Downtempo / Trip-hop
You might not want to mention that you’re part of “a sinister and evil cult which lures young people into drug-taking” when meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time, but it’s how New Zealand duo Steven John Marr and Indira Force, aka Doprah, want to figuratively shake the world’s hand. What’s especially funny is that it sets up their music’s aesthetic to a tee. On self-titled EP opener, Stranger People, the vocals stretched to feel like a drug-addled haze fill the space between the diamond-caliber twinkle of the beats to create a pure, soaring work of electronic weirdness. It’s the up-and-coming band putting out their all, both in terms of effects and composition, pulling it off in an eerily elegant manner. And while the lyrics aren’t always completely discernible, what words and phrases poke through only add an effectively dark tone against the pastel palette this band paints with. “We’re in denial / and it’s so refined” is one of the greatest lines I’ve heard all year and I can only just make it out; that effort and luck makes it all the more the precious gem of lyricism that it is. It’s a twisted and gothic affair, but one you can enjoy with a champagne glass of the finest crystal cut.