[Audio] Kate Boy’s ‘One’ album


Kate Boy

Those fine folk at Fiction Records must have read my big blog rant, or at least have some common sense, as they sent over the promo of Scandinavian ElectroPop heroes (and now slimmed down from trio to duo) Kate Boy’s début long player in enough time for us to spend a while with it and actually write a review to post in release week! It makes a change from the ‘here’s a new album that’s out tomorrow; can you post about it now?’ attitude of most. Ironically, although we’ve had a week or so with this album; this is one record that we could have safely said, on the first day we got it, was fucking awesome.

But we’ve been waiting for Kate Boy’s album for a long time now; and considering half the album is either songs we already loved from their string of amazing singles, or songs we already loved (and surprisingly knew all the words to) from their string of amazing live shows; us loving One was to be expected. It would have been very hard for Kate Boy to mess this one up.

Speaking of live; we hate to talk about Kate Boy without mentioning just how flippin’ good they are. Easily one of the (arguable the) best live ElectroPop acts around right now. Their live shows are energetic, engaging and as musicians the are unbelievably tight. More than that, though, Australian born Kate Akhurst herself has got a hell of a voice on her. If you get the chance to catch them, do yourself a favour….

It been a few year’s road to the album release. First causing a stir back in 2012 with Northern Lights, Kate Boy immediately became music blog darlings. We fell instantly in love with their mixture of Nitzer Ebb-esque post-Industrial percussive synths and warm, anthemic Indie-Electro vocals (with a hint of R&B) and while some outlets haven’t stuck around for the ride we think they’ve raised the bar with each release since.

Most of those releases are featured on One; kicking off with the album’s recently released lead single, Midnight Sun; a track that is perfectly placed as the first thing you hear. Midnight Sun sums up Kate Boy to a tea, driven by relentless big attack bass synths and hammerfall drums that underpin and array of icy, but somehow comforting, keys alongside Kate’s powerhouse vocals. This is Kate Boy’s perfect combination of aggressive and compelling with bubbly and inviting. Midnight Sun leads into the aforementioned Northern Lights, the more low-key affair that hooked us in the first place. A woozy bassed, stuttering anthem that still sends tingles down the spine. Lion For Real is a track that, despite being presented her on record for the first time, is a track well known to Kate Boy fans. A live favourite (the first of many), Lion For Real is an odd metaphor, but a sweeping anthem that works as a prime example of Kate’s vocal range; gliding from moody crooning in the verses to epic call-to-arms bellowing for the chorus. Human Engine, again, is a live staple that gets it’s first studio recording outing here. One of our personal live highlights, Human Engine wears wears it’s industrial influences in it’s sleeve underneath the passionate lament that is Ms. Akhurst at her most vocally expressive. At the end of side one Kate Boy give you a breather from all the abrasive euphoria with the darkly beautiful Burn, which makes for a nice palate cleanser before the track that is, for the most part, the peak of their live show. Higher, Akhurst’s equality anthem usually sees her at her most interactive with the audience, and that is recreated here with the reproduction of that optimistic energy and inclusive mantra amid a sea of rapid fire synths and wobbly bass.

If we had to pick, we would probably say that Self Control was our favourite Kate Boy track. It’s the closest they get to actually funky, thanks to an infectious and fluid bassline that give the song the most organic groove on the album. When I Was Young is, for the most part, our choice pick of the brand new tracks on One, we were unsurprised, then, to hear that it will be the band’s next single (due out in January). Easing in with a rumbling Acidic synth line, Kate growls her vocals over a selection of nostalgic sounds before When I Was Young launches into Kate Bush-esque rhythmic battle cry that stands out on side two as a personal and intoxicating opus. The Way We Are, another acclaimed single from 2013, brings some welcome familiarity; showcasing Kate Boy at their most Industrial with some melodic sampling that would have made Art Of Noise proud. This is paired side-by-side with Open Fire, Kate Boy’s other factory-floor-funk single from 2014 and it’s big sing-a-long chorus. The Album closes on Run As One, a slow grinding song which feels both introspective and, in the choruses, and epic closer with Kate’s vocals taking on a Post-Punk anger.

The bonus track on the extended version of One are In Your Eyes, from the Northern Lights EP, an epic tune that felt missed on the album proper (but, we guess, there isn’t room for everything) and the incredibly uplifting, yet quite biting, Temporary Gold. A tune which sounds weirdly like an Industrial Marina And The Diamonds, covering the same ground for topics too.

So there it is. We feel like we’ve been waiting years for the album’s release (mainly because we have) and not one second of it disappointed. Which, apart from being amazing, was a massive relief. Needless to say Kate Boy’s one comes so, so, so highly recommended. As does seeing them live if you can; that’s where the real Kate Boy experience shines the most.

♫ Kate Boy – Self Control

♫ Kate Boy – Midnight Sun

♫ Kate Boy – Open Fire

Kate Boy’s One is out now.

Buy Kate Boy’s music from:

[Audio] Du Tonc’s ‘We Can Hold On’



The duo of Du Tonc coming together was one of those moments in music that is just so exciting. We’d longtime been fans of Aussie Indie-Electro outfit Van She, probable the most guitary band we are fans of, who rode the crest of the 2006/2006 Electro explosion with both a string of catchy as hell ditties and some storming Van She Tech reMixes. And post Van She the guys have done the business too; Touch Sensitive, Arithmatix!, Tear Council have all been at the top of their game, as was Matt Van Schie peddling his solo line in silky smooth SynthPop that was both glorious and intimate.

So you can imagine how badass it was when, back in 2013, when Matt teamed up with another Matt to form a Matt themed double-act. MiGHty mOUse (no, we’re never going to stop writing it like that!) is a powerhouse on the Nu-Disco scene. The UK finest purveyor of Cosmic and Left-Field Disco (and more recently some Houseier offerings) MiGHty mOUse has not only been at the top of his game, producing, editing, reMixing and DJing, for the best part of a decade but also curated the Disco Circus series which are absolutely essential for anyone interested in modern dance music. His burbling analog Boogie productions are always something to look forward to.

These two Matts, together as Du Tonc, have released a string of amazing tunes in the years since they exploded onto the scene. Weaving breezy Indie-ElectroPop melodies into space age dancefloor grooves Du Tonc have consistently delivered atmospheric and intoxicating sunkissed tracks that you can just sink into. It’s no wonder the duo ended up on Belgian fine-taste label Eskimo.

So their new single has just been released, and We Can Hold On is a woozy excursion in psychedelic island Funk. The dual juggernauts of thick synth bass and a slap riff make for a rock solid core that practically compels you head to nod in time. Spacious pads and bubbling hooks intermingle with subtly guitar to form a swirling and mysterious soundtrack for Matt’s comforting vocals. No Du Tonc track would be complete without a hint of nostalgia; and We Can Hold On certainly brings it with just enough of a hint of a mid-80s summertime dream. Du Tonc have released enough material now for us to be able to say, with some certainty, that their forthcoming album should be a killer. It would be very hard to fuck it up!

♫ Du Tonc – We Can Hold On

Du Tonc’s We Can Hold On is out now.

Buy Du Tonc’s music from:

[Video] Kid Kasio’s ‘The Kodo Song’


Kid Kasio   The Kodo Song   YouTube

Nathan Cooper, A.K.A. Kid Kasio is arguably the finest creator of 80s Pop music around today. Everyone one from the SynthWave scene, to the leftovers of the mid-2000’s ElectroPop boom, to today’s Pop-R&B artists are laying claim to the sounds of the greatest decade, but not one of them (even the devoted SynthWave scene) is actually making music that sounds genuinely like it came out in the 80s. But Kid Kasio is.

Emerging from the ruins of (almost massive) Indie-ElectroPop outfit The Modern (nee Matineé Club), Kid Kasio honed his skills on the singles leading up to is début album, Kasiotone. Referencing everything from the SynthPop of The Human League and mid-80s Depeche Mode to the slick Pop of Duran Duran and Nik Kershaw, Kid Kasio’s songs sound like you’ve just changed channels in 1984 and Top Of The Pops is on.

Kid Kasio has been quiet for a while, holed up in the studio, but now he’s back with a new song, and new video. Nathan’s videos are almost as good as his songs themselves, each one painstakingly crafted by Nathan himself (his family has a film making history; his brother being Howard Stark, sorry, Dominic Cooper) and each one looking as authentically retro as his music sounds.

His new one is titled The Kodo Song, it’s actually three years old and a collaboration with his long term writing partner Benjamin Todd, with whom  co wrote the music for Sony pictures’ Tamara Drewe and more recently Miss You Already starring Toni Colette and Drew Barrymore.

Nathan tells the story: “The song tells the story of 2 friends called up to fight in the Anglo – Zulu war. The nonsensical chorus is the mantra the pair would chant on the battlefield. One of the friends dies in battle and his companion is left with the song as a reminder of their friendship, long after his death. I guess it’s all about the intensity of friendship and the power of music and its longevity.

The video is entirely Rotoscoped, inspired by A-Ha’s video for Take On Me,  a process which Kasio begun himself without really considering how much work would be involved (hence the three year delay). Nathan continues: “Unfortunately I had little understanding of how time consuming the process would be. I began animating in October 2013. At one point I was getting up at 6am and drawing continuously until 2am in the morning. I’d get to the end of a day like that and watch back what I’d done, and there would be only 2 seconds of animation to show for it, it was utterly soul destroying, doing this day after day, month after month.

I felt like it was going nowhere, I hadn’t realised the people making this kind of animation were normally working in teams. It wasn’t just Morten Harket sitting in his room, tracing 3000 frames himself! I’d basically bitten off more than I could chew!

Bizarrely Drew Barrymore, who Nathan met on the set of Miss You Already sparked a resurgence of Kasio’s interest in the song: “I gave the 2nd album to her on the set, expecting to never hear anything back and I got this gushing text from her the next day saying how both her and Toni Colette had loved the album and especially that song, and how I absolutely had to release this! It was the impetus I needed to get it finished I suppose”.

And here it is! 3,372 drawings later. The Kodo Song is classic 80s Pop, in the vein of The Riddle with a chorus that makes less sense as it is really catchy. Playing on that particularly 80s strain on pseudo-exotic synth instrumentation and an infectious digital bassline, The Kodo Song leverages it’s solemn subject matter with insightful choruses that make the chant-a-long refrain of the chorus feel like a break in the tension. Militaristic drums underpinning the tracks give way to compelling beats before asserting them selves again as an example of the song as a whole, slipping from stern seriousness to euphoric Pop brilliance.

The video could not be more fitting. Playing with effects that would have been cutting edge in the 80s, Zulu is rotoscoped to perfection with Nathan’s performance highlighted but unobtrusive. With knowledge of the amount of work that went into the clips creation, watching can be exhausting, but massively worthwhile.

We eagerly await Kid Kasio’s sophomore album, due for release in the coming months.

Kid Kasio’s The Kodo Song is out now.

Buy Kid Kasio’s music from:

[Audio] Kickstarter Lovestarrs’ new album and EPs



UK band Lovestarrs are the Rocky Balboa of the SynthPop world. They keep getting knocked down, and keep getting back up again. Sarah Mackintosh rose to critical acclaim as The Good Natured; starting with her Grandma’s old Yamaha keyboard and ending up as one of Britain’s most hotly tipped Indie-Electro acts. Juggling moody lyrics and a Gothy aesthetic with catchy and rousing ElectroPop tunes, The Good Natured were one of the more interesting and unique acts in a saturated mid-2000’s scene.

The the setbacks begun. Signing to Parlophone seemed like a good thing at the time with the backing of another EP and the announcement of the forthcoming album, to be titled Prism. A good thing short-lived though with the news, after a period of quiet, that The Good Natured had been dropped from the major and had spent the previous few month trying to secure the rights to the Prism masters; to no avail. The album was buried, and The Good Natured died.

In our opinion, this is the biggest dick move a major label can pull. We’ve seen it happen before and we’ll see it happen again. We don’t understand why, if you’re dropping an artist, you can’t just let them release their recordings. Sure, you’ve paid for them; so let them release them themselves and take a cut (surely that way at least you get something back for the recordings you paid for rather than nothing at all). It makes no sense to us and largely just comes across as spiteful.

Anyhoo, you can’t keep a good act down; and with almost a middle finger to the music industry, Sarah came bursting back on our radar as the bombastic Lovestarrs. Backed by her brother Hamish, Sarah’s new output was buoyant and optimistic. Pink replaced back and exuberance replaced gloom; and their début single, Get Your Sexy On, was a party fuelling manifesto proclaiming that Lovestarrs was a different beast to The Good Natured, keeping the lush SynthPop textures but washing them in a lavish, colourful nostalgia (epitomised by 80s Love Song, one of our top tunes of 2014).

Now staunchly DIY (and who can blame them) despite working with indie label Defdisco, Lovestarrs have set up a Kickstarter campaign to cover the release of their next two EPs and début album. The plan is to pay for the releases themselves, and licence them to Defdisco. The desire to pay for, and own, their own records is completely understandable coming from a band who had the last album they recorded held hostage. It’s one of the worthier Kickstarter campaigns we’ve come across. These guys deserve to own their own music, we can imagine how heartbreaking it was to record your début album and then have it disappeared by gangsters.

Lovestarrs are serious about this too; one of the rewards (in exchange for a shit ton of money!) is Sarah’s Grandma’s aforementioned Yamaha keyboard!

The duo have been releasing teasers of what to expect from the releases, you will hopefully find it in your heart it help out with, on their SoundCloud page in the past couple of weeks. From the chant-a-long fun of WTF to the robotic rabble-rousing of Frank Sinatra the album sounds like it’ll be wearing it’s 80s influences on it’s sleeve. Tracks like Somebody Like You sound classic Sarah Macintosh (whether The Good Natured or Lovestarrs) while the likes of Good Girls sound like the will bring something new, and more contemporary, to the table.

Just do it. Go and contribute. Lovestarrs deserve this and, goddammit, we want this album released.

♫ Lovestarrs – WTF (Demo.) (Snippet)

♫ Lovestarrs – Frank Sinatra (Demo.) (Snippet)

♫ Lovestarrs – Somebody Like You (Demo.) (Snippet)

♫ Lovestarrs – Good Girls (Demo.) (Snippet)

Get on board with Lovestarrs’ Kickstarter campaign here.

Buy Lovestarrs’ music from:

[Video] Little Boots’ ‘Get Things Done’


Little Boots   Get Things Done   YouTube

Little Boots is knocking out the videos these days, isn’t she? Get Things Done is one of our favourite track on the recent third album, Working Girl (now finally out in it’s vinyl form) so we think it’s pretty cool that this slice of catchy, bounce-ified ElectroPop get’s it’s own clip.

The video, directed by Nova Dando, slips comfortable into the Working Girl aesthetic that Ms. Hesketh has build up around the album. The pastels and powersuits showing off just what a tight ship she;s runs at On Repeat.

Little Boots’ Working Girl is out now.

Buy Little Boots’ music from:

[Audio] MNDR’s ‘Kimono’



Has it really been three years since the release of MNDR’s Feed Me Diamonds? It really doesn’t seem that long since Amanda Warner and Peter Wade pushed the boundaries of Electronic Pop music with what is still one of our favourite albums of the last ten years. Following on from a handful of singles and EPs that left us slathering for a long player, Feed Me Diamonds didn’t disappoint. Delivering on the previous release’s promise of intricately crafted, left-field SynthPop tunes, Feed Me Diamonds neatly melded knob tweaking experimental sounds and abrasive with catchy Pop hooks.

Warner and co have been pretty quiet since that 2012 release, she’s been writing and producing behind the scenes for the likes of Charli XCX, Clean Bandit and SOPHIE. There have been a few collaborative records out, but none that really grabbed us much, to the point that we feared for future MNDR tracks. But that fear seems to have been unfounded as MNDR unveils her first original track since the album, and it’s good.

Still with WonderSound Records, MNDR released Kimono over the weekend and is our first taste of what might be to come from MNDR’s sophomore LP. Amanda is still in the process of writing and producing the new album, in-between similar duties for other artists, but we should have more news about the forthcoming record soon.

Hitting the ground running with some spiky, modulated beats Kimono makes a few more nods toward the dancefloor than much of MNDR’s previous output. Not that past releases haven’t been dancefloor friendly, but Kimono’s angular digital bass and nostalgic claps make for a slightly Italo, robotic Disco groove. Amanda taken on a hushed tone for her vocal delivery in the verses this time, with a more recognisable holler in the chorus. There’s an enticing enigma to Kimono, a warm and inviting mystery that is unusual to MNDR’s music, a certain smoothness that’s a welcome addition to Amanda’s arsenal. Dare we say Balearic?, in mood if not in sound. All-in-all a pretty amazing tune, and one that once again as stoked out interest in MNDR’s second album.

♫ MNDR – Kimono

MNDR’s Kimono is out now.

Buy MNDR’s music from:

[Audio] Keep Shelly In Athens’ ‘Silent Rain’


Keep Shelly In Athens (2)

Keep Shelly In Athens? Keep us on our toes more like. Amirite? we honestly weren’t sure, or indeed confident, about the future of the Greek chiller cabinet ElectroPoppers when the voice of KSiA, Sarah P, departed the duo to follow her own musical path. When her final track with the outfit, Old Time Glory, dropped we we’re slightly pessimistic that this was the last we’d hear of the group. So often, even with the best intentions to carry on, a bad breakup can spell the end of even the most committed musicians; and even when the music keeps flowing, sometimes it’s just not the same.

With a change of line-up, new singer Myrtha, replaces Sarah P and a new label; the baton being passed from purveyors of good taste Cascine (who released Keep Shelly In Athens début official full lengther At Home) to L.A. based tastemakers Friends Of Friends, there could quite easily be a confusion of direction. It could feel like a whole new band, and as Keep Shelly In Athens unleash some brand new material it’s time to find out if they are still a band we dig.

So it was with some trepidation that we met the recent news of Keep Shelly In Athens sophomore (proper) album, titled Now I’m Ready and due out later this month, and it’s lead single, Fractals. If we’re honest, we were on the fence with Fractals, it was very guitar heavy and very shoegazy; it was nice enough but we missed the waves of hazy synths that made us love KSiA. The album’s second single though, Silent Rain, is more up our street.

We can’t help but feel like Silent Rain is Keep Shelly In Athens with a Post-Punk injection. It’s that The Sisters Of Mercy bassline, chugging away amid a sea of lush Dreamwave style synths, that gives the track a mid-80s Indie urgency. This is more of a ‘live’ sounding KSiA than we have been used to, Even Myrtha’s vocals, as they flit from Shoegaze ethereal to early Indie chants, add to the synthesized floppy haired nostalgia. This whole record could go either way, it could be an exciting excursion in electronic soundscapes that draws it’s influences from the wealth of independent records released in the last three decades, or it could be a Goth-Rock record with a few synths here and there. Silent Rain, thankfully, makes us think it will be the former. If the whole album is filled with similar moments of vintage leaning beauty then we will be happy.

Think Electric Youth meets March Violets meets early Lush meets mid-70s Jean Michel-Jarre. If you can.

♫ Keep Shelly In Athens – Silent Rain

Buy Keep Shelly In Athens’ music from:

[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Every Open Eye’ album


It’s with caution that we approached Glaswegian ElectroPoppers Chvrches sophomore album, Every Open Eye. It cannot be stated enough how much we love their début full length records, The Bones Of What You Believe; it was our album of the year in 2013 and for a long time a whole day didn’t go by without us listening to it at least once. We believe the words “fucking stunning!” were used.

Difficult second album syndrome may be a music industry cliché, but not without cause. A band’s first record is usually made up of tracks they have written along their entire career to date, usually honed my touring and rehearsing with the best of their best making up their premiere collection. The follow up, however, most likely has to be written from scratch. Touring the first album can give new songs some road-testing, but it really does put a band to the test, coming up with the same amount of material as they have in their entire career to date in just a year or so. Some rise to the challenge and prove their talent, some fail miserable.

Thankfully Chvrches fall into the former category.

That said, Every Open Eye is a widely different album to The Bones Of What You Believe. Sure, critics not so in deep with SynthPop are probably saying it’s more of the same, critics with narrow views of synthesizer music are probably saying Every Open Eye is straight-up ElectroPop; but they would both be wrong. It would be far too easy to say that this is Chvrches flexing their tried and tested formula, that it is a return of vintage electronic music (which was always an odd comment, there’s very little vintage in Chvrches crisp electronic sound. There has been SynthPop since the 80s y’know!) but all that would be to miss the real beauty of Every Open Eye, and album teaming with contemporary influences (it’s an incredibly Indie album, there are flairs of R&B too) to be spotted by the electronic music aficionado..

We’ve been living with Every Open Eye for a couple of weeks not, and one of the biggest things that struck us about it is the notion that this is an album written by a band that has been touring pretty heavily over the past couple of years. This is a album written by a band who plays live to play live. Loaded with bombast and big crowd pleasing moments, Every Open Eye revels in anthems and chants in a way the more introverted The Bones Of What You Believe didn’t. If the previous album was singer Lauren Mayberry’s exposed raw nerve, Every Open Eye is a defiant manifesto. Mayberry’s lament replaced with an invitation to join in the anger and euphoria of the eleven track contained within.

Every Open Eye really does hit the ground running. The opening salvo of Never Ending Circles and Leave A Trace is one of the best album launches in recent memory. Never Ending Circles is pure anthem material. A lurching bassline drives forward a symphony of all those elements that make Chvrches Chvrches. Sampled and chopped up backing vocals, thunderous drums, Lauren in optimism lined with bitterness mode, massive chords and sweeping choruses. Never Ending Circles, combining these elements, could have quite easily turned out to be Chvrches-by-numbers but the trio manage to avoid the formulaic trap with stellar songwriting. It’s a superbly spine-tingling opener who’s elevation is continued in the album’s lead single, Leave A Trace. A impassioned, and personal, song that combines Lauren’s proud opus with a soundtrack of emotive electronics that melds atmosphere with a rock solid groove.

Keep You On My Side is the first of many tracks on Every Open Eye that seems to be written with live performance in mind. It’s high BPM and frantic arpeggios complement the chant-a-long vocals will no doubt become a Chvrches live set highlight, but in a listening scenario gave us our first frown of the record. Highlighting a rawer production style that is present through the album. At times the sparse, upfront mixing style of Every Eye Open works well to convey this live energy contained within so many of the tracks, but at times we did miss the more cohesive, more comfortable, production style of The Bones Of What You Believe. This continues into Make Them Gold, and Indie anthem made synth that sees the first appearance of Iain’s chugging bass, here underpinning Every Eye Opens most euphoric and rousing refrain.

Which brings us to Clearest Blue, another of the album’s standout tracks. Revelling in the history of SynthPop (particularly early Depeche Mode), Clearest Blue serves up a high-energy and heartfelt track that seems to be one big build. Again, this is a song crafted for live enjoyment featuring a couple of moments that were surely written for their ‘crowd going mental’ appeal; when the drop comes, it comes hard.

No Chvrches album would be complete without Martin stepping up to the mic. This time High Enough To Carry You Over comes thick with a synth-Funk as Doherty croons, strangely like a Scottish Dave-1 from Chromeo. It seems more relatable, and to our minds slightly better, that his outing on The Bones Of What You Believe but after this quick aside where dropped straight back into the live focused monster tunes with Empty Threat. More of Ian’s powerhouse bass, more of Lauren and the kind of massive vocal performance that has no business coming out of such a small frame. Empty Threat is possibly the best of the crowd-pleasers, it’s resonant lyrics and crisp vocals being something to shout about.

Moody Future R&B infiltrates the record in one of Every Open Eye’s quieter moments, the smokey sweet Down Side Of Me (a personal highlight) as waves of Lauren’s (in this instance) gentle vocals intertwine with pinprick synths and warm keys to provide a little respite amid the juggernaut numbers. The following tune, Playing Dead is the most The Bones Of What You Believe track on Every Open Eye. It’s melancholy optimism, both vocally and musically, would have actually made an excellent album closer with it’s (again, live focused) but stuttered sample breakdown providing a stark contrast to (what we think is) Mayberry’s best performance on the record. Before the sweet and calming exit of Afterglow, Comes Bury It, perhaps the album’s lowest point, a barrage of synths and chants that is exciting in it’s own way but feels slightly like an afterthought.

Is Every Open Eye as good as The Bones Of What You Believe.  Well…no. But just saying “no” without explanation seems unfair. Taken out of context Every Open Eye is a fucking amazing record that we could not recommend enough to everyone. We’ve been listening to it almost non-stop for the past two weeks and loving every second. The Bones Of What You Believe is such a legacy to live up to, I’m not sure anyone could have done it. Every Open Eye just isn’t quite as great as it’s predecessor, but don’t think for a minute that that doesn’t make it one of the best albums of the year. It really is. Top five. It beats the crap out of almost everything released in 2015…it’s just that in 2013 Chvrches released something a tiny bit better.

That’s not a dis though. You need this album in your life right now.

♫ Chvrches – Leave A Trace

♫ Chvrches – Never Ending Circles

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is out now.

Buy Chvrches’ music from:

[Audio] Jordan F’s ‘Mesmerised’


Jordan F

There are a few artists who have been with us since the beginning. Starting out not long after electronic rumours was born and we’ve follow their careers as they have progressed. Some flee by the wayside, never to be heard of again, and some went from strength to strength. Australia’s Jordan F is one of these artists we’ve been with since day one, and he’s definitely one of the strength to strength-ers. Starting out at the beginning of the second wave of Dreamwave artists (the scene have just come off MySpace) Jordan quickly rose through the ranks; showing himself as a producer enhanced musicality and a knack for retro flair without the constructions of genre.

He was quickly picked up by the elite best-of-the-best of the Dreamwave seen, Rosso Corsa Records (home to Mitch Murder and Miami Nights 1984) and, after flexing his musical muscles on numerous EPs, his début album Slipstream was finally released last year.

It’s a surprise, then, to learn that he’s following up with a sophomore long player so soon afterwards having recently announced that the sequel he’s coming soon. The announcement came with the Album’s premier single, Mesmerised.

Mesmerised comes equipped with vocal stylings of Canadian SynthWave scene hired gun Dana Jean Phoenix, a singer whose look and sound delivers an authentic 80s pop sheen to the tracks she collaborates on. Mesmerised might just be her finest appearance to date as she and Jordan tread the lilting, laid back, hazy nostalgia path laid by the likes of Electric Youth.

These two are a match made in vintage heaven as Jordan’s restrained and mature soundtrack of tight digital bass, understated drums and a sea of lush pads is prefect for Dana to weave a delicious and gentle 80s Pop ditty throughout. As with many of Jordan’s tunes his soaring solos steal the show infusing Mesmerised with the fluid excitement that plays with Donna’s vocals like a call-and-response. It looks like, with his new album, Jordan F be taking them to school once again.

♫ Jordan F (Feat. Dana Jean Phoenix) – Mesmerised

Jordan F’s Mesmerised is out now.

Buy Jordan F’s music from:

[Audio] DNKL’s ‘Otherside’



Some days we feel like we might as well just stop trying to fight it and become a publication that solely focuses on Scandinavian music, seeing as we spend most of our time listening to, and writing about, it anyway. The Scandinavians really have nailed it where it counts. They arguable produce the finest electronic Pop music in the world, they pwn the world of Cosmic Disco, their experimental electronics have a tundra soul that raises it above the rest and they can take Teutonic EBM and somehow make it less embarrassing. Even more amazing is when they blur the lines between styles. DNKL do that. DNKL do that, like, all the time.

Swedish trio DNKL take a frigid, icy SynthPop sound and warm it up with some bass heavy dance music grooves. For the last few years this outfit have been releasing complex and beautiful dark ElectroPop tracks, heavy with atmosphere, but with foundations of tight and intricately crafted synthesizer Pop.

Their new tune, Otherside, comes following up on their début EP, Wolfhour, which received a fair amount of praise on it’s release last year. Since then the guys have been holed up working on new material (we hope for a forthcoming full length release) of which this is the first taste. It’s a departure from their previous offerings, but at the same time not; and not just because contradictory statements are fun. Listen up as DNKL weave a solid Techno groove through their haunting Pop Noir.

Otherside has a cheeky little early/mid-90s feel to it too, with snatched drum rolls and a spiky digital bassline giving the track an unusually (for DNKL) funky flavour. Woozy side-chained pads ensure that DNKL’s trademark haze is not missing while the synthesized sax-a-like lead flits between smokey & urbane and slightly otherworldly. Otherside’s mystery tour through moods lends itself to concrete jungle adventures as much as it does to arctic wasteland contemplation, and is perhaps the first original DNKL song that you can get up and dance to. The understated and heartfelt vocals serve as a guide through DNKL’s world, their ebb and flow rushing in and out of the track in ghostly swirls.

The more we think about it, the more we’re sure Otherside would have gone down a treat in the Indie clubs of our youth.

♫ DNKL – Otherside

DNKL’s Otherside is out now

Buy DNKL’s music from: