It’s a fun time for pop and indie crossover artists right now in terms of how EDM can be used to mesh with those other genres. As more and more pop artists have merged styles with big name EDM producers, the pop and indie worlds have really opened up to the idea that soulful music can be made this way.
With artists like M83, Phantogram and Yeah Yeah Yeahs paving the way, the indietronica movement is alive and kicking now, giving artists like Brooklyn’s Paul Feder some really nice wiggle room to create interesting, introspective work. Feder’s debut EP Nightwalk is proof of that, as it combines lashings of pop, dream pop, indie rock, jazz and EDM. Each track is a mélange of analog and digital sounds with ambient sound design and melodic synths being the common denominator.
The combination of ambient guitar work, a house beat and pop vocals such as appears on Nightwalk‘s first single “Lose My Mind” is the best indication of what Feder’s already quite mature style is shaping up to be. The single teased the August drop of Nightwalk with an equally innovative video directed by Feder himself and fellow Brooklynite video artist Permian Strata.
That said, if one were to only hear “Lose My Mind” and Feder’s earlier remixes of indie vocalist Holly Abraham’s 2018 hit “Shore” and Jane In Space‘s “Mental Abrasions,” one might entirely miss Feder’s more experimental side, which is all over the rest of NIghtwalk. Still containing lots of pop vocal cachet, the EP’s title track has more of an industrial vibe to the intro, but after the first verse, it takes quite a different turn, with analog drums and celestial electronic flourishes. Emotive, complex and jazz-tinged, this track offers a contrast to “Lose My Mind,” this track is a tell to listeners that the rest of Nightwalk may not be what they expect.
“Desert Run” is similarly introed with an industrial beat and laced with rock/jazz drums but it’s also where Feder lays into the dream pop quality of his vox. “Tooth and Heart” follows with its 80s synth pop vibes while the vocals become more of a story than an accompaniment. Feder seems intent on having some analog flourish to every track on the EP, and in this case it’s back to his guitar, which indeed adds a punchy live music flourish. Feder plays all the instruments that feature on Nightwalk, so if he’s that diverse in his skills it stands to reason his music would be thus as well.
Nightwalk ends with another jaunty, 80-inspired track called “Floodlights,” its house beat sort of bookending the genre-straddling EP with EDM vibes. It seems Feder is in no hurry to pick a side, per se, but Nightwalk serves as a declaration that he can and will take his style wherever he wants. He certainly has the musical chops to do so.