Electric President
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Electric President


Band EDM Pop


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"Pitchfork Review of Electric President s/t"

There's an appealing modesty at work on the debut album by Electric President, a Florida duo that confidently allow their homespun electro-pop to bubble away without feeling the need to constantly doctor the ingredients. Created under bedroom-like conditions by Ben Cooper and Alex Kane, these earnest songs are largely crafted through a soft and reliable mixture of acoustic strums, clip-clop beats, and gently surging electronic tides. Cooper's chirpy, boyish vocals make comparisons to Ben Gibbard that much more mandatory, but the album quietly moves to its own private compass, drawn by a certain resigned, melancholic gravity. The biggest hitch is that Electric President seemingly achieve all of their humble goals by mid-album, and so spend almost half their time with pencils down, repeating the day's assignments silently to themselves.

"We're all just part of someone's elaborate plan/ Just pieces in some grandiose scheme," Cooper sings on "Grand Machine No. 12", succinctly articulating the album's recurrent theme of a vague alienation and eventual obsolescence. This sense of helpless entropy also informs the album's most engaging track, "Ten Thousand Lines", where Cooper serenades the decaying wires in his bedroom wall over a gentle feedback throb reminiscent of Yo La Tengo's Electr-O-Pura. Additionally, this track is expertly punctuated by overlapping vocals, deftly edited dialogues between guitar and laptop, and several melodic "Oh no's" worthy of the Rutles. Even more ambitious-- but no less effective-- is the opening "Good Morning, Hypocrite", which is virtually the only song here that Electric President sound willing to forcefully coerce into a new direction, its perky tempo abruptly accelerating until Cooper's vocal is just barely able catch onto the rear bumper.

It isn't long, however, before the album's persistent threads of indeterminate loss and decline turn inevitably to undiluted moping over failed romances. "Hum" is a purebred fire escape lament, with a heartsick Cooper calling out, "What do you think about me now?" to the disinterested rooftops. And he's still out there later on "Some Crap About the Future", wistfully watching airplanes leave the city, self-consciously admitting to ineffectual "rambling" but not able to bring himself to stop. Unfortunately, on these occasions Electric President are unable to musically assuage his sorrows, having already pushed the limits on their invention. Cuts like the miniature shoegaze of "Snow on Dead Neighborhoods" or the politely grungy "We Were Never Built To Last" veritably beg for less constraint, more sweeping grandeur, or simply heightened volume to allow a push beyond the duo's established templates. But Electric President remain steadfastly restrained throughout, right up until the willowy, climactic "Farewell" where they at last unleash a measured broadside of furious noise, willing for once to become the forceful architects of their music rather than merely its passive stewards.

— Matthew Murphy, February 28, 2006
- Pitchforkmedia

"Redux magazine review of Sleep Well"

Electric President is two guys from Florida who record pop music together on a laptop in bedrooms and a shed. If I had to do one of those lame band comparisons, I’d say sound like the wispy melodies and soft delivery of Death Cab For Cutie filtered through the lonely spaciness of Grandaddy. There’s really nothing too crazy about what they’re doing–basically anybody with Ableton and a decent microphone could pull off these arrangements without too much trouble–which is why it’s so cool that they’re able to write such awesome tunes. Their singer kicks out these gorgeous, longing melodies seemingly effortlessly, often resulting in some really emotional and memorable moments.

Their new record, released on Deutschland’s Morr Music, is called Sleep Well. It’s sort of a concept record, I guess; it’s all about sleeping and nightmares and things like that. Not sleeping “well,” I guess, but it’s definitely about sleeping. Or trying to sleep. It feels like more of a continuation of Ben Cooper’s release last year under the moniker Radical Face than the first Electric President record, in that it has a sort of a lyrical center, and it feels pretty warm and loose (not laptoppy, if you know what I mean). I mean, there are probably actually more synthesized sounds on this one than on their debut, but it’s mostly warm analogy pads, not the glitchy beats that felt a little intrusive on the first one.

Overall, the songs are pretty hit or miss, which is how I feel about both their debut and the Radical Face record. There are songs that I’ve listened to a time or two, and don’t foresee myself ever coming back to. But there are also songs I know I’m going to play the hell out of and probably never get tired of, and they definitely make up for the others. “We Will Walk Through Walls” is pure starry-eyed syrup with synth strings and shimmery guitars and a bouncy bass line–definitely an awesome melancholy winter jam. “It’s Like A Heartbeat, Only It Isn’t” is another catchy happy-sad tune, with some pretty cool lyrical imagery and a nice little melody. And “Lullaby” is also really good.

As a whole, I don’t know if the highs hit quite as high as some of their other stuff, and I don’t know how well it hangs together as an album. But it’s still a good listen from a couple really cool, honest musicians. Also, it has a really cool cover. It looks like something Designers Republic would do. But yeah! Good listen. - Redux

"Dusted Review of Electric President"

Electric President glosses something like a Postal Service for the Anticon set, a pretty percolating electro-pop record that embraces sweetness and strangeness in equal measure. Ben Cooper's syrupy voice splits the difference between the syrupy voices of Ben Gibbard and Dose One, and his lyrics, though not as far to either pole (overly romantic or overly abstract, respectively), have a similar heartsick future-shock thing going on. But that's hardly what's remarkable about the Florida duo's self-titled debut; rather, it's the deceptive complexity of the record. Its meticulous construction of songs are at once hummable and impossible to duplicate, seemingly organic machines with innumerable interlocking parts.

Cooper and collaborator Alex Kane make less from more with a deftness that lands them easily on German pulse-pop imprint Morr Music, but they temper the Teutonic slickness of labelmates like Lali Puna and Christian Kleine with something messier. The tinny, excitable laptop beats and live drums alike give way to little currents of clicking, clinking, shuffling, twitching, ch-chinging percussion; buoyant guitar strums and shining synth chimes share their airspace with calm layers of drone and ghostly choral smears; not even Cooper's even-keeled simper is immune from a spot of vocal strain here or a tape bleedthrough there.

It doesn't work all the time – the frenzy of opener "Good Morning, Hypocrite" belongs somewhere on that Fog/Why? Hymie's Basement album, and "Grand Machine No. 12" is actually tedious because it's not crowded enough – but in the majority of cases, the multitude and the mess feel both essential and effortless.

If Cooper and Kane's control is masterful, though, the grander stroke is the way they draw attention to their own apparent afterthoughts, their realization that their machines are more impressive when the cogs come loose for a moment. It's the precise little flaws that go a long way toward innovation – seven minutes of slowly building tension released in five seconds, say, or Cooper muttering "goddammit" in place of a drum fill – and ground Electric President's ditties between monument and minutiae, surprisingly free of both the perils of pop and the pitfalls of experimentation.

By Daniel Levin Becker - Dusted Magazine

"Sound Check Magazine Sleep Well Review"

Electric President wants to be important to you. It is capable of soothing, of numbing, and of uplifting you. It will whisper in your ear and stroke your hair, hold your hand and gaze into your eyes. It is a charismatic charmer. Do not trust Electric President.

Sleep Well, the newest release from Florida-based duo Ben Cooper and Alex Kane, delights in contrasts. Sweet elements in any given track allow you to melt your guard just long enough for the song to take shape, unfold tentacles, and creep up your limbs with an ever-tightening grip. The fuzzy, dreamlike quality of the songs is grounded by a catchy melody or a layered intensity. Sunny synthesizer is undermined by seething bass. Cooper’s vocals are deceptively light and familiar, but he coos lines like “We watch you when you’re asleep/ we hear you as you grind your teeth”. The album is a constant push-and-pull between threat and apology, menace and salve.

This is not to say that there is not some genuine goodness in Sleep Well: it exists in a deliberate counterpoint to the nightmarish traits. For instance, the sneering seduction of the second track, “Bright Mouths”, is offset by the earnestness of the following track, “We Will Walk Through Walls”. Other songs, like “Ether”, find themselves in a simple place between the two extremes. Cooper and Kane are clearly aware of the delicate interplay between light and dark in Sleep Well: in fact, its very title is at once soothing and ominous. The album dips into creepy lows, elevates itself to angelic highs, and remains enchanting throughout. Though it is unclear whether it wishes you well or means you harm, Sleep Well casts a very strong spell.

With this release, Cooper and Kane have created a being that is both welcoming and disconcerting. Electric President will try to smother you with a pillow, but only because it loves you so much. You will soon understand, and you will return its love with the same intensity.

-Caitlin Caven
- Electric President

"Almost Cool Review of Electric President s/t"

Electric President is a young (both well under 25 years old) duo of Florida artists named Ben Cooper and Alex Kane. It might seem like some sort of a mystery as to how their their self-titled debut found itself over the Atlantic Ocean and up to Berlin and the home of Morr Music, but one listen to the crisply-produced album of electronic pop will clear any of those thoughts away in this day and age of digital files and trans-continental album releases. Arriving somewhere between the newer work of Styrofoam (on Morr) and The Postal Service, Electric President mainly dabbles in melancholy-tinged tracks with a couple bursts distributed through the album for good measure.

The opener of "Good Morning Hypocrite" is one of the better pieces on the entire release, bobbing and weaving through several different styles and sections. It opens with some crisp drums odd found-sound percussion and acoustic guitars along with the breathy vocals of Cooper and alternates with mid-tempo sections of "ba-ba" choruses. At the end of the track, it double-times with a wooden-sounding kick drum and a dollop of hazy synth, giving it a nice gallop of energy and fitting close. "Insomnia" again melds acoustic guitars with layers of synths and clean programmed beats, while "Ten Thousand Lines" gets a bit louder with feedbacked guitars and very twee sounding vocals (as Cooper sounds like he's doing his best kid-voice imitation).

As mentioned above, the production on the release is very nice. The album may have been created in a bedroom studio, but the duo have obviously given a lot of thought to how things sound and there's a great attention to detail in terms of how instrumentation and vocals move throughout the mix in songs. Unfortunately, a good portion of the album is a little bit too safe, with the one-two punch of "Grand Machine No. 12" and "Hum" dripping with gooey acoustic guitar and quiet programming that only accept the nasal, affected vocals. The group is at their best when they turn things up a notch, as on the excellent "Some Crap About The Future" (which also gets props for the hilarious title) where they mix electric piano with fuzzy guitar and more subtle vocals. Although it's a little bit on the soft side, Electric President have created a nice little debut. If you're into the aforementioned artists, you probably won't go wrong here. - Almost Cool


Electric President - S/T - 2006 (Morr Music)

Electric President - Sleep Well - 2008 (Morr Music)

Electric President - The Violent Blue - 2010 (Fake Four Inc.)



Electric President is a Jacksonville, Florida musical project by Ben Cooper and Alex Kane. The sound is a mix of folk, indie pop and electronics with the occasional reference to shoegaze and epic prog rock. For the last 3 years the band has been releasing music on German imprint and indietronic mainstay Morr, now in 2010 they release their first album on CT based Fake Four Inc.
In 2006 journalists loved to compare them to Postal Service or even Flaming Lips but Electric President's new, less electronic based music is far removed from the sugary indietronic pop sound that got them well deserved attention and even major placements on television shows such as "The O.C." or "One Tree Hill". Their latest album and first on Fake Four Inc. "The Violent Blue" is a gorgeous, intricate concept record based around images of the ocean, family, loss and gain. Although it may be Ben Cooper's most intimate and personal work for Electric President it is also some of the most developed and detailed song writing of his career to date.
Ben's characteristic nasal vocals have matured into a smoother sound complemented by waves of harmonies, quiet acoustic guitars and loud distorted electric ones built upon layers intricately produced percussive work whether it be in the form of big sounding drum machines, glitchy organic found sounds or straight up live kit recordings.
Electric President is not pop music for your little sister, this is some of the most thought out, composed and meticulously produced music coming out of the indie rock circuit.