Articles tagged with electro-pop

April 17

Last week, Mister Disco pinged me from his Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone, bummed that he’d just heard one of our favorite tracks from last year, the Moullinex remix of “Cairo” by Kamp!, underneath a Guess jeans ad. Sure, it fit the vibe of lithe bodies posturing in streamlined denim, but we both felt we’d lost a little something. Maybe it was our inner-teenagers still clinging to the ragged notion that we’re defined more by the music we like than the products we own, or maybe we just knew if we ever dropped the tune in a DJ set again, someone would inevitably come up and ask if it was that song from the Guess commercial.  Of course, this isn’t anything to get pouty about, it’s just how musicians pay the rent these days, and if someone offered me cash to tie my name to the Macbook Pro I flipped open to type this piece, I’d discreetly wipe the drool from my chin and immediately sign on the dotted line.

Anyway, I came across a great song by up-and-coming Brooklyn band Xylos this week. Their new single “Summerlong” is sweet slice of electropop, tinged with a bit of melancholy on top, seeming to opine for a time that’s past (“We could make it like we did all summerlong”), and probably won’t be coming back. There’s not much on their website or Facebook page in the way of background or bio info, though contact emails are provided for their legal representation at Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP, as well as syncing and licensing via Universal Music Publishing Group, which makes me think we’ll be hearing this song in an ad for AmEx or Vitaminwater soon enough. And that’s fine by me. The band gets paid, and I get to hit the sidewalks this summer in my Puma TT Supers, cranking the Koss KSC75s every time this jam shuffles up on my iPhone 3GS (gotta upgrade soon), waiting for that chant-a-long chorus of outstretched “Whoa-ohs” to grab me by the ears and carry me off smiling and shining, claiming the syncing rights to “Summerlong” as the soundtrack to my own blissed-out afternoon.

– Spoolwork

March 9

In the last few years, a wave of garage rock and surf bands popped up, possibly in reaction to the 130 beat-per-minute songs and heavily distorted bass arpeggiators of post-Justice electro.  Maybe it’s the natural order of things.  Disco ran it’s course and was replaced by supposedly “real” music.  Electroclash in the early ’00s was immediately followed by a return to guitar rock via the Strokes and White Stripes.  Now that everyone has had a some time off, grown beards, brewed their own beer, pickled everything they could, and ran their hand-crafted rocking chair business into the ground, we can take the synthesizers and drum machines out of the closet and get back to business.   

Frankie Rose seems to think so.  The former member of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls is by no means typical in terms of dance music.  Rose steals the slinky surf leads and reverb-drenched guitars of her former scene and sets them adrift over epic landscapes of synth pads and pulsing bass.  Think the Ventures meets Vangelis.  The results are minimal, psychedelic, spaced out and sexy.

Montreal’s Claire Boucher is another artist who seems to have traded her pachouli for patch cables.  After being kicked out of Montreal’s McGill University for missing over a year of classes, she built a 20-foot houseboat.  Christening it the “Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, she and her then boyfriend took the names “Varuschka” and “Zelda Xox” for themselves and Mark Twain-ed it down the Mississippi.  They got as far as Minnesota where, in true hippie radical fashion, they ran afoul of the man.  The boat and its cargo of live chickens were impounded and Claire began looking for a new alias.  Now signed to 4AD, she’s called Grimes.  Her follow up to the wild bohemian nautical adventure is a new full length LP of sleek, polished electro-pop.

Grimes – Genesis

Grimes – Oblivion Video

With programmed beats and disco baselines back in rotation, maybe it’s time to put away the mustache wax and hang up the flannel.  

-Dope Werewolf