Author: William Ruben Helms

I'm a music blogger, critic and photographer, who has had articles and photos published in Downbeat, Premier Guitar Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The New York Press, New York Magazine's Vulture Blog, Ins&Outs Magazine, The Noise Beneath the Apple, Glide Magazine, The Whiskey Dregs Magazine and others. Check out The Joy of Violent Movement Shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement : Featured as one of the top photographers in New York City

New Video: The Murlocs Release a Slow-burning and Bluesy Ode to Troubled Friends

With the release of their first four albums, The Murlocs  — King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith and Cook Craig with Cal Shortal, Matt Mlach and Tim Karmouche — have released four albums of fuzzy and distorted psychedelic blues. which they’ve supported both as an opener for the likes of Gary Clark, Jr., Mac DeMarco, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Pixies, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Wavves and of course, Kenny-Smith’s and Craig’s primary gig, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and as a headliner. 

The Aussie psych blues outfit’s fifth album. the Tim Dunn-produced Bittersweet Demons is slated for a June 25, 2021 release through their longtime label home ATO Records. Recorded at Button Pushers Studio, the 11-song album finds the band lovingly reflecting on the people, who have left a profound imprint on their lives, the saviors, the hell raisers and other assorted mystifying characters. Arguably, the most personal and complex batch of material they’ve written to date, the album reportedly finds the band bouncing around and between sunny pop, blues punk and wide-eyed psychedelia informed by John Lennon‘s Plastic Ono Band and Harry Nilsson‘s Lennon-produced Pussy Cats. 

Last month, I wrote about Bittersweet Demons first single, the Tim Karmouche penned “Francesca,” a rousingly upbeat, hook-driven ripper with a subtle New Wave polish written for Kenny-Smith’s mother, who found a new lease on life through newfound love. Bittersweet Demons’ second and latest single “Eating At You” is a slow-burning and melancholic sing-a-long centered around wailing harmonica, shuffling rhythms, some shimmering pedal steel, Kenny-Smith’s most plaintive and earnest delivery of his career. In some way, “Eating At You” is The Murlocs’ “I Got Friends in Low Places,” as a rousingly anthemic ode to those deeply troubled friends and erstwhile n’er-do-wells of life. “it’s an ode to all the lovable train wrecks out there that have gone off the rails and keep going back for more,” The Murlocs’ Ambrose Kenny-Smith explains. “The never-ending vortex cycle. Some seem to never learn their lesson even when it smacks them right in the face constantly. It’s important to address these issues before disaster strikes and it’s too late. Never give up on your loved ones when they’re in need of a helping hand.”

 Directed, edited and shot by John Angus Stewart, the recently released video for “Eating At You” begins with someone spray-painting “Eating At U” on Kenny-Smith’s orange sweatshirt. We then follow Kenny-Smith getting fucked up with a collection of homies in an abandoned and graffiti covered public bathroom but as the video continues we see the night slide into anarchic chaos and despair. And throughout, there’s something a bit menacing but off-kilter.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays New Bleach Team up with Ariane Roy on an Atmospheric and Brooding New Single

Quebec City-based indie pop act and JOVM mainstays New Bleach features a duo known throughout Quebec for their work in acclaimed Francophone indie rock act Caravane — — Dominic Pelletier and Raphaël Potvin. And with the release of New Bleach’s first four singles, Pelletier and Potvin’s newest project proved to be a marked sonic departure from their work in Caravane: 

“Awake,” the duo’s debut as New Bleach was an Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT-like single centered around a profound philosophical question: “What if death was just a dream?”
“Silver Lining,” a Quiet Storm R&B meets Beacon-like track that’s one part old-school love song and one part plea for hope in a seemingly hopeless and bleak world. 
“High.” Kraftwerk meets 80s New Wave-like track centered around the age-old desire to get into the car for a road trip — and maybe pull over to do some hallucinogens and daydream. 
“You,” a slow-burning and atmospheric track full of the aching longing and regret of one’s lingering ghosts that featured Ghostly Kisses‘ Margaux Sauvé. 

The JOVM mainstays started 2021 with a gorgeously cinematic live session filmed in the Le Massif de Charlevoix, Quebec. Filmed in a mountainous forest cleaning, just off the coast of the St. Lawrence River, with a morning fog gently lifting, the sessions take place over the course of a day and night with the duo performing behind a futuristic lighting rig. The session features three singles I’ve written about previously — “Awake,” Silver Lining,” and “High.” The setting is breathtakingly gorgeous — in a way that only could be Quebec. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Quebec City-based duo’s debut EP Impressions was released last Friday through Coyote Records. And just before the EP’s release, the Quebec City JOVM mainstays released “Stranger,” a breezy and vaporous synth pop number centered around delicate and shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals, skittering polyrhythm and a sinuous bass line that sonically brought 80s synth soul and pop like Billy Ocean to mind. But at its core, the song asked thematically big, existential questions — namely, if true happiness is actually possible.

Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the slow-burning and atmospheric “Night.” Centered around an achingly tender vocal melody and boy-girl harmonizing between New Bleach’s Dominic Pelletier and Ariane Roy, twinkling synths, a propulsive bass line, the song evokes brooding, late night/early morning solitude while slowly unfolding into a rousingly anthemic coda. Written in a single night of solitude, the song invites the listener to meditate on the simple things that keep life worth living — and keep us alive.

With the release of their first two albums, 2013’s Sistrionix and 2016’s Nick Zinner co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process.

Last year, the duo collaborated with The Flaming Lips on the Deap Lips album. Edwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EP with Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one.

Slated for a June 18, 2021 release through Cooking Vinyl, the Los Angeles-based duo’s forthcoming Josiah Mazzaschi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan.

The duo explain that the EP “is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for while that run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others.

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

Jennie Vee adds “Recording with Julie and Lindsey felt very fresh but natural at the same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

New Video: Paris’ Nothing Else Releases a Trippy and Nostalgic Visual for Atmospheric “Sky Dive”

Nothing Else is an emerging Paris-based indie rock quartet — Geo (guitar, machines), Alexis (drums), Pedro (vocals, guitar) and JG (bass) — that describes themselves as being “from everywhere to anywhere” and their sound as being like “dark streets in forgotten cities, deep woods and business enters, fancy suit on infinite highways. Lost people on everyday wheels, confused clock needles — one more song and go . . .

The Parisian quartet’s latest single “Sky Dive” is a brooding and atmospheric track centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, propulsive drumming and Pedro’s plaintive vocals. The end result is a track that sonically — to my ears, at least — brings The Unforgettable Fire-era U2 and Starfish-era The Church to mind.

The recently released video features a collage of stock footage of the space age, 60s psych rock concerts, people and families on holiday and so on that feels nostalgic yet trippy.

Rising Dutch producer and DJ Cliff de Zoete has released a couple of attention-grabbing releases through French electronic music label Sinners including the astral “Spacesuit Required” and the tongue-in-cheek “Are You Afraid of the Boogieman?”Iridescence” EP, which featured the hypnotic and minimalist “Are You Afraid of the Boogieman?

“Orbit,”de Zoete’s expansive third release through the renowned French electronic music label continues a run of Kraftwerk-like material — in particular, Computerworld and Tour De France with the track being centered around a slowly developing groove centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats and a sinuous bass line. Simply put, the track is late night, deep house that will make you dance and sweat into the wee hours.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Evidence Releases a Contemplative Visual for “Pardon Me”

Born Micheal Taylor Perretta, the Los Angeles, CA-based emcee and producer Evidence has established himself as one of hip-hop’s most accomplished emcees and producers: as a solo artist and as a producer, Perretta has worked with Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Defari, Planet Asia, DJ Premier, WestsideGunn, Prodigy, Rapsody, Aloe Blacc, Action Bronson, Atmosphere’s Slug, Cypress Hill and a lengthy list of others. He won a Grammy for his co-production on Kanye West’s critically applauded, breakthrough debut album The College Dropout. He also has won two Juno Awards for his production work for Canadian hip-hop act Swollen Members. But he’s arguably best known for being a member of beloved hip-hop act Dilated Peoples with Rakaa Iriscience and DJ Babu.

Evidence has recorded and released five albums with his Dilated Peoples bandmates. As a solo artist, the Los Angeles-based emcee and producer has released three full-length albums, including 2018’s critically and commercially successful effort Weather Or Not and an EP. He has also released an album with The Alchemist as Step Brothers. Managing to remain busy, Evidence will be releasing his fourth full-length solo album Unlearning Vol. 1 through Rhymesayers on June 25, 2021.

Reportedly, the 14 track album pairs Evidence’s own production work with the likes of The Alchemist, Nottz, Sebb Bash, Animoss, Mr. Green, V Dom Daringer, Khrysis and QThree’s EARDRUM showcasing the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstay’s ability to collaborate with a wide and eclectic array of producers while still crafting a cohesive album. Additionally, the album features a small cast of guests that includes Boldy James, Conway The Machine, Fly Anakin, Navy Blue and Murkage Dave. Recently Evidence offered insight into the transition from Weather Or Not into the writing and recording of the material that would become Unlearning Vol 1: “I don’t feel like I’m Evidence, the character. I feel like I’m me,” he told DJ Booth, adding “I don’t mind evolving publicly.”