Stone Camillo is a 20 something, Buffalo-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the emerging psych pop project Diamond Revolver. Camillo started Diamond Revolver when he was just 15 — and since then, he has been prolific, releasing a steady stream of psych-inspired material centered around big hooks and trippy atmospherics. He is also frontman of Ancient Spaceship.
Camillo’s latest single “Diving” is the second single off his forthcoming Diamond Revolver debut. Centered around reverb-drenched keys, blown-out beats, jazz-like drumming and buzzing synths paired with Camillo’s dreamy delivery, “Diving” is a syrupy, slow-burner that evokes the sensation of tripping on hallucinogens while sonically nodding at Pink Floyd and Tame Impala.
Platinum-selling British electro pop outfit Years & Years formed back in 2010 as a full-fledged band featuring Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy, Emre Türkmen, Noel Leeman and Oliver Subria. Between their founding and the release of their first two singles — 2012’s “I Wish I Knew” and 2013’s “Traps,” Leeman and Subria left the band.
As trio Years & Years wrote and recorded their full-length debut, 2015’s Communion, which debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Charts — and was the fastest-selling debut album of the year from a British signed band. Communion single “King” reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart and was on the Top Ten Charts in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. “Shine” reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart.
Their sophomore album, 2018’s Palo Santo was set in a dystopian world, where androids were the majority and humans were the minority. The album featured singles “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me” — with “If You’re Over Me” reaching Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart.
Last March, the acclaimed British pop outfit announced that their third album, the 11-song album Night Call was in production. That same day, the band announced that Goldsworthy and Türkmen had stepped down as active members — and that the outfit would continue as Olly Alexander’s solo project.
Released earlier this year, Night Call debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart. Thematically, the album talks about embracing submission and twisting power play to reclaim your strength. And as a result, songs about heartbreak are few; traditional ballads are almost non-existent. “A lot of the songs are patchworks inspired by random memories and hook-ups, or men that I’ve met,” Alexander explains. Album singles “Crave,” “Starstruck” and “Sweet Talker” feat. Galantis have proven to be pulsating queer anthems.
Adding to a big year for the British pop outfit, Years & Years just shared a cover of Crystal Waters’ 90s house/dance pop classic “100% Pure Love,” which will soundtrack Target’s 2022 holiday ad campaign. While still being an enormous club banger, the Years & Years cover is a subtle reimagining that somehow feels and sounds even more 90s house than the original.
“I knew right away that I wanted to work with Georgia and Mark Ralph to bring this cover to life,” Alexander says. “Crystal’s vocal in the original is so captivating, she has such a special energy and that really inspired me when I came to record my vocals. I’m really hoping people enjoy it, it has such a positive message and liberating feel to it…I love it!”
David Haynes Holding, Sr. (bass, guitar) has had a lengthy music career that includes playing in several different projects during the legendary late 70s-early 80s Athens, GA music scene, a scene made famous by R.E.M. and The B52s. As a member of Dorothy’s Dream, Holding, Sr. recorded and released two albums.
Inspired by his father, David Haynes Holding, Jr. (vocals. guitar) grew up in Atlanta with dreams of rock stardom. Back in 2006, a 16 year-old Holding, Jr. founded and fronted The Last Relapse. After a six-year run. a couple of hundred shows across the Southeastern US and their full-length debut Machine, the band went on an indefinite hiatus.
In 2020, Sr. and Jr. began working on music again — first separately and then collaborating on material together. The older Holding has been wildly busy and prolific: Since 2020, Sr. has released five solo albums that see him working in an eclectic variety of musical styles and genres. He has also released two albums under the moniker Soci3ty. The younger Holder has been busy writing and recording material with a couple of former members of The Last Relapse on a new project yet to be announced.
Interestingly. Jr. and Sr. collaborate together on a family musical project that they’ve dubbed The Holdings. The duo’s debut EP Father & Son was released earlier this year. The EP’s lead single, the slow-burning and trippy “Stay Home” is centered around swirling guitar textures and vocals that drift and soar over the song’s arrangement. While sonically bringing Strays-era Jane’s Addiction to mind — at least to my ears — the song thematically touches upon love, life and surviving this brave new world we’re currently in.
“It was really awesome collaborating with my Dad on this album,” the younger Holding says. “He got me interested in music from a young age and we’ve always had similar music taste so it was cool to work on some original music together for the first time.”
Nhyx is an emerging Paris-born electronic music producer and songwriter, who grew up loving classical music. But the direction of his life was changed when he was introduced to the 90s house and techno scenes. As a producer and songwriter, the French producer and songwriter approaches his work as a sonic journey in which he meshes elements of lo-fi, indie house, electronica and others — with a strong melodic sensibility.
“Samplus,” the emerging French producer’s latest single is a loving tribute to French touch centered around tweeter and woofer rattling thump, a hypnotic and sinuous, club rocking groove and a disco-influenced string sample-driven break. Simply put, the song is a certified party starter that recalls Stardust‘s “Music Sounds Better With You,” and Discovery-era Daft Punk.
Sophie Allison’s latest Soccer Mommy album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever was released earlier this year through Loma Vista/Concord. The critically applauded album sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere.
Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past year, you may recall that I’ve written about the album’s woozy first single “Shotgun” an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming and a throbbing groove.
“Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”
Over the summer, rising indie electro pop outfit Magdalena Bay recently remixed “Shotgun” turning the track into a futuristic, glittery, club banger featuring glistening synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and wobbling low end paired with Allison’s plaintive vocals fed through gentle amounts of vocoder and other effects. While being a decidedly bold and adventurous, the Magdalena Bay remix retains the core elements of the original — Allison’s penchant for earnest, lived-in lyricism, enormous hooks and the song’s overall woozy feel.
Last night, Allison began her fall tour to support the new album — and the tour includes a November 9, 2022 sold-out show at Webster Hall. Interestingly enough, Halloween is the acclaimed JOVM mainstay’s favorite holiday, and to celebrate both the tour and the holiday, Allison shared a previously unreleased draft version of “Darkness Forever,” one of the album’s darkest tracks.
“Darkness Forever (Sophie’s Version)” is a decidedly lo-fi and woozy take centered around bubbling synths, strummed guitar, skittering and blown out beats paired with Allison’s ethereal and plaintive cooing. While the album version manages to be spectral and brooding with a stormy guitar solo to punctuate it all, Sophie’s version is creepier and evokes an uneasy sense of dread.
“This version of ‘Darkness Forever’ is really exciting for me because it’s kind of what got me inspired to start working on the rest of the album,” Allison explains. “It felt new and fresh, and I had a lot of fun making it. When I was done with it, I felt very ready to work on more stuff for the record.”
10/29/22 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre *
10/30/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue *
11/01/22 – Chicago, IL @ Metro *
11/02/22 – Evanston, IL @ SPACE * [SOLD OUT]
11/04/22 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom *
11/05/22 – North Adams, MA @ Mass MOCA *
11/06/22 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues *
11/09/22 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall ^ [SOLD OUT]
11/10/22 – Middletown, CT @ Harbor Park [SOLD OUT]
11/11/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall ^
11/12/22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^ [SOLD OUT]
11/13/22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^
11/14/22 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom ^
11/16/22 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre ^
11/17/22 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Heaven Stage ^
French electronic duo Nomenklatür — Olivier”Labinsect” Rossi and Olivier “Mitch” Brucker — have similar backgrounds as raver kids and DJs in the mid 90s: Brucker has long been influenced by EBM and industrial techno while Rossi is a product of the techno scene. The duo initially met at wolrld renowned Berlin-based nightclub Berghain; but they didn’t start collaborating together until 2005.
With Nomenklatür, Rossi and Brucker have displayed their seemingly undying devotion to synths of every era, both analog and digital while seamlessly fusing their influences and sounds into something completely new. Their first two releases, their self-released debut EP and their full-length debut Gift of Ages were released to critical applause. Gift of Ages hinted at their multifaceted sound: The album’s material featured elements of EBM, techno, tech-pop and New Wave.
The duo went on a wildly prolific period that saw them exploring techno and tech house rhythms without diverging from their influences. Through a series of EPs, remixes and albums, the duo began to explore the many nuances of techno, pushing the boundaries of the genre as far as they could. The duo expanded upon their profile in the electronic music scene with live shows at Parisian clubs like The Rex Club,Batofar, and La Machine du Moulin Rouge, and then to clubs in Belgium and Switzerland. They also had their work remixed by Kiko,David Carretta, and Commuter. And they collaborated with Montreal underground scene star Mimi.
The French duo began a decided focus on melody, bolstered by progressive production, which caught the attention of German label Beachcoma, who signed them and released an EP in 2020. During pandemic lockdowns last August, the duo remixed Odge’s “Sad Love Song,” which led to the singer/songwriter collaborating with the French production duo on their latest EP When The Wind Blows. Released earlier this month through Clivage Music, the EP’s material sees the duo drawing from Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, The Chemical Brothers, Plastikman, classic Detroit and Berlin techno, coldwave, ambient electronica and sci fi.
When The Wind Blows‘ latest single, EP title track “When The Wind Blows” is a slickly produced, propulsive and darkly seductive bit of house centered around scorching synth oscillation, skittering thump and Odge’s sultry delivery paired with razor sharp hooks. The end result is a song that sees the collaborators meshing elements of house music, industrial, techno. electro pop and goth into a certified club banger with a dreamy and uneasy quality.
Hi The Joy of Violent Movement, Nomenklatür will release its new EP in a week. Mysterious, intense and bewitching, this new project somewhere between electroclash, techno and synthpop let us into the hypnotic world of this french duo. The track When the Wind Blows is the first extract of this EP coming on October 18th and will be accompanied by a video clip. Do you think a relay of this release would be possible on your website? Cheers Tiphaine Citizen Records
New EP When The Wind Blows coming on October 18th on Clivage Music
The room was damp and hot, red-lit bodies swayed as if in a trance, strobe lights spattered… In this concrete domain the night continued, helmed by famous German label Ostgut, in the mythical place now known as… Berghain.
Antonio G is a Philadelphia-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the goth/darkwave outfit ZADAR. He’s currently working on the project’s first album — and is searching for like-minded musicians to join him in playing the material live.
Norwegian instrumental tropical funk/pop outfit Orions Belte — Øyind Blomstrøm (guitar), Chris Holm (bass) and Kim Åge Furuhaug (drums) — features members who have spent the bulk of their lives and professional careers as touring musicians. Naturally, they’ve been on the road — a lot. As the story goes, when Blomstrøm’s and Holm’s paths crossed for what seemed like the umpteenth time, they bonded over a mutual desire to create instrumental music, and they then decided to start a band together. The duo then recruited Holm’s Bergen scene pal Kim Åge Furuhaug to complete the band’s lineup.
With the release of 2018’s Mint, the Norwegian trio quickly established a genre-defying, style-mashing sound that draws from a wide and eclectic array of sources including 70s Nigerian rock, postcards from French Riviera, Formula One traces at Monza and 1971’s “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.
Although the past two years may arguably be some of the most challenging years in recent memory for musicians and other creatives, the Norwegian trio haver remained extremely busy: In 2020, they released a handful of singles including “Bean” and 600m per minute, an EP of experimental compositions that derived its title from an elevator in Tokyo that can transport 40 people at a time a maximum speed of 600 meters per minute. The EP found the trio pushing the boundaries of instrumental music as they possibly could.
Last year’s sophomore album Villa Amorini derived its name from a popular Bergen nightclub; the place in town where everything happened — and where you needed to be, to be a part of it. Originally opened in the 80s as a fine dining spot, the business gradually evolved into an extravagant nightclub, where you’d see artists and DJs in loud t-shirts and oversized sunglasses. The album saw the trio meshing elements of underground pop, psych and world music, while further cementing their reputation for their ability to pull in listeners of diverse genres and styles. And with that understanding in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that the album’s material sets up a particular scene: the energy and vibe of a busy downtown sidewalk with intricately layered arrangements meant to draw you in and leave the listener wondering where it will lead.
A few weeks after Villa Amorini‘s release, the trio followed up with a Lagniappe Session EP in collaboration with Aquarium Drunkard. That June saw the release of their first live album, Scenic Route, which featured recordings from their live-streamed outdoor shows from the previous year.
Continuing their reputation for restless prolificacy, the Norwegian trio will be releasing a 3LP box set consisting of a solo album from each member — just like KISS did in 1978, they’ll gladly mention. The full 3LP box set is slated for November 18, 2022 release through Jansen Records: Chris Holm’s solo, self-titled album, a trippy psych pop-inspired affair was released last November. Øyvind Blomstrøm’s solo self-titled album, a funky mix of psych folk, psych funk, and psych blues was released earlier this year.
Last but not least, the band’s Kim Åge Furuhaug will be releasing his solo, self-titled album on November 18 2022, which coincides with the release of the of the box set. Furuhaug’s solo album is a sonic left-turn from Furuhaug’s work with Orions Belte: The album is a jazz album co-written and co-produced with Matias Tellez that features some of Norway’s finest jazz musicians, including Ole Morten Vågan (upright bass), Andreas Ulvo (piano, keys, organ) and Lars Horntveth (saxophone, clarinet, percussion, guitar).
“Jangle Med,” the first single of Furuhaug’s solo album is a meditative and expansive composition that seems indebted to classic bop jazz — in particular, Kind of Blue-era Miles Davis comes to mind. The arrangement is roomy enough for a warm and dreamy introduction featuring bursts of pedal steel, followed by gorgeous and soulful piano and clarinet solos from Horntveth.
Deriving their name from the Turkish phase for “Golden Day,” the acclaimed Amsterdam-based Turkish psych pop act Altin Gün — founding member Jasper Verhulst (bass) with Ben Rider (guitar), Erdinç Ecevit Yildiz (keys, saz, vocals), Gino Groneveld (percussion), Merve Dasdemir (vocals) and Nic Mauskovic (drums) — can trace their origins to Japser Verhulst’s repeated tour stops to Istanbul with a previous band, and his deep and abiding passion for ’60s and ’70s Turkish psych pop and folk, fueled by discoveries Verhulst couldn’t find in his native Holland.
But as the story goes, Verhulst wasn’t just content to listen as an ardent fan; he had a vision of where he could potentially take the sound he loved. “We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Verhulst admitted in press notes. “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.”
Altin Gün’s sophomore album, 2020’s Grammy Award-nominated, critically applauded Gece further established the band’s reputation for re-imagining traditional Turkish folk through the lens of psych rock and pop. Last year’s critically applauded Yol was the band’s third album in three years. And while the album found the band continuing to draw about the rich and diverse traditions of Turkish and Anatolian folk, pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns forced the Dutch outfit to write music in a completely new way for them: virtually — through trading demos and ideas built around Omnichord, 808 and other elements, including field recordings and New Age-like ideas by email.
“We were basically stuck at home for three months making home demos, with everybody adding their parts,” Altin Gün’s Merve Dasdemir says in press notes. “The transnational feeling maybe comes from that process of swapping demos over the internet, some of the music we did in the studio, but lockdown meant we had to follow a different approach.”
As a result of the new songwriting approach and arrangements prominently featuring Omnichord and 808, the album saw the band crafting material that was a bold, new sonic direction: sleek, synth-based, retro-futuristic Europop with a dreamy quality, seemingly informed by the enforced period of reflection.
Additionally, the members of the acclaimed Dutch act, enlisted Ghent, Belgium-based production duo Asa Moto — Oliver Geerts and Gilles Noë — to co-produce and mix the album, marking the first time that the band has collaborated with outsiders.
The JOVM mainstays spent much of this year on the road, including a two-night run at Music Hall of Williamsburg earlier this year. (I was there for the first night of their two night run.) Just before they hit the road, the acclaimed Turkish psych outfit released a two song digital single “Badu Sabah Olmadan”/”Cips Kola Kilit.” Both songs originally appeared in some fashion or another on last summer’s Bandcamp-only album Âlem.
“Badu Sabah Olmadon” may arguably be one of the harder rocking songs the Dutch JOVM mainstays have released in some time, featuring a relentless motorik groove, some scorching guitar work, glistening synths and yearning vocals.
“‘Badİ Sabah Olmadan’ is a traditional love song from the town of Kırşehir, where the poet begs his lover to come to him before the night ends,” the band explains in press notes. “We recorded an electronic version for our charity album Âlem, and then started to play it live with the band. We liked it so much that we decided to record a live band version. Happy to play it for our fans this spring!”
“Clips Kola Kilit” is a dance floor friendly, decidedly 80s synth bop centered around 808-like beats, glistening synth washes and wobbling bass synth paired with a coquettish and sultrily delivered spoken word/rap-like vocal. For those children of the 80s — like me — “Clips Kola Kilit” brings back memories of acts like Whodini, The Human League, Nu Shooz, Cherelle, and others. And interestingly enough, it sounds as though it could have been on Yol but was cut from the album.
Altin Gün’s latest single “Leylim Ley” is a classic song of lost love and exile that features music composed by renowned Turkish musician, author, poet and politician Zülfü Livaneli and lyrics written by the late Turkish novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist Sabahattin Ali (1907–1948). Although Ali’s life was cut tragically and brutally short, Ali occupies an important spot in modern Turkish work with his limited body of work frequently reimagined through music, theater and more.
Taken from Ali’s 1937 short story “Ses,” “Leylim Ley” was joined by music composed by Livaneli back in 1975 and has since been embraced as one of the most well-known and beloved songs among Turkish people across the globe. Understandably, it’s been covered countless times over — and in a wild variety of styles.
Altin Gün’s rendition of the classic song is far more stripped down than some more recent renditions and sees the band pulling out the hypnotic and dazzling instrumentation to the forefront, emphasizing a woozy, heartsick longing — for home and for loved ones. The recording manages to capture the propulsive energy of their live show, while heralding the arrival of the band’s highly-anticipated fourth album, which is slated for release sometime next year.
Riches — Young Galaxy‘s Catherine McCandless and choreographer Wynn Holmes — is a multidisciplinary, intercontinental collaboration and ongoing dialogue between its two collaborators that combines music, dance and performance. Songs are the first iteration of the project, and they take a narrative approach to themes concerning the performance of creative rituals, identity, transgression and devotion.
The duo’s latest single, the slow-burning and woozy “Shadow of You” pairs syrupy, reverb-drenched beats and guitar and glistening synths with McCandless’ delicate upper register, which expresses aching, soul-deep longing.
The duo explain that the song “celebrates the entity and demon of Creation, serenading just how gorgeous, intoxicating, and potentially self destructive the compulsion of making art can be.”