Category: indie electro rock

New Video: The Legendary Johnny Marr Releases a Trippy Visual for Rousingly Anthemic “Spirit, Power And Soul”

Manchester-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr first rose to fame as the guitarist and co-songwriter of The Smiths between 1982 and 1987. Since The Smiths split up in 1987, Marr has been extremely busy: he has played in number of different projects and has collaborated with a who’s who of acclaimed artists including the likes of The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, The Avalanches, Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer.

The Manchester-born and-based artist’s highly anticipated fourth album Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 is a double album, with the first segment, Fever Dreams Pt. 1 being released through BMG on October 15, 2021. Reportedly fusing the language of soul music with his roots as a self-described “Mancunian glam rocker,” the four-song EP features lyrics that could be seen as simultaneously personal and universal — paired with an high energy electronic sound. The end result is an EP worth of material that reflects and is informed by Marr’s legendary and multifaceted past but while seeing him push his sound to a new direction.

Fever Dreams Pt. 1’s first single is the rousingly anthemic, “Spirit, Power And Soul.” Centered around heavily arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering guitars, Marr’s plaintive vocals and an enormous hook, “Spirit Power And Soul” manages to bring Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies era New Order to mind while subtly hinting at Marr’s past, beloved work.

“‘Spirit, Power And Soul’ is a kind of mission statement. I had an idea about an electro sound with gospel feeling, in my own words… an electro soul anthem,” Marr says of the new single.

The recently released video or “Spirit, Power And Soul” features the legendary Marr in series of trippy set ups, where he’s seen floating serenely through the cosmos and through repeating geometric shapes — sometimes playing his guitar, sometimes rocking out to the song or just with a Buddha-like zen calm.

Last year, I spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the rising Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act Carré that features:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that JusticeSoulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels ClineJonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “square,” “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed back in 2019 — and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.” The members of the Los Angeles-based act specialize in a French electronica-inspired sound that frequently blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their visuals tend to feature geometric shapes and patterns.

The act specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their self-titled EP was released last year through Nomad Eel Records — and the EP featured the Uncanny Valley-era Midnight Juggernauts meets Tour de France-era Kraftwerk-like “Freeform,” a free flowing and improvised jam centered around glistening synth arpeggios, shimmering blasts of guitar, an insistent motorik groove, hi-hat driven four-on-the-floor and ethereal vocal samples.

“Freeform” was given the remix treatment by Parisian multi-instrumentalist Alex Tran, a.k.a. A.T.M. and interestingly enough, the A.T.M. remix adds a decidedly French house touch to the proceedings with glitchy sequences, muscular guitars, harder hitting beats, vocodered vocals while retaining the song’s free flowing and improvised jam-like feel and dark industrial vibes while essentially giving the song a dance floor friendly air.


 

 

New Video: French Duo MD ONE Releases a Moving VIsual for Rousingly Anthemic “Espérance”

MD ONE — Marc Vindret (multi-instrumentalist, production) and David Bernard (lyrics, vocalist) — is a French indie electro pop/electro rock duo, who derive their name from the names of the project’s individual members — M for Marc Vindret, D for David Bernard and ONE for the unity between the duo. The duo’s full-length debut Twelve Stars is slated for a June 11, 2021 — and the album finds them quickly establishing their sound and songwriting approach Vindret aims for simplicity and strength through chord changes while Bernard’s lyrics thematically find him reflecting on his personal quest for serenity and spirituality while reflecting on his past and present emotions, his relationship to life and love.

Twelve Stars’ three previously released singles have amassed over 800,000 views on YouTube and continuing upon that momentum, MD ONE recently released the album’s fourth and latest single, the arena rock-like anthem “Espérance.” Deriving its title from the name of an Australian fishing port named Espérance,” the song is centered around rousingly anthemic hooks, buzzing power chords, twinkling keys and four-on-the-floor, Vindret’s plaintive vocals and a relentless motorik groove that makes the song sound — to my ears, at least — like a slick synthesis of early New Order and Violator-era Depeche Mode. But thematically, the song is ardent and politically charged in a way that may remind some of early U2 — with the song’s narrator delivering a call of arms to the listener to fight inequality and unfairness — and to make the world a better place.

The recently released Kevin Adler-directed video for “Espérance” can trace its origins to MD ONEs Bernard being moved by a news report on Miracles Foundation and their mission to reunite houseless Americans with their often long-lost families and friends. At its core, the video aims to remind the viewer of the dignity of all people — and that there’s hope even in the most desperate of times.

New Video: Join Toronto’s MONOWHALES on an 80s Inspired Journey Through Space and Time

Emerging Toronto-based indie act MONOWHALES, three self-described “weirdos” as they say on their Facebook page, released their latest effort Daytona Bleach earlier this year. The album, which according to the band was a long time coming, was the result of a painful yet rewarding period of introspection and personal growth for the trio: “This album is about accepting who we are, and holding it up for all to see,” MONOWHALES explain. “We are a group of people that deal in extremes. We’re either way up, or way down, but no matter what we are always moving forward.”

“He Said/She Said (I Wait)” Daytona Bleach’s latest single is a rousingly anthemic and dance floor friendly bit of electro rock that reminds me quite a bit of Version 2.0-era Garbage with the track being centered around scorching guitars, drum machine enhanced four-on-the-floor, buzzing bass synths and sultry vocals. But despite the swaggering, take-no-shit delivery, the song is underpinned by personal experience of modern life in a pandemic:

“Seems like we are all running around on our hamster wheels at home,” the band says. “As we look around surrounded by fake news and sickness, I sit frozen, feeling catatonic in my body. Yet, my mind can’t stop running. My thoughts race in perpetual anxiety as I wait for life to resume its course.

“He Said/She Said (I Wait)” is about delusionally interpreting and trying to accept what is going on around me while constantly immersed in a dissociative state.

Directed by Ievy Stamatov, the recently released video is a surreal journey through time and space, seemingly inspired by a nostalgic fascination with 80s graphics and technology.

New Video: Jupe Jupe Releases a Stylish Visual for New Order-Inspired “Leave You Lonely”

Seattle-based indie electro pop act Jupe Jupe — My Young (vocals, synths), Bryan Manzo (guitar, bass, sax), Patrick Partington (guitar), and Jarrod Arbini (drums, percussion) — have released four albums since their formation in 2010 — Invaders, Reduction in Drag, Crooked Kisses, and Lonely Creatures — that have firmly established their sound: an infectious, dance floor friendly sound influenced by post-punk, synth pop and Americana. Adding to a growing profile, the act has collaborated with the likes of The Afghan Whigs‘ Rick G. Nelson, Lusine, Mike Simonetti, Erik Blood and a number of others on their remix album Cut Up Kisses. 

Released earlier this year, the Seattle-based quartet’s Matt Bayles-produced Nightfall EP was recorded at Seattle-based Studio Litho and continues their ongoing collaboration with Bayles, who produced and engineered their last album.  Meticulously written over the course of a year, the five song EP features five hook-driven upbeat yet simultaneously melancholy songs that thematically focuses on yearning and desire — with the addition of a saxophone to their sound.

EP single “Leave You Lonely”is a shimmering and decidedly New Order-like track centred around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular guitar blasts, a propulsive bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming, My Young’s plaintive vocals and an infectious hook. And while being a pop-inspired confection with ambitious songwriting, the song evokes a swooning and earnest yearning. 

The recently released video features a meshing of three distinct visual styles — line animation, live footage shot in a high contrast negative and a lyric video — while being decently 80s influenced — and in a way that brings A-Ha’s “Take On Me” to mind. 

New Video: Savages’ Jehnny Beth Releases Intimately Shot Footage of Swaggering Album Single “Innocence”

Camille Berthomier is a Poitiers, Vienne, France-born, London-based singer/songwriter, actress, author and musician, professionally known as Jehnny Beth — and as the frontwoman of the Mercury Prize-nominated, critically applauded act Savages. Interestingly, as a member of Savages, the Poitiers, Vienne, France-born, London-based singer/songwriter has developed a reputation for a unique lyrical perspective and a stage presence that has captivated audiences across the world over the past 15 years. 

Beth’s solo debut To Love Is To Live was originally slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Caroline Records — but the album was recently pushed back to June 12, 2020, as a result of the Savages frontwoman’s desire to support local, independent record stores by ensuring that the physical album could come out at the same time. “Record stores are where I found myself as a teenager, digging through albums that ultimately shared who I have become,” Beth says in press notes. “To release my first ever solo album in a way that would leave them out felt wrong to me; luckily, we were able to find a date that would allow us to release the physical and digital album at the same time.” 

Recorded in Los Angeles, London and Paris, To Love Is To Live finds the longtime Savages frontwoman boldly stepping into and claiming the spotlight as a solo artist, while collaborating with an eclectic array of producers and artists including Flood,Atticus Ross, longtime collaborator and Savages bandmate Johnny Hostile, Adam “Cecil” Bartlett, The xx’s Romy Madley Croft, IDLES‘ Joe Talbot and Golden Globe-winning actor Cilian Murphy.

Thematically, the album sees Beth tapping into and accessing the darkest and least comfortable parts of herself to craft material that’s cathartic, abrasive, fearlessly honest and vulnerable, making the material a dark and cinematic meditation on the very strangeness of being alive. 

Earlier this month, I wrote about the album’s second single “Flower,” a brooding and atmospheric track centered around a murky and tempestuous pulse, shimming synth arpeggios and Beth’s sultry cooing and crooning. The end result is a song that’s simmers with a feverish and obsessive lust. Reportedly written about a pole dance at Los Angeles’ Jumbo’s Clown Room, the song details the complicated and confusing depths of sexuality, desire, possession and loss. “Innosence,” To Love Is To Live’s third and latest single continues a run of dark and sultry material as its centered round an off-kilter motorik rhythm  and a swaggering yet brooding trip hop-like air, while Beth purrs, howls, struts and pouts. But at its core is an eerie and uneasy feeling of isolation, loneliness and distance — and although inspired by the very things that its creator’s has experienced and felt countless times in large cities, despite being near people all the time. Recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, the song sounds like a prescient foresight of what would eventually happen to us right now. 

The single is accompanied by live video footage filmed at rehearsals for Beth’s now-critically applauded, incendiary live show, which debuted at the BBC 6 Music Festival earlier this year. Naturally, the video gives the viewer a sense of her live show’s energy with a you-are-there intimacy. 

Along with the release of her solo debut, the acclaimed French-born, British-based singer/songwriter, musician and actress will be releasing her first book, a collection of erotic short stories paired with photography from her longtime collaborator and bandmate Johnny Hostile. Slated for a June 11, 2020 release through White Rabbit, Crimes Against Love Manifesto (C.A.L.M.) will help to establish Beth and Hostile as two of the most provocative and forward-thinking voices in contemporary fiction and erotic art.

New Video: Introducing the Explosively Aggressive Dance Floor Friendly Sound of Los Angeles’ Carré

Carré is a Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act featuring: 

Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world. 
Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that Justice, Soulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream. 
Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels Cline, Jonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot. 
Deriving their name for the French word for “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed last year. And as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.”  

Aesthetically, the act specializes in blending aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops inspired by French electronica. Thematically, their work is generally about conception, abstraction and distortion of reality, inspired by a geometric shapes and patterns and a surrealistic outlook on our world. The act’s debut single “This is a not a band” is a propulsive, club banger centered around layers of synth arpeggios, explosive and angular guitar squiggles, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, four-on-the-floor drumming, some industrial clang and clatter, shouted vocals, a distorted vocal loop and an arena rock friendly hook. Sonically, the song finds the trio’s sound somewhere in between Factory Floor, The Rapture, Primal Scream, Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method– but with a primal and furious intensity. 

Directed by Patrick Fogarty the recently released video is hypnotic and mind-bending visual shot features glitchy and explosive blasts of color that undulate with the music, glowing geometric shapes and more. 

Live Footage: FOAMS Performs “Losing My Mind”

Initially cutting their teeth as a pop rock leaning band crafting material around rock band arrangements, the Paris-based act FOAMS amassed a fanbase with their debut EP, 2017’s Waves, which they eventually supported with a live shows around France, including most famously a March 2018 stop at La Boule Noire. 

A few months after their La Boule Noire show, an unexpected flood destroyed all of their instruments, and as a result the members of FOAMS were left with no choice but to recreate their previously released and write new material with computers and electronics. Interestingly, the flood also forced the band into a radical new sonic and aesthetic direction: electronic-led music centered round heavy bass, mellow pop melodies and pop belter vocals. After releasing two singles as an electro rock act, the band shares the first of four live sessions in which the band plays surround by another artists’ creation. 

“Losing My Mind,” the first in the four part live series is an expansive track is centered around layers of synth arpeggios, thumping tweeter and woofer beats, a shimmering and atmospheric bridge, enormous arena rock-like hooks, and pop belter vocals that sonically recalls Version 2.0 era Garbage, Paramore, and Portishead. The live session finds the band performing around Beatrice Bonnafous’ paintings in an empty loft, which add to the song’s eerie vibe. 

New Video: Los Angeles’ Carrousel Releases a Trippy Sci-Fi Visual for “A Solitary Soul”

Los Angeles-based duo Carrousel — Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt — have developed a reputation for crafting a unique sound that draws from a broad and eclectic array of genres and styles including blues, psych rock, shoegaze and New Wave, centered around pop melodies. 2020 looks to be a very busy year for the members of Carrousel: they released the I Wasn’t Well EP earlier this year, and their full-length album Magnificent Desolation is slated for release this Spring. 

Now, as you may recall, I Wasn’t Well’s lead single, the brooding “Psychobabble Drama” managed to recall Primal Scream, Portishead, Garbage and The xx. Inspired by Joel Piedt’s recurring nightmares, the song possessed a feverish and anxious quality, which was emphasized through the song’s anthemic hooks, shimmering synth arpeggios, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering beats and Sharon Piedt’s plaintive vocals. Interestingly, I Wasn’t Well’s second and latest single “A Solitary Soul” is an expansive and genre-defying song that features elements of shoegaze, contemporary R&B and pop and  experimental pop in a way that brings Bells Atlas, Hearts Hearts and others to mind. 

Directed and shot entirely on iPhones by the member of Carrousel, the recently released video for “A Solitary Soul” managed to “spark something creativity” for them. We follow the duo in ’50s-styled sci-fi spacesuits, as lost aliens exploring earth — at one point, they’re wandering the same location used for some of Star Wars’ famous Tatooine scenes. As a result, the the video manages to feel like an old-school space invasion, sci-fi movie — but with a level of absurdity to it. 

New Video: Minsk and Berlin-based Duo Super Besse Release an Old-Timey Super 8 Filmed Visual for Propulsive “Rodina”

With the release of their first two albums, 2015’s 63610 and 2017’s La Nuit, the members of Super Besse — Minsk-based Alex Sinica (bass) and Minsk-born and Berlin-based Maksim Kulsha (vocals) — went on tours across the European Union, Russia and China, developing a profile nationally and internationally as a post-punk outfit. Building upon a growing profile, “Holod” appears in the major motion picture Hotel Mumbai. 

Interestingly, since the release of La Nuit, the duo have radically reinvented their sound, with the end result being the band’s forthcoming third album Un Reve. Slated for a March 13, 2020 release through Riga, Latvia-based label I Love You Records, the album which was record in Berlin and Minsk finds the act moving heavily towards an electronic-based sound featuring rapid-fire techno-like beats, shimmering synth arpeggios and motorik grooves — as you’ll hear on Un Reve’s P.I.L.-like first single “Rodina.” ‘We wanted to change our sound, to bring something fresh and unusual. Over the last years we were listening to a lot of electronic music,” the band’s Alex Sinica says in press notes. “So as a result we decided to move into this direction and created something more digital, but still true to our own spirit.” The band’s Maksim Kulsha adds, “Also, I moved to Berlin, and all the creation process from music to lyrics was something new for us, because Alex is based in Minsk. We rethought the process of creating music, as well as the semantic and textual presentation of our material. It was an enjoy- able but also tough work, and a great experience.” 

Much like the rest of the album, “Rodina,” which translates into English as homeland features lyrics written and sung in Russian that thematically touch upon existential topics including self-identification in our increasingly smaller, globalized world — and in this case, while the song is a propulsive, club friendly anthem, the track is centered around an urgent warming message. 

Produced by Anastasiya Limantava, and edited by Yauheni Sinichenko, the recently released video for “Rodina” is centered around slickly edited found footage and footage shot by friends and fans in Belarus and of the duo’s live shows.