LA's Soft Metals formed in 2009 after Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall met at a DJ night and connected over their obsession with analog synthesizers and the shadowy, sultry, untamed expressions of underground electronic music. Their early collaborations paired Patricia's delicate vocals and introspective lyrics with Ian's solo sketches. Soon they moved on to writing music together, building songs from wild, improvised sessions in Ian's home studio. Their genre blurring brand of voltaic pop draws inspiration from a spectrum a sources including krautrock, synth wave, and techno. They've won over audiences in situations as varied as experimental noise shows in dingy basements, to sleek, modern nightclubs, to clandestine after hours warehouse parties, to dimly lit dives where post punk and synthpop records fuel the dance floor.
Soft Metals found a home on Brooklyn's Captured Tracks with the 2010 EP The Cold World Melts. The following year Hicks and Hall presented us with their debut self-titled long player, an album steeped in driving beats, maximalist textures, and the perfect placement of Hall's atmospheric vocals.
July 2013 will see the release of Soft Metals' next installment, Lenses, a continuation of their ethos, aiming directly at your body and subconscious mind with an intimacy that only lovers can bring.
Chasms is the San Francisco based project of Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden. The duo crafts percussive dirges that are at once beautiful and menacing. Labrador's haunting vocals and hypnotizing guitar work wade between rhythmic bass lines and bursts of Madden's stinging feedback, laid on a bed of pummeling drum programming. The band's affinity for industrial rhythms, swelling textures, precise minimalism, and chaotic eruptions of noise sounds as equally informed by shoegaze as drone and doom metal—to choose just one would be a disservice.