The beginning of the 2010s set the tone for America’s obsession with 1980s nostalgia, which reached fever pitch with Stranger Things and Stephen King’s It. New York native Com Truise — given name Seth Haley — released his debut album Galactic Melt in 2011. That was a watershed year for synthwave, an electronic sub-genre characterized by the heavy use of retro synthesizers and drum machines on compositions that sound like a lost soundtrack from your favorite childhood sci-fi movie. The element of nostalgia is what initially draws listeners to Haley’s music, making it the perfect soundtrack for a late-night drive through the city that will make you feel as if you are in your own movie directed by John Carpenter. On Iteration, Com Truise’s latest album, Haley explores familiar terrain from previous releases, adding a strangely human touch that goes beyond the feeling of fond reminiscence. Ultimately, it can be assumed Haley’s intention was to bring Com Truise from a pleasant throwback act to a musical project that can hold its own identity in 2017. Since Com Truise uses sounds from the past but produces with a very modern mindset, electronic music has rarely ever sounded this human.
10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Great Northern. $20-$25; thegreatnorthernsf.com
Upon the trio’s formation in 2011, each member of Hundred Waters felt a mutual desire to create music without constraints while not sounding directionless. People have made endless comparisons to contemporaries like Björk, Imogen Heap, and Portishead, but at the end of the day, Hundred Waters relishes being unpredictable. The band also ventured into event curation earlier this year with Form: Arcosanti, an Arizona music festival with headlining sets by Solange and Father John Misty that some attendees considered to be the festival of the future. The Floridians’ delicately composed electronic-pop songs (highlighted by angelic vocals from Nicole Miglis) have earned them a diverse group of fans, including Skrillex, who signed the band to his label, OWSLA, in 2012. Although the production on Hundred Waters’ most recent release Communicating is lush and expansive, one can’t help but feel the deep introspection each member must have felt when creating the album. The songs sound melancholic, but not necessarily hopeless, creating a feeling similar to what you have when listening to ethereal post-rock like Sigur Rós. It’s intensified on the album’s second-to-last track, “Blanket Me,” a climactic and emotionally heavy ballad characterized by a swooning piano and crescendoing vocals lamenting the song title repetitively, signaling the need for comfort found only from a significant other who is no longer there when you need them.
7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Independent. $16; theindependentsf.com