Category: New Single

Earlier in the year, I wrote about Ursa Major, an up-and-coming 19 year-old Toronto, ON-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who describes his work and sound as Psychedelic R&B and claims that his work manages to fit comfortably between classic/old-school R&B and contemporary electronic production — although the Canadian producer’s debut single “Dusk” bore an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstay act, Gosh Pith as rumbling and wobbling low end, skittering drum programming are paired soulful vocals in a song that focuses on lust, loneliness and desperate longing. Interestingly, in press notes, the Canadian producer has noted that his earliest work focuses on his personal experiences including his past loves, a fear and inability to move forward and the complicated, heartbreaking and yet strangely reaffirming processes of falling in and out of love repeatedly.

The young Canadian producer, multi-intrusmentalist and singer/songwriter’s latest single “5am/Intro” will further cement Ursa Major’s reputation for slick and swaggering contemporary production consisting  — in this case consisting of shimmering synths, glitchy drum programming and boom bap beats in a song that’s about that shuffling fucked up drunk and high return from the club or the bar, and giving zero fucks about it.

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Over the past few months, Jack Berry, a Reno, NV-born and Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter and rock/blues artist has quickly become one of my favorite artists of 2016 as I’ve previously written about two singles off Berry’s forthcoming full-length Mean Machine  The Bull,” a sultry and bluesy single with an anthemic hook that sounded as though it were Superunknown-era Soundgarden — in particular “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days,” as well as “Bad Dog,” a swaggering, cocksure song that continued in the arena rock-friendly vein of “The Bull” but bluesier, as though Berr were attempting to channel Howlin’ WolfMuddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
Mean Machine’s latest single “Coal” will further cement Berry’s growing reputation for bluesy and anthemic power chord-based rock that manages to possess a moody, sensual and contemporary take on hard rock and the blues,  complete with his signature cocksure swagger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Chuck Cleaver (vocals, guitar), Lisa Walker (vocals, guitar), Mark Messerly (bass, keys), John Erhardt (pedal steel, guitar), and Joe Klug (drums), Cincinnati, OH-based shoegaze quintet Wussy can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members and primary songwriters Chuck Cleaver, formerly of Ass Ponys and Lisa Walker began to perform together on what was supposed to be a brief run of solo shows for Cleaver back in 2001. The first show Cleaver and Walker played together was largely unplanned and went without incident, so they agreed to continue and expand the band. The band’s first drummer Dawn Burman and Meserly were recruited and joined the band in 2002 and the quartet released three full-length efforts and an EP that received praise from a number of media outlets including Rolling StoneSPINVillage Voice, NPRThe Washington PostUncut and the legendary Robert Christgau, who placed the Cincinnati quintet’s first two efforts Funeral Dress and Left for Dead on his best of the decade list and their third, self-titled release on his best of 2009 list.

After quickly achieving critical success, the band went through a lineup change as Burman left and was replaced with Cincinnati music scene vet, Joe Klug with whom the recorded Attica! and their sixth and most recent effort, Forever Sounds, which was released last month through Shake It/Damnably Records. The quintet recently released subtly shoegazey cover of Joy Division/New Order‘s “Ceremony” which retains the spirit of the original while adding layers upon layers of reverb drenched guitars with the boy/girl harmonies of Cleaver and Walker throughout. Interestingly, Cleaver and Walker’s harmonies bring the swooning Romantic urgency of the song out into the forefront. But perhaps more important, it’s a reminder of how a timeless song can reverberate a generation or two after its initial release.

Check out how the Wussy cover compares to the Joy Division original below.

 

Comprised of Josef Kašpar and Joe Craven, Body Clocks are an up-and-coming Bristol-UK-based duo, who specialize in a electro pop sound reminiscent of Bonobo and others — and as you’ll hear on their new single “Still Life,” the duo pairs a lush yet ambient production of shimmering and undulating synths, a brief string arrangement, swirling electronics, a sinuous bass line,  brief bursts of angular guitar chords and live percussion to create a trippy and expansively cinematic composition.

 

 

 

 

Over the past few months, starting around the end of last year, you may recall coming across a couple of posts about Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society. Comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, the band was discovered by Alan Willis, the late founder of Deltasonic Records, who noticed potential in the band and guided the quintet through their development as a band and as songwriters. Over the course of the following year, the British shoegaze quintet locked themselves away in their rehearsal space, where they jammed and began writing material that was inspired by FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

Coshh,” the second single off the band’s debut EP Pangea had the Liverpool-based quintet pairing a tight, motorik groove consisting of a wobbling bass line and propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb and effects pedals, atmospheric electronics, falsetto vocals, anthemic hooks and a cosmic sheen. “Self-Realization,Pangea‘s third single further cemented the quintet’s growing reputation for shimmering and anthemic shoegaze in an expansive and sprawling song that nodded at  The Verve, as the song structurally twisted, turned and bent at weird and unpredictable angles — with guitar work that also subtly nodded at Nick McCabe’s expansive and expressive sound.

Interestingly, “La Jette,” The Vryll Society’s latest single is a dreamier and ethereal single that hints at the contemporary obsession with the sound of 60s psych rock that sounds as though it draws from the likes of Elephant Stone, Sleepy Sun and others; in other words, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, ethereal vocals and a strutting bass line are paired together in the Liverpool-based quintet’s trippiest, most subdued  and most introspective song to date.

 

 

 

With the release of “To Be Young” and “Radio Silence,” which received extensive radio airplay on BBC Radio X, Spanish radio station Radio 3 and Stateside on KCRW and KEXP, the Portsmouth, UK-based quintet Kassassin Street — comprised of Rowan Bastable (guitar, vocals), Tom Wells (bass, vocals), Andy Hurst (keys, samples), Ryan Hill (guitar, vocals) and Nathan Hill (drums) — quickly exploded onto the international scene last year. And as a result, the Portsmouth-based quintet had a busy summer playing the UK major festival circuit with appearances at Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Blissfields, Y Not, Great Escape, Beat-Herder and Isle of Wight, as well as a hometown slot at Victorious Festival — and they continued on that success with a successful UK tour, which included several sold out shows.

Building on a rather successful 2016, the members of Kassassin Street recently released their latest single “Hand In My Pocket,” a post-punk track which pairs an anthemic hook with a sinuous bass line, shimmering  and cascading synths, angular guitar chords and an uncanny sense of harmony in a shimmying, dance floor ready track that sounds indebted to Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four (in particular, I think of “Not Great Men” “He’d Send In The Army” and “Why Theory“), Kasabian‘s self-titled effort, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream (in particular “Detroit” and “Autobahn 66“) and New Order — but much like Gang of Four, the song possesses an underlying scathing sociopolitical message as the song focuses on social injustice and inequality in fiscal austerity-era UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), Calgary, AB-based trio Ultrviolence have developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound reminiscent of Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles — they’ve played in countless basements and small clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and blinking electronics while writing and recording their material, following wherever their muses take them. Recently, the Canadian post-punk trio have started to receive both radio airplay and attention for their live show and building upon the growing buzz they’ve received, they released “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming EP Black Sea that’s 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.

 

 

 

With the release of her previous single “Ghost,” up-and-coming Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter, indie electro pop artist and producer Mira Aasma has quickly received national attention in her native Sweden, as well as attention across the UK for a sound that’s been compared favorably to the likes of Florence and the Machine as Aasma’s earliest releases possess a maturity and self-assuredness that belies her relatively young age of 19. Aasma’s latest single “Whale Song” off her self-produced, forthcoming EP Stereoscope pairs the Swedish pop artist and producer’s coolly self-assured vocals with dramatic, thumping industrial beats, swirling electronics, shimmering cascades of synths in a sweeping and cinematic pop song that sounds indebted to early Depeche Mode — in particular think “People Are People” — but with a sense of introspection and perspective that can only come from profound and hard-fought experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Diego Garcia (vocals, guitar), Alejandro de Lucas (bass) and Daniel “Larry” Balboa (drums), Madrid, Spain-based trio The Parrots quickly became an DIY underground sensation with the release of a demo, which was released without much promotion and little fanfare; in fact, the video for “I Did Something Wrong” off their Aden Arabie EP initially received over 15,000 YouTube hits — and caught the attention of music bloggers across Europe and the rest of the world for a sound that drew from old school, garage rock and psych  rock but with a loose, boozy feel. And unsurprisingly, the band’s sound compares favorably to the likes of Thee Oh Sees,  Black Lips, Raccoon Fighter, High Waisted, White Mystery and others.

Last year, NME named the Spanish trio as one of SXSW‘s “buzziest bands” and since then the members of The Parrots have been incredibly busy — they’ve released a critically applauded EP Weed for The Parrots, have toured relentlessly and played an incredible 14 shows at this year’s SXSW (in which they were later signed by renowned indie label Heavenly Recordings). Building on the growing buzz, the trio will be releasing their latest single “Let’s Do It Again.”

Recorded at Paco Loco Studios in El Puerto de Santa Maria in Cadiz, Southern Spain, The Parrots’ latest single is reportedly inspired by the members of the band drinking beers and Horchata, eating Moroccan delicacies and feelings of deep friendship and loyalty and as a result the song possesses a shuffling, intoxicated feel of elation and adventure — the sort that would come about when you’ve drunkenly stumbled along a new best friend. Sonically, the song will further cement the Spanish trio’s growing reputation for raw and shaggy garage rock as Garcia’s passionate howls are paired with a shuffling and jangling garage rock chords, propulsive drumming and a throbbing bass line, and in some way the song sounds as though it could have easily been released in 1962 or so.

 

 

Kent, UK-based producer Draper can trace the origins of his prolific and critically acclaimed music career in a rather humble fashion — initially as his experimenting with sound recording software, largely based around pairing a densely layered production with an uncanny knack for lyricism. With the release of attention grabbing remixes of Strange TalkEllie Goulding and Passion Pit, and the 2010 release of his debut EP, The Introduction, the British producer saw a rapidly growing national and international profile — at one point, he captured the attention of Turn First Music Publishing where Draper would write singles for LapsleyRita Ora and Little Mix.

Now, you might recall that last year I wrote about “On You,” the first single off the producer’s highly-anticipated full-length album, and that single, a collaboration with his frequent collaborator Alby Hobbs was a densely layered and swooning pop song consisting of wobbling, low pitched synths, skittering percussion, swirling electronics and rubbery, high pitched synths paired with Hobbs’ meandering yet soulful falsetto to craft a song that effortlessly meshes bouncy club-friendly electro pop with sensual and soulful R&B. While we’re anxiously awaiting Draper’s full-length effort, the British producer has remained incredibly prolific, releasing a number of singles including his latest single “Break Over You,” a collaboration with Scottish synth pop trio Prides — and what makes the single interestingly is that it reveals that Draper has been experimenting and expanding upon his sound, as “Break Over You” is a euphoric pop confection with the sort of anthemic hooks reminiscent of St. Lucia, Phoenix, Passion Pit and others. It’s arguably the most rousingly crowd pleasing and radio-friendly single Draper has released to date. (Interestingly, the song lyrically seems to make a sly reference to one of my favorite Prince songs ever, “I Will Die 4 U,” which is also quite an anthemic pop song itself.)