Category: Live Footage

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. 

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Live Footage: Sam Fender Performs “Hypersonic Missiles” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

Newcastle, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender has received attention both nationally and internationally over the past couple of years for crafting rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues and draws from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England.

Last year was a big year for the Newcastle-based Fender, as she was featured on BBC Sound of 2018‘s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Fender ended 2018 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 Keys, Slaves, Royal 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” is 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!”

“This song started out when I saw the term ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ in a newspaper. It’s a newly developed Russian missile that travels at something like nine times the speed of sound, which is essentially unstoppable,” Fender explains in press notes about the song’s inspiration. “America currently has no defence against such a weapon, they would be helpless in the wake of an attack, as you have roughly six minutes from the time it is launched to the time it strikes.

“In many ways, Hypersonic Missiles is an unorthodox love song. It’s main focus is on the world around the narrator, who is a complete tin foil hatter. They are convinced the world is on its last legs; they know that it is rife with injustice but feel completely helpless and lacking the necessary intelligence to change it while remaining hopelessly addicted to the fruits of consumerism.

“Amongst all the chaos is love and celebration, there is this glimmer of hope that runs through the song, a little notion that no matter what happens, these two people are gonna have a fucking good time regardless of the tyrants that run their world, and regardless of the imminent doom from these ‘Hypersonic Missiles.’”

2019 looks to be a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-based singer/songwriter and guitarist — he recently made his US network TV debut, performing “Hypersonic Missiles” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and he will be playing his first North American headline shows with stops in Toronto, Los Angeles — and a sold out Rough Trade show on March 20, 2019.  (You can check out tour dates below.) Fender will also be playing several sets at this year’s SXSW, which I’m sure will catch quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere. 

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Belgian Post -Punk Act Whispering Sons Perform “Alone” on “Muziek bij een”

Initially formed in 2013, the Brussels, Belgium-based post punk act Whispering Sons, comprised of Fenne Kuppens (vocals), Kobe Linjen (guitar), Sander Hermans (synths), Tuur Vanderborne (bass) and Sander Pelsmaekers (drums) received attention nationally with the release of their debut EP, 2015’S Endless Party through Wool-E-Tapes with a vinyl reissue in March 2016 through Minimal Maximal. The following year, the band won one of their homeland’s most prestigious music competitions Humo’s Rock Rally, which they followed up with two 7 inches, 2016’s “Performance”/”Strange Identities” and  2017’s “White Noise.” 

Building upon a growing profile across Belgium, the Brussels-based post-punk quintet released their full-length debut, the Micha Volders and Bert Vliegen-produced Image through Cleopatra Records here in the States and Smile Records throughout the rest of the world last year. Recorded over a ten day period at Waimes, Belgium’s GAM Studios, the album finds the band attempting to capture their live sound — and more importantly, the sense of anxiety and alienation that each individual bandmember felt when they relocated to Brussels.  Now, as you may recall Image’s second single “Alone” was centered around shimmering and angular guitar lines, a propulsive and sinuous bass line, thunderous and mathematically precise drumming, an arena rock-friendly hook that’s derived from a cryptic bit of dialog spoken during Twin Peaks’ first season and Kuppens’ Ian Curtis-like vocal delivery.  And while naturally drawing some comparisons to the likes of Joy Division, Actors, Deathlist, True Moon, Second Still and others, the song bristles with an icy ominousness. 

Check out this incredible live footage of the up-and-coming Belgian act on Muziek bij een on EEN Belgium’s Dutch language station. 

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform “Punch Back” for Fuzz Club Live Sessions

I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history and as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of founding member Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have a long-held reputation for an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to an unpredictable live show: they’re known for never writing an actual set list, sometimes spontaneously writing new songs during the middle of sets — and for being arguably one of the loudest bands on the planet.

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online.

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. Now, as you may recall that the live album’s second single was the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure for the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like track was centered around a snarling and throbbing Lunadon bass line, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the song evoking a towering fog of unease and malevolence.

Although I’m writing about this out of order, the live album’s first single is a furious and breakneck version of “Punch Back” that puts Braswell’s feral and snarling vocals and forceful drumming taking center stage while the song is propelled forward by Lunadon’s throbbing bass and Ackerman’s towering peals of feedback-fed guitar. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage captures the band’s current lineup at their fiercest, capturing the band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform a Previously Unreleased Single for Fuzz Club Sessions at Lovebuzz Studios

Over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history, I’ve written quite a bit about  Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, and as you may recall the band, which is currently comprised of Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and its newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have had a long-held reputation for having an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to unpredictable live shows: they’ve been known for never writing an actual set list, for  sometimes spontaneously writing new songs in the middle of the sets — and for arguably being one of the loudest bands on the planet. 

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online. 

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. The live album’s second and latest  latest single is the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like “Chrome Shadow” is centered around a snarling and throbbing bass line played by Lunadon, towering, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the end result being a towering fog of unease and malevolence. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage features the trio huddled around a drum machine and some other hardware that Ackermann uses to manipulate and distort his vocals and everything else. The live footage captures a band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.  

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Belgian Post-Rock Act BRUTUS Performs “War” at Rain City

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has championed them. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Belgian post-rock trio’s Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Interestingly, the members of the band will openly admit that the formative sound of the band was shaped by necessity: Mannaerts adopted vocal duties initially because no one else would. But with Nest, Mannaerts reportedly fully embraces her role as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents  while the band as a whole has expanded upon and tightened their sound and approach. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve taken — the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and success; but underlying all of that are moments of reflection, in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those choices had on those, who they had to leave behind. The material focuses on the strange yet necessary friction between the band’s forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those back at home. But are such things possible when the things you’ve experienced, the things you’ve seen and done have become so different than those of your peers — and when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get to where you are at this moment? 

Clocking in at a little under 5 minutes and centered by Mannaerts’ expressive and emotional falsetto, Nest’s first single is the expansive “War,” a track that alternates between dreamy and ruminative shoegaze, aggressive and forceful thrash metal, complete with enormous arena filling hooks and even more massive power chords. Sonically, the song has an underlying painterly quality — with the song’s layers feeling like brushstrokes adding detail on the canvas; however, the track evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — fully alone. 

The live footage captures the band perfuming “War” at Rain City and it captures the unique bond the musicians have while evoking the song’s raw and heartfelt emotions. 

Live Footage: The Blue Stones Perform “Be My Fire” on SiriusXM’s The Verge Channel

I’ve written a bit about up-and-coming alt rock duo The Blue Stones and as you may recall, the band which is comprised of high school friends Tarek Jafer (vocals, guitar) and Justin Tessier (drums, percussion, backing vocals) can trace their origins to when the duo decided that they should start a musical project together, while attending college. Jafar and Tessier spent seven years honing and perfecting their sound, a period which they wrote and recorded an independently released EP. 

Building upon several years of hard work and dedication, the duo released their full-length debut Black Holes last October — and the album features two previously released, attention-grabbing singles, Rolling With The Punches,” a single that received placements on USA Network‘s Suits, Showtime‘s Shameless and ESPN‘s Monday Night Football and lead single and album title track “Black Holes (Solid Ground), which has amassed 8 million streams, furthered cement the duo’s growing profile for  playing blues rock that as the duo’s Justin Tessier says is “lean, raw, tight, without a wasted note.”

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the members of The Blue Stones played sets across the national festival circuit with stops at Carolina Rebellion, Northern Invasion, Winnetka Music Festival and Bonnaroo Festival. Black Holes’ third single, the sultry and anthemic “Be My Fire,” is centered around the sort of enormous power chords, thundering drumming and arena rock friendly hooks that bring The Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, and North Mississippi All Stars to mind — although the song is actually an urgent and plaintive yearning for someone just out of reach. Recently, the members of the up-and-coming alt rock duo were invited to SiriusXM’s The Verge Channel, where they performed several singles from their full-length debut, including the aforementioned “Be My Fire,” and a cover of The Rolling Stones’ classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction).” Check out some live footage of The Blue Stones performing “Be My Fire.” 

Live Footage: Les Big Byrd Perform “A Little More Numb” at Tapetown Studios

Comprised of founding duo Jocke Åhlund and Frans Johansson along with Frans Johansson and Martin Ehrencrona, the Stockholm Sweden-based indie rock act Les Big Byrd features a collection of their hometown’s most accomplished indie musicians.  Åhlund co-founded cult Teddybears with his brother Klas in 1991. Åhlund went on to play guitar in Caesars — and formed Smile, with Peter, Björn and John’s Björn Yttling. And in that insanely busy period, Åhlund managed to find time to write for and produce the legendary Giorgio Moroder and renowned Swedish pop artist Robyn. Johansson, meanwhile, was a bassist in Swedish Grammy Award-winning act Fireside since the early nineties and worked as a touring bassist with The Soundtrack of Our Lives.

As the story goes, by 2011 Åhlund and Johansson had become increasingly disillusioned with their primary gigs and they began to collaborate with each other, frequently bouncing musical ideas off one another; the band’s founding duo quickly recruited two fellow grizzled scene vets, keyboardist Martin ‘Konie’ Ehrencrona and Caesars drummer Nino Keller to finalize the band’s lineup. 

The band’s debut, 2014’s Back to Bagarmossen EP was an atmospheric, guitar driven effort that found the quartet receiving attention from Swedish national TV. Interestingly, with a growing national profile. the members of Les Big Byrd ran into The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe at a local record store, and after hitting it off with him, the band headed to Newcombe’s Berlin-based studio to jam with him — and the end result was a handful of tracks which eventually appeared on their critically applauded Åhlund-produced full-length debut, They Worshipped Cats, an album that was a decided left turn into trippy space rock.

In the winter of 2015, 18 months after the release of They Worshipped Cats, Åhlund was looking forward to working on new material; however, unlike their debut, he was determined to bring in an outside producer to allow him to focus just on the songwriting and playing. With much of their material drawing heavily from psych rock and drone, while retaining a pop sensibility, the band recruited Spacemen 3‘s Sonic Boom (a.k.a.Pete Kember) to produce the album as the band loved his work on MGMT‘s 2010 sophomore album Congratulations.  The initial sessions with Kember quickly went awry; Kember clashed with Newcombe, who also headed to Sweden to work on some ideas for the record with the band — and Åhlund eventually found himself taking up the production role, he didn’t want and wasn’t seeking.

Burned out by the experience, the band shelved the second album for a while.  “I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed to get some distance from it,” Åhlund says in press notes. “It was only after a while that I was able to go back and realise that there was a really good album in there.” The members of Les Big Byrd spent the bulk of last year remaking and re-imaging the material in their own image — with Kember and Newcombe’s contributions being limited. Recorded between two Stockholm studios — Åhlund’s own and Ehrencrona’s Studio Cobra — the band’s sophomore album Iran Iraq IKEA derives its title from a slogan that Åhlund’s saw printed on a tie while in Berlin years earlier and wanted to use for years; in fact, Åhlund felt that it suited the album, “because it gave it all some kind of subtly poetic intrigue.” However, the album’s politics — if you really want to call it that — are rooted within the personal, As Åhlund says in press notes,  “It’s about classic topics like love and failure. And about being older and feeling like you’ve pissed your life away, It’s about regrets and wishing you’d done things another way,”

The band’s Åhlund takes up production duties again, but with the admission that maybe it was something he never really wanted to give up — and sonically speaking, the band reportedly have reinvented themselves and their sound but while retaining elements of the sound and approach that first won them national and international attention.  “I still love my krautrock, and space rock, and experimental, improvisational stuff” says Åhlund. “But I also have a strong love for psychedelic sixties pop music, and I love reverb-drenched guitar with a lot of tremolo on it. All of those things make it on to Iran Iraq IKEA, but the lines are blurred – there’s a lot of electronics, and you can’t always tell where each individual sound is coming from. Hopefully it’s suggestive, a little bit uncertain and unpredictable, at least that’s what I wanted.”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d recall that Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studios in partnership with Sound of Aarhus have been inviting national, regional and internationally recognized touring bands to come into their studios for a live session, which they film and distribute through all of your favorite social media sites. So far they’ve inited British indie rockers Ulrika Spacek, Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Pale Honey, the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen and his The Fresh & Onlys, renowned British psych rockers The Telescopes,  Malmo, Sweden-based punk rock act Sista Bossen, Copenhagen, Denmark-based indie rock quartet ONBC, and up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based post punk rock act Moaning.  Recently, the members of Les Big Byrd stopped by Tapetown Studios to perform the bittersweet lament “A Little More Numb.” 

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Swedish Singer/Songwriter Marlene Oak Performs “In The Evening” at YouTube Music Studio

Earlier this week, I wrote about Marlene Oak a Swedish singer/songwriter and guitarist, who grew up on a small island outside of of Stockholm, where she turned to music as an escape. Oak spent her teenage years busking on the streets of Stockholm’s Old Town, and was serendipitously discovered by someone, who just happened to pass by and catch her playing. After releasing a couple of singles, which helped to develop a reputation for a sound and approach that’s influenced by Bob DylanJeff BuckleyJoni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Janis Joplin, the Swedish singer/songwriter and guitarist built a following playing shows across her homeland at pubs, clubs and elsewhere, opening for the likes of Miss Li,Whitney Rose and Susto, as well as playing sets at Way Out West FestivalSTHLM Americana and Irisfestivalen.

The up-and-coming, Swedish singer/songwriter’s latest single “In The Evening” is centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of Oak’s soulful and plaintive vocals, accompanied by a strummed, electric guitar fed through gentle amount of reverb. Of course, such a sparse arrangement forces your attention on Oak’s vocals and lyrics — in particular, as the song focuses on heartbreak, sorrow, achingly lonely nights and desperately figuring out some way to move forward with your life. Recorded in one take, the song possesses a you-were-there immediacy which helps pack a walloping emotional punch. 

“When I recorded ‘In The Evening’, I wanted to record everything on one take — without a click. And that’s what I did,” Oak says in press notes. “I aimed for keeping the same feeling to the song as I had when I wrote it, and I wanted to sing the words as if they were my last.” 

Building upon a growing buzz surrounding her and the song, Oak released live footage of her performing the song at YouTube Music Studio at Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm. The live footage emphasizes the you-were-there immediacy of the song and its initial recording.