Category: psych pop

New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Releases a Motorik Groove Driven Freak Out

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” They promptly followed up with two more singles, which I covered on this site:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik groove, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric elecvtroincns, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.

Interestingly, the Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated third album Paradigmes is slated for an April 2, 2021 release through the band’s Disque Pointu/IDOL. And along with the album’s announcement, the members of La Femme released Paradigmes’ latest single Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck, nihilistic, motorik-groove driven, freak out that sonically seems like a slick synthesis of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with a ’77 punk rock nihilism. The approximate English translation of the words chanted in the song’s chorus is: “It’s the return of terror, all the kids sing in unison, I wanna fuck it up!” And as a result, the song is a decided dance floor meets mosh pit ripper specifically designed to turn a crowd upside down.

The recently released video for the song was animated and directed by the members of the band — and the visual is a neon colored, lysergic freakout that includes a surfing guitar player, musicians, who’s innards are revealed and other weird imagery. It’s La Femme at their best — being a wild head fuck that you can bop to.

Live Footage: Amsterdam’s Altin Gün Performs “Ordunun Dereleri”

Deriving their name from the Turkish phase for “Golden Day,” the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych pop act Altin Gün — founding member founding member Jasper Verhulst (bass) with Ben Rider (guitar), Erdinç Ecevit Yildiz (keys, saz, vocals), Gino Groneveld (percussion), Merve Dasdemir (vocals) and Nic Mauskovic (drums) — can trace their origins to Japser Verhulst’s deep and abiding passion for 60s and 70s Turkish psych pop and folk and to frequent tour stops in Istanbul with a previous band.

As a result of his tour stops in Istanbul, Verhulst wound up discovering a lot of music that wasn’t readily available in his homeland. But as the story goes, he wasn’t just content to listen as an ardent fan, he had a vision of where he could potentially take the sound he loved. “We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Verhulst admitted in press notes. “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.” The Dutch act actively interpret and reimagine this beloved material through a contemporary 21st century lens. “Of course, since our singers are Turkish, they know many of these pieces. All this is part of the country’s musical past, their heritage, like ‘House of The Rising Sun’ is in America,‘” Verhulst explains.

The act’s sophomore album, last year’s Grammy Award-nominated, critically applauded Gece helped the Amsterdam-based act win further worldwide acclaim for their reimagining of traditional Turkish folk through the lens of psych rock and pop. The band’s highly-anticipated third album Yol, the third album from the Dutch act in three years, finds the act continuing to draw upon the rich and diverse traditions of Turkish and Anatolian folk music. But as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, the members of the Dutch act was forced to write music in a new way: they traded demos and ideas built around Omnichord, 808 and other elements, including field recordings and New Age-like ideas by email.

“We were basically stuck at home for three months making home demos, with everybody adding their parts,” Altin Gün’s Merve Dasdemir says in press notes. “The transnational feeling maybe comes from that process of swapping demos over the internet, some of the music we did in the studio, but lockdown meant we had to follow a different approach.”

As a result of arrangements featuring Omnichord and 808 — and the new songwriting approach, the album finds the band crafting material that’s a bold, new sonic direction: a sleek, synth-based Europop sound with a dreamy quality that may have been informed by the enforced period of reflection. Additionally, Yol finds the members of Altin Gün enlisting Ghent, Belgium-based production duo Asa Moto — Oliver Geerts and Gilles Noë — to co-produce and mix the album, marking the first time that the band has collaborated with outsiders.

“Ordunun Dereleri,” Yol‘s mesmerizing first single finds the Dutch act pairing an old folk standard with an arrangement centered around atmospheric and glistening synth arpeggios, four-on-the-floor drumming paired with Mediterranean-like polyrhythmic percussion, shimmering bursts of guitar, a sinuous, motorik groove and plaintive vocals. And while, being a sleek and futuristic push in a new sonic direction, the track finds the band balancing careful and deliberate attention to craft with a dreamy introspection.

The members of Altin Gün filmed a livestream concert for Dekmantel Connects that will air December 17, 2020 at 8:00PM Central European Time/2:00PM Eastern Standard Time/1:00PM Central Standard/12:00PM Mountain Standard Time and 11:00AM Pacific Standard Time. The livestream will feature a sneak peek at the band’s forthcoming album, including this gorgeously shot live footage of the aforementioned “Ordunun Dereleri” filmed in what looks like an abandoned factory.

Yol is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through ATO Records/Cadence Music Group.

New Video: Amsterdam’s Altin Gün Releases a Cinematic and Feverish Visual for “Ordunun Dereleri”

Deriving their name from the Turkish phase for “Golden Day,” the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych pop act Altin Gün — founding member founding member Jasper Verhulst (bass) with Ben Rider (guitar), Erdinç Ecevit Yildiz (keys, saz, vocals), Gino Groneveld (percussion), Merve Dasdemir (vocals) and Nic Mauskovic (drums) — can trace their origins to Japser Verhulst’s deep and abiding passion for 60s and 70s Turkish psych pop and folk and to frequent tour stops in Istanbul with a previous band.

As a result of his tour stops in Istanbul, Verhulst wound up discovering a lot of music that wasn’t readily available in his homeland. But as the story goes, he wasn’t just content to listen as an ardent fan, he had a vision of where he could potentially take the sound he loved. “We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Verhulst admitted in press notes. “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.” The Dutch act actively interpret and reimagine this beloved material through a contemporary 21st century lens. “Of course, since our singers are Turkish, they know many of these pieces. All this is part of the country’s musical past, their heritage, like ‘House of The Rising Sun’ is in America,‘” Verhulst explains.

The act’s sophomore album, last year’s Grammy Award-nominated, critically applauded Gece helped the Amsterdam-based act win further worldwide acclaim for their reimagining of traditional Turkish folk through the lens of psych rock and pop. The band’s highly-anticipated third album Yol, the third album from the Dutch act in three years, finds the act continuing to draw upon the rich and diverse traditions of Turkish and Anatolian folk music. But as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, the members of the Dutch act was forced to write music in a new way: they traded demos and ideas built around Omnichord, 808 and other elements, including field recordings and New Age-like ideas by email.

“We were basically stuck at home for three months making home demos, with everybody adding their parts,” Altin Gün’s Merve Dasdemir says in press notes. “The transnational feeling maybe comes from that process of swapping demos over the internet, some of the music we did in the studio, but lockdown meant we had to follow a different approach.”

As a result of arrangements featuring Omnichord and 808 — and the new songwriting approach, the album finds the band crafting material that’s a bold, new sonic direction: a sleek, synth-based Europop sound with a dreamy quality that may have been informed by the enforced period of reflection. Additionally, Yol finds the members of Altin Gün enlisting Ghent, Belgium-based production duo Asa Moto — Oliver Geerts and Gilles Noë — to co-produce and mix the album, marking the first time that the band has collaborated with outsiders.

“Ordunun Dereleri,” Yol’s mesmerizing first single finds the Dutch act pairing an old folk standard with an arrangement centered around atmospheric and glistening synth arpeggios, four-on-the-floor drumming paired with Mediterranean-like polyrhythmic percussion, shimmering bursts of guitar, a sinuous, motorik groove and plaintive vocals. And while, being a sleek and futuristic push in a new sonic direction, the track finds the band balancing careful and deliberate attention to craft with a dreamy introspection.

Directed by Bob Sizoo and Najim Jansen, the recently released visual for “Ordunun Dereleri” is an incredibly cinematic fever dream that follows the Dutch act’s Erdinç Ecevit Yildiz driving a white BMW through a sodium and fluorescent-lit cityscape and into an eerie forest where he encounters the rest of the band. Even stranger things occur.

Yol is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through ATO Records/Cadence Music Group.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Tame Impala Releases a Lysergic and Feverish Visual for “Breathe Deeper”

Over this site’s decade-plus history, I’ve managed to spill quite of virtual ink covering Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, best known as the creative mastermind behind the multiple Grammy Award-nominated, critically applauded and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop at Tame Impala.

Parker’s fourth Tame Impala effort, The Slow Rush was released earlier this year, and the album continues an impressive and downright enviable run of critically applauded and commercially successful material. But thematically the album focuses on the rapid passing of time and life’s infinite cycles of creation and destruction — with the material conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lighting bolt, and of major milestones and events whizzing by you, while you stare at your phone. “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it,” Parker told the New York Times.

So far I’ve written about five of The Slow Rush’s singles:

“Patience,”an upbeat meditation on the cycles and phases of life, centered around a sound that seamlessly meshed 70s funk and 90s house.
“Borderline,” a hook-driven, blissed out track with house music flourishes.
“It Might Be Time,”a swaggering prog rock meets psych pop anthem featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats and an enormous hook.
Lost in Yesterday,” a woozy and lysergic, disco-tinged banger that explores time’s distorting effect on perspective and memories
“Is It True,”a swooning, dance floor friendly banger that focuses on the countless paths our lives can take with just one single decision — and the confusion and uncertainty of love.

2020 has managed to be a momentous year for the Aussie JOVM mainstay in terms of accolades:

Earlier this year, Parker was nominated for two Billboard Music Awards and an American Music Award.
Last month, Tame Impala won 5 of the 7 categories he was nominated for at this year’s ARIA Awards: Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album, Best Engineer and Best Producer.
Parker recently received nominations for two Grammy Awards — Best Alternative Album and Best Rock Song for “Lost In Yesterday.” The latest Best Alternative Album Grammy is Parker’s third, after receiving nominations for Currents and Lonerism.

And to cap off a busy year, Parker has released the sixth single off The Slow Rush, “Breathe Deeper,” a woozy pop banger, centered around shimmering synths, twinkling keys, skittering beats, and a sinuous bass line and Parker’s plaintive cooing. And much like its immediate predecessors, “Breathe Deeper” finds Parker crafting a hook-driven and seamless synthesis of synth pop, psych pop, house music and Quiet Storm soul.

Directed by Butt Studio, the recently released video is a lysergic fever dream that follows two brightly colored, CGI mosquitos flying through an otherworldly landscape.


New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Release a Feverish and Surreal Visual for Genre-defying Freak Out “Disconnexion”

La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the-then unknown band managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut EP, Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of the La Femme returned back to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success, which won a Victoires de la Musique Award while completely reinventing the sound that began to win them attention. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile. La Femme’s sophomore album, 2016’s Mystére was released to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Earlier this year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme,” They promptly followed up with “Cool Colorado,” the second single off their forthcoming third album, which will be released through the band’s Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL.“This album does not correspond to one specific period of our lives,” the band explains. “We have always composed songs all along the journey of the band. Therefore, this album is composed with temporality, it has to be seen as a big piece of a puzzle we create. It is an ongoing process, but all this stays in the range of a concept and remains uncertain.”

Featuring a bombastic horn sample, shimmering guitars, blown out beats, insouciantly sung lyrics in French and English and an infectious hook, “Cool Colorado” sounds indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s, which is so rare and precious to us even if we never lived in this period,” and to Colorado, the first state to legalize cannabis.

The members of La Femme closed out 2020 with “Disconnexion,” the third single off their forthcoming third album — and arguably, the oddest and most difficult to pigeonhole track I’ve come across all year,. Centered around a pulsating, motorik groove reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder’s heyday, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and trippy operatic caterwauling “Disconnexion” is a vivid and surreal fever dream of a song that’s full of “what the fuck” and yet completely danceable.

Speaking of what the fuck, the recently released video for “Disconnexion” continues the surreal and mysterious universe of the preceding videos: initially taking place on a Laugh-In meets Top of the Pops and American Bandstand sort of show, the video quickly morphs into a wild parody of an intellectual TV debate that features a bald and pretentious philosopher type who delivers the song’s wild soliloquy before walking into a phantasmagorical orgy, compete with a hellish clown playing the banjo like he was in a Charlie Daniels tune and a lysergic opera singer wailing away. It’s wild and follows a universe that’s wilder and perhaps more interesting than our own.

New Video: Aussie JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Head to the Dance Floor

Formed back in 2010, the acclaimed, genre-defying Aussie psych rock and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard — Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (harmonica/vocals/keyboards), Cook Craig (guitar/vocals), Joey Walker (guitar/vocals), Lucas Skinner (bass) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).– have developed and maintained a long-held reputation for being a restlessly experimental and prolific act that has released boundary using material that has drawn from psych rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, thrash punk, prog rock and Turkish pop.

The JOVM mainstays’ 16th album K.G. is a collection of songs that was written and recorded remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the new and very different recording approach, K.G.’s songs were pieced together and given space to breathe, which allowed the music to be entire free. “It’s almost like an album that normal people make,” the band’s Stu Mackenzie laughs “Almost…”

K.G.’s material can trace some of its origins to their critically acclaimed 2017 effort Flying Microtonal Banana, which marked the first of five albums released that year. That album was written and recorded using a Turkish-inspired microtonal musical scale that required quarter tone tunings — and custom-made instruments for the occasion. While featuring live favorites like “Rattlesnake,” “Sleep Drifter,” “Nuclear Fusion” and “Billabong Valley,” Flying Microtonal Banana revealed a band that paints from a palette that extends past the prototypical sounds and tones of Western music.

“FMB was one of the purest and most enjoyable recording experiences we’ve had, and the ideas just kept coming” Mackenzie explains. “But we didn’t think we would play it live as the music dictated a new medium that requires different instruments, new flight cases and so. It was a liberating studio-based experiment which surprisingly translated seamlessly and spawned some of favourite songs to play live.” Interestingly. K.G. finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays returning to the microtonal tunings heard on Flying Microtonal Banana but while cherry picking the best aspects of their previous work and contorting them into new shapes with non-Western musical scales.

Interestingly, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s 16th album is simultaneously a stand-alone work and part of a bigger musical picture. The albums often feature motifs and ideas that may have appeared several albums previously, suddenly rearing their heads in a completely new way. And odds are we’ll likely see even more news on what’s to come. But in meantime, K.G.’s latest single, the hypnotic, house music freak out, “Intrasport” finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays heading to the dance floor — yes, seriously! — with a track centered around thumping beats, shimmering Casio-like synth arpeggios, an infectious hook and a club banging breakdown. Because of the micro tuning, “Intrasport” manages to sound as though it were inspired by the likes of JOVM mainstay Omar Souleyman — but with a mischievous and trippy air.

Directed, edited and shot by John Angus Stewart, the recently released video features the members of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard at a party at an impossibly small apartment. But we see the members of the band moving in a Matrix-like slow motion — while others kind of move normally. It’s trippy as fuck. “The clip was shot in my tiny studio apartment,” John Angus Stewart says. “For the main reason that it’s the smallest place I know that someone lives in. The aim was to find the 50/50 split: feeling lonely at a party but surrounded by people. Feeling like you are the only one there and that nobody really understands you (but you still have to bring it). I used 35mm anamorphic to give the small space as much panoramic effect as I could muster. Sometimes the smallest of spaces feel huge when you are partying, why do you think everyone always gathers in the kitchen or bathroom?”

New Video: Acclaimed French Act La Femme Release a Lysergic Romp

La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the-then unknown band managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and an EP.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of the La Femme returned back to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success, which won a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile. La Femme’s sophomore album, 2016’s Mystére was released to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Earlier this year, the band released their first bit of new material in four years, the critically acclaimed “Paradigme.” Continuing upon that momentum, the applauded Parisian act recently released the cinematic “Cool Colorado,” the follow-up to “Paradigme” and the second single from the band’s forthcoming third album which will be released through the band’s Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL. “This album does not correspond to one specific period of our lives,” the band explains. “We have always composed songs all along the journey of the band. Therefore, this album is composed with temporality, it has to be seen as a big piece of a puzzle we create. It is an ongoing process, but all this stays in the range of a concept and remains uncertain.”

Featuring a bombastic horn sample, shimmering guitars, blown out beats, insouciantly sung lyrics in French and English and an infectious hook, “Cool Colorado” sounds indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks.“‘Cool Colorado’ alludes to freedom, the insouciance of a journey,” the band explains. “We were somewhere between the states of Utah and Wyoming, during our last American tour, when this ode to the San Francisco of the 70s, which is so rare and precious to us even if we never lived in this period, came to us.” The band adds, “Colorado is the first American state which legalized cannabis, this is where the line ‘And I smoke in the streets without stress’ comes from/ This song is also related to the Beatnik spirit, to the literature of Kerouac. Do you remember the Magic Bus? It was going from Europe to Kathmandu on a now-mythical hippie trail.”

Co-directed by the members of La Femme and Aymeric Bergada du Cadet, the recently released video for “Cool Colorado” is a psychedelic romp that brings American Bandstand, T.A.M.I. Show, Top of the Pops and the Playboy mansion to mind. “This is a sort of psychedelic mass parodying the cliché of the ‘teen idol’ in the way of Brian Jones or Swan from Phantoms of the Paradise. Like a pastiche of a past period of time,” the members of La Femme explain.

New Video: Oxford’s Premium Leisure Releases a Breezy and Infectious Visual

Chris Barker is an Oxford, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist best known for playing in Wille J. Heasley’s backing band. Barker is also the creative mastermind behind the rising British recording project Premium Leisure. And with a handful of Premium Leisure releases under his belt, Barker has enlisted a rotating cast of Oxford’s music scene, including Gas Coombes’ and Saint Etienne’s Mike Monaghan (drums) and Palace’s and Razorlight’s Harry Deacon (bass), who contributed to the Oxford-based artist’s latest single “Ready For Forever.”

Centered around shuffling, feel-good vibes, strummed acoustic guitar, Barker’s plaintive vocals and some razor sharp, infectious hooks, “Ready For Forever” sounds as though it draws from 70s AM rock — in particular, I can’t help but think of Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie and a bit of Gerry Rafferty. “The song describes characters drifting about without any burdens or liability; asking me to give up the guilty conscience and loosen up,” Barker explains.

Directed by Lawrence Pumfrey, the recently released video for “Ready For Forever” begins with Barker waking up from a nap in his car, and stuffing a backpack with necessary provisions — a bong, some flowers and a few other things — before heading into the forest with his guitar in hand. He encounters three ballet-like dancers, who dance to his playing — and their dancing is full of a goofy yet uninhabited freedom that’s infectious.

Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine — Noah Prebish, Sabine Holler, Brother Michael Rudinski, and Peter Spears — can trace its origins back to when its founding duo of Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, Psymon Spine’s founding duo toured the European Union with Prebish’s electronic project Karate. And as the story goes, while in Paris,  Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together. By the time, they arrived in London, they were offered a record deal. 

When the band’s founding duo returned to the States, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to join their newest project. And with that lineup, they fished out the demos, which wold eventually comprise their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday. The band went out to support the effort with immersive art and dance parties like their Secret Friend party series across Brooklyn and through relentless touring.

Prebish was also splitting his creative time with rising Brooklyn-based dram pop act Barrie and around the same time, his work with the rising dream pop act began to receive attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere through the release of a handful of buzz worthy singles, followed by their full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly while with Barrie, Prebish met his further Psymon Spine bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler.

Without live shows and touring, the members of Psymon Spine have been busy releasing new material this year, which included two singles:

  • Milk,” a coquettish, club friendly banger with Barrie that brings In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals‘ Lenses and received quite a bit of attention internationally — with the single receiving praise from   VanyalandHigh Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The RevueHype Machine and a list of others.The track also landed on  Spotify playlists like UndercurrentsAll New Indie and Fresh Finds, as well as the YouTube channels of  David Dean BurkhartNice Guys‘ and Birp.fm. And lastly, the track received airplay on BBC Radio 6.
  • Modmed,” an  Andrew VanWyngarden-produced and cowritten, strutting disco-tinged track that’s actually deceptively upbeat, as it captures the ambivalent and confusing mixture of frustration, doubt and relief of a relationship that had long petered out and finally wound down to its inevitable conclusion. Interestingly, the song is inspired and informed by personal experience: Prebish and Holler’s difficult decision to leave Barrie to focus on Pysmon Spine full-time.

Psymon Spine’s third single of this year, is the hazy and lysergic banger “Confusion.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a wobbling bass line, blown out beats and Prebish’s plaintive vocals, a trippy spoken word-delivered break and a looping guitar solo, Psymon Spine’s latest single brings Tame Impala‘s Currents to mind. Much like its immediate predecessors, “Confusion” continues a run of carefully crafted and breezy, hook driven pop.

Interestingly, the release of the single manages to simultaneously coincide with the announcement of the Brooklyn-based act’s third album Charismatic Megafauna while encapsulating the album’s overall theme and vibe — the complicated feelings involved in the dissolution of human relationships. In particular “Confusion” finds the band channeling the confusing and contradictory feelings following the sort of breakup that has lead to a major rift in the larger social circle — but while also possibly hinting to the end of a friendship or working relationship. And as a result, the song seems to evoke the desire to dance away the hurt, for a little while at least.

Charismatic Megafauna is slated for a February 21, 2021 release through Northern Spy.



New Video: JOVM Mainstay Joe Wong Teams Up With Fred Armisen on a Lyrical and Trippy Visual for “Nite Creatures”

Throughout the course of this past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the rising Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Joe Wong. Wong has had a lengthy career as a drummer — but he has made a name for himself for his scores for a number of acclaimed TV series, including Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being the host of The Trap Set podcast.

Earlier this year Wong released his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, and so far I’ve written about four of the album’s previously released singles — including: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away,” the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow,” the Scott Walker-like “Minor,” and “Day After Day,” a sobering exploration of free will versus fate that doesn’t have easy answers. Continuing an incredible run of stunningly lush yet brooding material, the album’s latest single, album title track “Nite Creatures” is a slow-burning and deliberately crafted track focuses on existential dread with a rapturous and swooning psychedelia. If Wong wasn’t a contemporary artist, you might mistakenly think that “Nite Creatures” was released sometime between 1966-1970.

Directed by Fred Armisen, the recently released video follows a brooding Wong as he enters a vaguely Eastern-styled house. As he wanders through the house, we see some deeply kaleidoscopic and psychedelic effects happen to him and to his surroundings, suggesting that Wong was going through a deeply spiritual awakening of some sort. Much like the song itself, it’s a slow-burning and gorgeously shot fever dream — but with something dark and murky on the fringes.

Interestingly, the collaboration between the duo can trace some of its origins back to the 1990s: Armisen was the dummer for Trenchmouth and Wong was a high-school kid in a math rock band named after an extremely obscure Dune reference. Wong wound up reconnecting with Armisen in 2013: Wong was drumming for Marine Stern. A few years later, Armisen asked Wong to help produce his first comedy special Standup For Drummers.

“It was inspiring to witness how he’d evolved from the drummer I met over twenty years ago to the singular talent he is today,” Wong says. “When I decided to make a video for ‘Nite Creatures,’ I thought Fred would be the ideal person to direct. Because of his sense of narrative rhythm (we’re both drummers, after all), surrealist aesthetic, and ability to make creative decisions on the fly, he proved himself the perfect director, indeed.”

“I love Joe’s album,” Armisen adds, “so when he asked me to work on the video, I was like, ‘YES!’ The song is so sonically rich, I think it makes dreamy videos in everyone’s mind. I just wanted to try to match that feeling.”