East India Youth
Sounds Like: A self-assured voice at the intersection of classic pop and electronic chaos
For Fans of: James Blake, Scott Walker, Brian Eno
Why You Should Pay Attention: William Doyle, the one-man band performing as East India Youth, made the transition from guitar-group frontman (with Doyle and the Fourfathers) to synthpop soloist two years ago. Last year's Mercury Prize-nominated Total Strife Forever relied heavily on instrumentals. But his new Culture of Volume is a modern song cycle featuring the 24-year-old Londoner's voice in a variety of sometimes classically inspired electronic settings. These range from sweetly ambient to black-hole bleak, with beats aplenty along the way, and Doyle's increasingly confident voice cutting through with restless aplomb. Emotionally experimental, or maybe vice versa, Doyle's music displays a restless vibrancy that should serve him well.
He Says: "Onstage I play bass guitar, keyboard and a drum pad, and I have a controller for my laptop. Any number of things might possibly go wrong, but that happens less frequently than it did a couple of years ago. One weekend it happened quite a few times. I started thrashing my bass really hard, cut my fingers open and bled all over my keyboard. People got quite excited by this struggle of man vs. machine. I've worked out a few fail-safe options for when things do go down the pan, but I can't fake it too much. But anyway, playing electronic dance music would be boring if everything always worked."
Hear for Yourself: "Carousel" is a brooding lazy susan of a tune. Richard Gehr