Ryder is an up-and-coming, Los Angeles, CA-based indie pop artist, who has started to receive attention with the release of “Ruins,”a slow-burning and atmospheric pop song that pairs a soaring and anthemic hook with swirling […]
Initially starting her career as the frontwoman of Toronto, ON-based band The Wayo, Charlotte Day Wilson is a 23 year old classically trained singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, who has since emerged out of her hometown’s jazz, soul, and R&B as a solo artist of note, adding herself to a list of growing artists including friends and collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD and River Tiber. Wilson’s debut single “After All” is reportedly about re-socializing after spending some time inside cocooning while also suggesting the freedom of embarking towards new endeavors, and sonically the song pairs Wilson’s husky and effortlessly soulful vocals with an ethereal production — which consists of staccato stabs of organ, warm blasts of horn, skittering drum programming, gently swirling electronics. Interestingly, Wilson’s vocals and the song reminds me quite a bit of The Brand New Heavies “Never Stop” but breezier and moodier.
If you were frequenting this site over the last four to six months of 2015, you’d likely be familiar with Raleigh, NC-based funk and soul artist Jamil Rashad and his solo recording project Boulevards. Describing his sound as “party funk jams for the heart and soul to make you move,” Rashad’s work caught my attention as it draws from the classic funk sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, Rick James, Chic, the production work of Quincy Jones – most notably Off the Wall and Thriller-era Michael Jackson, as well as Talking Heads, Grace Jones, and Cameo among others. Unsurprisingly, those acts were the sounds that he listened to as a child — although his teenage interest in punk, hardcore and metal also influenced his own songwriting and production work. And with the release of his Boulevards EP, Rashad quickly put himself on the map as part of a growing neo-disco/neo-funk movement that includes several mainstays including Dam-Funk, Escort, Rene Lopez, Mark Ronson (in particular, his mega-hit “Uptown Funk”) and several others.
April 1, 2016 will mark the anticipated release of Boulevard’s full0-length debut, the aptly titled Groove!, and the album’s first single “Cold Call” is indebted to 80s synth R&B and pop as layers of wobbling and shimmering synth stabs are paired with a sinuous bass line, Rashad’s seductive cooing, warm blasts of horn and an anthem hook in a slow-burning jam that channels Cameo’s “Word Up!” and “Candy,” Oran “Juice” Jones‘ “The Rain” Adding to the period specific feel, are the brief interludes with Rashad seemingly flirting and coming on to the listener. Simply put, it’s the sort of song that you can do that old-fashioned two step to — while flirting with hat pretty young thing you saw across the club.
Over the course of the nearly six year history of this site, there have been a number of artists that I’ve written about, who have become mainstays, and unsurprisingly, a number of those artists have […]
If you’ve been frequenting JOVM for a while, you may remember that I’ve written about Norwegian electro pop duo, BLØSH. With the release of their breezy and infectious debut single “Can’t Afford to Lose You,” the duo comprised of of Madrid-born, Oslo, Norway-based cellist and vocalist Teresa Bernabé and guitarist Jørgen Berg Svela, an Oslo native, quickly found themselves with an expanding international profile as the duo saw praise and attention from JaJaJa Music, Indie Shuffle and airplay on Amazing Radio.
“Give It Away,” which I wrote about last November further cemented the duo’s burgeoning reputation for crafting infectious pop as the song paired an upbeat melody, punchy bass lines, a looping guitar line and a soaring, anthemic hook with with Bernabé’s breezy vocals while sonically drawing from African music and African-inspired pop — in particular Paul Simon‘s Graceland, the legendary Ali Farka Touré and Afrobeat. Now the Oslo, Norway-based duo is continuing to build on the buzz of “Can’t Afford to Lose You,” and “Give It Away” with the release of their latest single “When Love Is Alive.” Beginning with a steady bass line, the song pairs reverb-y guitars, propulsive drumming and Bernabé’s ethereal vocals in a slow-burning song that expresses an aching longing and yearning for giving and receiving the love that the narrator desperately wants and deserves — but with the sad realization that love is often short-lived. And as a result, the song possesses the same breeziness as their previous singles but with a subtle sense of mourning.
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.