Music: You can dance if you want to

By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  ContributIng Reporter

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 - Page 14

The Girl and the Robots (女孩與機器人), an indie band that boasts equal measures of hipness and musical complexity, aspire to bring electro-pop to audiences beyond the dance floor with their debut large-scale concert in Taipei tomorrow.

The outfit, which won last year’s Golden Music Award for best electronica single with Lost in Yesterday (昨天), released its debut album Miss November to wide acclaim last month and will perform a show titled The Girl and the Robots Miss November Concert (女孩與機器人/Miss November演唱會) tomorrow night at Legacy Taipei (傳音樂展演空間).

“We spent the whole of the past year contemplating how to present electronica in a live concert,” the bandleader Jungle (real name Tai Chien-yu, 戴建宇) told the Taipei Times earlier this week. “We will present the music with lots of images and some kick-ass dance.”

The group’s name refers to its three members. The “robots” are the two music engineers: leader and guitarist Jungle was a recording engineer for Jay Chou (周杰倫) and starred in Chou’s music video Sunshine Homeboy (陽光宅男), while Tan (蛋, real name Su Chieh-ken) is the keyboardist and bassist. The “girl” refers to the ultra glamorous Riin (real name Lin I-chun, 林怡君), who landed the vocalist gig after the two others saw her perform at Taipei’s Velvet Underground live house.

All three collaborate on writing melodies, and Riin pens the lyrics.

The trio’s debut album features Riin’s saccharine and at times whispering vocals juxtaposed with pulsating synth beats and an atmospheric sound reminiscent of the moody yearning of Everything But the Girl.

“We want to get away from the stereotype that electronica is for dancing only,” Riin said. “It’s a genre that can convey layered emotions too.”

“Our music would be ideal for a lounge bar,” Jungle added.

The album’s first single, My Boy, a retro dance anthem with 1980s synth, has been on constant rotation on radio and television stations.

Riin explained the song’s message: “These days boys are pretty shy. I want to urge them to take action and tell girls what they want.”

The group put its name on the map with Lost in Yesterday. “It’s a song about all the joy and happiness we shared in the past,” Riin said. “But we should know to move on.”

The trio, who claim the Chemical Brothers and Radiohead as musical influences, is understandably excited about tomorrow’s show.

“It’s a party!” Riin said. “We want people to not just watch our show.

They should enjoy themselves and dance too.”