Category: Indie Synth Pop

New Video: The Gorgeous, Surreal and Absolutely Insane Visuals for Doomsquad’s “Pyramids on Mars”

Comprised of  siblings Allie, Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas, Toronto, ON/Montreal, QC-based electro pop act Doomsquad initially began as an acoustic-leaning folk act but with their shared admiration and love of electronic music, electronic dance music and electro pop, the […]

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With the release of “To Be Young” and “Radio Silence,” which received extensive radio airplay on BBC Radio X, Spanish radio station Radio 3 and Stateside on KCRW and KEXP, the Portsmouth, UK-based quintet Kassassin Street — comprised of Rowan Bastable (guitar, vocals), Tom Wells (bass, vocals), Andy Hurst (keys, samples), Ryan Hill (guitar, vocals) and Nathan Hill (drums) — quickly exploded onto the international scene last year. And as a result, the Portsmouth-based quintet had a busy summer playing the UK major festival circuit with appearances at Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Blissfields, Y Not, Great Escape, Beat-Herder and Isle of Wight, as well as a hometown slot at Victorious Festival — and they continued on that success with a successful UK tour, which included several sold out shows.

Building on a rather successful 2016, the members of Kassassin Street recently released their latest single “Hand In My Pocket,” a post-punk track which pairs an anthemic hook with a sinuous bass line, shimmering  and cascading synths, angular guitar chords and an uncanny sense of harmony in a shimmying, dance floor ready track that sounds indebted to Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four (in particular, I think of “Not Great Men” “He’d Send In The Army” and “Why Theory“), Kasabian‘s self-titled effort, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream (in particular “Detroit” and “Autobahn 66“) and New Order — but much like Gang of Four, the song possesses an underlying scathing sociopolitical message as the song focuses on social injustice and inequality in fiscal austerity-era UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of her previous single “Ghost,” up-and-coming Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter, indie electro pop artist and producer Mira Aasma has quickly received national attention in her native Sweden, as well as attention across the UK for a sound that’s been compared favorably to the likes of Florence and the Machine as Aasma’s earliest releases possess a maturity and self-assuredness that belies her relatively young age of 19. Aasma’s latest single “Whale Song” off her self-produced, forthcoming EP Stereoscope pairs the Swedish pop artist and producer’s coolly self-assured vocals with dramatic, thumping industrial beats, swirling electronics, shimmering cascades of synths in a sweeping and cinematic pop song that sounds indebted to early Depeche Mode — in particular think “People Are People” — but with a sense of introspection and perspective that can only come from profound and hard-fought experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Kent, UK-based producer Draper can trace the origins of his prolific and critically acclaimed music career in a rather humble fashion — initially as his experimenting with sound recording software, largely based around pairing a densely layered production with an uncanny knack for lyricism. With the release of attention grabbing remixes of Strange TalkEllie Goulding and Passion Pit, and the 2010 release of his debut EP, The Introduction, the British producer saw a rapidly growing national and international profile — at one point, he captured the attention of Turn First Music Publishing where Draper would write singles for LapsleyRita Ora and Little Mix.

Now, you might recall that last year I wrote about “On You,” the first single off the producer’s highly-anticipated full-length album, and that single, a collaboration with his frequent collaborator Alby Hobbs was a densely layered and swooning pop song consisting of wobbling, low pitched synths, skittering percussion, swirling electronics and rubbery, high pitched synths paired with Hobbs’ meandering yet soulful falsetto to craft a song that effortlessly meshes bouncy club-friendly electro pop with sensual and soulful R&B. While we’re anxiously awaiting Draper’s full-length effort, the British producer has remained incredibly prolific, releasing a number of singles including his latest single “Break Over You,” a collaboration with Scottish synth pop trio Prides — and what makes the single interestingly is that it reveals that Draper has been experimenting and expanding upon his sound, as “Break Over You” is a euphoric pop confection with the sort of anthemic hooks reminiscent of St. Lucia, Phoenix, Passion Pit and others. It’s arguably the most rousingly crowd pleasing and radio-friendly single Draper has released to date. (Interestingly, the song lyrically seems to make a sly reference to one of my favorite Prince songs ever, “I Will Die 4 U,” which is also quite an anthemic pop song itself.)

 

Over the course of the six year history of this site, Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist, DJ and Boys Noize Records label head Alex Ridha, best known as Boys Noize has become one of this site’s earliest mainstay artists; in fact, his Out of the Black landed at number 8 on the site’s Best of List back in 2012. And since then, Ridha has been remarkably prolific as she’s collaborated in musical projects with internationally recognized mega-hit producer, electronic music artist and DJ Skillex and renowned pianist, composer, experimental pop artist and emcee Chilly Gonzales. Additionally, his label recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with a series of collaborative efforts featuring the work of a number of up-and-coming and renowned contemporary electronic music artists and producers including Tiga, Johnny Sack, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Atom TM, Pilo SCNTST and others.

Earlier this year, Ridha released “Overthrow,” a single that revealed the German producer, electronic music artist and DJ has expanded upon his signature sound — in this case, glitchy and chopped up samples, tweeter and woofer rattling bass and beats and enormous drops were paired with industrial clang and clatter and ominously swirling electronics in a song that stomped, strutted, swaggered and threw a vicious haymaker or two. “Euphoria,” which was released last month, sounded as though it drew from the legendary house music pioneer Larry Levan as a looped vocal sample was paired with skittering and propulsive drum programming and glitchy keyboard keys in a song that evoked a woozy rush of blood to the head. “Starchild,” a collaboration with indie electro pop sensation Poliça pairs vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s sultry and plaintive vocals with glitchy and stuttering beats, gentle cascades of twinkling and shimmering synths in what may arguably be Ridha’s moodiest and most pop-leaning single he’s released to date.

Last month, I wrote about Brooklyn-based shoegaze duo The Blessed Isles. Comprised of Aaron Closson (guitar and vocals), best known as a member of The Hourly Radio and multi-instrumentalist Nolan Thies, best known as a member of N?TIONS, the duo of Closson and Thies specialize in a sound that is heavily indebted to New Wave, synth pop and shoegaze — and as you would have heard on “Caroline,” the first single off their long-awaited full-length effort Straining Hard Against the Strength of Night, and on the album’s second and latest single “Confession” their sound in particular seems to be influenced by New Order, Slowdive and Cocteau Twins as the duo pairs Closson’s plaintive vocals with shimmering delay pedal fed guitar chords, propulsive boom-bap 808s, and ambient-like synths to craft a swooning and introspective song with an urgently anthemic pulse. However, interestingly enough “Confession” strikes me as being the most New Order-influenced song down to the guitar solo the song’s swooning urgency.