2014 Outlook: Apt, Tears For Fears, KirA, Pinklogic, Eminent Sol, Shaun Kelly, and SO much more to look forward to!

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WELCOME 2014!

Hello, everyone! The first month of 2014 is just about gone, and theres already so much good news to report on in the world of synth-pop and electronic music. It’s gong to be a very exciting and fun-filled year with a lot of great new music to look forward to. New indie artists, new releases from old favourites, and lots of other cool stuff looms on the horizon as we head into 2014.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to mention some of the exciting things that have recently come my way. These are artists that I’ve been recently turned on to, as well as some familiar names. I plan on doing features soon on most, if not all of these great acts.

So having said that, here’s some of the things on my radar and in my ears:

APT

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One the most eagerly-anticipated releases of 2014, this electronic supergroup featuring Synth God, Jon Russell of Jonteknik fame, and the insanely talented singer-songwriter, Martyn Bailey, releases their debut album on 3 February. I’ve already bought my copy, and I can tell you it’s AMAZING! Apt allowed all customers who pre-ordered the album to get an advance digital download of the complete album. I’ve been listening to it incessantly for about a week now. It’s every bit as good as I had hoped, and even a tad better. There are a few nice surprises on there.

The album is called, Energy, Light and Darkness and it’s available now for pre-sale with a full digital download of the album in its entirety, to all who buy the CD via pre-sale. I highly recommend it, folks. BUY IT NOW!

You can pre-order the album here:

http://www.jonteknikmusic.com/page7.htm

You can expect a full review of Energy, Light and Darkness right here on Eminent Domain within a week……. or less.

KIRA

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My friend, Tony Blue, of EmT turned me on to two fantastic indie bands that I’m very excited about. The first of these is an absolutely dreamy duo of Kira and Richard who go by the moniker of, KirA. When I say dreamy, I really do mean dreamy! The vocals are gloriously ethereal and seductive, and the music is some of the most fluid and groovy ambient I’ve heard since the last good Enigma album. Being a massive fan of ambient, ethereal, Enigma-esque music, this group is a real treat for me.

I highly recommend you check out their Bandcamp page, as you can buy their album, Spark of Curiosity, which was released in April of last year. This one’s well worth the listen and the paltry 7-quid to buy it. If you dig listening to an album with lush soundscapes that you can get lost in for ages, this is the one for you. A definite must-have!

You can buy Spark of Curiosity here:

https://kirasounds.bandcamp.com/album/spark-of-curiosity

PINKLOGIK

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The second fantastic artist that Tony got me into, is Pinklogik. This is the project belonging to the lovely and supremely talented, Jules Straw. Pinklogik is like a breath of fresh, glitchy air. I LOVE it! With an ethereal and dreamlike sound that combines the best of analogue and digital synth sounds, her music really brings a smile to my face and a tingle to my ears. Pinklogik is very similar to my Eminent Sol material in the sense that it’s primarily instrumental pieces with an occasional vocal thrown in here or there. Speaking of which, she really does have a lovely voice. She has several items available for purchase via her Bandcamp page. I suggest checking out and purchasing her Random Access Memory album while you’re there.

Listen to and purchase Pinklogic’s music here:

https://pinklogik.bandcamp.com

ALIEN SKIN

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My dear friend, George, has just released a lovely cover version of the 1960’s pop classic, ‘Be My Baby’ originally done by Phil Spector’s The Ronettes. Alien Skin’s rendition is a superbly-crafted, airy, synth-pop gem that is sure to be a fan favourite for many years to come. I absolutely love it. Like Alien Skin’s cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’, this one is faithful enough to the song’s source material to be instantly recognizable, but it’s been infused with George’s masterful touch of synth-pop goodness that it’s strong enough to stand on its own merit.

‘Be My Baby’ also comes with an absolutely beautiful b-side called, ‘Simon & Garfunkel’. It’s a must-have for every fan!

You can buy Alien Skin’s new single, ‘Be My Baby’ via the official Alien Skin Bandcamp page:

http://alienskin.bandcamp.com/album/be-my-baby

SYNTHIE db SHOCK

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Speaking of George from Alien Skin, I credit him with my discovery of this great solo act. George posted a clip of her music on Facebook yesterday, and I was very impressed by what I heard. With a wonderfully melancholy vibe, her synth-pop is a perfect pairing for fans of The Cure, Gary Numan, or New Order (all of which she cites as her own influences, btw). The music has a decidedly gothic spin to it, and it’s beautifully done. The programming and arrangements are really first rate. For long-time indie synth-pop fans in the US, you may remember a band from the 90’s called Agnes Poetry. Synthie db Shock sounds very similar……. which is a very good thing! Her voice is perfectly suited for her dark blend of synth-pop, as it perfectly compliments her lively, yet dark arrangements.

This was a truly wonderful find for me. Thank you, George! 🙂

You can buy Synthie db Shock’s album via iTunes and Amazon. You can also check out a sampling of her songs via SoundCloud. I also recommend you check out her website:

http://www.synthie-decibelshock.com

Here’s a great little video promo for her Factory Reset ep:

PACIFIC DEEP

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Carl and Raymond have been busy since the release of their debut album last year. They’ve just released an absolutely AMAZING new ballad on their official SoundCloud page. The track is called, ‘A New World’, and it’s undeniably one of their best yet. Epic. These guys are one of my personal faves. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I strongly suggest you do so…… NOW!

Give ‘A New World’ a listen here:

EMINENT SOL

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Yeah, yeah, I know…… it’s shameless self-promotion, but it is my blog after all. 🙂 I’m pleased to announce that 2014 will be a very busy year for my Eminent Sol project. I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of my next single, which will be a cover version of the Cetu Javu classic, ‘Have In Mind’. It will be released on 14 April, 2014 via my Bandcamp page, and will have at least one or two additional original songs to accompany it. I’m REALLY excited for this release, as I believe it’s some of the best synth work I’ve ever done. It’s faithful to the original, but I added my own unique twist to it as well. This is one you won’t want to miss. So stay tuned!!!

SHAUN KELLY

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My old friend, Shaun Kelly is hard at work on his next solo offering, and I’m VERY excited for how it will sound. Shaun is a master of minimalist electronic music. Few musos I’ve met have the uncanny knack of knowing how to do so much in a song with so little. This is the man who helped me get my start in the business 25 years ago, and I will forever be in his debt for it. I have discussed the possibility of collaborating with Mr. Kelly on a track or two during the year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will come to fruition. I’ll be sure to keep you all apprised if, in fact, such a collaboration takes place.

You can check out his latest demos via his official SoundCloud page. Here are a few to get excited for:

TEARS FOR FEARS

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In 2013 we were treated to a few cover songs that Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal did to tease longtime fans. But no word of new TFF material. Then a few weeks ago, Roland let it slip that TFF were, indeed, working on a follow-up to 2004’s brilliant Everybody Loves a Happy Ending album. The as-yet untitled album is due out later this year. My guess is that the first single should be due by mid-summer or thereabouts. I dunno about y’all, but I’m very excited for a new TFF album.

In the meantime, please check out this stellar remix of ‘Pale Shelter’ by my dear friend, Roger Erickson. Mr. Erickson is one of the most inspiring and in-demand remixers in the realm of synth-pop. He’s done officially-sanctioned remixes for OMD and Depeche Mode. So please check out his FANTASTIC mix of this TFF classic:

http://play.beatport.com/contests/tears-for-fears-pale-shelter/52d3796c753a0d72ed52298e

VOTE FOR HIM, TOO, WHILE YOU’RE AT IT! 🙂

CRYSTAL METHOD

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Ken Jordan and Scotty Kirkland have just released their latest self-titled album, and it’s worth checking out. It’s got some classic TCM tracks on it. You can purchase it via all the major online retailers, including iTunes and Amazon.

Here’s the album cover:

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Well……… that about does it for this January update. Much more to come.

Stay tuned for my upcoming piece on the debut album by Apt. As always, thanks so much for reading my blog and for supporting all these wonderful artists.

SUPPORT INDIE ARTISTS!!!!

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Jimm Kjelgaard – January 2014

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