Category: Video

New Video: Heartless Bastards Release a Surreal and Urgent Visual for Politically-Charged and Uplifting “Revolution”

Deriving their name from a hilariously incorrect answer on a multiple-choice trivia game (the question was: “What is the name of Tom Petty’s backing band), the acclaimed indie rock act Heartless Bastards was founded in Cincinnati by Dayton, OH-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Erika Wennerstrom back in 2003 in Cincinnati. Starting out as a solo recording project,. Heartless Bastards evolved into a live band with a revolving cast of musicians that regularly played throughout the Midwest.

The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney caught the band and was so impressed by what he had heard, that he passed along a copy of their demo to their label at the time — Fat Possum Records, who signed the band and released their first three albums: 2005’s Stairs and Elevators, 2006’s All This Time and 2009’s The Mountain. In between the writing and recording of All This Time and The Mountain, Wennerstrom relocated to Austin, TX. Around the time that Wennenrstrom relocated to Austin, the band’s touring lineup featured David Colvin (drums) and Jesse Ebaugh (bass), who both played on the Heartless Bastard demos recorded six years prior. The band expanded into a quartet with the 2009 addition of Mark Nathan (guitar).

The band signed to Partisan Records, who released the band’s last two critically applauded albums — 2012’s Arrow and 2015’s Restless Ones. And after 15 years of fronting the band, Wennnerstrom released her solo debut, 2018’s Sweet Unknown. “It was a deeply personal album and it just felt fitting to use my name,” Wennerstrom says of her solo debut. “It kind of forced me to allow myself to be a little more exposed, and stand on my own two feet. I feel like I’ve grown so much creatively and personally through this process.”

Recently, the band returned to the studio to work on their long-awaited Kevin Ratterman-produced fifth album. The album reportedly will find the band continuing the late night, bluesy rock vibes that have won them praise and attention. The band’s latest single “Revolution” is their first bit of original material as a band in five years. The track was initially released on Bandcamp with proceeds donated to the ALCU — with the track no being available on all DSPs.

“Revolution” begins with a slow-burning and atmospheric ballad introduction that slowly builds up in intensity before turning into an anthemic, bluesy rocker around the three minute mark. Centered around Wennerstorm’s bluesy wail and some dexterous guitar work, including a blazing solo, the track is an incisive and urgent message that says we need to get our shit straight and make the world a better place before it’s too late. “’Revolution’ is about self love,” Wennerstrom explains in press notes. “I think if people loved themselves more there wouldn’t be racism, bigotry, and classism. Some people are so worried that there is not enough pie to go around, and that lifting up others limits their own opportunity. There is mass misinformation and manipulation to peddle this narrative. Money, materialism, privileged access to better education are things people constantly measure themselves with. The need to feel better than someone in order to feel good about oneself is an age old insecurity. The planet really can’t sustain everyone having more. Everything is made to fall apart, like cars and $1100 cell phones. I think humanity needs to learn how to have less, and not play into the commercialism that constantly sends the message we lack things that we don’t really need.

“Revolution is a mantra, and reminder to myself to avoid playing the game as much as I can. I don’t need this, and I don’t need that. I don’t need to compare myself to others. This marathon everybody is running is exhausting. There is so much true suffering in this world with a lack of food, shelter, and basic running water. The more man attempts to look at the world from another man’s perspective it becomes apparent how connected we all really are. I think giving and receiving love is really what we need the most. All the rest is just a bunch of noise.”

Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas and David Hartstein, the recently released, incredibly surreal video features an elegantly dressed Wennerstrom sitting crossed legged in the salt flats of Utah watching advertisements and imagery that people to be blindly greedy, selfish consumers and brutally racist.But during the song’s anthemic second half, we see nature overcoming all, and eventually Wennerstrom coolly floating through space.

“I wanted to release ‘Revolution’ before the election, to serve as a reminder of what’s important in life: love and compassion for yourself and your fellow man,” Wennerstrom says of the video’s release. “We have to fight fear with love. I think there’s a lot of bullshit out there that is peddled to sway people one way or the other. I feel people know what’s right in their hearts. It’s a call to not look the other way.

“For the video, I had an idea of having a surreal living room image in the salt flats,” Wennerstrom adds. “It’s a statement on how our excess commercial culture and system create a competitive climb to the top. We all struggle to get ahead so we don’t get left far behind. Very little life can live in the salt flats and I thought it helped symbolize the direction of environment if we don’t come together and wake up. I couldn’t get to the salt flats and the idea of a green screen came to mind. Sam Douglas and David Hartstein took this idea to a whole other level. The green screen went from what was initially just being unable to get to the salt flats to far beyond what I’d imagined. It really captured the song so much more.

There is so much beauty in this world, and in each other. Sometimes it is underneath the surface, but it’s always there. Let’s lift each other up.”

New Video: Rising French Artist Archibald Smith Releases a Gritty Club Banger

Archibald Smith is a rapidly rising Viry-Châtillon, France-baesed emcee, singer/songwriter, topliner and actor. Smith recently earned a diamond record — 10,000,000 or more streams — for cowriting Aya Nakamura’s viral hit “Pookie.” Initially known as a behind-the-scenes talent, Smith amassed over 200,000 Instagram views with a series of freestyles that he recorded during pandemic-related confinement.

Building upon a growing profile, the Viry-Châtillon-based emcee, singer/songwriter, topliner and actor released his first solo single and video “Renaissance” to positive reviews. Smith’s second single “Anelka” is a slickly produced synthesis of trap, hip-hop and house. Featuring stuttering beats, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end, fluttering synths and the rising French artist’s self-assured delivery, the song is effortlessly crowd pleasing: it possesses a club-banging thump paired with a gritty street swagger.

Directed by Djo Calmant a.k.a. L’Oeil2Djo, the recently released video for “Anelka” follows the rising French artist through a glitchy and cinematically shot trip to Bangkok that shows some of the dizzying sights — while showing Smith balling.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Still Corners Release a Meditative Single and Visual

London-based dream pop act and JOVM mainstays Still Corners — vocalist and keyboardist Tessa Murray and multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter Greg Hughes — have sonically bounced between chilly and atmospheric synth pop and shimmering guitar-driven desert noir through four albums: 2012’s Creature of an Hour, 2013’s Strange Pleasures, 2016’s Dead Blue and 2018’s Slow Air.

Slated for a January 22, 2021 release through Wrecking Light Records, the London-based JOVM mainstays’ fifth album The Last Exit sonically continues where its predecessor Slow Air left off — 11 songs centered around shimmering and carefully crafted arrangements of organic instrumentation and Tessa Murray’s smoky crooning. Thematically, The Last Exit takes the listener on a hypnotic journey filled with dilapidated and abandoned towns, mysterious shapes on the horizon and long trips that blur the line between what’s there and not there. “We found something out there in the desert – something in the vast landscapes that went on forever,” Greg Hughes says in press notes.

The album was brought into further focus as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns and quarantines. “There’s always something at the end of the road and for us it was this album. Our plans were put on hold – an album set for release, tours, video shoots, travel,” Tessa Murray explains. “We’d been touring nonstop for years, but we were forced to pause everything. We thought the album was finished but with the crisis found new inspiration and started writing again.” Three of the album’s songs — “Crying,” “Static,” and “‘Till We Meet Again” were written during this period and they reflect upon the profound impact of isolation and the human need for social contact and intimacy.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the album’s first single, album title track “The Last Exit.” Centered around a cinematic arrangement that evokes large, indifferent skies and dusty, two-lane blacktop, the track sounded as though it could have been part of the Slow Air sessions while subtly leaning towards the direction of Ennio Morricone soundtrack. “Crying,” The Last Exit’s second and latest single, was written during pandemic-related shutdowns and quarantines. The song captures the uncertainty, boredom, loneliness, heartache and regrets of endless hours of not having anything to really do or anyplace to go — and the obsessively neurotic and anxious self-examination of those endless hours. Centered around twinkling keys, shimmering synth arpeggios, shimmering strummed guitar, haunting whistling, Murray’s plaintive and ethereal cooing and a soaring hook. “Crying” sounds like the duo seamlessly meshed the sounds of Strange Pleasures with Slow Air.

Split between footage of Still Corners’ Murray spending time playing cards, reading books and drinking tea, we see the inevitable cycling of the seasons and the immensity of our planet moving through the universe. And while things may be uncertain and frightening, there are a handful of immutable facts: change is inevitable, the season change, we change.

“The only constant in life is change, this song is about a breakup during a difficult time but it’s also about coping with a fast-moving, uncertain world. Our video shows the immense universe and inevitable change of the seasons. Everything is in flux and that’s the only thing that is certain,” Still Corners’ Tessa Murray says of the new single and accompanying video.

New Video: Rising Afro Pop Artist Poundo Releases a Swaggering, Global Club Banger

Poundo Gomis is an emerging Guinea-Bissauan-French singer/songwriter, dancer, writer producer, , blogger and fashionista who currently splits her time between her hometown of Paris and New York, who performs under the mononymic moniker Poundo. Exposed to and influenced by the best of Africa and the West, Gomis immersed herself in the performing arts as a dancer and vocalist — and in fashion.

Over the past few years, Gomis has been incredibly busy. She has worked with some of the world’s top directors and choreographers — including Opéra de Paris’ Marie-Claude Pietragalia, Jérôme Savary, Georges Momboye, and Anne Fontaine. She was a featured danced in the Broadway musical Fela! — and since then, she has worked with Alicia Keys, Bill T. Jones, Spike Lee, The Roots and Cirque du Soleil, Aya Nakamura, Gims, Dadju, Vitaa, Amir, Hyphen Hyphen, Sting and a growing list of others.

As a recording artist Gomis has crafted a global, genre-defying take on pop music. Drawing from trap. pop, hip-hop and Mandingue music, the Paris-born artist’s work draws from her own personal experiences paired with political statements — while being accessible and club friendly. Slated for a November 27, 2020 release, the Guinea-Bissauan-French artist’s debut EP features a collection of touch upon her love of fantasy while bravely exploring her vulnerability.

The rising Guinea-Bissauan-French artist’s latest single “O Wassa Waru,” which means “A Beautiful Soul” in Mandjak is a slickly produced, club banger with a cinematic quality. Centered around looping twinkling kora lines. African polyrhythm, staccato handclaps, stuttering trap beats, staccato handclaps, wobbling low end and an infectious hook paired with Gomis’ self-assured delivery in English and Mandjak. Switching between swaggering rhymed versions and sultrily sung vocals, the track suggests that Gomis may have been influenced by Lauryn Hill and others — but with a brash, global bent and a righteous message. “It’s an ode for girls and women,” Gomis says. “I wrote and produced the track between New York, Paris and Conakry. I sing in English and Mandjak because I couldn’t do it a different way. 🙂 I grew up speaking Mandjak, French, Wolof and later learned English & Spanish at school. That’s why this song shows how international I am.”

Directed by LDITCH, the recently released video for “O Wassa Waru” is a gorgeous and cinematically shot visual featuring some serious black girl magic: beautiful and talented black women being badass in equally gorgeous settings,

New Video: Plumes Releases an Earthy and Sensual Visual for “Golden Gourmande”

Veronica Charnley is an acclaimed Montreal-born Paris-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, and the creative mastermind behind Plumes, a solo recording project that draws from contemporary pop and classical music techniques. And while most of her work is centered around her own original lyrics, she has also set poems by Emily Dickinson, Goethe and Marina Tsvetaeva to music.

\Her third album Oh Orwell was released earlier this year — and the long awaited album finds Charnley reinventing the project after her breakup with romantic partner and colllaborator, multi-instrumentalist and arranger, Goef Holbrook. The album’s latest single “Golden Gourmande” is centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement: Charnley’s gorgeous and expressive vocals, shimmering, strummed guitar and gently droning feedback. The end result is a song that simultaneously manages to evoke the sensation of being roused from a pleasant dream — and savoring it deeply with a euphoric sigh. “‘Golden Gourmande’ is a song about returning to love after having almost lost it and savoring it like a creme brulee,” Charnley explains.

Directed by Pixie Cram, the recently released video for “Golden Gourmande” is an earthy and sensual visual that splits between someone foraging for mushrooms, plucking them from the forests and the Montreal-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter performing the song in an intimate studio.

New Video: Catalan Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist Magalí Sare Releases a Gorgeous and Intimate Visual

Magalí Sare is a rising 23 year-old, Vallès, Spain-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Growing up in a family of musicians, Sare learned how to play piano, flute and percussion at an early age. Back in 2013, the Vallès-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, enrolled at the Superior Conservatory of the Liceu, where she studied jazz.

Since graduating, Sare quickly developed a unique sound and approach that features elements of jazz, classical music, pop, alt-pop and experimental music with lyrics written and sung in her native Catalan and English. She’s also been rather busy: Sare regularly performs with a quarter that features Marta Pons (cello), Vic Moliner (double bass) and Arnau Figueres (percussion) and with a duo featuring a dear friend, who has accompanied her since the beginning. Over the past year, she’s been further honing a genre-fluid sound:

She collaborated with Sebastiaà Gris on A Boy and a Girl, an album that found the duo reworking classical and folk tunes in a way that incorporated electronics. The album was nominated for Best World Music album on the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE).
Sare contributed her vocals to Clara Peya’s Estomac.
The Catalan-born artist was nominated for an Emerging Artist Award by the Catalan Music Academy and Best New Artist at the ARC Awards.
Magalí Sara was nominated for the first International Award of Suns Europe Festival, which she won.
She also toured with with Quartet Mèlt, an act that won TV3’s Oh happy day’s third season.

Sare’s latest single “Beber de ti” is a slow-burning track and atmospheric featuring twinkling piano, stuttering trap beats, the rising Catalan artist’s ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering synth arpeggios and an enormous hook. Sonically, the track will further establish her sound as it’s a slickly produced mesh of classical music, electro pop and trap, centered around earnest songwriting. “Stagnant water rots. To be clean and transparent it needs to flow. The same goes for feelings; Communicating fully is not easy at all,” Sare explains. “Sometimes opening up as people can be painful, but it is something that frees us. Showing fears, letting out crying, as well as empathizing and giving thanks when appropriate, are things that make human relationships flow.”

The recently released and intimately shot video follows a couple, who struggle to truly connect with each other — but when they follow the philosophy of the song, they find themselves much closer, and much more at peace with each other.

New Video: Montreal’s Thaïs Releases a Surreal and Feverish Visual for Atmospheric “Sushi Solitude”

Thaïs is an emerging Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who specializes in an atmospheric and delicate pop centered around the French Canadian singer/songwriter’s ethereal vocals. Thematically her work focuses on melancholy, loneliness and dysfunctional and confusing love.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Boreal.” Inspired by a trip that the French Canadian artist took to Iceland, the third single off her recently released Paradis Artificiels EP was centered around shimmering synths, thumping and skittering beats, warm blasts of looping electric guitar, a soaring hook and Thaïs’ ethereal and plaintive vocals meant to evoke the awe-inspiring sense of being in a gorgeous, natural space and taking it all in deeply.

Paradis Artificiels’ fourth and latest single “Sushi Solitude” is an atmospheric and delicate pop song centered around the rising Montreal artist’s ethereal and breathy cooing, shimmering synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched, angular bursts of guitar, stuttering drumming and a soaring hook. Sonically, the track brings Washed Out to mind, complete with a similar achingly melancholic air.

The recently released video for “Sushi Solitude” is a probing — yet mischievous — look at solitude and self-examination, seemingly inspired by pandemic-related lockdowns: we see the rising French Canadian artist, bored and disaffected, at points reflecting on her life and past, at points attempting to better herself and her life and other points actively not caring one way or the other. In some way, the video feels like an examination of a woman on the brink of profound realizations or psychotic break.

New Video: Athens, GA’s Easter Island Releases a Gorgeous and Cinematically Shot Visual for Soaring “Always Room For Another”

Rising Athens, GA-based dream pop act Easter Island — sibling’s Ethan (guitar) and Asher Payne (keys), Ryan Monahan (guitar), John Swint (drums) and Justin Ellis (bass) have developed and honed a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Explosions in The Sky, My Bloody Valentine, DIIV, Pedro the Lion and others. Their full-length debut, 2012’s Frightened featured material, which appeared in a number of TV show including ABC’s Off The Map, MTV’s Awkward and an live appearance on a 2019 episode of the CW’s Dynasty.

Adding to a growing profile, the act has shared stages with a number of acclaimed acts including David Bazan, The B52’s Cindy Wilson, The Low Anthem, Bully, Wild Nothing, White Rabbits, Valley Maker and a lengthy list of others. Over the past six years or so, the members of the Athens-based act have been working on new material in various studios across the country while touring and making stops across the national circuit touring — with stops at SXSW, CMJ, Treefort, Underground Music Showcase, Secret Stages and AthFest. They’ve even traveled to Japan to work on material — and to shoot the video for Take All The Time You Think You Need’s single “Island Nation.”

Speaking of Take All The Time You Think You Need, the Ryan Monahan-produced album which is slated for a December 2020 release draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including Sufjan Stevens, Max Richter and The Never Ending Story. The album’s latest single, the cinematic “Always Room For Another” originally premiered on Billboard back in 2018. The single is an incredibly cinematic track, centered around shimmering guitars, ethereal textures, a propulsive groove led by thunderous drumming, plaintive falsetto vocals and euphoric hooks paired with earnest songwriting packed with an emotional wallop.

Directed by the band’s Ethan Payne, the gorgeously shot, cinematic visual for “Always Room For Another” follows the band’s Ryan Monahan on an epic journey through Denver and eventually through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Throughout the video, the viewer is supposed to get a sense that its protagonist is on a quest to ultimately find himself.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Clipping. Release a Cinematically Shot, Menacing, Fever Dream

Over the past six years or so, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio and JOVM mainstay act Clipping.– production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson and frontperson Daveed Diggs. Interestingly, last year’s critically applauded There Existed and Addiction to Blood found the acclaimed hip-hop trio interpreting a hip-hop splinter sect through their own singular lens — horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and significant sub-genre that flourished for a handful of years around the mid 1990s. Additionally, the album is also partially inspired by Ganja & Hess, the 1973 vampire cult classic, regarded as one of the highlights of the Blaxploitation era — with the title derived from the film.

With horror films, sequels are perfunctory and perhaps even obligatory. As the insufferable film bro Randy explains in Scream 2, “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate—more blood, more gore. Carnage candy. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.” Clipping.’s highly-anticipated follow-up to There Existed an Addition to Blood, Visions of Bodies Getting Burned officially dropped today. And although many may see VoBGB as a sequel, in reality, it’s a the second half of a planned diptych. But hewing closely to the sequel tradition, the album finds the acclaimed JOVM mainstays returning with an even higher body count, bloodier, more elaborate, gorier kills and as always, unrelenting monsters that just won’t ever stay dead.

Interestingly enough, in the years following ffSplendor & Misery, the trio wound up being incredibly prolific, writing and recording too may songs for just one album. Before the release of There Existed an Addition to Blood, Clipping. and Sub Pop divided the material into two albums, specifically designed to be released only months apart. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic managed to forced the cancellation of multiple tours and sadly, the delayed release of the act’s latest album. The 16 song album draws from an eclectic array of sources including Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker and Shirley Jackson as much as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Developing their own abrasive, angular and messy interpretation of horrorcore, the members of Clipping. have fully intended to lovingly twist familiar tropes to fit their own politics and thematic concerns — in particular: fear, the absurd, the uncanny and the struggle for an antiracist, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonialist world.

So far, I’ve written about three of VoBBB‘s singles:

“Say The Name:.” Featuring a heavily chopped up and screwed sample of Scarface’s evocative lyric from “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” — “Candlesticks in the dark, visions of bodies being burned,” the song is centered around wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end, industrial clang and clatter, arpeggiated synths and Diggs’ tongue twisting flow, full of surrealistically gore-filled lyrics full of imagery demons and hell spawn in the flames, bullet hole ridden bodies and more. To me, the song evokes the slow-burning horror of watching a man being snuffed out in public with replays form different angles and commentary as if it were a key play in deciding a big ball game.
“96 Neve Campbell:” Written as a tribute to the self-aware “final girl” character of the post-slasher film cycle that features a vicious and swaggering guest spot from Inglewood’s Cam & China, The trio of ridiculously talented emcees envisions the movie’s final girl — or inn this case final girls — preemptively striking the slasher and fucking his ass up before he could get them. Simply put, the track is fire. featuring criminally under-appreciated talent that you should know. “We’ve been fans of theirs for a long time, going back to the days when they were in the group Pink Dollaz,” Clipping.’s Daveed Diggs says of their collaboration with Cam & China. “Cam and China continue to be some of the most consistent and under-appreciated lyricists on the West Coast. We’ve been trying to do a song with them for a while now, and this one felt like a perfect fit. They bodied it.”
“Pain Everyday:” Centered around a menacingly glitchy production featuring industrial clang and clatter, stuttering beats, atmospheric synths and electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recordings said to be the voices of restless spirits — presumably those who maybe have died horrifyingly brutal deaths. Thematically, the song envisions a call-to-arms for the dead victims of lynching and extrajudicial police killings to haunt and torture the descendants of their murderers both here and in the afterlife. “This song was one of the most challenging to write because it’s the first time we’ve done a track entirely in ⅞, which, it turns out, is kind of a mind fuck,” Clipping.’s Daveed Diggs explains. “I love how it came out because it’s in this odd time signature but the flow still feels natural, like rap is supposed to.”

Visions of Bodies Being Burned fourth and latest single “Enlacing” is a menacing take on trap featuring the prerequisite stuttering beats, distorted vocals that seem to come out from the opened gates of Hell., brief bursts of twinkling synths, droning electronics and tweeter and woofer rocking end paired with Diggs’ alternating between his imitable rapid-fire flow, a spoken word flow and sung choruses. Let this track be a reminder of how Clipping. is actively pushing the sound of hip-hop in new and weirder directions while remaining remarkably accessible.

Clipping. recently released a C Prinz-produced double video for “Enlacing and “Pain Everyday.” featuring frontman Daveed Diggs, the visual is a gorgeously shot and incredibly vivid fever dream that pulsates with menace and unease. “This piece explores bodies and impact and gravity and sensation in a way that aims to overwhelm you as viscerally as our current world reality does mentally, but through the lens of the embodied experience,” C Prinz explains. “We are surrounded by surface level, fake realities through social media and politics. I just wanted to create a piece that serves as a momentary break from the superficial culture we live in and fantasize on a more genuine, honest reality in the effort it takes to survive right now.”

Live Footage: Palace Winter’s Tennis Court Sessions

The Copenhagen, Denmark-based pop duo and JOVM mainstays Palace Winter — Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish-born, Copenhagen-based producer and classically trained pianist Caspar Hesselager — built upon a rapidly growing profile regionally and internationally, with the release of their sophomore album 2018’s Nowadays.

Nowadays found the Danish pop duo expanding around the sound that had already won them praise: breezy and melodic, radio friendly pop centered around heavy thematic concerns and lived-in songwriting. Thematically, the album touched upon adulthood and the loss of innocence; the accompanying tough and sobering life lessons as you get older; the freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their life and destiny and so on.

Palace Winter’s highly anticipated third album . . . Keep Dreaming, Buddy dropped today, and unlike their previously released material, the album was written through a long distance correspondence as Carl Coleman was residing in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. “Caspar was sending me these synth hooks and drum loops from Denmark, so I started coming up with melodies and lyrical ideas to record into my phone,” Coleman says of the writing sessions. While Coleman’s lyrics were inspired by Tenerife’s unique landscape, they also draw metaphorical parallels between Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano, which also is one of Spain’s tallest peaks, and the looming fear of a relationship disintegrating, Hesselager’s instrumental parts were inspired by Copenhagen’s landscape. And as a result, the album’s material is literally a tale of two cities and two completely different emotional states.

Over the past handful of months, I’ve written about four of the album’s released singles:

Top of the Hill,” was a great example of the album’s overall tale of two cities and two completely different emotional states. Featuring shimmering and icy synths, thumping beats and an enormous, arena rock friendly hook paired with Coleman’s volcanic imagery-based lyrics, the song captures the bubbling dissatisfaction, boredom, frustration and distrust of a relationship about to boil over and explode.
“Won’t Be Long,” . . . .Keep Dreaming Buddy‘s second single was an expansive song that featured elements of arena rock, glam rock and synth pop, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook, a crunchy power chord-driven riff, shimmering synth arpeggios and strummed guitar. But interestingly enough, the song is actually deceptively and ironically upbeat as it tackles the anxiety of anticipatory grief, as it focuses on a narrator, who is preparing for the inevitable loss of a dear, loved one. Loss and despair are always around the corner, indeed.
“Deeper End,” the album’s third single was a decidedly genre-defying affair that found the duo pushing their sound in a new direction without changing the essentially elements of the sound that has won them attention internationally. Featuring an infectious hook, shimmering synth arpeggios and strummed guitar, the breezy song is one part synth pop. one part 70s AM rock, one part country — but while centered around an unusual juxtaposition: the song as the band’s Carl Coleman explains is “a story about a bad trip at a weird house party I went to with my sister.” Granddaddy’s Jason Lytle contributes a guest verse to the song, a verse in which his character dispenses harsh yet very trippy truths to the song’s hallucinating and anxious narrator.
“Richard (Says Yes),” a playful, thematic left turn that finds the duo writing a big, upbeat party them — but while pushing their sound in a new direction. Centered around their unerring knack for crafting an anthemic hook, “Richard (Says Yes)” is a remarkably proggy take on their sound.

Earlier this year, the duo — with their backing band — filmed a live session from a Copenhagen tennis court. The session featured live versions of two of my favorite songs off the new album: “Top of the Hill” and “Won’t Be Long.”