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 Taps “Back 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.
Led by Castle Face Records co-founder John Dwyer, Thee Oh Sees have a long-held reputation for being insanely prolific and 2016 is no different as the band will have released two new albums by the end of August — one being a live album, aptly titled Live in San Francisco recorded over three nights at The Chapel; and the second album being the first entry in a planned series. Live in San Francisco is DVD/album that will give fans a real taste of their renowned thrashing and sweaty live shows and while slated for a July 1, 2016 release, it also manages to be a teaser as it features live versions of material, which will appear on their forthcoming full-length Weird Exit. Oh, and along with that the band will be on an incredibly lengthy tour with Amplified Heat, Straight Arrows, Alex Cameron, Magnetix and my personal favorites The Blind Shake opening for Dwyer and company during various dates — and it includes two NYC area dates: 11/11/16 at the Bowery Ballroom and 11/12/16 at Warsaw.
In the meantime the first single off Live in San Francisco is a live version of a song, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming Weird Exit, “Gelatinous Cube.” And in almost prototypical Thee Oh Sees fashion the song is a towering barnburner of a song — layers of scorching and scuzzy guitar pyrotechnics paired with a throbbing and propulsive rhythm section and Dwyer’s falsetto; in other words, the song possess a primal, guttural fury that quickly fades out from sheer exhaustion. “Plastic Plant,” the first single off Weird Exit continues the guitar pyrotechnics but filters them through dreamy psych rock, gritty garage rock, prog rock and tons of effects pedals and pairs them with propulsive drumming and Dwyer’s falsetto. Of course, both singles will further cement Dwyer and company’s additionally long-held reputation for thrashing and kicking ass in songs with extremely atypical song structures.
06-18 Vancouver, British Columbia – Levitation Vancouver
06-25 Oakland, CA – Burger Boogaloo
07-01-03 Keflavík, Iceland – ATP Festival, Ásbrú
07-30 Denver, CO – Underground Music Showcase
08-05 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon Festival
08-06 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon Festival
08-07 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon Festival
08-14 Helsinki, Finland – Flow Festival
08-16 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
08-18 Paredes, Portugal – Paredes de Coura Festival
08-19 Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop
08-20 Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theatre
08-21 Biddinghuizen, Netherlands – Low Land Festival
08-23 Praha, Czech Republic – Futurum Music Bar
08-24 Zurich, Switzerland- Mascotte*
08-25 Geneva, Switzerland – Palp Festival *
08-26 Asolo, Italy – Amo Festival
08-27 Ravenna, Italy – Hana-Bi
08-31 Tel Aviv, Israel – Arena
09-02 London, United Kingdom – Coronet !*
09-3 Leeds, United Kingdom – University Stylus !*
09-04 Dorset, United Kingdom – End of the Road Festival
09-06 Biarritz, France – Atabal *
09-08 Valada, Portugal – Reverence Festival
09-09 Granada, Spain – Planta Benja
09-10 Benidorm, Spain – Fuzzville
09-12 Barcelona, Spain – Apolo *
09-13 Toulouse, France – Bikini *
09-14 Paris, France – La Cigale *
09-15 Lille, France – Aeronef *
10-08 Miami, FL – III Points Festival
10-14 Joshua Tree, CA – Desert Daze 2016
10-15 Joshua Tree, CA – Desert Daze 2016
10-16 Joshua Tree, CA – Desert Daze 2016
11-01 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
11-02 El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
11-05 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s #
11-06 Memphis, TN – The Hi Tone Cafe #
11-07 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge #
11-09 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall #
11-10 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts ^
11-11 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
11-13 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw ^
11-15 Providence, RI – Aurora ^
11-16 Montreal, Quebec – La Tulipe
11-17 Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Theater
11-18 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
11-19 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
11-23 Missoula, MT – Stage 112
11-25 Seattle, WA – Neumos %
# Amplified Heat
^ Straight Arrows
% Alex Cameron
! Blind Shake
Over the past year or so, Grand Rapids, MI-based psych rock trio HEATERS, comprised of Andrew Tamlyn, Nolan Krebs and Joshua Korf have become a JOVM mainstay act. And with the release of the “Mean Green”/”Levitate Thigh” 7 inch, their full-length debut Holy Water Pool last year, along with a series of singles, the Grand Rapids-based trio also received a growing national profile for a 60s inspired psych rock sound.
Earlier this month I wrote about “Centennial,” the first single from the Grand Rapids, MI-based trio’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort, Baptistina. Interestingly, “Centennial” continues in a similar vein as the material on Holy Water Pool as the band paired dense layers of shimmering guitar chords played through tons of reverb and effects pedal, ethereal vocals, propulsive drumming and a throbbing bass line in a towering and anthemic psych rock song that feels as though it may descend into cacophonous chaos — but with a towering swagger that gives the song an effortless, larger-than-life feel. The album’s second and latest single “Garden Eater” is an epic and sprawling song that has a lengthy introductory section featuring dense layers of shimmering guitar chords and propulsive drumming that slowly fades into a dreamy and contemplative fade out, which allows for the slow build up of an atmospheric section consisting of subtly droning guitar chords and vocals — an interestingly enough this section sounds as though it were indebted to Directions to See a Ghost-era The Black Angels before fading out with tons of reverb. Structurally the song may arguably be the most expansive song the trio have committed to wax
If you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d likely know that I’m often multi-multitasking while working. A fair number of posts come about while watching the New York Yankees, the New York Giants or the New York Rangers or some crime show on Investigation Discovery. Yesterday, I was listening and writing a post while watching the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim vs. New York Yankees game when the London, UK-based indie rock quintet Heavy Heart‘s latest single “Pretty Thing” came up in the related artists list on Soundcloud. And I was immediately drawn to the lush, melodic, and anthemic, power chord and propulsive drumming-based 90s alt rock sound that should remind the listener of several acts including Pixies, A Northern Soul-era The Verve, The Posies and others; in fact, as a result, the British quintet has started to receive international attention as they’ve received some breathless praise from a number of blogs, have played shows in London, Barcelona and New York — and in the middle of a song-a-month project, which will likely garner even more attention.
Featuring primary and founding members Courtney Ewan (singer/songwriter) and frequent collaborator Andy Bishop, Twin River wrote the material of their soon-to-be released sophomore effort Passing Shade, an effort whose name draws from a lengthy dream sequence in Patti Smith‘s memoir M Train while they were over 3,00 miles apart — Ewan had relocated to Montreal while Bishop remained in his hometown of Vancouver. Initially, the material took the form of stripped-down, heartbroken ballads about lost love and as Ewan explains in press notes “I always write on an acoustic guitar, which I think is the vestigial influence of being 15 and playing acoustic guitar in the basement because my mom wouldn’t let me have an amp. Nine times out of ten, when we get the band together, we end up increasing the tempo.” In fact, when Ewan and Bishop got together to flesh out the original demos, the material turned into a barn-burning rock numbers with infectious pop hooks with a subtle hint of atmospherics — and done in way that manages to channel both 60s psych pop and garage rock and the contemporary fascination with that sound.
“Knife,” Passing Shade‘s latest single is a jangling and muscular garage rock song featuring gorgeous shimmering guitar chords and a classic psych rock guitar solo and a propulsive rhythm section paired with Ewan’s vocals which evoke vulnerability and heartbreak simultaneously. From this single, I think the act will throw themselves into a growing list of contemporary garage rock and psych rock acts including High Waisted, Raccoon Fighter, The Coathangers and several others — and the band does so with a cool, swaggering self-assuredness that belies the heartache, yearning and badassery at the core of the song.
Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), along with Howard’s two childhood friends Jeb Hardwick (guitar) and Ed Sanderson (piano/synths), the Brighton, UK-based founding trio behind Phoria recruited Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Seryn Burden (drums) to flesh out the band’s sound. And over the past couple of years, the Brighton, UK-based quintet have developed a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes; in fact, 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and received several million Spotify streams. They also have a burgeoning reputation for their live set which pairs Hardwick’s visual installations and projections with their live sound. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may have come across a post or two on the British quartet.
As the band’s primary songwriter Howard has publicly explained that he never really wanted to be a storyteller, and that he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot. And as as a result, the quintet’s material generally focuses on setting up a particular mood — while simultaneously focusing on a number of different themes. In press notes, Howard has mentioned that the material on Volition thematically touches upon love, sex, mortality, pain, joy, the way people interact, change and move each other and several other things. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Everything Beta,” the first single off the band’s recently released full-length debut Volition, a single that sounds indebted to Amnesiac and King of Limbs-era Radiohead, as Howard’s ethereal and plaintive vocals are paired with clicking and clacking percussion, twinkling piano chords, buzzing synths and a subtly anthemic hook in a song that slowly builds up an unresolved tension before quickly fading out. And while ethereal, the song manages to evoke a desperately aching yearning at its core.
The album’s second and latest single “Loss” continues on a similar vein as “Everything Beta” as Howard’s delicate and yearning falsetto is paired with a sparse and ambient arrangement of twinkling keys, minimalist beats, shimmering synths and a hauntingly beautiful string arrangement to evoke a sense of profound, inconsolable loss in what may arguably be the most gorgeous song the Brighton-based band has released to date.
Adam Öhman is a Stockholm, Sweden-based electronic music producer and artist, best known as Mountain Bird. And with the release of several singles, the Swedish producer and artist has developed a growing internationally recognized profile for a sound that’s been compared favorably to renowned French electro pop act M83 — and for adding his name to a growing Swedish electro pop/dream pop scene that includes acts like Moonbabies, Niki and The Dove and countless others. Adding to a growing profile across Europe and elsewhere, Öhman’s work has received airplay on Steve Lamacq‘s BBC Radio 2 show, Radio X, Absolute Radio and elsewhere.
Naturally, building upon a steadily growing buzz, Öhman is currently in the studio working on new material that will eventually be released through renowned Swedish label With Love Recordings — the label home of acts like CANVAS, Swim, Neeco Delaf and others. Öhman’s latest single “Hearts to Gold” is as he explains in press notes “a tale of celebration. Shining positive light on creators, the over-thinkers, anyone who has ever been a part of a sub-culture anyone who dealt with the anxiety of society’s expectations.” Sonically speaking Öhman pairs layers of shimmering synths, swirling electronics, boom bap beats and wobbling low end in an ethereal, dreamy yet anthemic song that possess an encouraging and hopeful message to struggling creatives everywhere, and it should push those folks forward when times seem particularly difficult.
Perhaps best known as a co-founder of critically and internationally acclaimed electronic music act WDSTCK, as well as collaborating with Matoma and Sonny Alven, Didrik Thulin is stepping up and out into a solo career with the release of his first complete self-produced single “Teenage Hype.” And as Thulin explains in press notes “This is the first single i´ve released where I have done the production, singing and songwriting. ‘Teenage Hype’ is a song about friendship, and the joy of exploring the corners and boundaries of youth life with someone you look up to and admire. It’s trying to capture the excitement of hanging out with older people, pushing limits, and venturing into new, exotic places in the urban jungle.” As a result, the song which features a slick and contemporary production of shimmering cascades of synths, stuttering and skittering drum programming and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Thulin’s plaintive crooning possess an air of wonder, hope and possibility — all while being a breezy, summertime, club-friendly jam.
If you’ve been frequenting this website over the past year to about 18 months or so you’ve likely come across a post about New York-based electro pop duo Sofi Tukker. It’s been a few months since I’ve last written about them so for both new and old readers, I’ll try to briefly refresh you on their backstory: the duo can trace their origins to when Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, who were both attending Brown University met at an art gallery. The duo quickly started writing music together, based around their desire of crafting accessible, pop-friendly world music that could reach a wider audience. Upon their graduation, they relocated to New York, where over the following year they worked on new material — including the material that would wind up comprising their forthcoming Soft Animals EP.
Back in March, I wrote about “Matadora,” an EP single which paired flamenco style guitar with tweeter and woofer rattling beats, ambient electronics, warm blasts of horn, animal noises and Hawley-Weld’s sensual cooing in a song that nods at the breezy tropicalia of Brazil and South America and shimmering dance-floor ready house music. The EP’s latest single “Deja Vu Affair” sounds as though it draws from early and mid 80s New Order and house music as angular guitar chords played through gentle washes of reverb and delay are paired with four-on-the-floor drum programming, cascading layers of wobbling synths and Hawley-Weld’s sensual cooing in what may arguably one of the sexiest, most dance floor-ready songs they’ve released to date.
Sofi Tukker is embarking on a lengthy series of tour dates — some opening for M83 and a number of headlining shows, including a hometown set at Baby’s All Right at the end of July. Catch them at a music venue near you.
June 9 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones (TICKETS)
June 11 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater w/ Cashmere Cat (TICKETS)*
June 12 – Richmond, VA @ The National (TICKETS)*
June 14 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore (TICKETS)*
June 15 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva (TICKETS)*
July 20 – Portland, ME @ Thompson’s Point w/ Chairlift (TICKETS)*
July 21 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (TICKETS)*
July 25 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant (TICKETS)*
July 27 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove (TICKETS)*