Category: Electro Pop

 

Forming back in 2003, Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop act Baron Bane have developed an international for a sound that explores the contrasts between cold and warmth; digital and analog; acoustic sounds and electronic sounds; and for a live show that employs the use of visual displays based around their sound. The Swedish act’s sophomore effort LPTO was released to critical praise from several major media outlets, including Uncut Magazine, who had compared the act to ABBA and Morrissey and adding to a growing international profile, LPTO album singles “Orchids,” and “Love.Cure.All” received airplay  on British radio and interestingly enough, “Love.Cure.All” was also named as a Single of the Week iTunes Japan. Additionally, “My Show World” appeared on an episode of MTV’s Awkward.

The Swedish electro pop’s act’s forthcoming third album III is slated for release in early 2016, and the album’s first two singles “By The Waves” and “Fire Play” have received international attention — “By The Waves” was praised by the Berlin, Germany-based Scandinavian music blog, Nordic by NaturePopMatters and A Heart Is A Spade. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, I wrote about “Fire Play,” a chilly and tense song comprised of layers of cascading synths and propulsive, forceful beat paired with a gorgeous pop-orientated melody that belies the dark, subtly seductive nature of the song.

III’s latest single “Hail To The Night” is a slow-burning single comprised of atmospheric synths and precise metronomic drum programming paired with Ida Long’s dreamy, unhurried vocals that evokes a chilly winter breeze blowing on your face and snow falling into your hair. And interestingly enough, the song manages to celebrate the winter solstice — the longest night of the year while cementing their reputation for crafting chilly electro pop that manages to be both brooding and yet ethereal.

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over roughly the last 15-18 months or so, you may have come across a couple of posts on Scott Reitherman, the creative mastermind behind indie electro pop sensation, Pillar Point and the former frontman of pop act, Throw Me The Statue. With Pillar Point, Reitherman has received national attention for a melancholy yet bouncy electro pop sound primarily comprised of vintage, analog synthesizers, drum kits and sleek bass lines. It’s a sound that’s been compared favorably to several blogosphere darling acts including Washed Out, LCD Soundsystem and others.

While touring to support his solo debut with of Montreal , Reitherman was planning to write and record his sophomore full-length effort, Marble Mouth in his Seattle home when Kevin Barnes unexpectedly invited him to record the album in his home studio. As soon as the tour wrapped up, Reitherman spent several months crafting demos and went to Barnes’ home to flesh out, refine and then record Marble Mouth‘s material with contributions from Washed Out’s drummer Cameron Gardener and Kishi Bashi‘s percussionist Philip Mayer. Reitherman then spent a six month sent in New Orleans writing and refining both the album’s lyrics and vocals. And as Reitherman explained in press notes, New Orleans managed to influence the album’s lyrical direction.“New Orleans was the most meditative and mysterious part of making the record,” Reitherman explained. “I wanted to sink into that city and scrutinize the romantic southern sojourn.”

Marble Mouth’s first single, album opening track “Part Time Love” paired layers of twitchy and cascading synths with propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming and Reitherman’s ethereal cooing to craft a sound that’s reminiscent of Talking HeadsTobacco and others, while it subtly nodded at Top 40 pop; in other words, the sound is tense, neurotic and incredibly danceable and accessible pop with infectious hooks. The album’s latests single “Dove” pairs confessional R&B/pop-leaning lyrics sung with Reitherman’s achingly plaintive and emotive vocals with house music-leaning production comprised of layers of cascading synths, skittering drum programming, a glitchy and dramatic string sample and swirling electronics in what may be arguably the most club-friendly song of the entire album.

New Video: The Trippy and Stylistic New Video for Chet Faker and Marcus Marr’s “The Trouble With Us”

  London-based DJ, producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Marr is an internationally recognized artist, who has released a number of critically acclaimed singles through renowned electro pop/dance music/dance punk label DFA Records. His two best known […]

 

Adelaide, Australia-born and Palm Springs, CA-based singer/songwriter Sia has had quite a career, as she can trace her career’s origins to when she was the vocalist in Adelaide-based acid jazz act Crisp in the mid 1990s. After the band’s breakup in 1997, Sia released her debut effort, OnlySee through Flavoured Records and relocated to London, where she provided vocals for British duo Zero 7.

After the release of Healing Is Difficult, an album inspired and informed by the death of her-then boyfriend Dan Pontifex and Colour the Small One, the Australian-born singer/songwriter, who was deeply displeased with the fact that her work was struggling to connect with a mainstream audience, relocated to NYC and began touring the US. During a two year break in which she “retired” as a pop performer and focused on being a pop songwriter, Sia developed a reputation as go-to co-songwriter and songwriter as she’s credited with writing or co-writing songs for and by an incredibly diverse and impressive list of mega-hit artists. A short list of her writing credits include Ne-Yo‘s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself),Rihanna‘s “Diamonds,” Kylie Minogue‘s “Sexercize,”  Beyonce‘s “Standing On The Sun,” Katy Perry‘s “Double Rainbow,” Britney Spears‘ “Perfume,” Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts,” Christina Aguilera‘s “You Lost Me,” Lea Michele‘s “Cannonball,” Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte‘s “We Are One (Ole Ola),” and countless others. (This shouldn’t be terribly surprising as Sia’s sound and aesthetic draws from hip-hop, funk, soul and pop while managing to sound unlike any of her contemporaries.)

Interestingly, Sia’s first taste of international stardom came in a rather unexpected fashion. She initially wrote “Titanium,” for Alicia Keys but the song wound up being sent to EDM superstar David Guetta, who included Sia’s demo vocals on the song and released it as single in 2011. The song was a massive commercial success as it peaked on the top of record charts across the US, Australia and Europe. But it was “Chandelier,” the breakout hit off her sixth, full-length effort, 1000 Forms of Fear was a commercial and critical success. The single was nominated for four Grammys last year — Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video; and she nabbed several ARIA Awards and MTV Music Awards, which established the Australian-born singer/songwriter as an internationally-recognized star, in the same lines of the artists she had written for during her “retirement.”

Sia’s seventh, full-length album This Is Acting is slated for a January 29, 2016 release, and in an interview with NME, she has mentioned that the forthcoming album is much more pop-orientated than its predecessor. And interestingly enough, the album’s third and latest single “Alive” was co-written by Adele and was intended to be on Adele’s latest album 25. When you hear the song, you can actually hear Adele’s influence on the song — the piano-led introduction and the song’s soaringly anthemic hooks; however, as gorgeous as Adele’s voice is, the song just feels and sounds as though it just had to be Sia’s. Not to say that Adele hasn’t had profound experiences at a young age but lyrically, the song conveys a sense of wisdom, pride and triumph over life’s fucked up circumstances — deprivation (financial and emotional), heartache, despair, loneliness and worse. And when you hear Sia’s voice crack ever so slightly when she sings  “I’m still breathing/I’m still breathing/I’m alive,” during the song’s anthemic hook, it feels like a punch right in the ribs or in the solar plexus. Of course similarly to Gloria Gaynor‘s “I Will Survive,” the song possess an infectious “you can and will get through anything/you go-girl” optimism. It’s honestly the sort of song that the women of your life will lustily yell along to while driving to or from the club.

Recently Sia announced a remix package of “Alive” that features remixes and reworks from Maya Jane Coles, AFSHeeN, Boehm, Cahill and fellow Australian, Plastic Plates. In a recent interview with The Fader, the Australian producer was asked how the “Alive” remix came about, and as he explained to the publication, “Sia and I first met in Sydney 2001. Sam Dixon and I shared an apartment in Bondi and Sia crashed at our place. Until 2010, I played drums on Sia’s albums and toured around the world in her band. This is my 3rd remix for Sia, “Cloud” in 2010, “Chandelier” in 2014 and now “Alive.”Given our musical history, reinterpreting Sia’s vocals is effortless and pure joy for me.”

Plastic Plates’ rework turns the torch burning pop song into a slickly produced synth-based club-banger  as his production includes stuttering drum programming, cascading synths, wobbling and tumbling low-end, sirens and other assorted bleeps and bloops while retaining the song’s anthemic hooks and Sia’s achingly heartfelt vocals.

 

 

Comprised of  Juan Ledesma, Charlie Woods, Alex Lopez, and Robert Villar, the Miami, FL-based indie dance pop quartet Krisp formed back in 2011, and over the past few years they’ve developed a reputation for a groove-based, 80s inspired synth pop sound that possesses elements of indie electro pop, chill wave and indie rock.

Their debut EP, Mamani Vice was released in 2012 to critical praise from the likes of Earmilk and Indie Shuffle, and as a result they’ve opened for the likes of LCD Soundsystem‘s Nancy Whang, Miami Horror, Junior Boys, Blood Orange and Holy Ghost! among others, which has expanded their profile nationally. Their follow-up EP Sonic Monarch which South Florida-based talent house Gummdrops will be releasing in January will be comprised of material that is a subtle change of sonic direction. As the band’s Alex Lopez mentioned to the folks at Indie Shuffle, “On our first EP, Mamani Vice, we used a lot of synths and electric drums. For the new material on Sonic Monarch EP, it’s more organic, because its instrument-driven. We’re still using Charlie Wood’s synths, but not Juan’s or mine. We’ve got a funk/indie/electronic style going.”

The EP’s first single “167” pairs layers of  atmospheric, shimmering and cascading synths, four-on-the-floor drumming, angular funk guitar chords, a sinuous bass line and plaintive vocals in a song that sounds indebted to 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, the song reminds me quite a bit of an atmospheric and propulsive version of The Fixx’s “The Sign of Fire,”and “Red Skies at Night” with a slight surf rock leaning; it’s a danceable and goofily fun song that manages to evoke watching American Bandstand in the mornings and singing along to your favorite songs.