Category: Electro Pop

Avery Henderson is a Denver, CO-based multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ, best known as Falcon Punch. Over the bulk of the past decade, Henderson has received attention across the blogosphere and this site for specializing in a a sultry, funk and disco-influenced electro pop sound centered by lush keys, guitars and bass that he has dubbed “Dark Island Funk.”

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about him but throughout that time, he’s been busy producing tracks with a wide array of collaborators across a diverse range of genres. Currently, the Denver-based electronic music producer, electronic music artist, DJ and multi-instrumentalist is gearing up for a string of monthly releases over the next few months to further refine and dial in his sound. Building upon the momentum of  his recent tour across Japan and Taiwan, Henderson’s latest single “Close Enough” is a collaboration with vocalist Megana. Sonically, the song is centered around a breezy late 80s – early 90s production — wobbling synths, twinkling keys, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line and Megana’s sultry vocals and hook. And while being a summery club banger, the song is a confessional to the listener (and others)  in which the song’s narrator admits she hasn’t gotten over a previous lover, and that she’s using others to fill the time and the loneliness she’s feeling. It’s a  warning that says with bedroom eyes “come hither” — but careful, you might get burned.

Henderson says in press notes about the track, “I wrote the bones of the instrumental of this track early in the summer of 2018 while I was working on my first single with Megana, titled “Amour“. After recording “Amour” I knew that Megana’s voice would work perfectly on this song as well. Megana then took the first stab at writing the lyrics and root vocal melody. She wrote the lyrics of “close enough” as a confession to a new relationship. The story stands in as a warning coming from a person still in love with someone else, while using others to fill the loneliness in the meantime.

After recording, we knew we loved what we had but the song wasn’t quite right. It took nearly 5 months of fine-tuning and tweaking to get a final product we were both extremely happy about. It was a lengthy labor of love but we’re both super pleased with “Close Enough” and hope you feel the same.”

 

 

 

 

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New Video: Scott Gilmore Returns with Wistful Visuals for “All Our Stuff”

Late last year, I wrote about Northridge, CA-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and electronic music artist Scott Gilmore, and as you may recall, Gilmore has recorded a handful of critically applauded releases through SFC REC and International Feel Records.  His forthcoming album Two Roomed Motel is slated for a March 1, 2019 release through Crammed Discs, the label home of Juana Molina. 

Interestingly, album single “Two Roomed Motel” was a funky, retro-futuristic synth pop track that to my ears brought Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit,” Holy Ghost!‘s Crime Cutz, Return to Forever and the Los Angeles-based, post J Dilla beatmakers to mind; however, Gilmore meshes lo-fi bedroom recording with slick, highly contemporary production that feels and sounds mischievously anachronistic.  The album’s latest single “All Our Stuff” continues the retro-futuristic vibe of its predecessor as it features Gilmore’s heavily vocoder’ed vocals ethereally floating over shimmering and arpeggiated synths — and while sounding as though it could have been released between 1977-1983 or so, the song and the Gilmore-directed video “are both loosely based on the idea of attempting to inhabit a place that perpetually remains distant.” As a result, the song and the video posses a wistful and bittersweet air, full of the recognition that things are just out of reach. 

Led by Sydney, Australia-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind  Mark Piccles, A Different Kind of Busy (A.D.K.O.B.) formed in 2016, and with the release of their debut single “Lung Capacity,” the project quickly received national and international attention — the track received airplay on Sydney’s FBi Radio and was featured as KEXP’s Song of The Day.

A.D.K.O.B. released their self-titled debut EP, which featured lead single “Glue,” a track that received rotation on triple j radio — and eventually became the 9th most played song of the year. Building upon a growing profile, the Australian pop act’s forthcoming sophomore EP, Nothing Is A Waste Of Time is slated for a May 2019 release, and the EP reportedly will be a cohesive body of work that thematically explores love, loss and the cycle in between while drawing from Piccles’ own personal life. Interestingly, “Chalkline,” Nothing Is A Waste Of Time‘s latest single is centered by a buoyant, 80s synth pop-inspired groove, rousingly anthemic hooks and earnest emotions — and although bearing a bit of a resemblance to St. Lucia and others, the track possesses a bittersweet air, full of the recognition that while there are some mistakes that you may never learn from.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Bedstudy’s Shimmering and Woozy Take on Electro Pop

Founded in 2016 by founding members David Plakon (production) and Peter Baldwin (vocals), along with newest member Ranson Vorpahl (drums), the Brooklyn-based electro R&B/electro soul act Bedstudy can trace their origins to when the act’s founding duo met at Plakon’s Florida studio, where Baldwin was working on his debut album. After independently moving to Brooklyn, Baldwin and Plakon reconnected at a Tall Juan show at Berlin Under A and decided they should start a band together.

Within their first year together, the duo quickly wrote and released four singles, including “Arms Away,” which Paper Magazine called “gorgeously woozy.” Vorphal joined the band in 2017 to complete the band’s lineup. The newly constituted trio  then spent another year writing and revising their sound before signing to Grand Jury Music, who will be releasing their highly-anticipated EP dot wave on February 15, 2019. Primarily recorded at David Plakon’s Crown Heights home studio with some additional sessions at Braund Studios and Black Rock Studios, the effort reportedly finds the act expanding upon the sound that first won them attention. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single “12” is centered around twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line, thumping drumming and Baldwin’s plaintive vocals, the track is a shimmering and woozy take on contemporary electro pop that brings to mind JOVM mainstays Beacon and No Kind of Rider’s Savage Coast but with a decidedly hip-hop swagger. 

Directed and edited by Tess Lafia, starring Riley Cedar and Sebastian Borberg and featuring animation by David Herrera, the recently released video for “12” features some incredibly hallucinogenic visuals that nod at several different decades at once that to my eyes evoke a trip that’s disorientating and woozy. 

New Audio: Good Fuck Returns with an Atmospheric New Single

Late last year, I wrote about Good Fuck, a self-described exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous production and beats, comprised of Tim Kinsella, a Chicago, IL-based musician, author and film director, who’s best known for stints in a number of bands, including Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Make Believe, Owls, Friend/Enemy, Everyoned and others, and for an extensive solo career, releasing material under the name Tim Kinsella(s) and Jenny Pulse an electronic music producer and artist, who has released two full-length albums — 2017’s Spa Moans/Obedient Vibrations and  Marmalade, which was released earlier this year. 

Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their aesthetic and sound, the duo decided that they needed to be in total isolation. “We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella says in press notes. As soon as they arrived, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from. Described by Kinsella as a “collaborative conscious alignment,” lyric writing was centered around 12 books, including Don Quixote, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and others that the couple felt were relevant. Then they came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations. The result was a sort of literary mash up in which content and structure were scrambled into a totally new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.

Sonically speaking, the project draws from Kinsella’s extensive background in genre-pushing rock and Pulse’s ear for minimalist electronic sounds — and interestingly enough, they managed such an artistic symbiosis together that “To a large degree we don’t even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects.  According to Kinsella, he and Pulse were “stunned” by what they had created, the entire process was far from perfect. “Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella says. 

Now, as you may recall, the self titled album’s first single “Secret Meetings” was centered around a minimalist electronic production featuring whirring, buzzing and industrial clang and clatter, brief blasts of arpeggiated synths, chanted lyrics and a sensual and sweaty groove — with the end result being a track that was esoteric and cryptic, wildly adventurous and yet accessible. Interestingly, “Jenny Dreams of Pies,” the self-titled album’s second and latest single is a slow-burning, atmospheric track with thumping beats and glitchy electronics. Sonically speaking the song nods at The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails and The Beat Escape’s Life’s Short The Answer is Long — but while superficially placid, the song possesses a tense and anxious undertone, that gives the song a nightmarish feel. 

Over the last few months of 2018, I wrote quite a bit about Josie Boivin, a Quebec-based classically trained pianist and opera vocalist, and electronic pop producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, best known in the indie world as MUNYA. Now, as you may recall Boivin had only written one song when’s he was asked to perform at 2017’s Pop Montreal. Ironically, at the time, Bolvin had never intended to pursue music full-time but after playing at the festival, she quickly realized that what she was meant to do — be a musician. So Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio where she wrote every day. These recordings would eventually become part of an EP trilogy — with each EP comprised of three songs — named after a significant place in Boivin’s life. Her self-released debut North Hatley derives its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little villages in Quebec and her second EP Delmano, which was released last year through Fat Possum Records derives its name from Williamsburg Brooklyn’s Hotel Delmano.

Blue Pine EP, the third EP of Boivin’s trilogy derives its name for the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks — and continues the trilogy’s overall theme of EP’s being named for a significant place in Boivin’s life. The EP’s first single “It’s All About You”  is a beguiling pop song centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook, and Boivin’s ethereal falsetto — but interestingly, the song is at best, superficially playful as it focuses on the joy and agony of an all-consuming infatuation that borders on obsession. “It’s about obsession, that feeling when everything you do is about trying to reach a singular goal, an object, or, in my case, love,” Boivin explains. “This song is about my dream – this fantasy and obsession of wanting someone so bad that it hurts and everything I do is for the dream of being together.”

Blue Pine is slated for a March 8, 2019 release through House Arrest/Fat Possum Records imprint Luminelle Recordings, and along with that the three EPs will be combined for the physical release MUNYA, which will also be released on March 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Former Keep Shelly in Athens Frontwoman Releases a Sensual Take on 4AD Records-era Synth Pop

Perhaps best known as one-half of the internaitonally acclaimed electronic music production and electronic music artist duo Keep Shelly in Athens, the Athens, Greece-based artist and activist Sarah P. released a critically applauded full-length debut album Who Am I back in 2017. Interestingly, the vocalist who has collaborated with Sasha, Mmoths, The New Division, Plastic Flowers, Holly, Hiras, The Bilinda Butchers and a lengthy list of others is releasing the much-anticipated follow up to Who Am I, the Maenads EP, a collection of songs to celebrate both feminine power (particularly its magic, strength and imperfect perfection) and the artist’s Greek heritage. 

Maenads’ latest single, the atmospheric and moody “Lotus Eaters” features four-on-the-floor drumming, shimming synths, a propulsive and sinuous bass line paired with Sarah P.’s ethereal crooning. In some way, sonically speaking the song will bring to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Kate Bush and the early 80s 4AD Records roster while arguably being the most sensual song I’ve come across within the early part of this year. 

Filmed by George Geranios and featuring a concept by Sarah P., the cinematically shot visuals for “Lotus Eaters” stars a gorgeous collection of women appearing in some surreal and dreamlike scenarios. 

Over the past couple of years of this site’s nearly nine-year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Blonde Maze, the solo recording project of New York-based electronic music artist, producer and singer/songwriter Amanda Steckler. Now, as you may recall Steckler has received attention across the blogosphere for crafting slickly produced, atmospheric synth pop centered by lyrics that give her material an earnest and swooning romanticism.

Interestingly, over the past year or so, the JOVM mainstay has been collaborating with a number of both established and up-and-coming electronic music producers —  including the Iowa City, IA-born, Duluth, MN-based electronic music artist and producer Kyle Stern. best known as Attom.  As the story goes, Stern quietly sharpened and honed his production skills while earning a degree in Informatics from the University of Iowa. After relocating to Duluth, Stern won remix competitions for Parade of Lights‘ “Golden” and Chromeo’s “Jealous.” Building upon a growing reputation, Stern’s first single “Glow” was picked up on the MrSuicideSheep YouTube channel and officially released on the Big Beat Ignition Miami 2015 Playlist, which he promptly followed up with “Cruise,” a track that was released through MrSuicideSheep’s Seeking Blue Records. Adding to a growing profile, Stern won a remix contest for Odesza’s “White Lies,” which led to his first ever live set at Bonnaroo Music Festival. Since then, Stern has released “Her,” which amassed over 500,000 steams across each of the streaming platforms and “Stay,” which amassed 300,000 streams in under a month.

Interestingly, Steckler and Stern’s latest single, the euphoric “Anywhere”  is a seamless synthesis of the duo’s individual sounds and aesthetic as Steckler’s aching and ethereal vocals are paired with a slick production centered around arpeggiated keys, shimmering synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, chopped up vocal samples and a soaring hook. Unsurprisingly, the song continues a run of swooning singles by the JOVM mainstay that accurately evoke the feelings of being ridiculously, passionately in love with someone — something that even the most cynical of us have felt. As Steckler explains in an email about the song, “It encompasses the euphoric feeling of being in love and the willingness to go lengths for someone even when you are struggling yourself. It portrays dreamy, upbeat, yet longing vibes, something we’ve both felt a mix of in our lives and know people can relate.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pond’s Bittersweet Ode to Small Pleasures When the World is Ending

Over the past handful of years of this site’s almost nine-year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed psych pop act POND fronted by its Perth, Australia-based mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jay Watson, along with Nicholas Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Jamie Ireland. With the project’s first three albums —  2009’s Psychedelic Mango, 2010’s Frond and 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim found POND’s sound moving from straightforward psych rock to a decidedly pop leaning sound.

Since then, Watson and company have released a series of critically applauded albums include 2017’s The Weather, which both continued the project’s ongoing collaboration with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and further cemented the band’s reputation for crafting trippy yet accessible pop. Now, as you may recall, Watson and company released “Burnt Out Star,” the first bit of new material from the Perth Australia-based psych pop act in some time and the expansive track managed to nod a bit at at Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and VI-IX” but centered around the aforementioned shimmering synths and propulsive beats, making it deceptively arena rock friendly. Interestingly, that track was informally, the first single off POND’s forthcoming album Tasmania, an album conceived as a sort of sister missive to its predecessor. 

Slated for a March 1, 2019 release through Interscope Records, the new album is reportedly a dejected and heartbroken meditation on planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame and responsibility, love, blame and empire. And while coasting on an undercurrent of the restless, anxious dread we’re all desperately feeling, the material instead of wallowing in self-pity also reportedly encourages the reader to celebrate the small things — frolicking in the ocean, rolling around in the grass, the sweet feeling of being in love and so on, while we still can. “Daisy,” the album’s latest single and opening track beings with a mournful string-led introduction, before the curtain is opened, and the track turns into a shimmering, synth pop-based, power ballad centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line and Allbrook’s ethereal falsetto. The track sees Allbrook imagining his childhood friends and family in the Kimberly region in chains — whether rightfully so or not, is up to the listener; but the track toys with the idea of bitterly retreating to Tasmania to lick their wounds. But there’s also the recognition of retreating just before everything gets fucked up beyond recognition. 

Directed by Jesse Taylor Smith and featuring aerial cinematography by Joseph Ryan, the recently released video for “Daisy” was shot in the lands of the Kulin and Nyoongar Nations — but it suggests the ruins of a country and civilization from its hubris and greed with the bandmembers enjoying some small pleasures — playing with a beloved dog, daydreaming on a lazy summer day. Sometimes small pleasures are the only thing we can cling to when everything is on fire. 

Micha de Jonge is a Dutch-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer, who has received attention both nationally and internationally with his pastel colored, 80s inspired, indie electro pop recording project Kita Menari. de Jonge’s debut single “Young Lovers” was included on Apple Music’s “Best of the Week,” as well as Spotify’s New Music Friday playlists in both the UK and Holland, where it would go on to appear in the top 5 of both country’s Spotify Viral Charts. Building upon a growing profile, de Jonge quickly set about assembling a backing band, comprised of Jonne Venmans, Job Fisser, Daniel Zoutni and Samuel Veerhuis, and with that backing band played live sessions on Radio 2FM and Radio 3FM — all before they played their first live show. Speaking of the act’s first live show: it was a live session on popular Dutch TV show De Wereld Draait Door that was seen by over a million people.

Interestingly, the project’s name can trace its origins to a trip the Dutch singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer took to Malaysia. While scuba diving, de Jonge’s tank got jammed underwater, and as a result, he was forced to race to the surface on his final breath of air. Once on land, his adrenaline-fueled recounting of the story eventually blurred into an entire night’s worth of partying. And as the story goes, when he woke up he noticed the words “Kita Menari” scribbled on a piece of pace found in his pocket. “I don’t know how it got there and I didn’t know that the words meant ‘we dance’ in Malay. As soon as I found out I thought ‘that’s it’! From now on that is going to be the motto of my song writing,” de Jonge recalls.

When he returned to Holland, de Jonge set about songwriting with a more reflective angle while drawing from Passion Pit, MGMT, and Phoenix among others. Additionally, de Jonge’s work is largely inspired by his unique living arrangement — he resides on a 40 hectare estate called Doorn Huis, famously known as the final home and resting place of Germany’s last Kaiser, Wilhelm II. In the Netherlands the government has a program where you can apply to live in some weird and wonderful places to deter squatters and burglars” de Jonge explains. “I won’t bore you with the history but it means I’m surrounded by gardens, fields, even a palace, it’s a really incredible environment which helps to inspire the music I write.”

His latest single “Pretty Sure” will further cement his reputation for crafting infectious and rousingly anthemic synth pop as the track features a slick production centered around shimmering synths, thumping beats and a soaring hook — and while sonically bearing a resemblance to St. Lucia, the song finds its narrator expressing crippling self doubt and uncertainty, giving the song’s overwhelming sunny, dance floor friendly vibes, a murky and ironic quality. The song revolves about a common conversation I have with myself: whether or not what I’m doing creatively is good enough, and the fear of letting that feeling go,” de Jonge explains. “Having big ambitions and dreams can sometimes have a negative effect on the process of achieving them. It’s like having an angel on one shoulder telling you to go for it while a demon sits on the other telling you it’s not good enough. I wanted there to be a sonic build throughout the song that would erupt after the second chorus, as a sign of letting that fear go and having creativity burst free.”