Indies And The Underground

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Artist Profile: Popkissed

At first listen, classical and electronic music seem as likely to blend together as oil and water. But  Olso-based duo Popkissed,  made up of electronic artist/producer Robert Solheim and vocalist Lill-Ann Blauenfeldt, manage to combine the two disparate genres, placing layers of synthesizers and subtle effects over intricate compositions.

Neither Solheim or Blauenfeldt are newbies when it comes to music. A product of choral groups and musical theater, Blauenfeldt composed songs and lyrics for jazz, pop and blues projects. Solheim meanwhile, cut his teeth as producer for his techno project Current and The Opiates, a dark electro pop collaboration with singer Billie Ray Martin, as well as performing remix duties for acts like John Tejada, Swayzak, Terranova and Kim Ann Foxman. In 2006 he dropped his critically acclaimed underCurrents album.

Bonding over a love of Annie Lennox, Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones and Patti Smith, Solheim and Blauenfeldt crafted more than two dozen tracks in a week. Their debut album It’s A Fine Day, is a collection of polished, urbane tunes like the icy title track, or the kinetic, off-kilter pop of “Planet,” where synths  rise and fall as effects buzz and bleep about.

She’s Gone” and “The Only Diva” veer in into darker territory; pumping bass and drums keep things dancefloor friendly while vaguely eerie sounds emerge from the shadows to envelope the tracks, giving thing an ethereal, intoxicating aura. Throughout, Lill-Ann Blauenfeldt’s  husky, emotive vocals provide another interesting texture, injecting emotion and warmth in contrast to the often chilly production.

It’s A Fine Day comes out December 1. Listen to the album over at the Popkissed’s Bandcamp page.

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