Category: Indie Electro Pop

 

Comprised of Broken Social Scene‘s Lisa Lobsinger, The Beauties‘ Paul Pfisterer and Transistor Sound and Lighting Co.’s Martin Davis Kinack, the Toronto, ON-based self-described galactic dream pop trio Laser quickly won the attention of major media outlets such as Nylon, Spin and BUST Magazine with the release of “Leaving It Too Late” and “Do We All Feel It” the first two singles off the trio’s soon-to-be released debut full-length album Night Driver. Reportedly, the band’s sound — and in turn, the sound of their debut effort — takes cues from electronic and atmospheric albums and late night, country drives from Lobsinger and Pfisterer’s Toronto home to Kinack’s remote “studio in the forest.” And as a result the material on the album meshes electronic and analog elements and was written as though it were particularly designed to be the soundtrack for a introspective and meditative drive into the country.

Night Driver‘s third and latest single “Disconnect” pairs Lobsinger’s sultry yet ethereal vocals with twinkling synths, boom-bap drum programming, angular guitar played through gentle reverb, equally angular bass and a steady, motorik groove in a song that possesses brooding atmospherics while radiating both an effortless cool and a comforting warmth; after all, the song is about the disconnect (and resulting confusion) within an intimate relationship and puts in terms in a way that says “we’ve all been there at some point — and holy shit does it ever suck the life out of a relationship that may have been going well up to that point.”

 

 

 

 

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d likely know that as this site has developed an increasingly international focus, that I’ve seen an enormous amount of emails from producers, artists, band managers, record labels and label execs from all over the world — and occasionally some rather far-flung places, too. Recently, I received an email from an Uppsala, Sweden-based electronic music trio Bucky.

Comprised of three childhood friends, Fredrik Akogan, Anton Linqvuist and Jonas Skosberg, Bucky’s latest single “Haunting Me” is a slickly produced, anthemic and radio-friendly club banger consisting of shimmering synth stabs, big tweeter and woofer rocking drops paired with sultry vocals and infectious hooks. Listening to the song, it’s the sort of song that you can envision kids lustily shouting along to the hook in a club.

 

 

Comprised of husband and wife duo, Keith Kenniff (multi-instrumentalist/producer), also known for his work as Helios and Goldmund and Hollie Kenniff (vocals and primary songwriter),  Portland, OR-based duo Mint Julep started in 2007 with relatively modest intentions –an attempt to get the normally shy Hollie Kenniff to sing more. Initially, the duo’s sound drew from early 90s shoegaze but eventually their sound gradually became influenced by electronic music through the duo’s admiration of rough edged sounds of industrial electronica, which Hollie was a big fan of, and punk rock, which Keith was a big fan of. As Keith Kenniff explained in press notes, “It took us a while to suss out whether this was something we were just going to have fun with, or if we’d actually release our music. But we ended up keeping at it, and now we’re at the point where we’ve created something with its own sound that’s very unique to us.”

The Portland-based duo’s sophomore effort, Broken Devotion was written over a four year period with the duo’s sound reportedly being more lush and intricately layered than their debut effort, Save Your Season while thematically the material explores both the light and dark dimensions of love. “White Hot Heart,” Broken Devotion‘s first single pairs a driving, motorik groove, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and Hollie Kenniff’s ethereal coos in a slickly produced and moody pop song with a shimmering and breezy melody. Sonically, the song is clearly indebted to the synth pop of Pet Shop Boys — think of “West End Girls” for example — as the song possesses a hazy nostalgia over a love affair that has slowly unravelled before the narrator’s eyes while being danceable.

 

 

 

Jonathan Hoard is a Columbus, OH-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, vocal arranger and teacher, who has had a lengthy history performing and recording with a number of Grammy Award-winning artists and producers including Regina Belle, Tracy Pierce, Richard Smallwood, Rashad McPherson and DivinePURPOSE and his father, Stellar Award– nominated artist Ronald Hoard as a background vocalist. And with as the frontman of his own act, J. Hoard and The Greenhouse People, Hoard and company has opened for Dwele; however, I’m actually most familiar with Hoard through his work with Gentei Kaijo, the backing band to the popular soul/funk/hip-hop residency The Lesson.

Here’s where things get interesting. Earlier this month, I was at the Women In Music Holiday Party at Le Poisson Rouge when I ran into Melany Watson and a producer/songwriter and guitarist Greg Seltzer. And while chatting with Seltzer, he told me that he recently produced a song by J. Hoard featuring Rabbi Darkside. “Tidal Wave” pairs subtle soul clap-percussion and skittering drum programming with icily swirling synths, guitar chords played through reverb and twinkling keyboards with Hoard’s soulful falsetto which express ache, desire, and joy within a turn of a phrase. Rabbi Darkside contributes a silky smooth 16 bars at the song’s bridge about being in a seemingly turbulent situation and at the mercy at something far larger than yourself in a song that metaphorically views a tidal wave as both destructive and as a cleansing force — all while possessing a a quiet, understated self-determination.

 

 

 

Amanda Steckler is a New York-based electronic music artist and producer, who has received attention across the blogosphere over the past year for her solo recording project,  Blonde Maze. Interestingly enough, JOVM was among the very first to write about Steckler and Blonde Maze — and if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you may recall that I wrote about “Summer Rain,” the first single off her debut EP, Oceans, which was released earlier this year. “Summer Rain,” much like the material off Oceans focuses on and is informed by the pain, excitement and longing that comes from being an ocean away from someone — or something dear to you. Written between stints in New York and London, Oceans‘ first single was comprised of layers of slowly cascading synths, a glitchy vocal sample, swirling electronics and an aching yet ethereal vocals that float over an icy and bracing mix. And in some way, that single evoked the sensation of being haunted by the presence of a loved one, who you can’t possibly have at that moment, because of a great distance.

Steckler’s latest single is slow-burning and atmospheric rendition of a familiar holiday song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”that possesses a chilly and melancholic longing as slowly cascading synths, swimrling electronics  and chiming percussion and Steckler’s ethereal vocals — and much like “Summer Rain” and the Oceans EP, the single seems to evoke the idea that the love interest at the song is quite a distance away, and won’t come back any time soon.