New Audio: Rising Brooklyn-based Artist Quelle Rox Releases a Slow-burning and Shimmering Single

Raquelle, a.k.a. Rocky is a rising Brooklyn-based Latinx singer/songwriter and producer. After graduating from my alma mater, NYU, the rising Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, delved into production with her solo recording project Quelle Rox, which finds Raquelle striving to open doors for female Latinx producers, while specializing in a sound that she has dubbed “soundtracks catered to dreamy, nostalgic memories of the past with a bad bitch twist.”

Since the release of her debut single “Dream Daises” in 2018, the rising Brooklyn artist has had material featured across the blogosphere including Ladygunn, Earmilk, Notion, and HighClouds. Herr work has appeared on Spotify New Music Friday Latin, Spotify Fresh Finds, Spotify Discovery Weekly, Spotify Latinx IndieRising, H&M Global and a number of other playlists. Adding to a growing profile, Quelle Rox has opened for the likes of Homeshake — and she’s headlined at Baby’s All Right.

Continuing upon that momentum, Quelle Rox’s highly-anticipated debut EP Lilac Rush is slated for an April 23, 2021 release. The EP’s latest single “No Surprises” is a lush slow-burning Quiet Storm-inspired, lo-fi fever dream, fueled by a bittersweet mix of longing nostalgia, heartache, betrayal and anger that brings early Washed Out and Prince to mind: the track is all shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, sinuous bass lines, skittering typewriter keyboard-like beats with Quelle Rox’s achingly plaintive vocals.

“I originally wrote this song a few years ago to a ‘type beat’ I found online that I was just playing around with for fun while in my feelings,” the rising Brooklyn-based artist recalls in press notes. “I came across the track randomly in my archive during quarantine and even years later, it still resonated with me and resembled the storyline within the whole EP – a longing for what could have been and also a fuck you. So then I hit up my producer and collaborator Identite Crisis and asked if he could take the demo and turn it into its own version, since I wanted to include it on the EP. Shortly after he sent me this fire new beat and I ended up just keeping the old vocals and boom, ‘No Surprises’ was born.”

Live Footage: L’Impèratice Performs the Slinky and Retro-Futuristic “Anamolie bleue”

L’Impératice — founder Charles de Boisseguin (keys), Hagni Gown (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), Tom Daveau (drums) and Flore Benguigui (vocals) — is a risingParis-based electro pop sextet that formed back in 2012. And since their formation, the French electro pop act has been extremely busy and prolific: within their first three years together, they released 2012’s self-titled debut EP., 2014’s Sonate Pacifique EP and 2015’s Odyssée EP.

In 2016, L’imperatrice released a re-edited, remixed and slowed down version of Odyssée, L’Empreruer, which was inspired by a fan mistakenly playing a vinyl copy of Odyssée at the wrong speed. L’Impératice followed that up with a version of Odysseé featuring arrangements centered around violin, cello and acoustic guitar. During the summer of 2017, the Parisian electro pop act signed to microqlima records, who released that year’s Séquences EP.

2018’s full-length debut Matahari featured “Erreur 404,” which they performed on the French TV show Quotidien. Since then, the Parisian electro pop act have released an English language version of Matahari — and they’ve been busy working on the highly anticipated Renaud Letang co-produced sophomore album Taku Tsubo. Slated for a March 26, 2021 release through their longtime label home, the album derives its name from the medical term for broken heart syndrome, takutsubo syndrome (蛸 壺, from Japanese “octopus trap”). The condition usually manifests itself as deformation of the heart’s left ventricle caused by severe emotional or physical stress — i.e., the death of a loved one, an intense argument with someone you care about, a breakup, a sudden illness or the like. So, in case you were a wondering: yes, an untreated broken heart can actually kill you.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve written about two of Taku Tsubo’s released singles:

“Voodoo?,” a slinky disco strut featuring a propulsive groove, layers of arpeggiated synths, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar and Benguigui’s sultry, come-hither vocals. Interestingly, one of the few songs written and sung in English on the album, the track features a narrator, who attends a party and decides to leave early to read Torture Magazine instead.
“Peur des filles,” another slinky disco floor strut that’s a scathing and sarcastic ode to the differences between men and women that points out how shitty men are.

Album opener “Anomalie bleue” continues a remarkable run of infectious and slinky disco-tinged pop. Centered around an expansive song structure, featuring shimming and glistening synth arpeggios, skittering four-on-the-floor, a strutting wah-wah pedaled bass line, squiggling guitar lines and Benguigui’s come hither vocals, “Anonmalie bleue” is one part Giorgio Moroder-like disco, one part Kraftwerk-like retro-futurism, one part Shalamar-like funk within an expansive, mind-bending song structure. But just under the dance floor friendly grooves, the song’s narrator charmingly describes love-at-first site with a beautiful, blue wearing anomaly that suddenly appears in a lobby full of drab suited con-men, grifters and CEOs and bored business travelers.

Shot late last year as a part of a longer concert stream, this slick and intimately shot footage captures the Parisian sextet wearing Buck Rogers-like outfits while playing their funky grooves.

NeW Video: People Museum Releases a Brooding Yet Club Friendly Banger

People Museum is a rising New Orleans-based art pop/dance pop act. Inspired by Afro-beat, hip-hop, choral, marching band music, the duo — Jeremy Phipps (trombone, production) and Claire Givens (vocals, keys) — can trace their origins back to 2016: Phipps and Givens were eager to start a music project that incorporated the feelings and vibes of their hometown. Founded with the expressed intention of bringing nature to the future, the New Orleans-based duo’s sound and aesthetic seamlessly meshes their hometown’s beloved and world famous brass band tradition with the Crescent City’s synth heavy, progressive underground scene.

Givens and Phipps’ latest effort I Could Only See The Night EP is slated for an April 9, 2021 release through Community Records and Strange Daisy Records. The EP features a mix of songs made during pandemic-related quarantines last year with songs the duo initially created during the first few months of the duo’s collaboration. Thematically, the EP is reportedly a contemplation on our past, how we are making sense of where we have ended — and as a result, learning how to be more malleable with our visions of what the future could and should be. The songs are an attempt to offer a bit of light in our very dark times while opening space for the listener to reflect, dance or feel joy.

“Forever,” I Could Only See The Night’s latest single is a Larry Levan-era house music influenced club banger that’s full of brooding, late night regret and trepidation centered around shimmering Giorgio Moroder-like synth arpeggios, skittering beats, Phipps’ mournful and melodic trombone played through reverb and delay pedal and Givens’ achingly plaintive vocals. You can literally feel the song’s narrator spiraling into indecision, regret and despair — although they’re desperately trying not to do so.

Directed by Riley Teahan, the recently released video is a brooding fever dream following a series of women trapped within their own thoughts, late at night. Teahan, the video’s director on the video:

“flashing light, thoughts that keep you up at night:
when I think about forever my head starts to spin.
caught in a cycle, the mind is a spiral staircase.
how long did you know it was time to go
before you decided to leave?

“‘Forever’ is a song about cycles and liberation. I know well the feeling of spiraling, how easily you can lose yourself. I asked women to embody a complicated moment of escape, flee, freedom, run, don’t look back.”

Throwback: Happy 77th Birthday, Roger Daltrey

One of the things you should probably know is that I’m a huge fan of The Who. Roger Daltrey has one of the most unique voices in rock. And as it turns out, yesterday was Daltrey’s 77th birthday. Happy birthday, Roger! May there be many, many, many more. Thank you and the band for music that has meant the world to me.

Split between Malibu and Monaco, the emerging electronic music production and artist duo End of Code features the following:

  • Nicolas Saad, a Monaco-based DJ and electronic music producer, whose career can be traced back to the 1990s. Saad has developed a reputation for crafting tracks for French radio and TV. 
  • Shawn Pereira, a Malibu-based model. who taught himself music while traveling the world modeling in campaigns for Ralph Lauren Polo Sport, Diet Coke and Tag Heuer. 

Pereira met Saad while vacationing in St. Barth’s, a small French West Indies territory, that was once a Swedish colony for about 100 years. Bonding over an abiding love of deep house, the duo wound up writing, recording and producing their full-length debut, last year’s The Beginning — and since then, their music has become the official sound of BMW Monaco, playing in every new car sold.

Now, as you may recall, Pereira and Saad began 2020 with the slickly produced yet soulful club banger “Deep Into Your Soul.” Coming hot on the heels of “Deep Into Your Soul,” the duo’s latest single “The Fall” continues the duo’s growing reputation for crafting slickly produced bangers. Featuring wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats, crooned male vocals, atmospheric electronics and an enormous hook, “The Fall” manages to simultaneously be brooding yet euphoric in a way that reminds me quite a bit of Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves.

End of Code are working on their highly-anticipated follow-up to The Beginning, which they hope will be released later this year.

New Video: Hungarian Electro Pop Duo Paperdeer Teams Up With Böbe on a Sleek and Futuristic Single and Visual

Paperdeer is an emerging Budapest-based electronic music production and artist duo featuring Benjámin Kiss and Norbert Biró. The duo will be releasing a new album this year, an album that was written and recorded during pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. The forthcoming album’s latest single “Fortress,” which features longtime collaborator, Hungarian vocalist Böbe Szécsi is a sleek and slickly produced bit of electro pop featuring layered arpeggiated and twinkling synths, atmospheric electronics, skittering beats, Szécsi’s plaintive vocals and a soaring hook with an expansive song structure. Although the song is bracingly chilly, the song is rooted in the tense uncertainty of our moment, with a pent-up frustration and desperation for necessary change — right now.

“It has been an endeavor in distant music-making,” Paperdeer’s Benjámin Kiss says about their creative process in press notes. “Norbert sent me the initial beats a year ago, and I fell in love with it. So, ever since, we have been going back and forth with the ideas until the song came together. We approached the vocal from two directions and then really completed the tune when we worked out the lyrics.”

“The lyrics of ‘Fortress’ can be interpreted in many ways. In my opinion, it is a cry for help,” Böbe Szécsi says in press notes. “It is enough if you look around: climate change, COVID-19, and political tension are the things that we are faced with and also the burden of uncertainty that it suggests. In the middle of this chaos, I would just want to shout at the top of my lungs to make it stop and to seek meaningful changes otherwise, the consequences will be fatal.” Norbert Biró adds that the song described a feeling of drifting and helplessness which comes around when you are so lost and so little in a massive crowd. You have no other option but to follow because they allow no say in the directions. Böbe, the young woman in the music video, embodies just that.

Directed by Márton István Szabó, who also collaborated on the song’s lyrics, the recently released video features his own technique of reversed digital projection. “We took pictures with a black backdrop, and we made them half-transparent,” Szabó explains. “In this state, we layered them digitally with colors to enhance the character’s body and clothing. My technical approach tied in with the meaning of this song: we mixed drone and studio footages just as we mixed fiction with reality in the story while also portraying the exhaustion that comes from escapism.”

News/Announcements: Shoutouts to Patreon Patrons

Pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns have made it extraordinarily difficult for an overwhelming majority of independent artists across the world to survive. Entire industries and livelihoods have been wiped out for an indefinite amount of time without any significant solutions or assistance from the federal government during the Trump Administration. Of course, we all hope that the Biden Administration will undo their predecessors evil and fucked up policies and help all of those who desperately need help. But if you’re a realist, there’s an innate understanding that significant portions of the policy suggestions and ideas that the Biden Administration have put down on paper may not pass. We shall see. But in the meantime, the Save Our Stages Act has managed to save countless venues across the country from folding for a little while at least.

I’d guarantee that during the past year, you’ve turned to some sort of art for spiritual, emotional and intellectual sustenance, entertainment or to just fill up time. And as a result, championing artists and their work seems even more important — especially since there are countless other entertainment options competing for everyone’s time, money, attention, love and energy. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day — and I know that people like to actually sleep on occasion.

Because this site has long been a DIY labor of love, I’ve often felt that I have an intimate understanding of the plight of the musicians and artists I’ve covered throughout the past decade-plus of this site’s history. And throughout this site’s history, I’ve been constantly reminded of several key facts:

  • Art costs money — and without money, it can’t exist. 
  • Artists are small businesses. So supporting artists is supporting a small business. 
  • A small bit of support can go a long way. A $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 purchase of someone’s work can often mean the purchase of groceries or covering the cost of a subscription they need to continue their work or anything along those lines. That same $50 or $60 doesn’t really mean shit to Amazon. 
  • Supporting an artist/small business can keep money within your community. Amazon or some other mega-conglomerate doesn’t give a fuck about your community or your neighbors. 

Of course, I hope that my work has led you to listen to music and appreciate it in a deeper and more thorough way — to “listen in technicolor” as a friend told me; that my work has led you to an eclectic array of artists, whose work will become part of your lives, as it has been mine. Additionally, I hope that my photography has added some beauty to your day, and inspired you to see the world in a new way — or to take a moment to appreciate something cool or beautiful.

To that end, I’m asking you once again for your support. I’m continuing to sell merch through this site’s shop. You can find photographic prints — from my live concert photography to street photography and even some outdoor/nature photos. I also still have a shit ton off JOVM bumper stickers. All of this stuff is beautiful and could use a loving forever home. I periodically update offerings, so you should check back every now and then. You can check out the store here: 

You can support by becoming one of my Patreon patrons. Every dollar means something. There are different patronage levels and different rewards for your support. For more information, you can check out the Patreon page here: 

https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

If you’re not already a fan of this site on Facebook, please feel free to become a fan here: 

https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

I know that a lot of folks are struggling to get by. If you find yourself in that situation, there are a few simple ways you can support and show love that won’t hurt your checkbook: 

  • You may notice that towards the bottom of every post there’s a section with related posts. If you really dig what JOVM is about, keep following and keep reading. From my understanding, the more articles you read and the more time you spend here, really helps in terms of the various algorithms that impact ad revenue and Google Search. 
  • Pass the word on to friends and associates, who may want to support independent journalism and criticism in all forms. 
  • Pass the word on to friends and associates, who may actually dig the artists I’ve spent the past decade covering. And trust me, those hardworking, amazing artists would love it, too. 
  • Retweets, Facebook shares and reblogs are also another wonderful way that you can support and show love. Every pair of eyeballs — both new and old — are cherished here. 

All of these things mean the world to me. And I can’t thank those folks who have supported me and my work through all of these ways enough. Of course, as I do every month, I wanted to thank my Patreon patrons for their support:

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Mike Held 

Throwback: Black History Month: Wu-Tang Clan

Today is February 28, 2021. It’s the last day of February and of Black History Month. Throughout the past month, I’ve featured Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of greens and styles — with the hopes that this series will serve as a sort of primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

While we’re at it, let’s remember the following:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

I’ve often said that hip-hop is the lingua franca of everyone under about 55 or so. And to that end, I’d almost guarantee that everyone from New York to Beijing, from Buenos Aires to Amsterdam from Johannesburg to New Delhi knows and loves the legendary Wu-Tang Cla

Throwback: Black History Month: Gil Scott-Heron

Today is February 28, 2021. It’s the last day of February and of Black History Month. Throughout the past month, I’ve featured Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of greens and styles — with the hopes that this series will serve as a sort of primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

While we’re at it, let’s remember the following:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Gil Scott-Heron is sort of a spiritual godfather to hip-hop and neo-soul — and I can make a fair argument that Public Enemy, Common, Talib Kweli and Mos Def, a.k.a Yasin Bey are indebted to the legend’s work, which threw together spoken word poetry, jazz, the blues and rock in a difficult to pigeonhole mix. And although he hasn’t been with us in about a decade, his work is still an incisive, unnerving look at race in America and globally.

Throwback: Black History Month: Queen Latifah

Today is February 28, 2021. It’s the last day of February and of Black History Month. Throughout the past month, I’ve featured Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of greens and styles — with the hopes that this series will serve as a sort of primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

While we’re at it, let’s remember the following:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

I have to show more love to the ladies. I immediately thought of the ridiculously talented, charismatic and beautiful Queen Latifah.