Category: Indie Synth Pop

New Video: The Coquettish Sounds and Playful Visuals of Up-and-Coming Chicago-based Electro Pop Duo Chrissy and Hawley

As the story goes, Chrissy and Shoffner are both originally from Kansas — although they met in Chicago and began working together on an album that effortlessly meshes both of their unique styles — and as you’ll hear on their latest single “My Top Twenty,” off their soon-to-be released self-titled debut effort, Chrissy pairs a propulsive production of shimmering, brief bursts of twinkling keys and wobbling synths and skittering drum programming with Shoffner’s coquettish vocals singing lyrics about the connection between love and your favorite albums. And in some way, the duo’s latest single reminds me quite a bit of the propulsive and shimmering sounds of Soft Metals impressive Lenses album and classic house music — although “My Top Twenty” is far more coquettish and airier.

The recently released music video is an appropriately lighthearted and goofy video that features the duo’s Hawley Shoffner singing the song at a karaoke bar while the video within the video features Shoffner pensively wandering around parts of Chicago and goofing around in the karaoke-styled visuals you’d expect to see in a karaoke bar.

Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), along with Howard’s two childhood friends Jeb Hardwick (guitar) and Ed Sanderson (piano/synths), the Brighton, UK-based founding trio behind Phoria recruited Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Seryn Burden (drums) to flesh out the band’s sound. And over the past couple of years, the Brighton, UK-based quintet have developed a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes; in fact, 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and received several million Spotify streams. They also have a burgeoning reputation for their live set which pairs Hardwick’s visual installations and projections with their live sound. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may have come across a post or two on the British quartet.

As the band’s primary songwriter Howard has publicly explained that he never really wanted to be a storyteller, and that he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot. And as as a result, the quintet’s material generally focuses on setting up a particular mood — while simultaneously focusing on a number of different themes. In press notes, Howard has mentioned that the material on Volition thematically touches upon love, sex, mortality, pain, joy, the way people interact, change and move each other and several other things. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Everything Beta,” the first single off the band’s recently released full-length debut Volition, a single that sounds indebted to  Amnesiac and King of Limbs-era Radiohead, as Howard’s ethereal and plaintive vocals are paired with clicking and clacking percussion, twinkling piano chords, buzzing synths and a subtly anthemic hook in a song that slowly builds up an unresolved tension before quickly fading out. And while ethereal, the song manages to evoke a desperately aching yearning at its core.

The album’s second and latest single “Loss” continues on a similar vein as “Everything Beta” as Howard’s delicate and yearning falsetto is paired with a sparse and ambient arrangement of twinkling keys, minimalist beats, shimmering synths and a hauntingly beautiful string arrangement to evoke a sense of profound, inconsolable loss in what may arguably be the most gorgeous song the Brighton-based band has released to date.

Adam Öhman is a Stockholm, Sweden-based electronic music producer and artist, best known as Mountain Bird. And with the release of several singles, the Swedish producer and artist has developed a growing internationally recognized profile for a sound that’s been compared favorably to renowned French electro pop act M83 — and for adding his name to a growing Swedish electro pop/dream pop scene that includes acts like Moonbabies, Niki and The Dove and countless others. Adding to a growing profile across Europe and elsewhere, Öhman’s work has received airplay on Steve Lamacq‘s BBC Radio 2 show, Radio X, Absolute Radio and elsewhere.

Naturally, building upon a steadily growing buzz, Öhman is currently in the studio working on new material that will eventually be released through renowned Swedish label With Love Recordings — the label home of acts like CANVAS, Swim, Neeco Delaf and others. Öhman’s latest single “Hearts to Gold” is as he explains in press notes “a tale of celebration. Shining positive light on creators, the over-thinkers, anyone who has ever been a part of a sub-culture anyone who dealt with the anxiety of society’s expectations.” Sonically speaking Öhman pairs layers of shimmering synths, swirling electronics, boom bap beats and wobbling low end in an ethereal, dreamy yet anthemic song that possess an encouraging and hopeful message to struggling creatives everywhere, and it should push those folks forward when times seem particularly difficult.

 

 

Perhaps best known as a co-founder of critically and internationally acclaimed electronic music act WDSTCK, as well as collaborating with Matoma and Sonny Alven, Didrik Thulin is stepping up and out into a solo career with the release of his first complete self-produced single “Teenage Hype.” And as Thulin explains in press notes “This is the first single i´ve released where I have done the production, singing and songwriting. ‘Teenage Hype’ is a song about friendship, and the joy of exploring the corners and boundaries of youth life with someone you look up to and admire. It’s trying to capture the excitement of hanging out with older people, pushing limits, and venturing into new, exotic places in the urban jungle.” As a result, the song which features a slick and contemporary production of shimmering cascades of synths, stuttering and skittering drum programming and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Thulin’s plaintive crooning possess an air of wonder, hope and possibility — all while being a breezy, summertime, club-friendly jam.

If you’ve been frequenting this website over the past year to about 18 months or so you’ve likely come across a post about New York-based electro pop duo Sofi Tukker. It’s been a few months since I’ve last written about them so for both new and old readers, I’ll try to briefly refresh you on their backstory: the duo can trace their origins to when Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, who were both attending Brown University  met at an art gallery. The duo quickly started writing music together, based around their desire of crafting accessible, pop-friendly world music that could reach a wider audience. Upon their graduation, they relocated to New York, where over the following year they worked on new material — including the material that would wind up comprising their forthcoming Soft Animals EP.

Back in March, I wrote about “Matadora,” an EP single  which paired flamenco style guitar with tweeter and woofer rattling beats, ambient electronics, warm blasts of horn, animal noises and Hawley-Weld’s sensual cooing in a song that nods at the breezy tropicalia of Brazil and South America and shimmering dance-floor ready house music. The EP’s latest single “Deja Vu Affair” sounds as though it draws from early and mid 80s New Order and house music as angular guitar chords played through gentle washes of reverb and delay are paired with four-on-the-floor drum programming, cascading layers of wobbling synths and Hawley-Weld’s sensual cooing in what may arguably one of the sexiest, most dance floor-ready songs they’ve released to date.

Sofi Tukker is embarking on a lengthy series of tour dates — some opening for M83 and a number of headlining shows, including a hometown set at Baby’s All Right  at the end of July. Catch them at a music venue near you.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Supporting M83*
June 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Lyric (TICKETS)
June 9 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones (TICKETS)
June 11 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater w/ Cashmere Cat (TICKETS)*
June 12 – Richmond, VA @ The National (TICKETS)*
June 14 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore (TICKETS)*
June 15 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva (TICKETS)*
July 2 – PITCH Festival Amsterdam
July 17 – One Love Festival Istanbul
July 20 – Portland, ME @ Thompson’s Point w/ Chairlift (TICKETS)*
July 21 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (TICKETS)*
July 25 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant (TICKETS)*
July 27 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove (TICKETS)*
July 28 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre*
July 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (TICKETS)
August 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Popscene at Rickshaw Stop (TICKETS) (on sale 6/3)

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofi de la Torre Returns with a Bold and Feisty New Single and Visuals

“Sit Down,” de la Torre’s latest single is arguably the boldest, feistiest and most in-your-face song she’s released to date — while being a fresh take on the sound that won her international attention. Comprised of a production that features wobbling and stuttering synths, tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats paired with de la Torre’s sultry and swaggering, self-assured vocals the song sound as though it draws from M.I.A.’s incredible work, contemporary electro pop and hip-hop. The recently released music video manages to visually draw from M.I.A.’s work while subtly poking fun at fashion shoots and commercials.

With the release of their critically acclaimed full-length debut La Allianza Profana and its follow-up, Serpiente Dorada, Peruvian electronic duo Dengue Dengue Dengue quickly received international attention for a sound that possessed elements of traditional cumbia, dub, dancehall and techno — and for being at the forefront of an expanding electro cumbia movement.

Siete Raices, the duo’s long-awaited sophomore, full-length effort is slated for release later this month through Enchufada Records, and the effort takes its name from a traditional Peruvian liquor — a potent beverage brewed from several jungle plants with mystical, aphrodisiac properties. Now, if you stumbled upon this page over the past couple of weeks, you may recall that I wrote about “Guarida,” a single that had the renowned Peruvian duo collaborating with vocalist Sarah Van. And the single revealed an act that has expanded upon the sound that first captured attention as the Peruvian duo paired hauntingly ambient production consisting of gentle layers of shimmering and undulating synths and skittering drum programming —  nodding at the fact that the Peruvian duo methodically carefully craft and shape their work to evoke particular moods while drawing equally from ancient traditions and contemporary production; in fact, it shouldn’t be surprising that their material doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard on contemporary radio — or anyplace else really.

Siete Raices‘ second and latest single “The Enemy” consists of a production that subtly hints at El Dusty’s nu-cumbia as the song consists of a glitchy and distorted vocal sample paired with a cowbell-led percussion, a languid, looped keyboard sample  that twists and turns around the song’s hook while being subtly danceable. But just under the surface, there’s something that feels subtly menacing and uneasy.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you may recall that I’ve perviously written about London-based producer and electronic music artist Promise Keeper. And with the release of “Side Decide” and other singles, the British producer and electronic music artist has received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that’s indebted to classic Chicago house, blue-eyed soul and electro pop; in fact, “Side Decide” has Promise Keeper pairing breathily cooed vocals with a mid-tempo, dance floor friendly production consisting of twinkling and shimmering synths, staccato drum programming and swirling and ambient electronics. Interestingly, the British producer and electronic music artist’s latest single “Porous Silk” will further cement his 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.

New Video: The 80s Inspired Visuals and Sounds of Finland’s Beverly Girl

With the release of “Contagious” Finnish trio Beverly Girl have started to receive a bit of attention internationally for an electro pop/funk/R&B/freestyle sound that immediately channels nostalgic memories of the 80s — while simultaneously comparing quite favorably to a number of contemporary artists including Rush Midnight, St. Lucia, Dam-Funk and others but incredibly club friendly. Or simply put, a sleek production consisting of sinuous bass lines, shimmering cascades of synths and propulsive boom-bap drums are paired with sultry vocals and a ridiculously infectious hook