Synth-pop Summer

With the summer weather upon us, it’s a perfect opportunity to explore some recent tunes to suit the mood. In our new batch of reviews TEC looks at a suave new number from LEATHERS, ethereal pop via Nadia Vang and monarchy commentary care of Nostalgia Deathstar.

LEATHERS – Fascination

Vancouver electronic outfit ACTORS have become one of the most talked about bands on the scene in recent years, particularly on the back of 2021 album Acts of Worship. Shannon Hemmett, who is usually on keyboards duties for ACTORS, has also branched off into her own musical venture under the guise of LEATHERS.

New release ‘Fascination’ follows on from the sublime ‘Highrise’, released earlier this year. This latest outing has a suave, dark quality to it that at times suggests a combo of the discopop of Goldfrapp meets the dry synth-pop stylings of Client. ‘Fascination’ makes smart and minimal use of words (“Fascinating, Elevating, Make believe”) to craft amn effective lounge pop mood.


NADIA VANG – Blue Eyes

Previously operating under the guise of Voi Vang, the darkwave musings of Nadia Vang sees more of a dreampop, ethereal approach to her music in 2023. Earlier this year, the swirling delights of ‘Mercury’ boasted a sophisticated synth-pop style that suggested a bright future.

New release ‘Blue Eyes’ follows up on that promise. Vang’s latest outing offers up a gossamer sheen with its whispery vocals, but the foundation of beats and rhythms manages to still give this affair a dancepop sensibility.

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Bandcamp: https://nadiavang.bandcamp.com

NOSTALGIA DEATHSTAR – Oath of Allegiance

Nostalgia Deathstar consists of Sean Albiez (ghost elektron) and Martin James (Mothloop) and describe their partnership as being “in deep cryogenic sleep in a far flung internal universe but will occasionally resurface with urgent transmissions”. This latest offering tackles the thorny topic of the monarchy, served up in a murky electropop package.

‘Oath of Allegiance’ serves up shuffling beats and sepulchral moods with some biting lyrical commentary on the subject at hand (“And if I could be king for a day/I’d apologise for everything”). There’s an understated minamilism at work on this composition which, combined with its pointed lyrical narrative, makes for an engaging whole.