Category: New Audio

Harvey Causon · Extended Present

Harvey Causon is a rising Bristol, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-intrumentalist and producer. With the release of “London Stock,” “Worn You,” and “Artifice,” Causon exploded into the national scene, receiving attention across the blogosphere and airplay from BBC 1’s Annie Mac and Huw Stephens for a sound that seems to be the result of constant and uneasy paradoxes: rough field recordings within polished, modern productions featuring a mix of analog and synthetic. Inspired by Mount Kimbie, FKA Twigs, Kendrick Lamar, and Delia Derbyshre, among others, his work aesthetically meshes R&B, jazz and skittering electronica, while featuring catchy hooks and his soulful and melodious vocals.

Lyrically, his work reveals a thoughtful and novelistic approach with material touching upon philosophy, quantum physics and architecture. And as a result, Causon has become a highly sought-after collaborator.

Building upon a growing profile, Causon’s forthcoming EP Fourth Wall is slated for a June 26, 2020 release. So far, three singles have been released from the EP — “Half Hour Verve,” “Blind Eye,” and the EP title track “Fourth Wall.” The EP’s fourth and final single “Extended Present” further cements the EP’s overall sound: warm, singer/songwriter soul-inspired electronica featuring twinkling keys, atmospheric electronics, skittering beats and Causon’s soulful vocals. Sonically, “Extended Present” may bring comparisons to Bonobo, Amnesiac-era RadioheadGravity Pairs-era Beacon, and Hiatus Kaiyote among others.

Harvey Causon · Fourth Wall

“‘Extended Present’ is a song about spacetime and gravity inspired by theories of theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli,” Causon explains in press notes. “The almost chimerical realisation that time is merely a construct, nonlinear and that gravity and time are interwoven into the fabric of the universe. It was really interesting to work with different people across the globe recording the strings from isolation.”

 

 

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BLAZAR · Tomorrow

 

Jerad Finck is and artist and producer and the creative mastermind behind the rising indie electro pop act BLAZAR. The project was formed last year, after he released the breakthrough single “Criminal” which sold 57,000 copies an independent and charting on the Billboard charts and caught the attention of AntiFragile Music‘s Tom Sarig, who signed him to a recording contract.

Finck’s idea behind BLAZAR was to create music in an old school fashion, bar by bar by bar, with some of the talented producers, artists and vocalists he had been working with throughout the last few years — but in something entirely new, where there was complete creative control.  Finck’s BLAZAR full-length debut will find Finck collaborating with producer/songwriter Steven Solomon, Denny White, Anthony Resta, Troy Welstad, Jay Condiotti, Hans DeKline, Jake Newton, and David Felice among others. The album’s latest single, the infectious, summertime anthem “Tomorrow” is a collaboration with DAXSEN that’s centered around shimmering analog synths, copious modulations and other effects and thumping beats.  Interestingly, underneath the slick production, is a deliberate attention to craft, as the song reveals an unerring ability to craft, as the song reveals an unerring ability to craft an infectious, crowd pleasing hook.

 

 

Denzel White · KILLA DEM (feat. AshtnMrtn)

Denzel White is a Brooklyn-born, Elmont, NY-based singer/songwriter, who can trace much of the origins of his musical career to growing up in a musically inclined West Indian family of DJs and emcees, who played a diverse and eclectic array of music. Being surrounded by music inspired a young White to join his high school choir, which helped him develop and hone his own craft as a vocalist.

While attending Binghamton University, White was approached to Join The Koyas, a local jam band as their lead singer. The septet quickly took the campus by storm, performing at a number of school events before winning the school’s Battle of the Bands two years in a row. Upon graduation, White and the members of The Koyas traveled to New York for a handful of live shows, including opening slots for Dwele and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg.

The Koyas split up in 2011. Each of the band’s individual members went on to pursue different creative pursuits with White eagerly starting a solo career. For inspiration, the Brooklyn-born, Elmont-based singer/songwriter studied the work of Patti LaBelle,  Luther Vandross, and Maxwell, eventually cultivating his own vocal styling, which blends contemporary elements with old school soul.

His debut effort, 2015’s Lehkz, Allen Ritter and Mike Urena co-produced The Prequel found the Brooklyn-born, Elmont-based artist establishing a concrete artistic vision, with the material centered around pieces of his life story — primarily his fears and feelings that would otherwise be left unsaid. Since the release of The Prequel, White has released a handful of singles including 2016’s “Get To You” and 2017’s “Alright,” which has amassed over 150,000 streams. His latest track, “KILLA DEM” is collaboration with AshnMrtn centered around an infectious hook sultry Dancehall riddims, twinkling synths, wobbling low end and swaggering vocal turns from the duo that manages to be summery, club banger with a contemporary, radio friendly production.

 

New Audio: Montpelier France’s JayJayBrass Band Releases a Party Friendly New Single

Formed in 2018 and  led by its founding member and bandleader JayJay (trumpet), the Montpellier, France-based brass act JayJayBrass Band specializes in a modern take on the classic brass band sound — one that features elements of hip-hop and funk. Last year, the band went into the studio to record their debut effort, which was released earlier this year and  features 9 original compositions and a cover of an Anderson .Paak song, as well as guest vocals from local emcee Loïs Hammel. 

The album’s “Radio Funk” is a swaggering and strutting bit of New Orleans-styled brass centered around some Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, swinging saxophone and trumpet lines, some muscular low end from the sousaphone within a dance floor friendly composition with big hooks. Loïs Hammel contributes a few party friendly rhymes on an already party friendly track. Considering how bleak things in our world are at the moment, a few moments of levity seem necessary. 

The Mighty Orchid King · Swirling

Throughout its history, the St. Albans, UK-based psych rock collective The Mighty Orchid King — currently, Jonny Bennett (vocals, drums), co-found er Martin van Herdeer (12 string guitar), Matt Snowden (guitar), Marcelo Cervone (bass, sax) and Will Stephen, a.k.a June Logue (synths and production) — have been in a constant flux since its founding, with 20 members rotating in and out of its sphere at nay given time. And as a result, the project has simultaneously been a 60s psych rock jam inspired collective and a bedroom project focused on polyrhythmic exploration.

The band’s forthcoming full-length debut The Doctrine of Infinite Kindness was recorded at June Logue’s home studio, DIY bedroom vocal booths and Tom Hill’s London-based Bookhouse Studio — and the album reportedly finds the act weaving the various aspects of the band’s complex history together: the album’s more jam inspired material drift and sharpe into more meticulously developed solo work. Thematically, the album thematically concerns itself with eco-anxiety with the album’s lyrics at points being like Kerouac-inspired spontaneous prose with direct protest songs about the destruction of Earth. While sonically, the album sees the band drawing from 60s psych rock, samba, jazz and house music with arrangements that feature fuzzy guitars and synths.

“Swirling,” the first single off The Doctrine of Infinite Kindness‘ first single is an an expansive and decidedly 60s psych rock inspired track centered around fuzzy power chords and enormous harmony driven hooks. Sonically, the song brings San Francisco‘s  Cool Ghouls to mind — while bristling with an infectious energy of a bunch of friends jamming and creating something cool. But at its core is a desire to escape one’s current circumstances and the world itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Sports Releases a Slinky New Single

Currently split between Los Angeles and Norman, OK, the acclaimed indie electro pop act Sports — Cale Chronister and Christian Theriot — can trace their origins back to when the duo met in grade school. Throughout their history together, they’ve honed and refined  their unique take on slinky and funky electro pop, with their first two albums, 2015’s Naked All The Time and 2016’s Can’t Stop Chillin, which featured a handful of critically applauded singles including “You Are the Right One,” “Panama,” “Whatever You Want:” and “Someone  You’d Rather Be Dating.” 

Building upon a growing profile, 2018’s Everyone’s Invited was released to critical praise from Pitchfork, Pigeons and Planes and Ones to Watch. The album also received airplay on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and was playlisted on Spotify’s New Indie Mix playlist. 

The breezy yet slinky  “Tell You Something,” is the first bit of new material from the duo since Everyone’s Invited. Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous and propulsive bass line, copious amounts of cowbell-led percussion, an infectious hook and Chronister’s breathy vocals, the song finds the band blurring the lines between synth pop, funk, psych rock and Quiet Storm R&B in a way that reminds me of Currents-era Tame Impala. “It’s an anthem of uncertainty. I was taught how to socialize by television, and never learned how to verbalize my feelings,” Sports’ Cale Chronister explains in press notes. “I’m learning to say what’s on my mind, even when it’s uncomfortable . . . I’m celebrating the most ridiculously small feat just by admitting this.

There is still something dark, uncertain in the song, which is left intentionally unknown, and I guess it reflects the lingering anxiety the person on the other side of this conversation could be feeling – still waiting to hear what I have to say.”

 

Blinker the Star · Silent Types

I’ve written quite a bit about Jordon Zadorozny, the Pembroke, Ontario-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind acclaimed indie rock recording project Blinker The Star over the past few months. Zadorozny initially started the project as a solo project but by the time the  act signed to A&M Records, the project expanded into a full-fledged band for their first two albums — 1995’s self-titled debut and 1996’s A Bourgeois Kitten. During those early years, the band built up a profile nationally and elsewhere through steady touring.

In 1997, Zadorozny relocated from Montreal to Los Angeles, where he worked with Courtney Love, helping craft songs for Hole’s acclaimed and commercially successful album Celebrity Skin. While in Los Angeles, Zadorozny began soaking up new influences and became increasingly fascinated with production. Signing with Dreamworks in 1999, the band, which at the time featured Zadorozny, Failure’s Kelli Scott (drums), longtime bassist Pete Frolander and a rotating cast of Southern California-based session musicians recorded and released their critically applauded third album August Everywhere, which they supported with touring across North America with Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Failure and The Flaming Lips. 

Returning back to Pembroke in 2002, Zadorozny built his first commercial recording studio and began working with Sam Roberts, contributing drums and producing Roberts’ breakthrough debut EP The Inhuman Condition. Zadorozny also worked on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Chris Cornell, Lindsey Buckingham and others.

During the Winter of 2003, Zadorozny wrote and recorded Blinker The Star’s fourth album Still In Rome as a duo with Kelli Scott. Following a brief tour to support the album, the Pembroke, Ontario-born multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter quickly settled into the production side of the things working with an electric array of artists, including collaborative projects like Digital Noise Academy, SheLoom,  The Angry Moon, and others.

2012’s fourth album, We Draw Lines was the first Blinker The Star album that Zadorozny wrote and recorded as a solo recording project since he started the project over a decade earlier.  Interestingly, We Draw Lines began a rather prolific period that included 2013’s Songs from Laniakea Beach, a one-off single “Future Fires,” 2015’s 11235 EP, 2017’s 8 of Hearts and last year’s Careful With Your Magic.

After completing a short run of shows last fall, Zodorozny began working working on new material at his Skylark Park Studio. The solitude of his environment helped inform his forthcoming Blinker The Star album Juvenile Universe, which is slated for release this summer. So far, I’ve written about two of the album’s singles — the Station to Station-era David Bowie-like “Way Off Wave,” and the jangling, 70s rock-like “Only To Run Wild.” The album’s third and latest single, “Silent Type” is a decidedly 80s New Wave-inspired track, featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, glistening and angular guitars, a propulsive bass line and an enormous hook that reminds me a little bit of  Yes‘ “Owner of Lonely Heart.” But under the slick radio friendly production, the track continues a run of ambitious and deliberately crafted material.

 

 

Suicide Squeeze Records · Death Valley Girls – Breakthrough

Throughout the bulk of this site’s ten year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink writing about the Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock act Death Valley Girls — founding duo Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps‘ Laura Kelsey — can trace their origins back well over a decade ago, when they were formed by Schemel, Bloomgarden, Rachel Orosco (bass) and Hole‘s Patty Schemel (drums). Although they’ve gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history, the JOVM’s sound and aesthetic for much of their history was influenced by The Manson Family and B movie theatrics while thematically focusing on the occult.

Slated for a June 12, 2020 release through their longtime home, Suicide Squeeze Records, the band’s two-song seven-inch EP Breakthrough finds the JOVM mainstays covering two songs that have a deep and profound connection to the band — both in their spirit and aural alignment: The EP’s first single is a cover of Atomic Rooster‘s “Breakthrough,” a song discovered through an even more obscure cover by Nigerian act The Funkees.  Centered around grimy power chords, fire-and-brimstone organ chords and an in-your-face, combative chorus, the Death Valley Girls cover, leans more towards The Funkees’ cover and although all three versions manage to hew closely to their long-held aesthetic, the song also manages to be remarkably contemporary, as it evokes an age-old desire to be free from all kinds of prisons, both real and mental.

The band was drawn to something far deeper than its melody and sound. “It spoke to me because of the lyrics about breaking free from an invisible prison… we all have invisible or visible prisons we are trapped in,” the band’s Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes. Interestingly, the song’s discovery coincided with the band’s interest in The West Memphis Three’s Damien Echols and his ability to endure his lengthy imprisonment by learning to astral project through meditation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glassio · Make No Mistake

The Queens, NY-based synth pop/New Wave/dream pop act Glassio can trace its origins back to 2015 when its founding members — Sam R. and Charles Pinel  — met while attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Since its formation, the act has become the Queens-born and-based Sam R’s solo recording project. And during that same period of time, Glassio has developed and honed what its creative mastermind has dubbed “melancholy disco,” a mix of dance music influences, wavering pop melodies, introspective, storytelling-based lyrics and lush harmonies. Interestingly, the project has increasingly pulls from Sam R’s own life and heartbreak, while thematically wrestling with self-acceptance, loneliness and major life changes.

Last year, Sam R. and Glassio released their sophomore EP Age of Experience, an effort that Mother Jones called “proof that electronic music and great storytelling are a perfect match.” Interestingly, the EP featured “Back for More,” which amassed over 2 million Spotify streams while being featured on Alan Ball’s HBO show Here & Now Outside of his own work, Sam R. has received attention for remixing and reworking the work of artists like Madge, Argonaut & Wasp, Sulene and Goldwash.

Glassio’s long-awaited full-length debut, the 11 song, For The Very Last Time is slated for a July 23, 2020 release and earlier this year, the Queens-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and remixer has put out a couple of singles, the lullaby-like “A Million Doubts,” which was featured in the latest season of the Freeform TV series Good Trouble; the early 80s inspired “Nobody Stayed For The DJ;” and the contemplative “Are You Having Fun Without Me?”

“Make No Mistake,” For The Very Last Time‘s fourth and latest single continues a run of shimmering and swooning electro pop, centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, thumping beats, soaring hooks, Sam R.’s ethereal vocals and a guest backing spot from New York-based vocalist Daneshevskaya. What makes the song intriguing to me is that it balances achingly wistful nostalgia and a much-needed optimism. In many ways, the song is an anthemic blast of encouragement when coping with and facing circumstances much greater than ourselves  — as we all are right now.

“I was having a hard time getting out of bed towards the end of 2018 and facing everyday life. My anxiety was starting to go through the roof and daily tasks like taking the subway started to become difficult,” the rising Queens based artist explains in press notes. “The seed for the song came from wanting to talk about those feelings and I wanted to write a song that could get me moving. The lyrics and melody of the verse hit me out of the blue at the same time one morning while I was lying in bed and it was just there, already completed. The whole thing just unraveled very naturally and I think more than any other song on the album, it was very much written in the middle of the situation that it was about. Usually some time needs to pass before I write a song about an event, but this one was very much in the moment.”

humptydumptyrecords · River Into Lake – Grande Prairie

Boris Gronemberger is Brussels-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer, who managed to be rather busy throughout the bulk of his career: he was the founder and frontman of acclaimed Belgian indie act V.O. through their 15 years together — and he has a long-held reputation as a go-to collaborator, working with Girls in Hawaii, Castus, Blondie Brownie and a growing list of others.

Gronemberger’s latest musical project, River into Lake can trace its origins back to 2017 when the Belgian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger began writing the material, which would eventually comprise River Into Lake’s full-length debut Let The Beast Out sometimes alone, sometimes in collaborative groups, granting himself the complete freedom to reinvent himself and his work. Sonically, Let The Beast Out was bubbling orchestral pop with sharp melodies, complex harmonies featuring  arrangements that meshed synthesizers and organic instrumentation — and it shouldn’t be surprising that the material was indeed to prog rock. Thematically, the material was centered around the difficulty of wanting to continue to believe in the beauty of human nature while generally being an ode to love, life and the complexities of the universe.

Initially written and conceived as a bonus track for Let The Beast Out crowdfunders, the Belgian act’s latest single “Grande Prairie” continues a run of ambitious and expansive material. Centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, drum machines, a propulsive bass line, angular bursts of guitar, explosive live drumming and enormous hooks, the song sonically recalls Sugar Army and others — but with a cinematic sweep. “La Grande Prairie is a place where we were going to celebrate the end of the exams with friends,” Gronemberger explains. “Some of them have meanwhile passed away. It’s a song that talks about carelessness, the strength of youth heckled by the movements of society that seems to crash straight into the wall.” Gronemberger adds “It seemed appropriate to me to release it now in this particular context, which in na certain way, reminds us that it is time to spread out on better bases.”

Coincidentally, the track is the first single off an EP, which is slated for release late this year.