New Audio: Montreal’s Teenage Witch Shares a 120 Minutes MTV-Like Ripper

Sabrina Coté is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, musician and creative mastermind behind the DIY indie rock recording project Teenage Witch. Coté’s latest single “Jaloux” is a 120 Minutes-era MTV bop centered around a classic grunge song structure with alternating loud passages featuring fuzzy power chord driven riffage for the choruses and quieter passes with dreamy, shoegazer-like guitars for the song’s verses. It’s all held together by a simple yet thunderous backbeat paired with Coté’s icy delivery.

Sonically, the song features subtle elements of post-punk and grunge — while revealing an artist, who can shred hard and write an infectious hook.

New Audio: French Producer Poltergeist Shares a New Club Friendly Banger

Poltergeist is a young, mysterious French producer, who quickly emerged into the French electronic and industrial scenes with his debut single “Ich bin ein Kämpfer.”

The emerging French producers full-length debut is slated for release next month — and to build buzz for it, he recently released the album’s second and incredibly trance-inducing single “La Grand Dame.” Centered around tweeter and woofer rocking thump, oscillating synths and wobbling synth arpeggios pared with the French producer’s insouciant delivery and a forceful motorik groove.

While sounding a bit like Depeche Mode — or a goth take on Kraftwerk, the song thematically is about a deep, existential terror — the terror of humanity being punished for having betrayed and mistreated Mother Nature.

Makaya McCraven is an acclaimed Paris-born Chicago-based jazz percussionist, beatmaker and producer, who has released a remarkable run of critically applauded, genre-defying and re-defining albums that includes 2015’s The Moment, 2017’s Highly Rare, 2018’s Universal Beings, 2020’s We’re New Again and Universal Beings E&F Sides and last year’s Deciphering the Message.

McCraven’s newest album, In These Times is slated for a September 23, 2022 release through International Anthem/Nonesuch/XL Recordings. The album is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as it is by McCraven’s personal experience as the producer of a multinational, working class musician community. In These Times‘ material was seven years in the making, and was consistently in process in the background while McCraven was in the middle of his critically applauded run of albums.

Featuring contributions from a talented cast of collaborators including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, Marquis Hill, Lia Kohl, Macie Stewart, Zara Zaharieva, Marta Sofia Honer, Greg Ward, Irvin Pierce, Matt Gold, Greg Spero, De’Sean Jones, and Rob Clearfield, the new album was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Sonically, the album sees McCraven and his collaborators weaving orchestral, large ensemble arrangements with the “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature sound. The end result is an album that’s reportedly a bold and decidedly evolution for McCraven as a composer and as a producer.

In These Times‘ first single “Seventh String” is a dazzling and dizzying composition centered around rolling bursts of polyrhythmic drumming, glistening, finger plucked guitar, gorgeous orchestral strings, twinkling bursts of harp, soulful flute lines. While the composition smudges then blurs the lines between J. Dilla-like beatmaking and jazz, it sees the musicians carefully walking a tightrope between chaos and order, free-flowing improvisation and structured composition in a way that’s thoughtful, mischievous, and forceful yet breathtakingly gorgeous.

McCraven will be embarking on a very busy tour schedule throughout the summer and fall. The tour includes a July 31, 2022 stop at Central Park SummerStage. Check out the rest of the tour dates below. For ticket info and more, check out the following: https://www.makayamccraven.com/home#page-section-62a80fe5d655357142843718

TOUR DATES

June 30 – July 2 – Montreal Jazz Fest – Montreal, QB

July 6 – Copenhagen Jazz – Copenhagen, DK

July 7 – Warsaw Jazz Days – Warsaw, PL

July 8 – North Sea Jazz Fest – Rotterdam, NL

July 9 – Kongsberg Jazz – Kongsberg, NO

July 16 – DOUR Festival – Dour, BE

July 19 – Jazz en La Costa – Granada, ES

July 20 – Teatro Trento Jazz – Trento, IT

July 21 – Casa del Jazz – Roma, IT

July 22 – Musiques en été – Geneva, CH

July 24 – Odysseus Festival – Helsinki, FI

July 30 – Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI

July 31 – Central Park SummerStage, New York City, NY

August 2 – Salt Shed – Chicago, IL

August 5 – OFF Festival – Katowice, PL


October 15 – Chan Center for the Arts – Vancouver, BC

October 17 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO

October 19 – Fox Theater – Boulder, CO

October 21 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR

October 23 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA

October 25 – Earshot Jazz Festival – Seattle, WA

October 27 – Kuumbwa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz, CA

October 29 – Musical Instrument Museum – Phoenix, AZ

October 30 – Jazz Is Dead @ The Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA

November 4 – JazzOnze+ Festival – Lausanne, CH

November 5 – C2C Festival – Torino, IT

November 7 – CBE – Cologne, DE

November 8 – Domicil – Dortmund, DE

November 9 – J.A.W. – Berlin, DE

November 10 – Enjoy Jazz – Mannheim, DE

November 12 – Moods – Zurich, CH

November 13 – LaFabrika – Prague, CZ

November 14 – Müpa – Budapest, HU

November 16 – Trabendo – Paris, FR

November 17 – PAARD – The Hague, NL

November 18 – Islington Assembly Hall – London, UK

November 19 – SuperSonic Jazz at Paradiso – Amsterdam, NL

New Video: Emerging French Act Curseurs Share a Sun-Dappled Visual for Slow-Burning “Bolide”

Emerging French trio Cursuers formed earlier this year. Influenced by Vansire, Men I Trust and L’Imperatice, the members of the emerging French trio specialize in an ethereal and romantic, synth pop that thematically touches upon the nostalgia of adolescence and the crossroads of adulthood with a swooning Romanticism.

Their debut single, the ethereal and slow-burning “Bolide” sees the trio pairing glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, skittering boom bap-like drumming with plaintive vocals and a soaring hook. While sonically recalling JOVM mainstays ACES, Washed Out, Brothertiger and Summer Heart, “Bolide” is a summery bop full of aching nostalgia for a time — or for things — that you can’t possibly get back.

Directed by Rayane Mghezzi, the accompanying video was shot in and around the gorgeous French coast and follows the band hanging out and goofing off on a sun-dappled afternoon.

New Video: Besnard Lakes’ Sheenah Ko Shares a Dance Floor Friendly Anthem

Montreal-based singer/songwriter and synth pop artist Sheenah Ko may be best known for being a core member of acclaimed Montreal-based shoegazer outfit Besnard Lakes. Interestingly, as a solo artist Ko has gained a reputation for being a fearless musical warrior, who marches to the beat of her own drum.

Ko’s recently released nine-song, sophomore album Future Is Now was written to encourage listeners to broaden their horizons, break the cycle, effect change and to live life to the fullest. Future Is Now‘s latest single “Wake Up” is a glittery dance floor banger seemingly drawing from Ray of Light-era Madonna and 90s house music: Thumping beats are paired with Giorgio Moroder-like oscillating synths, wobbling bass synths, Ko’s sultry pop star delivery, relentless four-on-the-floor and infectious hook.

But while being a dance floor friendly banger, the song is rooted in a much-needed, positive message: the time to change the world is now! There’s no time to waste!

Produced by Ken Atwind and Martine Groulx, the accompanying video for “Wake Up” follows a collection of corporate worker bee types, who are bored and dissatisfied automatons at their boring jobs. They slowly begin to wake up and connect back to their more youthful, fun loving selves in an epic dance party in the snow and in a club. But more important, by connecting with their youthful selves, they have hopes and dreams of a better world.

New Video: Eldorado Shares a Breezy and Summery Bop

Eldorado (born Doriane Gamba) is an emerging and up-and-coming French singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and bedroom producer, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she turned six and started playing drums. Inspired by an eclectic array of artists, who have also abided by the DIY ethos including Mac DeMarcoMen I TrustYellow DaysClairo and a list of others, the French singer/songwriter and bedroom producer’s work is inspired by real life, personal experiences, which helps evoke strong emotions. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Gamba’s Eldorado debut, the neon and heartache-tinge “3 in the morning.” Featuring Gamba’s achingly plaintive vocals, glistening, reverb-drenched guitars and atmospheric synths paired with a soaring hook, “3 in the morning” manages to recall JOVM mainstays St. Lucia and Washed Out, while drawing from a fairly universal experience: wanting to be with someone, who has no interest in you whatsoever.

The French singer/songwriter, musician and producer’s latest single “Another Day” is a breezy and infectious summertime bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, 80s pop and funk-inspired guitar lines, a sinuous bass line, thumping backbeats paired with Gamba’s easy-going yet self-assured delivery and her seemingly uncanny and unerring knack for infectious hooks.

Underneath the breezy and infectious nature of the song, is a bittersweet and familiar story of trying to move forward from heartbreak and not quite knowing how to go about it. And then you see your ex, who has clearly moved on when you haven’t. But throughout, there’s the tacit understanding that it’s a day-by-day process in which ghosts do linger from time to time.

Continuing an ongoing collaboration with Ambre Tholance, the accompanying video is a nostalgia-inducing dream of long summer days and nights at the beach or the lake. But it also captures Gamba’s playful yet earnest spirit in a way that’s endearing.

New Audio: Orlando’s The Lovelines Share Woozy “Steadily”

Orlando-based sibling duo outfit The Lovelines — Tessa D (vocals) and Todd Goings (multi-instrumentalist, songwriting and production) — emerged late last year with their debut single “Strange Kind of Love,” which rose to #1 on SubmitHub’s Popular Charts.

Once you hear “Strange Kind of Love,” you can kind of hear why it took a portion of the blogosphere by storm. “Strange Kind of Love” is a slick synthesis of Amy Winehouse-like blue-eyed soul, jazz standadrs and Dummy-era Portishead-like trip-hop centered around Tessa D’s soulful crooning and a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, wobbly guitars and an infectious, razor sharp hook. 

Their second single “Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower” continued in a similar vein as its predecessor: a sultry trip hop-like number with a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, slashing guitars, propulsive polyrhythm paired with Tessa D’s soulful crooning and an infectious hook. “‘Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower’ was written to be free for interpretation,” The Lovelines’ Todd Goings explained to me in an email. “Is it a song about love or is it a song about a literal flower? Is it a song about pessimism, or a song about perversion, or is it a song about both?”

The duo have written and recorded their full-length debut and plan to release it single-by-single over the course of 2022-2023. The album will feature the previously released “Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower” and their latest single, the woozy “Steadily.” “Steadily” sees the Orlando-based duo firmly cementing their sound, a soulful take on trip hop in which Tessa D’s sultry vocals are paired with Geoff Barrow-like productions — in the case of the new single, strummed acoustic guitar, dusty hip hop-like breakbeats, glistening and twinkling Rhodes, a supple bass line and an infectious hook.

Interestingly, much like its predecessors, the new single feels rooted in lived-in experience: “Steadily is a song about a relationship between an old-fashioned romantic and a modern age lover,” the Orlando-based duo explained to me via email. “The singer knows that the modern age lover doesn’t have the same old fashioned ideals about love as her.”

New Video: Laufey Shares Cinematic and Dream-like Visual for “Fragile”

22 year-old Laufey Lin is a rapidly rising Reykjavik-born, Los Angeles-based, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as Laufey. Born to a Chinese-born violinist mother and a Icelandic-born, jazz-loving father, Lin grew up immersed in both classical music and jazz — and unsurprisingly both genres are major influences on the rising artist and her work.

By the time Lin turned 15, she performed with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. But despite her deep and abiding love of the music that has served as her musical foundation, she yearned to express herself by creating music that seamlessly blended her classical and jazz background with much more modern and contemporary influences.

\While attending Berklee College of Music, Lin began collaborating with some of her peers and recorded her debut single “Street By Street,” a blend of jazz melodies with slow-burning R&B grooves. Making the best of the unexpected downtime as a result of the pandemic, Lin decided to release “Street By Street” through social media. The song, along with a collection of covers and originals quickly went viral. Eventually, “Street By Street” hit #1 on the Icelandic charts — and she began to amass a massive following that includes Billie EilishWillow Smithdodie, and others.

Since then, the Icelandic-born, Los Angeles-based artist has been busy: Last year saw the release of her debut EP Typical of Me, which features the aforementioned “Street by Street,” “Best Friend” and “Like the Movies,” which she performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this year.

Lin’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Everything I Know About Love is slated for an August 26, 2022 release through AWAL Recordings. The 12-song album will reportedly see Laufey effortlessly blending contemporary song structures and sensibilities with the classic and jazz stylings she learned as a violinist, pianist and guitarist. The end result is an album’s worth of material that translates the intimate feelings, thoughts and observations of a young, modern woman into grand, cinematic moments, seemingly inspired by both the jazz age and Hollywood’s golden age.

Everything I Know About Love‘s latest single “Fragile” features samba-inspired arrangement featuring strummed acoustic guitar and rhythms, twinkling piano paired with Lin’s gorgeous and expressive vocals. But much like Lin’s critically applauded work to date, “Fragile” manages to be deceptively old-timey: while indebted to jazz, the song’s swooningly heartsick narrator talks of falling for someone much older, and not knowing what to do or how to act — with the tacit fear of making a complete fool of yourself.

Directed by Erlendur Sveinsson, the accompanying cinematic video for “Fragile” was shot in some stunningly gorgeous and entrancingly dream-like locations including Iceland’s foggy, rocky shore and an ornate seaside home.

New Video: Thee Sacred Souls Share Slow-Burning and Sun-Dappled “Easier Said Than Done”

Rising San Diego-based soul act Thee Sacred Souls — founding members and multi-instrumentalists Alex Garcia and Sal Samano, along with Josh Lane (vocals) — can trace some of their origins back to simpatico that Garcia and Samano felt while cutting bedroom recorded demos of rhythm tracks that weaved elements of Chicano, Philly, Chicago, Detroit and even Panama soul, which the pair grew up listening to and loved.

When Garcia and Samano connected with Lane, the newly constituted trio quickly settled upon their sound: Lane’s tender falsetto ethereally floating over Garcia’s and Samano’s old-school, two-step inducing rhythms.

Their first live set caught the attention of bassist and Daptone Records co-founder and producer Gabriel Roth, who was so impressed by what he had seen that he invited the band to stop by his Riverside, CA-based studio, Penrose Recorders, where they started putting their first notes on tape. Back in 2020, Daptone Records imprint Penrose Records released the San Diego soul outfit’s debut single “Can I Call You Rose?”/”Weak For Your Love,” a single which caught attention across both the national and international soul scenes.

Building upon a growing profile, Thee Sacred Souls released “Give Us Justice,” a song written in response to George Floyd’s murder. “Give Us Justice,” caught the attention of multi-Grammy Award-nominated JOVM mainstay act The Black Pumas, who mentioned the song as their  “The song that will define 2020 for me” in Rolling Stone. Proceeds from the track were donated to organizations that promote and advocate for the freedoms, rights and well-being of Black people, beginning with the Movement for Black Lives.

Last year, the band released “It’s Our Love,” a slow-burning and swooning, old school-like ballad, featuring soaring organ chords, glistening guitar, shuffling rhythms paired with Lane’s achingly tender falsetto and an enormous hook. The song talks about love in sweetly old-school terms: the deep bond and affection between a romantic couple that’s in it for the long haul. Lucky and rare are those to find it.

Thee Sacred Souls will be releasing their highly-anticipated Gabriel Roth-produced self-titled, full-length debut through Daptone Records on August 26, 2022. The album reportedly sees the San Diego-based soul outfit proudly continuing in the tradition of beloved Daptone Records artists like Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley — both on album and live.

The self-titled album’s latest single, the slow-burning, sun dappled ballad, “Easier Said Than Done” will further cement the act’s growing reputation for effortlessly putting down tight grooves paired with glistening guitar licks, Lane’s achingly plaintive vocals and their unerring knack for infectious hooks. Lyrically, the song captures the fact that love is difficult and requires constant work — both individually and as a couple.

Directed and cinematically shot by Casey Liu, the accompanying video for “Easier Said Than Done” is equally sun dappled, as it follows the trio and their live band through some gorgeous Southern California scenery.

Here in the United States Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates and commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black people: It’s the anniversary of the announcement of General Order 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger, an order that proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas. Originating in Galveston, TX, where Granger announced General Order 3, Juneteenth has been celebrated in various parts of the States — with the holiday often being a broad celebration of Black American culture.

Some of the earliest celebrations, which go back to 1866 involve church-centered community gatherings. Celebrations spread across much of the South and became more commercialized in the 1920s and 1930s focusing on Black American food. With the Great Migration, the holiday was taken to other parts of the country.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Juneteenth was eclipsed; but the holiday grew in popularity in the 1970s with the Black Power Movement, and featured a focus on freedom and Black art.

Although many of us weren’t taught this, Juneteenth is the real independence day. Sadly, it took 150+ years for the day to become a federal holiday. But that’s America for you. (Over 200 bills were written to make lynching a federal crime — or a hate crime — and that was only passed last year! Also, don’t tell me that America isn’t racist.)

So, you’re an ally or you want to be an ally. I understand that it’s often very difficult to know what the right thing is to do or how to even go about it. It’s even more confusing when there isn’t consensus. Now, I’m not going to speak for every single Black person in this country but I’d say you can do some of the following:

  • If you have Black friends, coworkers, etc.etc. that you respect, ask. Ask without assumptions or preconceived notions — and fucking listen.
  • Amplify Black voices: If you follow a Black creative or a Black influencer, who you really dig, shout them out. For a small, independent website or a blog, every new click, every new pair of eyeballs can potentially mean a new follower, a new customer. If you have a few bucks to spare, buy art or merch from Black creatives. If they have a Patreon account, donate a few bucks. Every dollar really does matter.
  • Buy Black. Simply put, spend your money with a small Black business, who you really dig.
  • Donate to causes that help some of vexing issues of systemic racism.
  • With every candidate you consider voting for, look into the causes and issues they support and their thinking behind them. If they’re already in office, look into what bills and projects they voted for and supported.

Of course, there is always more you can do. Just listen to Black folk. And in the meantime, Happy Juneteenth!