Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #91: "Ode to the Bouncer" - Studio Killers

Sometimes -- though certainly not as much as in the past -- your initial discovery of a song comes from watching its music video. One such example is my No. 2 song on last year's list, Hot Chip's "I Feel Better."

And sometimes, the music video is about all you have to go off for a band. Enter Studio Killers.

The European electropop act surfaced in 2011 with a single, a video, a social networking presence, and not much else. To this day, no one knows the band's origins, or even who makes up its roster -- in real life, that is. Virtually, Studio Killers are made up of singer Cherry, keyboardist/fox/hipster Goldie Foxx, and DJ Dyna Mink.

Studio Killers are kind of the second coming of the Gorillaz, except at least then, we knew Damon Albarn was behind the whole thing. The characters are animated, either in a 2D format or, as with their video, in 3D. Cherry is the only human in the band, a curvaceous thing that, according to first song "Ode to the Bouncer," isn't a big fan of wearing pants.

"Ode to the Bouncer" is the medium through which many know Studio Killers, though the virtual members of the band maintain a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the like. The song, released in early spring, caught on due to its undeniably catchy chorus and its entertaining music video, in which Cherry prances around and basically sexually assaults a club bouncer. It's awwwwwright!

Musically, "Ode to the Bouncer" is standard dance fair -- but the producers behind it are at the top of their game. There's some disagreement on the Internet concerning whether the vocal is actually female or an altered male voice, but whatever the gender, the voice is very Ke$ha-esque, only British and with a bit more singing talent.

After a year during which dance music came to the forefront in American music -- with varied results -- "Ode to the Bouncer" was a breath of fresh air, despite its simplicity. It's not doing anything crazy, but it's not trying to either.

It's tough to say whether the focus of Studio Killers will be more on the visual or the audio aspect. But one thing is for sure: this is an act to follow over the next few months. They're one of the more intriguing projects to come out of electronic music in the last few years.

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