Tag: electro pop

New Video: Princess Century Releases a Yearning and Cinematically Shot Visual for “Desperate Love”

Acclaimed Canadian-born DJ, producer and songwriter Maya Postepski may be best known for her feature-length film scores, global DJ gigs and her work collaborating with AustraPeaches and JOVM mainstay TR/ST. Postepski is also the creative mastermind behind Princess Century, a recording project that thematically and sonically is committed to submersion rather than submission. 

s u r r e n d e r, Postepski’s long-anticipated sophomore Princess Century effort is slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Paper Bag Records. Reportedly, the album finds the acclaimed DJ, producer and songwriting breaking away from the purely instrumental sound and approach that initially won her international acclaim, by showcasing her own lyrics and vocal performances. The process, as Postepski readily admits has been at times nerve-wracking and uneasy: “It’s like opening up my diary and saying, ‘Have a look, there’s a lot of weird shit in there,’” she laughs. “I’ve always been hiding in the back behind a band or behind a singer,” she continues. “It’s my first step into a more vulnerable and exposed place, which I’m finally okay with for the first time in my adult life. I guess I stopped caring about being shy or being insecure, or hiding who I am. I don’t like to be in the limelight, but life is short and I guess I should share who I am eventually.”

The album’s material was written between Narva, an Eastern Estonia town, near the Russian border; a tent in the Moroccan portion of the Sahara Desert without internet; and Berlin, where she became a resident at Riverside Studios. Postepski recorded the album in her room at the studio while Brazilian artist Julia Borelli engineered the album in her own space at the studio. Inspired by Steve ReichRóisín Murphy and Jorja Chalmer, the forthcoming 12-song album is centered around a minimalist aesthetic that emphasizes the use of repetition. “It’s sort of this minimalistic, pattern-based music,” Postepski says. “I play drums and synths, so those are my worlds. I’m obsessed with finding these beautiful landscapes with synthesizers and drum machines.”

Interestingly, s u r r e n d e r‘s title doesn’t refer to a white flag or throwing in a white towel but a surrendering of the self to everything around it. Fueled by the philosophy of “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final,” the album’s 12 songs thematically sees Postepski guiding the listener to though a maze of pure, unbridled emotion: the end result is material that’s rich and visceral yet offers healing through dancing your pain away. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Still The Same,” a dance floor friendly track punctuated with a desperately unfulfilled and swooning yearning, evoked through pulsating synth arpeggios, skittering beats and Postepski’s ethereal vocals. The song’s narrator repeatedly tells its love object “You’re still the same/But I need you now/I need you more again . . .” “‘Still the Same’ embodies the mix of emotions that arise at the end of a relationship,” the acclaimed acclaimed Canadian DJ, producer and songwriter explains. “The longing and frustration, hopelessness and desire fused into a confusing cocktail. The inescapable need to feel held and seen by the one you were closest to, but can no longer reach, then pretending it’s all ok by going out on the town in a desperate attempt for connection.” 

s u r r e n d e r‘s latest single “Desperate Love” continues a run of dance floor friendly material featuring skittering beats, glistening synth arpeggios paired with Postepski’s achingly yearning vocal delivery and an enormous hook. But underneath the club friendly thump, the song is fueled by the bitter awareness that a relationship is on the brink — and that it may be too late.

Directed by Finnish director, Laura Hypponen, the recently released video for “Desperate Love” was filmed in a gorgeous and lushly cinematic black and white in Amsterdam and stars Sofia Hoflack as a lonely and heartbroken woman longing for connection, intimacy and erotic passion.

New Video: Aussie JOVM Mainstays POND release a DEVO-like Ripper

Perth-based act and JOVM mainstays POND — currently, creative mastermind, songwriter and producer Jay Watson (vocals, guitar, keys, drums, synths and bass), who’s also a touring member of fellow Aussie JOVM mainstays Tame Impala; Nicholas Allbook (lead vocals, guitar, keys, bass, flute, slide guitar and drums); Joe Ryan (vocals, guitar, bass, 12 string guitar, slide guitar); Jamie Terry (keys, bass, synths, organs, guitar); and Jamie Ireland (drums, keys) — have released a handful of critically applauded albums that have seen the band’s sound gradually morph into increasingly synth-driven psych pop.

2019’s Tasmania is POND’s most commercially successful and critically applauded album to date, with the album debuting at #15 on the ARIA album charts and #2 on the AIR Independent charts. Conceived as a sort of sister effort to its predecessor, 2017’s The Weather, Tasmania thematically is a dejected and heartbroken meditation on our current sociopolitical moment: planetary discord, water and its dearth in much of the world, machismo, shame, blame, responsibility, love, and the impact of colonial empires. While accurately capturing the restless, anxious dread that most of us have been feeling, the album doesn’t completely wallow in self-pity and fear. Rather, it encourages the listener to celebrate and enjoy the small things of life while we still can.

The Perth-based JOVM mainstays ninth album, the aptly titled 9 is slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Spinning Top Music. Produced by the band’s Watson and Ireland, 9 reportedly sees the band pushing the sound they’ve established and honed over the past few albums even further while attempting to recapture an anarchic sense of uncertainty. “We sort of gave ourselves permission to make something stuffed this time,” the band’s Nicholas Albrook says in press notes. “We’d settled into a pretty tight routine with the last few albums and wanted to shake a boat with this so we started off with filling a few tape reels with some absolutely heinous improvised sonic babble which, after much sifting, became the first few songs of the album. We also wanted to up the tempo. The last few albums have a neat little mantra or repetitive theme. If I was forced to find something like that in 9, I guess it would be ‘biography’ or ‘observation’ – a lot of the lyrics seem to focus on single people’s lives, or the lives of small moments or small things when you zoom real close up and they reveal something deeper. Stuff like my cheap Chinese slippers, or a soiled teddy bear, or Agnes Martin (not to put them in the same category, although maybe Agnes would’ve appreciated it). In the Rorschach test of re-reading lyrics, one thing that sticks out is a fixation on leaving behind a time of golden optimism and uncynical abandon. We can’t look at ourselves the same anymore, and the world we’ve built provides a scary lense [sic] for viewing our past.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Toast, a slow-burning and atmospheric song featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, squiggling blasts of guitar, a gorgeous string arrangement, some mellotron and a soaring hook paired with Allbrook’s plaintive vocals. The end result is a song that seems equally indebted to Avalon era Roxy Music and Quiet Storm R&B. But lyrically, the song addresses the massive bush fires that devastated much of Australia and the inequality gap in Allbrook’s Western Australian hometown. 

“Human Touch” is an uptempo banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, buzzing bass synths, scorching feedback and distortion, a relentless motorik groove, blown out beats and a rousingly anthemic hook. The end result is DEVO-like thrasher. POND’s Nicholas Allbrook describes the inspiration for the song, saying “one time a woman was smashing up a car outside my house, begging me to help her steal it. It was a lovely day. She was wired but sweet in a way. Her dog, Josie, was sitting in the passenger seat being very cute and fluffy. We talked for a good few hours in the sunny cul-de-sac and neither of us ended up committing grand theft auto. The music started with a grimey Casio loop Jay made, that we built the song around.” 

Directed by Duncan Wright, the recently released video for “Human Touch” stars the band’s Nicholas Allbrook in a 70s styled suit, high heel boots and headphones dancing in the middle of empty, morning streets. An old Panasonic cathode ray TV is almost nearby, playing footage of Allbrook putting a tape into a tape player and pushing play, rocking out in a studio and stock footage of a disastrous fire. “My original idea was to be dancing in the central business district of Perth, being thoroughly ignored by suits on their lunch break,” Allbrook explains. “Turns out me and Duncan Wright are both quivering Fremantle natives and terrified of the City. When Duncan saw a pretty sliver of morning sunlight in the West End we figured, stuff it, let’s do it there. Zero people is kind of the same thing as being ignored by lots of people, right? I need some human connection blah blah blah. It was super fun to make. We didn’t really have a strict plan and I overcame by anxiety about dancing in platform shoes to no music at 9am on a Tuesday morning like a kook”.

Emerging London-based electronic rock/electronic music duo prïnceps (pronounced prins-eps) have developed a sound that some have described as a fusion of The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Bring Me The Horizon, and The Used among others. While crafting positive dance floor friendly music, they pair their material with dark, nihilistic lyrics.

The duo’s latest single “Saints” is a dance floor friendly banger, centered around a slick production featuring tweeter and woofer rocking beats, glistening synth arpeggios, enormous, crowd-pleasing hooks and plaintive vocals. Sonically, the track — to my ears, at least — brings Disclosure, The Prodigy and mid 80s New Order to mind.

New Video: Mexico City’s Petite Aime Releases a Hilarious and Trippy Visual for Dance Floor Friendly “Elektro”

Mexico City-based psych pop act Petite Aime was founded by Little Jesus bassist Carlos Medina. Last year, Medina (guitar) was joined by Aline Terrein (vocals), Isabel Dosal (vocals), Santiago Fernández (bass) and Jacobo Velazquez (guitar) to write and record the project’s self-titled full-length debut.

Slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Park The Van/Devil In The Woods, the Mexican psych pop act’s self-titled debut reportedly finds the band crafting material that fluctuates between different genres and styles based on psych pop and psych rock while touching upon influences like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Big Thief, Magic Potion, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Crumb. Lyrically the album’s material is generally centered around an expression of the existential angst gendered by the search for the “self” in an increasingly impersonal world,. where the line between what’s real and what’s virtual crystallizes.

The album’s latest single “Elektro” is a dreamy yet club friendly bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a hypnotic motorik groove, and propulsive four-on-the-floor paired with ethereal French vocals, complete with a vocoder drenched coda. While sonically nodding at From Here To Eternity-era Giorgio Moroder and JOVM mainstay MUNYA, “Elektro,” was actually inspired by dreaming and dreams. “We tried to translate a dream where you don’t know exactly where you are going but you let yourself go,” the band explains. “Stars come down to Earth and transport you to another world and although you know you are enjoying it you’ll always miss the place where you come from.”

The recently released video begins with a Members Only jacket wearing man, listening to music on his Walkman and jamming out in an abandoned mall. Initially, the viewer may think our protagonist is hopefully alone in a post-apocalyptic world much like our own — but towards the vocoder-drenched coda, the protagonist is surprised when he sees a crew of friends, who invite him to join.

New Video: Rising Canadian Artist Freddie Future Releases an Intergalactic Visual for Summery “Loving You (So High)”

With the release of 2019’s self-titled full-length album, an effort that featured the attention grabbing single “Too Heavy,” the Toronto-based indie dance pop artist Freddie Future exploded across both the Canadian and international scenes while establishing a sound that’s inspired by Rüfüs Du Sol, Elderbrook, Majid Jordan, Cannons and A R I Z O N A among others. Since the release of his full-length debut, the rising Canadian dance pop artist has received praise from the likes of Clash Magazine, Exclaim!, Variance Magazine, Northern Transmission, Toronto Guardian and Canadian Beats. He has had his work playlisted on MrSuicideSheep, Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada, Fresh Friends, JustVibing and Outliers playlists, and as a result, his work has amassed over 2.6 million streams.

Freddie Future’s latest single “Loving You (So High)” is a summery club banger featuring shimmering synths, wobbling bass lines and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Future’s ethereal yet plaintive vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While sonically recalling Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves, “Loving You (So High)” manages to simultaneously evoke dipping into a bracingly cold pool on a sultry summer afternoon and the swooning euphoria of discovering new love.

“’Loving You (So High)’ was the first track written for this new project, and instantly I knew there was something special here,” the rising Canadian artist explains. “The song is about being so consumed with a desire for someone that their love feels like the best drug you could ever have. It’s that ultimate state of euphoria you feel when you truly love that person. The song started with a few vibey chords but really came together once the catchy vocal hook was made. “I get so high off loving you. So high, so high, so high”.”

The recently released video by Physical Presents is an intergalactic visual that features several holographic projections of the rising Canadian artist on an extraterrestrial moon with an enormous planet and a floating space cube in the background. It’s a fittingly futuristic and trippy visual that captures the song’s swooning longing.

New Video: Jenny Stevens and The Empty Mirrors Release a HauntIng New Single and Visual

Jenny Stevens, a.k.a. The Ukelele Girl is a Welsh-born, Finnish-based singer/songwriter and musician, and the creative mastermind behind Jenny Stevens and The Empty Mirrors, a songwriting project that finds the Welsh-born, Finnish-based artist dark alt-pop paired with quirky visuals.

Stevens released her latest Jenny Stevens and The Empty Mirrors EP, The Distance Between Us last week. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single “The River Rolls On” is a slow-burning and atmospheric song centered around atmospheric synths, twinkling keys and e-bow’ed guitar paired with Stevens’ gorgeous and yearning vocals. Seemingly indebted to Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Cocteau Twins and the like, the song as Stevens explains is a “dark and slow reflection on death and the persistence of memory.”

The recently release video is fittingly haunting, fueled by nostalgia, longing and desire.

Andrew Oliver is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the rising, solo electro pop project Nightshifts. And with Nightshifts, the rising Canadian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has developed a reputation for crafting kaleidoscopic productions featuring vintage synths, groovy guitar lines and drum machines paired with soulful and lived-in songwriting. The rising Canadian artist aims to create a space where listeners can dance yet feel introspective while learning and feeling something new upon repeated listens.

Oliver’s work thematically focuses on imbalance and the challenge to stay present, with the Canadian artist confiding in press notes, “I very often get caught up thinking about past situations, and looking towards future ones. I write a lot about this imbalance. And ironically, the times I feel most in the moment are when I’m working on music.”

“Beach,” Oliver’s latest Nightshift single is features a warm and breezy production centered around alternating dreamy and fuzzy passages, complete with skittering boom bap beats, buzzing bass synths, looped strummed guitars, twinkling keys and Oliver’s plaintive vocal layered upon each other — with backing vocals being drenched with autotunes and other effects. While bearing an uncanny resemblance to the hazy nostalgia of M83 and Washed Out, the song as the rising Canadian artist explains is rooted in the idea of wondering what would have — or could have — happened if we took a different path in our lives. Yes, it’s the old adage of “if I had known then what I know you” but placed in a vivid and languorous daydream that feels lived-in yet somehow exaggerated. “I have a tendency to daydream, to second guess choices I’ve made in the past, and to think about what could have been,” Oliver says in press notes.

New Video: Mindy Releases an Immersive Visual for Dance Floor Friendly “Poolside”

Mindy Song is a Southern California-born, Korean-American., classically trained multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who first emerged into the national scene as a co-founder of Night Dreamer with Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroder. Song emerged as a solo artist earlier this year, after working with an eclectic and acclaimed collection of producers including Ryan Kim and Aris Maggiani, who have worked with BTS, Exo, and HyunA; Lior Goldenberg, who has worked with Alanis Morissette, Macy Gray and Allen Stone; Josiah Maccaschi, who has worked with Soko, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Warpaint’s Jenny Lee; and Tristan Calder, who has worked with Kill The Computer.

Performing under the mononym Mindy, Song’s solo work challenges the conservative ideology of her upbringing while displaying transcendence from loneliness and confusion. Song recently released her debut EP Version 1.27, which features “Am I Alive” and the EP’s latest single “Poolside,” a slickly produced number centered around glistening synth arpeggios, thumping beats and Song’s sultry delivery. And while being a dance floor friendly bop, the song thematically is about finding comfort within the smallest aspects of life.

Formed back in 2018, the emerging Bangalore, India-based synth pop duo Us and I — Bidisha Kesh (vocals) and Guarav Govilkar (production) — features members who come from very different backgrounds, who bonded over the fact that they share similar musical sensibilities: As the story goes, when they started to work together, Kesh and Govlikar quickly realized that they shared a unique way of crafting songs with deeply personal lyrics paired with the melancholia of the orange and yellow colors leaking from the sounds of their synthesizers.

The duo spent the next two years developing and honing a sound that they believe will act as a bridge between the synth-driven work of Chromatics and the slow-burning, dream pop of Beach House — with subtle nods to darkwave and post-punk. Thematically, the duo’s material generally draws from everyday life and the relationships around them.

As a result of the pandemic, the Bangalore-based duo played a few online, live-at-home livestream sessions. which helped the band gain attention for their debut EP Loveless, which is slated for release later this month. Thematically, the EP’s material focuses on love — in particular a past love and how the nostalgia and grief of that love hits us like waves.

Loveless‘ fist single, “Fragile” is a perfect example of what listeners should expect from the Indian duo’s debut EP: deliberately crafted, textured pop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines, thumping beats and Kesh’s gorgeous vocals paired with the duo’s uncanny ability to craft a razor sharp hook. And while the duo claim Beach House and Chromatics as influences, “Fragile” sonically — to my ears, at least — reminds me of a bit of Dead Blue-era Still Corners. That shouldn’t be surprising as the material possess a similar aching nostalgia.

“While searching for a notebook one  afternoon, you suddenly chanced upon  that piece of memory you once shared  with the love of your life. The  erstwhile bittersweet memory which  you had comfortably kept away all  these years rushed back like a huge surf  wave. Curled in a world of fragility,  you hold on to it, reliving what is gone,” the duo say of the song and themes in press notes.

 

New Audio: French Producer Flew Releases a Summery and Euphoric Club Banger

Flew is a rising Lyon, France-based musician and producer, who specializes in mixing organic instrumentation — namely guitar — with sleek, club friendly, electronic production. Over the past year or so, the rising French producer has released two attention grabbing singles “Ready For Tonight” and “Bad Lover,” featuring Julie Todd, which have amassed over 100,000 and 80,000 streams respectively.

Building upon a growing profile, the French producer recently released his latest single “Let Loose,” featuring J. Fitz. Centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a New Order-inspired guitar solo, shimmering synth arpeggios, J. Fitz’s soulful vocals and an enormous hook, “Let Loose” is a summery and infectious, Ibiza-like take on house music that captures the swooning euphoria of new love — and dancing in a sweaty, strobe-lit club.