Last year, I wrote about the Orlando, FL-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Messore. And as you amy recall, after spending a period of time traveling across the country, Messore returned to his hometown to work on music with his solo, bedroom recording project Cathedral Bells.

Since the release of last year’s breakthrough self-titled EP, which received support from David Dean Burkhart and praise from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, who likened the project’s sound to “an exploration of the smudged reds of The Cure, hazy pinks of Chromatics and gluey browns of DIIV,” Messore has been busy releasing new material, including his latest single, the gauzy and swooning “Heavy Rain.” Centered around seemingly unending layers of shimmering guitars, propulsive drum machine-driven beats and Messore’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, the track sonically meshes the classic 4AD Records sound with shoegaze in a way that feels warmly familiar yet novel.

“Sometimes, loneliness can feel like it’s raining down on you and there’s such a storm of emotion, you wonder if anyone can understand,” Messore told FAULT Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Initially formed as Bad Vibes, the rapidly rising San Diego-based psych rock act Drug Hunt, comprised of Rory Morison (guitar), Jason Michael Myers (guitar, vocals), Nick Sinutko (keys, vocals), Jordan “Fnord” Searls (bass, vocals) and Ryan Schilawaski (percussion, vocals)  released their Daniel Cervantes, Jordan Andreen and band co-produced self-titled EP through Blind Owl earlier this year. Centered around a seemingly vintage sound that meshes elements of post-punk, psych rock and British hard rock and early metal, the self-titled, four song EP is a concept effort that finds the band confronting ritualized power structures.

The EP’s latest single slow-burning, doom metal meets psych rock dirge, “The Blood” is centered around a dusty, analog production, fuzzy power chords, tons of feedback and distortion, a forceful and driving rhythm section, some blistering and dexterous solos and soulful Jim Morrison-like howls and crooning — and while inevitably drawing some sonic comparisons to The Doors, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf and others, the brooding and expansive song is the band’s examination of the universal belief in creation and divine intervention, inspired by the band’s own journeys to the source of religious and spiritual ideologies. And yet the song feels ominous and foreboding, as though evil spirits and doom are lurking right around the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Trippy Visuals and Krautrock Sounds of Tokyo’s Minami Deutsch

With the release of 2015’s self-titled debut and 2016’s Tunnel/New Pastoral Life EP, the Tokyo-based krautrock act Minami Deutsch, comprised of Kyotrao Miula (guitar, vocals, synthesizer), Taku Idemoto (guitar) and Keita Ise (bass), quickly established themselves with their homeland’s growing and incredibly vital psych scene. Much like their contemporaries, the band meshes the best influences from the global psych rock scene and meshes that with a delicate touch of Japanese music tradition. 

Their latest effort, Can’t get there, a six song EP, which was released through Höga Nord Rekords earlier this year marks their second release through the Gothenburg, Sweden-based label, and interestingly the EP’s material is meant to crush negativity, sorrow and depressive energy while continuing their long-held adherence to a sound and approach that’s defiantly anachronistic. There are only small hits and elements of modernity throughout; however, the new album finds the band going along and trying some new paths, as the EP features a cover of Index’s 1968 song “Israeli Blues” and two remixes from Hoga Kord labelmates and mainstays Jamie Paton and Mythologen. 

Clocking in at a little over seven minutes, Can’t get there’s latest single, EP title track “Can’t get there” is an expansive and trippy composition that’s a seamless synthesis of classic krautrock and psych rock. Centered around a performance that feels like a free-flowing jam and tightly rehearsed, the track features shimmering and angular bursts of guitar wrapped around a forceful, motorik groove making it the rare song that’s perfect for speeding down the Autobahn  — and for getting high and for trying to get on a different astral plane. 

Directed by Ryohei Kumamoto, the recently released video stars Lou Andreasu as a paranoid woman, wandering the streets of Tokyo, as though someone has been following her. Oddly enough, her moments are almost perfectly synched with the movement of the song. 

Live Footage: Black Pumas Perform “Colors” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed and rapidly rising Austin, TX-based soul act, Black Pumas throughout the course of this past year, and as you may recall, the act which is led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and guitarist drian Quesada and 27 year old singer/songwriter Eric Burton and features a cast of collaborators can trace its origins to when Burton, a popular street performer in his native Los Angeles busked his way across country to Austin, where he met Quesada. 

Black Pumas released their self-titled, full-length debut earlier this year, and since its release the act has been on a relentless touring schedule that has included three separate stops in New York alone: The Knitting Factory, back in May; Mercury Lounge, back in July; and Brooklyn Bowl last month. Album single “Colors” exploded nationally when a live version of the song amassed over 4 million YouTube views — and since then, the song has become the most added song to Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio. None of that should be surprising as the song is a decidedly old school singer/songwriter soul-inspired track centered around a looping 12 bar blues guitar line, twinkling Rhodes, some gospel-like backing vocals and Burton’s incredibly soulful and expressive vocals, which manage to express hurt, yearning, pride and awe simultaneously. As Burton, Quesada and company explained to The Fader by email, “‘Colors’ was written while the sun was going down on a rooftop in New Mexico. Finding inspiration in the multicolored hues of the night sky. The song is a message of togetherness, but there’s awareness of mortality mixed in . . .”

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the band made their nationally televised debut last night, performing “Colors” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

Liam Brown is a rapidly rising British singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and electro pop artist, who has been making waves across the blogosphere and elsewhere with his solo recording project pizzagirl.  With the release of last year’s An Extended Play EP, Brown was championed by Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and Lauren Laverne, and received praise from DIY, Highsnobiety, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit and others for an 80s synth pop inspired sound.

Building upon a growing profile, the release of his sophomore EP, season 2 further cemented Brown’s reputation for crafting swooning and shimmering synth pop — but this year may be Brown’s breakthrough year: his highly anticipated full-length debut first timer is slated for release later this year through through Heist or Hit Records, the label home of the Her’s, Baywaves and Honey Moon among others.

Earlier this year, I wrote about first timer‘s second single “ball’s gonna keep on rollin,”a hook-driven synth pop bop with shimmering synths, explosive blasts of horns, dramatic drum rolls and Brown’s pop star vocals. The album’s latest single “yesterday” is a slow-burning  ballad-ice track centered around shimmering keys, boom bap-like beats,  and Brown’s plaintive vocals. Arguably, the album’s most melancholy and wistful track, “yesterday” touches upon the rapid passing of time, and the lingering ghosts of the past — particularly those of romantic relationships and lovers. And while achingly sad, the track possesses an underlying sense of hope.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Noosa, Australia-born, London-based indie pop duo and JOVM mainstays Geowulf. The act, which is comprised of longtime friends Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin have known each other since they were teenagers; however, their musical collaboration is a much more recent development that can be traced to when Kendrick enlisted the assistance of her old friend Benjamin, to flesh out some of her early demos.

The duo then released a string of highly successful, critically applauded singles that began with “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s Top Ten and landed at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts, continued with the Mazzy Star meets Fleetwood Mac-like “Don’t Talk About You,” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much” and  the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,;” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” before the release of their Duncan Mills-produced full-length debut, last year’s Great Big Blue.

Building upon their rapidly growing international profile. the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album My Resignation is slated for an October 25, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings. The album reportedly finds Geowulf’s Kendrick writing arguably some of the most brutally honest lyrics of the band’s growing catalog to date. Written from the perspective and lens of a 20-something women trying to maneuver the weight of expectations put upon by others and herself, the album touches upon heartbreak and loneliness — in particular, leaning how to accept and love the space and much-needed self-awareness it can provide. As a result, the album and its material finds the duo maturing and attempting to maneuver the complexities and uncertainties of adulthood with their dignity and sanity intact. And if that feels familiar to you, it should. We’ve all been there at some point or another, and we’re still struggling through it all.

My Resignation‘s fifth and latest single, album title track, the deliberately crafted pop confection “My Resignation” is centered around a Phil Spector Wall of Sound-like production consisting of shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s gorgeous vocals expressing regret, weariness and hope for a new start simultaneously. “‘My Resignation’ inspired the name and the theme of the album,” the band’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. It summed up a lot of the years before — resigning from old habits and relationships. Creating space for new things and learning to let go. Toma and I feel proud of the song and had a lot of fun writing and finessing it. I originally wrote the demo on holiday in Sweden, so it came back to London with me, where Toma and I worked on it some more.”

Geowulf will be returning to North America to embark on a handful of tour dates throughout November. The tour will include a November 11, 2019 stop at Mercury Lounge. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

NORTH AMERICAN DATES:
11/7/2019 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
11/8/2019 – Toronto, ON – Drake
11/11/2019 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11/13/2019 – Los Angeles, CA -Moroccan Lounge
11/14/2019 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
11/15/2019 – Seattle, WA – Barboza

With the release of their debut EP Penance, the Brooklyn-based indie rock act and JOVM mainstays Russian Baths — 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. The Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays highly-anticipated full-length debut Deepfake is slated for a November 8, 2019 release through Good Eye Records,  and the album reportedly finds the members of Russian Baths pushing a sound centered around juxtapositions to its extreme: feedback and dissonance seem to swallow softly whispered harmonies, arpeggiated synths and boom 808s are paired with angular and shrieking guitars, propulsive drumming and motorik-like grooves.

Centered around surgical imagery, the album reportedly touches upon themes of personal regret, cultural guilt, reflections on systems in collapse — and while evoking our current zeitgeist, the album’s material is sung by voices that are seemingly so close that they’re in the room right beside you and other times, from a seemingly impossible distance. Now, as you may recall earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Tracks,” an aggressively abrasive song that in many ways was one part shoegaze, one part post-punk, one part noise rock and one part grunge, as the band paired fuzzy and distorted power chords with thunderous drumming and plaintive falsetto vocals. But at its core, the song evokes the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust of someone, who is forced to ask difficult questions of themselves and of their relationships.

Deepfake‘s latest single “Responder” finds the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays meshing elements of shoegaze, noise rock, atmospheric post punk, brooding 120 Minutes alt rock and Western gothic centered by Jess Ress’ plaintive and ethereal vocals, dramatic drumming and shimmering bursts of guitar. And while sonically bearing a bit of resemblance to Shadow on Everything-era Bambara, the track evokes a profound and confusing sense of regret and loss.

 

 

 

New Audio: Brooklyn Synth Pop Act The Rungs Release an Intimate and Sensual Visual for “King of Books”

Currently comprised of founding members and married duo Mandy Gurung (vocals, guitar, production) and Diwas Gurung (guitar, production) with the band’s newest ember Steven Bartashev (drums), the Brooklyn-based indie pop act The Rungs was initially created by Diwas Gurung as a music therapy project for his spouse. Bartashev was recruited to complete the band’s lineup and flesh out their sound during the writing and recording project of their most recent EP, last year’s Everyday Visions, which was recorded by the band at the Gurung’s home studio, nicknamed the Well of Yells. 

“King of Books,” Everyday Visions’ third and latest single is a slow-burning and atmospheric track, centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook, buzzing and distorted guitar lines and Mandy Gurung’s ethereal cooing. At its core, the song’s narrator has finally realized that they need to let go of the person or thing that’s holding them back — and as a result, the song is the bitter tell off of someone who’s about to move forward. “This song is so personal, but it touches on something dark that I feel a lot of people can relate to in different ways, about recognizing and letting go of something that’s holding them back,” The Rungs’ Mandy Gurung explains in press notes. “It could be a person, a place, a habit, it could be anything that derails you or even makes you sick. “You’re no good for me” is like a twisted mantra for waking up and seeing it. It’s the first step to moving on.” 

Directed by Justin Sindone, the recently released, sensual and incredibly intimate video for “King of Books” is set at a burlesque show with the members of the band playing music while Danielle Saint Velvet seductively dances to the music. “I had seen Danielle Saint Velvet perform a few times in upstate NY and in some clubs in the Lower East Side. Her dances stood out to me because she does such versatile routines and always manages to move so effortlessly,” Mandy Gurung says in press notes. “Every detail, her facial expressions, choreography, costume design, they all flow together. She’s just so talented in that way. When she agreed to do the video we were so psyched! Our video director and crew put a lot of thought into how to capture the choreography, not just filming the dance but really creating something subtle and delicate. They followed her routine in a way that to me feels so captivating and intimate.”