The Jacksonville, Florida band Sea Cycles is an interesting case as far as music that’s been called “synth-pop” goes. Whereas the regular practitioners of that style typically place vocals at the center—albeit usually through a gamut of vocal processors and effects—this quartet’s music is primarily instrumental, evoking the stylistics of post-rock. Both “Your Mind is a Sundial” and “Fiber Optic Cables To Antarctica” are close sonic kin to the music of Mogwai, the former sounding like a potential B-side to 2001’s Rock Action. Introspective in disposition and pensive in mood, Ground & Air is an instrumental set that conjures up vivid mental landscapes, as the best instrumental music is in wont to do.
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Stapleton left the group a few years ago to pursue his own solo career and the result is this year’s excellent country/Americana album, Traveller, which debuted at #2 on the country charts. Today, Stapleton has released a new video for “15 Years of Traveller”.
On past LPs, the Seattle-based group Barcelona have shown an affinity for groups like Coldplay. With their 2014 single “Fall in Love”, though, the band took a more minimalist, electronic direction, one far more successful than Coldplay’s snorefest Ghost Stories. To add to this electronic experimentation, Barcelona took to the Moog studio to put a fresh spin on “Fall in Love”. As the video capture of the performance attests, these Seattleites harnessed the dizzying array of synth options with aplomb.
With June now having kicked off, some will undoubtedly begin speculating as to what the “song of the summer” will be. While it would be premature to make any definitive calls this early on, the Nashville indie electro-pop outfit certainly have cause to throw the hat in the ring with their latest tune “Run Wild”, which features on their forthcoming Eunoia LP. Stream the track exclusively below.
Vancouver’s Colin Cowan has earned himself a respectful reputation on the back of his work with the likes of Dan Mangan, Dada Plan, and Woodpigeon, but his solo work is quickly proving its worth among them in the upper echelons of the Canadian indie scene. Spring Myths is the third installment in Cowan’s seasonal album tetralogy, and it’s both his most brilliant and solitary effort. Cowan played most of it himself, recorded by Dada Plan bandmate Malcolm Biddle directly onto 8-track tape with no assistance from computers. Its weirdly charming psych-pop forms channel something deep and classic, a dwindling memory of how things used to be when artists sought to break free of major labels and tap directly into their creative spirit for all to enjoy.