Synth-Pop


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One of my favorite albums to listen to for the past few days.  Very catchy and quirky.  Sparks is one of the defining pop bands of the 70’s, and I feel rather stupid for just now discovering them.  Don’t make my mistake.  Download this and listen today.  You won’t be disappointed.

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The final album from the late Logan Whitehurst. After suffering from brain cancer for three years and leaving his indie-rock band “The Velvet Teen”, Logan returned to his nerd-rock project “The Junior Science Club”. Very Tiny Songs was his returning album that he worked on for a few months. I’ll let you read Logan’s description of the album:

Q: What is the Very Tiny Songs Project?

A: The Very Tiny Songs Project is just what it seems. During this project, I produced very tiny songs based on suggestions to me that I received via enail, telephony, private conversation, telegraphy, or other communication over the week from May 28th to June 06th, 2006. The songs are posted on this page in the order in which they were produced. That order is based on the order in which the suggestions were received.

Q: Are these songs any good?

A: You be the judge of that. I did these all spontaneously, quickly, crappily, and cheaply. First takes, mistakes, bad notes, and poor musicianship were all allowed. These are song ideas–sketches. Had to get my practice in.” –Read more reasons.

Unfortunately, this would be Logan’s last work. Doctors found cancer in Logan’s brain again yet again in the later half of summer ’06. This time doctors informed him that he would not make it, and he only had a few months left. Logan had finished all of the songs before the cancer was found again, but he had not finished the artwork-which is a huge reason to buy the album, by the way. Every single song has a very tiny drawing that comes in a booklet with lyrics and who suggested the song over each drawing (Notable suggestors: Dr. Demento, Neil Cicireiga). Logan did a good majority of these illustrations while fading away in the hospital. He passed away on December 3, 2006, a sad day for multiple bands and countless fans.

As for the music, if you like up-beat synth-pop-y albums you’ll like this. If you like fun, good-natured albums that make you smile or laugh you’ll love this. Like he said, most of these songs are sketches, but most (read: all) sound much better than some well-produced bands. I love this album so much; it’s made with pure creativity, love, and heart in mind. I hope Logan brings as much joy to you with this recording as he has to me and my friends. I know this isn’t a Christmas album, but I feel like this is a good enough gift. Download it, buy it, love it.

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Math the Band Myspace

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If you’ve ever listened to high energy 8-bit electronic one-man-band-with-two-people-in-it Math the Band, you know that off-key vocals as well as too many beats per minute are common, which is why this album is so far-out from normal, but in a good way. Blending the synth-pop techniques that makes Math the Band so great, Kevin Steinhauser, band leader, created this indie-pop/folk masterpiece. Spanning 26 songs, each starting with a letter of the alphabet following the order, the album delivers in pure beauty. Also utilizing acoustic guitars, banjos, baritone ukuleles, horns, random percussion, synths, and many other instruments, Steinhauser truly is a one-man band that is capable of blowing minds.  I guarantee there is at least one song in here that you will enjoy. In all honesty, if you are going to download one album from this blog make it this one. I can only continue to recommend this to fans of music in general.

P.S. I don’t feel like my write-up does this album justice. Curse my inability to describe music well! Take a listen to the preview to get a true feel.

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“Armiestime! Armies is slightly concept-driven, especially compared to Riding With Hitler. All of the songs are from 2006 and 2007, and Several of them were recorded in a Skypesque Army of j2s-manner (in which several singing j2-layers collide with each other). Also featured on this album are songs from Look (an unfinished 2006 album), Davefest 2007 demos, and b-sides from the recording of the 12/07 sampler! It’s so great, you guys – why don’t you start listening to it right now?!” -from Ultramint. Great lo-fi They Might Be Giants-esque synth-pop done by a teen during those awkward ages of 14-16 years old. A true definition of a “bedroom recording”. Recommended for fans of Lemon Demon or Logan Whitehurst.

Damn-Skippy

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Quick post cause I gotta take me one of them tests tomorrow that helps me get scholarships or something like that. This is a fun, synthy album that has songs that are about pumpkin pies, kittens, and crayons. You’ll like it, trust me.

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“TRANSHUMAN REVOLUTION recaptures the sweetness that endeared listeners to Barcelona’s debut record “simon BASIC” while showing remarkable growth in the group’s songwriting. Songs like “everything makes me think about sex” are clearly more mature than past efforts, but tempered by knowing winks. Frequently labeled “programmer pop” and “geek rock” in the past, Barcelona show less interest in those themes on this record and evade their own cliches with more emotive songs like “fleeting fame”, “human simulation” and “west coast radio”. Pop, punk, disco and new wave influences reign here, a recompiled olio of everything from Blondie, Moroder, Agent Orange, New Order, and Unrest to Funboy Three. Try to imagine Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” if it had been recorded by Spark’s Mael brothers. In an often homogenous music scene, Barcelona have succeeded in creating a sound unique to themselves. Equal parts indie rock and retro-synthesized pop, TRANSHUMAN REVOLUTION is both referential and incomparable; nervous, erratic and infinitely catchy. Guitars and analog synthesizers create the backdrop. Jennifer’s confident vocals lend support to Jason’s slightly paranoid melodies. The band show off their pop tendencies by dispersing clever harmonies and trading melodies across each song while producer and collaborator, trevor/hollAnd, sparks an often contrary and unexpected brilliance.” – taken from insound.com. Music from a now defunct band.