Panda Bear and The Road Chief experiment with electronics to produce drastically different albums

Need to escape the bustle of your room-mate noisily making pasta? Find your happy place with these electronic releases.

Do you ever get nostalgic about walking through the mall in the 90s? Looking in the windows of the shops with monitors running Windows 95, surrounded by the plastic trees, your only goal is to meet up the girl you asked out from your English class and go shopping together. A perfect date!

The funky vapor-wave influenced music of The Road Chief will take you back there, even if you never lived it. The song "Thinking About You" is a digital harmony that nails the pining desire while "Summer Eyes" starts with a bubbly bass synth line that reverberates as the backbone through out the song. 

"All My Love" could almost be the soundtrack for an old flash game. In no way is this a fault. Its leads are catchy even as they drift you across the 8 bit-like electronic environment.

For a musical act with less than 1000 views on Spotify, I was impressed with The Road Chief's album. The songs are dynamic, the leads drift you up to somewhere in the sky, while the thumping bass and drums keep your feet moving on the disco-lit dance floor. 

The Road Chief doesn't do anything new or revolutionary with the genre, but definitely nails a certain sound which he can only be commended for.

"All My Love" is an album that seems to have been made for putting headphones in, falling back on your bed and zoning out to the nostalgic synth lines. But at the same time, the inescapable dance-ability and catchy hooks of it all ensures that it's worth a spin.

Meanwhile, Panda Bear returns after his widely popular release earlier this year, "Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper," with a new EP, "Crosswords."

Anyone already familiar with Panda Bear's dreamy vocals and ambient instrumentation will not be disappointed with this new release.

The EP is only five songs, but each one is important. There is no filler here. My personal favorites are "The Preakness," which in true operatic style is a strong vocal harmony on top of marching instrumentation, and "Cosplay,"which repeats a dream-like mantra.

I always thought Panda Bear's name fit perfectly with the music. It's bouncy, warm and feels like a soft cushion. He creates a musical "happy place."  Even when the song is melancholic, the vocal harmonies don't follow suit. 

When so much independent music that is made today appeals to "emo" sensibilities, with self deprecating lyrics and lo-fi guitar riffs, hearing music that makes you feel good is a great breath of fresh air.

Both Panda Bear and The Road Chief rely on electronic equipment to produce music. The result is a sonic environment that is as broad as it's detail-oriented. The Road Chief creates whole nostalgic worlds that combine the theme of love that grasp toward a long-gone past. 

Panda Bear, however, has created worlds a bit more psychedelic in nature and seems to have an eye keenly settled on the unpredictable future instead of the nostalgic past.

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Reach the reporter at lsaether@asu.edu or follow @looooogaaan on Twitter.

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