Tag: St. Lucia

Comprised of husband wife duo Aslyn and Kalen Nash, the Joshua Tree, CA-based synth pop duo DEGA features two accomplished, veteran musicians: Ashlyn had released two solo albums, Lemon Love through Capitol Records and The Dandelion Sessions through Lemonade Records, and she has a stint was a touring keyboardist and backing vocalist for Grammy nominated artist Kesha. Kalen Nash was guitarist and vocalist for Athens, GA-based indie rock act Ponderosa, a band that released their critically applauded, Joe Chiccarelli-produced album Midnight Revival, which was released through New West Records.

Unsurprisingly, the origins of the Nashes latest project can be traced back to 2008 when they first met and eventually fell in love — and although they married in 2011, they were so busy with their own respective musical projects, that they hadn’t seriously considered working together. Eventually, the loneliness of the road led the Nashes to consider a different path. “I remember a phone call when I was out with Kesha and Kalen was on tour with Ponderosa,” recalls Aslyn. “We were a country apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. I told him that we needed to start collaborating so, at the very least, we could see each other more often.”

Ashlyn and Kalen Nash formed DEGA with the idea that they could shed any and all of their preconceived notions about their previous work and freely explore new sounds and musical ideas — in this case anthemic, synth-based indie pop in which they merged their talents and ideas into a unique sound and approach. Now, as you may recall, the duo’s self-titled debut effort is slated for release later on this month through Lemonade Records, and the album reportedly is one of the most personal either has released to date as it focuses on the highs and lows of their lives together; in fact, album single “Phoenix” focuses on Asyln’s pregnancy and miscarriage during the recording sessions. With both Asyln and Kalen touring with their various projects, the duo would record whenever they were both in the same city and had free time, and as result, the album took two years to complete with sessions helmed by  Justin Loucks and Jon Ashley at various studios across the States.

Don’t Call It,” which I wrote about late last year was a carefully crafted yet urgent song that remind some quite a bit of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy as layers of shimmering synths were paired with a sinuous bass line, African-inspired percussion and a soaring hook. The duo’s latest single “Mirrors” continues the 80s vibes of its predecessor — but in this case Purple Rain and 1999-era Prince, as well as A Flock of Seagulls as the song features some blistering guitar work paired with propulsive drumming, layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while being a remarkably slick, radio friendly track, it reveals some incredibly ambitious and earnest songwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: The Soaring 80s Inspired Pop Sounds and Visuals of Husband and Wife Duo DEGA

Comprised of husband wife duo Aslyn and Kalen Nash, the Joshua Tree, CA-based synth pop duo DEGA features two accomplished, veteran musicians: Ashlyn had released two solo albums — Lemon Love through Capitol Records and The Dandelion Sessions through Lemonade Records, as well as spending some time as a touring keyboardist and backing vocalist for Grammy nominated artist Kesha. Karen Nash was guitarist and vocalist for Athens, GA-based indie rock act Ponderosa, a band that released their critically applauded, Joe Chiccarelli-produced album Midnight Revival, which was released through renowned indie rock/roots rock label New West Records. Interestingly, the origins of the Nashes latest project can be traced back to 2008 when they first met — and although they got married in 2011, they were so busy with their own projects that they hadn’t really considered working together. Eventually, the loneliness of the road led the Nashes to consider a different path. “I remember a phone call when I was out with Kesha and Kalen was on tour with Ponderosa,” recalls Aslyn. “We were a country apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. I told him that we needed to start collaborating so, at the very least, we could see each other more often.”

The Nashes then formed DEGA with the idea that they could shed any of their preconceived notions about their previous work and freely explore new sounds — in this case, anthemic, synth-based indie pop in which they merged their talents and ideas into a unique sound and approach. Their forthcoming self-titled debut is slated for a February 23, 2018 release through Lemonade Records and the album reportedly is one of the most personal works either have released to date, as it focuses on their highs and the lows, as well as the love they have for each other; in fact, album single “Phoenix” focuses on Aslyn’s pregnancy and miscarriage during the recording sessions. With both Aslyn and Kalen touring, the duo would record whenever they were in the same city and had free time and although the album took two years to complete with sessions helmed by Justin Loucks and Jon Ashley at various studios across the States. 

The self-titled album’s latest single “Don’t Call It” is a an ethereal, 80s inspired synth pop confection reminiscent of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy as layers of shimmering synths are paired with a sinuous bass line line, propulsive yet African-inspired percussion and a soaring hook. And while being slickly produced, the song possesses an urgent and swooning romanticism that belies a careful attention to craft. 

Directed by Scott Lansing, the recently released video for “Don’t Call It” consists of a fairly simple premise — the duo performing the song in a darkened room, in front of bright, lysergic lighting effects. 

New Audio: Finnish Pop Trio Beverly Girl Returns with a Sleek and Sultry Cover of 80s Hit

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past year or so, you may recall that with the release of “Contagious” the Helsinki, Finland-based trio  Beverly Girl received national and international attention for a 80s-inspired synth funk/electro pop/electro pop/R&B sound reminiscent of I Feel For You-era Chaka Khan, Cherrelle, The Gap Band, Cameo, Atlantic Starr and a lengthy list of others, but with a highly contemporary take that brings the likes of  Rush Midnight, St. Lucia, Dam-Funk and others to mind.

Interestingly, the Finnish trio’s latest single is a cover of Millie Scott’s “Automatic,”  and while their version is fairly straightforward, retaining the original’s swooning sultriness, it possesses a heftier bass line and sharper, arpeggiated synths, all of which will further the act’s growing reputation for crafting sleek, dance floor friendly tunes. 

New Video: Introducing the Soaring and Anthemic Synth Pop of Up-and-Coming Italian Synthwave Act YOOP

Comprised of Luca Sammartini and Valentina Sicco, YOOP are an up-and-coming Vicenza, Italy-based synthwave/synth pop act, who released their full-length debut effort Take Shelter earlier this month, and with the release of slickly produced album single “Rainbow,” the duo’s sound that seems to draw influence from Tears for Fears and contemporaries like Moonbabies, St. Lucia and Washed Out, as they pair soaring and anthemic hooks with a production featuring shimmering arpeggiated synths, propulsive, tweeter and woofer rocking, industrial-like beats, a sinuous bass line and angular guitar chords — and while managing to be arena rock friendly and a club banger, the track possesses an aching yearning at its core.

The recently released video follows a dream-like logic in which a woman wakes up to find herself tied to a chair and as soon as she escapes, where she spends a dizzying period seeking something just out of her grasp through a series of rooms and staircases.

Initially formed as a full-fledged band featuring production duo and founding members Matteo Iannella and Jeroen van Leeuwen, the Amsterdam-based electro pop act Single Pilot can trace their origins to when Ianella and Leeuwen met while studying at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. As a full band, the act were finalists in the Dutch music competition De Grote Prijs van Nederland in 2015, which expanded their national profile; however, since then, the project has gone through both a massive lineup shuffling and a radical change of sonic direction with the act’s founding duo leaning heavily towards a contemporary electro pop sound while collaborating with guest vocalists. Interestingly, both as a full-fledged band and as a duo, the act has seen commercial success — “Miracles” was featured on Dutch Spotify’s New Music Friday, Hot New Dance Tracks, Hot New Pop Tracks, and Hip-Hop/R&B/Dancehall Flavors playlists and reached #16 on the Viral 50; along with that, the track landed at #6 on the iTunes Electronic chart.

 

“Magic,” the Dutch electro pop duo’s latest single, finds the band collaborating with Avi on Fire‘s creative mastermind and vocalist Bram Wesdorp, and the single is a slickly produced, radio friendly, club-banger consisting of tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of arpeggio synths and a sinuous bass line paired with the sort of rousingly anthemic hooks reminiscent of St. Lucia, Passion Pit and others.

 

 

Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this summer, you may recall that I wrote about the Turnbridge Wells, Kent, UK-based electro pop duo Go Caruso. Individually, the members of the duo — Jon Mills and John Fenton-Stevens — have achieved national attention in the UK with a series of different solo recording projects that have received airplay from  BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, BBC Introducing, as well as national TV appearances; however, as the duo told me via email, they decided to collaborate together last year. And with their attention grabbing single “Tamarin,” the duo revealed that they specialize in a slickly produced, summery synth pop that nodded at JOVM mainstays  Summer Heart, Moonbabies and St. Lucia, complete with Nile Rodgers-like guitar playing, shimmering synths, a rousing hook, Afro pop-inspired percussion and a sweetly, swooning earnestness.

The duo’s latest single “Caroline” will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting swooning and infectious, hook-laden pop confections — but unlike its predecessor, the Kent-based duo’s latest single manages to reveal the duo’s 80s synth pop influences, thanks in part to a bouncy and funky bass line, shimmering synths and a soaring hook; in fact, the track reminds me of XTC’s “The Mayor of Simpleton” and Phil CollinsSsussdio” if St. Lucia had covered it.

 

 

 

Comprised of Gjøvik, Norway-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based producer Brady Daniell-Smith, Anna of the North is an up-and-coming Norwegian/Aussie (by way of New Zealand), can trace their rather unlikely origins back to 2012. As the story goes, Lotterud was working in a  shop in her small town, just outside of  Oslo, and was settling down with her first love, anticipating a life of routine, normality and banality when a customer came in and changed her life. Polite, well-groomed and worldly, this stranger began making daily visits, browsing the shop’s wares but never buying anything. One afternoon, this customer suddenly approached and implored Lotterud to abandon the traditional life she had planned to set out and expand her horizons. This woman’s plea jolted something very deep in Lotterud, and in an act of rather uncharacteristic spontaneity she booked a flight to Australia, leaving her life and her partner behind.

The time Lotterud spent in Australia was both personally fulfilling and incredibly turbulent. She fell in love again, only to have her heart broken as suddenly and inexplicably as her decision to leave Norway and relocate to Australia was, but coincidentally around the same time, she managed to meet her then-future producer and collaborator Brady Daniell Smith. Smith, was also struggling with his own complicated relationships and was performing as an acoustic/folk singer-songwriter in Melbourne. Serendipitously, Lotterud, who was with a group of friends, caught Smith performing at a local cafe. After his set, Lotterud and Smith chatted and quickly became friends  — with Smith encouraging his newfound friend and soon-to-be collaborator to find solace from her heartbreak in songwriting; after all through making music, the duo could exorcise the ghosts of their past love lives. And although the project developed from serious circumstances, its name is actually derived from an in-joke between the two: Smith would frequently refer to Lotterud as “Anna of the North” and the name stuck.

Sway,” the duo’s debut single was released three years and it began an incredible run of attention grabbing, blogosphere dominating singles that have accumulated more than 60 million streams across all the streaming services, multiple number 1 spots on Hype Machine‘s charts and regular rotation on BBC Radio 1, Triple J and Beats 1, thanks in part to the duo’s unique sound and aesthetic, which pairs a brooding, icily Nordic minimalism with bright, buoyant New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere-inspired pop — and ultimately, the duo manages to craft material that’s both incredibly radio and club friendly.

Lovers, the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length effort is slated for a September 8, 2017 and unsurprisingly, the album’s material thematically focuses on heartbreak, in particular, the typical emotional stages people feel after a relationship ends — i.e., turmoil, grief, confusion and the tentative pangs of joy in letting yourself start moving forward with your life. Along with that, there’s the recognition that knowing and having love in your life, including the inevitable heartbreak is necessary and wonderful, because you will know it again and again and again.

Interestingly, album title track “Lovers” found the duo pairing a production featuring layers of shimmering synths, bouncy beats and a soaring hook with Lotterud’s tender and aching vocals, expressing a desperate an urgent longing that’s frustrated and can’t be fulfilled. “Money,” the third and latest single from the duo’s soon-to-be released debut is a breezy, radio friendly pop track featuring shimmering synths and a soaring hook paired with Lotterud singing an impassioned take-down of people who are driven by material goods — and while being among the most decidedly warmest songs they’ve released to date, there’s a subtle, underlying snarl and venom to the song.

“Fire,” Lovers latest single features a slick, radio and club-friendly production featuring twinkling, arpeggio synths, African-inspired percussive polyrhythm,  finger snaps, ambient electronics and a soaring, anthemic hook paired with Lotterud’s sultry crooning expressing an urgent and carnal desire. And while being one of the more seductive songs the duo has released to date, sonically the song manages to be reminiscent of When The Night-era St. Lucia and Zonoscope-era Cut Copy while retaining the buoyant and breezy quality that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and elsewhere; but underneath is a subtle hint of the bitterness and recrimination that one feels when they feel as though they’ve been — or about to be — betrayed.

If you had come across this site last month, you may have come across a post featuring the Southern California-based indie septet Private Island. Comprised of Christian Lum, Michelle Guerrero, Tommy Nickerson, Tim Barbour, Roger Mawer and Cameron Anderson the members of the Southern California-based initially developed a reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic indie rock. In fact, the early single “Drugs” charted rather highly on Hype Machine, as it received more than 3 million Spotify streams; however, with “Turbulence,” the first single off the septet’s forthcoming full-length effort Night Drive found the band retaining the shimmering quality of their sound but while leaning heavily towards R&B and synth pop — and in a fashion reminiscent of  St. Lucia, Washed Out and others but with a Quiet Storm-like vibe.

Night Drive‘s latest single “Juvenile” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as its slow-burning Quiet Storm meets 80s synth pop and synth funk but interestingly enough upon repeated listens reveals slick hyper modern and swaggering production as you’ll hear autotuned vocals paired with Lum’s sultry vocals, boom bap drums, shimmering synths paired with organic instrumentation and a soaring hook. And while being a two-step friendly bit of dance floor pop, the song also manages to be some of the band’s most ambitious songwriting to date, as the song possesses an arena rock sound.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of singer/songwriter Jacob Pearson and multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jonathan Bowden, the Sidney, Australia-based indie electro pop duo PLGRMS have received both national and international attention for glitchy and deliberately crafted electro pop — with Australian critics considering the Sydney-based duo as one of Oz’s more inventive and forward thinking contemporary acts. And as a result, Pearson and Bowden have have a rapidly growing profile — over the past year or so, they’ve amassed more than 7 million streams for their previously released singles, which have received praise from StereogumComplex, The Line of Best Fit and Clash, as well as airplay on Beats 1 Radio, BBC 6 Radio, Triple J and others. Along with that, they’ve opened for Mansionair, Vera Blue and Oh Wonder.

“Crawling Back,” the up-and-coming Australian pop duo’s latest single manages to be a significant sonic departure while maintaining elements of the sound that first captured national and international attention — Pearson and Bowden retain the soaring and anthemic hooks of their previously released output; however, while those singles were much more electronic-leaning, the new single has the duo employing more of an organic, “live band” arrangement in which Afropop-like percussion, a sinuous bass guitar, twinkling synths reminiscent of Tears For Fears‘ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and boom bap beats paired with Pearson’s warm, soulful vocals.  Interestingly, the new single kind of finds Pearson and Bowden’s sound leaning heavily towards the direction of fellow Aussies and JOVM mainstays Fairchild, St. Lucia and others — all while revealing what may arguable be the duo’s most ambitious songwriting to date, as the song manages to be  radio and arena rock friendly.