Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Will Lowery grew up in a deeply musical home, one in which both of his parents were classically trained musicians — and as a result, Lowery learned to play piano at a young age. As Lowery got a bit older, he became infatuated with jazz, soul and funk. Lowery’s love of jazz, soul and funk has deeply influenced his latest musical project pantology.

Lowery’s panotolgy debut, ““Never Enough” revealed an emerging artist and producer, whose sound and approach owed a debt to Flying Lotus, Bill Evans and J. Dilla: instrumental beatmaking, centered around completely original compositions. Now, as you may recall, the Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer’s pantology debut EP 2Q19 is slated for release this month, and the effort reportedly showcases an artist, who’s further honing his sound while delving into darker conceptual territory.

Last month, I wrote about the atmospheric EP single “Descent,” a track that reminded me a bit of Miles Davis‘ electronic era, Robert Glasper, Terence Blanchard and others but paired with tweeter and woofer rocking beats, wobbling low end and Sergej Avanesov‘s expressive Kamasi Washington-like saxophone playing. “False Step (AWOL),” 2Q19‘s latest single manages to clock in a relatively brief 2 minutes plus — but it manages to be an expansive track that begins with a fuzzy, lo-fi introduction complete with altered vocals before rapidly shifting to a shimmering and twinkling bit of neo-soul, centered by a sinuous bass line and head bopping groove and stuttering beats. The track evokes an escape into a shimmering and altered world — before a sudden crash into reality. Ultimately the track suggests that escapism is at best temporary and rarely sustainable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: San Antonio’s Fea Releases an Anthemic Ode to the Working Class

With the release of 2016’s self-titled, full-length debut, the San Antonio, TX-based punk outfit Fea, which features Girl In A Coma’s Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva with Letty Martinez and Sofi Lopez, quickly developed a reputation for a trailblazing and proudly genre-defying aesthetic that meshed Chicana Punk, fuzzy power chords and three-part vocal harmonies with Riot Grrl ethos. 

Now, as you may recall, the San Antonio-based punk quartet’s Alice Bag-produced sophomore album No Novelties is slated for a November 15, 2019 release through Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records, and the forthcoming album features bilingual material that thematically focuses on a number of hot-button topics, including sexism, the toxic self-awareness, self-promotion and vapidity of social media and others — with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and feministic punk sensibility. Additionally, the material may arguably be the most intricate in the band’s history — to date, at least. 

Last month, I wrote about No Novelties’ first single “Let Me Down,” a blistering takedown of modern society’s dependance on social media and reality TV that calls out the obsession with fame, constant praise, instant gratification, self-absorption, self-promotion, sex and consumerism at its core. Sonically, the song found the act meshing classic ’77 era punk with power pop in a way that was infectious and defiant. The album’s second and latest single “Ya Se,” is a blistering, old school punk anthem, centered on the plight of the constantly exploited working class sung entirely in Spanish. Considering the constant torrent of racist bullshit coming from our current administration that’s aimed at our brothers, sisters and friends in the LatinX community, the song possesses a deeper sense of righteous fury. 

“The title is Spanish for ‘I know,’ vocalist Letty Martinez says in press notes. “Most of our generation is living paycheck to paycheck. Getting caught up in that cycle where you spend the money you don’t have on vices just to feel relief from the financial stress.” Guitarist Sofi Lopez adds, “When you just work work work, you get into this groove that you can’t escape. But it drives you mad in the end.“

The recently released video stars the members of the band as frustrated blue collar mechanics, who are exploited by their white collar — and very male — boss. The band members work hard for very little money and to escape their dreary lives, they spend what they earn on vices — booze, weed, gambling, cigarettes. But at the end, they all revolt against the dreaded time clock, which enslaves them. 

New Audio: Rising British Pop Artist Jordan Mackampa Releases a Soulful and Radio Friendly Single

Mackampa’s work is inspired by his Congolese roots and his mother’s love of legendary soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield. And much like his influences, Mackampa has a developed a reputation for pairing an old school singer/songwriter soul-like vocal delivery with earnest songwriting and catchy melodies with a modern approach. Building upon that momentum, Mackampa’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Foreigner is slated for a March 13, 2020 release. Along with that the rising Congolese-British artist is currently on a North American tour opening for Amber Run that includes a stop tomorrow at Warsaw — and he has been confirmed to play at next year’s SXSW.

Jordan Mackampa is a rising London-born and-based Congolese-British singer/songwriter. With the release of “Under” earlier this year and 2016’s Physics EP, and 2017’s Tales From The Broken EP and Live from the Grand Cru EP, Mackampa has received critical praise from NME, The 405, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Indie Shuffle, Wonderland and others — with all of his previously released material amassing over 50 million Spotify streams.

Mackampa’s latest single, “Parachutes” is a breezy yet deliberately crafted track centered around a radio friendly and loose arrangement of twinkling keys, shimmering guitars, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming. But the star of the show is Mackampa’s easygoing and expressive vocals — in this case, Mackampa’s voice evokes the soaring high of being in love and the embittering low of heartache and betrayal within the turn of a phrase.

“‘Parachutes’ encapsulates those situations with people you’ve come across in life; who aren’t who they pretend to be and the person they are with you, isn’t someone you want to be around,” Mackampa explains in press notes. “However because you love them, either platonically or romantically, you’re conflicted by your feelings for them until it gets to a point where you don’t want to be hurt anymore… Nobody is perfect, but if you were trapped in an airplane with them and they had a parachute but you didn’t you would jump out regardless, because any pain you would experience afterwards, won’t be as bad as what you’ve already gone through.”

New Audio: Rising Aussie Electro Pop Trio Haiku Hands Release a Thumping, Old School Hip Hop Inspired Banger

Splitting their time between Melbourne and Sydney. the Aussie indie electro pop act Haiku Hands, which features a core trio of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis and Mie Nakazawa have received attention both nationally and internationally for a sound that draws from hip-hop, electro pop, dance music and house music. Interestingly, the trio is part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. 

Now, as you may recall last year was a breakthrough year for the Aussie electro pop trio: their high energy club bangers “Squat,” “Jupiter,” and “Not About You” amassed over 3.5 million streams — and as a result, each single landed spots on iTunes charts across the globe. Adding to an enormous year, “Jupiter” was included on Matt Wilkinson‘s Best Songs of 2018 So Far list, and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X. Continuing on  the momentum, the members of Haiku Hands went on a month-long North American tour with CHAI that featured stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago, and appearances at a handful of SXSW showcases. 

The Aussie indie electro pop trio’s highly-anticipated full-length debut is slated for release next year through Mad Decent and Spinning Top in Australia and New Zealand. In the meantime, the trio’s latest single, the Mad Zach-produced “Onset” is a brash and infectious banger centered around a glitchy and thumping 808-based, old school hip-hop production reminiscent of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s “Renegades of Funk” and Missy Elliott paired with the trio delivering equally brash and dexterously flows that nod at Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It),” schoolyard rhymes and chants. As a child of the 80s, this song brings boom boxes, shell toe Adidas and B Boys breaking — but with a modern touch. 

Eva Lawitts is a New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been both a session and touring musician for the likes of Vagabon and Princess Nokia. Lawitts is also known for being one-half of the production and engineering team at Brooklyn-based Wonderpark Studios.

Lawitts’ recording project Stimmerman finds the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer stepping out into the limelight as a solo artist — and as a musical force to be reckoned with. Interestingly, Lawitts’ Stimmerman full-length debut Goofballs is slated for release at the end of the this year. And as the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer explains in press notes, “the album is more or less about loss and survivor’s guilt: it’s a meditation on a friend’s fatal overdose at a young age through that lens. Side A of the album focuses on looking back at the environment in which our friendship started — pressures imposed on chidden to be successful, growing up too fast in all the wrong ways, and the often debauched nature of our great and terrible adolescence here in Brooklyn. Side B centers me more as an unreliable narrator, and features songs about grief and culpability in a close friend’s death, some of which are, I believe, misguided.”

“The name ‘Goofballs’ is twofold,” Lawitts continues. “I think this album recaptures some of the sense of humor my other projects have had that the first Stimmerman EP lacked, and of course, there is the drug allusion — ‘Goofballs’ meaning barbiturates or any cocktail thereof.” 

Goofballs‘ second and latest single “It Shows” is built around a classic grunge rock song structure — alternating quiet verses and loud choruses, featuring enormous, arena rock friendly power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to Bleach-era Nirvana, PJ Harvey and others, the song evokes the uneasy internal struggle of its narrator, a character, who simultaneously strikes out against themselves and others, to no avail or satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

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Over the better part of the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based post-punk JOVM mainstays Russian Baths. And as you may recall, with the release of their debut EP Penance, the band — Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner — quickly established a reputation for crafting a brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock-like sound.

Building upon a growing profile, Russian Baths will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Deepfake through Good Eye Records next week.  Reportedly, the album finds the members of the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays pushing a sound long rooted in juxtapositions to its extreme:  feedback and dissonance seem to swallow softly whispered harmonies, arpeggiated synths and booming 808 like drumming are paired with angular and shrieking guitars, propulsive drumming and motorik-like grooves.

Often centered around surgical imagery, the album’s material touches upon themes of personal regret, cultural guilt, reflection on systems in collapse — and while evoking the zeitgeist of the moment, the material alternates between voices seemingly so close that they seem in the room right beside you and at other times, from an impossible distance. So far I’ve written about two of the album’s previous singles. The album’s first single was the aggressively abrasive “Tracks,” which to my ears was one part post-punk, one part noise-rock and one part shoegaze that evoked the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust of someone, who has frequently been forced to ask difficult questions of themselves and their relationships with others. The album’s second single “Responder” found the band crafting an atmospheric track with elements of shoegaze, post-punk, brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock and Western Gothic in a way that brought Shadow on Everything-era Bambara to mind.

Interestingly, Deepfake‘s third and latest single “Wrong”  may arguably be the most grunge rock-like song rebased from the album to date, as it’s centered around alternating quiet-loud-quiet sections, featuring fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. Sonically, the song manages to evoke a slow-burning and seemingly unending sense of dread and unease of a world going impossibly mad before your eyes.

 

New Audio: All Them Witches Release an Enormous Prog Rock-like Single

After the release of last year’s critically applauded album ATW, the Nashville-based psych rock act All Them Witches went through a massive lineup change, which has resulted in the band’s most pared down lineup in their entire history — Charles Michael Parks, Jr (bass, vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar, vocals) and Robby Staebler (drums, vocals). And although it’s stereotypically expected for a bands with pared down lineups to release more restrained and even quieter work, All Them Witches’ latest standalone single, the self-produced “1X1” finds the band employing a muscular, prog rock-like leaning sound, complete with scorching guitars, thunderous drumming, distorted vocals and enormous arena rock friendly hooks.  Interestingly, the track may arguably be one of the heaviest of the band’s growing catalog. 

News/Announcements: Shoutouts to Patrons

During JOVM’s nine-plus year history, this site has been a labor of love. Unlike the much larger competitors in the blogosphere, this site is one of the rare places where readers can come across deeply personal and eclectic curation and coverage of music from all over the world, regardless of country of origin or genre.

I’ve managed this site as a (mostly) one-man operation out of my Corona, Queens, NYC apartment while maintaining a lengthy career in book publishing. I worked in the editorial departments of three publishers across both trade and academic publishing as an Editorial Assistant and Acquisitions Editor. Most of the time, I felt like I had a dual life: during the day, I was sort of like mild-mannered, spectacled Clark Kent and when the time came, I’d literally run into a phone booth to change and become Superman and cover shows.

Of course, I did all of that because I firmly believe that my mission — and more important, this site’s mission is important. Much like everything else in this world, running a site like JOVM costs time and money.

I recently joined Patreon like countless other creatives as a way to support my creative endeavors and as promised I wanted to give a special shoutout to this site’s first patron — my guy Sash in Berlin.

I’m still humbly asking for your assistance, donation and your love.  Check out the page for more information:

https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley Girls Release a Creepy Halloween-Themed Visual for “Wear Black”

I’ve managed to write a bit about the Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock act Death Valley Girls over the past few years, and as you may recall the act which is currently comprised of founding duo Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey can trace their origins to when they were formed by Schemel, Bloomgarden, Rachel Orosco (bass) and Hole‘s Patty Schemel (drums). Despite the series of lineup changes throughout the band’s history, the JOVM mainstays’ sound and aesthetic has primarily been influenced by The Manson Family and B movie theatrics while thematically focusing on the occult.

Interestingly, last year’s Darkness Rains might arguably be the darkest and most menacing batch of material of their growing catalog. Sonically, the album found the band crafting  a feral mixture of proto punk, proto metal and stoner rock  with a healthy dosage of mysticism. “Wear Black,” the album’s latest single features a hallucinogenic and sweaty arrangement of thunderous and propulsive drumming, glistening organ arpeggios, fuzzy power chords, enormous hooks and soaring vocals. Much like the rest of the album’s material, the song manages to evoke occult-inspired sacrificial rituals while sonically recalling The Black Angels, Roky Erickson and others.

Just in time for the holiday season, the members of Death Valley Girls released a Brandon McKnight-made video for “Wear Black” that’s split between live footage of the band performing at Saint Vitus Bar — occasionally through kaleidoscopic filters,  edited stock footage, old horror movies featuring hellish and unnatural medical procedures and people behaving as though they were possessed, as well as footage of masked figures performing bizarre and occult-like rituals. It’s appropriately creepy — and absolutely perfect for today.