Category: Video

Throwback: Happy 77th Birthday, David Gilmour!

JOVM’s Willam Ruben Helms celebrates David Gilmour’s 77th birthday.

Live Footage: Orchestra Gold Performs “Keleya” at Bandcamp, Oakland

Oakland-based psych outfit Orchestra Gold is rooted in the decade plus-long collaboration between Malian-born vocalist Mariam Diakite and Oakland-based guitarist Erich Huffaker. The duo first met in Bamako, Mali in 2006. At the time, Huffaker was very busy: he was working for a nonprofit, studying djembe and dunun (drums) and immersing himself in the city’s burgeoning music scene when he had met and befriended Diakite. The duo recognized a deep and profound musical connection, which led to Diakite relocating to the States to start a band — Orchestra Gold. 

Since Diakite’s relocation to Oakland, the rising psych outfit has specialized in a kaleidoscopic sound that meshes Malian folk with psych rock and elements of Afrobeat and soul. Sonically they create a trippy and funky soundscape featuring swinging rhythms, funky bass and scorching guitar riffs while Diakite delivers heartfelt and thought-provoking lyrics in her native Bambara language. Their long-held goal is to transcend national and musical borders while being a much-needed healing force.

The band’s third album Medicine was released earlier this year. The album sees the band firmly continuing their pursuit of spreading healing and community through their music. In the lead-up to the album’s release, I managed to write about two album singles:

  • Koniya (No Benefit to Envy),” a song which featured shuffling rhythms, scorching feedback and distortion-driven riffage serving as a lysergic and sinuous bed for Diakite’s expressive delivery. The end result was a song that arched upward towards the cosmos while rooted in earthly matters. 
  • Gende,” an expansive and trippy song that beings with a lengthy, dreamy introduction featuring looping and swirling guitar textures. Around the 2:25 mark or so, the song rapidly morphs into a breakneck Fela Kuti-meets-Black Sabbath-meets-Tinariwen-like ripper, centered around a funky horn line, scorching riffage and looping guitar textures. Diakite’s expressive vocal and shuffling, propulsive polyrhythm glide and dance around the song’s disparate parts. The end result is a song that’s lysergic but defiantly — and boldly — African and danceable. 

Orchestra Gold is about to embark to Austin for this year’s SXSW where they’ll play sets at several showcases. In order to build up buzz for their SXSW appearance — and to get the word out about their crowdfunding campaign to cover the tremendous cost of overhead for the trip, the band shared live footage of them performing album single “Keleya.” “Keleya” is centered around looping guitar, shuffling percussion paired with boom bap-like drumming, a James Brown-meets-Fela Kuti-like funky horn line paired with Diakite’s plaintive wailing. The end result is a hypnotic yet danceable song that brings James Brown, Fela Kuti, and Black Sabbath to mind.

For more information, check out the band’s GoFundMe here. If you dig this band, and you have a few bucks, any support you can offer is helpful.

New Video: Alfa Mist Teams Up with Kaya Thomas-Dyke on Soulful and CInematic “Aged Eyes”

Throughout the London-based producer, composer, musician and Sekito Records head Alfa Mist’s career, he has steadfastly refused to be boxed into a specific genre or style: his work has spanned everything from hip-hop beatmaking to producing for rappers like Loyle Carner, composing neo-classical works for the London Contemporary Orchestra and reworking tracks for Ólafur Arnalds and legendary jazz label Blue Note. He also hosts the Are We Live podcast with Barney Artist and Jordan Rakei

Since the release of his full-length debut, 2015’s the London-based multi-hyphenate has also quickly established himself as one of the UK’s most focused and distinct contemporary musical voices while also working with Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Richard Spaven, Lester Duval and Emmavie.

Building upon the success of 2017’s Antiphon, which has amassed over 10 million streams of YouTube, 2019’s Structuralism and 2021’s ANTI- Records debut, Bring Backs, the forthcoming Variables finds Alfa Mist moving forward with a renewed intensity and purpose. “The whole album is more uptempo and influenced by the freedom of returning to gigs,” Alfa Mist explains. “It feels like I’m coming back to my early days of making grime beats and creating tracks that make me want to bop my head fast.” 

Variables‘ latest single “Aged Eyes” featuring longtime collaborator Kaya Thomas-Dyke is a gorgeous bit of trip hop-inspired neo-soul built around a finger-plucked guitar melody by Jamie Leeming, a swelling string-driven, cinematic chorus from Peggy Nolan (cello), twinkling keys from Alfa Mist paired with Thomas Dyke’s expressive, gossamer vocal. The arrangement and Thomas Dyke’s vocal express a yearning sense of hope.

The accompanying video by SPOD features some gorgeously animated watercolor paintings reminiscent of Van Gogh and the Dutch masters.

New Video: Lauren Lakis Shares Yearning “Take My Hand”

Lauren Lakis is a Baltimore-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter and musician, who specializes in a brooding and churning take on shoegaze centered around authentic, honest lyricism. Lakis and her backing band have extensively toured across the West Coast, sharing bills with Ringo Award-nominated rocker Tracy Bonham. She has also played in front of sold-out crowds at Doug Fir Lounge and at Santa Cruz’The Catalyst.

During the pandemic, Lakis performed several live-streamed shows, partnering with Bandsintown, Jam in the Van, B-Side TV, Rock to End Rape Culture, KXLU, ACLU and JuJu Live.

Recorded at Seahorse Sound, the Baltimore-born, Austin-based artist’s Billy Burke-produced Daughter Language was released by Green Witch Recordings in 2021 to critical acclaim from Flaunt, Wonderland, Earmilk, Ladygunn, Buzzbands LA, Grimy Goods, Atwood Magazine and more.

Daughter Language‘s highly-anticipated follow-up, the Carey McGraw-produced A Fiesta and a Hell was recorded in Austin and is slated for a Fall release through Green Witch Recordings. The album’s first single “Take My Hand” is a brooding and stormy bit of shoegaze built around an alternating quiet and loud sections featuring glistening guitar textures for the verses and swirling, stormy power chord-driven choruses paired with Lakis’ achingly yearning vocal. The single, as Lakis explains is about “forgetting what you thought you knew, letting go, bravely opening your mind to something radically different. She adds “What if you were wrong? Are you able to admit it? Can you shift with the ever-changing landscape of reality, or are you stuck in your ways? I found myself stepping into the unknown in many ways the past few years, forced to entertain the notion that maybe I didn’t know everything, and in that I found freedom.” 

Shot in Rapid City, South Dakota and Badlands National Park, the accompanying video follows the rising singer/songwriter hanging out with a large tortoise, going through a dinosaur park, dancing on a dinosaur statue and more. It’s a surreal yet highly symbolic romp through the wilderness — both natural and constructed.

Lakis will be playing at next week’s The New Colossus Festival. I’lm looking forward to catching her.

New Video: Baaba Maal Teams Up with The Very Best on Mesmerizing “Freak Out”

Acclaimed Senegalse singer/songwriter and guitarist Baaba Maal is a member of the semi-nomadic Fulani people. He first left his home in Podor, Senegal to perform music hundreds of miles away as a teenager — and he has been a wanderer ever since. “It’s part of my culture,” Maal says. “The songs travel from village to village, from country to country. It’s something natural to my tribe and this part of Africa.”

Since then, Maal has followed his music, as it traveled around the world, starting from his young travels around West Africa, performing with mentor Mansour Seck, to the Paris conservatory, where he studied music theory and then eventually across the rest of the globe, while collaborating with an eclectic array of acclaimed, contemporary artists including John LeckieBrian EnoDamon Albarn’s Africa Express, and Mumford & Sons. Maal has worked on the soundtracks for The Last Temptation of Christ and Black Hawk Down. He has also worked with soundtrack composer Ludwig Goransson to create the soundscapes for both Black Panther films, essentially making him the voice of Wakanda.

Throughout his career, the acclaimed Senegalese artist has spread the word of an idealistic, energetic Africa — to the entire world. “I could bring my Africa to this other, abstract Africa, and both places collided together beautifully,” he says of Black Panther, “I brought this mythical Africa back to Podor, extending my reality, my hometown, and my music. I didn’t know whether I would make another album after The Traveller, but I did know my thinking about music was still changing. And once more something stirred inside me at home in Podor. I found myself once again. It was time for a new album.”

Maal’s forthcoming album Being is slated for a March 31, 2023 release through Marathon Artists. The album reportedly is the latest stage in the development of a highly distinctive, ecstatically melodic sound that meshes traditional African instruments and rhythms with modern, electronic production, The album is a set of confrontational and contemplative stories in which Maal mixes evocative, personal local concerns with grand universal themes to produce a unique form of deep, immersive soul music, taking the listener to new places via his birthplace of Podor, Senegal, where his music always begins — and his travels always end. “However far I travel, whatever direction, I will always return home,” the acclaimed Senegalese artist says. “It is the nomadic nature. To wander, but to return home, eventually. Home is where you start from, where you begin to learn what really matters, and home is where you finish. Podor is the perfect place for me when I need some time to think, to see my music with a fresh eye, to surprise it, snare it, catch it unawares as if coming across it for the first time.”

The album is also deeply informed by experiences Maal had before, during and after the pandemic. The album is about being African, being a songwriter, being a romantic, being realistic, being wary, being online, being at the mercy of the elements, being caught between two worlds, being on your way somewhere — and ultimately about his being from Podor while being connected to a constantly turbulent and shifting world through his art. “Each song of this album has its own personality. A song is like a person. It has a life, name, a character, and it has a position in life,” Maal says in press notes. “I think that’s what makes this album so powerful – it is totally about now and where I am now, the dreams I have of the past and the future.”

The album’s material also reflects Maal’s need to continually move forward with his work. Much like the acclaimed Senegalese artist’s previously released work, there wasn’t a set deadline: Songs were finished when they ere finished, emerging out of a combination of both fast and slow work. There were intense improvisational studio sessions in Brooklyn, Podor, and London, where things moved quickly and songs took place over a few days. After energetic bursts of activity, both artist and producer took time to process their work, and songs would reveal themselves over many months. Some would be recorded by the ocean, in the ocean air, with the sound of crickets, dogs, donkeys, birds, traffic, rain and people being captured nearby. 

Last year, I wrote about album opening track “Yerimayo Celebration,” a joyous and percussive stomp centered around layers of thunderous percussion, African traditional instrumentation and enormous, ebullient hooks. The song which features contributions from Cheikh Ndoye (bass ngoni) and Momadou Sarr (percussion) is celeebration of music — and of music’s power to open the mind and heart in deeply troubled times, and of its power in fighting cynicism and chaos.

Beings latest single, “Freak Out” feat. The Very Best is a mesmerizing and woozy alchemy of traditional African folk instrumentation and modern production through the form of skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling beats and percussion that effortlessly bridges the ancient and the modern — while being boldly and defiantly African. Lyrically, the song explores the complex dynamic of social media and its effects on both African and the wider world.

“It became a song about being careful what you put on the internet,” says Baaba Maal, “It might seem funny or popular when you do it, but it might have consequences and you will have to live with those all your life.

“There are things you should keep to yourself. Mystery is important in life; you don’t need to shine a light on every little thing you do. You don’t have to give away your soul for the sake of a little bit of attention.

“The internet should be used to make humanity feel good about themselves. It is so powerful, it can be dangerous and sometimes it just seems the internet has just caused a constant freak out.”

The accompanying video is a gorgeous and sensitive slice of the complexity of African life that’s life-affirming and necessary as it captures a mix of ancient traditions and modernity. But along with that, there’s a reminder of the fact that people are generally the same.

New Video: Henry Carlyle Shares Brooding and Atmospheric “I Float”

Best known for his work in acclaimed JOVM mainstay act The OriellesHalifax, UK-born, Manchester-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Henry Carlyle stepped out into the spotlight as solo artist with 2021’s “The Ground,” a song that found The Orielles co-founder eschewing the disco floor strobe lights for thoughtful and lived-in lyricism and an intimate, dusty, lo-fi-like production. 

Described by Carlyle as “a song about displacement,” the song’s origins can be traced back to a winter day in which the Halifax-born, Manchester-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began writing down his fractious thoughts of his unanchored passing through time and space. “It was inspired by floating through the universe and through time bouncing off events and other humans, never really knowing where you should be or what you should be doing anyway” Carlyle explained in press notes. 

Carlyle’s second solo single “A Bigger Splash,” continued his collaboration with Julia Bardo (vocals) and Jack Bogacki (drums). The song was a strangely euphoric yet uncomfortably intimate song centered around Carlyle’s aching, world weary delivery, jutting and angular guitar attack and his unerring knack for razor sharp hooks. While sonically nodding Damon Albarn and Pavement among others, the song’s relatively young narrator is struggling with the difficulties and uneasiness of existence — as everyone has been for quite some time.

Written as a by-product of “going through stuff and nothing the time to think properly,” Carlyle explains that “I was thinking how these formative years might affect people as they move on. Which is why the song’s initial musical idea stuck with me and interested me a lot as a theme; it fluctuates between two keys, the end improvisation being the ultimate meditation in that idea. it all feels as I felt, in turmoil.” 

“The lyrics are mostly about self-medicating, trying to instantly feel better for a transient moment and then reeling from that for a longer period of time than the intended relief,” Carlyle adds. “Which is why the chorus only comes once and is only two lines long. Nothing good lasts too long and goodness changes all the time.”

Carlyle’s latest single “I Float” is a brooding and atmospheric track built around twinkling synths, rumbling low end, skittering boom bap-like drumming and brief bursts of scorching guitar feedback paired with Carlyle’s chilly and detached delivery. “I Float” manages to simultaneously seem informed by — and mirror — the adventurous sonic approach developed for The Orielles’ Tableau while evoking the unease of a forced isolation in which the narrator endlessly replays his thoughts and failures.

This winter crept up on us. I started writing a lot of music on this synth I bought back in October,” Carlyle explains. “During dark evenings I built up an ambient track, ‘Prelude’ and when I finished that I realised it was the element ‘I Float had been missing. Through its many iterations, I struggled to get close enough to expressing the song’s idea until then.
“It’s about floating on through, not being present, doing what you’ve got to do. In a sense, it’s about living a minimal existence until you feel well enough to thrive again.”
Shot by Giuilia Bonometti, the accompanying video is based on a concept by Carlyle and Bonometti: We see Carlyle wearing a white jumpsuit in a park at night, bopping and bouncing around to the song’s skittering beats, appearing as though he were in a mosh pit by himself.

New Video: Slumbering Sun Shares Trippy 120 Minutes MTV-era VIsual for “Liminal Bridges”

Austin-based doom metal outfit Slumbering Sun — Monte Luna’s James Clarke (vocals), Destroyer of Light’s Keegan Kjeldsen (guitar), Temptress‘ Kelsey Wilson (guitar), Monte Luna‘s and Scorpion Child‘s Garth Condit (bass) and Destroyer of Light’s Penny Turner (drums) — is an All-Star band featuring acclaimed members of Texas’ underground metal scene. 

After the breakup of their previous band, James Clarke and Keegan Kjeldsen resolved to forget the bitter pain of an album that would never be released, by creating something new. They decided to start a new band with an album that Kjeldsen wrote between work on other projects. The pair continued the creative process at their rehearsal space with a few songs strummed on a clean, electric guitar: Clarke began to write melodies with the pair finishing lyrics. 

Clarke and Kjeldsen recruited Temptress’ Kelsey Wilson, who made the commute from Dallas for the writing and recording process. Scorpion Child’s Garth Condit and Destroyer of Light’s Penny Turner, who played in other bands with Clarke and Kjeldsen respectively were recruited to be the band’s rhythm section — and from that point on, Slumbering Sun was a full-fledged band. 

Released last Friday digitally and on cassette and CD, the Austin-based doom metal outfit’s full-length debut The Ever Living Fire was recorded in a week-long recording session this past summer. Sonically, their full-length debut sees the band exploring broader melodies than their previous work while drawing from Celtic folk, doom metal act Warning, as well as 90s grunge rockers Soundgarden and Alice In Chains

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about three singles:

  • Liminal Bridges,” an expansive song featuring an atmospheric introduction with swirling, shoegazer-like textures, followed by stormy, power chord-driven riffage and thunderous drumming paired with Clarke’s melodic crooning and enormous, arena rock-like hooks. The track sonically brought — to my ears, at least —  The Sword  to mind — ok but with a prog rock-leaning sensibility.
  • Dream Snake,” an equally expansive track that opens with Black Sabbath and Soundgarden-like intro with fuzzy, power chord-driven riffage, thunderous drumming and a soulful solo paired with Clarke’s Ozzy Osbourne-like delivery until roughly around the five-minute mark. At that point, the song morphs into a sludgy doom metal dirge for the next two minutes or so before a gorgeous string arrangement carries the song into a gentle fadeout. Lyrically rooted in longing and heartbreak, “Dream Snake” sees the members of Slumbering Sun drawing from different eras one metal and doom metal and crafting something both familiar and new.
  • Album title track “The Ever Living Fire.” Continuing a remarkable run of expansive, mind-bending material, the song begins with a gorgeous 35 second, acoustic guitar-driven introduction before quickly exploding into an expressive and soulful doom metal dirge, built around sludgy power chord-driven riffage, thunderous drumming and Clarke’s crooning. And around the five minute mark, the band introduces a melodic hook that shifts the song in a trippy display of densely layered guitars. The song ends with a roughly minute-long, gorgeous acoustic gutter driven coda making it one of the more prog-leaning songs of the album’s released singles.

Building upon the attention the album’s first three singles have received, Slumbering Sun recently shared an accompanying video for “Liminal Bridges.” Fittingly set in a creepy forest, the video is split between the band performing the song at night — at points shot through a hazy filter. The other half of the video features two women performing a series of weird rituals seemingly meant to get them to a different realm of consciousness. If you grew up watching 120 Minutes, this one definitely will bring back some fond memories.

New Video: Los Bitchos Share Mischievous and Boozy Cover of “Tequila”

London-based instrumental outfit Los Bitchos — Australian-born, Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguayan-born Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Swedish-born, Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — can trace their origins to meeting at various late-night parties and through mutual friends. Inspired by their individual members’ different upbringings and backgrounds, Los Bitchos have developed a unique, genre-blurring and retro-futuristic sound blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych, surf rock, and the music each individual member grew up with: 

  • The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. 
  • The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. 
  • Aussie-born Serra Petale is deeply inspired by her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records. 
  • And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos.

“Coming from all these different places,” Los Bitchos’ Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”

Los Bitchos’ Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut, last year’s Let The Festivities Begin! was recorded at Gallery Studios, and saw the band further cementing heir reputation for crafting maximalist, trippy, Technicolor instrumental party starting jobs — with a cinematic quality.

The London-based JOVM mainstays capped off a momentous year with with two singles “Los Chrismos,” their first Christmas-themed composition and “Tip Tapp, which were co-produced by the band’s Serra Petale and Javier Weyler and recorded at 5db was released digitally and physically on a flexi-disc, bundled with a red vinyl re-press of their debut. “Los Chrismos” is a celebratory party-starting romp built around a psych rock-inspired, dexterous, looping guitar line, atmospheric synths cheers and shouts paired with cumbia rhythms. The end result is a much-needed joy and hope bomb that’s just pure unadulterated joy.

Los Bitchos’ forthcoming two-track EP PAH! is slated for a digital and 7″ release in mid-March through their label home City Stand — and the EP coincides with their upcoming UK and European tour opening for JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. PAH! features a mischievously rowdy and boozy cover of The Champs‘ “Tequila,” a song that has become a fan favorite during the band’s live shows. The EP also features a reworking of the Gizz’s “Trapdoor.”

Filmed by Los Bitchos and Lea Emmery, the accompanying video for “Tequila” follows the members of the JOVM mainstay act stopping at a liquor store to buy a bottle of tequila, which they bring with them through a night of partying with friends new an old. And much like the cover, it’s a mischievous, rowdy night through London.