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New Video: !!! Get Fierce In Video for New Single “Dancing Is The Best Revenge”

Deriving their name from the subtitles of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which the clicking sounds of the Bushmen’s Khoisan language were represented as “!,” and currently comprised of founding member and vocalist Nic Offer with Mario Andreoni, Dan Gorman, Paul Quattrone, !!! (pronounced chk-chk-chk) originally formed in Sacramento CA when members of three local bands, The Yah Mos, Black Licorice and Popesmashers, decided to collaborate together on a project that would mesh disco, funk and dance music with more aggressive post punk and punk. Relocating to NYC, the members of !!! quickly became part of a famous batch of dance punk acts, who got their start in the early 00s including The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem and a lengthy list of others; but unlike their renowned peers and counterparts, they’ve managed to remain operating as a cohesive unit — although the band’s members now reside in NYC, Sacramento and Portland, OR.

Shake The Shudder, !!!’s sixth full-length effort is slated for a May 19, 2017 release through Warp Records and the album continues their collaboration with long-time producer Patrick Ford at the band’s Brooklyn-based home studio. Renowned electronic music producers Phil Moffa, Joakim and Matt Wiggins were recruited to mix the album and adding to the overall communal feel, the album features a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Lea Lea, Meah Pace, Nicole Fayu, Cameron Mesirow and Molly Schnick. Already, the album’s first single “The One 2,” which has seen airplay on BBC Radio 6, KCRK and KEXP has seen 400,000 streams, and building upon the buzz that the first single received, the act has released the album’s second and latest single “Dancing Is The Best Revenge” is a self-assured and sultry strutting song that nods at classic disco, funk, classic house and contemporary electro pop-like production while possessing one of the funkiest bass lines I’ve heard this year.

Directed by Will Galperin, the recently released video for “Dancing Is The Best Revenge” feature’s !!!’s Nic Offer with a collective of some fierce, take no prisoner drag queens — Kamryn Moore-Fierce, Nikki Moore, Makena Moore and Phoebe Monroe De La Strawberry strutting and dancing their asses off to the song. But perhaps more important, the video captures the performers camaraderie, pride and decency as they transform themselves to perform. And from the video, these ladies are a crazy, dysfunctional family — but a family in which every member accepts and loves their quirks and foibles, and offers the sort of love and understanding that they wouldn’t have received from their own biological families.

Interestingly, as Nic Offer explains in press notes, “When we recorded ‘Dancing Is The Best Revenge’ I pitched up voice, becoming Nicole Fayu in the studio — much like Prince became Camille and Morrisseey became Ann Coates. The groove felt like a strut or a walk and I imagined it akin to drag or ballroom culture.

“After ‘The One 2’ video featured such strong dance performances and was filmed in the historic L.A. venue Jalisco, we decided to give the song to some girls, who could really walk the walk and perform the song as in the spirit of reinvention. We traded some outfits and makeup tips, and they helped me become IRL Nicole Fayu. Dancing with them was a blast, and it was a great to finally see the song walked. I’m not used to being out-performed in a video.”

“These ladies ignore a world that tells them who they should be — they take the stage, walking as whoever they want to be, and that’s their best revenge. Maybe you’ll never walk onstage, maybe you’ll never be anyone else, but maybe this song/vid/story inspires you to try something you haven’t before.” Along with that though, is a very powerful message that being your truest self and not caring what anyone else thinks is arguably one of the simplest yet most revolutionary acts. And in a political climate in which their community is being attacked, the love these ladies show for one another, their pride and their zero fucks attitude towards life should truly be inspiring.

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New Video: ATPBS’ Bassist Releases a Noisily Psychedelic Visuals for New Solo Single “Fire”

Although he may be best known as a member of renowned Brooklyn-based trio and JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, the New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based bassist Dion Lunadon can trace the origins of his music career to when he cut his teeth in his homeland as a member of The D4. During a short break in touring with APTBS, Lunadon had a sudden rush of inspiration that resulted in what he has described as a neurotic implies to write and record a bunch of songs right there and then — and the result was his solo debut EP, Com/Broke, an effort which drew from the bands that inspired him in his youth, including Toy Love and The Gun Club, as well as New Zealand unknowns such as Gestalt and Supercar while defying what may typically expected of someone who’s approaching middle age.

Lunadon’s highly-anticipated and still untitled full-length debut is forthcoming and the album’s first single “Fire” reveals a man, who refuses to start the process of going quietly into the night, but instead maintains the primal, furious roar that many heard on Com/Broke while subtly drawing from psych and garage rock as soaring organs are paired with enormous power chords with blistering peals of feedback, a forceful and propulsive bass line, thundering drumming and Lunadon’s shouting and howling throughout the song. Interestingly, the song manages evoke a tense, anxious paranoia — the anxious, creeping paranoia that many of us likely feel during this weird political climate.

Directed by Ryan Ohm at Weird Life Films, the recently released video is a slickly edited, purposely schlocky, psychedelic collage of cult-favorite 70s and early 80s horror films, TV commercials, soap operas and post-punk and No Wave acts and other random, period specific ephemera.

Julian Japser is a San Diego, CA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has publicly describes his own sound as being a 21st century Steely Dan or a lapsed Todd Rundgren after he had crossed paths with Ariel Pink — and although maybe to some that may be true, to my ears “2AM,  Chinatown” and “I Don’t Mind,” the first two singles off his forthcoming 2AM, Chinatown/I Don’t Mind EP remind me quite a bit of Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT, Tame Impala and Milagres as both singles possess soaring and infectious hooks, swaggering strutting vibes and a funky bass line; however, both singles thematically focus on a desperate and gnawing loneliness and isolation — in particular “2AM, Chinatown” has its narrator reminiscing over a lover he hasn’t seen or spoken to in some time, and as a result, the lonely narrator of the song is desperate to connect with that lover or with anyone really, as long as he felt some connection with someone, even if it were brief. “I Don’t Mind” possesses a funky, 70sAM rock feel that evokes a lazy morning with a lover — the sort in which limbs and sheets are hopelessly entangled and entwined, and you spend much of the day making love and chatting about all manner of things big and small. And as a result, it’s the sexiest song of the two; but underneath the surface there’s this sense of all things coming to its inevitable conclusion. All things lead to the same result — the endless search to not be as lonely as you were before, and both songs capture that with an uncanny verisimilitude.

 

 

Over the past couple of months you may have come across a couple of posts on Behdad Netjabakshe, Paris, France-based electronic music producer and electronic music artist, best known in electronic music circles as Uppermost. Netjabakshe has received international material for material released through a number of renowned labels including Sony BMGMinistry of SoundBugEyed RecordsStarlight Records and his own Uppwind Records. And adding to a growing internationally recognized profile, Netjabakshe’s “Equivocal” landed at number 3 on Beatport’s electro house charts back in 2009, his Biscuit Factory EP ranked first on the JunoDownload electro-house charts — and he has had his work playlisted by superstar artists and producers such as TiestoArmin van Buren and Steve Angello, as well as received attention for his remixes of Daft Punkdeadmau5BurialCrystal CastlesJonathan CoultonSyl JohnsonCongorock and countless others.

You may remember that the Paris-based producer and electronic music artist’s forthcoming full-length album Origins 2011-2016 is a massive 23 song LP that features some of the Frenchman’s most popular tunes — including “Flashback,” “Beautiful Light,” “Reminder” “Mistakes” as well as a ton of new material including the shimmering and anthemic M83-channeling single “Thousand Colors,”and the Pink Floyd-channeling, funky and cinematic “Reminder.” “Emotion,”Origins’ latest single much like “Thousand Colors” will likely remind some listeners of the aforementioned M83 as the song features layers of cascading and shimmering synth chords paired with a soaring and anthemic hook and a sinuous bass line — with a swooning and Romantic heart at its core.

 

New Video: JOVM Crocodiles Return with Decidedly Lo-Fi Yet Revealing Visuals for “Not Even In Your Dreams”

JOVM mainstay artists Crocodiles, comprised of primary members and best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell have an established reputation for scuzzy, swaggering, garage rock with a decidedly pop leaning sensibility throughout the course their five previously released and critically praised full-length albums. However, the band’s latest effort Dreamless found Welchez and Rowell going through a decided change in sonic direction and songwriting approach. The album’s first single “Telepathic Lover,” possesses a stripped down and atmospheric feel, as the band moved more towards piano and synth being primary instrumentation with guitars and pedal effects moved to the background, giving the material a spectral and uneasy feel — and yet, they managed to retain their shuffling pop sensibility and swaggering badassery.

“We’ve always been a guitar band and I think we just wanted to challenge ourselves and our aesthetic,” Crocodiles’ Brandon Welchez explained in press notes. “It didn’t start as a conscious decision but within the first week Charlie’s mantra became ‘fuck guitars.’ Only one song has zero guitar but in general we tried to find alternatives to fill that space.” And much like its its predecessor, Boys, the band’s latest effort was recorded in the band’s adopted hometown Mexico City and was recorded and produced with friend, occasional bandmate and producer Martin Thulin, who’s also known for collaborating with Anika in her new project Exploded View. As the story goes, during the recording recording sessions Welchez, Rowell and Thulin shared instrumental duties with Welchez and Rowell handling most of the guitar and bass work, Thulin handling piano and synths and Thulin and Welchez splitting the live drum work.

Thematically speaking, the material on the album may arguably be the duo’s most personal, most bitter and fucked up work they’ve released to date — with the album’s title managing to work on both a deeply literal and metaphorical level. As the band’s primary lyricist explained in press notes ““I suffered insomnia throughout the whole session. I was literally dreamless. The past two years had been fraught with difficulty for us – relationship troubles, career woes, financial catastrophe, health issues. In that pessimistic mindset it was easy to feel as if the dream was over.” Dreamless’ latest single “Not Even In Your Dreams” is a jangling bubblegum pop-leaning bit of indie rock in which twinkling piano chords, strummed guitar and a propulsive rhythm section are paired with Welchez’s ironic, deadpan vocals singing lyrics describing the frayed nerves and boredom of the insomniac, whose inability to sleep will further fuel his inability to sleep, leaving his narrator with his running self-flaggelating thoughts of how his life and his career have been a momentous and laughable failure. And in some way it captures both the ghosts the linger in your life and the endless battle against your own crushing self-doubts.

The recently released music video will further cement the band’s reputation for pairing their sound with decidedly lo-fi, grainy videos, and in this case the video is comprised of brief footage of the band performing and goofing off both before and after shows and old movies — and despite its purposely shitty quality, it’s a revealing look into the band, their individual personalities and in a small way, the life of an indie musician.

New Video: Canadian Indie Rock Quartet’s Sultry Post-Modern Take on the Art of Seduction

Since the release of their full-length debut, the members of July Talk have developed a reputation for explosive live shows in which they have grown their national and international profile as the band has toured across Canada, the US, Europe and Australia with festival stops at Toronto’s WayHome Music and Arts Festival, Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival, New Orleans’ Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, Montreal’s Osheaga Festival, the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival and Austin’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. And building upon the band’s growing profile, their sophomore effort Touch was released earlier this year with the album’s first single “Push + Pull” holding the number 1 spot on the Canadian Alternative Radio charts for more than 8 weeks.

The band is currently on tour to support Touch and it includes a December 15 stop at the Bowery Ballroom; but in the meantime, the band’s latest single “Picturing Love” will further the quintet’s reputation for their unique sound in which Dreimanis’ gruff, whiskey and cigarette-tinged growl and Fay’s coquettish and ethereal vocals are paired with bombastic, anthemic hooks, twinkling keys, angular yet propulsive power chord-based guitar and bass chords and thundering, arena rock-like drumming in what is arguably one of the sultriest songs I’ve heard this year. Lyrically, the song focuses on the art and act of seduction in the modern age.

The recently released music video was filmed and shot in a gorgeously cinematic black and white and much like the song is a post-modern take on love in the modern age, as it features the central couple viewing each other through several layers of screens — and it suggest that the video’s central couple, the band’s vocalists are almost always at a sense of remove from one another, yet desperately wanting each other’s touch. But on another sense, it also evokes the game and roles people play when it comes to lust and love.

New Video: The Haunting Visuals for Preoccupations’ “Memory”

As the band’s frontman Matt Flegel has explained in press notes, Preoccupations’ self-titled album draws from very specific things — the sort of things that has most people up at night, fraught with anxiety and despair. And while the album’s first single “Anxiety,” was about the process of both natural and forced change upon the band and people generally, while on another level the song captures the uncertain and uncomfortable push and pull of human relationships, including the bitterness, regret, ambivalence, frustration and self-doubt they almost always gender within us all. The self-titled album’s second single “Degraded” while being a tense and angular song also may arguably be the most straightforward and hook-laden song they’ve written to date. However, lyrically speaking, the song reveals that its full of bilious accusation and recrimination while evoking a dysfunctional relationship splintering apart.

The album’s third single “Memory” is an expansive song that clocks in at just a little under 11:30 and is comprised of three distinct and very different movements held together by the song’s central narrative, which focuses on how much the past and its distortions, influences and invades every relationship and aspect of our lives and relationships — while also suggesting the vacillating cycles of bipolar mania. The song’s lengthy and atmospheric introduction consists of shimmering guitar chords paired with an angular, slashing bass line, and propulsive drumming and seems to look back on a relationship with a bit of regret. The song’s second section sounds as though it drew from Joy Division/New Order as shimmering guitar chords, soaring synths and Wolf Parade‘s Don Boecker contributing lilting falsetto vocals and an anthemic hook — and while being a bit bittersweet, the section also conveys a profound sense of joy and wonder before fading out into a coda consisting of gently undulating feedback that lingers with a spectral quality.

As the band’s Scott “Monty” Munro explains in press notes “‘Memory’ was the second song that we started working on for Preoccupations after ‘Anxiety.’ It was unique to the sessions of the record in that we worked on it in every studio that we were in. The idea we had for its arc made it necessary to put more work into it than any of the other tracks. The finished result was worked on in six different studios over almost two years. Getting Dan [Boeckner of Wolf Parade] to record the vocals was the final piece of the puzzle and was Matt [Fiegel]’s idea. We were tracking in Montreal and cold-called him to see if he wanted to sing a duet of songs, but his vocal was so perfect that we didn’t use Matt’s for most of it.” And the end result may be the most cinematic song they’ve released to date.

Directed by award-winning director Kevan Funk, the recently released short film/music video as he told NPR was loosely based on the story of Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor, who after years of harassment by police, who lit himself on fire in the middle of traffic in December 2010, much like the acts of self-immolation performed by Buddhist monks protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s. And much like those protests, some have said that Bouazizi’s protest may have triggered both the Tunisian Revolution, in which the country’s then-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to step down from power — and later the events of the Arab Spring. “I don’t mean to sound dark, but there’s something poetic about a fire burning so intensely that one day, it actually physically manifested,” Funk explains. “You ask yourself, ‘how much pain can we take? How much control do we have?'”

Starring the band’s Mike Wallace as the video’s lead, the video follow a man as he cycles and vacillates through the bipolar mania of action and boredom, while becoming further lost in his own mind and disconnected from others. Gradually, Wallace’s character becomes increasingly obsessed with fire and loses his grip on his own sanity and reality. Disturbingly, the video reminds us that there’s only so much loneliness and pain we can take before we shatter, and that our grip on ourselves and our sanity is ftenuous at best. But it also asks the viewer “Do you know your mind? Do you know how much you can take? Do you know the darkness within your heart?”

Comprised of primary members, their Milwaukee, WI-born, Los Angeles, CA-based frontman and founder Austen Moret (synths and vocals),  Jace McPartland (bass) and Sab Cahrunas (drums), along with a rotating cast of guitarists including friends and long-time collaborators Anthony Francisco, Dan Beltran and Mike Aguado joining the band for live shows, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock act Midnight Divide has gone through several inceptions before settling on a synth-based, power chord and big drum-based sound paired with anthemic hooks inspired by TV on the Radio, Radiohead, Imagine Dragons, Vertical Horizon, Snow Patrol and others as you’ll hear on the gorgeously atmospheric, swooning and anthemic “Talking” off the band’s forthcoming sophomore EP, which features Moret’s earnest vocals throughout. At the core of the song is a plaintive plea to a lover (or friend) to work things out; that better times could be had if they can get on the same page. But just underneath the surface is an embittering realization that things may not work out as planned, that things have at time and place — and the result may be heartbreaking yet necessary.

As the band’s Moret explains press notes “‘Talking’ lived inside me for years before I could accept why it existed. But I now know that’s a good thing because it means what I wrote is truly honest. And that’s how all songs should be.”