Category: New Wave

New Video: METZ Releases an Explosive Take on a Gary Numan Classic

I’ve written quite a bit about the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ over the years and if you’ve been frequenting this during that same period, you may recall that their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace found the band pushing their songwriting in new directions with their most personal and politically charged work to date — and while retaining the furious and blistering energy of their live sets, the material managed to capture the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage that many of have felt over the past couple of years. 

Earlier this year, Sub Pop Records released Automat, a collection of METZ’s non-album singles, B-sides and rarities dating back to 2009 on vinyl for the first time — including, the band’s long out-of-print (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. Essentially, the album is designed as a chronological trip through the acclaimed Canadian JOVM mainstays lesser-known material. Interestingly, the vinyl version of Automat included a bonus 7′ single of the band covering three very diverse songs, which will offer fans and listeners a glimpse into their wide-ranging tastes — a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig” off a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single, originally released by Toronto-based record store, Sonic Boom; a cover of The Urinals’ “I’m a Bug” originally released on YouTube in 2014′; and lastly, a previously unreleased cover of Gary Numan’s “M.E.” Today, the three bonus tracks were made available to all digital services. So with that in mind, check out METZ’s explosive, feedback-driven take on Gary Numan’s classic “M.E.” 

Featuring a three-headed Pleasure Principle hydra illustrated by Kirin Booth and animation by Martin MacPherson, the recently released video for “M.E.” is a mesmerizing and hallucinogenic romp.

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New Audio: Rhythm Scholar Releases a Club Friendly Remix of Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels”

Throughout the course of this site’s nine year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink over the ridiculously prolific, New York-based producer, DJ, remixer and JOVM mainstay Rhythm Scholar. The New York-based JOVM mainstay has received attention from this site and elsewhere for funky and slickly produced, crowd-pleasing mashups of classic soul, funk, hip-hop and New Wave. 

Last month, Rhythm Scholar released a kaleidoscopic remix of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams‘ smash hit collaboration “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Interestingly, the longtime JOVM mainstay returns with a propulsive, house music-influenced remix of one of my favorite Tears for Fears tracks “Head Over Heels.”The Rhythm Scholar remix pushes the tempo up towards the club friendly area, while still retaining the song’s familiar and beloved melody, and urgently swooning quality. Interestingly, the remix does two very important things: it reminds listeners that well-crafted and well-written songs manage to stand up to the test of time — and provides a unique and modern take on a smash hit that most of us intimately know. 

Manchester UK-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Till is the creative mastermind of the buzz worthy dark wave recording project Ghosts of Social Networks. Citing the likes of The Cure, Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen, Nick Cave, The National and Radiohead, the project according to Till upcycles old-school forms of songwriting while applying a fresh sonic veneer to them, reportedly pairing innovation with a timeless sense of melodicism.

Till’s Ghost of Social Networks debut single “Love Potion” began a string of acclaimed singles praised for their production and overall sound from the likes of BBC Introducing, several zines across the UK and the blogosphere — and he’s received airplay from Steve Lamacq‘s program and BBC 6 Music. All of this built up quite a bit of buzz before the release of his debut EP, My Lucifer.  Interestingly, Till’s latest Ghost of Social Networks single “Don’t Let Me Down” manages to effortlessly recall Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, as its centered around a brooding and forceful rhythm section, angular guitar lines, an anthemic hook, the song captures a tempestuous and swooning love affair — the sort in which the song’s narrator may recognize will end in disaster.

 

New Video: Introducing the Moody Joy Division-like Synth Pop of Turkey’s Jakuzi

Istanbul, Turkey-based synth-wave duo Jakuzi, which is comprised of Kutay Soyocak and Taner Yücel can trace its origins to when Soyocak and Yücel started the act in 2015 as a way for them to move away from their previous punk rock-leaning projects. When they released their debut cassette in 2016 Fantezi Muzik  no one seriously expected it to leave their immediate circle of friends and associates; however, the tape caught the attention of City Slang Records, who re-released the debut with new tracks the following year — and the album began to receive praise from internationally recognized media outlets, including The Quietus and The Guardian, and the band played sold-out shows with their musical idol John Maus. 

Fantezi Muzik’s material found the band going against the grain of what’s  expected from a male-fronted Turkish act. While most male-fronted acts from the duo’s homeland aren’t typically known for being introspective, Soyocak and Yücel’s work, which has been centered by a gothic sensibility, addressed the personal and psychological issues they were facing. 

Ironically, despite achieving the sort of success that most indie bands would probably kill for, the duo found themselves dealing with a number of challenging issues. Being musicians in their homeland is extremely challenging economically and personally  — and because their songs are written and sung entirely in their native Turkish, the language that Soyocak feels he can best express himself, the opportunities are limited. Currently, there aren’t playlists for Turkish DYI dream pop/dark wave/synth wave acts, their songs aren’t played on traditional radio shows and there isn’t a mass market for attending punk rock shows.  And although they’ve been frustrated and even demoralized, they have refused to give in; in fact, their long-awaited and forthcoming sophomore album Hata Payi (which literally translates as “part of the mistake”) reportedly finds the band delving deeper and making further explorations into the feelings and thoughts they touched upon in their debut — namely, what it’s like to be a young adult in Istanbul, having success and then having to live up to expectations, being an artist in a country that doesn’t quite get or support your work, managing personal relationships as you get older and mental health; but with a refined, darker sound. “I think my melancholy comes partly from where I live,” the band’s Kutay Soyocak says in press notes. “This can be seen in the lyrics. I sometimes feel dark, lost and lonely as everyone. Here, the economy and politics make me feel hopeless sometimes. The future seems blurry but we try to keep our hopes high and continuing what we do. The audience is getting bigger every day and they support us and it is just pure love in our gigs.’’

Interestingly, “Toz,” the second and latest single off Hata Payi immediately brings Joy Division to mind, as the song is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, stuttering beats, an angular and propulsive bass line, a big hook and Kutay Soyocak’s sonorous yet achingly sad baritone — and although the lyrics are completely in his native Turkish, the song evokes a loneliness that is deeply universal. 

Directed by Eli Kasavi, the recently released video for “Toz” stars a brooding and lonely Kutay Soyocak dancing alone in a room with flickering spotlight. As Kasavi explains in press notes. “It’s connected to the band’s previous video “Şüphe” where the main character watched a dancing couple with a feeling of doubt. That character has left that place now and is dancing by himself.”

New Video: Fawns of Love Return with a Trippy and Bittersweet Rumination of Permanence

Last October, I wrote about the Bakersfield, CA-based indie act Fawns of Love, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of married duo and full-time educations Joseph and Jenny Andreotti have performed together for the past 16 years (and married 13 of those 16), writing, recording and touring under various names with releases through several different labels. Back in 2013, Jenny Andreotti enrolled in a graduate school history program, and as a result the duo went on a lengthy hiatus from music; but by 2017, The Andreottis decided it was time to get back into music, starting anew with a brand new band name. 

The duo’s latest album Permanent was released earlier this week through Test Pattern Records, and the album is the follow-up to their EP documenting their Part Time Punks live session, which featured a cover of The Chills‘ “Rocket Science.” However, the material on Permanent is inspired by deeply personal experience. “For the past year, my life has been in a complete flux,” the duo’s Jenny Andreotti explains in press notes. “People have moved away, relationships have changed, and this has challenged my belief that people’s love for you is permanent.”

Album single “Someday” was a chilly and woozy 4AD Records-like track centered around shimmering synths and guitars, four-on-the-floor beats and a motorik groove paired with Jenny Andreotti’s ethereal falsetto. “Mournful Eyes,” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as the song features arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, shimmering New Order-like guitar chords, while Jenny Andreotti’s vocals float over the icy mix. Sonically, the song is a slick and seamless synthesis of New Wave, psych pop, and goth, but with a bitter recognition — that nothing is permanent, that nothing lasts forever. As Jenny Andreotti explained in an interview on HighClouds, “‘Mournful Eyes’ fits into the LP theme of ‘permanency’ or realizing that nothing really is. To help represent this theme we used the 1970s psychedelic film, Life is Flashing (Before Your Eyes) by Vincent Collins to help illustrate this visually. Nothing is permanent in Collins’ films. Shapes and characters are constantly morphing and warping into new psychedelic shapes and colors throughout his film.”

New Video: Yip Yops Release an Early MTV-like Video

Comprised of founding members Ison Van Winkle (vocals, guitar) and Ross Murakami (drums), along with Jacob Gutierrez and newest member, Mari Brossfield (keys, vocals), the Coachella Valley, California-based indie act Yip Yops can trace their origins back to 2011. As the story goes, Van Winkle, who was turned on to Pink Floyd’The Wall by his father, “consciously and subconsciously” developed boundless ambition when it came to mutual. Through mutual friends, he attended a local jam session where he met Murakami, About a year later, the duo began jamming together, and it sparked the possibility of forming a band, centered around working together to accomplish a goal of creating the best music possible

Gutierrez joined the band for an industry conference, and as a teenaged trio, the band cut their teeth playing in and around the Coachella Valley area for the better part of a year-and-a-half. Brossfield joined the band, and as a result the band’s New Wave-inspired sound expanded to include male-female harmonies. Already the band has played sets at CoachellaChinatown Summer Nights and Echo Park Rising and adding to a growing profile the band has opened for Lauren Ruth Ward and have released their latest single, “She” a single that draws from The Ting Tings “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” and Freedom of Choice-era Devo, as the band employs the use of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, propulsive. tribal-like drumming and an infectious, razor sharp hook within an anachronistic yet carefully crafted song that sounds as though it could have been released in 1981, 2011 or 2018.

Directed by Mike E Nikolla, the recently released video for “She” is primarily centered around footage of the band perfuming the song in an abandoned studio with headless mannequins and arms — and off screen, a costumed character watches as a sort of security guard. Visually, the video reminds me of classic MTV videos from the early 80s (which is quite fitting). 

Now, over the past 12-18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the up-and-coming, attention-grabbing Halifax, UK-based act The Orielles. The act which features founding members  Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums); her younger sister,  Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals); and their best friend, Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) had a great deal of buzz surrounding them in their native UK when Heavenly Recordings‘ head Jeff Barrett signed the band after catching them open for labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label.

Last year saw the members of The Orielles releasing a series of attention-grabbing singles, including The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle,” and the funky, almost dance floor friendly freakout of “Let Your Dogtooth Grow.” Building upon a growing national and international profile, the band released their highly-anticipated full-length debut Silver Dollar Moment earlier this year, and from the likes of album single “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist),” the album found the band continuing in a similar vein as it immediate predecessor as it found the band mischievously meshing elements of psych rock, pop and disco — in particular, as the band notes, Luther Davis Group’s “You Can Be A Star” and Rita Lee’s “Chega Mais,” while centered around an anecdote of someone spotting an unaccompanied blue suitcase on a train platform. Naturally, this was followed by allegorical discussions and theories about what was in the suitcase and why it was left behind.

Interestingly, since the release of Silver Dollar Moment the band’s founding trio recruited their newest member Alex Stephens on keyboards and with their newest member, they went into the studio to record two new tracks “Bobbi’s Second World” and a cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane)” — and both songs finds the band’s sounding leaning increasingly in the direction of dance floor-friendly New Wave, recalling early 80s Talking Heads, ESG and others while still being centered around rock-based instrumentation. With their releases, the members of The Orielles have revealed themselves to be restlessly expanding, playing with and experimenting with their sound and as a result, I’m excited to see which direction they wind up going next.

As the band writes in press notes, “‘Bobbi’s Second World’ written with the addition of a new member on keys, exhibits an explosion of new sounds and ideas that came to fruition after a long summer of playing festivals and taking inspiration from music that made us dance. It centres around the story of a cat named Bobbi who, in order to become a lady, has to experience the extremities of two complex and differing realities- situated in her front and back gardens respectively. The eccentric instrumentation, influenced by northern soul, post-punk and funk music, matches the quirkiness of the lyrics to create a song that concerns a young cats maturity whilst displaying a certain maturity in the music itself. After noticing a passion for songs that make us emotional; want to dance and quite literally ‘forget’, we decided to cover one of Peggy Gou‘s latest floor fillers, ‘Itgehane aka It Makes You Forget’ hoping that we could evoke the aforementioned qualities of music within other listeners!”

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Visuals for Fawns of Love’s Ethereal and Shoegazey “Someday”

Comprised of married duo and full-time educators Joseph and Jenny Andreotti, the Bakersfield, CA-based indie act Fawns of Love have performed together for the past 16 years, recording, touring and recording music under various names and through several different labels — and they’ve been married for the past 13 of those 16 years. In 2013, Jenny enrolled in a graduate school history program, and the duo went on a hiatus from music; but in 2017, the duo felt it was time to get back into music, and started anew with a new band name. 

The duo’s forthcoming full-length album Permanent is slated for January 18, 2019 release through Test Pattern Records, their first release through that label — and the album will be the follow-up to their recently released EP documenting their session for the renowned Los Angeles area radio show Part Time Punks, an EP that features a cover of The Chills’ “Rocket Science.” As for Permanent, the material is inspired by deeply personal experience.  “For the past year, my life has been in a complete flux,” the duo’s Jenny Andreotti explains in press notes. “People have moved away, relationships have changed, and this has challenged my belief that people’s love for you is permanent.” 

Interestingly, Permanent’s latest single is the chilly and woozy, 4AD Records heyday channeling “Someday,” a track centered around shimmering synths, four-on-the floor beats, a motorik groove, shimmering guitar chords and Jenny Andreotti’s ethereal falsetto. Sonically, the song manages to bring New Order, The Cure and others to mind, but with a gauzy, shoegazer-like quality.  The recently released video for “Someday” features some lush, black and white photography and black and white stock video footage to evoke a creepy and anxious air, all while recalling 120 Minutes-era MTV. 

Throughout this site’s eight plus year history I’ve written a lot about the ridiculously prolific New York-based producer, DJ, remixer and longtime JOVM mainstay Rhythm Scholar, and as you’ll likely recall he has received attention for slickly produced, funky as hell, crowd-pleasing mashups and remixes of classic soul, funk, soul hip-hop, New Wave and others.  Interestingly, over the past year or so, the longtime JOVM mainstay has increasingly employed the use of live instrumentation to his remixes; in fact, his latest remix finds him taking on the Depeche Mode classic “Never Let Me Down Again.”

Featuring Jason Spillman (bass), Angus Mashgyver (guitar) and samples of Heavenly Music Corporation and Cliff Martinez, the remix retains Dave Gahan‘s imitable vocal but places it within a slightly more up-tempo setting with layers upon layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, a dance floor friendly break, and ambient flute and other instrumentation to bolster the song’s melody in the song’s quieter moments. Live bass and guitar give the song a muscular and funky heft. But while pushing the song from ambient and industrial electro pop to thumping, industrial-inspired house, Rhythm Scholar manages to retain the most important quality of the song — it’s brooding, emotional quality.