Girls in Synthesis is a rather mysterious London, UK-based punk rock trio, who formed last year with a specific intent and purpose — to aurally represent the noise and violence of the modern world. And within a relatively short period of time, the trio developed a reputation for playing riotous live sets with Cherry Glazerr and Fat White Family side project, Revenue, that include lengthy and intense periods of noise and feedback, band members jumping off the stage and into the audience, garbled Dictaphone-era audio featuring dialogue from the British government’s Protect and Survive nuclear war video, Orson Welles’ speech from The Trial and audio from the Heaven’s Gate’s suicide video.

Building upon their growing profile across London, the British trio released their debut double A side single “The Mound”/”Disappear” today — and from their latest single, “Disappears,” the band captures the frenetic energy of their live sets while pairing almost metronomic-like drumming with sizzling and slashing guitar chords and a propulsive and forceful bass line with punchy, shouted lyrics. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from Entertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four and Elastica‘s self- titled debut album, complete with prerequisite cynical sneering and a primal fury.

Madeleine Dopico is an up-and-coming Sleepy Hollow, NY-born, Brooklyn, NY-based singer/songwriter, who has received a bit of attention over the past 12-18 months or so — “Nice Boy,” which she released late last year has received just under 220,000 Spotify streams and with the release of her latest single “Me to Bleed,” the Sleepy Hollow-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has begun to receive press from both sides of the pond. Adding to a growing profile, Dopico has performed at some of the area’s most renowned and beloved venues including a residency at Piano’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

 

 

Just on the heels of her set at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spoke to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter in a playful and revealing interview about a variety of subjects including some of the following:

  • the stories and influences behind her three biggest, attention-grabbing singles “Nice Boy,” “Done,” which is one of my personal favorites and her latest single “Made to Bleed”
  • how she could trace her love of music, singing and performing to being a 3 year old, who one day burst into the 4-year-olds’ daycare class and began singing “This Land is Your Land,” complete with a mic drop-like moment
  • what she ascribes to her early successes and the role her supporters have played in it
  • the careful and deliberate ways she attempts to set herself apart from a very crowded and competitive music scene
  • her songwriting process, along with her influences
  • her recent listening, which has included a deeper foray into hip-hop, along with some suggestions by yours truly
  • the moment she took the biggest risk of her life — quitting a successful and secure day job and began focusing on music
  • and much more

Just based on this young artist’s earnestness and determination to succeed, along with pop star belter vocals, I think that 2017 will be a huge year for Dopico. Check out the interview.

Speakman Sound is a somewhat mysterious Glastonbury, UK-based sibling production and electronic music artist duo, Todd and Guy. As the story goes, the Glastonbury-based sibling production and artist duo spent their childhood in the Glastonbury area immersed in music through their father, a well-known and highly-regarded guitarist, who was heavily involved in the psychedelic music scene. When the duo were teens, they immersed themselves in Somerset‘s rave and drum ‘n’ bass culture, which has influenced their sound quite a bit — although their latest single “Pangea” finds the duo pairing shimmering and ambient synths with thudding, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end and explosively funky drumming possess a cosmic glow, all while nodding at Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk and The Chemical Brothers‘ “Star Guitar.

 

New Video: The Comic Visuals for Old 97’s “Good with God”

Comprised of primary songwriter Rhett Miller (vocals, guitar), Murry Hammond (bass), Ken Bethea (guitar) and Philip Peeples (drums), the members of renowned alt-country quartet Old 97s can trace their origins back to their formation in Dallas, TX back in 1993. Initially, a very popular band in Dallas’ scene, the band quickly caught the attention Bloodshot Records, who released Wreck Your Life, which later caught the attention of the folks at Elektra Records, who signed the band in the hopes that the then-Dallas-based quartet, along with bands like Uncle Tupelo, Drive-by-Truckers, Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Bottle Rockets and others, which were at the forefront of the alt-country sound would be the next big thing after grunge’s decline. However, unfortunately for both Elektra and the members of Old 97s, despite receiving a fair amount of critical applause, the band and its sound didn’t quite catch on commercially in the way that the label expected, and they were subsequently dropped from the label.

And although being dropped from a major label, can have a devastating impact on a band and their career, the band has managed to build a cult-favorite status and in the iTunes and blogosphere era, building up a devoted and supportive fanbase will provide you with an attainable and sustainable level of professional success. The band’s latest effort Graveyard Whistling reportedly deals with both life and mortality — but with the band’s distinctive and ironic sense of humor and heartfelt tenderness.

Graveyard Whistling’s latest single “Good with God” is a collaboration with renowned labelmate Caitlin Rose, and its a swaggering track that sonically owes a debt to Sun Records and renegade-era country and rockabilly; while thematically, the song’s narrator talks about being a wild badass, who has made a certain level of peace with his life, as he’s fucked things up and “made his bed and will lie in it,” and while he’s made peace with God, he isn’t sure if God has accepted it. So one level the song expresses the acceptance of a full and messy life, but an uncertainty of what happens once we’re no longer here.

Directed by Lee Kirk and produced by Michael Kristoff, the recently released video for “Good with God” features Jenna Fischer as an MTV-like VJ doing a prototypical 120 Minutes-styled interview; however, the band’s drummer is missing and Fred Armisen, who just happens to be at the studio is recruited to play the role of the band’s drummer. And although the show’s director tells Armisen’s character to just sit there and look like he was in the band, he can’t help himself from interrupting and eventually taking over the interview, much to everyone’s exasperation. As an interviewer myself, it’s painful and hilarious. Of course, it’s followed by a blistering studio performance of the song with Armisen actually playing drums.

Live Footage: Winnipeg-based Indie Rock Act Living Hour Performs Gorgeous New Single Live

Living Hour is a Winnipeg, MB-based indie rock quartet that can trace their origins to when they formed during basement jam sessions in which they would write dreamy and cinematic songs inspired by the enormous prairie skies that surround their hometown. And unsurprisingly, the sound that the Canadian quartet developed manages to draw from shoegazer rock, dream pop and chillwave among other genres. Now, if you had been frequenting this site back in 2015, you may recall that I wrote about “Seagull,” a single that reminded me quite a bit of Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You.”

The Canadian quartet is currently in the middle of a Stateside tour, including a lengthy stop in Austin for SXSW — in fact, I think at this moment they’re playing at the Force Field PR Showcase; and interestingly enough, just before the band embarked on their tour, they recorded a live version of an ethereal and gorgeous new single “Inside.” And much like “Seagull,” the new will further cement the quartet’s reputation for a sound that draws from shoegaze and dream pop paired with ethereal and haunting vocals, that possesses a cinematic quality; but unlike its predecessor, the band pairs a gorgeous and mournful horn arrangement at the song’s cathartic coda.

The live footage of the song was shot by Jelly Fish Jam during a recent performance at the West End Cultural Center in Winnipeg Manitoba, and as you can see, the band expands to a septet to evoke an even larger, more lush and enveloping sound.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across several posts on Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. And with the release of her debut single “Was I Supposed To,” which was then promptly followed by her full-length debut Contra and a batch of attention grabbing singles through 2015, Siik received attention both nationally and internationally while cementing herself as one of her country’s standout artists, drawing comparisons to contemporary, Scandinavian pop artists Lyyke Li and Robyn.

Siik’s third full-length effort DOMINO is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Birds Will Sing For You Records, and the effort, which was produced by Rolf Plinth will feature guest spots from Phoenix‘s and Deportees‘ Thomas Hedlund and Tiger Lou’s Rasmus Kellerman, both of whom contributed to the jangling and shuffling  album single “Talk To Trees.” And what made that single particularly interesting to me was the fact that it reveled a new direction for the internationally renowned singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with its sound being simultaneously intimate and bold, yet swooningly anthemic and spacious enough for Siik’s effortlessly gorgeous and tender vocals. While the song may be one of Siik’s shorter songs — it clocks in at 2:40 — the song and its narrator seem haunted by a messy yet fully-lived in past; but while suggesting that life is about closing your eyes and taking a chance — even if it may backfire.

DOMINO‘s latest single “White Noise” is a dramatic track that features four-on-the-floor drumming, blasts of shimmering guitar, and atmospheric synths which give the song an art pop sheen while Siik’s vocals and uncanny ability to write an infectious and soaring hook gives the song a pop-leaning accessibility.  In press notes, Siik explained that, DOMINO can be described in two different ways. First I wanted it to represent the fact that we’re all connected to each other and that we have a responsibility towards each other and this world. To shoulder that responsibility is easier said than done, but we must try. Be aware. Not only mind our own business. I’ve given that a lot of thought lately. Secondly, every song on this album depends and relies on the other. Together they create a unit and the unit is supposed to be diverse. I aimed for creating a dynamic album.” Interestingly, when you hear the newest single in relation to its preceding single “Talk To Trees” there’s a sense of Siik and her collaborators creating a deeply unified mood and vision while speaking of experiences and feelings — in particular about love and longing with a hard-fought deeply adult wisdom and confidence.

With the release of her Jimmy Logic-produced, debut single “Then” and her debut EP The Coffee Shop, the London-based pop artist Kemi Ade received national and international attention from the likes of Complex,  Artistic Manifesto, Fame Magazine, Reprezent Radio, First Ear and others for a song that meshed elements of alternative neo-soul, jazz, hip-hop and folk seemingly drawing from the likes of Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu and others, and paired with Ade’s introspective and fearlessly honest songwriting.

The Coffee Shop‘s highly-anticipated follow up O.W. Nesty EP is slated for release later this year, and the EP’s latest single “Third” will further cement Ade’s burgeoning reputation for introspective and fearless songwriting and for a maturity and self-assuredness that belie her youth; but it also manages to reveal a subtle refinement of the sound that first caught attention as the song consists of a production featuring woozy and wobbling looped synths, stuttering beats, swirling electronics, shimmering keys and some subtle industrial clang and clatter. And yet, the production manages to be roomy enough for Ade’s effortlessly soulful and jazz-leaning delivery in a coquettish come hither song, in which the song’s narrator express vulnerability, need and longing simultaneously — with a bit of wish fulfillment.

Comprised of 21-year-old Sidonie B Hand-Halford, her 18-year-old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade, the Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio The Orielles have developed a reputation as one of Northern England’s “most exciting local bands of recent years” and their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets, the trio can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over their shared love of Stateside 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a reputation that had preceded them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the label. This year may be a huge year for the young British indie rockers as they played at the Heavenly Weekender Festival at Hebden Bridge last year, and they will be embarking on their first UK/EU tour next month; but in the mean time, the trio’s Heavenly Recordings debut single “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” is an expansive 8 minute track that draws influence from psych rock,  New Wave and post-punk while lyrically the band makes references to several Quentin Tarantino movies including Deathproof and the whole thing is held together by a sinuous and funky bass line that sonically reminds me of The Mallard’s incredible Finding Meaning in Deference. And much like The Mallard‘s last album, “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” possesses a surprising self-assuredness that belies their youth. It’s an impressive and forceful release that has me excited to hear more from them.

 

Bad Breeding is a somewhat mysterious punk outfit from Stevenage, UK, a town that the band have described as a bleak commuter-belt town north of London. Formed in 2013, the members of the band feature a group of friends, who muddled through school and they were drawn together by an enthusiasm for old, anarcho-punk and a complete disdain for the misrepresentation and simplification of Brtiain’s working-class identity, the band as its members see it, is an attempt to furiously call out both the rank injustices and political distortion peddled to people existing on the fringes, as well as a desperate outlet from the monotony of humiliating, soulless temp jobs.

The band’s forthcoming, sophomore effort Divide is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Iron Lung Records here in the States and La Vida Es Un Mus throughout the UK and EU and the material on the effort will reportedly sum up our dark, dense, claustrophobic and fucked up times, reveal a world that on a daily basis has become a melting pot of stupidity and hate, marching in blind lockstep towards its seemingly inevitable self-destruction. And fittingly Divide‘s first single “The More the Merrier” is a furious, primal stomp with towering squalls of noisy, distorted power chords and bilious vocals in what may be the angriest and most urgent songs I’ve heard all year, as it captures the anger and confusion of those crushed by a cadre of evil, indifferent greedy, thieving, moronic and lying assholes, who are out to steal from the poor and unfortunate, before stomping them into oblivion.