New band of the day – Poindexter (No 1,393)
If you like Phoenix’s slick, technoid pop or Jensen Sportag’s polished jazz-funk, then you’ll love Andrew Poindexter’s music
Hometown: Portland, Oregon.
The lineup: Andrew Poindexter (vocals, music).
The background: One of the respondents to this column recently demanded that we include more pop acts here, proposing DWNTWN and Poindexter. Depends what you mean by pop, old bean. Pop, we would argue, should be mainly electronic, glossily produced, smoothly melodic, and sung in a way that doesn’t detract from the tune, beat and sound. In which case, Poindexter was a good call, and the only reason we didn’t write about him sooner is that (boring technical info ahoy) we were waiting for the gentleman in question to get in touch with a photo of himself that we could use to accompany this article, and some of his music.
We still don’t know much about Poindexter. Not that he’s one of those dark and mysterious blog-type enigmas with a deliberate policy of obfuscation to match their doomy or doleful noise. No, he’s just not very well-known, and not many people have written about him yet. We know that his name is Andrew and that he lives in Portland, Oregon, and that’s about it. Oh, and that he’s made an EP called Forever that features three tracks whose music is indeed pop, but not straight pop – it’s pop delivered via the excellent and overlooked medium of electro-funk. If you like those French exponents of slick, technoid pop, Phoenix, or the polished jazz-funk revisited of Jensen Sportag – our favourite group of 2011 that wasn’t fronted by a pathologically unpleasant Californian teenager – you’ll love what Poindexter does on Forever. It’s chillwave disco, shinily produced but with a nostalgic patina to convey a longing for a musical past and a sense of regret that a genre’s heyday is over.
He really does like that 80s electro-funk sound, even to the extent that he has remixed James Blake’s sobstep classic Wilhelm’s Scream and turned it into something altogether more upbeat and dancefloor-ready. Another clue as to what makes Poindexter get down is the mixtape he’s done called Planet X, which features all manner of disco manna from the late-70s and early-80s including Baccara’s novelty summer holiday classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie and Odyssey’s Native New Yorker, as well as a welter of sublime electro-funk.
But it’s his own EP, available for $3 from his Bandcamp, that serves as the best advert for his work. First track Light Years is marvellous and magically mournful. Poindexter even sings like him from Phoenix, and we’ll be surprised if Sofia Coppola isn’t dreaming of a romantic tryst with him by the time the chorus glides in, or at least wondering which of her next movies to place his music in. Orion is slow, lush, and inordinately influenced by the layered vocals-as-synths sound achieved by 10cc on their groundbreaking single I’m Not in Love, as well as by the woozy waft of Washed Out et al. And Gray Matter is a glistening instrumental with a pristine beat, and a twinkling synth providing the topline melody instead of a vocal. Not that music can be measured in base monetary terms, but we’re sure you’ll agree, this represents something of a bargain.
The buzz: “Full of electropopfunk goodness” – toomanysebastians.net.
The truth: We’d like to welcome back to the column, the form of music known as “pop”.
Most likely to: Please you.
Least likely to: Bankrupt you.
What to buy: The Forever EP is available to download from Poindexter’s Bandcamp.
File next to: Jensen Sportag, Phoenix, Air, Daft Punk.
Tuesday’s new band: Feathers.
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