Category: New Audio

Featuring Tête‘s and Black Flamingo‘s Ammo Bankoff (vocals, bass), War Tapes‘ and Rituals’ Neil Popkin (guitar), Popkin’s War Tapes bandmate Matt Bennett (guitar) and Magic Wands‘ Pablo Amador (drums), the Los Angeles-based act Brass Box can trace their origins back to around 2006 when Bankoff booked Popkin’s first Los Angeles area show along with one of her earlier bands. And as the story goes, the duo frequently ran into each other at local galleries and warehouse shows, occasionally exchanging ideas; in fact, in press notes Popkin recalls being drawn to Bankoff’s early projects and artistic vision but the two were also frequently preoccupied by their own individual creative pursuits, making working together difficult for a number of years. 

Interestingly, a chance encounter with Popkin inspired Bankoff to share some early demos and the duo quickly realized they were more creatively like-minded than they thought. They then recruited Bennett and Amador to complete the band’s lineup and to further flesh out the band’s sound.

The band’s first singles received praise from a number of renowned publications including Post-Punk, who described their sound as “. . . a surreal reverie [having] the sonic texture of crushed velvet imbued with the lingering scent of burnt incense and clove cigarettes circa October of 1993,” and LA Record who noted the band as “. . . dedicated to making the kind of music that should soundtrack a sand-dune-to-shoreline road movie by David Lynch.” Building upon a growing profile, the band will be releasing their full-length debut The Cathedral on April 5, 2019 through Dune Alter Records.

“Bats,” the moody new single off the band’s forthcoming debut is centered around a towering, wall of sound-like sound, featuring layers of feedback and distortion pedal-fed power chords, thundering and dramatic drumming and Bankoff’s ethereal and plaintive wailing — and while evoking the sensation of being lost at sea, during a massive storm and being tossed about by the waves, the track reminds me a bit of Heaven Up Here and Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen and Siouxsie and the Banshees, but with a cinematic flair.

 

 

Advertisements

New Video: Acclaimed Toronto Producer Harrison Teams Up with RALPH on Soulful 90s Synth Pop Inspired Track

With the release of his 2016 full-length debut, the critically applauded, Juno Award-nominated Checkpoint Titanium, the Toronto-based electronic music producer, electronic music artist Harrison turned from DIY bedroom producer, posting tracks on Soundcloud to a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist and producer, at the forefront of his hometown’s R&B tinged electro pop scene. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the acclaimed Canadian’s sophomore album Apricity, (which is defined as “the warmth of the sun in winter”) found him at a point where he was evolving his sound and approach, figuring out ways to translate ideas and challenge existing conventions more effectively while working with an equally acclaimed set of collaborators including Daniela Andrade, IaamSaam, BADBADNOTGOOD’s Matty Tavares, Prince Innocence’s Talvi, Basecamp’s Aaron Tiem, Prince DCF and RALPH among others. 

Interestingly, Harrison quietly released a set of B-sides through Bandcamp that will be included as part of the Apricity Deluxe bundle, which also will include an official Fingerboard, and a limited edition 140g, Black Smoke LP copy signed by Harrison, as well unlimited Bandcamp streaming; but let’s talk about Apricity’s sultry, 90s synth pop-inspired summer banger “Your Girl.” A collaboration featuring up-and-coming local vocalist RALPH, the track is built upon a dense, hook-driven production consisting of lush layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, RALPH’s soulful, come hither delivery and chopped up vocal samples. Directed by Ft. Langley, the video stars Doug Paton as “The Man” and is a slick, hilarious and absolutely incisive commentary on consumerism and advertising becoming a part of our innermost dreams and fantasies. 

Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot about JOVM Mainstay David Alexander, an internationally renowned Malmo, Sweden-born singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic producer and electronic music artist, best known for his solo electro pop/dream pop recording project Summer Heart. Now, as you may recall, the Swedish-born singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic producer and electronic music artist has released a batch of singles in a single-of-the-month series that he has dubbed 12 Songs of Summer. According to Alexander, the series allows him to “show people what I am currently working on instead of what I was doing two years ago, which can be the case if you release an album. It’s definitely a way of challenging myself, thinking less and having more fun creating music!”

Just as Alexander is about to embark on a 16 date East Coast tour with New York-based electronic music artist and producer Brothertiger, the acclaimed Swedish artist released the last track of the series, the woozy and percussive “Buckle Up.” Centered around an ethereal melody, thumping beats, lush vocal harmonies and a sinuous groove, the track evokes swooning and youthful and somewhat uncertain love.

I was working with my friend Chris in his bedroom in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at that point. We had bought smoothies from Brooklyn Standard and were just fooling around” Alexander says of the song’s creation. “I’m normally a Logic Pro guy, but we started this new track in Ableton Live and called it ‘Groovie,’ wanting to make it exactly what the name suggests. I just couldn’t make it happen in Ableton but we wrote the track and bounced a rough demo of it anyway. I had it on repeat in my headphones for quite a while before I knew where I wanted to take it. I put all the stems we had recorded into Logic and started messing around with them. The track changed quite drastically and became a bit more up-tempo. The lyrics are about falling in love with someone that doesn’t fit your criteria – someone you didn’t expect to fall in love with.”

As for the tour, it begins tomorrow night at The Knitting Factory. For the rest of the dates, check them out below.

 

L I V E

(East Coast of America with Brothertiger)

 

Feb 21 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory

Feb 22 Washington DC – Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge

Feb 23 Norfolk, VA – Charlie’s American Café

Feb 24 Greenville, SC – Radio Room

Feb 26 Atlanta, GA – 529 bar

Feb 27 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa

Feb 28 Houston, TX – Continental Club

March 1 Austin, TX – Barracuda

March 2 Dallas, TX – RBC

March 3 Tulsa, OK – Chimera Lounge

March 5 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room

March 6 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen

March 7 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop

March 8 Columbus, OH – Spacebar

March 9 Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo

March 10 Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA

Over the past few months, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstay, Josie Boivin, Quebec-based classically trained pianist and opera vocalist and electronic pop producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, best known as MUNYA. As the story goes Boivin had only written one song when she was asked to perform at 2017’s Pop Montreal Festival. Now, as you may recall, ironically at the time, Boivin had never intended to pursue music full-time; but after playing at the festival, she realized what she was meant to do — be a musician.

So Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio where she wrote every day. These recordings would eventually become part of an EP trilogy named after a significant place in Boivin’s life. Her self-released debut North Hatley derives its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little villages in Quebec and her second EP Delmano, which was released last year through Fat Possum Records derives its name from Williamsburg Brooklyn’s Hotel Delmano.

Blue Pine EP, the third EP of Boivin’s trilogy derives its name for the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks — and continues the trilogy’s overall theme of EP’s being named for a significant place in Boivin’s life.  “It’s All About You”  Blue Pine‘s first single was a beguiling pop song centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook, and Boivin’s ethereal falsetto — but interestingly, the song focuses on the joy and agony of an all-consuming infatuation that borders on obsession. “Benjamin,” Blue Pines‘ second and latest single is centered around a breezy and infectious hook, shimmering synths and guitars, a sinuous bass line, four-on-the-floor beats and Boivin’s ethereal vocals singing lyrics both in English and French. (Interestingly, the song marks the first time Boivin sings in both languages.) And much like its immediate predecessor, the song finds Boivin balancing an infectious pop sensibility with an aching, sepia-tinged wistfulness. Oh how, things were easier/simpler/less cynical back then, the songs seem to say –and yet within “Benjamin,” there’s a bit of hope. As Boivin says of the song in press notes,  “Many times in my life when I thought I had found love it turned into heartbreak. Like most people, it has made it harder for me to be vulnerable with new experiences and people. In this song I take a step back and realize it’s how we all feel. I make fun of my own vulnerabilities, try to just push them to the side and enjoy my new love.”

Blue Pine is slated for a March 8, 2019 release through House Arrest/Fat Possum Records imprint Luminelle Recordings, and along with that the three EPs will be combined for the physical release MUNYA, which will also be released on March 8.

Comprised of Ottilia Kjulsten and David Sugar, Girl Crush is an up-and-coming Swedish/British duo that have a special interest in lost youth, heartbreak and a future never arrived. The duo’s singles “Warm Blooded” and “Past Life” received airplay on Phil Taggart’s BBC Radio 1 show while “Radio Silence,” was named The Guardian‘s Track of the Week — and as a result, each single has amassed over 1 million streams on Spotify.

Fittingly, their latest single “Baby Steps,” which was released on Valentine’s Day is a sultry, Quiet Storm-inspired track about taking a relationship to the next level that’s centered around Kjulsten’s ethereal vocals and a shimmering, atmospheric production that will remind some listeners of JOVM mainstays ACES and others.

 

 

 

 

With the release of 2014’s full-length debut, Dogging, the Sydney-based punk act Low Life featuring core trio Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro quickly received national and international attention — while leaving a nasty mark on the punk landscape. Interestingly, the band’s much-anticipated sophomore effort Downer Edn (read as Downer Edition) is slated for a March 15, 2019 release through Goner Records.

Recorded over a two year period, the acclaimed Aussie punk band’s forthcoming sophomore effort finds the band expanding from a trio to a quintet with the addition of Oily Boys and Orion’s Dizzy Daldal (guitar) and Yuta Matsumura (guitar), with Matsumura rejoining the band to allow Tolman to be a full-time vocalist. Additionally, the material is a decided change in sonic direction for the band — with the material finding the band going for a lush, New Wave-like sound; in fact the album’s first single is the icy and angular “Lust Forevermore.” And while sonically bearing an uncanny resemblance to Joy Division, the song manages an uneasy balance of melancholy, anxious tension, pensiveness and urgency.

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Matthew Stubbs Teams Up with Pat Faherty, Charlie Musselwhite, and Luther Dickinson on a Boogie Blues Number

Last year, I wrote a bit about the Boston-based bandleader, songwriter, composer and guitarist Matthew Stubbs. Stubbs has spent the past 11 years as a member of Charlie Musselwhite’s backing band, and he’s played in the backings bands for a number of other blues legends including of John Hammond, James cotton, Junior Watson and James Harman. Stubbs has also released two solo instrumental albums 2008’s Soulbender released through Vizztone Records and 2010’s Medford and Main released through Chicago, IL-based Blue Bella Records that drew from the  Memphis, TN soul/blues sound. And as you may recall, Stubbs formed his own band The Antiguas, a Duane Eddy, Link Wray, and Booker T meets garage rock, B movie soundtracks and Afrobeat-inspired act that features Just Lopes (organ), Chris Rivelli (drums) and Marc Hickox (bass). 

The Boston-based composer, songwriter and guitarist’s latest musical project GA-20 is a collaboration with his longtime friend Pat Faherty. Formed last year, the project is centered around the duo’s mutual love of traditional blues, R&B, 50s and 60s and their love of the work of Lazy Lester, J.B. Lenoir, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Junior Wells. Feeling a void in contemporary music, the duo set out to write, record and perform a modernized version of the blues — with the same sort of passion and earnestness on stage and in the studio of the genre’s heyday.

GA-20’s full-length debut is slated for release later this summer through Karma Chief Records, and the album’s latest single is the shuffling, “Naggin’ On My Mind.” Indebted to Earl Hooker and John Lee Hooker, the track features the imitable and explosive harmonica playing of Charlie Musselwhite, and from North Mississippi All Stars’ Luther Dickinson — and is built around a looping 12 bar blues, a slide guitar solo and a stomping rhythm. Simply put, it’s blues the way I love it — a boozy boogie stomp. 

New Video: Dear Boy Releases Gorgeous Black and White Visuals for Shimmering and Moody Single “Semester”

Comprised of four longtime friends Ben Grey (vocals, guitar), Austin Hayman (guitar), Keith Cooper (drums) and Lucy Lawrence (bass), the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet Dear Boy had a breakthrough 2018 — while crafting music that’s both deeply personal and a celebration of their hometown: local critics and music publications hailed the quartet as one of the best, up-and-coming area bands; they played multiple sold out hometown shows and toured with Rogue Wave, Day Wave and Sunflower Bean.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of Dear Boy will be releasing the Strawberry EP on March 1, 2019 through the band’s Easy Hell Records and Burnside/The Orchard and the EP’s first single is the bittersweet and anthemic “Semester.” Centered around shimmering guitar chords, a sinuous bass line, an infectious hook and plaintive vocals, the song focuses on profound loss — and that peculiar moment in the immediate aftermath in which you can’t quite figure out how to feel, what to do next or if you can even move forward. As the band’s Ben Gray says in press notes, “Most of us have whole periods of our lives that are defined by one person… And when that person leaves, returning to your normal life feels strange. Almost as if the world moved on behind your back.”

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the recently released video features black and white footage of the band earnestly performing the song in an art gallery with the camera artfully going in and out of focus. 

Last month, I wrote about the Chicago-based psych rock act Lucille Furs, and as you may recall, the act comprised of Patrick Tsotsos,  Nick Dehmlow, Brendan Peleo- Lazar, Trevor Newton Pritchett and Constantine Hastalis initially formed in the Logan Square section of Chicago and in a relatively short period of time, the band added themselves to a growing list of attention-grabbing indie acts from the Chicagoland area, thanks in part to a sound that borrows liberally from the likes of The Zombies, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Temples, Love, Diane Coffee, Charles Bradley and others.  Interestingly, since their formation, half the band has relocated to Los Angeles, and as the band mentions, listeners will likely hear the sounds of their new home within some of their work.

Recently pushed back to a March 15, 2019 release through Requiem Pour Un Twister Records, Lucille Furs’ forthcoming sophomore album Another Land was written back in September 2017 and was recorded direct to tape before being completed at Treehouse Records. Rather than being topical, the album’s material is rooted in the surreal and esoteric — perhaps sin a way to aim at the timeless. The bouncy early 60s-inspired stomper “Paint Euphrosyne Blue,” was centered around jangling guitars, twinkling organs and infectious and soaring hook that recalled The Monkees and The Doors. And while a perfect soundtrack for a road trip, the band noted that the song referenced the goddess of mirth, with the song being about the human need to adapt to the point of becoming unoriginal.

Another Land‘s latest single is the shimmering Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles and The TurtlesHappy Together“-like “All Flowers Before Her” and much like its predecessor, the song is centered around a bouncy and buoyant hook and lysergic, 60s vibes — but with a blazing guitar solo and a subtly modern touch.

 

Stealth is an up-and-coming Birmingham, UK-based singer/songwriter. Citing influences such as Howlin’ Wolf and Etta James, the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter specializes in an old school bluesy take on pop and soul.  His single “Judgement Day,” was a viral hit that has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify and YouTube combined, landed on the charts in 12 different countries and appeared on an episode of USA Network’s Suits — and as a result, his EP The Intro, which featured the song landed at #2 on the iTunes UK singer/songwriter charts and #3 on the iTunes US charts. His sophomore EP, Verse, featured “Real Life,” a track that was featured on ABC’s The Catch and E’s The Royals — and the track was also featured in a Kia Stinger ad campaign throughout Europe. Adding to a growing profile, the Birmingham-based singer/songwriter has opened for the likes of Seinabo Say, Jamie Woon, Zella Day, Tiggs Da Author, Vaults, Kaleo and others. He also received frequent airplay across BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing — and was nominated for 3 Unsigned Music Awards before he signed to Ultra Music.

Since signing to Ultra Music as their first blues/soul/pop act, Stealth has continued to build upon a rapidly growing profile. His third EP, Chorus features “Gotta Stop Loving You,” a track with an accompanying Ryan Saradjola-directed video that has amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube since its release; “Truth Is,” which was included on the official FIFA ’19 soundtrack alongside tracks from Barns Courtney, Billie Eilish, Broods, Childish Gambino, Death Cab For Cutie, Gorillaz, Logic and more.

Stealth’s latest single, the Stevie Wonder meets Fela Kuti and The Africa 70-like “Black Heart” finds the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter collaborating with the world famous funk and soul band The Dap Kings. Centered around a strutting bass line, a sultry horn line that only a few backing bands can provide, a twinkling organ line and Stealth’s soulful vocals, the track is full of bitter recriminations and accusations towards a deceitful lover — and by the end the song is a proud tell off to the same lover.

“‘Black Heart’ is all about noticing the little things a person does before they break up with you. They are saying one thing but their black heart says another,” Stealth says in press notes. “Had the pleasure recording this with the Dap Kings over in NYC and it was a dream come true. Obviously heard them on Back to Black and I’ve been a huge fan of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones who they also recorded and played with. To have the opportunity to meet and record with these living legends was unbelievable.”