New Video: Up-and-Coming Pop Artist Lonas Releases a Nostalgia-Tinged Visual for “High School Kids”

With his solo recording project Lonas, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Johnson makes a marked departure from his work as a member of Americana duo The Saint Johns. Johnson’s Lonas debut, Youth EP as he explains in press notes “is an attempt to immortalize millennials’ nostalgia for the past and unprecedented anxiety about the future.”

Interestingly, the EP’s first single, the slow-burning “High School Kids” is centered around a lush and brooding production featuring shimmering guitars, atmospheric electronics and propulsive drumming — and while sonically evoking the 90s pop that influenced it, the song is written from the perspective of someone looking back at their high school years with a warm, rose-colored, romanticized nostalgia. After all, the world seemed so much simpler — friendships and romantic relationships were supposed to last forever; humanity didn’t seem to be spinning closer to annihilation; and you didn’t have to face the compromises, complexities and uncertainties of the adult world. But there’s this tacit acknowledgement that the song’s narrator can’t get that time back.  

Directed by John Gillian, the video stars Andy Prince as a therapist and Johnson as himself, the recently released video ironically finds both men being incredibly nostalgic about their pasts — the carefree days of hanging out, goofing off and of seemingly simpler consequences. The video splits between the current day and grainy video footage, shot back in high school, capturing the youthful sense of hope and excitement of the time. 

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New Video: Ian Ferguson Releases a Trippy and Lo-Fi Tribute to Godzilla-like Movies in Visual for “Tyrants Waltz”

Late last month, I wrote about singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ian Ferguson, and as you may recall Ferguson is a high-school dropout from a one stoplight town outside of Nashville, who started his music career in earnest when he formed and broke up his high school band Kingston Springs just as they were on the verge of a success; in fact, the band had a major label deal on the table, when he decided to walk away from the band.  

Ferguson can trace the origins of his solo career to when he accidentally locked himself in his mother’s basement. I was in my basement, working on some demos,” Ferguson recalls in press notes. “I hadn’t put this idea of ‘making a record’ together in my mind just yet. And there was this faulty door at the top of the stairs that would lock itself and you had to have a key to get out, which of course I didn’t have. I’m messing around when all of the sudden I hear it shut. To this day, I’m not sure what happened. It might’ve been my dachshund Hannah or just some crazy occurrence. I was home alone at the time so I started to freak out, but eventually decided to make the best of it. I had this old HP computer from the 90’s down there and I just went to town.” The end result is the Nashville area-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s forthcoming solo debut, State of Gold.

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through County Fair Records, Ferguson’s debut effort was self-engineered with the up-and-coming singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performing all the album’s instrumentation and arrangements. With no formal training as an engineer, self-recording and self-mixing were initially challenges. ““I ended up teaching myself how to record and mix records, using some goofy computer software. I actually mixed the record on that old HP computer from the 90’s using a very impractical way of recording that involved burning 16 CDs for each song. It took me a long time to make the record, but after I got ripped off $1k from an audio engineer for a mix that didn’t sound right, I knew I had to take it on myself and I hope you can hear the love in the labor,” Ferguson says in press notes.

Because of his wild-eyed falsetto, use of layered vocal harmonies, greasy guitars and conversational lyricism, Ferguson’s sound has gained comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, The Nude Party, David Bowie, Marc Bolan/T. Rex and psychedelic era Beatles — and as a result, some of his fans include a who’s who of contemporary Nashville-based acts including Alabama Shakes and JOVM mainstay Ron Gallo among others. Interestingly, album single “Worried Walk” is a shuffling bit of psych blues that made it rather easy to understand why early comparisons to Marc Bolan’s work are so uncannily spot; in fact, the song sounds as though it could have been released on just abut any T. Rex album. However, the song possesses just enough Southern twang to give it a mischievously deceptive, anachronistic quality.  

State of Gold’s latest single is “Tyrants Waltz,” a shuffling and bluesy waltz that’s one part Sgt, Pepper-era Beatles, one part The Band and one part Southern rock, centered around an arrangement featuring twinkling keys, jangling guitars, a lysergic guitar solo and a soaring hook. “Tyrants can exist in many forms, under different guises. Sometimes they’re obvious and sometimes they surprise you,” the up-and-coming Nashville area-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains in press notes. “Often times, they seem to represent the exact thing they’re working to dismantle. I wrote this song years ago, before the current state of affairs. However, seeing as how the song represents the disconnect between the masses and those in power, it seems more relevant now than back then.” 

Directed, edited and animated by Pam Detrich, the recently released video for “Tyrants Waltz” features edited footage from knock-off, Godzilla-like monster movies. Just like the real Godzilla monsters, the knock-offs destroy everything in their paths through fire, lasers and stomping everything to bits — and oddly, everything occurs in almost exact time to the accompanying music before ending in feedback and static, with the monsters seemingly laughing in triumph. 

New Audio: Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Imperial Teen Releases a “120 Minutes” Alt Rock-Like Single

Last month, I wrote about the acclaimed indie band Imperial Teen, and as you may recall, the act which, is comprised of Roddy Bottum (guitar, vocals), a former member of Faith No More; Will Schwartz (guitar, vocals), who splits his time with hey willpower; Lynn Perko Truell, (drums, backing vocals), a former member of Sister Double Happiness, The Dicks and The Wrecks; and Jone Stebbins, a former member of The Wrecks originally formed in San Francisco in the mid 90s.

Their Steve McDonald-produced debut effort, 1996’s Seasick was released to praise from Spin Magazine, who went on to list it as their fourth best album of that year and from the New York Times. Building upon a growing profile, the band’s sophomore album, 1998’s What Is Not to Love found the band ambitiously expanding upon their sound and approach with the album’s material routinely clocking over six minutes — and album single “Yoo Hoo” appeared on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. The accompanying video featured the movie’s star Rose McGowan appearing alongside the band, and it was included as as special feature on the DVD. Additionally, the song was heard in the beginning of episodes of episodes of Numb3rs and Daria.

Imperial Teen eventually left Universal Records and signed with Merge Records, who released their third album, 2002’s Steve McDonald and Anna Waronker co-produced effort, On. The album’s lead single “Ivanka” received airplay — and they spent a portion of the year touring with The Breeders. Interestingly, that tour include a stop at famed Hoboken club Maxwell’s, which was recorded and released a few months later as Live at Maxwell’s. Shortly after, the band’s Will Schwartz teamed up with Tomo Yasuda for Schwartz’s dance music side project hey willpower, which released their self-titled debut EP in 2005. And by 2007, the members of Imperial Teen returned with two shows at that year’s SXSW and their fourth album, The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band, which landed at #38 on Rolling Stone‘s Best Albums list that year.

Since the release of the band’s fifth album, 2012’s Feel the Sound, the members of the band have relocated to different parts of the country, with members in New York, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Understandably, the geographical locations and distances can make it extremely difficult to write and record music on a regular basis — but the members of the acclaimed indie rock act reconvened to write and record their forthcoming, sixth album Now We Are Timeless.

Slated for a July 12, 2019 release through their longtime label home, Merge Records, the band’s sixth album will further cement their long-held reputation for crafting deeply personal material that offered a view into the bandmember’s individual lives, complete with victories, losses, aspirations, where they were emotionally and personally — while thematically, the material touches upon time, movement, averting and succumbing to crisis, dealing with and accepting loss and pain. The album’s first single “We Do What We Do Best” was a swaggering, arena rock friendly track centered around an enormous hook and equally enormous power chords, buzzing synths, a propulsive rhythm section, a lysergic guitar solo paired with stream-of-consciousness lyrics delivered with a mischievous and ironic aplomb. 

The album’s latest single “Walkaway” finds the band crafting jangling and propulsive dream pop centered around a soaring hook and plaintive vocals. And although the song manages to bring back memories of 120 Minutes alt rock the song is rooted in the band’s personal, lived-in experience. “We are a band that are together and not. Our collective history is our bond,” the members of the band explain in press notes. “Physically though, we live in different cities, lead different lives. ‘Walkaway’ is a song about a feeling we’ve all known. Watching others, near and far and feeling distance and separation from what they’re experiencing. Feeling connected and independent at the same time. Closing the gap of physical distance and making our lives a more connected place.” 

Lyric Video: Acclaimed Indie Electro Pop Artist Tei Shi Releases a Slow-Burning and Ethereal New Single

With the release of a critically applauded batch of material — 2013’s Saudade EP, 2015’s Verde EP, 2017’s full-lenght debut, Crawl Space, a cover of Beyonce’s “No Angel” and a guest spot on Glass Animals’ “Holiest,” the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, electronic music artist and electronic music producer Valerie Teicher, best known as the creative mastermind behind Tei Shi has developed a reputation for crafting slow-burning, shimmering, ethereal pop. 

Teicher has spent the past couple of years working on her forthcoming sophomore album — but she’s also managed to find some time to collaborate with Blood Orange and Diddy on the viral hit song “Hope,” which has amassed over 10 million streams. Also, she appeared in the video for the song alongside Diddy, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator and Empress Of — and she joined Blood Orange in a performance of the song at this year’s Coachella Festival. Interestingly, the album’s slow-burning and gorgeous first single “A Kiss Goodbye” is reportedly a tonal departure from her moodier, darker debut as it finds Teicher, who’s a Colombian-Canadian reconnecting with her Latin roots and influences with the material also reflecting her relocation from New York to Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, while superficially recalling Sade, the song has a subtle Brazilian tropicalia lilt — until the trap beat driven bridge, which gives the song an unexpected, urgency. 

“This song is about intuition—following my gut and my body more than my head,” Teicher explains press notes. “It’s about learning from love and from giving so much of myself to other people, and coming out of it with a more selfish mindset, to save my love and my nurturing for myself. It’s about figuring out who you are on your own and without someone else defining that for you, through trusting yourself and allowing for the universe, the supernatural, the unexpected to take hold.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Russian Baths Return with a Disturbing Visual for “Parasite”

Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays, Russian Baths. And as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the act comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner quickly received attention locally and elsewhere for a sound that the band has described by some as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others. The Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays released their debut EP Penance last year through Good Eye Records and from EP singles “What’s In Your Basement,” “Slenderman” and “Poolhouse,” the band established a sound that recalled brooding, 120 Minutes-era alt rock. 

Russian Baths’ full-length debut is slated for release later this year, and the album’s first, official single”Parasite” may arguably be the one of the most muscular and grunge-like songs of the band’s growing catalog, as the song is centered around distortion pedal-drenched power chords, thundering drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and male-female harmonizing within a tried-and-true, alt rock, alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure. And while bringing Nirvana, The Breeders and others mind, the song has a deeply unsettling and violent air, capturing someone on the verge of destroying themselves.

Interestingly, the recently released video for “Parasite” follows an incredibly dysfunctional and parasitical relationship between two women, one who has just left a hospital for some unknown treatment or procedure.  Throughout their day together, the healthier woman takes her friend’s medication, frequently teasing and mocking her friend, who by the end of the video collapses. “Have you ever had an insect burrow into your brain and force you to drown yourself? Cured a headache with a hand grenade?” Koz says in press notes about the single and the accompanying video. “This song is about these legitimate questions.”

Last month, I wrote about the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based psych rock quartet Possum, and as you may recall the band, which is comprised of Brandon Bak (guitar, vocals), Tobin Hopwood (guitar), Patrick Lefler (bass) and Bradley Thibodeau (drums) met within their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. The members of the band bonded over their mutual love and appreciation of acts like of CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall — but the end result is a sound that can be loosely described as a fusion of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethno jazz, complete with rapid tempo and time signature change, hypnotic riffs and chugging, motorik grooves.

Live, their shows are an immersive experience in which the band pairs high energy performances and trippy sounds with lysergic visual projections by The Oscillitarium. And as a result of their live show, the members of Possum have shared stages with the likes of the aforementioned Ty Segall, All Them Witches, Shannon and The Clams, Bombino, L.A. Witch and Chad VanGaalen.

Interestingly, the Canadian psych rockers have maintained a steadfast and ardent DIY ethos in which they’ve independently recorded, mixed and produced their material using old analog tape machines — and they’ve packaged their music themselves. In fact, Possum’s full-length debut, Space Grade Assembly, which is slated for release later this month continues the band’s DIY ethos with the material recorded almost entirely live and mixed by the band’s Brandon Bak and Tobin Hopwood. Album single “The Hills” was an expansive and heady mix of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin power chord-fueled riffing, thunderous drumming, Afrobeat and Latin-tinged percussion that found the band’s production nodding at shoegaze, classic psych rock and krautrock simultaneously.

Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, “Worms Hollow,” Space Grade Assembly‘s latest single is a mind-altering and expansive track that’s one part 60s inspired garage psych, one part motorik groove-driven krautrock and one part space rock centered around a focused and urgent performance.

Possum is currently on a lengthy North American tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

Tour Dates
June 7 – Chicago, IL (Emporium)
June 8 – Kansas City, MI (TBA)
June 9 – Denver, CO (Second City Music Collective)
June 11 – San Francisco, CA (Knockout Lounge)
June 13 – Portland, OR (Post 134)
June 14 – Seattle, WA (Clock Out Lounge)
June 16 – Vancouver, BC (Static Jupiter)
June 17 – Victoria, BC (Copper House)
June 18 – Nanaimo, BC (Nanaimo Bar)
June 19 – Kelowna. BC (Fernando’s)
June 20 – Kamloops, BC (Blue Grotto)
June 21/22/23 – Calgary, AB (Sled Island Muisc Festival)
June 24 – Regina, SK (TA Vinyl and Fashion)
June 25 – Winnepeg, MB (Handsome Daughter)
June 26 – Minneapolis, MN (Terminal Bar)
June 27 – Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
June 28 – Detroit, MI (Kelly’s Bar)

New Video: Froth Releases a Lysergic Visual for Minimalist “77”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk, Lodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

Directed by Shane McKenzie, the recently released, lysergic visual for “77” is centered around glitchy, neon-colored, VHS glitchiness. “We’ve known Shane McKenzie (Shake Chime Zen) for a long time, he’s always doing analog projections at shows around LA. We liked his VHS vibe and thought it would be fitting for the ’77’ video. He was able to match the analog glitchiness of the song with the way he processed the video. Other than that, it was inspired by scenes from The Eric Andre show and some of R. Stevie Moore’s VHS videos.”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era KraftwerkLodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

The members of Froth are currently on the road, touring to support the new album and the tour includes a July 3, 2019 stop at Elsewhere’s Rooftop with A Place to Bury Strangers doing a DJ set. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

# = w/ Black Marble
* = w/ Versing
% = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers DJs (DJ Set)
$ = Release Show w/ Adult Books

6/7: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room, Desert Daze Presents $
6/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse *
6/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
6/21: El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz *
6/22: San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light *
6/23: Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
6/24: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/25: Houston, TX @ Satellite *
6/26: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe *
6/28: Madison, WI @ UW-Madison *
6/29: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival *
6/30: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
7/2: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong *
7/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop * %
7/5: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom *
7/6: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/7: Toronto, ON @ Baby G *
7/8: Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
7/10: Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag *
7/12: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall *
8/23: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Fuzz Club Festival