Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Bicep, George Maple, Tennyson and more.
EP / ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Bicep - Bicep
Belfast-born, London-based duo Bicep are commonly seen as legends within the underground house music movement, so it's quite surprising to learn that their self-titled album Bicep is actually their first. Their debut reeks of that simplistic-sounding, yet utterly complex house sound that has highlighted fan favourites of theirs (such as Just and their numerous impressive remixes), with each of the lengthy 12 album tracks (including a shorter, one minute interlude) chugging along with their addictive house touch. Released through Ninja Tune, Bicep sees the duo's experimentation within the house realm run wild, with tracks including Ayaya taking on a restrained, chilled-out approach to the genre while singles such as Aura are thumping, early-morning club anthems which, particularly referencing Aura here, have been desired for ID collectors for ages now. “It was a happy experiment… you might call it an accident,” says the duo on the album's leading single. “We’d been playing with this specific and very complicated gear-chain for a while but nothing worked, or didn’t feel musical enough… then it all just fell into place and Aura appeared.”
Oh, and if you're digging the album, rumours are flying around at the moment that the boys are coming back to Australia before the year's out - so get your arm muscle emojis ready.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
Tennyson - Cry Bird
Hailing from Canada, brother-sister duo Tennyson are one of electronic's most well-loved exports, with their increasing popularity pushed by co-signs by Skrillex (who collaborated with the duo and signed them to his OWSLA label) and more. Cry Bird is the first single from their forthcoming Uh Oh! EP set to come later in the year, with the duo digging deep into their percussion-infused sound for another pearler of a track. The single really takes influence from their jazz upbringing, with this groovy, jazzy edge being highlighted across much of the single through the single's subtle keys and Luke's vocals, which soar above the clanging percussion line. Cry Bird is an excellent introductory point if you're still unfamiliar with the duo, so definitely check it out and get acquainted with them as they continue to strive:
MORILLA - Impossible
Known as one-half of the Midnight Pool Party team, Impossible is the debut single from the just-launched solo alias of Sydney's Darren Morilla, and it's quite a charmer. The single is comparable to Channel Orange-era Frank Ocean but with its own Australian touch, with the woozy, R&B vocals of Morilla gliding above a stripped-back, synth-heavy production by fellow management mate cln - who's making some serious moves on his own. The track also has quite a powerful and personal meaning for Morilla, using Impossible to detail his life as a gay man, particularly when it came to finding musical influences. "Impossible is (broadly) about putting your all into a relationship, but not knowing how the other person feels or knows what they want. As a gay man, I think one of the most important things for the ‘equality’ movement is visibility," he says. "Other than Frank Ocean, Troye Sivan, and Sam Smith, there weren’t many other artists, especially R&B or hip-hop ones, who were writing music that I could specifically relate to as a gay man. I want to be part of the movement and to help others through my music."
George Maple - Hero
George Maple has to be one of Australia's most varied and versatile songwriters, whether it's a part of a collaborational partnership (with What So Not, DJ Snake or Goldlink, for example) or on her own (with singles like Kryptonite). Hero sees George Maple change her sound once again, with the singer-songwriter bidding adieu to her heavier, club-ready days with a woozy single pumped full of this nostalgic, 1980s feel. It's a bold and powerful return from George Maple, who this time around chooses to highlight her airy vocal line above a relatively restrained beat. Like Impossible before it, Hero is also a bit of a personal affair for George Maple, who uses to highlight the fact that it's actually okay, and even healthy, to sometimes relax, put your guard down, and be vulnerable. "I often have written about strength, empowerment, fierceness, all qualities that I feel lucky to have embraced as a woman in the 21st century. Fighting for equality, helping one another, providing a safe space for expression, feeling strong and powerful," she says. "I think sometimes we (I) forget that everyone is human and it’s OK to be vulnerable. Everyone is just trying to figure it out..... To be able to sit in the dark with someone when they’re suffering, is a very special skill."
KLP - Melt
Whether it's as a radio host, compilation curator, DJ, guest vocalist or producer, Sydney's KLP slays. Melt is her newest track, with the jack-of-all-trades following up the perky, radio-friendly hit Changes with another easily-approachable single that further demonstrates her skills as a producer and vocalist. Following up from collaborations with What So Not, Skrillex and Remi, Melt sees KLP spotlight her anthemic vocal prowess on her own this time, combining her lively vocals with a soaring, festival-ready production which would definitely feel at home in the summer. She's also going on a short-yet-sweet east-coast tour with the bass-wielding production weapon Moonbase later in the year in support of the single, so keep an eye out for that.
Shockone - A Dark Machine feat. Reija Lee
As someone who goes to a shit-tonne of shows in Perth, I've probably seen Shockone out and about more in the past few years than I've seen my own bloody Dad. That said, every time I see him he brings something new and inventive to the table, which is quite a feat considering my personal distaste for much of the drum-and-bass scene. A Dark Machine is his newest track, with the Perth production king teaming up with Reija Lee for a high-energy DnB affair, with the producer crafting up a high-energy production pushed along by drum-and-bass' well-known percussion pulse. Reija Lee's light vocals cut through the dense production to offer a bit of light and refreshing relief, which definitely allows A Dark Machine to be one of those rare DnB tracks which can be played at 9 AM on a Monday morning as well as in a sweaty club over the weekend. Mad props, Perth fam.
Todd Terje & The Olsens
Shockone w/ HWLS