Published Jan 22, 2008From January 14 to 25 I will be counting down the ten new acts I expect big things from in 2008. As always, its tough to predict just who will break through and who will fade into obscurity once the year ends, but really, the point of this exercise is to get you pumped about the artists Im pumped about. Enjoy reading, and dont hesitate to point out how right or wrong I was to us when 2009 comes around.
Once upon a time (in 1999, to be exact), two bearded guys named Jeremy Greenspan and Johnny Dark (thats not confirmed, but we can assume they were bearded) began making electronic dreams come true in a basement or kitchen located somewhere in Hamilton, ON. Being from a Southern Ontario city not known for breeding electronic artists of the successful type, the duo had modest ambitions just to release some music, some day. One day, however, Dark left to pursue other interests. After posting some of their two-step electro pop lullabies online, Greenspan was contacted by a new British label called KIN, which was interested in releasing some music. That story is how the Junior Boys formed and got signed, a story thats been told quite a few times. As you know, Junior Boys (Greenspan and since 2002 Matt Didemus) have gone on to release a bunch of EPs and two critically adored LPs, but what you may not know is what happened to the groups other founding member: Johnny Dark.
After departing Junior Boys, Dark set out on his own path, joining KIN as well under his own name and in 2006, released Cant Wait, a techno-based four-song vinyl EP that got plenty of blogger love and "track of the year status by Radio 1s Mary Anne Hobbs. Fast-forward to 2007, where Dark teamed up with NRMLS WLCM RCRDS-signed synth pop Massachusan San Serac to form Stereo Image, an amalgamation of each individuals electro-heavy musical habits. Its difficult not to consider Junior Boys in the company of Stereo Image, but while the former breathes tender R&B ballads, the latter isnt afraid to crank it up and go a bit eccentric. The production should sound familiar, since Dark helped shape the Junior Boys "non-stop erotic new-romantic-electro-R&B-pop (say that fast three times!) on Last Exit, but San Seracs goth-like vocal histrionics give Stereo Image a theatrical and retro vibe. First single "Red Nights shuffles to a slick floor of micro-cropped beats, giving Serac opportunity to croon "No sad-sack DJs ever gonna bring us down precariously. On the flipside, it gets weirder, with oscillations feeding Seracs vocal flamboyance, which border on Bowies most aggressive howl. No word on a full-length just yet, but a handwritten memo by the pair on their MySpace page reads: "Were working on new songs for 2008. Heres to hoping.
Stereo Image "Red Nights