a period of artistic and sonic transition as he and Exiner were working on her debut full-length album, which is slated for a Fall 2015 release.
Teicher will also be releasing an EP under the Josh The Cat moniker later this year, and the EP’s first single “Let’s Start” possesses the same breezy feel that has garnered international attention, comprised of shimmering guitars, shimmering synths, drums and Teicher’s dreamy yet plaintive vocals; however, the song also manages to sound much more assured and mature as it expresses the sort of vulnerability and fragility of being in love and wanting to make it right. With such artistic growth, I expect that the blogosphere will be big on Teicher and his forthcoming EP.