Category: New Audio

Girls in Synthesis is a rather mysterious London, UK-based punk rock trio, who formed last year with a specific intent and purpose — to aurally represent the noise and violence of the modern world. And within a relatively short period of time, the trio developed a reputation for playing riotous live sets with Cherry Glazerr and Fat White Family side project, Revenue, that include lengthy and intense periods of noise and feedback, band members jumping off the stage and into the audience, garbled Dictaphone-era audio featuring dialogue from the British government’s Protect and Survive nuclear war video, Orson Welles’ speech from The Trial and audio from the Heaven’s Gate’s suicide video.

Building upon their growing profile across London, the British trio released their debut double A side single “The Mound”/”Disappear” today — and from their latest single, “Disappears,” the band captures the frenetic energy of their live sets while pairing almost metronomic-like drumming with sizzling and slashing guitar chords and a propulsive and forceful bass line with punchy, shouted lyrics. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from Entertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four and Elastica‘s self- titled debut album, complete with prerequisite cynical sneering and a primal fury.

Madeleine Dopico is an up-and-coming Sleepy Hollow, NY-born, Brooklyn, NY-based singer/songwriter, who has received a bit of attention over the past 12-18 months or so — “Nice Boy,” which she released late last year has received just under 220,000 Spotify streams and with the release of her latest single “Me to Bleed,” the Sleepy Hollow-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has begun to receive press from both sides of the pond. Adding to a growing profile, Dopico has performed at some of the area’s most renowned and beloved venues including a residency at Piano’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

 

 

Just on the heels of her set at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spoke to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter in a playful and revealing interview about a variety of subjects including some of the following:

  • the stories and influences behind her three biggest, attention-grabbing singles “Nice Boy,” “Done,” which is one of my personal favorites and her latest single “Made to Bleed”
  • how she could trace her love of music, singing and performing to being a 3 year old, who one day burst into the 4-year-olds’ daycare class and began singing “This Land is Your Land,” complete with a mic drop-like moment
  • what she ascribes to her early successes and the role her supporters have played in it
  • the careful and deliberate ways she attempts to set herself apart from a very crowded and competitive music scene
  • her songwriting process, along with her influences
  • her recent listening, which has included a deeper foray into hip-hop, along with some suggestions by yours truly
  • the moment she took the biggest risk of her life — quitting a successful and secure day job and began focusing on music
  • and much more

Just based on this young artist’s earnestness and determination to succeed, along with pop star belter vocals, I think that 2017 will be a huge year for Dopico. Check out the interview.

Speakman Sound is a somewhat mysterious Glastonbury, UK-based sibling production and electronic music artist duo, Todd and Guy. As the story goes, the Glastonbury-based sibling production and artist duo spent their childhood in the Glastonbury area immersed in music through their father, a well-known and highly-regarded guitarist, who was heavily involved in the psychedelic music scene. When the duo were teens, they immersed themselves in Somerset‘s rave and drum ‘n’ bass culture, which has influenced their sound quite a bit — although their latest single “Pangea” finds the duo pairing shimmering and ambient synths with thudding, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end and explosively funky drumming possess a cosmic glow, all while nodding at Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk and The Chemical Brothers‘ “Star Guitar.

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across several posts on Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. And with the release of her debut single “Was I Supposed To,” which was then promptly followed by her full-length debut Contra and a batch of attention grabbing singles through 2015, Siik received attention both nationally and internationally while cementing herself as one of her country’s standout artists, drawing comparisons to contemporary, Scandinavian pop artists Lyyke Li and Robyn.

Siik’s third full-length effort DOMINO is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Birds Will Sing For You Records, and the effort, which was produced by Rolf Plinth will feature guest spots from Phoenix‘s and Deportees‘ Thomas Hedlund and Tiger Lou’s Rasmus Kellerman, both of whom contributed to the jangling and shuffling  album single “Talk To Trees.” And what made that single particularly interesting to me was the fact that it reveled a new direction for the internationally renowned singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with its sound being simultaneously intimate and bold, yet swooningly anthemic and spacious enough for Siik’s effortlessly gorgeous and tender vocals. While the song may be one of Siik’s shorter songs — it clocks in at 2:40 — the song and its narrator seem haunted by a messy yet fully-lived in past; but while suggesting that life is about closing your eyes and taking a chance — even if it may backfire.

DOMINO‘s latest single “White Noise” is a dramatic track that features four-on-the-floor drumming, blasts of shimmering guitar, and atmospheric synths which give the song an art pop sheen while Siik’s vocals and uncanny ability to write an infectious and soaring hook gives the song a pop-leaning accessibility.  In press notes, Siik explained that, DOMINO can be described in two different ways. First I wanted it to represent the fact that we’re all connected to each other and that we have a responsibility towards each other and this world. To shoulder that responsibility is easier said than done, but we must try. Be aware. Not only mind our own business. I’ve given that a lot of thought lately. Secondly, every song on this album depends and relies on the other. Together they create a unit and the unit is supposed to be diverse. I aimed for creating a dynamic album.” Interestingly, when you hear the newest single in relation to its preceding single “Talk To Trees” there’s a sense of Siik and her collaborators creating a deeply unified mood and vision while speaking of experiences and feelings — in particular about love and longing with a hard-fought deeply adult wisdom and confidence.

With the release of her Jimmy Logic-produced, debut single “Then” and her debut EP The Coffee Shop, the London-based pop artist Kemi Ade received national and international attention from the likes of Complex,  Artistic Manifesto, Fame Magazine, Reprezent Radio, First Ear and others for a song that meshed elements of alternative neo-soul, jazz, hip-hop and folk seemingly drawing from the likes of Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu and others, and paired with Ade’s introspective and fearlessly honest songwriting.

The Coffee Shop‘s highly-anticipated follow up O.W. Nesty EP is slated for release later this year, and the EP’s latest single “Third” will further cement Ade’s burgeoning reputation for introspective and fearless songwriting and for a maturity and self-assuredness that belie her youth; but it also manages to reveal a subtle refinement of the sound that first caught attention as the song consists of a production featuring woozy and wobbling looped synths, stuttering beats, swirling electronics, shimmering keys and some subtle industrial clang and clatter. And yet, the production manages to be roomy enough for Ade’s effortlessly soulful and jazz-leaning delivery in a coquettish come hither song, in which the song’s narrator express vulnerability, need and longing simultaneously — with a bit of wish fulfillment.

Comprised of 21-year-old Sidonie B Hand-Halford, her 18-year-old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade, the Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio The Orielles have developed a reputation as one of Northern England’s “most exciting local bands of recent years” and their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets, the trio can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over their shared love of Stateside 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a reputation that had preceded them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the label. This year may be a huge year for the young British indie rockers as they played at the Heavenly Weekender Festival at Hebden Bridge last year, and they will be embarking on their first UK/EU tour next month; but in the mean time, the trio’s Heavenly Recordings debut single “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” is an expansive 8 minute track that draws influence from psych rock,  New Wave and post-punk while lyrically the band makes references to several Quentin Tarantino movies including Deathproof and the whole thing is held together by a sinuous and funky bass line that sonically reminds me of The Mallard’s incredible Finding Meaning in Deference. And much like The Mallard‘s last album, “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” possesses a surprising self-assuredness that belies their youth. It’s an impressive and forceful release that has me excited to hear more from them.

 

Bad Breeding is a somewhat mysterious punk outfit from Stevenage, UK, a town that the band have described as a bleak commuter-belt town north of London. Formed in 2013, the members of the band feature a group of friends, who muddled through school and they were drawn together by an enthusiasm for old, anarcho-punk and a complete disdain for the misrepresentation and simplification of Brtiain’s working-class identity, the band as its members see it, is an attempt to furiously call out both the rank injustices and political distortion peddled to people existing on the fringes, as well as a desperate outlet from the monotony of humiliating, soulless temp jobs.

The band’s forthcoming, sophomore effort Divide is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Iron Lung Records here in the States and La Vida Es Un Mus throughout the UK and EU and the material on the effort will reportedly sum up our dark, dense, claustrophobic and fucked up times, reveal a world that on a daily basis has become a melting pot of stupidity and hate, marching in blind lockstep towards its seemingly inevitable self-destruction. And fittingly Divide‘s first single “The More the Merrier” is a furious, primal stomp with towering squalls of noisy, distorted power chords and bilious vocals in what may be the angriest and most urgent songs I’ve heard all year, as it captures the anger and confusion of those crushed by a cadre of evil, indifferent greedy, thieving, moronic and lying assholes, who are out to steal from the poor and unfortunate, before stomping them into oblivion.

Mark Lanegan is a Ellensburg, WA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known as the frontman, and founding member of  Seattle-based grunge rock pioneers Screaming Trees, and for collaborating with an incredibly diverse array of artists and bands throughout his lengthy career including Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain on an unreleased Lead Belly cover/tribute album recorded before the release of Nevermind. The Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter was also a member of renowned grunge rock All-Star supergroup/side project Mad Season with Alice in ChainsLayne Staley and Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready. After Screaming Trees broke up in 2000, Lanegan joined Queens of the Stone Age and is featured on the band’s last five albums — 2000’s Rated R, 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze, 2007’s Era Vulgaris and 2013’s . . . Like Clockwork. He’s also collaborated with The Afghan WhigsGreg Dulli in The Gutter Twins and has collaborated with former Belle and Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell on three albums. Additionally, he has contributed or guested on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley-Bird, Creature with the Atom Brain, Moby, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers, Greg Dulli’s The Twilight Singers, UNKLE and others. And although he’s managed to be rather busy throughout the years, Lanegan has also developed a low-key solo career in which he’s released nine studio albums that have been critically applauded and have seen a fair amount of commercial success.

Lanegan’s 10th full-length effort Gargoyle is slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Heavenly Recordings and interestingly enough, Lanegan can trace the origins of the album’s material and sound back to early 2016. At the time, the renowned grunge rocker was working on some ideas for what might be a new solo album, when he received an email from a friend and collaborator, the British based musician Rob Marshall, who he had first met several years before when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm had supported Soulsavers, a band that Lanegan had been fronting. The email thanked Lanegan for his participation on an album that Marshall had recorded with his newest project, Humanist while offering to write music for Lanegan to return a favor to the grunge pioneer. As Lanegan recalls in press notes, his response was along the lines of “Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything? Three days later he sent me 10 things… !”

Early on in the writing process, Lanegan had written “Blue Blue Sea,” a rippling mood peice that he thought and felt would be more fruitful direction for the songs on the album. “It’s almost always how my records start,” the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter explains in press notes. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are, tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess.” Within about an hour, Lanegan and written words and recorded vocals for two of the instrumental tracks Marshall had written and recorded at Mount Sion Studios in Kent UK. Interestingly, the music Marshall had written had managed to fit perfectly with the direction Lanegan had been thinking of for some time — an expansion of the Krautrock-inspired electronic sounds and textures of his previous two albums Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. Eventually Marshall wound up co-writing six of the album’s 10 songs with the remainder of the album being written and produced by Lanegan’s longtime collaborator Alain Johannes at 11AD Studios in West Hollywood.

As the story goes, everything was polished and finished within a month, which has been unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. “I definitely feel like I’m a better songwriter than I was 15 years ago,” Lanegan stays in press notes. “I don’t know if I’m just kidding myself or what, but it’s definitely easier now to make something that is satisfying to me. Maybe I’m just easier on myself these days, but it’s definitely not as painful a process, and therefore I feel I’m better at it now. But part of the way that I stay interested in making music is by collaborating with other people. When I see things through somebody else’s perspective it’s more exciting than if I’m left to my own devices.”

Gargoyle‘s second and latest single “Beehive” pairs Lanegan’s imitable boozy, growling baritone vocals with a bluesy and swaggering production featuring shimmering guitar chords and enormous tweeter and woofer rattling beats, essentially pushing Lanegan’s recent forays into the blues into the 21st Century; but in a way that feels both warmly familiar and yet new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of Boricua (guitar, production), Chino (bass, backing vocals), Juan Sebastian Bastos (sound engineer), Makambille (vocals), Moniqui (percussion), Poncho (band leader, drums and backing vocals) and Shaka (MC, backing vocals), the Bogota, Columbia-based collective  Tribu Baharú specializes in Champeta criolla, an Afro-Colombian folk and dance music that draws from traditional Colombian folk music, Central African Soukous-Rhumba, Soweto Township Jive and other Caribbean musical genres including zouk, calypso, soca, compa and reggae, that originated in the Atlantic costal regions of the South American country; but over the past few years, the collective’s sound has evolved as the act has also been influenced by the soundsystem of Barranquilla and Cartagena.  And since the Bogota, Colombia-based collective’s formation in 2009, they have become arguably one of the most important Champeta criolla collectives out there today, as their sound has been championed by globally-minded DJs seeking deep, dance floor friendly, ass shaking grooves.

During the collective’s North American tour last year, they had some free time and stopped at legendary Washington, DC’s legendary Inner Ear/Bastille Studios to record a spontaneous afternoon session, which resulted in the limited release 7 inch 45RPM vinyl single “Made in Tribu Baharú”/”Pa’tras” that renowned, global funk label Electric Cowbell Records will be releasing on April 22, 2017 — Record Store Day.
“Made in Tribu Baharú” is an exuberant and breezy song with a looping, calypso and soca-like groove featuring shimmering guitar chords and Caribbean polyrhythms
paired with chanted call and response lyrics and a dance floor friendly hook. “Pa’tras” manages to sound as though it drew from soca, salsa and meringue as shimmering and looping guitar cords are paired with rolling polyrhythm and an mischievously morphing bridge with a surprising key and tempo change while possessing a similar dance floor friendly hook. And with the recording sessions that created both singles being rather spontaneous, the material possesses a spontaneous, on-the-fly improvised feel of a bunch of guys jamming and sustaining a tight groove.

Comprised of Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder, Josh Burgess, Yumi Zouma have developed an international profile for crafting breezy and infectious, 80s-inspired synth pop. Recently, the folks at Turntable Kitchen invited the band to take part of their monthly vinyl subscription series Sounds Delicious, in which bands cover any full-length album they love, and reimagine it from front to back. Interestingly, the quartet decided on Oasis‘ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

As the band’s Charlie Ryder told Gorilla Vs. Bear in an interview “Even when we realized that an Oasis album could potentially be an option in terms of something we could actually do in a Yumi Zouma way, we weren’t 100% sure where it would just sound totally ridiculous or not. It wasn’t until we tried the first song we had an initial idea for — ‘Champagne Supernova’ — that we knew we had finally settled on something rad.  Yumi Zouma’s cover turns the anthemic, Brit Pop classic into a mid-tempo, buoyant and ethereal synth pop track with a subtle Tropicalia vibe that retains the original’s anthemic hook and trippy vibe.