Feeding off each other’s energy, productive beat maker Nordwind and thoughtful lyricist Smith wrote a handful of songs before they ever met in-person. Over time, PYYRAMIDS’ sound began to emerge, favoring stripped back instruments mixed with electronic elements and layered with Smith’s laid-back soulful vocal delivery to produce a mystical, intimate sound. Critics have said of Smith’s crooning it’s as if “Billie Holiday grew up listening to The Smiths.” “I’ve never really heard indie music with a voice like that,” Nordwind explains. “It adds three-dimensionality to the moods, beats and chords.”
Mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT), and Dan Konopka of OK Go, Brightest Darkest Day (available now at http://pyyramids.com/bdd) finds PYYRAMIDS venturing into fresh territory. Experimenting with sonic landscapes on the album’s title track, Nordwind takes a hypnotic drum loop and adds icy synths, a bass-line that bubbles up from the depths, and haunting strings, all adding up to something that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Gorillaz record. This is a darker vision of pop that intersects at the drugged-out clubs at 2 am and the hidden alleyways of the imagination.