Category: New Audio

Electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Grant Eadie and his solo recording project Manatee Commune has received regional attention across the Pacific Northwest and a growing national profile for a carefully and organically molded electronic sound that pairs natural overtones extracted from field recordings with slick and nuanced electronic production.

Eadie’s soon-to-be released EP, Thistle, slated for a February 26 release marks two new developments in the young producer, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist’s career — it’s his first release through renowned Brooklyn-based label Bastard Jazz Recordings, the label home of Illa J, Lord Echo and several others; and the effort is the result of Eadie radically changing his songwriting, production and recording process as he  opened his studio and gear to friends, collaborators and loved ones, gaining inspiration from the energy of each of those interactions. As Eadie explains in press notes “Learning how to share my creative process with my friends completely revolutionized the last of year of music for me. Inviting those I trusted and loved into my studio to spend even just an hour talking or jamming opened fountains of inventive energy for me, especially from the ones who lacked any musical knowledge. I soon found myself incredibly inspired by the originality of even the smallest interactions with people, and so I pointed my field mic at anyone who had a story, a melody, or a stumbling beat they had been absentmindedly drumming, all in the hopes of capturing their individuality and framing it with my ever expanding insight into audio production.”

Thistle’s first single “Clay” pairs a stuttering yet breezy and coquettish production consisting of twinkling and chiming percussion, a looped flute sample, layers of shimmering synths and swirling electronics with Marina Price’s flirtatious and sultry vocals to craft a song that reminds me quite a bit of Sylvan Esso — but bouncier and slightly more dance floor friendly. Considering the Arctic weather we’re soon to have in New York, “Clay” is a brief yet lush and necessary blast of summer.

Catch Eadie live throughout March and April as he tours the Pacific Northwest with Blackbird Blackbird and Chad Valley. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

3.3 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo (EP Release Party)
3.10 Portland OR, Mississippi Studios ^
3.11 Seattle WA, Nectar Lounge ^
4.19 Tucson, AZ Club Congress *
4.20 San Diego, CA The Hideout *
4.21 Los Angeles, CA The Echoplex *
4.22 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst *
4.23 San Francisco, CA Social Hall *
4.30 Vancouver, BC Alexander *
^ with YPPAH
* with Blackbird Blackbird & Chad Valley

 

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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 signed to mega-hit producer and songwriter Dr. Luke’s camp. After spending couple of years as a go-to songwriter, Stern decided that it was time for her to go out on her own as a solo artist.

 

Inspired by a diverse array of artists including diverse array of artists including Erykah BaduTom Tom Club and a lengthy list of others, Stern began collaborating with two rather renowned producers, David Elevator, who won 3 Grammys for his work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known his work with Marina and the DiamondsCharli XCX and M.I.A. for her debut EP. The EP’s first single “Big Girls” was a breezy and infectious pop confection that paired big boom-bap beats, cascading synths, anthemic hooks and Stern’s effortlessly soulful vocals in a way that was reminiscent of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait” while sounding remarkably contemporary.

The EP’s second and latests single “Appetite” will further cement Stern’s reputation for crafting incredibly infectious, breezy and anthemic pop as you’ll hear boom bap beats, handclaps, twinkling synths and an anthemic, hashtag worthy hook paired with Stern’s ballsy and bratty vocals in a song that’s a tell off to fuckboys, deadbeats, drama kings and queens and parasites everywhere — with the sort of sense of humor that would likely remind you of things you may have heard or said back in the schoolyard.

Sonically and thematically speaking the song manages to nod at Australian-born, Berlin-based indie pop artist Phia, Gwen Stefani‘s “Ain’t No Holla Back Girl,” and TLC‘s “No Scrubs” as it possesses the same “girl power/girl, drop that loser/girl, drop that deadbeat friend” air but backed by slick, modern production techniques.

 

 

 

Late last year, I wrote about Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society. The quintet, comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, were discovered Alan Willis, the late founder of Deltasonic Records, who noticed potential in the band and guided the quintet through their development as a band and as songwriters. Over the course of the following year, the British shoegaze quintet locked themselves away in their rehearsal space, where they jammed and began writing material that was inspired by FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

Now if you had been frequenting JOVM around then, you’d recall that I wrote about “Coshh,” the second single off the band’s debut EP Pangea. That particular single had the quintet pairing a tight, motorik groove consisting of wobbling bass lines and propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb and delay effect pedals, atmospheric electronics and anthemic hooks with ethereal, falsetto vocals to craft a song that possessed a mesmerizing cosmic sheen.

Sonically, the Liverpool-based quintet’s latest single “Self-Realization” will further cement their reputation for shimmering and anthemic shoegaze as the band pairs the prerequisite shimmering guitar chords, a driving motorik groove, wobbling and undulating electronics, twinkling keys and anthemic hooks with ethereal vocals to craft a sprawling song that structurally twists, bends and turns — while sounding as though it subtly nods at The Verve; in fact, the guitar work bears an uncanny resemblance to Nick McCabe’s expansive and expressive sound, all while bearing the cosmic glow that initially caught my attention.

Although not every single I’ve written about over the course of 2016 was available on Spotify, this month’s playlist continues with what I think is the strength of this site — true diversity of music. And this month’s playlist features tracks from JOVM mainstays METZ and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Koncept and J57 as well Toronto, ON-based electro pop act Laser, Keith Murray, Main Source, the legendary Mavis Staples, singer/songwriter Jenny Gillespie and many more. This playlist also includes a 50 plus song tribute to David Bowie, who has been a large influence on me and the eventual creation of this site. Check it out and enjoy!

With the release of their 2014 debut EP, Magic, the New York-bsased dream pop/electro pop duo Paperwhite, comprised of sibling duo Katie and Ben Marshall exploded into the blogosphere; in fact, they earned the title of “Most Blogged About Artist” twice — and that shouldn’t be surprising as their (highly contemporary) sound pairs lush melodies and anthemic hooks. Building on the buzz that they’ve received a few years ago, the New York-based duo’s forthcoming EP Escape is slated for release this spring. And the EP’s first single “Unstoppable” will further cement the duo’s reputation for pairing lush melodies and anthemic hooks with Katie Marshall’s ethereal in a way that’s contemporary  as it’s reminiscent of St. Lucia and yet is also reminiscent of radio friendly 80s synth pop.

Interestingly, the single as the duo notes is a “reminder to find strength in the chaos and beauty in the unknown.” Certainly, considering life and its brutality and wonder, it’s something that we all need to remind ourselves at some point — while dancing with a bunch of sweaty kids in a club, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polish-born electro pop artist Patti Yang splits her time between London and California and with the release of “Invisible Tears,” the first single off her forthcoming debut album, Yang and her backing band quickly received attention for a sound that draws from industrial electronica, electronic music and punk rock. The album’s latest single “Black Box” draws from the same influences, Yang and her backing band pair tense, undulating synth stabs with propulsive, industrial clang and clatter with Yang’s sultry and seductive cooing seemingly writhing through and the mix.

While the song may be remarkably contemporary but it also manages to sound as though it could have easily been released in 1983; in fact, the song reminds me a little bit of Banarama‘s “Cruel Summer” — but a little chillier. Thematically and lyrically the song focus on a narrator, who’s constantly seeking and striving for the peak moment in every single aspect of her life. And although the song reportedly adapts the idea of traveling through a black hole as a metaphor, it also uses “black box turning to gold” as a naughty double entendre for sensual pleasure, which may make this particular single the sexiest, most dance floor ready single the act has released to date.

 

 

 

Currently comprised of Laena Geronimo, Shannon Lay, Michael Rudes, and Amy Allen, the Los Angeles, CA-based psych rock/punk rock/post-rock quartet FEELS have developed a reputation locally for an intense live show — and with the release of the frenetic and sprawling “Tell Me,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut effort, produced by the renowned Ty Segall, has the band seeing a rapidly growing national profile, as The Fader and a few other websites across the blogosphere. Sonically, the band pairs layers of jangling and buzzing guitars, a propulsive rhythm section, laconic yet sultry vocals in a song that rapidly twists, turns and shifts tempo that nods at prog rock, as much as it sounds inspired by psych rock. Interestingly enough, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Mallard‘s equally frenetic, sprawling yet bristling Finding Meaning In Deference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 3 or 4 years, you may be somewhat familiar with yet another JOVM mainstay act — Bambara. Comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend, William Brookshire, the band formed back in 2008 when all three members were living in Athens, GA. After relocating to Brooklyn and recording their debut effort DREAMVIOLENCE, the trio exploded into the national scene for a punishing sound that compared favorably to the likes of A Place to Bury StrangersWeekend, and others.

Since the release of DREAMVIOLENCE the band’s sound has increasingly incorporated elements of punk rock and thrash punk — and as a result, their sound has become much more abrasive, forceful and propulsive as you’ll hear on “All The Ugly Things,” the first single off the band’s long-awaited sophomore effort, Swarm. Unsurprisingly, the material’s — and in turn, the single’s — abrasive quality was inspired by the trio’s surroundings: Reid Bateh’s lyrics describe a New York that’s stark, grimy, bleak, merciless and full of unhinged, unstable characters desperately trying to survive with whatever dignity, decent and sanity they have left. And at times it sounds and feels like an urgent and desperate howl of pain into a cold, indifferent void.

The trio have a few upcoming shows — including their album release show at Palisades with The Men, Pill and Hubble. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

2/25/16 Brooklyn, NY: Palisades: Album Release Show with The Men, Pill and Hubble

3/12/16: Atlanta, GA: 529: with Guerrilla Toss and Muuy Biien

3/15/16 – 3/19/16: Austin, TX: SXSW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d be familiar with Mark Roberts, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed, Brooklyn-based indie electro pop project, We Are Temporary. Roberts and his recording project have developed a reputation for crafting  music that draws from a wide range of influences within contemporary electronic music from future beats, dream pop, witch house, post-rock industrial techno as well as classical music. And he pairs that sound with confessional lyrics based on his own personal experience and personal philosophy; in fact, some of his earliest solo work has focused on suffering through debilitating anxiety attacks, the near breakup and reconciliation of his marriage, his privileged but tumultuous childhood as the son of a renowned American opera singer, living abroad in Europe, as well as his humanistic atheism versus his wife’s devout Mormonism.

After the 2013 release of the Afterthoughts EP, Roberts released a deeply moving protest song inspired and informed by Eric Garner’s death and the grand jury decision that resulted in the acquittal of several police officers for Garner’s death. Simultaneously, Roberts had been spending time writing the material that would wind up releasing his soon-to-released and long-awaited full-length debut, Crossing Over. Interestingly, the album — especially its first single “You Can Now Let Go” was partially inspired by a conversation that Roberts had with his own mother about death. During this conversation Roberts’ mother announced “I’d like to be wide awake when it happens. Dying seems like such an important event in life; I’d hate to miss it.” According to Roberts, this conversation had helped change his mind about death — instead of something to avoid or delay, but something that can be complex, meaningful, beautiful and profound. After all, we and everyone we’ve ever loved and cared about will die; and without death our lives would lack meaning. Additionally, Crossing Over and “You Can Now Let Go” were inspired by Roberts’ own near-death experience: a drug-fueled anxiety attack, which landed him in the ER. Shock and confusion eventually turned into peace and acceptance — and as a result, it inspired a song that depicts a nonviolent death as a quietly beautiful fade to black. Sonically, the dark, unsettling yet hauntingly beautiful song is comprised of huge, tweeter and woofer boom-bap inspired beats, skittering drum programming, ominously swirling electronics and industrial clang and clatter, layers of undulating synths, soaring melodies that subtly arch heavenward are paired with Roberts’ plaintive, deeply emotive vocals.

The album’s second and latest single “Who’s Going To Love You Now” is a brooding and slow-burning ballad consisting of shimmering and chiming synths, swirling electronics and propulsive drum programming paired with Roberts plaintive and achingly desperate vocals. The song was written while Roberts was separated from his wife, and as a result the song thematically speaking focuses on real feels that many us have felt as a relationship was seemingly falling apart — i.e., the fear of not knowing how to love or not knowing how to love enough; the fear of being so fucked up and so damaged that you’ll end up alone. But it also explores the fact that all relationships, especially romantic ones are rooted in the uncertainty of compromise — sometimes compromise that you might be uncertain of actually wanting. In other worse, it points out that human relationships mirror the neuroses and doubts of the people within them, and it does so with a great deal of empathy, while not offering much of a solution one way or the other.

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site a bit over the years, you may recall that I’ve written about the Atlanta-based trio The Coathangers on a couple of occasions. And interestingly, the band has what may arguably be one of the most prototypically punk rock and funniest formation stories that I’ve heard. As the story goes, the band formed when the then-quartet of guitarist and vocalist Julia Kugel (a.k.a. Crook Kid Coathanger), bassist Meredith Franco (a.k.a. Minnie Coathanger), drummer Stephanie Luke (a.k.a Rusty Coathanger), and keyboardist Candice Jones (a.k.a. Bebe Coathanger) decided to start a band for the sole purpose of being able to hang out and play parties — and they didn’t let the fact that none of them actually knew how to play an instrument get in the way of them being in a band and having a good time. As a result, the band’s earliest songs walked a tightrope between abrasive dissonance and a primal minimalism.

In the the decade or so since their formation, the band has released four full-length albums and have gone on a number of North American and European tours, which have cemented their reputation for writing incredibly catchy songs — and for unruly live shows. Back in 2014, during the recording sessions for Suck My Shirt, the band went through a lineup change as Candice Jones left the band. Naturally, as a result of the lineup change, the newly-consituted trio’s fourth effort revealed a refined songwriting approach in which the album’s material possessed a raw, spontaneous simplicity and fury with arrangements that felt streamlined and more direct. In other words, no frills, no bullshit, balls-to-the-wall rock that spiritually channelled AC/DC and the Ramones.  

“Make It Right,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming Nosebleed Weekend continues in the same lines of their previous effort as it possesses a raw and furious feel paired with a primal simplicity — it’s grimy, gritty punk that also manages to nod at old fashioned garage rock and surfer rock, complete with a “we don’t give a fuck” sneering attitude. Interestingly, the largest departure for the forthcoming album was the actual recording process. Their previous albums were recorded at The Living Room Studios in Atlanta with Ed Rawls while this effort had the band recording the material at Valentine Recording Studios in North Hollywood, where The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby recorded albums. As the band’s Julia Kugel mentioned in press notes “The studio had been custom built by Jimmy Valentine and he was very protective of his passion. It sounds weird, but his spirit was there, checking in on us and fucking with us a bit.” That shouldn’t be surprising as the Nosebleed Weekend sessions were the first sessions at the studios in 36 years — and yet in some way, the location seems to help capture the materials’ primal immediacy.