(This post was lifted from my previous blog, Mos Defferson. Feel free to check that out, but anything I really liked from there, I will probably put up and update on here.)
Electric President – Ben Cooper (of Radical Face) and Alex Kane – is a duo out of Jacksonville, Fla. A duo with a ridiculous amount of talent and knowledge around the electrorganic peripherals. It’s been fun watching them tune their style, actually, and evolve a bit over the years. I caught 2004’s You Have the Right to Remain Awesome EP in late 2005, and was impressed but not overwhelmed. Then came 2006’s self-titled album, which blew me away. Some of the tracks from ‘Awesome’ still hold a great deal of novelty value for me, but the transition from ‘Awesome’ to their s/t album was astonishing.
The transition from that album to 2008’s Sleep Well might have even been more amazing. Here, they’ve fixed some of the unnecessary business of their previous tracks and stripped their songs down to the simple electronic and acoustic melodies. It’s quite a bit of a tonal change, actually, as many of the songs from ‘Sleep’ come off as a bit dreary – that’s not to say boring, but dream-like. Which is the point, I guess. Then again, I’m not really trying to pit the ’s/t’ versus the newer album, I’m just saying there’s a notable difference in tone and style. These guys aren’t afraid to try new things with their music, and I think you have to look at what they’re doing as a whole. The Orwellian themes are similar from album-to-album, but overall I think these albums are mostly just an examination of the elements of humanity – what there is and what there isn’t. Examined, of course, through these varying styles.
But it’s all catchy. And, if a bit melanchony in places, the lyrics are intelligent. I guess the best comparison is Postal Service, but given their propensity to change up their style, it’s really hard to say.
“Insomnia”, off the ’s/t’ album, actually got a look on FOX’s “The O.C.” pre-cancellation. Which makes sense, it’s likely their most commercially-viable song. But it’s a shame it didn’t get these guys some more attention. They’ve gone largely unnoticed for a while now, and they’ve put out two of my favorite albums of the past few years. Hopefully that changes sometime soon.
Also, they make kinda creepy music videos. As is evidenced in Sleep Well’s “It’s an Ugly Life.”