From Los Angeles emerges an electronic duo called Singer & The Scientist with driving vocals from Kenley Shea and the quirky synthesis creations of Steve Channell. In 2014, two neighbors met coincidentally living next to each other in a small LA apartment complex, S&TS was born. They were friends for over a year before they thought about writing together as they came from opposite music backgrounds and after a few failed song attempts they wrote their first single “Notice Me” thus beginning their journey to find their unique sound as Singer & The Scientist. “Electric Heartbreak” was their debut album and they are following-up by releasing a string of new singles that take a sharp turn from the previous record. Feeling disconnected from their audience and music, the pair decided boldly in 2018 to stop using any laptops for live performances. With the sounds of 80’s synth-pop and a new setup using only hardware synths and drum machines S&TS is pushing into new territories paying homage to bands like Sylvan Esso, Chvrches and St. Vincent. Performing live on Legendary’s “Geek & Sundry” and Music Tribe’s “Inside the Music”, along with radio spins on KCSN and HOT 103.9 FM and their single “Crashing Down” is in the 2018 indie feature film “No Postage Necessary”.
“This Will Have To Do” makes you feel like you have been transported to an 80’s dance party where everyone has funky hair do’s and are wearing bright colours. The synth starts off very subtle and complements Kenley’s soft and sultry vocals that have that classic 80’s sound with a more modern take. With beats coming from the synth that are lively, and filled with excitement, “This Will Have To Do” is a song that is sure make you want to get up and dance. I personally love the style and vocal tone that this electronic duo has used, as it is upbeat and the vibe that flows out of it is intoxicating. Steve has such an amazing technique on the synth and has added many layers that add depth to this funky track. Not only are the lyrics catchy and prone to get stuck in your head, but the musical rhythms in “This Will Have To Do” will have you whistling, humming or singing them to yourself later on as they truly both truly are amazing parts of this song combined into one glorious track.
Be sure to check out "This Will Have To Do" here, as well as the duo's exclusive interview below!
Hey Singer & The Scientist! Fantastic to chat with you! Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves?
Hi I’m Steve! I like soldering cables and messing around with music gear all day err-day. I also am a self proclaimed iced tea connoisseur. Hi I’m Kenley, I love my dog Wookie, he’s the best. We like to sing together… or more like he howls while I sing and it’s super cute. I can also make a damn good Old Fashioned.
How did you come up with the name “Singer & The Scientist”?
One day we were talking to someone about the music we had just started creating. Kenley called Steve a "Mad Scientist" because he was talking about all this crazy stuff he was building and wanted to do at shows with lights, sounds, and things other bands at our level weren’t doing. Steve then started describing Kenley as a vocal powerhouse and we kinda joked about be called "Singer and the Mad Scientist"… haha, we didn’t have a name at the time so we dropped the “Mad” and went with it. It was kind of literal in its' conception but we view it as the musical connection that exists within art and science.
What is the meaning behind “This Will Have To Do” and were there any challenges when creating this song?
The song was inspired by an awkward ride-share when I (Steve) had gotten in a small argument with my signifiant other right before our Uber pulled up. It was bad timing to get in a fight and we couldn’t really talk about it in the Uber. So while were we upset with each other, stuck in the car for the next 30 minutes headed downtown, I wrote down a few lines in my phone about it all. As far as challenges go, we dropped lots of F bombs in the song which some people have issues with depending on their background. It was the right word for the emotion and we decided to go for it. We almost released the edited version as the main one but then we were like fuck that!
Did you find that your audiences responded better to S&TS playing real synths and drum machines rather than relying on computer VI’s (virtual instruments) on stage and did that drive your passion for music more than before?
Well we did it because it felt right for us and we want to be genuine and super honest with what are doing. We were using some live assist tracks which is the norm these days and we weren’t feeling it. We’ve always played our instruments but it still felt like some lame karaoke version of music. Steve got rid of the computer setup, bought some synths, and figured out a way to sequence everything like they used to do in the 80’s before computers took over stages worldwide. This created a lot of challenges and a lot more gear but the sound and feel was immediately satisfying. It also allowed us not to be locked to a click track giving us more freedom to improvise live. The audience probably never noticed the equipment change, but they definitely noticed the sound, energy, and we’ve gotten great feedback from a lot of people that know us saying “this is your sound” which we agree with. We won’t be going back to relying on a computer for any musical instrument tasks live or in studio.
What can we expect to see from Singer & The Scientist in 2019?
We have some more music coming out that we are excited about and some summer shows. We’ve had a few months off from shows as we’ve focused on writing/recording/mixing and such. All the music we’ve done Steve has recorded and mixed. Doing everything on our own can be pretty time consuming but worth it for us to create exactly what we want. We’re looking forward to hitting it hard this summer with shows and continue releasing new music. A while back we got some silent disco headphones to do some shows in unique places and we are planning to do some cool shows with those soon. The last silent disco we did was for our album release in 2017 and people keep asking us to do it again, so it’s definitely due. We just love putting on fun shows and don’t mind the extra work to do so, live shows are so special.
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