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Slovakia's the Youniverse Thrill with Their Electro-Blues Sound on "Riverbanks" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Working Brilliantly

Slovakia's the Youniverse pair the blues with electro and build a unique sound that will carry the group far.

The Youniverse are a Slovakian group with a deep love for the American blues. Blending blues with electronics is a unique sound that's quite arresting and compelling. Blues is a deeply human music, chock full of emotion and passion, and that dynamic plays out very well alongside digital sounds. This was an approach that Yaz took, marrying Alison Moyet's soulful, bluesy voice with Vince Clarke's synth melodies and beats.

On "Riverbanks", the Youniverse go for a much leaner and minimal approach to electronics than Yaz, but they prove yet again that warm music paired to electronics makes for truly compelling sound. The members of the Youniverse grew up under communism in Slovakia, but loved American music, especially the Delta blues. One can only imagine how potent the blues sounded against the greyness of Eastern Europe in those years. Interestingly, the Slovak folk musical scale is a mere one tone apart from the blues scale. The deep love this group has for blues comes across as very ingrained and natural, and they offer up a thrilling sound that portends a rosy future for the group.

Lead singer Tammy Nižňanská tells PopMatters that "'Riverbanks' is actually the first song I have composed entirely myself, from start to finish, Jerguš acting upon it later as a producer and arranger. It kind of gave us the kick to move our sound a bit more into electronics and use the guitar as a significant stand-alone element rather than focus on the song being riff-based, as we have done up to this point."

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