Category: Indie Synth Pop

New Video: Sissysocks’ Yearning and Ethereal “Augsburg”

Sissysocks is a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter and producer, who crafts ambient and atmospheric synth pop. The Melbourne-based artist’s forthcoming James Cecil-produced album Slink Away is slated for a September 3, 2021 release.

Slink Away’s latest single “Augsburg,” continues a run of atmospheric synth pop centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched synth arpeggios, thumping and skittering beats serving as a silkly bed for the Melbourne-based artist’s achingly tender and yearning vocals. “The song is about looking for things in the wrong places, and making the game mistakes again,” Sissysocks explains. “It was written after spending a short time in Augsburg, outside of Munich.”

dream full of longing and nostalgia: we follow a presumably undead woman through a lonely few days in which she longs to see her favorite artist live again. Walking through town to the club, passerby look at the woman with disgust, loathing and disbelief — but when she gets to the club, she shares a deeply intimate connection with the artist.

New Video: Rising Post Punk Act Menthüll Release a Haunting Visual for Brooding and Cinematic “Profonde Tristesse”

Formed last year, the rising Gatineau, Québec-based indie electronic/goth duo Menthüll –Gabriel and Yseult — have quickly established a retro-futuristic sound that draws equally from New Wave and electro pop paired with lyrics written and sung exclusively in French.

The Hull-based duo’s releases have received praise and accolades globally. Building upon a growing profile in the Francophone music scene and in the global post-punk and goth scenes, Menthüll’s latest single “Profonde tristesse” continues a run of brooding and cinematic material that sounds — to my ears, at least — indebted to John Carpenter soundtracks and the early 4AD Records catalog paired with vocals delivered in a wispy and ethereal French.

Interestingly, the accompanying visual aesthetically reminds a bit of Jorge Elbrecht: the viewer sees a classically-inspired marble bust superimposed in the foreground of a misty forest that gradually burst into a explosive conflagration.

Emerging Dallas-based synth pop quartet Luna Luna initially began in 2007 as the solo recording project of its Colombian-born, Dallas-based frontperson and founding member Kavvi. The then-14 year old Kavvi began experimenting and tinkering with GarageBand on his iPhone, which lead to the project’s earliest material. After meeting Danny Bonilla at an open-mic night, where they shared the bill, Luna Luna quickly expanded into a duo. Kaylin Martinez (drums) and Ryan “Gordo” Gordon (drums) were recruited to join the band, after meeting and playing Texas’ house show scene.

The Dallas-based quartet recently announced the forthcoming release of their full-length debut Flower Moon, an effort that will feature, the attention grabbing and critically applauded single “One Thing,” which features a guest spot from The Undercover Dream Lovers‘ Matt Koenig. Building upon a growing profile, Luna Luna released Flower Moon‘s third and latest single “Early Morning.” Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a propulsive yet sultry groove and Kavvi’s plaintive vocals the summery banger reminds me — to my ears, at least — of Currents-era Tame Impala. And while expressing a desperate, and lustful longing for that special someone, the song reveals an act that has quickly developed an unerring knack for crafting an infectious, dance floor friendly hook.

“‘Early Morning’ is about wanting to physically be with someone,” Luna Luna’s frontman Kavvi explains. “You know sometimes you can Facetime and text all day with someone but at some point that’s not enough and you need to be physically there with them. It’s definitely the most lustful song on the project. I’ve fallen in love with bass recently and that’s what started this song. I think this song is perfect for a night time drive on the highway. That’s when I listen to it the most.”

Along with the new single, the Dallas-based act announced a 19 date tour. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR:

(W/ BOYO and Alex Sigel and Estereomance on selected dates)

Wednesday 11.10: Santa Ana, CA @ Locker Room +

Thursday 11.11: Los Angeles, CA @ Teregram +

Friday 11.12: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues (Voodoo) +

Saturday 11.13: Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst (Atrium)

Sunday 11.14: San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop + localized 

Monday 11.15: Sacramento, CA @ The Starlet Room

Tuesday 11.16: Reno, NV @ Holland Project

Thursday 11.18: Portland, OR @ Honey Latte Cafe

Friday 11.19: Seattle, WA @ Crocodile 

Saturday 11.20: Boise, ID @ Shredder

Sunday 11.21: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

Tuesday 11.23: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive

Tuesday 12.7: Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress #

Wednesday 12.8: Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge #

Friday 12.10: El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace #

Saturday 12.11: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger #

Sunday 12.12: Austin, TX @ The Parish #

Monday 12.13: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live (Studio) #

Tuesday 12.14: Dallas, TX @ Trees #

+ Alex Siegel #Estereomance

New Video: Follow Young French Artist Esther Maud on a Wild Adventure in “Etranger Solitaire”

Esther Maud is an emerging Paris-based multidisciplinary artist: Maud is a photographer, videographer and singer/songwriter, who also designs clothes and draws. As a songwriter, the rising French artist records sketches and snippets of melodies and verses as vice memos, that over time eventually become acapella recorded songs that are often simultaneously melancholy and playful. She then sends them off to producers across French to flesh out.

debut EP Puisque rien ne dure thematically touches upon love, particularly lost love, heartbreak, romantic reunions, longing and so on while seemingly drawing comparisons to the great French chanson singers like Françoise Hardy, Jacquline Taïeb and contemporaries like Claire Laffut and Clara Luciani. Puisque rien ne dure‘s latest single “Etranger solitaire” is a hook driven pop confection centered around the rising French artist’s breathy and coquettish cooing and a slick, dance floor friendly production that — to my ears — reminds me a little bit of Daft Punk. But underneath the song’s breezy exterior is a a sweet and swooning tale of reunited love.

French artist flying above the French seaside, hanging out with her best girlfriend and and a group of people attempting a Tik Tok-styled dance on the beach.

New Video: Farideh Releases a Dreamy Visual for Swooning and Atmospheric “WaveForms”

With the release of their Joshua Van Tassel-produced sophomore album, 2018’s Ms. Behave, the Canadian folk trio Rosie & the Riveters — Farideh (pronounced fair-i-day) Olsen, Allyson Reigh and Alexis Normand — achieved success on both sides of the border. The album was released to critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Parade Magazine and PopMatters. And the album was a commercial success: the album remained in the top 10 US folk music characters for 17 weeks and peaked at #3 on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20. 

Despite their achievements, Rosie & the Riveters’ Farideh Olsen was burnt out and in desperate need of a significant change: the combination of long days of touring and sleepless nights caring for her then-infant daughter led to a decline in her physical and mental health. Additionally, she had developed an intense case of motion sickness, which made touring even more unbearable. As the story goes, as she was about to embark on a 10 week tour away from her daughter for the first time, she needed a hobby or something that would occupy her time — and not make her sick while passing the time. Olsen settled on meditation and became obsessed: fifteen minutes quickly grew to an hour, then to three hours.

When the tour ended and she returned home, Olsen continued meditating — often 3 hours a day — and started noticing big changes in her health, happiness and creativity. Interestingly, her interest in meditation eventually expanded into an obsession with quantum physics. After spending several months learning about theoretical physics and space, the observer effect and non-locality, Olsen started seeing the influence of meditation and quantum physics on the material she had been writing: Although she had been a folk musician for her entire career, she had begun experimenting with synth soundscapes and 808 beats. This led to Olsen’s latest solo project farideh — and the project’s debut single, the Timon Martin-produced “WaveForms.”

ynths, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and Olson’s sultry crooning. And while sounding as though it were inspired by Kate Bush and others, the track is a balance of free-flowing improvisation and craft: “I had mapped out the synths and some beats in my home studio. I didn’t have any lyrics yet. I hit record and the words channeled through my head and out my mouth. The song literally wrote itself,” the Canadian singer/songwriter recalls. She adds, “This song is an expression of the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, In all potentials and dimensions of time and space, my husband and I would always find each other.” 

Perry, GA-born, Athens, GA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ernest Greene is creative mastermind behind the acclaimed synth pop/chillwave, JOVM mainstay act Washed Out. Started in earnest in 2009, Greene posted material on MySpace, which caught the attention of a nubmer of influential blogs who championed him, while comparing his work to JOVM mainstay Neon Indian and Memory Tapes.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Greene released his first two Washed Out EP in August and September 2009. The Perry-born, Athens-based JOVM mainstay supported his early efforts with his first New York area show at the now, long shuttered Santos Party House. He continued upon that momentum with a set at 2010’s Pitchfork Music Festival. And  “Feel It All Around” was chosen for the acclaimed, smash-hit TV series Portlanadia.

In early 2011, Greene signed with Sub Pop Records, who released his critically applauded and commercially successful full-length Within and Without: the album peaked at #26 on Billboard 200 and #89 on the UK Albums Chart. 2013’s sophomore album Paracosm was a radical change in sonic direction that featured a warmer, tropical-inspired sound — but while retaining the ethereal quality of his previously released material. 2017’s third album, the  Cole M.G.N. co-produced Mister Mellow was released through Stone’s Throw Records, and featured a beatmaker-inspired aesthetic.

Greene’s fourth Washed Out album, last year’s Purple Noon was written and recorded by the JOVM mainstay with production following a brief stint of writing with other artists — mostly notable with Sudan Archives on her debut Athena. Those collaborations found their way into Purple Noon‘s material with the album sonically drawing from R&B and modern pop. While arguably being among the brightest and more robust sounding material he’s released to date, the album is also a big leap forward: Greene’s vocals are placed front and center of the entire mix with the production featuring harder hitting beats.

Deriving its name from Rene Clement’s 1960 film Purple Noon, which was based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mister Ripley, Greene’s fourth Washed Out album is inspired by the Mediterranean coastline — with Greene paying tribute to the region’s island-based cultures, elegance and old-world charm. The surroundings serve as a gorgeous backdrop to stories of passion, love, loss and longing. Purple Noon‘s first single “Too Late” can be descried as a bit of a return to form: it’s swooning synth pop featuring skittering beats, glistening bass synth arpeggios, Greene’s lush vocals, a rousingly anthemic hook and a decidedly Caribbean/Mediterranean Island meets Quiet Storm air. Just under the hook-driven, breezy surface, the song is full of desperately aching longing.

Earlier this month, Green released a remix of “Too Late” by Puerto Rican pop duo Buscabulla. Buscabulla ‘s remix retains Greene’s achingly plaintive and lush vocals and pairs them with a funky and blissed out, New Jack Swing-inspired production featuring a strutting bass line, skittering beats and squiggling synths.

Along with the remix, Greene announced that he’ll finally be hitting the road to support Purple Noon during Winter 2022. The tour includes a February 7, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Bowl. The rest of the tour dates are below. And you can check out the following — https://washedout.net/tour for ticket information and more.
 
Mon. Jan. 10 – Asheville, NC  – Orange Peel
Tue. Jan. 11 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl           
Thu. Jan. 13 – Houston, TX – Stereo Live
Fri. Jan. 14 – Austin, TX – Empire
Sat. Jan. 15 – Dallas,  TX – The Granada Theatre
Mon. Jan. 17 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
Tue. Jan. 18 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory               
Thu. Jan. 20 – Los Angeles,  CA – The Wiltern Theatre
Fri. Jan. 21 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Sat. Jan. 22 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency                 
Mon. Jan. 24 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Tue. Jan. 25 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market 
Fri. Jan. 28 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Gallery
Sat. Jan. 29 – Denver, CO – The Gothic Theatre      
Mon. Jan. 31 – Minneapolis, MN – USA – Fine Line
Tue. Feb. 01 – Chicago, IL – Metro    
Thu. Feb. 03 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Theatre
Fri. Feb. 04 – Montreal, QC – L’Astral
Sat. Feb. 05 – Boston, MA – Paradise                        
Mon. Feb. 07 – Brooklyn, NY  – Brooklyn Steel                                 
Wed. Feb. 09 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Thu. Feb. 10 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
Fri. Feb. 11 –  Chapel Hill, NC  – Cat’s Cradle
Sat. Feb. 12 – Atlanta GA – The Eastern
 

New Audio: French Pop Duo Toxiq Release a Club Banging Take on an 80s French Smash Hit

Toxiq is an emerging French electro pop act featuring two long-term friends: Les Matchboxx’s Claire Deligny and Yul, a producer who specializes in a subtle yet percussive sound. Their collaborative project together draws from their 20+ year friendship and the years they’ve spent dancing, eating and crying together. Because of the pandemic, the project’s earliest batches of material were written and recorded at a distance — both physical and temporal.

Building upon a growing profile in the Francophone music world, the duo’s latest single finds the tackling Bernard Lavillers’ 1983 hit “Idées Noires” with Catherine Ringer. Interestingly, the Toxiq version of the song retains the alternating boy-girl verses and melody of the original but paired with an infectious, club banging production centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, and tweeter and woofer rocking beats.

Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstays Nation of Language Releases a Woozy Ode to Heartbreak and Loss

Rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio and JOVM mainstays Nation of Language — — Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitars, percussion), Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2016: Devaney and Sue-Poi were members off The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of that band’s sophomore album. And as the story goes, Devaney was inspired to start a new project after hearing OMD‘s “Electricity,” a song he had listened to quite a bit while in his father’s car. 

nterestingly, what initially started out as Devaney fooling around on a keyboard eventually evolved to Nation of Language with the addition of Noell and Sue-Poi. Between 2016-2019, the Brooklyn-based synth pop trio released a handful of singles that helped to build up a fanbase locally and elsewhere.

Last year’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists of Rough Trade, KEXP, Paste, Stereogum, Under The Radar and PopMatters. They capped off a massive 2020 with the A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” 7 inch, which featured the A Flock of Seagulls and Simple Minds-like “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.” 

is slated for a November 5, 2021 release. Reportedly, the album’s material is deeply indebted to 70s Krautrock and electronic experimentalists, essentially pushing their sound towards a new direction. Last month, I wrote about A Way Forward’s first single, the Flock of Seagulls-like “Across That Fine Line,” a song that the band’s Ian Devaney explains “is a reflection on thant moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different. When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s kind of a celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it.”

oozy song centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove, skittering four-on-the-floor and a soaring hook. The end result is a breezy and infectious song that gently plumbs the depths of heartache and loss in a way that sonically — to my ears, at least — bears a resemblance to The Cars “Drive.”

er person has informed so much about how you see yourself. For every bit of progress, there’s just as much retreating, and eventually, it seems like this back-and-forth becomes the new root of your identity – still tied to the same person, just without them actually being there.  

Man Machine-era Kraftwerk, and this simple melody just flowed out. At first, the urge was to go very robotic with it, but a laid-back groove fell into place and gave everything a really warm, spacey, stoned feeling, which felt like it amplified the emotional haze that the song deals with.”

New Video: Berlin’s IRYS Returns with a Sultry New Bop

IRYS is an emerging, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and producer, who specializes in what she describes as dark electro pop with a note of retro and synth wave. She released her first single earlier this and currently has plans to release one single a month throughout the rest of the year. 

her sultry vocals over a slick and modern production featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering twitter and woofer rocking beats and a propulsive bass line to create a mid-tempo track that reminded me — to my ears, at least — of Version 2.0 Garbage.

IRYS’ latest single “Warriors” prominently features her sultry vocals over a darkly seductive and atmospheric production featuring skittering beats, layers of synth arpeggios, buzzing bass synths paired with an infectiously anthemic hook. And while continuing a run of slickly produced pop “Warriors” sees IRYS expanding upon her sound — there’s still clear elements of Version 2.0-era Garbage but the new single may be the most dance floor friendly of her growing catalog.

The recently released video continues an ongoing collaboration with VI productions: the video is split between footage of the rising Berlin-based artist vamping and looking seductive while shot with dreamy filters — and computerized landscapes.

New Audio: Roosevelt Releases an Infectious Club Friendly Banger

Marius Lauber is a Viersen, Germany-born, Cologne, Germany-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Roosevelt. Lauber exploded into the international scene with the release of “Elliot,” the title track off his debut EP, 2013’s Elliot: “Elliot” received praise from Pitchfork, who named the track one of their “Best New Tracks” that year.

2015’s double A-side single “Night Moves”/”Hold On,” helped the German artist further establish a warm, synth-based Euro-disco sound. Lauber’s 2016 self-titled, Roosevelt debut featured attention grabbing tracks like “Colours” and “Moving On” and was supported with tours with Hot Chip, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Crystal Fighters. Glass Animals, Jax Jones,Truls, Sundara Karma, Luca Vasta and Kakkmaddaf all remixed album tracks.

Lauber’s sophomore album, 2018’s Young Romance found the acclaimed German singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer moving away from the slickly produced EDM towards a warmer, guitar and synth-based sound paired with a wistful escapism. Thematically, the album fittingly focused on — well, young romance, including the trials, tribulations and frustrations of falling in and out of love while featuring a narrator, desperately trying to find some semblance of home while on the road. As Lauber explained in press notes at the time, the album was inspired by deeply personal events: “I ended up processing a lot of emotions that I felt during my youth. Faded relationships that haunted me for years, being on the road for what seemed like forever and the constant search for a place to call home.”

Released earlier this year, Lauber’s third Roosevelt album, Polydans may arguably be one of his most critically and commercially successful efforts to date: Lauber has done live sessions for SPIN Magazine, Fender’s Artist Check-In and KEXP. The acclaimed German artist has also been interviewed by Apple Music 1, Filter, Rolling Stone, Interview Magazine, Clash Magazine, Earmilk, BrooklynVegan, Talkhouse and several others. Since the release of Polydans, Lauber has been rather busy, writing two new singles “On My Mind” and “About U” that serve as an extension to his latest album.

Lauber’s latest single, the achingly wistful yet sensual “On My Mind” is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a motorik-like groove, Lauber’s plaintive vocals expressing longing for that one who got away, and who the song’s narrator may never get back in their lives. Sonically “On My Mind” and its companion “About U” are deeply inspired by 00s French Touch — and as a result, find the German producer crafting euphoric bangers along the lines of Homework-era Daft Punk, Stardust and others.

My Mind’ and ‘About U’ were two demos that I was working on while I was finishing Polydans late last year,” Lauber explains in press notes. “I listened to a lot of early 2000s French House music at the time, so the songs were heavily influenced by acts like Stardust, Roger Sanchez, Benjamin Diamond or Room 5. The sounds of these records are still in my memory from watching MTV as a kid, so there was something really nostalgic in producing this release. I didn’t want to put them on Polydans, as they are sounding more electronic, less organic as the album, however they still feel like the same chapter to me. These will be part of the deluxe version of the album, that will come out later this year.