New Video: Polycool Shares Strutting and Sultry “Unlike You”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2091’s Lemon Lord, French psych pop outfit Polycool quickly established a unique sound that drew from Unknown Mortal OrchestraAirSebastian TellierNick Hakim, Connan Moccasin and others. The band has received airplay on Radio NovaFIPFrance InterLes Inrocks and others. 

Building upon a growing profile in their native France, the rising psych pop outfit has played at 2019’s Printemps de Bourges and 2020’s We Love Green

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Something Between Us,” a breezy and infectious bop centered around a strutting bass line, glistening synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar paired with a dance floor friendly hook and and a seductive falsetto delivery. The end result was a song that sounded like a slick synthesis of the Bee Gees and Tame Impala.

The French psych pop outfit’s latest single “Unlike You” is a swaggering and sultry song centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a strutting, Quiet Storm-like groove and buzzing guitars paired with a plaintive falsetto delivery and the band’s ability to craft an infectious hook. But underneath the sultry facade is something much more uneasy and menacing — the dysfunctional past relationship that you can’t escape from, that you can’t stop obsessively thinking of.

The band explains that the song describes “the trap of memory, the sleepless nights, the false desire to forget, looking for different thins (unlike you) in order to no longer love the past (un-like you).”

Directed by Martin Schrepel, the accompanying video for “Unlike You” begins with pairs of scissors making clean cuts of everything around — but at its core, is the confusing push and pull of emotions love often engenders, and the desire to break free.

New Video: Toulouse, France’s Edgar Mauer Shares Gorgeous and Introspective “By any means”

Founded back in 2020 by its founder, singer/songwriter and musician Maëve Couderc as a way to work around various gender roles, the Toulouse, France-based indie outfit Edgar Mauer became a full-fledged band when sound engineer Alain Flary and drummer Camille Bigeault joined. Since then, the band has developed a sound that meshes elements of Bristol trip-hop and Kate Bush-like pop with a modern touch. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Elma Capser,” a slow-burning bit of dream-pop centered around Coudec’s yearning vocal, Bigeault’s tribal-like drumming and Flary’s glistening guitar lines paired with a soaring hook and chorus. Sonically, “Elma Casper” brought The SundaysThe Cocteau Twins and even Mazzy Star to mind. And much like those acts, the song itself is rooted in the deeply personal, with a novelist’s attention to psychological detail. 

The band explained, that the song’s inspiration came from a mysterious name scrawled on a wall in Paris — Elma Casper. Couderc wound up writing lyrics, imagining what Elma Casper’s life would be, while also wondering if someone scrawled her name on a random wall, if they would be as a curious as she was. They also add that the song is an ode to the feelings and experience we leave behind when living and leaving a place, accepting our own trajectory.

The Toulouse-based trio’s latest single “By any means” continues a run of gorgeous and introspective dream pop-inspired material featuring shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, Couderc’s achingly plaintive vocal paired with an enormous hook and chorus. While sonically, “By any means” will bring back some fond memories of 4AD Records classic heyday and 120 Minutes-era MTV, the song as the band explains is a self-empowerment anthem.

Directed by Patrycja Toczek and the band, the video stars Edgar Mauer’s Couderc as a bored version of herself in the park on a lovely day, when she encounters a cheery monster played by Léna Base, who spends the day with Couderc. Throughout their time together, they play a variety of games — and we see Couderc eventually cheer up. The video itself possesses a goofy, DIY charm that’s just adorable.

Sloan Struble is the 20-something  Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the critically applauded and rapidly rising indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. Dayglow can trace its origins to when Struble was a teen, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place.

Much like countless other other hopelessly out of place young people across both this country and the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble recalled in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit back in 2020, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.”

Last year was a big year for the Aledo-born, Austin-based JOVM mainstay: he kicked off the year with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.” 

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble released his Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House, an album that was inspired by the 70s and 80s piano-driven soft rock that he had captured his ears. Interestingly, around the same time, he had been watching a lot of Cheers. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real, as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced. Thematically, the album concerns itself with a deeply universal theme — growing up and coping with change as being an inevitable aspect of life.

Struble’s third Dayglow album, People In Motion is slated for an October 7, 2022 release through AWAL. Entirely written, played and produced by Struble, the 10-song album continues upon the JOVM mainstay’s reputation for crafting upbeat, optimistic, hook-driven pop rooted in his desire to steer clear of conflict and offering someone something to love.

People In Motion‘s third and latest single “Second Nature” may arguably be the funkiest and most dance floor friendly single Struble has released to date. Sonically seeming like a synthesis of 80s pop, Daft Punk, The 1975, and LCD Soundsystem, “Second Nature” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, Struble’s plaintive vocals, an infectious vocoder’ed vocal-driven hook and an irresistible feel good vibe meant to get your ass on the dance floor.

“‘Second Nature’ is one of the most ambitious songs I’ve made so far. I didn’t think it would be a ‘Dayglow’ song until the rest of People in Motion started to take shape,” Struble says in press notes. “I made so many versions of it— I just kept writing more and more melodies and ideas. The Logic file ended up being like this 15 minute jam that I eventually condensed to be the near 6 min song it is.

I was really inspired by songs like Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long,’ Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Starting Somethin’, and of course Daft Punk. I just love songs that have repeatable chord progressions that never seem to even reach their potential— they just keep going on and on. Lyrically and musically I wanted to create a song that felt like that. A song that just celebrates itself and the joy of dancing and making music. It doesn’t even feel like ‘Second Nature’— it feels completely innate and natural to make music to me. I love it more than anything and it feels like what I was made to do, and ‘Second Nature’ just grasps that idea and runs with it confidently.”

After a sold-out Australian tour and a packed house set at this year’s Outside Lands, Struble will be embarking on a North American tour that includes a November 7, 2022 stop at Terminal 5. Check out rest of the tour dates below.

Dayglow / People In Motion North American Tour:

10/9/22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren

10/10/22 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Square Theatre

10/13/22 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues

10/14/22 – San Diego, CA – SOMA

10/15/22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Novo

10/19/22 – Salt, Lake City, UT – The Union

10/21/22 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater

10/22/22 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo

10/23/22 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom

10/25/22 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

10/28/22 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom

10/29/22 – Houston, TX – House of Blues

10/30/22 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom

11/1/22 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant

11/2/22 – Minneapolis, MN – Palace Theatre

11/4/22 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre

11/5/22 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyption Room

11/6/22 – Columbus, OH – Kemba Live

11/8/22 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium

11/10/22 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern

11/11/22 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore

11/12/22 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz

11/14/22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)

11/15/22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

11/17/22 – New York, NY – Terminal 5

11/18/22 – Boston, MA – House of Blues

11/19/22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore

11/21/22 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre

11/22/22 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall

11/26/22 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham

11/27/22 – St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live

11/28/22 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live

12/2/22 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s (SOLD OUT)

12/3/22 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s

Jonty Lovell is a Tottenham-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the rising indie rock project common goldfish. As a musician, Lovell initially made a name for himself busking along the Hackney Wick and playing the London gig circuit. And as a producer and songwriter, under the moniker J Love, the Tottenham-based artist has been credited on songs that have received critical applause from media outlets like Mixtape MadnessNew Wave Magazine, and GRM Daily.

With common goldfish, Lovell’s sound and approach is informed by the music of his childhood. “Growing up I was exposed to a lot of music, with my family all having quite different tastes. Deciding who had control of the CD player could often lead to arguments, but as the youngest child, I seem to remember rarely getting to choose. The soundtrack of my early childhood featured the likes of The Beatles, The Police, Moby, Blur, Gorillaz, and Eminem and Dr. Dre – it was quite an eclectic mix that lured me in.”

As a teenager, The xx‘s debut album further inspired Lovell. “I was by no means a great technical guitarist, and so I think this inspired confidence to continue writing music,” he explains. As a a university graduate, he began to take music seriously, honing his craft with an old laptop his friend gave him, which had Abelton on it. At this point of his life, Floating Points, Four Tet, Nightmares on Wax, and Caribou were influences on him and his sound and approach. Lovell then took his self-taught production style, eclectic music latests and finessed live instrumentation and his vocals.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Lovell’s common goldfish debut single, “Feel The Fuzz,” an upbeat, optimistic and decidedly late 80s-early 90s Manchester-like bop featuring fuzzy guitar lines, blown out breakbeats, a funky and propulsive bass line and common goldfish’s easygoing delivery paired with a euphoric boy-girl led hook and subtly modern production sheen. If you’re a child of the 80s and 90s as I am, “Feel The Fuzz” will bring back nostalgic memories of The Stone RosesPrimal ScreamStereo MCs and the like, complete with an uplifting much-needed message to the listener. 

“The track embodies the sense of dreamer’s optimism (‘the fuzz’) and the feeling that led me to change career paths and pursue my passion in music,” the creative mastermind behind common goldfish explains in press notes. “We only lead one life, ‘Feel the Fuzz’ is about helping people see that they should value their experiences over materials and not always seek the easy options in life.”

Over the summer, Lovell released his sophomore common goldfish single “Shout Louder,” which landed praise from the likes of Backseat Mafia, CULTR, CLOUT, and Lost in The Manor among others.

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding him, the Tottenham-based artist has played a series of public shows in iconic locations across London, including Tottenham’s DIY skate park and on top of a boat, floating down Regent’s Canal.

Lovell’s third and latest single, the expansive “I Don’t Feel Today” continues a remarkable and ongoing run of Brit Pop-inspired material with the song prominently featuring twinkling keys, blown out, skittering backbeats, relentless and propulsive bass line, squiggling guitar lines paired with the Tottenham-based artist’s knack for crafting infectious, feel good hooks. Unlike its immediate predecessors, “I Don’t Feel Today” sees Lovell making a very subtle nod to 60s psych pop with bursts of spacey organ.

Interestingly, the song is rooted astutely incisive social observation, with its narrator feeling lost, confused and dispirited by modern life“We are living more and more on top of each other but for some reason we’re becoming increasingly isolated from one another. The rise of independence and individualism has been at the expense of community and a sense of belonging,” Lovell explains in press notes. “With the pace of life getting faster and faster, we’re spending more and more time in front of screens on a never-ending quest for instant gratification. I do worry that we’re losing our sense of reality and what matters most – human interaction and connection.”

New Audio: Rival Consoles Shares Glistening “Running”

Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media — and was composed for horeographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name. 

West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws from music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions. 

“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”

So far I’ve written about two singles off the forthcoming Now Is:

  • The Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like album title track “Now Is,” which features a a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios that manage to evoke prismatic bursts of color exploding before the listener’s eyes.
  • World Turns,” which also features a relentless motorik pulse built from a propulsive bass lines, glistening synths and twitter and woofer rattling industrial thump paired with a gently morphing song structure that sees tempo and tone shifts throughout. The end result is soulful, thoughtful electronic music with a human soul and beating heart.

Now Is‘ latest single, “Running” is a deceptively simple composition centered around a single melodic idea built from a glistening synth line that subtly morphs and bends throughout. The synth melody is paired with skittering thump and a motorik pulse that propels the song towards its conclusion — a gentle fade out.

“I am very into classical music and the kind of structures and ideas they often use, and love the works which take a single melodic idea and create multiple variations from it,” West explains. “That is what I tried to do with this piece, where every single thing is a variation on the opening ten second theme. I spent over one year exploring a huge amount of variations from light to very heavy. Over much time I ended up being more inspired by the subtler, gentler variations, which allow the idea to breathe, which is a theme on this record.”

Lyric VIdeo: Kainalu Teams up with MUNYA on A Breezy and Funky Bop

Trent Prall is a Southern California-born, Madison,WI--based producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project and JOVM mainstay act Kainalu

Deriving its name from the Hawaiian word for ocean wave, Prall’s work with Kanialu sees him drawing from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk, and childhood trips to visit his mother’s family in Oahu. The end result is a breezy, funky and nostalgia-inducing sound that Prall has dubbed “Hawaii-fi,” which he further developed and expanded upon with his full-length Kainalu debut, Lotus Gate

Back in 2020, the JOVM mainstay collaborated with fellow JOVM mainstay MUNYA on the breezy and infectious “You Never Let Go,” which revealed some easy-going yet ambitious, hook-driven songwriting that found the pair seamlessly meshing their individual sound and aesthetics. 

Prall’s highly-anticipated sophomore Kainalu album Ginseng Hourglass is slated for a November 4, 2022 release, The 11-song album is reportedly a contemplative and philosophical exploration of the passage of time and the finite, fleeting nature of life. Ginseng Hourglass follows the recent and untimely death of Prall’s mother, and is deeply informed by the conversations they had about her life and mortality during the last few months of her life. While seeing Prall striking a delicate balance between breezy effervescence and the darkest depths of despair, the album’s material captures life’s small joys and victories amidst trauma, emotional ruin and hard-won wisdom. Ultimately, the album makes a concerted effect to find and see hope — in heartbreak and pain. 

“I don’t want people to think this album is sad because it’s not,” Prall says in press notes. “I have always used music as a way to heal. That’s what this music is — a way to escape into a vibe and atmosphere when the world was crumbling. It’s meant to transport you into a world because that’s what I needed when I wrote it.”

The album’s main thematic concern is also shown in the cover art, which resembles falling sand in an hourglass — the literal embodiment of time physically slipping away, knowing that one’s time is the most precious thing anyone could have. While the album will further cement Prall’s reputation for crafting dance floor friendly grooves, lyrically, it may arguably be the most personal of his growing catalog: The songs dig deep into a rabbit hole of complex, conflicting (and intimately familiar) emotions making the album a cathartic, therapeutic fever dream — with Prall’s story at the center. Created as a means of escape and healing, Prall explains, I write to escape the thoughts that keeps me up at night. It’s a therapy device and meditative practice. These past years we all experienced so much loss. On top of the pandemic, I really went through some serious trauma and I wrote this record because I needed to.” 

Last month, I wrote about album single “Queen of Wands,” a strutting, funky bop that sonically seems to draw from Currents-era Tame Impala, electro pop, 90s funk, and 90s house music centerdd around Krall’s unerring knack for yearning, nostalgia-inducing songwriting and infectious, soaring hooks. Interestingly, “Queen of Wands” took shape after a tarot card reading in which Prall drew the queen of wands card. (According to some interpretations, the queen of wands card suggests that the person is upbeat, courageous, determined, self-actualized and self-aware. and can channel their strengths and weaknesses to achieve their goals. In some cases, those who draw the card are inspirational, charismatic, creative sorts.) 

 “It’s about being overwhelmed in the complexities of modern dating and relationships. As we grow older, the desire for deep connection becomes increasingly stronger and a sort of existential longing develops.” An ode to the power of femininity, Prall continues, “The track is a metaphor for this desire as the card roughly symbolizes a strong, driven feminine persona. When the queen of wands reveals themselves to you, resisting the signs is futile.”

Ginseng Hourglass‘s latest single “Inhibitions/Intuitions” thematically and even sonically continues where its immediate predecessor left off. Seemingly influenced by Tame Impala with the song centered around a strutting bass line, bursts of glistening synths, buzzing guitars, “Inhibitions/Intuitions” continues Prall’s ongoing and wildly successful collaboration with Quebec-born-and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and fellow JOVM mainstay Josie Boivin, a.k.a. MUNYA, who contributes her ethereal and coquettish vocals. While reminding listeners of the pair’s unerring knack for crafting earnest, yet hook-driven bops, “Inhibitions/Intuitions” grapples with the apprehension that comes with taking risks in love and in other aspects of one’s life, and trusting your instincts, which aren’t always right.

“MUNYA, aka Josie Boivin, and I have been collaborating on tracks together for several years,” Prall says in press notes. “We met through Instagram and have actually never met in person despite creating countless songs together. The song dives deeper into the story presented by ‘Queen of Wands.’ Fighting one’s inhibitions about taking risks in love versus following their intuition which has previously led them astray.

“Trent and I have been working together for a few years now. Even if we have never met in person, we have built a strong connection that allows us to create and complete each other in a very natural way,” Boivin says. “I had a lot of fun singing on ‘Inhibitions / Intuitions’ and I’m so honoured to be part of Kainalu’s album. Super stoked for this one and the whole album.”

Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — formed over seven years ago, and in that time, they’ve developed a unique, forward-thinking and boundary pushing sound that sees them pairing elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles like Tsapiky  and Salegy with heavy metal. 

The band’s sound and approach represents a bold, young generation of Malagasy young people that honors and respects the traditions and practices of their elders but are also inspired by contemporary Western music genres and styles.

Over the past handful of years, the Malagasy metal outfit has been very busy: They released a self-titled EP, which fueaterd “Tandrroka,” a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring rumbling, down-tuned bass lines, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Ravoajanahary’s feral Karen O-like vocals. 

They quickly followed up with their full-length debut LohAmboto, which featured the System of a Down-like album title track “LohAmboto,” another mosh-pit friendly ripper that sees the band refining and honing their unique, global take on metal. 

The JOVM mainstays closed out last year with their first European tour — and it included a set at  Trans Musicales in Rennes, France, which the band filmed and released as a concert film. The concert film features their debut single Andrambavitany,” the aforementioned “Tandrroka” and “LohAmboto,” as well as material off their full-length debut performed with a feral intensity.

The Malagasy JOVM mainstays and their label Libertalia Music will be releasing a five song live EP from their Trans Musicales set. “Ts’Izy,” the live EP’s first single, is one explosive synthesis of metal, nu metal and hip-hop that channels Rage Against the Machine — but while being decidedly African.