Category: New Audio

Innocent? is a New York-based emcee, who first received attention across the blogosphere with the release of the Love It or Hate It double album. The New York-based emcee teamed up with Brooklyn-based Stan Da Man on Love It’s follow-up, Whip Appeal, which T.H.E.M. Recordings released last month.

The EP’s latest single “Old Souls” is a bonus track off Love It and it features Innocent? and the legendary Sadat X rhyming about how things were done back in the day and how today, it’s a much more phony, superficial and distrustful hip-hop industry and scene for artists — and even fans. And they manage to do so over a sample consisting of boom-bap beats and a looped, bluesy guitar that gives the song an old school, stomping, shuffling swagger. It’s yet another example of real hip-hop — of talented emcees spitting fire over dope beats.

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If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past two months or so, you’d know that I’ve been experimenting with a monthly Spotify playlist, which features the songs I’ve reviewed throughout the past month, as well as the songs I’ve mentioned as references or influences. It should create an extremely eclectic and extensive playlist, and can sever as a way for you to catch up on the past month. In fact, this month we start off with the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry, cover punk rock, indie rock, indie electro pop and more, before we end with the Danish indie electro pop duo, Reptile Youth.

Of course, there are a few occasions where some songs aren’t available as of the time of posting — and there’s a chance you might see them later on in the process. But in the meantime, check it out; it’s the perfect way to catch up with the goings on over the month.

Sam Shepherd is a London-based composer/producer, whose solo recording project Floating Points will be releasing his debut effort, Elaenia through Luaka Bop Records in the States and Pluto Records in the UK on November 6. And the album’s first single “Silhouettes I,II, III” pairs a jazz fusion-inspired arrangement consisting of keyboards and drums paired with layers of glitchy and undulating, ambient electronics in a way that’s reminiscent of Bonobo‘s The North Borders and Return to Forever‘s Romantic Warrior, as the composition is slow-burning and gorgeous while being simultaneously cinematic and intimate.

Shepherd is embarking on a tour to support the soon-to-be released effort and it’ll including a set during the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. And from what I understand, Shepherd will be performing material of Elaenia with an 11 piece orchestra. So that should be something else, if I must say so, myself.

Check out tour dates below.

Floating Points Live Tour Dates

Oct 30 – Utrecht, NL – Catch Festival
Oct 31 Leuven, BE – Het Depot
Nov 2 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Nov 5 – Turin, IT – Club to Club
Nov 7 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg. Ticket info HERE.
Nov 17 London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall

Comprised of Bobby Moynahan (vocals), Esli Sugich (bass), and Scott Eton (keyboards and guitar), the trio of Ballerina Black, have received praise across the blogosphere for a sound that my colleagues have described as “a collage of mope rock and grave wave;” in fact, their sound on their earliest releases reminded me quite a bit of Depeche ModeNine Inch Nails and 4AD  Records as it struck me as being a slickly produced, anxious goth-based electro rock.

Adding to a growing national profile, the band has opened for the likes of Interpol and Silversun Pickups, have seen some of their singles receive airplay on radio stations across the globe and have played a number of sold out shows in their hometown of Los Angeles. And to continue the growing buzz around the band, they’re planning to embark on a tour to close out 2015; however, in the meantime, the band has released their latest single “Chiffon,” which is a decided change in sonic direction as it’s arguably one of the sunniest and breeziest songs they’ve released to date. Not only is the song much more upbeat with much of the gloom and doom being lifted from the proceedings, the song sounds as though it subtly leans towards shoegaze as the song consists of lush, shimmering guitar chords, propulsive drumming and Moynahan’s plaintive and ethereal vocals. And although swooning and seemingly channelling 120 Minutes-era alternative rock, there’s something under the surface that’s tense and menacing.

Comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals), the Montreal, QC-based trio Elephant Stone have become something of a mainstay on JOVM, as I’ve written about them quite a bit over the past couple of years.

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the site or with the band, some back story is necessary: the band led by Dihr, a renowned sitar player, who’s formerly a member of The High Dials and has collaborated with members of the renowned, Austin, TX-based psych rock band The Black Angels, has developed a reputation for a psych rock sound that frequently employs elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation with Western songwriting in a way that’s reminiscent of the 60s psychedelic sound pioneered by The Beatles, The Kinks and others. With the release of Canadian trio’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons last year, the band’s sound went through a major change in sonic direction in which the sitar wasn’t as much of a primary focus; in fact, sitar was retained here and there to add sonic coloring — and to retain the overall psychedelic feel.

The band’s latest single “The Devil’s Shelter” is a collaboration that features The Black Angels’ frontman Alex Maas. And as Dihr explained in press notes, I knew all along that the dark mood of this song needed something even darker. Lo and behold, a Black Angel came to my rescue. Alex Maas and I have been friends for well over 10 years and I try to collaborate with him as much as possible.  I sent him a bunch of my demos for our new album to get his feedback. Of all the songs, I felt this one was missing something. He offered to re-sing this whole song and I could do with it what I wanted. On the first playback of his vocals, I knew the song had what it needed. His voice can summon Tibetan monks, Nico and the devil all at once. He definitely brought the darkness to my light.”

Interestingly, the latest Elephant Stone single is a marked change in sonic direction as it begins with a tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar chords, propulsive drumming paired with Dihr’s vocals on the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals on the chorus and hook to create a song that feels and sounds ominous and murky — and as though it channels The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”

The band will be embarking on a West Coast tour throughout November. Check out the tour dates and info below.

ELEPHANT STONE WEST COAST TOUR
11/06 – Montréal QC – Turbo Haüs (Info)
11/12 – San Diego CA – Whistle Stop (Info)
11/13 – Los Angeles CA – Hotel Cafe (Info)
11/14 – Santa Ana CA – Constellation Room (Info)
11/18 – Seattle WA – LoFi (Info)
11/19 – Vancouver BC – The Cobalt (Info)
11/20 – Portland OR – Bunk Bar (Info)
11/21 – Oakland CA – The New Parish for Echo Fest (Info)

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you may be familiar with the Jersey City, NJ-based trio Overlake. Comprised of founding members Tom Barrett (vocals, guitar) and Lysa Opfer (vocals, bass) and Nick D’Amore (drums), the trio can trace their origins to when Overlake’s founding duo Barrett and Opfer were in a previous band, and the duo began bonding over a mutual love of shoegaze and 80s and 90s alt rock.  As Opfer recalled in press notes, her and Barrett would often stay late after practices  normally with Opfer on a Rhodes piano and Barrett on drums, jamming and creating songs that were largely influenced by My Bloody ValentinePavement and Sonic Youth. And about a year after those jam sessions, the band started working on the material that would become their debut full-length, Sighs which Killing Horse Records released last year.

Initially, the band started as a duo but they recently recruited local drummer, Nick D’Amore to help flesh out the band’s sound.  Since the release of their debut effort Sighs, the newly constituted trio have worked on a 7 inch, “Travelogue”/”Winter Is Why,” which officially drops today.

The 7 inch’s A side single “Travelogue” is a breezy refinement of the sound that first captured my attention as its comprised of shimmering reverb-y guitar chords, propulsive drumming, ethereal boy-girl harmonies and an anthemic hook that makes the song sound as though it draws influence from the pioneers of shoegaze, RIDE. The trio will be embarking on a tour through November and more extensively through 2016, as they put the finishing touches for their much-anticipated sophomore effort slated for a release late in 2016. Check out tour dates below.

FALL TOUR DATES

11/1 – Brooklyn NY – The Grand Victory w/ Sink Tapes, Superpony
11/2 – Bethlehem PA – The Funhouse
11/3 – Raleigh NC – Slim’s w/ Make Light, Michael Venutolo-Mantovani
11/4 – Athens GA – Flicker Theatre & Bar w/ Sound of Ceres, Spaceflyte
11/5 – Nashville TN – Springwater Supper Club w/ Nightblonde
11/6 – Memphis TN – Murphy’s w/ Jack Alberson, Matthew Trisler
11/7 – Kansas City MO – Record Bar w/ Birth Defects, Wet Ones
11/8 – Lincoln NE – Duffy’s  w/ Powers, Gordon
11/9 – Des Moines IA – Lefty’s w/ Men in Lead Masks & Special Guest
11/11 – Columbus OH – Broken Records & Beehives In-Store
11/11 – Columbus OH – King Avenue 5  w/ Tethers
11/12 – Philadelphia PA – The Fire w/ Teeel
11/13 – Asbury Park NJ – Asbury Park Yacht Club w/ Dead Stars, Seaside Caves

Lucy Whittaker is an up and coming, 19 year-old British singer/songwriter and student at Leeds College of Music. Her debut single “Change Your Mind” pairs shimmering cosmically glowing synths, twinkling keyboards and propulsive 808s with Whittaker’s sultry, soulful vocals to craft a contemporary pop sound that fits in with the likes of Chelsea Lankes, Phoebe Ryan, CAPPA, Heather LaRose and others while possessing a self-assuredness, confidence and perspective well beyond her young years. And although this single is her debut, I’m looking forward to hearing quite a bit more from this young British talent.

Although the Providence, RI-based trio Atlantic Thrills were officially formed in 2009, the origins of the band comprised of Eric Aguilar (vocals, bass), Daniel Tanner (vocals, guitar), and Josh Towers (drums) can be traced back even earlier — to the early 00’s when the band’s founding members Aguilar and Tanner met at a loft party. At the time, Aguilar was an emcee and producer studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and Tanner was a DJ. Along with another emcee, the duo of Tanner and Aguilar formed a hip-hop act Exile and Lokey and released an album; unfortunately, something felt off and the project disbanded.

While Aguilar and Tanner were crate digging and pouring over Nuggets Vol 1. and Pebbles Vol 1., freakbeat and fuzz compilations for new sounds and unused breaks, they realized that they needed to make the music they wanted to hear — scuzzy, garage-based psych rock. Towers was then recruited to flesh out the band’s sound on drums, and the newly formed trio recorded a debut effort, which puts them on a growing list of acts that have specialized in an old-school garage psych sound including Raccoon Fighter, who I’ve written about on JOVM in the past.

“Vices” the first single and album title track off the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Vices slated for a December 4 release through Almost Ready Records consists of chiming guitars played through copious layers of reverb, propulsive drumming and ethereal harmonies to craft a sound that’s lo-fi scuzzy and trippy — and in many ways the overall sound channels the psych rock sounds of the early 60s.