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Audio Agitation: Danceable Dissatisfaction

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio
Audio Agitation specific image by Laura Heidotten.

Pop music often falls into the tropes of love, desire, and wanting things you can’t have or had and lost. In real life these feelings can lead to inertia, melancholia, and ennui.

So what happens when those sentiments are expressed through huge melodies and danceable beats? 

There’s a group of young St. Louis-born musicians who have toured the country and developed strong online fan bases, despite having released only handfuls of tracks.  Their songs are connected stylistically and thematically by this exploration of pairing propulsive beats with a sense of want.

Each musician explores these inclinations through different lyrical themes. Depending on the artist, desire can be focused toward a partner, a sense of home,  an alternative life plan, or a wish for improved communication.

Two of these musicians are part of that group. The third group has spent a decade calling St. Louis home and releasing numerous albums here.

Brandyn Burnett:  Brandon Burnett is a St. Louis native currently living on the West Coast.  His music has taken him to New York and Oslo, Norway.  He’s released a series of singles and an EP.  Burnett started out releasing acoustic singer-songwriter efforts a couple years ago and has transitioned into an electronic dance-inflected style.  He’ll release a sophomore EP this May.

WildFLWR:  WildFLWR is a St. Louis born singer who’s released a limited amount of music but the reception has been significant.  Her music’s been embraced overseas, especially in Europe.

So Many Dynamos:  In Dec. 2015 this group released an album heavily influenced by England’s Factory Records, 80’s NYC downtown acts like Talking Heads, and contemporary acts like LCD Soundsystem.  Over the past 10 years the group’s played regularly throughout the city and released a number of albums.  Lyrically, their most recent effort, Safe with Sound, appears to explore the dissatisfaction of creating your own sound and the failures of communication. 

Audio Agitation is a recurring six-song playlist (five for this episode) culled from recent releases or shaped by events in St. Louis' ever-changing music scene. If you're from the STL area or Missouri and you're putting out a record you think we should hear, send a heads' up to warnold@stlpublicradio.org.