Tag: New York

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.


Mellow Sounds For Spring

spring sounds

This month sees us waving goodbye to a season, a financial year and a relationship with our neighbouring continent. It’s been a hard search for new music, but we’ve managed to find some mellow tunes for the spring time to help us chill out in the longer evenings, whilst remembering that it’s still dark in the morning for a while yet … !

First on this month’s play list is Reaction by the Australian synth pop pairing of Amos and Emily. The track opens with a gentle filter which slowly reveals the soft velvet of Emily’s vocal. A complex backing arrangement of fizzing pads, keys, and sticky bass complements the simplicity of the singing, and opportune drops are bridged by subtle well placed motifs. This is a well crafted arrangement which you might find yourself whistling to.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, New Yorker Philosofie entices us with her mellow Flavors. Soulful trills of percussion meander with crisp, subtly filtered vocal droplets, and lounge rhythms prod and sway subtly under a skillful composition of simple arps and keys. The whole package well produced, and brings to mind butterflies and blossom floating out of sonic hibernation, so this is something for the dreamy.

Finally, we found No Desire To Wake Up from Russian producer Vodiche‘s current album The Tunnel. The dark mood of the track is indeed reminiscent  of underground passageways as the simple, clean particles of sound glint and sparkle across the stereo image. Combined with the anchor of no-frills acoustic drum textures, this is definitely one for fans of Orbital or other moody IDM.


Music With Character

voxel records

Welcome to our latest update from down here in the indietronica underground …

The playlist opens this month with Jigsaw Puzzle Glue as they give synthwave the Seattle treatment with 3-2-1, the first track on the current album. A guitar riff intro is echoed by synth bells, before simple yet familiar drum textures introduce synth bass stabs and Leah Rosen’s subdued vocals. The 1980s timbres are sculpted skilfully, and emotion pervades throughout the arrangement. The track peaks with a cascading wall of synth arpeggios and reverberating harmonies, all of which combine into some really personable retro synth pop.

Next, we found Not A Sign by The Tablets, released to us by boutique Brooklyn label Mon Amie Records. Immediately, we are pounced upon by this pacey pop punk with short stabs of hard-panned guitar distortion. A dirty synth wanders deep within the noise, and in all The Tablets’ bold production is both exciting and uncomplicated. This small label also provides a home for other interesting talents – why not try BreastMilk‘s Nite Life for shades of Add N to (X) and a shadow of Sheep On Drugs …?

Good Cool records introduced us to Questions About The Jungle by Seedge. A playful intro of synth noodling drops into a percussion track that shuffles with the riffs along with occasional decoration from the vocals. Whilst markedly less sinister, there is a slight feel of NIN’s Closer within this track, although it is certainly no emulation. The groove is compelling, and the mixture of synth parts is stimulating, so it’s definitely worth checking out the rest of the Seedge stream.

Finally, we have Ironface by Basic Printer on Newlywed Records. The track combines 8-bit and synthwave instrumentation with softer pads and leads, which add a gentler dynamic to complement the beautifully growling bass. Jesse Gillenwalters’  indie pop vocal sits comfortably against the serrated edge of chip-tune buzzes, and the experimental arrangement make this an adventure in synth pop with a subtle hint of the Sergeant Pepper.