Category: Electro Pop

Comprised of Marshall, MN-born, Minneapolis, MN-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and electronic music artist Sean Tillmann, best known for his solo recording project Har Mar Superstar and A Giant Dog‘s and Sweet Spirit‘s Houston, TX-born, Austin, TX-based frontperson Sabrina Ellis, Heart Bones is a new, collaborative project that can trace its origins to when Ellis and Tillmann meeting and becoming friends while touring back in 2016. They recognized a shared love of over-the-top showmanship, which made their collaboration seem inevitable.

Throughout last year, the members of Heart Bones have made alternating trips back and forth between Minneapolis and Austin to write original material. Interestingly, Ellis and Tillmann are inspired by many of the classic duos of the 60s including Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Brikin, Sonny and Cher, Sam and Dave and others — and s a result. the project draws from doo wop, electronic dance music, electro pop and pop. Their currently working on the finishing touches of their debut EP; but in the meantime, From Here to Eternity . . . And Back-era Giorgio Moroder-like “Little Dancer” is centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Ellis and Tillmann’s ethereal boy-girl harmonizing. And while the song is club friendly, it possesses an achingly sad air.

Tillmann and Ellis will be embarking on a tour through June and July with Good Fuck. The tour includes a July 14, 2019 stop at Le Poisson Rouge. Check out, the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates: 
Sat, June 29 – Minneapolis MN @ Rock the Garden
Wed, July 3 – Madison WI @ High Noon Saloon *
Thu, July 4 – Maquoketa IA @ Codfish Hollow Barn *
Fri, July 5 – Omaha NE @ The Sydney *
Sat, July 6 – Denver CO @ Oriental Theater *
Sun, July 7 – Fort Collins, CO @ Surfside 7 *
Tue, July 9 – Kansas City MO @ Riot Room *
Wed, July 10 – Chicago IL @ Lincoln Hall *
Thu, July 11 – Cleveland OH @ Beachland Tavern *
Fri, July 12 – Philadelphia PA @ World Café Live *
Sat, July 13 – Washington DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
Sun, July 14 – New York NY @ Le Poisson Rouge “In the Round” *
Mon, July 15 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East (Upstairs) *
Tues, July 16 – Buffalo, NY @ 9th Ward At Babeville
Wed, July 17 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme

* w/ Good Fuck

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New Video: Synth Pop Act Body of Light Pair a Decidedly 80s-Influenced Single with Slick Cinematic Visuals

Comprised of sibling duo Andrew and Alexander Jarson, the Arizona-based synth pop act Body of Light can trace their origins to Jarsons involvement in the acclaims Ascetic House collective. Initially, what began as a vehicle for the duo to explore noise and sound during their early teens has evolved into an established electronic production and artist unit that specializes in music that draws from the Jarson’s individual and shared experiences and possesses elements of New Wave, freestyle, goth and techno. 

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through Dais Records, Body of LIght’s forthcoming, third album Time to Kill finds the Arizona-based duo refining their sound with a bolder sonic palette while thematically  weaving stories of love and obsession in an era of technological bondage and increasingly fleeting exhilaration. Interestingly, Time to Kill’s latest single, album title track “Time to Kill” is centered around a broodingly cinematic and dance floor friendly production consisting of relentless, tweeter and woofer thumping beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a soaring hook paired with plaintive vocals. And while the decidedly 80s goth/synth pop track recalls early Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Power, Corruption and Lies-era New Order and Upstairs at Eric’s-era Yaz, the song possesses a modern, studio sheen — without polishing away the swooning Romanticism at the core of the song.

Directed by Travis Waddell, the gorgeously shot, recently released video for “Time to Kill” is split between slow-motion, live footage of the duo performing in s small, sweaty basement club in front of ecstatic fans — and footage of the duo brooding in a studio in front of moody lighting. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Pop Artist Lonas Releases a Nostalgia-Tinged Visual for “High School Kids”

With his solo recording project Lonas, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Johnson makes a marked departure from his work as a member of Americana duo The Saint Johns. Johnson’s Lonas debut, Youth EP as he explains in press notes “is an attempt to immortalize millennials’ nostalgia for the past and unprecedented anxiety about the future.”

Interestingly, the EP’s first single, the slow-burning “High School Kids” is centered around a lush and brooding production featuring shimmering guitars, atmospheric electronics and propulsive drumming — and while sonically evoking the 90s pop that influenced it, the song is written from the perspective of someone looking back at their high school years with a warm, rose-colored, romanticized nostalgia. After all, the world seemed so much simpler — friendships and romantic relationships were supposed to last forever; humanity didn’t seem to be spinning closer to annihilation; and you didn’t have to face the compromises, complexities and uncertainties of the adult world. But there’s this tacit acknowledgement that the song’s narrator can’t get that time back.  

Directed by John Gillian, the video stars Andy Prince as a therapist and Johnson as himself, the recently released video ironically finds both men being incredibly nostalgic about their pasts — the carefree days of hanging out, goofing off and of seemingly simpler consequences. The video splits between the current day and grainy video footage, shot back in high school, capturing the youthful sense of hope and excitement of the time. 

Lyric Video: Acclaimed Indie Electro Pop Artist Tei Shi Releases a Slow-Burning and Ethereal New Single

With the release of a critically applauded batch of material — 2013’s Saudade EP, 2015’s Verde EP, 2017’s full-lenght debut, Crawl Space, a cover of Beyonce’s “No Angel” and a guest spot on Glass Animals’ “Holiest,” the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, electronic music artist and electronic music producer Valerie Teicher, best known as the creative mastermind behind Tei Shi has developed a reputation for crafting slow-burning, shimmering, ethereal pop. 

Teicher has spent the past couple of years working on her forthcoming sophomore album — but she’s also managed to find some time to collaborate with Blood Orange and Diddy on the viral hit song “Hope,” which has amassed over 10 million streams. Also, she appeared in the video for the song alongside Diddy, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator and Empress Of — and she joined Blood Orange in a performance of the song at this year’s Coachella Festival. Interestingly, the album’s slow-burning and gorgeous first single “A Kiss Goodbye” is reportedly a tonal departure from her moodier, darker debut as it finds Teicher, who’s a Colombian-Canadian reconnecting with her Latin roots and influences with the material also reflecting her relocation from New York to Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, while superficially recalling Sade, the song has a subtle Brazilian tropicalia lilt — until the trap beat driven bridge, which gives the song an unexpected, urgency. 

“This song is about intuition—following my gut and my body more than my head,” Teicher explains press notes. “It’s about learning from love and from giving so much of myself to other people, and coming out of it with a more selfish mindset, to save my love and my nurturing for myself. It’s about figuring out who you are on your own and without someone else defining that for you, through trusting yourself and allowing for the universe, the supernatural, the unexpected to take hold.”

 

Last month, I wrote about Brijean Murphy, a Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist, who has made a name for herself as a highly-sought after touring musician with stints in the touring bands of Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls and Poolside, as well as several others. Interestingly, Murphy can trace the origins of her musical career to her childhood — Murphy’s father, Patrick is a percussionist and engineer, who taught a young Brijean her first drum patterns on a pair of congas that she inherited from the late Trinidadian steel pan drum legend Vince Charles.

The Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist managed to find some free time to collaborate with Doug Stuart, a producer, who shares a background as a jazz and pop session musician, who has worked with JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas, Meerna, Luke Temple, Jay Stone and others. Written and recorded in marathon sessions at their intimate home studio, wedged between rarely over-lapping tour schedules, the duo formed BRIJEAN, a project that meshes Murphy’s Latin jazz and soul upbringing with Murphy’s 70s disco and 90s house-inspired production.

Slated for a June 28, 2019 through Native Cat Recordings, BRIJEAN’s debut effort, WALKIE TALKIE EP finds Murphy stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist in her own right. Now, as you may recall, the slickly produced “Show and Tell” was centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line, glistening chimes, shimmering synths, Latin soul percussion, dreamily delivered vocals singing metaphysical-leaning lyrics, and a sleek hook within an expansive and trippy arrangement that nods at Roy Ayers and classic house. The EP’s latest single, the dance floor friendly EP title track “Walkie Talkie” features a sinuous, 90s house music-influenced production consisting of shimmering arpeggiated keys, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end and Latin percussion — and unsurprisingly, the song brings Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa to mind, complete with a coquettish air.

 

 

Live Footage: James Blake Performs “I’ll Come Too” on KRCW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic”

Born the son of musician James Litherland, James Blake is an acclaimed London-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who showed an interest and aptitude in music at a very young age: he received classical piano training as a child, eventually attending Goldsmith, University of London, where he received a degree in Popular Music. While attending Goldsmith, Blake and a friends hosted a series of Bass Society music nights that featured British artists like Distance, Skream and Benga. 

Blake first received recognition for a series of EPs in 2010 — CMYK EP and Klavierwerke and his 2011 self-titled debut, all which were released to critical praise. His sophomore effort, 2013’s Overgrown won that year’s Mercury Prize and a Best New Artist Grammy nomination. 2016’s The Colour in Anything further established Blake’s unique sound and approach, which draws from electronic music, electro pop, R&B and blue-eyed soul. 

Throughout his career, Blake has managed to collaborate with a wide and eclectic variety of contemporary artists including Mount Kimbie, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Vince Staples, Rosalia, Jay-Z, Oneohtrix Point Never and Frank Ocean — and for his remixes under the moniker Harmonimix. His most recent album, the critically applauded Assume Form finds Blake collaborating with Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, Andre 3000, Moses Sumney, and Rosalia.

Recently, Blake was invited to perform the first-ever live session at KCRW’s brand-new Annenberg Performance Studio. The session aired on KRCW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic hosted by the station’s Musical Director, Jason Bentley.  Joined by his bandmates Rob McAndrews and Ben Assiter, Blake performed material from Assume Form, including the album’s title track, “Barefoot In The Park,” “I’ll Come Too,” and “Don’t Miss It,” as well as a live version of his song “Retrograde” and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.” “I’ll Come Too” is a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around Blake’s ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering synths, stuttering beats and a soaring hook — and while   bearing an uncanny resemblance to classical music, the track finds Blake expressing an achingly passionate yearning and vulnerability. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Breezy Club Banger

Over the course of this site’s almost nine year history, I’ve spilled quite of virtual ink over the acclaimed, internationally-based synth pop act Yumi Zouma. And as you may recall, the act which is now currently comprised of Christie Simpson, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess initially formed in their hometown of  Christchurch, New Zealand; however, since the 2011 earthquake that devastated their hometown and the rest of the region, the members of the band have been split across different locations across the globe with members residing in New York, Paris and Christchurch.

Primarily writing and recorded by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live band but they received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop-inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and tender vocals. Since the release of their Turntable Kitchen released cover of Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the renowned synth pop act released an EP trilogy, with the last EP, the aptly titled EP III being released through their longtime label home  Cascine Records last September.

The act’s latest single “Bruise” continues the act’s long-held reputation for crafting breezy, hook-driven synth pop with an underlying bittersweet quality — but the new single may arguably be the most dance floor friendly track they’ve released to date, as it also possesses a muscular and propulsive thump. Interestingly, as the band notes the origins of their latest single were steeped in loss, as the instrumental part of the song was written after Sam Perry informed the rest of the band that he was leaving the band and moving to Serbia — but the track has become a beacon for optimism for the band. “We were all distraught until Josh said ‘Cheer me up guys — let’s write a song for Nelly Furtado. Nelly never replied but we came up with a smash.” 

New Video: London’s Rude Audio Releases a Trippy Visual for Trance Inducing New Single “Repeat Offender”

Rude Audio is a London-based production and DJ collective primarily centered around founding and core trio Mark Ratcliff, who as a solo producer and artist, has had releases played by acclaimed DJs Andrew Weatherall, Laurent Garnier, Kris Needs, Don Letts, Graeme Park and Rob da Bank, as well as BBC Radio 6’s Nemone and Gideon Coe; Owain Lloyd, who has made a career as a mixing engineer for the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Paul Weller, Niall Horan and a lengthy lists of others; and Dave “The Rave” Brennan, formerly of The End Recordings, and Bombis Records. And although each individual member of the collective’s core has an acclaimed career in their own right, the act as a whole has developed a critically applauded sound that seamlessly meshes elements of deep house, acid house, techno and dub. Additionally, they’re known for the legendary and highly-popular underground parties, including their residency at Kentish Towns’ Flaxon Ptootch, where electronic music heavyweights like The Chemical Brothers have been invited to drop by, dig deep into their record collections and playlists and play anything they want. 

2016’s Rudest EP found the collective refining their sound — while still drawing from dub, the material increasingly leaned towards propulsive, club-banging house music. The acclaimed British electronic collective followed that effort up with 2018’s Rude Redux EP.  Continuing a prolific and productive period for the British electronic collective, their forthcoming Street Light Interference is slated for a July 15, 2019 release through Zirkus Records. Interestingly, the album’s writing sessions found Ratcliff changing things up — inspired by the old adage about getting your head together in country, Ratcliff disappeared to the middle of nowhere for a few days, where he laid down the album’s basic tracks.

Ratcliff returned to London, where he worked with Owain Lloyd to bash the basic tracks he had laid down into shape.  The duo’s mutual love of dub and left-field house and the incorporation of several shinier elements may make Street Light Interference some of the collective’s most trance-like in some time. Coincidentally, this may have been inspired by the fact that the collective’s Dave Brennan, who’s long been their voice of reason, pushing them away from their trance tendencies wasn’t around. The album also features remixes from some of the act’s favorite remixes and producers including Bedford Falls Players, Mark Cooper, Fearless Few Collective, Kitsch Kub, Valtow, Zar, and others “I had half an eye on some of the underground but outdoor summer parties proliferating in my manor when pulling together various elements on the release, although the likelihood of engaging with a blissful, sun kissed milieu in South London during July and August is less likely than engaging with a dirty rave in a damp squat, where everyone’s complaining about why we aren’t having a summer this year,” the collective’s Mark Ratcliff says in press notes. 

Street Light Interference’s first single is the propulsive yet minimalist “Repeat Offender.” Centered by layers of arpeggiated synths, reverb-drenched drum machine, recalling classic dub, and a trancey vibe, the bears an uncanny resemblance to Kraftwerk and Octo Octa — but with the bracing iciness of stepping into a cool pool on a hot summer afternoon. 

The recently released video follows a young boy, who internally may be one of the oldest young men you’ve ever seen, as he works a mundane office job at home. But everything isn’t as it seems. The boy finds a glowing orb, which initially confuses, then entrances and summons him before fading to black. Trippy indeed.