Last year Vandana Jain, a Brooklyn-based graphic designer turned experimental pop performer, quietly released her debut EP Vandamner complete with her own intricate album art, handmade record sleeve and limited pressing all sealed with a touch of red wax and twine. It is that same attention to intimate detail that infects her music as well, lending both to its beauty and to its raw, uncomfortable quality.
Raised in India and educated in London, Vandana Jain has collected an eclectic tapestry of both musical and aesthetic influences over the years, all of which find a place in the music. Everything from Portishead to Pink Floyd, the rave scene in London and Indian pop music lend to her layered style of glitchy beats, electronic swells and heavy psych rock flares that lay beneath Jain's emotive front and center vocal play.
Although the project is primarily a solo effort, most recently Vandana teamed up with Yusuke Yamamoto, a New York based artist known for designing and building his own instruments. Together they re-worked the set with live vocals over thick club beats and spontaneous loop creation.
Vandana has a number of projects in the works due out early this year.
Elbowing his way onto the dais occupied by the likes of Washed Out and Toro y Moi is John Jagos aka Brothertiger, whose pimpadelic grooves are filtered through 80's-fi production.
John Jagos, the brain behind and sole member of Brothertiger, doesn't aspire to be anything other than himself.
His tunes are ostensibly "chillwave," but with a sparkling melodic sense that sets them apart from other artists under that umbrella. Since the project's beginning during Jagos' freshman year at Ohio University, Brothertiger has developed a nuanced sound that attempts to blend the human and animal elements suggested by its name. As a live performer in the Athens house party scene, he's gained a reputation for intense joyfulness. Recorded, his songs are more precious, with details and ideas that only reveal themselves with repeated listens. Buoyed by his voice - which contains both adult timbre and youthful disposition - Jagos' songs combine layered, interweaving electronics with warm, satisfying melodies. He's been releasing them at a fever pitch, earning favorable press from places like Pitchfork Media and the Fader while preparing his first full length less than two years after he began. Yet even with this gathering momentum, Brothertiger maintains a personal humility and unassuming nature that echoes the subtle exuberance of his music.
Sparxx is a Brooklyn-based pop band, which is lead by vocalist Heather Sparx. Their sweet and dreamy, synth-heavy songs have a serious ’80s feel, making it impossible for you not to dance along — and really,
who doesn’t like to dance? Sparx’s lively and sparkling personality is apparent in her stage presence — constantly beaming and often hopping off stage to dance with the audience. Sparx works very closely with guitarist, Justin Mathews, creating exquisitely crafted, uptempo dream-synth-pop. Her band is made up of Justin Mathews, who plays some serious guitar rifts as well as keys, Paul Wilson also working his magic on keys and Cinque Kemp who keeps your heart pumping on drums.