Category: New Audio

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past year, you may remember coming across a couple of posts on Australian electro pop singer/songwriter Sophie Lowe. Initially establishing herself as an actress, who has appeared in films such as Beautiful Kate, After the DarkAdore and Road Kill, as well as TV series such as The SlapOnce Upon A Time In Wonderland and the US TV series, The ReturnedLowe also received national attention across her native Australia (and internationally) when she released some of her earliest work under the moniker  S.O.L.O.

As the story goes, Lowe recorded under the S.O.L.O. moniker to differentiate her music career from her acting career — but recently, Lowe decided that she should record and perform under her name, essentially tying her music and acting careers together. Now as I mentioned earlier, you might remember coming across “Understand,” a somewhat minimalist song comprised of stuttering drum programming, ominously swirling electronics and undulating synth chords paired with Lowe’s ethereal yet sultry cooing. And although remarkably contemporary, the song also manages to sound as though it drew from analog synth New Wave. “Pink Flowers” paired Lowe’s vocals with a tense and minimalist production of swirling electronics, explosive flashes of cymbal and shimmering cascades of synths to craft a song that pulsates with need and vulnerability.

Lowe’s latest single “Breathe” is the first single off the Australian singer/songwriter’s latest effort EP 2 and the single which pairs Lowe’s vocals with a shuffling and stuttering production consisting of layers of twinkling and shimmering synths, skittering beats, ambient electronics to evoke a tense, anxiousness. As Lowe explains in press notes “I wrote ‘Breathe’ at a time in my life when I [was] struggling to feel comfortable within myself and surroundings. I wanted to talk abotu anxiety with this song because I feel its not talked about enough.” As a result, the song’s narrator humanizes what it feels to be suffering through anxiety, capturing the narrator’s innermost thoughts when she’s at her most terrified and uncertain despite what anyone else says. It also suggests something that we all know is true — some things in life, say getting it together, is easier said than done.

 

 

 

Originally known as a member of Baltimore, MD-based act Lake Trout, Andy Shankman is a grizzled music industry vet, whose solo recording project Jumpcuts began after an intense flurry of songwriting that had Shankman along with co-arranger Gideon Briedegam initially composing material on guitar and then slowly transposed to synthesizer — and then recorded and produced by Rob Girardi, best known for his work with Beach House and Celebration’s David Bergander at Lord Baltimore Studios. And the result was Shankman’s debut effort, Electrickery, an effort that was praised for its meshing electronic production with live instrumentation including guitars, synths and classically trained-based string arrangements, which generally pushes his material towards synth rock with a pop-leaning sensibility.

“Electric Shadows” is the latest single off Shankman’s forthcoming sophomore effort Fiber Optic Bondage, slated for a March 25, 2016 release and the single has Shankman pairing propulsive tribal-like drumming with layers of churning synths, abrasive, industrial clang and clatter and Shankman’s plaintive crooning to craft a dark and uneasy song that sounds indebted to Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Blanck Mass an others — complete with a claustrophobic sense of introspection that feels as though the listeners were diving into the deeply fractured psyche of the song’s narrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Alexander and his solo dream pop/electro-pop Summer Heart has received international attention for a wistfully nostalgic, 60s psych pop-leaning, lo-fi sound that compares favorably to Caribou‘s earliest material, Washed Out, In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy, Painted Palms and others; in fact, his 2011 Please Stay EP received praise from The Guardian and The Star topped Hype Machine‘s charts. In his native Sweden, Alexander has a reputation for being a pioneer of Sweden’s burgeoning dream pop movement, a movement that includes MoonbabiesThe Land BelowHey ElbowBlind Lake and Emerald Park.

Interestingly, Alexander’s international profile has grown as several of his songs have appeared in TV series — including the NBC series, Whitney, which brought him the attention of millions of American TV viewers. Now, if you were frequenting this site last year, you might recall that I wrote about “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” a song that consisted of jangling guitars, washboard-led percussion, layers of ethereal vocals and cascading synths with a warm buzzing summer afternoon warmth. His latest single “The Forbidden” off his forthcoming EP also named The Forbidden is a slow-burning and shoegaze-leaning single that pairs Alexander’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitars and synths played through gentle amounts of reverb  and jazz-like drumming. And although the song evokes the sensation of waking up from a pleasant dream, just underneath its placid surface is a wistful melancholy that will remind the listener that all things will eventually dissipate.

Alexander along with a backing band featuring some of his dearest friends will be making Stateside appearances at SXSW and Williamsburg Brooklyn’s The Knitting Factory later this month. Check out tour dates below.

 

SXSW:

Wednesday 16th March

The Townsend – 1:05am

 

Saturday 19th March

Icenhauer’s – 1am

 

NYC:

Wednesday 23rd March

Live In Brooklyn – The Knitting Factory –

http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=6437785

 

 

 

Originally known for her work in electro pop projects Her HabitsGemology and others, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and electro pop artist Joanie Wolkoff has been a JOVM mainstay artist before striking out on her own last year with her solo recording project Wolkoff. In fact, last year was a very big year for the Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based artist — she collaborated with renowned electronic act The Hood Internet on “Going Back,” a single released to massive praise across the blogosphere, including several major media outlets, including Vice Noisey and Billboard — and as you can imagine resulted in a growing national profile for Wolkoff.

Interestingly, Wolkoff’s previously released work channeled the contemporary electro pop sound of acts like BeaconSeoul (both of whom are also JOVM mainstays) and others — in other words eerily minimalist productions consisting of icy synth stabs and woofer and tweeter rattling bass paired with plaintive vocals. However, her ongoing collaboration with young, up-and-coming producer Icarus Moth, which started with the release of the Talismans EP has set the duo apart from the pack as Icarus Moth’s production reveals a deliberate and painterly approach. While drawing from contemporary electro pop and world dance music, the young producer has developed a reputation for pairing big beats, swirling electronics and lush layers of synths with medieval-sounding instrumentation in a way that evokes brushstrokes across a canvas — as you’ll hear on EP single “Curve Appeal,” and others.

Building upon the buzz the duo received last year, Wolkoff and Icarus Moth are set to release Wolkoff’s full-length debut Without Shame on April 15. Lyrically and thematically, the material on the album explores the role shame has in our lives and perhaps more importantly the possibility of sidestepping its grip on us through breaking rank and venturing into the unknown. And as a result, the material on the album may be among the most deeply personal — and yet profoundly universal — material she’s released to date. Without Shame‘s first single “The Homecoming” pairs big tweeter and woofer rattling bass with skittering drum programming, swirling and ambient electronics, Eastern-tinged instrumentation and Wolkoff’s coquettish cooing, and in some way the song possesses the dreamy and ethereal feel of Swedish dream pop — think of Moonbabies‘ excellent Wizards on the Beach and The Knife but subtly filtered through chip tune and old school house music.

Without Shame‘s second and latest single “Kings Highway” pairs Icarus Moth’s painterly production style consisting of swirling electronics, layers of cascading synths, chiming synths, boom-bap beats and ambient electronics with Wolkoff’s husky and coquettish vocals singing lyrics that are both surreal and Romantic in a song that’s sensual and seductive  — while sounding as though inspired it were by electro pop, R&B and house music. And although radio friendly and accessible, it’s challenging and  possesses an art school sheen. Certainly, from the first two singles Icarus Moth should be an in-demand producer as he has a unique sound — and it suggests that Wolkoff and Icarus Moth’s collaboration may be one of the most exciting and unique collaborations in contemporary pop.

Up until last year, there hadn’t been many comprehensive photo-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations, until the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records record store, along with  RidingEasy Records released a carefully curated compilation of incredibly rare photo-metal and pre-stoner rock singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi and RidingEasy Records’ Daniel Hall complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20.

Much like the first volume, the duo not only spent time collecting, compiling and then curating the material, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.” And by having the artists actually participate in the entire process, it can give the artists and their songs a second chance at some much deserved attention — if not a second chance at success.

Now, over the past month or two I’ve written about The Second Trip’s first single Ash’s “Midnight Witch,” a single that would likely remind many listeners of Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords were  paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals — but with a deeply psychedelic feel. Amazingly, although the song was originally released more than 35 years ago, it sounds and feels as though it could have been released today as several contemporary bands have adopted a similar sound, including the likes of Ecstatic Vision. The compilation’s second single Crossfield’s “Take It” managed to sound and feel like a surreal amalgamation of Black Sabbath, The Rolling StonesThe Animals (in particular, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”) and The Doors  as blistering and scorching guitar chords are paired with soaring keyboard chords and thundering drumming with unusual tempo changes and chord progression changes that make the song feel and sound as though it were a prog rock precursor — all while giving the song an expansive, tripping off hallucinogens in the desert feel and tone. The Second Trip‘s third and latest single Iron Knowledge’s “Show Stopper” meshes elements of glam metal, metal and seemingly hip-hop and funk-inspired hip-hop breakbeats in a song that metalhead and hip-hop DJs would instantly love.

 

 

 

If you were frequenting this site last year, you may recall coming across posts on Toronto, ON-based proto-metal/doom metal trio CROSSS. And although the band is rather mysterious and little is publicly known about the band’s personnel I can tell you that the band, which originally began as a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based duo, went through several lineup changes before relocating to Toronto and settling on the band’s current configuration. Since relocating to Toronto, the trio have developed a reputation for crating murky, sludgy and intense dirges that are deeply inspired by proto-done, lo-fi indie rock, noise rock and metal, and as a result bear a sonic resemblance to the likes of Black SabbathA Place to Bury Strangers and others — but more bottom heavy and doom-laden as you’ll hear on “Interlocutor,” off their last effort, LO which, was release to quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere.

Naturally, as a result of the attention they received, the Canadian trio opened for the likes of Viet CongBuilt to Spill, Thee Oh SeesKing TuffDirty BeachesPop1280,  Oneida, Built to Spill, METZ, Grimes, Fuzz and Moon Duo among a growing list. But adding to a growing profile, CROSSS announced that they had recently signed to Joyful Noise Recordings, who will re-issue the trio’s first two efforts, 2013’s Obsidian Spectre and the aforementioned LO — and they also announced that they’ll be releasing their third full-length effort later on this year. In the meantime, check out “Eye Seance” a doom-laden and lo-fi-leaning dirge  that has the trio pairing rumbling down-tuned bass, enormous power chords with howled vocals in a song that sounds like an existential howl into an indifferent and cruel void.

The band will be embarking on a Stateside tour throughout the end of this month and April, and it includes a NYC area stop. Check out tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates:

3/25-3/26: Indianapolis, IN
3/27: Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
3/28: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
4/27: Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
4/20: Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
4/21: Boston, MA @ O’Briens
4/22: Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron
4/23: Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
4/24: Baltimore, MD @ The Crown
4/26: Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place

 

 

 

Last month, I wrote about New Orleans-based septet Cha Wa. Led by its founding members and bandleaders, vocalist/percussionist Irving “Honey” Banister, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West Tribe and drummer Joe Gelini, who have both involved with New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian scene for years, the members of the septet have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that combines the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, and the area’s long-held and beloved reputation for rhythm and blues and funk. After playing countless shows in their hometown, the septet’s long-awaited debut album Funk ‘n’ Feathers is slated for an April 1 release, and the album reportedly draws from the seminal Mardi Gras Indian-inspired work of the 1970s — Wild Magnolias (backed by The Meters), The Neville Brothers and Dr. John‘s Nite Tripper albums; however, the material also has a contemporary twist as the album was produced by Galactic‘s Ben Ellman, who has also worked with the likes of Trombone Shorty, and mixed by San Francisco, CA‘s go-to engineer Count, who has worked with DJ ShadowRadioheadLyrics Born and others.

Released just in time for Mardi Gras, the album’s first single was a loose, stomping and swinging cover of Dr. John’s “All On A Mardi Gras Day” that feels as though you’re following a hot and jamming band with the marching Indians in their costumes marching down the streets of Uptown New Orleans — but with a slick, studio polish that doesn’t scrub away the inherently gritty, street-level funk and the ebullient, let the good time roll-feel within the song.  The album’s second and latest single is a raucously percussive, stomping and absolutely swinging rendition of a Mardi Gras and New Orleans standard “Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko)” that feels like a non-stop party full of hooting and hollering, and hot keyboard and guitar solos; however, where their rendition of “All On A Mardi Gras” felt as though you were following along in a second line, their rendition of “Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko)” feels as though it were recorded in a tiny, sweaty and packed club — in some way, you can almost feel the floor shaking from feet stomping in time to the rhythm.

The band has a number of live dates coming up throughout the next few months. Check out tour dates below.

UPCOMING SHOWS:

03/05- Howlin’ Wolf – New Orleans, LA
03/31- Lafayette’s – Memphis, TN
04/01- Blue Nile [Album Release Show] – New Orleans, LA
04/07- French Quarter Fest – New Orleans, LA
04/10- d.b.a – New Orleans, LA
04/21- Ogden Museum of Southern Art – New Orleans, LA
04/23- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, LA
04/30- French Broad River Festival – Asheville, NC
06/04- Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival – Augusta, NJ

Created by Portland, OR-based Southerly and Sndtrkr frontman and SELF Group founder Krist Krueger as a shoegaze/experimental rock side project, Yardsss has received critical applause with the release of Fama, the first part of a Kurt Vonnegut-inspired trilogy that also featured a companion short film of the same name. Granfalloons is the second part of that trilogy and it features Krueger collaborating with Southerly bandmate Eli Savage and Gardening, Not Architecture‘s Sarah Saturday.

The album’s first single “Granfalloons II” is a slow-burning, introspective and shoegazey track consisting of dirge-inspired power chords, soaring backing vocals, swirling electronic and feedback and anthemic hooks paired with Krueger’s earnest and yearning baritone underneath the arena-filling bombast, the song sounds as though it could be a moody, shoegazer-inspired version of Live‘s “I AloneI Alone” — but with an art school sheen.