Indie darlings you may have missed

BY BRADEN LAMMERS

Braden.Lammers@newsandtribune.com

St. Vincent, Strange Mercy:

There is going to be an inescapable comparison made between Annie Clark, performing as St. Vincent, and indie singer-songwriter Feist.

The female singer-songwriters both rely on a heavy dose of melody, driven by keyboards and synthesizers and are releasing new albums this fall. But Clark is taking her listeners to a much darker place.

The native Oklahoman –Clark— was formerly part of The Polyphonic Spree, was also part of Sufjan Stevens’ touring band and released her third studio album in late-September, titled “Strange Mercy.”

Strange Mercy” is aptly named with the calming, sweetness of Clark’s voice backed by a nasty synth attack on distortion.

Her album is highlighted by moments of haunting melody, peppered with moody and dark lyrics and she has a truly gritty undercurrent to her sound.

Clark is at her dastardly best in the track Cheerleader. But the more you listen, the more her brand of electronic indie-pop with a dark side becomes monotonous.

There are times when St. Vincent could have stripped down her sound and ramped up the rock that tries to peak through to marry her sound closer to her lyrics.

Keep an ear open for St. Vincent because as she continues to refine her sound, her audiences will continue to grow.

Grouplove, Never Trust a Happy Song:

Another September release comes from Los Angeles-based Grouplove.

The band –featuring members Sean Gadd, Hannah Hooper, Ryan Rabin, Andrew Wessen and Christian Zucconi— released their first full-length studio album, “Never Trust a Happy Song.”

Grouplove and “Never Trust a Happy Song” ironically, has set itself apart from the traditional self-reflective, brooding indie bands by embracing an enthusiastically joyful sound. And the high energy, indie pop-rock group may generate a strong following with its accessible debut release.

Zucconi’s pitchy voice, is offset by Hooper, and a constant throughout the album as is the energetic tracks, which sometimes veer into frantic. Grouplove’s tracks are also blemished at times by trite lyrics, even with one awkward attempt at rapping.

But overall, the first release from the group will catch a strong following with poppy songs, backed by forceful driving rhythm and is worth a listen.

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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