Category: New Audio

New Audio: Perth Australia’s Mt. Mountain Releases a Hypnotic New Single

With the release of their first three albums, 2016’s Cosmos Terros, 2017’s Dust, 2018’s Golden Rise, the Perth, Australia-based psych rock quintet Mt. Mountain — Stephen Bailey (vocals, organ, flute), Thomas Cahill (drums), Glenn Palmer (guitar, synth), Brendan Shanley (bass) and Derrick Treatch (guitar) — developed and honed a sprawling, motorik-driven, minimal-as -maximal approach inspired by the likes of NEU! and CAN. And through a wildly all-consuming live show, the Aussie psych rockers have added their names to a an impressive list of contemporaries including Moon Duo, Kikagaku Moyo and Minami Deutsch while sharing stages with JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, ORB, Sleep, MONO, Thee Oh Sees, Acid Mothers Temple and the aforementioned Moon Duo.

The Aussie quintet recently signed to London-based Fuzz Club Records, who will be releasing the band’s fourth album Centre. Slated for a February 26, 2021 release, Centre continues the band’s long-held reputation for crafting material from long, improvised jams with much of the album recorded live to tape, capturing the band at their most freewheeling. Thematically, the album reportedly is centered around a dissection of faith — both spiritual and secular — and Stephen Bailey’s personal, often complicated relationship to it. “The album for me, lyrically, is mostly about my experience of religion. It explores these concepts and the rules that were told to me from childhood to adulthood and my thoughts on my own connection to them,” Bailey explains. “Similar themes arise between the tracks whether it be lyrically or structural, both a play on repetition and simplicity. ”

“Aplomb,” Centre’s hypnotic and brooding first single features an expansive, booze and hallucinogen-fueled song structure driven by rolling rhythms, a motorik groove, droning keys, a looping and shimmering guitar line paired with Bailey’s yearning vocals — and the end result is a deeply textured, painterly take on psych rock.

“‘Aplomb’ is essentially the voice that I hear in my head, reminding me to not rush and slow down, and to have the confidence to bring this into practice in everyday life,” Mt. Mountain’s Stephen Bailey explains in press notes. “We wanted there to be this clear contrast here between the tempo of the song and the lyrical content, an approach which appears throughout the album.”

Throughout the course of the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about Carré,  a Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act featuring:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that JusticeSoulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels ClineJonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed last year, and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.”

The act specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops while thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality centered around geometric shapes and patterns, and a surrealistic outlook on our world.

The trio released their self-titled EP earlier this year, and the EP featured “Urgency,” a track centered round a bed of tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, bursts of slashing guitars and gauzy, electronic textures. And while being hypnotic and dance floor friendly, “Urgency” possessed a murky and menacing air that brought Ministry and Pretty Hate Machine-era Nine Inch Nails to mind.

Recently, the members of the JOVM mainstay act partnered with local act President Drone, who completely reworked “Urgency” into a minimalist yet propulsive track centered around stuttering beats, wobbling and shimmering synth arpeggios, industrial clink and clang that pushes Carré’s sound into an even more dystopian and murky direction.

New Audio: Rising Belgian-born, French-based Tour-Maubourg Releases a Hypnotic, Deep House Banger

Tour-Maubourg is a rising Belgian-born, Parisian electronic music producer. The Belgian-born, Paris-based electronic music producer has released two singles — “Ode To Love” and “Saint thé á la Menthe” — off his soon-to-be released album Paradis Artificels. slated for a December 4, 2020 release through Pont Neuf Records.

“L’Invitation au Voyage,” Paradis Artificels’ third and latest single is a hypnotic bit of deep house centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, rolling conga drum, shimmering synths and blasts of lyrical strings that nods at the French poet Baudelaire while being a sultry, club banger.

New Audio: Stockholm’s DOMKRAFT’s Scorching Live Version of “The Rift” Off Soon-to-Be Released Live Album

DOMKRAFT is a Stockholm-based doom metal trio that can trace their origins to when its members met and bonded over a mutual love of Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, Sleep and Hawkwind. Drawing from those influences, the trio have crafted a sound and songwriting approach that blends towering dirges, mind-bending psychedelia and trance-inducing minimalism, embodied by the act’s first two albums, released by Magnetic Eye Records — 2016’s full-length debut, The End of Electricity and 2018’s sophomore effort, Flood.

Johnny API is a mysterious and emerging singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has written and recorded original music on his homestead. “It’s not much, but I’ve got a little studio and no one ever tells me I’m too loud,” the mysterious singer/songwriter says in press notes. “And no-one comes looking for me.”

His latest single, “Easy” is centered around strummed acoustic guitar, Johnny API’s plaintive vocals, twangy blasts of shimmering pedal steel, and a rousingly anthemic hook that reminds me a bit of Starsailor and Husky.

New Audio: Monophonics’ Kelly Finnigan Releases a Strutting and Funky Christmas Tune

Kelly Finnigan (vocals, keys) is best known for being the frontman of the acclaimed West Coast-based soul outfit Monophonics. And since their formation, the act which also features Austin Bohlman (drums), Ryan Scott (trumpet, backing vocals, percussion), and Max Ramey (bass) has developed and honed a sound and approach that continues the traditions of early Motown Records, Stax Records, Muscle Shoals, Daptone Records and Dunham Records.

Earlier this year, Monophonics released their third album It’s Only Us and the album further cements their reputation for being an act that’s particularly keen on crafting and playing a heavier and digger take on classic soul — but while revealing a band gently refining their sound to incorporate warmer textures. Thematically, It’s Only Us may arguably be the hardest hitting of their catalog as it touches upon desperately needed calls for unity, understanding, resilience and acceptance in our fractious and divisive world.

Capping out what has been a busy year, Finnigan’s sophomore album Joyful Sound sees its official release today through Colemine Records digitally. (Holly Berry Red will be releasing the vinyl on December 11, 2020). Produced by Finnigan, Joyful Sound is the third album he’s helmed in the past two years — his solo debut, last year’s The Tales People Tell and Monophonics’ It’s Only Us. While continuing Finnigan’s growing reputation for specializing in the classic R&B and soul production and sound, the new album is imbed with a joyful, holiday spirit.

Featuring members of Durand Jones & The Indications, The Dap-Kings, Ghost Funk Orchestra, Monophonics, Thee Sinseers, Orgōne, Ikebe Shakedown, Jason Joshua & The Beholders, The True Loves, Jungle Fire, Delvon Lamar Organ Trio, The Jive Turkeys, The Ironsides, and The Harlem Gospel Travelers, as well as Ben Pirani, Neal Francis and Rudy De Anda among others, Joyful Sound is inspired by Atlantic Records‘ Soul Christmas, Phil Spector‘s A Christmas Gift For You and Rotary Connection‘s Peace.

“I want people to feel joy and hope. I want the music to remind them what they are thankful for,” Finnigan says in press notes about Joyful Sound. “The songs and mood of the music should spark a feeling that it is a special time of year but also that it can also be a very difficult time for others. Holidays are about bringing people together to celebrate and I want this record to be a soundtrack for those celebrating but also a reminder that a lot of people are still struggling regardless if it’s Christmas or not. Most Importantly, I want them to hear the love and passion that went into the music. I’m lucky to have some incredible musicians and artists on the record and I hope they can hear the joy that everyone put into their performance. There’s a feeling of magic and nostalgia that lives in those classic Christmas songs and I believe I was able to capture some of that on this record. Christmas has become a grand event in most places in the world but we all have to remember that the reason this holiday is special for most is because it brings people together and reminds us that our friends and family are what’s most important.”

Last month, I wrote about the lush Motown Records-like “No Time To Be Sad,” a classic make-up song that finds the song’s narrator pleading to his lover that they should stop their quarreling and make it a romantic Christmas — because that’s not the season to be bitter or breakup. “Santa’s Watching You,” Joyful Sound’s latest single finds Finnigan giving a strutting gospel burner by The Sacred Four “Somebody’s Watching You” a playful Christmas take in which Santa is now looking at all of us in judgement of our behavior, actions, words and deeds. So you better get your act straight and fly right — or Santa will make sure you get coal and fiery, eternal damnation.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Boulevards Releases a Soulful and Politically Charged Single

Jamil Rashad is a Raleigh, NC-based funk and soul artist and JOVM mainstay, who writes, records and performs under the name Boulevards. Rashad, who is the son of a renowned local radio DJ, grew up in musical household in which a passionate interest in music was fostered and encouraged: a young Rashad listened to a wide variety o music including soul, jazz, blues, R&B and funk.

When the Raleigh-based JOVM mainstay was a teenager, he became a self-confessed “scene kid,” getting involved in the city’s local punk, hardcore and metal scenes, which interestingly enough wound up influencing his own production work much later on. After attending art school and playing in a series of local bands, the Raleigh-based JOVM mainstay wound up returning to teh the sounds that first won his heart and imagination — funk and soul. And with Boulevards, Rashad began writing material that he once described as “party funk jams for the heart and soul to make you move,” eventually developing a national profile for a sound that some have compared to Dam-Funk, Escort, Mark Ronson, with the release of 2016’s Groove! and last year’s YADIG!

Rashad’s forthcoming effort, the Blake Rhein-produced Brother! EP is slated for a December 18, 2020 release through New West Records imprint Normaltown Records. The four song EP derives its title from the familiar greeting spoken among Black men. For Rashad, the word brother is a sort of spoken handshake, a verbal high five for the listener. “Growing up, I would see my father interacting with other African American men, using that word as a greeting. ‘What’s up, brother? Brother, let me talk to you.’ That’s what they said a lot in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but you don’t hear it as much now. It’s such a great word.” The EP’s material is the culmination of several years of writing, playing, touring and recording with the effort thematically touching upon race and America’s moral reckoning, heartbreak and self-inflicted suffering. And as a result, the four song EP is the most explicitly political batch of material of his growing catalog.

Perhaps because our current sociopolitical moment mirrors that of the late 60s and early 70s, the EP’s material, as you’ll hear on its second single, EP title track “Brother!” is indebted to the music he heard growing up: early Parliament Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield, Shuggie Otis and a lengthy list of others.
“My dad put me on to that music, and I’ve always been attracted to those artists. That’s who I was inspired by, but I wanted to make it my own, make it Boulevards,” Rashad says. Centered around a soulful and slow-burning strut and some fuzzy, psychedelic and blues-tinged guitar work, “Brother!” is a cry of desperation about a society and world that seem determined to frustrate, humiliate and destroy you. And the only escape is through booze, drugs and sex.

“The song is about working and hustling every day and not being satisfied with the end result, whether it’s working for yourself or 9-5 corporations. Spending the hours, time, not getting a raise, losing a job, putting a smile on your face at a job you dislike, feeling stuck in life, making money and spending money to support bad habits,” Rashad says in press notes. “The only thing that makes you feel any kind of release is the bottom of the bottle.”

New Audio: Los Angeles’ Total Brutal Releases a Shimmering Pop Confection

Emily Moore is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who may be best known as a touring musician, who has shared stages with Grammy Award-winning act fun., Børns, Ella Vos, X Ambassadors and a lengthy list of others. Moore is also the creative mastermind behind the indie pop, solo recording project Total Brutal. And withTotal Brutal, Moore’s goal is to spread positivity and self-empowerment, based on an ethos of standing up for yourself in order to be heard and seen, facing fears head on –and most importantly, being comfortable in your own skin.

Inspired by a series of strong female artists, Moore is determined to help other young women make their worth known and their voices heard. “It took me a really long time to understand that I am allowed to speak up, have opinions and speak directly,” Moore explains. “I’m starting to realize that I can be myself and be liked and professional all the same. I want to help foster that adventurous spirit and confidence in young women!”

Moore’s latest Total Brutal single “Egypt” is a slickly produced, dance floor friendly, pop confection centered around a sinuous bass line, shimmering synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like guitar, an infectious hook and Moore’s self-assured yet coquettish vocals. Seemingly indebted to 80s New Wave and synth pop, the track finds its narrator desperately trying to connect with the feeling of childhood excitement over what the future could hold. Of course, the past year has had us feeling fearful and uncertain — but the infectious track manages to remind the listener that there’s hope for something better, as long as you’re still here.

Moore confides, “I constantly need to remind myself to play more and lighten up. It’s easy to get lost in the seriousness of life but I want to go through life having fun and viewing everything with curiosity.”

New Audio: Rising Senegalese Artist Mariaa Siga Releases a Breezy and Infectious New Single

Born Mariama Siga Goudiaby, the rising singer/songwriter Mariaa Siga hails from the Casamance region of Southern Senegal. In 2009,. Goudiaby won a talent show and caught the attention of Senegalese act Joan of Arc; the act’s frontperson mentored the young Goudiaby, helping her refine her style and further develop her musical skills. By the following year, the emerging Senegalese artist earned a role in Mon Réve, a film which aired on RDV.

As a musical artist, Goudiaby was long accustomed to the traditional rhythms of her native Casamance but her curiosity led her to discover and experiment with more Western styles, including the blues and jazz, which she meshes into her own work. In 2016, she was one of the winners of the Festival des Vielles Pirogues’ Tremplin competition.

Goudiaby released two singles “Ya sama none” and “Asekaw,” in 2017. And building upon a growing profile, the Senegalese artist performed in her native Casamance for the first time with a set at 2018’s Kayissen Festival. Also that year, Yoro Ndiyae featured Goudiaby on his Sunu Folk compilation before capping it off with a French tour that November.

Building upon a growing profile, Goudaiby released her full-length debut, last year’s Asekaw (which translates as “woman” in her native Diola). She also won Baco Records’ One Riddim Contest, which led to sets at Morocco’s Festival MarcoFoiles, France’s Midem Festival and to an invite to play Quebec’s Festival Mondial des Femmes d’Ici et d’Ailleurs.

The rising Senegalese artist’s latest single “Lagne Boote,” which in her native Diola translates to “back to basics” was recorded at Vagh and Weinmann Studio in Salernes, France — with the support of the African Culture Fund. Centered around shimmering and looping acoustic guitar, shuffling African polyrhythm and Goudiaby’s gorgeous vocals, “La Lagne Boote” is a breezy and infectious song that subtly hints at soca and other Caribbean sounds while gently reminding the listener to never forget their roots. “When you get lost and don’t know where you’re going, go back to your sources,” Goudiaby explains.