Material: Electro-indie pop has grown in popularity in the recent years and Los Angeles-based duo MODERNS has definitely taken advantage of that. Their material focuses on making frontwoman Rosie Okumura’s haunting vocals the spotlight while the music produced by Christopher Fudurich creates an atmosphere that enhances its characteristics.
Their digital instrumentation incorporates retro ‘80s-like trance along with present-day electronic synths and beats—a quirky vibe that ironically lives up to the band’s name. It’s a sophisticated La Roux meets Tove Lo blend that can be heard on the band’s self- titled release.
Musicianship: Strong female vocalists in genres similar to MODERNS tend to have their vocals lost in a sea of autotune or watered down to a point where they’re unrecognizable.
However, Fudurich and Okumura have developed their brand of synth-pop to avoid that pitfall. Okumura’s raw and compelling vocals draw the listener in like a snake charmer.
Performance: If the Bootleg Theater audience were moths, then MODERNS was the lantern that enticed them, thanks to the artists’ energetic personalities and well-practiced warmed up to MODERNS and moved onto the stage manner. Okumura enchanted her crowd with soaring vocals, smooth transitions and multitasking capabilities—keyboards, synths and dancing. Though confined to his station, Fudurich kept up with Okumura’s liveliness, handling synths and backing tracks, which maintained unity between the duo.
As one might expect, frontwoman Okumura stole the show with an angelic yet powerful singing technique, one that wasn’t deterred by intense reverb or seductive dance moves. As the set progressed, more and more people dance floor.
Summary: MODERNS chose the right time to debut music, as their particular genre is at a peak in popularity. Their recorded material can easily be included on small scale club playlists, and in live performance the duo works hard to impress the audience and slowly build a rapport.
However, they will have to work a little bit harder to ensure that they don’t get herded into a group of similar indie-dance artists.
The Players: Rosie Okumura, vocals, keyboards; Christopher Fudurich, synthesizers.
Photo by Heather Allen
MODERNS - "Statique"
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