Category: indie rock

New Video: The Otherworldly Visuals and Sounds of Beach House’s “The Traveller”

Although released last October, Thank Your Lucky Stars was recorded during the same two month period as its predecessor Depression Cherry and continued an ongoing collaboration between the band and co-producer Chris Coady. And naturally, both albums build upon similar aesthetics and themes, although “The Traveller” manages to possess a subtle world-weariness and bitter regret at its core — while also subtly reminding listeners of Mazzy Star.

Directed by Jennifer Juniper Stratford, a media artist and founder of Telefantasy Studios, an analog media lab dedicated to the creation of avant-garde television and video experiments, the video was shot using an ancient television camera before being processed with a video synthesizer and a reconfigured broadcast mixer to create imagery that possess a cosmic glow, as though the female figure in the video is crossing through several different dimensions.

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New Audio: The Raveonettes Return with a Gorgeous and Bittersweet Addition to their Rave Sound of the Month Series

The previous Rave Sound of the Month single “Won’t You Leave Me Alone” was a bitter tell off from a jilted and exasperated lover, who’s sick of a partner, who just won’t get the hint that she’s had enough of their lover and their shit — and that it’s time for them to move on. Sonically, the song consisted of a towering and jagged soundscape of swirling and buzzing guitar chords, and thundering drumming that reminds me a little bit of The Jesus and Mary Chain; however, the series latest single “Where Are You Wild Horses” is a dreamy and atmospheric song that pairs with shimmering and subtly twangy guitar chords, breathily cooed vocals, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming and a dreamily forlorn melody. Lyrically, the song’s narrator has accepted the fact that their relationship is over, and that it’s time to move on and let it be part of the past and a result, it emphasizes a bittersweet reality of the majority of our relationships — that all too often, they end; but that they wind up being part of a intricate and messy life story.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall coming across “Stronger,” the first single from  Los Angeles, CA-based guitarist and vocalist Cecilia Della Peruti’s solo project, Gothic Tropic. And although she’s perhaps best known as a touring and session guitarist for the likes of renowned pop acts such as Charli XCX and BØRNS, Peruti’s last project possesses a New Wave-leaning sound. While “Stronger” sounded as though it owed a debt to the Go-Gos The B52s and others, her latest single “How Life Goes” is an atmospheric, song in which lush and plaintive harmonies are paired with shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, a propulsive and driving rhythm section, gently buzzing synths and a bluesy guitar solo in a song that sounds and feels as though it simultaneously drew from Phil Spector’s famed “Wall of Sound,” 80s New Wave, shoegaze and power pop – thanks to an anthemic hook. Much like the sources which inspired it, the song focuses on heartbreak — in this particular instance, the song’s narrator is begging for forgiveness and understanding while simultaneously, telling her significant other that  she’s getting a bit of a bad rap in this relationship. And in many ways, it captures the ambivalence that romantic relationships can inspire, especially if they went bad quickly.

 

Last month, I wrote about the Chapel Hill, NC-based experimental/post-hardcore punk/new wave-leaning trio Milemarker. Initially comprised of Al Burian, Dave Laney and Ben Davis, the members of Milemarker quickly developed a reputation in indie and underground music circles for explosive life shows and for material that possessed adventurous arrangements and instrumentation. And with their 1999-2007 touring lineup with featured bounding members Burian and Laney, along with Roby Newton (vocals, synths), the trio eventually played over 1,000 shows across North America, Europe and Japan supporting 2000’s Frigid Forms Sell and 2001’s Anaesthetic, opening for the likes of WireMission of BurmaAt The Drive-InThe Hives, ThursdayThe Blood BrothersInternational Noise ConspiracyHigh On FireYeah Yeah YeahsCave InLes Savy FavSpoon and a lengthy list of others.

After the release of 2005’s Ominosity, which featured drummers Tony Lazzara and Noah Leger, as well as arrangements from siblings Beth and Tim Remis, the band went on an extensive US and European tour in 2008 with founding member Ben Davis, which included appearances at SXSW and Fusion festivals; however, by 2009 Laney had relocated to Hamburg, Germany and began to focus his energies on his post-Milemarker project Auxes while Burian had relocated to Berlin to pursue a literary career. Interestingly, in 2015 the founding duo of Laney and Burian had started playing a series of live shows featuring Lena Kilkka (keys, vocals) and Ezra Cale (drums). Just in time to celebrate their reunion, Lovitt Records will be releasing a re-issue of the band’s seminal 2000 release Frigid Forms Sell and the re-issue is not only the first time the album appears on vinyl in 16 years, it’ll include 7 previously unreleased tracks, including one which was  premiered on Brooklyn Vegan. And the digital version will include demo versions of several album tracks. But interestingly, this year will be an even bigger year for the band as Overseas, the band’s first album in some time is slated for an August 26. 2016 release — while embarking on their first US tour in over 8 years (and you can check out tour dates below).

Last month’s post featured “Carrboro” the first single off the band’s forthcoming, new album had the band pairing a throbbing and insistent bass line with a quickly morphing song structure that alternates and meshes between dreamy psychedelia, tense, angular post-punk, New Wave and prog rock — and in a expansive and mind-altering fashion. The album’s second single “Conditional Love” pairs buzzing and angular guitar chords, a driving motorik groove, layers of shouted vocals and vocals fed through vocoder, and an anthemic hook in a song that sounds equally inspired by Nine Inch Nails and as by Garbage; however, with a prog rock bent.

Tour Dates:
08/11 Charlotte NC @ Milestone
08/13 Atlanta GA @ The Wrecking Ball ATL
08/14 Nashville TN @ The End
08/15 St. Louis MO @ Off Broadway
08/16 Milwaukee WI @ The Cactus Club
08/17 Minneapolis MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
08/19 Chicago IL @ Empty Bottle
08/20 Lansing MI @ Mac’s Bar
08/21 Cleveland OH @ Now That’s Class Lounge
08/22 Philadelphia PA @ The Boot & Saddle
08/23 Allston MA @ Great Scott
08/24 Brooklyn NY @ Shea Stadium
08/25 Brooklyn NY @ Saint Vitus
08/26 Washington DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
08/27 Carrboro NC @ Cat’s Cradle

Beginning his music career as a part-time musician in various underground bands in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, the insanely prolific multi-instrumentalist Ty Segall started his solo career back in 2008 with the release of the Horn The Unicorn through Wizard Mountain — and was later re-released by HBSP-2X on vinyl. After befriending Thee Oh Sees frontman and creative mastermind, and co-founder of Castle Face Records, John Dwyer, Segall signed to the renowned, garage rock label, which released his self-titled debut, also in 2008. Since then, Segall has released albums through Memphis, TN-based label Goner Records, frequent collaborations with renowned indie artist Mikal Cronin and for being a member of a number of bands including Fuzz, Broken Bat and GØGGS, and as a former member of The Traditional Fools, Epsilons, Party Fowl, Sic Alps, and The Perverts.

Now, as I mentioned in a post earlier today, as a native New Yorker, who has been covering music for over a decade, I’ve seen countless venues come and go — and soon as a well-regarded or beloved venue closes, another one pops up a few months later in another part of town; however, as both a passionate music fan and journalist, there are a handful of venues that hold a special part of your heart. And for me, Death By Audio held a very special place in my heart. Unlike most venues I’ve seen and covered shows in, there was always a  palpable sense of anything going and happening and in fact, I saw some of the most memorable shows I’ve ever seen; shows that transformed how I saw and wore about live music. Much like Metz, Segall has a connection to Death by Audio as he got his NYC area start at the now defunct DIY venue.

And as I mentioned in a post earlier today, as the venue was closing up shop back in 2014, its owners and bookers curated what turned out to be an epic final month featuring a number of currently renowned acts, who had gotten their start or had some kind of connection to the South Williamsburg, Brooklyn venue including A Place to Bury Strangers, Thee Oh Sees, Protomartyr, Ty Segall, Future Islands, Lightning Bolt, Metz and many others. What people most likely didn’t know was that the venue recorded the last month of shows at the venue and the end result is the compilation Start Your Own Fucking Show Space, which features highlights of the past month in chronological order, slated for release next week through Famous Class Records — and the compilation is meant not as bittersweet nostalgia but as a forceful call to go out and do something fucking awesome, like start a show space and have your friends and others play there.

The second and latest single off the compilation features Ty Segall and his backing band playing a somewhat bittersweet yet forceful and sludgy live version of “Wave Goodbye,” a song that structurally and sonically sounds as though it owes a debt to 90s alt rock as it consists of alternating, rousing and thunderous, power chord-based hooks and a quiet second around the verse. And as soon as you hear it, it should make you want to raise your beers up high and shout along — or mosh the fuck out.

 

New Video: The 80s New Wave and Post-Punk Inspired Sounds and Surreal Visuals of Beach Baby’s “U R”

The London-based quartet’s latest single “U R” has the band pairing shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive, motorik-like groove, a soaring and anthemic hook that you can practically hear kids in a sweaty little club lustily singing along with, with lyrics that focus on the start and bitter ending of a relationship that has its narrator feeling ambivalent and confused. Was the relationship one of the best things that happened to this life? Or was the breakup the best thing that happened because the relationship was so wrong, so dysfunctional that he’s freed from something truly terrible? Should he even feel bitter and confused? Although open-ended, much like life itself, the song manages to be wistful and bittersweet look back at a relationship that should feel familiar — while evoking the dashed hopes and expectations of a relationship and of one’s summer.

The recently released music video follows Lily, its protagonist through the five stages of break-up grief that evokes the surreal feeling of your life being irrevocably altered and not quite knowing how to react or what to do before you finally begin moving forward with your life.

 

With the 2014 release of The Moon is Shining Our Way EP, Kestrels, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based indie rock/noise rock trio comprised of  Chad Peck (guitar/vocals), Devin Peck (bass) and Paul Brown (drums), emerged both nationally and internationally as the EP’s title track received radio airplay on CBC Radio 3 — and as a result of touring internationally with the likes of renowned indie acts such as Speedy Ortiz, Ringo Deathstarr, Beliefs, Grays and Ash. Interestingly enough, the sessions for The Moon is Shining EP reportedly laid the groundwork for the songwriting approach and sound the band would eventually take into the studio for their forthcoming third full-length and self-titled album, slated for a September 30, 2016 release through Hamilton, Ontario-based label Sonic Unyon.

While the album features guest spots from Ringo Deathstarr’s Elliott Frazier and Alex Gehring, its first single “No Alternative” is a decidedly power chord-based 90s alt rock-inspired song as power chords are played through various effects pedals and are paired with thundering and propulsive drumming, a tight bass line, an anthemic hook you can hear kids shouting along to in a sweaty club and Chad Peck’s plaintive falsetto floating over mix. While sonically speaking, the song reminds me quite a bit of Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins, Silversun Pickups, My Vitriol and others, complete with a swooning urgency.

 

 

 

New Video: Avers Returns with an Anthemic, Garage Rock New Single Paired with Mischievous Yet Ironic Visuals

Omega/Whatever’s latest single “Vampire” much like the album’s previous single is deeply indebted to 90s alt rock –in particular, I’m reminded of Vs. and Vitalogy-era Pearl Jam but with a wry sense of humor, as the song’s narrator is desperately pleaded for an easy-going, less stressful life to a propulsive, anthemic hook that pairs ethereal synths with twangy and crunchy guitars fed through effects pedals.

The recently released video follows the adventures of a motorcycle helmet wearing, jorts wearing protagonist, who brings a goofy amount of joy to all that crosses his path; but the video manages to evoke a bitter irony at its core — the sort of easy-going life the narrator is pleading for may not be possible; and in fact, the joy that the protagonist brings to everyone, has him passing out exhausted and alone.

Formed back in 2002 and comprised of Nashville, TN-based sibling duo Jake and Jamin Orral, JEFF The Brotherhood have developed a reputation for a sound and overall aesthetic that’s been influenced by jazz, black metal, hard rock, the films of Werner Herzog, the choreography of Kate Bush and the rivers of their home state. And over the past decade the duo have played well over 1,000 shows across North America, New Zealand and elsewhere, touring to support 11 full-length albums, as well as creating a number of related zines, puppets and videos among other things.

 

The duo’s forthcoming effort Zone is an experimental rock album that was recorded and co-produced by Collin Dupuis in a converted warehouse dubbed Club Roar and is the last part of a spiritual trilogy of albums that began with 2009’s Heavy Days and 2011’s critically applauded We Are The Champions, and it features a guest appearance from Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Zone’s first single “Punishment”isa trippy prog rock-leaning track that begins with a lengthy garage, psych rock intro before turing into a towering squall of power chords and feedback with one of the most impressive guitar solos I’ve heard this year; naturally, the song confirms the duo’s long-held reputation for crafting anthemic and trippy songs with rapid tempo changes, blistering solos and driving rhythms and blistering guitar work.