This column is dedicated to offering you insight to artists on the rise. I feature musicians that have the potential to make it big. You get to listen and determine their fate.
What’s this? Another male/female synth-pop, yet vocal heavy duo? You don’t say! I do say, and I am not ashamed in the slightest. Although, the ever-present synth-pop urban-goth-trance genre seems to be every which way we look, these two actually have an extremely clean sound. We know Sleigh Bells, Crystal Castles, The Do, Salem, and about a billion other duos all the same, but there was something specific that stood out for me when I listened to Visions of Trees. Not only do they have the synth and keyboard down to a science, but her voice is so pleasant. And it doesn’t sound like you’re just listening to ‘noise,’ either (as Sleigh Bells seems to sound the majority of the time). Enter Joni Juden and Sarah Atalar, two British pals who met back in 2009 and started messing around with different sounds, which then led to their marvelous collaboration. A lot of times, bands like these can get very messy. That super low synth and dolphin sounds with pre-recorded operatic vocals strung together over and over again alluding to a new age goth can become really monotonous. Visions of Trees take a much cleaner approach. Imagine ATB meets Crystal Castles. A lot of the tracks off their debut album sound like it could have come straight from the early trance movement in the 90’s, just with cleaner beats and prettier vocals. Atalar’s vocals don’t sound too auto-tuned, she sounds like she can actually hold some serious notes. I must say, finding a duo in this genre that can be as flawless as these two is extremely refreshing.
Visions of Trees released an EP back in 2010 titled Sometimes it Kills, which included their single “Solid Rainbows.” They’ve come quite a long way since then. They have just released their self-titled debut album only three days ago, and you can certainly hear the maturity in their sound. The album is available on iTunes, but if you want to preview it before the purchase, feel free to listen in full on their SoundCloud page. “Turn to You” and “Disappeared” are two of my absolute favorites from the album, they’re dark enough for emotive pull, yet upbeat enough to dance to. They are touring through England right now, but you can bet as soon as I hear of them playing in America, I will be front and center.
I don’t know about you, but I was not aware of A-Track and Bosco Delray’s illegitimate love child. Meet Sam Mehran, an American-Australian musician who is also known as Sam Meringue, Sam Crowley, and Moon Rax. He’s the former band mate of the creatively titled Test Icicles who now goes by the alias Outer Limitz. I think it’s safe to say this boy is trying to find himself through all of his different projects. However I must admit, the single “I Kontact” which is the only track released under his new image, is really catchy. The video is visually interesting as well. If you have never been to Hollywood, take a gander at this video and you’ll be able to see everything you are not missing. I’m partial to boys in vintage leather jackets, but the turtle neck, round Lennon shades and pet Pitbull seem a bit much. I really like the song, though. I like his voice; it’s clear, innocent and soothing. I wish he had more music under this name that we could all listen to, but there’s something exciting about finding a one-track artist and deciding whether or not he is going to continue to impress.
Although Outer Limitz has only released this one video, I am really excited to see what else he is going to put forth. I feel as though he would mix well with the fellows from Mad Decent. How about it, Diplo? Until then, let’s watch the growth of Sam/Outer Limitz together. My guess is that we will hear more from him soon, and we will like what we listen to.