1)June Evenings by Air France
Air France, the Swedish duo of Joel and Henrik, is essentially the synthesis of Cut/Copy and Boards of Canada. They take the laid-back danceable grooves of the former, add interesting samples (re: The 1980's TV fantasy-romance "Beauty and the Beast" is used at the beginning of this track to perfectly set the mood), and tone down the energy, in the manner of the latter, such as to preserve a less clubby more minimalist electronic aesthetic. Interestingly enough, they do this without sounding too much like Kraftwerk (there are times when you ask yourself though). You see, one of the key appeals of this band --if I were to forget the catchy rhythms, interesting tones, and the fact that No Way Down (2008) may be one of the most apropos summer albums ever-- is its ability to avoid being pigeonholed into any particular category. They genuinely defy classification; so much so that all a person can do is describe Air France as being at the crossroads of other bands. Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Passion Pit and Tempest/Damage and Gang Gang Dance and Bag Raiders and Flunk and the Pinkertones and so many more (especially Swedes) can be used as mere descriptors but never as analogues.
Listen to the album HERE
2)Pocket Check by Windsurf
I had the idea to write about two really ebullient songs. I thought I'd grab a couple of tracks from the electronic beach-side music I've always been a fan of, and that this would satiate people's desire for the endless summer. Ironically, I've realized that rather than produce enthusiasm, Windsurf's sonics are far more likely to fill you with nostalgia. Maybe it's just me, but when I listen to "Pocket Check", I'm thinking back on the last 2 months rather than the upcoming weeks. In fact, the album cover's sunset scene, makes no mistake in advertising that one should expect Coastlines (2008) to embody the spirit of the ending summer.