Category: Video

New Video: Rising Bristol Act Saloon Dion Shares Anthemic “I Don’t Feel”

Bristol, UK-based post punk outfit Saloon Dion quickly exploded into the national scene and international scene with a handful of singles released through Nice Swan Records and Permanent Creeps, which have widespread critical praise from The Fader, Brooklyn Veganr, Clash Magazine, Dork Magazine, NME, So Young, The New Cue, CRACK and a lengthy list of others. That early material has also received airplay on from BBC Radio 1 personality Jack Saunders, BBC Radio 6 personalities Lauren Laverne and Simone Butler, as well as Radio X personality John Kennedy.

Building upon a growing profile, the rising Bristol-based outfit will be opening for Pip Blom on their UK tour next month. They’ll then make their Stateside debut at this year’s SXSW in March. They’re one of the first 26 British acts to be announced on the festival lineup. (As always, tour dates are below.)And the band’s highly-anticipated, debut EP is slated for release later this year.

Their latest single “I Don’t Feel” was released yesterday through Mucker Records. Centered around swirling and angular guitar attack, a driving groove. crooned verses and shout-along friendly choruses with sneeringly ironic lyrics, “I Don’t Feel” is a decidedly Brit pop-take on post punk: think Blur-meets-Gang of Four.

“’I Don’t Feel’ is a song about being reluctant to seek help from others. What it isn’t, is a song about having no feeling, but more of choosing what to feel and when to feel it,” the members of Saloon Dion explain. “It speaks of the barriers we all put up to protect ourselves, no matter the damage they may do in the long run.”

Directed and created by Clump Collective, the accompanying video shows the members of the band struggling with social ettiequte, and taking part in a handshake class — perhaps to better learn an awkward yet necessary social interaction.

Live Dates
31st Jan – Elsewhere, Margate*
1st Feb – Portland Arms, Cambridge*
3rd Feb – Face Bar, Reading*
4th Feb – Boileroom, Guildford*
5th Feb – Moles, Bath*
17th Feb – The Cluny, Newcastle
18th Feb – Exchange, Bristol
24th Feb – The Old Blue Last, London
13th-19th Mar – SXSW
16th Apr – Outer Town Festival, Bristol

New Video: SUUNS Share Sludgy and Shoegazy “Wave”

Montréal-based experimental rock outfit SUUNS— founding members Ben Shemie (vocals, guitar) and Joe Yarmush (guitar, bass) with Liam O’Neill (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2007: Shemie and Yarmush got together to make some beats, and it quickly evolved to a few songs. The duo was joined by O’Neill and Max Henry (keys) to complete the band’s first lineup. The band signed to Secretly Canadian in 2010. That year, Henry left the band as a full-time official member to pursue a scholarly career — although he continues to record with the band.

In 2020, the trio signed to Joyful Noise Recordings, who released that year’s Fiction EP and 2021’s The Witness.

Engineered by Adrian Popovich and recorded at Mountain City Recording Studio last July, the band’s latest single “Wave” evolved over an 18 month period of touring to support The Witness. “While touring The Witness, between plane rides, car rides, van rides, and text threads, we started working on new music,” SUUNS’ Ben Shemie explains. “New sounds and a new approach seemed to take shape while testing new material. What started to emerge were really slow songs, some strange experimentations, and some unclassifiable jams. Among these tunes, ‘Wave’ emerged.”

The slow-burning dirge-like “Wave” is rooted in relentless repetition, swirling and sludgy guitar textures, droning feedback and distortion, blown-out boom bap paired with Shemie’s plaintive delivery buried a smidge under the syrupy mix. Sonically “Wave” makes a nod at fellow Montrealers The Besnard Lakes before ending with a noisy, slow-burning fade out.

The accompanying video by Ilyse Krivel consists of time lapse footage of the sun setting over a body of water, superimposed by footage of rippling waves at the shore.

New VIdeo: Joseph Shares Anthemic “Nervous System”

Portland, OR-based sibling indie pop trio Joseph — Natalie Closner Schepman and her two, younger twin sisters Meegan and Allison — derive their name from two different sources: their grandfather Jo and the tiny town of Joseph, OR, in which he was born and raised. The Closner Sisters grew up in a musical household: their dad was a jazz singer and drummer, while their mom was a theater teacher. But their group can trace its origins back to around 2014: Closner Schepman had been pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter, recruited her sisters to join her in a new project.

When the Closners began working together, they quickly recognized an irresistible and undeniable creative chemistry.

The trio quickly developed a reputation for playing intimate house shows, in which they would accompany themselves with acoustic guitar and a foot drum. Within their first yet of being a group, they self-released their debut, 2014s Native Dreamer Kin, which caught the attention of ATO Records, who signed the group the following year.

After releasing 2015’s, ATO Sessions EP, an acoustic, two song, digital EP and accompanying video series, the sibling trio went on to release their Mike Mogis-produced, label debut 2016’s I’m Alone, No You’re Not, which featured the smash hit “White Flag.” “White Flag” landed on Spotify’s US Viral Top Ten Chart within days of its release. By that October, the track landed at #1 on the Adult Alternative Charts.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the trio made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonLater . . . with Jools HollandThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowConanCBS This Morning and Today. They also opened for James Bay during a sold out, 2016 arena tour — and they made festival stops at CoachellaLollapaloozaBonnarooNewport Folk FestivalSasquatch FestivalGlastonbury FestivalOutside Lands FestivalPilgrimage Music Festival and several others.

2019’s Christian “Leggy” Langdon-produced album Good Luck, Kid saw the trio pushing their sound in a grittier, more dynamic direction while retaining the gorgeous harmonies and earnest vocal deliveries that won them acclaim across the blogosphere and elsewhere. “The through-line of the album is this idea of moving into the driver’s seat of your own life-recognizing that you’re an adult now, and everything’s up to you from this moment on,” Natalie Closner Schepman says in press notes.  “You’re not completely sure of how to get where you need to go, and you don’t have any kind of a map to help you. It’s just the universe looking down on you like, ‘Good luck, kid.’”

The sibling trio’s fourth official album, the Tucker Martine and  Christian “Leggy” Langdon co-produced The Sun is slated for an April 28, 2023 release through their longtime label home ATO Records. The album reportedly sees the group working with a collection of new collaborators and making yet another vibrant sonic shift while retaining the craft, three-part harmonies and hard-fought and harder-won lyrical wisdom that they’ve been known for throughout their career. But unlike its predecessors, The Sun sees the sibling trio taking a decidedly more hands-on role in the production process. The result is an album of material that sees Joseph spinning incredibly complex concepts into anthemic, sing-along ready pop that serves as a backdrop for the trio’s fearless and deeply personal storytelling from each of their perspectives.

Thea album sees the trio focusing their soul-searching songwriting on the quietly damaging force that keep us from living fully in our truth — e.g., gaslighting, cultural condition, unconscious yet painfully limiting self-beliefs and the like. Drawing on hard lessons from relationships and personal growth through therapy, The Sun reportedly shares stories of taking control of your own fate, making difficult decisions in the name of becoming yourself and weathering the highs and lows of love while keeping the faith — and tending to ourselves with presence and compassion. “All of our therapists were a huge influence on this album,” the sibling trio say in press notes.

The Sun‘s first single “Nervous Single” is a punchy pop song rooted in deep, personal experience, rousingly anthemic, sing-along friendly hooks and big-hearted, heart-on-sleeve compassion. Fittingly the song — and its narrator — discusses being our own lifeline during times of anxiety, struggle and uncertainty. “It’s about self regulating and tending to ourselves with presence and compassion, rather than frantically reaching outside of ourselves,” the trio explain. Alison Closner adds “I’ve struggled with a lot of anxiety over the years, at times a constant inner storm, and it’s been easy to look outside myself to feel safe and secure. I’ve fought to find my inner peace, and through that process I’ve found that so much of the time I already have what it takes to calm my nervous system.”

Directed by Vanessa Pla, the accompanying woozy video for “Nervous System” features the sibling trio in matching sienna-colored suits with blue tops and black boots in a blue and white background. Through the use of spinning camera, slow pans and surreal activities, the video evokes and emphasizes the song’s central themes.

New Audio: Montréal’s Super Plage Shares Breezy Yet Melancholy “NYE”

Jules Henry is a Montréal-based singer/songwriter and electronic music producer, best known as Super Plage. As Super Plage, Henry specializes in a seductive sound with hints of nu-disco. Over the past couple of years, the Canadian artist has rather prolific. Over the past couple of years, Henry has released:

Henry’s fourth Super Plage album Midnight Magic is slated for a March release. The album’s fourth and latest single, “NYE” is a breezy yet melancholy bit of pop featuring glistening synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Henry’s achingly plaintive vocal and an enormous hook. Although “NYE” sonically nods at Daft Punk, Phoenix, and Air, the song evokes the hope and despair of another year.

Directed by Virginie Bedard, the accompanying video for “NYE” follows a young woman at a party — presumably a costumed New Year’s Eve bash. While everyone else is enjoying themselves, we see this young woman seem awkward, and fearful of what may happen next. For her the New Year, may not be as hopeful occasion as it is was for others.

New Video: Montréal’s Atsuko Chiba Shares Brooding and Hypnotic “Shook (I’m Often)”

With the release of a couple of EPs and two albums, Montréal-based psych outfit Atusko Chiba — Karim Lakhdar (guitar, vocals, synthesizer), Kevin McDonald (guitar, synthesizer), David Palumbo (bass guitar, vocals), Anthony Piazza (drums) and Erik Schafhauser (guitar, synthesizer) — have developed a reputation for crafting a cohesive and hypnotic blend of post-rock, prog rock and krautrock paired with offbeat, subversive songwriting. 

For their live shows, the Canadian psych outfit pair their unique brand of experimental rock with video and light installations trigged in real time by the band, creating an immersive multimedia, multi-sensorial environment. Over the past few years, the band has toured across Canada, the States and Europe, sharing stages with  . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail of DeadBig BusinessDuchess SaysKing Buffalo, and others. 

The band’s highly-anticipated third album, Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing officially dropped today. Recorded at Room 11, the band’s studio, alongside their sixth member, engineer Matthew Cerantola, the album stems from months of experimentation, as well as conceptual dichotomies informed by some rather strange times, and sees the band crafting an album’s worth of genre-defying, drone driven material that may draw comparisons to the likes of The Mars VoltaBeak>and Spirit of the Beehive among others. 

“As opposed to our last album, which was about introspection, spacetime and the personal journey, the themes explored on this new album are related to our environment and our reaction to it,” the members of Atsuko Chiba explain. “Though not meant to be strictly political, our references stem from highly politicized movements and ideas. Division and group ideology are heavily explored. A prime example is the weaponization of vocabulary used to distract, displace and alienate us, forcing us to pick sides on every front. Our lyrics also strongly denote our innate love for all living things, encompassing a hopeful, if somewhat violent, plea for change.

We were also influenced by musical genres that tend to be more repetitive such as electronic or drone music. We discussed topics such as drones, ragas, hypnotic rhythms, minimalism, spatial awareness, musicality through overall patience, trying a less-is-more approach, etcetera. This led to us five playing as an ensemble rather than as musicians with defined roles; we were all responsible for pushing forward the main idea.”

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles:

  • The expansive, slow-burning A Storm in Heaven-meets-Dark Side of the Moon-like “Seeds.” Clocking in at 7:45, the track is centered around lush, glistening synths, swirling guitar riffs, tweeter and woofer rattling boom bap-like drumming paired with heavily distorted vocal harmonies. The single also features a gorgeous contribution from Montreal-based string quartet Quatuor Esca, who perform an arrangement by Gabriel Desjardins. While possessing a sprawling, widescreen atmosphere, “Seeds” evokes a creeping sense of impending uncertainty and doom but with the tacit understanding that perhaps not all is lost — at least not yet. 
  • Link,” a track rooted in a chugging and aggressive rhythm section, scorching and blaring alarm-like synths, buzzing poly harmonic guitar lines paired with booming vocals. While sounding a bit like it could have been recorded during the Trace sessions, “Link” is an urgent, mosh pit friendly ripper — with a widescreen, cinematic quality. “’Link’ is about judgement; how we often tend to judge and belittle others to prop up our own self worth,” the members of Atsuko Chiba explain. “It’s about the lengths we go through to destroy others, while not taking the time to look inside.

Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing‘s third and latest single “Shook (I’m Often)” may arguably be the most raga-like of the album’s released singles: Featuring layers of droning guitars, a relentless motorik groove paired with Lakdar’s plaintive crooning, the album’s latest single is a sprawling soundscape that’s simultaneously brooding and trippy. But underneath the trippy vibes is a song that evokes an uneasy stasis.

The accompanying video features fittingly hallucinogenic imagery animated by the band’s Anthony Piazza.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Laure Briard Shares ’70s-Inspired “The Smell of Your Hair”

Laure Briard is a Toulouse, France-based singer/songwriter, who has a had a highly uncommon path to professional music. Briard bounced around several different interests and passions for some time: She studied literature and criminology and even acted a bit, before concentrating on music full-time in 2013.

After the release of her debut EP, 2013’s Laure Briard chante la France, Briard met Juilen Gasc and Eddy Cramps, and the trio began working on the material that would eventually become her full-length debut, 2015’s Révélation. Inspired by Françoise HardyMargo Guryan and Vashti BunyanRévélation featured modern and poetic lyricism. 

Briard then signed with Midnight Special Records, who released her sophomore album, 2016’s Sur la Piste de Danse. Repeated trips to Brazil inspired and informed her next three efforts –2018’s Coração Louco EP, 2019’s Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plâit and 2021’s En Voo EP, which were heavily indebted to Bossa Nova and saw the Toulouse-based artist writing and singing lyrics in Brazilian Portuguese and French. Those three efforts were rooted in a successful series of collaborations between the Toulouse-based JOVM mainstay, the equally acclaimed JOVM mainstays,  Latin Grammy Award nominated, Brazilian psych rockers Boogarins, Marius Dufflot, and her longtime collaborators Vincent “Octopus” Guyot

The JOVM mainstay’s fourth album Ne pas trop rester bleue is slated for a February 10, 2023 release through Midnight Special Records. Inspired and informed by Joshua Tree, a remote national park that’s a no man’s land, where space and time seem to stretch on forever. An odd fantasy land, where America’s simultaneously obsolete and haunted by its myths and past legends. But ultimately, the album celebrates rebirth and letting go.

Although Ne pas trop rester bleue took three long years to finish, the album was enriched and informed by her travels, and as a result, the effort was liberating. Reportedly much lighter and more optimistic than Sur la piste de dance, an album rooted in broken destinies, disillusionments and heartbreaks, Ne pas trop rester bleue is a cathartic, deeply autobiographical effort that allows the Toulouse-based JOVM mainstay to essentially free herself from lingering ghosts — and to conjure new ones.

The album’s material is influenced quite a bit by the legendary Carole King, Lee Hazlwood, the poet Don Gibson and Bobbie Gentry. Briard continues her ongoing collaboration with Julien Gasc and Vincent “Octopus” Guyot, who assisted in the material’s arrangements. Sonically, the result is an album that draws from soul, pop and country featuring string and brass arrangements paired with the JOVM mainstay’s breezy delivery.

Featuring twinkling keys, brooding and shimmering strings and soulful brass arrangements paired with Briard’s coquettish delivery, Ne pas trop rester bleue‘s latest single “The Smell of Your Hair” sounds as though it could have been a unreleased track from the Tapestry sessions that was cut from the album. And much like Tapestry, “The Smell of Your Hair” tells a story about a heartbreaking encounter — but in this case, with a lonesome cowboy type in Joshua Tree, where fleeting passion under the desert sun was lulled by birdsong and the sound of wind. And instead of lamenting over the inevitable separation and giving into bitterness, heartbreak or even melodrama, the song’s narrator attempts to turn heartbreak into a playfully sunny and sensual memory.

Directed by Benjamin Marius Petit, the accompanying video for “The Smell of Your Hair” features Briard and her band playing in a full, behind-the-scenes styled visual. Fittingly, Briard and band are in ’70s-inspired costumes, playing in a ’70s-styled white box studio. Shot from four different camera perspectives, the clip utilizes diverse image styles and distortion effects (wide angle, fisheye, 360 tracking…), evoking “a psychedelic LSD trip in Woodstock, but also a mixing of eras, with visual references that could belong at once to the 70’s and to contemporary times,” explains the director Benjamin Marius Petit. “The goal was not to make a strictly ‘retro’ clip but, to best reflect the atmosphere of Laure’s music, to keep one foot in the past and the other in the present.”