Category: New Audio

New Video: The Futuristic Visuals and Genre Mashing Sounds of BASECAMP’s “The Hunter”

Now, if you had frequented this site back in 2015, you would have come across a handful of posts featuring the Nashville, TN-based electro pop trio BASECAMP. Comprised of producers and songwriters Aaron Miller, Aaron C. Harmon and Jordan Reyes, the electro pop trio can trace their origins to when the trio started to collaborate together to write. Quickly realized that they had a strong creative chemistry, the trio founded BASECAMP and with the release of their 2013 debut EP, which featured standout tracks “Emmanuel” and “Smoke Filled Lungs,” the Nashville-based trio received attention both locally and nationally for a genre-mashing sound featuring R&B-like melodies, thumping bass lines, percussive beats, unpredictable tempo changes paired with glitchy electronics and organic instrumentation. And as a result of the attention they had begun to receive, the members of BASECAMP toured across the States with CHVRCHES and Phantogram before signing to Skrillex’s boutique label OWSLA, which released their impressive 2015 sophomore effort Greater Than EP, which featured one of my favorite singles of that year “Watch My Back.”

Since the release of Greater Than, the Nashville-based electro pop trio have been rather busy, working on and releasing two stand-alone collaborations “Comfort Zone’ with Jamie Lidell and “In My Veins” with Del The Funky Homosapien, and the In Stone EP, an effort which further cemented the trio’s reputation for a genre mashing sound and tempo changes; but arguably with a greater sense of sonic and thematic cohesion, while revealing much more introspective songwriting. After successful tours across Europe and North America — with shows at TEDx, Colors Berlin and Summit At Sea — the trio released “The Hunter” Remix package, which features remixes from the trio’s friends and frequent collaborators — Jamie Lidell, Yeo and Deebs.

In the meantime though, “The Hunter” is a refinement of their imitable sound and production as the song finds the trio pairing earnest and soulful vocals with stuttering and glitchy beats, swirling electronics — and in some way, the song reminds me of Timbaland’s revolutionary collaborations with Missy Elliot and Justin Timberlake in the 90s and 00s and of Beacon’s The Ways We Separate and Escapements, thanks in part to a swooning, uneasiness that the song’s narrator expresses in describing a relationship that seems to heighten his own self-doubts and has him wondering if he is hunter or prey — or perhaps both simultaneously. It also captures the odd sense in almost every romantic relationship in which neither party could tell what their relationship actually is or what their intentions are; but both are fearful of the perceived inevitable heartache they expect.

Directed, by BLAWKNO, from the GLO.Digital collective, the recently released video uses 3D scans of each member and fuses CG with live-action video as a play on the concept of perception vs. reality while giving the proceedings a hyper futuristic and alien sensibility.

Comprised of Ben Roth (vocals, guitar, synth), Lance Umble (bass), Zach Dimmick (guitar, synths) and Jonathan Angle (drums), the Seattle WA and Tacoma, WA-based indie rock quartet bod is arguably one of that area’s more accomplished bands as the band features former and current members of several renowned indie bands including Oberhofer, EZTV, Telekinesis, Sloucher, Crater, and BOAT. The recently released True Cinnamon EP is the second release from the band, since their formation in 2013 and the EP’s material reportedly is an aggressive exploration inwards, a sort of adult re-calibration of their sound and thematic concerns, in which they realize the dark and uncertain realities of a world in constant turmoil — and to be constantly overwhelmed by it while drawing influence from a broad variety of artists including D’Angelo, Deerhoof, Can, Cate Le Bon, Bjork, Big Star and others.

True Cinnamon‘s latest single, EP title track “True Cinnamon” is an anthemic bit of Brit Pop-leaning psych rock that reminds me of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses while nodding at Radiohead and others, thanks to a rousing, arena rock friendly hook and blistering guitar work; however, the song possesses a twisting and turning structure and an explosive sense of unpredictability   — both of which evoke a sense of being awoken from a pleasant dream and experiencing a sudden, world-altering, nightmarish trauma.

Although the band recently released True Cinnamon, they’re finishing up work on a full-length album, produced by Telekineses’ Michael Lerner, slated for a fall 2017 release.

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: The 70s AM Rock and Renegade Country-Inspired Sounds of GospelbeacH

Perhaps best known for stints in Further, Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde, the Florida-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Brent Rademaker’s latest band GospelbeacH, which features Rademaker collaborating with producer Jon Neiman, Jason Soda, Ben Redell, Derek Brown and a rotating cast of friends and associates, will further Rademaker’s growing reputation for crafting sunny and optimistic Americana/roots music-leaning indie rock that evokes Southern California — and in a subtle fashion, the Summer of Love; in fact, interestingly enough, the band’s forthcoming sophomore album Summer of Love is slated for a June 15, 2017 release.

“You’re Already Home,” Summer of Love’s latest single reportedly pays a subtle tribute to Chris Hillman’s “Girl With No Name” and while clearly drawing from 70s AM rock and renegade country — i.e, Gram Parsons, America, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, The Highwaymen, etc. — the song reveals both a careful attention to craft paired with a soulful, world-weary intelligence and a rousingly anthemic yet honky tonk jukebox-like hook. And along with that a “you-are-there” catching a bunch of musicians jamming, improving and having a helluva lot of fun vibe. But at its core is a song about the freedom, seemingly endless possibilities and loneliness of a life on the road, of falling in love while on the road — and the innate desire to go out into the world to see and experience as much as you could.

Perhaps best known as the drummer of West Grove, PA-based rock Dr. Dog, a member of the Adrian Belew (of King Crimson fame)’s backing band and a co-leader of the Philadelphia, PA-based band Lithuania, Eric Slick’s soon-to-be released solo debut Palisades finds Slick stepping out from behind the drum kit and being a full-time frontman of a backing band featuring Andy Molholt of Speedy Ortiz and Laser Background, Ricardo Lagomasino of Lithuania and Capillary Action and Alexandra Spalding of Avers.

As the story goes, in 2014 Slick decided to leave his native Philadelphia for the first time and relocated to Asheville, NC where he practiced meditation and Jungian dream therapy as a form of reinvention and to write his own original material, which would later be inspired by these periods of intense mediation. Interestingly, Slick found some inspiration in the works of renowned writer/actor Spalding Gray — especially his 1992 book Impossible Vacation, which details the impossibility of searching for and finding Zen. “I know it’s the funny trope: indie rock dude goes to the woods and makes an outsider record,” Slick says in press notes. “But it was a time of deep introspection and a fruitful period of my life. I wrote someone around 50 songs in 2014.” And as a result, the material on the album isn’t a typical indie rock, rock or pop album that focus on heartbreak or love; rather, it thematically focuses on mediation, death, self-help, dream therapy, tarot and mysticism. But at points, the material focuses on both personal events of his life and the random, unexpected thoughts that come up while mediating — in particular, the album title track “Palisades” is about New York’s Palisades Parkway; however, Slick doesn’t really know why or how it came about.

At the end of 2014, Slick returned to Philadelphia to record Palisades at Mt. Eerie’s Phil Elverun’s The Unknown Studio in Anacortes, WA — but the songs were stored away for a period time before Slick finished them with the assistance of Neighbors‘ Jose Diaz Rohena, who produced it, along with Ape School and Kurt Vile‘s Michael Johnson, Lithuania’s Dom Angelella and Ricardo Lagomarsino and Ryan Neitznick and Molly Burch‘s Dailey Toliver.

Palisades‘ latest single “You Became The Light” is a jangling and discordant track featuring enormous, buzzing power chords, thundering and propulsive drumming, a dreamy melody and an anthemic hook — and interestingly enough, the song sounds as though it draws from 90s grunge and alt rock while possessing a free-flowing improvised feel.
Slick plans to take his solo act on the road in 2017, and it includes a May 20, 2017 stop at Sunnyvale. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
Apr 19 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry*
Apr 20 – Raleigh, NC – Kings*
Apr 23 – Orlando, FL – The Social*
Apr 25 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl*
Apr 26 – Birmingham, AL – Syndicate Lounge*
Apr 27 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa*
Apr 28 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall*
Apr 30 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room*
May 01 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues*
May 02 – Little Rock, AZ – Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack*
May 03 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt*
May 20 – Brooklyn, NY – Sunnyvale

* – w/ Sinkane

 

New Video: The Gorgeously Expressive and Surreal Visuals for SOFTSPOT’s “Habits”

If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past few months you may recall that the Brooklyn-based indie rock act SOFTSPOT was initially founded in 2009 as a duo featuring its founding members Sarah Kinlaw and Bryan Keller, Jr. And other the past few years, the act has gradually evolved into a quartet featuring some of the NYC’s more accomplished and talented musicians, who have a history of collaborating with each other in a wild, almost unfettered creativity; in fact, as the story goes, Kinlaw and Keller, Jr. recruited long-time friends Blake Bateh, a member of JOVM mainstays Bambara (drums), who joined the band for the recording of MASS and Jonathan Campelo, a member of Pill (synths), who joined the band during the tour to support MASS.

Arrowhawk Records, the label home of Bambara, Cinemechanica and White Laces, released the band’s latest effort Clearing last week, and the album is the first recorded effort featuring the band’s current (and expanded) lineup — and interestingly, the album finds the band refining their sound and songwriting approach. Clearing’s first single “Abalone,” was a spectral yet tense single that featured a tightly syncopated rhythm section, shimmering guitar lines and twinkling synths and Kinlaw’s ethereal and expensive vocals. “Heat Seeker,” Clearing’s second single continues in a similar vein as it possesses an equally haunting and specetal quality while drawing from New Wave as the song features slashing guitar attack with propulsive metronomic-like drumming and Kinlaw’s vocals expressing the difficulties and frustrations in attaining true and lasting connections with others — while revealing a novelistic approach to its narrator psychological makeup. “Habits,” the album’s third and latest single is an atmospheric, slow-burning, and moody track that seems to draw from jazz, psych rock, indie rock, and pop while being roomy enough to allow Kinlaw’s expressive and ethereal vocals room to dance and roam through an equally gorgeous arrangement. And throughout, there’s a visceral ache as the song focuses on loss and memory — but with a dark, uneasy undercurrent.

Produced and filmed by New Media, Ltd, the gorgeously cinematic black and white video has Kinlaw, who interestingly enough is a choreographer, room to expressively dance in empty rooms and negative spaces. At points, her movements are edited like a stop-motion film, and it gives the video a surreal, dream-like logic before showing Kinlaw’s long and seemingly final descent into darkness.

Initially formed in San Francisco, CA and now Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock quartet Jet Trash — currently comprised of Paul Kemp (vocals, rhythm guitar), Keith Shughrou (lead guitar), Marshall Fassino (bass, vocals) and their newest member Eric Peters (drums) — have a developed a reputation for crafting gritty, garage rock-inspired rock. And if you had been frequenting this site for the past couple of years, you may recall that I wrote about the blistering “Baby C’mon,” and the New Wave-leaning “Photography Is Over” off  2015’s self-titled EP.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve personally heard about them; but as it turns out after touring to support their self-titled EP, the band relocated to Los Angeles and went through a lineup change before writing and recording their Alex Newport-produced follow-up Shake at Elliot Smith’s old studio, New Monkey Studio. Slated for a May 12, 2017 release, the EP’s first single, EP title track “Shake” is simply put, no frills, old fashioned, balls to the wall, power chord-based rock that nods at The Hives — i.e., “Hate to Say I Told You So” — as it possesses a feral, snarling explosiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding member Alexander Pavlich, Andrew Murray, Stian Aasen, Christian Balvig, Teodor Dysthe Lyngstad, and Martin Kaasa, Lovespeake is a Sandivka, Norway-based indie electro pop act that with the release of their debut album DNA received international attention — with radio airplay and additions to a variety of Spotify playlists across North America, the UK, the EU, Asia and Scandinavia. Adding to a growing national and international profile, in a relatively short period of time, the Norwegian pop sextet have received more than a million streams across the major streaming services and they were playlisted on Norway’s biggest radio station P3 for 16 consecutive weeks. Along with that, the band had songs featured on several influential Spotify playlists in North America, the UK, the EU, Asia and Scandinavia — an their debut charted highly on CMJ’s college radio charts here in the States. And most recently, they were selected as Tidal Rising Artist.

“Novocaine,” the Sandivska, Norway-based sextet’s sinuous, first single of 2017 is a collaboration with Max Frost that will further cement their growing reputation for crafting slick, hook-laden electro pop that possesses elements of psych pop, dream pop and funk that reminds me quite a bit of Tuxedo, Dam-Funk, Blood Orange and Tame Impala in the sense that while clearly drawing from brightly colored, 80s synth pop and funk, much like those renowned acts, Lovespeake’s sound manages to be a subtly contemporary take on something familiar; however, in the case of the Norwegian act, there’s an underlying quirkiness that manages to set it apart.

 

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records’ collaborative proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations Brown Acid: The First TripBrown Acid: The Second Trip and Brown Acid: The Third Trip. Each edition of the compilation has been based on RidingEasy Records founder Daniel Hall and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi extensive and painstaking research and curation — with both Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down the songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recorded together in 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the process.  As Permanent Records’ Barresi explained in press notes, “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.” Naturally, by having the original artists participate as much as possible, it can give the artists and their songs, a real second chance at attention and success — and as a fan and critic, it also helps fill in the larger picture of what actually was going on around the margins during the 60s and 70s.

Following the critical and commercial success of the first three volumes, Riding Easy Records and Permanent Records will be releasing the fourth volume of 60s and 70s proto-metal and pre-stoner rock Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip fittingly on April 20, 2017. Much like the previous three volumes, the fourth edition is based on Barresi’s and Hall’s exhaustive, painstaking research and curation, and as both men discovered, the well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych and proto-metal 45s is incredibly deep; in fact, they’ve barely scratched the surface. Most of the singles they stumbled on for the fourth volume of Brown Acid were either barely released or never properly distributed with two of the album’s 10 tracks being previously unreleased — until now.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip‘s first single Kanaan’s “Leave It,” a towering and explosive, barnburner that features some incredible guitar pyrotechnics paired with swaggering vocals fed through a bit of reverb and delay, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming. and while the song possesses a free-flowing, booze and psychedelics fueled improvisational feel, the song manages a tight, motorik-like groove that holds the song together. The compilation’s latest single is a swaggering and expansive “Coming Back,” by Zekes. Clocking in at a little over 8 minutes, the song finds the band nodding at Led Zeppelin 1-era Led Zeppelin and Steppenwolf‘s “Magic Carpet Ride” but with a percussive, cowbell-led funkiness and a summer of love refrain “Love is the answer” to close out what may arguably be one of the funkiest tracks on the fourth edition.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Tarra Thiessen (guitar, vocals) and Natalie Kirch (bass, vocals), the Brooklyn-based duo Sharkmuffin have claimed a rather eclectic set of influences including Nirvana and The Ronnettes on their sound, which they’ve dubbed “opti-mystic glam-grunge.” And with release of a handful of EPs and 2015’s full-length debut Chartreuse, Thieseen and Kirch have seen a rapidly growing national profile, which has resulted in praise from the likes of Billboard who listed the band as one of their 20 All-Female Bands You Should Know and several national tours (which have naturally included a couple of stops in Austin for SXSW).

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Brooklyn-based indie rock duo, but as it turns out, after they finished up some extensive touring to support Chartreuse, Theissen and Kirch spent the better part of last year writing and recording the material, which would comprise their sophomore effort Tsuki, which is slated for a May 5, 2017 release through Little Dickman Records. And the album’s latest single “Scully is a Sharkmuffin” is a 90s grunge rock-inspired ode to The X-Files and to Dana Scully, the sci-fi show’s resident skeptic and all around, feminist symbol.  Featuring a down-tuned, propulsive bass line, thundering drumming from Kim Deuss, some explosive and blistering guitar work paired with Theiseesn’s urgently howled mantra-liked lyrics based on both the beloved sci-fi show’s intro and overall themes “The truth is out there. I want to believe. The government lies,” the forceful  song manages to sound as though it could have been released in the mid 90s while capturing a growing and embittering awareness of how often and how insidious the government’s lies are. Interestingly, as the band notes, “Scully is a Sharkmuffin” was the only song on the album that was mostly improvised and recorded completely live to tape, and as a result the song packs an enormous wallop — while accurately capturing their live energy.

The band has been touring the States with their original lineup of Thiessen, Kirch, Drew Adler (drums) and Nunez (guitar) since March and will be completing the Stateside run of their tour with an album release show at Sunnyvale on May 3, 2017. Throughout the bulk of May, the band will be touring the UK. Check out tour dates below.

 TOUR DATES:
5/3 — Sunnyvale – Brooklyn, NY %
5/10 – Bassment – Chelmsford UK
5/12 – The Harp Restrung – Folkestone UK
5/13 – John Peel Centre – Suffolk UK
5/16 – Gwdihw – Cardiff, Wales
5/18 – The Great Escape (Sticky Mike’s) – Brighton UK
5/19 – The Lock Tavern – London UK
5/20 – The Eagle – Manchester UK
5/21 – Twenty Ten – Matlock UK
5/23 – The Nest – Bath UK
5/24 – Whiskers – Newquay UK
5/27 – Mello Festival – Evesham UK
5/28 – Blank Generation Festival (afternoon) – London UK
5/28 – The Victoria Dalston (evening) – London UK
5/31 – Green Door Store – Brighton UK

% = Album Release Show

 

Anthony Scott Burns is a Toronto, ON-based film director, visual effects artist and electronic music producer, who has released a number of instrumental albums — mostly as stand alone vinyl releases — with his solo recording project PILOTPRIEST. His soon-to-be released Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Waxwork Records — and while the label releasing the 22 track, triple LP effort is best known for releasing the soundtracks of Taxi DriverThe ThingThe WarriorsRosemary’s BabyNosferatuC.H.U.D.Goosebumps and others, Burns’ latest effort marks some interesting, new territory for the label, as it’s the first release of originally composed material that’s largely inspired by the soundtracks of 80s cult-classic films like Body DoubleManhunter and Legend And unsurprisingly, the album’s first single “Switchblade,” manages to be mischievously anachronistic — while clearly using analog synths to create a chilly, retro-futrustic and almost dystopian sound reminiscent of the great John Carpenter, backed by boom-bap beats, the song manages to reveal slick, modern production techniques that make it both cinematic and dance floor friendly.