Tag: electro pop

New Audio: Elita Shares Woozy and Creepy “She Bangs Like a Fairy on Acid”

Rising indie outfit ElitaElita (vocals), Tim Rypien (guitar, keys) and John Eddy (guitar, slide guitar) can trace some of their origins back to their frontperson’s childhood:

Elita grew up in a small Newfoundland town of less than 800 people and spent much of his childhood in isolation. With the encouragement of her parents, she developed artistic skills in photography, drawing, dancing, singing and music. As a teenager, she changed schools frequently.

Feeling isolated and adrift from friends, she found comfort in social media. Back in 2015, Elita began to amass a following on Instagram, and started modeling. In 2017, she launched her own business, designing zines and a few years later, launched a successful jewelry line. That same year, she met her boyfriend and then-future bandmate Tim Rypien.

Elita and Rypsen recorded a cover of The Velvet Underground‘s “After Hours.” With a growing interest in film, Elita focused on writing a film script with Tim — with no success. But that collaboration led to their first single, 2018’s “I Hate Everyone but You.” Originally, they had no intention of making the song public, but after recording a test demo, they decided to release it.

So far, the trio have amassed over 30 million streams — with very little industry support. During that same period, they’ve firmly cemented a reputation for crafting hypnotic, frequently dark material centered around Elita’s ethereal and dreamy vocals singing sinister lyrics. Interestingly, the trio’s newest material reportedly builds upon the dark and haunting subjects of their previously released material, while thematically touching upon anxiety, depression and the supernatural.

Late last year, the Canadian trio announced that their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Dysania will be slated for a March 22, 2023 release through Opposition. The album will feature the previously released singles “Mentally Not Here and “Sleep Paralysis.”

Dysania‘s fourth and latest single, “She Bangs Like a Fairy on Acid” is rooted in an eerily twinkling keys, thumping beats paired with Elita’s ethereal vocals singing . The end result is a song that sounds like a woozy, hallucinogenic and downright hellish lullaby.

“I made this song at my parents house on Christmas Day. I was messing around with their digital piano trying to recreate the Unsolved Mysteries theme song,” Elita’s Tim Rypien explains. “I missed the mark but thankfully the beat for SBLAFOA’ was born.” Elita adds, “Timmy and I tried mushrooms for the first time before writing this song. I felt like I was living in a little fairy world and that totally inspired this song. I wrote the lyrics on Christmas too.”

New Video: Miami’s Gurudine Shares Cathartic and Anthemic “Maniac”

Gurudine is a Queens-born, Miami-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and artist of mixed Moroccan-Egyptian heritage. “music has always been a part of my life, and I’ve always wanted to be a creator,” Gurudine says. “I hope my music helps people the way my favorite artists have helped me.”

Released earlier this month, the Queens-born, Miami-based artist’s latest single, the high energy “Maniac” firmly establishes a genre-defying sound and approach: The song sees Gurudine effortlessly meshing elements of 80s-influenced synth pop, emo, alt rock and hip-hop with earnest, heart-on-sleeve lyrics and arena rock friendly, catharsis-inducing hooks. The song’s uptempo air is at best deceptive; the song thematically details struggles with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues — with the nuance and empathy of someone, who has suffered through something similar.

Directed and edited by the Queens-born, Miami-based, features the mysterious and masked artist rocking out in the studio and throughout random locations in sunny Miami, in a Freddy Kreuger-like outfit.

New Video: Dreckig Shares Propulsive and Dreamy “Non Zero Sum”

Portland, OR-based electro pop duo Dreckig — married couple Papi Fimbres and Shana Lindbeck — derive their project’s name from the German word for dirty. Believing that destiny led them to meet each other, the project is fueled by the duo’s desire to honor their respective Mexican and German heritages in a new and collaborative way. 

Sonically, the duo have crafted a sound that meshes cumbia rhythms, motorik groove-driven krautrock and electronic music — with lyrics written and sung in Spanish, English and German. 

The Portland-based duo’s third album, Digital Exposure was released last year through San Francisco-based Broken Clover Records. The album sees the duo continuing their ongoing collaboration with Pinewave Studio‘s Johann Wagner. The album thematically touches on social constructs, our impact on the environment and embracing every day life. 

Last year, I wrote about album single “La Ballena,“a slow-burning and lysergic song featuring oscillating synths, fluttering and looping flute, cumbia rhythms and a relentless motorik groove paired with lyrics chanted and crooned in a sonorous Spanish. While sonically being a feverish synthesis of Kraftwerk and Meridian Brothers, “La Ballena” for me conjures an image of a dancer on narcotics, gently swaying to the song.

The album’s latest single “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo pairing skittering cumbia rhythms with glistening Kraftwerk-inspired synths and blown out beats to create a sensual, sinuous bed for their ethereal harmonizing in Spanish. “Non Zero Sum” manages to bring a trippy synthesis of Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk and Señor Coconut‘s El Baile Alemán.

Directed and edited by Alicia J. Rose, the accompanying video for “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo as space age Druids changing in the woods and drumming in a disco wonderland, complete with kaleidoscopic effects.

New Audio: Out Run Shares 80s-Inspired “Monster”

Out Run — singer/songwriter Ginevra Abbarchini and producers Niccolò “2Crimes” Messeri and Lawrence “Mouth Water” Messeri — formed last year with the intent of crating material that meshes elements of dream pop and electro pop. 

Their debut single, was the slow-burning Dead Blue-era Still Corners and Washed Out-like “Meet Me On The Road,” a song featuring glistening synth arpeggios and Abbarchini’s sultry delivery paired with skittering trap beats and well-placed, razor sharp hooks.

Featuring glistening synths, Giorgio Moroder and Kraftwerk-like motorik grooves, tweeter and woofer rattling beats paired with big hooks and Abbarchin’s sultry delivery, “Monster,” the trio”s first single of the year will bring memories of Depeche Mode, New Order, and other 80s fare but with a clean, modern production.

New Audio: Montréal’s Super Plage Shares Breezy Yet Melancholy “NYE”

Jules Henry is a Montréal-based singer/songwriter and electronic music producer, best known as Super Plage. As Super Plage, Henry specializes in a seductive sound with hints of nu-disco. Over the past couple of years, the Canadian artist has rather prolific. Over the past couple of years, Henry has released:

Henry’s fourth Super Plage album Midnight Magic is slated for a March release. The album’s fourth and latest single, “NYE” is a breezy yet melancholy bit of pop featuring glistening synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Henry’s achingly plaintive vocal and an enormous hook. Although “NYE” sonically nods at Daft Punk, Phoenix, and Air, the song evokes the hope and despair of another year.

Directed by Virginie Bedard, the accompanying video for “NYE” follows a young woman at a party — presumably a costumed New Year’s Eve bash. While everyone else is enjoying themselves, we see this young woman seem awkward, and fearful of what may happen next. For her the New Year, may not be as hopeful occasion as it is was for others.

New Audio: Polar Mind Shares 80s Synth Pop-Inspired “Am I The One”

Polar Mind is a mysterious and enigmatic Swiss-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who can trace the origins of his musical project back to three years ago: The Swiss-born and-based artist was a scientist, who was part of a scientific expedition to Antarctica. Assigned to the Palaoa Research Station, where sounds from the sea are recorded and tracked, the mysterious Swiss artist lived as a hermit.

During his time at Palaoa Research Station, the Swiss artist listened to whales breathing and marveled when ice floes collide — around the clock. He became a local celebrity among the 4,000 scientists stationed in Antarctica when he made a surprising scientific discovery: He detected a pulsating bubble about a kilometer below the surface that emitted an unusual signal. An initial sample of the bubble reveals that it consists of ammonia, methane and hydrogen — all components that played an important role in Earth’s early days. In the gas mixture, small lightning bolts seem to be discharging, which allows the bubble wall to emit signal waves that appear to communicate with a yet to identifiable force.

According to the Swiss artist, teams of experts from different parts of the world are trying to recover the strange discovery because they suspect he stumbled upon something major. Others believe that his discovery is suspicious.

He becomes the pawn of various different interests and returns home to Switzerland, where he focuses on music full-time. “Am I The One,” Polar Mind’s remarkably cinematic debut single features glistening synth arpeggios, gated reverb drums and a sinuous paired with plaintive vocals and enormous hooks. While sounding indebted to 80s synth pop and New Wave the song is rooted in slick modern production, deliberate craftsmanship and earnest performance.

New Audio: Naomi Teams up with Mike Clay on a New Version of Swaggering “Okay Alright”

Naomi is a rising Montréal-based multi-disciplinary artist, who after studying theater, first made a name for herself when she began to land roles on both the small and big screen by the time she turned 14. She then went on to study dance at École de danse contemporaine de Montréal

As a dancer, Naomi has appeared in and/or choreographed music videos for RihannaMarie-MaiCœur de Pirate and others, as well as for local dance performances. While she was establishing herself as an actor and dancer, the Montreal-based artist quietly developed a passion for singing — without fully giving herself permission to explore it fully. Cœur de Pirate, a.k.a. Beátrice Martin saw potential and took Naomi under her wing.

Encouraged by Martin’s mentorship, the rising Canadian artist began to realize that she was never far off from making her own music. All she needed was a bit of a push.

She signed with Martin’s Bravo Musique, the label home of JOVM mainstay Thaïs, Cœur de Pirate, Chocolat and lengthy list of local Francophone acts, and began writing her own original material. Since then, the rising Montréal-based artist has taken a bold leap into a career as a singer/songwriter and pop artist. Her first two singles “Tout à nous” and “Zéro stress” received airplay on WKNDRouge FMArsenal, POP, CVKMand several other regional radio stations across Quebec.

Naomi went on to release three more singles, which I managed to write about on this site:

  • The club friendly, Rowan Mercille and Naomi co-written “Semblant,” which I wrote about earlier this year. Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering trap-meets-Carribbean beats paired with her sultry delivery and an infectious hook, “Semblant” is a remarkably self-assured summertime banger, that also reveals a bonafide superstar in the making. 
  • Pas le temps de jouer,” a slickly produced and self-assured banger centered around shuffling reggaeton-meets-trap beats, glistening synth bursts paired with the rising Canadian artist’s sultry delivery and her seemingly unerring knack for crafting a big, razor sharp hook. Much like its immediate predecessor, “Pas le temps de jouer” is an accessible, summertime bop that will help launch a bonafide superstar into the stratosphere. 
  • Okay Alright,” a sultry bop that continued a remarkable run of slickly produced, genre-defying, accessible pop bangers. But with an English language hook, the song seems to show an artist reading for an audience outside of the Francophone world –but while retaining the elements of her sound and approach that have won her fans at home and abroad.

The Canadian JOVM mainstay starts off the year with a new version of “Okay Alright” that features a guest spot from Mike Clay, the frontman of Clay and Friends. Retaining the slick production and fun air of the original, the new version adds a bit more swagger and fun to the proceedings, and a reminder that Naomi is a star in the making.

Raleigh, NC-based indie outfit OCNS — childhood friends Drew Cooney, Esdras Bouassa, Isaac Buna and Grandy Zodulua — formed back in 2016. Inspired by The Neighbourhood, The 1975, The Paper Kites, and Vacation Manor, “OCNS serves to provide a soundscape rich in catchy melody, infectious groove and emotional input,” the band says.

The members of OCNS have cemented themselves as being on the forefront of a rising, contemporary North Carolina indie scene with praise from the likes of local and international press outlets, including Stitched Sound, Plastic Magazine, Wolf In A Suit, CLTure, and When the Horn Blows among others.

The Raleigh-based quintet’s latest single “How Late It Was” is a breezy, yacht rock-take on synth pop featuring glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, groove-driven drumming, razor sharp hooks and an easy-listening-inspired guitar riff paired with Buna’s plaintive falsetto vocals singing achingly wistful lyrics. While sonically nodding a bit at The Cars Drive” and Wang Chung‘s “Dance Hall Days” and others 80s synth-driven fare, “How Late It Was” explores the unease and heartache of a relationship petering out to a sad and inevitable conclusion through the metaphor of time passing — and of it getting late, before you noticed it.


New Audio: SEMH Shares Sultry and Accessible “Please”

Susi Eva Maria Herzberger, best known as SEMH is a German singer/songwriter and pop artist, who crafts electro pop rooted in profound, earnest and lived-in emotions and experiences with the expressed purpose to move the listener to dance and to feel deeply.

Last year, the German artist released four singles, “Best of Me, “Shout It Out (SIO),” “Soul Stealer,” and “Mr. W,” all of which will appear on her self-titled full-length album slated for a March 3, 2023 release.

Herzberger artist starts the new year with her self-titled album’s fifth and latest single, “Please.” Centered around Giorgio Moroder-like synth oscillations and shimmering bursts of guitar paired with SEMH’s sultry delivery and an enormous hook, “Please” is a remarkably accessible pop song rooted in longing for a love that’s unspoken and/or possibly unrequited.

Directed by the German artist, the accompanying video seems to nod at Janet Jackson’s “Pleasure Principle,” as it features SEMH in a sparse, yet well-lit loft studio space, brooding and dancing.

New Audio: N’Faly Kouyaté Returns with a Genre-Defying Banger

Throughout his lengthy career, Guinean-born, Belgian-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist N’Faly Kouyaté has had a long-held interest in bridging two distinct worlds: the ancient and the modern, and his native Africa with the West. Growing up Kouyaté received a rigorous and traditional Guinean musical education. When he relocated to Belgium, he received conservatory training.

Kouyaté has collaborated with an eclectic and diverse array of internationally acclaimed artists including Peter GabrielWilliam KentridgePhil ManzaneraRay Phiri and others. But he may be best known for his work with groundbreaking, genre-defying and Grammy Award-nominated act Afro Celt Sound System

Kouyaté’s forthcoming album sees the acclaimed Guinean-born, Belgian-based artist developing a new genre, which he has dubbed Afrotonix, which mixes polyphony, electronic production and traditional African instruments like the kora, the balafon and regional percussion. Last year, Kouyaté shared the album’s first single, “Free Water,” a slick synthesis of tweeter and woofer rocking beats and traditional Guinean instrumentation paired with a guest spot from Tiken Jah Fakoly. “Free Water” is rooted in a vitally necessary message for all of us — water is life for all of us.

The acclaimed Guinean-born artist’s latest single “Khili Kané” pairs glistening synths, dancehall -like tweeter and woofer rattling thump and glistening bursts of kora paired with big hooks. “Khili Kané” continues Kouyaté’s long-held reputation for meshing elements of contemporary production with ancient African instrumentation and the acclaimed artist’s expressive delivery. Much like its predecessor, the new single is rooted in contemporary concerns, pointing out universal truths: the song is a deeply philosophical tale about ingratitude and denigration.