One of the plus sides from me taking part in Panda Bear’s most recent PR diversion (a global takeover of sorts where for 72 hours Panda Bear premiered a different track from his most recent album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper on a slew of different radio programs around the world) is that it reconnected me with radio. With the exception of a radio program or two hosted by friends, I haven’t sat down and listened to a radio program. It was an interesting experience hearing what sort of music is popular in different parts of the world, providing an avenue for musical discovery that took me back to my early teens. And in was in that spirit while listening to FBiRadio’s Up For It! that I happened upon Melbourne electronic trio I’lls.
The music of I’lls isn’t exactly what springs immediately to mind when you think of electronic music but there’s no denying there’s a definite change in trends and expectations that allows something along the lines of I’lls’ “Fifty Phiphti” to exist. It’s not immediate; while there’s an ever-present beat from it’s start, the track takes its time establishing pretty much everything about it. There’s a sparse piano line riding along the introduced beat before various effects are spliced in. It’s an organic growth as everything kind of builds unhurriedly towards that one moment when it all just clicks together. In that moment about two minutes out from the song’s languorous intro the head starts bobbing, the toes start tapping and I’lls give every indication for making a surge for dancefloor readiness. But it’s that patient build: the slow-burning musical world-building in a manner not unsimilar to Jon Hopkins that makes it worth the wait.
I’ll be honest: On Logan Hyde‘s debut single “My Only Friend” I was too busy taking note of all his little psychedelic touches to notice what he was doing with his vocals, aside from those moments where he was hanging out in the rafters of his higher register. “Bloated”, the second single from Hyde’s forthcoming debut full length Innocence, was enough to make me immediately notice that.
Unlike “My Only Friend” which arced and craned both in regards to the instrumental melodies and Hyde’s vocals, “Bloated” spends its time on the ground, stretching out horizontally instead. The cosmic flourishes that served as the backbone of “My Only Friend” in this case are kept to a minimum – little flashes of flavor to Hyde’s lilting melodies and shuffling guitar lines. There’s also the notable introduction of the synth as the guitar’s equal instead of merely an ornament. While Hyde still uses it for textures, there’s moments when he strips the effects away and it gets to be deployed as another melodic device; occasionally leading instead of playing back seat to guitar.
If “My Only Friend” served as the proper introduction to Hyde’s solo project, “Bloated” builds on it. Everything on “Bloated”, from how Hyde use of layering to his vocals, is a level up from “My Only Friend” and shows Hyde’s growth as an multi-instrumentalist more or less in real time.
Previously: Logan Hyde: “My Only Friend”
Gosh Pith, the Detroit duo with that inexplicably-weird-to-say name, are doing their really promising R&B-dunked electro-pop thing this Saturday at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. See you there?
Self-described as “trip hop meets electro pop,” Belgian foursome Lohaus are the latest European group making waves for their innovative and genre-bending musical style. On first listen, the band’s latest single “Overwhelm” will undoubtedly conjure Alt-J comparisons, particularly the vocal style and brooding electronic overtures, but it’s hard to ignore just how effective the amalgam is. I’ve never been a huge fan of trip-hop which has always seemed too meandering, too ponderous, but this is darker, sneaking around with purpose. “Someone’s coming in, silently, oh so still.” How deliciously creepy.
Check out another track at Lohaus’s soundcloud page »
Yoko Yuko weaves idyllic jangle-pop across the pond in the Netherlands with a homespun weirdness in the Mac Demarco blinded-by-cigarettes-falling-from-the-sky sort of way. “Seventeen and Melting” is a perfect introduction, pairing a too-jaded-to-be-angsty teen lyric set with awkwardly endearing guitar notes that are just the right amount out of tune.
Yuko Yuko’s Babes and I <$ U EPs dropped last year. Grab them and more from his bandcamp page »