Soft Metals is a multi-disciplinary electronic duo from Portland, Oregon now residing in Los Angeles, California. Its members Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall were brought together through a common love of 1970s and 80s synthesizer music and began writing and recording songs together in the spring of 2009. Inspiration came to them by way of experimental electronic sounds, film soundtracks, early industrial music, minimal synth, house, techno, synth pop, krautrock, psychedelic rock, and shoegaze. Ian and Patricia share songwriting duties and compose the music together before writing lyrics and adding vocals. Their songs are built from moody, improvised sessions together using exclusively electronic instruments. The meaning of the raw music they make is explored and interpreted afterwards with lyrical themes ranging from life experience, films, literature, history, science, love, conflict, and death. Soft Metals prefer to express themselves freely rather than adhere to a particular genre. This freedom gives them a diverse sound somewhere between dance music, austere synthetic pop, and experimental electronic composition. Their two best known songs, "The Cold World Melts" and "Psychic Driving" are demonstrations of this varied sound. "The Cold World Melts" is driving, assertive, and passionate. "Psychic Driving" is delicate, introverted, and vulnerable. Some of their songs remain in their unpolished improvised form to pay homage to authenticity, spontaneity, the joy of sound, and experimentation while others are studio based exercises, fusing new and old production technologies.
Soft Metals is signed to Captured Tracks and released their first record, an 5 song EP titled “The Cold World Melts” in July 2010. Their debut self-titled album came out in July of 2011. FACT magazine called Soft Metals “one of the most accomplished and ambitious of the myriad new synth-pop acts coming out of the States.” The duo have played shows on both coasts of the US and in Mexico City. They have shared the stage with bands ranging from HEALTH and Nitzer Ebb to Glass Candy and Chromatics.