Category: Video

New Video: BRUTUS Releases Hallucinogenic and Uneasy Visuals for Blistering Album Track “Cemetery”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has championed them. And they’ve managed to do so with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — in particular, Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would. 

Now, as you may recall, the Belgian post-rock trio’s highly-anticipated, Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Their sophomore effort reportedly finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents — while the band has made a concerted effort to write incredibly tight songs with an expanded approach and sound. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve all taken together, including the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and attaining success; but there’s underlying moments of reflection in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those particular choices had on those who they eventually had to leave behind. And as a result, the material possesses a strange yet necessary friction between their forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those they love back home. But there are much larger questions to ask: is that possible, when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get where you are right now? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can keep that connection? Is it as important and necessary as you may think? 

Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery, Nest’s second and latest single is centered around a sound that effortlessly bridges doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to its immediate predecessor, the song possesses a feral and unhinged immediacy. 

.Directed by Mitch Wells, the recently released video stars Jarrett Sleeper, who expressively stomps, struts, dances and howls about to the song — with Sleeper looking as though he were under the influence of hallucinogens

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New Video: Los Angeles’ Numb.er Releases a Blistering Punk Rock-Inspired Single

Last year, I wrote a bit about  Numb.er.  Led by its Los Angeles, CA-based creative mastermind Jeff Fribourg, who’s perhaps best known as a founding member of psych rock/kraut rock band Froth, and as you may recall, Fribourg’s latest project can trace its origins to a deep love of synthesizers that began when he started experimenting with them while with Froth; however, with his latest project, Fribourg and company mesh elements of punk rock, post-punk, noise rock and shoegaze. 

Goodbye, Numb.er’s full-length debut was released last year through felte records, and album singles “Numerical Depression” and “A Memory Stained” established the project’s genre-bending sound and approach — with “Numerical Depression” featuring elements of 77 era punk, early 80s post-punk and Nirvana, while  the murky and moody “A Memory Stained” meshed 60s psych pop and synth-led New Wave in a way that brought TOY to mind. “Again,” Goodbye’s latest single was centered around a decidedly minimalist approach featuring angular distortion pedal-fueled power chords, a motorik-like groove, shouted lyrics, blasts of analog synth, and a rousingly anthemic, mosh pit friendly hook. Sonically speaking, the song is a seamless synthesis of 77 era punk and early 80s post-punk that deceptively sounds as though it could have been released around 1981 or so.

New Video: Jo Schornikow’s Serene Meditation on Loss

Jo Schornikow is a Melbourne, Australia-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and pianist with a backstory rich of unexpected and profound experiences: Beginning as a church organist and jazz-trained pianist, Schornikow eventually relocated to New York, where she worked as an accompanist for the likes of Hugh Jackman, Bobby Rydell, and Lana Del Rey among others. She has also collaborated with King Creosote, The National, and Kelli Scarr before settling into a steady role as a touring member of Phosphorescent. 

With her partner, Phosphorescent’s Mathew Houck, Schonrikow had two children in quick succession in 2014 and 2015. The longtime musician-turned-mom took to songwriting to deal the life-altering and dramatic changes within every aspect of her life, including a new set of priorities and schedules, a spontaneous move from New York to Nashville — and perhaps most important, openly admitting and confronting the fact that for her, motherhood wasn’t the immediately satisfying and fulfilling experience that many describe; that for her, motherhood was centered by wonder, fear and compromise in every aspect of her life. Schornikow’s forthcoming, full-length debut Secret Weapon is informed by and was created in the heavily weighted wake of motherhood — and sonically, the album’s material reportedly falls in the intersection of pop, shoegaze and ambient experimental music. In fact, the gorgeously restrained album single “Ghosts” is built around subtly swelling synths, shimmering guitars and Schornikow’s serene vocals — and while being a decided contract to the chaos of being a mother of two young children, the song evokes a complex and messy array of emotion: joy, wonder, guilt, remorse, awe, fear, and the feeling of being a ghost stuck in one’s past. 

Animated, directed, and edited by Michael Hughes, the recently released video for “Ghosts” is a gorgeous and subtle take, displaying mundane aspects of daily life —  gatherings of friends and loved ones, cooking and chatting with a loved one in the kitchen and so on with a smoldering sense of loss of all the small things one once enjoyed.

Schornikow’s full-length debut is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Keeled Scales/Secretly Distribution.

New Video: Moon King Releases an 80s Computer Generated Visual for Shimmering and Hazy Club Banger “Neon Lights”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Toronto, ON-born and-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Daniel Benjamin, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded solo electro pop project Moon King. Now, as you may know, the act initially began as a solo recording project but may be best known for a several year period in which Benjamin collaborated with Maddy Wilde (vocals, guitar); but with Wilde’s departure a few years ago, Benjamin returned to his roots — writing and recording as a solo project. Coincidentally around the same time, Benjamin relocated to Detroit, MI, where he spent a year working and living in the Detroit neighborhood of Hamtramck. .

Benjamin’s stint in Hamtramck inspired the Hamtramck 16 mixtape, a mixtape that not only documented his arrival into a new, unfamiliar place but was also a radical change in sonic direction and songwriting approach with the material capturing his increasing obsession with electronic dance music. His forthcoming album, Voice of Lovers is the first full-length album of new material since he began fully embracing underground house, techno and electro pop — and the material finds the Canadian-born songwriter, producer and electronic music artist in a state of discovering and experimentation in which he synthesizers something fresh and unexpected out of dollar bin disco, new wave, eurotrash and more.  “There are a lot of quick cuts and transitions and the songs are pretty short, it’s meant to feel a bit breathless or disorienting, like driving around and dropping in at a few different clubs in a night. Lyrically the songs are little stories from the last couple of years…… trying to live in the US as a non-citizen, listening to records at the apartment in Hamtramck, late nights out at parties like Freakish Pleasures and Macho City, trips with the crew to Montreal, being on tour during the 2016 US election, spending the holidays alone in Detroit, the deaths of George Michael & Prince and the unfinished Moon King record from 2015. It’s dark and fun and a little nihilistic but ultimately positive.”

Voice of Lovers’ first single is the 80s synth funk meets Teddy Riley/New Jack Swing meets classic Chicago house track “Neon Lights.” Centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, stuttering boom-bap-like drum programming, soulful vocals from Vespere and a rousing hook, the song manages to sound as though it were released in 1983 or so. And while evoking sultry and hazy summer nights, the track actually has an achingly lonely quality to it — as though the song’s narrator was spending time playing their favorite albums to gear themselves up to head out to the club. 

The recently released retro futuristic video by Stacie Ant uses computer-generated 3D figures dancing and singing along to the song in 80s-inspired clubs and outfits, complete with period-specific special effects to boot. 

Look for Voice of Lovers on April 2, 2019 through Arbutus Records. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays ESCORT Team Up with NYC Disco Legend Fonda Rae on a Glittering and Joyous Club Anthem

Throughout this site’s almost nine-year history, I’ve written a lot about the New York-based electro pop/dance music act and longtime JOVM mainstays ESCORT. Initially founded by production team Eugune Cho and Dan Balls and featuring powerhouse vocalist and bassist Adeline Michele as a core members of an act that routinely expanded from anywhere from 5 to 17 members, the acclaimed pop act have received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a sound that draws from classic disco, house music, soul and funk. Adding to a still-growing profile, the members of ESCORT have played across North America’s festival circuit, including sets at Sasquatch Festival, Okeechobee Festival Montreal Jazz Festival, Full Moon Festival and others — and have shared stages with The Internet, Charles Bradley, Digable Planets, De La Soul and Cody ChesnuTT.

Since the release of the longtime JOVM mainstays last single “Josephine,” the group has gone through a major lineup change with the act’s longtime vocalist Adeline leaving to pursue a solo career, and eventually being replaced with new vocalist Nicki B, who contributes both lead and backing vocals. Unsurprisingly, ESCORT’s long-awaited album City Life, which is slated for an April 12, 2019 finds the acclaimed electro pop act may arguably be their most expansive and collaborative album they’ve worked on and released to date, as the album features guest spots from longtime Gil Scott-Heron collaborator Brian Jackson; NYC disco and soul legend Fonda Rae, best known for her classic single “Over Like a Fat Rat;” renowned dub producer Lone Ranger; and their long-time vocalist Adeline, who appears on several tracks. Sonically speaking, the album reportedly finds the band attempting to evoke the kinetic and frenzied energy of New York — with the album’s material drawing from dub, house music, Brazilian pop and disco made for turning up with your headphones while commuting or while burning up the club. 

City Life’s first single, album title track “City Life” features the legendary Fonda Rae teaming up with the act’s new vocalist Nicki B on the glittering disco banger. Centered around glistening and shimmering arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar, stuttering drum programming and a motorik-like groove, the track sonically may remind some listeners of a seamless synthesis of Fonda Rae’s classic tunes, Chaka Khan and Rufus’ “Ain’t Nobody,” 80s synth funk and classic house music — with a hedonistic thump. “We tried to put something together evoking the feeling of Fonda’s records,” Eugene Cho says in press notes, about collaborating with Fonda Rae. “We were nervous to send it to her—here’s something that’s inspired by you!—but she was totally into it. It was great.”

Directed by Bridget Barkan, the recently released video captures a night out with Escort’s Nicki B that includes meeting up with a buddy, goofing off as you ride the subway to meet the rest of the crew and heading to your favorite club to shake your ass all night to some dope DJs, followed by a stop at the diner (inevitably in this case, Kellogg’s Diner in Williamsburg) and a sleepy yet satisfied subway ride back home. It captures a wild night on the town, full of fun and possibility. 

New Video: Introducing the Mischievous and Breakneck Power Pop of Coughy

Comprised of Ava Luna’s Julian Fader and Speedy Ortiz’s Andy Molholt, Coughy initially began as a late night recording experiment that the duo started while teaching at a performing arts summer camp. Eventually taking a life of its own in 2016, the project became a recurring obsession with Fader and Molhott challenging one another to write what they’ve referred to as “tiny songs” which pack as many logical twists and turns within the confines of about a minute whenever possible. After releasing some of those mini songs on a cassette tape back in 2017, Fader and Molhott went on to write their full-length debut Ocean Hug, which is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Joyful Noise Recording. 

Clocking in at 56 seconds, Ocean Hug’s first single V is a breakneck bit of grungy, power pop centered around distortion and effect pedal-fueled power chords and thundering drumming. And despite its quick run time, the duo manages to throw in a rousingly anthemic hook within a classic 90s alt rock-like song structure — except everything is super truncated, as though the duo were double parked and were worried about getting a ticket. 

Directed by John Andrews, the recently released animated music video for “V” is a playful, squiggly line drawing-based take on The Three Little Pigs that features the three little pigs rocking out while the big bad wolf watches. 

New Video: Miles Francis Releases a Cinematic and Surreal Video for EP Single “I Could Use Your Love”

Throughout the course of this site’s almost nine history, I’ve written quite a bit about the New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Miles Francis, who has had stints as a member of JOVM mainstays Superhuman Happiness and Antibalas, and as the frontman of Afrobeat/Afropop-inspired collective EMEFE. The 26 year-old, New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter has also collaborated with an impressive and diverse array of artists including Arcade Fire,  Mark Ronson, Sharon Jones, Amber Mark, Angelique Kidjo, Allen Toussaint, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler and others — all before stepping out on his own as a solo artist. 

Now, as you may recall, Miles Francis’ debut EP Swimmers was released last year, and the album which was written in the back of tour vans and hotel rooms while on the road. Eventually recorded in his basement studio, the EP’s material thematically captures the mood and vibe of someone in their early to mid-20s, attempting to figure out themselves and the extremely complicated and ambivalent world they’ll continually confront as an adult; how they fit into that world; and the struggle to figure out the purpose and meaning of their own lives. Interestingly, Swimmers put the New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist on the local and national map for crafting hook-driven, left field pop inspired by Bowie, Sly Stone, J. Dilla, Talking Heads, D’Angelo, Paul McCartney, Fela Kuti and Prince among others. 

Self-recorded with Francis recording each instrumental part in an organic, old school-inspired fashion in his basement studio and released last week, Miles Francis’ sophomore solo EP Doves finds him continuing to craft hook-driven, left field pop — but with a wider emotional palette. And while each song on the EP has its own unique sound, they manage to fall under an overall thematic and creative umbrella of sorts. The EP’s latest single, “I Could Use Your Love” is centered around a breezy and infectious hook, twinkling blasts of guitar, buzzing bass synths, stuttering beats and Francis’ plaintive and sultry vocals. Sonically, the song sounds like a slick and seamless synthesis of late period Beatles, Talking Heads, Prince and Afropop, but with a post-modern sensibility. Much  like the rest of the EP is based around the inner dialogue that we all have on a daily basis that brings up and down — in this case, evoking the desperation and longing inspired by profound loneliness. 

Directed by long-time collaborator Charles Bidet, the recently released video for “I Could Use Your Love” continues a run of cinematically shot and surreal treatments — with Francis surrounded by shadowy figures, who perform with him in a gorgeous performance space. In one way, the shadowy figures can be seen as a representation of the protagonist’s neurotic fears, doubts and loneliness. 

New Video: The Murlocs Strutting Glam Rock-like Take on Psych Blues

Led by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith and featuring Kenny-Smith’s bandmate Cook Craig, as well as Cal Shortal, Matt Blach and Tim Karmouche, The Murlocs specialize in a fuzzy and distorted psych blues. In their native Australia, they’ve played across their homeland’s festival circuit and have opened for the likes of internationally acclaimed acts like Gary Clark, Jr., Mac DeMarco, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Pixies, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Wavves and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Aussie quintet’s forthcoming Stu Mackenzie-produced third full-length effort, Manic Candid Episode is slated for a March 22, 2019 release through Flightless Records. The album’s second and latest single “Withstand” is a swaggering and strutting blues ripper that nods at classic glam rock, complete with rousingly anthemic, shout-along worthy hooks, explosive blasts of harmonica and big, distortion-filled power chords. Sonically, the track — to my ears, at least — brings T. Rex, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and King Bee-era Muddy Waters to my mind but with a lysergic haze. Fittingly, the Alex McLaren-created video for the song draws from classic 60s and 70s rock promotional videos, as it features the members of The Murlocs performing the song in front of a psychedelic backdrop. 

New Video: Introducing the Up-and-Coming Taiwanese Dream Pop Act, The Fur

With the release of their full-length debut Town last September, the Kaohsiung, Taiwan-based dream pop act quartet The Fur exploded into the international indie scene, with some media outlets have compared their sound to the likes of Wild Nothing and Hatchie. Adding to a growing profile, the Taiwanese dream pop act toured across the UK and the European Union with a stop at last year’s Primavera Sound Festival. 

Building upon a growing profile, The Fur will be making their Stateside debut with sets at this year’s SXSW. In the meantime, the breezy album single  “Short Stay” is centered around an arrangement of shimmering guitar chords, atmospheric synths, a motorik-like groove, plaintive yet ethereal vocals and a soaring hook. Interestingly, the song finds the band balancing wide-eyed and mischievous levity with a wistful, melancholy-fueled nostalgia. The song and its narrator seem to suggest that we should have as much fun as we can, because things get complicated and pretty fucking messy. 

The recently released video emphasizes the song’s careful balance of mischief and melancholy, as it features the members of the band looking for their lost monster (perhaps from their childhood) on Happy Monster Day. The band finds their monster friend drunkenly passed out, and they take it home to nurse it back to health — by playing music, dancing and recalling fun times with their friend. It’s a fittingly goofy and sweet treatment. 

Consisting of Accorinrin ( vocal, guitar), Yoyoyoshie (guitar, vocals), Hirochan (bass, vocals) and Kahokiss (drums, vocals), the Kyoto, Japan-based garage punk act Otoboke Beaver (おとぼけビ~バ~ in Japanese) trace their origins to when they met while beiner g members of Kyoto University‘s music club. The Japanese garage punk quartet quickly built a profile both locally and nationally for pairing incredibly dexterous musicianship with Accorinrin’s confrontational stage presence; but when Damnably Records released the Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver compilation, the Kyoto-based quartet received airplay internationally from the likes of BBC Radio 6′s Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft, XFM’s John Kennedy, as well as praise from the likes of Pitchfork, NPRi-D and The Fader.

Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, the members of the band made critically applauded and attention-grabbing appearances at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, played a sold out show at London‘s 100 Club — and their Love Is Short 7 inch charted in the UK for 4 weeks. Last year, the band went on a tour of the UK that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella. The up-and-coming band’s newest album ITEKOMA HITS is slated for an April 26 2019 release through their longtime label home Damnably Records, and from the album’s first two singles “Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi” and “Don’t light my fire,” you’ll see why they’re so buzzworthy: their feral rippers draw from from noise punk, no wave, prog rock, riot grrrl-era punk in a way that bear a resemblance to Bo Ningen while being defiantly feminist.