Category: Indie Synth Pop

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 […]

New Video: Neon Indian’s Soul Train-Inspired Performance Video for “The Glitzy Hive”

Over the five year history of this site,  Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist Alan Palomo and his solo recording project Neon Indian has become a JOVM mainstay — especially in the lead-up to the release […]

Finish electronic music act Husky Rescue have developed a reputation across both their native Finland and Scandinavia for a songwriting approach that focuses on restless experimentation — and for material that sonically and aesthetically walks a very careful tightrope between anxious tenseness and childlike innocence.  The band’s last album The Long Lost Friend will be re-issued worldwide on December 11 as a double album — the first album is comprised of original album’s eight previously released tracks; however, since the initial recording sessions and release of Long Lost Friend, vocalist Johanna Kalén left the band because of health issues, so the second album consists of material written by Marko Nyberg (vocals and production), and Antony Bentley (composer and musical director).

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month, you may recall that I’ve written about Husky Rescue and Long Lost Friend‘s first single “Deep Forest Green.” But some backstory may be a little necessary: According to press notes, there actually is a real story of a long lost friend that informs the material on original album. As the story goes, the long lost friend in question was someone Nyberg was particularly close to throughout most of his childhood — in fact, the two played music together and had a deep mutual understanding that comes from very close friendships. Sadly, the two friends lost touch with each other through most of their twenties, but while Nyberg was writing the songs on Long Lost Friend, he had regained contact with this dear friend. Reportedly, the material as a whole blends the literal and metaphorical, so the material manages to be about more than just one individual friendships — but varying states of emotional intimacy and how difficult and confusing it is to attain them.

Whereas album single “Deep Forest Green” seemed to sound as though it owed a sonic and thematic debt to the work of Bjork, Talking Heads and others, the album’s latest single “Far From The Storm,”pairs Kalén’s lovely yet ethereal vocals with gently strummed guitar chord sample, twinkling keys and gently undulating synths. The song concludes with coda that’s one part psychedelic and one part ominous as it features a towering and buzzing guitar solo. Sonically and structurally, the song seems as though it draws from Moonbabies fantastic Wizards on the Beach and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” — or in other words, cinematic dream pop with an even breezier nature and catchy hooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Comprised of brothers Adam Lyons (vocals) and Nathan Lyons (keyboards), along with Patrick Huerto (guitar), Tommy Davis (bass), James Alexander (drums), the Gold Coast, Australian-born and now Manchester, UK-based sextet Fairchild have developed a growing international profile for an 80s inspired, hook-laden synth pop sound.  The sextet’s latest single “Breathless”  further cements the band’s reputation for 80s inspired synth pop; however, while their previously released material was rousingly anthemic, the new single is slow-burning, sensual, and moodily atmospheric in a way that’s reminiscent of The Fixx’s “Saved by Zero” as four-to-four drumming,  swirling electronics, slowly cascading synths, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb are paired with Adam Lyon’s soulful crooning and a slinkily sexy groove.

 

Produced by friend and frequent collaborator Catherine Marks, best known for her work with Foals, The Killers and Wolf Alice, the single not only reveals a subtle refinement of the sound that first won them international attention, it also inspired a change in their songwriting process. As the story goes, the time the members of the band spent writing “Breathless” actually inspired a series of pre-production jam sessions and songwriting sessions over the course of four months that had each band member contributing ideas unencumbered and unhindered by genre expectations. At times members of the band worked individually and in small groups, sometimes swapping instruments, sharing ideas and thoughts on bits of grooves, riffs and beats  and as they did so they began to see and feel even more parallels between their recorded efforts and their influences.

From listening to “Breathless,” I can tell you that the song is arguably the most self-assured, loosest and sexiest song that they’ve released to date, and that seems to stem from the songwriting sessions that birthed it. Granted,  if you were familiar with them before, it’s a subtle refinement of their sound but the hooks are sharper and laser focused. And while their material had always been emotionally direct, the new single pairs that directness with a deeper commitment to setting a particular mood. Be on the lookout for a new EP from the Australian-born, British-based band sometime in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Jimmy Jönsson (vocals), Stefan Aronsson (synths and programming) and Per Linnerblad (synths and programming), the Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop trio Red Cell can trace their origins to when the band’s founding duo of  Jönsson and Aronsson formed the back during the winter of 2002-2003. Deriving their name from a character that appears in the TV series Nikita, the duo recorded their first demo “In Command” a few months after forming, and it was released to praise in the Swedish press for an industrial metal sound.

Stefan Aronsson, who played guitar on their first single was recruited into the band along with another member on synths and as a newly constituted quartet, the band’s sound became much more synth-based. After recording two more demos — “I Am The Way” and “Related Skin,” which received national attention, the band entered the Swedish demo-contest Quest For Fame and won a recording contract. And although the band eventually turned down the recording deal they won, with a growing national profile, the quartet toured around Sweden and started playing regular gigs in Copenhagen, Denmark, which begun to expand their international profile across Scandinavia.

By January 2005, the Swedish electro pop quartet had signed with Torny Gotberg’s Gothenburg, Sweden-based Progress Productions, who released their commercially successful full-length debut effort, Hybrid Society that September. The album peaked at number 7 on the Swedish metal charts and at number 53 on the National charts. A national tour to support Hybrid Society followed, along with the band’s first gigs in Norway.

The band’s last effort Lead or Follow was released in 2008, and as you can imagine across Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, the news of their forthcoming third, full-length release, slated for release sometime next year has been long-anticipated. Although currently untitled, the album’s first single “Taking Back The Crown” is an anthemic bit of synth pop that sounds indebted to Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People” and “Policy of Truth” as well as The Human League‘s “Don’t You Want Me?” as layers of undulating synths are paired with propulsive drumming, enormous arena-friendly hooks and plaintive vocals.