A lot of people tend to listen to what they are exposed to through the radio and MTV; however, there is a myriad of undiscovered talent that isn’t getting the mainstream exposure. Back when I was an Internet radio broadcaster, I was getting requests by many unknown artists for airplay and exposure on AeschTunes, the station that my husband and I had on Live365.com for about four years. Through these requests, as well as utilizing websites such as download.com, garageband.com, and even MySpace, I was able to expose myself to music that you would more than likely never hear on mainstream radio.
Admittedly, my favorite music is in the synthpop and electronic scene. Here are some acts from the underground electronic scene that I would highly recommend:
The Echoing Green – Joey Belville and Chrissy Jeter both hail from Alberqueque, New Mexico. Joey, the founder of The Echoing Green, released the band’s first album, Defend Your Joy, in 1994. The band has released several albums since then, and they are held in rather high regard in the underground synthpop scene.
Color Theory – Brian Hazard is a one-man synthpop act that creates piano-driven electronic pop. He released his first album, Sketches In Grey, in 1994. He has since released several other albums, including a Depeche Mode tribute album titled, Color Theory Presents Depeche Mode. Brian describes his music as “dance pop for the coffeehouse, not the club.”
Storybox – Storybox is another one-man electronic act, who had previously recorded under the name Dave Montana. He has released two albums titled, No Dancing Allowed and The Thing About This Road. Storybox records both thumping, uptempo numbers as well as slower numbers. The No Dancing Allowed album even includes a cover of The Beatles’ “Things We Said Today.”
Leiahdorus – A synthpop group from New Mexico that also utilizes piano along with synthesizers. They have released three albums (Ashes Ashes…, Parallel Universe and Ode to the Builders), and they have garnered much acclaim in the underground synthpop scene.
Hungry Lucy – Hungry Lucy is an electronic duo that formed in 1998 when War-N Harrison needed a vocalist to sing on a track he was working on for a Depeche Mode tribute album. They have released four albums (Apparitions, Glo, To Kill a King and Pulse of the Earth). Vocalist Christa Belle has an amazing voice that complements the music beautifully.
Glow – Glow is an electronic duo comprising of vocalist Brooke Edwards and Brian Beracha on keyboards. They have released three albums (Rain Theory, The Years and Winter). Songs like “Gabriel” and “Regret” really showcase Brooke’s vocal talents. One of the highlights on The Years is a cover of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Intuition – Intuition is an electronic duo made up of vocalist Garrett and Ken on synths. They have released two albums that I’m personally aware of (Further and Overworked and Underplayed). Both of these works have received high praise in the underground synthpop scene. Garrett’s passionate vocals and Ken’s musical accompaniment make a great combination.
Iris – Iris is a duo out of Texas that is made up of vocalist Reagan Jones and programmer Andrew Sega. They have released four full-length CDs, including a disc of demos and a disc of remixes. “Annie, Would I Lie to You?,” one of the songs from their first album, Disconnect, has gotten occasional airplay on KNHC 89.5 FM in Seattle. I appreciate how Iris has been able to create music that not only utilizes synthesizers, but seamlessly weaves in guitar as well.
Neuropa – A synthpop duo hailing from Australia, with members Albert Martinez and Jason Last. They have released six albums (but there are only five albums available now, because the first two albums were re-released on one disc). One of my favorite songs by Neuropa is “Every Second.”
Rename – Rename is a synthpop act originating out of Germany. They have released three albums: Culture, Energize and First Bounce. They have recorded both uptempo tracks and slower songs, and they are able to pull off both styles effectively.
Tristraum – Tristraum is an electronic trio out of Denver, Colorado. They released their first album, Gray, in April 2006. Songs like “Shiver” and “First Embrace” are very solid synthpop/electronic tracks. Randall, one of the members of Tristraum, is also the head of the indie record label Section 44.