Category: Indie Electro Pop

Over the past couple of years, Los Angeles-based, indie electro pop duo Pr0files have not only become JOVM mainstay artists, they’ve also developed a growing national profile for a sound that possesses elements of R&B, pop and electronic dance music — especially with the release of Call Yourself A Lover,”  and “Luxury.”

February 23 marks the release of the duo’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated full-length debut Jurassic Technologie and from the release of the album’s first three singles “I Know You Still Care,Empty Hands” and “Like A Knife,” the duo’s material has revealed an urgent, insistent sensuality reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder‘s legendary work in the 1970s while at other times being incredibly anthemic in a way that owes a debt to 80s synth pop and more contemporary fare, such as Haerts and St. Lucia. Jurassic Technologie‘s fourth and latest single “Abuse U (Feel It)” pairs Sternbaum’s gauzy Quiet Storm meets 21st century production consisting of skittering drum programming, swirling electronics and layers of shimmering and cascading synths with Pardini’s sultry come hither vocals and brief bursts of guitar.  Sonically and lyrically the song sounds as though it draws from Prince‘s incredible 80s work — think of “I Will Die 4 U,” “When Doves Cry,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Little Red Corvette” in particular, as the song may arguably be the most sensual and outright sexual song that the duo has released to date.

 

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, you may have stumbled across a post on recent JOVM mainstay, Copenhagen-born, London-based vocalist and electro pop artist Marie Dahlstrøm— and in fact, you might recall that I’ve recently written about her collaborative project with Canadian producer Mwahs — Hans Island. However, Dahlstrom, a three-time Scandinavian Soul Award winner has developed a reputation as an up-and-coming solo artist, who has received attention across both Scandinavia and the European Union for her silky smooth, effortlessly soulful vocals with covers of Phil Collins, Chris Brown and Rihanna, as well as her debut EP, Feelings. 

2016 looks to be a big year for the Danish-born, London-based artist as the follow-up to Feelings is slated to be released later this year. Now you might recall that early last year I wrote about  the EP’s first single “Look the Other Way.” Produced by DK The Punisher, who’s best known for his work with Justin Beiber on Beibers’s “All That Matters, the track had Dahlstrøm teaming up with Brighton, UK-based vocalist Sophie Faith in a song that thematically nodded at Brandy and Monica’s 1998 duet/battle “The Boy Is Mine” as the single has Dahlstrøm and Faith alternating vocal responsibilities on each verse and teaming up on the chorus, as the song’s dueling narrators openly question the state of their romantic relationships with the love interest at the center of the song. Sonically speaking, the song paired Faith’s equally effortless soulful vocals and Dahlstrøm’s cooing with icily cascading and twinkling synths and hip-hop influenced beats.

Produced by Joe Garrett, who has worked on Zayn Malik‘s “Pillowtalk,” the EP’s second single and latest single “Crashing Down” is a gauzy, Quiet Storm-inspired yet contemporary track that paris Dahlstrøm’s silky smooth vocals with swirling electronics, Mary J. Blige What’s the 411? inspired hip-hop soul beats and stuttering percussion. As Dahlstrøm explained in press notes the song “is about the feeling of always searching, instead of being present in the moment. It’s about giving in and realizing that you’re exactly where you need to be.” Truer words have yet to be spoken this year at least, and the fact that the Copenhagen-born, London-based artist’s material is presumably based around lived-in experience sets her apart from countless soulless and prepackaged contemporary pop artists.

 

 

Electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Grant Eadie and his solo recording project Manatee Commune has received regional attention across the Pacific Northwest and a growing national profile for a carefully and organically molded electronic sound that pairs natural overtones extracted from field recordings with slick and nuanced electronic production.

Eadie’s soon-to-be released EP, Thistle, slated for a February 26 release marks two new developments in the young producer, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist’s career — it’s his first release through renowned Brooklyn-based label Bastard Jazz Recordings, the label home of Illa J, Lord Echo and several others; and the effort is the result of Eadie radically changing his songwriting, production and recording process as he  opened his studio and gear to friends, collaborators and loved ones, gaining inspiration from the energy of each of those interactions. As Eadie explains in press notes “Learning how to share my creative process with my friends completely revolutionized the last of year of music for me. Inviting those I trusted and loved into my studio to spend even just an hour talking or jamming opened fountains of inventive energy for me, especially from the ones who lacked any musical knowledge. I soon found myself incredibly inspired by the originality of even the smallest interactions with people, and so I pointed my field mic at anyone who had a story, a melody, or a stumbling beat they had been absentmindedly drumming, all in the hopes of capturing their individuality and framing it with my ever expanding insight into audio production.”

Thistle’s first single “Clay” pairs a stuttering yet breezy and coquettish production consisting of twinkling and chiming percussion, a looped flute sample, layers of shimmering synths and swirling electronics with Marina Price’s flirtatious and sultry vocals to craft a song that reminds me quite a bit of Sylvan Esso — but bouncier and slightly more dance floor friendly. Considering the Arctic weather we’re soon to have in New York, “Clay” is a brief yet lush and necessary blast of summer.

Catch Eadie live throughout March and April as he tours the Pacific Northwest with Blackbird Blackbird and Chad Valley. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

3.3 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo (EP Release Party)
3.10 Portland OR, Mississippi Studios ^
3.11 Seattle WA, Nectar Lounge ^
4.19 Tucson, AZ Club Congress *
4.20 San Diego, CA The Hideout *
4.21 Los Angeles, CA The Echoplex *
4.22 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst *
4.23 San Francisco, CA Social Hall *
4.30 Vancouver, BC Alexander *
^ with YPPAH
* with Blackbird Blackbird & Chad Valley

 

New Video: Check Out the Retro-Futurist Visuals and Sounds of Holy Ghost!’s “Crime Cutz”

With the release of their 2011 self-titled debut, 2013’s Dynamics through renowned indie dance label DFA Records and their 2015 self-released remix album, Work For Hire, the NYC-based electro funk/neo-disco production and artist duo Holy Ghost!, comprised of […]

Last December, I wrote about Sophie Stern, the Los Angeles-based creative mastermind behind the (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms. Initially, Stern’s career began behind the scenes as a songwriter, who was signed to mega-hit producer and songwriter Dr. Luke’s camp. After spending couple of years as a go-to songwriter, Stern decided that it was time for her to go out on her own as a solo artist.

 

Inspired by a diverse array of artists including diverse array of artists including Erykah BaduTom Tom Club and a lengthy list of others, Stern began collaborating with two rather renowned producers, David Elevator, who won 3 Grammys for his work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known his work with Marina and the DiamondsCharli XCX and M.I.A. for her debut EP. The EP’s first single “Big Girls” was a breezy and infectious pop confection that paired big boom-bap beats, cascading synths, anthemic hooks and Stern’s effortlessly soulful vocals in a way that was reminiscent of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait” while sounding remarkably contemporary.

The EP’s second and latests single “Appetite” will further cement Stern’s reputation for crafting incredibly infectious, breezy and anthemic pop as you’ll hear boom bap beats, handclaps, twinkling synths and an anthemic, hashtag worthy hook paired with Stern’s ballsy and bratty vocals in a song that’s a tell off to fuckboys, deadbeats, drama kings and queens and parasites everywhere — with the sort of sense of humor that would likely remind you of things you may have heard or said back in the schoolyard.

Sonically and thematically speaking the song manages to nod at Australian-born, Berlin-based indie pop artist Phia, Gwen Stefani‘s “Ain’t No Holla Back Girl,” and TLC‘s “No Scrubs” as it possesses the same “girl power/girl, drop that loser/girl, drop that deadbeat friend” air but backed by slick, modern production techniques.

 

 

 

With the release of their 2014 debut EP, Magic, the New York-bsased dream pop/electro pop duo Paperwhite, comprised of sibling duo Katie and Ben Marshall exploded into the blogosphere; in fact, they earned the title of “Most Blogged About Artist” twice — and that shouldn’t be surprising as their (highly contemporary) sound pairs lush melodies and anthemic hooks. Building on the buzz that they’ve received a few years ago, the New York-based duo’s forthcoming EP Escape is slated for release this spring. And the EP’s first single “Unstoppable” will further cement the duo’s reputation for pairing lush melodies and anthemic hooks with Katie Marshall’s ethereal in a way that’s contemporary  as it’s reminiscent of St. Lucia and yet is also reminiscent of radio friendly 80s synth pop.

Interestingly, the single as the duo notes is a “reminder to find strength in the chaos and beauty in the unknown.” Certainly, considering life and its brutality and wonder, it’s something that we all need to remind ourselves at some point — while dancing with a bunch of sweaty kids in a club, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polish-born electro pop artist Patti Yang splits her time between London and California and with the release of “Invisible Tears,” the first single off her forthcoming debut album, Yang and her backing band quickly received attention for a sound that draws from industrial electronica, electronic music and punk rock. The album’s latest single “Black Box” draws from the same influences, Yang and her backing band pair tense, undulating synth stabs with propulsive, industrial clang and clatter with Yang’s sultry and seductive cooing seemingly writhing through and the mix.

While the song may be remarkably contemporary but it also manages to sound as though it could have easily been released in 1983; in fact, the song reminds me a little bit of Banarama‘s “Cruel Summer” — but a little chillier. Thematically and lyrically the song focus on a narrator, who’s constantly seeking and striving for the peak moment in every single aspect of her life. And although the song reportedly adapts the idea of traveling through a black hole as a metaphor, it also uses “black box turning to gold” as a naughty double entendre for sensual pleasure, which may make this particular single the sexiest, most dance floor ready single the act has released to date.

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d be familiar with Mark Roberts, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed, Brooklyn-based indie electro pop project, We Are Temporary. Roberts and his recording project have developed a reputation for crafting  music that draws from a wide range of influences within contemporary electronic music from future beats, dream pop, witch house, post-rock industrial techno as well as classical music. And he pairs that sound with confessional lyrics based on his own personal experience and personal philosophy; in fact, some of his earliest solo work has focused on suffering through debilitating anxiety attacks, the near breakup and reconciliation of his marriage, his privileged but tumultuous childhood as the son of a renowned American opera singer, living abroad in Europe, as well as his humanistic atheism versus his wife’s devout Mormonism.

After the 2013 release of the Afterthoughts EP, Roberts released a deeply moving protest song inspired and informed by Eric Garner’s death and the grand jury decision that resulted in the acquittal of several police officers for Garner’s death. Simultaneously, Roberts had been spending time writing the material that would wind up releasing his soon-to-released and long-awaited full-length debut, Crossing Over. Interestingly, the album — especially its first single “You Can Now Let Go” was partially inspired by a conversation that Roberts had with his own mother about death. During this conversation Roberts’ mother announced “I’d like to be wide awake when it happens. Dying seems like such an important event in life; I’d hate to miss it.” According to Roberts, this conversation had helped change his mind about death — instead of something to avoid or delay, but something that can be complex, meaningful, beautiful and profound. After all, we and everyone we’ve ever loved and cared about will die; and without death our lives would lack meaning. Additionally, Crossing Over and “You Can Now Let Go” were inspired by Roberts’ own near-death experience: a drug-fueled anxiety attack, which landed him in the ER. Shock and confusion eventually turned into peace and acceptance — and as a result, it inspired a song that depicts a nonviolent death as a quietly beautiful fade to black. Sonically, the dark, unsettling yet hauntingly beautiful song is comprised of huge, tweeter and woofer boom-bap inspired beats, skittering drum programming, ominously swirling electronics and industrial clang and clatter, layers of undulating synths, soaring melodies that subtly arch heavenward are paired with Roberts’ plaintive, deeply emotive vocals.

The album’s second and latest single “Who’s Going To Love You Now” is a brooding and slow-burning ballad consisting of shimmering and chiming synths, swirling electronics and propulsive drum programming paired with Roberts plaintive and achingly desperate vocals. The song was written while Roberts was separated from his wife, and as a result the song thematically speaking focuses on real feels that many us have felt as a relationship was seemingly falling apart — i.e., the fear of not knowing how to love or not knowing how to love enough; the fear of being so fucked up and so damaged that you’ll end up alone. But it also explores the fact that all relationships, especially romantic ones are rooted in the uncertainty of compromise — sometimes compromise that you might be uncertain of actually wanting. In other worse, it points out that human relationships mirror the neuroses and doubts of the people within them, and it does so with a great deal of empathy, while not offering much of a solution one way or the other.

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past five or six years, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstays, New York-based  electronic music duo Beacon. Comprised of Thomas Mullarney III (vocals) and Jacob Gusset (production), the duo caught my attention with the release of their debut EP, For Now and their debut full-length effort, The Ways We Separate, both of which pair Mullarney’s aching and yearning vocals with a minimalist and spacious production consisting of chilly synths and wobbling bass to craft a sound that meshes elements of R&B, house music and electro pop. Thematically speaking, the New York-based duo’s work explores the complexities of and nuances of human relationships including the difficulties of truly connecting with others in a society that seems to value superficiality and platitudes; the confusion between love and lust and how they drive every relationship we’ll ever have; how longing can quickly turn into life-consuming obsession; how relationships are driven by both selfishness and selflessness — often simultaneously; how relationships can bring out both the best and worst qualities of ourselves — simultaneously; how our pasts continually influence our present and future, and so on. And as a result, their material possesses a sense of regret over what was and what could have been, as well as a sense of dread over fucking it all up from your own blindness, selfishness and stupidity. (Personally, their material has long struck me as  being seemingly much like the sound of what’s really inside our heads and hearts when we’re alone and forced to confront our innermost demons and fears.)

Interestingly, Beacon’s soon-to-be released sophomore effort, Escapements is about time and the baggage it both creates and brings. Unsurprisingly, the album’s title is reportedly influenced by clock mechanics — escapements are timekeeping regulators designed to transfer energy at a constant and regular pace. As Mullarney explained in press notes ” I was attracted to this concept because of the entropy it implies. Friction and changes in amplitude over time mean[s] every escapement, no matter how well crafted, will lose its accuracy and effectively slow down time via its own decay.”

Featuring drumming from Tycho‘s Rory O’Connor, the material on Escapements was written, revised, refined and recorded over the course of about nine months at Beacon’s Brooklyn-based home studio and Gary’s Electric and the album reveals that the duo experienced a period of restless experimentation that included changing their songwriting and production approach to follow wherever their muses take them. And as the members of Beacon note, it meant trying out new studio tricks and recording techniques — sometimes on the fly, essentially capturing the free-flowing energy of the creative process. Last November, I wrote about the album’s first single “Preserve,” a heavily house music-leaning single consisting of woofer and tweeter rattling bass, layers of undulating and cascading synths and skittering and stuttering drum programming parked with Mullarney’s achingly yearning falsetto — that gives the song a plaintive and urgent sense of need and desire. The album’s second single, opening track “IM U” was as Stereogum suggests, “subtly cinematic,” as Gusset’s production paired skittering drum programming, layers of wobbling and shimmering synth stabs with Mullarney’s plaintive pleas to do seemingly anything to please a lover, who seems both incredibly difficult to please and fed up with Mullarney’s narrator. And as a result the song possessed an obsessive despair over the narrator’s uncertainty and the uncertainty of the relationship at the core of the song.

The album’s third and latest single, album title track “Escapements” pairs layers of shimmering and twinkling synths, skittering drum programming (that sounds quite a bit like the mechanism that moves watch hands), swirling electronics with Mullarney’s plaintive cooing in a mournful yet breezy song that evokes time relentlessly rushing forward, as well as the accretion of guilt and regret that can build up in one’s live over time. Much like “IM U,” the song’s narrator is describing an uncertain and confusing relationship in which there seems to be a push and pull.