IC has the great privilege of premiering Electrician‘s “I Felt the Breeze” today. We’ve been covering Electrician since 2011, although it feels like I’ve known about his work forever. Neil Campau’s lo-fi tunes have both an electronic and an acoustic idiom: this track falls squarely into the latter. [Editor’s note: Electrician is now known as Neil Campau.]
Campau’s gentle strums carry his wavering, earnest voice; he counterpoints his delicate lead delivery with a low, strong, confident “la” section in the chorus. It’s not every day that you hear “las” with this much seriousness and gravity, but there you are. Those secondary vocals fit with the lonely, forlorn, minor-key mood in an intriguing, satisfying way.
The overall result is an impassioned tune that reads like the best of (minor-key) lo-fi bedroom work: a tune that balances fragility and confidence, uses tape hiss for mood instead of a crutch, and leaves a lasting impression. It’s a free download, so if you’re into it you can keep it forever.
Things are still a mess, here and elsewhere, but I’m starting to get back on my game. Here’s a video from Electrician about their new IndieGoGo campaign. I am not afraid to say that this is pretty much what all crowdfunding videos should be.
It is disappointing to me that we live in a time rife with protests, yet produce a distressingly low level of protest songs per capita. (If there were sabermetrics for music…) Thankfully, Michael Glader’s “Corporate Corruption” is very definitely a protest tune. But old-school Dylan fans are in for a surprise: This here rabble-rouser is a slinky, trippy contraption with whirring organ and rattling percussion. Take that, helplessness blues.
School of Roccupy is doing its very best to add protest songs to the world, however. The group’s motto is “Uniting Artists, Community, and the Occupy Movement,” and it accomplishes that by hooking up students with artists (Kate Nash and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. so far) to write and record a song in a single day. It started in Britain, and the founders are using crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to raise money to bring the project to NYC, LA and Denver this month. If you want to read more or contribute, do so here.
While “Our Bellies Might Explode” is not an explicit protest song, songwriter Neil Campau notes that the project consists of “Electro folksongs about social war and relationships.” The description is thoroughly apt, as “Bellies” is a folky number about a relationship featuring some light distortion on the guitar and anguished vocals. If you’re into songwriters who wring amazing sounds (conventional or otherwise) out of a voice, Electrician’s in your corner.
Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.