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 […]
If you’ve been frequenting this site over its nearly six year history, you’d likely know that I often go through a number of potential singles while multitasking. Usually, I’ll be listening to things while watching sports or some true crime story on Investigation Discovery (I’ve lately been obsessed with Homicide Hunter, Lt. Joe Kenda and Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen) and I get so caught up in everything that I’m doing that I’ll wind up listening to an entire Soundcloud related artist playlist. As a music blogger, it’s a pretty good way of discovering new artists out of my normal means of PR firm, label, band manager or artist finding me and contacting me; in fact, that’s exactly how I stumbled on to the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Sego. Comprised of the Mapleton, UT-born Spencer P. and Thomas C., the members of Sego relocated to L.A. to seriously pursue careers in music. And since relocating to the West Coast, Sego has quickly developed a reputation for a sound that employs modern and contemporary production techniques while maintaining an eccentric and human touch.
Now you may recall that I wrote about “Townland,” a Talking Heads and Superhuman Happiness channelling single that paired breathy vocals with angular guitar chords, a sinuous bass line, swirling ambient electronics and four-on-the-floor-like drumming with an infectious earnestness and honesty that belied the song’s ironic neuroticism. “Obscene Dream,” the percussive and angular first single off the duo’s hotly-anticipated full-length debut, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Out is reminiscent of Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundystem, as it’s a danceable track consisting of angular guitar chords, shimmering and cascading synth chords, tons of cowbell and other percussion, a shouted vocals on an anthemic hook and lyrics that often sound like ironic non-sequiturs and observations. And much like Sound of Silver, the song manages to accurately captures the feelings, hopes and thoughts of constantly connected young people.
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.
Comprised of David Österle, Daniel Hämmerle, Johannes Mandorfer and Peter Paul Aufreiter, the Vienna, Austria-based quartet Hearts Hearts specialize in a brooding slow-burning, elegiac sound that meshes elements of classical music and contemporary electro pop in a way that […]
Over the past couple of years, Los Angeles-based, indie electro pop duo Pr0files have become JOVM mainstay artists. And if you’ve been frequenting this site during that period, you may recall the duo’s backstory. Comprised of Comprised of Lauren Pardini (vocals, keys) and Danny Sternbaum, the project can trace its origins to when they were bandmates with Sonny Moore (who these days, you may known as mega-hit electronic music artist and producer Skrillex) in The Boy Traveller.
After The Boy Traveller split up, Pardini wrote for DJ Khalil’s camp and has written tracks for Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, has collaborated with with Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick and was briefly a member of the acclaimed The Silver Lake Chorus. Sternbaum on the other hand started his own band Baby Monster, an act that toured with Klaxons, Miike Snow and Metric; and developed a reputation as a producer and remixer, who has remixed tracks by Ellie Goulding, Gorillaz, Foster the Children and Miami Horror. Together, Pardini and Sternbaum first won attention across the blogosphere with the release of “Call Yourself A Lover,” “Luxury” which established the duo’s reputation for a sound that possesses elements of R&B, pop and electronic dance music.
“I Know You Still Care,” the first single off the duo’s long-awaited full-length debut, Jurassic Technologie, felt and sounded like a decided change in sonic direction, as the song possessed an urgent, insistent sensuality reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder‘s legendary work in the 1970s, as the song consisted of layers of shimmering and cascading synths, skittering percussion paired with Padroni’s seductive cooing to create what may arguably have been the duo’s most sensual and straightforward dance track they’ve released to date. However, the album’s second single “Empty Hands” was a slow-burning and anthemic pop song comprised of layers of cascading synth stabs, swirling, atmospheric electronics, propulsive drum programming, incredibly catchy hooks, and Pardini’s earnest, pop belter/torch song vocals to craft a song that sounds as though it owes a debt to 80s synth pop and more contemporary fare, such as Haerts and St. Lucia.
The duo continues to build on the buzz of Jurassic Technologie‘s first two singles with the release of the album’s third and latest single “Like a Knife.” And much like the album’s first single, “Like a Knife” is a sleek and sultry song comprised of shimmering synths, bluesy guitar chords, wobbling and tumbling low end and Pardini’s sexy coos. And as a result, the song possesses an urgent, almost plaintive, sexual need — while pairing need, vulnerability and hurt simultaneously; after all, love and lust are in many ways part of the same complex array of emotions that we all have experienced and wanted without quite understanding it.