PHOTO: Ashley van Loo
CITY: Grand Rapids
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "My Leather, My Fur, My Nails"
WHY THEM: After building a solid rep for his New York–based boutique label with releases by DOM, Joy Formidable, and Secret Music (ex–Yes Giantess), Ayad Al-Adhamy has his ear pressed firmly on the buzz meter, particularly when it comes to bands influenced by Passion Pit. So when he started raving online a few weeks back over Stepdad's "My Leather, My Fur, My Nails," people took notice — and for good reason. After relocating from Chicago to Grand Rapids in 2009, Stepdad's ultra-infectious arcade-pop is ready to follow the likes of the Naked and Famous in coloring electronic music in neon. "My Leather" is a kaleidoscopic acid-pop jam built for July playlists, and Stepdad are following up last year's Ordinance EP — an eight-track blizzard of blips — by hitting a New York studio with producer Chris Zane (of Passion Pit's Manners). Debut full-length Wildlife Pop is expected to drop later this year, but in the meantime stuff a few quarters into the dance machine and let Stepdad's aural synthpop spin around you.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Of Oceans — The slick, sleepy-beat ambient production of April single "Cataract" suggests an intriguing future for Peter Bosch, the Detroit-based electronic mastermind behind the mysterious Of Oceans.