Hidden Gems: Andre Obin, Banks, Fiona Apple and more

In this new monthly feature, guest contributor RJ Kozain (2020k) shares with us the latest sonic finds that have made themselves at home on his playlists — treasures perhaps not easily stumbled upon.  Look for our monthly round-up of favourites on 2020k, Northern Lights and feel free to suggest your treasures on Twitter or Facebook.

Hidden Gems is a a new infrasound series on this blog wherein I present to you my own random musical finds that I will subjectively pack into one combined blog entry. These gem entries are presented in hopes that these songs make their way from my playlist to yours. The majority of these releases are songs that’ve been dug up by surprise, that have taken me whole, and refused to let me go. It’s in promotion of music and the joy it brings.

Any genre, any timeframe, any artist.

Volume 1 [link] started out over at the 2020k blog, but the Hidden Gems series has found permanent home at Open ‘Til Midnight. I encourage you to follow these artists in whichever way you find convenient. I’ve placed their profiles here through embedding the featured song. While you’re at it, follow me through my own musical endeavors over at my official website; updated fairly recently with new unearthed (and recognized) projects, as well as original material, located here.

01. “Lemondrop” by Andre Obin

The Arsonist remains an outstanding 2013 American Electronic Pop release by Andre Obin (pictured above). A standout on the record is the infectiously catchy “Lemondrop”. It’s a feel good track with euphorically soaring synthesizers and punchy, demanding percussion section that together paint a beautiful sonic landscape. The delayed, middle vocoded layers are specifically a creative part of the mix to be heard. All in all Obin has struck candy shop gold all around with this one.

02. “In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel Cover)” by Banks

As a new contributor to Avengethevirgins.net, the second this song blared out of the speakers it was an obvious choice to include this in its own write up. Normally, covers of songs are quickly shoved into a dark closet and sworn never to be spoken over again, but Los Angeles based Banks, who has her real cell phone number listed on her Facebook page, created the perfect gift to her Dad for Father’s Day with this gorgeously dark, Stint produced Peter Gabriel cover. It’s instrumentation is part Electronic, part Dark R&B in the vein of something The Weeknd would pour out. At times, Banks’ layers of vocals bring an almost brooding look on love due to her use of lower register. It’s a deeper look at the 1986 single, demonstrating a serious look at love, at devotion, and the various topics cleverly interpolated into the song. Check out the full ATV write up here.

03. “Not Really Your Father” by Turning Jew

Along with the aforementioned ATV blog, freelance contributions are also present over at Netlabelism.com wherein a lengthy feature on the independent, multimedia collective Lo-Fi by Default. Amongst it, is a spotlight on France based Turning Jew and their laid-back, indie rock track “Not Really Your Father.” The song is truly the diamond and best gem amongst the set. Complete lo-fi rock, it’s gorgeously produced. Sampled drums, distorted vocal layers and bring depth to a heartbreaking track. Provocative lyrics, sighs, and mundane money problems interweave in and out through a chorus that laments “I told you I wrote a song and I want it back from you.” Lo-Fi by Default founder James Collver has also released a new EP under the name Starnoise – available via Bandcamp. The full Netlabelism feature is here.

04. “Every Single Night (Mike Irish Remix)” by Fiona Apple

Upon the release of The Idler Wheel… Dan P. Lee interviewed Fiona Apple for Vulture.com. It was a long, beautiful piece which showed multiple facets of music’s most charmingly angst-ridden songwriter that at one point mentioned an official remix for the song “Hot Knife”. While the song has yet to make its way into our ears, Mike Irish turned to the sparse lead-single “Every Single Night” and smartly transformed it into a stroke of Electro genius. Look out for the vocal manipulations on the chorus calls as their face-ins toward the beginning of the track only get better when the experimental song structure unfolds.

05. “Desire” by Moz

Orahovica, Croatia isn’t a destination normally popping up on a musical radar, but Moz is breaking the mould through his EP releases via various independent labels. “Desire” packs a strong, bright Electronic Hip-Hop punch that’s as much dance oriented as it as intelligent. While a small sweep makes its way through the main synthesized line, delayed vocal samples cause this track to have a pure throwback presence, while it’s overall production keeps in line 21st century crispness. It’s 19 seconds short of the three minute mark, making it short, sweet, and straight to the repeat button.

Be sure to check back in August for the next edition of Hidden Gems!

3 thoughts on “Hidden Gems: Andre Obin, Banks, Fiona Apple and more

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