Category: New Audio

New Audio: Turkish JOVM Mainstays The Away Days Return With Their Most Politically Charged Single to Date

Now, over the past couple of years, the Turkish indie rock quartet have released a series of singles that have that have seen international attention across the blogosphere, including this site where the band has added their name to a growing list of mainstay artists. Up until recently, it had been about a year since we had last heard from the renowned Istanbul-based quartet; but as it turns out, the band had been busy working on the material, which will comprise their highly-anticipated full-length debut effort. The album’s first two singles “Less Is More” and “World Horizon” were atmospheric yet lush tracks in which plaintive vocals were paired with ethereal and shimmering synths — while drawing from the band members’ lives as musicians in a society in which their efforts are viewed suspicious and seditious.

“Places to Go,” the third and latest single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut is a lush and plaintive song featuring layers of shimmering guitar, a tight motorik-like groove and a soaring, anthemic hook — and in some way it makes the song sound as though it were inspired by classic shoegaze and contemporary pop and indie rock; however, the song manages to possess a deeply held tension as lyrically, the band draws from their lives and the lives of Turkish young people as the song touches upon the sense of frustration, boredom, oppression and conformity, lack of opportunity and their overall restlessness.

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Initially comprised of founding member Al Jourgensen (vocals and guitar), Stephen George (drums), Robert Roberts (keys) and John Davis (keys), the renowned and influential Chicago, IL-based industrial metal/industrial electronic act Ministry began as a New Wave synth pop act that released several 12 inch singles through Wax Trax! Records between 1981-1984. And after a series of lineup changes that included a deeper focus on the band’s founding duo of Jourgensen and George, and a radical change in sonic direction that lead to the aggressive and abrasive sound that later inspired the likes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails ,KMFDM and others.

This Friday will mark the limited release of the long-awaited Trax! Rarities double album featuring rare, early tracks and versions of songs from Wax Trax! Records-era Ministry and unreleased material from Al Jourgensen’s related side projects including Revolting Cocks, PTP, Pailhead and 1000 Homo DJs through Cleopatra Records. And we’ve got three tracks from the Trax! Rarities collection — the A Flock of Seagulls meets Roxy Music-like demo version of “The Game Is Over,” which reveals that even with a completely different sound that Jourgensen, his late bandmate George and company had an uncanny ability to write an incredibly anthemic hook paired with shimmering guitars and a propulsive groove;  the mid 80s New Order and Depeche Mode-nodding “I See Red,” which is not only a dance-floor friendly song but manages to be a more conscious move towards something resembling industrial electronic music; and lastly, “Same Old Madness,” which strangely enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to Freedom of Choice-era DEVO. Of course, while the compilation will be a must have for die-hard fans and completetists, it’s a revealing look into how a band’s sound and aesthetic can morph from making them a mere footnote of a particular time into one of the more influential bands of their generation.

 

 

 

 

 

Team Picture is a Leeds, UK-based indie rock quintet, who have started to receive attention from the likes of major blogs such as DIY Mag and The Line of Best Fit. And adding to a growing national profile, the band has opened for Kagoule and The Orielles and others.  The band’s third and latest single “Potpourri Headache” will further cement the Leeds-based quintet’s reputation for crafting lush and shimmering, shoegaze-leaning indie rock in which the band pairs ethereal vocals with propulsive drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through effects pedals, and equally ethereal synthesizers. In some way, the band’s sound manages to channel both the classic 4AD Records sound and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve.

 

 

New Audio: Hurray for the Riff Raff Release Their Most Danceable, Most Politically Charged Album to Date

Featuring The Bronx, NY-born, New Orleans, LA-based founding member, creative mastermind and frontperson Alynda Segarra and her bandmates Yosi Perlstein, David Jamison, and Caitlin Gray, Hurray for the Riff Raff first came to prominence after they had been featured in an article in The Times based around the HBO TV series Treme with their single “Daniela” being listed in the paper’s playlist of essential songs by contemporary artists from New Orleans — and for a sound that drew from folk, country, bluegrass and Americana paired with lyrics that approached traditional Americana themes in an unconventional way. After releasing a series of EPs and two full-length albums — one was self released through the band’s label, the other released through a small, indie label, the band’s third full-length effort, Small Town Heroes was released through ATO Records, marking that album as their major label debut. And unsurprisingly, the band’s national and international profile grew exponentially.

The New Orleans-based band’s highly anticipated follow-up to Small Town Heroes, The Navigator was produced by Paul Butler, known for his work with Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul and The Broken Bones and Devendra Banhart. Slated for a March 10, 2017 release through ATO Records, The Navigator is reportedly both a thematic and sonic departure for the band — thematically, the album tells a deeply interwoven, cinematic story about a wandering soul named Navita, who finds herself at the crossroads of personal identity and ancestral weight, traveling across a perpetually burning city in search of her true self, while addressing many of the urgent, sociopolitical issues of our increasingly uncertain and dangerous times. But perhaps more important, while all of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s material drew from Segarra’s experience, the new album holds a much deeper, personal weight drawing from the many uneasy questions, answers and compromises that come about as a minority in the world — with the most important being “what does it mean to be prideful of your heritage in a world and society that frequently asks you to not be too proud?”

Sonically, as you’ll hear from The Navigator’s percussive first single “Rican Beach,” the album finds the band delving deeper into Latin rhythms and styles — in particular salsa, boogaloo and bomba, giving the single one of the tightest and most dance floor-friendly grooves they’ve ever written. But at the core of the song are lyrics that capture a frightening sense of uncertainty, subtly asking “well, who will protect me or my neighbors, who will speak for us if the authorities begin to round us up?” while simultaneously being a call to resist, to “live your life as a form of protest,” as the great Saul Williams once said.

As Segarra explains of both the single and of the album’s material “This is dedicated to the water protectors of Standing Rock – thank you for your bravery and giving us hope. Also, to the people of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, who are demanding an end to the AES dumping of coal ash which leads to water contamination – we are with you.

All over the world, the are heroes, who despite suffering generations of oppression, are protecting the land the future of our humanity. Rican Beach is a fictional place, but it was written with my ancestors in mind. It’s time to call on yours and to always remember: this land was made for you and me.”

Ravi Vithal is an up-and-coming Melbourne, Australia-based bedroom producer, best known as North Elements, who has began to develop a reputation across Australia for a creative approach that draws from his homeland’s vast beauty — and for a sound that aims to create a perfect aural compliment for those embracing their own awe of the elements that surround them. Already, some of his work has received more than 1.5 million streams. And although very little known about him, Wayfarer // is a Melbourne, Australia-based multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has developed a reputation for meshing dusty, old school soul samples with live instrumentation and synths, and for a sound that draws from J. Dilla and dubstep among others. The Australian producer’s debut single together “Break” can trace their origins to a more casual collaboration between producers, who mutually dug each other’s work and with a contribution from denitia and sene‘s Denitia Odigie. Sonically, the song pairs a production featuring chunky and blocky yet shimmering cascades of synths, finger snaps, stuttering drum programming, swirling electronics and an infectious hook with Odigie’s breathily sultry and coquettish vocals — and in some way, the song sounds as though it channels denitia and sene’s critically applauded work but with the sort of urgency that can come about when the world feels as though it’s about to end.

As Odigie explains in press notes “I’ve been feeling extra intense lately, and these days, the world feels like it’s constantly caving in… when I find something I really want, it feels fragile and urgent. The pressure and the need to live truly in the moment when nothing else is ever promised.. it’s beautiful and scary all at once.. To find someone to fall apart with, it’s good company.”

Currently comprised of founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar, vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums, vocals) along with Steve Garrington (bass), the Duluth, MN-based indie rock trio Low have a long-held reputation for slow-burning and heartfelt material comprised of minimalist arrangements, which showcase Sparhawk and Parker’s harmonizing. Just as the band was about to embark on a UK and Ireland tour in which they’ll be playing their critically applauded Christmas EP, the members of the trio released a Christmas season original “Some Hearts (at Christmas Time).” And  the latest single will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting slow-burning, minimalist and thoughtful indie rock in which a strummed, plaintive guitar motif and swirling electronics are paired with Parker’s ethereal vocals harmonizing with Sparhawk’s gently processed vocals in a song that looks at the close of the year with a hopeful look ahead.  Certainly, while this year has thrown many of us quite a few punches, there are a couple of things that we cannot forget — that through fate or plain dumb luck we’re still here to love, to dream, to fight yet another day; that sometimes hope may be the only thing that gets us out of bed; and that in difficult times, we may only have each other to depend on.

 

 

While currently comprised of founder and primary member Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkelman, indie rock trio Xiu Xiu have throughout the course of their history developed a reputation for restless experimentation and lately for a period of extraordinary diverse prolificacy — earlier this year, they released their critically applauded album Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with renowned indie pop artist Mitski on a song that will appear on a forthcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, collaborated with Merzbow on an album, composed music for several art installations by renowned artist Danh Vo, wrote the score for an experimental reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute — and then they found time to write and record the material that comprises their forthcoming 11th full-length effort FORGET, which Polyvinyl Records will release on February 24, 2017.

Co-produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Blondie and Sigur Ros; Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier and Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo, the album features guest appearances by minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, Los Angeles Banjee Ball commentator Enyce Smith, Swans‘ Kristof Hahn and renowned drag artist Vaginal Davis. And as the band’s Jamie Stewart explains of both of the album’s title and its overarching theme, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.”

“Wondering,” FORGET’s first single is a propulsive  dance floor-friendly single in which the band pairs layers of scuzzy, angular guitar chords with undulating synths, stuttering and skittering beats, brief bursts of twinkling keys and Stewart’s plaintive crooning with a swooning and anthemic hook — and while the equally shimmering and murky single sonically nods at Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back” and others, the song possesses and underlying tension between the known and unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates

Mar. 16th – Los Angeles, CA – Union

Mar. 17th – Escondido, CA – A Ship in The Woods

Mar. 19th – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

Mar. 21st – Seattle, WA – Kremwork

Mar. 22nd – Portland, OR – Holocene

Mar 23rd – 26th – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

Mar. 30th – Detroit, MI – El Club

Mar. 31st – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle

Apr. 1st – Jacksonville, FL – The Sleeping Giant Film Festival

Apr. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar

Apr. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle

Apr. 8th – Harrisburg, PA – Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor

Apr. 9th – Baltimore, MD – The Wind-Up Space

Apr. 11th – Jersey City, NJ – Monty Hall

Apr.12th – New Haven, CT – Bar

Apr. 13th – Providence, RI – Colombus Theatre

Apr. 14th – Portsmouth, NH – 3SArtspace

Apr. 15th – Boston, MA – Cambridge Elks Lodge / Hardcore Stadium

 

Cooler is a Buffalo, NY-based indie rock quintet, comprised of Alley Yates (guitar, vocals), Nathan McDorman (guitar, vocals), Nick Sessanna (drums, vocals) and Adam Cwynar (bass) whose sound and aesthetic draws from 90s grunge and early 00s emo and as a result their sound has been compared favorably to the likes of Weezer, Saves the Day and Pity Sex — although as you’ll hear on “Metal Moths,” the latest single off their recently released Phantom Phuzz EP, their sound reminds me quite a bit of Bleeding Rainbow and Silversun Pickups as the members of the Buffalo-based quintet specialize in pairing layers of fuzzy power chords with anthemic hooks, a special attention on harmonized vocals singing incredibly earnest lyrics. Listening to the track brought back memories of making mixtapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially formed back in 2001 as an octet featuring founding members Sean Flowered (keys) and Lenny Bignell (guitar), the British self-described “dub fueled ska rocksteady and reggae” act Pama International rose to national and international acclaim for a sound that borrowed liberally from several different sources while still staying broadly within reggae over the course of their first nine full-length albums, as well as their 3 BBC 1 Radio sessions at Maida Vale Studios. And as a result of their sound and their overall collaborative nature, the members of the collective have worked with an incredibly diverse array of artists including members of The Specials, Madness, Steel Pulse, Style Council, Galliano and Kasabian, Billy Bragg, reggae legends Derrick Moran, Dawn Penn, Dennis Alcapone and Rico Rodriguez. Also I must add the fact that the members of Pama International have toured with Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Prince Buster and The Clash‘s Mick Jones among others.

After going on a lengthy 7 year hiatus, Pama International reunited with a new lineup featuring the band’s founding members Flowerdew and Bignell, along with Jewels Vass (vocals), who has worked with Mad Professor and Zion Train; Anna Uhuru (vocals); Bullit (drums), who has worked with The Wailing Souls, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Max Romeo; and Gary Alesbrook (trumpet), who was in an earlier Pama International lineup and has worked with Kasabian to write and record new material that would comprise the band’s 10th forthcoming full-length effort Love & Austerity, which Record Kicks Records will release sometime in the Spring 2017. Of course, before that, the album’s first single, which is currently available on all digital formats and will be released in a limited edition 45 is a “premier rocksteady” rendition of the Martha and The Vandellas‘ soul classic “Heatwave,” that plays with the original’s tempo while retaining its spirit and feel — and you’ll want to do a little two-step to it, too.