Category: Live Footage

Live Footage: James Blake Performs “I’ll Come Too” on KRCW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic”

Born the son of musician James Litherland, James Blake is an acclaimed London-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who showed an interest and aptitude in music at a very young age: he received classical piano training as a child, eventually attending Goldsmith, University of London, where he received a degree in Popular Music. While attending Goldsmith, Blake and a friends hosted a series of Bass Society music nights that featured British artists like Distance, Skream and Benga. 

Blake first received recognition for a series of EPs in 2010 — CMYK EP and Klavierwerke and his 2011 self-titled debut, all which were released to critical praise. His sophomore effort, 2013’s Overgrown won that year’s Mercury Prize and a Best New Artist Grammy nomination. 2016’s The Colour in Anything further established Blake’s unique sound and approach, which draws from electronic music, electro pop, R&B and blue-eyed soul. 

Throughout his career, Blake has managed to collaborate with a wide and eclectic variety of contemporary artists including Mount Kimbie, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Vince Staples, Rosalia, Jay-Z, Oneohtrix Point Never and Frank Ocean — and for his remixes under the moniker Harmonimix. His most recent album, the critically applauded Assume Form finds Blake collaborating with Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, Andre 3000, Moses Sumney, and Rosalia.

Recently, Blake was invited to perform the first-ever live session at KCRW’s brand-new Annenberg Performance Studio. The session aired on KRCW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic hosted by the station’s Musical Director, Jason Bentley.  Joined by his bandmates Rob McAndrews and Ben Assiter, Blake performed material from Assume Form, including the album’s title track, “Barefoot In The Park,” “I’ll Come Too,” and “Don’t Miss It,” as well as a live version of his song “Retrograde” and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.” “I’ll Come Too” is a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around Blake’s ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering synths, stuttering beats and a soaring hook — and while   bearing an uncanny resemblance to classical music, the track finds Blake expressing an achingly passionate yearning and vulnerability. 

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Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay Yola Performs “Faraway Look” on “CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a bit about the rising Bristol, UK-born, London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Yola. And as you may recall, the JOVM mainstay has led a rather remarkable life; the sort of life that I think should eventually be made into an inspiring biopic: Yola grew up extremely poor; but she was fascinated by her mother’s record collection, and by the time she was 4, she knew she wanted to be a performer. Unfortunately, she was actually banned from making music, until she left home. Additionally, she has overcome being in an abusive relationship, stress-induced voice loss and literally being engulfed in flames in house fire, all of which have inspired her Dan Auerbach-produced full-length debut Walk Through Fire, which was released earlier this year through Easy Eye Sound.

The up-and-coming British singer/songwriter has received praise from a number of media outlets both nationally and internationally, including NPR, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, The Tennessean, Refinery 29, Billboard, American Songwriter, BrooklynVegan, Nashville Scene, Paste and Stereogum. But perhaps much more interesting she has opened for James Brown and joined renowned trip hop act Massive Attack before traveling to Nashville to work with Auerbach and a backing band that features musicians, who have worked with Elvis and Aretha Franklin.  

Now, as you may recall, album single “Ride Out in the Country” was a Muscle Shoals-like take on honky tonk country that to my ears recalled Sandra Rhodes’ under-appreciated Where’s Your Love Been. Centered around twangy guitar chords, lap steel guitar, some Rhodes electric organ, a soaring hook and Yola’s easy-going and soulful vocals, the song is an achingly sad breakup song, written from the perspective of someone reeling from a devastating breakup, complete with the recognition that your former lover has moved on and that maybe you should be doing so too — even if it’s profoundly difficult for you. Walk Through Fire‘s latest single is the slow-burning, swooning, Phil Spector Wall of Sound, meets classic Motown Records-like “Faraway Look.” Centered around an old-school arrangement and a soaring hook, the song is roomy enough for Yola’s incredible vocal range to shine. Interestingly, the song is about that precise yet profound and deeply awkward moment when it’s so obvious that you’ve fallen in love with someone that everyone else notices, including your object of affection. And in that peculiar moment, it’s now or never. 

So far this year has been a huge year for the rising Bristol-born, London-based singer/songwriter: she made her New York debut earlier this year at Rockwood Music Hall, played a breakout performance at this year’s SXSW — and she’ll be opening for a number of acclaimed artists including Kacey Musgraves, Lake Street Dive and Andrew Bird on a select series of US tour dates, which will include performances Newport Folk Festival, Hollywood Bowl, Austin City Limits Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend in Mexico. She also made an appearance for Mavis Staples rotating birthday celebration tour. And earlier this year, she made an appearance on CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions, where the rising JOVM mainstay and her backing band performed a gorgeous live version of “Faraway Look.”

Live Footage: The Mystery Lights Perform Material off “Too Much Tension!” at Paste Studios

Comprised of founding members Mike Brandon and L.A. Solano with Alex Q. Amini and Zach Butler, the New York-based quartet The Mystery Lights have received attention across the blogosphere for an old-timey garage rock/garage psych sound and aesthetic that recalls The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who, The Animals, Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels and 70s art punk — and for being the the first rock act to sign with Daptone Records subsidiary Wick Records.

Interestingly, the band can trace its origins back to Salinas, CA where Brandon and Solano grew up, met and played in a nubmer of different local bands in their teens before relocating to New York. The band’s lineup solidified with the addition of Alex Amini, Kevin Harris and Noah Kohll. And despite lineup changes, the band initially developed a word-of-mouth reputation over the period of a few years for explosive live shows across town. Naturally, those live shows helped the band develop their sound and approach. 

2016 saw the release of the band’s self-titled debut, which they supposed with a wild array of touring, including the now-prerequisite stop at SXSW. Over the past couple of years, the members of The Mystery Lights have been relentlessly playing shows everywhere — and they’ve been busy writing and recording, their Wayne Gordon-produced sophomore album Too Much Tension! Recorded at Daptone Records’ famed House of Soul Studios, the recently released album finds the band digging deeper into their influences to enrich their sound — without echoing the past. Thematically, the album touches upon substance abuse, self-care and the recognition of happiness only once it’s lost, imbued with a post-modern anxiety.  

The New York-based band was recently invited to Paste Studios at Manhattan Center to perform material off the new album that included the fed-up anthem “I’m So Tired (of Living in the City),” the tense and uneasy “Someone Else Is In Control,” the slow-burning The Animals-like ballad “Watching the News, Gives Me The Blues,” and the rollocking “Traces” — and all of the tracks performed at the live session were delivered with the raw, fiery intensity of their live set.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay Alice Phoebe Lou Performs “Galaxies” at Berlin’s Zeiss Planetarium for Majestic Casual Sessions

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the  Cape Town, South Africa-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay  Alice Phoebe Lou. And as you may recall, Lou grew up in a very creative home — her parents were documentary filmmakers, who took a young Lou to piano lessons. As a teen, Lou taught herself guitar; but when she turned 16, she went on a life-altering trip to Paris to visit her aunt. While in Paris, armed with an acoustic guitar, the young artist met some of that cit’s buskers and street performers — eventually learning poi dancing from some of them.

After completing her studies, Lou returned to Europe, first landing in Amsterdam, where she made money as a poi dancer. She then relocated to Berlin, where she quickly developed a reputation as a well-regarded busker and for a fierce, punk rock-like DIY approach to her musical career. With the release of 2014’s self-released debut EP, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began to receive national and international attention, which resulted in performances at a number of  TED events in London and Berlin during the following year.

Lou’s sophomore effort, 2016’s Orbit was nominated for Best Female Artist at that year’s German Critics’ Choice Awards. And building upon a rapidly growing profile both nationally and internationally, she played at the 27th Annual Conference for the Professional Business Women of California, which featured keynote speakers Venus Williams, Judy Smith, and Memory Banda and shared bills with Sixto Rodriguez, Boy & Bear, and Allen Stone before ending the year with three, sold-out multimedia events at the Berlin Planetarium. (The Berlin Planetarium shows were so popular and in such high demand that she had to add two additional shows there to her tour schedule in 2017.)

Additionally, the live version of “She” amassed over 4 million views on YouTube and was featured in the major motion picture Bombshell: The Heady Lamar Story — all before the studio version of the single was even recorded or released. But for most of 2018, Lou worked on her Noah Georgeson-produced sophomore effort Paper Castles, which was released earlier this year. And as Lou explains, the album is “about nostalgia, about growing into a woman, about the pain and beauty of the past, about feeling small and insignificant but finding that to be powerful and beautiful, about acknowledging that childhood is over but bringing some of it with you.”

“Something Holy,” the album’s first single was a slow-burning 70s AM rock meets 70s soul-like track centered around shimmering guitar line, hushed drumming, a sinuous hook, a psychedelic tinged bridge and Lou’s aching vocals with the song’s narrator taking a deeply introspective and unvarnished look into her complicated relationships with sex, love, men and ultimately, with herself. The song reflects, as Lou explained in press notes, “the moment that I managed to get over the main hurdle of my past traumas with sex, with men and with my own deeper understanding of intimacy and what it means to be intimate.” 

Paper Castles’ latest single is the gorgeous and expansive “Galaxies.” Beginning with a shimmering and spacey introduction and Lou’s plaintive wailing, before the song turns into a spacey 70s jazz funk number, centered by a sultry, reggae-like bass line and a mournful saxophone solo and then morphs back into a shimmering and spacey coda — and while the song seamlessly shifts back and forth in a fashion reminiscent of Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights,” the song is imbued with a cosmic sheen. 

Majestic Casual invited the JOVM mainstay for a live session of “Galaxies” that was fittingly shot at Berlin’s Zeiss Planetarium.  Game of Throes star Maisie Williams opens the live session with a spoken word piece musing on humanity’s place within the cosmos directly inspired by the song. 

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Thunderpussy Perform Their Fiery Cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” at Pukklepop Festival

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the Seattle, WA-based heavy metal quartet Thunderpussy, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Molly Sides (vocals), Whitney Petty (guitar), Leah […]

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Tame Impala Perform “Borderline” at Coachella

I’ve written quite a bit about the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker and his acclaimed solo recording project Tame Impala over the past few years. And as you may recall, his third album, 2015’s Currents was a commercial and critical breakthrough as it was a Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified effort that reflected a decided change in songwriting and approach that resulted in some of the most emotionally direct lyrics of his growing catalog paired with a more nuanced, textured sound that drew from psych rock, psych pop, synth pop, prog rock and R&B.

Patience,” which was released last month, was the first bit of new, solo material from Parker in several years, and while being a decidedly upbeat banger that seamlessly bridged 90s house and 70s funk, thematically the track was a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life. “Borderline,” Parker’s latest single is a blissed out, shimmering, mid-tempo track centered around arpeggiated synths, Parker’s imitable, plaintive falsetto and a soaring hook. And while showcasing the flourishes of the house music-inspired instrumentation of its predecessor, the track should serve as a reminder that Parker has a deep collection of hook-driven bangers.

Parker and his backing band will be making appearances across the international festival circuit that will include stops at Coachella FestivalShaky Knees FestivalCorona Capital Festival, Boston CallingPrimavera Sound Festival, Glastonbury FestivalLollapalooza with more dates to come. Coachella recently released live footage of Tame Impala’s headlining set last week, and it included footage of “Borderline.” Check it out, and then check out the tour dates below.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay Sam Fender Performs “Hypersonic Missiles” on “CBS This Morning’s Saturday Sessions”

I’ve written quite a bit about the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender, and as you may recall, Fender has received attention over the past few years for crafting rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues, while also drawing from his own experiences in growing up in Northeastern England.

2018 saw the Newcastle-born and-based Fender featured on BBC Sound of 2018′s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. Building upon the rapidly growing buzz surrounding him, Fender ended the year with the release of the Dead Boys EP, an effort that featured the attention-grabbing “That Sound,” a power chord-based arena rock friendly track that featured enormous raise-your-beer-in-the-air-and-shout-along worth hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that brought  The Black KeysSlavesRoyal Blood and others to mind — and “Play God,” a politically-charged song that openly talked about how special interests and the 1% really control the world as we know it, paired with an self-assured, ambitious bit of songwriting.

Interestingly, the rousing, Springsteen meets Modern English‘s “Melt With You”-like “Hypersonic Missiles” was the JOVM mainstay’s first bit of original music this year, and while centered around arena rock and classic rock-inspired hooks, reverb-drenched power chords, thunderous drumming and Fender’s urgent and impassioned vocals, the song is an unconventional love song about two star-crossed lovers making the best of whatever time they have left while the world burns down — and an incisive commentary on our apathy and confusion in the face of our self-destruction that cries to the listener “hey man, wake the fuck up and do something!”

2019 looks to be a breakthrough year for Fender — he made his US network TV debut, performing “Hypersonic Missiles” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier year, which he followed up by playing some of his first North American headline shows, which included stops at SXSWToronto, and a show at Rough Trade, which I covered. While Fender was in the country on his first North American headlining tour, he stopped by CBS This Morning‘s Saturday Sessions to perform “Hypersonic Missiles” — and in the background you’ll see JOVM mainstay Stuart Bogie playing the soulful sax solo. But adding to that, Fender’s highly-anticipated full-length debut, Hypersonic Missiles is slated for an August 9, 2019 through Interscope Records, so be on the lookout for that.

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming British Psych Pop Act Imperial Daze Performs “Minding the Haze” in Studio

Currently-comprised of Al Ward (vocals, guitar), Felix Rebaud-Sauer (bass, guitar), Facundo Rodriguez (keys, vocals) and Tom Sunney (drums), the London-based psych pop act Imperial Daze is a proudly multi-national band that features an Argentine, a Frenchman and an Englishman. Interestingly, the act which has publicly cited Damon Albarn, Kevin Parker and Soulwax as major influences on their sound and approach can trace their formation to tireless and joyful collaboration in a South London commune.

The London-based psych pop act released their Rupert Jarvis-produced 2017 debut EP Solid Fair and as a result of a national ad campaign that used their music, the band quickly earned a rapidly growing national profile, the members of the band have shared stages with the likes of The Maccabees, Mystery Jets, Nilufer Yanya, All We Are and Matt Maltese. Imperial Daze spent the bulk of last year building their studio from scratch in a giant disused commercial freezer, under a railway arch near London’s Tower Bridge that they’ve dubbed The Electric Eel Recording Studio. (Reportedly, the studio’s name is derived from the fact that the space once used to store eels.)

Slated for a June 7, 2019 release through Tip Top Recordings, the up-and-coming British band’s sophomore EP, Surface Sensibles was co-produced by the members of the band and Rupert Jarvis, and was recorded in two studios — The Maccabees’ studio The Drugstore and the band’s new studio. Surface Sensibles‘ latest single, the atmospheric and wistful “Minding the Haze” is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, angular guitars, plaintive vocals and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to Editors and HandsMassive Context EP, the song which has already caught the attention of XFM‘s John Kennedy and BBC Radio 6‘s Amy Lame is as the band’s described “a melancholic picture of a fleeting hazy summer spent as a teenager, engrossed in youthful romance, willful boredom and insouciance. “

Live Footage: Tame Impala Performs on “Saturday Night Live”

With the release of his first two albums, Innerspeaker and Lonerism, the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Kevin Parker quickly received national and international attention for his psych pop solo recording project Tame Impala. 2015’s Currents though, was a commercial and critical breakthrough: the Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified album reflected a decided change in songwriting that resulted in some of his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with a more nuanced, textured sound that drew from psych rock, psych pop, synth pop, prog rock and R&B.

“Patience” is the first bit of new, solo material from Parker in a few years, and the mid-tempo track is a seamless synthesis of classic 90s house music and 70s funk, soul and disco that features shimmering and arpeggiated synths, piano jabs, a motorik groove, congo-led percussion and a soaring and rousingly anthemic hook paired with Parker’s imitable, falsetto croon. And while being a decidedly upbeat banger, the song is centered by a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life, in which the song’s narrator makes peace with the fact that everything and everyone is transient.

Parker made his Saturday Night Live debut last Saturday, and his appearance featured a live performance of “Patience” and a new track, “Borderline,” a shimmering mid-tempo track centered around arpeggiated synths, Parker’s plaintive falsetto crooning and a soaring hook that recalls 70s AM rock meshed with synth pop and psych pop

Live Footage: French Electro Pop Act Agar Agar Performs “Sorry About The Carpet” on Colors Sessions

With the release of last year’s full-length debut, The Dog And The Future, the Paris-based electro pop duo Agar Agar, which is comprised of Clara Cappagli (vocals) and Armand Bultheel (keys) received national and international attention for a sound and aesthetic centered around vintage synths, unique melodies and a sense of mysticism. Since the release of their attention-grabbing debut, the French electro pop duo were invited to Colors, where they performed the slow-burning Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like “Sorry About The Carpet,” a track centered by layers of arpeggiated synths — elegantly shimmering synth chords for the melodies, bolstered by supple bass synths and a motorik groove paired with Cappagali’s effortless yet sultry vocals.