Category: New Audio

Back in January, I wrote a post on Reno, NV-born and Nashville, TN-based alt rock/blues/rock artist  Jack Berry. Berry can trace the origins of his recording career to when he wrote and recorded his first album while studying in  Los Angeles. Berry then worked and performed along the West Coast as one half a of a duo before before he decided that it was time to go solo. Relocating to Nashville, Berry spent several months couch-surfing and writing and recording material with the hopes that he could catch the attention of that city’s local press. Eventually, Berry began receiving praise from outlets such as Nashville SceneThe Deli MagazineBlues Rock Review and others, which resulted in slots at Toronto‘s North by Northeast (NXNE)CMJ and SXSW‘s Red Gorilla Festival. Since then, Berry has played a number of venues between his hometown and NYC; however, 2016 may be his breakthrough year with the Spring 2016 release of his latest album, Mean Machine. 

Now, as I mentioned a little earlier, back in January I wrote about Mean Machine‘s first single “The Bull,” a sultry and bluesy single that paired arena rock-friendly power chords, propulsive and carefully syncopated drumming, an anthemic hook and Berry’s seductive crooning and howling that sonically seems to draw from Soundgarden (think of “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days” off Superunknown) as it does from old-school blues and contemporary rock. Mean Machine‘s latest single “Bad Dog” continues where “The Bull” left off: arena-friendly power chords, propulsive drumming paired with  Berry’s sultry crooning; however, the song possesses a cocksure swagger and menace that pushes the song towards the old school blues territory — in particular think of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

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If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across several posts on Toronto, ON/Montreal, QC-based electro pop act Doomsquad. Comprised of  siblings Allie, Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas, the electro pop act initially began as an acoustic-leaning folk act but with their shared admiration and love of electronic music, electronic dance music and electro pop, the Blumases began increasingly experimenting with electronic beats, synthesizers, electronic drums and contemporary electronic music production techniques. The trio won attention won both national and Stateside attention with the release of their full-length debut Kalaboogie, a downtempo electro pop-leaning effort that evoked what art, life and music would sound like post-apocaylpse as stark minimalist beats, shimmering synths and alternating chanted and call and response vocals.

The Blumases followed Kalaboogie with 2015’s Pageantry Suite EP and EP singles Apocalypso,” and “Two Way Mirror” revealed a group that relentlessly experimented with their sound as they employed Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar lines, African and Caribbean-inspired polyrhythms, ambient electronics, shimmering synths and sinuous bass lines were paired with half spoken, half sung vocals leading a call and response harmonized vocal section at the song’s hook, which interestingly enough pushed their sound a bit closer Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues and Fear of Music. And much like those two albums, the material on Pageantry Suite evoked a neurotic anxiousness over an impending doom that may — or may not happen.

 

Doomsquad’s sophomore full-length effort, Total Time is slated for an April 29, 2016 release through renowned indie label Bella Union Records globally and Hand Drawn Dracula Records throughout Canada. Reportedly inspired by some of the trio’s favorite artists — Georges Bataille, Richard Tuttle, Tanya Tagaq, and Genesis P-Orridge, Total Time was largely recorded in the New Mexico desert and thematically, the material was specifically written to lead the listener to a genderless experience of transition — from owning time, losing time and becoming timeless while making you move your ass.  Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Pyramids On Mars” manages to continue on the sonic path of Pageantry Suite as the song begins with an ambient intro of gently undulating synths and off-kilter vocals and quickly becomes a propulsive and shimmering dance-floor ready track that pairs shimmering synths, wobbling low end, chanted and call and response vocals, African and Caribbean-inspired vocals, funk guitar — and much like their most recent tracks sounds as though it could have been released as a B-side to a Talking Heads single.

Comprised of Ellie English, Sade Sanchez and Irita Pai, Los Angeles, CA-based trio L.A. Witch have developed a reputation local for a garage rock-based sound that draws from the likes of The Pleasure Seekers, The Sonics, The Black Angels, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and others. “Drive Your Car,” off the trio’s “Drive Your Car” 7 inch single will further cement the their reputation in specializing in grungy, old-timey garage and psych  rock as layers of chugging and jangling guitar chords played through tons of reverb and delay pedal, paired with a propulsive rhythm and Sanchez’s sneering vocals in song that possess a murderous and malicious intent.

If you’re out in the West Coast or Southwest, you can catch L.A. Witch live. Check out tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
03.11 – San Diego Art Institute – San Diego, CA
03.12 – Firecreek – Flagstaff, AZ
03.13 – Highlife Tavern – Tucson, AZ
03.14 – Exit 19 Music Festival – El Paso, TX
03.15 – Hot Burrito Boat Show Boogie – SXSW
03.15 – Desert Daze x NRMAL @ Hotel Vegas – SXSW
03.16 – She Shreds @ Hotel Vegas – SXSW
03.17 – Levitation Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – SXSW
03.18 – Spillover Fest @ Club Dada – Dallas, TX
03.19 – Entheo Sound @ The Shed – SXSW
03.20 – Burger Hangover @ Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
03.22 – House: The Venue – Albuquerque, NM
03.23 – Mesa Brewing – Taos, NM
03.24 – Time Out Lounge – Tempe, AZ
03.25 – Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV

Last year, the renowned director, screenwriter, producer and composer John Carpenter released his first album of non-soundtrack-based music, Lost Themes to critical praise from an impressive array of major media outlets including The GuardianThe New York TimesThe TimesUncutThe WireThe Los Angeles TimesNPRPitchforkVanity FairNewsweekBillboardEntertainment WeeklyArtforumThe Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and others. And as a result, the album was one of the most commercially successful albums released in Sacred Bones Records history, as the album debuted on the  Top 100 Charts in both the UK and US. Unsurprisingly, the album, which was recorded with Carpenter’s son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies strongly confirms what cinephiles, sci-fi fans and Carpenter files have asserted for countless years — that the director’s work was not only years ahead of its time but that his work has managed to continually influence contemporary electronic music. In fact, artists like Red Traces and Umberto have released works that frequently seem indebted to Carpenter and his film scores.

Building on the buzz and success that Carpenter and Sacred Bones Records received after the release of Lost Themes, the director and the indie record label released Lost Themes Remixed, an album that featured remixes from the likes of  Zola JesusSilent ServantFoetus‘ JG Thirwell, Skinny Puppy‘s ohGr, PAN Records‘ Bill Kouligas, and Uniform. (In fact, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall that I wrote about Uniform’s dance-floor ready remix of Carpenter’s “Vortex” and Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley’s techno-leaning rework of “Night.” But interestingly enough, Carpenter has been incredibly prolific, as Sacred Bones and Carpenter will be releasing a sequel to Lost Themes Lost Themes II on April 15.

The material on Lost Themes II is inspired and informed by a change in the creative process with Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies and the acclaimed producer writing, working revising and recording in the same studio — and with all three collaborators working together, the result was a more focused effort, completed on a compressed schedule, in a similar fashion to Carpenter’s earliest films. Additionally, the material is much more nuanced and lush, as the trio of collaborators added acoustic and electric guitar to flesh out the material, as well as add texture. Last month, I wrote about Lost Themes II‘s first single,  “Distant Dream” pairs John Carpenter’s unmistakable minimalist synths with live drums, bursts of angular guitar and bass chords, and swirling electronics in a moody and tense composition that sounds as though it could be part of a taut, psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. Lost Themes II‘s second and latest single “Angel’s Asylum” pairs layers of dramatic and twinkling and undulating synths and ambient electronics with buzzing power chords and four-on-the-floor drumming in a composition that has the trio quickly building upon a theme but with subtle variations until a gently strummed acoustic guitar section paired with ambient electronics and synths and a gentle layer of twinkling synths form the composition’s coda. In many ways the song goes from an extremely dark and rock-like intensity to an ethereal beauty that arches heavenward at the end.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Surreal and Hilarious Visuals for Sophie and the Bom Bom’s “Appetite”

As you might remember, last December I wrote about Sophie Stern, the Los Angeles-based creative mastermind behind the (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms. Initially, Stern’s career began behind the scenes as a songwriter, who was […]

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 –

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