Category Archives: Electric Women

Bella Loka

Being a part of the music industry with its very own calendar and demands can be hard on ones personal relationships. As a result, making music together with your partner could be one way to circumvent those problems, albeit creating others at the same time, like how to separate and professional life.

Bella Loka, consisting of David and Tea Boothby, a young couple from Camden, London, seem to be heading in the right direction with that. Concurrently they also succeed at creating catchy electro-pop tunes.

David is mainly responsible for the laptop production and guitars whereas Tea is in charge of vocals, piano, songwriting while also contributing guitar sounds. On top of that, she is the one that usually comes up with ideas for new songs, writing them for guitar and piano at first, while David takes care of the necessary managerial duties that come with being a musician.

Their sound, although clearly aimed at a mainstream, pop-affine audience, has its roots in the diverse influences of both Tea and David. Tea sums it up when she says that, “[f]rom the earliest age I was exposed to an incredibly eclectic mix of roots, soul, gospel, folk, rock and pop through my mum and dad’s love of music and widely differing music tastes”, while later on developing her very own taste listening to the likes of Queen, Radiohead, Björk and David Bowie. Bowie seems to be something both can agree on. David, who otherwise has a strong bias towards guitar-heavy music, mentions his abstract fear of Bowie “becom[ing] a borderline obsession”.

On the 2nd of September they are releasing their first EP, ‘Escape’ and at the moment they are extensively touring clubs and venues in the UK. Among the songs on the EP, ‘Colin’ stands out musically with a progressive pop-beat that really carries the song along with Tea’s always prominent vocals.

My personal (lyrical highlight) of the mini-album is ‘Wake Up (You Could do much Better)’. It is a song about personal progress and the necessity of dealing with traumas from the past, topics of great personal importance for Tea. “I wrote Wake Up after a period of intense frustration and the positive message of “you could do much better” was a kind of Eye Of The Tiger moment for me”.  It developed into a dark exploration of personal traumas, also incorporating experiences of domestic abuse that happened to people close to her.

Otherwise Tea has a very positive outlook of the music industry, being aware of the hardships of women, especially their ongoing sexualization when it comes to marketing. But her personal experience speak of different reactions by her listeners: “What we’ve been finding at shows is that there’s a real appetite amongst the music-loving public to see women making real art and music without feeling the need to diminish themselves in that way.”

And Tea and David definitely are making ‘real art and music’. Escape is a solid pop EP, that has good aspects to develop upon and it will be exciting where Bella Loka is taking their sound. Making it sound more rough, edgy and losing some of the polished popishness could really do them well. Considering their diverse influences they might very well succeed at that.


Year: 2014

Genre: Electro-Pop


More From Bella Loka:

Official Website | Soundcloud | YouTube | Facebook

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Music Junkies

Twin sisters that are the stars of the DJ scene in the underground of Tel Aviv. As unlikely as that sounds, the Romano sisters have achieved exactly that and they have long since become too big for Israels relatively small electronic underground community.

Nil and Karin Romano call themselves the ‘Music Junkies’ and they do as they say, they really are junkies of music. They implement a diverse range of influences from their broad taste (their idols consist of Portishead, Brian Eno, Boards of Canada, Miles Davis, Vivaldi, Kraftwerk and DJ Koze, just to name a few) into their DJ performances. Their sets are all loosely based on the idea of becoming a techno mix, while often deviating from that to a great extent, dipping into other related genres.

‘Visions of a Lonely Galaxy’ has become their very first single track to be published on their soundcloud page just about a week ago. It is a snippet taken from their production and it speaks of the same kind of melancholic and sorrowful feeling that is also found in most of their sets. In their interview for Pulse Radio they describe themselves as outsiders, who find it hard to socialize and try to communicate with the outside world through their sets.

Both identify this role as misfits in the scene and society as a whole, along with the simple fact that they are women in an industry controlled by men, as the two main reasons for having a hard time making a name for themselves in the wider electronic music scene.

But they already made it quite far and there is no sign of stopping here. Or as they say themselves in a twinge of optimism: ‘Eventually true talent wins’. And there can be no doubt about the fact that these two twin sisters are incredibly talented, indeed.

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A K U A

A K U A is a 28yr old musician of Canadian/Ghanaian descent from Montreal who first came to greater prominence with her 2013 debut EP ‘One’s Company’ while prior to that taking an exciting path to becoming the outstanding artist she is today.

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FKA Twigs

It’s almost a periodical event, that a new electro artist who is discovered in the depths of the internet, gets hyped out of proportions in the following months. But there are those rare instances, where most of the fuss is well deserved. The release of FKA Twigs’ first full-length album ‘LP1’ is one of those events where I will happily join the overly enthusiastic crowd. Not only because it’s one of this year’s best and most captivating electronic albums, as of yet. But also because of FKA Twigs herself, who surely deserves all the praise she gets lately.

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La Femme

Impelling Drums, ethereal surf music vocals, synthetic circus sounds and surreal lyrics. The combination of all that is what makes the multi-piece cold-wave, punk-rock, yé-yé band ‘La Femme’ so special. Continue reading La Femme

Santigold

Although it has become a bit quiet around Santi White, better known as Santigold and her musical endeavors in the last two years and she concentrates on other projects these days (e.g. Socks and Makeup), Santigold still had a huge impact on the electro, synthpop scene and paved way for future female musicians of color.

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Austra

Austra is a Canadian band hailing from Toronto, that mainly consists of three people. Katie Stelmanis who is responsible for the vocals, lyrics and keyboards, Maya Postepski on all kinds of drums and Bassist Dorian Wolf. Katie’s sometimes rather cold but always very intense voice (which she trained through a legitimate education as an opera singer) is what dominates the sound of Austra. It often stands in a juxtaposed position to the more upbeat and straight-forward tunes that Maya and Dorian provide and together they create a very intimate soundscape. Continue reading Austra