My Top 10 Tracks: Hyperbubble

Hyperbubble are Jess and Jeff, a fun synthesizer couple from Texas. Their blend of synthpop is quirky bubblegum electro-pop with a great sense of humor (think Freezepop, Vic Twenty, S.P.O.C.K or Schmoof). I  saw them live on their recent European tour and had a blast: they put on a fantastic show with boundless energy. I urge any fan of synthpop to check them out! Hyperbubble’s third album Candy Apple Daydreams was recently released on Bubblegum Records and I think it’s their best yet — I love pretty much every track, especially the Candy Apple theme that runs throughout the album. I got in touch and asked the band what their Top 10 songs were. Read on for their bubblelicious picks!

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1. The Ohio Express — Yummy Yummy Yummy

A primitive recording using even more primitive instruments, Yummy Yummy Yummy is the Hyperbubble Holy Grail. The Ohio Express’ singer proudly proclaims to have “love in my tummy,” blasting the vocals straight out of his nose over a trashcan beat. The riff (if you can call it that) has been recycled by everyone from The Cars to Judas Priest, and if it’s good enough for those turbo-lovers, it’s good enough for Hyperbubble.

2. Donna Summer — I Feel Love

Donna and Giorgio teleported Yummy Yummy Yummy into the modern age using a hypno-synth web, a disco stomp, and telling us the girl’s side of the story. Just like its bubblegum forefather, the disco genre was hated by “real” rock fans, and also just like Yummy Yummy Yummy, I Feel Love‘s irresistible riff has since been recycled by thousands of artists this year alone.

3. Kraftwerk — Autobahn

Photo by Joe Wallace

From age 15-17, I started every morning with Autobahn. Kraftwerk’s happy song about driving in the sunshine and listening to the car radio was a warm and friendly way to start the day, and as a kid without a drivers licence, the subject matter was still a fantasy! These days, even though I have my own car, I still like taking that familiar trip down the synthesizer superhighway.

4. Yellow Magic Orchestra — Nice Age

Whether they knew it or not, YMO basically mixed together all of the songs mentioned above, threw in a dash of Bowie, and whammo – instant pop awesomeness! Nice Age is a monster of a song, with naughty lyrics and synthesizers piled high to the sky. Catchy, futuristic and rocking. Our friend’s two year old loves this stuff.

5. The Captain and Tennille — Broddy Bounce

Don’t underestimate The Captain and Tennille. The Captain and Tennille will kick your ass. Underneath that goofy captain’s hat is a studio whiz kid and a wicked one man band. Toni Tennille is even cooler, providing backing vocals on Pink Floyd’s classic album The Wall while (like Roger Waters) sporting a Dorthy Hamill hairdoo. Both wield their keyboards like deadly Kung Fu masters.

6. Michael Jackson — Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

For the past few years, Hyperbubble have played this song and the Bee Gees’ You Should Be Dancing right before we come on stage. Both are intricately detailed multi-track recordings, but their overall effect is totally primal. You can see the music working its magic on the crowd from the moment it drops: first smiles, then a couple of self-conscious sways, before totally abandoning all cool and giving into the groove. Guaranteed to get both the band and the crowd loosened-up and ready for a good time.

7. Lawn Chairs — Our Daughters Wedding

Scott Simon and Layne Rico lay down a maddening cyberpunk bop, over which singer Keith Silva insists that “Lawn chairs are everywhere! They’re everywhere and my mind describes them to me! To me!!!” Lawn Chairs was ODW’s boy-girl dada synth beach anthem and is a must-have single, right up there with Ricky’s Hand, Memorabilia and Warm Leatherette. A snappy re-make of the song appears on the band’s Digital Cowboy EP, but the original 7″ version is the way to go. Both are featured on the recent ODW collection CD Nightlife.

8. Midnight Star — Operator

From the hand-claps to the touch-tone telephone sounds, robot voice in the chorus, and girl pretending to the be the operator (“I’m sorry sir, I can just barely hear you…“), Operator is pure novelty but its rhythm is so gripping, and chorus so catchy that it transcends the joke. A stunning hybrid of bubblegum and future-funk in the tradition of Zapp, Newcleus and The Jonzun Crew.

9. The Divine Comedy — Geronimo

If E.M. Forster wrote pop music it would sound like this. Clocking in at just 1:53, Geronimo is a perfect vignette of romantic chamber-pop. A piano swirls like an impending tornado while Neil Hannon croons a lyric that’ll have every romantic in the room swooning. Bonus points for the musical nod to another one of our favorite composers, Michael Nyman.

10. Sparks — Lighten Up Morrissey

This song reminds us of our past two tours to Europe, where we were often compared to Sparks. It especially brings to mind a club we played in Glasgow where Nanobots dressed in spacesuits, Flight of the Conchords chatted with the locals, and Hyperbubble danced along with the Morrissey Night kids into the wee hours of the night.

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