Brooding croonwave, power noise rock and unadulterated light-breeze dream pop are up for scrutiny in this week’s playlist of all things under the radar with Getintothis’ Mike Stanton.
The 80’s were great; the music, the TV, the fashion, the early computer games and LFC were the kings….of everything. It was an ace time to be a kid. Now, nostalgia can be an overpowering emotion and it is easy to find oneself yearning for those halcyon days of the early 80’s, especially some of the music; Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Soft Cell, Cabaret Voltaire, OMD and Thomas Dolby all reigned supreme. Luckily there’s a tonne of artists out there trying to recapture that golden decade; some of it is good, most of it isn’t. The first band up this week are definitely in the ‘good’ category.
Introflirt hail from Oakland, California. Comprising of Vafa, Ben Benjamin, and Brendan Dreaper they produce 1980’s inspired, dark, neon-lit new wave. Their latest offering, Orange Light, is taken from their soon-to-be released album Temporary Heaven. Orange Light is a hook-happy, catchy analogue treat. Ben Benjamin’s shadowy croon evokes the plaintive vocals of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond and the emotional honesty of Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan. The combination of their self-described “croonwave” and a seedier, darker, more danceable attitude pushes this track to the forefront of electronic releases. Heavy bass-bled grooves and swathes of bittersweet synths are underpinned by slow-funk beats but it is Benjamin’s croon that dominates and elevates Introflirt’s music way above the usual synthpop fare.
Comprised of Kristin Hersh and Bernard Georges of Throwing Muses, and drummer Rob Ahlers, this LA-based power trio are named after the lowest note audible to human ears. 50FOOTWAVE was intended as an outlet for the noise/math rock pieces that didn’t fit the aesthetic of Throwing Muses or Kristin’s solo work. God’s Not A Dick is a barrage of free-form sound that comprises of complex song structures and shifting tempos. Here they dish up hard rock riffs, dynamic change-ups and relentless drive. From the album Bath White available on CD and vinyl through HHBTM Records or via digital download from Bandcamp.
Finally, some bright and breezy dream pop from London. BOYS have announced the upcoming release of their first single Nice Guys, taken from their debut EP out later this summer. Recorded and produced with Yuck’s Max Bloom, the track is a real statement of intent with the band’s dreamy lo-fi sound and innovative songwriting particularly evident in this first release. Ross Pearce (lead vocals), Kane Butler (lead guitar), Mike Stothard (harmonies and rhythm guitar) and Dan Heffernon (bass) make up the quartet and their sound is akin to 60’s west coast California with light melodies and floating vocals. While traditional sounding the BOYS manage to inject some 21st century energy into the mix. Nice Guys is out 17th August.