It seems as if there will always be a place for boy/girl electro pop duos in our hearts. Following in the footsteps of so many NYC-based duos before them, ASTR slays it with haunting vocals, moody production and just enough pop to keep your head bumping. You might have heard of them because of the excellent Drake cover, but they also just dropped the Varsity EP just to let you know they’re the real deal. “Operate” has that “could get picked up by the radio at any moment” qualities and is definitely worth a listen. And, you know, while I’m at it I’ll throw in “R U With Me” because it’s that damn good too.
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It’s about that time of year where all the music blogs are itching to write their year-end lists, and this is one of those examples why it’s best to wait until the last minute. Technically, Beverly Hills duo MADE IN HEIGHTS put out an album about five months ago but I’m just coming across them with the recent release of “Death.” And really, what can I say about this other than I haven’t been so excited about a musical act since the emergence of 2013 stars CHVRCHES, Haim and The 1975. In fact, MADE IN HEIGHTS could be described as a mix of the unique production of Purity Ring mixed with the pop stylings of the aforementioned CHVRCHES.
In summary – THIS MUSIC IS INCREDIBLE. Even trying to compare it to anything else is a disservice to the sound. Sure, it might not be very professional or critical of me to gush like this but honestly, if this band doesn’t blow up in at least some way in 2014 there is something wrong with the world – and you know I don’t say that lightly.
Listen below and listen to everything else on their Soundcloud page. Seriously, whoa.
Just when you thought there was a lack of new, quality electro pop coming out we’re given the German/Norwegian duo KALEIDA I’m always a sucker for beautiful, quirky female vocals and they work perfectly here against a very poppy, lean beat. This is the only track we’ve got from them now but stay tuned for a debut EP coming out this December.
Maybe Drake or Rob Ford’s crack pipe won’t end up being the hottest thing out of Toronto after all. Now based in Berlin, Sway Clarke II comfortably fits in with the new generation of R&B artists like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. Having built his career being one of the unsung heroes behind the scenes, writing songs for major artists, he must have (correctly) realized that he had a real gem on his hands and decided to keep this one for himself. “I Don’t Need Much” shows off some incredibly talented songwriting ability that could easily translate to hit R&B track and perfectly executed vocally by the man who made it. While a lot remains to be seen, this track could be the start of something special. After all, Frank Ocean’s career started out the same way.
Here’s a bangin’ pop jam to pump up your Friday afternoon. Louie Diller and Liz Nistico make up Holychild, an LA-based electro pop duo that manage to distinguish themselves from the endless ocean of ill-fated electro pop duos with an experimental edge and full-bodied sound. It’s almost as if Sleigh Bells had a better singer and wrote more enjoyable songs (ooooooh, BURN). Dig on this: