Category: New Audio

 

Comprised of Jacqueline Caruso (keys and vocals) and Augustus Green (bass, synth, production/beats and sound design), Washington, DC-based psych pop duo The Galaxy Electric specialize in a sound and aesthetic that mixes Brazilian bossa nova and Tropicalia, 60s psychedelia and early synthesizer experimentation; in fact, adding to that aesthetic, the duo utilizes old-fashioned, lo-fi recording techniques, as well as the use of sound design-inspired arrangements and old-timey reverb and echo devices to craft a trippy and immersive sound that seemingly comes out of 1967.

“Temporal,” the latest single off the duo’s forthcoming Everything Is Light and Sound consists of Caruso’s gorgeous vocals paired with twisting and turning synth chords, bop-era jazz syncopated drumming and a sinuous bass line filtered through gentle layers of reverb and echo, and the result is an ethereal and trippy song  that focuses on the both the nature of time and our experience of it; all while evoking a similar vision of the future presented by the 1964 World’s Fair — a hopeful world that has used science and technology to solve humanity’s greatest problems in an efficient and timely fashion.

 

 

 

Alt country/folk-rock/blues-rock artist Lee Miles, best known Chief Ghoul has quickly become a JOVM mainstay artist for a sound that channels and owes a major debt to the Delta Blues — in particular, the blues of Lightnin’ HopkinsBlind Willie JohnsonRobert JohnsonMuddy Waters‘ acoustic blues and John Lee Hooker as Miles’ work had a tendency to be sparse, most self-accompanied and concerned itself with some prototypical blues themes and motifs. Seeking to expand the project’s sound, Miles recruited Chase Coryell (bass) and Justin Brown (drums) to flesh out the project’s sound, expanding the project to a full-time trio.

Damned is Miles’ fourth Chief Ghoul album, and the album’s latest single “Let Me In” is a twangy ballad that sonically draws from outlaw country and the blues — and that shouldn’t be surprising as the song’s narrator sings ruefully about a lover with whom he had a conflicting and confusing relationship; in typical blues fashion, the narrator recognizes that the love interest is dangerous to him and yet he can’t pull himself away.

 

 

 

Publicly claiming Arcade Fire and Talking Heads as major influences and with each member having musical backgrounds in a number of different genres including rock, country, jazz and electronica, New York-based indie rock quintet AMFM — comprised of David Caruso (vocals, guitar), Harper James (guitar, synth, keys), Gian Stone (drums), Dan Shuman (bass) and Steve DeVito (guitar) — have started to receive attention for a sound that draws equally from contemporary indie rock and classic rock as you’ll hear on the band’s latest single “Heroes,” a rousing and anthemic single about the desire to live life your way and only your way, with no regrets.

Sonically, the New York-based quintet pair anthemic and infectious hooks with shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive Station to Station-era Bowie-like rhythm section, an uncanny sense of melody and harmony and punchily delivered lyrics, which remind me quite a bit of New Radicals‘ “You Get What You Give” but while subtly evoking the desperate desire to change the course of one’s life — and of hitting the road with intention of leaving everything behind.

Holy Bouncer is a Barcelona, Spain-based indie rock quintet, who will be releasing their full-length debut later this year, and from the album’s second and latest single “Hippie Girl Lover,” the band specializes in a sound that clearly draws from early era The Doors (their self-titled album in particular), Steppenwolf‘s “Magic Carpet Ride” and the incredible Brown Acid proto-metal/proto-stoner rock compilations released by the folks at RidingEasy Records, complete with a gritty, primal, and grungy self-assuredness. Certainly, if it wasn’t for the subtle, contemporary production sheen — you’ll notice it with a pair of good headphones or a good speaker — the song sounds as though it could have been released in 1966, and some devoted record collector or blogger stumbled upon this one in a dusty, used record store in Milwaukee or Albany. But perhaps much more important, is that Holy Bouncer along with Madrid‘s The Parrots should prove that Spain has a vital and burgeoning indie rock scene that’s worthy of international attention.

Currently comprised of primary members Tres Warren (vocals, guitar) and Elizabeth Hart (bass) along with a rotating cast of collaborators and friends, New York-based psych rock act Psychic Ills have developed a reputation over the past decade for following wherever their muses takes them. Interestingly, the band’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated fifth full-length effort Inner Journey Out stems from the culmination of three years of playing shows, touring, writing and recording — and reportedly, the album finds the band expanding upon the sound and aesthetic that first caught the attention of the blogosphere as the album’s material possesses elements of country, blues, gospel and jazz. In fact, whereas the previous records found Warren overdubbing himself to create a blown-out, widescreen sound, Inner Journey Out focuses on Warren and Hart’s collaborations with an array of highly-accomplished guests including Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, touring keyboardist Brent Cordero, Chris Millstein, Endless Boogie’s Harry Druzd, The Entrance Band’s Derek James, Charles Burst and a host of friends and associates, who also provide pedal steel guitar, horns, strings and backing vocals. Thematically speaking, the new album explores the interior and exterior and the pathway between the two — and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Baby,” the album’s sound manages to be much more intimate and plaintive, while drawing from The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter” and Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky” but with a subtle yet gorgeous country twang underneath the moody psychdelia.

At the core of the song is a narrator, who has spent a long time seeking love and recognizing that he’s stumbled upon the love he’s always needed while quietly suggesting that when we love others and share ourselves with others, that we find our true, essential selves. And as a result, the sentiment gives the song a quiet contemplative nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout that time, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — the New York based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year in particular, you’d likely know that Lopez is among a handful of artists who has focused on a single of the month series. While on one level, such a phenomenon points to the death of the album, it also allows artists to be creative without concerning themselves with the strict thematic and lyrical structure of an album — but with fairly strict deadlines to compete and release material. Lopez’s latest Jam of the Month, “Run Run Baby,” is a sleek, slinky and sensual synth-based pop/R&B that strikes me as a modernized version of Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” if covered by Dam-Funk as Lopez’s sultry crooning is paired with shimmering and wobbling synths, skittering drum programming.

 

With the release of their debut effort In The Red, Los Angeles, CA-based thrash punk trio Zig Zags –comprised of Jed Maheu (guitar/vocals), Caleb Miller (bass/vocals), and Dane Arnold (drums) — quickly received attention for a blistering, face-melting, no-bullshit thrash metal/thrash punk aesthetic that sounds as though it owes a massive debt to early 80s Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden and others. “The Sadist,” the latest single off the soon-to-be released Running Out of Red will further cement the trio’s reputation for pairing scuzzy, face-melting, ass-kicking power chords guitar pyrotechnics, propulsive drumming and shouted vocals. It’s the sound of kids with very little options, shitty lives and shittier jobs, playing in garages and basements, wishing for something — hell, anything to happen to break up the tedium of their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the 2012 release of the “Ribbons” 7 inch and the 2013 critically applauded release of their full-length debut, A Constant Sea, Brooklyn-based indie rock/psych rock act Heliotropes — comprised of frontwoman, founding member and primary songwriter Jessica Numsuwankijkul along with a rotating cast of collaborators that include Gregg Giuffre (drums), Richard Thomas (bass) and Ricci Swift (guitar)  — have quickly exploded on to the national scene; in fact, A Constant Sea landed on the top ten of Mother Jones’ Best of 2013 list, and as a result, the band has opened for (and toured with)a  diverse array of artists including Esben and The Witch, Thurston Moore, The Geto Boys, Matt and Kim, Kurt Vile, Parquet Courts, The Black Angels and The Raveonettes —  and they’ve played sets at SXSW, Firefly and Culture Collide.

Building upon that buzz, the Brooklyn-based indie rock band will be releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Over There That Way on July 15, 2016 through The End Records. And the album’s latest single “Normandy” is sweetly, old-fashioned garage rock that pairs shimmering and jangling guitar chords, and a propulsive rhythm section with Numsuwankijkul’s plaintive and ethereal vocals. And as soon as you hear the song it shouldn’t be surprising that the band’s sound has been described as Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval doing jangling psych rock.

 

 

Comprised of Jonas Ronnberg, the co-owner of Northern Electronics who’s known for recording caustic techno under the moniker of Varg, as well as his involvement in renowned experimental acts Ulwhednar and Dard A Ranj Fran Det Hebbersalska Samfudet; renowned Swedish composer Erik Enocksson, who has scored a number of independent productions including an orphaned soundtrack to Apan, which was re-mastered and re-issued by Posh Isolation Records last year; Frederikke Hoffmeir, the mastermind of highly-regarded industrial and experimental electronic act Puce Mary;Vit Fana’s Ossian Ohlsson, who has appeared on a number of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation compilations; and Loke Rahbek, co-founder of Posh Isolation and member of Damien Dubrovnik, highly-regarded act Lust For Youth — and for recording with Croatian Armor, Body Sculptures is an All-Star side project of renowned Scandinavian experimental electronic and electro pop artists.

Last year marked the act’s live debut, a set at the Berlin Atonal Festival and the release of their debut effort together, The Base of All Beauty Is The Body. And June 3, 2016 will mark the release of the act’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort A Body Turns to Eden.The album’s first single — and album title track — “A Body Turns to Eden” will further cement the act’s reputation for crafting stark and uneasily tense music as background electronic buzzing is paired with slowly unfurling and churning synths, minimalist beats in a song that only partially unfolds and reveals itself to its listeners.
 

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The combinations of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, the soiled traces of genre, and the mixed modes of experimentation, are here pitched as an eternal requiem, letting the play between the project’s orthodox and unorthodox methods reflect a sharp fatalism. Each song presents familiarity and intimacy within an aura of claustrophobia. And as if out of a cruel awareness of this fact, unease blooms into a comforting form. A Body Turns To Eden is an essential piece for anyone with interest in Scandinavian electronic music today.

 

 

With the release of critically applauded singles “Women’s Business” and “Here We Go,” Melbourne, Australia-based quintet Canary have won both national and international attention as the former charted on Hype Machine and the latter received airplay through triple J — and as a result, the band has opened for the likes of Saskwatch, Ainslie Willis, Hein Cooper and LANKS.

Building upon the buzz that they’ve already received, the Australian quintet’s sophomore effort I Am Lion is slated for a July 8, 2016 release and the album’s first single “Fickle Heart” was largely inspired by frontman Matthew Kennealy’s  breakup — and as a result, the song focuses on the bitterly self-righteous feelings of self-destruction and hatred in the aftermath of a relationship’s violent explosion.  Sonically,the band employs sludgy power chords in a song structurally sounds as though it owes a debt to 90s alt rock — as the song alternates between anthemic hooks and quieter, more contemplative sections. And throughout the song’s narrator spends his time reflecting on the nature of a relationship that’s left him heartbroken, bitter and wishing that he never met this person in the first place. Certainly, it’s a sentiment that should feel universally familiar to anyone who’s been through a nasty breakup.