Category: Indie Synth Pop

New Video: Intimate Live Footage Centered Video of Rapidly Rising Dutch Artist Ruben Pol Releases a Shimmering and Plaintive New Single

With the release of his breakthrough debut EP Infused Romance, the Amsterdam-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ruben Pol received attention across Europe and elsewhere for crafting shimmering and celestial electro pop. So far Pol’s debut effort has amassed over two million streams and has helped him land work with a handful of renowned fashion brands, including Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein and Burberry. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile across Europe, the Amsterdam-based Pol has plans to continue releasing new material in 2020 but in the meantime, he closes out this year with “Painting Mirrors,” the first bit of new material from the rising Dutch-based artist since the release of his breakthrough debut. Centered by thumping, organic drum patterns, shimmering and atmospheric synths, reverb-drenched guitars, a soaring hook and Pol’s achingly plaintive vocals, the new single sounds indebted to Within Without and Paracosm-era Washed Out. And while initially seeming placid, on repeated listens, the song has a subtle yet palpable tension and turbulence, as its narrator describes hiding their true self, in order to protect themselves and their partner: love is inevitably pulling them closer to their partner, but the fear of the truth is tugging them away; they’re in love but not fully ready and open — and they’re constantly aware of it. 

“Love can be blinding and it can make you do crazy, sometimes reckless things,” Pol says in press notes. “I myself am guilty of this too. The urge to be with someone can be so strong, it damages the very thing that you are chasing, love itself.” 

Filmed and edited by Victor Griffioen, the recently released video is based on black and white VHS footage of the rapidly rising Dutch artist performing the song live in front of an enraptured audience. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Beverly Girl Returns with a 80s Synth Pop Inspired Banger

With a series of critically applauded and commercially successful singles, the Helsinki, Finland-based synth pop/synth soul trio and long-term JOVM mainstays Beverly Girl have developed a reputation for being at the forefront of Scandinavia’s highly-regarded and rapidly growing nu-disco, synth pop and synth soul scenes while establishing a sound that will remind listeners of I Feel For You-era Chaka Khan, Cherrelle, The Gap Band, Cameo, Atlantic Starr  and fellow JOVM mainstays Escort. The Finnish pop trio have received attention from a number of blogs across the world (including this only one), regular airplay on Finnish radio, as well as placement on a number of Spotify playlists. 

Adding to a growing international profile, they’ve also built up a profile for an energetic live show led by their charismatic frontwoman Yohannna that has resulted in playing shows across the States, France, Norway, Sweden and Estonia, including headlining slots at Los Angeles’ Modern Funk Fest, Flow Festival and Pride Festivals across Scandinavia.

The Helsinki-based JOVM mainstays are currently putting the finishing touches on a long-awaited album, slated for release in early 2020, and the album’s latest single “I’m Your Girl” continues the act’s incredible run of self-assured,  80s inspired synth pop and funk, centered around enormous radio friendly hooks — but in this case, the slickly produced “I’m Your Girl” manages to bear an uncanny resemblance to Deneice Williams’ “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” and Cherelle’s “Saturday Love.”

Shot in an incredibly cinematic fashion, the recently released video for “I’m Your Girl” is rooted around live footage of the act performing the song in front of a rapturous crowd.   

Gabriel Bødker Johnson is a Danish multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the emerging solo, pop recording project thirdcurl. Interestingly, Johnson’s latest thirdcurl single “with you,” a collaboration with fellow multi-instrumentalist and producer Casper Iskov can trace some of its origins to when a 14 year old Johnson met Iskov, who was a local music legend at the time. Much like Johnson, Iskov began his music career when he was 12.

Around the same time, Johnson was honing his skills with DJ equipment and FL Studio.  Pioneer released a YouTube ad featuring new DJ equipment, which featured a deadmau5 remix of Daft Punk captured Johnson’s interest — and it began a lifelong obsession with deadmau5. Sometime later, the acclaimed electronic music producer and DJ hosted live streams sharing his creative process, and a young Johnson watched as many of those streams as possible. There’s a reason I mention Johnson’s obsession with deadmau5: you see, the first song that Johnson wrote back in 2011 was a version of his latest single “with you,” which at the time as the Danish multi-instrumentalist and producer explains “was a complete copy of a traditional deadmau5 track. I put it on YouTube because I was simply so proud to have made my own electronic track.”

As for the track “with you” is a radio friendly pop confection, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, Iskov’s plaintive vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook — and as a result, the single manages to sonically nod a bit at New Order and Tame Impala.  “With You” got a brand new life, when Iskov heard an early mix of  the track, loved what he heard and contributed lyrics to the new version — and of course, it marks the first collaboration between the two.

“Casper and I moved in together in an old house outside of Copenhagen together with Emil Kiltsgaard, who helped me to do the cover for the track, and Andreas Frandsen, who plays bass with me on stage,” Johnson says in press notes. “During this time, Casper and I sat down and finally managed to finish the track in 2018. 7 years it took to finish “with you.” We’re very proud of the track, as it features the same lyrics he wrote back then and because it still features the main elements of what I’d made so many years ago. But above all “with you” played a part of us becoming friends.”




Lyric Video: Introducing the Slickly Produced and Swaggering Pop of French Artist Sôra

Deriving her stage name from an acronym for Singing Bird Soars, Julia Mora-Mir, the rapidly rising French singer/songwriter, producer and pop artist, best known as Sôra, is the daughter of a British mother and French father. Claiming that she inherits some of own musical ability from her Pakistani-born grandfather, who’s an acclaimed musician, Mora Mir has performed in some fashion or another since she was a child — playing piano, singing and dancing. 

Sonically, the French singer/songwriter, producer and pop artist’s sound meshes elements of electro pop, electro soul R&B and hip-hop — paired with a vocal that’s been described as soulful and velvety.  Mora-Mir first emerged into the French pop scene working with a number of musicians and producers, including an attention grabbing collaboration with JOVM mainstay Uppermost, “Step By Step,” which amassed over one million streams. The French singer/songwriter and pop artist released her debut EP, last year’s Number One, an effort that amassed over one million streams. 

Building upon a growing profile, Sôra has shared stages with Rudimental, Deluxe, Adam Naas and Kimberose while receiving support from PAPER Magazine, ELLE, Magnetic Magazine, Clique TV, General Pop and the La Belle Musique,Tasty, and Chill Masters YouTube Channels. Additionally, she had had her material placed on a number of tastemaking playlists including Spotify Fresh Finds and New Music Friday, Deezer’s Fresh R&B, New R&B Vibe and Chill Vibes. And she has received airplay on Amazing Radio, Reprezent Radio, Fubar Radio, Mouv’ Radio, and France24. 

“Unchained,” Mora-Mir’s latest single is a self-assured and slickly produced pop confection centered around a sleek production featuring stuttering beats, shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking low end and Mora-Mir’s vocal delivery, which alternates between swaggering rhyming, sultry and soulful contemporary pop.  And while the song manages to be remarkably contemporary, the French singer/songwriter, producer and pop artist reveals herself to be a refreshingly unique talent in an age of cookie cutter sameness.  

New Video: Holy Fuck Releases a Mind-Bending Visual for Shimmering Club Banger “Free Gloss”

Toronto-based electronic act Holy Fuck — Brian Borcherdt, Graham Walsh, Matt McQuaid and Matt Schultz — have developed a long-held reputation for playing by their own rules, never being overly concerned about chasing the limelight or after genre-based trends. They’re also known for employing the use of instruments and non-instruments including a 35mm film synchronizer, toy keyboards and toy phaser guns to achieve electronic-sounding effects without the use of laptops, programmed backing tracks, splicing and so on.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Luxe,” the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Canadian electronic act since the release of 2017’s Bird Brains EP. And as you may recall, the single was born by their mutual desire to resist old and trusted methods of creating new material — primarily by experimenting live and on the stage. Centered around a pulsating, minimal synth loop, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping kick drum, the expansive song, which clocks in at a little over six minutes can trace its origins back to a spontaneous encore jam at Luxembourg, Belgium. As the story goes, once they had the early elements of the track worked on in the studio, they sent it to to their good friend and casual musical mentor Kieran Hebden, best known as Four Tet, who picked the early version of “Luxe” as a standout. The Canadian quartet then invited Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor to contribute vocals. Taylor not only jumped at the opportunity but went to Jack White‘s Third Man Studio in Nashville to record his vocals on White’s 1947 Voice-O-Graph.

“Among more literal translations, ‘Luxe’ is the short form of Luxembourg – the city in which the nexus of the song was created,” the members of Holy Fuck explain in an extensive statement. “On this particular night, during soundcheck, we had a pulsing minimal synth loop we’d been tinkering around with. (We were listening to lots of TRAX Records stuff on that tour.) We decided that if the crowd demanded an encore we’d go for it. ‘Luxe’ was the result. Or – as it was then called on the live recorded MP3 – ‘Luxembourg Encore’. Once home from tour we took all the live demos back to the drawing board. We shared everything with our friend Kieran Hedben aka Four Tet. His always-intuitive advice was that he heard a great club track in his ‘very favorite thing here’: ‘Luxembourg Encore’”.

The next moment of discovery came when Graham suggested the band scrap Brian’s vocals and give it to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip. When we presented Alexis with the concept our reference notes to him, based around Brian’s temporary vocals, were ‘like an old sample you’d dig up off an old folk record… and approached more like a classic house track’. He responded, ‘We could try to record the vocal in a Voice O Graph booth (an obsolete 1940s coin operated phonograph booth) if we can access one…’. As far as we’re aware, there are only two in the world – one in Liverpool (that apparently doesn’t work anymore) and the other at Jack White’s Third Man studio in Nashville. And that is where Alexis sang ‘I’d like to scrap all of this and start over again.’ Fittingly, it was New Year’s Eve.”

“Luxe” also served as the first official single off Holy Fuck’s forthcoming fifth album Deleter. Slated for a January 17, 2020 release, the album’s material finds the acclaimed Canadian electronic act pushing their signature sound in a new and exciting direction — polyrhythmic and pleasure focused, the members of Holy Fuck manage to seamlessly mesh krautrock, deep house and motorik percussion. Thematically, the album reportedly explores what happens when humanity and technology coalesce into one big, semi-organic celebration of the joys of spontaneity, repetition and individuality. As the band puts it, “the robots are smarter than ever, and the algorithm knows more and more what we like as individuals, but we have to remind ourselves that there is music in the margins that can go missing and that that music is more important than ever.”

Clocking in at just under six and a half minutes, the expansive “Free Gloss” features plaintive and ethereal vocals from POND’s Nicholas Albrook and is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, atmospheric electronics, a sinuous bass line and a motorik groove. And much like it’s immediate predecessor, “Free Gloss” is a seamless synthesis of hypnotic and driving pulse, ethereal atmospherics and dance floor friendly thump. 

Directed by Haoyan of America, the recently released video for “Free Gloss” is a trippy and wondrous synthesis virtual reality, video games and reality that’s pulled out of the home, on to the dance floor and back home. And throughout, the individual in all of their strangeness is celebrated. 

Lyric Video: Alex Iva Teams Up with Los Angeles-based Vocalist Dominic on the Radio-Friendly, Club Banger “Give Me More”

Born Oleskandr Ivanov in Kherson Ukraine, the rapidly rising Barcelona-based electronic music producer and electronic music artist Alex Iva emerged into international indie electro pop scene last year with the release of his first two singles “Let’s Try” and “Tell Me” through his own label Iva Music. 

Building upon a growing profile, which has included support from DJs and other electronic music artists and producers, radio airplay and countless music blogs, as well as placement on over 1,000 Spotify Playlists, the Kherson-born, Barcelona-based artist’s latest single “Give Me More” is a radio friendly club-banger featuring Los Angeles-based vocalist Dominic, who has had his music appear on The Big Bang Theory. Centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, wobbling low end, stuttering beats, Dominic’s plaintive vocals and an infectious hook — and while clearly dance floor friendly, the song manages to reveal a pop-leaning craftsmanship. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Dance Floor Friendly Meditation on Acceptance and Closure

Originally formed in  Christchurch, New Zealand, the internationally acclaimed synth pop act Yumi Zouma, currently features members spread out across the globe with Josh Burgess (guitar, vocals) based in New York, Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass, keys) based in London and Christie Simpson (vocals, keys) based in Christchurch. Writing and recording by email out of necessity, the band wasn’t meant to be a live project — and yet, they received attention and praise for a breezy yet breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and achingly tender vocals. 

The acclaimed indie electro pop act recently signed to Polyvinyl Record Co., and to to celebrate the occasion, they released their self-produced new single “Right Track/Wrong Man” through their new label home. And while continuing an extraordinary run of breezy synth pop, the new track is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like guitar lines, a sinuous bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and ethereal harmonies, the song is actually an upbeat, disco-tinged meditation on the closure gained by accepting that it’s time to move on and forward. 

“‘Right Track / Wrong Man’ comes from a place of uncertainty – of not knowing if you should stay in the comfort of a slightly unfulfilling relationship, or branch out and make the most of the youth you have left; meet new people, go out more, dance, live,” the band’s Christine Simpson explains. “In the last year or so I’ve found myself switching between these modes, unable to work out what makes me happier, left feeling a little lost – but I’ve always found solace in the knowledge that at least I’ve been going out more, meeting new people, dancing – and living. As Yumi Zouma we often write songs that we want people to dance to, and that we ourselves would want to dance to – this is our dancefloor anthem to the confusion of living through your twenties.”