Thursday, August 18, 2011

Song for the Day: Ultraviolet Sound - 'Robot Lover'

Natalia Kills' bionic lamentations on the last Song For the Day got me thinking about the robot archetype currently proliferating in pop, dance, and electronic music. While the "robot lover" of "Activate My Heart" is the role the singer takes on in order to reject it, the third-person character has been popping up in lyrics quite a bit lately, often as the subject of desire when the vocalist is female. There's so much that's interesting about this sexual fascination with machinery, which is probably a large reason these tracks tend to be rather gangbusters.

I've decided to ride the robot wave for a few more days. Today's meditation on the virility of artificial intelligence comes to us from electropop duo Ultraviolet Sound (vocalist Sarah Hudson and producer Sami Diament), who released their self-titled debut album earlier this year following the success of lead club single "Suck My Kiss," which made waves on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart in late 2010. Electronic-pop songs about mechanical dalliances tend to either dial up the melodrama (see "Activate My Heart") or play it tongue pointedly in cheek, as on Ultraviolet Sound's "Robot Lover."

On its own plane it's a pleasant, simply constructed uptempo '80s throwback that one might expect to find on the required reading list for "Lyrics 101: Metaphor" (probably right next to Natalia Kills' "Activate My Heart") - there's a witty (and, astonishingly, non-phallic) pun on the word "tool," and the phrase "turn me on" gains humor through literalism... hardy har har. But what struck me about it was how many ways it flips the microgenre's conventions on end: it's as uptempo and lighthearted as its contemporaries are slow and brooding; it's the robot's "feelings" and "heart" being mended rather than the human damsel behind the microphone; and, appropriately, when the titular cyborg makes his appearance he is more Wall-E than Terminator, adorably responding to Hudson's pleas for reconciliation with a computer-generated "Totally!" You can enjoy the silliness of girl-on-bot lovin' below.

'Robot Lover'
Ultraviolet Sound
Ultraviolet Sound
Odds On Records, 2011


Ultraviolet Sound's new single "Girl Talk" is an enjoyable, catchy and clever track just beginning to heat up; the self-titled debut album is available now on iTunes and Amazon

For more on Ultraviolet Sound, visit their website.

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