Euphoria are pioneers of the unique sound dubbed 'guitronica.' Euphoria's new album Beautiful My Child, features the group's signature combination of acoustic slide guitar and propulsive beats. Their latest single, "Sweet Rain," builds upon their success at radio (and the impressive retail response generated by "Delirium," last year's breakout instrumental from Euphoria), with sustained airplay in Denver, Boulder, San Francisco, Seattle and Minnesota yielding strong sales in those markets.
Euphoria comprises Toronto-based composer/instrumentalist Ken Ramm, as produced by Garry Hughes (producer of Vitamin C, who's also worked with Art Of Noise, Garbage, and Sly & Robbie); the group's profile was recently enhanced by the use of their music in the Infiniti SUV ad campaign.
Electronic music has always been most interesting when DJs and artists get adventurous, wrapping their particular obsessions around those familiar fat beats. In recent memory, it has been done well (see Everything But the Girl's Temperamental) and badly (U2's Pop misstep) but Toronto guitarist Ken Ramm has done a more than decent job of it with Euphoria, melding his space-rock guitar riffs with the loose structures, atmospherics, and danceability of techno (some have called this style "guitronica," as if we need yet more sub-genre definitions in dance music), Ramm's songs still stay songs, even while floating out on the wandering edge of trance and trip-hop. His decidedly acoustic touch sets off the contrasts inherent in this kind of mind-meld and makes little instrumental whispers like "Desert Drive" more interesting on the 10th listen than the first. There's an almost rootsy hue to songs like "Cactus," as Ramm's slide guitar ambles through the melody like a tumbleweed. Vocal enhancements from gospel singer Maddie Willis (who also made contributions to the band's self-titled debut record) and Gayle Day's R&B-laced pipes light up other songs like "By the Sea" with welcome doses of soul. Finally, Garry Hughes' production sheen dresses it all up in silky smooth electronics and lazy, shoegazing textures. The whole package manages to be experimental and instantly appealing all at once. --Matthew Cooke