filous is the solo recording project of an up-and-coming and somewhat mysterious. 20-year-old, Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker known as Percy. Interestingly, the young Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker can trace the origins of his music career to a lifelong, incessant curiosity and need for discovery: when he was 10, he became proficient in dozens of instruments — and he immersed himself in a number of far-flung influences and sounds, including progressive jazz, country, bluegrass and black metal. However, he can trace the origins of his latest musical project to when he began teaching himself electronic music production via YouTube tutorials and experimenting on his own — with many of his earliest remixes coming from the artists he discovered while learning electronic production.

Since then, the up-and-coming Austrian has managed to amass over a quarter of a billion streams across YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify as a result of 11 Hype Machine number 1s and his debut EP Dawn topping the iTunes electronic charts in over 9 countries, including Switzerland, his native Austria, India and Russia — primarily as a solo artist. But after spending the past couple of years living and writing in Vienna, helping to push the city’s growing electronic music scene into new directions, the young producer eventually began to open up to collaborating with others, with the end result being his latest EP, For Love, which features a batch of his first co-written tracks, including the EP’s latest single “Already Gone,” which finds the Austrian producer collaborating with singer/songwriter Emily Warren, who has written songs for and has collaborated with The Chainsmokers and FRENSHIP.

Sonically, the song features Warren’s plaintive and delicate vocals ethereally floating over a production featuring arpeggiated synths, softly plucked acoustic guitar and gently swirling electronics paired with a soaring hook; but what makes the song interesting to me is that filous’ production manages to be simultaneously intimate and cinematic, radio-friendly and make-out session necessary.



Initially formed as a full-fledged band featuring production duo and founding members Matteo Iannella and Jeroen van Leeuwen, the Amsterdam-based electro pop act Single Pilot can trace their origins to when Ianella and Leeuwen met while studying at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. As a full band, the act were finalists in the Dutch music competition De Grote Prijs van Nederland in 2015, which expanded their national profile; however, since then, the project has gone through both a massive lineup shuffling and a radical change of sonic direction with the act’s founding duo leaning heavily towards a contemporary electro pop sound while collaborating with guest vocalists. Interestingly, both as a full-fledged band and as a duo, the act has seen commercial success — “Miracles” was featured on Dutch Spotify’s New Music Friday, Hot New Dance Tracks, Hot New Pop Tracks, and Hip-Hop/R&B/Dancehall Flavors playlists and reached #16 on the Viral 50; along with that, the track landed at #6 on the iTunes Electronic chart.


“Magic,” the Dutch electro pop duo’s latest single, finds the band collaborating with Avi on Fire‘s creative mastermind and vocalist Bram Wesdorp, and the single is a slickly produced, radio friendly, club-banger consisting of tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of arpeggio synths and a sinuous bass line paired with the sort of rousingly anthemic hooks reminiscent of St. Lucia, Passion Pit and others.



This past weekend has been a very busy one for me, as I’ve taken part in a Baby Robot Media hosted Mondo.NYC panel titled “Your First PR Campaign” and I’ve managed to cover some of the festival — while squeezing in my beloved New York Yankees, who have managed to get into the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. There will be more on Mondo.NYC in the future; but in the meantime, let’s get to some music, eh?

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. And interestingly enough, Rose has been considered a controversial and restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were beginning to attain some measure of success. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you may recall that Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens. Album single “Dyson Sphere” managed to sound as though it owed a debt to 80s New Wave — in particular A Flock of Seagulls I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’Israel” and “Happy House,” immediately came to my mind.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest.” And if there’s one thing the Frankie Rose cover should do two things: remind contemporary listeners that a great song can truly be timeless and that The Cure should be considered one of the more important bands of the 1980s.






Ted Feighan is a Cleveland, OH-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, electronic music artist and visual artist, whose solo recording project Monster Rally is inspired by vintage exotica and tropical imagery — and with Monster Rally, Feighan has developed a reputation for a sound centered around collaged samples collected from his vast vinyl archives.

Flowering Jungle, Feighan’s forthcoming Monster Rally album is slated for a December 15, 2017 release through Gold Robot Records, and the album is reportedly inspired by the sounds, visuals and animals of roughly half a century’s with of travel and nature documentaries, and reportedly the album was written as a sort of companion piece to exploring new and exotic landscapes, wildlife and communities. And the album’s artwork, devised by Feighan, who specializes in found paper collages will also reportedly mirror the concept by featuring portraits of jungle birds in flower-adorned “nests” superimposed over the abstracted flag of the “flowering jungle.”  But more importantly for this site, the album’s first single “Sunny Sloth” is a breezy yet slickly produced song centered around a series of looped, lush and shimmering guitar chords, stuttering boom-bap drum programming and trippy psych rock-like hooks. And while subtly kaleidoscopic, the song lushness evokes rainwater hitting against verdant greenery and the incredible array of colorful animals you’d come across.


New Video: The Bronx Release a Frenetic New Video to Accompany Their Breakneck New Single “Sore Throat”

Currently comprised of founding members Matt Caughtran (vocals, guitar) and Joby J. Ford (guitar), along with Ken Horne (guitar), Brad Magers (bass) and David Hidalgo, Jr. (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based punk rock quintet The Bronx can trace their origins back to 2002 when the band formed with founding members Caughtran and Ford, with James Tweedy (bass) and Jorma Vik (drums)  — and after their first live set, the band quickly caught the attention Jonathan Daniel, who manages American Hi-Fi, and who became their manager. By their second live show, the band had attracted the attention of A&R reps from several major labels — and by their 12th live show ever, they had signed a contract with Island Def Jam Music Group; however, the band felt that they weren’t ready to record for a major label, so they formed their own label to release their own early releases including a 2002 demo Sure Death, their first official single “Bats!” and their Gilby Clarke-produced, self-titled full-length debut. Building upon the early buzz they received, the band promptly followed up with the La Muerte Viva EP as well as tours of the States and Australia.

2006’s self-titled debut was the band’s major label debut and it featured attention-grabbing singles “History’s Stranglers,” “White Guilt” and “Shitty Future.” The Dragons’ Ken Horne contributed some guitar to the album, and he soon joined the band as their second guitarist. And despite the lineup changes, the band has released five full-length albums of blistering and gritty punk, including their most recent album V and interestingly enough three albums of mariachi under the name Mariachi El Bronx.

The Rob Schanpf-produced V, which was released last month, has managed to be their most commercially successful effort to date as it debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200, #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #27 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart. Despite the early commercial success of the album, as the band’s Joby Ford says in press notes “[The album] has the angst and social commentary that has characterized us from the beginning, only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.”  As result, album single “Sore Throat” may arguably be one of the most explosive and furious rock songs I’ve come across this year, as it features blistering power chords, thundering drumming, howled vocals and breakneck, shout and mosh worthy hooks — and perhaps unsurprisingly, the song reminds me of Plague Vendor’s excellent BLOODSWEAT in the sense that every time I’ve played it, I want to hear it as loud as humanly possible and in a room of sweaty friends and strangers losing our minds.

The recently released video is a wild and frenetic take on 80s post apocalyptic sci fi movies, complete with the static and wavering screens but cut with footage of the band playing sweaty and primal sets. 

Founded by production and songwriting duo Daniel Collas and Sean Marquand, along with a rotating cast of friends and collaborators that included Aurelio Valle, Carol C., Jaleel Bunton, Jon Spencer, Lady Tigra, Patrick Wood, Luke Riverside, Laura Martin, Bing Ji Ling, Pier Pappalardo and Joan Tick, the Brooklyn-based psych soul act The Phenomenal Handclap Band formed in 2009 and received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with the release of 2012’s sophomore effort, Form and Control.

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve written about Phenomenal Handclap band, as Collas with Morgen Phalen and members of Stockholm, Sweden-based bands Dungen and The Amazing formed the cosmic jazz, jazz fusion, prog rock and psych pop-inspired act Drakkar Nowhere, who caught my attention with the release of their gorgeous, self-titled full-length debut last year. And in this iteration of The Phenomenal Handclap Band, the project’s founding member Collas is collaborating with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Juliet Swango, who’s perhaps best known as a member of teen band The Rondelles on the double A side single “Traveler’s Prayer”/”Stepped Into the Light,” which Daptone Records imprint Magnifreeq released today — and unsurprisingly, “Traveler’s Prayer” will further cement Callas long-held reputation for a sound that draws from psych pop, psych rock, Northern soul, prog rock and krautrock, and while clearly sounding as though it were released during the era of 70s AM rock, it possesses a clean, hyper modern production sheen and a breezy, disco-like vibe.






Q&A with Kainalu A.K.A. Trent Prall

Trent Prall is a Southern California-born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter whose solo recording project Kainalu derives its name for the Hawaiian word for “ocean wave,” and interestingly enough the music Prall has created over the past decade or so draws from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk and from childhood trips to Oahu, Hawaii visiting his mother’s family to create a breezy and retro-futuristic sound that he’s dubbed Hawaii-fi, as a homage to his Hawaiian roots and their influence on him.

“Love Nebula” Prall’s latest single immediately brings to my mind Tame Impala, Toro y Moi,  Shawn Lee’s Synthesizers in Space, AM and Shawn Lee’s La Musique Numerique and Lee’s split album with Tim “Love” Lee New York Trouble/Electric Progression as the song is centered around shimmering analog synths, a sinuous bass line and copious amounts of cowbell; but underneath the breezy and summery groove is a bittersweet yearning both for a sense of belonging – and for someone.

I recently chatted with the up-and-coming, Southern California-born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter via email about how much Hawaii has influenced him and his music, his musical influences, the new single and more. Check out the Q&A below.



WRH: How did you get into music? And when did you know it was your calling? 

TK: Both of my parents are creatives/musicians so I was surrounded by instruments for longer than I can remember. My dad always tells this funny story about how he would put some headphones onto my mom’s stomach while I was in the womb and blast Earth Wind and Fire haha…. I don’t know if that did anything but I still love EW&F …

WRH: From what I understand, you were born and raised in Hawaii and are now currently based in Wisconsin (which probably is one of the biggest cultural shifts I can think of while still being in this country). How was it like growing up in Hawaii? And how much have your formative years in Hawaii influenced your sound and overall aesthetic?

TK: I wasn’t actually born in Hawaii, I’m from Southern California but my mother’s family, extended and all, lives in Hawaii and so I would spend the majority of my summers there. I moved around the country a lot in my formative years and so I didn’t have a real “home base” growing up. The only constant was Hawaii. Those summers really had a lasting influence on me and the music I write. I was introduced to Hawaiian music early… a popular genre of music in the islands is called Jawaiian music which is a fusion of reggae and Hawaiian sounds, very groove-centric.

However, I think the ocean and the peace I feel with it is the biggest influence on my music. The ocean really feels like home to me… playing and later relaxing on the beaches of Oahu are my most cherished memories. I would grow each year but the beaches never changed, I’m not sure why but I love that concept, it’s very tranquil to me and I try to capture that feeling with Kainalu. Kainalu actually means ocean wave in Hawaiian

WRH: You’ve dubbed your sound “Hawaii-fi.” What does that comprise of? And how does that differ from say, dream pop or psych pop?

TK: I honestly am not a fan of naming genres because in my mind every artist is unique in their own way. From the point of view of describing the music to other listeners I understand why genre names exist, but I think it forces preconceived ideas on the listening experience. So I honestly just made it up because the music was heavily influenced by my love of Hawaii and my memories there. More specific, I think tropical psych music is Hawaii-fi. But yeah, it could very well be psych pop or dream pop, I think people who enjoy the music should decide how to describe it and I’ll gladly take the tag that’s given.

WRH: Who are your influences? 

TK: [I] live for psych rock and Motown. So Tame Impala, Toro y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra on one side and Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, etc. more recently though I’ve been taking a deep dive into bossa nova, Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz are getting to me in such a good way.

 WRH: What is the influence behind your latest single? 

 TK: “Love Nebula” was written because I wanted to write a heavy bass driven song. I started on the piano but bass is my favorite to play. Once I had the instruments laid out I wanted to write the lyrics about wanting to be wanted. Through middle and high school, I was bullied a lot about my race, it’s kind of fucked up… it made my cultural identity confusing as a child. This song was written to be a sort of reclaiming of my identity and confidence… but the reclaiming comes in the form of wanting to be desired by a love interest

WRH: What’s next for you?

TK: I’m about half way done with my next release, once it’s done I’m ready to tour.


Currently comprised of founding member Alex Tebeleff (vocals, synth, guitar) and newest members Matt Dowling (vocals, bass), Rick Irby (guitar) and Danny Bentley (drums), the Washington, DC-based psych rock act Paperhaus have released 5 EPs. including 2013’S LoHiLo EP, which garnered attention from NPR and the Washington Post and was supported with a two month two that included a NYC area stop. Building upon the buzz they had received, the band’s 2015 full-length debut premiered on NPR First Listen. Along with their full-length debut, the band played at that year’s SXSW, played a headlining, album release show at DC’s famed 9:30 Club and received coverage from Brooklyn VeganUSA Today, NPR’s All Songs Considered and several others.

Now, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written about the Washington, DC-based psych rock act, but the band’s latest effort, Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? officially drops later today, and the album which was recorded and co-produced by Peter Larkin at his Alexandria, VA-based studio The Lighthouse reportedly marks a major turning point for the band, as the album’s title and material urges the listener to ask questions about their surrounding world — while focusing on our increasing reliance on technology, a craving for nature and the natural world, the return and increasing rise of authoritarian ideas and the division it creates for people, and what all of this means for human relationships. In fact, the album’s latest single “Told You What To Say” sonically features shimmering and wobbling synths paired with a strutting bass line and a soaring hook in an expansive song structure that possesses elements of psych rock, prog rock and post punk — all while reportedly pointing out that history has a way of echoing and paralleling itself. But unless we make vital connections between the past and present, we’re not only doomed to repeat the past, we’re doomed to repeat it — without ever knowing why or how to stop it.






Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past two years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on Blonde Maze, the solo recording project of New York-based electronic music artist, producer and singer/songwriter Amanda Steckler. And over that two year period, Steckler has seen a growing profile for crafting slickly produced and atmospheric synth pop — although over the course of her last few singles, including “Antarctica,” Steckler’s sound has increasingly been centered around twinkling piano, percussive and buoyant marimbas, layered vocals and propulsive, house music-like hooks.

It’s been a little over a year since the release of the aforementioned “Antarctica,” and although I haven’t written about new Blonde Maze material — until now, that is — Steckler been rather busy, writing and recording new material, much of which will appear on an EP slated for release in 2018. “Thunder,” the as of yet unnamed EP’s first single continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor but with a gauzier and much more wistful vibe over the passing of time. As Steckler explains in press notes, “To me ‘Thunder’ is about growing and changing with someone. You start to miss older times with them, but you also acknowledge that the growth has made them an inseparable part of your heart. Sometimes, with a relationship’s maturity, you lose your patience more, you let your guard down, and you get hurt, but the beauty of this maturity is that there becomes no one else in the world you are as comfortable growing with.”