Category: Single Review

Comprised of Darren Weiss (vocals and drums) and Danny Present (bass), the Los Angeles-based duo of Papa have been playing music in a variety of bands and projects since they were 11.  The duo have spent the past couple building up a national profile as they’ve toured the country’s major festival circuit, and have opened for the likes of Cold War Kids, Of Monsters and Men, Girls, Handsome Furs, and Florence and the Machine, among others and after an incredibly busy schedule, the duo went into the studio and began working on material that reportedly is a change in sonic direction that was largely influenced by the experiences they’ve had over that period , playing half-filled clubs to sold-out amphitheaters, self-releasing material and having major label support and back again.

Weiss and Presant’s latest single “Hold On” is the first original material they’ve released since the release of their 2013 full-length effort, Tender Madness and the single is a funky track with a propulsive rhythm, soaring hooks paired with urgently sung lyrics to craft a song that feels anthemic and club-ready while possessing a direct, intimate emotionality. It’s radio friendly pop that feels and sounds carefully and thoughtfully crafted while possessing an upbeat, swagger.

Weiss and Present will be embarking on a short West Coast tour over the later part of the fall. Check out the tour dates below.
Tour Date: 
Nov 27  – The Echoplex  Los Angeles, CA
Dec 1 – The Chapel  San Francisco, CA
Dec 2 – Don Quixotes  Santa Cruz, CA
Dec 6 – Constellation Room   Santa Ana, CA
Dec 9 – The Casbah    San Diego, CA
Dec 10 –  Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
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Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past 6-8 weeks, you may have come across a post or two about the Austin, TX-based quartet VIDEO. The band which features members Bad SportsWiccansRadioactivity and The Wax Museums have developed a local and national reputation for being pioneers of a genre that they’ve dubbed “Hate Wave,” which possesses elements of punk rock, hard rock and melodic dissonance. In other words, their sound is loud and absolutely furious.

The band’s latest full-length effort, The Entertainers is slated for an October 30 release through Jack White‘s Third Man Records, and the album’s first single “New Immortals,” was a scorching thrash punk song with a sneering, in-your-face because we don’t give a fuck about anything vibe. The album’s latest single “Shackles” sounds as though its drawing from The Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant” and Public Image, Ltd. as the song consist of slashing, angular guitar chords, propulsive drumming and shouted call and response vocals paired with the same we don’t give a fuck about anything vibe of the album’s first single, complete with a bitter, snarling irony. And if it doesn’t inspire a sweaty mosh pit in a dark club, there’s something deeply wrong with the world we live in.

Comprised of Mikkel B. Jakbosen (vocals and guitar), Morten Hansen (drums and vocals), and Steffan Petersen (guitar and bass). the Copenhagen, Denmark-based trio The Foreign Resort have received international attention for a sound that meshes elements of new wave and post-punk in a way that’s dark and moody and yet possesses an upbeat infectiousness. In fact, “Under Bright Neon Stars” the first single off the Danish trio’s soon-to-be released The American Dream EP is a swooningly Romantic and anthemic song consisting of shimmering guitars, a tight motorik groove similar to New Order‘s “Blue Monday” and “5 8 6,” paired with urgent and plaintive vocals that float over the propulsive mix. If you can’t image a club full of concertgoers shouting along to the song’s hook, there’s something wrong with you.

After listening to the song a number of times, the song seems to evoke the swelling hope and crippling fears of newfound love and in a way that should remind even the most jaded listener of their own foolhardy youth with a wistful smile.

The band is embarking on a fall tour. Check out the out dates below.

Tour Dates
10.22 • recordBar (Kansas City, MO)
10.23 • 3 Kings Tavern (Denver, CO)
10.24 • Lot 1 (Los Angeles, CA)
10.25 • Alex’s Bar (Long Beach, CA)
10.26 • The Merrow (San Diego, CA)
10.27 • Fulton 55 (Fresno, CA)
10.28 • Hemlock Tavern (San Francisco, CA)
10.30 • Kelly’s Olympian (Portland, OR)
10.31 • Substation (Seattle, WA)

Bay Area-based duo Maybe the Moon, comprised of Karmen Kimball (vocals, keyboards) and Alex Lasner (guitar, keyboards) can trace their origins to when the two met at an “End of the World” Party — a party on December 21, 2012, the end of the 13th cycle of the Mayan calendar, and the alleged end of the world as we knew it. While at the party Kimball and Lasner chatted and bonded over a mutual of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. As the story goes, during their conversation the duo discovered that at one point, they had attended the same elementary school. Shortly after their meeting, the duo got engaged and they started working on the material that would become the singles that they’ve released over the course of the past year to 18 months or so.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past 12-18 months, you’d likely come across a couple of posts on the Bay Area-based duo. Their latest single “Washout” continues the duo’s burgeoning reputation for carefully crafted, thoughtful electro pop with lyrical content that possesses a novelist’s attention to their character’s psychology and psychological motivations, and nuanced psychological states; in other words, the song’s characters speak and feel like fully-fleshed out people — like someone you may have known or dealt with at some point. In the case of “Washout,” the song’s narrator regretfully and candidly speaks of a relationship that she sabotaged.  She speaks of that period with a little bit of perspective, and with the recognition that she had someone who lovingly dealt with her until they couldn’t deal with her anymore. Of course, the duo has also maintained elements of the sound that have caught my attention over the past few months — moody and minimalist production composed of slowly cascading synths and sparse yet propulsive beats paired with Kimball’s ethereal and mournful vocals, which evoke a desperate and urgent desire to connect with another, and a fear of the heartache that connection can bring. Thoughtful and detailed pop is sadly relegated to misfit status, and it’s shameful because in the increasingly perilous times we live in, we need music that forces us to think and moves us to feel something.

Guitarist, composer and (occasional) actor Dweezil Zappa, as we all know is the son of the legendary Frank Zappa. As the story goes, when Dweezil was born, his father Frank listed the boy’s religion as “musician” and gave him a Fender Master when young Dweezil had turned 6. Learning directly from guitar heroes, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and others, Dweezil Zappa became a renowned musician himself, releasing his first album, produced by Eddie Van Halen when he was 12. And although Dweezil has a long-held reputation as a musician in his own right as he won a Grammy in 2008, he has spent the better part of the past decade or so carrying on his father’s musical legacy by performing renditions of his father’s material with Napoleon Murphy Brock, Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio and others in Zappa Plays Zappa.

Dweezil Zappa’s forthcoming album, Via Zammata’ slated for a November 27 release marks his return to his own original music — and the album features collaborations with John Malkovich, who reads Plato’s Allegory of the Cave over one of Dweezil’s original composition and a posthumously released song that Dweezil wrote with his late and legendary father. As Dweezil explained in press notes “This whole record is about finding my own voice in the world of music. I decided to collect songs I had written from the past that I felt had strong bones and build new arrangements around them. I also wanted to write new material that would reflect my current musical state of mind. I’ve learned so much in the past 10 years of playing my father’s music. I wanted to be able to express new compositional, arranging and playing skills with my own new musical vocabulary.”

The album’s first single “Dragon Master” is the only song that Frank and Dweezil had a chance to collaborate on. Frank had written the lyrics back in 1988 and he had asked Dweezil to write music to his lyrics. According to Dweezil: “At that time, heavy metal was topping the charts and my dad was lampooning the genre with his lyrics. For this record, I decided to fully embrace the epic metal-osity of his lyrics and create a deadly serious face melting riff to back them up.” The single begins with an oud, blistering heavy metal power chords and Frank’s utterly ridiculous, 80s-inspired metal lyrics about Satan and other subjects sung by Shawn Albro, who was once a member of U.P.O. Yeah, the song’s lyrics are stupid as hell but holy shit the song kicks ass — and it’s a lot of fun.

Imre Kiss is a Slovakian-born, Hungarian-based producer, electronic music artist and designer, who first emerged onto the European electronic music scene with the release of his acclaimed Raw Energy, which was released by London-based label Lobster Theremin Records. (I have to admit that’s a pretty catchy name for a label.)

As the story goes, Kiss’ full-length debut, Midnight Wave, which was released just the other day is essentially a reissue, as the album was initially released as a limited edition cassette tape through Hungarian label Farbwechsel. The cassette was essentially a commercial failure as it was quietly released to little fanfare, but interestingly enough, Lobster Theremin’s label head Jimmy Asquith has a developed a reputation for discovering and signing obscure artists from Bandcamp tapes. Asquith had discovered Imre Kiss’ Midnight Wave sometime after the artist had returned to his hometown just outside of Bratislava, and was impressed by the ambient and atmospheric material, which was heavily influenced by British industrial electronica, Kraftwerk and Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between; in fact, Asquith had made it a personal mission to release the works of an unknown artist, who he felt deserved further attention.

“Gray’s Legend,” the first single off Midnight Wave consists of layers of undulating and cascading synths, skittering percussion, swirling and ambient electronics floating off into the ether, subtle industrial clang and clatter in the distance to create a sound that manages to simultaneously cinematic and intimate while evoking a sense of desperate isolation and loneliness.

New Audio: Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley Team Up on a Techno Reworking of John Carpenter’s “Night”

John Carpenter is a renowned director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer most commonly known for working on some of the most beloved and influential, horror and science fiction films of the 70s and 80s, including Dark Star (1974), Assault […]

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM for some time — especially over the past few months, you may be familiar with the Brooklyn-based sextet Starlight Girls. Over the last five years or so, the band have developed a reputation for a unique brand of  “noir-ish indie pop.” After releasing a well-received, self-produced EP, the band was opening for a diverse array of acts including Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Kate Nash, La Sera, Lucius, Tilly and the Wall, St. Lucia and Crystal Fighters, which expanded their profile nationally. Building on a growing profile, the band followed that up with a 7 inch single “7 x 3” which was produced by Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart. Interestingly, that particular single was something of a sonic left turn, as that single bore a resemblance to Sneaker Pimps and Portishead.

Produced by band members, Christina B and Shaw Walters, Starlight Girls long-awaited full-length debut, Fantasm was released last week. Much like the album’s previous single “Lodestar,” the album’s latest single “Fancy” is a shimmering and dance-floor leaning track consisting of what sounds like a horn sample, angular guitar chords, shimmering synths, four-on-the-floor drums to create a moody and seductive song that sounds as though it draws from Siouxsie and the Banshees and Blondie

New Audio: Chet Faker’s Club-Friendly and Sexy Collaboration with Marcus Marr

Up-and-coming, London-based DJ, producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Marr has received international attention over the last couple of years for a number of critically acclaimed singles released through renowned dance music/electro pop label, […]