Considering my past praise of Michael Potter’s prodigious work ethic, I’m incredulous that it’s been over six months since I’ve made mention of his name. For close to two years it seemed that Potter—who records under the moniker, the Electric Nature—couldn’t go more than a couple of months before releasing one his densely-layered ambient drone compositions or some deconstructed pop experiment. But now that he’s dropped his latest EP, the four-song Sunspot EP, it’s not difficult to figure out what he’s been doing with his time. The Electric Nature, it appears, is now a full-on band.
This news itself isn’t necessarily all that surprising. After all, since as far back as September of 2011, Potter had been talking about putting together a live band to perform his music, and by the latter half of 2012, the group was playing at clubs every other month or so. But what I do find a little crazy is the music. Listening to the EPs first true cut, “What Makes You Happy?,” you’ll find no experimental sound collages or stark, blown-out noise pieces. Instead what you’ll encounter is a searing mix of sun-baked pop melodies, propulsive prog and abstract psychedelia. There are flashes of Maserati’s motorik precision and Tame Impala’s textured grooves, but it’s clear the band is less about borrowing from their peers and predecessors as it is about discovering something new. There’s some definite room for improvement, but the groundwork they’ve laid is solid and the sound positively joyous.
Give a listen to “What Makes You Happy?” below and then head over to the Electric Nature’s Bandcamp page where you can download the Sunspot EP in its entirety for free or cough up a measly $5 for a limited-edition CD-R.