Category: New Single

With the 2015 release of Hairless Toys, Irish electro pop singer/songwriter and producer Roisin Murphy quickly became a JOVM mainstay artist — and that shouldn’t be surprising as Murphy has a long-held reputation for being an inventive and genre defying artist, whose sound and aesthetic incorporates elements of jazz, pop, electronic dance music and found field recordings and samples. And although her 2005 full-length solo debut Ruby Blue was a critically applauded departure from her early work in pop act Moloko, the effort was a commercial failure; however, her 2007 release Overpowered was a critical and commercial success as the album was considered for nomination for that year’s MTV Europe Music Award for Best International Act.

Over the next few years, Murphy hadn’t released any album-length material but she did collaborate with an impressive array of internationally acclaimed artists including the likes of Fatboy SlimDavid ByrneCrookers and others. 2014 marked the release of the Mi Senti EP, a collaboration with her frequent collaborator Eddie Stevens and her partner Sebastiano Propezi, which featured the Irish singer/songwriter singing covers in Italian. And according to Murphy, the album’s material was written to intentionally channel Edith Piaf and Studio 54 in a style that Murphy coined “very adult-orientated disco.”

The aforementioned Hairless Toys was Murphy’s first full-length release in over eight years and the material off the album reportedly drew from very similar influences to the Mi Senti EP — in this particular case, European house music, Casablanca Records, and the legendary Grace Jones. Simply put, the material is effortlessly elegant and shimmering electro pop that slowly reveals that its narrator is on the verge of mental breakdown — you can practically feel their psyche crumbling from the weight of her own failures and anxieties. And as a result, it gives the material an aching, desperate urgency. Interestingly,  the forthcoming Take Her Up To Monto an album that takes its name from an Irish folk song popularized by The Dubliners, is comprised of material that was written and recorded during the intense writing and recording sessions that wound up resulting in Hairless Toys.  And although drawing from disco, cabaret, pop torch songs some of the material was radically reimagined and reworked once the Take Her Up To Monto‘s tone and character revealed itself.

Monto’s latest single “Mastermind” is a slinky and tense song that sonically seems to draw from classic house music, freestyle and confessional singer/songwriter pop as Murphy and her frequent collaborator Eddie Stevens pair layers of shimmering synths, propulsive beats and swirling electronics with Murphy’s plaintive and aching alto in an song with an expansive song structure that eschews easily discernible hooks and choruses for a driving motorik groove reminiscent of Kraftwerk as the song comes and goes about in strange and unfamiliar angles revealing an artist, who relentlessly pushes her sound and aesthetic forward and into new territories.

 

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Comprised of Dana Hobson (vocals), Daniel Wolf (guitars, production) and Patrick Zenali (drums), Los Angeles-based electro pop trio The Danes specialize in what the band describes in an email to me as “dark electro pop in a similar style as BANKS, FKA Twigs and Lo-Fang” — although the trio’s latest single “Far From Love,” a slickly produced song about the dangers that came up with a long-term serious and committed couple experimented with an open relationship manages to be reminiscent of Los Angeles-based electro pop duo Pr0files as the trio pairs skittering drum programming, boom bap beats, wobbling synths, ambient electronics and an infectious hook with Hobson’s sultry, jazz-leaning vocals. What makes the song truly compelling and what also sets it apart from the tons of contemporary releases I come across is the fact that the song’s narrator expresses both an urgent sensuality, but just underneath the surface fear, confusion, regret and uncertainty are all evokes within the turn of a phrase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Daniel Knowler, Paul Middleton and Samuel Mclaughlin, London, UK-based trio The Infinite Three have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that possess elements of post-punk, drone and porto-industrial rock, and channels Killing Joke, SWANS, Cop Shoot Cop and Nine Inch Nails — but with nods towards psychedelia and noise rock. Of course, on a certain level that shouldn’t be surprising as the members of the trio have an extensive history of genre defying work. Middleton has had a stint in industrial jazz act GOD and was a member of noise pioneers Cindytalk along with his fellow bandmate Knowler while McLaughlin has collaborated with poet and artist Gerry Mitchell. Knowleer has also worked on MFOTWU with performance artist Franko B. And in The Infinite Three, the members of the band have worked with renowned saxophonist Tom Jackson and London-based producer Den Liberator.

Recorded with engineer Jon Clayton, who has worked with Band of Holy Joy and The Monochrome Set, The Infinite Three’s third officially released full-length effort Lucky Beast will cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for a muscular, post-punk leaning take on prog rock and experimental rock. The album’s latest single “Hydrogen” has the band pairing angular power chords, swirling electronics, propulsive drumming and a punchy and aggressive hook to craft a song that sounds as though it were indebted to Wire, Mission of Burma and SWANS; in other words it the song possess a mosh pit worthy, sneering aggression while nodding at industrial metal.

 

 

 

Comprised of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of the Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), Stockholm, Sweden-based indie pop quartet Red Sleeping Beauty originally formed in 1989 and with the release of two full-length albums Bedroom and Soundtrack, a number of EPs and singles, the Swedish pop quartet received both national and international attention before the quartet split up.

In 2014, the Stockholm-based quartet reunited to record a cover of Alpaca Sports song “Just For Fun” and “Merry Christmas, Marie,” a holiday-themed track, which caught the attention of fans and critics, who were desperate for new material from Red Sleeping Beauty. The quartet quickly followed that up with the release of the “Always” 7 inch, a set at Madrid Pop Fest and the release of “Mi Amor,” the first song the band recorded with a chorus completely sung in Spanish. Building upon the buzz created by the band’s reunion, this year may be one of the biggest years in the band’s history, as June 17 will mark the release of Kristina, Red Sleeping Beauty’s first album in 19 years.

“If You Want Affection” Kristina‘s first single has the members of Red Sleeping Beauty pairing a driving motorik groove with shimmering cascades of synths and an infectious hook with Angergård’s chilly yet plaintive vocals to craft a song that sounds as though it pulsates with an urgent need, while sonically the song sounds as though it channels 80s dance floor-friendly synth pop — in particular, I think of Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People”  and “Just Can’t Get Enough” among others –but with a slick, modern polish.

 

 

 

Comprised of Peter White, Brayden Leske, Sam Baird, Tom Baird and Matt Crago, Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock quintet Lost Woods have quickly developed a growing national reputation for a 90s alt rock/indie rock inspired sound that has been compared to Jeff Buckley, Holy Holy and Soundgarden among others. The Australian quintet’s debut single “Overflow” reached the top ten of Triple J Unearthed charts and was on received airplay across several Australian radio stations including Radio Adelaide, Three D Radio, 4ZZZ and Syn FM. And as a result the band has opened for the likes of Harts, Holy Holy, Andy Bull, Jesse Davidson, SKIES, Bad Pony, Citizen Kay, Horror My Friend, The Vanns and others. With the release of their second single “Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant” Lost Woods went on Peter White told me  their first national tour last year, a tour that managed to be extremely successful as the band continued to see support from local radio stations across Australia, which has lead to growing buzz around the band.

As the band’s Peter White explained to me via email, Lost Woods’ latest single “Vodka Ocean” is inspired by a tragicomic personal experience that happened to him while he was attending Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival. White was looking forward to catching Frank Ocean perform at the festival and when it was announced that Ocean had to cancel, White wound up drinking way too much vodka “in a fit of melancholic sadness.” Eventually White wound up at the medical tent. “My girlfriend dragged me back to our tent, where I proceeded to throw up all over her rucksack and clothes, leaving the rest of the tent unscathed. Naturally, a song was born.” Sonically speaking, the Australian quintet pairs propulsive drumming, jangling guitar chords, an anthemic hook and a throbbing bass line with White’s soaring falsetto to craft a song that sounds as though it drew from The Bends-era Radiohead and The Smiths; in fact, much like The Smiths, this particular single pairs upbeat music with bitterly ironic lyrics.

 

 

Eric Krasno is a Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter and producer, who’s written for and produced an impressive array of artists including Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks Band, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, The London Souls, and Allen Stone but he’s probably best known as a co-founder of cult-favored, genre-mashing/genre-defying acts Soulive and Lettuce.  Over the last couple of years, Krasno has developed a reputation as a highly-regarded solo artist — and his solo debut effort was released to critical applause.

Krasno’s forthcoming sophomore effort Blood From A Stone was co-written with Rustic Overtones’ Dave Gutter and features guest spots from Derek Trucks and members of Soulive, Lettuce and The London Souls — but what makes the effort truly interesting is the fact that it marks the first time Krasno takes up vocal duties. Figuratively and literally, Krasno finds his voice on the album and as he explains in press notes “”I’ve been writing songs with vocals for other people for a while. With these songs, we initially wrote them thinking others would sing them, so when I was in the studio with different artists, sometimes I’d introduce one of the tracks and they’d record it, but it wouldn’t necessarily work out. Eventually, I realized it was because I’d written these songs for myself.”

Blood From A Stone‘s swaggering first single “Waiting On Your Love” is a decided departure from the jazz fusion, funk and jam band sound and aesthetic that has caught the attention of jam band, funk and jazz fusion fans for years as the material is reportedly draws from Bobby “Blue” Bland’s Dreamer and Muddy Waters’ Electric Mud as the songs are much more tightly structured. Interestingly, “Waiting On Your Love” is based on an old school 12 bars blues that pairs Krasno’s coolly soulful vocals with enormous power chords, tweeter and woofer rattling boom bap beats, a shuffling and bluesy guitar solo and an anthemic hook in a song that not only possesses an urgent, plaintive need but also manages to sound as though it drew from Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz and Steve Miller — but with a slick, modern touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a post or two about JOVM mainstay act Monogem. Comprised of singer/songwriter Jen Hirsh and producer/songwriter Scott Smith, the indie electro pop act derives their name from a unique cosmic phenomenon — a Monogem Ring, the leftover glow of an supernova explosion.Interestingly enough, one of the largest monogem rings in the observable universe is located near the Gemini and Cancer constellations. And for Hirsh, whose birthday is on the cusp of the astrological signs Gemini and Cancer, the project’s name has a deeply personal and special meaning for the singer/songwriter.

Now, you may also know that in the same period of time Hirsh and Smith have received critical praise from the likes of Interview MagazineVice’s NOISEYElle MagazineIndie ShuffleHillydilly, Earmilk and others, which has expanded their profile nationally — and that shouldn’t be terribly surprising as the duo has described their sound as “disco-tinged California pool party tunes” with elements of funk and soul. It’s been a while since I’ve heard from them but their latest single “Take It Slow” is arguably their most sensual, Quiet Storm-era R&B-tinged single released to date as Hirsh’s sultry and breathy vocals with glistening synths and propulsive, boom-bap like drum programming in a song that evokes a plaintive and urgent need, an aching vulnerability and a come-hither before it’s too late vibe that fits with the slinky production.

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk trio Ultrviolence. Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), the Canadian trio have quickly developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound that’s reminiscent of contemporary acts like Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles as they’ve played in countless basements and tiny clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and battered instruments and ignoring the cliches and dictates of the recording industry machine. Now you might recall that i wrote about “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming Black Sea EP that manages to be reminiscent of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” — as the band pairs a sinuous bass line, angular and shimmering guitar chords and an dramatic, anthemic hook with Nate J’s aching baritone.

Black Sea‘s latest and single ” Radiation” will further cement the Canadian trio’s burgeoning reputation for crating dark and moody post-punk/New Wave/darkwave-leaning rock while gently expanding upon the sound that initially captured my attention — the band pairs Nate J’s expressive and yearning baritone with ethereal synths, shimmering guitar chords played through copious reverb, and a driving rhythm consisting of four-on-the-floor drumming and propulsive bass chords. Sonically, the new single manages to clearly draw influence from the likes of the aforementioned Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol, Joy Division and New Order — but with as subtle twist on a familiar sound.

Liverpool-based, indie rock quintet ETCHES have started to receive attention across the UK for a batch of singles that reportedly (and subtly) draws from a variety of influences including Tears For Fears, Interpol, electronica, post-punk and psych rock and others; however to my ears, the Liverpool-based quintet’s latest single “Love Is” sounds to my ears as though it were channeling Milagres‘ Violent Light — in particular, I think of “Column of Streetlight” and “Urban Eunuchs” — as the sleek, moody and sultry song possesses elements of R&B, soul, indie rock and pop while thematically touching upon the conflicting (and inherent) push and pull in romantic relationships.