With the release of their 2015 debut EP Slow Dive, the Vancouver, BC experimental pop/electro pop trio I M U R — comprised of Jenny Lea (vocals, keys), Mikey J. Blige (live production, guitar) and Amine […]
Soviet Soviet is Pesaro, Italy-based post-punk trio, who have received both national and international attention for a uniquely Italian take on the genre, while clearly drawing from familiar sources such as Joy Division/New Order and Echo and the Bunnymen, and shoegazers like RIDE, Slowdive, and others as you’ll hear on the wistfully nostalgic and anthemic “Endless Beauty” off the band’s recently released effort Endless.
Directed by fellow countryman Giulio Letizi, the recently released video for “Endless Beauty” features the members of the band performing the song in front of a projection screen that displays 60s stock footage of crashing waves, brilliant sunrises and sunsets and palm trees, cocksure surfers surfing but in wildly psychedelic hues, which creates both an aching nostalgia for a seemingly less complicated pass, while simultaneously being a reminder that like clockwork, another summer will soon be here. As the band explains of the video concept “We love this concept and these images complementing our music. We shot the live images of the band inside an old cinema where are from in Pesaro, Italy. ‘Endless Beauty’ reminds us of this kind of imagery — the beach, the surfers and days at the beach. We live in a coast city and love the sea.”
Although they’re currently comprised of founding Jamie Stewart along with Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkelman, indie rock trio Xiu Xiu have throughout the course of their history developed a reputation for restless experimentation and lately for a period of extraordinary diverse prolificacy — last year, they released their critically applauded album Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with renowned indie pop artist Mitski on a song that will appear on a forthcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, collaborated with Merzbow on an album, composed music for several art installations by renowned artist Danh Vo, wrote the score for an experimental reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute — and also managed to find the time to write and record the material that comprises their recently released 11th full-length effort FORGET.
Co-produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Blondie and Sigur Ros, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier and Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo, the album features guest appearances by minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, Los Angeles Banjee Ball commentator Enyce Smith, Swans’ Kristof Hahn and renowned drag artist Vaginal Davis. And as the band’s Jamie Stewart explains of both of the album’s title and its overarching theme, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear. FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.”
“Wondering,” FORGET’s first single is a propulsive dance floor-friendly single in which the band pairs layers of scuzzy, angular guitar chords with undulating and shimmering synths, stuttering and skittering beats, brief bursts of twinkling keys and Stewart’s trembling and plaintive crooning with a swooning yet rousingly anthemic hook — and while the equally shimmering and murky single sonically nods at Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” the song possesses an underlying tension between the known and unknown.
Directed by the band’s Angela Seo, the recently released video for the song at points possesses a manic, child-like glee and a surreal, dream-like logic as it follows a man with three women of various ages and a child wearing nightclothes in a bedroom. And their strange actions and activities are rife with a symbolism on the nature of childhood, play, life, dreaming and death.
If you’ve been frequenting this site at some point over the course of its almost 7 year history, you’ve come across a couple of posts on the renowned Manchester, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker, Barry Adamson. Tracing the origins of his musical career to stints a member Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Adamson has had a lengthy and critically applauded solo career, in which he’s recorded and released 8 full-length albums, 7 EPs and a retrospective compilation, including I Will Set You Free, one of my favorite albums of 2012.
Now up until last year, it had been some time since I had written about or heard from Adamson. In 2013, the Manchester-born and-based musician and singer/songwriter rejoined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the recording of Cave’s critically applauded Push the Sky Away and over the subsequent few years, Adamson was busy composing soundtracks and getting more involved in film; however, Adamson released Know Where to Run last year, an effort that found the renowned multimedia artist and multi-instrumentalist pushing his sound in a number of different directions with the album’s material drawing from film noir, pop standards, jazz, dub, trip-hop and indie rock — but in Adamson’s imitable style.
Adamson’s 8th EP, Love Sick Dick is slated for an April 14, 2017 release and reportedly the EP will thematically explore the deepest, inner workings of a lovelorn, sad sack bastard in all of his downhearted, paranoid, self-flagellation and grief paired with a sound that the renowned British artist and producer has dubbed “futuristic blues” — and as he explains in press notes, ‘The blues is the blues and if the heart aches then that’s the sound that will come out, whether you are playing guitar, a synth, a piano or performing futuristic guitar solos on your iPhone!” Of course, Love Sick Dick will also further cement Adamson’s reputation for writing, playing, sampling and recording every note, frequently employing the use of new technology to replicate his sound both in the studio and live.
Love Sick Dick’s second and latest single “They Walk Among Us” is a sultry and propulsive track in which Adamson’s husky baritone crooning is paired with a dance floor-friendly production featuring stomping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering arpeggio synths, ominously swirling electronics, a sinuous bass line and an infectious, ear worm of a hook to create a song that evokes the murkily foreboding, late night prowl of someone looking for action while being remarkably cinematic — as though it could easily be part of a soundtrack of a psychological horror film. Interestingly, as Adamson explained to the folks at Dangerous Minds the song and its accompanying, “‘They Walk Among Us’ explores the conviction of who or indeed what lies beneath the mask we present. The fantasy, the illusion, and all too often foreboding reality.”
Directed by Adamson himself, the recently released video also stars the Manchester, UK-born artist as a debonair English gentleman walking back to his flat, when he comes across a stunning woman, who he invites back to his place — but it ends with a horrible and bloody conclusion that hints at the fact that people aren’t what they seem or what they really are.
As I mentioned in a previous post, with today being International Women’s Day, it’s necessary and appropriate to spend some portion of the day both here and on Twitter honoring the female artists, musicians and producers that have inhabited the JOVM universe — and of course, to continuing to cover both new and sometimes established female artists, producers and musicians throughout the day as much as humanly possible.
Now, as you may recall over the past couple of years, the New York-based, Grammy-nominated electro pop duo Sofi Tukker have become JOVM mainstay artists while simultaneously seeing both critical and astronomical, commercial success with the release of the duo’s debut EP, Soft Animals. “Johnny,” off their critically applauded and commercially successful debut features a slick and sensual production featuring a looped sample of a sinuously languid guitar line, propulsive handclaps, boom bap-like beats and Hawley-Weld singing with a languorous and sultry Spanish accent. And while further cementing the duo’s reputation for crafting world music-inspired, accessible, dance floor-friendly pop, “Johnny” manages to arguably be their most seductive and boldly self-assured song off the EP.
The accompanying video, released in time for International Women’s Day features a trio of unapologetically bold women expressing themselves and their individuality — and having a shit ton of fun for not giving a single fuck about what anyone thinks of them; but importantly, these young ladies radiate with an infectious and undeniable vivaciousness
Miles Francis’ solo debut single “You’re a Star” employs mischievously complex and propulsive polyrhythm, bursts of jerky and motwinkling 8 bit Nintendo-like synths, a breezy and infectious hook wrapped around hushed and whispered vocals. And while clearly drawing from Afropop and Afrobeat, the song also seems to draw from Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, as well as contemporaries like Rubblebucket and others, “You’re a Star” sound like a bit of departure from Arntzen’s previously recorded work as the material possesses a darker and more ironic tone, as the song’s narrator is desperate for the greater validation that he may never actually see. In some way, it pokes fun at the musician’s life, darkly suggesting that maybe part of the endeavor is pointless and ridiculous.
Directed by Charles Billot, and featuring the Star Dancers, comprised of Magdalen Segale, Colin Fuller, Ashton Muniz, Matilda Nakamoto and Taner Van Kuren, as well as the Miles Francis backing band, comprised of Katherine Lieberson and Lizzie Lieberson, the recently released music video has the pop artist in a white, linen suit as he goes through a series of surreal, dream-like situations — including sitting in sparsely furnished apartment and on a beach with brightly costumed dancers moving to the song’s jerky instrumentation. And it ends with Miles Francis in the ocean, being overtaken by the waves. While being gorgeous, it’s surreal and is rife with several levels of symbolism left for the viewer to interpret in any way they felt fit.
Currently comprised of founding member Jan Petersen (guitars, vocals), along with Rune Randlev (bass) and Marco Bøgehøj (drums), the Aarhus, Denmark-based trio Shocking White have released three studio albums in which they’ve experimented with energetic post-punk, nihilistic No Wave and furious garage rock while the material’s backbone had always been decidedly noise rock. And although the act can trace its origins back to when Petersen founded the band in 2009, the band has started to receive attention across their native Denmark, the rest of Scandinavia and elsewhere over the past couple of years as the trio have played at Recession Festival, Pop Revo, Mejlgade for Mangfoldighed and Spot Festival. Adding to a growing profile, the band has toured across their native Denmark with Norwegian space rock act Kal-El and Canadian avant-garde punk act Alpha Strategy — and their “Tweet Scientists” 7 inch, which was released last may through Copenhagen-based label Tigermilk Records has received airplay on French and Canadian radio, and will be included on a compilation featuring internationally-based alternative rock/indie rock bands.
March 24, 2017 will mark the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Ghosting, an album that continues the band’s continuing collaboration with producer Rasmus Bredvig, who along with the members of the band, recorded the album in a frenzied 3 days at Arhus’ Tapetown Studio. And from Ghosting’s first single and album opening single “Into The Sun,” the band’s sound seems to draw from 90s grunge rock — i.e., Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana — as the Danish trio pairs power chords played through reverb and distortion pedals with a rousingly anthemic hook, a propulsive and chugging rhythm section and a playfully pop-leaning sense of melody while thematically focusing on a profound and palpable fear of death that gives the song an underlying sense of menace and unease.
The recently released video for the song features footage shot in color-treated film negatives which create an otherworldly, psychedelic feel to the proceedings while being reminiscent of the thousands of videos I’ve watched during 120 Minutes-era MTV.
Featuring co-founders and primary songwriters Shelley X and Chris Wild, GHXST is a New York-based noise rock/grunge rock/doom metal trio whose has publicly cited The Jesus and Mary Chain, White Zombie and Sonic Youth as their influences. And with their latest EP, Perish, the New York-based noise rock trio will further cement their reputation for crafting a noisy, shoegazer-like sound full of enormous power chords fed through layers upon layers of distortion and effects pedals, Shelley X’s bluesy croon — while being a subtle change in sound as the act employs the use of both obscured and distorted drum machine and some effects pedals on Shelley X’s vocals, as you’ll hear on the EP’s latest power chord, feedback laden, doom-filled dirge “Waiting for the Night.”
Directed by the members of the band, the video follows its primary duo wandering down a train line to a desolate, sleazy and decidedly American small town-based motel, where they broodingly sit around bored, waiting for something and nothing in their hotel room and in front of a projection screen featuring dusty, old images of the American West, before concluding with the duo driving along dirt-filled blacktop as the sun sets. And within both the song and its accompanying video, there’s a sense of restless energy and insomnia-filled, endless nights in seedy, fucked up and lonesome places.
With the release of her 2016 debut, Fading Light, Dutch singer/songwriter and musician Annelotte de Graaf quickly received international attention for her solo recording project Amber Arcades, a project that thematically drew from a variety of esoteric and familiar subjects — time and the relativistic experience of it, jet leg and her own dreams; in fact, following her own dreams has informed much of the Dutch singer/songwriter’s personal and creative life. Because she had always dreamt of working for the UN, de Graaf worked her way into a position as a legal aide on a UN war crime tribunal and human rights law, assisting Syrian refugees. She also used her life savings for a flight to NYC and studio time to record her debut with Ben Greenberg, who has worked with The Men, Beach Fossils and Destruction Unit, and a studio backing band that included Quilt’s Shane Butler (guitar) and Keven Lareau (bass) and Real Esate’s Jackson Pollis (drums).
Building upon the buzz that she received for Fading Lines and a Fall 2016 tour with renowned indie rock act Nada Surf, de Graaf will be releasing her debut’s highly-anticipated follow up Cannonball on June 2, 2017 and the EP will include the propulsive “It Changes,” a single that reveals a decided change in sonic direction for the Dutch singer/songwriter, as the song manages to sound as though it draws from post-punk and garage rock, thanks in part to angular guitar chords played through effects pedals and an anthemic hook paired with de Graaf’s crooning. As de Graaf explains in press notes, the song is ultimately about life’s temporal nature. “Everything changes, all the time,” de Graaf says in press notes. “You think that when starting something new you can kinda tell which way it will go, but you never do. I always try to aim for constancy and stability but things always get messier than I foresaw. And hey, maybe that’s actually what makes it worthwhile.” As a result, while the song possesses a hopeful yet realistic take on life; suggesting that the recognition of messiness and uncertainty being a part of life and something you can learn from.
Created by Ben Clarkson, the recently released lyric video features psychedelic-leaning animation depicting the passage of time superimposed over neon-treated negatives of a variety of imagery including a woman playing at the beach, the icy North Atlantic Ocean, spinning tops, couples holding hands and so on, along with bursts of the song’s lyrics. It emphasizes the song’s central theme while being a little mischievous.
Equally known as a co-founder of renowned and legendary hip-hop act Ultramagnetic MCs and for a lengthy and uncompromising solo career in which he has taken up a number of aliases and personas, while collaborating with an array of emcees and producers, Kool Keith is arguably one of hip-hop’s most unique and strangest artists as he’s spent his prolific recording career continually perfecting and expanding upon his inimitable flow, full of surreal and fantastical tangents, grimly violent and nightmarish imagery and pop cultural references while frequently and effortlessly switching perspectives, moods and points of view within the same song. Kool Keith’s latest effort, 2016’s Future Magnetic features the Bronx-born and-based emcee collaborating with Ras Kass, Atmosphere’s Slug, MF Doom, Dirt Nasty and a lengthy list of others.
Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the course of last year, you may recall that I wrote about album “World Wide Lamper,” a single consisting of a menacingly sparse and hypotonic production featuring twinkling synths, and subtly propulsive drum programming paired with Kool Keith, B.A.R.S. Murre and Dirt Nasty trading braggadocio-filled bars full of insane punchlines that make references to pop culture, the profane, the grisly violent and the surreal, and “Super Hero,” a collaboration with the renowned producer Madlib that featured a production consisting of wobbling, undulating synths, stuttering drum programming and looped chimes paired with Kool Keith crafting a warped, comic book world of eccentric and badass anti-heroes.
Future Magnetic’s latest single “Tired,” pairs an atmospheric and moody production featuring ethereal synths, wobbling low end and bursts bluesy guitar with Kool Keith and Edo. G rhyming about being world weary, under-appreciated, dealing with hateful, jealous people, of fucked up socioeconomic circumstances and industry bullshit, but while somehow still not losing the knowledge of what they’re worth and why they got into music in the first place — to express themselves and their irrepressible need to be creative at all costs. And in typical Kool Keith fashion, he does so with his imitable sense of wit and humor with Edo G. bringing in the
Directed by Wayne Campbell, the recently released, cinematically shot music video for “Tired” features some gorgeous footage of various parts of New York — in particular the F.D.R. near the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges, Kool Keith vamping and hanging out in a hotel room, Edo. G in a lonely, late night club and Keith and Edo on the streets. And while being a view of decadent lifestyle of the artists in question, there’s an underlying sadness to it all, as there’s a sense of lonely and weary people doing things to distract from their own loneliness and despair.