On the surface, there’s not a whole lot to suggest that Tetherball‘s music is anything more than some pretty hook-heavy rock and roll. For Steve Voss, the man behind the Tetherball name, however, there’s a great deal of deep lyrical exploration beneath the music’s surface, saying in the press release for his latest record Whimsy, “‘Tetherball’ deals mostly with the concepts of madness and perception.” Philip K. Dick, a science fiction writer as obtuse as he is beloved, is cited as an inspiration for much of Whimsy‘s material.
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Brooklyn-based (who isn’t these days?) musician Monika Heidemann, who records under the all-caps HEIDEMANN, peddles in emotive-synth driven music that emphasizes her voice. The instrumental backing to her music, comprised of synths, bass, and analog drum programming, is largely unobtrusive, allowing her voice to rise to the forefront and create a somewhat brooding mood. Orphan, her debut EP, forms a clear statement of intent in this regard.
From a single synthesizer one can generate a seemingly endless repertoire of sounds, a fact which an equally endless amount of young bands around the world have capitalized on since the creation of that instrument. The Frail finds itself amongst this burgeoning electronic music scene, and like the genre’s luminaries, it’s a group that knows quite well how to wring a potent hook out of its synth arsenal. The trio is comprised of Daniel Lannon (vocals and synths), Israel Chavarin (bass), and Kevin Durr (synths). Their debut, LoveDeathLegend, follows two EPs, Count on This and the fittingly titled Lasers Over Lovers. LoveDeathLegend finds The Frail making a mellifluous batch of synth-driven pop tunes, enhanced in large part by Lannon’s Michael Jackson-esque vocals.
On their Tumblr page, up-and-coming rockers StarBenders describe their sound as akin to “Iggy Pop playing 7 minutes in heaven with Katy Perry.” It’s a bold and playful declaration, one that’s befitting of the group’s youthful presence. However, the Iggy Pop comparison also hints at the punk edge that rears its head throughout the otherwise thoroughly poppy songs StarBenders play. “Touch”, a tune from their forthcoming self-titled EP, is an ideal representation of the band’s style.
When Johnny Vic dropped off a couple of his CDs that he made under the name Satellites in London record shops, he found that they sold out rather quickly in most cases. Following up on this momentum, Satellites crafted a full-length LP, .02, which was released in the UK last year, and will soon see its stateside release. Below you can check out three remixes of the .02 number “Wasteland”.