Tag: alternative pop

Ear Worm Escape

experimental pop

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.


Quirky Grooves

Welcome to our run down of quirky grooves we discovered in the last month.

First on the playlist is Plastic Dreams by Kid Glow. The track opens with the grating dissonant tones of chip-tune synth, setting expectations for 8-bit retro chimes and trills. But instead, the tune rolls in an immense side-chained bass and shuffle, kicking a masterful groove on the off beat to form a weighty hip hop. Subtle space noises circulate as synth melodies become more sophisticated, but this is essentially a track that counters the simplicity of its riffs with the bold roundness of its timbres. Love that groove.

Kick the Wolf by Low Level Enemy is introduced by a child-like finger-prodded riff played on a prominent synth bass. As the rhythm section waddles along, dreamy reverberating synth arpeggios intertwine in the mix beneath. It is these airy melodies at stark odds with the weighty staccato of the drums and bass that form a perfect contradiction and make the track stand out.

Drone by The Shade Structure is introduced and underpinned by a slow, intricate acoustic drum performance; but it is the subtle myriad of individual electronic timbres that swarm underneath the warm and gentle vocal that give depth to this song. The lyrics eventually give way to many tracks of improvisation and electro wonderment to form this individual and experimental composition. Check out more of The Shade Structure’s stream for more bold experiments.

Finally, Burn Down The Disco is a track from the current EP Living Space Head Space by the Space Kiddettes, which is available now on Bandcamp and demonstrates the duo’s super-compressed hi-skool synth pop brand. A gawky synth riff drives a song peppered with simple percussion and a monotone pseudo-rap, and the result is truly appealing – like the sweet yet bitter sensation of lemon drops. Bis Ting Ting.