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Angel Electronics and Making Juxtaposition Work
Episode 414th November 2023 • Buried on Bandcamp • HVSPN
00:00:00 00:09:13

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Hopewell Valley Student Podcasting Network 

Show Name: Buried on Bandcamp

Episode Title: Angel Electronics and Making Juxtaposition Work

Episode #4

You are listening to Buried on Bandcamp the podcast with your host Taylor.

In this episode of Buried on Bandcamp the Podcast we discuss: the band Angel Electronics, their album Ultra Paradise, and their usage of juxtaposition.

Segment 1: Angel Electronics

Angel Electronics is a duo from Los Angeles. It consists of Ash Nerve on lead vocals, songwriting, piano, and drum programming, and Ada Rook on vocals, songwriting, guitar and bass, and drum programming. Ada Rook is what brought me to this project- I really enjoy her music and would really love to do a future episode on her but given reoccurring subject matters of her music, I don’t think I could on this school-friendly podcast. And Ash Nerve I hadn’t heard of them before discovering Angel Electronics, but I greatly enjoy his presence in the band, and I’m definitely checking out some of his other work soon. The duo specializes in a genre they call “brutal euphoria wave,” which sounds confusing but if you listen to their music, you’ll find it’s a perfect descriptor. Their music is fun, optimistic, and sweet, while simultaneously loud and messy, but it balances perfectly. We’ll discuss their album, Ultra Paradise, after this short commercial break.

Segment 2: Ultra Paradise

Alright, welcome back to Buried on Bandcamp. Time to talk about Ultra Paradise. This is Angel Electronics’ only album at the moment, released January 23rd, 2023, but it certainly packs a punch. The first thing I noticed when listening was the religious themes in their work. There are many mentions of angels, even in the name of the band itself. The next thing I noticed is how optimistic their work is. Most of their lyrics are so sweet and charming and paired with the electronic background it seems even sweeter. You’d think that makes the loud and messy parts stand out like a sore thumb, but it doesn’t. I’ll talk about that more in a bit.

My personal favorites off the album are One Thousand and One Nights, Evil Behind You, and Party Girl. One Thousand and One Nights was the first song I heard from Angel Electronics, and I was immediately hooked and went to listen to the album in full immediately afterward. It’s not as sweet and optimistic in the lyrics as some other songs on the album, as it discusses regretting treating a former significant other wrong and missing them badly. But it’s still catchy and the instrumental is still upbeat and fun. Evil Behind You is also a very fun and unique song, especially since even less sweet and silly seeming. A hint of hope and optimism can be gleaned in the lyrics, though- trying to break free from the titular evil behind you. To quote the song, “It doesn’t die / but you don’t have to keep it alive / there’s an evil behind you / but you can leave it behind you.” The guitar in this song is fantastic, and the synths add a layer of determination- it’s great. Around two-thirds into the song, the main melody drops out and the guitars really kick in, with Rook bringing screamo in the background while Ash keeps up the main vocals. It’s an unexpected turn, but a welcome one nonetheless. And finally, Party Girl- right in the middle of the tracklist, song five out of nine. And it’s also the longest song on the album, at nearly five minutes. Even though I’m not sure if it’s my favorite on the album, I consider it to be the highlight. The vocals are led by Rook this time, and she sings about a shy girl with a huge crush on the titular party girl, and their slowly growing closer. It starts out slow, lowkey, and quiet- kind of like the shy girl herself. But the electric guitars and electronics pick up throughout the song until you’re listening to something completely different than what you were listening to two minutes ago. The highlight of the song is around three-fourths into it, when Ash joins in as backing vocals and they sing together, “and a vision came to me / like snow in a crystal ball / like a prism refracting light / with colors dancing around the hall / and if there’s a God above / I think that’s He’s giving me a sign / because he opened my heart / and helped me make you mine.” Bringing back those aforementioned religious themes and going out with a bang with a bunch of crazy electric guitars, it’s a really, really sweet song, and I find it difficult to suppress my grin when listening to it sometimes. It’s a fantastic halfway point on a fantastic album.

Segment 3: The Usage of Juxtaposition

Now, I’ve talked mostly about the sugar-sweet side of Angel Electronics, but evidenced from the title of this episode and some other brief mentions, that’s not their only “side.” There are frequent “breakdowns,” which is what it sounds like- where the melody and structure breaks down and devolves into pure chaos and noise. A good example of this is in Rainbow, where during the chorus late in the song everything just explodes into noise- and then a few seconds later it just resumes the song like normal. Based on what I’ve said about their “other side,” it may seem like these two would not mix at all. But surprisingly enough, even the most spontaneous of breakdowns fit in nicely. The two halves of the album, split by Party Girl in the middle, have around the same amount of chaos on either side, making it a nicely symmetrical experience. Juxtaposition- two vastly different things put close together- is often used for comedic or disruptive value, not just in music but in media and even life in general. But for Angel Electronics, it only enhances the fun of the music. It’s great, and makes for a great album.

Music Credits:

  • Breezy - mandimore
  • ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS - Angel Electronics
  • EVIL BEHIND YOU - Angel Electronics
  • PARTY GIRL - Angel Electronics

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