Category: New Audio

 

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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

With the release of their debut album Coco Beware and their sophomore self-titled album, New York-based quintet Caveman — comprised of Matthew Iwanusa (vocals, guitar), James Carbonetti (guitar), Jeff Berrall (bass), Sam Hopkins (keys) and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Prescott-Clark — have developed a profile locally and nationally for a moody and gorgeous guitar and synth-based sound that at times owed a sonic debt to Peter Gabriel, U2 and others. And as a result the quintet has toured with the world, playing shows with the likes of The War On Drugs, Weezer and Jeff Tweedy, and they’ve received praise not just from this site, where they’ve become mainstays but from a number of major media outlets.

Now, it’s been some time since we’ve heard from them but the band’s long-anticipated third full-length effort Otero War is slated for release this summer. And the album’s first single “Never Going Back” is arguably the most upbeat and anthemic song the band has released to date, while sonically sounding as though it drew from early 80s Bruce Springsteen (in particular, think of “Dancing In The Dark“) but with Carbonetti’s gorgeous guitar work paired with soaring synths and Iwanusa’s plaintive vocals, while dealing with themes that Springsteen would have easily written about back then — figuring out the complications of love, desperately wanting to escape a humdrum and bland life, of recognizing that at a certain point, your decisions loom larger and larger over your life and more. It’s powerfully universal and speaks to things we’ve all felt and known at some point in our own lives.

 

Led by its founding members and bandleaders singer/percussionist Irving “Honey” Banister, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West Tribe and drummer Joe Gelini, who have both been involved with New Orleans‘ Mardi Gras Indians for years, the members of the funk septet Cha Wa have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that combines the Mardi Gras indian tradition and the area’s reputation for rhythm and blues and funk. And after playing countless shows in their beloved hometown, the septet’s long-awaited debut album Funk ‘n’ Feathers is slated for an April 1, 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 has a contemporary twist as the album was produced by Galactic‘s Ben Ellman, who has also worked with the likes of Trombone Shorty, and mixed by San Francisco, CA‘s go-to engineer Count, who has worked with DJ Shadow, Radiohead, Lyrics Born and others.

The album’s first single is 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 featured 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.  If the song doesn’t make you want to stomp around and dance, then you 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.

UPCOMING SHOWS:

02/08- Riverwalk – New Orleans, LA [Lundi Gras Celebration]
02/08- Tipitina’s Mardi Gras Stands – New Orleans, LA
02/09- 30×90 – New Orleans, LA
02/27- Universal Studios Orlando – Orlando, FL
03/05- Howlin’ Wolf – New Orleans, LA
03/31- Lafayette’s – Memphis, TN
04/01- Blue Nile [Album Release Show] – New Orleans, LA
04/07- French Quarter Fest – New Orleans, LA
04/10- d.b.a – New Orleans, LA
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

Comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals), Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio Elephant Stone have developed a national profile across their native Canada, as well as a profile Stateside for a vintage psych rock sound reminiscent of  The Beatles, The Kinks and others, as it the Canadian trio’s material employed elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation — i.e., the sitar — with Western songwriting. And as a result, over the past few years, Elephant Stone has become a JOVM mainstay artist.

The 2014 release of the Canadian trio’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons, revealed a band that was in the process of a major change in sonic direction. Unlike the band’s first two albums, the material on Three Poisons pushed sitar to the background — and when it was employed, it was mainly to add texture and color. Now, if you were frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “The Devil’s Shelter,” a song that featured a guest spot from The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas. The members of Elephant Stone pair tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar and guitar chords, and propulsive rhythm with Dihr’s vocals for the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals to craft a song that feels (and sounds) ominous and murky, while channelling The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”

The Montreal-based trio’s latest single “Where I’m Going” continues where the trio’s experimentation left off — while suggesting that the band’s newest sonic direction has been inspired by the likes of Primal Scream (in particular, I think of “Autobahn 66” and
Detroit”  as Dihr’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitar chords, a tight and propulsive, motorik groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and layers of shimmering and undulating synths in what may arguably be the most dance-floor ready songs that they’ve released to date — all while remaining as psychedelic as ever. Interestingly, the band have been working on their fourth full-length effort, and if the last two singles they’ve released are indicative of its sound, the members of Elephant Stone are set to push their sound — and in turn, psych rock — in new directions.

The band will be on tour throughout March, and it includes an NYC date. Check out the tour dates below.

 

ELEPHANT STONE TOUR DATES
03/10 Toronto ON – Sneaky Dee’s (Tickets)
03/11  Indianapolis IN – Joyful Noise (Tickets)
03/12  Little Rock AR – Vino’s (Tickets)
03/14  Austin TX – SXSW
03/18  Memphis TN – Hi-Tone (Tickets)
03/19  Cincinnati OH – MOTR (Info)
03/20  Brooklyn NY – Baby’s All Right (Tickets)
04/14  Montreal QC – La Sala Rossa (Tickets)

As I’ve mentioned on this site a number of times, the Internet really has proven to be a wonderful place to discover both new music and extremely rare, lost music — and with an increasing ease. Just think about it, the technology that brings this site into your home has contributed to a wild proliferation of independent labels across the world, equally competing against the major conglomerates for your ears, attention and money. And interestingly enough, smaller, independent artists have been much more willing (and able) to take the sort of risks that their larger, monied rivals wouldn’t and couldn’t — i.e., attempting to re-introduce artists, whose work was so wildly ahead its time that audiences at the the time just couldn’t accept it — and yet fill in a musical gap, or seem so current that it was impossible to figure how it was missed; attempting to reintroduce regionally favored artists from a time when hit songs in Milwaukee were often different than hit songs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Des Moines, Minneapolis or New York.

Of course, before the Internet, bulletin boards and social media, much of this material was only known to cultish and dedicated insiders, who would spend their time seeking and collecting long-lost and long-forgotten albums, often hoarding them in private collections or selling them at collector’s shows. The Internet and blogosphere have democratized the process, allowing the average listener and fan a chance to listen and to love some of these long-forgotten wonders. Unsurprisingly, there’s money that can be made from discovering long lost material, and it often results in labels and bloggers mining beloved and influential genres to exhaustion through endless compilations of certain genres — in particular psych rock, AM rock, doo wop, singer/songwriter folk, funk, soul and a few others come to mind.

Now, strangely enough up until last year, there hadn’t been many proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations when the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records released a compilation of incredibly rare singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. With the help of Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi spent time not just collecting and compiling the singles on the compilation, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.“ And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention.

Barresi and Hall have complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20. The Second Trip‘s first single, Ash’s “Midnight Witch” manages to sound as though it drew from Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords are paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals. And while being forceful, the song manages to possess a trippy feel — and in some way the song nods at material that has been released by a number of contemporary bands including Ecstatic Vision and others.