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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.

 

 

 

With the release of “Swedish Guns,” off their soon-to-be released fourth, full-length album Running Out of Love, Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop production and artist duo The Radio Dept. received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere, and as a result the track shot up the Hype Machine charts, landing at number 1. Running Out of Love‘s second and latest single “We Got Game” will further cement the duo’s burgeoning international reputation for crafting slickly produced electro pop that channels mid 80s New Order and classic house but paired with socio-politically charged lyrics. Interestingly, the Swedish electro pop duo’s fourth album focuses on how life in their homeland seems to be quickly moving backwards politically, intellectually, socially — and about how a sense of impatience and privilege has lead to anger, hate and apathy. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Check out the song’s lyrics below:


There’s a choice to be made
We never used to blindly disobey
But now, make some noise
Never fade
Retrace the steps of millions before us
What is fair to get ahead?
It’s not an even game if you can’t bid
They don’t care
Never did
If we want it we will have to take it from the overfed

We got game
And we were put to shame
Acting kind
So we came to speak our minds
And what else?
What else?
What else could we do?
Jumpcut
Horses
Riots

You keep talking middle ground
So sick of hearing about that middle ground
This is it, you can’t go ’round
There’s just no other middle to be found
Like with this bunch of racist loons
The kind of guys you wouldn’t like to spoon
If in power
One whisky sour
And everyone I love would be jailed within the hour
So…

We got game
And we were put to shame
Acting kind
So we have changed our minds
And now what?
Now what?
Now what will they do?
Jumpcut
Horses
Riots
Is it true?
Laser beam
Swat team
Not a dream

I believe Paris Grey
Singing “the sun will chase the clouds away”
I believe what she say
Because I want and have to believe that way

Is it true?
Paycuts
Gunshots
Riots
Yes it’s true
It is true
Mind you
It’s true

 

The band will be embarking on a North American tour next winter and it includes two NYC are dates — March 8, 2016 at Bowery Ballroom and March 9, 2016 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.


North American Tour Dates

Feb 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Feb 15 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Feb 16 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Feb 17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Feb 18 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Feb 19 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Feb 20 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Feb 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Feb 27 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Feb 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Mar 1 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Mar 3 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Mar 4 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Mar 5 – Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
Mar 6 – Montreal, QC @ Théâtre Fairmount
Mar 7 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Mar 8 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Mar 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

 

Up-and-coming, Los Angeles, CA-based producers Mike B. and Mike Nana have quickly developed a reputation as one of their hometown’s go-to production units as they’ve collaborated with the likes of Terrace Martin, Jay 305, Kembe X and Anderson .Paak; however, the duo known as MIKNNA will be releasing their debut EP 50/50 (All Seasons) and from the EP’s second single “Trinity Ave,” will also establish the duo as one of the their hometown’s hottest artists as the single consists of tribal-like percussion, swirling electronics, stuttering 808s, trembling synths, bursts of Nile Rodgers and Prince-inspired guitar playing in a strutting and swaggering song that manages to be soulful, sensual and incredibly contemporary.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Júniús Meyvant Returns with More Carefully Crafted 60s-Inspired Sounds and Striking Visuals for His Latest Single

With the release of Floating Harmonies’ third and latest single “Beat Silent Need,” the Icelandic singer/songwriter will arguably cement himself as one of the finest, contemporary, blue-eyed soul singer/songwriters on either side of the Atlantic as his sound nods at 60s and 70s soul, paired with thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics. In this case, this particular song focuses on loneliness and the desperate need for love and to be desired, the self-doubt, confusion, misunderstandings and fear that frequently sabotage our relationships, the difficulties of honestly connecting with others and the blind hope that in every subsequent relationship that we’ll somehow get it right — although most of us fail miserably some way or another.

The recently released video begins with a couple in the middle of a bitter argument as the man drops his woman off for a pregnant woman yoga class taught by a neglectful asshole. When the women bolt from their class, they are subsequently chased by both the yoga instructor and our protagonist’s boyfriend. And it ends with the pregnant woman, worriedly driving herself and her companions to a hospital as they all experience labor pains — without the asshole men in their lives.

New Video: Lower Dens’ Moody and Gorgeous Visuals and Sounds for “Real Thing”

The recently released video was produced by SSION and employs the use of hazy early 80s synth pop videos as the song has Hunter performing in an empty studio as the video cuts to hazier and hot florescent lit footage of couples and other folks dancing at a club, and of Hunter playing guitar and singing, sometimes in different colored suits. Interestingly, Hunter sings the song’s most devastating lines to herself in a mirror, which emphasizes the song’s loneliness while also emphasizing the fact that the song’s narrator is faced with a difficult decision.

With the release her sultry and bluesy debut single “Keep Lying,” New Jersey-born pop artist Donna Missal first captured the attention of listeners and the blogosphere, and she followed that up with a soulful and jazzy single “The Keeper,” and a bluesy take on Drake‘s mega-hit “Hotline Bling,” that turned up the vulnerable and urgent need of the original. Now, it’s been a little bit since I’ve personally written about Missal; however, her latest single “Slide” was written as a reminder for Missal “to relax and not take everything so seriously and personally. ” And as Missal explains “I would say that I’m very passionate and can get all in my feelings. When anyone listens to this little jam, I hope it makes them feel good. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is throw up your hands, breathe, brush your shoulders off and remember that it’s ok to have fun — no mater how imperfect the circumstances around you.” Sonically, the song consists Missal’s sultry and self-assured vocals with a production that nods at 90s hip-hop infused R&B as a looped horn sample paired with twinkling keys and atmospheric electronics and stuttering drum programming in a silky smooth, sensual and slow-burning song.