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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.”







New Video: Watch The Big Moon Drive Around and Kick Ass in a Van for Their Anthemic New Single

Comprised of Juliette Jackson (guitar, vocals), Soph Nathan (guitar, vocals), Celia Archer (bass, vocals) and Fern Ford (drums), the London-based indie rock quartet The Big Moon specialize in an urgently swooning and anthemic rock sound — although their latest single “Formidable” off the British quartet’s forthcoming debut effort, Love In The 4th Dimension nods at 90s alt rock, thanks in part to a lengthy and bluesy introduction, followed by an anthemic, power-chord filled hook paired with thundering drumming and Jackson’s forceful yet earnest vocals. But pay close attention because despite the sneering attitude, the song manages to an earnest plea of devotion to another in need, and of one’s resilience in the face of some of life’s toughest obstacles.

The recently released music video continues the band’s continuing collaboration with director Louis Bhose and was filmed in the British Peak District. The video employs a fairly simple concept — beginning with following the band’s Juliette Jackson as she drives around day and night in the band’s van before pulling over to the side the road, exiting the front of the van and joining the rest of the band to perform the anthemic and stomping hook of the song in the back of the van. As the band explained in an interview to the folks at NOISEY: “‘Formidable’ is a song that’s important to us all and it felt like for once, it wasn’t appropriate to make a mega fun, LOLZ video. That said, we didn’t want to make a super earnest band video either. We had a day off in between cities on our autumn tour so we drove to the beautiful Peak District and smashed out the song in the back of the van. It’s a van that we’ve spent more time in than our own beds over the last year.”

East Sussex, UK-born, London, UK-based singer/songwriter Natalie Bouloudis can trace the origins of her music career to her childhood. She learned jazz clarinet and guitar as a child, began (secretly) writing her own songs when she was 7, and played in number of jazz bands. Having lived in London for the better part of the past decade, Bouloudis decided to release some of her music publicly three years ago under the moniker Aurora Harbinger. And with her first publicly released material, the East Essex-born, London, UK-based singer/songwriter began playing in a number of local venues and it allowed her to build up a fanbase that enabled her to successful crowd fund her debut EP, which was produced by Robert Strauss.

Initially derived from a short story that Bouloudis wrote while shirking her duties as an arts and culture guide copywriter, her latest single “Burning Pier” set in a fictionalized amalgamation of the burnt-out piers of Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne and is essentially a meditation on how disasters can evoke nostalgia and make us question our post-disaster future in a new light in a way that will remind some listeners of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Melanie Di Biasio and others — but with a slightly jazzy, folk-leaning take on pop as the East Essex, UK-born, London, UK-based effortlessly soulful and gorgeous vocals with a sinuous bass line, a twisting and turning melody based around shimmering and twinkling guitar and piano. Recorded in a live take with minimal overdubs — the only overdubs being drummer Hannah Stacey’s Rhodes piano playing — the song manages to feel both thoughtfully composed and improvised, capturing the simpatico of a bunch of musicians playing and creating a moody and pensive song.


Featuring members of JEFF The Brotherhood and  Diarrhea Planet, Breast Massage is a Nashville, TN-based All-Star side project that specializes in a bruising, sludgy, power chord-based rock that has had the act headlining Third Man Records‘ Devil’s Night and playing with the likes of A Place to Bury Strangers, Colleen Green and others. “Bathing The Dog,” the first single off their soon-to-be released Cruisin’ For Filth, part of Infinity Cat Records‘ limited release cassette series, is a slow-burning, dirge-like power chord heavy song with thundering, heavy metal-liked drumming that sounds indebted to the Melvins and 90s alt rock.