Three artists we’re digging this week

We’ve written about the frustration of missing a cool, noteworthy album release altogether. Some labels or individual artists send in material directly, other times we follow artists’ twitter feeds, other times still we might go down the Softsynth Last FM playlist and troll the web sites of between 20 and 100 artists we’ve listened to at some point. Still, sometimes a good one gets away.

We’ve loved German EBM band Chrom for a long time but missed the boat on the March release of their terrific new album, Synthetic Movement. These folks are crazy-consistent and always deliver powerful, emotional power pop and this album is no exception. In fact, song for song it’s their most consistent, enjoyable work to date. We’re listening to it constantly, playing catch-up. There are a lot of stand outs on this album like the lovely “In My World” and the aggressive “Slave” and downright pretty softer track “Loving Myself”, but really it’s the good shit start to finish.

Vial of Sound are an Arizona trio that explore the best in analogue old-school (like really old-school) sounds. Their self-titled EP (or more specifically VOS) is a neat collection of clever tunes that could be lifted right out of late 70s Kraftwerk outtakes. Band member Josh Gooday collects and restores vintage synths (no softsynths make an appearance here!), and the sound is both utterly unique in the current landscape and also oddly comforting. Thoroughly enjoying this cool grab bag. Stand out track “Put Your Glasses On” packs an awful lot of power and makes us yearn for a day when this stuff was more commonplace.

Speaking of old-school, though not quite as old-school is Man Without Country, a Welsh synthpop duo who have released a debut album, Foe, that really grows on the listener. “Puppets” is a pitch-perfect synthpop ditty that would not have felt out-of-place in the mid-80s. They really get this stuff and know how to bring power, emotion and layered complexity to their music and it’s a real treat. From a basement operation to currently touring the UK with Karin Park, they are clearly on the move and the album, particularly great songs like the vaguely OMD-ish keeper “Migrating Clay Pigeon”, would be most welcome in your collection…

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One Response to “Three artists we’re digging this week”

  1. Thanks for the tips: a couple there I hadn’t heard before so will check them out!

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