Author Archives: Timothy Hudson

[Experimental] Megafaun – These Words

Affectionately labeled “freak-folk” by some, I find it hard to describe the music produced by a band like Megafaun. I suppose the only label one could possibly apply to the North Carolina based band is experimental, and even that does not do justice to their sound.

On “These Words” the band puts their strangeness on full display. While it’s hard to immediately identify any structure to the song, it remains very listenable. The dreamily layered vocals seem to guide you through the track, and ultimately overtake the layers of rhythm Megafaun has thoughtfully arranged throughout the track. It is a gorgeously arranged cacophony of summery noise.

Megafaun – These Worlds

’These Words’
Related items:

[Amazing] Black Light Dinner Party – Older Together

It’s rare these days that you come across a group of musicians that don’t want to be recognized in some way for their hard work, but such is the case with Black Light Dinner Party—a quartet of four anonymous producers all hailing from the United States. Their music is pure electro-pop, and—despite operating off the gimmick of mystery—it displays a rarely found maturity.

Their first single, “Older Together,” is a gorgeous, melodic track. The opening crystal synthesizer oddly evokes memories of “Sprawl II” by Arcade Fire for me, which—while brilliant—is also dangerous, in that before they have even established themselves they can be compared to a mature band such as Arcade Fire. Their second single, “Small Boxes,” won’t draw any comparisons to more established bands, but it is fantastic nonetheless. Operating with a lovely crystal-y refrain, it’s an infectious and catchy track with some fantastic hooks that ultimately leave you satisfied with the experience as a whole.

Black Light Dinner Party – Older Together

’Older Together’

Black Light Dinner Party – Small Boxes

’Small Boxes’
Related items:

[Indie/Electronic] When Saints Go Machine – Kelly

With four years of experience under their belt, Danish electro-pop quartet When Saints Go Machine have been laying down—albeit silently—some amazing tracks and albums for quite some time now, and their latest album is no exception.

Telling a story of young love and a first kiss, “Kelly” is an appropriately bouncy and giddy track practically bursting at the edges. And with drops of veteran electro-poppers Cut Copy, it’s hard not to love the beats When Saints Go Machine lay down in this track.

You can purchase their first widely-available album, Konkylie, from most online retailers via !K7 Records.

When Saints Go Machine – Kelly

Related items:

[Indie] Gardens & Villa – Black Hills

Listening to Gardens & Villa, a band from Southern California (Santa Barbara to be precise), it’s hard not compare them to other successful indie-rock/psych-folk outfits such as Local Natives, who also hail from Southern California. That isn’t to say that they made bad/derivative music—in fact—it’s quite the opposite; they make damned fine music.

“Black Hills” is an excellent example of this. Starting out with a minute long medley of synthesizers and instruments that are vaguely reminiscent of a more lightly arranged LCD Soundsystem song, it escalates into a soaring lead vocal and some absolutely delightful harmonies.

Gardens & Villa, the group’s self-titled debut album is available now via Secretly Canadian.

Gardens & Villa – Black Hills

’Black Hills’
Related items:

[Electronic] TOKiMONSTA – Bright Shadow

It’s a delightful experience when an artist manages to exceed your expectations. It usually happens when they take whatever genre they consider themselves to be a part of, and take a completely unique—and fantastic—approach to it. TOKiMONSTA, an electro artist hailing from Los Angeles, does just that.

Starting out with 80s-synth-infused “Bright Shadow,” you can tell that she is taking the oft-explored genre of electro and giving it a soulful and jazzy twist. This theme of jazz-electro is even more prevalent through “The World is Ours” which takes a dreamy Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell sample and amplifies it with some modern beats and pulsating synths.

From there, we take a trip down inebriation lane to the purely instrumental “Almost Free,” where she manages to me a madly clever arrangement out of “1 rhodes (for music and percussion), a pair of car keys, 1 mobile audio interface, 1 mac, [and] 1 drunk girl.” The result of this charming combination in a relaxing bit of electro that would fit right at home in one of those delightful indie flash games.

TOKiMONSTA – Bright Shadow

’Bright Shadow’

TOKiMONSTA – The World is Ours

’The World is Ours’

TOKiMONSTA – Almost Free

’Almost Free’
Related items:

[Chill] Ennui – Coconino

Listening to these new tunes from Ennui’s debut album Formation of Tides, I cannot help but feel relaxed. The Pittsburgh synthwave trio has crafted some pretty delightful tunes for a summer’s day, and they all demand repeat playthroughs. Everything about these songs—from the crystal synths and dynamic drumbeat of “We Are Young” to the more verbose and gooey synths of “Ralph”—seems to relax me and leave me wanting more from the band.

Take album-standout track “Coconino.” It hooks you with a catchy melody of watery synths and only builds upon this sound with the vocalist’s charmingly Ra Ra Riot-esque vocals. The catchiness continues on through Ralph, but the band takes a more rock inspired turn and adds some delightful guitar riffs into the equation, and somehow makes the entire experience even more splendid than it already was.

Formation of Tides, the band’s debut album, can be purchased on Groopease for $5. Can’t beat that!

Ennui – Coconino


Ennui – Ralph

Related items:

[Electro] Milagres – Glowing Mouth

Electro-soul—I think that is how I would describe Milagres’ new track “Glowing Mouth.” The Brooklyn based band has narrowly avoided being placed under one consistent genre for a while, and yet they exhibit great skill in nearly all arenas they place themselves in. With “Glowing Mouth” they demonstrate their finesse, and flexibility. It’s a perfect blend of electro and soul, and it feels delicately smooth. You could perhaps call it a more verbose and less minimalistic James Blake if you really wanted to, but really; it is its own sound. From the sweeping vocals to the smooth summery synths, nearly everything about this track can stand on its own, and do so well.

Glowing Mouth, the group’s upcoming LP drops on September 13th via Kill Rock Stars.

Milagres – Glowing Mouth

’Glowing Mouth’
Related items: