Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstays TEKE: TEKE Releases a Mischievous and Frenetic New Single

Featuring a collection of accomplished, Montreal-based musicians, who have played with and alongside the likes of  Pawa Up First, Patrick Wilson, Boogat, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra and others, the rising Montreal-based Japanese psych punk septet TEKE: TEKE – Yuki Isami (flute, shinobue and keys), Hidetaka Yoneyama (guitar), Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier (guitar), Mishka Stein (bass), Etienne Lebel (trombone), Ian Lettree (drums, percussion) and Maya Kuroki (vocals, keys and percussion) —  was initially founded as a loving homage (and tribute) to legendary Japanese guitarist Takeshi “Terry” Terauchi. 

With the release of their debut EP 2018’s Jikaku, the members of the Montreal-based septet came into their own highly unique and difficult to pigeonhole sound that features elements of Japanese Eleki surf rock, shoegaze, post-punk, psych rock, ska, Latin music and Balkan music. Last year was a momentous year for TEKE: TEKE. They signed to Kill Rock Stars Records, who will be releasing the band’s highly-awaited full-length debut Shirushi on May 7. 2021. And to build up buzz for the album, the band has released four singles off the album:

“Kala Kala:” Deriving its title from a phrase that roughly translates to English as clattering, “Kala Kala” is centered around a mind-melting arrangement and song structure, Kuroki’s howling and crooning. And to my ears, the track accurately captures the band’s frenetic live energy. 
“Chidori,” a cinematic yet mosh pit friendly freak out that’s one part psych rock, one part Dick Dale-like surf rock, one part Ennio Morricone soundtrack delivered with a frenetic aplomb. 
“Meikyu:” Deriving its title from the Japanese word for labyrinth, the track is a no bullshit, no filler all killer ripper with menacing guitar work, dramatic bursts of trombone, fluttering flute, thumping tribal drumming and some wild soloing within an expansive, mind-melting song structure. 
Yoru Ni,” a fever dream featuring dreamy blasts of flute and trombone, menacing and slashing guitars and intricate Japanese shamisen. Deriving its name from the Japanese phrase for “at night,” the song despite it’s mischievous tone, is a somewhat romantic and spiritual tale about its central character letting go of a long-held delusional quest.

“Barbara,” Shirushi’s fifth and latest single is a mischievous and cinematic track with a stomping, punk rock energy that to my ears at least, sounds like it would be a perfect soundtrack for a circus or the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, as each instrumental part seemingly introducing a new and strange character. Much like the previously released singles, “Barbara” captures the frenetic energy of their live sets. “I remember er i being pretty late at night in the studio, everybody was perhaps feeling a bit edgy from a long day of recording,” the band’s Ian Lettre recalls. “And after having a chat about Brazilian band Os Mutantes, somehow we just thought ‘you know what? How about we all get in that room together and play ‘Barbara’ like there’s no tomorrow. That ended up being cut that’s on the album, haha . . .”

The lyrics as the band explain are a twisted take on zashiki-warashi, spirit beings, who like to perform pranks and bring good fortune to those who see them. “The initial inspiration for this song is a true story that happened to me,” the band’s Hidetaka Yoneyama explains. “I was randomly mistaken for an old lady by this stranger on the street, who came up to me screaming ‘Barbara? Barbara?! It’s you?! Barbara?!’ Maya then had the idea of taking the story to another level by turning it into this psychedelic tale of yokai (ghost or spirit) that escapes a house and goes on doing all sorts of pranks on people, that spirit being Barbara.”

The recently released lyric video was animated by the band’s Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier and Maya Kuroki and features some childlike and mischievous line drawings of the band performing and of the song’s equally mischievous titular character Barbara, evading attention, playing pranks and causing some good hearted trouble.

New Audio: Montreal’s Yoo Doo Right Releases a Trippy Motorik Groove Driven Single

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known songs, the rising Montreal-based act Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based sound and approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band describes as “a car crash in slow motion.”

Since their formation, the members of the Montreal-based band have quickly become a highly demanded live act that has toured crossed their native Canada and the States while making stops across the North American festival circuit with stops at  Levitation, M for Montreal, Sled Island and Pop Montreal. Back in 2018, You Doo Right was the main support act during Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wooden Shjips, Kikagkiu Moyo, FACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

The act’s full-length debut Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through Mothland. Last month, the members of the Montreal-based act released the album’s first single, album title track “Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose,” an expansive, slow-burning and carefully sculptured soundscape divided into three distinct parts: a lengthy introduction with atmospheric synths, tribal drumming and shimmering guitars; a towering middle section with scorching dirge-like power chords, twinkling keys and crashing cymbals; and a gentle fade out as the song’s coda. The song is an exercise in restraint, unresolved tension and delayed release.

Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose’s second and latest single “Presto, Presto, Bella’s Dream” is a layered song that finds the team weaving shimmering and angular guitar riffs, twinkling synths, propulsive drumming and bass lines into a relentless, repetitive and trippy motorik groove. The band’s Justin Cober says of the song “Driving, simple, straight forward repetition, built into a psychedelic haze with no apparent meaning. Like the day the clocks struck midnight on January 1st, 1970. The title is an ode to both the tempo and a good friend who indirectly influenced us, helped us write this song.”

New Video: French Act Full Moon Little House Releases a Lysergic Visual for Atmospheric “GAIA”

After spending several years in a number of alternative rock and indie rock bands, French multi-instrumentalist and producer, Kévin Navizet steps out into the limelight as a solo artist, with his solo recording project Full Moon Little House, which specializes in what he describes as alternative indie rock/post rock.

Earlier this year, Navizet released the first part of his full-length debut, a five-song, mini digital album titled June — before releasing the full album later this year. Clocking in at a little over 5:50, Navizet’s sixth Full Moon Little House single “GAIA” is a slow-burning track feauring layers of jangling, shimmering and pedal effected guitars, towering feedback and rolling drumming that slowly builds up in intensity before gently fading out. The song’s patient, painterly quality reminds me quite a bit of Mogwai, Remember Remember and others while being remarkably cinematic.

Navizet’s gorgeous self-directed and self- made video features animation of translucent jellyfish seemingly dancing to the song in the deepest darks of the ocean. Through doubling and tripling the jellyfish, the video takes on a hallucinogenic and kaleidoscopic vibe.

New Video: Ben Rice Longs for The Old New York in “Everything Changes”

Ben Rice is an accomplished singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer and owner of Brooklyn-based DeGraw Sound. As a producer and session guitarist, Rice has worked with the likes of Norah Jones, Jonas Brothers, Valerie June, Fletcher and The Skins. As a guitarist, Rice has played in couple of indie rock projects that signed with Warner Music Group and toured internationally with Arctic Monkeys, Band of Skulls, The Bravery and Brendan Benson.

Rice’s self-produced, self-engineered and self-mixed, full-length debut Future Pretend was written and recorded at his DeGraw Studio during the terrifying and deadly first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sociopolitical upheaval of that year. The album which features contributions from the likes of producer Gian Stone, who has worked with Justin Bieber and Maroon 5; Norah Jones’ and Mavis Staples’ Pete Remm (keys); The Autumn Defense’s and Norah Jones’ Greg Wieczorek (drums); Raffaella’s and Leyla Blue’s Charlie Culbert (drums, production) and Eighty Ninety’s Abner James and Harper James is a personal and artistic reset for Rice, who saw Future Pretend’s creative process as an opportunity to process seismic life changes and connect with our tumultuous present. Featuring nine reflective songs that thematically finds Rice offering intimate and personal ruminations on culture, our society and personal evolution. Sonically, the album finds the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer and engineer embracing what he dubs “big city Americana,” which isn’t really about cowboy shirts, boots and twangy guitars but about yearning for a halcyon days.

Future Perfect’s latest single, the Damn the Torpedoes-era Tom Petty-like “Everything Changes” is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, twangy guitars an anthemic hook and the sort of Romantic yearning for the past that New Yorkers are known for. The song finds Rice’s narrator lamenting about the passing of time and the inevitability of aging while shouting out beloved places and a long lost innocence. Certainly, as a 40 something, who finds his city phasing him out while losing the places I loved, the song hits me in a deeply personal and familiar place. As James Murphy once sardonically yet wisely sung “New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down . . .”

“I wrote ‘Everything Changes’about watching the city I grew up in change and realIzing that every generation of New Yorkers has probably experienced something similar,” Rice explains. “The things that to me feel like authentic aspects of the city that are now slipping away might have felt like the strange and new things that ushered in change to previous generations.”

Directed by Abner James, the recently released video for “Everything Changes” is split between footage of Rice and his backing band performing the song in a backlit studio and James Spenser Saunders, who plays a young New Yorker, walking the streets of the Lower East Side and stopping at some of the places Rice references in the song. Shot during the pandemic, the video captures New York at its eeriest with beloved bars, clubs and eateries closed or barely opened. The video captures a city going through some incredibly unforeseen and unimaginable changes, the seemingly unending sense of unease and uncertainty of our world and a palpable loss of innocence.

Influenced by The Cure, Cocteau Twins and Joy Division and others, the rising Swiss-American shoegaze duo The Churchhill Garden — currently, founding member Andy Jossi (guitar) and Whimsical‘s Krissy Vanderwoude (vocals) — was originally founded as a solo recording project back in 2010 as a way for Jossi to plug into his emotions and to focus on writing music without any pressure. 

As the story goes, a friend had showed Jossi how to use GarageBand, which he eventually used for some of his earliest recordings. The Swiss guitarist was determined to become a better guitarist and he learned from his mistakes, which helped his musicianship and songwriting flourish and grow. As he was growing as a musician and songwriter, Jossi discovered Logic, which led to an improved and lusher quality to his recordings. 

Around the same time, Jossi began to notice that the songs he had begun to write were more expansive, and although largely inspired by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, shoegaze, post punk and jangle pop, the material revealed his own take on the sounds he had long loved. The Swiss guitarist and songwriting posted his compositions on Myspace without expecting much in return but, he was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by the positive response he received. And although Jossi enjoyed writing the material he had posted on MySpace, he felt that i was missing something vitally important — vocals.

Hoping to broaden his musical horizons, the Swiss guitarist and songwriter sought out a few local vocalists to collaborate with. His first collaboration was with The Reaction’s Max Burki, one of Jossi’s local musical heroes. Jossi went on to record two more tracks with Eva Tresch. Technological advances — i.e., home recording studios and programs, as well as file sharing — allowed Jossi to collaborate with vocalists outside of his native Switzerland. His first collaboration with a foreign vocalist, “Noisy Butterfly,” which featured Italian vocalist Damiano Rosetti helped expand The Churchhill Garden’s audience and fanbase outside of Switzerland.

Jossi followed “Noisy Butterfly” with more collaborations with international vocalists including Craig Douglas (USA), Alistair Douglas (AUS) and Hideka (Japan). Back in 2016, Jossi first crossed paths with Whimsical’s Krissy Vanderwoude. Vanderwoude commented on Jossi’s “Sleepless” on Facebook, letting him know that she loved his music, had been a big fan and was deeply moved by the emotionality of his work. Her message went on to say that she could “hear his heart” through his work and that his work resonated deeply with her.

As it turned out, Vanderwoude and Jossi had a mutual friend, Kev Cleary, who chimed in on the comment thread that the two should work on a song together. The duo were very excited about the idea but didn’t quite know what to expect. Jossi sent Vanderwoude files for a couple of different instrumental pieces he had written and recorded, and encouraged her to choose which one she wanted to work on. Interestingly, the Whimsical frontwoman gravitated to one of the tracks in particular and remembers being moved to tears when she first heard it. The end result became their first song together “The Same Sky.”

“The Same Sky” was released to an overwhelmingly positive response with people generally commenting that they felt a magical chemistry between the two — and after a couple of songs together, they both realized that Vanderwoude should be a permanent and full-time member of The Churchhill Garden. Of course, while Vanderwoude is a permanent fixture in The Churchhill Garden universe, Jossi has continued collaborated with other vocalists, including Seashine’s Demi Haynes and Fables‘ and Swirl’Ben Aylward

Churchhill Gardens songs were coming together quickly with a new single being released every few months. With every new release, they found their fanbase steadily growing. And although, they were releasing material through Bandcamp and other DSPs, a growing number of people expressed interest in owning a physical copy of the songs — and they started asking if there would ever be an actual Churchhill Garden album. 

Last year, the Swiss-American duo released their full-length debut, a double LP album Heart and Soul. Since the release of Heart and Soul, the duo have been working on and releasing new material including “Fade Away,” which was released earlier this year. Centered around layers of reverb-drenched, shimmering guitars, Vanderwoude’s plaintive and ethereal vocals and soaring hooks “Fade Away” to my ears at least, reminds me quite a bit of Souvlaki-era SlowdiveSo Tonight That I May See-era Mazzy Star, compete with a similar aching yearning at its core.

Clocking in at a little over seven minutes, the Swiss-American collaboration’s latest single “Lonely” is a slow-burning and aching track, featuring shimmering and reverb soaked guitars paired with a soaring hook and Vanderwoude’s ethereal vocals. And while sonically continuing on in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor with the song bringing the likes of Slowdive, Mazzy Star and even Cocteau Twins to mind, the song as the duo’s Krissy Vanderwoude explains is “lyrically a bit of a heartbreaker for anyone who knows what it feels like to have loved and lost.”