Category: women who kick ass

 

Sophie Colette is an up-and-coming Brooklyn-based indie pop artist. Initially relocating to New York to pursue fashion design, Colette pivoted her ambitions to music after being scouted at a high school reunion by The Party Faithful‘s bassist. About month later, Colette wound up contributing vocals, keys and synth for the band, playing with the band at venues across the New York metropolitan area. Interestingly, during that time she met Degraw Sound producer Ben Rice, who she later presented with a stack of sketchbooks filled with lyrics and visual palettes, which eventually became the genesis of her solo work.

“Tonite,” off her debut EP Strangers and Lovers was featured at Jasmine Chong’s runway presentation to the editors of VogueWWD, Elle and others during 2017’s New York Fashion Week. Selected footage from her Stephen Dirkes-directed music video for “Get Close’ was nominated for Best Creative Concept, Art Direction and Visual Effects at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival. And building upon a growing profile, Colette supported Strangers and Lovers with a European tour with Berlin-based indie-folk project The Crystal Elephant.

Since then the New York-based indie pop artist has released a handful of shimmering pop singles that have caught the attention of the blogosphere, including my dear friends at Glamglare and elsewhere, as well as airplay on French radio station Déclic Radio 101.1FM. Her latest single “Would You Like It?” continues an ongoing run of dreamy synth pop centered around Colette’s plaintive and vulnerable vocals, a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook. But underneath the slick disco-tinged production, the song’s narrator is plagued by a familiar self-doubt — the self-doubt that comes about when you’ve fallen for someone and you can’t quite figure out if you should tell that person how you feel. Putting your heart on the line is nerve racking in itself; but the possibility of rejection seems like the end of your world. 

“I fell in love – again. It took me a while to admit that to myself, and even longer to figure out how to handle it,” Colette explains in press notes. “It’s such a vulnerable, intense, confusing, and heart-shaking experience, compounded by the risk of rejection. What if it’s just a fabricated mind game and completely unrequited? When should I say something, if at all? I was overwhelmed and having conversations with myself on what to do and how to say it, and writing this song was a way to get out of my head and connect with reality. No more hiding.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Colette’s single “Would You Like It?” – slated for July 19, 2019 release – explores the emotional dilemma of deciding whether or not to tell someone how you feel – namely, that you’ve fallen in love. Produced by Ben Rice (The Candles, Elliot & The Ghost, Queue) at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, New York, the track builds from a simple chord progression to a dreamy holographic soundscape, supporting Colette’s lyrical love letter with layers of vocal effects, electronic keys, guitars, and a driving pulse. 

“I fell in love – again. It took me a while to admit that to myself, and even longer to figure out how to handle it. It’s such a vulnerable, intense, confusing, and heart-shaking experience, compounded by the risk of rejection. What if it’s just a fabricated mind game and completely unrequited? When should I say something, if at all? I was overwhelmed and having conversations with myself on what to do and how to say it, and writing this song was a way to get out of my head and connect with reality. No more hiding.” 

Sophie will support “Would You Like It?” with a music video directed by Karina Vidal, and performances at festival showcases this summer – Independent Venue Week in July in New York City, and Degraw Fest Unplugged at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, New York on August 2 at 6:00pm. 

“Would You Like It?” is the latest in a series of singles from Colette. Her most recent release “Version,” an intimate cinematic track inspired by a toxic relationship, premiered on Asymmetric Magazine for its “dreamy, lush sound [and] captivating vocals,” and has been compared to Tangerine Dream by Sound Thread Music Blog for its “gently pulsing, down-tempo atmosphere.” “Version” was added to TuneCore’s Spotify playlist, “TuneCore Presents: Music Made Me,” and aired on indie French radio station Déclic Radio 101.1FM alongside Dido, upon release. Her live debut at New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall cemented “Version” as “Colette’s most stunning work to date.” (glamglare

Colette’s former releases have premiered on influential blogs such as Popdust, glamglare and CelebMix. Her single “Run Around,” released in late 2018 about challenging lip service in relationships, was selected as glamglare’s “song pick of the day,” and lauded by Emerging Indie Bands as an emotionally intense track with a “wistful melancholic…romantic demeanour…a testament to both composition and vocal ability.” 

Her single “That Kind Of Love,” which Colette released to coincide with her summer performance at Degraw Fest 2018, has been featured by media platform ULTRA as the exclusive soundtrack for their videos. 

Previous tracks have aired on indie French radio station Déclic Radio 101.1FM and playlisted at New York Fashion Week, and her accompanying short films have received nominations and acclaim from fashion film festivals including the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

 

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Madison, WI-based punk act The Hussy formed back in 2008 as a duo fronted by Bobby Hussy (guitar, vocals) and Heather Hussy (drums, vocals). The duo quickly developed a reputation for a trashy and scuzzy take on punk and for a chaotic live show that wound up with the duo playing shows alongside a who’s who list of indie rock and punk — including Mudhoney, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Twin Peaks, Reigning Sound, Spectrum, Black Bananas, Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, The Faint, Tenement and countless others. All of that helped the band gain a cult-like following across the Midwestern underground scene.

During the incredibly prolific period of 2009 and 2015, in which the band released material material through over 20 different labels and in countless different formats, the duo relentlessly toured across the US and Europe, even playing Gonerfest after the release of their beloved sophomore album 2012’s Weed Seizure. Interestingly, also during that period, the band pulled double duty as the opener and backing band for NOBUNNY through tours of the States, Australia and New Zealand. And since then, the band’s founding duo have split time between The Hussy and other creative pursuits. Bobby Hussy has continued to tour with NOBUNNY off and on as his touring bassist.  He plays in Fire Heads with Tyler Fassnacht, who recently joined The Hussy to help further flesh out their live sound.  And lastly, Bobby Hussy is also a member of synth wave post-punk act Cave Curse, who released a full-length in 2017. Heather Hussy’s side project Proud Parents released their full-length album through Dirtnap Records last year.

At the end of last year, the members of the newly constituted trio began tracking their forthcoming full-length album Looming, the follow-up to 2015’s Galore. Galore saw the and moving into a much more focused direction with their songwriting that included much more complex arrangements paired with mid-fi production — and while this was  decided evolution in their sound, they managed to retain their knack for crafting infectious pop-leaning hooks. Looming however, finds the band thematically going in a defiantly darker direction as it touches upon death and sudden loss, divorce, addition and our depressing and horrifying political moment.

The album’s latest single “Coast” begins with a deceptive and upbeat intro featuring plinking and chiming chords before quickly turning into a scuzzy, power-chord based ripper — with an infectious, shout along worthy hooks and a playful melody underneath it all. Interestingly, the song is a perfect example of the album’s darker thematic concerns as it’s a pissed off tell off toward someone you want to just leave you alone.

The new album is slated for a September 27, 2019 release through Dirtnap Records and the band will be embarking on US and European tours to support it. Check out the current tour dates and be on the lookout for more.

Tour Dates

August 17th Madison, WI @ Crystal Corner (w/ Sweet Jap, Choke Chains, Dumb Vision)
September 13th Minneapolis, MN at 7th Street Entry
September 14th Madison, WI @ Mickeys (w/ Werewolf Jones)
September 21st Fayetteville, AR @ Backspace
September 23rd Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
September 24th New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
September 25th Hattiesburg, LA @ House Show
September 26th – Memphis, TN at Hi Tone – Gonerfest 16
More Dates TBA!

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Philadelphia’s King Britt Teams Up with Low for a Lovingly Subtle Industrial Remix of “Fly”

Currently comprised of founding members, and married couple Alan Sparhawk (guitar, vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums) along with Steve Garrington (bass), the Duluth, MN-based critically applauded indie rock trio Low initially formed back in 1993 — and although they’ve had their share of lineup changes, the trio have developed a reputation for being pioneers of a subgenre commonly called slowcore, which focuses on slowed down tempos and minimalist arrangements, centered around the gorgeous and achingly earnest harmonies of Sparhawk and Parker. While the band’s members have largely disapproved of the term slowcore, they’ve managed to eventually shrug off its strictures, recording a beloved Christmas album, as well as having a long-held reputation for a magnetic and powerful stage show. 

Last year, the band celebrated its 25th anniversary together and instead of comfortably going on a victory lap or even resting on the laurels of past accolades and achievements, the band released what may arguably be their most uncompromisingly defiant, brazenly abrasive, challenging and yet gorgeous album in their catalog to date, the B.J. Burton-produced Double Negative. The album, which continued their ongoing collaboration with the producer of Ones and Sixes found the band desiring to go even further with Burton’s aesthetic and sonic palette, to see what someone, who as Sparhawk has described as “a hip-hop guy” could really do with their music. 

Instead of obsessively writing, revising and rehearsing in Duluth, as they normally would do before heading to the studio, the members of Low went down to Eau Claire, WI with rough ideas and sketches that they would work with Burton on in what may arguably be among the most collaborative writing sessions with a producer they’ve ever had. During those sessions, Burton and Low would spend their time building pieces up, breaking them up, breaking them down again and building up again until the material found its proper purpose and force. Although it took them two years to write and record, Double Negative may arguably be considered — by future generations — as a document of our current sociopolitical moment — loud, contentious, chaotic, abrasive, jarring. The material finds Sparhawk’s and Parker’s vocals desperately fighting against an overwhelming tide of noise, other times submerged beneath it. And while the material is a decided and radical sonic departure, the band maintains the gorgeous and achingly heartfelt quality that’s their trademark. 

One of the album’s many standout tracks “Fly” is an eerily atmospheric yet stunning gorgeous track in which Mimi Parker’s vocals float ethereally over a bed of gently swirling, fluttering and glitchy electronics, shimmering guitars and twinkling keys.  The members of Low are about to embark on a relatively short tour that will include two New York area dates, September 13, 2019 at Basilica Hudson and September 14, 2019 at Murmrr — and just before their tour, they released a remix by Philadelphia-based producer and DJ King Britt. Interestingly, the King Britt remix continues the abrasive yet ethereal quality of the original and Mimi Parker’s gorgeous vocals while adding a decidedly industrial electro pop quality to the proceedings It’s a loving take on the material that’s one part continuation of the original’s intent and purpose, one part loving conversation between the remixer and the band. “As a longtime Low fan, a huge amount of respect went into the mix,” King Britt says of his remix. ” I loved their new sonic direction, which spoke to my Fhloston Paradigm project. My mix was a response and continuation in a way of a magical space they already created. Mimi Parker’s vocals were some of her best. A true honor.” 

New Audio: Ghost Funk Orchestra Latest Single and Video Evokes the Awkwardness of Having a Crush

Founded and led by composer, arranger and producer Seth Applebaum, the New York-based psych rock act Ghost Funk Orchestra initially began as a lo-fi recording project in 2014. Since their formation, the project has grown into full-fledged, 11 member unit that has become an up-and-coming prescience in the city’s psych rock and soul scenes — and that shouldn’t be surprising, as their sound draws from an eclectic array of sources including salsa, surf rock, Afobeat, stoner rock and others. 

Slated for an August 23, 2019 release through Colemine Records, the up-and-coming soul acts forthcoming full-length debut, A Song For Paul was conceived as a tribute to Applebaum’s late grandfather Paul Anish, a figure, who played an immense role in the Ghost Funk Orchestra founder and bandleader’s life. While the songs reportedly don’t address Paul Anish directly, the creative process for the album and the decisions made during it were meant to convey what Anish’s presence felt like for Seth — a stern yet loving, native New Yorker. For Applebaum, accurately capturing his grandfather’s essence meant expanding the arrangements much further than what he has done in the past, including crafting more comprehensive horn arrangements, as well as working with a string section for the first time in his career. 

A Song For Paul’s latest single “Seven Eight” is an angular and awkwardly lurching song that’s centered around an unusual time signature (7/8 time), a looping Tropicalia-like guitar line, ethereal vocals, an explosive and expressive horn arrangement, which gives the song a quirky yet cinematic air. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Radiohead’s “15 Step” and to Gorillaz “5/4,” the song evokes the drunken swoon of having a crush. As the band’s Seth Applebaum explains “Seven Eight is a song about having a crush. When writing the song, we chose an awkward time signature because having a crush will make anyone feel a little awkward.” 

Starring Romi Hanoch, the recently released video for “Seven Eight” relies heavily on found footage from old medical films, liquid light projections from Drippy Eye Projections thrown into a visual that has a decidedly film noir-ish feel. “The music video relies heavily on found footage, specifically pulled from old medical films that depict the beauty and chaos of the human body and its internal functions,” Seth Applebaum explains. “In addition, we were fortunate enough to have our friends at Drippy Eye Projections provide us with some incredible liquid light visuals to further the narrative of chemistry.”

Last year, I wrote quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based shoegaze duo Parrot Dream. And as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Santiago, Chile-born, Brooklyn-based Christina Hansen Appel (vocals, keys) and Gonzalo Guererro (guitar) was formed back in 2013 — and after relocating to Brooklyn, the duo developed a reputation for crafting sprawling and shimmering and hazy soundscapes that have amassed more than 500,000 Spotify streams. 

Good Eye Records released the Chilean-born, Brooklyn-based duo’s full-length debut, Light Goes last year. Written and recorded over a two year period, the material on the duo’s full-length debut touched upon themes of connection, love, memory and clarity.  “Woven,” the first bit of new material from the band since the release of their full-length debut was originally written and recorded during the Light Goes sessions but was cut from the album. However, it’ll be included on the album’s follow-up effort, Light Goes: B-Sides EP. Centered around shimmering synths, towering layers of reverb-drenched guitar, propulsive drumming, Hansen Appel’s plaintive and longing vocals and an enormous hook, the towering, classic shoegaze-inspired track finds the band writing some of their most ambitious material of their growing catalog. Thematically, the song is a love song full of aching longing that simultaneously finds the band asking some of life’s larger questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sis is a Berkeley, CA-based indie pop project that features singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and Native Cat Recordings founder Jenny Gillespie Mason and Meernaa‘s husband and wife duo Carly Bond and Rob Shelton. The trio’s sophomore album Gas Station Roses will be officially dropping and its latest single “Night From Scratch” is an atmospheric and dreamy track centered around shimmering synths, thumping kick drum, a fluttering flute melody and ethereal vocals. And while evoking rippling and bubbling waters, the track — to my ears, at least —  manages to be deceptively anachronistic: the song manages to nod at breezy 70s AM rock and Sade.

 

 

 

Initially began as the solo recording project of Seattle-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natasha El-Sergany that focused on spectral balladry and late-night exploration, the Seattle-based shoegazer project Somesurprises has gradually expanded into a full-fledged band featuring Josh Medina (guitar, synth), Laura Seniow (bass) and Nico Sophiea (drums) since the release of the project’s 2016 debut effort Voice Memos

2017 found El-Sergany collaborating with Josh Medina for the ambient album Serious Dreams, an effort that was released to critical applause from the likes of The Quietus, Bandcamp, The StrangerSeattle Weekly and Tiny Mixtapes. The following year, the project expanded to a full band with the addition of MX-80 Sound’s Nico Sophiea aend Red Ribbon‘s Emma Danner (bass) for that year’s Alt, an effort that Aquarium Drunkard compared to “an imaginary collaboration between Grouper and Spiritualized.” Interestingly, the band started off this year with a collaborative split tape with fellow Seattle-based act Supercandy, some candy that featured contributions from Brenan Chambers, Lori Goldston, Monika Khott and Ambrosia Bardos, who added layers of guitar effects, cello, vocals and trumpet.

The band has built up a strong profile in their hometown, opening for the likes of Circuit Des Yeux, Carla dal Forno, A Place to Bury Strangers and The Cave Singers — and they’ve toured the West Coast. Building upon a growing profile, the band will be releasing their self-titled full-length debut through Drawing Room Records. Slated for a September 20, 2019 release, the Seattle-based sheogazers self-title full-length finds the band exploring a wide range of styles from intensifying meditative drones to songs, where the same moment never quite happens twice. And unlike their previously released material, the vocals and lyrics are much more focused — with the material thematically longing for and seeking knowledge of the self, to guide the way out of one’s own mind.
Clocking in a little over five minutes, “High Rise,” the latest single off the Seattle-based shoegazers forthcoming full-length, self-titled  album is an expansive and shapeshifting song that begins with a pensive and slow-burning, shimmering intro that slowly builds up into an explosive power chord and motorik groove driven middle section. The song then closes out with a pensive and slow-burning, shimmering coda to close off a mind-bending and expansive song that sounds like the perfect accompaniment to experimenting with hallucinogens.

 

 

New Video: Follow Up-and-Coming Aussie Act Sunscreen on a Nostalgic and Hazy Journey on Sydney Commuter Trains

Sunscreen is a Sydney, Australia-based up-and-coming dream pop/garage rock act, featuring Sarah Sykes, Alexander McDonald, Hugo Levingston and Oliver Ellis. With the release of their attention-grabbing debut EP 2017’s Just A Drop, the Sydney, Australia-based quartet rapidly developed a national profile, opening for the likes of DMAs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Jen Cloher and Ali Barter and playing sets at Farmer & The Owl and Grampians Music Festival. 

Building upon a growing profile, Sunscreen’s forthcoming Simon “Berkfinger” Berkelman-produced sophomore EP High Over Love finds the band crafting material that reportedly reflects the psyche of a romantically confused young person trying to survive in the big city. Written over the course of the past couple of years, the EP explores and touches upon romantic idealization, heartache and self-possession with a frank and earnest vulnerability. 

The EP’s first single, EP title track “High Over Love” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting shimmering, hook-driven and earnest guitar pop — and while nodding at The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde, the track focuses on a narrator that’s reeling from a confusing and uncertain love.  

Directed and shot by Madeleine Purdy, the recently released video for “High Over Love” is a nostalgic and hazy ode to the the band’s hometown that features the band’s Sarah Sykes commuting to and fro on Sydney commuter trains. We see Sykes riding trains daydreaming and trying to sleep — essentially attempting to escape for just a little bit. In fact, she manages to escape so much that she winds up dancing and performing with her bandmates without anyone noticing. (Sounds a bit like New York doesn’t it?) The video according to the band’s Sykes portrays “the concepts of invasion of privacy, and feelings of desire to escape in a setting that is familiar: the everyday commute on Sydney trains.” 

“With this video, we didn’t want to venture into a fantasy music video world — the band wanted to make something unapologetically Sydney,” Madeline Purdy adds in press notes. “The video is awash with nostalgia immediately, I think because of the rarity of the shooting style and performance. We spent all day on trains: just the band, myself, the shooter Ash Pepper and a camcorder, with no lights or tripod. As the hours went by, the comfort of such familiar liminal spaces — stations, carriages — really emerged. On a public train there are no airs, no pretence – we were just a bunch of people with a camera and a song shuttling through the city like everyone else.”