The first thing you notice about Geoffrey O’Connor‘s new song Her Name On Every Tongue is that he steps it down an octave. In his band Crayon Fields and on his first solo record he employed his falsetto much of the time. I almost didn’t recognize him the first time I heard the song. I like it though. The lower octave provides more gravitas.
Her Name On Every Tongue has hints of Heartbeat City by the Cars, as well as some nice refined euro smoothness a la Roxy Music and Double. It also has similarities with Trevor Dickson‘s Summer Legs from last year. It glides like a bead of water down the side of your perspiring cocktail as you lounge in the shade of a palm tree somewhere on the Riviera.
I apologize in advance that this post comes too late. You see, there seems to be this contingent of fiends that are obsessed with 80’s post punk synth. Because of this, the first pressing of the Pow! debut album is sold out. If you remember and like the Bay Area Retrograde compilation on Dark Entries that came out a few years ago, then this record is right up your alley. Pow! being from the same place, I bet that they either have that compilation or original pressings of Nominal State, Los Microwaves and Standard of Living. They surely have some Devo, A-Frames and Intelligence records in their collections as well.
Hi-Tech Boom sounds like it was recorded in the 80’s, but it is a commentary on the current state of affairs in the Bay Area. High cost of living and high salaried tech workers pricing everyone out and vanillafying the place. Pow! sound robotic in their outrage. Like everyone these days they are desensitized to the absurdity of reality. They try to hack the mainframe, but the problem is that their are no mainframes anymore. It’s all in the cloud dude. Zombi faced young people walk around staring into their smart phones. These are the same kids that will probably invent Skynet. This world is fucked. Or maybe it isn’t. Pow! exist!
stream: Pow! – Cyber Attack (from Hi-Tech Boom on Castleface)
Outfit get compared to Hot Chip quite often. You could easily compare them to the Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Metronomy or even Depeche Mode and you wouldn’t be wrong. Their debut album Performance came out less than a month ago and it already is nudging it’s way into favorite albums of this year status.
Sometimes a band that deals in synth based music transcends its chosen tools and Performance does just that. Each of the ten songs are studies in moody dance pop. The standout track is Thank God I Was Dreaming which features a dub-ambient groove and a chorus that sounds immediately familiar. In fact is nearly every song is immediate and sounds like it has a pedigree to classic understated UK synth pop.
stream: Outfit – Thank God I Was Dreaming (from Performance, out on Double Denim)
La Femme are dark wave surfers from Paris that ride waves of synths and guitars into a globally warmed tropical Berlin. Yes folks like D.I. predicted, they are finally hanging 10 in East Berlin. The future has spoken and it is now…or was it then? Time travel always confuses me.
This groop has read their share of le Carré spy novels, had their fill of Ventures records, probably have an original pressing of Les Visiteurs Du Soir by Mathématiques Modernes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they listened to the Intelligence since they share a label with them in La France. Not only do they have the pedigree, but they know how to employ it. Their debut album Psycho Tropical Berlin is one of those records that immediately strikes you in your pleasure center.
Killer beats, deadly riffs, icy vocals all done with a mind to keep you interested and returning to it. Ahh yes, coffee, love, heroin and La Femme. I’ve already compared them to a bunch of bands, but each time I listen to the record I think of a bunch more of which they remind me. Synths, jazz, bossa nova, cold wave, new wave, etc. I can with near certainty guarantee that you will be unable to deny the fruits and temptations of La Femme. Go on bite into the apple, trust me it’s good.
Stream: La Femme – Nous Etions Deux (from Psycho Tropical Berlin out on Born Bad Records)