Category: New Video

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Mariaa Siga Shares Breezy and Uplifting “Mame Bamba”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d probably recall that I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Senegalese-born and-based singer/songwriter, musician and JOVM mainstay Mariaa Siga

So far, Siga has released three singles, which I’ve written about on this site:

  • Le murmure des anges,” a track that saw her collaborating with Artikal Band, who contribute a shuffling and buoyant reggae riddim paired with a slow-burning and soulful guitar solo and the Senegalese-born and-based artist’s expressive delivery. “Le murmure des angels” is a song that does two things — give thanks to the enteral while reminding listeners that they should listen to the little voice inside of us, which arms us with much-needed confidence; that voice that frequently says “You know, you got this. You know you’re dope.” 
  • Ni Mama,” which in her native Diola means “I’m Leaving” sees the JOVM mainstay continuing her ongoing collaboration with Artikal Band, who contribute a shuffling and breezily upbeat reggae riddim paired with wah wah pedalled guitar, shimmering keys serving as a supple bed for the Senegalese artist’s effortlessly soulful and earnest vocal. “Ni Mama” features lyrics in both her native Diola and in French that discuss a familiar sensation for many of us — the need to escape things when daily pressure and stress becomes overwhelming.
  • The FissBassBeats-produced “Daaray Dunya,” a track that saw the Senegalese artist alternating between singing and spitting bars about the difficulties young people face in a mad, mad, mad, mad world while still continuing to hold on to the belief that they have bright future ahead of them. FissBassBeats contributes a tweeter and woofer rattling drill production featuring looped guitar, skittering beats and deep low end. While “Daaray Dunya” is a bit of a sonic departure from her previously released singles, it continues the Senegalese artist’s unique meshing of the ancient and the modern.

Siga’s fourth single, “Mame Bamba” was recorded in Montpelier, France and continues her ongoing collaboration with Artikal Band. Built around a lush and soulful reggae-influenced riddim featuring a supple bass line, shuffling rhythm and twinkling keys paired with the Senegalese JOVM mainstay’s gorgeous vocal, “Mame Bamba” much like the previously released material pairs social messages with breezy and uplifting arrangements.

The Senegalese JOVM mainstay explains that the song pays tribute to Cheikh Amadou Bamba, a Senegalese poet and the founder of the Mouride Brotherhood, a Sufi Islamic sect best known for its focus on work and non-violent resistance to the French.

Directed by Mao Sidbé, the accompanying video reverentially honors Senegalese women, showcasing their industriousness, their beauty and kindness.

New Video: Reno’s Had To Shares “120 Minutes”-like “Lucid”

Formed a couple of years ago, Reno-based shoegazers Had To features some of that city’s grizzled music scene vets — with each of the members playing in a number of bands across different genres. But they bonded over a love of big guitar music from the 90s with their major influences being Oasis, Guided By Voices, Catherine Wheel and others. “We all come from similar backgrounds, all from the same area in Reno, Nevada. Not much rock music comes from our area, and we are excited to be one of the few bands like us to come out of there,” the band says.

As the band jokes, they just wanted to write something hat could be played on the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack. Thematically, their work focuses on
“how it’s weird feeling older, and who we are ending up being.”

The Reno-based indie outfit’s Philip Odom-produced sophomore album Is This Normal? was recently released through digital streaming platforms. The album’s lead single “Lucid” sounds as though it wouldn’t be out of place during the 120 Minutes‘ heyday: fuzzy power chords, rousingly anthemic, shout-along worthy hooks and choruses paired with thunderous drumming. For me it brought back found memories of Foo Fighters‘ self-titled debut, Catherine Wheel and others.

Directed by Nate Kahn, the accompanying video fittingly brings back memories of 120 Minutes-era MTV with the visual split between footage of the band driving around a sun-bleached desert in white shirts, slacks, ties and sunglasses. At one point, they brood by what appears to be Lake Tahoe. We also see the band playing a house party.

New Video: The Church Shares Haunting and Dream-like Visual for “Realm of Minor Angels”

Founded back in 1980, the Sydney-based ARIA Hall of Fame inductees The Church — currently founding member Steve Kilbey (vocals, bass, guitar); longtime collaborator and producer Tim Powles (drums), who joined the band in 1994 and has contributed to 17 albums; Ian Haug (guitar), a former member of Aussie rock outfit Powderfinger, who joined the band in 2013; multi-instrumentalist Jeffery Cain, a former member of Remy Zero and touring member of the band, who joined the band full-time after Peter Koppes left the band in early 2020; and their newest member, Ashley Naylor (guitar), a long-time member of Paul Kelly’s touring band and one of Australia’s most respected guitarists — was initially associated with their hometown’s New Wave, neo-psychedelic and indie rock scenes. 

Over the course of the next couple of decades, they became increasingly associated with dream pop and post-rock: Featuring shimmering soundscapes, their material took on slower tempos while built around their now, long-held reputation for an uncompromising approach to both their songwriting and sound. 

Their 25th album, 2017’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity was released to critical praise from the likes of PopMatters, who called the album “a 21st-century masterpiece, a bright beam of light amid a generic musical landscape, and truly one of the Church’s greatest releases.” 

The highly-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity — and their 26th album! —  The Hypnogogue was released earlier this year release through Communicating Vessels/Unorthodox. 

The Hypnogogue is the band’s first full-length concept album: Set in 2054, the album follows its protagonist Eros Zeta, the biggest rock star of his era, who travels from his home in Antarctica to use the titular Hypnogogue to help him revive his flagging and moribund fortunes. “The Hypnogogue is set in 2054… a dystopian and broken down future,” The Church’s Steve Kilbey explains. “Invented by Sun Kim Jong, a North Korean scientist and occult dabbler, it is a machine and a process that pulls music straight of dreams.”

The Hypnogogue is the most prog rock thing we have ever done,” Kilbey says. “We’ve also never had a concept album before. It is the most ‘teamwork record’ we have ever had. Everyone in the band is so justifiably proud of this record and everyone helped to make sure it was as good as it could be. Personally, I think it’s in our top three records.”

In the lead to the album’s release, I wrote about three of its singles:

  • The album’s expansive and brooding title track and first single, “The Hypnogogue.” Featuring the band’s swirling and textured guitar-driven sound paired with Kilbey’s imitable delivery, the song introduces listeners to the album’s characters — Eros Zeta and Sum Kim. The song follows Zeta, as they’re traveling to meet Kim, to go through the titular hypnogogue. But during the toxic and weird process, Zeta winds up falling in love with Kim. As Kilbey says, “. . . it all ends tragically (of course . .. as these things often do). 
  • The jangling and deceptively upbeat “C’est La Vie,” which continues the album’s narrative. Zeta’s agent warms him not to mess with the hypnogogue. “His manager has heard some bad rumors about it, and he doesn’t want his boy all strung out on this unknown thing,” The Church’s Steve Kilbey explains. The song ends with a gorgeous, shimmering fade out. “Musically, the song is a fast-paced rocker very much initiated by our guitarist Ian Haug. But it has plenty of twists and turns and ends up fading away in a delicate and winsome way.” 
  • No Other You,” a glittering glam rock-like ballad with some Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie guitar work and a cinematic quality paired with Kilbey expressing an aching, almost desperate longing. “No Other You” may arguably be the most straightforward and earnest song of the band’s extensive catalog. The song continues the album’s narrative — but on a more personal level: The Church’s Steve Kilbey explains that the song is an “ultra-romantic song that Zeta writes for Sun Kim Jong, who is the inventor of The Hypnogogue. It’s a heartfelt song about an irreplaceable woman. And the Church gets to explore a slightly glam rock feel to boot.”

The band will be embarking on a second leg of their North American tour to support their 26th album during the fall. The tour will see them playing dates across the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast and Illinois. The band will be offering a limited number of VIP packs on the tour’s second leg, which will include the show ticket, early venue access, an invitation to the band’s soundcheck, a special meet and greet with the band, exclusive merch and the ability to watch a portion of the show from the side of the stage, where available. Tour dates are below. 

Coinciding with the fall tour, the acclaimed Aussie outfit recently released a digital deluxe edition of The Hypnogogue that will include material originally cut from the 13-song album.  

The deluxe edition will include “Realm of Minor Angels,” a slow-burning and gorgeous, torch song-inspired ballad featuring shimmering mandolin from Ian Haug and slide guitar from Ashley Naylor paired with Kilbey’s crooned delivery. Sonically, “Realm of Minor Angels” wouldn’t sound out of place on Starfish or Gold Afternoon Fix

“‘Realm of Minor Angels’ is without doubt one of my favorite singles The Church has ever released,” The Church’s Steve Bilberry says. “From the moment [guitarist] Jeffrey Cain started playing the opening riff, I was hooked. The singing and lyrics are my own subtle homage to the torch songs of the ‘60s and check out Ian Haug’s mandolin lines and Ashley Naylor’s slide work!”

Directed by Clint Lewis and featuring additional footage shot by Danial Willis and Randall Turner, the accompanying video for “Realm of Minor Angels” stars Carol Larsen as Sun Kim Jong and Selma Soul as Eros Zeta. We see Laren’s Sun Kim Jong discovering Soul’s Eros Zeta strung out and nearly comatose. Through what seems to be flashbacks or perhaps a vivid hallucination, we see Kim Jong and Zeta slow dancing together and other tender moments. Televisions flash all around them in the room, and we see the members of The Church performing the song from the studio. Much like the preceding videos, this one has a haunting, dream-like quality.

Going beyond the initial storyline told in The Hypnogogue, The Church will be releasing Eros Zeta and the Perfumed Guitars, a companion CD that will serve as a continuation of the storyline. The limited-edition CD will only be available at merch tables on the tour.

The original dream-pulling storyline,” as Kilbey explains, “follows Eros Zeta, the biggest rock star of 2054, who has traveled from his home in Antarctica (against his manager’s advice) to use the Hypnogogue to help him revive his flagging fortunes. In the midst of the toxic process, he also falls in love with Sun Kim and it all ends tragically (of course, as these things often do).”

Eros Zeta and the Perfumed Guitars expands and builds upon the mythology of The Hypnogogue. As the band’s Kilbey explains: “Eros Zeta and the Perfumed Guitars were formed in 2048 in Antarctic City in Antarctica. They had many hits including ‘Realm of Minor Angels’ and ‘Sublimated in Song’ and in all released six collections of music. They toured the postwar world incessantly during the early 2050s and were capable on a good night of selling out concerts in most countries that still had gigs. The band were troubled with personnel and substance problems culminating in Eros Zeta’s addiction to Sky and his subsequent inability to write new songs.

“In 2054, he journeyed to Korea where he used the Hypnogogue to create new music. After the disastrous effects these songs created, he died in a traffic accident whilst on his way to the airport to return home. The songs were thereafter prohibited in most places. In recognition of his services to Antarctican music, a statue was built to honor him in the Australian Quarter of Antarctic city. The band continued on without him but to little success which led to them disbanding in 2057.”

New Video: Miranda Joan Teams Up with CARRTOONS on Soulful and Flirty “Bada Bing!”

Miranda Joan is a rising, Montréal-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and musician, who spent her formative years in Vancouver, where she filled up diaries with emotions, thoughts and experiences that would eventually go on to form the basis of her songwriting.

The Canadian-born artist’s first experiences of music and performing came from high school drama and musical theater. Leaning into soul, R&B and jazz, she found a natural and fitting home for her voice. She began to shape her own sound rooted in intricate songwriting and playful production informed by her journals and diaries, as well as influences like Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Anderson .Paak, Little Dragon, and Robyn among a lengthy list of others.

Miranda Joan relocated to New York to study jazz. And upon her arrival, she opened her inquisitive sound and aesthetic to a host of artists and producers. And fittingly, the grittiness and intensity of the city filtered into her work and approach.

Eventually establishing herself in Brooklyn’s soul and jazz scenes, the Canadian-born artist is the co-host and co-founder of Brooklyn’s Femme Jam, the city’s first all-female led jam session, community initiative to create a womxn-led space with an emphasis on female musicians and artists that specifically fosters inclusivity. For the past eight years, she has been a music mentor with the non-profit SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, where she works with youth 8-18, who stutter.

As an artist and performer, she has provided backing vocals for The Killers, Shawn Mendes, Lorde, Kylie Minogue, Andy Grammer and Sly5thAve and the Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal for a tribute to Dr. Dre. And through those experiences, she has been on national tours and played sold-out, headlining shows across the country, including her adopted hometown. Her full-length debut, 2021’s Windborne, the follow-up to 2019’s Still EP led to her selection as one of First Up with RBCxMusic Emerging Artists.

Both releases received radio airplay in Vancouver and Los Angeles — and that led to sync placement on Canadian TV show Strays. Adding to a growing profile, “Overstimulated,” and “I Love You, Dwayne” have received praise from NPR, Consequence, EARMILK, Exclaim! — and airplay from CBC and MountainFM in her native Canada, and Jazz FM’s Tony Minvielle in the UK.

Blossoming out of what was originally intended as a one-song collaboration, Miranda Joan has spent the past few years collaborating with acclaimed and rising New York-based musician and producer Ben Carr, a.k.a CARRTOONS on her forthcoming sophomore album Overstimulated. Simultaneously leaning into and letting go of the excessive and the overstimulating, the album sees the Brooklyn-based artist move towards a contemporary soul and jazz sound that meshes the electronic and organic. The album also features contributions from Sly5thAve, Jake Sherman, Ben WIlliams, Huntertones and Kristine Kruta. “It is an album book-ended by songs of affirmation, of rooting, of returning to and loving oneself, intertwined with the messy, chaotic and interconnected web of my hopes, dreams, imagination, love, and heartache”,  Miranda Joan says.

Overstimulated‘s latest single “Bada Bing!” is built around a lush, Quiet Storm-like soul pop production and arrangement featuring an elastic, two-step-inducing groove while Miranda Joan’s sultry and soulful delivery coquettishly dances within the song’s groove.

Directed by Gigi Nettles, the accompanying video for “Bada Bing!” fittingly is a loving and playful homage to The Sopranos and features some of the familiar sights from the show’s introductory sequences with the Montréal-born, Brooklyn-based artist playing the role of Tony Soprano.

New Video: GUM Teams Up With Hatchie on Mind-Bending “Argentina”

Over the past decade, Aussie singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jay Watson has been restlessly prolific: He’s written and recorded five albums as the frontman of GUM, including 2020’s Out In The World. As the co-leader of acclaimed psych outfit Pond, Watson has been behind nine albums, including last year’s aptly titled 9. And through that recorded output, the Aussie singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has treated listeners to some of the most sonically diverse and eclectic explorations of the past decade or so.

Watson’s sixth GUM album Saturnia officially dropped today. The album released through  Spinning Top Music, Watson’s sixth GUM album Saturnia is arguably the richest and most coherent work of his career to date.

Coming off the back of Out In The World, Watson had a loose idea of where he wanted the project to go next. Drum sticks in hand and a rough sonic map in mind, the intervention of the pandemic and the logistics of caring for two small children meant that the songs Watson had stated to write were given a previously unprecedented amount of time to percolate in his head, and the material began to ferment and sprout new tendrils. “Because of Covid and because I had a new kid, for the first time ever I would write songs and think about them months on end,” Watson says. “I’d always been a bit of a lazy arranger, but this time I was working on different sections in my head for months.”

With his mind ticking over and creative impulses sparking off new ideas, Watson’s initial blueprint started to look very different. There were now new routes on this initial road map. “My dream was to make one coherent record that sounded the same all the way through, but it’s just so hard when you like so much different stuff!” he laughs. “I wanted the whole album to sound like Nick Drake at the very beginning, but it just doesn’t work out like that. I’ve got so much equipment and stuff to play with that even if I start with something that sounds like Nick Drake, I’ll starting adding things and playing with it and it will take it away into somewhere else immediately.” 

The anchor of Saturnia‘s material is the bedrock of real-life playing and organic sounds that Watson was aiming for. But as the album evolved and grew, it became the launchpad for something more adventurous and musically nourishing. 

Last month, I wrote about “Music Is Bigger Than Hair.” Built around a simple, shimmering, finger-plucked guitar melody paired with Watson’s dreamily forlorn delivery and a breathtakingly gorgeous string arrangement by Jesse Kotansky, the song for about three-quarters of its 4:18 runtime is a dusty Nick Drake-meets-Pink Floyd-like bit of troubadour folk with a narrator grappling with age and mortality in a realm where youth and youthfulness is valued above all. But the song ends with an unexpectedly, breezy and playful, samba influenced coda. 

“’Music Is Bigger Than Hair’ is a funny title, I think it’s referring to me getting older and feeling my mortality a little bit more, or at least my worth as a musician being tied up in the way I look,” Watson says. “Feeling like it’s affecting my music, as if it has anything to do with it. Musically it’s one of my favorites because of Jesse Kotansky’s beautiful string arrangement.”

To celebrate the album’s release, Watson shared “Argentina,” an expansive Nick Drake-meets-Tame Impala bit of psych rock featuring a guest spot from acclaimed artist Hatchie and some incredibly dexterous guitar work that includes shimmering guitar lines for the song’s verses, buzzing guitar lines for the song’s choruses, and a mind-bending solo.

“This song isn’t really about Argentina, I just wanna say that I adore Argentina and it’s one of my favorite places to go and play,” Watson says of the song. “It’s about letting ego take hold of you and not surrounding yourself with the right people. Features some great vocal parts from Hatchie.”

Directed and animated by Alex Aulson, the accompanying video for “Argentina” features some stunning close-ups of natural phenomena near a rugged coastline.

New Video: Tonguetied Shares Glistening and Brooding “Selfish Girl”

Drawing from folk and electronic music, rising British artist Elena Garcia, best known as Tonguetied sees her work as a balance-point between Julia Jacklin and Grimes with nods from Young Fathers, Kate Bush, Caroline Polachek, Daughter and Yuné Pinku.

In a relatively short period of time, Garcia’s work has caught the attention of major British outlets like The Independent, Clash Magazine and BBC Radio 6. Building upon a growing profile, Garcia’s Tonguetied debut EP BLOOM is slated for an October 27, 2023 release.

BLOOM reportedly sees Garcia pairing the songwriting of a diarist, carefully treading a line between a direct and indirect gaze with what’s quickly becoming her trademark production style — arpeggiated synth pulses paired with her ethereal delivery.

The EP’s latest single “Selfish Girl” is built around glistening synth pulses, thumping beats and a driving groove serving as a lush and silky bed for Garcia’s ethereal vocal, expressing yearning to fit in, frustration, the sensation of not quite fitting in, and unease within the turn of a phrase — and within a lived-in specificity that should feel familiar to almost all of us.

“Born from a place of frustration, ‘Selfish Girl’ was one of the fastest songs I’ve ever written. The lyrics and melody came to life within around 15 minutes,” Garcia explains.

“As I grow and find my footing in this strange and very often unfair world, I become increasingly aware of those around me who don’t seem to align on the importance of self reflection. We all make mistakes, and all have moments of taking our lives for granted, but a perpetual inability to entertain the privilege you walk through life with, starts to become inexcusable. 

Navigating friendships and communication in your 20s can be difficult – Selfish Girl provides me with an outlet to scream ‘I don’t care what you have to say’ into the musical abyss, and save my more put-together and perhaps constructive conversational approach, for real life.” 

Shot by Zak Watson of Timestorm Productions, the accompanying video for “Selfish Girl” captures the rising British artist at dawn in silhouette and with sweeping cinematic aplomb and in brooding shots in stark, dream-like wood scenes.

New Video: Elisapie’s Yearning Rendition of Queen’s “I Want to Break Free”

Acclaimed Montréal-based singer/songwriter, musician, actor and activist Elisapie was born and raised in Salluit, a small village in Nunavik, Québec’s northernmost region. In this extremely remote community, accessible only by plane, she was raised by an extended, yet slightly dysfunctional adoptive family. Growing up in Salluit, she lived through the loss of cousins who ended their lives, experienced young love, danced the night away at the village’s community center and witnessed first hand, the effects of colonialism — i.e., poverty, hopelessness, alcoholism, suicide, and more. 

Much like countless bright and ambitious young people across the world, the Salluit-born artist moved to the big city — in this case, Montréal to study and, ultimately, pursue a career in music. Since then, her work whether within the confines of a band or as as solo artist constantly displays her unconditional attachment to her native territory, its people, and to her language, Inuktitut. Spoken for millennia, Inuktitut embodies the harshness of its environment and the wild yet breathtaking beauty of the Inuit territory. Thematically, her work frequently pairs Inuit themes and concerns with modern rock music, mixing tradition with modernity in a deft, seamless fashion. 

She won her first Juno Award as a member of Taima, and since stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist, her work has received rapturous critical acclaim: 2018’s The Ballad of the Runaway Girl was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, and earned her a number of Association du disque, de l’industrie du spectacle Québeécois (ADISQ) Felix Awards and a Juno Award nod. She followed up with a performance with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal — at the invitation of Grammy Award-winning maestro Yannick Nézet Séguin — at Central Park SummerStage, a NPR Tiny Desk Session and headlining or festival sets both locally and internationally. 

In her native Canada, she is also known as an actor, starring in the TV series Motel Paradis and C.S. Roy’s experimental indie film VFCwhich was released earlier this year. She has also graced the cover of a number of magazines including Châtelaine, Elle Québec and a long list of others. And as a devoted activist, she created and produced the first nation-wide broadcast TV show to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day. 

Slated for a Friday release through Bonsound, her fourth solo album Inuktitut features inventive re-imaginings of songs by Led ZeppelinPink FloydBlondieFleetwood Mac, Metallica and more. Each of the acts and artists covered have warmly given their blessing to receive the acclaimed Canadian artist’s unique treatment. Fittingly, each song is imbued with depth and purpose, as the album’s material is an act of cultural re-appropriation that reinvigorates the poetry of these beloved songs by placing them within Inuit traditions. 

Through the album’s 10 songs, the acclaimed Inuk tells her story and offers these songs as a loving gift to her community, making her language and culture resonate well beyond the borders of the Inuit territory. But the album is also a testament to the power and remarkable universality of pop music, a reminder of the universality of human life, and fittingly an ode to the experiences, memories, places and people, who have shaped us.

So far, I’ve written about three of the album’s released singles: 

Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time),” a gorgeous and fairly faithful Inuktiut adaptation of Cyndi Lauper‘s 1983 Rob Hyman co-written smash hit “Time After Time” that retains the familiar beloved melody of the original paired with a percussive yet atmospheric arrangement and the Salluit-born, Montréal-based artist’s gorgeous, achingly tender delivery. 

“Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time)” was inspired by a childhood memory of Elisapie’s aunt Alasie and her cousin Susie:

“I was able to get through my pre-teen years, thanks to my Aunt Alasie, as my mother had neither the knowledge nor the experience to give me a crash course on puberty, fashion or social relationships,” Elisapie recalls. “In addition to entering a new chapter in my life, we were in the midst of the 80’s and modernity was shaking up our traditional methods. My mother’s generation had lived in Igloos, and the cultural changes were too swift. 

“Despite her struggles, my aunt ensured I felt accepted and exposed me to new and modern things like TV, clothes, dancing, Kraft Dinner and make-up! 

 Whenever I went to my aunt’s house, I was in awe of my older girl cousins. They were all so cool and stylish, and they loved pop music and the crazy makeup of the 80s and early 90s.  One of my favorite memories is listening to the radio with them and hearing Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ for the first time. It was like a lightning bolt, and I couldn’t separate the song or the artist from my older cousin Susie. For me, the song was all about her search for beauty, connection, love, and rising above pain.”

Isumagijunnaitaungituq (The Unforgiven),” a hauntingly gorgeous, dream-like re-imagining of Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” that retains the song’s familiar melody but featuring an arrangement of traditional drums and flute and acoustic guitar paired with the acclaimed Canadian artist’s equally gorgeous, yearning delivery, some brooding synths and the incorporation of Inuktitut throat singing.

“Isumagijunnaitaungituq (The Unforgiven)” finds the acclaimed Canadian artist paying tribute to the Inuit men of Salluit and nodding to the time she interviewed Metallica’s Kirk Hammett in the early 90s:

“When I was 14 years old, I applied for a job at TNI, the first Inuit TV-radio broadcaster, and I was thrilled when I was chosen for the position! Everyone at the station dreamed big, and they put in a request for an interview with Metallica. The band was so loved in Salluit that we had to give it a shot. Metallica accepted only two interviews on their Québec tour, and TNI was chosen. In my boys’ eyes, I was the coolest!

As a teenager, I only wanted to hang around the gang of boys in my village. We would all go to my cousin’s house and smoke weed while listening to Metallica. The band’s music allowed us to delve into the darkness of our broken souls and feel good there. Men’s roles in our territory had been challenged by colonization, and it had become confusing what life was supposed to look like for a man. My boys were seeking new roles, and subconsciously, I allowed them to be my bodyguards so they could feel strong. Looking back, I was trying to give them the strength to find their place.

“‘Isumagijunnaitaungituq (The Unforgiven)’ incorporates throat singing, known as katajjaq in Inuktitut. It felt like katajjaq was so appropriate, says Elisapie. It is Inuit women who throat sing. Inuit women, mothers and grandmothers had to be the nurturing ones during the hard times, as men were struggling emotionally due to colonialism. Through this song, I wanted the feminine strength to balance the men’s challenges.”

Qimmijuat (Wild Horses),” a gorgeous reimagining of the classic Rolling Stones tune “Wild Horses,” which retains the original’s yearning and tender ache, but places the beloved melody in a hauntingly sparse arrangement by her longtime collaborator Joe Grass that that features a plaintive piano melody by Leif Vollebekk, a gorgeous, bluesy guitar solo and striking drumming from Robbie Kuster. Elisapie’s yearning delivery ethereally floats over the arrangement. 

The song is a tribute to a childhood friend of Elisapie who had a difficult home life due to his parent’s separation and a strained relationship with his father. “Wild Horses became a source of comfort for him and his obsession with it was palpable, as if he was riding away from all his problems on the back of this song,” explains Elisapie.

Inuktitut‘s fourth and final pre-release single “Qimatsilunga (I Want to Break Free),” is a hauntingly gorgeous and bittersweet re-imagining of Queen’s “I Want to Break Free.” Elisapie’s rendition of the song, slow’s the tempo down quite a bit, and places the song’s yearning melody and anthemic chorus within a haunting arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar and twinkling keys paired with dramatic drumming before closing in a slow, gentle fade-out.

The acclaimed Canadian’s rendition of “I Want to Break Free,” much like the preceding singles, sees her simultaneously evoking both fond and bittersweet memories of her youth in Salluit, while paying tribute to her cousin Tayara, with whom she grew up:

“Tayara was a little older than me. He was quiet, handsome, graceful and he loved music. He was named after our great-grandfather, a remarkable and gentle man. Tayara never found his place and never lived life to its fullest. Sadly, like too many Inuit teenagers and many of my cousins, he committed suicide by hanging himself in the tiny closet of his house, right next door to mine,” Elisapie says

But despite this tragic story, the Montréal-based JOVM mainstay sees this song as one of resilience, strength and of mourning:  “When ‘I Want to Break Free’ played on the radio, something magical happened. The lyrics resonated with him, allowing him to embrace his differences and marginality with pride. It was our song. When we danced to it, he shared his inner world with me, with all its complexities and desires. Through this music, he showed me how to be punk, wild and fierce. He was my best friend. When I sing it now, it’s a way of saying goodbye. Despite all its strength and power, it’s the saddest song in the world.”

Continuing her ongoing collaboration with Phillipe Léonard, the accompanying video for “Qimatsilunga (I Want to Break Free)” presents a visual narrative that invites people to break free from social norms and expectations — and express their desire for freedom through dancing. “We see Simik Komaksiutiksak, a contemporary dancer who energizes members of the community through his gestures and the light he projects on them,” explains the director. “In turn, he feeds on the movement of others, and a conversation takes shape as the video unfolds. It’s an invitation to dance, to let off steam.”

New Video: Mildlife Share Mind-Bending and Expansive “Return to Centaurus”

With the release of 2017’s full-length debut, Phase, Melbourne-based psych jazz/jazz funk/jazz fusion outfit Mildlife — multi-instrumentalists Jim Rindfleish, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and Tom Shanahan — exploded into the national and international scenes. The album, which was a mind-bending mix of jazz, jazz fusion, krautrock, 70s psychedelia rooted in trippy grooves, became a word-of-mouth sensation among open-minded, crate-digging DJs searching for that perfect, seemingly undiscovered or little-known incredible groove.

Phase was also a sensation internationally. The album was praised by a nubmer of media outlets internationally, including Resident Advisor, Uncut, The Guardian and others. The album earned several award nominations including Best Album at the 2018 Worldwide FM Awards,  Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2018 AIR Awards and a Best Electronic Award nomination and win at the Music Victoria Awards. The Aussie outfit’s full-length debut also received airplay from BBC Radio 6. And adding to a growing profile both nationally and internationally, the members of Mildlife won over fans with a loose-limbed, free-flowing improvisational approach to their live show, which they took on tour with Stereolab, JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and Harvey Sutherland.

Building upon that momentum, Mildlife’s first national headlining tour was sold-out, and they quickly followed up with a ten-date UK and European Union tour.

Mildlife’s sophomore album, 2020’s Automatic was a stylistic shift for the acclaimed Aussie outfit. The album’s material was much more danceable, but while continuing their unerring knack for knowing when to let a track luxuriate and stretch out — without being self-indulgent. The album received critical applause internationally while earning the Aussie outfit an ARIA Award win.

Unable to play shows in person in front of living, breathing, sweating and dancing humans because of the pandemic, the band traveled by boat to a long-abandoned 19th century fort on South Channel Island, just outside of Melbourne, where they performed material from both Phase and Automatic for a 70-minute concert film and live album, Live from South Channel Island

The acclaimed Melbourne-based outfit’s latest single “Return to Centaurus” is their first single bit of new material since the release of their sophomore album. Clocking in at a little over 10 minutes, “Return to Centaurus” opens with droning synths and leads into Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd-meets-space rock-like introduction, with Kraftwerk-like vocoders. By around the 2:40 mark, the song quickly morphs into some hook-driven acid funk with loping yet supple bass lines, shimmering funk guitar riffs, glistening space-age synths, bursts of fluttery flute and intricate yet propulsive drum patterns. Rooted in the Aussie outfit’s love of 70s psychedelic and cosmic sounds, the new single serves as a reminder of their seemingly effortless mastery of mind-bending and unhurried trippy grooves.

Directed by Jordan Gusti, the accompanying video for “Return to Centaurus” sees the quartet longing around a sleek and artful, mid-century mod-meets 70s space age/futuristic living room, seemingly absorbed in deep, brooding thought. Through a series of mesmerizing, slow zooms, the video reveals the cosmos both within and without.

 “We liked imagining a room that our minds inhabit together while we’re in hyper sleep on the way to a distant constellation,” the band says of the new single and accompanying video. “As our bodies lay still in a capsule tucked in the closet of a fast-moving craft, our minds meet in this artificial room designed by someone or something else. The room is a tool to keep our minds limber as our human forms spin against time in the physical world. Is it a room within a room though? Does your body lay still in a capsule as your mind watches this clip? Are we all returning together? Who knows. It was fun to draw on each other and watch Adsy take his true form as the silver Mark anyway.”

New Video: Romy Valalik Shares Haunting and Eerie “Comme un reve”

French indie artist Romy Valalik is a self-taught singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, who started her career as a bassist. She quickly turned to electronic instruments, so that she could fully express her musical ideas — and have a symphony orchestra at her fingertips.

The French artist quickly established an attention grabbing sound that featured gorgeous symphonic-inspired arrangements paired with a Björk-like vocal. After singing to Universal Music France, Valalik released her debut EP, 2021’s 1 and last year’s “I Am Your Treasure,” she chose to follow her own path and become an independent artist with complete artistic freedom.

Her latest single “Comme un reve” is built around an eerie arrangement of twinkling keys, bursts of soaring strings and trumpet serving as an atmospheric bed for the French artist’s hauntingly expressive vocal. It’s a remarkably cinematic song that while somewhat indebted to Björk sounds as though it should be part of the soundtrack of a bildungsroman featuring a character discovering herself.

The accompanying video, which was directed by the French artist, features the artist in tight closeups, appearing like a siren in the deep. Behind her tendrils of light move with her. It’s a fittingly eerie and dreamy visual.

New Video: London’s O.MORGZ Shares Summery and Upbeat “Living”

Emerging, Croydon, UK-born, London-based emcee O. MORGZ grew up in a Black, Caribbean-British household, where he heard a variety of music from Missy Elliot to Beres Hammond, but he took a shine to hip-hop at a very early age. Despite, his interest and passion for hip-hop, the emerging London-based artist didn’t start to pursue a career in music until 2019 with the release of “My Element,” which saw him using a combination of skippy flows and harmonic melodies to get his message across.

Much like countless young Blacks across the world, the London-based artist has had to face a lot of obstacles in a relatively short time, but his ambitions, go-getter attitude and vulnerability are at the core of his work. Ultimately, he hopes to project a sense of consciousness that gives a positive outlook on life. But he also hopes to encourage his audience to acquire financial freedom with a concept he’s dubbed “Money Motivation.”

O.MORGZ’s latest single “Living,” is a breezy and upbeat summery bop built around a vibey production featuring twinkling keys and skittering boom bap serving as a lush and chilled out bed for the British artist’s effortless and self-assured flow. As O.MORGZ explains underneath the song’s celebratory and anthemic nature, is a song meant to be motivational for anyone in difficult circumstances to get up and get yours.

Directed by Fivos Vas, the accompanying video follows the emerging British artist through beautiful Cypress. It’s the high life that many of us dream of attaining — and are busting our asses to achieve.