New Video: Toronto’s Dilettante Shares Bitter and Heartbroken Pop Anthem

Toronto-based indie outfit  Dilettante can trace their origins back to 2016: During the spring, mutual dog lovers Natalie Panacci and Julia Wittman started a band so their dogs could hang out more. Along with The Black Cats’ Zachary Stuckey; Said the Whale’s, Iskwe’s, The Recklaws’ and Scott Helman’s Bradley Connor; and Candice Ng, they started For Jane, a self-described dog rock pop band with a Kate Bush meets Sinead O’Connor sensibility that prominently featured Panacci’s and Wittman’s contrasting vocals and mesmerizing harmonies.

For Jane released their debut EP, 2018’s Married with Dogs, which featured “Car,” a track featured on CBC Music and The Edge. But by early 2021, For Jane announced a name change, largely influenced by a massive lineup change that left Panacci and Williams as its creative core, and a decided shift in sonic direction.

The duo’s Maks Milczarcyk produced-self-titled, full-length debut was released earlier this year, and the album featured “Bonnie,” an 80s New Wave inspired, synth-driven confection that to my ears sounded like a sultry take on  Til Tuesday‘s “Voices Carry” as it featured glistening synth arpeggios, wiry post-punk-like guitars fed through a bit of reverb and an angular bass line paired with the duo’s plaintive and mesmerizing vocals.

The self-titled albums latest single, the Maks Milczarcyk written “Monster” is a gauzy synth bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, relentless four-on-the-floor, burst of angular guitars, and an achingly bitter and heartache-fueled vocal delivery paired with a rousingly anthemic hook and chorus — before ending with a strummed acoustic guitar-driven coda.

While sonically bringing A Flock of Seagulls and others to mind, at its core, the song’s narrator delivers a bitter and heartbroken tell-off to an ex, she would like to forget. Rooted in a deeply personal experience, the song is simultaneously profoundly universal — to the point that I know many of us have been in the same situation and would be singing along with bitter tears streaking down our faces.

Shot by Video Business, the accompanying video follows one-half of the Canadian duo as she runs down a suburban street while singing the song past empty parking lots and a mall, where she eventually meets up with her bandmate — and they walk off together, perhaps suggesting that healing is in your friends, loved ones and in music.

12 years ago today, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.

Because some of ya’ll might be new and because I haven’t mentioned it in some time: I was working at a small publisher full-time and picking up gigs and left and right writing for any publication or website that would give me exposure, pay me or just give me free stuff.

I moved on to my second publishing job at a business book publisher but I continued freelancing. At this point my father was spiraling out of control. I was with my mom and I was desperately trying to make ends meet as much as I can. The number of publication credits I have in my name is kind of bonkers; but the sad thing is that most of those publications and websites have been long defunct.

In 2011, I started writing for a website, which was started as an offshoot of a fairly well-known and well-regarded website, which was big on covering singer/songwriters. The site was supposed to lean hard on covering indie artist but the main editor there seemed to have a blind spot about hip-hop — and about an artist, who I covered in the past that I thought was worthy of coverage.

So, encouraged by a then-girlfriend, I started JOVM as a way to cover whatever I wanted to cover — without having to debate about its editorial or commercial validity to someone else. Honestly, when I started the site, I couldn’t have imagined three quarters of the things that I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to have ever happened.

I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in Chicago and Baltimore.

I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019.

I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger.

A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography?

I couldn’t have imagined photographing George Clinton, Patti LaBelle, Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Nile Rodgers, Roky Erickson, Philip Bailey The Blind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.

I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends.

When I celebrated this site’s 10th anniversary in the middle of the worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. Although we’ve somehow managed to slowly claw our way back to some degree of normalcy, things across the industry still seem bleak: Touring is an even bigger financial risk for musicians and COVID-19 has made it even more complicated because you’re now out there risking your health — just to make money to live.

What’s next? In the immediate future — let’s say over the next one to maybe three years out, expect the following: Frequent cancellations, postponements and rescheduling of tour dates up and down the line, as artists grapple with the complications of touring during a pandemic.

Meet and greets with the artist before or after the show will most likely be rare for more mainstream and established artists. For indie and DIY artists, they’ll continue to do so at great risk because those connections are desperately necessary.

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and very uncertain landscape.

With 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is increasingly necessary because the music and media industries are often rather homogeneous places.

Before I close out, I want to thank some of the following folks for their support. Without them, I don’t think the past year, let alone the past 12 would have been possible:

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out.

I also have to thank the good folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m proud and humbled to be included in the program. And the monies received throughout the 18 month period will be put to very good use — keeping this dream of mine going. I can’t thank them enough.

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1#

New Video: Warhaus’ Cinematic and Slow-Burning Ode to Denial and Heartbreak

Maarten Devoldere is a Belgian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known for being one-half of the songwriting and vocalist duo of critically applauded, indie rock outfit and JOVM mainstays Balthazar — and for his equally acclaimed solo project, Warhaus.

With Warhaus, Devoldere cemented a reputation for crafting urbane, literature and decadent art rock with an accessible, pop-leaning sensibility: Devoldere’s Warhaus debut, 2016’s We Fucked A Flame Into Being derived its title from a line in DH Lawrence’s seminal, erotic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. And naturally, the material on the album thematically focused on lust, desire, the inscrutability of random encounters, bittersweet and aching regret with the deeply personal, confessional nature of someone baring their soul.

Interestingly, the material on Devoldere’s sophomore Warhaus album 2017’s self-titled album saw the acclaimed Belgian artist moving away from decadence, lust and sin towards sincere, honest, hard-fought and even harder-won love with some of the songs being influenced by Devoldere’s relationship with vocalist Sylvie Kreusch. The recording sessions for the album was a much more spontaneously affair, heavily influenced by Dr. John‘s Night Tripper period: Throughout the album, there are nods to voodoo rhythms and New Orleans jazz despite the fact that his backing band wasn’t technically known for being jazz musicians.

The slow-burning “Open Window” is the first bit of new Warhaus material since 2017’s self-titled album. Centered around Devoldere’s brooding baritone, strummed acoustic guitar, a Quiet Storm-like groove, twinkling piano and a gorgeous, cinematic string arrangement, “Open Window” is the sort of song meant to gently sway along to with eyes closed, drifting off into your own nostalgic dreams — or perhaps delusions.

In fact, the song is rooted in delusion — in particular, the delusion that the breakup isn’t permanent, that she (or he) will return soon enough. But it’s all just vapor and denial.

“Open Window is about keeping reality at bay in that comfortable bubble of denial. Definitely my favourite stage of heartbreak,” Delvodere explains.

Directed by Pieter De Cnudde, the accompanying video for “Open Window” follows Devoldere as he eats steamed mussels alone at a table for two. About half way into the video, we see what appears to be Devoldere’s possessions being tossed out into a window and smashing to the ground behind him. All of this occurs in a surreal, dream-like slow motion.

New Audio: Montreal’s Teenage Witch Shares a 120 Minutes MTV-Like Ripper

Sabrina Coté is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, musician and creative mastermind behind the DIY indie rock recording project Teenage Witch. Coté’s latest single “Jaloux” is a 120 Minutes-era MTV bop centered around a classic grunge song structure with alternating loud passages featuring fuzzy power chord driven riffage for the choruses and quieter passes with dreamy, shoegazer-like guitars for the song’s verses. It’s all held together by a simple yet thunderous backbeat paired with Coté’s icy delivery.

Sonically, the song features subtle elements of post-punk and grunge — while revealing an artist, who can shred hard and write an infectious hook.

New Audio: French Producer Poltergeist Shares a New Club Friendly Banger

Poltergeist is a young, mysterious French producer, who quickly emerged into the French electronic and industrial scenes with his debut single “Ich bin ein Kämpfer.”

The emerging French producers full-length debut is slated for release next month — and to build buzz for it, he recently released the album’s second and incredibly trance-inducing single “La Grand Dame.” Centered around tweeter and woofer rocking thump, oscillating synths and wobbling synth arpeggios pared with the French producer’s insouciant delivery and a forceful motorik groove.

While sounding a bit like Depeche Mode — or a goth take on Kraftwerk, the song thematically is about a deep, existential terror — the terror of humanity being punished for having betrayed and mistreated Mother Nature.