Monday 30 March 2009

Looks like synthpop's making a comeback...

Remember the 80s? No? Good, because now you won't need to. Today I'll be blogging about two british artists who are bringing the 80s back with their slick brand of electro synthpop.

First up is Leeds based trio Heads We Dance. Signed to This Is Fake DIY Records, HWD always find a way to sneak some kind of technological love triangle into their tracks. "You Are Never Alone With Model 21" is essentially a commercial jingle for a robotic wife, and when asked to do a cover song for Buffetlibre's Rewind project, it's only natural they would choose "Computer Love" by Kraftwerk.

They've had their work remixed by some of the hottest new names in music right now, such as Louis La Roche, Tepr, Frankmusik, Charlie Fanclub and Sidechains. They also make fine mixtapes as Heads We Dance DJs. Their Sci-Fi Mixtape has a tracklist full of galactic delights, each one given just long enough to shine and no longer. Wonderful.

Next is Elly Jackson AKA La Roux, NME Radar Tour headliner and daughter of Trudie Goodwin, actress in The Bill. Her synthpop melodies are just as fun and quirky as the story of how she found her name (apparently, she found a book of baby names in a bin and La Roux was the first one she found, which, after a bit of research, turned out to come from the French meaning "red-haired one"). Strictly speaking though, La Roux is actually two people. In the studio, Elly sings and plays synth, while the second half of La Roux, Ben Langmaid, co-writes and co-produces. Live, Elly sings while Ben plays the instrumentals underneath.

Having recently been confirmed as the support act for Lily Allen's UK tour, Elly and Ben have just released their new single "In For The Kill" on Polydor, which features a brilliant remix from dubstep pioneer Skream, which starts out as a sinister downtempo murmur, and finishes with an all-out breakbeat assault. The new single has been a big move for La Roux, as it's not often a band gets to switch from indie label to major label after just one single (the previous single "Quicksand" was released on Kitsune).

Keep it funky,

- Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo