Ethereal yet poppy electronic music?
April 25, 2013 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Looking for more ethereal electronic (is that even what the kids call it these days?) music with a certain feeling to it - sort of happy, sort of sad, slightly otherworldly, all blending to create a dreamy, transcendant feeling.

Sorry for the clunky description, but I'm not sure if there's a name for the kind of music/song I'm looking for. But I do have some examples!

I'm looking for more songs like this:

The Mother We Share by Chvrches
Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding
Oblivion by Grimes
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire

Things I can identify in these songs that I like are the female vocals (though that's not necessary), beats that don't overwhelm the production, a sort of bittersweet, wistful feel.
posted by lunasol to Media & Arts (52 answers total) 82 users marked this as a favorite
 
Boards of Canada maybe. Start with their classic "Music Has the Right to Children".
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:54 AM on April 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Pretty much anything by Chairlift
Purity Ring?
posted by nathancaswell at 9:55 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh and maybe Molly Nilsson?
posted by nathancaswell at 9:59 AM on April 25, 2013


The Knife - Heartbeats sounds similar to Sprawl II, to me.

Much of the Sea and Cake's "The Fawn" album (and probably most of their later albums) -- e.g., Sporting Life
posted by mean square error at 10:03 AM on April 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


The soundtrack to the movie Drive is probably right up your alley. The first several tracks are songs, the rest are the score (which is also electronic), most of which have this kind of 80s-ish electropop half-melancholy half-peppy feel to them. Here's the first couple, which sound exactly like what you're looking for:

Kavinsky - Nightcall
Desire - Under Your Spell
College & Electric Youth - A Real Hero
posted by zombieflanders at 10:04 AM on April 25, 2013


Might want to listen to Lush on Soma FM.
posted by zabuni at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think you might love Active Child.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:07 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also the works of Kate Havnevik and Imogen Heap.
posted by zabuni at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2013


Ladytron
posted by Jacen at 10:10 AM on April 25, 2013


Definitely the Drive soundtrack and really anything that Johnny Jewel does (Chromatics, Glass Candy). My favorite though? M83.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 10:12 AM on April 25, 2013


check out The Album Leaf. also certain M83 songs.
posted by changeling at 10:18 AM on April 25, 2013




Some TV on the Radio, e.g. Love Dog
posted by seemoreglass at 10:24 AM on April 25, 2013




Beach House?
posted by erebora at 10:31 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also Air.
posted by seemoreglass at 10:33 AM on April 25, 2013




Siriusmo scratches this itch pretty well for me
posted by hellojed at 10:44 AM on April 25, 2013


How about Portishead?
posted by Joh at 10:46 AM on April 25, 2013


Sleepless by Flume may fit the bill, or some of his other songs. Check this great FPP for more links.
posted by sacrifix at 11:10 AM on April 25, 2013


I definitely second Purity Ring and The Knife! Here are a few more that seem like they might fit the bill:

Róisín Murphy - Rama Lama (Bang Bang)
Apparat - Arcadia
Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons
Sleepthief - The Chauffeur

If you felt like wandering a bit further afield, you might also enjoy Beats Antique, Ellen Allien, or Lumin.
posted by djspinmonkey at 11:11 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ryskee-Leave Me Amor
posted by empath at 11:20 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gladkill - Example.
posted by 3FLryan at 11:36 AM on April 25, 2013


jj - Let Go
posted by mbrock at 11:55 AM on April 25, 2013


Massive Attack--Teardrop
Frou Frou (Imogen Heap, mentioned above, is the vocalist)
Ryan Star--Brand New Day (maybe? a little more upbeat, and a guy)
Ivy--Edge of the Ocean
posted by tan_coul at 12:07 PM on April 25, 2013




Saint Etienne
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:46 PM on April 25, 2013


Seconding Beach House. Seconding Portishead.
posted by taltalim at 1:56 PM on April 25, 2013


To me, you're kind of describing shoegaze, though some of the genre tends to be on the slower, more depressing side. My Bloody Valentine totally meets your criteria, as does Lush, which someone else already mentioned. I'd also recommend Yo La Tengo.
posted by anotheraccount at 2:21 PM on April 25, 2013


To help you define, I think we're calling this sound chillwave, or variants of. (Yep, there's dancier chillwave, dubbier chillwave, gothier chillwave, R&B-ier chillwave, etc.) But fundamentally, I think that's what you're looking for.

Anyway. Some good suggestions up there.

Try these on for size, too:

Balam Acab
Warm Ghost
Autre Ne Veut
How To Dress Well
Little Dragon (sort of)
Bear In Heaven (the new album, sort of)
posted by functionequalsform at 2:49 PM on April 25, 2013


Oh, I think I didn't go pop-y enough for the references you linked.

In that case, try Aluna George.
posted by functionequalsform at 2:52 PM on April 25, 2013


A lot of Arthur Russell fits the description in a ridiculously before-his-time way - especially A Little Lost, This Is How We Walk on the Moon and That's Us/Wild Combination.
posted by Dorothea_in_Rome at 3:14 PM on April 25, 2013


How about Baden Baden?
posted by gimonca at 4:28 PM on April 25, 2013


You've got a lot of prety good suggestions to sift through up there. But I really think you should listen to CocoRosie next.

Then maybe some S.
posted by carsonb at 5:32 PM on April 25, 2013


The Naked and Famous
posted by PhatLobley at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


The latest album by Hammock is so like this that it hurts to listen to (in a good way).
posted by softlord at 7:40 PM on April 25, 2013


Thanks so much! Lots to go through here, should keep me busy for a while!

In case anyone else comes by with some suggestions - I'm looking for stuff that's a bit more upbeat musically, as opposed to more chill/downtempo.
posted by lunasol at 8:03 PM on April 25, 2013


Telepopmusic has a few songs.
You might also like some caribou and bonobo.
posted by tenaciousmoon at 8:30 PM on April 25, 2013




Darren Hayes's cds The Tension and the Spark, and This Beautiful Thing We've Made.
posted by Nattie at 12:13 AM on April 26, 2013


sort of happy, sort of sad, slightly otherworldly, all blending to create a dreamy, transcendant feeling. [...] female vocals (though that's not necessary), beats that don't overwhelm the production, a sort of bittersweet, wistful feel.

That sounds like the Cocteau Twins to me, but maybe they are too ancient or downtempo for you?
posted by pracowity at 3:03 AM on April 26, 2013


One more: Stereolab
posted by seemoreglass at 6:15 AM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gazelle twin
posted by monkey closet at 6:57 AM on April 26, 2013


Kaskade - Eyes
posted by Lapin at 7:53 AM on April 26, 2013


Fischerspooner - Just Let Go
Goldfrapp - Rocket (and the whole Head First album)
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
Walter Meego - Starlight
Yeasayer - Ambling Alp
Sleigh Bells - Tell Em
Tegan and Sara - Closer

Also, remixes of pop songs usually add that electronic element. Like this.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2013


Cocteau Twins own this genre, and have for near on 30 years! Try Lorelei, breathtaking track from the mid 80s
posted by channey at 1:29 PM on April 26, 2013




"Ethereal" is my go-to word for one of the broad categories of music that I like. These vary in how electronic, dancy, or upbeat they are, but they all have female vocalists and some kind of high-pitched instrumentation.

Thursday by Asobi Seksu
Iamundernodisguise, ILU by School of Seven Bells
Robots in Love by Beautiful Small Machines
You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie by The Submarines
Daniel by Bat For Lashes
Baby Cool by Oliver North Boy Choir
Favourite Skin by Ohbijou (bit of a stretch)
Lucky, Fairway, or I from Supercar
Fantasy, Whiteout, Strawberry Burn from LAMA

Supercar started out with stylistically usual but really good J-Rock (Lucky), but over their career moved towards a much more Electronic sound - Fairway and I are later but not even the last album. The vocalist, Miki Furukawa, has a very high pitched singing voice that's never played as precious (compare Yakushimaru Etsuko, who often goes not just high but anime), but she wasn't on as many of the tracks in the later albums.

Anyway, Supercar broke up and everyone went solo for a few years, and then Miki and Koji Nakamura, the male vocalist responsible for the shift towards the Electronic sound, formed LAMA in 2010 with a first release in 2011. They've got two albums with a sound that's similar to Supercar's last albums, though a bit less heavy and with lots of participation from Miki.
posted by 23 at 10:04 AM on April 30, 2013


Oh, forgot Austra - start with Lose It. Perhaps a bit intense.
posted by 23 at 10:09 AM on April 30, 2013


You know, I think this track might be a better fit than the ones I mentioned above for the exact style you're describing:

STRFKR - Malmo
posted by djspinmonkey at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2013


Magic Man sounds right up your alley.
Paris
Daughter
posted by vegetableagony at 11:13 AM on May 10, 2013


SZA - Aftermath
Butterclock - Holograms (reminds me of Grimes)
Slow Skies - On the Shore
Alt-J - Hand-Made
Phaeleh - Afterglow
A Fine Frenzy - Now Is the Start
The Cocteau Twins - Pearly Dewdrops' Drops
Stars - Elevator Love Letter
Röyksopp & Susanne Sundfør - Running To The Sea

The last 4 are more upbeat as opposed to chill. All are gorgeous and ethereal (to my ears anyway). I hope at least some of them fit what you're looking for!
posted by amillionbillion at 8:00 PM on May 23, 2013


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