The Digital Melancholy of Electrisad Is Like John Hughes in Mp3 Form
Electrisad has had a very punctuated emergence as a fixture in the Phoenix scene.
In the space of a few months, the band has opened up for several prominent acts in the national DIY indie scene such as Julie Byrne, Emperor X, and Your Heart Breaks. Saying that isn't meant as an empty "has shared the stage with..." cliche of hyping up a band. It's more about context. Having attended some of those shows with the explicit purpose of seeing the touring headliners above anything else, Electrisad stuck with me less as a defacto local opener and more of a solid band in their own right. A testament to that might be that I remembered their songs without ever seeking out the recorded versions (a scant amount can be found here).
The band's music is, on the surface, simple synth-pop with soft melodic vocals, but there is a pervasive and nuanced sentimentality to it. It sounds like angst and heartbreak in a way that evokes the music selection on a John Hughes soundtrack. Choruses like "everything I love turns to dust," are delivered in a way that belie any kind of melodrama lyrics like that would normally imply. It's subdued but also kind of cheery.
"I think there's a sense of humor embedded either in the songs or between the songs," says vocalist Talisha Royer. "Maybe it's a self-deprecating sense of humor, but there's definitely a sense of humor to what we do."
The band will be embarking on it's first out-of-state tour at the end of the week and with that comes some humor as well. It's centered around the Pacific Northwest, but not for the obvious reason of garnering hipster-cred, but mainly because the band's self-proclaimed biggest fan now lives in Seattle. Given how relatively new the band is, tour merch will likely be limited to download codes and demos. But they do at least have a distinct name.
"You described it in the past as like an electric burst of sadness. Like, sadness that flows through your body like electricity," instrumentalist Chloe Benson says to Royer. "That's what you've said in the past. I'm not sure if you still believe that."
"All I know is that I like it," Royer says "And it's pretty Googleable."
Electrisad-related material is indeed the first thing that pops up when you Google "Electrisad." With touring and growth, it can be hoped that they will occupy a similarly prominent place among fans of DIY pop, local and otherwise.
Electrisad is playing at the Trunk Space on Friday, August 29, with Raya and Diners. Doors at 7:30. All Ages.
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