Posts Tagged electropop

new music: Kira May

kira may

“Muscle Memory,” Kira May

After the release of an EP in 2014, Canadian artist Kira May decided to take some time to focus on treatment for anxiety and depression. A daunting task, she wrote about this experience for her upcoming album Sense which will be released this spring. Using a mic and a loop pedal, May creates lush pop songs.  “Muscle Memory” simmers with emotion, strength and resilience. It’s darkness and light colliding, murkiness and hopefulness.

She explained: ““Muscle Memory” explores the ways in which our bodies hold onto our painful histories. This is partially a love song for my body, which continuously strives to protect me and push for my physical and emotional survival, but it is also an exploration of the “letting go” required to move forward. When past traumas are no longer dangerous to us, although well-meaning, our bodies’ attempts to protect us can actually become harmful. This song looks specifically at the damaging effects of negative interpersonal relationships as a very young person who is still forming. In my case, the response was to retreat so deeply into the safety of my own body that it became difficult to get out.”



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new music: ARO; Parson James

ARO, “I Can Change”

–lovely cover of the LCD Soundsystem original with gorgeous, haunting vocals and a beautiful arrangement. I’m a fan. She embraces the darker side while retaining a vulnerability. ARO is British-born singer and daughter of Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne, Aimee Osbourne. Aimee avoided the family spotlight at age 16, choosing not to be part of the family’s reality series. She says: “It’s natural to want to rebel against what your parents do. Once I accepted music was my path, I rebelled by wanting to do it my own way. I also didn’t think it was respectful to my father’s career and creativity to assume that I could jump on the back of all he had worked his entire life for.” ARO will perform at SXSW in March. She divides her time between Los Angeles and London.

Parson James, “Waiting Game”

–born in the Bible belt, bi-racial and gay singer/songwriter Parson James faced numerous prejudices and challenges. He wrote music to escape and to express himself as many artists do. the result: bluesy, heartfelt songs on the The Temple EP out February 5, 2016. In this short documentary features the song “Waiting Game” as well as James speaking about growing up in a conservative town.


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music preview: DAEM and NONIE at The Middle East on Sunday, August 30

I’m both a proponent for female musicians and for introspective music that combines darkness and light. I adore Chelsea Wolfe, Lykke Li, Chvurches, Dum Dum Girls, Lush, Curve and Lana Del Rey. Finding a release about DAEM and NONIE in my inbox one day thrilled me. Moody alternative. Moody pop. Moodindie. I need to think of a term.

Nashville-based DAEM is Callie Benjamin and Jonathan Reed. Callie was working at a restaurant near one of the blasts during the Boston marathon bombing. She’s incorporated that devastating day into her songs. Callie graduated from Berklee College of Music. DAEM is deep, sweet spellbinding vocals with atmospheric and fierce melodies.

Australian singer/songwriter NONIE creates dark synth pop melodies. Born into a family of film/TV engineers and producers, NONIE played piano and then became the drummer in an all-girl band at age 17. NONIE also graduated from Berklee College of Music. Her piercing vocals soar amidst churning electro-pop melodies. Her debut EP Sirens is currently available.

DAEM and NONIE will play The Middle East Upstairs on Sunday, August 30 along with Florio and Telectrix.



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music review: Science and the Beat

future blue by science and the beat

You know how some days you feel cool and smart and pretty and two days later you want to stay in bed and feel like you’ve made too many mistakes in your life? You know how you feel moody and run with that moodiness into danger and other times into fun? Other times you’re skeptical and feel like you give everything and are honest and open and can’t trust anyone. This is the album for your every emotion. It’s what author Julie Holland, M.D. discusses in her book Moody Bitches. And let’s face it, we all get called bitches when we express ourselves in a way that someone disagrees with. It’s being simultaneously strong and vulnerable. The strong independent spirited woman who’s been fucked over and beats herself up and question herself at times self-assured and other times insecure. This is that album. This is the perfect catharsis for every bad date, every bad relationship and every love EVER.

Science and the Beat infuses varied sounds and energies. It’s the skilled duo of multi-instrumentalists Tasha Katrine and Rob Zilla that create the cool sounds and eclectic arrangements. Part of the goth industrial scene, the pair relocated to Boston from Seattle. Dark beauty always wins my dark heart over. Katrine sometimes snarls, sometimes exudes gentle regrets and always mesmerizes. Some songs are up “Falling Out” and some veer toward the mellow “Mean Streak.” On a song like “Sorry,” Katrine sings what all feel at times being headstrong and should we apologize for being outspoken? There’s the super entrancing, grooving “Never Letting Go” with its retro beats. On “Take It Back,” [“why should I take it back when you couldn’t keep your promises/ you couldn’t take the sting away/ never sleep at night without you” the mood gets reflective and the melody suitably dance-trance. On “Last Call,” it’s completely bold beats and intense, don’t mess with me vox. Great breakup/ workout/ stoner/ party/ female empowerment album.

Science and the Beat
Future Blue
Release date: August 21, 2015

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new music: Birch

Birch, “Halfway”

electropop/folky/indie pop in the vein of Metric and Chvrches with 60s girl-band vocals. invigorating, infectious and catchy. Michelle Birsky graduated from college with a music composition degree and moved to Brooklyn. She worked at a commercial music house, music supervising an indie film and interned with film composer Elliot Goldenthal. In August of 2014, Birsky went on a two-week solo, silent retreat to her parent’s house in Vermont where she began working on songs for Birch’s debut.


singer/songwriter Michelle Birsky
bassist Mat Towles on bass
guitarist Emma Munger


The Halfway EP is available for download on August 28.

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