Indie pop singer-songwriter Lauren Nikohl has released her most commanding synth-pop single to date with ‘Energy‘, which carries the soul of disco and the cold cutting atmosphere of darkwave electronica. It’s an alchemic fusion of creatively contrasting tones, textures and emotions that brings exactly what it says on the tin.
The LA & Minneapolis-based artist has made waves with her introspectively deep lyrics and robust vocal timbre that will be a hit with any progressive pop fan. With a debut album in the works, there has never been a better time to find a spot on your radar for Lauren Nikohl, who has exactly what it takes to reach the same heights as Empathy Test, Mesh, and VNV Nation.
Energy officially released on September 24th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
With percussive inspiration from the likes of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, Lux Kiddo’s latest harsh electronica mix, Robot Curmudgeon, flows with an ensnaring tempo and an even more magnetic pull through the progressive influence of Infected Mushroom.
The Brooklyn-born, Phoenix-based experimental artist has worked as a sound tech and musician since the relocation from his home town; in 2020, he dropped his debut album Cityscapes. Now that dancefloors are back open, we’re sure they will be eager to hear more of his uniquely explorative style that uses familiar industrial/EBM elements with refreshing melodic flair.
Robot Curmudgeon was released on August 5th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if Juice Wrld and Covenant collaborated, you’ll get a good idea of what’s in store when you hit play on the standout track, ‘Infectious’ in Infinity Dragon’s latest album, ‘GodKing’.
In place of the usual trappy 808s, Infinity Dragon opted for entrancing EBM-style beats that blaze beneath layers of reverb in the euphoric mix that certainly isn’t without its conviction – which mainly comes down to the snarling and inventively-distorted rap bars. The ingenuity that lies in Infectious easily parallels what you’ll find in Saul Williams’ most authentic tracks – the only difference is that Infinity Dragon didn’t need to pull in Trent Reznor for the production.
Infectious is now available to stream along with the rest of Infinity Dragon’s obscurely danceable alt-rock album via Spotify.
Breaking RnB artist and producer Willy Matéo has made their debut with their entrancing album ‘I.D. (Internal Disturbance)’ which mixes a Billy Idol level of cool with intense techno beats and all of the soul of a classic RnB anthem.
The standout single, ‘iStandalone’ almost veers into the EBM arena, but with the smooth layering of the powerful vocals, the track stays true to the roots of RnB pop while allowing Willy Matéo to stamp down his signature style. It may be a fairly lo-fi production, but any fans of leftfield electronica won’t fail to fall in love with this 80s inspired track which wouldn’t be out of place on an OST to a David Lynch film.
Check out Willy Matéo’s album I.D. for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Well, all of a sudden the 1980’s turned up, kicked in the door with a lacy sleeve-cuff and some Adam Ant eyeliner, popped their pixie-booted feet up on the table, and announced their intention to stay with a New Romantic frock-coat thrown firmly onto the back of the sofa. And, with ‘We Are The Emperors’, what an entrance it is; a three-piece electro-pop beaut writ large in gated, reverb-heavy snare beats, chocky guitar, and driving bass.
Drawn together by legendary Killing Joke bassist Martin ‘Youth’ Glover (producer for everyone from Bananarama to Pink Floyd, Edwin Collins, Siousxie and the Banshees, and The Verve), there’s some serious writing skills and musicianship behind the frills and blusher; touches of Pet Shop Boys and Yazoo electronica mixed with Spandau Ballet, Kate Bush, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and The Human League, but there’s some serious pop sensibilities too – Bananarama, again, Fun Boy Three, Go West, A-Ha, and Duran Duran, for sure. You get the picture – a United Colours of Benetton picture, framed in Black Ash and lit with neon, at the same time bang up to date and spectacular, pop-driven, and absolutely explosive. Make no mistake – there’s a retro-tinged influence here, for sure, but this is no simple regressive homage to the past; it’s cutting edge, stellar, and absolutely right now – with a superb video to match, ‘We Are The Emporers’ is simply a fabulous pop record.
There was little chance of forgetting Simulated Youth after he blew our minds with his concept track, ‘NBT’; it could rival the plot of the film, Her. After hearing his latest release, ‘Kill the Messenger [Android Vocal Version]’, our minds are in even smaller fragments.
With the way that you’re compelled to hit repeat before the track has come to a close to get a repeat shot of the high that comes as courtesy of the chaotic breaks, it’s easy to conclude that the bass in Kill the Messenger is addictive. It hits heavier than any cliché dark industrial electronica/EBM track – despite the high vibe energy.
Simulated Youth snuck ‘kill’ into the lyrics 93 times, but you’d still struggle to find a hardcore dance track with the ability to take you higher.
Kill the Messenger is now available to pre-save on Spotify here.
Leaving aside the obvious mentioning that dolls sometimes DO cry – Tiny Tears, anyone? – DOLLSDONTCRY, from Lucedale, Mississippi, via Alaska, has created a nightmarish soundscape of grinding, driving instrumentalism in the vein of early Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, or Revco music. Think a little ‘Pretty Hate Machine’, ‘Psalm 69’, or ‘Linger Ficken Good’, without vocals, and you’ve a pretty good idea of what’s on offer here. Opening with some heavily distorted bass riffing, it’s a landscape of bleeps, machine-press crashes, sampled roars, and rising sequenced keyboard parts.
It’s always difficult for young artists to make their voices heard effectively with instrumental work, but this is an excellent track, a harsh, metallic, post-Terminator world of sound, evocative and stimulating, with a definite voice.
Daft Punk may be no more, but entrancing EDM tracks are still hitting the airwaves as a curtsey of producers such as Phoenix, AZ-residing artist Simulated Youth.
With Camoragi’s seductive vocals sitting over a bed of complexly layered instrumentals which bridge the gap between retro styles and futuristic vision, their latest single N.B.T. (nice bass track), arrests you emotionally just as much as it takes control of your rhythmic pulses.
If the sonic experience itself isn’t enough to get you excited about Simulated Youth’s harsh bass-riding approach to electronica which hits just as hard as any industrial track with far more duality between the chaos and the breaks and the euphoria in the drops, the concept definitely will. In Simulated Youth’s own words, “The lyrics are about the song itself being in love with the artist, yet to the artist, the song is just his nice bass track.”
Norwegian pop artist LearningToDive released their latest entrancing single ‘TAINTED’ to guide global anger in the right direction by attacking the glorification of the military-industrial complex.
With a similar synthpop style to the likes of Covenant, And One and VNV Nation paired with awakening lyrics which were penned to shake the listener from complacency around one of the biggest threats faced by the environment and humanity, the 80s post-punk-inspired single dropped at the perfect time.
Based on TAINTED, LearningToDive could easily be considered as the Adam Curtis of synthpop.
With their latest release, songwriter, session guitarist and electronic producer, Paul Edward Yu, proved himself to be in the tragically small minority of artists with the ability to squeeze emotion from electronic sequencing alone.
Their 2020 album, ‘the shape of sound’, is home to a plethora of electrifyingly evocative instrumental tracks, but the perfect introduction to the Boston MA-based artist’s psychedelic stance on electronica is the single, ‘T Montana’.
It’s a progressive minefield of aural curveballs, the cold ambience the prelude serves is soon stripped-back and replaced with harsh cinematically caustic industrial elements contrasted by strikingly bright tonal textures. But discernibly, Paul Edward Yu saved the best for last. After the dub-laden tremulous breakdowns, the guitars tear through to the front of the mix in a way not easily forgotten.
T Montana is available to stream and download via Bandcamp or you can check it out via SoundCloud.