Soquelle - Tense

“Low-end club, mid-end smooth, and high-end glitch.”

That’s how California electronica-pop-soul group Soquelle describes their sound. With so many conflicting “ends” to master, it seems like it’d be a challenge to bring these competing formats into one cohesive sound.

And yet, the Santa Cruz-based duo singer/songwriter Anastasia Gera and sound engineer Mark Shvartzman make it all come together quite solidly. In a stark contrast to the more loud, brash, party-crashing sound that DJ Mustard has come to associate with the West Coast, Soquelle offers something from the other side of the spectrum – mellow music with just enough of a thump in its sound to catch the attention of an unaware ear. To Soquelle, however, presentation is just as important as the sound itself; and the duo has made it a habit to incorporate glitch-style visuals and art installations in their live shows.

“Tense,” Soquelle’s newest single and the first off the group’s upcoming debut album, fits the above three descriptions perfectly. The only truly “tense” thing about the song is its instrumental, with a bass guitar strumming in the background alongside an electronica keyboard and synths. Vocalist Gera’s voice moves back and forth between yearning and seducing, and the song is hers alone to own until about the 3:20 mark. That’s when Gera fades out and Shvartzman’s saxophone takes center stage, infusing the laid-back track with a jazz-like outro.

Soquelle’s album, produced with Dan the Automator, isn’t set to arrive until 2015, and with songs like “Tense,” the wait til will be all but unbearable. Perhaps keeping the track on a loop will make the time go faster or cause you to lose yourself in the smoothness. Same difference, right?