Indie pop band Janice Prix weren’t exactly accepted by their local crowd at first. Deciding to create synth heavy sounds with clean vocals and big pop hooks didn’t exactly endear them to their neighbourhood and a scene full of metal oriented bands. If there’s something the Swedes have always been good at, though, it’s creating good pop hooks…and so Janice Prix continued on their quest undeterred. Their debut EP ‘Nobody Would Know’ says so much about their determination as their talent. Its five songs are layered in synths and punchy drum loops, yet at the same time, there’s a huge sound and just enough guitar to endear them to the kind of people who expect their pop to deliver a bit more than a quick sugar fuelled hit.
Billing themselves as “pop core”, Danish band A Road To Damascus set out – in their own words – to create music that was “catchier than your average rock song” and yet “heavier than your average pop song”. Since there’s a lot of catchy rock based stuff out there (try resisting the huge choruses on Black Star Riders’ ‘Finest Hour’ or those gang vocals on The Fratellis’ ‘Chelsea Dagger’), they’d automatically given themselves a tall order, but one listen to their music is all that’s needed to understand what they mean.
Their 2019 EP ‘No Man Is An Island’ takes in all manner of twenty first century pop and lighter rock influences to create something very friendly. At its very best, it sounds like hugely sophisticated pop music aimed squarely at an adult market, but by keeping one foot in a vaguely rock-ish camp, they’ve created four songs that – although unashamedly pop – have a pleasing weight to them; a general oomph that would normally be absent from radio pop. The presence of vocal filters throughout is a constant reminder of their love of actual pop fare, but if you can make it past those, the EP has a lot to give.
Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’ is one of the most enduring songs of the 80s. There’s something in the narrative that seems to resonate with so many people. Maybe it’s the thoughts of summers past; maybe it conjures memories of lost friendships. Whatever it is, so many people love it and over the years it’s been covered in a variety of styles.
Finding a sound somewhere between a sixties surf band, easy listening library music, Saint Etienne’s quirky instrumentals and Air, Norway’s Orions Belte make neo-psych pop and downtempo sounds that totally mess with the fabric of time. Their debut album ‘Mint’ plunges the listener into downbeat moods that seem to constantly waver back and forth between sixties kitsch and mellow alt-pop from the 90s mellow pop. Occasionally, it’s as if things are deliberately presented at the wrong tempo, but the results are always finely crafted.
New York’s London Plane will release a new LP on May 18th 2018. ‘New York Howl’ promises a mix of indie rock sounds with a peppering of synth in a very 90s style.
Ahead of the album, they’ve released the title track via a new video clip which you can watch in full as part of the below press release.