Category: indie electro rock

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. 

New Video: Los Angeles’ Carrousel Releases a Creepy Visual for Anthemic “Psychobabble Drama”

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 will be a busy year for the duo: they released the I Wasn’t Well EP last month, which will be promptly followed by the forthcoming full-length album Magnificent Desolation during the Spring. 

I Wasn’t Well EP’s lead single, the brooding “Pyschobabble Drama” features rousingly anthemic hooks, shimmering synth arpeggios, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering and Piedt’s plaintive vocals — and while seemingly recalling Primal Scream, Portishead, Garbage, The xx and others, the track is largely inspired by Joel’s Piedt’s recurring nightmares. And as a result, the song possesses a feverish and anxious quality, as though its narrator has just awoken from a sweat-inducing and horrifying dream.

Directed by Dylan Plyfair, the recently released video is split between old-timey horror film footage and performance video of Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt performing the song with their backing band, which emphasizes the song’s surreal and nightmarish air. “The idea was to integrate footage from Dracula with us as we were playing,” Joel Piedt explains in press notes, “on the walls, on our instruments and faces, so that we’re totally immersed in it.” 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Magic Sword Releases a Meditative and Cinematic New Single

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Magic Sword, a multimedia project heavily indebted to 70s and 80s fantasy and sci-fi that features three masked and cloaked members known as The Keeper, The Seer and The Weaver, who are collectively called The Three Immortals. Their ageless story of their particular role in the endless battle between good and evil is told through gravel novels and occasionally online by a character known as The Harbinger. The project’s musical output serves as the soundtrack to the graphic novel series with their debut EP Legend being part of the first chapter of the The Three Immortals’ quest to find the chosen one. 

Released late last year, the Awakening EP was the highly-awaited follow up to Legend. And as the ongoing story’s second chapter, the material continues the ongoing story of The Three Immortals’ quest to find the chosen one, the only one who has the ability to wield the power of the Magic Sword and defeat the Dark One.

The trio have received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for their material and their live show. Building upon a growing profile, the members of The Magic Sword will be releasing their sophomore album Endless through Joyful Noise Recordings on March 27, 2020. The 11 song album’s first single is the cinematic and meditative “Depths of Power.” Centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, dramatic and propulsive drumming and a sizzling guitar solo, the track manages to be a retro futuristic track that nods at John Carpenter and 80s dystopian movies but with a clean, modern studio sheen. 

New Video: Genre-Defying French Artist MHUD Releases a Bloody Commentary on Violence and Toxic Masculinity

Initially beginning his creative career as a painter, the mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer MHUD got into music as a creative outlet relatively recently. And in short period of time, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist has developed a reputation for material that thematically focuses on man’s spiritual, emotional and intellectual split from himself — paired with a sound that’s genre defying. 

The mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist’s full-length debut is slated for a March 2020 release, and the album’s latest single “Cheval de Bataille” is a slickly produced track that possesses elements of trip hop, electroclash, electro pop and arena rock as its centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, buzzing, distortion pedal-fueled guitar lines, a motorik-like groove, expressive blasts of horn and arpeggiated synths. Sonically speaking, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me a bit of synthesis of fellow countrymen Black Strobe, Dystopico-era Kriget, Third-era Portishead, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and The Deltahorse.  

Produced by David Garnacho and Nicolas Bouf, the recently released video for “Cheval de Bataille” follows the violent fantasies of a nerdy and relentlessly bullied office drone, who gets his revenge at a team-building paintball game. In the face of psychological violence in relation to economic and societal pressures, some people feel as though the only response they have is to respond with physical violence, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist says of the video treatment. The directors and the artist went with a hyper realistic take on violence — so that the impact it has on people can’t be trivialized or glorified. But on another level. it points out how toxic masculinity can lead to increasing amounts of brutal and senseless violence. 

New Video: Toronto’s jackie Releases a Hilarious Send Up of Gangster and Action Movies for Anthemic “Lifetime in a Touch”

Currently comprised of Winnipeg-born founding members Jackie Mohr and Marc Girardin with Max Trefler, the Toronto-based electro pop/electro rock act jackie can trace their origins to the formation and breakup of Mohr’s and Girardin’s previous band — The Mohrs, an act that shared stages with the likes of Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction and The Glorious Sons.

In 2012, Mohr and Girardin relocated to Toronto, where they met Trefler and released a rock-based effort through Light Organ Records before a radical change in sonic direction necessitated a rename. “We changed our sound on this new EP, replacing bass with analog synth, and went back to having just us three as the core of the project,” the band’s Jackie Mohr explains in an email. “After a few year hiatus we’ve come back as ‘jackie’. More aware of where we want to take our place in music.”

Interestingly, the band’s transformation was partially fueled by Mohr’s experiences as a woman in a male-dominated landscape. “I’ve never had a problem holding my own in this industry, or with men, but it really does make you question why there’s so little female presence,” Mohr points out.

“When I was promoting my first single, my radio team told my management it was going to be very difficult getting ‘a female on rock radio.’ I don’t think I’ve ever hated a comment more. I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now,” Mohr continues. “I think it’s time for a new narrative. This is especially important in the LGBTQ community. Heteronormative relationships are only a small part of what’s out there, and how people love one another. Other communities need to be represented as well. I remember on my debut album I worried about saying ‘her’ or ‘she‘ as a lyric because people would class me as a ‘gay artist’. This sort of thing is important for sure, and I am a gay woman, but it’s not all I am, and I never wanted that to be the focal point of my/our music, or my musical career. The band, our music, and myself are much more than that. Music is for everyone.”

“We write songs for the everyday radio listener, and the guitar nerd,” Mohr, who owns a 1962 Silverstone 1423 nicknamed Monicka Del Toro adds. “Maybe writing good music will be more important than Instagram followers again someday.”

Interestingly, the Canadian trio’s latest single, the Hawksley Workman-produced “Lifetime in a Touch” finds the band crafting pop-leaning track that’s simultaneously a club banger and an arena rock anthem, complete with a driving groove, synth arpeggios reminiscent of Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back,” a scorching guitar solo and Mohr’s earnest, pop belter vocals. It’s the sort of rousingly anthemic song that you can envision sweaty young people shouting along to in a dark club — but the real reason it works is that it’s rooted in real, lived-in, deeply universal experiences. As the trio explain, the song is “essentially a song about heartbreak, but it’s told through a positive outlook The lyrics in the verses represent the past lover that engulfed and controlled you, while the chorus reminds you that there’s more to life than lovers.”

Directed by Dominika Monicka and Ryan Faist, the recently released video for “Lifetime in a Touch” is a hilarious send up of Office Space, gangster movies and action movies as it features the bandmebers in an abandoned shipyard. Throughout the bulk of the video, the band are in an old Honda four door spinning in infinite donuts. But we also see the band rocking out to the song, and eventually busting shit up — because why not? Perhaps in some way, the video reminds the viewer that love can be a wild and tumultuous ride.