Category: psych pop

New Video: Psymon Spine Teams Up with MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden on a Glittery Club Banger

Rapidly rising Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine can trace its origins to when founding duo Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, the duo went off to tour Europe with Prebish’s electronic act Karate. While in Paris, Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together and when they got to London, they were offered a record deal.

Upon returning to the states, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to the band — and with that lineup they fleshed out the demos, which would eventually become their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday. The members of the rising Brooklyn-based act then supported the album with immersive art and dance parties through their Secret Friend series across Brooklyn, as well as relentless touring.

Simultaneously, Prebish’s work with rising Brooklyn-based dream pop act Barrie began to receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with a handful of buzz-worthy singles and their critically applauded full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly, this led Prebish to meet his Barrie bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler, who then joined Psymon Spine.

“Milk,” a collaboration with their former bandmate Barrie was the first bit of new material by the Brooklyn-based act inn three years — and it’s the first recorded output with their newest member Sabine Holler. Since the single’s release, it has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 and earned praise from a number of media outlets including Vanyaland, High Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The Revue, Hype Machine and a list of others. The track also landed on a number of YouTube channels including David Dean Burkhart‘s. Nice Guys‘ and Birp.fm, as well as Spotify playlists like Undercurrents, All New Indie and Fresh Finds. Additionally, Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson featured the track. None of this should be surprising: the track sonically recalls In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals‘ Lenses –but with a mischievously coquettish air that makes it a club friendly banger.

The Andrew VanWyngarden-produced and cowritten “Modmed” is a glittering and strutting disco-tinged track, centered around wobbling low end, glistening synth arpeggios and a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook. While drawing from 80s New Wave and classic house music, the track interestingly enough, is deceptively and ironically upbeat: the track actually captures the ambivalent and confusing mix of frustration, doubt and relief of a relationship that’s finally come to a conclusion. In particular, the song actually describes Prebish’s and Holler’s decision to leave Barrie and focus on Psymon Spine full-time.

“Psymon Spine invited me into the studio one winter’s day and we had a fun and funky time ripping Juno basslines and dialing in lush tones,” Andrew VanWyngarden recalls in press notes. “I like that their dj and record digging knowledge comes through distinctly on this track.”

Directed by the band and edited by Noah Prebish, the recently released video for “Modmed” is a delirious and playful lo-fi visual in which we see the members of the band goofing off and rocking out to the song in a variety of situations. This is split with footage of the members of the band actually performing the song. It’s all run through trippy filters and VHS-styled graininess, which also helps enhance the track’s retro-futuristic vibe.

With the release of Out in the Dark, the Israeli-born, Paris-based psych rock singer/songwriter and producer MAGON quickly established a unique sound, which he has described as urban rock on psychedelics. Over the course of this past year, I wrote about two of the album’s released singles — the incredibly self-aware and introspective,  The Strokes-like “My Reflection” and the David Bowie and T. Rex-like “Same House.

The Israeli-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter and producer’s latest single “Change” is the first bit of new material since the release of Out in the Dark, and the track is a shimmering and lo-fi bit of psych pop with a subtle nod at glam rock — with the song being centered around shimmering strummed guitar, narcotic drumming, MAGON’s droll, ironically detached vocals and trippy reverb and other fluttering percussion. But at its core, the song is a dreamy meditation on the passing of time, inspired by a year, which saw a number of sea changes in his personal life.

Live Footage: Tame Impala Performs “Borderline” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink over the course o this site’s ten-plus year history covering Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop project Tame Impala.

Parker’s third Tame Impala album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause across the blogosphere and elsewhere the album was a RIAA Gold-Certified, Grammy-nominated effort that revealed a decided change in direction for Parker’s songwriting and sound, as it featured some of his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with a nuanced and textured sound that drew from and meshed elements of psych rock, psych pop, prog rock, synth pop and R&B.

Released earlier this year, Parker’s fourth Tame Impala effort The Slow Rush continued an impressive and enviable run of critically applauded and commercially material. Thematically the album focuses on the rapid passing of time and life’s innate cycles of creation and destruction — with the material contouring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones and events whizzing by you, while you swipe away on 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.

Last night, Parker and his backing band performed one of my favorite songs off the album — the hook driven and blissed out “Borderline” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

New Video: Psymon Spine Teams Up with Barrie on a Shimmering Pop Confection and Playful Visual

Rising Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine can trace its origins back to when founding and core members Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, the duo went off to tour Europe with Prebish’s electronic act Karate. While in Paris, Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together and when they got to London, they were offered a record deal.

Upon returning to the states, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to the band — and with that lineup they fleshed out the demos, which would eventually become their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday, which they supported with immersive art and dance parties through their Secret Friend series across Brooklyn and some relentless touring.

Simultaneously, Prebish’s work with rising Brooklyn-based dream pop act Barrie began to receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with a handful of buzz-worthy singles and their critically applauded full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly, this led Prebish to meet his Barrie bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler, who then joined Psymon Spine.

“Milk” feat. Barrie is the first bit of new material from the Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act in three years — and it’s the first recorded output with their newest member Sabine Holler. Since the single’s release, it has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 and it has earned praise from a number of media outlets including Vanyaland, High Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The Revue, Hype Machine and a list of others. The track also landed on a number of YouTube channels including David Dean Burkhart’s. Nice Guys’ and Birp.fm, as well as Spotify playlists like Undercurrents, All New Indie and Fresh Finds. Additionally, Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson featured the track. And when you hear the new track, the attention its earned shouldn’t be surprising: the track is centered around an angular bass line, shimmering guitars, glistening synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a punchy and anthemic hook, and Barrie’s sultry vocals. Sonically, the track may remind some listeners of In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals’ Lenses –but with a mischievously coquettish air that makes it a club friendly banger.

Directed by Maya Prebish, Noah’s sister, the recently released video for “Milk” uses the wildly popular video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons and features each member of the band as a game avatar. And of course, each member of the band does something within the game — including play (sort of) an outdoor set, fish, sit in cafes and daydream.

“We were trying to come up with a way to shoot a music video together during a pandemic, with Sabine stuck in Germany and Barrie being god-knows-where,” Noah Prebish says of the new video made during pandemic-related social distancing and quarantine guidelines. “I remembered that my sister is a genius wizard and Nintendo dork and thought: ‘what’s more quarantine than a hap-hazard Animal Crossing video organized via a bunch of confusing Zoom calls?'” The video’s director, Maya Prebish, adds: “When Noah came to me with the idea, I jumped onboard right away. It was a lot of fun turning Psymon Spine and Barrie into villagers, and I think it was a super fun way to bring everyone together even though they’re dispersed all over the world at the moment. I don’t think any of them know how to fish in real life, but that’s creative license.”

Live Footage: Tame Impala on NPR Tiny Desk (At Home) Concert

Over the course of this site’s 10 year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop project Tame Impala.

Parker’s third Tame Impala album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause across the blogosphere and elsewhere the album was a RIAA Gold-Certified, Grammy-nominated effort that revealed a decided change in direction for Parker’s songwriting and sound, as it featured some of his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with a nuanced and textured sound that drew from and meshed elements of psych rock, psych pop, prog rock, synth pop and R&B.

Released earlier this year, Parker’s fourth Tame Impala effort The Slow Rush continued an impressive and enviable run of critically applauded and commercially material, but unlike its immediate predecessor, the album thematically 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 lightning bolt, of major milestones and events whizzing by you while you’re staring 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.

I’ve manged to write about five of The Slow Rush’s singles — the upbeat “Patience,” which seamlessly bridged ’90s house and ’70s funk while being a meditation on the cycles and phrases of life; “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 explored time’s distorting effect on perspective and memories; and “Is It True,” which continued a run of swooning yet dance floor friendly material that focused on the impermanence and confusion of love and the countless paths our lives can take with just one single decision. 

Recently, Parker was invited to do a NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. By default, the presentation of Parker’s music different than what you made expect: in the studio, Parker writes, performs and records all the instrumental and programming parts of his material — and live, he has a insanely talented collection of touring musicians, who interpret the material. For his Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, Parker, got his longtime collaborator Jay Watson and Dom Simper to do an electronic jam with a shit ton of electronic gear, including samplers, sequencers and mixers and some instruments. “I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while and thought Tiny Desk would be the opportunity to do it,” Parker told NPR’s Bobby Carter. 

So for this live session Paker, Watson and Simper performed the album’s more synth-based material “Breathe Deeper,”and the aforementioned “Is It True” and “Patience.” Interestingly, the NPR Tiny Desk session is a seamless synthesis of the live and studio approaches that manages to be faithful to the album’s material while giving it a free-flowing jam-like feel. 

New Video: Maltese Indie Act Beesqueeze Releases a Trippy and Summery Anthem

Beesqueeze is a Siggiewi, Malta-based duo, comprised of Kriz Zahra (guitar, bass, synth, vocals) and Chris Mallia (drums, vocals, guitar, effects) that specializes in what they’ve dubbed alterdelic (alternative + psychedelic) dance rock, influenced by The Strokes, MGMT, Tame Impala, Gorillaz and Pixies among others. And with their debut EP, 2017’s Crowd Control, the duo quickly established their unique sound, as well as a reputation for an explosive live show. 

The band is currently holed up in their small home studio working on their full-length debut, which is slated for an Autumn 2020 release. In the meantime, the Maltese duo’s latest single, the David Vella co-produced “Say You Do” is breezy and anthemic track centered around propulsive synth arpeggios, thumping kick drum, strummed acoustic guitar, a blazing guitar solo, and breathily delivered vocals. And while being a summery, dance floor friendly track that reveals the duo’s unerring knack to craft an infectious hook reminiscent of Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the song encourages the listener to be bold and express their desires. By doing so, you may actually get what you want you want and need. 

“I do some work in a cool friendly bar and many times I get newcomers asking me to do a special drink or cocktail or something that’s not on the menu so I usually say ‘yes.’ I go head getting this [drink] together, now this always happens: I can notice one of the regulars staring at me, giving the look, like [they’re’] trying to say ,’Hey, what’s that. That’s new! I want it!’ but says nothing. So then I’m like ‘Hey due, if you want one, just say you want one, it’s okay,” the band’s Chris Mallia says of the song’s inspiration. 

“The song came together fast. We were preparing for a small show and I thought this new synth I got off a friend on the same day just for fun. Chris was on guitar going through these chords and I just plugged in the synth, and it happened like that,” Kriz Zahra says of the song’s creative process. “10 minuets later, we were listening to it on this lo-fi recording and we thought it was good. So we recorded it a few days later. I remember it was a quick and smooth process, just how we like it.” 

Directed by the members of Besqueeze, the recently released video features the band performing the song in front of bright, neon colored backgrounds and trippy effects — and as a result, the video captures the band’s energy and the song’s overall lysergic feel. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Tame Impala Releases a Lysergic Visual for “Is It True”

Over the course of this site’s 10 year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop project Tame Impala.

Parker’s third Tame Impala album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause across the blogosphere and elsewhere the album was a RIAA Gold-Certified, Grammy-nominated effort that revealed a decided change in direction for Parker’s songwriting and sound, as it featured some of his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with a nuanced and textured sound that drew from and meshed elements of psych rock, psych pop, prog rock, synth pop and R&B.

Released earlier this year, Parker’s fourth Tame Impala effort The Slow Rush continued an impressive and enviable run of critically applauded and commercially material, but unlike its immediate predecessor, the album thematically 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 lightning bolt, of major milestones and events whizzing by you while you’re staring 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.

I’ve managed to write about four of the album’s previous release singles — the upbeat “Patience,” a single which seamlessly bridged ’90s house and ’70s funk while being a meditation on the cycles and phrases of life; “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; and “Lost in Yesterday,” a woozy and lysergic, disco-tinged banger that explored time’s distorting effect on perspective and memories that suggested that given enough time, nostalgia gives even the most embittering times in your life, a rosy tinge and a sense of purpose and meaning that may not have actually existed.

The Slow Rush’s fifth and latest single “Is It True” continues a run of swooning yet dance floor friendly material featuring handclap led percussion, synth arpeggios, Parker’s plaintive falsetto an enormous hook and a shimmering and dreamy bridge held together by a sinuous bass line. And while dance floor friendly, the track focuses on the seeming impermanence and confusion of love, and the countless paths our lives can take with just one single decision. In the song’s case, the decision is whether or not its narrator tells an object of affection how he feels for her — with the understanding that whatever happens will be life altering.

The recently released video for “Is It True” features Parker on a TV screen singing the song and rocking out to it — in front of flashing and rapidly morphing background and trippy lighting effects. At one point we see Parker laying in grassy, technicolor field, adding to the overall lysergic feel. 

New Audio: Joe Wong Releases a Lush Meditation on Free Will

Joe Wong is a Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and is the host of The Trap Set podcast.

Over the past few months Wong has released material off his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, including the album’s three previously released singles: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away,” the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow,” and the Scott Walker-like “Minor.” Continuing to build buzz for his full-length debut’s September 18, 2020 release through Decca Records, Nite Creatures’ fourth and latest single “Day After Day” further cements the Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s 60s psych-inspired sound — lush string and horn arrangements paired with shimmering guitars, enormous hooks and Wong’s mellifluous baritone. And while there’s a deliberate attention to craft that gives the material an anachronistic feel, the material is bolstered by earnest lyricism. In this case, “Day After Day,” is a sobering exploration of free will. 

“The lyric came to me after I read an article arguing that traumatic memories can be encoded in DNA and passed down from generation to generation,” Wong says. “Whether or not that’s true, I wanted to explore the notion that many of our personality traits and life choices that we attribute to free will may, in fact, be beyond our control. This track features an English Horn solo by Claire Brazeau (LA Chamber Orchestra), partly as homage to my ‘labelmate’ and hero Marianne Faithfull, who famously used oboe on her hit ‘As Tears Go By.’”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay TOBACCO Releases a Woozy and Menacing Cover of a Beloved 80s Classic

Over the past two decades, the Pittsburgh-born and based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Thomas Fec, best known as TOBACCO has used analog synthesizers and tape machines as as the frontman and creative mastermind of Black Moth Super Rainbow and as solo artist to create a boundary-pushing sound that evokes a woozy and uneasy intertwining of tension, anxiety, bemusement and pleasure.  

2016 saw the release of TOBACCO’S fourth solo album, Sweatbox Dynasty — and since then the JOVM mainstay has been incredibly busy: TOBACCO and the members of his primary gig, Black Moth Super Rainbow reconvened to write and record 2018’s Panic Blooms, which was supported with tours with frequent tour mates The Stargazer Lilies and Nine Inch Nails. He went on to produce The Stargazers Lilies’ abrasive yet trippy Occabot and collaborated with Aesop Rock in Malibu Ken, a project that released a critically applauded album. Additionally, TOBACCO penned the theme song to HBO’s Silicon Valley. 

TOBACCO’s first batch of new, solo material is the “Hungry Eyes”/”Can’t Count On Her” 7 inch, which was recently released through Ghostly International. Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past 35 years or you’re 17, you know that the Franke Previte and John DeNicola co-written “Hungry Eyes” performed by Eric Carmen appears in an important scene of the 80s classic Dirty Dancing. The Pittsburgh-based JOVM mainstay has been covering “Hungry Eyes” in recent live sets — but before that, it appeared in a Pokemon porn parody. 

Interestingly, TOBACCO’s take on the 80s pop hit retains the original’s beloved and familiar melody and structure intact but while fucking with its texture in his characteristically sludgy and woozy style, centered around blown out bass, scuzzy synth arpeggios, analog gurgle and hiss and Fec’s heavily vocoder’ed vocals. The end result is a cover that purposelessly smudges and obscures the original’s sentimentality in a way that’s uneasy and menacing. “I did ‘Hungry Eyes; because I just love it. It’s a perfect song,” Fec says in press notes. “I play it straightforward and stay mindful not to disrespect the original.”