Now that we are at the height of summer it’s time to refresh our charts with the best albums of the year. Today we speak of the glittering world of electro pop; here we could enjoy a couple of new interesting entries after the first episode that was published a few months ago.
Let’s discover the updated list of the best electro pop albums of 2018. And, as usual, you’ll find at the end of the article the link to my Electro Pop playlist on Spotify.
#1) “HELLO WORLD” by SKYGGE
Hello World, the experimental work by SKYGGE, was fully reviewed in a dedicated post when the album entered the Best New Music section of the blog. The album is the result of a research project in which scientists were looking for algorithms to capture and reproduce the concept of musical “style”. After a number of initial prototypes, a first group of electronic music artists joined the research team and at some point they took control of the process, and the scientific project became a music project. These artists were invited and coordinated by Benoit Carré (aka SKYGGE) and their work became the beautiful Hello World. The album is based on the idea to feed computer machines with sounds and melodies selected by every artist as input. Deep learning algorithms are then applied in order to allow the artificial intelligence module to elaborate and refine musical elements that are stylistically similar to the initial ones, but “new”. From a musical point of view, the album is strongly influenced by European electronic music and in the end it results in an excellent collection of modern and forward thinking electronic tracks. And it’s not by chance that after many months, the album is still a the top of the electro pop chart.
#2) “EXORCISM” by Jenny Wilson
Exorcism, which is the fifth and newest LP released by Swedish Pop artist Jenny Wilson, tells in music the terrible story of a sexual assault that the songwriter experienced a few years ago while clubbing. This element by itself could guarantee for the album a deeper element of analysis and interpretation with respect to the typical electro-pop album, but the reality is that the feelings of tension, disturbance and anguish that are spread all-over the tracks of the record are evident and may be perceived even by the casual listener who doesn’t know the full story which is behind the album. The artist, however, managed to tell her painful story without ever making the music monotonous, didascalic and depressing. On the contrary, Exorcism features a collection of extremely interesting, varied and intriguing songs that disseminate their load of insecurity and alienation in an absolutely subtle way and, because of that, the result is extremely sharp and effective.
#3) “ANYWHERE BUT HERE” by Pola Rise
Anywhere But Here is the debut album from a new electro pop artist from Poland, Paulina Miłosz, who operates under the stage name of Pola Rise. She published a number of singles from 2014 and eventually got a record deal with Warner Music Poland, which supported the publication of her full lenght work. Her style of electronic music oscillates between pieces of clear experimental nature with notes of avant-garde, and more delicate and catchy songs, which in my opnion are also the ones that better highlight the qualities of this young artist. Anywhere But Here is particularly interesting because of the way in which it is able to give that “indie” feeling to a set of songs that, in their essence, result quite linear and without any particular dynamic development. The album offers the listener a nice collection of musical sketches, interesting and enjoyable to hear, gifted by a “light” touch make them the perfect companion for many moments of our days.
#4) “I CAN FEEL YOU CREEP INTO MY PRIVATE LIFE” by tUnE-YaRdS
Merrill Garbus, the US singer and songwriter who operates under the moniker of tUnE-YaRdS, never showed so far any lack of creativity and inventiveness. Indeed, from the beginning of her career she has maintained a minimalist approach to the choice of instruments and music styles almost as if she had the fear of covering, with an excess of effects and instruments, the essence of the motifs and the ideas which she was transforming into music. And if this approach may have precluded her the largest audiences, she still managed to leave her mark within the indie scene of the last decade. In tUnE-YaRdS‘ last album, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, longtime collaborator Nate Brenner has become an official member of the project, and the duo confirms more or less the same approach of Garbus’ previous releases. Electronic hypnotic beats remain in fact the baseline over which we enjoy Garbus’ eclectic and thrilling vocal lines. The musical performance is not always up to the experimental ambitions of the duo, but where their desire to explore new paths for music manages to find an adequate sonic vehicle, their songs succeed in offering us a very pleasant escape from the monotony of our routines.
#5) “BORN BACKWARDS” by Sequin
Sequin is the solo project of Ana Miró, a Portuguese singer and electronic producer who has been also the lead vocalist for other two music projects (Jibóia and Heats). In Sequin’s bandcamp page the music composed by Ana Miró is desdribed as “electro pop” and “naive electro”. I believe however that these tags, by themselves, don’t reflect in full the special feeling that emerges from the delicate and intriguing songs of Born Backwards, which is the second album of original songs from Miró, after her debut work Penelope. The sytle of Sequin may be described as a minimalistic version of Bat For Lashes, with evident influences from both pop and club music. The most relevant characteristic of the album is for sure the warm and engaging voice of Ana Miró, who gives depth and charm to the simple and catchy electronic rhythms of her songs.
If you liked this article, you will for sure enjoy “ELECTRO POP“, the playlist I created on Spotify with the best and latest Electro Pop, Synth Pop, and Indie Electronic. Follow it, enjoy it, and spread the word!