Category: Electro Pop

New Video: Phoebe Ryan’s Lysergic and Animated Visual for Shimmering Pop Confection “Reality”

Phoebe Ryan is an acclaimed Texas-born, New Jersey-based singer/songwriter andNYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music grad. Upon graduation, Ryan headed out to Los Angeles, where she landed work as a songwriter, writing songs for a number of artists, eventually writing Britney Spears’ “Man on the Moon.” 

With the release of sultry and attention-grabbing  mashup of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” and Miguel’s “Do You Like,” the Texas-born, New Jersey-based singer/songwriter exploded into the national scene, eventually signing with Columbia Records, who her first two EPs — 2015’s Mine and 2017’s James. Ultimately, Ryan felt at her best, guiding her own creative vision and returned to independent status, so that she could do things her way.

Last year, Ryan released two singles “ICIMY (In Case I Miss You)” and “Ring,” and opened for with pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. And continuing on that momentum, Ryan will be releasing her long-awaited full-length debut How It Used to Feel on June 26, 2020. The album’s third and latest single is the woozy and kaleidoscopic, pop confection “Fantasy.” Inspired by the production on The Flaming Lips’ 2006 effort At War With The Mystics, the track which features shimmering and twinkling synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking low end and shuffling beats, will remind the listener of Ryan’s unerring ability to craft an infectious, radio friendly hook. But underneath the slick, modern production is some earnest songwriting. “‘Reality’ is about a time in my life where I was very dishonest with myself, trusting people who shouldn’t be trusted, and basically just living a lie because it was far less painful than the truth. I love the lyrics, they’re all straight from my dumb little heart, but I think the production of the song is what really hits me. It’s so upbeat and psychedelic, anthemic, bright, yet sorrowful.”

Directed and animated by Richie Brown, the recently released video for “Reality” is a wild, technicolor video is a lysergic journey through a cartoon Phoebe Ryan’s fantasies of bulging and pulsating bodies, fortune tellers and intergalactic travel — seen from the perspective of her pet parrot, who at times seems kind of confused at everything going on. “This is one of the most exciting videos we’ve gotten together for the album,” the Texas-born, New Jersey-based artist explains in press notes. “It’s exotic. It’s erotic. It’s everything I see in my head when I go to sleep at night. Collaborating with Richie Brown was such a fun experience, not only because I’ve been a fan of his work for years (the first video I saw of his was Brick + Mortar’s “Old Boy” in 2014), but because it’s honestly hilarious being able to text someone so open to the weirdest ideas at all hours of the day and night. Crocs? Obama? BDSM? He’s a genius. I love his wild visions.”

New Audio: Sports Releases a Slinky New Single

Currently split between Los Angeles and Norman, OK, the acclaimed indie electro pop act Sports — Cale Chronister and Christian Theriot — can trace their origins back to when the duo met in grade school. Throughout their history together, they’ve honed and refined  their unique take on slinky and funky electro pop, with their first two albums, 2015’s Naked All The Time and 2016’s Can’t Stop Chillin, which featured a handful of critically applauded singles including “You Are the Right One,” “Panama,” “Whatever You Want:” and “Someone  You’d Rather Be Dating.” 

Building upon a growing profile, 2018’s Everyone’s Invited was released to critical praise from Pitchfork, Pigeons and Planes and Ones to Watch. The album also received airplay on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and was playlisted on Spotify’s New Indie Mix playlist. 

The breezy yet slinky  “Tell You Something,” is the first bit of new material from the duo since Everyone’s Invited. Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous and propulsive bass line, copious amounts of cowbell-led percussion, an infectious hook and Chronister’s breathy vocals, the song finds the band blurring the lines between synth pop, funk, psych rock and Quiet Storm R&B in a way that reminds me of Currents-era Tame Impala. “It’s an anthem of uncertainty. I was taught how to socialize by television, and never learned how to verbalize my feelings,” Sports’ Cale Chronister explains in press notes. “I’m learning to say what’s on my mind, even when it’s uncomfortable . . . I’m celebrating the most ridiculously small feat just by admitting this.

There is still something dark, uncertain in the song, which is left intentionally unknown, and I guess it reflects the lingering anxiety the person on the other side of this conversation could be feeling – still waiting to hear what I have to say.”

Glassio · Make No Mistake

The Queens, NY-based synth pop/New Wave/dream pop act Glassio can trace its origins back to 2015 when its founding members — Sam R. and Charles Pinel  — met while attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Since its formation, the act has become the Queens-born and-based Sam R’s solo recording project. And during that same period of time, Glassio has developed and honed what its creative mastermind has dubbed “melancholy disco,” a mix of dance music influences, wavering pop melodies, introspective, storytelling-based lyrics and lush harmonies. Interestingly, the project has increasingly pulls from Sam R’s own life and heartbreak, while thematically wrestling with self-acceptance, loneliness and major life changes.

Last year, Sam R. and Glassio released their sophomore EP Age of Experience, an effort that Mother Jones called “proof that electronic music and great storytelling are a perfect match.” Interestingly, the EP featured “Back for More,” which amassed over 2 million Spotify streams while being featured on Alan Ball’s HBO show Here & Now Outside of his own work, Sam R. has received attention for remixing and reworking the work of artists like Madge, Argonaut & Wasp, Sulene and Goldwash.

Glassio’s long-awaited full-length debut, the 11 song, For The Very Last Time is slated for a July 23, 2020 release and earlier this year, the Queens-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and remixer has put out a couple of singles, the lullaby-like “A Million Doubts,” which was featured in the latest season of the Freeform TV series Good Trouble; the early 80s inspired “Nobody Stayed For The DJ;” and the contemplative “Are You Having Fun Without Me?”

“Make No Mistake,” For The Very Last Time‘s fourth and latest single continues a run of shimmering and swooning electro pop, centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, thumping beats, soaring hooks, Sam R.’s ethereal vocals and a guest backing spot from New York-based vocalist Daneshevskaya. What makes the song intriguing to me is that it balances achingly wistful nostalgia and a much-needed optimism. In many ways, the song is an anthemic blast of encouragement when coping with and facing circumstances much greater than ourselves  — as we all are right now.

“I was having a hard time getting out of bed towards the end of 2018 and facing everyday life. My anxiety was starting to go through the roof and daily tasks like taking the subway started to become difficult,” the rising Queens based artist explains in press notes. “The seed for the song came from wanting to talk about those feelings and I wanted to write a song that could get me moving. The lyrics and melody of the verse hit me out of the blue at the same time one morning while I was lying in bed and it was just there, already completed. The whole thing just unraveled very naturally and I think more than any other song on the album, it was very much written in the middle of the situation that it was about. Usually some time needs to pass before I write a song about an event, but this one was very much in the moment.”

Casablanca Sunset · Inspired & the Sleep — People

With the release of 2014’s Eyelid Kid, the San Diego, CA-based indie electro pop/dream pop act Inspired & The Sleep — singer/songwriter Max Greenhalgh, multi-instrumentalist Bryce Outcault and a revolving cast of collaborators — received attention locally and regionally for crafting decidedly dream pop material.

Singles like “Sweet Company,” and “Getting Through” found the act moving towards a dance floor friendly sound — at points nodding at JOVM mainstays like St. Lucia. Building upon a growing national profile, the San Diego-based act released their self-titled, full-length debut earlier this year. And continuing a busy year for the act, the members of Inspired & the Sleep recently released their latest single, the Delwin Campbell-mixed “People.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a sinuous groove and an infectious hook, the glittering “People” may arguably be their most dance floor friendly release to date as it manages to bring both Simple Minds and Cut Copy to mind.

 

 

Tik Records · TIK56: Mia Berg – don’t know (what to do)

With the release of her debut EP, last year’s Intro, which featured “You Decided,” “Grow” and “Hurry,” the 24 year-old, Oslo-based pop artist Mia Berg quickly exploded into the international pop scene, receiving praise form the likes of Clash Magazine, God Is In The TV, WithGuitars and others.

Tik Records · TIK48: Mia Berg – You Decided

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Berg’s latest single, the Henrik Lillehaug-produced “don’t know what to do” is an atmospheric pop song, centered around twinkling keys, shimmering synths, shuffling and thumping beats, an infectious radio friendly hook and Berg’s sultry vocals. And yet, while possessing a radio friendly accessibility, the song is actually a solemn track that captures the aching regret of someone begging a lover (or a love interest) for forgiveness for their transgressions — and the uncertainty of if that lover will actually forgive you or not.

The new track will appear on her sophomore EP which is slated for release later this year.

Andries is an emerging  Oak View, CA-based electronic music artist, electronic music producer and sound designer for film and television. The Oak View-based artist and sound designer began making music while studying Media Arts at Chico State University. Initially starting out by making hip-hop beats, he eventually veered out towards more progressive electronic productions, inspired by Bonobo, Air, and Amon Tobin.

Upon graduation, Andries spent some time in Tokyo, gravitating towards sound design in TV and film. He’s spent the past decade working as a sound effects editor for a number of   shows, including Den of ThievesUp in the AirLost in Space and a growing list of others. His music was sidelined for much of that decade, as he focused his energy on his profession; however, interestingly enough, his experience as a sound effects engineer has become an important part of his approach to arranging and mixing his own original work, work that has been influenced by Dan Deacon, Flying Lotus, Lindstrøm, Boards of Canada, Jean-Michael Jarre, and video game music of the ’80s and ’90s.

The Oak View-based electronic music artist, producer and sound designer’s latest single “Bird of Paradise”  balances a cinematic sweep with a club friendly thump in an ambitious yet incredibly accessible fashion. Centered around an expansive song structure featuring shifting moods and textures, the song is held together by layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, a soaring hook and a motorik-like groove, the song sonically speaking recall a synthesis of John Carpenter soundtracks, Kraftwerk, and Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa — but with an almost painterly attention to gradation and shading.

 

 

Christian Cohle · Ghost

With the release of  his debut single “Breathe,” earlier this year, a track that championed across Ireland, the UK, the European Union and the States through praise from Hotpress MagazineEuphoria Magazine, Nialler9 and airplay from BBC ATL Introducing, the rising Dublin-based electro pop artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Christian Cohle quickly established a reputation for a songwriting approach that often finds him walking on the knife’s edge of fuzzy and anthemic electro pop and shoegazing, contemplative electronic music.

“Ghost,” Cohle’s second and latest single off his forthcoming full-length Michael Heffernan co-produced debut Holy Trouble is an atmospheric and melancholic track featuring shimmering and atmospheric synths, a spectral yet percussive beat and Cohle’s soulful and achingly plaintive crooning. But at its core, the song is a brooding and haunting meditation on seemingly unending loss that in some way evokes the  horror, unease and confusion that we all feel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: in some way we’re all aware that we’ve lost something profound that we’ll never get back.

 

 

Fonkyson is a rising Montreal-based future house and electro funk DJ and producer, who has released a full-length album — 2016’s #followme— and a handful of singles through Lisbon Lux Records. Earlier this year, the Montreal-based DJ and producer released his latest album Falling, which featured “You Got It.” Centered around Vanes’ sultry, come hither vocals, a sinuous bass line, handclaps and finger snaps, shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and an infectious hook, “You Got It” was a summery, club banger that seamlessly meshed ’80s synth funk and ’90s house.

“Giving U Up,” Falling‘s latest single is a a straightforward ’90s inspired house music collaboration featuring Desiire and Kôsa. Centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end, stuttering beats, soulful vocal turns from Desiire and Kôsa and an an enormous hook, “Giving U Up” is an earnest and swooning declaration of devotion that simultaneously further establishes Fonkyson’s unerring knack for crafting infectious and summery club bangers.

 

 

 

Michael Desmond is a Long Island, NY-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who first earned attention as the frontman of orchestral indie rock act Gabriel the Marine, an act that went on national tours with Taking Back Sunday, Glassjaw, Mew, Jack’s Mannequin and The Dear Hunter. After some significant changes in his personal life that included the death of his uncle, the end of a six-year relationship and graduation from college, Desmond was inspired to reinvent himself and his career by going solo. “The only way I was able to slow my mind down was to write. I look at this body of work as a time capsule, as it represents a snapshot of life during this period of time,” Desmond recalls.

Desmond’s solo recording project, Local Nomad derives its name from several dichotomies: “Local Nomad is the resistance of sedentary life. It’s about seeking the strange and embracing the unknown. Wondering. Wandering. Young and Old. Everywhere and Nowhere. As cliche as it may sound – when I pick up a guitar and sing it’s the only time I feel at home,” Desmond says. Sonically, the project’s sound features soulful vocals, enormous hooks, atmospheric synths and lustrous beats and draws influence from the likes of Tears for Fears, Elvis Costello, and Phil Collins.

Local Nomad’s self-titled, debut EP is slated for a June 19, 2020 release, and the EP’s material found extra inspiration from the Long Island-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist borrowing his friends’ gear to implement mellotron, DX and 808s to add further texture and muscle to his attention-grabbing, anthemic sound. The self-titled EP’s latest single “Young Vampires” further establishes his remarkably self-assured and anthemic take on synth pop. Centered around a classic, alternating quiet verse, loud chorus-based song structure, an enormous, power chord-driven, arena rock friendly hook with shimmering and arpeggiated synths and Desmond’s plaintive vocals, the song reveals some ambitious songwriting bringing JOVM mainstays St. Lucia and the aforementioned Tears for Fears, among others.

“This song is about becoming the ugliest version of yourself in a relationship. You’re not necessarily trying to hurt one another, but you end up forgetting the thing that once brought you together,” the Long Island-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains. “‘Young Vampires’ is kind of an oxymoron because based on various films, vampires tend to live forever. They feed off of humans to survive and ultimately live a pretty reclusive lifestyle, only going out at night and sleeping all day. I think it’s comparable to being in an unhealthy relationship.”