JOVM celebrates what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 75th birthday.
Hamburg-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Dirk Knight is one of that city’s grizzled scene vets, who can trace his career back to the 90s: his previous band Dark Orange was a pioneering act in the Heavenly Voices scene — and as a result, he collaborated with Cocteau Twins‘ Robin Guthrie.
amburg-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist started his current project Seasurfer back in 2013, and interestingly enough, the project finds Knight eschewing the traditional rock band set up and collaborating with a rotating cat of vocalists and musicians. His first two critically applauded Seasurfer albums saw Knight work with members of acts like Trespassers William, Whimsical, Jaguwar and Last Leaf Down.
Seasurfer’s third album Zombies was released last year through Reptile Music. The album saw Knight simultaneously refining and expanding upon the sound that has won him and his collaborators attention internationally. While still retaining shoegazer textures, there’s a much larger focus on cold wave and dark wave influences with the material employing an increasing use of synths, motorik grooves and beats to create what Knight has dubbed “electrogaze for dancers and dreamers alike.”
ritten and recorded during pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, Zombies thematically paints a picture of a society on the brink of annihilation. As a result of the pandemic, Zombies is the first album that features Knight playing and recording all of the material’s instrumentation and even contributing some vocals. The first part of the album features vocals from singer/songwriter Apolonia.
As the story goes, as the pair were finishing the album, they had the distinct impression of living in a world that was completely losing its mind: Naturally, there is constant fear and uncertainty inspired by the pandemic; but there’s also the increasing numbers of self-serving political leaders hellbent on power, greed, corruption and lust. And let’s not forget the looming global climate catastrophe that will likely occur within our lifetimes. It shouldn’t be surprising that the pair frequently felt as though they were like zombies struggling through a lost and dead world.
Shortly after the vinyl and CD releases of Zombies, the Hamburg-based act reworked album single “Drifting.” “Drifting” is a fan favorite on the album and as a result, Knight and Apolonia came up with an alternate mix of the song. Interestingly, the alternate mix is centered around gauzier textures while retaining the glistening synths and brooding air of the original. In some way, the alternate mix manages to gently push the song towards a Cocteau Twins-like sound.
For me ‘Drifting’ is the song with the coolest bass of the whole album Zombies,” Seasurfer’s Dirk Knight explains. ” For the first time I recorded all the basses by myself and learned to love playing this instrument. Basses are extremely important to us and determine the harmonies and melodies, similar to how Simon Gallup (The Cure), Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order) and Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) are doing it. For the single and the extended mix we let the drums run straight through to make the song even more mesmerizing.”
The recently released video is a trippy mix of nostalgia-inducing Super 8 shot footage of a young child going on a cruise on the open sea, projected over Apolonia’s face, as she sings the song’s lyrics.
“Drifting (Single Mix)” appears on Seasurfer’s recently released Drifting EP, which features a 12 minute, extended single mix, the previously unreleased track “Ghost Children” and remixes of “Drifting” by Spanish dreamwave duo STEREOSKOP, Russian shoegazers Life on Venus and French electronic artist GIIRLS.
Over the course of the past decade, Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chad Ubovich has developed and honed a reputation as a key mainstay of one of the country’s most fertile and important music scenes: Ubovich had a lengthy stint playing guitar in Mikal Cronin’s backing band and he’s currently contributing bass with Ty Segall and with Charlie Moothart and as a member of Fuzz. Additionally, the founding member and frontman of his own band, the experimental noise rock/freak rock outfit Meatbodies.
Meatbodies’ latest effort 333 was officially released today through In The Red Records. The album, which features corrosive bangers, raw acoustic rave-ups and primitive electronics, charts Ubovich’s personal journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety — while simultaneously reflecting on how the world he re-entered was still pretty messed up — if not more so. “I’d been touring for eight years straight with all these bands, and just couldn’t do it anymore,” Ubovich recalls. “There was also a feeling in the air that everything was changing, politically. Things just didn’t feel right, and I went down a dark path.” Ubovich adds, “These lyrics are dark, but I think these are things that a lot of people are feeling and going through. Here in America, we’re watching the fall of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish representation of that decline.”
Fortunately Ubovich was able to pull himself back from the brink and upon getting sober, began writing and recording material at a furious and impassioned pace. By late 2019, the band — Ubovich and Dylan Fujoka (drums) — had a new album in the can, ready to be mixed. Much like countless other artists, the pandemic forced the band to put their record on hold.
With some newfound downtime, Ubovich discovered a cache of demos that he and Fujoka recorded in a bedroom during the summer of 2018. As it turns out, Ubovcih really liked what he heard. Unlike their established full-band attack, the demos were deliriously disordered. Ironically, because 333’s material found the band working within a much tighter lo-fi aesthetic, the restriction allowed them to open space for more free-ranging experimentation. While speaking of the disillusionment of a lost generation, the album’s material is sparked by the innovation that limited resources and moxie can inspire.
333’s latest single “Cancer” is an expansive mosh pit ripper centered around scorching power chords driven riffage, thunderous drumming and mantra-like lyrics. While on one hand, the song superficially seems nihilistic, the song is fueled by a celebration — albeit of very small things.
The Josh Erkman-directed video for “Cancer” is a fittingly trippy visual split between the members of the band in the studio, shot in a hallucinogenic haze and two costumed men riffing out in front of a camp fire in the middle of nowhere.
Born Malik Izaak Taylor, the legendary and beloved Phife Dawg was a co-founder of the multi-Grammy Award nominated, multi-platinum selling, equally legendary and beloved hip-hop act A Tribe Called Quest. Along with his work with Tribe, Phife Dawg was a solo artist, who collaborated with lengthy lists of acts and artists including Fu-Schnickens, Diamond D, Chi-Ali, Black Sheep‘s Dres, De La Soul‘s Trugoy and countless others, eventually releasing his solo debut album, 2000’s Ventilation: Da LP.
If you’re a hip-hop head, you’d remember that the members of A Tribe Called Quest — Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad — reunited in 2006 to help Phife Dawg with mounting medical expenses as a result of complications with diabetes. They co-headlined that year’s Bumbershoot Festival and played a handful of sold-out across across the States, Canada and Japan, including making appearances at the 2K Sports Bounce Tour. According to Phife Dawg, the members of the beloved hip-hop had planned to release an album to finish-off their six-album contract with Jive Records.
008, A Tribe Called Quest was the headlining act for that year’s Rock the Bells tour. Taylor, who had been dealing with complications from diabetes over the past decade, wound up receiving a kidney translate from his wife. At the end of the that year, Q-Tip released his long-awaited sophomore album The Renaissance, which he followed with the release of 2009’s Kamaal The Abstract, which had been shelved for over seven years.
Tribe co-headlined 2010’s Rock the Bells and that year, Taylor had planned to release his highly-anticipated sophomore album Songs in the Key of Phife: Volume 1 (Cheryl’s Big Son); however, continued health issues delayed the release of the album. In 2013, it was reported that Phife had went back to work on his sophomore album, which was re-titled MUTTYmorPHosis. During that same period, the tense relationship between the act’s co-founder was famously documented in Michael Rapaport’s 2011 documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.
rs of A Tribe Called Quest reunited to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of the act’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. In what would be the last few months of his life, Taylor had been incredibly busy: he had finished his long-anticipated sophomore album, now titled Forever, collaborating with a collection of trusted, All-Star producers and artists. Additionally, Tribe had secretly gone into the studio to work on what would be their sixth and final album We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service. Tragically, Taylor died as the entire group were finishing the album; the remaining members finished the album and posthumously released the album, as a tribute to their co-founder.
ily and estate will be finally releasing Phife Dawg’s long-awaited sophomore album Forever later this year. “He worked really hard to complete his album before he transitioned, and he was ready to share an album that was near and dear to his heart with his fans,” Taylor’s family says of the album. “His fans meant the world to him.” So far, one single has been released from the album, “Nutshell, Part 2,” featuring Busta Rhymes and Redman — and as a taste of the album, it’s a classic New York hip-hop banger, in which three legendary emcees spit bars and trade zingers over a subtle DJ Rasta Root reworking of a J. Dilla production.
Earlier this year, I wrote about “French Kiss Deux,” which found the beloved and legendary “Five Foot Assassin” teamed up with Vancouver-based production duo Potatohead People and J. Dilla’s younger brother Illa J on a tribute to one of my favorite cities, Montreal that featured the two emcees trading verses admiring the city’s beautiful women and scenery over a subtle Potatohead People remix of the original. The end result is a vibey J. Dilla-like Golden Era hip-hop production centered around shimmering Rhodes, reverb drenched horns and twitter and woofer rocking beats. It’s an infectious, feel good banger — that for me brings back some fond memories of the Quebecois city.
Phife’s estate released a new version of French Kiss, “French Kiss Trois,” which features a new guest verse with the legendary Redman, who helps to build upon a loving ode to Montreal. The third installment came to life when Redman heard “Deux” back in May and fell so deeply in love with the song that he desperately wanted to become a part of a new version of the song.
Redman’s guest verse sees the legendary emcee alternating between hilariously crude while joking about finding a girl that would be comfortable enough to fart in the tub near you, and ask if she wants to watch wrestling or boxing. But simultaneously, Red manages to paint a loving picture of a strong, confident, down to earth woman — the sort of woman that straight men would consider themselves profoundly lucky to find. Maybe that woman can be found in lovely Montreal, right?
“It’s dope to see the evolution of this song, from the first version on my album Illa J to Phife’s version, to 6 years later Potatohead people doing a sick remix of the track, and now Redman adding a verse to it, with Ali Shaheed on the mix,” Illa J says in press notes. “It’s an honor having a track with 2 hip-hop legends on it, this one will always be a special joint for me.”
“When Red called my phone and told me that he had ‘French Kiss Deux’ on repeat, I knew what was coming next,” Dion “Roots” Liverpool adds. “Hedidn’t even have to ask me and I was excited. Once he sent me a video of his computer and pressed play, I remembered yelling really loud!!”
day Dion called and said that Redman had French Kiss on repeat and immediately wrote a verse, I was excited. Phife would be going crazy with Red being on this song,.”Phife’s wife Deisha Taylor shares. “Anytime you hear Redman on any track you know it will be dope. The atmosphere and energy shifts when he is on any song or walks in the building.”
“As soon as I heard the song, I played it back-to-back 100 + times. I had to hit Potatohead People and Dion to tell them I was writing a verse,” Redman says. “Being in the music video was amazing, and I know I’m doing it for Phife. I don’t think he gets enough credit, so God made this my mission to help best way I can.”
Executive produced by Phife Dawg’s longtime friend and collaborator, Dion “Roots” Liverpool and co-directed by Redman, Tony Reames and Konee Rock, the recently released video for “French Kiss Trois” follows Redman and Ill J in Montreal, admiring and hanging out with the city’s beautiful women — at beautiful locations. The video, features some gorgeous animation of Phife and a special guest appearance from Phife’s widow Deisha Taylor, lovingly reminiscing over photos of her husband. The video ends with the group coming together to celebrate and honor Phife’s life and work.
Formed back in 2016, the Miami-based indie act Seafoam Walls — Jayan Bertrand (vocals, guitar), Josh Ewers (bass), Josue Vargas (electronic drums) and Dion Kerr (guitar) — caught the attention of cult music and art communities across South Florida for developing and honing a new genre, which they’ve dubbed ” Caribbean Jazzgaze,” as it meshes elements of jazz, shoegaze, rock, hip-hop and Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
Initially known in local circles, the members of Seafoam Walls exploded into the international scene following a secret, all-ages matinee show with DC hardcore photographer Susie J. and Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore. Over the past couple of the years, the Miami-based band have been busy: 2018 saw the release of their debut EP R-E-F-L-E-C-T and the following year, one-off single “Root.”
Earlier this year, Seafoam Walls released “Dependency” through Thurston Moore’s The Daydream Library Series as a Record Store Day release. Building upon a growing profile, the members of Seafoam Walls will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut XVI later this year. Last month, the Miami-based quartet released “Program,” XVI’s first official single. The slow burning and painterly single features a wobbling bass line, shimmering guitars, bursts of feedback, a scorching guitar solo and chanted vocals. While continuing a run of bold, genre-defying material, “Program” manages to be a slick synthesis of A Storm of in Heaven-like shoegaze, krautrock and post-punk that will draw comparisons to TV on the Radio.
The rising Miami-based band released a live version of “Program” recorded at Pulp Arts for Bandcamp Friday – and there’s accompanying live footage.
Bandcamp Friday may arguably be the best way to support independent musicians: Bandcamp waives their take and the artists behind these great songs and albums receive 100% of all proceeds for the day. Many artists on the platform, also donate portions of their earnings from the platform to worthy and notable charities. So if you have a few extra dollars, please support these artists and their endeavors. It’s impossible to continue art without money.
Since their formation back in 2016, the Montreal-based psych rock act Mort Rose has established a sound that’s deeply indebted to the sounds of the late 60s — but with a personal yet very modern touch. Goodbye Cowboys, the Montreal psych rockers psych rock sophomore album is slated for a September 10, 2021 release, and the album reportedly sees the act further embracing all things psychedelia.
In the lead up to the album’s release, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:
“Money,” a mid-tempo, trippy song featuring shimmering sitar, guitar, dreamily sung verses, multi-part harmonized choruses and rousingly anthemic hooks before a “Baba O’Riley” meets bluegrass coda. But underneath the tune-out and lift-off vibes, the song is a satirical take on money and cryptocurrency that says “invest all of your money into some crypto and forget the world’s problems. Get rich at all costs, y’all!”
“On part au soleil,” a song that continues a run of 60s inspired psych rock, featuring dreamily sung verses and choruses, fuzzy power chord-driven riffage and soaring soloing that’s meant to get the listener to tune out and lift off into the stratosphere.
Goodbye Cowboys third and latest single “Je dois savoir is a twangy, country rock take on psych rock that may remind some listeners of a wild mix of The Beach Boys, Exile on Main Street era Rolling Stones, The Byrds and even inner Journey Out era Psychic Ills but with a mischievous, shit-stirring air, an infectious hook and some scorching soloing.
e recently released video for follows the band on a promotional photo shoot in which the members of the band dress up as a hippie cowboys in the countryside. We also see intimate footage of the band in the studio working on the album. There’s also somme fittingly appropriate kaleidoscopic imagery and playful superimpositions that features the individual members of the band riding an exotic animal.
Perth-based act and JOVM mainstays POND — currently, creative mastermind, songwriter and producer Jay Watson (vocals, guitar, keys, drums, synths and bass), who’s also a touring member of fellow Aussie JOVM mainstays Tame Impala; Nicholas Allbook (lead vocals, guitar, keys, bass, flute, slide guitar and drums); Joe Ryan (vocals, guitar, bass, 12 string guitar, slide guitar); Jamie Terry (keys, bass, synths, organs, guitar); and Jamie Ireland (drums, keys) — have released a handful of critically applauded albums that have seen the band’s sound gradually morph into increasingly synth-driven psych pop.
2019’s Tasmania is POND’s most commercially successful and critically applauded album to date, with the album debuting at #15 on the ARIA album charts and #2 on the AIR Independent charts. Conceived as a sort of sister effort to its predecessor, 2017’s The Weather, Tasmania thematically is a dejected and heartbroken meditation on our current sociopolitical moment: planetary discord, water and its dearth in much of the world, machismo, shame, blame, responsibility, love, and the impact of colonial empires. While accurately capturing the restless, anxious dread that most of us have been feeling, the album doesn’t completely wallow in self-pity and fear. Rather, it encourages the listener to celebrate and enjoy the small things of life while we still can.
The Perth-based JOVM mainstays ninth album, the aptly titled 9 is slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Spinning Top Music. Produced by the band’s Watson and Ireland, 9 reportedly sees the band pushing the sound they’ve established and honed over the past few albums even further while attempting to recapture an anarchic sense of uncertainty. “We sort of gave ourselves permission to make something stuffed this time,” the band’s Nicholas Albrook says in press notes. “We’d settled into a pretty tight routine with the last few albums and wanted to shake a boat with this so we started off with filling a few tape reels with some absolutely heinous improvised sonic babble which, after much sifting, became the first few songs of the album. We also wanted to up the tempo. The last few albums have a neat little mantra or repetitive theme. If I was forced to find something like that in 9, I guess it would be ‘biography’ or ‘observation’ – a lot of the lyrics seem to focus on single people’s lives, or the lives of small moments or small things when you zoom real close up and they reveal something deeper. Stuff like my cheap Chinese slippers, or a soiled teddy bear, or Agnes Martin (not to put them in the same category, although maybe Agnes would’ve appreciated it). In the Rorschach test of re-reading lyrics, one thing that sticks out is a fixation on leaving behind a time of golden optimism and uncynical abandon. We can’t look at ourselves the same anymore, and the world we’ve built provides a scary lense [sic] for viewing our past.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Toast, a slow-burning and atmospheric song featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, squiggling blasts of guitar, a gorgeous string arrangement, some mellotron and a soaring hook paired with Allbrook’s plaintive vocals. The end result is a song that seems equally indebted to Avalon era Roxy Music and Quiet Storm R&B. But lyrically, the song addresses the massive bush fires that devastated much of Australia and the inequality gap in Allbrook’s Western Australian hometown.
“Human Touch” is an uptempo banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, buzzing bass synths, scorching feedback and distortion, a relentless motorik groove, blown out beats and a rousingly anthemic hook. The end result is DEVO-like thrasher. POND’s Nicholas Allbrook describes the inspiration for the song, saying “one time a woman was smashing up a car outside my house, begging me to help her steal it. It was a lovely day. She was wired but sweet in a way. Her dog, Josie, was sitting in the passenger seat being very cute and fluffy. We talked for a good few hours in the sunny cul-de-sac and neither of us ended up committing grand theft auto. The music started with a grimey Casio loop Jay made, that we built the song around.”
Directed by Duncan Wright, the recently released video for “Human Touch” stars the band’s Nicholas Allbrook in a 70s styled suit, high heel boots and headphones dancing in the middle of empty, morning streets. An old Panasonic cathode ray TV is almost nearby, playing footage of Allbrook putting a tape into a tape player and pushing play, rocking out in a studio and stock footage of a disastrous fire. “My original idea was to be dancing in the central business district of Perth, being thoroughly ignored by suits on their lunch break,” Allbrook explains. “Turns out me and Duncan Wright are both quivering Fremantle natives and terrified of the City. When Duncan saw a pretty sliver of morning sunlight in the West End we figured, stuff it, let’s do it there. Zero people is kind of the same thing as being ignored by lots of people, right? I need some human connection blah blah blah. It was super fun to make. We didn’t really have a strict plan and I overcame by anxiety about dancing in platform shoes to no music at 9am on a Tuesday morning like a kook”.
A couple of years ago, the acclaimed Belgian indie rock act and JOVM mainstays Balthazar –songwriting duo Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez, along with Simon Casier, Michiel Balcaen and Tijs Delbeke — went on a hiatus that allowed the band’s songwriting duo to pursue their own critically applauded, solo projects: Devoldere’s brooding and hyper literature Warhaus and Deprez’s old school R&B-inspired J. Bernardt. While Devoldere and Deprez found the ability to pursue their own individual whims and muses liberating, they found the time apart from each other and the band sparking an undeniable urge to work together, propelled by a greater mutual respect for each other’s individual work — and a desire for a much broader artistic vision for the band.
When Balthazar reconvened to work on 2019’s Fever, they did so without any particular plan. But they had hoped that would improve upon their previously released work, show deeper artistic growth and further the band’s story. As they started to work, Devoldere and Deprez also mutually agreed that the album’s material should have a less serious, less melancholy tone. The end result is what may arguably be some of the loosest and most playful material of their career.
Balthazar supported Fever with a relentless touring schedule that included a stop at Baby’s All Right. Feeling invigorated from playing Fever on tour, Devoldere and Deprez started working on new material, which eventually became their fifth and latest album, Sand. Released earlier this year, the album finds the acclaimed JOVM mainstays fully embracing a soulful alt pop and R&B leaning sound while being what they believe may be the most cohesive effort of their growing catalog to date. “There’s a theme running through these tracks, waiting, restlessness, not being able to live in the moment or putting your trust into the future,” Balthazar’s Deprez and Devoldere explain in press notes. “We’re at a point in our lives when we have to consider these aspects of life, that’s why the album is called Sand – after the sand in an hourglass.”
The idea was always to drop another album as soon as possible after Fever. It was fun and we wanted to build on that,” Jinte Deprez says in press notes. “We did a lot of things that we haven’t done previously – we’ve never used as many drum samples or used bass synths before. So that was an exciting step for us. It was a very modern way of making an album, due to the constraints of the pandemic and we had to work remotely and converse electronically rather than in a studio.” “I can’t wait to play this album live because on the Fever tour we pushed the groove element further,” Maarten Devoldere adds.
In the lead up to the album’s release, I’ve written about four of Sand’s singles:
“Halfway,” a shimmering, blue-eyed soul-like take on the Quiet Storm sound.
Losers,” a slinky, disco-like song centered around Devoldere’s sultry baritone, shimmering synth arpeggios and an infectious hook. But at its core, the song captures and evokes the anxious uncertainty of our lives over the past 15-19 months or so.
“You Won’t Come Around,” a slow-burning and cinematic, bit of 70s inspired R&B featuring shimmering strings, strummed acoustic guitar, skittering beats. And over that gorgeous arraignment, Devoldore expresses a confusing yet familiar series of emotions: regret and heartache that a romantic relationship has ended, relief that the relationship has ended and guilt that maybe they’ve moved on a bit too quickly; or in other words, the gnawing sense that you might be a selfish, uncaring asshole.
“On A Roll,” a strutting yet seamless synthesis of their pre-Fever sound with their recent R&B-influenced material centered around Deprez’s crooning falsetto.
After pandemic-related lockdowns, the members of the JOVM mainstay act got together for the first time in close to a year for the Heleen Declerq-directed and filmed documentary and concert film Sand Castle Tapes. Co-produced with HolyShit Sessions, the film captures the band staying at a beautiful old castle near Brussels as they got together to interpret and play Sand‘s material for the first time together. Declerq manages to capture the atmosphere of the castle and the music while giving an intimate look at the band. “You get to fully understand an album when you start playing it together, the relaxed circumstances lead to a whole other way of interpreting the songs,” the band says of Sand Castle Tapes.
Earlier this year, the Belgian JOVM mainstays released a a loose and jammy rendition of “Moment,” that found the band joyously expanding upon the song’s groove. Throughout the intimate and gorgeously shot footage, it’s made obvious that the band and their collaborators are just thrilled to be together and playing music together.
The second video from Sand Castle Tapes is a stripped down and intimate version of “On a Roll” centered around piano and mournful horns by Rob Banken, Peter Delannoye and Thomas Mayade. And over that slow-burning and gorgeous arrangement, Deprez takes up lead vocal duties while backed by Devoldere and some backing vocals by Judith Okon, Stefy Rika and Sarah Devos. The live rendition pulls out the confusion, heartache and longing of the original in a new direction.
Sand is out now. But the band will be releasing The Sand Castle Tapes EP digitally through Play It Again Sam on September 24, 2021. The EP will feature 10 songs from the Sand Castle Tapes film — 8 reworked songs off Sand and two jams. You can pre-order the EP here.
Manchester-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr first rose to fame as the guitarist and co-songwriter of The Smiths between 1982 and 1987. Since The Smiths split up in 1987, Marr has been extremely busy: he has played in number of different projects and has collaborated with a who’s who of acclaimed artists including the likes of The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, The Avalanches, Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer.
The Manchester-born and-based artist’s highly anticipated fourth album Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 is a double album, with the first segment, Fever Dreams Pt. 1 being released through BMG on October 15, 2021. Reportedly fusing the language of soul music with his roots as a self-described “Mancunian glam rocker,” the four-song EP features lyrics that could be seen as simultaneously personal and universal — paired with an high energy electronic sound. The end result is an EP worth of material that reflects and is informed by Marr’s legendary and multifaceted past but while seeing him push his sound to a new direction.
Fever Dreams Pt. 1’s first single is the rousingly anthemic, “Spirit, Power And Soul.” Centered around heavily arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering guitars, Marr’s plaintive vocals and an enormous hook, “Spirit Power And Soul” manages to bring Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies era New Order to mind while subtly hinting at Marr’s past, beloved work.
“‘Spirit, Power And Soul’ is a kind of mission statement. I had an idea about an electro sound with gospel feeling, in my own words… an electro soul anthem,” Marr says of the new single.
The recently released video or “Spirit, Power And Soul” features the legendary Marr in series of trippy set ups, where he’s seen floating serenely through the cosmos and through repeating geometric shapes — sometimes playing his guitar, sometimes rocking out to the song or just with a Buddha-like zen calm.
Toronto-based psych outfit Hot Garbage — Alex Carlevaris (lead vocals, guitar), Juliana Carlevaris (bass, vocals), Dylan Gamble (keys, synths) and Mark Henin (drums) — will be releasing their Graham Walsh-produced full-length debut RIDE through beloved Montreal-based label Mothland on October 29, 2021.
Coming hot on the heels of some extensive North American touring including opening for Ty Segall, Meatbodies, L.A. Witch and JJUUJJUU, as well as stops at LEVITATION and Sled Island Festivals, the Graham Walsh-produced RIDE was recorded mostly live off the floor at Palace Sound and Basketball 4 Life Studios to to better capture the band’s raw energy, developed and honed from relentless touring. Sonically, the 33 minute album, which also features a guest spot from Kali Horse’s Sam Maloney on percussion, reportedly sees the Toronto psych rockers meshing core elements of 60s and 70s psych music, post punk and desert rock but while also speeding through motorik krautrock, nodding at surf rock and flirting with garage rock paired with otherworldly textures. Thematically and lyrically the album’s material tackles the afterlife, depression and freedom — but also rejoices in soft mantras and uplifting verses. The end result is an album’s worth of material that simultaneously evokes dread, beauty, wonder, horror and mystery.
RIDE’s first single “Sometimes I Go Down” is metallic mesh of psych rock, post punk and kraut rock featuring scorching guitar fuzz, thunderous drumming, droning and glistening organ, boy-girl vocal harmonizing and a relentless motorik groove paired with enormous hooks. While the band mentions that the song draws influence from Sonic Youth, Wand, L.A. Witch and Kikagaku Moyo, I also hear hints of Directions To See a Ghost era Black Angels.
Hot Garbage’s Alex Carlevaris says of the new single “It’s okay to feel down sometimes and need space. We as people have to accept that, allow that and have a healthy and realistic idea about having shitty days, feeling like shit and still loving ourselves. Also recognizing that others around us may need it and being patient with people.”
Directed by William Suarez, the recently released video features the members of Hot Garbage getting on the phone to make or receive phone calls using a four-way split screen. Whether or they’re actually speaking to each other in a four way call is up to you but you’ll notice that each of the characters is acting a little off — perhaps because something is after them? A mysterious black clad figure suddenly appears and each character disappears — that is until the end when the tarot card playing woman shows the figure the card she just pulled out during her reading. Trippy.