Synth-driven goodness: O. Children and SPECTRA*paris

Two new finds causing some synth-driven excitement at the coffee pot today are O. Children and SPECTRA*paris.

The former hail from the UK and have just released their self-titled debut album — the tracks online suggest Joy Division basslines and a Sisters of Mercy meet Nick Cave sensibility taken into even darker, synth-drenched terrain. With a name taken from a Nick Cave song (a fairly recent one, too, the clever young things!), they’re definitely an outfit to investigate further. Maybe file with the likes of Interpol, Editors and White Lies

SPECTRA*paris offer lighter fare on their album Dead Models Society, but it’s equally compelling. Catchy synth beats are complemented with great washes of fill-sound, buzzing guitar highlights and, so very notably, the vocals of Elena Alice Fossi (whose accent adds fetching weight). I’m finding this more accessible (or less challenging) than the choppier cut’n’thrust of Coroner’s Sun, an album by her other outfit, Kirlian Camera, though it’s early days yet. Dead Models Society shows nice changes of pace from high-energy to meditative to down-right slinky, and throw a cool cover of Mad World into the mix. The pop sensibility should this see fit nicely in the background for the car or the commute, or with some track selection, thumping out at a party.

It would be easy to dismiss the outfit as a gimmick band, given their catwalk-ready all-girl line-up, but that would be shortsighted. Here’s a taste, the cracking opening track from the album performed live (the studio version has lots more oomph through headphones!):

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