Arising at the forefront of contemporary underground pop, Chicago-based duo GRÜN WASSER shapes the course of minimal electronic music and blurs the boundaries of art, songwriting and performance. Vocalist Keely Dowd and producer Essej Pollock artfully bend and reconfigure popular trends in dance music into unconventionally catchy songs and a powerful live show. Their unique mix of hardware, software and sampling coalesce into irresistible rhythms and driving sequences that fuse perfectly with Dowd’s distinctive alto voice, forming music that is as instantly appealing as it is fascinating. As longtime friends, Dowd and Pollock formed GRÜN WASSER in 2015 out of the rich cultural hub of Chicago. Both had backgrounds in punk and electronic music and together crafted a dynamic live act that fit within a variety of niche genres and scenes. Dowd candidly speak out against hyper-masculinity and challenge misogynistic cultural norms. The lyrics of her songs have become woven into the live performance, with Dowd often venturing into the crowd and confronting audience members with an intensely honest portrayal of feminine empowerment. Perfectly paired, Pollock’s thumping, experimental beats complement Dowd’s hypnotic vocals and gripping stage presence, making GRÜN WASSER a potent combination of pop and art. Compositions are delivered within organic arrangements that often deviate from a typical verse-chorus format, representing the revolving tides of raw emotional expression. GRÜN WASSER’s use of textural samples gives an environmental context, enhancing the composition and revealing influences from hip-hop, house and industrial music. Pollock’s abstract percussion techniques incorporate real-world sounds with high-hat rolls and thick sub bass, adding a gritty undertone to their polished sound design. Swells of backing vocals add highlights of nuanced melody that swirl in and around Pollock’s dense synthwork and precise drum programming.