Category: Video

New Video: Up-and-Coming Scottish Indie Rock Act Sister John Releases a Self-Assured Classic Rock-Like Single

Led by Amanda McKeown, the up-and-coming Glasgow, Scotland-based indie rock act Sister John can trace its origins to when its members met while singing in The Parsonage Choir. McKeown cajoled her then-future bandmates into helping her perform some original material at a one-off event, and as the story goes, the members of the band immediately recognized an intrinsic simpatico that quickly made them inseparable.  

Quickly developing new material and their own sound, the Glasgow, Scotland indie rock act signed to Last Night From Glasgow Records in December 2016 with the label releasing their first single, “He Came Down,” an original, alternative Christmas song, which they followed up with a set at the LNFG/TeenCanteen Christmas Effect charity showcase. Their second single “Sweetest Moment” was released the following June and was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Single of the Week, while receiving airplay on the Roddy Hart Show. Within a year of signing to Last Night From Glasgow Records, Sister John wrote, recorded and released their critically full-length debut, Returned From Sea, which they followed up with a series of sold out shows across the UK, as well as a showcase at Glasgow’s winter music festival Celtic Connections. 

Building upon a growing profile and growing confidence from the positive reception of their full-length debut, the band released “Friends” in early 2018 before heading to the studio to begin work on their self-titled sophomore album, which is slated for release later this week. Reportedly, the soon-to-be released album finds the band squeezing more out of their sound on some tracks while filtering and minimizing on others — with some points, the material taking on a darker sound and vibe. Interestingly, the album’s first single “I’m The One” has been compared to post-Nico Velvet Underground — and that shouldn’t be surprising as the incredible self-assured its centered around a looping and twangy guitar line, a propulsive rhythm section and a sing-songy vocal delivery. The result is a song with a sleazy, bar room strut with a vulnerable, longing underbelly. 

Directed and filmed by Brian Sweeney and Fabio Rebelo, the recently released video features the band performing the song at a tiny, local club with the Whitburn Northern Soul Dancers dancing along. It’s a delightful and mischievously anachronistic visual. 

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New Video: Introducing Up-and-Coming Australian Singer/Songwriter Grace Turner

Last year was a breakthrough year for the up-and-coming, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Grace Turner as her single “Dead or Alive” received attention in North America, landing on Spotify US’ Viral 50 Playlist and Apple Music’s Best of the Week. Following the track’s release, Turner opened for Alex the Astronaut, Gabriella Cohen, Jess Locke and Kingswood — and since then, “Dead or Alive” has amassed more than 500,000 streams. In her native Australia, Turner was named a triple j Unearthed Artist of the Week, and her latest single “Easy I Fall,” which was released a few weeks ago in Australia received airplay on triple j and FBi. 

“Easy I Fall” was recently released across North America and the track will further cement Turner’s growing reputation for a sound that meshes elements of indie rock with alt country, compete with jangling chords during the song’s verses, fuzzy power chords during the song’s soaring hook and chorus. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the work of Bryde, Eliza Shaddad, Ruby Boots and others, Turner’s latest single is centered around an unvarnished and unfiltered honesty. In this case, the song’s narrator openly talks about a relationship teetering on the brink — and while the narrator’s love interest is trying his best, the narrator realizes that the relationship is over, and that it’s been over for a while; in fact, she’s been trying to tell her lover that she’s wanted to leave for some time. And as a result, the song captures the indecision, fear and awkwardness of relationships as they inch towards their inevitable end. 

Filmed, edited by videographer James Rhodes and co-produced by Rhodes and Turner, the recently released video for “Easy I Fall” was shot in Super 8 Film at The Royal Exchange, a quaint theater in Turner’s hometown. Standing in front of a floral background that recalls the work of Frida Kahlo, the video features Turner in two dresses made by designers Millie Shorter and Ellie Hannon from scratch — an 80s inspired, big-shouldered flower print dress and a simple white dress with jewelry shaped like enormous third eyes. The video captures Turner in some visually overstated scenarios while she performs with an understated yet candid presence. 

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding her, the Newcastle, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist announced that she’ll be playing at this year’s SXSW and a run of solo dates with Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson. 

New Video: Anemone Releases Breezily Bittersweet Album Single “Memory Lane”

Throughout the course of last year, I wrote quite a bit about the Montreal-indie pop/dream pop act Anemone, and as you may recall, the act which is led by Chloe Soldevila (keys, vocals) and featuring Miles Dupire-Gagnon (drums), Gabriel Lambert (guitar), Samuel Gemme (bass) and Zachary Irving (guitar) specializes in a breezy and nostalgic take on dream pop.

Early last year, the Canadian dream pop quartet released their attention-grabbing debut EP, which they supported with a series of critically applauded SXSW shows, and some relentless touring across North America; in fact, I was first introduced to Anemone when they opened for HAERTS at Baby’s All Right.. Building upon a growing profile, the members of Anemone will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Beat My Distance on February 15, 2019 through Luminelle Records. I’ve written about two album singles so far — the breezy and sunny “Sunshine (Back To The Start)” which was built around jangling and chiming guitar lines, a propulsive, disco-influenced bass line, a steady backbeat and Soldevilla’s plaintive, ethereal vocals. But ironically, the song is centered around the hope of a brighter day after experiencing painful heartache. “She’s The One” continued in a similar vein, as it was a shimmering and ethereal track that possessed a subtly bittersweet undertone. That shouldn’t be surprising as the song focuses on two paradoxical tendencies/patterns in relationships and how they frequently work against each other: the infatuation and idealization of someone, thinking they must be “the one” until you really get to know them — and the tendency to protect yourself and stay independent, at almost all costs with the result of closing yourself off from having a profound connection with another. 

“Memory Lane,” Beat My Distance’s latest single finds the Canadian dream pop act effortlessly meshing psych pop with 70s AM rock, complete with twinkling keys, a propulsive bass line, twangy guitar and trippy layers of percussion — over which Soldevilla’s ethereal vocals sing ruminative vocals. As Anemone’s Soldevilla says in press notes, “‘Memory Lane’ is reminiscent of one’s unrepairable distance from another – the other not giving enough care to a mutual romance in an opportune time, causing both people to move on in separate directions. The outro of the song acts as a lullaby; a soothing, melodic repetition that breaths a fantasy of slowly building the inner-strength to accept that those memories can no longer be the future. Passionate events that once seemed stronger than anything slowly fade away as your inner strength grows ~ it is a powerful feeling.”

Directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick, the recently released video for “Memory Lane” was shot with grainy Super 8 Film and features the members of Anemone goofing off and enjoying a summer day at the lake and at a local farm. Some of the footage is shot with a prism just over the lens, which creates a trippy kaleidoscopic effect to the proceedings — and unsurprisingly, it looks like early promotional music videos from the late 60s and early 70s. 

New Video: Newcastle’s Sam Fender Releases Surreal Yet Politically Charged Visuals for Anthemic EP Single “Play God”

Over the past couple of years,  Newcastle, UK-based singer/songwriter Sam Fender has received attention both nationally and internationally for crafting rousingly anthemic material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues, broadly drawing from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England. Last year, Fender was featured on BBC Sound of 2018‘s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Fender released the highly-anticipated Dead Boys EP last November, and as you may recall, the EP featured the attention-grabbing “That Sound,” a power chord-based arena rock friendly track that featured enormous raise-your-beer-in-the-air-and-shout-along worth hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that brought  The Black Keys, Slaves, Royal Blood and others to mind. “Simply put ‘That Sound’ is a celebration of music, but it’s also a not-so-subtle middle finger to the naysayers that tend to rear their heads as soon things start to work out for you, especially back at home. It’s about finding strength to ignore it all, and keep doing your thing,” Fender said in press notes at the time.  

“Play God,” the latest single off the Dead Boys EP is arguably the most politically-charged and conscious song I’ve written about so far this year, as it talks about how the interests of the powerful and extraordinarily rich few are what really controls the world as we know it; those people play God with everyone and everything. Sonically, the track continues in a similar vein as its predecessor — rousingly anthemic hooks, enormous blues power chords and his incredibly soulful powerhouse vocals.  With this latest single,   the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter and guitarist has crafted a song that belies his relative youth, while revealing an ambitious artist and songwriter, who seems ready to take over the world. 

Directed by Vincent Haycock, the recently released black and white video for “Play God” is largely centered around depictions of violence, whether watched on a television, real or imagined. At points, it’s beautiful, startling and downright disturbing — as it should be. 

Lyric Video: Jess McAvoy’s Coquettish 50s Rock Inspired Ode to Enjoying the Moment with Others

Jess McAvoy is a Melbourne, Australia-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who over the course of the past 25 years has written, recorded and self-produced 13 albums within a wide variety of styles and genres, including singer/songwriter folk, pop and rock. But if one thing has been consistent throughout McAvoy’s career is that her work is centered by a disarming honesty, deep self-awareness and openheartedness. Interestingly, McAvoy’s latest single “Do What You Want” finds the Melbourne-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter drawing the blues and classic rock — and while in some way, the song reminds me a bit of Terra Lightfoot, the song is coquettish yet heartfelt. 

Unsurprisingly, the song is influenced by McAvoy’s own personal experience as it was written when she was seeing someone and even though she felt that her heart wasn’t quite open to a romantic commitment, both she and her partner were open to having a good time together. Sometimes, you have to enjoy the love that enters your life for as long as you can hold on it because everything in this world is fleeting.

New Video: Budapest’s Ivan and the Parazol Releases an Arena Rock Friendly Single Paired with Slick Visuals

Last November, I wrote about the Budapest, Hungary-based indie rock quartet Ivan and the Parazol, and as you may recall the act which is currently comprised of Vitáris Iván (vocals), Balla Máté (guitar), Beke István (keys) and Simon Bálint (drums) can trace their origins to when its founding members along with Tarnai János (bass) met at a private music school back in 2010. And since their formation, the Hungarian rock act has released three full-length albums, opened for Deep Purple, played SXSW twice, played Reeperbahn Festival, Eurosonic Nooderslag, and the Sziget Festival main stage as well as hundreds of shows internationally across Europe. Adding to a growing national and international profile the act was nominated for an MTV Hungary Brand New Award in 2010, won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Hungarian act in 2014. Also their single “Together” was named the Sziget Festival anthem.  

Last year was an eventual year for the Hungarian rock band: they celebrated their eighth year together, and in that time, the band cemented a reputation for being at the forefront of their homeland’s growing, contemporary rock and indie rock scenes. Building upon their growing profile, the Budapest-based rock act’s Wil Anspach-produced fourth, full-length album Exotic Post Traumatic finds the band ambitiously expanding upon the sound and songwriting approach that has won them attention in the homeland — with the intention of winning ears and audiences across the rest of the European Union and the States. Exotic Post Traumatic’s slow-burning, first single “Nr. 1003” was a slick and seamless mix of glam rock, psych rock and arena rock that seemed to draw from The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Tame Impala — and while seemingly sunny, the song has a subtle darkness to it; after all the song focuses on the band moving froward with their lifelong dream without one of their closest friends. And while there’s some guilt about moving forward, there’s also the hope that their friend will be able to join them on their incredible journey. 

The album’s latest single “Changin'” is a straightforward arena rock track features an enormous power chord-led hook, a thundering backbeat and Vitáris Iván’s sultry  baritone. And while to my ears, the track sounds like early INXS, the song is centered by an overwhelming positivity — that the changes the song’s narrator feels he’s going through is part of a necessary part of his personal evolution. As the band explains in press notes that “‘Changin’ could be the title of the whole album, cause the last two years have embodied this concept. The band, our music, and style of song-writing developed and evolved so much. This song was inspired by a new relationship, but of course the desired love is hard to reach, especially when the different factors of life and personal experiences can make it harder to materialise. Our band and our bond is a relationship too that goes through evolutions and difficulties. So, you have to trust your instinct, and the change will make you better.” 

The recently released video follows a beautiful and stylish woman as she goes to an artist loft — at first she vamps in an elevator before heading to an art gallery. Next door, the members of Ivan and the Parazol are jamming out. Much like the video for “Nr. 1003,” the slickly shot video creates the impression that the band are part of their country’s — and in turn, their hometown’s — effortlessly cool. 

New Video: Former Keep Shelly in Athens Frontwoman Releases a Sensual Take on 4AD Records-era Synth Pop

Perhaps best known as one-half of the internaitonally acclaimed electronic music production and electronic music artist duo Keep Shelly in Athens, the Athens, Greece-based artist and activist Sarah P. released a critically applauded full-length debut album Who Am I back in 2017. Interestingly, the vocalist who has collaborated with Sasha, Mmoths, The New Division, Plastic Flowers, Holly, Hiras, The Bilinda Butchers and a lengthy list of others is releasing the much-anticipated follow up to Who Am I, the Maenads EP, a collection of songs to celebrate both feminine power (particularly its magic, strength and imperfect perfection) and the artist’s Greek heritage. 

Maenads’ latest single, the atmospheric and moody “Lotus Eaters” features four-on-the-floor drumming, shimming synths, a propulsive and sinuous bass line paired with Sarah P.’s ethereal crooning. In some way, sonically speaking the song will bring to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Kate Bush and the early 80s 4AD Records roster while arguably being the most sensual song I’ve come across within the early part of this year. 

Filmed by George Geranios and featuring a concept by Sarah P., the cinematically shot visuals for “Lotus Eaters” stars a gorgeous collection of women appearing in some surreal and dreamlike scenarios. 

New Video: Fawns of Love Return with a Trippy and Bittersweet Rumination of Permanence

Last October, I wrote about the Bakersfield, CA-based indie act Fawns of Love, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of married duo and full-time educations Joseph and Jenny Andreotti have performed together for the past 16 years (and married 13 of those 16), writing, recording and touring under various names with releases through several different labels. Back in 2013, Jenny Andreotti enrolled in a graduate school history program, and as a result the duo went on a lengthy hiatus from music; but by 2017, The Andreottis decided it was time to get back into music, starting anew with a brand new band name. 

The duo’s latest album Permanent was released earlier this week through Test Pattern Records, and the album is the follow-up to their EP documenting their Part Time Punks live session, which featured a cover of The Chills‘ “Rocket Science.” However, the material on Permanent is inspired by deeply personal experience. “For the past year, my life has been in a complete flux,” the duo’s Jenny Andreotti explains in press notes. “People have moved away, relationships have changed, and this has challenged my belief that people’s love for you is permanent.”

Album single “Someday” was a chilly and woozy 4AD Records-like track centered around shimmering synths and guitars, four-on-the-floor beats and a motorik groove paired with Jenny Andreotti’s ethereal falsetto. “Mournful Eyes,” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as the song features arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, shimmering New Order-like guitar chords, while Jenny Andreotti’s vocals float over the icy mix. Sonically, the song is a slick and seamless synthesis of New Wave, psych pop, and goth, but with a bitter recognition — that nothing is permanent, that nothing lasts forever. As Jenny Andreotti explained in an interview on HighClouds, “‘Mournful Eyes’ fits into the LP theme of ‘permanency’ or realizing that nothing really is. To help represent this theme we used the 1970s psychedelic film, Life is Flashing (Before Your Eyes) by Vincent Collins to help illustrate this visually. Nothing is permanent in Collins’ films. Shapes and characters are constantly morphing and warping into new psychedelic shapes and colors throughout his film.”

New Video: Up-and-Coming British Singer Songwriter Yola Releases a Swooning Wall of Sound-Inspired New Single

Late last year, I wrote about Yola an up-and-coming London-born and-based singer/songwriter, who has led a rather remarkable life; the sort of life that should be made into an inspiring biopic: Yola grew up extremely poor, and as a child she was actually banned from making music. She has also overcome being in an abusive relationship, stress-induced voice loss and literally being engulfed in flames in a house fire, which inspired her Dan Auerbach-proudced full-length debut Walk Through Fire,  slated for a February 22, 2019 release through Easy Eye Sound. 

The up-and-coming British singer/songwriter has received praise from a number of media outlets both nationally and internationally, including NPR, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, The Tennessean, Refinery 29, Billboard, American Songwriter, BrooklynVegan, Nashville Scene, Paste and Stereogum. But perhaps much more interesting she has opened for James Brown and joined renowned trip hop act Massive Attack before traveling to Nashville to work with Auerbach and a backing band that features musicians, who have worked with Elvis and Aretha Franklin.  

Now, as you may recall, album single “Ride Out in the Country” was a Muscle Shoals-like take on honky tonk country that to my ears recalled Sandra Rhodes’ under-appreciated Where’s Your Love Been. Centered around twangy guitar chords, lap steel guitar, some Rhodes electric organ, a soaring hook and Yola’s easy-going and soulful vocals, the song is an achingly sad breakup song, written from the perspective of someone reeling from a devastating breakup, complete with the recognition that your former lover has moved on and that maybe you should be doing so too — even if it’s profoundly difficult for you. Walk Through Fire’s latest single is the slow-burning, swooning, Phil Spector Wall of Sound, meets classic Motown Records-like “Faraway Look.” Centered around an old-school arrangement and a soaring hook, the song is roomy enough for Yola’s incredible vocal range to shine. 

Certainly, what the first two singles reveal is that the British singer/songwriter is a rare vocalist, a vocalist, who can wail the blues and belt like a true pop balladeer — sometimes within the same song. And in this case, “Faraway Look” is about that precise yet profound and deeply awkward moment when it’s so obvious that you’ve fallen in love with someone that everyone else notices, including your object of affection. And in that peculiar moment, it’s now or never. 

Directed, by Tim Duggan, the recently released video follows several very lonely people. who seem to be longing for much more in their lives — and yet, they’re not quite sure how to go about it; but part of their longing is stirred by watching Yola perform the song on a variety of devices. Interestingly, the video is shot with grainy Super 8 Film, which gives the video an appropriate old-timey feel. 

New Video: Moving Panoramas Return with Slick Visuals for Jangling and Anthemic New Single “ADD Heart”

Led by founding member and creative mastermind Leslie Sisson (vocals, guitar), who has had stints in The Wooden Birds, Matt Pond PA, Western Keys, Black Lipstick, Black Forest Fire, Tanworth-in-Arden, and Aero Wave, collaborated with The American Analog Set, Windsor for the Derby, Rhythm of Black Lines, RIDE’s Mark Gardener, Dan Mangan, John Wesley Coleman, Snowden, and Broken Social Scene, and has developed a reputation as a solo artist in her own right, the Austin, TX-based dream pop act Moving Panoramas can trace their origins to when its founding member and creative mastermind returned home to Texas to be closer to the members of her previous full-time band The Wooden Birds and her to her family. Sisson took a job teaching music at School of Rock where she met Rozie Castoe (bass),  who was in an 80s-themed show that Sisson directed. Interestingly, at the same time, Sisson took up a gig subbing in Black Forest Fire with Karen Skloss (drums), who was a long-time friend. When each of their various creative projects broke up, the trio started Moving Panoramas, rooted in their mutual love of shoegaze; however, since the band’s formation and release of their debut effort One, the band has gone through a series off lineup changes that has result in Sisson collaborating with a rotating cast of previous bandmates, as well as current bandmates Cara Tillman, Jordan Rivell, Jody Suarez and Phil McJunkins.

Moving Panoramas’ sophomore album In Two was delayed by a series of unexpected roadblocks during its production — i.e., health and timing issues — that delayed its release until February 22, 2019 through Modern Outsider Records. Recorded with engineer Louie Lino at Resonate Studio in Austin, the band’s sophomore effort reportedly finds the band expanding upon their sound and songwriting approach, as there’s a concerted effort for diversity in rhythm, volume and instrumentation, including the incorporation of pedal steel. Along with that the album features guest spots from Nada Surf‘s Matthew Caws, A Giant Dog‘s and Sweet Spirit‘s Sabrina Ellis and former bandmates Karen Skloss, Jolie Flink and Laura Colwell. Now, as you may recall, last year I wrote about album single “Baby Blues,” a decidedly anthemic track centered around shimmering power chords, a propulsive rhythm section, ethereal vocals and a soaring hook. And while bringing to mind tracks off Sunflower Bean’s Twentytwo in Blue, the track possesses elements of psych rock, shoegaze and 70s arena rock, performed with the easygoing self-assuredness of old pros; however, underneath the self-assured performances is the recognition of time rushing by, of people moving in and out of your life — without knowing why, how or even when. 

Much like its predecessor, “ADD Heart,” In Two’s latest single is an infectious slice of anthemic rock with jangling guitars, Sisson’s ethereal vocals and a soaring hook — but steel pedal guitar adds a cinematic, alt country vibe to the proceedings. Thematically, the song focuses on an inattentive and inconstant love interest, who has the song’s narrator spinning in frustration emotionally because the love interest just can’t seem to focus on one thing at any given time. It’s an accurate description of what love and dating is like in the social media age if there ever was one. 

The recently released video for the song was directed by Willi Patton, and as Patton says in press notes, “We were honored to be approached by Leslie Sisson of Moving Panoramas to do a music video for their new single, ‘ADD Heart.’ I knew immediately upon hearing the song that the energy needed to be high, and I really wanted to capture the feeling of not being able to focus, narratively as if the video itself suffers from ADD. It pushes you along in one direction, only to quickly switch course, pick up on some other thread, leaving more unanswered questions than resolutions. We’re always so grateful to musicians for letting us experiment, to treat their work as a solid canvas to splash some paint on, deconstruct and then clumsily attempt to put back together.”