Although Molly Nilsson previously collaborated with John Maus and also has a large discography under her belt, I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing her music before today. The above song caught my attention for its macabre/romantic lyrics and minimal melody, and the other tracks I’ve listened to off of various releases are equally as wonderful. I can’t find much information about her, but some articles claim she was born in Sweden and currently lives in Berlin. I’m loving her powerful voice matched with her simple synth anthems. Her ‘These Things Take Time’ release is available on Spotify, and you can listen to/buy her other releases via her official website.
Frankie Teardrop of the fantastic Systems of Romance music blog has created a mix of entirely female-fronted projects in the coldwave, minimal and post-punk vein. It’s a great mix so I highly recommend giving it a listen, and check out the tracklist here for any artists you don’t recognize.
Figure Study is a minimal synth band based in NYC. According to the description of their self-titled LP on Dark Entries, members Nathan Antolik and April Chalpara met at a Wierd Party event in 2009 and began collaborating soon after. Their music evokes a sense of gloomy foreboding while still remaining very danceable. Loneliness and distance tinge each song, but the soundscape somehow leaves the listener feeling energized instead of desolate. This is an album I’d love to listen to while walking the streets of a city I’ve never been to before, at night.
In addition to their debut LP, Figure Study also has one single available. ‘Lesson One’ was my introduction to this great band, and remains one of my favourites. You can listen to Figure Study by buying their music from Dark Entries, visiting their Soundcloud, or streaming on Spotify or Rdio.
This week’s album on repeat is Signals From Afar by a fairly unknown 80s band called The Shortwave Mystery. A duo from California, in 1985 they apparently released a 12″ of the above song, Pilots, that was so unsuccessful that the majority of the records ended up in a landfill. How they didn’t take off is beyond me – their songs combine the best parts of synthpop and minimal-synth, with some EBM sprinkled in for good measure. However, due to resurging interest in the 80s synth scene, the band re-issued their songs into a full-length album a few years ago.
Signals From Afar is excellent from beginning to end – I haven’t been this excited about stumbling upon a band in at least a couple of months. Which actually says a lot. I get excited pretty often.
You can buy their releases directly from the label that re-issued them here.
Quick post about this solo minimal-synth project from Chicago called Stacian. There’s some great classic analog sounds here, and I’m really enjoying the Songs For Cadets release. Beep boops, lo-fi quality and echoey female vocals: these are a few of my favourite things – as if you didn’t know that by now. Check out more songs on Stacian’s Bandcamp here.
Ready for more fantastic music from Montreal? Besatzung is a new project by Sovannak Ké and it’s already shaping up to be a minimal synth lover’s dream. Véritablement Découragé is Besatzung’s first official release, and the songs range in mood to deliver something for any state of heart and mind. Dark, echoey vocals flowing over unearthly and sometimes manic synth loops make this project a recent favourite of mine.
The lyrics from this dreamlike song always put a bit of a lump in my throat. You can listen to or buy Véritablement Découragé at Besatzung’s Bandcamp, or check out their active Facebook page.
It’s a few years old, but I can’t get enough of Frank (Just Frank)’s album The Brutal Wave. Synthpop, post-punk, and coldwave combine to create a fantastic aural landscape that has been making me hit the Repeat button quite a bit these past few days. ‘Beneath’ in particular is steadily earworming its way into my dreams, and I have no complaints.
With a touch of dark 80s inspired synth and vocals, The Brutal Wave is climbing my personal favourites chart. Coming in a close second, their Valerie EP has some great songs as well, including the fantastic dance tune ‘Do The Soviet’.
More band info: Facebook
Just heard this song off of the new two-track release from Pleasure Symbols, and it’s mesmerizing! Dark and droning coldwave with some post-punk flavour thrown in, this Brisbane band is definitely going to be on my radar when it comes to future releases. Ultraviolence is the other track on this release and definitely worth a listen; evokes feelings of a descending, shadowy dystopia. Head on over to their Bandcamp here to check out both excellent songs.
This weekend one of my favourite synthy Vancouver bands, Animal Bodies, released their newest dark musical offering. The Killing Scene is a fantastic release from start to finish – I’ve been waiting for some of these songs to be released for a couple of years. I remember watching a live clip 2 years ago of them playing the first track from this release (‘Start The Suffocation’) and falling in love – Animal Bodies melds EBM, darkwave, and synthpunk flawlessly and the result is catchy as hell! The second track ‘Sex Power’ is reminiscent of some of their earlier songs from their Kiss Of The Fang EP, also highly worth checking out.
I’ve had this album on repeat for a few days, surrounded by candles and watching it pour rain outside – I’m fairly certain life couldn’t get any better. To top it off, Animal Bodies sound great recorded, but their live shows aren’t to be missed. They’re doing a tour of the west coast and starting off this weekend in Vancouver, so keep an eye on their Facebook page if you want to catch them – you won’t regret it. As always, please support the artists if you like what you hear: Bandcamp and Official Website.
One last quick post before heading out of the country for a few weeks. Cinéma Vengeance is a minimal-synth band that I can’t dig up much info about, but my friends in Montréal tell me that Xavier Paradis of Automelodi was drumming live with them last month and they said it was a fantastic live show! Apparently Xavier indicated that this project will have a more industrial feel than Automelodi. So I’m guessing it’s a Canadian project, looks like it’s been active for about a year and a half, and it’s fun. (Edit: The other band members are Nick Coldhands from Effet Werther and Fred from Police des moeurs) That’s all I got…check out their demos here.