New Video: The Hauntingly Gorgeous Visuals and Sounds of Benjamin’s Brother’s “Room 505”

Benjamin’s Brother is a fairly mysterious British electro folk/electro pop act comprised of a producer and songwriter, who writes and records under the moniker of Benjamin’s Brother and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends who pair haunting and ambient productions with songs that lyrically focus on death, desire and pain, among other subjects. The act’s latest single “Room 505” is an eerily sparse production featuring contemplative piano chords, plaintive, falsetto vocals, stuttering drum programming and brief burst of mournful horns. Sonically, the song reminds me of BRAIDS’ impressive Flourish//Perish but with an aching yearning at its core.

The recently released video features a dancer performing in sparsely arranged room with her doppleganger — but is it all an delusional within her head? Interestingly, the video manages to suggest the internal struggle between our real, internal self and the self we project out toward the world.

Initially featuring Eli Hansen, who has been a member of Cozy, Boys Club and Retainers (vocals, guitar); John Eggerman, who has been a member of Cozy, Private interests and Mystery Date (bass); James Blackfield, who has been a number of France Camp and Nice Purse (drums)  Minneapolis, MN-based indie rock band Real Numbers developed a reputation for a DIY simplicity with the release of two 12 inch EPs through Three Dimensional Records, a single through Florida’s Dying and cassettes released through Forged Artifacts and No Problem. Wanting a much more layered sound, the band recruited Ian Nygaard, who’s been a member of Nice Purse and Howler (guitar) to further flesh out the band’s sound for the recording sessions that resulted in the band’s long-awaited full-length debut Wordless Wonder, an effort that renowned indie label Slumberland Records will be releasing on October 14, 2016.

Wordless Wonder‘s latest single “New Boy” consists of a much more layered, Wall of Sound like production, which is a departure from the live band-leaning sound of their previous releases. “We wanted something different than previous releases which had a very ‘live’ production,” the band’s Eli Hansen explains in press notes. This was largely accomplished by doubling most rhythm tracks, stacking lead tracks and on a few songs, the addition of a 12-string acoustic guitar, which has reportedly become Hansen’s new favorite instrument.  And you’ll hear that new approach on the jangling and anthemic “New Boy,” a single that nods at 60s garage rock and The Smiths as the song swoons with an urgent and plaintive Romanticism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of their 2011 self-titled EP and their full-length debut, Richmond, VA-based indie act White Laces developed a reputation for being a noisy, indie rock band that had been banned from a number of venues for being way too loud. However, over the last couple of years the band’s material has increasingly leaned more towards electronics and samples paired with some live instrumentation — and with the addition of newest member Tori Hovater, the band’s soon-to-be released album No Floor also includes ethereal three-part harmonies.

“Cheese,” the first single off No Floor pairs ethereal and atmospheric synths, stuttering drum programming and shimmering guitar chords and plaintive vocals in a song that’s moodily cinematic while possessing a wistful and aching nostalgia while sounding as though it nods at both 80s synth pop and the contemporary synth pop of St. Lucia, Haerts and others.

The band is embarking on a short tour during October and it includes an October 10, 2016 stop at Williamsburg’s Muchmore‘s. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour dates:
10.07 @ DC9 (Washington, DC)
10.08 @ Hardywood (Richmond, VA)
10.09 @ Golden Pony (Harrisonburg, VA)
10.10 @ Muchmores (NYC)
10.12 @ Auroura (Providence, RI)
10.13 @ The Thirteenth Floor (Easthampton, MA)
10.14 @ Trixie’s Palace (Allston, MA)
10.15 @ TBA (Philadelphia, PA)

 

Quinn Lewis is an Australian-born, Nashville, TN-based indie electro pop artist, who has has spit part of his childhood in both the Western US and Eastern US is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and producer, who started his music career while in his early teens. Lewis began a fruitful collaboration with Danen Reed that caught the attention of the blogosphere; however, Lewis’ solo debut effort The Addicted EP is slated for an October 14, 2016 and from the EP’s first single “Bridges,” the Australian-born, Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist and producer reveals that he specializes in a sleek, infectious, dance-floor groove that’s reminiscent of blogosphere darlings like St. Lucia, Haerts, Nick Murphy (f.k.a Chet Faker) and others while drawing from the work of Nile Rodgers, 80s synth-based funk and R&B and house music — and its paired with Lewis’ plaintive and sultry cooing. In other words, it’s a  sexy yet plaintive, radio-friendly, club-banger that you’ll likely find yourself playing while pre-gaming your way to the bar or to the club.

 

 

 

Led by its Berlin, Germany-based founding member and bassist Sash and featuring Boston, MA-based saxophonist Dana Colley, best known as a former member of Morphine and their latest member, the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based vocalist Vadim Zeberg, the members of indie act The Deltahorse have managed throughout their few years of existence to create a sound that feels and sounds lived in and created live with all three members playing in a studio, despite the fact that because of the distance between each member, they can’t perform together, and reportedly have rarely seen each other face-to-face. As result, the members of the band have never had the experience of playing in a room and picking up on the physical and visual cues that musicians can pick up on that allow them to easily play off and riff off one another. And yet when the trio does write and record, the sessions are treated as though they were impromptu jam sessions with each member adding their individual musical talents and tendencies to create a swaggering and uniquely genre-defying sound.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’re most likely familiar with The Deltahorse in some fashion or another — and you’d know that earlier this month I wrote about “Happy Heart (Can Go For Miles),” the first single off the act’s long-anticipated and soon-to-be released, full-length debut Transatlantic. “Happy Heart” consisted of Colley’s swaggering and sultry electric baritone saxophone passages, stuttering drumming and drum programming, Sash’s propulsive bass lines with Vadim’s plaintive vocals signing lyrics about how a happy heart can endure almost everything; however, just under the surface was an underlying bitter irony. The album’s second and latest single “Call It A Day” is a cinematic and forceful single consisting of slashing, staccato piano chords, boom bap drum programming, Colley’s swaggering and strutting electric baritone sax skronking, subtly ominous and swirling guitar and bass chords, propulsive percussion and Zeberg’s coolly ironic vocals singing lyrics that hint at the desire to continually move forward and physical desire while beginning to cement their reputation for crafting material with deep, danceable grooves paired with a literature, cinematic sound.

 

 

Perhaps best known as the haunting and ethereal voice of Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval has had an equally lengthy solo career, collaborating with a number of artists including Massive Attack and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O’Coisog in her long-running post Mazzy Star project, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions. Interestingly, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions is a major departure in terms of theme, instrumentation and mood. Whereas Mazzy Star’s sound was shimmering and moodily atmospheric and featured sparse arrangements of guitar and drums, The Warm Inventions’ sound at times is reminiscent of twangy 70s AM radio and soul as you’ll hear on “Let Me Get There,” the first single off the project’s forthcoming third, full-length effort Until the Hunter, slated for a November 4, 2016 release.

Featuring a guest spot from acclaimed and prolific singer/songwriter Kurt Vile, the song consists of the sort of tender, slow-burning, Sunday morning soulful and hypnotic groove that you can two-step to with a lover, paired with soaring and trembling organ keys and Sandoval and Vile’s call and response vocals evoking both the warm, comfortable and playful familiarity of a long-term couple as they’re about to make love or as they’re in the middle of making love — and that sense of curiosity and discovery those first few times you’ve begun to see a lover naked. Interestingly, the song also manages to suggest that when it’s right, a relationship should feel much like musicians who automatically have a sense of simpatico and can intuitively follow wherever the other leads.

 

 

New Video: The Sensual Visuals and Sounds of The Seshen’s “Distant Heart”

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore, full-length sophomore effort is slated for an October 14, 2016 release through Tru Thoughts Records and the album’s material reportedly reflects a band expanding upon their sound and lyrical content; St. Juste sings lyrics in a stream of consciousness fashion and as you’ll hear on the album’s first single “Distant Heart,” as the group pairs cascading layers of ambient, squiggling and shimmering synths with stuttering and off-kilter percussion with St. Juste’s plaintive and ethereal vocals to craft a sultry, sensual song that possesses an underlying heartache at it’s core. And in some way the song manages to gently nod at 70s and 80s synth funk and R&B.

The recently released music video for the song is full of slick, sensual imagery including people moving and grooving at a small, 1920s themed club while the members of The Seshen perform the song; the act’s lead singer, strutting past a car accident to chat with a woman wearing a wedding dress, complete with the wedding veil, who later gets her veil sensually removed by two other woman and so on. Interestingly, the video possesses a disorientating, fever dream-like logic in which events occur in a seemingly disconnected fashion.

Comprised of Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden, Chasms is a San Francisco, CA-based duo who specialize in crafting sparsely, minimalist dirges based around Labrador’s hauntingly ethereal vocals and shimmering guitar, propulsive and pummeling drum programming, swirling electronics and bursts of feedback and industrial clang and clatter. And in some way their sound draws from shoegaze, drone, dream pop, doom metal and ambient electronica as you’ll hear on the “We’ll Go,” the latest single off the duo’s forthcoming, full-length debut effort On The Legs Of Love Purified, which is slated for an October 14, 2016 through felte records. Interestingly, “We’ll Go” may arguably be the most slow-burning song they’ve ever released — and in some way it evokes smoke slowly dissipating before your eyes as Labrador’s vocals and shimmering synths gently drift into and out of focus and reverberate.

But just under the seemingly placid surface, there’s a sense of unease and discomfort, and that shouldn’t be terrifying surprising. Labrador spent most of the year recording the album herself with a hand injury that made guitar playing and production work difficult, laborious and painful.  Then add that the duo recorded the album in an illegally rented rehearsal space and a cramped apartment, struggling to survive financially as artists while facing the constantly looming threat of eviction, as they were frantically trying to finish their long-awaited debut effort. And in some way, that discomfort helps to emphasize the stark and haunting beauty and the visceral ache at its core.

The duo will be embarking on a tour through October and November, which will include a November 16, 2016 stop at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates

10.07 Portland, OR @ Lovecraft %  
10.08 Seattle, WA @ Blue Moon
10.09 Eugene, WA @ Wandering Goat 
10.10 Sacramento @ Press Club # 
10.11 San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout ^ 
10.13 La Puente, CA @ Bridgetown DIY ~ 
10.14 San Diego, CA @ The Whistle Stop *
10.15 Long Beach, CA @ 4th St. Vine 
10.16 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (Part Time Punks) + 
10.29 Berkeley, CA @ KALX (Live Session + Interview)
11.08 Indianapolis, IN @ State St. Pub
11.15 Providence, RI @ Machines with Magnets
11.16 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium =
11.19 Chicago, IL @ TBA