JO MARCHES – Monsters
Hailing from Utrecht, Jo Marches offer up a combination of engaging synth-pop melodies with a slick production style. Fronted by Johanneke Kranendonk, a meeting with producer David Hoogerheide back in 2015 led to a collaboration that’s since drawn comparisons to the likes of Lykke Li and Tame Impala.
The new EP Day In Day Out arrived earlier this year and is packed with solid tunes that offer a showcase for Kranendonk’s gauzy vocals. Themes on the album tackle the current political climate, feminism, loss and depression. The tight melodies of ‘Monsters’ tackles these political themes head on. At times, the song brings to mind the breathy alt-pop of late 90s outfit Sing-Sing with its dreampop aspirations.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of other tunes that continue this skilful grasp of blissful synth-inspired pop with a memorising quality on the new EP. But ‘Monsters’ serves as the perfect introduction to the world of Jo Marches.
STATIC SHORE – Sun In my Wake
The duo of Static Shore offer up lush, layered compositions that paint a landscape of smooth synth-pop. Consisting of Eric Smith and Shannon Alexander, the US electronic outfit trace their roots back to 2003 when Smith was inspired by the likes of Depeche Mode and Moby among others to write music. Shannon Alexander responded to Smith’s shout-out for another musician to work with and the pair collaborated for a venture titled Adrenaline Sky.
After taking a break for a few years, the pair reunited to start composing new material, now under the new name of Static Shore. Their debut EP Life and Love in the Hologram arrived in 2016.
Their latest EP, titled Embody, arrived this year and features the summery sounds of ‘Sun In My Wake’. There’s a subtlety at work on the polished beats that the tune presents, but Alexander’s voice has a captivating, sensual quality that ties the whole thing together.
Static Shore are already working on new material and have plans to perform in the UK in April 2019.
LÅSKA – Мой взгляд (нет пути назад)
As previously noted, Russia can rock up with some intriguing electronic acts at times. New outfit Låska continue that trend with nods back to the classic 80s synth-pop sound married with washes of synth tones and a hazy vocal.
Describing themselves as inspired by “industrial landscapes and dancing in pollution smog”, the duo’s approach offers a response of sorts to the current Russian political climate. Aiming to depict the moods of the younger generation, their compositions embrace a youth that’s angry, isolated and ready to dance.
Their eponymous debut album is out this month, but this snippet offers a brief taster of their gauzy goodness.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.