Over the past couple of years, the Chicago-based neo-soul and funk quintet The Main Squeeze have become something got a mainstay act on this site as I’ve written about them on a handful of occasions. The quintet originally […]
Producer, DJ and electronic music artist Paris-born and Italian-based Idriss D has spent more than a decade at the forefront of Italian electronic dance music with the release of a string of commercially and critically successful EPs and singles — and as one of the best known DJs and producers as he’s played in some of his country’s most renowned clubs and music venues including Echoes, Cocorico and Red Zone.
After a chance meeting with Berlin-based Fabrizio Maurizi in 2006, the pair founded Memento Records, a forward thinking electronic music label that has released work from up-and-coming and cult-status producers and artists such as Luciano, Paco Osuna, Argy, Tom Clark, Okain and others. Idriss D’s long-awaited full-length debut Amalgamation is slated for a December 18 release is inspired from the Italian-based DJ and producer’s desire to bring together his life experiences over the last couple of years as he’s become something of an authoritative voice in Italy’s club scene.
Amalgamation‘s first single and album opening track “Transition” is an incredibly nuanced song consisting of skittering drum programming, undulating synths, electronic clicks, bloops and beeps and big thumping bass, and sonically it possesses the same hazy and dream-like feel of Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves — in particular, “Please Don’t Leave.” And much like Octo Octa’s impressive 2013 full-length, the song is an atmospheric and carefully constructed and yet propulsive and dance-floor ready.
Comprised of Oso Dope, Shine Sinatra, Shadow the Great and Kidaf, the New York-based hip-hop collective Loaf Muzik formed back in 2011 and have built up a growing national profile as they’ve been praised by the likes of The Source, Complex, Green Label, Hip-Hop DX and others for a sound that pairs soul and jazz samples, modern, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with an attention to dope rhymes and lyricism. And as a result they’ve shared stages with the likes of renowned acts including Vince Staples, Danny Brown, Theophilus London, D’Angelo, and Mos Def and others.
Produced by Brooklyn-based producer Harry Fraud, best known for his work with Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd and French Montana, the collective’s latest single “Pastor Spliff” pairs a slick production consisting of twinkling keys, skittering and stuttering drum programming and brief bursts of shimmering guitar with emcees with tongue-twisting flows full of complex inner and outer rhyme schemes and word play, as the song subtly channels golden age-era hip-hop.
Up-and-coming, Watford, UK-born, London-based future soul artist Connie Constance quickly received national attention with the release of her debut EP In The Grass produced by Blue Daisy. The EP which was praised for its dreamy yet beat-driven soundscapes paired with Constance’s earnest songwriting and vocals was championed by Pharrell Williams, who played tracks on his Beats 1 Radio show and several BBC Radio hosts including Annie Mac, Huw Stephens, Mister Jam, Julie Adenuga and Giles Peterson.
Constance’s latest single “Answer,” continues her ongoing collaboration with Blue Daisy — and sonically, the single pairs propulsive and percussive African-inspired beats, shimmering guitar chords and swirling electronics with Constance’s aching and intimately soulful vocals in a confessional and earnest song with a burning, sarcastic edge. As Constance explains in press notes, the song relates to two different people in the world — “one person that knows all the answers for taking all your troubles away,” as well as “a kind of know it all person, like, they already know the answer.”
2016 looks to be a huge year for the British soul artist, as she’s currently working on material for a new effort.
Comprised of Yuto Uchino (vocals and synths), Ryosuke Odagaki (guitar), Takayasu Taguchi (bass) and Kaoru Nakazawa (drums), the Kobe, Japan-based quartet The fin have won attention across their native Japan for pairing lyrics written and […]
British indie rock sensation Escapists can trace their origins to when Simon Glancy (vocals) relocated to London to concentrate on his songwriting, and as soon as he moved he asked the only musician friend he knew to help him record his musical ideas, Oil Court (guitar). Court then quickly recruited his friend, composer Max Perryment to play bass. And as the story goes, the trio spent a week of intensive songwriting sessions before deciding that they had enough musical and creative simpatico to continue collaborating together. Court’s former schoolmate Any Walsh (drums) was recruited to finalize the band’s lineup, and the newly formed quartet began writing and recording material inspired by Arcade Fire, The National and Broken Social Scene.
The quartet’s debut single received airplay from XFM‘s John Kennedy and within that year, they were touring with Imagine Dragons and played sets at Reading and Leeds Festivals. Continuing to build upon the buzz they received nationally, the quartet spent 2013 writing and recording the material that would comprise their 2014 debut, Only Bodies, which was released to critical praise from the blogosphere.
Over the past year or so, the band has reportedly gone through a change in sonic direction with their sound inching towards dance-floor-leaning post-punk. “Pyramid Scheme,” the first single off the band’s Eat You Alive possesses enormous, anthemic hooks, shimmering and angular guitar chords, thundering drumming, sinuous bass lines, and swooningly plaintive vocals. Structurally speaking there are some playful changes in tempo in a song that sounds as though its indebted to the likes of U2, Editors, The Killers, New Order and others.
Certainly, with such an enormous hooks and a dance-friendly sound, I think we’ll be hearing quite a bit from them over the next few months.
Although members of the Stockholm, Sweden-based psych rock band Caviare Days have split time between Berlin, Germany, Brooklyn and their hometown, the band can trace their origins to when it started as the musical project of siblings and founding members Lina and Maja Westin. The project expanded to a full-fledged band when the Westins recruited Timmy Grim (drums), Boris Grubesic (guitar) and Marcus Arborelius (keys, synthesizer bass) to assist in fleshing out the project’s sound. Thanks in part to a collaboration with The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Ebbot Lundberg, which was released to critical praise across Europe and a Scandinavian tour opening for Lundberg’s band, the Stockholm-based quintet started to receive international attention across both the European Union and here in the States — they’ve appeared on BBC Introducing, toured and recorded in Germany and have received some attention Stateside; in fact, the band has become part of a lengthy list of mainstay artists on JOVM over the past year or so.
The band’s recently released single “More Than One” continues with the songwriting and recording approach of their Like Me EP with material that captures the live sound that they’ve perfected as they’ve toured across Europe — while revealing a band that’s playfully and subtly expanded their sound. Sonically, the new single meshes bluesy and shuffling glam rock guitar chords, anthemic power chord-led hooks and the Westin sisters’ sultry harmonies in a song that sounds as though it’s indebted more to Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie and to T. Rex than it does to psych rock as the song shuffles and swaggers to its conclusion.
Just from this song, there’s a sense that the Stockholm-based quintet are ready to take over the world — and I fully expect that we’ll be hearing more about them Stateside in the next few months.
Born in Berlin, Germany, reared in Warsaw, Poland and spending time in New York and Boston, up-and-coming pop artist and singer/songwriter Sonia Stein is in every sense of the word, a citizen of the world, […]
With the release of their debut single “Can’t Afford to Lose You,” the Norwegian electro pop duo BLØSH, comprised of Madrid-born, Oslo, Norway-based cellist and vocalist Teresa Bernabé and guitarist Jørgen Berg Svela, an Oslo native, the duo quickly found themselves with an expanding international profile, thanks in part to a breezy and infectious pop-leaning sound. Already, the duo have seen praise and attention from JaJaJa Music, Indie Shuffle and airplay on Amazing Radio.
Building on the buzz that they’ve already received, the duo’s newest single “Give It Away” is “about not taking life — or the situations that life puts you in — too seriously,” as the duo explained in press notes. The song will likely cement the duo’s burgeoning reputation for crafting infectious pop as the song pairs an upbeat melody, punchy bass lines and a looping guitar line with Bernabé’s breezy vocals and soaringly anthemic hooks. Sonically speaking, the song draws from African music and African music-inspired pop — in particular Paul Simon‘s Graceland, the legendary Ali Farka Touré, and to my ears Afrobeat as the song and its funky and playful melody is built around the looping and angular guitar line. Simply put, the song is crafted and pure pop confection.
Comprised of Caspar Hesselgar (synths and production) and Carl Coleman (vocals), the Danish indie psych pop act Palace Winter can trace their origins to the Winter and Spring of 2013 when the duo were tour […]