And The Echo is the brilliant electronic pop collaboration of Winn McElroy and Morgan Pennington, who started making music together in early 2014 in Oxford, Mississippi. They have recently released their self-titled, full-length debut album.
"Okinawa" is the album's explosive opening track, and I don't think there could be a better choice for drawing the listener into the synth-laden, lush music this band creates. You'll want to turn up the volume, sing along and dance around to this one.
The band's overall sound is reminiscent of early Depeche Mode-era synthesizers, with the mood on tracks ranging from catchy synth-pop to a few on the slightly slower, darkwave side. The common thread throughout is Morgan's smooth, crisp vocals that perfectly complement every track. And wow can she sing! - delivering a standout vocal style that's reminiscent of a blend of Lisa Miskovsky, Terri Nunn (Berlin), and Louise Reny (One 2 One). This is a sophisticated, well-produced sound, with excellent songwriting and vocals placed at just the right level in the mix.
Prior to And The Echo, Morgan and Winn's first collaboration originated during the recording of Morgan's own EP (Wolves) a few years back. The intent was for it to be acoustic. Morgan explains, "One day Winn decided to put an electronic spin on it and surprised me with it to see if I would ever consider doing them that way. I ended up loving it and we realized that we made a pretty good team and started writing songs together as And The Echo."
And what about the band name? "The name of the band is actually from the first single that we wrote together. In the song 'Smoke and Mirrors' there is a line that goes 'you are the echo inside my head'," Morgan says. "I liked the idea of our music being 'the echo' in people's heads and the music 'echoing' what people are feeling or going through. So we are And The Echo!"
And this couldn't be more appropriate. The eight brilliant compositions on this album have been echoing in my head since I started listening to them. Speaking of "Smoke and Mirrors", this track is a real standout on the album. Have a listen for yourself.
"The Parade" is the band's current video single. With a slower tempo than the first four album tracks, this is a perfect transition to the remainder of the album, which showcases the band's slower, more darkwave sound.
Morgan reports that the band has a new single coming out soon. And from a recent post on their Facebook page, they introduced their newest member named "Bubbles", which looks to be a pretty sweet touring van. So, hopefully that means we'll be hearing about some upcoming live performances from this promising new band.
Find out more about And The Echo on their official website, and on Facebook, Bandcamp and SoundCloud.