Category: New Audio

If you had come across this site last month, you may have come across a post featuring the Southern California-based indie septet Private Island. Comprised of Christian Lum, Michelle Guerrero, Tommy Nickerson, Tim Barbour, Roger Mawer and Cameron Anderson the members of the Southern California-based initially developed a reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic indie rock. In fact, the early single “Drugs” charted rather highly on Hype Machine, as it received more than 3 million Spotify streams; however, with “Turbulence,” the first single off the septet’s forthcoming full-length effort Night Drive found the band retaining the shimmering quality of their sound but while leaning heavily towards R&B and synth pop — and in a fashion reminiscent of  St. Lucia, Washed Out and others but with a Quiet Storm-like vibe.

Night Drive‘s latest single “Juvenile” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as its slow-burning Quiet Storm meets 80s synth pop and synth funk but interestingly enough upon repeated listens reveals slick hyper modern and swaggering production as you’ll hear autotuned vocals paired with Lum’s sultry vocals, boom bap drums, shimmering synths paired with organic instrumentation and a soaring hook. And while being a two-step friendly bit of dance floor pop, the song also manages to be some of the band’s most ambitious songwriting to date, as the song possesses an arena rock sound.

 

 

 

 

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Portland, OR-based producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Braun can trace some of the origins of his own musical career to growing up in a musical home, as his own father played drums in Hall and Oates‘ backing band. Interestingly enough, the youngest Braun is best known as one-half of synth pop act Mackintosh Braun, an act that received attention for an 80s synth pop and New Wave-inspired sound. And while Braun’s solo recording project B•R•A•U•N will further cement his reputation for crafting 80s inspired synth pop, the project and its forthcoming full-length debut Silent Science began from Braun’s awareness of the personal freedoms that he felt he had sacrificed to live in he comforts of new technology, and as a result, the material possesses a longing for a much simpler life — but while paradoxically revealing his unique production style featuring lush and propulsive synths and chopped up vocal samples.

Silent Science’s second and latest single “Prague” while nodding at Tears for Fears‘ “Head Over Heels” and much more contemporary fare like Rush Midnight and others, features Braun’s production style of layers of propulsive and shimmering synths, boom bap beats,  rousing hooks, and an angular bass line paired with Braun’s breathy vocals but underneath the slickly produced and lush surface is a deeply reflective yearning that gives the material a subtly cinematic vibe.

 

 

Darren Cunningham is a Wolverhampton, UK-born, London-based producer and electronic music producer, best known as Actress, who over the past decade or so has developed a reputation for crafting abstract yet churning and rumbling techno with pulsing kick drums, jittering percussion, chopped and looped samples; however, interestingly enough, the renowned British producer has publicly mentioned that he’s wanted to make classical music for a modern generation. And that desire has lead him to collaborate with the London Contemporary Orchestra, crafting expanding arrangements of his dark and brooding sound and new material, including “Audio Track 5,” which finds the renowned British producer pairing skittering beats and swirling electronics with a blasts of twinkling and shrieking strings to create a stark and icily minimalist yet entirely cinematic composition. But underneath the bracingly chilly surface, the producer reveals a subtle yet ambitious and progressive take on chamber music.

 

 

 

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US Tour Dates

Aug 23 – Seattle – Kremwerk

Aug 24 – Chicago – Empty Bottle

Aug 25 – Detroit – El Club

Aug 26 – New York – MoMa PS1

 

Inadvertently over the past week, week and a half or so, I’ve focused on a handful of JOVM mainstay acts, who have released new material including Summer Heart, Tame Impala, Surf Rock Is Dead, METZ, The Afghan Whigs and others, and that streak will continue a bit longer with new material from another mainstays act, Widowspeak. And as you may recall, the act, which is currently composed of its  Tacoma, WA-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Molly Hamilton (vocals, guitars) and Robert Earl Thomas (guitar) can trace its origins back to 2010 when the band formed as a trio featuring Hamilton, Thomas and Hamilton’s longtime friend Michael Stasiak. As a trio they released their critically applauded 2011 self-titled debut, an effort that had album single “Harsh Realm” featured in an episode of American Horror StoryWith greater attention on the group, the then-trio recruited Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh for their subsequent tours; however, by following year, Stasiak and Gravano-Coolbaugh left the band.

While in the middle of a massive lineup change, Hamilton and Thomas began working on their Kevin McMahon-produced sophomore effort Almanac, an album that was released to critical applause and growing national attention; in fact, the band was named one of Fuse TV‘s 30 Must-See Artists at 2013’s SXSW. And if you were frequenting this site back then, you would have come across a couple of posts featuring the acclaimed, Brooklyn-based duo. Up until earlier this summer, some time had passed since I had personally written about them but as it turned out the members of Widowspeak had been working on a new album, Expect The Best, which is slated for an August 25, 2017 through renowned indie label Captured Tracks Records. Album single “Dog,” as Widowspeak’s Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener’ mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more. Expect The Best‘s latest single “When I Tried” is a slow, churning blues with layers jangling, guitar pedal effect guitars paired with a propulsive yet simple drum pattern  which Hamilton’s aching yet ethereal vocals float over, and much like its preceding single, captures a bored and frustrated narrator, who yearns for more and more — and yet feels hopelessly stuck and confused.

Interestingly though, as Hamilton explains to the folks at Stereogum “I didn’t go into this record trying to make every song about feeling stuck, or about self-doubt or anxiety. Those feelings aren’t really what you want to proclaim to the world or make a whole record about, even if it’s the truth. But, in the end, it ended up making more sense to be honest. ‘When I Tried’ is about when I was having a hard time starting things, or finishing them, maybe due to my own expectations of what it would turn into or maybe due to me doubting that I’d even be able to make it happen at all . . . I wasn’t sure what the motivation was anymore. Not specifically related to music, or creative work, but to everything. I wanted to get out and be social to take my mind off it, but I had a hard time keeping that up, too. It’s hard to keep up the effort of trying.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Los Angeles-based songwriter Jesse Marc and New Orleans-based songwriter and producer Christoph Andersson, who has collaborated with the likes of G-Eazy, Olivia O’Brien, Monopol and others, the Los Angeles/New Orleans-based pop duo JOME can actually trace its origins to when Marc started the project as a solo recording project. And as the story goes, a few minutes after Consequence of Sound posted Marc’s first single as JOME, Marc received an email from Andersson, who asked him Marc if he’d be interested in collaborating together. “I thought it was spam,” Marc recalls in press notes. “It happened too quickly.”

Marc and Andersson met in Venice, CA for an afternoon and quickly recognized that they were on the same page creatively, as both men, who had worked in the realm of pop for some time were yearning to make music with a deeper emotional resonance.  “Crystalline,” the duo’s ethereal new single features an ambient-leaning production consisting of a gentle melody, warm bursts of guitar, propulsive, boom bap-like beats paired with dreamy vocals but what sets the duo and this single apart from an extraordinarily crowded electro pop field is that the song reveals a deliberate and careful attention to craft that belies its breeziness. But perhaps more important is that the song carries a simple yet powerful message — that everything in life will settle in due time, if you’re patient.

 

 

 

David Alexander is a Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose solo electro pop/dream pop recording project Summer Heart has received attention internationally for a wistful, nostalgic sound that draws from 60s psych pop, 80s synth pop and lo-fi rock and has been compared favorably to the likes of  CaribouWashed OutIn Ghost Colours-era Cut CopyPainted Palms and others. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that that Alexander’s profile has grown as a result of several songs being featured in TV series such as the NBC series, Whitney, which brought him and his work to the attention of millions of American TV viewers. Along with that, Alexander is largely considered to be among the first wave of Sweden’s internationally renowned and growing indie pop and dream pop scene — a scene the includes a number of internationally recognized acts that I’ve written about at some point or another, including MoonbabiesThe Land BelowHey ElbowBlind Lake and Emerald Park.

Up until last month, some time had passed since i had written about Alexander and Summer Heart, but as it turns out, the Malmo, Sweden-based dream pop artist had been busy writing and recording the material that would comprise his forthcoming full-length effort 101. “Hotel Beds,” the single I wrote about last month further cemented the Swedish dream pop pioneer’s reputation for crafting swooning yet buoyant and summery productions — in this case featuring shimmering synths, muttering house music-like drum programming, boozy blasts of guitar and Alexander’s laconic falsetto and a rousing hook with a dance floor-friendly vibe; however, underneath the buoyant and breezy pop stylings is a bittersweet rumination on the life of a touring musician. And in a extremely subtle fashion, the song evokes the sensation of rushing off from place to place, without ever really getting to know a town beyond the fact that you have to be there by a specific day or time. “‘Hotel Beds’ is about touring, going from city to city, hotel bed to hotel bed. About meeting new people every night. It’s about a feeling of being detached from reality,” Alexander explained in press notes. “Don’t get me wrong. I love to tour but after a while, it becomes a big blur . . . the lyrics were written in the back of a tour bus. It was recorded in Stockholm, mixed in Brooklyn and mastered in Jersey City.”

101‘s latest single “Follow” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it features a percussive yet swooning production consisting of syrupy cascades of shimmering synth, Afropop-like percussion, finger snaps, tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Alexander’s breathy falsetto and layered vocal samples, and while being equally as buoyant and summery, the song manages to possesses an underlying, unresolved frustration. As Alexander explains in press notes. “To follow your dreams, you must figure out what they are. ‘Follow’ is about that  moment when you think you have it all figured to, only to realise you’re not one bit wiser. Those things you do, which you imagine will change everything . . . when all is said and done, afterwards you feel exactly the same.”

Alexander will be embarking on a handful of live dates to support the new album and it includes a October 18, 2017 stop at Sunnyvale. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Live Dates: 

9/7/17  Birthdays, London

10/18/17 Sunnyvale, NYC

10/23/17 Bootleg Theatre, LA

 

Comprised of singer/songwriter Jacob Pearson and multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jonathan Bowden, the Sidney, Australia-based indie electro pop duo PLGRMS have received both national and international attention for glitchy and deliberately crafted electro pop — with Australian critics considering the Sydney-based duo as one of Oz’s more inventive and forward thinking contemporary acts. And as a result, Pearson and Bowden have have a rapidly growing profile — over the past year or so, they’ve amassed more than 7 million streams for their previously released singles, which have received praise from StereogumComplex, The Line of Best Fit and Clash, as well as airplay on Beats 1 Radio, BBC 6 Radio, Triple J and others. Along with that, they’ve opened for Mansionair, Vera Blue and Oh Wonder.

“Crawling Back,” the up-and-coming Australian pop duo’s latest single manages to be a significant sonic departure while maintaining elements of the sound that first captured national and international attention — Pearson and Bowden retain the soaring and anthemic hooks of their previously released output; however, while those singles were much more electronic-leaning, the new single has the duo employing more of an organic, “live band” arrangement in which Afropop-like percussion, a sinuous bass guitar, twinkling synths reminiscent of Tears For Fears‘ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and boom bap beats paired with Pearson’s warm, soulful vocals.  Interestingly, the new single kind of finds Pearson and Bowden’s sound leaning heavily towards the direction of fellow Aussies and JOVM mainstays Fairchild, St. Lucia and others — all while revealing what may arguable be the duo’s most ambitious songwriting to date, as the song manages to be  radio and arena rock friendly.

 

 

 

Go Caruso is a Turnbridge Wells, Kent, UK-based electro pop duo comprised of Jon Mills and John Fenton-Stevens — and interestingly enough Mills and Fenton-Stevens have achieved national attention with a series of different solo recording projects that have received airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, BBC Introducing, as well as national TV appearances; however, as the duo told me via email, they decided to collaborate together last year.

“Tamarin,” the British electro pop duo’s latest single is slickly produced, summery, pop confection that nods at JOVM mainstays Summer Heart, Moonbabies and St. Lucia, complete with Nile Rodgers-like guitar playing, shimmering synths, a rousing hook, Afro pop-inspired percussion and a sweetly, swooning earnestness in what may arguably be one of the more infectious songs I’ve come across all summer.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may be familiar with the New York-based indie rock duo and JOVM mainstays Surf Rock Is Dead — and you may recall that with the release of their earliest singles, “Equinox,” “Late Risers”  “Zen A” “Anymore,”and “In Between,” the duo comprised of Chicago-born, New York based Kevin Pariso and Melbourne, Australia-born, New York-based Joel Wittenberg quickly won attention across the blogosphere for crafting shimmering and anthemic guitar pop with enormous and rousing hooks and a wistful vibe that channels The Clash‘s “Lost in the Supermarket” and The Smiths.

The duo’s forthcoming EP, We Have No Friends? is slated for a September 22, 2017 release with a limited edition vinyl run and the EP’s second and latest single “As If,” will further cement the duo’s reputation for shimmering guitar pop that manages to sound as though it could have been released in 1982 but with a modern production sheen and a swooning earnestness that manages to set it apart from mere mimicry; but interestingly enough, the song on a very subtle fashion manages to reveal some ambitious songwriting — with the band at their most decidedly anthemic.

 

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays METZ Return with a Jagged and Anthemic Post-Post Punk Ode to Being Yourself at All Costs

With 2014’s self-titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II,  the Toronto, ON-based trio METZ received attention across their native Canada and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others, and unsurprisingly, the Toronto-based punk trio quickly became mainstays on this site. Now, as you may know their third, full-length album Strange Peace is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Sub Pop Records, and the album, which the trio recorded with Steve Albini at Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio live to tape, with home recordings and instrumentation added by their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh back in Toronto. And the new album reportedly finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows; in fact, the material thematically speaking may be among the most political yet personal material they’ve written to date, capturing the thoughts and emotions of young people in the age of Trump. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears,” the band’s Alex Eakins explained in press notes. “They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.” 

“Cellophane,” Strange Peace’s first single found the Canadian punk trio retaining the sledgehammer forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site, but there’s an underlying, hard-fought maturity — the sort that come as a result of living in an increasingly fearful, uncertain, fucked up world, that feels as though it’s spinning faster and faster towards disaster. And interestingly enough, “Cellophane” seems to say to the listener, “hey man we’re scared out of our fucking minds, too; but we have each other and somehow we’ve gotta stick together and figure it out.” 

“Drained Lake,” Strange Peace’s second and latest single, is a jagged and propulsive post-post-punk track with layers of blistering and scuzzy guitars, punchily delivered lyrics and thunderous drumming with the use of a lurching synth line for what I think may be the first time in the band’s history; but while being a revealing look into a band that’s begun to restlessly experiment and expand upon their sound, it also finds the band at their most strident and searching, while being a sneering anthemic “fuck off” to those who don’t — and perhaps can never — see you for who you are. As the band’s Eadkins explained in press notes, the song reflects, “the constant struggle to know yourself and make sense of your life and surroundings. What is my purpose? Holding on to who you are while finding off pressure to bend to what other people want and expect from you,” 

The members of the Toronto-based punk rock act will be embarking on a North American tour to build up buzz and then support their new effort and it includes two NYC area dates — October 4, 2017 at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg and October 5, 2017 at the Bowery Ballroom.