Category: Video Review

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Return with Moody and Cinematic Visuals for Shimmering Album Single “Sunday”

Throughout the course of the past 18-19 months months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo have known each other since they were teenagers, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home, started to pursue music seriously a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” and the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” the JOVM mainstays released their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last month.

Building upon the buzz of their incredible run of buzz worthy singles, the duo’s latest single “Sunday” is a gorgeous, slow-burning and cinematic bit of guitar pop, with a soaring hook that should immediately bring comparisons like Mazzy Star, The Smiths and others — while continuing a string of songs that pair dark and moody lyrics with upbeat sounds.  As the duo says in press notes, “‘Sunday’ is a favorite of ours in the album. It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically, it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”

The recently released video continues a string of gorgeously shot, swooning yet surreal fever dream-like visuals, which further emphasizes the bitter loneliness at the core of the song.


New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Limiñanas Return with Cinematic and Moody Black and White Visuals for “Dimanche” feat. Bertrand Belin

Over the past couple of years I’ve written a bit about the Perpignan, France-based psych rock duo The Limiñanas, and as you may recall the French duo have become one France’s most renowned indie acts, thanks in part for a sound that draws from psych rock, shoegaze, and yé-yé, centered around arrangements featuring fuzzy, distorted power chords, reverb heavy hooks and effortlessly cool vocals. And much like fellow countrymen La Femme, their sound is heavily indebted to 60s American guitar rock and psych rock while managing to capture something  quintessentially French.

Released last year, the duo’s Istanbul Is Sleepy EP was initially recorded at their home studio and finished at Anton Newcombe‘s Berlin-based studio, and the EP’s title track and lead singer “Istanbul Is Sleepy” found the French duo collaborating with the The Brian Jonestown Massacre founder and frontman, who contributed both his imitable vocals and guitar to a scuzzy, garage rock track that reportedly was influenced by Rain-era The Cult. And as the members of The Limiñanas recalled in press notes, the collaboration can trace its origins to 2016 or so, when Mojo Magazine asked them to contribute a track to a Kinks tribute compilation. “We chose ‘Two Sisters,’” Lionel explains in press notes. “Marie and I were thinking for the vocal part, it would be great to approach Anton Newcombe, having opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Le Trianon in Paris. The work began like that. We had an album to record and we decided to finish it with him. During the Christmas week we took our demos, flew to Berlin and recorded at Anton’s studio. Six days later we had a finished album

“Shadow People,” the first official single off the duo’s Twisting the Shadow People, which was released earlier this year, found the duo collaborating with French actress Emmanuelle Seigner and Renaud Picard, the frontman of Hair and the Iotas on a slow-burning and meditative track that featured a hazy, dream-like hook. “Dimanche,” Shadow People’s latest single is a chilly and menacing track that has the band collaborating with Bertrand Belin who delivers lyrics in a cool and detached French over pulsating synths, a motorik-like groove and twangy guitar chords — and interestingly enough, the latest single reveals a band that’s subtly expanding upon their sound, while continuing their focus on the dichotomy between dark and light in the moody fashion that captured the attention of critics and fans internationally. 

Directed by Aurelien Richter,  the recently released video for “Dimanche” was shot gorgeously and artful black and white that nods to film noir and Quentin Tarantino films and the visuals emphasize the song’s overall moody vibe.  Throughout you’ll see the members of The Limiñanas with Emmanuelle Seigner, Foulke de Boixo, who has made frequent appearances in their videos and the Betrand Belin. 

New Video: Psych Rock Supergroup MIEN Release Sinuous, Hand-Painted, Animated Visuals for Album Single “Earth Moon”

Comprised of The Black Angels‘ Alex Mass (vocals, samples, loops), The Horrors‘ Tom Furse (keys, programming), Elephant Stone‘s Rishi Dhir (bass, sitar, keys) and The Earlies‘ John-Mark Lapham (keys, samples, programming), the indie All-Star supergroup and side project MIEN can trace its origins to roughly 2004, when Rishi Dhir, who was playing sitar and bass with a previous band on a SXSW bill with The Brian Jonestown Massacre had a chance encounter with The Black Angels’ Alex Mass. Dihr also had a chance encounter with The Earlies, who he would similarly collaborate and share a stage with. Interestingly, Mass, Dihr and Lapham bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of The Association‘s “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin;” in fact, upon learning that Lapham had a deep desire to cover it, they all began the slow process of putting together the version they’d always dreamt of. Unfortunately, while that never came to fruition, it created the collaborative and creative sparks that would become MIEN.

In 2012, Dihr was playing bass with The Black Angels, and at the time they were sharing bills with The Horrors, whose Skying was on heavy rotation for him. Dihr made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and they made a pact to work together on something in the future. As a quartet, the members of MIEN made another pass at covering The Association but coincidentally around the same time, there was a Lapham demo, based around a Beastie Boys sample that eventually became the murky and hallucinatory “Black Habit,” the first single off the band’s self-titled debut.

The album’s second and latest single “Earth Moon” continues on a similar ambient and kaleidoscopic vibe; however, the song finds the act pairing propulsive yet atmospheric electronics with shimmering sitar — and while being as menacing as its predecessor, sonically it’s a perfect amalgamation of Directions to See a Ghost-era The Black Angels and Elephant Stone. 

The recently released video for “Earth Moon” features the sinuous and undulating, hand-painted animation of Rochester, NY-based visual artist and musician Mike Turzanski. As MIEN’S John Mark Lapham says in press notes “I’ve admired Mike Turzanski’s artwork since around 2011 when he did some work for a project I was working on at the time called The Revival Hour. Mike is a Rochester, NY based artist and musician that creates these surreal and oftentimes nightmarish worlds through his art. (I’ve been looking for ways to work with him again ever since he had me and a friend of mine dunked in a cold lake in Rochester spitting pink goo out of our mouths for a photography project… don’t ask…) When it came time to find an artist to create a video for Earth Moon, he was the first person I thought of. I knew he had done a lot painting and sketches, but wasn’t sure he ever tackled a completely animated video production. When I asked him if he’d be interested, he jumped on it and within a few weeks we got a fully formed hand painted video! Mike’s an amazing artist and we’re honored to have his hands all over MIEN. I’m looking forward to our next collaboration (though hopefully not in a freezing lake this time…)”

“The vision for “Earth Moon”’s video was first presented to me with the visual inspiration of early 70s animations. These vintage videos have the distinct look and feel of something completely hand made,” Mark Turzanski explains of the video concept in press notes. “Looping psychedelic visuals in a very raw form felt like the best approach. Each frame was hand drawn and scanned in to produce the analog and physical look. Taking this older cel animation frame by frame technique was very consuming but well worth the result.  “Earth Moon” is a song that makes you feel like your body is a rippling wave in space. I wanted to create a video that would only add to this feeling.”

New Video: Modern Time Machines Return with 120 Minutes-era MTV Inspired Visuals for Rousingly Anthemic Single “Failsafe”

Earlier this year, I wrote about  the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, and as you may recall with the release of their debut single “Dweeb,” and several other singles, which received airplay on KROQ 106.7FM, the band comprised of  Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson have received attention for pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonies with a sound that’s drawn comparisons to M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based shoegazers appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God.

Modern Time Machines’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for an April 6, 2018 release and will feature guest spots from Nightmare Air‘s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens‘ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. And as you may recall, album single “High Noon” featured the boy/girl harmonies that first garnered them attention while sonically reminding me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve. Interestingly, MTM’s latest single “Failsafe” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV affair — in particular, I’m somehow reminded of Dinosaur, Jr. and others, as the song features feedback drenched and pedal effected power chords, rousingly anthemic hooks, a propulsive and insistent rhythm section and those boy/girl harmonies; but underneath the dreamy vibes is an aching yearning.

Directed, edited and filmed by Kimberly Zsebe of ZB Images, the recently released video, much like the song itself seems heavily indebted to 120 Minutes-era MTV, as it features the band performing the song while partially shot under kaleidoscopic filters, which gives the video a trippy feel.

New Video: SSHH Returns with a Club Banging Industrial Electronica-Influenced New Single Paired with Trippy Visuals

Comprised of Bondi, Australia-born, London UK-based Sssh Liguz (vocals) and Zak Starkey, the son of Ringo Starr, a multi-instrumentalist, best known as a touring drummer for The Who and Oasis (guitar), the London-based electro punk duo SSHH received attention with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Issues, which featured the duo collaborating with some of rock’s most renowned rhythm sections, including members of The Sex Pistols, Mott the Hoople, the backing bands of Marilyn Manson and Peter Tosh — to benefit charity.

The propulsive, industrial techno-like single “Rising Tide” which features heavily arpeggiated synths with thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an infectious hook is the duo’s first bit of new material since Issues and the club banger was born, as Liguz told Earmilk “from a fiery argument” while “driving in a heavy rainstorm.” “I remember being furious beyond belief. Not only because we were having a huge fight, but because even though we were acting like assholes to each other, I couldn’t stop thinking how much I loved him,” Liguz recalled. “Just like I couldn’t stop the rain from falling, or the stars from shining, I just can’t stop loving this man!” Liguz continued, “There is anger in the happiness and a little hate in the love. At the end of the day, passion rules.” And as a result, the song possesses a raw and unbridled tension at its core, influenced by the tempestuous push and pull between love and hate in a fiery and passionate relationship.

BMG released the single globally today, and the single comes with 7 additional remixes and re-workings of the tracks, including re-workings by the likes of YOUTH, Sondrio, Acaddamy, Secret Space, Jevo,  and the members of SSHH.

Co-directed by the band and Billy Zammit, the recently released video for the song manages to subtly draw from rave and electronica culture, as well as psych rock, as it features the duo performing the song in strobe lights and projections.


New Video: Swiss-born New York based Singer/Songwriter Sam Himself Releases Campy 80s Inspired Video for Anthemic New Single “Nobody”

Last year, the Swiss-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Himself received attention with the 2017 release of his genre-defying EP Songs in D, an effort that featured Americana-inspired torch songs centered around his bluesy, whiskey and cigarettes-tinged vocals.  Now, as you may recall, I wrote about “Out of Love,” an old-fashioned and slow-burning duet featuring denetia and sene‘s denetia that seemed to nod at Johnny Cash‘s and June Carter Cash‘s “If I Were a Carpenter” — but with a subtle twist, as the song according to the Swiss-born, New York-based artist “is a desperate promise to keep a lover from leaving.”

The Swiss-born, New York-based singer/songwriter’s latest single is an 80s synth and guitar-based track that nods at Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born to Run” “Born in the USA,” and “Glory Days” and Caveman‘s self-titled album, complete with rousingly anthemic, fist raising hooks; but interestingly, the song is centered around Sam Himself’s experience of arriving to New York and recognizing that “nobody has been waiting for you here. The apple is pretty big without you, and unless you come up with a pretty good reason, New York doesn’t care. ‘Nobody’ is about that crushing, eye-opening and ultimately liberating experience.”

Directed by Jonathan Frey and filmed at Strange Weather Studio in Brooklyn, the 80s inspired, mischievous and campy video for the song captures and embodies the sensation of being a man from far away, and eventually stumbling into a community of friends and associates, who accept you for who you really are — and in this sense, the video is an ode to the friends and associates he records and performs with, who have become his New York family.

As the Swiss-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist explains in press notes about the video treatment, “The song ‘Nobody’ is about finding your feet in a new community in a new place, so I tried to find the right visual metaphor for that. I had a rough idea – me trying to join a band; the band not having it – which the video’s director Jonathan Frey (who shot my video for ‘Out of Love’ as well) really helped me flesh out. Together we came up with this little story about the new kid in town who desperately tries to fit in until he realizes that he already has what it takes – all he has to do is own up to it.”

Live Footage: Ibeyi Performs “Deathless” with Harlem Gospel Choir and Onyx Collective on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Deriving their name from the Yoruba word for twins ibeji, the French-Cuban twin sibling duo Ibeyi (pronounced ee-bey-ee), comprised of Lisa-Kainde Diaz and Naomi Diaz have become JOVM mainstays and a critically applauded, internationally recognized act. Interestingly, the Diaz sisters are the daughters of the late and renowned percussionist Anga Diaz, best known as a member of Buena Vista Social Club, and for collaborating with Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez and Compay Segundo. The elder Diaz died when the girls were 11, and upon his death, they studied Yoruba folk songs and the cajon, an Afro-Carribean drum, which their father had specialized in throughout most of his musical career. 

While Yoruba is primarily spoken throughout Nigeria and Benin, it has been spoken in some fashion in Cuba since the 1700s when the slave trade brought Africans to the Caribbean — and to the island. When the Diaz sisters began studying their late father’s musical culture and heritage, it gave them a much greater understanding of the man, where he came from while putting them in touch with their ancestral history. Unsurprisingly, the Diaz sister’s self-titled Ibeyi debut, which was released to critical praise in 2015, thematically dealt with the past — the loss of their father, their relationship with each other, their father’s and their own origins and roots, while sonically the duo’s sound possessed elements of contemporary electro pop, hip-hop, jazz, the blues and traditional Yoruba folk music in a way that brought to mind Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective‘s Roots Before Branches as both albums conscientiously made a spiritual and musical connection between the African Diaspora in the West and the motherland. 

Up until last year though, some time had passed since I had personally written about  the Diaz sisters, and as it turned out, they had spent the better part of 2016 writing and recording the material that would comprise their sophomore effort Ash, which XL Records released late last year. Now, as you recall the album’s first album, “Away Away,” lyrically and thematically focused on accepting pain as a necessary part of life, while celebrating life for its complicated entirety.  Of course, sonically speaking, the track further cements their  reputation for resoundingly positive messages sung with their gorgeous harmonizing paired with slick and swaggering electronic production. However, the material overall reportedly finds the Diaz sisters writing some of the most visceral, politically charged material they’ve released to date; but while centered on who the Diaz sisters are after a year in which racial, gender and sexual identity issues are among the most important and vexing of our current time. 

“Deathless,” Ash‘s second single found the Diaz sisters collaborating with contemporary jazz great Kamasi Washington, who contributes saxophone lines that mange to be mournful, outraged, proud, bold and riotous — within a turn of a phrase. The song is inspired by one of the most outrageous and humiliating experiences of Lisa-Kainde Diaz’s life — she was was wrongly arrested by French police for a crime she didn’t commit. Throughout the song is a sense of fear, knowing that the police could practically do anything they wanted without reprisal; of righteous rage that’s palpable yet impotent in the face of a power that can crush you at will; of the burgeoning recognition that you can never escape racism or unfair treatment; and the shame of being made to feel small and worthless while knowing that it’ll happen repeatedly throughout your life. As Lisa Kainde explains in press notes I was writing Deathless as an anthem for everybody!” For every minority. For everybody that feels that they are nothing, that feels small, that feels not cared about and I want them to listen to our song and for three minutes feel large, powerful, deathless. I have a huge amount of respect for people who fought for, what I think, are my rights today and if we all sing together  ‘we are deathless, ’they will be living through us into a better world.”

Just the other day, the Diaz sisters made their major television debut performance on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which features the Harlem Gospel Choir and Isaiah Barr of Onyx Collective on the last day of Black History, as a fiery and passionate reminder of the plight of black folk across the African Diaspora. 

New Video: Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas Release Surreal and Psychedelic Visuals for “Bastille Day”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts on the Boston, MA-based guitarist and songwriter/composer and bandleader Matthew Stubbs. And as you may recall, Stubbs, has split his time as a member of Charlie Musselwhite’s touring band and as a solo artist, who has released two solo, instrumental albums — 2008’s Soulbender released through Vizztone Records and 2010’s Medford and Main released through Chicago, IL-based Blue Bella Records that drew from the  Memphis, TN soul/blues sound. In 2016 Stubbs added bandleader to his resume, with his backing band The Antiguas, which feature Just Lopes (organ), Chris Rivelli (drums) and Marc Hickox (bass)  — and while continuing with the instrumental composition approach of his previously released work, his newest project is influenced by the work of Duane Eddy, Link Wray, and Booker T but meshed with elements of garage rock, B movie soundtracks and Afrobeat, while focusing on putting the energy and vibe of their live sets on wax.

The band’s self-titled debut was released earlier and this year, and as you may recall album singles “Death Grip” and ” Unwinder,” possessed a decidedly retro feel, bringing to mind late 60s and early 70s B movie soumdtracks, complete with a tight groove —with Death Grip” being inspired by the wild, chase scenes in the cult, car racing movies of the 70s while “Unwinder,” found Stubbs and his Antiguas drawing from 60s psych rock and surfer rock and blues, complete with an organ sequence that brings to mind The Castaways’“Liar Liar.” The album’s latest single “Bastille Day” is a greasy and downright funky track that draws from the blues, Afrobeat, dub and rock within what sounds to my ears like a 12 bar blues — and while expanding upon the sound that has caught attention, the composition will further Stubbs’ reputation for crafting slick and trippy hooks.

Directed and edited by Jack LeMay, the recently released video was shot at the Yawkey T stop in the Boston area, and stars Stubbs, waiting for a train when he encounters the absolutely radiant Monishita Ray, dressed in traditional Indian garb. The video turns into a psychedelic experience when the two look into each other — and the rest of the video splits between following Ray as she dances around the train station, Stubbs’ and company’s rehearsal space and other industrial-like locales, adding a surreal sense of beauty to everything in her path, and Stubbs playing the song’s main riff, before getting even trippier.

New Video: The Cinematic, B Movie Inspired Visuals for L.A. Witch’s “Drive Your Car”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/garage rock trio L.A. Witch, comprised of Sade Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar), Irita Pai (bass, backing vocals) and Ellie English (drums). And as you may recall, the trio have developed a reputation for crafting a grungy, garage rock sound that draws from late 50s-early 60s rock,  The Pleasure Seekers, The Sonics, The Black Angels, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and others — all while bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay artists The Coathangers, Sharkmuffin and Death Valley Girls.
The band’s self-titled, full-length debut was released last year through Suicide Squeeze Records, the label home of The Coathangers and others, and the album’s first single “Drive Your Car,” (which was also released as a 7 inch single back in 2016), is a grungy and gritty track featuring a propulsive rhythm section, chugging power chords fed through reverb and delay pedal paired with Sanchez’s sneering vocals — and while clearly resembling The Coathangers, the song manages to possess a malicious and murderous intent, along with some roaring hooks.

Directed and edited by Allie Lane, the incredibly cinematic video features a collection of badass ladies, including the members of L.A. Witch driving sweet cars through the desert, cut with footage of the band playing the song. Certainly, if you’re a photographer, you envy how rich the blues, browns and blacks came out under seemingly endless skies.

New Video: Introducing The Gorgeous and Atmospheric Visuals and Sounds of Stockholm’s boerd

Bård Ericson is an up-and-coming Stockholm, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and electronic music artist, whose recent solo recording project boerd is heavily influenced from a stint playing double bass with the Swedish Royal Opera, Swedish Radio Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as drawing from the likes of Burial, Bibio, and Aphex Twin — and with boerd, Ericson has received attention for a delicate sound that pushes the boundaries of atmospheric electronica, with a painterly attention to detail and texture. In fact, as you’ll hear on “Blind,” the latest single off his forthcoming mini-album, Static is a slow-burning and spectral track featuring twinkling synths, shuffling drums, bursts of strummed guitar paired with aching yet dreamy vocals fed through layers upon layers of vocoder, that evoke a feeling of transience — of accepting the fact that both good and bad things in one’s life often find a way to fade away. And as a result, the song possesses the dull yet palpable ache of regret and lost chances.

Directed and edited by Bård Ericsson and starring Olle Darmell and Susanna Risberg, the recently released video for “Blind” features a couple driving in car, as a larger metaphor for a relationship. “I thought driving a car with someone could be a metaphor for a relationship,” Ericson says in press notes. “You’re not always sure where you’re going or when (and if) you’ll arrive somewhere, etc. The song is about a relationship that’s not in complete balance, where something is a bit off. It’s a song about feeling vulnerable, which can really suck but also bring you close to someone. Rather than having the video tell a specific storyline, I tried to capture that bittersweet mix of uncertainty, vulnerability and affection.” Interestingly, the video’s director — Ericson, himself — sits in the backseat observing and singling the song’s lyrics. Throughout the video, there’s an obvious sense that there’s something wrong with the relationship, and they don’t quite know what to do about it or how to get out of it without hurting themselves or the other. 

Renowned electronic music label Anjunadeep Records will be releasing Static on April 6, 2018.