synth

Failure

Artist: 
Neighbors
Label: 
Self-Released

I really enjoyed this album for what it is. If you're into synthy music like me, this is a pretty solid album to listen to. Nothing too avant-garde, but eveyrthing goes together and sounds nice. As with synth music, most tracks end up sounding more or less the same (at least specifically with their vocals in this case), but I like the 80s/90s guitar influence. Some of the songs on the album remind me of upbeat/pop versions of the songs from the movie Drive's soundtrack.

Sounds Like: 
St. Lucia
Sounds Like: 
College (80's vibes)
Sounds Like: 
Electric Youth
Sounds Like: 
Anoraak
Name: 
Lili Steffen
Date Reviewed: 
04/13/2014

Hubba Bubba

Artist: 
Damaged Bug
Label: 
Castleface Records

Now that Thee Oh Sees are on hiatus, Dwyer is on going astray from his garage rock grind and honing in on his love for synth, avant-garde music. Damaged Bug is Dwyer's debut album which guides us through a bizarre journey through space and time with synthetic sounds from synths, drum kids, and hand-made electronics. Honestly though, this album kinda fucking rules. You can't expect anything Oh Sees or Coachwhips-esque, but if you're really trying to look for a comparison, I'd say that the mood is similar to the Castlemania album.

Sounds Like: 
Kraftwerk
Name: 
Parisa Eshrati
Date Reviewed: 
03/12/2014

Aljawal

Artist: 
Débruit
Label: 
Soundway

Aljawal (الجوال) translating to wanderer or traveller, is a CD produced by Débruit featuring Alsarah takes you on a nomadic adventure. The synths really give a new edge to the traditional Arabic sounds of Sudan and the Middle East. The lyrics, when translated, speak of travels, of home, and what is considered home. The beats themselves have a slight wandering feel. The album gives off the new wave synth pop that is now once again becoming popular. The album takes elements of the new technology and creates a new 21st century sound.

Sounds Like: 
Flying Lotus
Sounds Like: 
Daybre
Name: 
Dalal Kaddoura
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2014

Tranquilizers

Artist: 
Dog Bite
Label: 
Carpark Records

This album isn't bad, but it also isn't good. All of the songs have a sort of ethereal quality, like Youth Lagoon or Beach House, but the vocals are low, so the effect isn't the same. "Tranquilizers" is an appropriate name and I would definitely listen to this band if I heard them at a coffee shop, but I wouldn't chose to play them on my own. Once was enough.

Sounds Like: 
Youth Lagoon
Sounds Like: 
Beach House
Name: 
Alex Stratton
Date Reviewed: 
02/04/2014

Hi-Tech Boom

Artist: 
POW!
Label: 
Castleface Records

Everyone is into that San Francisco garage sound, at least if you know what the fuck is up. But how does one go about finding the real gems and not just all of the run-of-the-mill lo-fi bullshit that's being pumped up right now? Well, that's the glory of Castleface Records. It's a label full of nothing but the finest in underground San Francisco garage - and POW!'s debut release has to be one of the best releases thus far of 2013.

Sounds Like: 
White Fence
Sounds Like: 
Thee Oh Sees
Name: 
Parisa Eshrati
Date Reviewed: 
01/29/2014

SUM/ONE

Artist: 
bEEdEEgEE
Label: 
4AD

bEEdEEgEE is the brainchild of Gavin DeGraw, who went solo from the rock group Gang Gang Dance. This LP is his first release solo, and it is extremely hard to pin down. There is 80th synth, house, sunshine pop, trap... it's a discombobulated mess but somehow remains a really great, fluid listen. It's excessively experimental, "garage electro" with a little lo-fi but overall great production. There are a lot of excentric dialogue samples, especially in the opening track " Helium Anchor".

Sounds Like: 
Grimes
Sounds Like: 
Flume
Name: 
Tatum Schranz
Date Reviewed: 
12/11/2013

Heartthrob

Artist: 
Tegan and Sara
Label: 
Sire Records

Tegan and Sara are twins both openly lesbian that have had a large presents in indie Ipods. Their newest addition to those Ipods is Heartthrob. This is the classic Tegan and Sara like “the Con” but with a little lemon twist. They have brought in Synth and their sound has moved to some upbeat electronic sounds with their acoustic guitars and memorable beats. They have great harmonies in every song that catch your attention and get you to tap your feet. This is a great album about love/breaking-up with song titles like “Closer”, “Drove Me Wild” and “How Come You Don’t Want Me”.

Sounds Like: 
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sounds Like: 
Metric
Sounds Like: 
Feist
Name: 
Chris Miller
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2013

Langsom Dans

Artist: 
Gliss
Label: 
Modern Outsider

This danish trio's third LP makes for an interesting, refreshing but also kind of nostalgic listening experience. The sound is a lot of complicated tribal-sounding percussion and like kind of vast washed out synths, with the same quiet sleepy vocals as you hear in Chris Isaak's "Wicked Games" or Fiona Apple's "Criminal," for example. All together it's got a nice, mellow vibe that takes off sometimes into epic choral flourishes or half-time synth drops. It's a weird release because it's so varied. But like I said, the overall vibe is mellow and 80s and relaxing.

Sounds Like: 
Sade
Sounds Like: 
Jesus and Mary Chain
Sounds Like: 
Radiohead kind of
Name: 
Adam Iddings
Date Reviewed: 
02/06/2013

Visions