Monday Night Residency with Superhumanoids

The Echo, Origami Vinyl, and Neon Gold Present

Monday Night Residency with Superhumanoids

Mr. Little Jeans, Carousel

Mon, October 8, 2012

8:30 pm

The Echo

Los Angeles, California

This event is 21 and over

Superhumanoids (DJ Set)
Superhumanoids (DJ Set)
Words by Chris Zeigler


L.A.’s Superhumanoids are actually more supernatural, and not just because of their songs, which float along like ghosts while vocalist Sarah Chernoff sings things like, “Time won’t wait for either of us.”

They’ve also got an unearthly command of the powers necessary to put together a beautiful little pop song—economy, diversity, spontaneity and of course heart, if you were wondering. Their newest “Too Young For Love” single displays both boundless love for and limitless knowledge of all the different ways to sing something sad, stretching from delightfully outré melodic flourishes right out of a Siouxsie and the Banshees single to pixel-dripping digitized rhythm tracks that’d give any
subwoofer a work out. Companion track “Geri” bounces off that space-y Moog-y left-field pop sound the Rentals perfected on “Friends of P,” and if you wanna hear how they make sure less is more, you can examine the way they dissolve the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” into primordial soup. When people talk about “dream pop,” this is the exact thing they hope they fall asleep with.

The more you prowl through their discography, which is currently a stack of EPs and singles pointing the way to their just-about-out debut full-length Exhibitionists, the more you’ll discover. Really, there’s a whole world in there—from the harmonies all the way to the horizon line where everything just melts into a white light. So go toward the light.

Trust us on this one.
Mr. Little Jeans
Mr. Little Jeans
Unlike yesterday's new band, here is an artist who patently does not telegraph what she is about with her name. Monica Birkenes, a Norwegian living in London, took her recording alias from a character in Wes Anderson's film Rushmore, which is about an eccentric teenage schoolboy who falls in love with his teacher. So ignore what we just said: Mr Little Jeans telegraphs Birkenes's offbeat yet commercial sensibility just fine.

Imagine a less idiosyncratic Lykke Li, or Annie ... just Annie, basically. Now, Annie is one of many Scandinavian musicians who have for a while been touting a sort of latterday version of the "new pop" with which ABC and the Human League et al colonised the charts in the early 80s: intelligent, sophisticated, ideas-driven, "subversive" yet accessible electro-pop. But Annie, like many of her peers, has never caught on in the UK, despite releasing several excellent records, maybe because pop doesn't need, or rather utterly resists, subverting nowadays. Indeed, is there a place for intelligent, sophisticated pop in the charts? Certainly, Scandinavian purveyors of the form – and there are plenty who excel at it – have routinely failed in the UK, pace, briefly, Alphabeat, and of course the Cardigans and, most recently, Robyn.

In fact, Robyn's success totally trashes our theory about this clever, notional pop not working in Britain, and Birkenes should take heart from it. Her songs are great, and we'll pretend, at least for today, that that is enough. Her single Rescue Song has the immediacy of a TV commercial (it's been used to advertise computers) and sets out MLJ's store quite neatly, sounding like an 80s performance of a 60s song with a 10s production. Not tense, 10s. It ends with a Peter Hook-y trebly bass hook and fingerclicks, as though to emphasise our point. Stones in the Attic is 60s girl-group doo wop with a Bowie/Queen Under Pressure bassline (not strictly a technical term) while Angel is more 80s girl-group in a Belinda Carlisle/Bangles sassy pop-rockin' sense. Demolition is a gorgeously quirky melodic delight with a breathily affecting vocal that is Debbie Harry-ish in its Warholian knowingness.

This is pop, basically, albeit in a hip 1978-82 new wave kind of way. Birkenes is currently in LA working on material for what promises to be an excellent debut album with "a bunch of cool producers" (is Greg Kurstin still cool?). We're not sure if Valentine, one of her MySpace tracks, will be on it, but it should. It's electro-poppy and features what sounds like a Heart of Glass sample. Faking Gold is rockier, like New Order fronted by Kylie in rock-chick mode. In all her chameleonic guises, Kylie never did do rock chick, did she? She should – that disco dolly routine is getting old. Careers advice, we've got it. Birkenes, at five foot nothing, is the new Kylie, or an über-Kylie because she writes her own material, has a hand in its production and can boast a clutch of songs better than anything La Minogue has done in years. She doesn't need any advice, career or otherwise, just a receptive, open-minded Radio 1.
"Carousel is an up and coming electro-pop trio based in Brooklyn, NY.
The three Berklee College of Music graduates have created a unique sound that combines the drive of electro with the melodic sensibilities of pop. Since the release of Carousel's debut single, the band received immediate attention from blogs all across the web, including the Hype Machine where they charted on the "Most Popular Page" with every release.

In their short existence the band has had the opportunity to tour with canadian singer, LIGHTS and open for great bands such as Neon Trees and Civil Twilight. In mid-July, Carousel plans on releasing their second EP entitled, The Sound of Summer."
Venue Information:
The Echo
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026