Detractors of modern electronic music frequently soapbox about a lack of “musicality” in the genre. Indie producer/DJ Jennifer Lee, pka TOKiMONSTA is one of the primary artists who disproves that talking point, with a catalog full of densely layered, thoughtfully arranged compositions. Since her arrival in 2010, TOKiMONSTA’s output has demonstrated an ability to apply classic craftsmanship to innovative sounds, generally paired with sentimental vocals.
She’s currently touring throughout North America, but wasn’t too busy to drop “Giving Up”, a beguiling collaboration with Jonny Pierce of The Drums and Erick “Jesus” Coomes from Lettuce. As Jonny lithely laments a love gone wrong, TOKiMONSTA balances the song’s soundscape between electro-ballad and intriguingly subdued dance. The synth that pulsates during the song’s chorus is the core of the record, an off-kilter loop that offsets Pierce’s hazy “I’m giving up” declaration. It comes out of nowhere, but quickly bids to makes it’s home in your head for the rest of the day.
Her judicious fusion of seemingly disparate elements is impressive here, and sets a positive tone for her upcoming FOVERE album. FOVERE will be available March 4 on Young Art Records. You can stream “Giving Up” below.