New Video: Vancouver’s Bratboy Shares Stylish Video for Anthemic New Ripper “Dream Rope”

Founded back in 2017 as BB by founding duo Bella Bebe (lead vocals, guitar) and Megan Magdalena (bass, vocals), the Vancouver-based punk outfit Bratboy have been busy: they’ve cut their teeth touring across North America, making strong connections up and down the West Coast, while opening for Amyl and The Sniffers, Sheer Mag, La Luz, Meatbodies, Blackwater Holylight, The Shivas, Dead Soft, Woolworm and Dumb.

Bebe’s and Magdalena’s good friend Tony Dallas (drums) joined the band — and the newly constituted trio went to Noise Floor Recording Studio to record their Jordan Koop-produced full-length debut, which is slated for release early this year.

The still unnamed album’s latest single “Dream Rope” is a beguiling and seamless synthesis of 60s girl pop, Ramones, The Go-Gos and 90s Riot Grrrl punk centered around crunchy power chords, down-tuned bass, forceful drumming, coquettish vocals and harmonies within a classic grunge song structure — alternating quiet verses, explosive choruses, a dreamy bridge and a scorching guitar solo. And the trio do so with a winning and mischievous mix of playfulness and earnestness.

Directed by Zachary Vague, the recently released video for “Dream Rope” is a stylish, French New Wave-inspired visual featuring a bright fairly monochromic color scheme featuring white, red, blue, orange that captures the band’s energy and style.

New Audio: Deserta Shares Slow-Burning and Woozy “Where Did You Go?”

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Doty has had a lengthy 20+ year career as a musician: He co-founded Philadelphia-based post-rock outfit Saxon Shore with Father John Misty’s Josh Tillman, and the act went out to release four full-length albums — 2002’s Be a Bright Blue, 2003’s Four Months of Darkness, 2005’s The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore and 2009’s It Doesn’t Matter — before splitting up.

Doty went on to form the Los Angeles-based (via Grand Rapids, MI) synth-pop outfit Midnight Faces with Philip Stancil. During their run, Midnight Faces released three albums –2013’s Fornication, 2014’s The Fire Is Gone and 2016’s Heavenly Bodies — to critical acclaim from the likes of Spin Magazine, The AV Club, Consequence, Vice and a lengthy list of others.

Doty stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist with his solo recording project Deserta back in 2020. Doty’s sophomore Deserta album, Every Moment, Everything You Need is slated for a February 25, 2022 digital and CD release and a June 10, 2022 vinyl release through Felte Records. Mixed by David Fridmann and engineered by Chris Coady, Every Moment, Everything You Need features guest spots by James McAliser, who has worked with Taylor Swift, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, The National, Big Red Machine and a list of others and vocals from Mice Parade‘s Caroline Lufkin on a track.

Every Moment, Everything You Need‘s latest single “Where Did You Go” is slow-burning and woozy bit of shoegaze with A Storm in Heaven-like textures: swirling reverb and feedback-drenched layers of guitar, glistening synths, forceful boom bap with ethereally cooed vocals buried deep into the mix, but aching to burst free from their confinement. And at its core, the song seems to evoke a yearning for someone and a moment that just can’t possibly happen again.

“‘Where Did You Go’ marks the third time Caroline [Lufkin] and I have worked together,” Deserta’s Matthew Doty says in press notes. ‘Going back to 2008, Oliver Chapoy (who, also appears on the new Deserta album) and I contributed a remix for her album, Murmurs. The following year, Caroline sang on Saxon Shore’s “This Place” (also produced/mixed by Dave Fridmann). We kept in touch over the years, always trying to connect on something new, but life happens and timing is often hard to get right. With the unpredictability of the last year, I think it was comforting to finally reconnect with some of my favorite collaborators, even from a distance.”

New Video: Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul Turn Pop Clichés on Their Head in “Ceci n’est pas un cliché”

Ghent, Belgium-based electronic duo Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul exploded into the national and international scenes with the release of 2019’s critically applauded David and Stephen Dewaele-produced Zandoli EP, which featured Paténipat” and “High Lights,” tracks that received airplay on UK Radio and were playlisted by BBC Radio 6

Adigéry and Pupul’s official full-length debut as a duo, Topical Dancer is slated for a March 4, 2022 release through Soulwax‘s own label DEEWEE. Co-written and co-produced by Soulwax and the acclaimed duo, Topical Dancer is deeply rooted in two things: their perspectives as Belgians with immigrant backgrounds with Adigéry proudly claiming Guadeloupean and French-Martinique ancestry and Pupul being of Chinese descent, and the conversations the duo have had touching upon cultural appropriation, misogyny, racism, social media vanity, post-colonialism. Their wildly unpredictable and subversive take on pop and electro pop sees the Belgian duo poking and prodding at the pop zeitgeist.

While being a snapshot of their thoughts and observations of pop culture in the early 2020s, the album also further cements their sound and approach; they manage to craft thoughtful songs that bang hard but are centered around their idiosyncratic and off-kilter take on familiar genres and styles. “We like to fuck things up a bit,” Pupul laughs. “We cringe when we feel like we’re making something that already exists, so we’re always looking for things to combine to make it sound not like a pop song, not like an R&B song, not a techno song. We’re always putting different worlds together. Charlotte and I get bored when things get too predictable.”  

And as result, Topical Dancer’s 13 songs are fueled by a restless desire to not be boxed in — and to escape narrow perceptions of who they are and what they can be. “One thing that always comes up,” Bolis Pupul says, “is that people perceive me as the producer, and Charlotte as just a singer. Or that being a Black artist means you should be making ‘urban’ music. Those kinds of boxes don’t feel good to us.” But they manage to do all of this with a satirical bent; for the duo it’s emancipation through humor. “I don’t want to feel this heaviness on me,” Charlotte Adigéry says. “These aren’t my crosses to bear. Topical Dancer is my way of freeing myself of these issues. And of having fun.”

So far, I’ve written about three of Topical Dancer‘s singles:

  • Thank You,” a sardonic, club banger featuring skittering beats, buzzing synth arpeggios and Adigéry’s deadpan delivery destroying mansplainers and unwanted, unsolicited and straight up dumb opinions and advice from outsiders. 
  • Blenda,” a club banger, centered around African-inspired polyrhythm, wobbling bass synths, skittering beats and Adigéry’s deadpan. Informed by Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, “Blenda” focuses on colonialism and post colonialism through Adigéry’s experience as Black immigrant in an extremely white place. 
  • HAHA,” a track built around a chopped up sample of Adigéry making herself laughed paired with twinkling synths, skittering beats and a relentless motorik groove that feels improvised and unfinished yet somehow simultaneously polished.

“Ceci n’est pas un cliché,” Topical Dancer‘s fourth and latest single is centered around a slick, dance floor friendly production featuring a strutting bass line, finger snaps, skittering beats and glistening synth arpeggios paired with Adigéry’s coolly delivering a collection of clichéd pop lyrics in a series of non-sequiturs that’s surrealistic yet displays its own weird logic that sort of makes sense.

Directed by Bob Jeusette, the recently released video is also series of music video cliches, pulled out of context and made utterly ridiculous.

The song’s title is a winking nods to one of the most copied sentence sin art history, originally by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. “This song is an accumulation of all the cliché lyrics so often used in pop music. It came about when we were touring and heard a song on the radio opening with ‘I was walking down the street’ which made us strongly cringe,” the duo’s Charlotte Adigéry says. “But the thing is, cringing is a shared passion of Bolis and I. So we passionately made a song out of it called ‘Ceci n’est pas un cliché’. Even more passionately we performed ourselves into a video about all the clichés we see in the magic world of musical genres. The musician in all its glory, capturing momentum and delivering a top notch performance, gazing into the light that’s called inspiration. And so for once and for all, please leave Magritte alone…!”

New Video: Kinlaw Shares Mind-bending Visual for “The Mechanic”

New York-based composer, choreographer, multi-disciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Sarah Kinlaw may be best known for their multimedia-based productions and collaborations with the likes of Devonte Hynes (a.k.a Blood Orange), Caroline Polacheck, SOPHIE, Dan Deacon and others that feature as many as 200 performers. She was aslo the co-founder of acclaimed JOVM mainstay act Softspot

Kinlaw stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist with her solo recording project Kinlaw. Last year, saw the release of the New York-based artist’s full-length debut, The Tipping Scale, which found Kinlaw showcasing their work in a new light.

Initially writing material with a goal of finding entry points that felt honest and authentic to their work, Kinlaw frequently saw their music directly relating to motion: “I would start with a gesture and let it build into something until a memory attached itself to it,” the New York-based artist explained in press notes. “The memory would become a story and the story would reveal itself as something important that needed to be expressed in this album.” 

Lyrically, the album’s material bridges the universal with the deeply personal as Kinlaw explores loss, empathy, regret, confusion, strength, identity, hope, power, and change among other things. Sonically, the album’s songs are centered around slick electronic production and a refined compositional sensibility with ornate flourishes paired with the New York based artist’s expressive and gorgeous vocals.

In the lead-up to The Tipping Point‘s release, I managed to write about three of the album’s singles:

  • Blindspot,” a slow-burning and dramatic track featuring Kinalw’s yearning and ethereal crooning paired with shimmering synth arpeggios and stuttering beats.
  • Permissions” a track inspired by physical movement that evokes a rapidly vacillating array of emotional states including confusion, heartache, self-flagellation and despair as its narrator seemingly is in the middle of a difficult conversation with themselves. 
  • Haircut,” a deeply intimate monologue of a song that reveals its narrator’s inner world with an uncomfortable and unvarnished honesty that was centered around reverb-drenched, ethereal production featuring glistening synth apreggios and bells.

Kinlaw begins 2022 with the release of a remix EP titled TTS Extended — and The Tipping Point‘s fourth single, album opening track, the Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel-like “The Mechanic,” a single, which features an expansive, cinematic production and arrangement of glistening and twinkling synth arpeggios, skittering castanet-like percussion, angular guitar and bass paired with a soaring hook and Kinlaw’s achingly expressive vocals. The song’s narrator discusses their feelings about a relationship that’s rooted in a weird and uneven power dynamic; but the song also touches upon regret, self-doubt and confusion simultaneously.

Created by with New York-based artist and creator Dance Lawyer over the course of several months, the recently released video for “The Mechanic” sees Kinlaw attempting to bridge the gap between video recording and live performance, while pushing the idea of movement being deeply musical — and sound is an intricate dance.

Kinlaw’s interest in psychoacoustics and cinematic sound design led her to recruit sound designer Colin Alexander, who weaves in sound effects with Kinlaw’s choreography, giving the video’s dance sequence and added musical quality.

“The remixes are playful. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but is still exploratory,” Kinlaw says. “Video brought new life into these recordings initially, so I worked with Colin Alexander to weave SFX with the choreography, turning the dance into this added musical element within the track.” 

New Audio: Tempers Shares Brooding and Icy “Nightwalking”

New York-based synth duo Tempers — Jasmine Golestaneh (vocals) and Eddie Cooper (production) — have diligently carved out their own niche within dark indie, electronica and synth pop circles since their formation. After a series of digital singles released back in 2013, the New York duo began to solidify their sound and approach, a sleek. brooding, nocturnal take on synth pop. 

The duo’s forthcoming, self-produced album New Meaning is slated for an April 1, 2022 release through Dais Records. As the duo explain, the album is about navigating the unknown, coping mechanisms and exploring the nature of choice. The album’s ten songs reflect on the creation go meaning as a way to access liberation in times of transition and loss while speculating on the transformative potential that exists alongside the grief of living in a world that is an ongoing state of crisis. Much like their previously released material, New Meaning continues a run of nocturnal music, that’s introspective yet quietly intense. 

Late last year, I wrote about “Unfamiliar,” a song that sounded indebted to 80s New Wave while evoking our current moment — living in a world that’s gone even madder and more uncertain than ever before. New Meaning‘s second and latest single “Nightwalking” continues a remarkable run of brooding, hook-driven material, with the song centered around icy synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a relentless motorik groove and Golestaneh’s achingly plaintive vocals floating off into the ether. The song manages to evoke late nights wandering around with your thoughts as your only company.

“I took a lot of long walks at a time when people had abruptly vacated NYC, and left the remnants of their homes on the sidewalks,” Tempers’ Golestaneh explains. “The city’s landscape became very surreal – a ghost town turned inside out. I was thinking about how to stay open, and embrace life derailed. The sky over the city was a real source of mystery, in it’s own world of pink sunsets, and sparkling nights. The contrast of that oblivious beauty amidst the pandemic chaos felt very special, and inspired the song.”

The New York-based duo will be embarking on lengthy national tour that includes a March 31, 2022 stop at Elsewhere’s Zone 1. In May, the duo will be in Europe for a handful of dates. But the word on the street is that Tempers will be announcing some more tour dates in the near future. Until then, tour dates, as always, are below.

Formed back in 2019, the Moscow-based instrumental funk outfit The Diasonics — Anton Moskvin (drums), Maxim Brusov (bass guitar), Anton Katyrin (percussions), Daniil Lutsenko (guitar) and Kamil Gzizov (keys) — quickly amassed a cult following, while honing a sound that they’ve dubbed “hussar funk,” a blend of hip-hop rhythms, 60s and 70s psychedelia and Eastern European flavor within cinematic arrangements.

Also in that relatively short period of time, the members of The Diasonics have released ten highly-celebrated singles and various in-demand, 45RPM vinyl records through indie funk labels like Funk Night Records and Mocambo Records. The Russian funk outfit’s full-length debut Origins of Forms is slated for a January 28, 2022 release through Italian funk and soul purveyors Record Kicks

Recorded on an Otari MX-5050 MK III at Moscow’s Magnetone Studio and mixed by The Cactus Channel‘s and Karate Boogaloo‘s Henry Jenkins in Melbourne, the album’s overall aesthetic is firmly rooted in the early 60s and 70s. 

In the lead up to its release later this week. I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s previous singles:

  • Gurami,” a slow-burning, soulful strut, centered around shimmering, wah wah pedaled guitar that’s a mash up of Turkish psych, boom bap breakbeats, organ jazz and trippy grooves that sounds as though it was part of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western or an instrumental soul obscurity found and sampled by the RZA.
  • Andromeda,” a trippy and expansive composition that sees the band meshing elements of prog rock, jazz fusion, Turkish psych and komishce musik in a way that reminded me quite a bit of Mildlife and L’Eclair — with a subtle Western tinge.

“Deviants,” Origins of Forms‘ third and latest single will further cement the act’s penchant for crafting hypnotic grooves — with the new single being centered around hip-hop inspired breakbeats, glistening retro-futuristic sounding Rhodes, strutting bass lines, shuffling wah wah pedaled guitar. The arrangement manages to be roomy enough for some inspired and scorching soling and some reverb drenched “ooh-ahhs.” Much like the aforementioned Mildlife and L’Eclair, “Deviants” is the sort of song perfect for poppin’ and lockin’ — or just chilling out on a Sunday.

New Video: Howless Shares a “120 Minutes” MTV-like Visual for Brooding “Rain and Ice”

Led by co-lead vocalists Dominique Sanchez and Mauricio Tinejro, the rising Mexico City, Mexico-based noise pop/shoegaze quartet Howless will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut, To Repel Ghosts on February 18, 2022 through Static Blooms Records.

Reportedly, To Repel Ghosts will see the Mexican shoegaze outfit grappling with big themes, while hinting at nervous foreboding and striking different levels of consciousness throughout the album’s eight crafted and dynamic songs. Sonically, the album’s songs seamlessly transition into the next — and are performed with the self-assuredness and effortless aplomb of a group of old pros.

Late last year, I wrote about album single “Levels.” Lyrically inspired by William Garvey’s “Goodbye Horses,” “Levels” saw the members of Howless pairing old-fashioned pop craftmanship and textured soundscapes with an uncanny ability to write a razor sharp hook.

“Rain and Ice,” To Repel Ghosts‘ brooding, new single is a slick synthesis of Garlands era Cocteau Twins-like atmospherics and A Storm in Heaven-like, painterly textures with the song featuring a glistening synth intro, layers of chiming, reverb-drenched guitars and forceful chug and thunderous drumming paired with Sanchez’s and Tinejro’s languid and beguiling harmonies. Perhaps one of the Mexican outfit’s heaviest and darkest songs — both sonically and thematically — of their growing catalog, “Rain and Ice” further establishes the band’s ability to craft melodic and hook-driven material while evoking the sensation of a flop sweat inducing fever dream.

The recently released video for “Rain and Ice” was shot on a VHS camcorder — for that grainy, analog quality. And as a child of of the 80s and 90s, the video reminds me of 120 Minutes MTV alt rock, complete with the band members standing and/or moving in front of trippy projections.

Prolific, New Jersey-based electronic music producer Mark Pompeo is best known by his stage name Mark Wise. And since the release of his solo debut, 2018’s Blizzard EP, Pompeo has released material that features a unique blend of minimal, progressive techno, house and even heavy metal, while receiving support from the likes of Marco CarolaRichie HawtinCristian VarelaSpartaqueLisa LashesPhaedonVikthorIllario Alicante, and DJ Dialog

Pompeo began the year with the release of the Rumble in the Jungle EP, which featured the crowd-pleasing, expansive banger, EP title track “Rumble in the Jungle,” and the Guilia and Paxtech remix of “Rumble in the Jungle,” which retained the original’s melodic breakdowEarlier this week, n and relentless tweeter and woofer rattling thump while placing it with a trippy, cosmic sheen.

Continuing his long-held reputation for being prolific, Pompeo recently released the two-track Heavy Metal EP. Earlier this week, I wrote about EP single “Heavy,” a “heavy metal techno” banger featuring scorching synth riffage, tweeter and woofer rattling beats, trippy cosmic squeals within crowd-pleasing, high energy techno.

“Metal,” the second track off the EP pushes the heavy metal techno concept even further. Featuring scorching synth riffage, skittering thump, “Metal” is a wild yet seamless synthesis of thrash metal, goth, industrial techno and acid house centered around a crowd-pleasing accessibility. Play loud, and jump into a mosh pit!

ck, “Metal,” really lets the rock n roll influence shine and brings a screaming faux guitar lead to the forefront with an arrangement that’s just like a rock band – only guitar, bass, and drums!! (The part around 3:08 is pretty epic!)