Category: Synth Pop

Comprised of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of the Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), Stockholm, Sweden-based indie pop quartet Red Sleeping Beauty 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 split up.

In 2014, the Stockholm-based 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 were desperate for new material from Red Sleeping Beauty. The quartet quickly 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. Building upon the buzz created by the band’s reunion, this year may be one of the biggest years in the band’s history, as June 17 will mark the release of Kristina, Red Sleeping Beauty’s first album in 19 years.

“If You Want Affection” Kristina‘s first single has the members of Red Sleeping Beauty 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.

 

 

 

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a post or two about JOVM mainstay act Monogem. Comprised of singer/songwriter Jen Hirsh and producer/songwriter Scott Smith, the indie electro pop act derives their name from a unique cosmic phenomenon — a Monogem Ring, the leftover glow of an supernova explosion.Interestingly enough, one of the largest monogem rings in the observable universe is located near the Gemini and Cancer constellations. And for Hirsh, whose birthday is on the cusp of the astrological signs Gemini and Cancer, the project’s name has a deeply personal and special meaning for the singer/songwriter.

Now, you may also know that in the same period of time Hirsh and Smith have received critical praise from the likes of Interview MagazineVice’s NOISEYElle MagazineIndie ShuffleHillydilly, Earmilk and others, which has expanded their profile nationally — and that shouldn’t be terribly surprising as the duo has described their sound as “disco-tinged California pool party tunes” with elements of funk and soul. It’s been a while since I’ve heard from them but their latest single “Take It Slow” is arguably their most sensual, Quiet Storm-era R&B-tinged single released to date as Hirsh’s sultry and breathy vocals with glistening synths and propulsive, boom-bap like drum programming in a song that evokes a plaintive and urgent need, an aching vulnerability and a come-hither before it’s too late vibe that fits with the slinky production.

 

New Video: Check Out The Playfully and Manically Charming, New Video for Manatee Commune’s “Clay”

Electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Grant Eadie and his solo recording project Manatee Commune have received regional attention across the Pacific Northwest and a growing national profile for a carefully and organically molded electronic sound that […]

Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), who has synaesthesia, a condition in which the sufferer experiences two different senses simultaneously and an a still undiagnosed illness that has left his senses frayed and mind on edge; 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. Over the past couple of years, the Brighton-based quintet have a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes — 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and 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. And in fact, you may have remember coming across a post about the British quintet; however, it’s been a while since we’ve heard about them but the they will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Volition through X Novo Records on June 3, 2016.

Interestingly, the band’s primary songwriter Trewin Howard has explained that he never wanted to be a storyteller, as he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot, and as a result the quintet’s material generally focuses on a special mood while simultaneously focusing on a number of themes. Howard mentions 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. Volition‘s first single “Everything Beta” will further cement the British quintet’s reputation for crafting moodily spectral songs that sound 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Slick Electro Pop Sounds of Belgium’s Selah Sue

With the release of her acclaimed, multi-platinium debut effort, five years ago, Belgian singer/songwriter  Selah Sue quickly became a household name across the European Union. The Belgian singer/songwriter’s forthcoming, long-awaited sophomore effort Reason is slated for […]

 

With the release of ” Big Girls,” “Appetite,” “Creme De La Creme,”the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sophie Stern and her (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms has quickly become one of my favorite new artists and a JOVM mainstay artist for infectiously catchy hook-laden pop that sounds indebted to the likes of Gwen Stefani, TLC, Phia and others as Stern’s first two singles of late 2015 and early 2016 possess a similar “you can do it girl/girl, that zero and get you a hero/girl, this is a fuckboy free zone/girl, drop that deadbeat friend — or lover” tone and air, paired with incredibly slick and contemporary production techniques.

“Where Do We Go,” Stern’s latest single is a bit of an aesthetic and structural departure from the first two singles that caught the attention of not this site but several across the blogosphere.  Whereas the aforementioned “Big Girls” “Appetite” and “Creme De La Creme” were based on infectious and catchy pop hooks, “Where Do We Go” eschews familiar pop songwriting structures. Although there’s a recognizable hook the song focus on establishing a particular mood and tone while also being arguably one of the more introspective songs Stern has released to date; in fact, the song focuses on a relationship that’s a bit conflicting. While being fairly fulfilling, the song’s narrator recognizes that there has been a transition within the relationship that has created some uncertainty within the relationship that has her wondering what will happen to her relationship — and in turn, the rest of her life. As a result, the song and Stern’s vocals convey an equally complex and conflicting array of emotions — namely excitement, worry, confusion, fear and anxiousness — all within a turn of a phrase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in the year, I wrote about Ursa Major, an up-and-coming 19 year-old Toronto, ON-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who describes his work and sound as Psychedelic R&B and claims that his work manages to fit comfortably between classic/old-school R&B and contemporary electronic production — although the Canadian producer’s debut single “Dusk” bore an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstay act, Gosh Pith as rumbling and wobbling low end, skittering drum programming are paired soulful vocals in a song that focuses on lust, loneliness and desperate longing. Interestingly, in press notes, the Canadian producer has noted that his earliest work focuses on his personal experiences including his past loves, a fear and inability to move forward and the complicated, heartbreaking and yet strangely reaffirming processes of falling in and out of love repeatedly.

The young Canadian producer, multi-intrusmentalist and singer/songwriter’s latest single “5am/Intro” will further cement Ursa Major’s reputation for slick and swaggering contemporary production consisting  — in this case consisting of shimmering synths, glitchy drum programming and boom bap beats in a song that’s about that shuffling fucked up drunk and high return from the club or the bar, and giving zero fucks about it.