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This week’s podcast features Boy In Static, the San Francisco-Boston indie pop project of Alexander Chen (viola, vocals, assorted instruments) & Kenji Ross (drums, beats). The band’s origin story is not exactly an oft-heard one: a classical musician (Chen) with an interest in computer audio begins writing pop music with electronic elements and gets the interest of The Notwist’s Markus Acher, who released Newborn on his Alien Transistor label before he ever plays a show. Over the past five years, Chen and Ross have released three albums and toured the US and internationally with bands like 13 & God, Freezepop, and Lymbyc Systym.
Candy Cigarette is Boy In Static’s third album, and it represents significant and exciting developments for the band, both in terms of sound and Chen’s approach to songwriting. While 2007’s Violet drew more heavily from shoegaze influences, the new record is considerably brighter, fusing bubbling Notwist-esque electronic pop with layers of viola and toy instruments. It also marks new levels of collaboration, between Chen and drummer Ross who road-tested these songs while touring, and with outside collaborators like Liz Freezepop, Ulrich Schnauss and Her Space Holiday. Freezepop’s vocal contributions are particularly notable; her and Chen have some beautiful melancholic duets that mesh wonderfully with the beats and textures. All told, it’s a very strong release that indie pop fans will greatly enjoy.
We sat down with Alex in our studio recently to discuss the role of contributors on the new album and his relocation to San Francisco last year. We’ve also got four songs from Candy Cigarette in the episode.
Wednesday, May 6th
Bottom of the Hill
with Her Space Holiday, City Light, and Hanni El Khatib
9pm, $12, All Ages
– Visit Boy In Static’s web site and MySpace page to hear more.
– Purchase Candy Cigarette and Boy In Static’s other releases from Amazon and on iTunes.
– Check out the videos for “Young San Francisco” and “Toy Baby Grand”.
– Peruse Boy In Static’s blog for more free music and news about the band.