By now you’ve noticed my affection for the electro-musings of Black Marble, thus when another song pops up, I’m going to share it with you. This new track has the feeling I’ve been looking for as we head into the cooler (ish) months; it’s practically bedroom pop, which very may have been the way it was recorded…and meant to be enjoyed. I also get this faintly haunted feeling from it, giving it another avenue to be explored during my listening excursion. We’re still a good solid month out from It’s Immaterial, which is the new LP being released by Ghostly on October 14th.
As the year comes to a close, I’m going back and getting into some things that I’ve seen on other lists or just songs that were somehow sliding under our radar. This Jasia tune was one that I dug when it popped up, but for some reason it fell hidden in my emails. This song is this electronic pop composition that builds and builds, though it never quite erupts in euphoria. Instead, the subtleties of the pop sensibility billow for its entirety, which is quite an enjoying piece of work. Look for more work from this kid as 2015 kicks on.
This is not your typical electro pop affair; it’s a subdued dance track with warm vocals atop, the likes of which would get our boy B. Gray excited. While it would be easy to drop the beat, as the kids say, and blast forward, Some Ember show a great deal of restraint, holding onto that tension throughout the duration of the song. The press release here says the band tend to push the boundaries a bit, often including more dynamic in their production. Personally, I like this mellow version, but we’ll see where I stand when the band release their self-titled album on May 27th via Dream Recordings.
Honestly, I’ve got little information about Swedish band Love Is a Burning Thing; the band has been on the tips of Swede tongues for some time, though there’s not been an official release from the group aside form a few singles. But, just the other day, No Method tossed up a compilation for the summer, including a brand new track from the group. I love the way the song is long and drawn out, though the central piece of has to revolve around the vocals, which can come off as intentionally bratty at points. If you’ve got the patience, the track picks up even more pulsing energy just beyond the five minute mark. Cool band find.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/02-Throw-It-All-Away-Voc-Down__44k-16b.mp3]
Download: Love Is a Burning Thing – Throw It All Away [MP3]
Standish/Carlyon are one of the newest acts to sign on with our friends Chapter Music over in Australia, though the US release comes via Felte Sounds. This is the second single from the duo’s upcoming Deleted Scenes LP, demonstrating how electro-pop can unfold before you when it’s created so delicately. Just as you think the track can explode, it calms back down just as quickly, like one of those waves you think you’ll catch before it fades away into the ocean. I’m thinking a lot of people are going to be interested in what this band has to offer us all in 2013, don’t you agree?[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/04-Gucci-Mountain.mp3]
Download: Standish/Carylon – Gucci Mountain [MP3]
The most important thing about kicking things off on a Monday morning is to get things going in the right direction, and I think this tune from Sensual Harassment will do just the trick for you. This Brooklyn duo has a new EP titled Escape From Alpha Draconis coming out on Tuesday (it’s free if you trade your email), and based on this it’s going to be filled with danceable hits to get your weekend parties started. If you like what you’re hearing, you can check out the band on a brief little tour as they make their way into Austin for a stint at our little festival, SXSW.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/01-Make-Me-Human-Again.mp3]
Download:Sensual Harassment – Make Me Human Again [MP3]
I feel like I had sworn off electro-pop for a little bit, feeling it had all sort of blended together in my eyes. But, lately I’ve been reinvigorated, mostly looking for openly-catchy hooks with anthemic vocals that will give me a daily boost of energy (rather than relying on 4 cups of coffee). For today, Thomas Azier is solving my dilemma, giving me beats, hooks and lyrics I can sing along with at any point. The following track was self-recorded by the Berlin artist for his latest EP, and it’s titled Hylas 001; it’s just enough to hold you over while he completes his new record (currently in the works). You can dance to this; I know it’s what you want.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/03-Metropolitan-Tribe.mp3]
Download: Thomas Azier – Metropolitan Tribe [MP3]
I’ve written about this duo before, but as things heat up here in Austin, I’m always pleased with tracks that demonstrate the lighter side of my personal musical tastes. My Great Ghost has just released their EP, which should whet your appetite as they work on completing their full length album. While the beginning of this track seems fairly normal and catchy, it hits harder as the vocals soar a little bit higher and the strength of the beats come through. This is definitely a group worthy of your attention; be sure to check out their self-titled EP.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/04-Means-To-An-End.mp3]
Download:My Great Ghost – Means To An End [MP3]
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Twin Sister is a primarily chillwave, but also pop band who, according to their website, recorded this album in a rented house during the off season in the Hamptons. Filled with shadows of longing for summer days, In Heaven is solid electro-pop album that serves as a transition from summer into those crisp fall days, or rather, if you live here in Austin, from uncomfortably hot to just hot.
In Heaven packs a punch in the beginning portion of their album. The first song is “Daniel,” which starts with some eerily calm xylophonic sounds that are joined by mechanical sounding drums, which gives the song it’s pick up into dream pop from simple electronic noises. Andrea Estella chimes in with her angelic falsetto vocals that coat the song in a buttery warmth that juxtaposes with the electronic hard that the instruments bring. “Stop,” follows, which jumps right into its groove with the male voice of Eric Cardona leading the way. For a track that doesn’t go very far in four minutes, you would think the sound would get overbearing quickly, but it simmers reasonably groovy for its duration; the dual vocals serving as some kind of cooling agent to counteract the spice of the jam.
Highlights later on come in the form of short little songs like, “Gene Ciampi,” whose prevalent guitar parts move the sound closer to the plain pop as opposed to the computer generated sounds. This track is propelled by the natural guitar, which shows the musical variety that this band is able to pull off. It isn’t an album of all one note. Rather, each song fits with another, but takes liberties from the track before it. Another example of this is apparent on the last track, “Eastern Green,” which builds slowly over the course of four minutes. It breaks from this climax at about three minutes, and gives the album a delightfully soft close, devoid of those harsher elements that were at the beginning.
As far as electro-pop/chillwave goes, In Heaven is a good balance of atmosphere and presence. Due to the production on this album, the vocals are the central focus, allowing listeners to grasp onto something memorable. For this reasons, Twin Sister has got something really going for them. You are sure to find one or two, or maybe even more songs that strike your fancy here.