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.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
Nurses with Cameron Buchholtz and the Pizza Thieves 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 Opolis 113 N. Crawford, Norman opolis.org 820-0951 $7
When indie rock’s Nurses released its sophomore album in 2009, critics compared the Portland, Ore.-based trio to Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear. When it came time to follow up that acclaimed effort, Nurses decided the only way to improve that formula was to add a little Prince and Michael Jordan into the mix.
“We were swimming in sonic landscapes and really trying to paint a more airy version of the inside of our heads,” keyboardist John Bowers said of the ’09 record. “With ‘Dracula,’ we were more focused on the body and moving and feeling. There’s still elements of space and minimalism but ... we played a lot of basketball, just moving a lot. That’s where you feel the groove and danceability in these songs.”
That stark shift in sound demanded a similar switch in how the music is delivered; whereas the second album, “Apple’s Acre,” was intended for the intimacy of headphones, “Dracula” is meant for a roaring speaker system.
“I would say the energy is so high ... it’s an extroverted record,” Bowers said. “Overall, we better explored the frequency range: a lot of really deep, heavy grooves and bass drums that sound really good loud.”
Ironically, the three opted to title the upbeat effort after something sinister, but only after some philosophizing. “If you look past the initial implications of the word and all its baggage — fangs and blood — there’s really interesting, life-affirming themes that run deeper,” Bowers said. “There’s loneliness, power, struggle, humanity and super-humanity … all these things that we were emotionally dealing with while working on the record.”
Strong reviews have followed from fans, critics and friends, the latter of whose opinions mattering the most.
“Our friends are happy to see us pushing things in different directions and not trying to recycle ourselves, instead trying to challenge ourselves.” Bowers said.
Now that Nurses has taken the new sound on tour — stopping in Norman next Wednesday before a run of dates with The Mountain Goats — the act gets to see its efforts come to fruition.
“The energy is more lively and encourages people to dance and engage with the music, as opposed to a more meditative experience,” Bowers said. “It’s a fun experience to play things and move people’s bodies.”