Category: indie dance pop

New Video: Free Love Releases a Mischievous Take on 120 Minutes-era MTV Videos

Since their formation under the name Happy Meals in 2014 at Glasgow, Scotland’s The Green Door Studio, best known for being the birthplace of a number of local DIY bands, including renowned acts Golden Teacher and Total Leatherette, Free Love, comprised of Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook quickly established themselves as one of their homeland’s most acclaimed dance pop acts, as their 2015 full-length effort Apero was nominated for Scottish Album of the Year. Adding to a growing profile, the band opened for the likes of Liars and The Flaming Lips, and played sets at festivals in Austin, TX, Moscow, and Bangalore. Despite their recent change in name, the duo further cements their reputation for utopian and somewhat brainy dance pop experiments with their dance floor friendly. shimmering, 80s synth pop and New Wave-inspired single “Synchronicity.” While the track may remind some listeners of Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait,” and New Order’s “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle,” the song is about breaking from the binds of culturally dictated self-limitation, coupled with the vertigo of complete freedom.

Shot by Harrison Reid and Omar Aborida and edited by Gary McQuiggan, the recently released video for “Synchronicity” was filmed at Carlton Studios and features friends of the band as four different “bands” with four different backdrops. But as the band’s Lewis Cook explains to The Quietus, “I wanted it to look like a Sparks video or something like that. I like videos where it’s just a band playing. But because the track is all electronic music, it’s just us with drum machines and synthesizers. So we thought it’d be cool to do this thing you used to see in the 90s where people had clearly made a track on a sampler.” As Suzi Rodden adds, “but they’re kidding on that they’re playing all these instruments in their video. Big bass guitars and full drum kits and maracas and stuff.”
 

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New Video: The Breezily Nostalgic Visuals and Sounds of JOVM Mainstays Cones’ Latest Single “First Time”

Throughout this past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones — and as you’d recall, the duo comprised of Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator,  who has created music videos Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve, and who played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist can trace the origins of their collaborative project together to when they began playing together as members of NYC-based indie rock Icewater. Eventually,  the members of Icewater began playing as the session and touring band for Eleanor Friedberger’s New View, and while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, ultimately deciding that their project would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation. 

Shortly after the tour to support Friedberger’s New View, the Rosens along with a bunch of friends, associations and collaborators wrote and recorded the material that would comprise their debut EP, Whatever You’re Into, which featured single “Echoes On,” a single that paired Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country-like arrangement with a breeziness reminiscent of 70s AM radio. The EP’s follow up single, “Back In The Brain” further cemented their growing reputation for crafting breezy and ethereal synth pop with soaring hooks — but with that song, there was a darker undertone, as it was an ode to solitude.

“Later,” which the band released a few months ago found the duo retaining the shimmering and atmospheric, synth-led arrangements that first caught the attention of this site and the rest of the blogosphere — but interestingly enough, it may arguably be one of the most dance floor friendly singles they’ve released, as the song pairs lush atmospherics with a funky, two-step inducing bridge. But underneath the joyous vibes, the song as Jonathan Rosen explained was much more ambivalent than what the listener should actually expect. “I wrote ‘Later’ a few years ago when I was moving back home to California from New York. I finished it on Highway 1. It captures that moment in a breakup when you finally start to find peace, but some of that bitterness is still hanging around. It was originally a bit somber, but Michael and I realized it worked pretty well as a dance track, so we went for it,” as Jonathan Rosen explains in press notes.

“First Time,” the JOVM mainstays latest single is a breezy bubblegum pop-inspired track that manages to nod at early Beach Boys and contemporaries like Pavo Pavo and others while featuring fluttering synths, ethereal vocals and propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming. As a result, the song has a sincere and wistful nostalgia over a profound universal experience — falling in love for the very first time with an expected naivety. 

The recently released video features Jonathan Rosen’s hand drawn animations with live 8mm footage, specifically chosen to evoke the nostalgic feeling within the song.

Currently comprised of founding members Dean Povinsky (lead vocals, guitar) and Dwayne Christie (drums), along with newer members Derek Bosonworth (bass) and Nick Greaves (guitar), Chris Dawe (keys),  the Toronto, ON-based indie rock quintet Wildlife can trace their origins to when Povinsky along with guitarist Darryl Smith relocated to Glasgow, Scotland to form a band. Along with Scottish drummer Peter Kelly and fellow Canadian Billy Homes, the band spent time traveling, writing and recording songs and playing small venues around Glasgow; however that project split up with the Canadian members left Glasgow to return to Canada. Povinksy moved to Toronto with the intention of continuing Wildlife with childhood friend Plant, Christie and Julia Mensink (synths), along with Bosonworth to flesh out the band’s initial lineup.

Their full-length debut, Strike Hard, Young Diamond was released to critical praise from the likes of Exclaim!. Chart and others. After a series of lengthy tours across North America, which led to their first Top 10 hit single, the members of the band were also working on their first full-length album since 2013. “Dead Century” is the first single off that album, slated for release at the end of the year, and as the band explained to me in an email the song is about “moving forward through lost time; what it feels like to have one foot in an age that no longer exists, and coming to terms with having the other in a world you may never understand.” And as a result, the shimmering, moody and anthemic single produced by Tawgs Salter possesses a bittersweet sense of loss and confusion over what to do next, but underneath all of that a sense of time rushing past. Sonically, the song is incredibly contemporary and radio friendly indie rock as shimmering guitar chords, soaring synth chords, an anthemic hook you can hear kids shouting along and dramatic, propulsive drumming paired with plaintive and yearning vocals — and although aching, the song manages to have a sense of hope at its core.

 

 
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New Video: Neon Indian’s Soul Train-Inspired Performance Video for “The Glitzy Hive”

Over the five year history of this site,  Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist Alan Palomo and his solo recording project Neon Indian has become a JOVM mainstay — especially in the lead-up to the release […]

 

Comprised of  Juan Ledesma, Charlie Woods, Alex Lopez, and Robert Villar, the Miami, FL-based indie dance pop quartet Krisp formed back in 2011, and over the past few years they’ve developed a reputation for a groove-based, 80s inspired synth pop sound that possesses elements of indie electro pop, chill wave and indie rock.

Their debut EP, Mamani Vice was released in 2012 to critical praise from the likes of Earmilk and Indie Shuffle, and as a result they’ve opened for the likes of LCD Soundsystem‘s Nancy Whang, Miami Horror, Junior Boys, Blood Orange and Holy Ghost! among others, which has expanded their profile nationally. Their follow-up EP Sonic Monarch which South Florida-based talent house Gummdrops will be releasing in January will be comprised of material that is a subtle change of sonic direction. As the band’s Alex Lopez mentioned to the folks at Indie Shuffle, “On our first EP, Mamani Vice, we used a lot of synths and electric drums. For the new material on Sonic Monarch EP, it’s more organic, because its instrument-driven. We’re still using Charlie Wood’s synths, but not Juan’s or mine. We’ve got a funk/indie/electronic style going.”

The EP’s first single “167” pairs layers of  atmospheric, shimmering and cascading synths, four-on-the-floor drumming, angular funk guitar chords, a sinuous bass line and plaintive vocals in a song that sounds indebted to 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, the song reminds me quite a bit of an atmospheric and propulsive version of The Fixx’s “The Sign of Fire,”and “Red Skies at Night” with a slight surf rock leaning; it’s a danceable and goofily fun song that manages to evoke watching American Bandstand in the mornings and singing along to your favorite songs.

New Video: The Noir-ish and Surreal Video for Neon Indian’s “Slumlord Rising”

Alan Palomo is Mexican-born, Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist best known for his recording project, Neon Indian. Palomo’s 2009 debut effort, Psychic Chasms was released to critical praise across the blogosphere, as Pitchfork named it one of its best […]

New Video: Superhuman Happiness’ Playful Yet Wistfully Nostalgic Video for “Super 8”

Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM since its inception 5 years ago, you’d be familiar with the Brooklyn-based dance pop/funk Superhuman Happiness. Their long-awaited full-length debut, Hands was one of my favorite albums released last year and as […]