Four artists we’re digging this week

Softsynth has been enjoying four somewhat under-the-radar artists recently, each of which deserves a larger audience and each deserves a little plug.

One thing about our shared beloved umbrella genre is the sheer number of smaller acts that don’t have the audience of a Goldfrapp or a Depeche Mode but are equally valid of attention. We will begin showcasing some of those smaller, often independent electronic acts that deserve more pair of ears fixed squarely on their material.

To whit…System Syn: Burbank’s Clint Carney launched System Syn back in 1997; a combination of EBM, industrial and even pop influences have made his project a genuinely fascinating experience for those who like their industrial music with a more melodic, pop influence or their electro pop with serious edge.  (They/he err on the side of the harsher than the melodic when in doubt.) As tour partners with VNV Nation, they’ve found a natural match. Their new album, Strangers is a shining example of each side of this equation (review coming soon). Very much worth a gander.

Marina and the Diamonds: This is actually Brit Marina Lambrini Diamandis who is an electronic artist with a lot of decidedly un-electronic trappings. Lots of piano and other traditional instruments fill out her sound beautifully and on tracks like the sublime “I Am Not a Robot” her voice soars and floats like some of kind of angelic kite. Hard to pin her down as an individual style with pop, electronic and even jazz influences. Hard to categorize but not hard to love. Her new album, The Family Jewels is her strongest work to date.

Fan Death: Based out of Canada, this female duo are producing some of the coolest disco/electro-pop on the scene. Decidedly weird (and Softsynth digs the weird). Very throwback to both 70s era disco and by their own suggestion, early 80s classic synthpop, it works very very well in 2010. New EP A Coin for the Well is a corker and they have a full length album, Womb of Dreams coming soon (they say May but they’ve played fast and loose with release dates in the past…). These ladies know what kind of band they want to be and they are executing the plan perfectly (recently in support of Vampire Weekend, which is a real coup for this band…)

Miss FD: Formally known under the Frightdoll monicker, this Florida native has developed the harsh dark electro of the earlier project into a more melodic darkwave. Her first single “Together Forever” was a real surprise, as it was light years musically from Frightdoll’s work, a straight-ahead pop song, the likes of which those of us who were Frightdoll fans could never have pegged. Her new album Monsters in the Industry is very, very strong – but as we’re penning a longer formal review for the coming days we’ll leave it at that for now…suffice it to say, as Miss FD, this breath of fresh air is going to be a major player on the electro scene for some time to come. Also? Incredibly hot. Just needs saying.

Four bands, four keepers. Worth checking them out and sending some love.

Watch: System Syn – Blood (live)

Watch: Marina and the Diamonds – I am Not a Robot

Watch: Fan Death – Reunited

Watch: Miss FD – Enter the Void (teaser only)


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