This week Radio 3’s featured new artist is West Nile, an electronic duo from London, Ontario who make synth pop that errs on the side of darkness. They have just signed to Last Gang Records, and it looks like 2017 might be their breakout year.
West Nile is Kit Bath (vocals) and EL-DC (producer). The pair first emerged in 2015 when they released their self-titled EP, which included curiously named tracks like "Lotta Ppl" and "Ssuffik8trr." It was the perfect introduction to their brand of beat heavy synth-pop, complimented by lyrics with a sardonic undertone.
"Most of my lyrics are written from the perspective of an outside observer looking in on my life," says Bath via email. "Usually this observer is an ex pursuit or a current pursuit. I tend to write about sad things in a playful way."
This January, they released a cover of Alice Cooper's infamous hit "Only Women Bleed," a song often mistaken to be about menstruation, but actually tackles marital violence against women.
"I grew up on Alice Cooper," explains Bath of their cover choice. "We both thought the song had a kind of ironic yet very fitting place in the world we live in today. Thematically, I can relate on a personal level to the song. Addiction and abuse have been a part of my life."
Bath's lyrics are both provocative and relevant, and when combined with EL-DC's luminous production, you get a sense that this is not your average synth-pop band. When asked about what to expect from their debut album, Bath said it was still a work in progress.
"We would be lying if we knew what to expect from the new album. Our process is somewhat impulsive and instinctive."
If what we've heard so far is any indication, it will be well worth the wait.
Hear "Only Women Bleed" below.