Soundclouds of the Underground: Moody Pop Edition

Published May 30, 2013

ABOVE: FYFE. IMAGE COURTESY OF BEN SEARY AND ELLIOT KENNEDY

These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasuresâ??some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.

We’re all for sunshine and smiles, but sometimes you just need to wallow: light some candles, blast some Taylor Swift, and stare into your reflection until you start to whimper. Perhaps the T. Swift is a little extreme, but listening to a sullen song or two can be good for the soul; and in our experience, the catchier the better. This week, we chose three inventive pop tracks that seem an appropriate accompaniment for some behind-closed-doors ice cream eating with a side of pent-up anger.

Fyfe: “Conversations” 

 Who: Fyfe is Paul Dixon, a 23-year-old talent who you might already know as David’s Lyre, Dixon’s former alt-pop act that churned out such tracks as the quirky and dark “This Time.” Nowadays, however, Dixon works under a different name and with a new sound. His recent songs are rooted in shimmering, lo-fi electro-pop, but never stay in the same place long enough to be permanently categorized as such.The Song: “Conversations” is a slow burn. Dixon’s vocals are pretty and warm, flowing nicely with the production’s filtered crescendo until all the track’s elements begin to meld together at full force. The combination is seamless and sure to bring a tiny tear to your eye if you happen to be stalking the right ex’s Facebook profile while listening.Current Project: Dixon is currently prepping for his live debut as Fyfe in London on June 18th. If you’d like to learn more about the project, you should take a trip to the Fyfe Facebook page.

 

Laura Welsh: “Cold Front” 

 

Who: Having already achieved some shine from a recent collaboration with Dev Hynes called “Unravel,” (as well as work under pseudonyms like Hey Laura and Laura & the Tears), Welsh is a strong singer whose whispering coo is just as appealing and engaging as her full-out belt. Although Welsh could go the musical route of some of the the more mainstream brit pop stars before her, the singer seems interested in more innovative, R&B-infused productionâ??a perfect match for her throaty tone.The Song: “Cold Front” is a song minimal in its smooth, sexy production that still packs a punch, smartly leaving Welsh to make the song what it needs to be. She doesn’t disappointâ??everything the singer’s vocals do is supreme, coloring the song with catchy verses and hooks that never stay too straight and narrow.Current Project: “Cold Front” will be released June 15 through Polydor/Outsiders. You can also keep up with Welsh by logging into her Facebook page.

Kate Boy: “The Way We Are” 

Who: After starting out as a mystery to many, it’s been discovered that Kate Boy is a four-piece collective that writes, produces, and plays near-perfect pop music. While vocalist Kate Akhurst is originally from Australia and the other three members (Markus Dextegen, Oskar Sikow Engström, and Hampus Nodgren Hemlin) are from Sweden, Kate Boy’s sounds blend together seamlessly, forming sounds both ominous and theatrical in their nature.The Song: “The Way We Are” has the pep of ’80s-inspired dance-pop gems like Britney Spears’ “My Prerogative,”  ]but Akhurst’s soaring vocals add another element of emotion to the badass bouncy track. The pulsing drums act as a constant, keeping things sultry and steady throughout. With enough aggression in its aesthetic, the song is choice for getting over whatever you’ve been sad about and feeling good about yourself (maybe even enough to dance around in your underwear while it plays).Current Project: Kate Boy is currently in the process of performing all overâ??check out dates and more on their Facebook page. 

Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.