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