Category: New Single

 

Brika is a Miami, FL-based pop artist, who initially received attention across the blogosphere and this site for an electro pop sound that possessed elements of trip-hop, jazz and several other genres, a slow-burning, neo-soul leaning reworking of Shaggy‘s “It Wasn’t Me” and her debut effort Voice Memos. And although it’s been about a year since I’ve last written about her, the Miami-based artist has been pretty busy; in fact, she went into the studio with producer Julio Reyes Copello to record new material, including her latest single “You,” a summer rooftop party evoking single that pairs Coppello’s sleek and modern production consisting of a stuttering synths, finger snap-led percussion, boom-bap beats and a funky bass line with Brika’s sultry and self-assured vocals — but while expressing desire, lust, longing and a surprising devotion with her signature old school, jazz-like phrasing. Based on this single, Brika’s forthcoming new material may reveal a decided expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comprised of Kazu Makino (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and twin brothers Simone (drums) and Amedeo Pace (guitar, vocals), New York-based indie rock trio Blonde Redhead can trace their origins to when the Pace Brothers met Makino — by complete chance, no less — at an Italian restaurant. Deriving their name from “Blonde Redhead,” a song by no wave act DNA, the trio has developed a reputation for a constantly evolving sound with their earliest recorded efforts drawing heavily from both noise rock and experimental rock — in particular, think of Sonic Youth and others; however, over the past 15 years the band has incorporated elements of dream pop, shoegaze, psych rock and other genres. And if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may well be aware of the fact that back in 2014, the trio quietly released their ninth all-length album Barragan, an album that featured the shimmering and sultry single “Dripping.”

As a native New Yorker, I miss the energy, griminess and grittiness of pre-Giuliani New York — a New York that I’ll never, ever get back. And as you can imagine, Blonde Redhead’s material, along with countless other bands writing and recording in NYC during the late 80s and early 90s is full of the same teeming energy and seedy grit, while possessing an urgent carnal need. Sadly, a great deal of the band’s earliest recordings haven’t been in print for some time — and they will be seeing the light of day for the first time in almost 20 years as Numero Group is issuing a 4LP/2 CD box seat featuring the band’s first two albums, their singles, existing demos and radio performances, as well unpublished photographs and two lengthy essays on the band and their work to date. And it’s the newest installment in Numero’s 200 Line series, which has also included releases from  Unwound, Bedhead, Codeine, White Zombie and The Scientists.

 

“Big Song” is the first single off the box set and the single is a decidedly large song consisting of time signature and tempo changes, explosive blasts of feedback, angular bass and guitar chords — with the guitar chords being played through effects and delay pedals, paired with Makino’s sensual and vaguely nonsensical vocals. Certainly, as soon as you hear the song, it also sounds like the time period it was recorded in — in particular 1993 or so. Certainly if you’re a fan, there’s the excitement of hearing and owning material that had long been discontinued, as well as capturing a band in their early days, attempting to discover their own unique voice.

 

 

Although he’s performed in a number of renowned Japanese acts including Flipper’s Guitar, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist Keigo Oyamada is perhaps best known to international audiences with his solo recording project Cornelius, which was named as a homage to the character in Planet of the Apes; in fact, with the 1997 release of his full-length solo debut Fantasma, Oyamada received attention for a cut and paste sound that was compared to the likes of Beck and The Beastie Boys but paired with the sort of orchestral arrangements, samples  and production techniques that reminded some of Brian Wilson. And as a result of the interest around his work Oyamada quickly became a highly-sought after producer and remixer, who worked with the likes of Blur, Bloc Party, MGMT, James Brown and others. Adding to a growing internationally recognized profile, Oyomada has played in Yoko Ono’s re-formed Plastic Ono Band and as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra. And in his native country, Oyomada has co-produced and co-written for up-and-coming Japanese artist SalyuXSalyu. And interestingly enough, Oyomada has contributed music to Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Ghost in the Shell Arise. 

Fantasma had been long out of of print until Lefse Records recently released a re-mastered version of the album, complete with unreleased bonus tracks, including “Taylor,” a genre-meshing and genre-busting song that possesses elements of hip-hop breakbeats, funk, soul, glitchy electronica and random vocal samples. Sonically, the song manages to be challenging while being accessible enough to be played at a rave or an enormous summer festival.

Oyomada will be making his first Stateside performances in over 8 years over October and September, where he’ll be performing the material off Fantasma. Check out the tour dates below.


Tour dates:

8/4 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

8/6 Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theater

8/8 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater

8/10 Denver, CO – Gothic Theater

8/12 Eau Claire, WI – Eaux Claires Festival

8/13 Chicago, IL – Park West

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past month or so, you would have come across a couple of posts on Los Angeles, CA-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stefan Weich. Weich specializes in a dreamy exploration of traditional music structures, alternate guitar tunings and analog synthesizers and has released music under a number of monikers, including Das Bowls, Chicle, Couch Baby and others; however, his latest effort, Granite Prism is Weich’s (true) solo debut and first album under his own name. Thematically, the album explores the Los Angeles-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s feelings of loneliness, aimlessness and his search for love and acceptance in a large, modern metropolis.

With Granite Prism‘s first single and video “Holy Nights,” Weich paired his plaintive falsetto croon with dreamily ambient synths, soft padded drumming and gently strummed guitar in a deliberate and carefully crafted song that sounded indebted to Brian Eno –but with a plaintive yearning at its core. The album’s second single “Louie,” continued on the same vein as Weich paired swirling and ambient electronics are paired with soft padded drumming, bursts of bluesy guitar chords and his plaintive falsetto crooning lyrics about a relationship in which both people are slowly drifting apart.  At the heart of the song is the unspoken and built up resentments that can cause people to slowly drift apart over time, and a lingering sense of regret of what happened — and how it happened.

Granite Prism‘s third and latest single “Toxic Landscape” is a subtly more muscular song and as a result it sounds as though it owes a sonic debt to shoegaze than ambient electronica as Weich pairs his plaintive falsetto with feedback-laden and buzzing power chords, strummed guitar chords played through layers of reverb, subtly forceful drumming and soaring synths in a song that to my ears reminds me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and Silversun Pickups. Much like the previously released singles, the song focuses on the slow dissolution of a relationship and its aftermath, complete with the feelings of bitterness, isolation, confusion, heartache and more — and in a way that’s reminiscent of 120 Minutes-era MTV indie rock.

 

Although initially comprised of founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), Stockholm, Sweden-based quartet Honeymilk formed back in 2012, the band could actually trace their origins to the formation and eventually breakup of Urmas Plant, a band which featured several of the members of Honeymilk. With the release of “It Might Be,” a single produced by Linus Larsson, best known for his work with Peter, Bjorn and JohnMercury Rev and Anna Ternheim, the band quickly received praise across the blogosphere and received radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. Interestingly, after the release of “It Might Be,” the band decided to go to the DIY route, recording and producing their own work, including their critically applauded, full-length debut Lean on the Sun.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting over the past couple of years, you may recall that I wrote about Honeymilk and their single “A Scene in Between,” a single that sonically sounded as though it were indebted to Brit pop and British psych rock – in particular, The Stone RosesThe Jesus and Mary ChainThe Verve, and Oasis. Over that time, the renowned Swedish act has gone through yet another lineup change with the band turning into a duo featuring the band’s co-founding member Edmund, along with Nyberg — and understandably with such a massive lineup change, the band has gone through a major change of sonic direction as you’ll hear on their latest single “Time Will Kill You.” With the latest single, the duo sounds as though they were subtly channeling Vampire Weekend and others as ambient synths are paired with a loose, looping guitar line played through reverb and delay pedal, a slinky bass line, an ethereal yet catchy melody and harmony and Admund’s plaintive vocals. And while being incredibly breezy, the song thematically speaking focuses on a profound metaphysical truth that we’re all aware — that time will relentlessly continue onward with or without us.

 

 

 

Co-founded by Brian Harding and Amalie Braun back in 2011, indie pop duo Ex-Cops became blogosphere darlings with the release of their first two albums True Hallucinations and Daggers; in fact, the duo receive praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Vogue, MTV, StereogumBillboard, CNN, GawkerInterviewNylon, and Rolling Stone. Adding to a growing profile, the duo has had their music appear in a number of renowned TV shows including ShamelessStalkerAll Saints and others. And as a result of the attention the band has received over the years, Harding and Braun have worked with Ariel Pink, Daniel Johnston, and Billy Corgan, among others.

Harding’s solo side project Blond Ambition is a bit of a sonic departure as you’ll hear on the project’s debut single “Shasta.” As I was told in press notes, the project’s sound is a sugary confection of E.S.G., slinky Liquid Liquid and 77 Dead — and although that may well be true, to my ears I hear quite a bit of Station to Station and Low-era Bowie and 70s funk as congo-led percussion is paired with slinky bass line, bursts of ambient synths, a loose and boozy guitar solo with Harding’s falsetto. And while being breezy, percussive and summery, the song manages to be a sultry come on  to a object of affection/desire/lust.

 

 

Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’d likely be familiar with electronic music artist and producer Tobacco, who is perhaps best known as the frontman of renowned indie act Black Moth Super Rainbow. As a solo artist, Tobacco has developed a reputation for crafting an abrasive yet anthemic sound — while seeming as though he wants to channel Daft Punk,  The Black Keys, Kraftwerk and Boys Noize — but from some dystopian future in which rusty, poorly maintained machinery and instruments whirr to grinding halt.

Sweatbox Dynasty, the long-awaited follow-up to Ultima II Massage is slated for release this summer, and earlier this year, I wrote about the album’s first single “Gods In Heat,” a single that I think will further cement his burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy, abrasive and anthemic electronic music as he pairs layers of abrasive industrial clang and clatter, skittering drum programming, surface-level analog tape hiss and sizzle, a chanted mantra and an infectious hook — but with a subtle dreamy element that nods towards psych rock. The album’s latest single “Human Om” pairs layers upon layers of buzzing and whirring industrial synths, mathematically precise handclap-led drum programming and chanted lyrics fed through vocoder with a dreamy psych rock-leaning melodicism that subtly lightens the murkiness.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you might recall a post on  Stockholm, Sweden-based pop quartet Red Sleeping Beauty. Comprised of of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of The Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), the quartet 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 quickly split up.

After several years of in other creative and professional pursuits, the Swedish indie pop 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 had desperately awaiting both a reunion and new material from the act. Continuing upon the buzz that they received, the Stockholm-based quartet 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. Adding to the growing attention the band has received, their first full-length effort in over 19 years, Kristina is slated for release next week.

Kristina‘s first single “If You Want Affection” had the members of the band 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. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Cheryl, Cheryl, Bye” is a slow-burning , atmospheric and contemplative song in which the band pairs layers of bass synth and shimmering keys with plaintive and aching vocals; of course, that shouldn’t be surprising as the song is one part bitter farewell and one acceptance of a truth that the narrator doesn’t want to completely accept. After all, life pushes us forward no matter how much we want to deny it. In some way, sonically the song sounds as though it draws equally from Roxy Music — think of “Avalon” and “More Than This” in particular — as it does from Pet Shop Boys.

New Audio: Icelandic Trio Samaris Releases a Seductive and Tense New Single That Reveals an Expansion of Their Sound

Comprised of Þórður Kári “Doddi” Steinþórsson (producton),  Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir (clarinet) and Jófríður  the  Icelandic act Samaris have received national and international attention for minimalist electronic production paired with lyrics that drew from 19th century Icelandic poetry; however, after a […]

 

Maya Killtron is a Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter who first came to attention across both her native Canada and the States with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across both countries, including appearances at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Pride Toronto, The Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love TapsBack For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow Waves, Eyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron is currently working on a multimedia mixtape project featuring MCP champ and producer Fresh Kills, videographer Diana Piruveska, best known for her work with Nelly Furtado and photographer Natalie Caine; however, in the meantime, her latest single “Never Dance Alone” is reportedly a return to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s roots in funk, pop and R&B — and much like the work of JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Dam-Funk, Tuxedo and others, the song sonically sounds as though it could have been a B side to Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” as a sinuous and ridiculously funky bass line, warm and explosive blasts of horns and layers of synths are paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals. Along with that is a breezy bridge that emphasizes the song’s infectious hook. Listening to the song immediately reminded me of being out and about in the summer, whether at a house party, a roof top party or a block party desperately trying to talk up that pretty young thing you’ve wanted since the beginning of summer  — and more distinctly summer 1983.