Spunsugar from Malmö, Sweden has infused a gritty and dark dream pop with industrial beats on the debut single “Happier Happyless” from it’s forthcoming album Drive-Through Chapel. Whereas many latter day bands that are mining shoegaze territory have drawn from a relatively narrow spectrum of those sonic inspirations, Spunsugar seems to have not missed how some of those early bands were influenced by or absorbed the influence of electronic and industrial music. Elin Ramsted’s vocals are melodious yet moody, Cordelia Moreau’s drums and electronic percussion insistent and broadly dynamic and Felix Sjöström’s guitar granular yet lush. One might think of it as Cocteau Twins somehow having come up first through Curve, punk and hard rock, a sound that suits a song examining the meaning of happiness in one’s life and the nuances and gradations therein. Watch the video for “Happier Happyless” on YouTube, connect with Spunsugar on Spotify and look out for Drive-Through Chapel set for release in fall 2020 through Adrian Recordings.
There is a sultry darkness to AFAR’s single “Lulled and Fake.” The distorted, electronic bass pulses along with a brooding menace while electric bass traces the outlines of a melody that runs through the song as a compliment to the dynamic and rich vocals like one of the more dub-inspired tracks by 90s downtempo groups that crafted songs using something of a production songwriting palette and a seamless mix of electronic and electric instruments like Massive Attack and Portishead. Except that on “Lulled and Fake,” AFAR is especially reminiscent of Curve in the vocals and the way Curve could sustain a slow burn intensity without having to resort to a blowout denouement to leave a lasting impression Listen to “Lulled and Fake” on Soundcloud where you can also follow the band’s further exploits.