Tag: NINA (Page 1 of 7)


The queue outside to get a good spot to see Los Angeles band CANNONS play London’s Heaven stretched to almost the entire length of Villiers Street.

Formed in 2013, the trio comprising of Michelle Joy (vocals), Ryan Clapham (guitar) and Paul Davis (keyboards + bass) released their first EP ‘Up All Night’ in 2014. They have been on an upward trajectory since the release of their 2017 debut album ‘Night Drive’. Indeed, the Heaven gig was a consequence of an upgrade from Lafayette in Kings Cross due to public demand.

While CANNONS might have started off sounding a bit like NO DOUBT meeting STEELY DAN, subsequent albums ‘Shadows’ and ‘Fever Dream’ reinforced the more pop indiewave aesthetic like CHROMATICS but with a sunnier disposition. In support of their new long player ‘Heartbeat Highway’, CANNONS’ impressive recent run of sold out headlining shows have included a European sojourn. For these dates, support came from NINA & RADIO WOLF.

Known as “The Queen Of Synthwave”, this was NINA’s welcome return to the London stage after 5 years. Meanwhile for RADIO WOLF aka Oliver Blair, this was his first London appearance since 2018 when he was a de facto member of PARALLELS. However, the Canadian guitarist and producer could be seen as something of a London scene veteran having been in HOTEL MOTEL, a band which also featured Italians Do It Better artist Jorja Chalmers in its line-up.

When NINA & RADIO WOLF took to the stage to a packed venue, the first striking observation was the new raunchier thigh length booted presence of NINA. Alongside her leather jacketed partner, there was a sound to match as showcased from the start with ‘Tokyo Cowboy’. While guitar was a dominant component over the synthwave of her previous work, gritty pulsing electronics formed the backdrop to suit the more sinister mood exemplified by titles such as ‘Psychotic’ which was possessed by a guitar riff not far off DEPECHE MODE’s ‘I Feel You’.

NINA & RADIO WOLF gave space for their recently issued two singles ‘My Dark’ and ‘Bluesbreaker’, the former being a wide ranging accessible slice of darkwave while the latter pulled the surprise of harmonica. Open to other influences such as the frantic machine rhythms of early COCTEAU TWINS single ‘Peppermint Pig’ on ‘To See You’, NINA & RADIO WOLF have cultivated a distinct sound that proved to be a perfect warm up for the headline act.

Live, CANNONS are augmented by drummer Ben Hilzinger and while they are very a tight band that specialises in what they call “future boogie”, Michelle Joy was the visual focus and cheer leader for audience interaction. With a dreamy sexy voice that can be compared to Gwen Stefani,  Susanna Hoffs and Ruth Radelet, she also has an engaging personality that enhances her appeal.

Opening with the ‘Heartbeat Highway’ title song, it was a pointer to the less synth layered sound of the new album compared with its predecessor ‘Fever Dream’; but from the latter, ‘Bad Dream’ displayed the synthier platitudes that helped CANNONS achieve that wider breakthrough. Back to the new record, ‘Loving You’ brought whistles and a groove while not a cover, ‘Talk Talk’ from ‘Shadows’ took the pace down as ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ entered into Hall & Oates blue eyed soul territory.

The pairing of ‘Hurricane’ and the glorious ‘Ruthless’, both from ‘Fever Dream’, was perfect with the latter coming with a massed beckoned “F*CK YOU” to round off the catchy choruses. Meanwhile, ‘Come Alive’ recalled another CHROMATICS influenced act R.MISSING in its enigmatic allure.

The optimistic electronic pop of ‘Crush’ returned the focus to ‘Heartbeat Highway’ but revisiting ‘Fever Dream’ again, ‘Purple Sun’ played with synth reggae before the main section of the set closed with ‘Fire for You’ which featured in a 2020 episode of the Netflix comedy-drama series ‘Never Have I Ever’ and boosted CANNONS’ international profile.

Following the encore of the breezy ‘Desire’ from ‘Heartbeat Highway’ and 2015 standalone single ‘Evening Star’, CANNONS left behind many smiling faces. Like with NATION OF LANGUAGE, there are signs of a similar trajectory as they too went from Lafayette to Heaven previously. With the enthusiastic reception at this show, there is no doubt that when CANNONS return to the UK, it will not just be at a bigger venue in London but part of a whole tour.

CANNONS new album ‘Heartbeat Highway’ is out now as a vinyl LP under exclusive license to Columbia Records





NINA & RADIO WOLF ‘My Dark’ + ‘Bluesbreaker’ are available on the usual online platforms









Text and Photos by Chi Ming Lai
25 March 2024

A Short Conversation with NINA & RADIO WOLF

NINA and RADIO WOLF have teamed up to create two fiery back-to-back singles ‘My Dark’ and ’Bluesbreaker’.

The two first met while touring together on the US West Coast. Known as “The Queen Of Synthwave”, NINA was promoting her first solo album ‘Sleepwalking’ while RADIO WOLF, better known to his parents as Oliver Blair was performing as a member of Canadian synthpop band PARALLELS with whom he would later release a soundtrack of songs for the film ‘Proximity’ on Lakeshore Records.

Collaboration is at the heart of both NINA and RADIO WOLF; the former’s most recent releases were with Ricky Wilde and Kid Moxie while the latter’s portfolio includes work with Sarah Blackwood, Kelli Ali and a then-unknown Jorja Chalmers when they were members of the new wave trio HOTEL MOTEL.

Created, recorded, produced and mixed in a custom-built home studio in Berlin, ‘My Dark’ and ’Bluesbreaker’ both encapsulate a dark romantic spirit to make a fine follow-up to NINA’s previous two RADIO WOLF productions ‘Carnival Night’ and second version of ‘I’ll Wait’.

As well as the release of two new songs, NINA and RADIO WOLF will be busy in March as they open for CANNONS when the American indiewave band venture over to Europe for selected dates in Berlin, Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam and London. The Berlin-resident couple spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about their recent comings and goings…

Both of you have been making music individually and in collaboration with others over the years, but was coming together to make music with each other just a natural process?

RADIO WOLF: We connected on tour. NINA and PARALLELS were performing in the US together (me as a de facto member of PARALLELS). I could tell right away that NINA had so much more to her than what she was already known for and I wanted to help her bring that forward. She has an incredible voice and beautiful way of writing dark yet romantic lyrics. She shared my desire to make music that is more conceptual and genre-fusing and we bonded very quickly. When we first started recording demos, things got exciting very fast and we pretty much wrote an album’s worth of songs in one month. We just fit.

NINA: When I heard RADIO WOLF’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever’, I knew there was something special about him. Nobody had impressed me with the fusion of Electronica and Rock guitar quite like that before. On tour, he actually remixed one of my songs: ‘Automatic Call’, which was never released by the label. Still, I was blown away when I first heard it and how he reinvented the song, especially with his treatment of my voice. It may become some kind of “bootleg” one day. I love how we sound together and the world we’ve created.

How does your creative dynamic operate and how might it differ from others you have worked with?

RADIO WOLF: Not all artists who collaborate, even those with huge mutual respect, want to step very far from their oeuvre. And that’s all right. It’s our mutual desire to experiment and break free from rigid musical genres that is the key to our harmony. Also we read one another in an intuitive way – there’s a natural rhythm in our creative movements. If I start the process with a song or instrumental, NINA runs with it and adds to it in ways I often wouldn’t imagine, which turns into a back-and-forth flow of creativity.

NINA: We’re both very instinctive and rarely over-think our process, often giving our best ideas right upfront. RADIO WOLF tends to leave my very first moment with the music uninterrupted—He doesn’t interfere at all. Unless he writes the song from the beginning, he’ll only inspire an idea or put a concept on the table for me to play with. Other times, I’ll come to him with an idea or song and he’ll work on developing it. We have a great understanding of one another. It’s almost psychic.

What influences do you have in common for this collaboration but also, what things did one like but perhaps the other really wasn’t so keen on? 😉

RADIO WOLF: The influences we share are quite diverse and not what some would expect, which is the most fun aspect of us coming together. It’s how we mix it up and make it all our own. Our influences range from David Lynch, Roy Orbison, and Jimi Hendrix to TANGERINE DREAM, DEPECHE MODE and GOLDFRAPP… to name only a few! There’s also the influence and ethos of the jukebox single – that ‘jukebox spirit dimension’ as I call it. Because the consensual rocketing off from our usual orbit into more adventurous territory was a fiery entry point for NINA and me, we worked hard to create the harmony needed to make the music—we just kept fine tuning to create the perfect hybrid sound of our imaginings. There was little we disagreed on once we got into this zone.

NINA: We have the same taste, especially in our mutual love for electronic music and rock ‘n’ roll. I was so excited when Oliver started referencing his favourite artists because they were all so different. I hadn’t met anyone who was influenced by such a wide range of music before. He’s just like me! We really enjoy experimenting with electronic technology and strange modular sounds as it gives us a lot of freedom; evoking our “cinematic minds”. However, it’s our love for the raw feeling that rock ‘n’ roll inspires that really motivates the heart and soul of our music. I always feel like my true self when listening to Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Blues. That wild at heart feeling you get when the old records come on… Wow! I believe we’re channelling this feeling in the sonic world we’ve created. In terms of one of us not liking the other’s influences, well, when I feel the need for a blast of ABBA, Oliver cranks up THE PRODIGY as loud as he can. Cheeky!

Could ‘My Dark’ and ‘Bluesbreaker’ be seen as an old fashioned single with an A-side and B-side or is this more a double A-sided release?

RADIO WOLF: Double A-Side… That’s the idea!

NINA: Damn right! I think we should do this more often…

How did ‘My Dark’ develop?

RADIO WOLF: NINA’s vocals can be very sensual so with that in mind I created an instrumental that felt sexy and dark. It had a badass vibe right from the start. On hearing it, NINA said “let’s call this song ‘My Dark’” and I knew we’d be creating a kind of revelatory anti-love song about the dark side of relationships. Adding spacey guitars give it an even more uncanny feel.

NINA: Yes, we both felt like creating something quite heavy and I wanted to let out my inner femme-fatale. I was so inspired when I first heard RADIO WOLF’s instrumental, so I started singing along and writing lyrics to it very quickly. We completed the track together – RADIO WOLF’s really good at placing words and melodies where they shine the most. We both wanted to capture my intimate side as well by using spoken-word that builds to a passionate vocal climax. I think the song is special because it’s very moving as a dance track yet provocative like a sex scene in a movie.

‘Bluesbreaker’ has a rugged sound that might surprise some… and what? Harmonica? Is that virtual or real? 😉

RADIO WOLF: We love our rugged tones! It all started with the main guitar riff; I recorded it on New Year’s Eve after finishing my production of NINA’s ‘I’ll Wait’. It was a way for me to unwind after working so intensely and I was playing around with my crunchy overdriven Fender tones. NINA joined in with her raunchy vocals and we wrote the lyrics on the spot. We both love Bo Diddley, so we incorporated a variation of his classic beat near the end and then thought… “Hmmm… Harmonica?”. Admittedly I’m not the best harmonica player but I ‘bluesed it up’ in my own way with a real harmonica knowing I would customise it with SFX to give it that spacey, otherworldly twist.

NINA: RADIO WOLF originally wanted me to play the harmonica but I could tell that he was so passionate about it, I convinced him to record it. I wanted to focus on my vocal style and create a dreamy rock blend. I always wanted to make a Blues-inspired track. This one’s more of a hybrid and I like that! We’re mixing genres and trying things that are unexpected. This is what our team-up is all about. It’s conceptual Pop, Art Rock, Heavy beats, and Dreamscapes all rolled into one… Plus a hell of a lot more!

How was playing on stage for the first time together on the dates opening for DE/VISION last Autumn?

RADIO WOLF: It felt amazing! DE/VISION are such a cool band and the fans are the best! I’m so happy that they all loved the new songs and embraced NINA’s reimagined versions of beloved classics. It gives us motivation to update a few more…

NINA: I loved seeing the boys again. They are such veterans and inspire me every time. I’m not gonna lie, it was a really big jump into cold water for us, as everything was new and we hadn’t been on stage for 4 years. My nerves went up the roof on the first show, but by the third one, I felt very at home.

And then there was the Johnny Jewel gig…

RADIO WOLF: That one was special. It was very intimate; just NINA and I. We played only new and unreleased songs, which was pretty risky but it worked like a charm! Everyone had a great time and Johnny even jumped into the crowd and filmed us. Our performance resonated with a very dark yet romantic mood, which I think he liked. He’s a super sweet guy, incredibly talented and very supportive. Johnny’s performance was particularly inspiring as we share many of the same influences. We bonded later over Mario Bava films and Guy Bourdin photography.

NINA: We adore Johnny! What a talent. His performance was exciting and we’d love to play more shows with him and Megan à la DESIRE. Megan is a great artist as well and a really cool person.

What’s next for you together, is there an album on the way and more gigs?

RADIO WOLF: We’ve already booked a lot of shows and there’s more to come, so we’re really busy. The album is in the works and we keep adding songs. It’s very difficult to scale it all down—maybe there’ll be more than one so stay tuned!

NINA: We’re going to release more singles before we drop the album. We have so many songs! We really want to explore more with our sound. The album will certainly open things up and shed new light on both of us. We’re putting a lot of love and care into it and I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together with the world.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to NINA & RADIO WOLF

‘My Dark’ is released on 8 March 2024 via the usual online platforms, pre-save at https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/ninaandradiowolf/my-dark

‘Bluesbreaker’ follows on 15 March 2024, pre-save at https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/ninaandradiowolf/bluesbreaker

NINA & RADIO WOLF open for CANNONS on the following 2024 dates:

Berlin Franz Club (13 March), Cologne Club Volta (15 March), Paris Le Maroquinerie (16 March), Amsterdam Tolhuistuin (17 March), London Heaven (19 March)









Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
7 March 2024


Photo by Jori Hulkkonen

Just as it looked like it would be safe to come out to play, there was uncertainty within the music industry again.

What had become the artists’ favourite platform thanks to its low commission and 0% Fridays, Bandcamp was taken over by Epic Games in 2022 but then following a move by employees to unionise, was sold to Songtradr who immediately dismissed half of its staff… in hindsight, despite its proclamation that this platform cared about the music, it looked like this had been yet another start-up by tech venture capitalists. Just as many acts dropped their own websites in favour of Facebook over a decade ago but were then trapped into sponsored posts to reach the majority of their own fanbase, online shops had been dropped for Bandcamp. So, things are back to square one as many consider a rebuild of their web presence.

Meanwhile, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino made a controversial declaration that concert ticket prices were generally too low and that artists could easily “charge a bit more”. While THE CURE notably refused to do this and capped their face value tickets at $20 for their US tour, the Live Nation sister outlet Ticketmaster applied excessive booking extras of more than $20 per ticket for a “service fee”, “facility charge” and “order processing”! With dynamic pricing in place at a number of high profile events and so-called VIP tickets on the rise (which didn’t actually include a meet ‘n’ greet but only a nearby bar and a lanyard), fans had their “FOMO” anxieties triggered and simply paid up!

Photo by Chi Ming Lai

Another artist who kept ticket prices low was Midge Ure who embarked on the successful ‘Voices & Visions’ tour after a year’s delay due to uncertainties over the Covid situation in 2022. Complimented by a straightforward but very effective light show and material from his second and third long players with ULTRAVOX ‘Rage In Eden’ and ‘Quartet’, it was a triumph. He was rewarded with a 70th birthday show celebrating his career at The Royal Albert Hall, which despite its plush surroundings was also kept affordable.

Who says an artist has no control over retail pricing? But one band who were shamelessly happy to charge more for concert tickets, more for merchandise and more for physical releases were DEPECHE MODE. For their first album and tour since the passing of co-founder Andy Fletcher in 2022, the remaining members played the death card with ‘Momento Bori’ and managed to plonk an even more underwhelming arena show into the stadiums of the world… at least the ‘Global Spirit’ tour featured risers!

With renowned UK venues such as Printworks and Moles closing down, as had already been highlighted by Juls Garat of US goth band PILGRIMS OF YEARNING via social media in 2022: “If you’re spending a kidney on DEPECHE MODE tickets and not attending a local show this weekend, I don’t wanna see you complaining that there’s no scene, local venues or new music anymore”. However, one seemingly oblivious Devotee said about the inflated ticket prices: “Really don’t know what the issue is. Happily paid £108.00 for a DM ticket. Would have paid more!!”. And therein lays the problem… DEPECHE MODE played a date at Stadion Wankdorf in Bern and that said it all! As the man who Devotees call a genius once wrote: “Some great reward will be coming my way…”

Photo by Chi Ming Lai

As The Devotees wallowed in their collective misery during 2023, the Stockholm Syndrome was stronger than ever. On the Bratislava leg at the National Football Stadium, one of The Black Swarm commented to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK: “I was there… I must admit, a bit disappointed… but I still love them!!!”. It was business as usual for DEPECHE MODE, with “business” being the operative word. It was reported that so much money had been sucked out of the European alternative music market in particular that a number of acts had to schedule their planned tours to 2024, while others who had made good albums worthy of attention in 2023 got lost in the sea of DM propaganda on the web.

Despite increased ticket prices at all levels, gig etiquette declined to the worst possible standards with the constant chatter and bad manners among some attendees. Surely if you have paid upwards of £30 or more for a show, you might want to pay more attention and enjoy it? ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has never seen it this bad in the 43 years it has been going to concerts, but this entitled arrogance to talk extremely loudly about total bollocks is a undoubted legacy of Brexit and Covid which in combination has normalised a lack of social graces in gathered environments… and when challenged, these total numbskulls become aggressive, pitifully unaware that they are ruining the evening of those around them.

Meanwhile, there was another undesirable element who only go to gigs to post selfies and badly distorted footage on their socials… these were often the sort of people who actually hated the band back in the day, but after 40+ years realised they like the song on the Vitality or Waitrose advert so are sudddenly giving it the big “I AM” about being a fan… but BECAUSE they are only there for one song, they then treat the rest of the gig like they were out with their mates in the pub! 🤬

Photo by Chi Ming Lai

The best live shows of the year came from PET SHOP BOYS and DURAN DURAN with their arena extravaganzas full of hits, classic fan favourites and great staging. Among the album celebrations, CHINA CRISIS ran through their second long player ‘Working With Fire & Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume 2’ on tour to celebrate its 40th anniversary and founder bassist Peter Hook took the first NEW ORDER compilation ‘Substance’ out on the road to coincide with its expanded 4CD reissue.

“Sweden’s best kept pop secret” KITE impressed with an imitate headliner for their debut London gig and later at Cologne’s Amphi Festival to a much larger crowd, while the return of Ollie Wride to the London stage at The Scala illustrated why he has potential to be the next synthwave artist to crossover into the mainstream.

Photo by Ed Miles

‘Time’s Arrow’, LADYTRON’s second album since their return from hiatus proved to be something of a disappointment while fairing slightly better with its anti-Brexit sentiments, ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ was touted as the final album from OMD; now kissing the strict machine, having previously been supportive of new electronic pop via ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK championed acts MIRRORS, VILLA NAH, VILE ELECTRODES, METROLAND, TINY MAGNETIC PETS and SOFTWAVE, their choice of art glam hipsters WALT DISCO as opening act on the UK leg of the 2024 tour was symbolic of the general poor state of modern synthpop ie pop music using synths, particularly within the narrow-mindset of Brexit Britain.

Although the UK was continuing to party like it was 1933, the incendiary language that Cruella Braverman was using was so extreme that she was even dismissed from fronting the Conservative Party new wave covers band A FLOCK OF SIEG HEILS… as a trio of poets from South Yorkshire once said: “BROTHERS! SISTERS! WE DON’T NEED THIS FASCIST GROOVE THANG!”

Reflecting a wider issue, 2023 also saw ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK publish its fewest number of ‘Introducing…’ new artist articles since its inception in 2010 with only Brigitte Bardini and Madeleine Goldstein featured. There were a number of possible reasons…

Photo by Bella Salvatore

“The technology leads the art form and it always has” said veteran producer Steve Lillywhite on a recent Rockonteurs podcast, “if the technology allows you to reference other people’s records… you WILL do that!”. This was summed up by an Apple Mac advert featuring sample-based British pop singer PinkPantheress demonstrating how to have a hit by appropriating a topline from Kelly Rowland and plonking it into GarageBand before processing her voice through AutoTune and nabbing the intro of ‘Gold’ by SPANDAU BALLET… you said it yourself Miss Walker, IT SOUNDS LIKE GARBAGE!

While the accessibility, usability and sound quality of modern tech has totally democratised music making, as another veteran producer Stephen Hague put it to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK “it’s made it far too easy”, with the end result being familiarity and imitation rather than innovation. Now that an acceptable sound is able to be obtained fairly quickly on software such as GarageBand, the level of songwriting has generally declined in many genres. Artists abstain from putting in the hard work towards the actual songcraft because they think their track is already great, as it sounds like someone they’ve based it on!

However, the misuse of “synth” as a description reached a new nadir in 2023. There were those using “synth” or “synthwave” in their brand identity who proudly revealed via their Spotify Wrapped that their Top Genre was actually rock or made bizarre comments like “What I like most about synthwave is the guitar solos”. Meanwhile one artist declared they were synthpop because they had spent their youth “listening to too much Madonna”! But synth music as an enduring form is ultimately doomed when social media platforms using “Synthpop” in their idents think that guitar-based bands like BIG COUNTRY and COCTEAU TWINS are part of it, or compile acoustic playlists!! 🤦‍♂️

“Synth” has now somehow become is a general term for any retro-flavoured pop with an element of shiny artifice whether synthesizers have been used or not! These artists and “content creators” are now too young to understand what “synth” in music actually once meant and probably think the term is short for “synthetic” as in clothes and hair products, as opposed to “synthesizer”.

That said, 2023 was not all bad and there was a lot of excellent music. The song of the year was by the unlikely synth hero in glum rocker Lloyd Cole; while guitars made a more prominent but limited return on his album ‘On Pain’ following 2019’s electronically-dominated ‘Guesswork’, the standout song ‘The Idiot’ saw him provide a touching narrative on the relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop as they relocated to Berlin in 1976.

Swedish veterans PAGE took the Numanisation of their poptronica to its zenith by bringing in former imperial phase Numan band members Chris Payne and RRussell Bell on their new album ‘En Ny Våg’. Across the Öresund Bridge, Danish synthpop couple SOFTWAVE showed the world the ‘things we’ve done’.

Photo by George Tripodakis

Another music veteran Ricky Wilde teamed up with NINA to reveal their ‘Scala Hearts’; full of classic pop references and a modern sheen, this was the record Wilde had wanted to make for a few years but hadn’t been able to with his sister Kim. Its creative drive showed and this was also the best long player that NINA had been part of since she launched her solo career in 2011. In a busy year, NINA also found time to satisfy many a red blooded fantasy by collaborating with Kid Moxie on the ‘Lust’ EP released by Italians Do It Better.

The Finns were strong too, with Jaakko Eino Kalavi and Jori Hulkkonen producing two of the best albums of 2023. The former’s eclectic ‘Chaos Magic’ featured Alma Jodorowsky, Mr Silla and Jimi Tenor as special guests while the latter’s ‘There Is Light Hidden In These Shadows’ brought in John Grant, Ralf Dörper, Jake Shears, Jon Marsh, Juho Paalosmaa and Tiga.

While maintaining his front man role in MESH, Mark Hockings presented his solo project BLACKCARBURNING in long playing form and was ‘Watching Sleepers’. Also going it alone, Alison Goldfrapp squarely hit the dancefloor via ’The Love Invention’ with Kylie Minogue’s similarly glitzy ‘Tension’ as its companion. But with ACTORS still busy touring the world, the planned long playing debut from LEATHERS was yet to emerge but there were two new singles in the interim.

METROLAND and side project 808 DOT POP ambitiously released albums in five different formats with exclusive tracks on each between them simultaneously, in a move that had not been seen since 1978 when all four members of KISS released solo records on the same day. Much more discretely, ITALOCONNECTION came up with ‘Nordisko’ which comprised of Nordic pop disco covers. More ambient experiments were served by John Foxx, Vince Clarke, Patricia Wolf, Johan Agebjörn and the late Ryuichi Sakamoto, while putting those ethereal textures into song was Hinako Omori with her appropriately named second album ‘stillness, softness…’

Germany’s BEBORN BETON offered bleak commentary on the state of the planet with ‘Darkness Falls Again’ but encouraged everyone to be dancers in the dark while Chinese band STOLEN highlighted this ‘Eroded Creation’. Within their ‘Circle Of Doom’, NNHMN had pressing matters closer to home while ZANIAS emerged from her ‘Chrysalis’. FERAL FIVE confronted and worked with AI to declare ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ and Finlay Shakespeare tapped into his ‘Illusion + Memory’.

Photo by Tim Darin

Among the promising emergent acts with debut EPs were NEU-ROMANCER and DIE SEXUAL while German solo artists Jennifer Touch and Laura Dre added to their long playing portfolios, as did OHNOTHING and BUNNY X. Fronted by respectively by John Grant and Neil Arthur, CREEP SHOW and THE REMAINDER outlined the benefits of collaboration while CAUSEWAY joined forces with R. MISSING for the single ‘Wear The Night Out’.

Despite having plied their trade for over 50 years, SPARKS continued to be as eccentric as ever and even had Cate Blanchett appear in the video for ‘The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte’. With ‘*Happiness now completed’ and Dave Ball returning to the live fold after a period of serious illness, SOFT CELL effectively issued another new album featuring a significant number of previously unreleased tracks including covers of Giorgio Moroder and X-RAY SPEX to provide a much more satisfying listening experience than the parent ‘*Happiness not included’ record. Then there was the unexpected recorded return of CLASSIX NOUVEAUX with their ‘Battle Cry’.

Veteran acts who ceased active operations many years ago got worthy boxed set treatments; TELEX provided ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK with the funniest interview of the year in support of their self-titled retrospective on Mute while LANDSCAPE were comprehensively catalogued by Cooking Vinyl. Not to be left out, the trusty Cherry Red via their Lemon imprint showcased how underrated NEW MUSIK and their leader Tony Mansfield were, especially with the latter’s sound clearly audible in today’s pop acts such as THE WEEKND.

Despite the return of Q, the jury was still out on whether music magazines are still desirable aside from their CD and vinyl artefacts. Meanwhile, music-based social media dumbed down its engagement to cut ‘n’ paste Wikipedia snippets accompanying archive photos or artwork, pointless 26th anniversary posts and non-significant birthday celebrations to attract likes. Comments from the public such as “My favourite album… I wish I still had it!” and saying “Happy Birthday” when the platform wasn’t even connected to the artist concerned only highlighted further the continuing inane nature of online interaction. And this was without those irritating “POV” reels and reaction videos on TikTok and Instagram which were unfortunately prevalent!

The less said about the right wing gammon infested sh*t show that Twitter has become, the better but on the new Threads platform intended to take it on, PENDULUM’s El Hornet remarked “omg threads is full of music industry self help w*nkers making lists about things nobody asked abort! ABORT!” 🤣

With such platforms also seemingly centred around the exposure of flesh with photos “just for fun” be the subject a golfer, gamer, painter, baker, comedian, hairdresser, photographer, psychologist, racing driver, book reviewer, poet, dating coach or Lego enthusiast, is it any wonder that several music artists resorted to setting up OnlyFans accounts to sell nude photos!

With pun totally intended, in this challenging climate for exposure, some acts simply got a bit too big for their boots and were unbearably conceited on their socials with their bragging and frivolous chatter to appease a needy flock who hung onto their every word, desperate to be seen to be “friends” of wannabe stars while crowdfunding towards their spa weekenders and vet bills for their cat… it was therefore ironic that one of these acts declared “Music isn’t a competition!” when it appeared that another band might be taking away some of their limelight! Well, stop acting like it’s a 24 hour edition of ‘The Apprentice’ then!!! 🙄

On the other side of the coin, one too cool for school band took a strange attitude to promotion by refusing to accept questions about their influences while trying to come over like total originals. Despite their inspirations being blatant and obvious to hear, they had a misguided self-belief that they were somehow speaking a new language! But everybody knows they started out by purchasing the sheet music to ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ from a New York thrift store! 😆

A few years ago, a lone British artist was complained about the lack of press attention for their new admittedly good album, but then proceeded not to answer emails containing interview pitches. Artists need to engage, no matter how much they say they hate doing promotion, they can’t have it both ways. The days of RADIOHEAD not doing interviews to promote a new album and letting the music speak for itself are long gone…

With the world now making up for lost time since 2020, it would be fair to say that 2023 has been something of a strange year!

Text by Chi Ming Lai
18 December 2023


Making up for lost time and revenue since 2020, the music industry really went to town on their various income streams in 2023…

Albums were being released in multiple coloured vinyl editions with the same content, sometimes as many as eight versions… while this helped in inflating physical chart positions for marketing purposes, it also gave an incorrect perception of success. As Stephen Morris from NEW ORDER once remarked to Smash Hits back in 1983: “If you believe in the charts, then you may as well believe in fairies…”

With Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino declaring that concert ticket prices were generally too low and that artists could easily “charge a bit more”, this was exactly what quite a few did and there was a noticeable price hike observed across all levels over the year.

But what about the music? This year’s song listing was quite straightforward to compile, with a smaller shortlist compared to previous years with DURAN DURAN, KITE, PISTON DAMP, LEATHERS, DELERIUM and LADYTRON missing the final 30.

Just a note that ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has never compiled an albums list, due to long form releases now having a much longer gestation period than in the past. Therefore, songs are a much better representation of the music from a calendar year. If you like the song, then check out the parent album or EP if applicable via your chosen music platform…

Selected from tracks available on the usual online retail platforms with a restriction of one song per artist moniker (so yes NINA, John Grant,  Finlay Shakespeare and Laura Bailey each appear twice but in different combinations), here are the ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 SONGS OF 2023 listed in alphabetical order…


Hailing from Melbourne in Australia, Brigitte Bardini is the latest artist to embrace her dark side having begun as an acoustic singer songwriter. Moving away from the dreampop and shoegaze of her earlier material, ‘Start A Fire’ captured an alluring gothique on top of a gritty dance tempo while simultaneously haunting and melodic. The stylised rage was sinister stuff but aurally and visually absorbing.

Available on the BRIGITTE BARDINI single ‘Start A Fire’ via Ruby Valley Records


BEBORN BETON Dancer In The Dark

Not a rework of Bruce Springsteen, the brilliant ‘Dancer In The Dark’ saw BEBORN BETON managing to out Camouflage CAMOUFLAGE with an infectious pop sensibility that more than likely came from front man and lyric writer Stefan Netschio’s love of DURAN DURAN. With another Cold War looming as if The Berlin Wall never fell, ‘Dancer In The Dark’ was a message to remain positive in the face of adversity.

Available on the BEBORN BETON album ‘Darkness Falls Again’ via Dependent Records



A product of lockdown, BLACKCARBURNING is the solo vehicle of Mark Hockings with the lead singer of MESH taking on multiple roles including programming and production. The spikey throbbing energy of ‘The Mirror’ provided a dark disco highlight away from the parent band’s template. “I’m just generally a fan of arpeggiated bass lines” he said, “I don’t think you can go far wrong with a repetitive sequence and a Roland drum machine”.

Available on the BLACKCARBURNING album ‘Watching Sleepers’ via COP International



With Lloyd Cole “excited to still be finding new methods, new perspectives, new sounds”, the standout song ‘The Idiot’ from his Chris Hughes’ produced album ‘On Pain’ gave a touching synth-laden narrative on the relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop as they relocated to Berlin in 1976 in an imagined conversation as the pair escaped their narcotic dependency while cycling to the studio and discothèque.

Available on the LLOYD COLE album ‘On Pain’ via earMUSIC


CREEP SHOW The Bellows

A supergroup comprising of John Grant and the trio WRANGLER comprising of Stephen Mallinder, Ben Benge Edwards and Phil Winter, CREEP SHOW released their acclaimed debut album ‘Mr Dynamite’ in 2018. Utilising a punchy backing track, ‘The Bellows’ was like a blippy PET SHOP BOYS with layers of treated and vocodered vocals before being countered by enticing Middle Eastern resonances in the synth solo.

Available on the CREEP SHOW album ‘Yawning Abyss’ via Bella Union


DAWN TO DAWN Seventh Floor

Their first new track from DAWN TO DAWN since their 2022 debut album ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’, the Montreal trio of solo artist Tess Roby with THE BEAT ESCAPE’s Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee conjured images of headlights on night drives with the shimmering story of love and lust that was ‘Seventh Floor’. With dreamy synthscapes and hypnotic drum machine, this was a wonderfully understated dance number.

Available on the DAWN TO DAWN digital single ‘Seventh Floor’ via SSURROUNDSS



Creating their own “Feraltropolis”, the palette of tools on ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ saw FERAL FIVE use traditional instruments, electronica and AI voicing in a quirky but accessible fashion for a commentary on today’s strangely dystopian post-truth world. Exploring the theme of light pollution, the fine squelch laden ‘Silver Sky’ saw great vocals and backing reminiscent of INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP and DUBSTAR meeting GOLDFRAPP.

Available on the FERAL FIVE album ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ via Reckless Yes


FRAGRANCE. Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix

Matthieu Roche is the enigmatic Parisian behind FRAGRANCE. whose debut ‘Dust & Disorders’ was expanded in 2023 with five new tracks. The first remix from it came in the shape of an excellent ‘Much More Like A Wave’ rework by London-based Italian producer M!R!M. “I love his take on the song” said Roche, “I always felt that the chorus of this song could work as an anthem and he definitely achieved that with his remix”

Available on the FRAGRANCE. digital single ‘Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix’ via Sugarcane Recordings


GLÜME Dangerous Blue

Following the acclaim for her debut ‘The Internet’ and her first liev appearences, the second Glüme album ‘Main Character’ with high profile guests such as Sean Ono Lennon and Rufus Wainwright was set to elevate her to the next level. However, things did not quite work out that way with health and financial concerns by the end of the year. ‘Dangerous Blue’ was one of the sparkling highlights despite its cooing melancholy.

Available on the GLÜME album ‘Main Character’ via Italians Do It Better



Formally of synth-tinged Portland band FRINGE CLASS, Madeline Goldstein presented her best single yet in ‘Seed Of Doubt’ to launch her ‘Other World’ EP. With a wider narrative on “the restlessness of alienation and isolation, the longing to move, to feel power, and to flee”, ‘Seed Of Doubt’ was a brooding slice of gothwave in a manner tinged with some ghostly allure thanks to a haunting soprano delivery.

Available on the self-released MADELINE GOLDSTEIN EP ‘Other World’


JORI HULKKONEN featuring JOHN GRANT I’m Going To Hell

“For my 50th birthday I wanted to do something a bit special” said Jori Hulkkonen, “however, the list of realistic projects quickly narrowed down on yet another album. I did manage to invite some friends and heroes to be featured on it, though.” The album assembled an impressive supporting cast; displaying his love of PET SHOP BOYS, hearing John Grant with his rich baritone on a house-driven pop track like ‘I’m Going To Hell’ was pure joy.

Available on the JORI HULKKONEN album ‘There Is Light Hidden In These Shadows’ via Blanco & Tinto Recordings



ITALOCONNECTION’s long player ‘Nordisko’ came with a twist by paying tribute to pop from the Nordic region via a collection of cover versions. Written by Jay-Jay Johanson, his marvellous 2002 tune ‘On The Radio’ was given an airy feminine disco makeover featuring Jaia Sowden on vocals. With absorbent sequences and glistening keys, it was a fine disco friendly shapeshift from the artpop original.

Available on the ITALOCONNECTION album ‘Nordisko’ via Mordisco / Blanco Y Negro



Athens-based Finn Jaakko Eino Kalevi sought to find beauty in the chaotic nature of the everyday on his new double album ‘Chaos Magic’. One of its many highlights ‘The Chamber Of Love’ bore a resemblance to WHAM! “I wrote the song before I ever heard ‘Everything She Wants’ but the arrangement was different” the Finn said, “I love ‘Everything She Wants’ so I arranged this song sounding more like that. It is more electronic now…”

Available on the JAAKKO EINO KALEVI album ‘Chaos Magic’ via Weird World / Domino Recording Co



When artists are mutual fans, it can lead to collaborative possibilities and even ‘Lust’. KID MOXIE and NINA teamed up via Italians Do It Better to capture a seductive film-noir tension within a fantasy world with the EP launched by a cover of ‘Waiting For The Night’, a song made famous by Jennifer Lopez. With a cool air of enigmatic mystery, the downtempo synthwave treatment on ‘Lust’ exuded a sensual anticipation of consummation in their duet.

Available on the KID MOXIE & NINA EP ‘Lust’ via Italians Do It Better



KNIGHT$ What Planet Did You Come From?

The first new music from KNIGHT$ since 2021, the vibrant hook-laden Eurobeat of ‘What Planet Did You Come From? (Baby)’ threw in the kitchen sink with synth, sax and vocoder. With shades of Patrick Cowley’s work for Sylvester and Bobby Orlando’s Divine productions, it affirmed that James Knights’ Britalo was just the tonic in these difficult times despite highlighting existential issues closer to home.

Available on the KNIGHT$ EP ‘$auna Mu$ik’ via Specchio Uomo



From their third album ‘Strange Disciple’ themed around “toxic infatuation”, the fittingly titled ‘I Will Never Learn’ summed up life’s trials and tribulations in a wonderful example of why NATION OF LANGUAGE appeal so much in their glorious mix of synths, live bass, sequencers and electronic percussion. A haunting girly falsetto howl provided a beautiful touch alongside their usual NEW ORDER, OMD and ULTRAVOX influences.

Available on the NATION OF LANGUAGE album ‘Strange Disciple’ via PIAS



Having impressed with her first NEU-ROMANCER EP ‘Neue Romantika’ earlier in 2023 while touring the world with ZANIAS, Berlin-based Australian Laura Bailey ended the year with the cowbell heavy Hi-NRG romp ‘Burning Eyes’ on CURSES’ enjoyable album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ compilation. It made use of both her vocal and bass prowess which were less prominent on her largely instrumental debut release.

Available on the compilation album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ (V/A) via Eskimo Recordings


NNHMN Soldier of Beauty

As NNHMN, wife and husband “non-humans” Lee Margot and Michal Laudarg have been encapsulating these unsettling times in music. Adapting their dark electronic body style with more varied dance elements on their appropriately titled ‘Circle of Doom’ album, courtesy of a particularly hypnotic bassline, the wonderful serene glory of ‘Soldier of Beauty’ gave the viewpoint that the only honest thing to fight for is peace.

Available on the NNHMN album ‘Circle of Doom’ via Young and Cold Records


OMD Look At You Now

Derived from a Paul Humphreys demo with the working title of ‘Zimmer Frame for Andy’, this came bursting with the usual OMD hooks and was perhaps only missing a Paul Humphreys lead vocal. Lyrics such as “When the energy is gone and the feeling is just wrong” and “The power in your hand is pouring out like sand” pointed towards the ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ album’s political themes on the blind stupidity of Brexit.

Available on the OMD album ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ via 100% Records


PAGE Det Här Är Mitt Sätt

Although the ‘En Ny Våg’ album title song took the PAGE “Numanisation” process to its zenith by featuring Chris Payne, outstripping it was the excellent jaunty robopop of ‘Det Här Är Mitt Sätt’. Within its four chord progression, there were catchy riffs and some fabulous vintage Moog soloing in what was originally conceived as a homage to ‘Fade To Grey’, song which Payne co-wrote.

Available on the PAGE album ‘En Ny Våg’ via Energy Rekords


THE REMAINDER Broken Manhole Cover

As well as Neil Arthur, THE REMAINDER also comprises Liam Hutton and Finlay Shakespeare, both members of the live BLANCMANGE family. The excellent dance friendly ‘Broken Manhole Cover’ recalled LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and it was all intentional as Neil Arthur told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK “you’ll hear me singing via a gated tremolo FX the words ‘LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’ most of the way through the song.”

Available on THE REMAINDER album ‘Evensong’ via by Blanc Check Ltd




R. MISSING All Alone With Seas

Fronted by enigmatic Sharon Shy, having released enough singles this year to make up an album, R. MISSING are in danger of falling under the radar with the bubbly electronic pop noir of ‘All Alone With Seas’ almost passing by unnoticed despite being one of their best songs of late. A long playing release, while old fashioned and not playing the modern streaming algorithms, may provide the focal point that the New York-based duo deserve.

Available on the R. MISSING single ‘All Alone With Seas’ via Terminal Echo



Covered by acts as diverse CARTER THE UNSTOBBALE SEX MACHINE and Liza Minnelli, the latest interpretation of PET SHOP BOYS stark narrative of a kept woman came via this wispy account by Swedish duo SALLY SHAPIRO. Keeping the original theme of relationship dependency close to its heart but offering an icier Nordic vision from a female perspective, Neil Tennant said “We’ve heard it! The chorus in particular sounds good”.

Available on the SALLY SHAPIRO single ‘Rent’ via Italians Do It Better


DIE SEXUAL Bound, I Rise

From out of the shadows to under the strobe lights, DIE SEXUAL are the Los Angeles-based wife-and-husband duo of Rosselinni and Anton Floriano, the latter part of BLACK LIGHT ODYSSEY who remixed the DEPECHE MODE bonus track ‘Oh Well’. Their dark electronic influences examine themes of domination and submission with the seductive ‘Bound, I Rise’ seeing the bottom switch to the top in a hypnotic EBM friendly stomper.

Available on DIE SEXUAL EP ‘Bound’ via A System Exclusive / Hush Ltd.



“It’s an absolute rip off of OMD’s ‘2nd Thought’!” admitted Finlay Shakespeare of his glorious ‘Illusion + Memory’ album highlight ‘Ready Ready’. Almost Motorik in presence with a wonderfully pulsing drive and gorgeous synth tones, our hero doesn’t refrain from thoughts about “feeling at home through just a voice on the shortwave, when in fact you don’t know where you are and you could be in the crosshairs at any time and place.”

Available on the FINLAY SHAKESPEARE album ‘Illusion + Memory’ via Alter


SIERRA Stronger

Parisian producer Annelise Morel has been quietly impressing audiences over the past few years as SIERRA with her brand of intriguing darkwave. After several EP releases, her debut album ‘A Story Of Anger’ was a major artistic leap forward. Including collaborations with Carpenter Brut and HEALTH, the standout track was her autobiographical statement ‘Stronger’.

Available on the SIERRA album ‘A Story Of Anger’ via Universal Music


SOFT CELL The Day The World Turned Day-Glo

Always adept at doing covers having had hits with ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘What’, SOFT CELL presented a brilliant electro tribute to Poly Styrene with ‘The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’. Taking a musical leaf out of ‘Sex Dwarf’ with Dave Ball making his syndrums and synths sound so menacing yet accessible, while Marc Almond delivers a vocal recalling the anguish of ‘Martin’ with sleazy sax passages resonating with the dystopian lyrics.

Available on the SOFT CELL album ‘*Happiness now completed’ via BMG


SOFTWAVE Taking Life For Granted

Despite its positive pop sound, the reflective lyrics on the second SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ highlighted the challenges of living in a modern world full of dualities. ‘Taking Life For Granted’ saw the Danish duo of Catrine Christensen and Jerry Olsen go all ABBA-esque with someone “lacking gratitude” under attack, although the rousing chorus and a particularly joyous instrumental break gave the infinite hope.

Available on the SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ via Electro Shock Records



A fabulous cover of the Italo flavoured Kim Wilde B-side to ‘The Second Time’ from 1984, the throbbing ‘Lovers On A Beach’ is NINA sounding sexier than ever before. Ricky Wilde said “I just thought there was a little bit more that it needed that I maybe wanted to add back in the day”. With sharp spikey edges boosting the trancey template, he provided a superb extended end section that paid homage to Giorgio Moroder in the best way possible.

Available on the RICKY WILDE X NINA album ‘Scala Hearts’ via New Retro Wave



ZANIAS Lovelife

Following one of the most traumatic periods of her life, Alison Lewis returned as her solo alter-ego Zoe Zanias to present ‘Chrysalis’.  As the title suggests, it was a rebirth. With glorious arpeggios and lush synth strings, ‘Lovelife’ was bolstered with bass guitar by live bandmate Laura Bailey aka NEU-ROMANCER while an array of pitch-shifted voice samples acted as an abstract lead vocal before the actual one kicked in.

Available on the ZANIAS album ‘Chrysalis’ via Fleisch


A selection of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s favourite music of 2023 featuring 230+ tracks has been compiled for its ‘Initial After Brilliance’ playlist

Text by Chi Ming Lai
7 December 2023


Ricky Wilde is the musical veteran who was first touted for boyhood stardom in 1972 but saw his future in the studio behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer, playing key role in his sister Kim’s international hits such as ‘Kids In America’, ‘Cambodia’ and ‘You Came’. Nina is “The Queen of Synthwave” whose single ‘My Mistake’ became part of a 2015 European Mercedes-Benz advertising campaign while she also has two solo albums ‘Sleepwalking’ and ‘Synthian’ to her name, along with a recent collaboration with Kid Moxie released on the prestigious Italians Do It Better label.

What originally started as a selection of songs intended for Nina’s third album became a joint artist collaboration with the pair standing centre stage together as Ricky Wilde x Nina. ‘Scala Hearts’ is the end result and is so named as the pair met first met at the same named former cinema in London when they independently went to see THE MIDNIGHT in 2019.

Despite the generational divide and both being natural introverts, they found common ground creatively and almost immediately collaborated on two tracks for Nina’s second album ‘Synthian’. With their collaboration ‘Runaway’ being a highlight from that long player, the prospect of further work between the two has always been eagerly anticipated.

Opening ‘Scala Hearts’, ‘Videotheque’ was the coolest of the quartet of Trevor Horn productions for DOLLAR in 1982 and whereas the original was cinematic disco lento, Ricky and Nina’s new version is toughened up for the 21st Century with the guitars adding bite without being obtrusive to the groove.

‘Causeway’ is so named after the Idaho-based dreamwave duo CAUSEWAY who inspired it; an emotive slice of dreamwave with Nina’s vocal taking centre stage with complimentary harmonies from Ricky, the contrast of pan pipes and shoegaze provides an unusual but effective soundscape. Meanwhile with a catchy rhythmic swing, the sun-kissed ‘LA Dreamers’ is like DOLLAR fronting TEARS FOR FEARS in a PENSOCOLA MIST with Ricky Wilde doing a fine impression of Ollie Wride.

Held down initially by an enticing arpeggio and soprano voices, as Nina erupts into an operatic sorrow on ‘Fade Me Out’ where the kitchen sink is thrown for with synth solos, gothic choirs and percussive breaks galore. Other aspects lodge into the psyche such as Ricky Wilde’s recurring “take me in, take me out” phrase and even the surprise of BEATLES vocal influences.

A very personal song about family conflicts, ‘Living In Sin’ sees Ricky Wilde take the lead on some growly anthemic artpop before declaring “I’M GLAD THAT IT’S OVER” while Nina interjects sternly like Suzanne Freytag of PROPAGANDA that it’s “business as usual”.

The previously released ‘Gold Heart’ was a Nina solo single configured as a dark widescreen ballad but the redux which was the sourced from the original demo is better; rousing pop in the manner of SIMPLE MINDS ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ from ‘The Breakfast Club’ soundtrack, there is even a sneaky TEARS FOR FEARS reference and yes, it does sound like Kim Wilde 😉

Airy and melodic, ‘Night & Day’ is not shy of its sprightly OMD synthfluence, while the confessional ballad ‘Fighter’ builds to a tribal climax as a song about bravery that wouldn’t be out of place in a theatre production.

Closing with ‘Lovers On A Beach’, a fabulous cover of the Italo flavoured Kim Wilde B-side to ‘The Second Time’, the throbbing end result is Nina sounding sexier than ever before. With sharp spikey edges boosting the trancey template, Ricky provides a superb extended end section that pays homage to Giorgio Moroder in the best way possible.

With classic pop references and a modern sheen, Ricky Wilde’s production on ‘Scala Hearts’ has an epic presence and but then, this is the man who made ‘Kids In America’ at the age of 19 we are talking about here. An admirer of early Synth Britannia and a synthwave enthusiast, this is the type of record Ricky has wanted to make for a few years but hasn’t been able to with Kim, so Nina has been the muse to provide that creative drive.

A very good immediate electronic pop record with plenty of hooks and subtle artiness, ‘Scala Hearts’ is without doubt the best long player that Nina has been part of and is leagues above most of the synthwave labelled stuff that’s been around and getting traction. This is a musical meeting of minds has the potential to appeal to a lot of people with the credibility to match, so let’s hope they do another one 🙂

‘Scala Hearts’ is released by New Retro Wave on 29 September 2023 via the usual online platforms at https://ninanrickywilde.lnk.to/ScalaHearts

Coloured vinyl LP and cassette editions available from https://newretrowave.bandcamp.com/album/scala-hearts







Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Say Goodnight Films
27 September 2023, updated 29 September 2023

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