Comprised of Johnny D (vocals, guitar and keyboards) and Matty G (keyboards, sampling and vocals), the Miami, FL-based indie elector pop duo EONS have received praise from the likes of Huffington Post and others for […]
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few weeks, you may recall a post I wrote about the Sunderland, UK-based duo Field Music. Comprised of its creative masterminds, sibling duo Peter and David Brewis and featuring the contributions of Kev Dosdale, Andrew Lowther, Ian Black, Liz Corney, Andrew Moore, Damo Waters and a rotating casts of collaborators, the Brewis Brothers have developed an internationally recognized profile for a for a sound comprised of interwoven vocals, slightly off chords and chord changes, a slightly off-kilter yet approachable experimental pop sensibility — and for material based around incredibly catchy choruses.
Over the past few years, Field Music has been on hiatus as the Brewises were busy with a variety of side projects. But they found themselves inevitably drawn back to working together on their own songs. As David Brewis explained in press notes, “As much fun as we might have had on our own or collaborating, we missed just spending time in the studio, the two of us, trying things out and playing together.” Interestingly, Commontime. the first Field Music album in several years was written and recorded over spontaneous bursts over a six month period in their Wearside, UK-based studio. And the material the Brewis Brothers wrote was focused around them playing and singing — while featuring contributions from original keyboardist Andrew Moore, Peter Brewis’ wife Jennie Brewis, vocals from the newest member of the touring band, Liz Corney and a variety of other collaborators. “We wanted to embrace being a duo, and perversely, that made us feel more comfortable about all of those conspicuous cameos,” David Brewis notes.
Reportedly, the album’s material is reportedly based around the passing of time — acquaintances coming and going, friendships drifting and diffusing over time, random snippets of the every day and real-life conversations being replayed. In fact, Commontime’s first single “The Noisy Days Are Over,” was based on a conversation between two friends who are struggling to say goodbye to their boozy, hard-partying youthful days. Sonically, the song paired funky guitar chords, propulsive percussion, dramatic keyboard chords and the Brewis brothers’ ironic yet wistful vocals with warm and soulful blasts of saxophone and strings in a song that reminds me both of Superhuman Happiness‘ Escape Velocity (in particular, I think of “Drawing Lines” and “Super 8“) and of Talking Heads as all three are eccentric and expansive visions of what you can do with pop — while being approachable.
Commontime‘s latest single “Disappointed” begins with a David Bowie-like introduction of shimmering and soulful guitars and gentle drumming before turning into a bit of off-kilter funk with propulsive and hard hitting drums, a sinuous bass line, the Brewis Brothers’ ironically detached and yet wistful vocals, gorgeous piano keys and angular guitar chords; sonically, the song sounds as though the Brewis Brothers were drawing from fellow Englishman Tom Vek. Lyrically, the song focuses on an ambivalent and confusing relationship in which disappointment is bound to happen. Of course, interestingly enough, the song also suggests that disappointment may be part of the human condition; that all relationships have their disappointments — and it’s okay.
Currently very little is know about the Parisian-born indie pop artist and producer Cocovan; however, after making a name for herself in her hometown, the French artist felt an immense calling to come Stateside to […]
Dan Snaith can trace the origins of his solo recording project Caribou to the theft of an unused sampler from his high school’s music department program. Snaith originally began writing and recording under the moniker Manitoba — that […]
Comprised of husband and wife duo, Keith Kenniff (multi-instrumentalist/producer), also known for his work as Helios and Goldmund and Hollie Kenniff (vocals and primary songwriter), Portland, OR-based duo Mint Julep started in 2007 with relatively modest intentions –an attempt to get the normally shy Hollie Kenniff to sing more. Initially, the duo’s sound drew from early 90s shoegaze but eventually their sound gradually became influenced by electronic music through the duo’s admiration of rough edged sounds of industrial electronica, which Hollie was a big fan of, and punk rock, which Keith was a big fan of. As Keith Kenniff explained in press notes, “It took us a while to suss out whether this was something we were just going to have fun with, or if we’d actually release our music. But we ended up keeping at it, and now we’re at the point where we’ve created something with its own sound that’s very unique to us.”
The Portland-based duo’s sophomore effort, Broken Devotion was written over a four year period with the duo’s sound reportedly being more lush and intricately layered than their debut effort, Save Your Season while thematically the material explores both the light and dark dimensions of love. “White Hot Heart,” Broken Devotion‘s first single pairs a driving, motorik groove, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and Hollie Kenniff’s ethereal coos in a slickly produced and moody pop song with a shimmering and breezy melody. Sonically, the song is clearly indebted to the synth pop of Pet Shop Boys — think of “West End Girls” for example — as the song possesses a hazy nostalgia over a love affair that has slowly unravelled before the narrator’s eyes while being danceable.
Jonathan Hoard is a Columbus, OH-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, vocal arranger and teacher, who has had a lengthy history performing and recording with a number of Grammy Award-winning artists and producers including Regina Belle, Tracy Pierce, Richard Smallwood, Rashad McPherson and DivinePURPOSE and his father, Stellar Award– nominated artist Ronald Hoard as a background vocalist. And with as the frontman of his own act, J. Hoard and The Greenhouse People, Hoard and company has opened for Dwele; however, I’m actually most familiar with Hoard through his work with Gentei Kaijo, the backing band to the popular soul/funk/hip-hop residency The Lesson.
Here’s where things get interesting. Earlier this month, I was at the Women In Music Holiday Party at Le Poisson Rouge when I ran into Melany Watson and a producer/songwriter and guitarist Greg Seltzer. And while chatting with Seltzer, he told me that he recently produced a song by J. Hoard featuring Rabbi Darkside. “Tidal Wave” pairs subtle soul clap-percussion and skittering drum programming with icily swirling synths, guitar chords played through reverb and twinkling keyboards with Hoard’s soulful falsetto which express ache, desire, and joy within a turn of a phrase. Rabbi Darkside contributes a silky smooth 16 bars at the song’s bridge about being in a seemingly turbulent situation and at the mercy at something far larger than yourself in a song that metaphorically views a tidal wave as both destructive and as a cleansing force — all while possessing a a quiet, understated self-determination.
With the release of the critically applauded We Are EP, the mysterious Brooklyn-based solo electro pop recording artist The Landing exploded into the blogosphere for a genre-bending sound that the artist has dubbed “space-pop” — and […]
Amanda Steckler is a New York-based electronic music artist and producer, who has received attention across the blogosphere over the past year for her solo recording project, Blonde Maze. Interestingly enough, JOVM was among the very first to write about Steckler and Blonde Maze — and if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you may recall that I wrote about “Summer Rain,” the first single off her debut EP, Oceans, which was released earlier this year. “Summer Rain,” much like the material off Oceans focuses on and is informed by the pain, excitement and longing that comes from being an ocean away from someone — or something dear to you. Written between stints in New York and London, Oceans‘ first single was comprised of layers of slowly cascading synths, a glitchy vocal sample, swirling electronics and an aching yet ethereal vocals that float over an icy and bracing mix. And in some way, that single evoked the sensation of being haunted by the presence of a loved one, who you can’t possibly have at that moment, because of a great distance.
Steckler’s latest single is slow-burning and atmospheric rendition of a familiar holiday song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”that possesses a chilly and melancholic longing as slowly cascading synths, swimrling electronics and chiming percussion and Steckler’s ethereal vocals — and much like “Summer Rain” and the Oceans EP, the single seems to evoke the idea that the love interest at the song is quite a distance away, and won’t come back any time soon.
With the release of a now sold-out 12,” and their Young Ones EP, the London-based duo Formation, comprised of siblings Will and Matt Rinson quickly exploded into the UK electro pop scene; in fact, the duo’s […]