Category: New Audio

 

With the release of their first two albums, the Seaside, CA-based quartet Burnt Palms, comprised of  Riley (guitar and vocals), Clara Nieto (drums and vocals), Brian Dela Cruz (bass) and Joshua Vasquez, have been compared favorably to the likes of Dum Dum Girls, All Girl Summer Fun Band and Heavenly as their sound paired garage rock guitar chords with Riley’s ethereal vocals. However, with the forthcoming release of the band’s third full-length effort, Back on My Way, the Seaside, CA-based quartet has gone through a decided change of sonic direction with the band pairing indie pop melodies with thrash punk-like rhythms as you’ll hear on “Fold,” the brash and and snotty new single off the band the album.

Listening to the song reminds me of catching punk bands at the old Acme Underground, the Continental, Coney Island High, Brownies and countless other small, dank rooms across the city — but interestingly enough, the song possesses a bittersweetness that gives the song a snarling bite.

 

 

 

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The up-and-coming Winnipeg, MB-based quartet Living Hour can trace their origins to basement jam sessions, writing dreamy songs inspired by the cinematic sky of their hometown. And as a result their sound, which possesses elements of shimmering guitar pop, swirling synths and ethereal vocals draws equally from classic shoegaze, dream pop and chillwave is both stunningly gorgeous and dramatic, as you’ll hear on their  latest single “Seagull,” a single that sounds as though it could have been released during 120 Minutes-era MTV — in particular think of Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You” and you’ll see exactly what I’m getting at.  (In other words, it’s the sort of song that would have been the soundtrack of an intense and fervent make out session — or would have been the soundtrack of a teenaged breakup.)

It’s been a busy year or so for the Canadian quartet. They contributed two songs to Family Portrait II, a vinyl compilation released by the London/Bristol-based label Art is Hard Records back in April and released a limited run cassette tape of their self titled debut effort through Bloomington, IN-based Tree Machine Records. But 2016 looks to be a breakout year for the band as they signed with Lefse Records, and will be releasing their full-length debut on February 19, 2016, which will be followed by a tour to support the effort. Check out some of the early tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES:


March 3    Winnipeg, MB    The Good Will Social Club
March 4    Fargo, ND    The Aquarium
March 6    Des Moines, IA    Des Moines Social Club
March 7    Rock Island, IL    Rozz Tox
March 9    St Louis, MO    Foam
March 11    Denver, CO    Lion’s Lair
March 13    Phoenix, AZ     Trunk Space
March 18    Santa Barbara    CA    FUNZONE
March 19    Fresno    CA    Peeves Pub
March 22    Santa Cruz    CA    Bocci’s Cellar
March 25    Davis    CA    Third Art Space Collective
March 29    Portland    OR    The Analog Cafe
March 31    Bellingham    WA    Loudhouse
April 2    Rossland    BC    The Flying Steamshovel
April 3    Kamloops    BC    Zacks Coffee

Guaranteed that if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, that you would have come across a couple of posts on the Los Angeles-based duo Pom Poms. Comprised of singer/songwriter Marlene and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who is probably best known for his work with AwolnationLiz PhairKelly Clarkson, and Macy Gray, the duo have been thrust into the national spotlight for a sound that owes a debt from classic garage rock and pop such as Connie FrancisPasty ClineRoy OrbisonJohnny Cash, the girl groups of the early 60s and others —  but with a subtly modern (and anachronistic) twist that makes the sound seem as though it could have been part of a a Quentin Tarantino film.

The duo’s debut single “Betty” first gained the attention across the blogosphere for a subtly scuzzy, lo-fi-like garage-based guitar rock sound that would make you think of the aforementioned Roy Robison and Buddy Holly the song possesses a similar urgent and swooning Romanticism. The heartache expressed by Marlene’s aching vocals is a heartache that we all have known at some point — being desperately in love with a fickle and thoughtless lover, who you know will inevitably break your heart. Following up on the buzz from “Betty,” the duo released a hushed and spectral alternate version of Betty that featured Marlene’s vocals paired with a sparse arrangement that includes a subtly Bossa Nova guitar line. Sonically, the alternate version channels Patsy Cline — in par — in particular, “Crazy” and “Walkin After Midnight.” And as a result, the alternate version aches with a similar desperate loneliness and longing.

Pom Poms latest single “123,” is a swinging and swaggering 60s-inspired soul song in which the song’s narrator describes playing a cat-and-mouse game with a potential suitor, who the song’s narrator sets upon having as hers and hers only. And as a result, Marlene’s sultry and soulful vocals possesses a come hither and stop wasting my damn time quality. Sonically, the song pairs Marlene’s vocals with period specific staccato bursts of organ,  propulsive rhythms and some funky guitar chords; thematically (and to my ears), I’m reminded of several songs including Amy Winehouse‘s “Rehab,” and Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” as the song possesses a similar brassy confidence.

 

Typically, the majority of most Americans — hell,  most Westerners, really — are largely unfamiliar with music scenes and artists outside of the usual bastions of popular music — i.e., the US. the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Iceland and maybe a few outside of that sphere, such as Nigeria, South Africa, Mali and a few others. Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, there has been a increasing focus on presenting and covering artists from diverse backgrounds from all over the globe. And interestingly enough, one of those acts has been the Istanbul, Turkey-based indie rock/dream pop quartet The Away Days. Inspired by The Cure, Tame Impala and others, the quartet have developed a reputation in their homeland as being among the forefront of a Western-inspired indie rock scene. Their How Did It Start? EP was released to critical praise internationally from the likes of Seattle‘s renowned indie radio station KEXP, The Guardian, SPIN Magazine, Noisey, and the blogosphere. And with a growing international profile, the quartet went on a tour of the UK and made an appearance at SXSW.

It’s been close to 18 months since I’ve last written about them but in that time, they’ve been working on the material, which would eventually comprise their long-awaited and forthcoming full-length debut, slated for release sometime next year. The yet unnamed debut’s first single “Less Is More” is a lush and atmospheric song that features plaintive vocals paired with four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering guitar chords, brief bursts of cascading synths, a sinuous bass line and soaring, anthemic hooks that sounds indebted to 80s New Wave and post-punk.

2016 looks to be a big year for the Turkish quartet as the band has been confirmed to make a return appearance at SXSW in March and will be announcing additional tour dates to support their debut. Hopefully, there will be a New York tour date or two!

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’re been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of months, you might recall that I’ve written about the  Victoria, BC-based quintet Astrocolor. Comprised of Andrew Poirier (guitar), Anand Greenwell (saxophone), Chris Mackenzie (drums), William Farrant (bass), and Piers Henwood (guitar), the Canadian quintet decided that they wanted to tackle traditional and familiar Christmas songs for their latest recoded effort, Lit Up: Music for Christmas.

Featuring guest vocals from KandleRykkaJets Overhead‘s Antonia Freybe-Smith, and Abi Rose and co-produced by the Canadian quintet and Colin Stewart, best known for his work with Black MountainDan Mangan and AC Newman, the compositional and sonic approach was largely inspired by jazz great Stan Getz’Getz Au Go-Go, as well as Massive AttackAir and St. Germain. As the band explained in press notes, Stan Getz’s rendition of “Summertime,” “became a jumping off point for what we were trying to do, taking the classic ‘summertime and the livin’ is easy’  hook and reshaping it into an exploratory piece. We too wanted to create a sense of familiarity and exploration within the context of a Christmas album.”

The album’s first single “We Three Kings” was a noir-ish and moodily atmospheric song that managed to sound as though it owed a sonic debt to jazz, as much as it did to dubstep and trip-hop as Abi Rose’s seductive, jazz standard vocal stylings were paired with a mournful horn line, swirling electronics, angular, funk guitar and bass and plinking keys submerged in layers of reverb to craft a cinematic and sensual rendition of a familiar and beloved holiday song. The album’s latest single is a dubby and jazz-leaning rendition of “Sleigh Bells” that pairs Rose’s husky, jazz standard vocal stylings with angular bass lines, twisting and turning guitar chords played through gentle amounts of feedback and wah wah pedal, and warm blasts of expressive horns and subtly slows down the song’s familiar tempo and melody to create a trippy and breezy rendition of a beloved Christmas song we’ve all sung at some point — while sounding as though it drew influence from the Josh Roseman Unit‘s dub-leaning rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night.” And it does while reminding the listener of the song’s playful nature.

Finish electronic music act Husky Rescue have developed a reputation across both their native Finland and Scandinavia for a songwriting approach that focuses on restless experimentation — and for material that sonically and aesthetically walks a very careful tightrope between anxious tenseness and childlike innocence.  The band’s last album The Long Lost Friend will be re-issued worldwide on December 11 as a double album — the first album is comprised of original album’s eight previously released tracks; however, since the initial recording sessions and release of Long Lost Friend, vocalist Johanna Kalén left the band because of health issues, so the second album consists of material written by Marko Nyberg (vocals and production), and Antony Bentley (composer and musical director).

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month, you may recall that I’ve written about Husky Rescue and Long Lost Friend‘s first single “Deep Forest Green.” But some backstory may be a little necessary: According to press notes, there actually is a real story of a long lost friend that informs the material on original album. As the story goes, the long lost friend in question was someone Nyberg was particularly close to throughout most of his childhood — in fact, the two played music together and had a deep mutual understanding that comes from very close friendships. Sadly, the two friends lost touch with each other through most of their twenties, but while Nyberg was writing the songs on Long Lost Friend, he had regained contact with this dear friend. Reportedly, the material as a whole blends the literal and metaphorical, so the material manages to be about more than just one individual friendships — but varying states of emotional intimacy and how difficult and confusing it is to attain them.

Whereas album single “Deep Forest Green” seemed to sound as though it owed a sonic and thematic debt to the work of Bjork, Talking Heads and others, the album’s latest single “Far From The Storm,”pairs Kalén’s lovely yet ethereal vocals with gently strummed guitar chord sample, twinkling keys and gently undulating synths. The song concludes with coda that’s one part psychedelic and one part ominous as it features a towering and buzzing guitar solo. Sonically and structurally, the song seems as though it draws from Moonbabies fantastic Wizards on the Beach and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” — or in other words, cinematic dream pop with an even breezier nature and catchy hooks.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mark Dobson, the creative mastermind behind the British electronic music sensation Ambassadeurs has developed a reputation as a producer and electronic music artist for a sound that employs the use of samples that have been processed beyond recognition and that’s informed by dub, hip-hop, jazz, and drum ‘n’ bass. And as result of his signature sound and production style, Dobson has also become a go-to producer as he’s done work for a number of renowned labels including Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune, Moshi Moshi, Fat Cat, Wah Wah 45s, Universal, and Rough Trade — all while heading his own label, Lost Tribe Records and releasing a number of free singles for his rapidly growing fanbase. (He currently has 35,000 followers and his singles on SoundCloud have exceeded over 7 million plays.)

Dobson has received airplay from several BBC Radio 1 personalities,  as well as praise from the likes of The Fader, Mixmag, Vice, i-D, Clash, XLR8R and others, and as a result he has opened for the likes of renowned artists such as  ODESZA, Machinedrum, The Gas Lamp Killer, Danny Brown, Gold Panda, Daedelus and Kelpe, had a 15 date co-headline tour across North America with Daktyl and played at festivals such as Hard Day Of The Dead, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, and The Sound You Need Festival.

2015 has been a rather busy and prolific year for the London-based electronic music artist and producer as his debut effort Patterns was released to critical praise earlier this year, along with a number of EPs. Building up on the increasing buzz and serving as a teaser for his forthcoming 2016 efforts, Dobson recently released his latest single “Halos,” which was written and recorded during a vacation in the country — and in some way that vacation has influenced the single’s sound as it is reportedly much more organic than his previously released work as layers of staccato synths are paired with skittering drum programming, swirling electronics and soulful vocal samples with warm bursts of strings and twinkling keys. Sonically, the song seems to be equally influenced by Peter Gabriel (think of “Shock the Monkey” and “Biko“) as it is by house music; as I listened to the song I was reminded of Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves. In other words, the material manages to be atmospheric and melodic, while possessing a cinematic quality.

 

 

 

Comprised of  Juan Ledesma, Charlie Woods, Alex Lopez, and Robert Villar, the Miami, FL-based indie dance pop quartet Krisp formed back in 2011, and over the past few years they’ve developed a reputation for a groove-based, 80s inspired synth pop sound that possesses elements of indie electro pop, chill wave and indie rock.

Their debut EP, Mamani Vice was released in 2012 to critical praise from the likes of Earmilk and Indie Shuffle, and as a result they’ve opened for the likes of LCD Soundsystem‘s Nancy Whang, Miami Horror, Junior Boys, Blood Orange and Holy Ghost! among others, which has expanded their profile nationally. Their follow-up EP Sonic Monarch which South Florida-based talent house Gummdrops will be releasing in January will be comprised of material that is a subtle change of sonic direction. As the band’s Alex Lopez mentioned to the folks at Indie Shuffle, “On our first EP, Mamani Vice, we used a lot of synths and electric drums. For the new material on Sonic Monarch EP, it’s more organic, because its instrument-driven. We’re still using Charlie Wood’s synths, but not Juan’s or mine. We’ve got a funk/indie/electronic style going.”

The EP’s first single “167” pairs layers of  atmospheric, shimmering and cascading synths, four-on-the-floor drumming, angular funk guitar chords, a sinuous bass line and plaintive vocals in a song that sounds indebted to 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, the song reminds me quite a bit of an atmospheric and propulsive version of The Fixx’s “The Sign of Fire,”and “Red Skies at Night” with a slight surf rock leaning; it’s a danceable and goofily fun song that manages to evoke watching American Bandstand in the mornings and singing along to your favorite songs.

Over the course of this site’s history, the profile, New York-based DJ, producer and remixer Rhythm Scholar has become a JOVM mainstay artist for a series of wildly inventive remixes, which featured his signature, genre-mashing, psychedelic-leaning sound packed with a number of obscure and recognizable samples throughout.  His latest work is a Girl Talk-like mashup that mashes two 80s mega-hits — Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit” and Michael Jackson‘s “Bad,” that the producer, DJ and remixer has dubbed “Bad Rockit” which interestingly enough possesses a retro-futuristic and club banging feel and a larger-than-life, kick ass and name-taking swagger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I’ve said countless times on this site, more than enough ink has been spilled over the course of New Order‘s 35 year history, so delving into their background isn’t necessary; but what I will maintain is that throughout the band’s history they’ve managed to balance that rare and difficult tightrope of being both critically and commercially successful. And as a result they’ve also managed to be incredibly relevant, as a growing number of bands have cited them and their sound as a major influence.  Certainly, if you’re a child of the 80s as I am, Duran Duran, Guns ‘N Roses, Def Leppard, Run DMC, New Order and a lengthy list of others will likely hold a very dear place in your heart. So it wouldn’t be terribly surprising that a number of artists have covered New Order over the years — with an increasing frequency of late. . .

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four weeks, you might recall that I’ve written about the San Francisco-based indie pop artist Mike Deni’s solo recording project Geographer. The project has developed a reputation for crafting a thoughtful and deliberate sound that meshes blossoming synths with precise orchestral arrangements. And with the release of his critically praised, third, full-length effort, Ghost Modern through Roll Call Records earlier this year, Deni has expanded his profile towards greater national attention.

Interestingly, while taking some time off to write new material over the summer, Deni had worked on a cover/reworking of Arthur Rusell‘s “This Is How We Walk On The Moon,” and the cover was so inspiring to the San Francisco-based electronic music artist that he decided that he should work on an entire effort of covers — and the result was he recently released Endless Motion EP, which features reworking and covers of songs by New Order, Kate BushPaul Simon and Felix Da Housecat.

The EP’s latest single is a cover of New Order’s “Age of Consent” that seems fairly straightforward as Deni has retained all the familiar elements of the song with an exacting verisimilitude; however, Deni’s vocals have a swooning and plaintive quality that pulls the song’s heartache and despair front and center. And although it’s an incredibly subtle and nuanced interpretation, the Geographer cover should remind listeners that New Order wrote a number of songs that wound up becoming remarkably timeless. Check out how it stands up to New Order’s original below.