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Superhumanoids At BloomfestLA, Saturday July 21st 2012

With a moniker coming from the future or a sci-fiction blockbuster, the Los Angeles band Superhumanoids brought some of their dreamy synth-pop to close the night at Bloomfest LA. The quartet concentrates on two sorts of floating vocals, Cameron Parkins’ hush and distant baritone and Sarah Chernoff’s eerie and beautiful voice, over lots of synth and electronics combined to a bit of 90s garage rock with the help of Max St. John on bass and diverse instruments and Evan Weinerman on drums.

 

They reminded something between Beach House and… fill the blank (as many other bands could come to mind) because of the large use of synth and the ghostly soundscapes, something that put me in a sort of hypnotic state between reality and sleep with a certain loss of sensibility. Their music has been qualified of ‘chilly’ and I would say it is a good idea of their sound, which focused on surreal and astral synth swirls, wrapping their songs just below the floating female vocals. The drumming was minimal and often limited to cymbal use, and the emotion was coming more from synth than the vocals themselves, which sounded just pretty and often even detached. But may be that was the point, as superhumanoids evoked for me some kind of robot of the future which could have gone beyond the human state… or may be I am going too far.

 

On a few songs, there was some guitar too, and the use of pedals producing swirls of sounds responding to keys and synth, and this combination had a sort of new wave presence, infused with electronic dance rhythms.

 

Sarah Chernoff was behind the synth, and very at ease executing her double task, pushing her angelic soprano over throbbing electronics,… ‘Your voice is like sex’ shouted a girl (yes a girl!) on my left. I don’t know about this, not exactly the idea I had in mind, I was more into an hypnotic dream of a hazy late-night party pumped up by some relaxing, slow but dance-y ambiance.

 

It was not druggy or psychedelic, more pulsating or watery (in particular a song called ‘Black Widow’) with lots of desolated soundscapes and not a lot of upbeat moment.

 

Their ethereal tunes had disconnected me from the world around me, when a black guy came from behind the stage and shouted to them something on an almost angry tone. Actually he was not angry at all, I realized he was just asking them what was the title of the song they had just played, I think they said it was ‘Geri’… and it was as if I had been brutally awakened from a long dream.

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