God bless America, but there is some good shit coming out on the international scene. New Zealand in particular recently yielded the national treasure Lorde—who you can read more about here—but another artist that caught my ear from that country is The Basement Tapes. Following in the all-too-typical mysterious approach that so many artists are adopting, the Facebook page for the project says “little is known” about the producer, but that they are from Auckland.
No, this music sounds nothing like Dylan & The Band’s infamous concotions—it’s all electronic pop with handclaps and echoey, layered female vocals. Then, on tracks like “Illusive Moon” strings waft into the mix, striking the balance between new sounds and old standards with an incredible deftness. There’s something refreshing about the vocal style of the singer too, a plaintive, palpable emotion that conveys a connectedness to the words that can often be lost in the cold, stippled beats of electronica.
Stuttering, sample vocals are looped with music box refrains and ever-present back beats. Highlights from the EP are the previously mentioned “Illusive Moon” and tension-riddled “Release Me.” Stream the full EP below, buy it here, and keep your eyes peeled for more from this new artist.