Archive for May, 2012

Awesome new Huski video is awesome

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on May 23, 2012 by softsynth

No idea of the why but the latest from Softsynth fav Huski is tickling the fancy of your humble blogger in all the right ways when similar directional choices from others have rubbed us in a less appealing manner.

The new single/video “Sleeps Over” is a lot more purely electronic and dance-oriented than their last album, Strangelove and it’s hypnotic and catchy both. We couldn’t be more excited by the forthcoming album, H.

Watch: Sleeps Over

Yet when Marina and the Diamonds (see previous post) or Little Boots or Chew Lips go in a similar direction it feels like a step in a weird place, one that isn’t nearly as satisfying. Now we’re digging the new Marina and the Diamonds and we’re still crazy-looking forward to the new Chew Lips and Little Boots albums, but pure dance without the balls-n-guts that makes their earlier work so strong can feel wanting. We’ll see what those albums sound like and we’re not pre-judging one whit but Huski is showing how cool a directional change can be and how well it can work. Bring on H

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Review: Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart

Posted in Review with tags on May 21, 2012 by softsynth

In 2010 we chose the debut album by Marina Diamandis as among the 10 best electronic albums of that year. It deserved to be there in spades – quirky and unusual but also very chart-aware, it was a fun example of how well a truly talented and ambitious musician could take electronic music and make it appetizing to the masses.

A couple of years on we get her second album and it’s in some ways more of the same, and in others an even fuller realization of the chart-nip she clearly desires.

One characteristic that defines the best of her music is her distinctive, lovely, powerful and ever-dramatic voice. One thing we realize when listening to Electra Heart is how much she actually sounds like Katy Perry. It comes out because to a staggering degree the music has coagulated as a kind of Perry mish-mash and this doesn’t necessary do Diamandis any favours.  Continue reading

Back to the debate – are these “electronic” artists.

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on May 4, 2012 by softsynth

It’s gone in circles. In fact practically since this blog began three and a half years ago we set out to try to expand the discussion.

As a fan of all forms of electronic music this blogger wanted to talk about as wide a palette as possible, from whispery ambient to pur laine synth pop to hard industrial. And in that mix are those bands who exude an electronic ethos but may use drums, or may even use guitars (were it not for O.M.D. we would say one should draw the line at bass…), and when we called Metric or Bat for Lashes or Polly Scattergood albums among the best electronic albums in their year, some took umbrage. So it is that every now and then we hear a band that becomes a favourite and has a distinct sound, in many cases borrowing a cup of sugar from the electronic movement and we can’t help but think, how would the purists label this?

This is top of mind right now with a new Metric album on the horizon (and we are most excited, though it should be said that tremendous new single  “Youth Without Youth” is decidedly anything but electronic), and we cant help but wonder what we’re going to get from the talented Canadians this time around. In the meantime, three bands (because it seems we always do things in threes here at Softsynth HQ) we’re loving right now are not obviously electronic bands but what are they exactly? Continue reading