Tis the season of the ear worm, fa la la la laa, la la laaa laaaaargh.
But do not fear, because we have discovered a small selection of experimental pop treats that will help lure you away from the incessant ditties that can drive you insane during this festive period. In the event that these tunes do not distract you from commercial cacophony, we have heard that the theme to the Magic Roundabout is sure to alleviate any niggling riffs that remain. Good luck!
Winter’s Lesson by NYC’s Lake Ruth opens with spring-like percussion bouncing across the stereo field, with acoustic drum trills echoing in the background. The sprinkle of electronica takes a back seat as the song launches into a vintage electric organ riff with a close, seductive vocal before opening up with drum and organ noodling. The vibe of this track is strongly reminiscent of Broadcast, and we really enjoyed the entire feel, arrangement and performance. This is highly recommended listening.
Next, Spells from Atlanta’s Jordan Danielle Harris starts with a simple effected riff and a vocal accentuated by subtle double-tracking. Jazzy hip-hop drum fills lead into the body of the track, which plods along with bhangra-esque rhythm and soulful vocals that build intensity up to the break down. The simplicity of the instrumentation and groove allow the vocals space to breathe, and the kooky style of the music matches well with Jordan’s fresh and colourful image.
Finally, we found Calais, which is the curious creation of Parisian Jaune (Jean Thevenin). Here, a gentle chip tune intro is accompanied by equally delicate vocals, before the steel-band notion of toy-chime organ is further embellished by electro percussion and acoustic drum licks. The simplicity of the track evolves into complex cascades and echoing vocal motifs, all of which combine to create an uplifting and refreshing theme. The Jaune stream is definitely one to watch for lovers of alternative electro pop.