Over the course of the six year history of this site, Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist, DJ and Boys Noize Records label head Alex Ridha, best known as Boys Noize has become one of this site’s earliest […]
Earlier this month, I wrote about Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk trio Ultrviolence. Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), the Canadian trio have quickly developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound that’s reminiscent of contemporary acts like Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles as they’ve played in countless basements and tiny clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and battered instruments and ignoring the cliches and dictates of the recording industry machine. Now you might recall that i wrote about “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming Black Sea EP that manages to be reminiscent of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” — as the band pairs a sinuous bass line, angular and shimmering guitar chords and an dramatic, anthemic hook with Nate J’s aching baritone.
Black Sea‘s latest and single ” Radiation” will further cement the Canadian trio’s burgeoning reputation for crating dark and moody post-punk/New Wave/darkwave-leaning rock while gently expanding upon the sound that initially captured my attention — the band pairs Nate J’s expressive and yearning baritone with ethereal synths, shimmering guitar chords played through copious reverb, and a driving rhythm consisting of four-on-the-floor drumming and propulsive bass chords. Sonically, the new single manages to clearly draw influence from the likes of the aforementioned Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol, Joy Division and New Order — but with as subtle twist on a familiar sound.
Liverpool-based, indie rock quintet ETCHES have started to receive attention across the UK for a batch of singles that reportedly (and subtly) draws from a variety of influences including Tears For Fears, Interpol, electronica, post-punk and psych rock and others; however to my ears, the Liverpool-based quintet’s latest single “Love Is” sounds to my ears as though it were channeling Milagres‘ Violent Light — in particular, I think of “Column of Streetlight” and “Urban Eunuchs” — as the sleek, moody and sultry song possesses elements of R&B, soul, indie rock and pop while thematically touching upon the conflicting (and inherent) push and pull in romantic relationships.
Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), who has synaesthesia, a condition in which the sufferer experiences two different senses simultaneously and an a still undiagnosed illness that has left his senses frayed and mind on edge; along with Howard’s two childhood friends Jeb Hardwick (guitar) and Ed Sanderson (piano/synths), the Brighton, UK-based founding trio behind Phoria recruited Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Seryn Burden (drums) to flesh out the band’s sound. Over the past couple of years, the Brighton-based quintet have a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes — 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and several million Spotify streams. They also have a burgeoning reputation for their live set which pairs Hardwick’s visual installations and projections with their live sound. And in fact, you may have remember coming across a post about the British quintet; however, it’s been a while since we’ve heard about them but the they will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Volition through X Novo Records on June 3, 2016.
Interestingly, the band’s primary songwriter Trewin Howard has explained that he never wanted to be a storyteller, as he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot, and as a result the quintet’s material generally focuses on a special mood while simultaneously focusing on a number of themes. Howard mentions that the material on Volition thematically touches upon love, sex, mortality, pain, joy, the way people interact, change and move each other and several other things. Volition‘s first single “Everything Beta” will further cement the British quintet’s reputation for crafting moodily spectral songs that sound indebted to Amnesiac and King of Limbs-era Radiohead, as Howard’s ethereal and plaintive vocals are paired with clicking and clacking percussion, twinkling piano chords, buzzing synths and a subtly anthemic hook in a song that slowly builds up an unresolved tension before quickly fading out. And while ethereal, the song manages to evoke a desperately aching yearning at its core.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you may recall coming across a post on Austin, TX-based shoegaze act Bloody Knives. Initially comprised of Preston Maddox (bass, vocals, keyboards, samples and programming) Jake McCown (drums, noise, programming) — and now feating the featuring the contributions of recent recruits Jack O’Hara Harris (guitar), Richard Napierkowski (synth) and Martin McCreadie (synth) as touring members of the band, the Austin-based act have developed a profile both locally and regionally for a sound that meshes elements of punk, industrial electronica and ambient electronica with 8 bit glitches, bloops and bleeps — and much like My Bloody Valentine, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Jesus and Mary Chain their sound and aesthetic frequently possesses a sublime and dreamy beauty underneath a bleak, punishing forcefulness.
I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, Bloody Knives’ latest effort was released last week through renowned shoegaze label Saint Marie Records, and the album was reportedly inspired by the “forgotten places, the dark corners of empty cities, decaying buildings filled with vacant people” — the world of the lost and broken.” And although the album’s second and latest single “Static” beings with soaring synths and buzzing electronics, much like previous single “Poison Halo,” the latest single pairs scorching guitar chords played with towering layers of feedback, a throbbing bass line and thundering drumming. While both the album’s first two singles insistently push the boundaries of contemporary shoegaze towards darker and much more forceful territory, their overall sound reminds me a bit of My Vitriol as the material possesses an anthemic quality that belies its swooning and urgent nature.
With the release of their 2012 release How’s That Sound?, Windsor, ON-based rock/blues duo The Blues Stones — comprised of Tafik Jafar (vocals and guitar) and Justin Tessier (drums) — quickly found themselves with a growing national and Stateside profile as several singles appeared on Parks & Recreation, Suits, Monday Night Football, Battle Creek and others, and as a result How’s That Sound? landed on Bandcamp’s bestseller list that year. Additionally, the duo have a burgeoning reputation across both their native Canada and Detroit for an energetic and passionate live show.
With the recent release of the band’s sophomore effort Black Holes, the members of the Canadian rock duo hope to expand their profile even further, and with the arena rock-friendly album single “Black Holes (Solid Ground),” the duo pairs power chords, thundering drumming and anthemic hooks to craft a song that sounds indebted to classic Delta blues, The Black Keys, The White Stripes and early Black Sabbath — but with a subtly psychedelic leaning that reveals a twist on a familiar and winning formula.
With the release of ” Big Girls,” “Appetite,” “Creme De La Creme,”the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sophie Stern and her (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms has quickly become one of my favorite new artists and a JOVM mainstay artist for infectiously catchy hook-laden pop that sounds indebted to the likes of Gwen Stefani, TLC, Phia and others as Stern’s first two singles of late 2015 and early 2016 possess a similar “you can do it girl/girl, that zero and get you a hero/girl, this is a fuckboy free zone/girl, drop that deadbeat friend — or lover” tone and air, paired with incredibly slick and contemporary production techniques.
“Where Do We Go,” Stern’s latest single is a bit of an aesthetic and structural departure from the first two singles that caught the attention of not this site but several across the blogosphere. Whereas the aforementioned “Big Girls” “Appetite” and “Creme De La Creme” were based on infectious and catchy pop hooks, “Where Do We Go” eschews familiar pop songwriting structures. Although there’s a recognizable hook the song focus on establishing a particular mood and tone while also being arguably one of the more introspective songs Stern has released to date; in fact, the song focuses on a relationship that’s a bit conflicting. While being fairly fulfilling, the song’s narrator recognizes that there has been a transition within the relationship that has created some uncertainty within the relationship that has her wondering what will happen to her relationship — and in turn, the rest of her life. As a result, the song and Stern’s vocals convey an equally complex and conflicting array of emotions — namely excitement, worry, confusion, fear and anxiousness — all within a turn of a phrase.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve written quite a bit about New Orleans-based funk and brass septet Cha Wa. Led by its founding members and bandleaders, vocalist/percussionist Irving “Honey” Banister, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West Tribe and drummer Joe Gelini, who have both involved with New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian scene for years, the members of the septet have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that combines the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, and the area’s long-held reputation for rhythm and blues and funk. After playing countless shows in their hometown, the septet’s long-awaited debut album Funk ‘n’ Feathers was released earlier this month, and the album reportedly draws from the seminal Mardi Gras Indian-inspired work of the 1970s — Wild Magnolias (backed by The Meters), The Neville Brothers and Dr. John‘s Nite Tripper albums; however, the material also was produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman, who has also worked with Trombone Shorty, and mixed by San Francisco, CA‘s go-to engineer Count, who has worked with DJ Shadow, Radiohead, Lyrics Born and others.
Released just in time for Mardi Gras, the album’s first single was a loose, stomping and swinging cover of Dr. John’s “All On A Mardi Gras Day” that feels as though you’re following a hot and jamming band with the marching Indians in their costumes marching down the streets of Uptown New Orleans — but with a slick, studio polish that doesn’t scrub away the inherently gritty, street-level funk and the ebullient, let the good time roll-feel within the song. The album’s second was a raucous, percussive, stomping and absolutely swinging rendition of a Mardi Gras and New Orleans standard “Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko)” that feels like a non-stop party full of hooting and hollering, and hot keyboard and guitar solos; however, where their rendition of “All On A Mardi Gras” felt as though you were following along in a second line, their rendition of “Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko)” feels as though it were recorded in a tiny, sweaty and packed club — in some way, you can almost feel the floor shaking from feet stomping in time to the rhythm.
Funk ‘N’ Feathers‘ latest single “UPT” is a written for and dedicated to Uptown New Orleans and much like the album’s previous singles, it’s a raucously ebullient the band creates a funky groove with stomping, tribal percussion, twisting, turning and soaring organ chords, an explosive horn section, a blistering guitar solo and chanted call and response vocals. It’s New Orleans-based funk at its finest, done with an enormous, megawatt smile — and if it doesn’t make you get off your ass and dance and shout, you must have a cold, cold heart.
The band has a number of live dates coming up throughout the next few months. Check out tour dates below.
04/21- Ogden Museum of Southern Art – New Orleans, LA
04/23- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, LA
04/30- French Broad River Festival – Asheville, NC
06/04- Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival – Augusta, NJ
As the story goes, back in 2000 Ice-T, Pimp Rex, Kool Keith, Marc Live and Black Silver teamed up for a project that they dubbed Analog Brothers, and they recorded an extremely rare album together Pimp to Eat; in fact, the album is so rare to me at least, that I didn’t know it existed — and I bet that you didn’t know it did either. According to Ice-T, the original masters of Pimp To Eat were delayed when Kool Keith’s vocals were stolen during the melee that followed the Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals game on June 19, 2000. Of course, no one actually knows if that’s some insanely true and legendary story or if it’s something someone just made up.
In any case, Mello Music Group will be re-releasing Pimp to Eat on June 10, and the re-release’s first single “We Sleep Days” feat. Jacky Jasper possesses a acid-tinged and futuristic production that paris shimmering and oscillating synths and stuttering boom-bap beats with some of the most talented emcees out there trading fiery bars about pimping, hustling and drug dealing. Sonically, the song sounds as though it evokes a hip-hop alternate universe in which Outkast and Too Short managed to collaborate together.
With the 2014 release of their self-titled debut and the 2015 release of their sophomore effort II, Toronto, ON-based trio Metz have received attention across Canada, the States and elsewhere for sludgy, face-melting power chord-based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others. While the Canadian trio was on tour in San Diego last August, they had a few hours and caught up with Swami John Reis, best known for his work with Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt, Night Marchers and Hot Snakes and went into the studio to collaborate on a special Record Store Day 7 inch “Let It Rust”/”Caught Up” which will be released through John Reis’ Swami Records on black with gold swirl vinyl. Simply put, the song is a noisy and explosive burst of power chords and thundering drumming that will melt your fucking face off and have you begging for more.