Category: Indie Synth Pop

With his solo recording project Manatee Commune, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer Grant Eadie has received attention both across his native Pacific Northwest and nationally for a carefully and organically molded electronic sound in which he pairs natural overtones extracted from field recordings and other sources and live instrumentation and arrangements with slick and incredibly nuanced, contemporary electronic production. Now, if you’ve been following this site since earlier this year, you may recall that Eadie’s most recent EP Thistle was released earlier this year through renowned Brooklyn-based label Bastard Jazz Recordings, the label home of Illa JLord Echo and several others.

Interestingly, Eadie’s latest effort is the result of the multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer deciding to radically change his songwriting, recording and production process by opening up his studio and gear to friends, collaborators and loved ones, gaining inspiration from the energy of each of those interactions. As Eadie explains in press notes “Learning how to share my creative process with my friends completely revolutionized the last of year of music for me. Inviting those I trusted and loved into my studio to spend even just an hour talking or jamming opened fountains of inventive energy for me, especially from the ones who lacked any musical knowledge. I soon found myself incredibly inspired by the originality of even the smallest interactions with people, and so I pointed my field mic at anyone who had a story, a melody, or a stumbling beat they had been absentmindedly drumming, all in the hopes of capturing their individuality and framing it with my ever expanding insight into audio production.”

Clay,” Thistle‘s first single paired a stuttering yet breezy and coquettish production twinkling and chiming percussion, a looped flute sample, layers of shimmering synths and swirling electronics with Marina Price’s flirtatious and sultry vocals. Now to my years, the song reminded me a bit of Sylvan Esso — but bouncier and slightly more dance floor friendly. The EP’s latest single “What We’ve Got” is a collaboration featuring the sensual cooing of Flint Eastwood that will further cement Eadie’s growing reputation for slick, coquettish, summertime friendly productions — in this particular song pairs a distorted vocal sample with choppy synths cascades, twinkling and fluttering electronics, handclaps, enormous tweeter and woofer rocking beats. And while being as equally sensual as the previously released single, “What We Got” possess an infectiously upbeat swagger.

You can catch Eadie live this summer as he embarks on a tour that includes a NYC area stop at Alphaville in August. Check out tour dates, below.

Tour Dates
7/7 Victoria, BC – Phillips Backyard
8/10 San Diego – The Hideout*
8/11 Los Angeles – The Echoplex*
8/12 San Francisco – Thee Parkside*
8/14 Seattle – Nectar*
8/16 Madison – Majestic*
8/17 Chicago – Schubas*
8/18 Philadelphia – Milkboy*
8/19 NYC – Alphaville*
8/20 DC – Songbyrd*
* Sync or Swim Tour w/ Shallou

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Comprised of Thad Cockrell (vocals) and Jeremey Lutito (drums, production and programming), the Nashville, TN-based electro pop duo Leagues captured the attention of both mainstream media outlets and the blogosphere with the 2012 release of their self-titled debut EP and its follow-up You Belong Here — thanks to the massive success of singles “Spotlight” and “Walking Backwards,” which saw significant radio airplay. Other songs from both the EP and You Belong Here also made appearances in several TV shows, films and commercials.

Although slated for a September 9, 2016 release through Dualtone Records, You Belong Here‘s highly anticipated follow-up Alone Together can actually trace its origins back to 2014 when the duo of Cockrell and Lutito wrote, revised and recorded it almost immediately after the release of their critically applauded debut; however, as soon as the duo finished the album, they had an unshakable, sinking feeling that the album wasn’t right. As Thad Cockrell explains in press notes “It’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of that process, but I think we both had this growing feeling that we weren’t saying everything we wanted to say and weren’t pushing each musically to do all we could do. So we had to wipe the slate clean and start over.” Wholly produced by Lutito, the duo set around reworking and re-imaginging some of the previously recorded material off the initial Alone Together sessions and completely new songs — and as you hear on the album’s latest single “Lipstick Coffee,” the duo have come up with material that’s accessible and anthemic while being sonically dense and challenging as the duo pack the song with buzzing and undulating synths, a sinuous bass line, complex syncopation, Cockrell’s seductive, come-hither crooning, distorted electronic bleeps, beeps and bloops, and an incredibly surprising trap house bridge consisting of enormous boom-bap beats and bass drops. Sonically, the latest single reminds me of the sense of awe I had when I first heard Garbage‘s first two albums — in which every single time I hear the song I notice some deeper nuance that I somehow hadn’t noticed; however, you wind up hearing a wild array of influences from hip-hop, funk, soul, electro pop, trap being seamlessly meshed into something strangely familiar and alien.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brika is a Miami, FL-based pop artist, who initially received attention across the blogosphere and this site for an electro pop sound that possessed elements of trip-hop, jazz and several other genres, a slow-burning, neo-soul leaning reworking of Shaggy‘s “It Wasn’t Me” and her debut effort Voice Memos. And although it’s been about a year since I’ve last written about her, the Miami-based artist has been pretty busy; in fact, she went into the studio with producer Julio Reyes Copello to record new material, including her latest single “You,” a summer rooftop party evoking single that pairs Coppello’s sleek and modern production consisting of a stuttering synths, finger snap-led percussion, boom-bap beats and a funky bass line with Brika’s sultry and self-assured vocals — but while expressing desire, lust, longing and a surprising devotion with her signature old school, jazz-like phrasing. Based on this single, Brika’s forthcoming new material may reveal a decided expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Psychedelic, 1980s Leaning Visuals for Promise Keeper’s “Porous Silk”

With the release of Side Decide” and other singles, London-based producer and electronic music artist Promise Keeper started to receive attention across the blogosphere for a sound that possesses elements of classic Chicago house, blue-eyed soul and 80s electro pop. And his latest single “Porous Silk” will further cement the British producer’s already burgeoning reputation for crafting slick, dance-floor friendly pop as androgynous yet sultry cooed vocals are paired with a production consisting of a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar chords, propulsive and stuttering drum programming, twinkling keys and shimmering synths. Sonically, the new single evokes the sensation of silk running across naked skin, cool yet pliant –while being reminiscent of a slightly downtempo and house music-leaning version of Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait.”

The recently released music video employs the use of a grainy, VHS-styled psychedelia as the video follows its brooding protagonist observing ancient Greek-inspired art, drinking wine. Visually, it looks as though it could have appeared on a version of Ralph McDaniel’s Video Music Box back in 1987 or so.

Although initially comprised of founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), Stockholm, Sweden-based quartet Honeymilk formed back in 2012, the band could actually trace their origins to the formation and eventually breakup of Urmas Plant, a band which featured several of the members of Honeymilk. With the release of “It Might Be,” a single produced by Linus Larsson, best known for his work with Peter, Bjorn and JohnMercury Rev and Anna Ternheim, the band quickly received praise across the blogosphere and received radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. Interestingly, after the release of “It Might Be,” the band decided to go to the DIY route, recording and producing their own work, including their critically applauded, full-length debut Lean on the Sun.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting over the past couple of years, you may recall that I wrote about Honeymilk and their single “A Scene in Between,” a single that sonically sounded as though it were indebted to Brit pop and British psych rock – in particular, The Stone RosesThe Jesus and Mary ChainThe Verve, and Oasis. Over that time, the renowned Swedish act has gone through yet another lineup change with the band turning into a duo featuring the band’s co-founding member Edmund, along with Nyberg — and understandably with such a massive lineup change, the band has gone through a major change of sonic direction as you’ll hear on their latest single “Time Will Kill You.” With the latest single, the duo sounds as though they were subtly channeling Vampire Weekend and others as ambient synths are paired with a loose, looping guitar line played through reverb and delay pedal, a slinky bass line, an ethereal yet catchy melody and harmony and Admund’s plaintive vocals. And while being incredibly breezy, the song thematically speaking focuses on a profound metaphysical truth that we’re all aware — that time will relentlessly continue onward with or without us.

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you might recall a post on  Stockholm, Sweden-based pop quartet Red Sleeping Beauty. Comprised of of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of The Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), the quartet originally formed in 1989 and with the release of two full-length albums Bedroom and Soundtrack, a number of EPs and singles, the Swedish pop quartet received both national and international attention before the quartet quickly split up.

After several years of in other creative and professional pursuits, the Swedish indie pop quartet reunited to record a cover of Alpaca Sports song “Just For Fun” and “Merry Christmas, Marie,” a holiday-themed track, which caught the attention of fans and critics, who had desperately awaiting both a reunion and new material from the act. Continuing upon the buzz that they received, the Stockholm-based quartet followed that up with the release of the “Always” 7 inch, a set at Madrid Pop Fest and the release of “Mi Amor,” the first song the band recorded with a chorus completely sung in Spanish. Adding to the growing attention the band has received, their first full-length effort in over 19 years, Kristina is slated for release next week.

Kristina‘s first single “If You Want Affection” had the members of the band pairing a driving motorik groove with shimmering cascades of synths and an infectious hook with Angergård’s chilly yet plaintive vocals to craft a song that sounds as though it pulsates with an urgent need, while sonically the song sounds as though it channels 80s dance floor-friendly synth pop — in particular, I think of Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People”  and “Just Can’t Get Enough” among others –but with a slick, modern polish. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Cheryl, Cheryl, Bye” is a slow-burning , atmospheric and contemplative song in which the band pairs layers of bass synth and shimmering keys with plaintive and aching vocals; of course, that shouldn’t be surprising as the song is one part bitter farewell and one acceptance of a truth that the narrator doesn’t want to completely accept. After all, life pushes us forward no matter how much we want to deny it. In some way, sonically the song sounds as though it draws equally from Roxy Music — think of “Avalon” and “More Than This” in particular — as it does from Pet Shop Boys.

New Audio: Icelandic Trio Samaris Releases a Seductive and Tense New Single That Reveals an Expansion of Their Sound

Comprised of Þórður Kári “Doddi” Steinþórsson (producton),  Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir (clarinet) and Jófríður  the  Icelandic act Samaris have received national and international attention for minimalist electronic production paired with lyrics that drew from 19th century Icelandic poetry; however, after a […]

 

Maya Killtron is a Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter who first came to attention across both her native Canada and the States with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across both countries, including appearances at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Pride Toronto, The Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love TapsBack For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow Waves, Eyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron is currently working on a multimedia mixtape project featuring MCP champ and producer Fresh Kills, videographer Diana Piruveska, best known for her work with Nelly Furtado and photographer Natalie Caine; however, in the meantime, her latest single “Never Dance Alone” is reportedly a return to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s roots in funk, pop and R&B — and much like the work of JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Dam-Funk, Tuxedo and others, the song sonically sounds as though it could have been a B side to Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” as a sinuous and ridiculously funky bass line, warm and explosive blasts of horns and layers of synths are paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals. Along with that is a breezy bridge that emphasizes the song’s infectious hook. Listening to the song immediately reminded me of being out and about in the summer, whether at a house party, a roof top party or a block party desperately trying to talk up that pretty young thing you’ve wanted since the beginning of summer  — and more distinctly summer 1983.

 

New Video: The 80s Public TV-Inspired Visuals for Bad Sounds’ “Avalanche”

“Avalanche,” Bad Sound’s latest single was co-produced by Duncan Mills, and on the single the band pairs fuzzy guitar chords, angular bass chords, electronic bleeps and bloops, a motorik-like groove, and a rousingly infectious hook in a song that sounds as though it was indebted to Damon Albarn’s work with Blur and Gorillaz, complete with a particularly British sense of humor — wryly ironic and self-effacing; but while possessing a subtly contemporary take on a very familiar and beloved sound.

The recently released video is a glorious and ridiculous take on 80s educational TV — think of the counting and reading segments on Sesame Street, The Electric Company, 3-2-1- Contact and Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” complete with psychedelic interludes and cheesy 80s graphics.

New Video: The 80s Inspired Visuals for Iconique’s “Sitting Pretty”

Building upon the buzz they’ve received for their first two singles and the video for “Step Into the Mood,” the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop trio Iconique recently released the fittingly 80s influenced video for “Sitting Pretty,” a video that visually reminds me quite a bit of the visuals for Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” The Human LeagueR’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others — but with a focus on the video’s glamour being seemingly fleeting and unattainable for most.