New Video: JOVM Mainstays The KVB Return with a Hazy and Hallucinogenic visual for “Unbound”

Currently based out of Manchester, UK, the acclaimed shoegazers and JOVM mainstay outfit The KVB initially started in 2010 as the solo recording project of founder, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood. Wood released a series of limited cassette an vinyl releases as a solo recording project; but by 2011, vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kat Day joined the project. 

In the decade since Day joined the project, The KVB have released several critically applauded albums and EPs through a number of different labels before signing to Geoff Barrow‘s Invada Records,who released 2018’s Only Now Forever. Interestingly, each of the duo’s acclaimed releases saw them crafting a sound simultaneously inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cabaret Voltaire; however, with each subsequent effort, the band has managed to streamline their sound. 

Through extensive touring across the European Union, the UK, China, Russia and Japan, the duo have amassed a devoted fanbase globally. Now, as you may recall during the pandemic, Day and Wood relocated from Berlin to Manchester to work on their sixth album, the Andy Savors-produced Unity. Slated for a Friday release through Invada Records, the duo’s sixth album will reportedly represent a new and exciting development in their sonic development: Through the album’s ten songs, the duo pull together their trademark components, radiant guitars, textured synths and their penchant for moody melodies and brooding vibes paired with a renewed dynamism. 

The initial Unity writing sessions took place in Spain in early 2019, where the duo found influence from the “half built luxury villas, still unfinished from the crash in 2008. There was something eerie and beautiful about the desolate landscapes and concrete in the sunshine,” the band says in press notes. While their sound and approach has always been informed by what seems like our inevitable dystopian future, there is also more of a rapturous release to the material. Thematically, the album combines double meanings and there’s a sleight of hand present. 

In the lead up to the album’s release later this week, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

  • World on Fire,” a track centered around buzzing and slashing power chords, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a relentless, motorik groove and a euphoric hook paired with the duo’s breathy boy-girl harmonies. The end result was a song, which featured elements that reminded m elf Lightfoils, BLACKSTONE RNGRS and others with a gauzy, New Order-like sheen. 
  • Unité,” a dance floor friendly track, centered around thumping beats, shimmering synth arpeggios, a relentless and hypnotic motorik groove paired Day’s ethereal yet deadpan delivery. The end result is a song — that to my ears — sounded as though it could have been part of the Trans Europe Express or Man Machine sessions.

“Unbound,” Unity‘s final single continues a run of hazy and hypnotic material centered around glistening synth arpeggios, driving motorik grooves, the duo’s ethereal boy-girl harmonies and a euphoric hook. To my ears, the song sounds a bit like how I would imagine Evil Heat era Primal Scream covering Kraftwerk.

Directed by Sapphire Goss, the recently released video for “Unbound” follows the JOVM mainstays as they encounter a decaying monolithic structure in England. The structures seem to radiate a mysterious yet rhythmic signal of color and light — with a seemingly deeper meaning. Interestingly enough, the video manages is inspired by the album’s cover art, drawing influence from it.

“We’ve been fascinated by the sound mirrors that are on the south coast of England for a while now and were very pleased to know that Sapphire [Goss] shared our interest in these decaying, monolithic sculptures!” The KVB explain in press notes. “In fact, they were part of the inspiration for Unity’s album cover. It was great to finally visit one in real life,despite the wind and rain that came with filming there. For us, Sapphire’s dreamlike, analogue aesthetic feels like the perfect complement to Unbound’s hazy sound.”

“The video took the album cover imagery as the starting point, and the band were keen to use the sound mirrors- strange monolithic listening structures along the coastline, made obsolete by radar almost as soon as they were built,” Sapphire Goss adds. “The video reanimates these eerie monuments, showing them pulse out mysterious signals of light and colour. The film is made using a mix of analogue & digital effects- lenticular 3D & stereo loops shot on an 80s Nimslo (35mm) and an old Mamiya passport lens attachment that freeze moments in time & dance around them spatially, adding to the uncanny feeling.”

New Video: Los Bitchos Play a Surreal Game Show in New Visual for Trippy “Good to Go”

Rising, London-based instrumental act Los Bichos — Australia-born, London-based Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguay-born, London-based Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Sweden-born, London-based Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — features individual members with different upbringings, who have developed a unique, retro-futuristic sound that blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf rock, as well the music each individual member grew up with: The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos. “Coming from all these different places,” Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”

The band can trace its own origins through its members meeting at all-night house parties or through various friends. The London-based outfit’s highly anticipated Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut,  Let The Festivities Begin! is slated for a February 4, 2022 release through City Slang Records

Recorded at Gallery Studios, Let The Festivities Begin! further establishes Los Bitchos’ reputation for crafting maximalist and Technicolor, instrumental party jams with a cinematic quality. The celebratory title is something you might say while toasting dear friends, families and even strangers at the end of this horrible period to usher in a period of carefree debauchery. “It’s about being together and having a really good time,” Los Bitchos say in press notes.

Last month, I wrote about “Las Panteras” a funky, mind-bending jam featuring shimmering synths bongos, cowbell, cabasa and wiry post punk meets Nile Rodgers and surf rock-like guitars and a sinuous bass line. “Good to Go,” Let The Festivities Begin!‘s second and latest single is another mind-bending, genre-blurring composition: Starting with a decidedly Western-tinged intro with shimmering and twangy and reverb-drenched guitar, the composition quickly turns into a trippy yet chilled out Latin funk meets Turkish psych affair with glistening synths, handclaps and a blazing guitar solo.

Directed and edited by Tom Mitchell, the recently released video for “Good to Go” continues the story began with the visual for “Las Panteras” left off: Los Bitchos have been arrested in their battle against their arch nemesis Los Panteras. The video features album producer and Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos as a game show host meets trial judge from hell. The members of the band are trapped in this surreal game show meets court show, where they literally spin a wheel of fortune for their very freedom.

Trapped in a surreal courtroom gameshow and spinning the wheel of fortune for our freedom. This song has always made us think of a ‘70s game show with its light, fun mood coupled with an intriguing western style intro,” the rising London-based act explain in press notes. “We got all our friends to be our jury and our producer Alex to host/judge the show. We had so much fun making this video.” 

New Video: French Artist Haya The Hellcat Takes Viewers on a Tour of Paris in Trippy Visual for Punchy “Histoire De Se Revoir”

Haya The Hellcat is a Nancy, France-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who writes and records out of a basement studio of an artists’ house called AXLV — All Exclusive. The Nancy-based artist grew up spitting his time between Reunion Island and France, where he studied music and began writing instrumentals when he turned 14. When he turned 26, the emerging French singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began writing his own lyrics — and recording material singing his own lyrics.

The Nancy- based artist’s debut EP Quarante-Six Kilomètres Dans Les Sable was released earlier this month, and the EP touches upon several themes including travel, emotions and others. The EP’s latest single “Histoire De Se Revoir” is a decidedly post-punk influenced tune centered around a punchy and propulsive bass line, shimmering guitars, plaintive vocals and a razor sharp hook. Interestingly, the song sees the French artist deftly balancing wistful nostalgia with a breezy, radio friendly accessibility.

The recently released, gorgeously shot black and white visual for “Histoire De Se Revoir” follows Haya The Hellcat through Paris — sometimes forward, sometimes backward.

New Video: French Duo Cuarto Mundo Takes Viewers on a Journey Through Time and Space

Cuarto Mundo, which translates into English as “Fourth World,” a term coined to describe the various groups of the world’s indigenous peoples is a French electronic music duo featuring Thomas Lavernhe, who has played in a number of solo projects and band, and Chilean-born Cosmo Gonik, a DJ, who has toured with Arcade Fire.

Lavernhe and Gonik’s work as Cuarto Mundo sees the pair drawing inspiration from traditional sounds across the world, to shape a journey to music’s mysterious — and perhaps mystical — roots.

The duo’s first single “Sabi Lulu” slick, electronic production centered around skittering beats and glistening synths with a traditional, percussive melody from West Java, Indonesia, written by Mang Koko. The end result is a song that’s accessible yet mischievously anachronistic: ancient sounds are paired with modern production — and in a way that’s trippy yet slaps hard.

Directed by Jade de Brito, the recently released video for “Sabi Lulu” follows the stunningly beautiful Devi Yohanita Qorina as she walks down a Paris street to an Indonesian store with traditional instruments, clothing and food. And for a moment, we see Qorina be suddenly taken back to the homeland. We then see her do traditional dance moves in the store and on the streets of Paris, followed by otherworldly and hallucinogenic sequences in which Qorina is wearing the traditional garb of the homeland in front of colorful backgrounds. This one is a bit of a journey through time and space, y’all.

Live Footage: Bulgarian Composer and Multi-instrumentalist Maria Karakusheva Performs “Lagrange Points”

Maria Karakusheva is a Bulgarian-born, classically trained pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who completed her musical education at the Bulgarian National Academy — with a full scholarship. Karakusheva has won first prize at several international piano competitions including UFAM International, Bellaria Festival, Montigny le Bretonnuex and Claude Cannes.

Karakusheva has composed and recorded four albums of her own original compositions, which she has supported with six, self-produced live shows for them. And she has played over 100 solo concerts, including shows at Bulgaria Hall and Paris’ Gaveau Hall.

In her native Bulgaria, Karakusheva has composed the scores for several films, including 2018’s A butterfly landed on a shoulder, 2021’s Beaujolais and Speculators, which is slated for a release next fall. And adding to a growing profile, the Bulgarian pianist and composer has been profiled by a handful of publications nationally and elsewhere — and has made a number of appearances on Bulgarian national television.

Admittedly, I’m not as versed in classical music as I feel I should be — but when I came across Karakusheva’s latest composition off her first contemporary classical solo album Hearteclipse,the expansive “Lagrange Points,” I was immediately transfixed. Centered around Karakusheva’s delicate and dexterous playing and soaring strings, “Lagrange Points” manages to possess a lush, cinematic quality while nodding at Tales of Us era Goldfrapp and The North Borders era Bonobo.

“We all have our points of balance and it’s our own mission in life to get to know them and use them as we should. Only then we become ourselves. Lagrange points is a composition based on who I am, what I can and should be,” the rising Bulgarian-born composer and multi-instrumentalist says. “Music, family, love, the stage – these are the things that shape me.”

The rising Bulgarian-born composer released some gorgeous shot footage of “Lagrange Points” in which she’s accompanied by a full string section.

Formed over six years ago, Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — have developed an incredibly unique, boundary pushing sound that meshes elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles — in particular, Tsapiky  and Salegy — with metal. The Madagascan trio’s sound and approach represents a bold generation of young people that are inspired by music from West, yet honors and respects the traditions of their elders, all while roaring with the fierce urgency of our moment.

Earlier this year, LohArano released their self-titled EP, which featured “Tandrroka,” a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring rumbling, down-tuned bass lines, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Ravoajanahary’s Karen O-like vocals, which alternate between feral howls, screeching and shouting.

The band released their full-length debut LohAmboto this past Friday through Libertalia Music. The album’s first single, album title track “LohAmboto” continues an incredible run of expansive forward-thinking, post rock/metal inspired material centered around scorching riffs, heavy bass lines, thunderous Malagasy polyrhythms and Ravoajanahary’s howls and shouts. It’s a face melting ripper, reminiscent of System of a Down and others.

The band will be playing Europe for the first time on December 3, 2021 — with an appearance at Trans Musicales in Rennes, France. They’ll embark on their first European tour during the Summer of 2022.

New Video: Malta’s Relikc Releases an 80s Synth Pop Inspired Bop

Emerging Maltese indie outfit Relikc — currently Remy Azzopardi (vocals), Luke Greck (guitar), Ivan Giordano (bass), Jospeh Axiak (keys) and Martin Caruana drums) — can trace its origins to its founding members being lifelong friends, who started playing music together while in school. As teenagers, the band played at every single school event, eventually moving on to clubs and festivals as soon as they were of legal age.

Eager for success, the members of Relikc would bounce back and forth between writing and releasing songs to cramming their schedules with as many gigs as they could. Back in 2016, they committed themselves to writing and recording their full-length debut, 2017’s The Code of Antics, which paired heartfelt lyrics with a sound that meshed rock, funk, soul and electro pop.

Although the album was a success, the band went through a significant lineup change. After a year in which the band spent reinventing their identity and their sound, the band released “Hate That I Love You,” which saw the Maltese indie act move towards a electro pop-tinged rock sound, influenced by the bandmembers shared love of rock, funk and 80s synth pop.

The Maltese indie outfit’s latest single “Would You Ever” sees the band pushing their sound further in the electronic direction. Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a throbbing, funky bass line and Azzopardi’s plaintive vocals singing heartfelt and lived-in lyrics, an infectious hook, and a fittingly 80s inspired bit of riffage, “Would You Ever” is a slickly produced bop that brings St. Lucia, Haerts, and others to mind while detailing a new and tumultuous relationship on the brink.

Directed by Matthew Muscat Drago, the recently released video for “Would You Ever” is an incredibly 80s inspired visual follows a passionate artistic couple as their fight and make-up throughout while creating inspired art.