“Existing in a space somewhere between dancefloor techno and the more fresh-air-embracing alt-pop realm, it’s a bridge between worlds that deserves stratospheric success.” – DIY
“A strange but wonderful interplay of hushed electronics and orchestral flourishes effects something rather unique and fascinating.” – The Line of Best Fit
Joel Wells – EP 1 Released through Underscore Collective March 2016 Produced by Toydrum and Tim Goldsworthy
In his own words, London based vocalist/songwriter Joel Wells’ last three years have been an experiment in how he could evolve from being simply a mouthpiece, into an artist capable of evoking emotion through writing full compositions. The turning point in Wells’ transition can be traced back to the acquisition of his first analogue synths (Roland Juptier 4/Korg Ms-20), later investing in a sequencer and microphone – which formed the basis of an early home studio. From here began a fierce dedication to the learning curve – involving 3 years of experimentation with sequencing, electronics, synths and vocals. Armed with a clutch of demos, Pablo Clements (Unkle, Toydrum) came across Joel’s output and agreed to help him make a record at his own Toyrooms Studios. Described by Wells as “a museum of rare and new analogue equipment” it’s a creative hub with all manner of artists passing through, including Nick Cave, Floating Points, Arca, and Orbital. An introduction to one of his heroes Tim Goldsworthy (MoWax, DFA, LCD Soundsystem), who co-produces, helped Wells get the best out of the tracks, sonically, and encouraged him to develop himself, and focus on his own message and identity.
Though Joel doesn’t cite any direct musical influences for his debut EP, it’s possible to hear strains of such diverse musical landmarks as early ‘80s synth pop, alt-disco artists such as Arthur Russell and LCD Soundsystem, along with elements of New Wave, such as Talking Heads and Roxy Music. There’s a lot to be uncovered in Wells’ accomplished vocal performances too, recalling at times the likes of Scott Walker, Steve Mason, John Grant or Active Child. He finds himself drawn to artists that experiment with electronic and acoustic processes, and have the ability to create alternative and song based structures. You can hear it in the mercurial opening track Fictionalise’s subtle synth motifs and resonating vocal melody, or in the way Jupiter juxtaposes boundless upbeat movements with a dark satirical narrative.
EP 1 is released on Underscore Collective in March 2016 www.twitter.com/joelwellsmusic