Three bands we’re digging right now

We’ve been sorting through a plethora of new and new-to-us bands these past few weeks with a few standing out and worth a plug…

Damsel in the Dollhouse is American performance artist Nina Tucciarelli. She released her debut album, Fairytales back in April and it’s rock-solid darkwave with industrial influences. Her spooky voice and stuttery electronics blend perfectly into one of the more intriguing albums of the year. It’s both catchy and sonically unique. A real surprise and a pleasant one.

Halo in Reverse feels like a project that shouldn’t work. They bring the concept of homage to an almost-ridiculous apogee – in this case the object of their affection being Nine Inch Nails. Now, one could do worse in picking a band to ape, but if one simply did their take on an otherwise-awesome act it wouldn’t stand as all that interesting. While their debut self-titled album, now being re-released on Alfa Matrix as Trials and Tribulations, could easily be a cross between Nine Inch Nails’ first two albums, it’s such a good take on that material it works in its own right. Joshua Steffen gets the psuedo-industrial, electro fusion Reznorian soundscape just right and damn if it doesn’t make for a fine album. Cynicism aside, it’s been on constant rotation on the Softsynth iPod.

Despite the recommendations of many electro-heads we have a great deal of respect for, we avoided Swedish duo Tikkle Me for many months since the release of their self-titled debut album. They just seems too cute, too affected. It reminded us of Book of Love after they went over the cutesy, fey edge and just felt like too much saccharine with titles like “Butterflies in My Tummy” that just made our teeth hurt. But finally we gave this album a few listens and damn if it isn’t pretty terrific. And sure, the lyrics are startlingly cutesy-pie, but there are some really interesting layers here. All striking, stark synth riffs, old-school sequencing and melodies so catchy and sharp one has to be careful not to get cut. Song for song it’s one of the best synth pop albums we’ve heard in recent memory and a strong contender for our Best of 2010.

Been a good year for new electronic music, these are but three of the most enjoyable…

Listen to: Halo in Reverse – Sweetest Honey

Watch: Tikkle Me – Butterflies in My Tummy

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