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New Video: Introducing the Afro-Caribbean Sounds of Charlotte Adigéry

Charlotte Adigéry is an up-and-coming Belgian-Martiniquais singer/songwriter and her forthcoming David and Stephen Dewaele-produced EP Zandoli is centered around storytelling, her mother’s critical lesson of rhythm’s relationship to musicality, the importance of a sense of humor in a difficult work, and more important, her ancestors musical traditions. 

The EP’s opening track and latest single is the propulsive and trance-inducing “Patenipat,” a track built around thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a chanted chorus “zandoli pa the ni pat,” a Creole mnemonic that translates into “the gecko didn’t have any legs.” (A zandoli is a commonly found lizard across the Caribbean that’s frequently found climbing the walls of homes across the region.) Interestingly, while based around contemporary electronic music production, the song draws from the Afro-Caribbean tradition, recalling rhythmic drum lines and dance routines  — with the participants moving towards a religious ecstasy.

Directed by Joaquim Bayle, the cinematically shot visuals draw from religious ceremonies with Adigéry and all of the participants driven by the propulsive rhythms of the song. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Singer-Songwriter Allan Rayman Releases Steamy Visuals for the Sultry Album Single “Crush”

Allan Rayman is a rather mysterious yet up-and-coming singer/songwriter and although not much is currently known about him, he has released three full-length albums and an EP — 2016’s Hotel Allan, 2017’s Roadhouse 01 and Courtney EP and Harry Hard-on, which was released earlier this year. With those releases, Rayman has played sold out headlining tours across his native Canada and the US, including sets at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Ohana, Austin City Limits and Osheaga Festivals. And as a result, the up-and-coming singer/songwriter has built up a cult-like following. Building upon a growing platform, Rayman is about to embark on a European tour that includes a stop at my second favorite city in the world, Amsterdam; but before that, Harry Hard-on’s latest single is the sultry and bluesy “Crush,” which is centered around Rayman’s expressive vocals, which convey vulnerability and aching need, buzzing power chords, a sinuous hook and boom-bap like drums.

Sonically  speaking, the track will further cement Rayman’s growing reputation for a sound that slickly meshes elements of 90s grunge, blues, contemporary indie rock and hip-hop with the self-assuredness of an old pro. Thematically, the song focuses on lust and desire — and possesses a forceful, desperate urgency. 

Directed by longtime collaborator Steph Verschuren, the recently released video for “Crush” takes place in a strip club, where the viewer and the patrons watch a stunningly beautiful exotic dancer vamp, strutting and doing her thing. And it isn’t surprising that she commands the stage and everyone’s attention. Interestingly, the video manages to emphasize the urgent lust at the core of the song. 

New Audio: Weeknight’s Anthemic Take on Post-Punk

Initially formed as a duo featuring founding members, longtime partners an co-frontpeople Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon, the Brooklyn-based dark pop/post-punk act Weeknight received attention with the release of 2014’s full-length debut Post Everything.  And as the story goes, after playing hundreds of shows to support Post Everything including touring with Phantogram, Bear in Heaven, Frankie Rose, Moonface, School of Seven Bells, and Crystal Stilts, the duo returned home and began to write the material that wound up eventually comprising their forthcoming sophomore album Dead Beat Creep, which is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through Dead Stare Records. 
Written at the duo’s Bushwick home studio and recorded during the bleak winter of 2017 at House Under Magic Studios with co-producer and engineer Danny Taylor, the recording sessions for the album found the band expanding into a quartet with the addition of Russell Hymowitz (bass) and Jasper Berg (drums). And while inspired by the disillusionment of the 2016 election and profound loss and grief, the album’s material finds the band imposing limitations as they were writing and recording, as the band’s Andy Simmons explains in press notes: “We would only use analog gear and we would only write parts that we would be able to play live.” 

Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Holes In My Head” manages to bring classic 4AD post-punk to mind as the track is centered around a moody arrangement featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, an angular and propulsive bass line, delay pedal effected guitars, dramatic drumming and a rousingly anthemic hook –with a clean, studio polish. However, the song was written for Holly MacGibbons’ father, who died last year after a decade struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was written from his perspective, and says what I imagined he would have wanted to say to me if he was able to,” the band’s Holly MacGibbons explains in press notes. 

 

With a handful of singles and their full-length debut Vaporwave, the Washington, DC-based indie electro rock and synth pop sextet Color Palette, comprised of Jay Nemeyer (vocals, guitar), Josh Hunter (guitar, keys, bass), Matt Hartenau (drums), Rogerio Naressi (keys) and Maryjo Mattea (vocals) received attention both locally and internationally from the likes of NME MagazineUSA Today, NPR and Impose Magazine— and adding to a growing profile, the band has shared bills with  Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr. Little Jeans, The Kickback, Spirit Animal, VanLadyLove and others.

Up until late last month, some time had passed since I had come across the DC-based sextet but as you may recall, the band had been busy working on their sophomore album, which is currently slated for release sometime next year — and the album’s first single “Sunburn,” was a breezy and anthemic track centered around shimmering and jangling guitar lines, ethereal electronics and a soaring hook paired with a wistful vocal that evokes the passing of summer, and the impending end of another year. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Chelsea” is a synth-based track that some have compared favorably to Depeche Mode, although to my my ears, the song recalls St. Lucia as the members of Color Palette layer of arpeggiated synths are paired with angular and hanging guitar chords, an a propulsive rhythm section — and while much like its predecessor, the song reveals a band that can craft a razor sharp and infectious hook, “Chelsea” may arguably be the most ambitious, arena rock friendly track they’ve written and released to date.

 

Over the past year or so, I’ve written about the Providence, RI-based act Arc Iris, and as you may recall, the act initially formed as a rock musical octet but has gone through a series of lineup changes that have cemented the group’s current lineup — founding member Jocie Adams (vocals), formerly of The Low Anthem, with Tenor Miller (keyboards, samples) and Ray Belli (drums). With the release 2014’s self-titled debut and 2016’s sophomore effort  Moon Saloon, the Rhode Island-based trio quickly received national and attention for shapeshifting grooves that drew comparisons to Hiatus Kaiyote and others. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Arc Iris have opened for St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Juana Molina, and have played at  major festivals like Bonnaroo, End of the Road and the Rolling Stone Weekender. However, just as the band thought they had beaten the incredibly long odds of the contemporary music industry, the gigs and opportunities dried up.

While most bands would have been embittered and called it a day, the members of Arc Iris decided to reinvent themselves, self-releasing their sophomore effort in the US and adopting an ardent DIY approach to promotion, booking and management. Interestingly, as a result of their DIY approach, the band landed a tour opening for Kimbra and Gene Ween, performed a complete re-imagination of Joni Mitchell‘s Blue at The Kennedy Center  and have seen a growing (and deeply dedicated) international fanbase.

Slated for an October 12, 2018 release through Ba Da Bing Records, Arc Iris’ third full-length album Icon of Ego was recored at Providence’s Columbus Theater, which during the 1920s hosted silent movies and vaudeville, and the album reportedly finds the band crafting vividly expressionistic material that draws from prog rock, art rock and synth pop while meshing wildly disparate styles and elements. Interestingly, Icon of Ego‘s first single “$GNMS” was a complete reworking and re-imagining of  “Money Gnomes,” off their debut — and while the original version possessed a folksy sort of looseness, the remake leans towards Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, The Yes Album-era Yes, Bjork and sci fi. The album’s second and latest single “Turn It Up” will further cement the trio’s reputation for crafting shape-shifting and progressive pop centered with enormous and infectious hooks — in the case, the song is centered around thumping, boom-bap drums, shimmering and twinkling synths and Adams’ gorgeous yet sultry vocals and an unusual, dream-like song structure that recalls Sgt, Pepper-era Beatles and Bjork, complete with a stream of consciousness-like vibe.

Friday, the members of the renowned pop act will be embarking on a lengthy fall tour that will include a November 11, 2018 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the tour dates below.  Also, you can preorder the new album here: https://grapefruitrecordclub.com/products?keywords=arc+iris

 

Tour Dates
09/07 – Boston, MA – Aeronaut Allston
10/12 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
10/13 – Portsmouth, NH – The Press Room
10/15 – New Haven, CT – Cafe 9
10/18 – Northampton, MA – Parlor Room
10/19 – Marlboro, NY – The Falcon
10/22 – Rochester, NY – Lovin’ Cup
10/25 – Newark, OH – Thirty-One West
10/27 – Cleveland, OH – Bop Stop
10/31 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls Funhouse
11/1 – Indianapolis, IN – The Pioneer
11/2 – Chicago, IL – The Hideout
11/3 – St Louis, MO – Off Broadway
11/4 – Louisville, KY – Jimmy Can’t Dance
11/7 – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
11/9 – Brattleboro, VT – Stone Church
11/10 – Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot
11/11 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
11/15 – Woodstock, NY – Colony Cafe
11/17 – Cambridge, MA – Lizard Lounge
1/10 – Philadelphia, PA – MilkBoy
1/11 – York, PA – Kable House
1/12 – Washington DC – Songbyrd Cafe
1/18 – Greensboro, NC – House Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’ll likely be familiar with the NYC-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kelsey Warren, a grizzled veteran of this city’s scene, who has been in a number of local and regionally known acts including Denise Barbarita and the Morning Papers, Pillow Theory and others. His latest project, Blak Emoji currently finds Warren collaborating with Sylvana Joyce (keytar), Bryan Percival (bass, keys) and Max Tholenaar-Maples (drums) and the act’s latest single “Another Club Night,” off the full-length debut that they’re finishing work on will further Warren and company’s growing reputation for crafting dance floor friendly pop centered around slinky synths, a sinuous bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming , thumping beats and an anthemic hook. Sonically speaking, the track finds the act’s sound recalling the likes of contemporary synth funk acts like Boulevards.

As Warren told me about the song via email, “It feels like a summer dance song to me or a song you play before you’re heading out for the night. Like a pre-game party track. It’s just a fun tune about the highs and lows of club life. Hanging out at night with friends and/or lovers is usually a blast and what we live for on the weekend but staying at home with a love one can be fun too. Of course the home front is a safer, more intimate environment. I had the synth melody as an idea for awhile but it took a few months to come up with a structure, lyrics and the right feel.”

Comprised of Matt Cusack, Vince Federici, Charlie Heim and Will Tobin, the Philadelphia, PA-based indie act Batting Cages formed last year — and interestingly, the up-and-coming band’s latest single “Feels So Good” is an anthemic synth pop/synth rock single that draws from classic 80s synth pop while also bringing St. Lucia and countless others to mind, as the song is centered around some arena rock-like bombast, earnestly swooning emotionality, soaring hooks and shimmering and arpeggiated synths.  And naturally, the song sounds as though it should be part of a soundtrack to a Breakfast Club-like movie.

 

New Audio: Acclaimed Act Thrice Releases An Anthemic Prog Rock-like Single

Comprised of founding members Dustin Kensrue (vocals, guitar) and Teppei Teranishi (guitar) with siblings Eddie Breckenridge (bass) and Riley Breckenridge (drums), the Irvine, CA-based rock band Thrice can trace their origins to its founding members meeting in high school and playing in a local band Chapter 11. When it came to starting their own project, Kensrue and Teranishi recruited Teranishi’s skate park buddy Eddie Breckenridge to play bass, and Breckenridge then brought his brother Riley to play drums, completing the band’s lineup. As the story goes, before their first show they realized that they needed name, and hard-pressed, they decided on going with Thrice, an inside joke between the bandmembers out of desperation. Although they had intended the name to be a temporary one, they began to gain fans and people started to associate them with it, so they were forced to stay with it.

In 1999, the band released the First Impressions EP, which was recorded during a twos-day session at A-Room Studios with Brian Tochilin. Only 1,000 copies were made and the individual bandmembers sold them out of their cars. Working with Death by Stereo’s Paul Miner, the Irvine, CA-based quartet recorded 12 tracks, which eventually became their 2000 full-length debut Identity Crisis, which was released through Greenflag Records. A portion of the album’s proceeds were donated to Crittenton Services for Children and Family, and with growing local buzz, the quartet caught the interest of Hopeless/Sub City’s Louis Posen, who eventually signed the band, and reissued Identity Crisis. To support the album the band toured with the likes of Samiam, Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit.

February 2002 saw the release of the band’s Brian McTernan-produced Hopeless/Sub City debut, The Illusion of Safety. Much like its predecessor, the band donated a portion of the album’s proceeds to a non-profit youth shelter in South Central Los Angeles, A Place Called Home, with the label matching all donations. The album received generally positive reviews and after tours opening for Further Seems Forever and Face to Face, followed by their first headlining tour, Thrice won the attention of several major labels, including Island Records, who signed the band, after agreeing to match the band’s charitable donations in the same fashion as Hopeless/Sub City. After signing with Island Records, the band toured with Hot Water Music and Coheed and Cambria before returning to the studio.

Interestingly with the release of 2002’s Illusion of Safety and 2003’s The Artist in the Ambulance, the band developed a reputation for a fast and punishing math rock-like sound centered around heavily distorted power chords, rapid time signature changes; however, with 2005’s Vheissu, the members of Thrice began incorporating synths, electronic beats and a much more experimental approach to their songwriting that continued through 2007 and 2008 with the release of The Alchemy Index, two albums that actually consisted of a 4-part, 24 song cycle, with each of the four 6-song EPs featuring significantly different styles based on the classical elements of fire, water, air and earth both lyrically and musically. 2009’s Beggars and 2011’s Major/Minor found the band continuing to refine their experimentation and exploration of their sound; but after the release of Major/Minor, Thrice announced a final tour and a hiatus.

In 2015, Kensrue and Teranishi decided to reform the band, and by the following year, they released their first album in four years, 2016’s To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere.  Slated for a September 14, 2018 release through Epitaph Records, the band’s tenth full-length album Palms is their second post-reunion album, and the album which was co-produced by the band and Eric Palmquist reportedly finds the band’s sound encompassing everything from post-hardcore to piano-driven ballads, making it arguably the most sonically expansive album of their careers to date. Interestingly, the album’s latest single, the prog rock-like mid-tempo “Only Us” is centered around pulsating synths, enormous power chord-led guitar riffs, an arena rock friendly hook and Kensrue’s plaintive and earnest vocals. As the band’s Dusin Kensrue explains in press notes. “‘Only Us’ came from thinking about how easily we’re so divided into ‘us’ and ‘them’ when really we have an inherent ability to care for those in our group, and the parameters for who falls into that group are extremely flexible. It’s about how the things that we think separate us are actually inconsequential, and if we could broaden the idea of ‘us’ to include all people, it would help us build a more loving and civil society. “