Category: post punk

New Video: Siberian Post-Punk Outfit PLOHO Explores The Endless Battle Between Adults and Youngsters in New Visual for “Aughts”

Since their formation back in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio PLOHO have firmly established themselves as one of most prominent purveyors of a contemporary, new wave of Russian music. Inspired by late Soviet era acts like Kino and Joy Division, the Siberian act’s sound and approach evokes the bitter cold of their homeland.

Throughout their run together, PLOHO has managed to be very busy: they’ve released five albums, several EPs and over 10 singles, which they’ve supported with multiple tours across Europe with stops at over 40 cities. Building upon a growing profile, the band has made appearances at several prominent festivals including Боль in Russia, Kalabalik in Sweden, and Platforma in Lithuania. Naturally, all of that touring has helped the Russian post-punk trio develop a fanbase across Europe. They’ve also collaborated with Belarusian act Molchat Doma on 2019’s “Along the Edge of the Island.”

Artoffact Records released the Siberian trio’s fifth album, Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings) earlier this year. In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about “Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”), a nostalgia-inducing, dance floor friendly bop featuring reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with lyrics delivered in a seemingly ironically detached Russian.

The Russian post-punk trio just announced an extensive European and UK tour to support the new album. For my European and British friends, those tour dates will be below — as always. But in the meantime, the Siberian post punk outfit’s latest single “Нулевые” (in Cyrillic) or “Nulevyye” (in Latin)” off the new album continues a run of bracingly chilly 4AD Records-like post punk. Centered around frontman Victor Ujakov’s sonorous baritone, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, skittering four-on-the-floor, a relentless motoik groove and an enormous hook, “Nulevyye” is yet another dance floor friendly bop.

Directerd by Sergey Pavlov, the recently released video for “Nulevvye” explores a day and night on the town gone horribly wrong between two generations — an irresponsible, loud, n’er-do-well uncle and an awkward, teenaged nephew trying to find himself. You don’t have to understand Russian to see the disgust and loathing that the nephew has for his uncle. In fact, it’s obvious that the nephew sees his uncle as a horrible intrusion into his own life. There’s the expected battle of wills and the assertion of each other’s masculinity, but at points, there’s even begrudging understanding and acceptance with the nephew and his crew of friends hanging out with the uncle, drinking and goofing off. The chronology of the video is mind-bending but it ends with an a bizarre and unsettling act of violence.

“The problem of generations, the problems of fathers and children — this topic is familiar to everyone,” PLOHO’s frontman Victor Ujakov explains. “The endless pursuit of the passing of youth and the panicked fear of growing up. This is what our new music video is about.”

New Audio: Seattle’s Fotoform Returns with a Defiant New Single

Deriving their name from a mid-century avant-garde photography movement, Seattle-based post punk outfit Fotoform — longtime collaborators and married couple Kim House (bass, vocals, synths) and Geoffrey Cox (guitar), along with newest member, former Death Cab for Cutie’s and The Long Winters’ Michael Schorr (drums) — can trace their origins back to the formation of a previous project, the dark, goth-adjacent dream pop act C’est la Mort, which formed shortly after House and Cox married.

Specializing in what they dubbed “pointy-shoegaze,” C’est la Mort released their full-length debut through their own Dismal Nitch label, as well as various compilation tracks, including a limited split 7 inch with Stars for American Laundromat‘s The Smiths‘ tribute Please Please Please. After a series of lineup changes, House and Cox re-emerged as Fotoform in late 2016.  

House and Cox released their Fotoform self-titled debut in 2017. Supported with tours of the West Coast and Europe, the album received airplay and praise both locally and nationally: Album single “I Know You’re Charming” was featured as a KEXP Song of The Day. The self-titled album was voted as one of KEXP Listeners’ Top 90.3 Albums of 2017 and it landed on several year-end lists, including The Big Takeover and Part-Time Punks. Building upon a growing profile, the band followed up with 2018’s Part-Time Punks EP, which was selected as one of The Big Takeover’s EPs of 2018.

Schorr joined the band in 2019 and they started last year with two benefit singles “Yves Klein Blue,” which was recored for voter outreach and the Christmas-themed “They Say It’s Always Lonely” to benefit local food banks. Both singles found the trio expanding upon their sound with the addition of synths. The trio then went into the studio with Evan Foster to record the material for their forthcoming sophomore album Horizons in early 2020. But as a result of pandemic-related quarantines and restrictions, the Horizons sessions resumed a year later with Foster — and with Matt Bayles recording drum parts.

Horizons, which is slated for an October 15, 2021 release reportedly finds the band pivoting even further from the towering wall of guitars-based sound of their previously released work and towards a much more nuanced sound drawing equally from shoegaze, dream pop and post-punk. Continuing to pair synths with layers of guitars and driving bass, the album’s sound may bring the likes of The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and others to mind.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the painterly Garlands era Cocteau Twins meets Souvlaki era Slowdive-like “Running,” a track centered around atmospheric synths, swirling guitars, soaring hooks and a forceful motorik pulse paired with House’s ethereal vocals. Horizons’ latest single “Too Late” may arguably be the most dynamic single off the album to date: Featuring the band’s Kim House on guitar for the first time in their history, the single further establishing their painterly and textured approach but while featuring a fed up narrator, who’s fed up and telling off someone who has wronged her.

We’ve all experienced moments when boundaries have been crossed, whether by ourselves or someone else, and there’s no going back,” Fotoform’s Kim House explains. “‘Too Late’ is about that moment of alienation- the point of no return. It’s almost a two-sided monologue, it’s a warning/reminder but also a kind of satisfying break-up song about being strong enough to cut someone off who has wronged you emotionally, romantically, or even professionally: That’s it, ‘you’re cut off.’ But: ‘you did it to yourself.’” 

Besides the new album, the trio — much like the rest of us — is looking forward to getting back to live shows and touring. They’ve also been writing and working on new material, including a split 7 inch with Savage Republic. 

With the release of their first three albums, 2010’s Romanticism, 2012’s Revisionist and 2015’s Midnight Century, the Toronto-based post-punk act The Black Fever — Shoe (vocals, guitar), Pat Bramm (bass, vocals) and Dan Purpura (drums) — have established a sound that draws from Interpol, Joy Division, and The Cure with lead bass lines and propulsive drums paired with a focus on melody and concise songwriting.

Since their formation, the Canadian post-punk trio have received media coverage in outlets like The Toronto Star, Now Magazine, CHARTAttack, Exclaim!, and Scene Magazine and airplay on CBC Radio 1, campus radio stations across Canada and online radio stations across the world. Adding to a growing profile in their native Canada, the band has made the rounds of the Canadian festival circuit playing Canadian Music Week four times (2013, 2015, 2016, and 2019), NXNE three times (2012, 2014 and 2016), as well as the Hamilton Film and Music Festival.

The members of The Black Fever have managed to remain busy during the pandemic, writing and recording new material including their latest single “Nowhere,” which officially dropped yesterday. Centered around a sinuous bass line, Shoe’s plaintive vocals, angular guitar blasts and propulsive drumming, “Nowhere” finds the Canadian trio continuing their long-held reputation for crafting a sound that seemingly meshes elements of classic 4AD Records, The Cure and Interpol paired with enormous hooks and earnest, lived-in songwriting. As the band explains, the song was informed by and written about the troubles experienced by those in their generation: Economically, socially, politically, environmentally and even health-wise, people between their teens to their 40s are struggling under the weight of so much shitty stuff. And no one seems to have a solution besides the same old bullshit we’ve all heard before.

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New Video: Fotoform’s Hallucinogenic Visuals for Brooding and Atmospheric “Running”

Deriving their name from a mid-century avant-garde photography movement, Seattle-based post punk outfit Fotoform — longtime collaborators and married couple Kim House (bass, vocals, synths) and Geoffrey Cox (guitar), along with newest member, former Death Cab for Cutie and The Long Winters member Michael Schorr (drums) — can trace their origins back to the formation of a previous project, the dark, goth-adjacent dream pop act C’est la Mort shortly after House and Cox married.

Specializing in what they dubbed “pointy-shoegaze,” C’est la Mort released their full-length debut through their own Dismal Nitch label, as well as various compilation tracks, including a limited split 7 inch with Stars for American Laundromat’s The Smiths’ tribute Please Please Please. After a series of lineup changes, House and Cox re-emerged as Fotoform in late 2016.

ouse and Cox released their Fotoform self-titled debut in 2017. Supported with tours of the West Coast and Europe, the album received airplay and praise both locally and nationally: Album single “I Know You’re Charming” was featured as a KEXP Song of The Day. The self-titled album was voted as one of KEXP Listeners’ Top 90.3 Albums of 2017 and it landed on several year-end lists, including The Big Takeover and Part-Time Punks. Building upon a growing profile, the band followed up with 2018’s Part-Time Punks EP, which was selected as one of The Big Takeover’s EPs of 2018.

Blue,” which was recored for voter outreach and the Christmas-themed “They Say It’s Always Lonely” to benefit local food banks. Both singles found the trio expanding upon their sound with the addition of synths. The trio went into the studio with Evan Foster to record the material for their forthcoming sophomore album Horizons in early 2020. And as a result of pandemic-related quarantines and restrictions, the Horizons sessions resumed a year later with Foster — and with Matt Bayles recording drum parts.

Slated for an October 15, 2021 release, Horizons reportedly finds the band pivoting even further from the towering wall of guitars-based sound of its predecessors towards a much more nuanced sound drawing equally from shoegaze, dream pop and post-punk: Pairing synths with layers of guitars and driving bass, the band’s sound seems indebted to the likes of The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and others.

Horizons’ latest single, the brooding “Running” serves as a taste of what listeners should expect from the new album: atmospheric synths, swirling layers of guitars, driving bass lines, thunderous drumming and soaring hooks paired with House’s ethereal vocals. Essentially, the new single sees the band pairing patient, painterly textures with forceful motorik pulse in a way that makes the song feel — and sound — like a slick mesh of Garlands-era Cocteau Twins and Souvlaki-era Slowdive.

“‘Running’ was the first song we wrote with the new lineup (myself, Geoff, Michael), almost a statement of purpose as we rethought how we approached our sound and writing,” Fotoform’s Kim house recalls in press notes. “With one less guitar we had more space to play with and fill- or intentionally not fill. It was inspiring, and in some ways freeing, to reconstruct and re-envision everything. I’d just started playing around with a drum machine and 16-track at home, and this one was a result of really stripping back everything to the bass and vocals and then building it up from there. 

“At its core ‘Running’ is about peeling back the layers to connect with your innermost self. Summoning the courage, patience and stillness to distill it down and uncover what truly matters, to listen to our hearts and tap into the subconscious,” House says. “It’s about facing fears and insecurities and having the courage to go after what will truly make you happy (or “make your heart happy” as my dad would say), which oftentimes might be in the opposite direction of what we’re running toward, whether in relationships, life paths and choices, etc. The hardest thing sometimes is to look deep within and listen to ourselves, to follow our instincts and face what we may know is true but are too afraid to admit for fear of change, risk, loss, disappointment, or failure.”

House adds, “On a personal level, ‘Running’ was written in the midst of a period of significant change and reflection. I had just left my role as Footwear Design Director at Nordstrom. It was a whirlwind of a job I held for many years – one which required lots of travel in the US and Europe, intense long hours, and barely enough room for other passions or pursuits. It was rewarding, but almost all encompassing.”

The recently released video for “Running” manages to emphasize the brooding and trippy late night vibes of its accompanying song — all while being gorgeously shot and slickly edited.

Besides the new album, the trio — much like the rest of us — is looking forward to getting back to live shows and touring. They’ve also been writing and working on new material, including a split 7 inch with Savage Republic.

New Video: Rising Post Punk Act Menthüll Release a Haunting Visual for Brooding and Cinematic “Profonde Tristesse”

Formed last year, the rising Gatineau, Québec-based indie electronic/goth duo Menthüll –Gabriel and Yseult — have quickly established a retro-futuristic sound that draws equally from New Wave and electro pop paired with lyrics written and sung exclusively in French.

The Hull-based duo’s releases have received praise and accolades globally. Building upon a growing profile in the Francophone music scene and in the global post-punk and goth scenes, Menthüll’s latest single “Profonde tristesse” continues a run of brooding and cinematic material that sounds — to my ears, at least — indebted to John Carpenter soundtracks and the early 4AD Records catalog paired with vocals delivered in a wispy and ethereal French.

Interestingly, the accompanying visual aesthetically reminds a bit of Jorge Elbrecht: the viewer sees a classically-inspired marble bust superimposed in the foreground of a misty forest that gradually burst into a explosive conflagration.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays ACTORS Release a Oliver Stone-Inspired Visual for Dance Floor Friendly “Only Lonely”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut It Will Come To You, the acclaimed Vancouver-based JOVM mainstay act ACTORS — currently Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Kendall Wooding (bass) and Adam Fink (drums) — found the band quickly establishing an anthemic yet brooding post-punk sound centered around icy synths, angular bass lines, squiggling guitars and Corbett’s reverb-drenched croon.

ainstays have been busy: Until the pandemic put touring on pause, the band had been on an extensive touring schedule to support the album, including at stop at the long-shuttered Brooklyn Bazaar for a headlining set at 2018’s A Murder of Crows Festival. Simultaneously, Corbett has been busy as an in-demand producer working with a number of post-punk acts including fellow JOVM mainstays Bootblacks and Ultrviolence.

ober 1, 2021 release through Artoffact Records. Recorded and produced at Corbett’s Jacknife Studio, the album reportedly finds the Vancouver-based pushing their synth-driven post-punk sound in a much more dance floor friendly direction while retaining the brooding melancholy and massive hooks that have won them attention.

Late last year, I wrote about “Love U More,” a single that can trace its origins to the band being on the road: While traveling the Autobahn at 190km per hour (about 120 mph), the song’s opening synth melody looped through Jason Corbett’s head. The song itself is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular and reverb-drenched bursts of guitar and a relentless motorik groove in one of the act’s more sensual songs to date. The band’s Shannon Hemmett describes the song’s atmosphere as “standing alone on a shadowy street. I see the flash of a cat’s eyes in the dark. I am hunting and hunted, recognizing that tension that lives inside me, and all of us. This track embraces the bittersweet moments of loss with the ancipatoon of new possibilities.” 

“Only Lonely,” Acts of Worship’s second and latest single is a brooding yet sensual song featuring glistening synths, a disco inspired baseline, metronomic four-on-the-floor, rousingly anthemic hooks and Corbett’s plaintive delivery expressing aching yearning and vulnerability. Arguably one of the Vancouver-based act’s most dance floor friendly songs, the song as Corbett explains is indebted to Roxy Music — in particular “The Space Between” “Dance Away” and “Love Is The Drug” come to my mind as reference points.

“‘Only Lonely’ pumps with a bass grind that harkens back to top tier Roxy Music. It finishes with a flourish of arpeggiated synths that’s the icing on the cake. Dance floor approved,” Corbett says.

The recently released video is indebted to Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers and continues a run of visuals that sees the video’s obsessed and deranged anti-heroes drive across surreal landscapes to find the members of ACTORS, brutally torture them while dancing around the room. It’s disturbing much like the source that inspired it.

New Video: Vancouver’s Aversions Release a Hallucinogenic Visual for Tense “Famous Last Lines”

Led by frontman Sam Coll, the Vancouver-based post-punk act Aversions is a band that manages the difficult balance between having legitimate day jobs, and attempting to live the axiom of art interlacing life. Sonically, the Vancouver-based act’s work features muscular riffs, angular bass lines and thunderous drumming paired with Coll’s takes on a variety of topics big and small — while alternating between exalting and disparaging the many contradictions of their hometown.

io Rain City Records and self-recorded and -self-engineered the sessions live-off-the-floor with friends. The four songs they recorded together were mixed by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor and mastered by Jack Shirley at the Bay Area-based Atomic Garden. Their latest single, “Famous Last Lines” is the first release from those pandemic-restricted sessions.

muscular riffs, angular bass lines, thunderous drumming and Coll’s shouted lyrics, the taut and uneasy “Famous Last Lines” finds the members of Aversions darting between forceful thrash, anxious thrum and desperate howl — all while sonically recalling fellow Canadians Preoccupations and METZ. The band explains that the song lyrically explores the disconnect between our memory of a thing and its true nature, using commonly misunderstood “last lines” of famous works of art and literature to illustrate the idea. Thematically, the song questions what true ownership really is: of ideas, associations and objects themselves.

The accompanying visual is a hallucinogenic fever dream that draws from horror movies, dystopian sci-fi and believe it or not, Peter Gabriel.

Lesser Care is an emerging West Texas-based shoegaze act. While they’re currently putting the finishing touches on their Chris Common-produced full-length debut, they released the “Palm”/”Acquired Taste” 7 inch:

  • A-Side single “Palm’ is a stormy song centered around thunderous and propulsive drumming, angular bursts of shimmering and delay pedaled guitar, atmospheric synths and brooding Ian Curtis-like baritone vocals that sonically builds up to a towering and catharsis before gently fading out.
  • B-Side single “Acquired Taste” is a slow-burning and forceful track centered around a classic grunge rock song structure — rousingly anthemic choruses featuring scorching guitars and thunderous drumming and dreamy verses featuring shimmering guitars and atmospheric synths paired with brooding baritone vocals.

Thematically, both tracks tracks loss, grief, loneliness, and acceptance. Considering the past 16 months, those themes are all too relevant with all of us figuring out how to maneuver a world transformed by fear, death, political instability and inequality. And in some way, the song captures and evokes the overall sense of uneasiness, dread and begrudging acceptance that many of us have felt — and will feel for some time.