Top Prospect #6 - And The Echo

There are lots of misconceptions about the South, to list them all would be an exercise in futility. Mostly, we here in the South don't really care what others think of us, but sometimes when we encounter a misinformed person, we try to set them straight. Yes, we have indoor plumbing, air conditioning too, and no, we don't marry our siblings, although marriage by first cousins is possible in most Southern states. By the way, you can do that in such highfalutin places like California and New York too. Anyway, even after living in the South for my entire life, I'm occasionally surprised by something, and synth-pop being made here is one thing I've found hard to believe. I just didn't think it existed, or was even possible. But, it is, Oxford, Mississippi's And The Echo make synth-pop, and it's fantastic.

The sixth entry in our Top Prospects for 2015 is the Oxford, Mississippi based synth-pop band, And The Echo. Winn McElroy and Morgan Pennington started the project in March of 2014 because they loved electronic pop music. The two had collaborated on some solo acoustic material Morgan had written, really good material as a matter of fact, and on a whim they decided to back it with a synth track. And that's how the project took off.

We here at Aimless Skylarking have seen And The Echo twice now, once at the Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham in August, and just this week at the Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham. Both times, I was blown away by their sound, now equally impressed with the new light show. The band has taken basic cues from the wildly popular Scottish synth band Chvrches, yet their sound is all their own, it's darker, moodier, with a streak of melancholy tinging it all. Their latest performance at the Bottletree Cafe showed the band on top of their game; breezing from song to song backed by a choreographed light show that made them appear to have far more than 8 months together as a unit.

After the show, we stopped at the merch table and picked up two 7 inch singles, met most everyone in the band along with partners, and then chatted with Winn for a few minutes. We spoke about the show, the new light show, new music, future releases, and festival dates. We are excited for the band's potential in 2015. With new music in the form of an LP coming, and an expanded set of tour dates (crossing my fingers for SXSW for the band), the band is poised to reach a larger audience and break through to bigger things. We certainly like their chances, stream a few of our favorites from the band below, and get them on your radar for next year.

For more information on And The Echo:

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Song of the Day - Sexotheque

My apathy towards synth-pop has been documented here a few times, and it's truly time to let it go.  There's lots of reasons for the apathy, yet those reasons don't make much sense these days.  And they are kind of silly coming from an adult, but they originated back when I was an impressionable teen.  In my circle of friends, it just wasn't cool or accepted to listen to it.  Guitar bands ruled.  Anyway, over the last year I've opened up my ears to the movement and found some really strong bands making entirely irresistible and fun music. 

Chvrches and Empathy Test immediately come to mind as favorites, then, newcomer And The Echo is making a strong case for some serious love around the Aimless Skylarking headquarters. So what does all of that have to do with La Roux?  Well, chances are, I wouldn't have given her music a chance had those bands not shown me the way.  So, just last week, I stumbled across this video for her song, 'Sexotheque' and I can't quit listening to it.  It's the Aimless Skylarking Song of the Day!

Song of the Day - Okinawa

One of the most exciting discoveries of this year's Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham was Morgan Pennington and The Echo , now, just And The Echo.  Out of Oxford, MS, they're spinning hook laden synthpop with a decidedly 80's feel.  Even with their hearts in the past, their feet are on the bleeding edge of a swell of new artists looking for the break.  'Okinawa' is my Song of the Day.  Listen below.

For more information on And The Echo:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Shoes

It's a lazy weekend around here, hot and rainy, and I'm still recovering from an ear infection.  It's not really infected, just fluid behind the ear which hasn't been painful, and no vertigo, but still annoying.  Anyway, I had planned to take the weekend off from this place, but decided to pop in to share a few photos from last weekend's Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham.

One thing I always try to do is photograph the footwear of the artists on stage, not sure why, I certainly don't have a foot fetish and I don't collect shoes.  It's just different from the usual shots, and that's why I like it.  Sometimes I get a good shot, sometimes it's blurry, or too dark, and it's a loss.  Not so last weekend, here are a few that turned out nice.

Pujol's black leather boots.  My Dad had a pair just like that in the 70's down to the straps and the buckle. 

Ruby Rogers of Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria

Morgan Pennington of And The Echo.