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Artist Name: IF//ELSE
Who Are They: Singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and modest code enthusiast in Atlanta.
Sounds Like: The early evening hours of an all-night techno hub. The first DJ of the night has transfixed the crowd with a saturnine salvo of laptop emissions that tap a nerve in your hyperactive mindscape. But you’re restless and not in the mood for total hypnosis, so you walk out toward the entrance and stand on the pavement. Blokes walk around and nod and bob their heads to Drake; somnambulant kids glide by with their eyes glued to text messages; suits glance furtively across the street as they fumble with their car keys. As you hang in the doorway, the messy humanity of the pedestrian nightlife intermingles with the DJ’s meticulous creations; each side lends margin notes to the other as they unfold side by side.
In more concrete RIYL lingo: somewhere between SBTRKT, the Weeknd, and Floating Points. The playful circuit-bending of Flying Lotus flashes in sporadic LED bursts underneath.
Releases: McElderry just dropped his debut album, Sound Asleep, on all major streaming channels, including his Bandcamp page.
Mandatory Listening: While McElderry’s choked croon is just fine, the instrumentals on Sound Asleep really showcase the broad spectrum of hues in this writer’s proverbial pallet. “Intro (Press Enter)” opens the set with rarified class; “Untied” grants us hushed, almost Burial-like glimpses at untold enigmas out in the street. “Loading…” pokes around in FlyLo fashion at the suspended state we often tangle ourselves in, whether we’re in limbo during a major life shift or working on stupid-slow computer programs. Of the cuts with McElderry on top, though, it’s gotta be “Loose Ends” — this one definitely slakes the R&B fan’s thirst for heart-on-sleeve bombast, yet also satisfies the audiophile keen for bleaker settings where the trickier details can shine like neon signs at night.