Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
Electronic pop, from dreamy to dance-y
Most recent release, Live: Mechanics & Mathematics (live, 2010); most recent studio release, Mechanics & Mathematics (2009)
Sarah McLachlan vocally; Björk, and Lamb musically
speaking of beautiful voices, i'm amazed that no one has mentioned annette strean of the band venus hum! they're a synth-pop band from nashville and their latest (major label) release big beautiful sky is pretty tasty. anybody that likes electronic pop with great vocals would enjoy them. annette reminds me of björk / sarah m. / kirsty thirsk on a couple tracks ("montana" is particularly björk-ish), but she has enough of her own personality to make you forget about comparisons. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Comments about live performance:
The second openers turned out to be the musical discovery of the year so far: Venus Hum. They are a trio from Nashville (!) fronted by Montana native Annette Strean, who looks like Molly Ringwald circa Pretty In Pink (but with darker hair), and sings like she grew up listening to a *lot* of björk records, which her bio confirms that she did (along with KaTe, which is always a good recommendation). Their music is electronica in the vein of Frou Frou, björk, and Lamb (it occurred to me that I would travel many miles to see a bill with both Lamb and Venus Hum on it). The two boys in the band played racks of keyboards and were armed with iBooks, as was Annette's husband, who sat on a chair on the side of the stage and controlled the (really neat) video projections that accompanied every song. Over it all was Annette's incredible voice, which fit the material perfectly. It also helped that she looked like she was having the time of her life up there on stage.
Recommended first album:
This is a fun EP with lots of electronics and different levels of vocal distortion in the songs, even a short instrumental piece. I especially love the adorable "Suzy Snowflake" which is not recorded much. The special edition (circa 2009? and available for free at Bandcamp) has 2 additional songs ("What I Really Want for Christmas" and a not entirely effective rendition of "I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm". (JoAnn Whetsell)
2003—MCA Records—088 113 198 2
Kip Kubin—computers and synthesizers
Sean O'Hagen—string arrangements (5, 8, 12)
I really enjoy this album. It's mostly upbeat, dance-y, electronic pop. The opening tracks "Hummingbirds" and "Montana" are immediately catchy, but the rest took me a little longer to warm up to. It gets a lot of comparisons to björk, which I think are overstated, though she's clearly an influence (and "Springtime #2" has pretty björk-like vocals). (JoAnn Whetsell)
2006—Nettwerk—0 6700 30594 2 8
Kirk Cornelius—background vocals (8)
Here's the writeup I published on my website, Leonoraschoice.com, in January: What I like best about this trippy electropop trio from Nashville is Annette Strean's amazingly dreamy, sassy, and wistful vocals. Her voice reminds me A LOT of Sarah McLachlan's and on tracks like "Genevieve's Wheel" and "Birds and Fishes" her singing gives me goosebumps all over. This is top notch trip hop, lush and elegant. However, quite a few tracks seem to meander and sometimes it all gets a bit too electro without any apparent reason. I'm not familiar with their debut yet, but judging from the reviews it's more tightly constructed and hook-laden than this. I keep my fingers crossed.
Venus Hum contributed the song "To You God On High (Psalm 92)" to the 2005 compilation The Message: Psalms. They have a DVD Mechanics & Mathematics: a Concert Film by Neil Smith available for purchase at their website.
Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.
DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.
|Entry last updated 2016-01-03 19:52:37.
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