Labels like Morr Music and Playgroup have been - for a while now - throwing us artists who make attempts to reference the early 90's shoegazer movement (sometimes indirectly, and other times blatantly). While there have been some interesting songs to come out of this semi-revival, nothing has stood out as particularly moving for me -- until now.
A little while ago I picked up an album by Radio Dept., a Swedish group who have succeeded in recreating the more uplifting rock'n'roll moments of the genre. I've been listening to their album constantly -- but yesterday I stopped. I was sent some MP3s by this kid out of Vermont, going under the name Khonnor, and I was blown away.
I'm not one to believe too deeply in the soul, re-incarnation, or intense spirituality, but Khonnor seems to be channeling the essence of Slowdive through a mid-80s PC speaker. Using primarily digital editing tools and some antiquated electronics, layered with electrofolk acoustics, the sound he's achieved is both familiar and unique. It's tough to pin down, but it's the closest thing I've heard to a new sound in this realm of music in years.
So while guys like Lali Puna recycle the tried-and-true, and M83, Colder, and Circlesquare attempt to apply the techniques - or the sentiments - of Kevin Shields to modern electronic production, Connor Kirby-Long out-does them all by crafting an ode to Neil Halstead that presents itself as beautifully naive in it's originality.
Did I mention that he was 17-years-old when he started producing this music?