Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Electric Guest: Introducing “Mondo”

Electric Guest are a kind of funky, soully, poppy duo that hail from LA. The band consists of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton. Off the back of a really successful EP last year called “This Head I Hold”, they’ve put together their first album proper “Mondo”, which is gonna be officially released on 12th May on the “Because” Record label.

It’s already up for pre-order from the band’s website which you can access here and also from the regular places like iTunes and Amazon. There’s been a huge amount of press interest and hype surrounding these guys and it’s really easy to see and hear why. They’re providing a sound that is really lacking at the moment within music, a sort of easy to listen to vibe that isn’t lyrically challenging or taxing but complex enough with a few of the tracks to need more than one listen to fully understand and appreciate what it is they’re doing that’s so infectious.

What do they sound like?

So laid back they’re horizontal. For this album they’ve taken on board hip producer Danger Mouse and his touch and style shows through in heaps and tons and gallons. This is probably the sort of music that’s slightly cliquey - would gain critical acclaim, that fans would rave about but might not shift many units in terms of sales. Though that said, the band is marketed by Monotone Inc who look after Jack White, so it’s not beyond the realms of impossibility for them to do really well. If they didn’t sell well, it truly would be a bit of a shame really, because they do hipster cool really really well and they have a certain swagger about their sound which is hard to find anything to compare with. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the tracks from the album, called “Awake”

It’s got a really good vibe to it, almost in a way harking back to that really cool Bacarach-y type stuff of the 1970s, and the sort of sounds that uber hip French bands like Stereolab were churning out in the 1990s. It’s coming out at the right time of year too as it sounds so Summery and is probably the kind of thing you’d want to have on with all the windows open in your apartment on a warm day. Here’s a second sneak track, called “Troubleman”

It has a softer vibe to it, and is a much longer track than “Awake”, it seems darker and more soulful by comparison and demands more than one listen to get the full benefit of its musicality and rhythms.

As a final preview, here’s the official video for another one of the tracks from the album “American Dream”. Singer Asa Taccone has such a distinctive vocal style – sometimes just for split second you see him in the videos and think he has similar mannerisms to someone like Prince, a little something in the eyes maybe. There is something quite unique about what he does to the sound of the songs that draws you in.

A few critics have wondered whether Electric Guest are in fact a pastiche band, whether what they are doing is gently sending up the styles of music they are playing. Asa’s brother Jorma is a comedy performer and has been part of a US troupe called “The Lonely Island”. He also helped to co-write some songs that appeared on Saturday Night Live. Maybe this has led some writers to assume that if his brother is doing it parody and pastiche must be in the blood. It’s up to you as a listener to decide at the end of the day. It’s truly hard to decipher who they may be sending up in all honesty, which leads to the thought that it’s just an idle rumour brought to fruition by someone with maybe too much time on their hands!

Can I see them Live?

You sure can. They’re playing dates in Washington DC, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Austin and Houston at the beginning of May. They’re hopping over to the UK and Europe for a mixture of gigs there, and then back over to the US by the end of the month for more dates in Portland, George, San Diego and Pasadena. For a full list and where to but tickets look no further than here. If you want to liven up your listening over the Summer and pick something truly hipster and designed to get you in a good mood then you really need to look no further than Electric Guest. It’s your duty to give them a go. You know you want to.


Imogen is a freelance writer from England who writes for a number of finance journals covering topics as diverse as saving money on car insurance, buy to let insurance and investing in the stock market. Music is one of her passions and she is rarely seen writing at a coffee shop without her enormous headphones!

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