Opening with a taut guitar, filtered through some Sun Studios slapback, and the ethereal voice of Norway musician Gunhild Jarwson Tekle and some highly Kate Bush-esque synth paddings, "Ricochet" by guns, appears to be a study in contrasts. But appearances are nothing if not deceiving. The song finds pop cohesion in its mood and hooks.
Swedish band Blind Lake is Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals), a duo who, on the new track "Walk Beside Me," seems less interested in making synth-pop singles than in making psychedelic, ambient and, yes, synth-pop soundtracks for contemporay film noirs that exist only in their and their listeners minds.
The minimalist multi-synth-pop approach of "Heart Explodes" reflects, perhaps, the loss of band members even as it was recorded. But somehow UK band Coves & Caves sound all the assured of their emotional direction.
"We Got Away (This Time)," a new track by Raiders of the Lost Art, vaults over the band's goofy name and synth drones for a fuzzy, twitchy and surprisingly vulnerable indie-pop call to believe and reconcile.
Winter is coming, and with the approach, a storm of fall shows designed to draw music fans out of their post-summer doldrums. Located at Plush, the Yacht and White Fang bill did very little to assuage the desire to go outside and seek solace in a cigarette. The two played a pair of jesters who cartwheeled around court with their tongues out and wagged before us cracked-out antics that were just irreverent enough for the audience to enjoy.
With the fizzy, spacey "Never the Same," DoublePlusGood, led by Portland, Oregon's Erik Carlson, combines melancholy '80s pop with contemporary electronic elegance.
London-based singer-songwriter Lyla Foy layers synthesizers and dreamy vocals to craft an atmospheric, intimate and eerily beautiful version of one of Tori Amos' most well-known songs, "Cornflake Girl."
The title of Kaoru Ishibashi's new LP "Lighght" is taken from a 1965 poem by Aram Saroyan in which the word "lighght" is the single word of text in the center of the page. It was considered controversial in its time for calling its just one, misspelled word a poem at all.
Welsh musician Rhys Viney's uses his latest project Go Life to send echoes of classic '80s synth pop, a la Depeche Mode or OMD, in new, reverberating directions.
When I think of my favorite Arcade Fire songs, with "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" and "Rebellion (Lies)" sitting at the top of the list, I find a common thread links them: compared to other Arcade Fire songs, they're the more danceable, more full cuts. I'm a sucker for synths, and Arcade Fire knows how to use them.