New Video: Dreckig Shares Propulsive and Dreamy “Non Zero Sum”

Portland, OR-based electro pop duo Dreckig — married couple Papi Fimbres and Shana Lindbeck — derive their project’s name from the German word for dirty. Believing that destiny led them to meet each other, the project is fueled by the duo’s desire to honor their respective Mexican and German heritages in a new and collaborative way. 

Sonically, the duo have crafted a sound that meshes cumbia rhythms, motorik groove-driven krautrock and electronic music — with lyrics written and sung in Spanish, English and German. 

The Portland-based duo’s third album, Digital Exposure was released last year through San Francisco-based Broken Clover Records. The album sees the duo continuing their ongoing collaboration with Pinewave Studio‘s Johann Wagner. The album thematically touches on social constructs, our impact on the environment and embracing every day life. 

Last year, I wrote about album single “La Ballena,“a slow-burning and lysergic song featuring oscillating synths, fluttering and looping flute, cumbia rhythms and a relentless motorik groove paired with lyrics chanted and crooned in a sonorous Spanish. While sonically being a feverish synthesis of Kraftwerk and Meridian Brothers, “La Ballena” for me conjures an image of a dancer on narcotics, gently swaying to the song.

The album’s latest single “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo pairing skittering cumbia rhythms with glistening Kraftwerk-inspired synths and blown out beats to create a sensual, sinuous bed for their ethereal harmonizing in Spanish. “Non Zero Sum” manages to bring a trippy synthesis of Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk and Señor Coconut‘s El Baile Alemán.

Directed and edited by Alicia J. Rose, the accompanying video for “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo as space age Druids changing in the woods and drumming in a disco wonderland, complete with kaleidoscopic effects.

New Video: Matt B and Eddy Kenzo’s Sultry “Gimme Love”

Matt B is a Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter., known globally for crafting romantically-driven, chart topping R&B: His debut, Love & War and his sophomore album Dive landed at #1 on the iTunes R&B charts. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, 2018’s Bryan-Michael Cox-produced EP Rise and his 2021 Cox and Tricky Stewart-co-produced Stateside debut, 2021’s EDEN landed in the Top 40 on Billboard‘s R&B Albums, Digital Albums, Heatseekers and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Charts.

The Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based global R&B artist’s highly-anticipated forthcoming EP ALKEBULAN is slated for a spring release through Vitae Records. The EP derives its name from the ancient name of African, and sees the acclaimed, chart-topping artist paying homage to his African ancestry while further tapping into the Afrobeats-inspired sound he has developed and honed over the course of the past couple of releases.

ALKEBULAN is a body of work that searches for identity and the longing to reconnect with the Motherland and my people,” Matt B explains. “In search of this identity, I found that the heartbeat of it all is rooted in love. When I first stepped foot on the continent of Africa, that longing for home and search of identity was finally fulfilled. This EP encompasses the summation of this journey.”

The EP features the previously released “Get Down Mami,” and “Gimme Love,” feat. Eddy Kenzo, which received a Best Global Music Performance nomination at this year’s Grammy Awards. The track has also received critical acclaim and commercial success, debuting in the Top 50 on Billboard US Afrobeats Songs Charts, and took home top prizes at the MUSE Creative Awards, Global Music Awards, LIT Talent Awards, and New York International Film Awards — all while amassing over five million streams across digital platforms.

“Gimme Love” is a crowd-pleasing, bop rooted in slick, modern production featuring glistening synth arpeggios, processed and chopped up vocal samples, skittering tribal-influenced beats paired with euphoric hooks, serving as a silky, sultry bed for Mike B’s plaintive and achingly vulnerable delivery and Eddy Kenzo’s smooth, easy-going and soulful flow. The end result is a song that’s both club and lounge friendly while being a sweetly earnest love song.

Directed by PhillyFlyBoy, the accompanying video for “Gimme Love” featuring the two collaborations and a collection of some of the most beautiful sisters I’ve ever seen — in beautiful Africa. Give me this all the time!

New Video: Montréal’s Bodywash Shares Woozy and Uneasy “Massif Central”

Montréal-based shoegazers Bodywash — Chris Steward and Rosie Long Dector — can trace their origins back to when the pair met while attending McGill University. But when they met, the pair didn’t immediately share a common musical language: Steward grew up in London listening to celestial dream pop while Dector grew up in Toronto listening to folk and Canadiana. The music they began writing together saw the pair bridging their influences. And with the release of 2016’s self-titled EP and 2019’s full-length debut, Comforter, the Montréal-based duo firmly established their sound — slow-burning and dreamy material centered around ethereal vocals, intricate guitar lines and pulsating synths. 

The Canadian shoegazers’ sophomore album I Held the Shape While I Could is slated for an April 14, 2023 release through Light Organ Records. . When touring to support Comforter was cut short by the pandemic, the duo used the unexpected hiatus to write new material, which was darker, more experimental and more invigorating than its predecessor, and managed to reflect on Steward’s and Long Dector’s separate and shared experiences of losing a sense of place, the way something once solid can slip between your fingers, and their attempts to build something new from the psychological and emotional fallout.

Late last year, I wrote about the sophomore album’s expansive first single, “Kind of Light.” Beginning with a slow-burning and elegiac intro featuring glistening organ and a skittering yet propulsive kick pattern that slow builds up and breaks into a high energy boom bap-like breakbeat paired with scorching guitar squealing and wobbling bass synths. Long Decter’s ethereal and achingly plaintive vocals expressing profound, heart-wrenching despair — and hope. The song suggests that while loss is natural and sadly expected there can be hope; that there are only a handful of things in our lives that are truly permanent. And that ultimately for the most part, it can get better.

“I wrote ‘Kind of Light’ in bed,” Long Decter says. ““It was the fall of 2018 and Chris and I were both going through experiences of learning not to trust what feels like home. He sent me a plugin for a new organ sound, suggesting it might provide inspiration. I sent him back chords, a kick pattern, and some vocals about trying to pull your legs back; trying to take your energy out of the wreckage and put it into yourself. The process of deciding what’s worth keeping, what can be reworked and what gets tossed in the fire. A process that is devastating and also weirdly invigorating, because you can see new possibilities opening up in front of you. And you can start to look for light somewhere else.”

I Held the Shape While I Could‘s second single, the woozy “Massif Central” features glistening synth bursts, shimmering and angular post punk-meets-shoegaeze-like textures paired with a relentless motorik groove, stormy guitar feedback and Steward’s ethereal whispers recounting an experience of Kafka-esque, bureaucratic purgatory: a typo in a government letter caused Steward to lose his legal work status in Canada. The song manages to evoke the sensation of having your life flipped upside down, then being hopelessly stuck and having no say or agency in your situation.

“After eight years living in Canada, in the Spring of 2021, a government clerical error caused me to lose my legal status here,” Steward explains. “As a UK national, I lost my right to work. My savings trickled away during months where I could do little but pace the corners of my apartment. I was prepared to pack my bags and leave as the life I’d hoped to construct for myself seemed to vanish into a bureaucratic abyss.”
 
“‘Massif’ is the sound of wailing into a cliff and not knowing if you’ll hear an echo,” continued Steward. “The spoken word is inspired by a squirrel that was trapped in the wall behind my bed, clawing its way to salvation. With the help of friends, family, music, and a few immigration lawyers (and the rest of my savings), I’m now a permanent resident here. But this song remains as testament to my experience with an exploitative institution.”

Directed by Jordan Allen, the accompanying video for “Massif Central” is a dizzying collage of live footage, directed by Brandon Kaufman, distorted VHS-like visuals and eerie. retro-futuristic -inspired graphics. “With ‘Massif Central,’ we wanted to encapsulate the panic and urgency that Chris experienced, and have the abstracts portray the anxiety and hopelessness one can feel at the hands of bureaucracy,” Allen explains. “I chose graphics that heavily leaned into feelings of being lost in a maze, with towering structures and horizon lines pulling you into them. The idea was that the camera would be both a CCTV view of the band, but also glitching to reveal the more emotionally internal visual aspects.”

New Video: Ninety’s Story Shares Sultry “Bad” feat. Ferdi and Béssau

With the release of their debut EP, 2017’s Kikuyu, which featured EP title track and debut single “Kikuyu” Nice-based indie act Ninety’s Story — childhood friends Guillaume Adamo and Florian Deyz — quickly established a sound and approach that’s fittingly inspired by PhoenixDaft Punk and Air, and fittingly the French Riviera.

The duo, along with their backing band have opened for ArchiveMorcheebaPale Waves and Puggy and a list of others. Adding to a growing profile, the duo wrote the music for a Citroën C4 Aircross ad campaign that aired in China —  with the band representing the company at the Paris and Hangzhou Motor Shows. 

Since then, the Nice-based JOVM mainstays have been busy releasing a handful of singles over the past couple of years, including:

  • The breezy and anthemic “APO
  • The sultry, R&B-inflluenced “Home.” 

And a a Groover Obsessions Les Capsules sessions at La Marbrerie that featured two songs:

  • “Heaven,” a slow-burning and brooding song that reminds me a bit of JOVM mainstays Ten Fe and Palace Winter: a deliberately crafted, anthemic song centered around expressive and bluesy guitars, shimmering synths, plaintive vocals and lived-in lyrics. 
  • “Ride,” a strutting bit of pop rock that — to my ears, at least — brings a slick synthesis of Steely Dan and Radiohead to mind. 

The French JOVM mainstays begin their 2023 with their latest single “Bad,” feat. Ferdi and Béesau which sees the band embracing a slickly produced synth pop-driven sound that seems equally inspired by The Weeknd, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-era Kanye West, and 80s sophistipop — thanks in part to a soulful horn solo. Thematically, the song touches upon regret, longing and taking a desperate and much-needed leap of faith to keep a relationship on the verge going.

The song will appear on the duo’s forthcoming album, Tears and Laughter, which is slated for a Spring release.

Directed By Victor Rahman, the cinematically song visual for “Bad” starts with a woman walking around the shore before seeing her expressive dance along a windswept shore. The rest of the video is told through a series of flashbacks from a drunken night of revelry — and of regret.

New Video: Whose Rules Share Breezy and Anthemic “I Don’t Care”

Marius Elfstedt is a Norwegian producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who grew up on a flower farm in a Hasler, Norway, a rural area roughly an hour outside of Oslo. Four years ago, while exploring his family’s farm, he came came across an abandoned cabin and then re-purposed it into a recording studio, where he writes. produces and record music with his friends and artists like Dev Lemons, Tigerstate, Selmer, Ralph Castelli, Elah Hale, Isabelle Eberdean, Mall Girl, Svømmbesseng, Joe’s Truly, Bikelane, Fish, Overcity, Pikekyss, and others.

Elfstedt works and records his own material as Whose Rules. Back in 2020, the Norwegian producer and artist released his self-titled debut EP, which he followed up with a handful of collaborative releases with Dev Lemons.

The Norwegian producer and artist’s full-length debut, Hasler is slated for a February 22, 2023 through 777 Music. The album was created from the solitude found within the walls of pandemic-related isolation within the walls of his Hasler, Norway-based studio, in the middle of the Scandinavian wilderness. Wooden log walls, haplessly strewn posters, old second-hand couches and a teeming collection of guitars and synths helped create a perfect environment to escape into a world of creation.

Written and produced entirely by Marius, Hasler is the culmination of years of sonic experimentation and rumination — both melancholic and hopeful — over adolescence gradually blossoming into adulthood. Thematically and lyrically, the material touches upon loneliness. love, friendship and self-doubt while sonically the album pairs whiting electronics and indie rock.

Hasler‘s third and latest single “I Don’t Care” is a woozy yet breezily melancholic bop featuring shimmering, strummed acoustic guitar-driven melody, fluttering synths, and a buzzing guitar solo paired with Elfstadt’s languid, delivery, instantly catchy melodicism and a penchant for easy-going yet anthemic hooks. “This is the first track I made for this LP. After a long time with writer’s block, this song pops out of nowhere,”Elfstadt explains. “The dissonant guitar melody reminded me of Weezer’sUndone’ and ‘Say it Ain’t So‘ which I thought was dope.”

Directed and shot by Fabio Enzo, the accompanying video for “I Don’t Care” follows the Norwegian producer and artist on the family farm, at the studio and while watching a glorious sunset.

New Video: Rising Bristol Act Saloon Dion Shares Anthemic “I Don’t Feel”

Bristol, UK-based post punk outfit Saloon Dion quickly exploded into the national scene and international scene with a handful of singles released through Nice Swan Records and Permanent Creeps, which have widespread critical praise from The Fader, Brooklyn Veganr, Clash Magazine, Dork Magazine, NME, So Young, The New Cue, CRACK and a lengthy list of others. That early material has also received airplay on from BBC Radio 1 personality Jack Saunders, BBC Radio 6 personalities Lauren Laverne and Simone Butler, as well as Radio X personality John Kennedy.

Building upon a growing profile, the rising Bristol-based outfit will be opening for Pip Blom on their UK tour next month. They’ll then make their Stateside debut at this year’s SXSW in March. They’re one of the first 26 British acts to be announced on the festival lineup. (As always, tour dates are below.)And the band’s highly-anticipated, debut EP is slated for release later this year.

Their latest single “I Don’t Feel” was released yesterday through Mucker Records. Centered around swirling and angular guitar attack, a driving groove. crooned verses and shout-along friendly choruses with sneeringly ironic lyrics, “I Don’t Feel” is a decidedly Brit pop-take on post punk: think Blur-meets-Gang of Four.

“’I Don’t Feel’ is a song about being reluctant to seek help from others. What it isn’t, is a song about having no feeling, but more of choosing what to feel and when to feel it,” the members of Saloon Dion explain. “It speaks of the barriers we all put up to protect ourselves, no matter the damage they may do in the long run.”

Directed and created by Clump Collective, the accompanying video shows the members of the band struggling with social ettiequte, and taking part in a handshake class — perhaps to better learn an awkward yet necessary social interaction.

Live Dates
31st Jan – Elsewhere, Margate*
1st Feb – Portland Arms, Cambridge*
3rd Feb – Face Bar, Reading*
4th Feb – Boileroom, Guildford*
5th Feb – Moles, Bath*
17th Feb – The Cluny, Newcastle
18th Feb – Exchange, Bristol
24th Feb – The Old Blue Last, London
13th-19th Mar – SXSW
16th Apr – Outer Town Festival, Bristol

New Video: SUUNS Share Sludgy and Shoegazy “Wave”

Montréal-based experimental rock outfit SUUNS— founding members Ben Shemie (vocals, guitar) and Joe Yarmush (guitar, bass) with Liam O’Neill (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2007: Shemie and Yarmush got together to make some beats, and it quickly evolved to a few songs. The duo was joined by O’Neill and Max Henry (keys) to complete the band’s first lineup. The band signed to Secretly Canadian in 2010. That year, Henry left the band as a full-time official member to pursue a scholarly career — although he continues to record with the band.

In 2020, the trio signed to Joyful Noise Recordings, who released that year’s Fiction EP and 2021’s The Witness.

Engineered by Adrian Popovich and recorded at Mountain City Recording Studio last July, the band’s latest single “Wave” evolved over an 18 month period of touring to support The Witness. “While touring The Witness, between plane rides, car rides, van rides, and text threads, we started working on new music,” SUUNS’ Ben Shemie explains. “New sounds and a new approach seemed to take shape while testing new material. What started to emerge were really slow songs, some strange experimentations, and some unclassifiable jams. Among these tunes, ‘Wave’ emerged.”

The slow-burning dirge-like “Wave” is rooted in relentless repetition, swirling and sludgy guitar textures, droning feedback and distortion, blown-out boom bap paired with Shemie’s plaintive delivery buried a smidge under the syrupy mix. Sonically “Wave” makes a nod at fellow Montrealers The Besnard Lakes before ending with a noisy, slow-burning fade out.

The accompanying video by Ilyse Krivel consists of time lapse footage of the sun setting over a body of water, superimposed by footage of rippling waves at the shore.

Lyric Video: Eyes Of Argus Share Sludgy “Honey’d Dreams”

Currently split between Providence and Salem, MA, emerging doom metal duo Eyes Of ArgusGuitar Hero and Rock Band co-creator and member of Megasus, Ryan Lesser (guitar) and Sam (vocals) — can trace their origins back to the bleakest days of the pandemic when Lesser began crafting tracks rooted in the concept of ugly/pretty: Lesser specifically plays fuzzy, down-tuned sludgy power chords while Sam contributes ethereal vocals and magical lyrics.

The duo’s full-length debut is slated for a February 23, 2023 release, and was recorded and mixed by Lesser, after he studied the techniques of Steve Albini, who he recorded with several years earlier.

Clocking in at about 8:20, the album’s latest single, the expansive “Honey’d Dreams” begins with a brooding “Planet Caravan“-like introduction with glistening and reverb-drenched guitars and then quickly turning into a doom metal dirge featuring sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming paired with Sam’s ethereal crooning. Lyrically, the song is rooted in seemingly Norse-inspired imagery and mythology. The end result is a song that balances brooding sludge with a hazy, nostalgia-tinged dreaminess.