New Video: JOVM Mainstays Screaming Females Release Surreal and Artistic Visuals for Their Most Restrained Single To Date “Glass House”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past few years, you’ve likely come across a number of posts featuring New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females, comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums). And as you may recall, the trio cut their teeth playing their hometown’s renowned all-ages basement scene; however, with the release of  2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, Live from the Hideout and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV.  Adding to a growing profile, the New Jersey-based punk rockers have toured with a number of internationally and nationally known acts including Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

Interestingly enough, 2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arguably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work. Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since they had released new, original material, and while “Black Moon,” continues their ongoing collaboration with Matt Bayles, it also reveals a band that’s restlessly experimenting with their songwriting approach and sound. Unsurprisingly, “Black Moon” finds the band crafting material with a forceful conciseness with razor sharp hooks — but thematically, the song also reveals a band that’s simultaneously meshing larger metaphors of a post apocalyptic earth with the universal experience of a relationship that ends in an embittering and frustrating fashion.

All At Once. the band’s seventh full-length studio album is slated for a February 23, 2018 release through Don Giovanni Records and the band reportedly set out to write an album in the spirit of a salon-style gallery show, where the larger pieces provide an eye-level focal point to a galaxy or smaller works — and as a result of a more expansive thematic reach, the members of the band openly and decidedly focused on experimentation with arrangements and song structure to evoke the energy and spontaneity of their live sets. As the band’s Mike Dougherty explains of their motivation “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”

The album’s first official single “Glass House” finds the band practicing a sense of restraint in which the band embraces simplicity as Paternoster plays two relatively simple riffs in a 90s grunge rock song structure — quiet verses, loud, rousingly anthemic hook, quiet verse. But along with that, the song features some of Paternoster’s most melodic vocals of their catalog. “A song like ‘Glass House’ is something we knew we were capable of, but it took a while to fully embrace,” Paternoster says in press notes. “It’s something very simple — just bass, drums and twos simple riffs. In the past, I might have insisted on adding more. Practicing self-restraint is something I have consciously been trying to do.”

The recently released video for the song may be among the most surreal and artfully done videos they’ve released to date, as it cuts between the members of the band brooding and pensively sitting in a rather sparse room, Paternoster singing the song in dramatic lighting and a butler, who arranges vases — before smashing them over each band member’s head. 

With the release of their first two singles, “Loveless” and “This Is It,” the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Lo Moon, comprised off Matt Lowell (vocals, guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass, keys) and Sam Stewart (guitar), quickly became one of their hometown’s most buzzed about bands after receiving early praise from the likes of New York Times, NPR Music, V Magazine, KCRWLos Angeles Times, NPR’s World Cafe and others, and they’ve opened for the likes of Phoenix, Glass Animals, The Lemon Twigs, Air, London Grammar and others. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the band is currently finishing up their Chris Walla and Francois Tetaz-produced full-length debut; but before that, the trio’s latest single “Thorns” is a slow-burning and atmospheric track that sounds indebted to Roxy Music (think of “More Than This” “The Space Between” and “Avalon“), The xx and others.

The band is currently on a lengthy tour that includes a November 6 stop at Rough Trade and a December 15 stop at The Beacon Theatre for WFUV’s Holiday Cheer. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates
October 14: Buffalo, NY @ HRVST Festival (w/ Phoenix)
October 15: New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall (w/ Phoenix)
October 17: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 18: Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 20: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 21: London, UK @ Eventim Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 23: Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 24: Edinburg, UK @ Usher Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 26: Nottingham, UK @ Rock City (w/ London Grammar)
October 27: Bristol, UK @ Colston Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 29: Newcastle, UK @ City Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 30: London, UK @ O2 Brixton Academy (w/ London Grammar)
November 1: Dublin, IE @ Olympia Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 2: Belfast, IE @ Waterfront Hall (w/ London Grammar)
November 6: Brooklyn @ Rough Trade (headline)
November 7: Philadelphia @ Boot & Saddle (headline)
November 16: Los Angeles @ The Troubadour (headline)
November 22: Luxembourg @ Rockhal (w/ London Grammar)
November 23: Amsterdam, NL @ AFAS Live (w/ London Grammar)
November 25: Cologne, DE @ Palladium (w/ London Grammar)
November 26: Berlin, DE @ Velodrom (w/ London Grammar)
November 28: Hamburg, DE @ Mehr! Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 30: Zurich, CH @ Halle 622 (w/ London Grammar)
December 4: London, UK @ The Lexington (headline)
December 8: Stuttgart, DE @ Liederhalle Hegelsaal (w/ London Grammar)
December 9: Munich, DE @ TonHalle (w/ London Grammar)
December 11: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 12: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 15: New York City, NY @ WFUV Holiday Cheer at Beacon Theatre (w/ Jeff Tweedy and more)

New Video: The Psychedelic Visuals and Arena Rock Blues Rock Sounds of Shadow of Jaguar’s “Don’t Want to Die Here”

Comprised of Brian Hubbert (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Oakley (drums), the New York-based indie rock duo A Shadow of a Jaguar formed in early 2015 in Boulder, CO — and as the story goes, the duo of Hubbert and Oakley bonded over their mutual desire to write and make the kind of music they felt was sorely missing from their local scene. Within a few weeks, the duo began writing and recording original material while honing their sound and live set playing shows locally and throughout the country; in fact, their debut single “Mama Needs the Bottle,” and its follow up “Keep On Knocking” were received to praise from the likes of AXS and Live for Live Music. 

Since then, the duo have been touring and writing and recording the material that comprises their soon-to-be released album RAW, recorded, mixed and mastered in Denver, CO, by Todd Divel and Justin Peacock at Silo Sound. And as the duo explains in press notes, the album, which is slated for release later this month, was made “to stick a big middle finger up at all the fears and doubts that plague us. The goal was to force upon people the uncontrollable urge to scrunch their faces and nod their heads. ” RAW’s latest single, “Don’t Want to Die Here,” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for explosive, arena rock-friendly blues rock, along the lines of The Black Keys and others, but complete with a swaggering and boozy vibe. 

Directed and produced by Wondering Works and the members of A Shadow oF a Jaguar, the recently released video for “Don’t Want to Die here” features dancer Cara Diaz expressively dancing to the song in front of projections of country roads, explosions, billowing smoke, and other psychedelic splashes of color. 

Comprised of frontwoman and guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali, Alamnou Akrouni and Madassane Ahmoudou, Les Fillies de Illighadad hail from Illighadad, a secluded and remote, rural commune in central Niger, near the edge of the Sahara Desert that’s only accessible via a grueling drive through the open desert. There’s little modern infrastructure in the village, and the town lacks electricity and running water with the surrounding countryside supporting hundreds of shepherd families, living with and among their herds of livestock, as their ancestors have done for centuries.

The sound that has long defined rural Niger is known as tende which derives its name from a drum built from goat skin stretched across a mortar and pestle and is rooted in sparse arrangements featuring vocals, handclaps and percussion while thematically, songs focus on life in the village, love and praise of ancestors. And interestingly enough, it’s a genre and style largely dominated by women; in fact, long known as being both collective and communal, tende is a specifically a tradition for the young girls of the nomad camps — and typically, tende is played during celebrations and to pass time during the rainy season. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’d recall that there have been certain genres of Tuareg music that have received international attention from music journalists and fans in the West and elsewhere — in particular, the desert blues, pioneered by acts like Tinariwen, Bombino and Mdou Moctar have become synonymous with Tuareg music and culture to the West; however, music rooted in the use of the electric guitar is a relatively recent phenomenon with exiled Tuareg living in Libya and Algeria, who had also been equally influenced by Western rock, funk and punk rock began using instrumentation to mimic female vocalists. Out of necessity they replaced traditional tende percussion with plastic jerrycans. Naturally when those exiles returned to their ancestral homeland, they brought their new sound with them, and in time the new guitar sound came to eclipse tende — especially in urban centers. With tende being primarily sung by women, the desert blues was the male counterpart, and the Tuareg guitar scene is largely dominated by men.

Interestingly Les Filles de Illighadad’s Fatou Seidi Ghali is an extreme rarity — she’s one of the only female Taureg guitarists in Niger. As the story goes, Ghali would sneak away with her older brother’s guitar and taught herself how to play, and while being groundbreaking within her culture, it’s also a bold way of reasserting the role of tende and of women in Tuareg music; but while employing the use of electric guitar, they manage to use the traditional drum and a calabash half-buried in water instead of the more contemporary djembe or drum kit.  The trio’s full-length debut effort Eghass Malan was recorded while they were on their first European tour — and after a handful of shows. And as you’ll hear from the album’s latest single and album title track “Eghass Malan,” the trio recorded the song and the rest of the album’s material with a sort of impromptu minimalism of a band jamming together, thanks in part to rather bare bone arrangements of twisting, turning and hypnotic guitar lines, multi-part harmonies, simple yet driving rhythms and handclaps but with a clean, effortless production sheen — and although recorded in the modern fashion, the song points to a much more timeless and ageless sound that goes back to our nomadic and tribal origins while pushing an entire culture in a new direction.

 

 

 

Live Footage: Up and Coming Portuguese Act Vaarwell Releases a Gorgeous and Eerie Cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)”

Currently comprised of Margarida Falcão, Ricardo Nagy and Luís Monteiro, the Lisbon, Portugal-based indie pop trio Vaarwell, derive their name from the Dutch, vaarwell, which in English translates into farewell — and interestingly enough, the band can trace their origins back around 2014 to when the members met while studying music production. And with the release of their debut EP Love and Forgiveness, the Portuguese trio received attention both across their native Portugal and elsewhere for an minimalist and ethereal sound; in fact the trio has been included in 2015’s FNAC Best New Talent Compilation, named Tradiio‘s “Artist of the Week,” played at the renowned Portuguese music festival NOS em D’bandana and were commissioned by by French designer Philippe Starck to write and record a track for his exhibition at the Groninger Museum during Eurosonic Nooderslag Festival.

Building upon a growing profile, the trio released their highly-anticipated full-length debut Homebound 456 earlier this year, which received airplay and praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Stereogum and Crack In The Road among, and others Recently, the band released the third single off their full-length debut — and interestingly enough along with that, they also released a gorgeous cover of “Exit Music (For A Film) off Radiohead’s critically applauded, seminal album OK Computer, which emphasizes the song’s plaintive ache and dread while revealing a subtly different take on a familiar song, as the Vaarwell rendition is based around a somewhat fuller arrangement featuring ominous synths. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Summer Heart Returns with a Gorgeous and Symbolic Meditation on Time and Wisdom

JOVM mainstay David Alexander is an internationally renowned, Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose solo, electro pop/dream pop recording project Summer Heart has received attention for a wistful and nostalgic sound that draws from  60s psych pop, 80s synth pop and lo-fi rock and has been compared favorably to the likes of  Caribou, Washed Out, In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy, Painted Palms and others, and for being considered among the first wave of Sweden’s equally renowned electro pop and dream pop movement, which also includes Moonbabies, The Land Below, Hey Elbow, Blind Lake and Emerald Park.  

Alexander’s latest Summer Heart album, 101 was released last month, and as you may recall I’ve previously written about album single  “Hotel Beds,” a swooning yet buoyant production featuring shimmering synths, stuttering house music-like drum programming, boozy blasts of guitar, Alexander’s dreamy falsetto and a rousing hook within a dance floor friendly song. However, underneath the buoyant and summery vibes of the song is a bittersweet and weary rumination on the life of a touring musician. 

101’s latest single “Follow” continues on a similar path as its predecessor as the song features a house music-inspired production consisting of arpeggiated and shimmering synths, chiming, Afro-pop-like percussion, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Alexander’s dreamy falsetto with a soaring hook. And much like its immediate predecessor, underneath the buoyant and summery vibe there’s more than meets the eye — in this case, the song’s narrator expresses a plaintive, desperately unresolved frustration. As Alexander explains in press notes. “To follow your dreams, you must figure out what they are. ‘Follow’ is about that  moment when you think you have it all figured to, only to realise you’re not one bit wiser. Those things you do, which you imagine will change everything . . . when all is said and done, afterwards you feel exactly the same.”

Directed by Kyle Macfadzean, the recently released video features expressive, contemporary choreography by Amy Kent and Laura Ava-Scott, and stars Grace Macfadzean and Angela Downs. Shot in an lushly cinematic fashion, the video makes a connection between the young woman and her older, seemingly wiser doppleganger, emphasizing the song’s central theme with a powerfully emotional yet surreal wallop