Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.
The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Ben Rector with Andrew Belle 7 p.m. Sunday, Sooner Theatre 101 E. Main, Norman soonertheatre.com 321-9600 $10 advance, $13 door
Tulsa native Ben Rector has never shied away from going things alone. From striking off for college at the University of Arkansas or opting for a career as an independent musician, self-reliance has been a virtue and advantage.
“I value the total freedom to do or say whatever you want,” the singer/ songwriter said. “You take the risk and you take the reward if that comes.”
The high-risk/high-reward scenario of releasing an album independently paid off big for Rector with last month’s “Something Like This.” Despite no major financial backing or massive marketing team, the humble, folk-pop auteur stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Adele and Foster the People on the Top 10 iTunes chart the week of release.
“It was nuts,” he said. “I was pretty sure it wouldn’t chart very high. There were lots of huge records coming out all around that time. I didn’t think I’d be selling anywhere near that volume.”
Rector has got an uncommonly loyal fan base to thank.
“There’s nothing weird or special that I do,” he said. “As close as I can explain it is that I try really hard to put a lot of craft into the music I write. It seems like people appreciate that it’s not just about one song a record. I’ve written songs that I know will never move mountains or change someone’s mind or heart, but I have this thing where I want to do something well and not just the easiest level I can.”
There’s nothing special that I do. —Ben Rector
His fans stayed true with “Something Like This.” The album, which saw Rector venture out a bit from his Beatles and Spoon-inspired ballads, was produced by Chad Copelin and Jarod Evans of Norman’s Blackwatch Studios and is his most daring effort to date.
“I realized that if I was going to do this as a career, I couldn’t only aim to make people happy — I had to grow as an artist and writer,” Rector said. “We took a couple risks. I meant for it to be accessible, but it’s definitely not as accessible as some of my older records. It’s bolder flavors. I’m excited that people have gone with me on it. They actually seem to like that there was some growth.”
Now a resident of Nashville, Tenn., Rector will tour through the year before pumping the brakes for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, and hopefully an extended visit in his home state.
“Being around a strong community of like-minded people, it was a great place to be raised,” he said. “The values and cultural norms that Oklahoma ingrained in me are still present in my life now, and they are things that are important to me to keep up.”