Tag Archives: Electro

‘E’ is for Eckoes

13 Sep

Hypnotic, infectious and stunning; the music of Eckoes sounds as if it comes from another world. Her deep, soulful electronica combines with pop hooks, dance beats and glorious vocals to entrance and enthrall.

London based Eckoes is an artist you may have heard of already. If not, she is someone you will definitely be hearing more of in the future. A successful songwriter for other artists, she has recently been scouted by Grammy Award winning producer Naughty Boy. This is in addition to being a FAC Advocate Artist who helps and advise other up and coming artists. Oh, and then of course there is her own music, which is incredible and has received support from 6Music and BBC Introducing as well as a slew of glowing and effusive posts from legitimate tastemakers.

Eckoes’ music has evolved over the years; her pop skin has been stripped back, exposing her bare electro endoskeleton to the world. In so doing, Eckoes has revealed a sound that is altogether darker, more intense and bewitching.

Taken from her forthcoming EP, Eckoes’ latest single “Black & Red” is a stark and seductively dangerous slice of electronica. Dystopian in its sensibility, it could easily be the soundtrack to a dark sci-fi opera (think Blade Runner meets Event Horizon). It is absolutely perfect for that moment where we focus entirely on the protagonist and blur the surroundings. It feels like being being isolated and alone whilst surrounded by the incessant noise and hubbub of a densely populated megalopolis. The layered, almost choral, vocal is utterly captivating. A thing of pristine beauty in this otherwise dark and twisted world.

The melody glows and hums like vast neon signs while the sparse, crisp electronic beats pulse like beacons in deep space. At times claustrophobic and intense, at others cinematic and boundless, “Black & Red” is one of those incredible pieces that offers the listener something new on each listen.

Earlier single “S.B.F” has a driving intensity to it. It throbs and pounds with a bristling menace, whilst rippling and undulating with a sensual intoxicity. Startlingly open and honest, it is a track that stirs the emotions, that simultaneously gives in and fights back, standing tall in defiant submission.

Travel further through the back catalogue and you will find the deep rooted pop aesthetic becomes more overt. “Nobody Else” has a delightfully subtle 90s dance feel to it, while “Pieces” is a gorgeously deep soulful cut, complete with an infectious, eyes closed and sing along chorus. Keep travelling back, past the multi-layered “Human”, past the sorrowful beauty of “Blue Deep”, keep going and eventually you will find a remarkable, and swoonsome, cover of Mr. Mister’s 1985 classic, “Broken Wings”. Trust us, it’s fantastic.

Her music is something we can get lost in. As she takes us to other worlds, to darker places and to the intimate recesses of her soul, the sounds hypnotise and captivate. Hairs stand up on the back of our neck, goose bumps tingle on our arm and our feet tap along incessantly. It is only fitting that an artist as incredible as Eckoes be part of our Alphabet.

Eckoes is playing Birthdays on Friday 14 September with fellow Alphabet Bands favourites, HEZEN and Hydra Lerna.
“Black & Red” is out now and available to buy or stream here.

Get to know Eckoes: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Asleep With Headphones – “Eleventy-Four”

12 Feb

Asleep With Headphones

In recent years random surveys have found that, generally speaking, Coldplay are the band most people like to fall asleep to. This does not surprise us. We don’t mean the fact that Coldplay are so musically soporific that they render their listeners unconscious (though now you come to mention it…). No, we mean the fact that people like to fall asleep listening to music. We do, have done for years and years, ever since we were young and would curl up under our Star Wars duvet with our Walkman and drift off while listening to the charts we taped off the radio the previous Sunday. That is, we did until it was pointed out to us that sleeping with a pair of headphones on is dangerous as we could quite easily garrotte our young and tender neck with the cables. Ever since this revelation in our formative years we have considered being asleep with headphones on to be a bad thing.

Until now.

Now we know that Asleep With Headphones is not only a good thing, it is a wonderful and enticing electronic trickle of soft ambient gorgeousness thing. For you see, Asleep With Headphones is no longer just a reminiscence to our youth, it is the nom de musique for Cleveland based electro producer, Jason Mowry.

Judging by his discography (seven EPs in three years) he’s quite a prolific conjurer of musical magic and his latest EP, The Stargazer, is a magnificent concoction of downtempo, late night electronics and digital rhythms. The whole thing is rather glorious but we have chosen to showcase the sublime “Eleventy-Four” and its nostalgic, early days of cinema style video.

“Eleventy-Four” is elegant, refined and welcoming. The cool digitised beats are crisp not stark and the synths ripple and float along like a long lost satellite, drifting in space on a never-ending journey of exploration through the wonders of the cosmos.

It is music for closed eyed imaginings and dreaming. Pass the headphones, we’re going for a nap…

”Eleventy-Four” features on ‘The Stargazer’ EP which is available now as a free download.

Stalk Asleep With Headphones: Website / Facebook / Twitter

JYLDA – “No Hope”

5 Jan


After the autumnal tranquillity of Owl & Penny yesterday, we thought we’d continue to ease you back into the world of work with another gorgeous and gentle tune, this time courtesy of Berlin’s JYLDA. Now, granted the title, “No Hope”, is not the most optimistic for the start of a New Year when resolutions have been made and (possibly) stuck to, but thankfully this is not a step into the inferno. Instead it is a smokey swirl of melody and digital delights.

Gianna Gehlhar’s voice is operatic at times at it rises up above the bare electronics. Gradually the component parts marble together, synths hum and dance with the beat and vocals. Our good friends at Poule d’Or likened it to the opening of a Bond movie and they are spot on. It’s all smoke and silhouettes, the faint undulation of body shapes with the chorus and a slight sense of danger and drama within the seduction; calming and exciting at the same time.

Via Poule d’Or

Stalk JYLDA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Oh Land – “Head Up High” (video)

23 Oct

Oh Land

Yesterday we told you that today we would be bringing you the new Oh Land video, and here we are, today, bringing you the new Oh Land video. There are two reasons for this, one is that we said we would, so we are, and the other is because we really like Oh Land, we even wrote about her second debut release (it makes sense, really) way back when this blog wasn’t really this blog yet. Oh, and we really like her new video too; three reasons.

Granted, we don’t know why her room looks a bit like a well furnished prison cell, but perhaps that is to foreshadow the eventual destructive behaviour and the representation of breaking free. Or something else. It’s probably something else.

What we do know is that “Head Up High” is quintessentially Oh Land, big poppy loveliness, electronics in all the right places, a stupidly infectious hook and fabulous inflection in her vocals. It’s also something different, something slightly darker in spirit and tone than that fabulous EP from all those years ago (note, yep, we do know she is now on her fourth album, we’re drawing a line from her start (ok, second start) to now). It’s almost electro-pop Lana but the pop has pretty much completely washed away all that stone washed glamour and replaced it with something you can dance energetically too. Which we would do, if we could dance.

“Head Up High” features on Oh Land’s new album, ‘Earth Sick’, and is available from iTunes.

Stalk Oh Land: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Chelsea Jade – “Find Me”

22 Oct

Chelsea Jade

Such is the amount of new music that we get sent, discover online and generally listen to that it can sometimes be a bit tricky to keep track of who is who, what is what and (embarrassingly) even what we have and haven’t blogged. Often we will find a new artist we quite like, follow them on Soundcloud and three months later when their new song pops up, we’ll scratch our heads and think to ourselves, ‘who on earth is this and why is this song here?’. Whilst this can be a little unnerving at times, we’re learning to live with this goldfish like capability of retaining information, but we do think it is a little mean when artists are complicit in our confusion by changing their bloody names.

Take Chelsea Jade for example. Just the other day her new song “Find Me” popped up in our soundcloud, we listened, we liked, we thought, ‘who on earth is this and why is this song here?’. The lady in question seemed familiar as did her vocals so we poked the little grey cells and went all Google-Poirot on the mystery. Of course it turned out to be not much of a mystery at all as, unlike many artists who choose to re-name and pretend like their previous self never happened, Chelsea Jade Metcalf has made no secret of her evolution from her earlier alias, Watercolours. And it was Watercolours that we had followed on Soundcloud after blogging her collaboration with fellow New Zealander, Boycrush, “Soft Teeth” back in March. Mystery solved.

Watercolours was to all intents and purposes a collective, with up to seven members at any one time with Chelsea providing vocals but, as she explained in an excellent interview with Stuff.co.nz her new music is all about her and it’s something she is excited by and proud of. She is now a one-woman show with no pseudonym to hide behind, it’s all her, all laid bare, “I almost feel like I was hiding before. That sounds so corny.

“The songs almost feel like a conduit for emotion. It doesn’t feel like there’s a front; it feels totally authentic. I like pop music because it can make you feel something and it can also recontextualise your experiences, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to do”, she explained.

This new step includes the release of a new EP, Beacons, this week and that is where “Find Me” comes in, popping up on our Soundcloud feed and momentarily confusing the hell out of us.

In fact, confusion is quite apt when considering “Find Me” as it is fantastically befuddling at times. It’s colourful yet sparse and monochromatic, simultaneously warm and cool, it’s gentle, embracing pop but made with isolating electronic noodles. It’s rather wonderful. It puts us in mind of Oh Land in the vocal styling and the subtle complexity and wondrousness of the soundscapes it creates. Dreamy soft yet spiky too and with a beautifully upbeat and melancholic chorus.

Time to embrace the confusion people and enjoy this fantastic slice of electro-poppery.

”Chelsea Jade’s new EP, ‘Beacons’, is due for release on 24 October 24.

Stalk Chelsea Jade: Website / Facebook / Twitter