: There's nothing like dark German synth-pop to really get the blood going. Imagine pogo-ing in the midst of a gothic crowd as dark waves of sounds pour over you. That's exactly what happens at a De/Vision show. They have been around since the dawn of the industrial age -- well, the second industrial music boom of the late 80s -- so you know they know how to experiment, expand, and put on one hell of a show. Singer Thomas Adam lends his voice to dark beats, making menacing yet alluring songs that channel Depeche Mode. Crooning with care, and a little help from autotune, De/Vision creates dark landscapes to haunt your headphones, with lyrics focusing on the mostly bleak: cold personal relationships, rage, and love lost. The duo adds plenty of effects and piano to make these tunes cross into pop territory. De/Vision, with their long history in the industrial/synth pop world, have been the influence of many young bands that followed -- and deserve more recognition after nearly three decades on the road. Live, they bring out all the big guns, with both original members and a live drummer and guitarist to fill out the electronic sound. Get ready to fall into a trance when the beats lull you to a special place, and then to be snapped right back out of it by De/Vision's compelling industrial synth pop.
Being in a band with your spouse may seem like a terrible idea, but San Francisco's Stripmall Architecture
has made it work -- really, really well. Dreamy layers of synthesizer, heavy moog'ing, random loops, and Rebecca's beautiful voice make Stripmall Architecture dark yet wonderful electronica. Slow burning electronic beats build into poppy tunes with a dark wave underbelly. After the couple's first band, Halou, broke up while on the road with Bob Mould, they didn't wait around but instead jumped right into Stripmall Architecture. Since then, they've played shows, been a guest on indie trendsetting radio station KEXP, and crowdfunded an album -- receiving more than double what they asked for! They really shine while creating interesting covers for Kickstarter backers -- turning songs by The Cure and Big Star into an ethereal, upbeat, piece of electro-indie pop. The band knows how to use their instruments to make something other than a conventional electronic sound -- it's fuller despite their synth minimalism, sweeter, and yet just as compelling as any of their peers.
is a triple threat. Coming from a classical music home, educated in music at UC Davis, and having innate talent can really help when you put together your first album. And being able to draw and paint your album artwork-- that's just a bonus! Rabbit Quinn uses piano and her flexible voice as a base for her emotional songs, which would be princess material if they didn't contain phrases like "sell your disease" and "twist the blade again" and touch on death and heartbreak. Quinn's music is a pop infused take on classical forms, and her voice can take on a broadway, blues, funk, or operatic feel -- she can even give you a little scream or sultry howl to really take a song to the next level. Live, Rabbit Quinn is fleshed out with the addition of two more talented ladies: percussionist Beth Wiesendanger and cellist Natasha Littlewood. The live show draws the audience in -- you just can't help but fall in love with Rabbit Quinn and the personal yet whimsical tales she sings for you from behind her piano.