Category: New Audio

 


Currently comprised of Andrew Kissel (vocals, guitar, piano), Travis Pinkston (bass, vocals) and Brian Yurachek (drums, percussion), the New York-based indie rock act Valentin Marx originally formed in 2012. Shortly after their formation, they wrote, recorded and released their debut EP, which lead to shows at a number of renowned indie venues across town — including Piano’s, Arlene’s Grocery, Berlin Under A and Pete’s Candy Store and others. Since their formation, the band has gone through a lineup change while retaining the sound that first won them attention locally. 

Interestingly, the lineup change has resulted in a much more collaborative approach to their songwriting and recording, utilizing the skills and life experiences of each of the band’s members.  Their new single, the jangling and anthemic “Made Up” recalls 120 Minutes-era MTV but as the band notes the song is rooted in the frustration and disappointment surrounding modern relationships. Despite the fact that we’re all constantly connected to each other with Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and online dating sites, no one is actually having an authentic and meaningful interaction. 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Comprised of Joe Mantell, Rob Leishman and Dimitar and Karbov, the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based rock trio Boy Breaking Glass derive their name from the Gwendolyn Brooks poem. Interestingly, the Canadian trio have received attention for a sound that’s dark, cinematic and intense. 

The band’s forthcoming sophomore album Exceed is slated for release sometime next year and the album’s first single, “Masquerade,”is centered by Joe Mantell’s sonorous baritone, atmospheric synths, dramatic drumming. a soaring hook and a propulsive, arena friendly coda — and much like Roxy Music (which the song sonically and thematically recalls), the core of the song is a palpable heartache. In fact, unsurprisingly, the song was written by by the band’s Mantell towards the end of a long-term relationship. And as a result, the song follows two very different people, who recognize that they can no longer they can change themselves or their situation to make things right — and that their relationship ending is inevitable. 

 

 

Crywolf is the solo recording project of Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumetnalist and producer Justin Phillips. When he started releasing music, he was practically homeless, living in a room the size of a closet and subsiding on food stamps. Since then, Phillips has come a long way — he has amassed millions of streams, headlined the second largest stage at Electric Forest and has received praise from the likes of Consequence of Sound, Alternative PressBillboardNylon, Complex

Deriving its name from the Latin name of a small, carnivorous plant, Phillips’ latest Crywolf single “CEPHALØTUS” will further his growing reputation for sensual, enveloping and cinematic pop centered around a gorgeous and atmospheric production featuring shimmering guitar chords, Phillips’ reverb-drenched ethereal falsetto which expresses vulnerability and plaintive need paired with  dramatic bursts of industrial clang and clatter. The song possesses a surrealistic and painterly quality — while delving deep into the depths of its creator’s psyche. 

 

 

New Audio: Acclaimed British Act White Lines Release an Earnest Power Ballad

Five, the acclaimed London-based indie trio White Lies’s forthcoming, fifth full-length album is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings, and the album marks their tenth anniversary together — and instead of resting on their laurels, the members of the trio decided that it was the perfect time to push their sound and aesthetic in new and adventurous directions. Along with that, the trio’s bassist and primary lyricist Charles Cave wrote what may arguably be the most deeply personal and intimate lyrics of the band’s entire catalog. 

Unlike its predecessors, the writing and recording process was Transatlantic, and included a trip to Los Angeles, where they worked on new material with Ed Bueller, who produced the band’s chart-topping debut To Lose My Life and their third album Big TV. Throughout the process, the band enlisted past associates and collaborators to assist on the proceedings including engineer James Brown, who has worked with Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters; the renowned producer Flood, who contributes synths and keys on a couple of tracks; and Grammy Award-winning Alan Moulder, who has worked with Smashing PumpkinsNine Inch Nails and The Killers to mix the album.

Now, as you may recall, the Snow Patrol-like album single “Time to Give,” was an ambitious song that clocked in at a little over 7 and a half minutes, and was centered around a lush yet moody arrangement of shimmering synths, a propulsive motorik groove, Harry McVeigh’s sonorous baritone and an arena rock-friendly hook — but underneath the enormous hooks was a song that focuses on a dysfunctional and abusive relationship from a real and lived-in place; so real, that the song bristles with the bitterness, confusion and hurt that comes from being in a relationship that leaves you fucked up and broken. Believe It” continued in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor  — full of the enormous, arena rock friendly hooks that have won them acclaim; but sonically speaking, it manages to bear a resemblance to Pet Shop Boys, Tears for FearsJef Barbara and Joy Division/New Order, as the song is centered around big power chords, shimmering and twinkling synths, a forcefully propulsive rhythm section and McVeigh’s baritone.

“Finish Line,” Five‘s latest single is a slow-burning, power ballad featuring an ambitious and expansive song structure with the song moving from Roxy Music-like atmospherics to big power ballad and arena rock-friendly hooks bolstered by powerfully earnest sentiment. But at its core, the song is about a young couple’s breakup negotiations, complete with bitter accusations and recriminations, regret, heartache and uncertainty. Interestingly, the song is a band favorite and as the band’s Charles Cave mentions in press notes. We are all hugely attached to this song, and really excited to share it prior to the album being released. Much like album-opener ‘Time To Give’, the track has an ambitious structure – one emanating from our love of Prog. At its heart, it’s a simple song about a young couple’s break-up negotiations, I like to hope the music itself takes the listener through the emotional ups and downs. It’s up there as one our best songs and we hope our fans think so too

Earlier this year, I wrote about Czarface, a collaborative project featuring renowned, underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric and the Wu-Tang Clan‘s Inspectah Deck. The act derives its name from a character they created that’s patterned after both comic book villains and aspects of each of the individual members. Now, as you may recall, the act can trace its origins to when the trio together, which lead to “Speaking Real Words” off 7L & Esoteric’s 2001 album, The Soul Purpose and “12th Chamber” off their 2010 album, 1212, and a number of other singles. And since the group’s formation back in 2013, they’ve released four critically applauded albums — their 2013 self-titled debut, 2015’s Every Hero Needs a Villain, 2016’s A Fistful of Peril and their collaboration with MF DoomCzarface Meets Metalface, which was released earlier this year.

Czarface follows their critically applauded collaboration with MF Doom by teaming with Ghostface Killah, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Starks on their forthcoming collaborative effort Czarface Meets Ghostface. The album’s first single “Iron Claw” features dope emcees trading swaggering bars about running crime syndicates, taking over the world, being the dopest around and more over a thumping and menacing production featuring enormous 808-like beats, a chopped up vocal sample and arpeggiated organs. Simply put this one is straight fire, as it features some of the world’s best emcees challenging each other to push their talents and skills in a new, exciting directions.

 

 

 

Over the past few years of this site’s eight-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles-based indie rock trio Psychic Love, and as you may recall the act, which features Laura Peters (vocals), Max Harrison (guitar) and Liam McCormick (bass) has described their sound as “dream grunge” and “as if Nancy Sinatra had a love child with Frank Black.” Up until the release of “Go Away Green,” a song that both derives its name and its influence from a very odd yet very true fact — that at Disney them parks, the things they don’t want patrons noticing are painted in a shade of green that they’ve dubbed “Go Away Green.”

Sonically, that single was a decided expansion of the sound and songwriting approach that first caught my attention as the song was a shape shifter that began with a cacophony of noise that recalled Pearl Jam’s Vs. before quickly morphing into a slow-burning and atmospheric track with a rousingly anthemic hook that recalls Concrete Blonde and JOVM mainstays Oddnesse. The band closes out 2018 with their newest single, “One & Two,” which sounds indebted to Ennio Morricone soundtracks as its centered around reverb-drenched, twangy guitars, dramatic drumming, a gorgeous horn arrangement and a soaring hook. And while the song may arguably be the most cinematic song in their growing catalog, it manages to recall Still Corners’ gorgeous Slow Air. Interestingly, as the band explains, their latest single “is a restless song about how communications bend and warp, especially in this new frontier, where nothing is as it seems.”

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of their debut single “Fourteen,” earlier this year, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Beverly Kills quickly received attention for a decidedly post-punk inspired sound. However, with “Melodrama,” the band’s sound moved towards the shimmering dream pop of 4AD Records with a subtle post-punk take. The up-and-coming Swedish trio end 2018 with “Dreamless,” which continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor — shimmering guitar-led dream pop with enormous, rousing hooks.

 

 

New Audio: Introducing the Synth-Led Funk of Sydney’s Winston Surfshirt

With the release of their full-length debut Sponge Cake, which featured their recently gold-certified debut single “Be About You,” the Sydney, Australia-based sextet Winston Surfshirt was championed by Beats 1 Radio host Zane Lowe, KRCW’s Jason Bentley, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 6’s Lauren Laverne and Elton John, thanks in part to a Australian sextet’s unique and slickly produced blend of synth funk, soul and hip-hop. Adding to a growing profile, Sponge Cake was named a Triple J feature album. 

Building upon a growing national and international profile, the up-and-coming Sydney-based act end 2018 with a new track, the chilled out yet swaggering funky synth-led “For The Record,” which pairs a sleek hip hop-tinged production of thumping beats, arpeggiated synths, crooning horns and neo-soul like vocals. Sonically, the song brings a number of different artists — Thundercat, Timbaland and Dam-Funk immediately come to mind. “‘For The Record’ is a song written for anyone from the perspective of their loved ones, family or friends,” the members of the band explain in press notes. “When you’re feeling down there’s always people who love you and would do anything to make you feel better and be there when you’re in a bad headspace.”

New Video: Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter Alice Phoebe Lou Releases a Trippy 70s Inspired Single from Forthcoming Sophomore Album

Over the past year, I’ve written a bit about the Cape Town, South Africa-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alice Phoebe Lou. And as you may recall, Lou grew up in a rather creative home — her parents were documentary filmmakers, who took the budding artist to piano lessons as a child. As a teenager, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist taught herself guitar. The summer she turned 16, Lou went to Paris to visit her aunt. Armed with an acoustic guitar, the young artist met a number of that city’s buskers and street performers — with some of them teaching her poi dancing. 

Upon completing her schooling, Lou returned to Europe, first landing in  Amsterdam, where she made money as a poi dancer. She then relocated to Berlin, where she became a well-regarded busker and developed a reputation for a fiercely independent, punk rock-like DIY approach to her career. With the release of 2014’s self-released debut EP, Lou began receiving international attention, eventually spending the following year performing at a number of TED events in London and Berlin. Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, Lou released her full-length debut Orbit in 2016. The album garnered a nomination for Best Female Artist at that year’s German Critics’ Choice Awards and a set at the 27th Annual Conference for the Professional Business Women of California, which featured keynote speakers Venus Williams, Judy Smith, and Memory Banda. She ended the year, touring on bills with Sixto Rodriguez, Boy & Bear, Allen Stone and Crystal Fighters, as well as three, sold-out multimedia events at the Berlin Planetarium. Those Berlin Planetarium shows were so much in demand that she added two additional planetarium shows to her 2017 itinerary. 

Besides touring, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has had 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. Additionally, Lou spent time working on her much-anticipated, Noah Georgeson-produced sophomore effort Paper Castles, which is slated for a March 8, 2019 release. 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.”

The album’s first single is a slow-burning, 70s AM rock and 70s soul-like “Something Holy.” Centered around a shimmering guitar line, hushed drumming, a sinuous hook, a psychedelic tinged bridge and Lou’s aching vocals, the song is a deeply introspective and unvarnished look into the narrator’s complicated relationships with sex, love, men and herself. As Lou says, the song reflects “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.” Sonically speaking, the song reminds me quite a bit of Amber Arcades’ European Heartbreak. 

Made by Manners Studio is a heady mix of brightly colored, cinematically shot footage of young people brooding and looking bored in a stylish chamber room, animation and Lou earnestly performing the song. 

Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Graham Brockmiller (vocals, guitar), Michael Pozzi (guitar). Tricky (drums) and Justin Ricard (bass), the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Yacht Punk can trace their origins to when Brockmiller’s previous band Great White Buffalo had broken up. As the story goes, Brockmiller was laying on the floor of his unfinished basement studio in the Beachwood Canyon section, unsure of what would or should come next. But he did realize that it was time to go off on his own — and he spent the next year holed up in his studio by himself, contemplating life, writing, collecting nude calendars of Eastern European women suggestively holding large trophy carp and experimenting with the raw recording skills he had taught himself. Eventually, he began exploring new sounds and textures outside the traditional rock and indie rock arrangements of guitar, drums, bass as a way to test his DIY recording chops, as well as a way to find a more interesting, moodier sound.

Graham was tinkering with early Yacht Punk demos when he had a chance meeting with Michael Pozzi at Davey Wayne‘s. Pozzi quickly joined the project after the studio and hearing the direction the music was going. Graham’s roommate Tricky joined, followed by Justin Ricard, which completed the band’s lineup. The quartet took those demos to Matt Wignall‘s Tackyland studio, where they recorded “Hang Me Out to Dry” — and Wignall pushed the band’s sound into new, stranger places. They then took the Wignall-produced tracks back to L.A. where Will Brierre mixed and engineered them.

The band’s previous single “Need a Reason” was featured on Spotify’s New Noise and Fresh Finds playlists. And with a growing buzz surrounding the band,  their latest single “New Wave Denier” will further cement their reputation for crafting incredibly self-assured, slick, pop-inspired indie rock centered around rousingly anthemic hooks and earnest sentiment. Although this particular song is fueled by a sense of youthful disillusionment. As the band’s Brockmiller explains in press notes, their latest single “is about disillusionment and being over mainstream music. I wanted to capture the feeling of being young and disillusioned by life, by love, and by current and/or popular music. The sense of being unable to relate to your peers, the sense of searching for something more meaningful, and ultimately finding identity and belonging in the music from a past generation.”