Tag: ACES

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus yer history, I’ve written quit a bit about the Brooklyn-based electro pop act denitia and sene. And as you may recall, the act won the attention of the blogosphere for a unique sound that paired Brian “sene” Marc’s hyper-modern and slick production work, which effortlessly meshed elements of electro pop, hip-hop, funk. minimalist electronica, underground and avant-garde pop and neo soul with Denitia Odgie‘s soulful yet ethereal vocals.

The duo’s full-length debut his & hers was a critical and commercial success — the album landed in the Top 10 of iTunes R&B Charts, and the duo were profiled in the New York Times, for their participation in a forward-thinking Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist collective and living space. After the release of their debut, the duo had been busy with individual creative pursuits — Marc was a part of the cast of  Netflix‘s Luke Cage, has starred alongside Emma Roberts in Nerve and a lead role in White Girl while Odigie’s solo recording project ADESUWA received attention after the release of the Air Light EP and the project’s full-length debut.

Their sophomore effort, 2016’s love and noir featured album singles “open wide,” a swooning love song centered around a seemingly chilly and subtly industrial production and “favorite” a shimmering and airy song that evoked the happy sigh of waking up next to a lover after you’ve just made love. Although it’s been a while since I’ve written about the longtime JOVM mainstays or their individual projects, Odigie has been busy writing and recording the material off her forthcoming solo album Touch of the Sky. Written as a cinematic ode to nostalgia and the alchemy of love, the album’s material was produced largely from 6am sessions from Odigie’s beachfront studio.

Touch of the Sky‘s third and latest single “Place To Be” follows the release of “Where You Go” and “Waves,” both of which received placement on Spotify’s Indie Stage playlist and Shazam‘s official The Best New Music playlist on Apple Music. Additionally, “Waves” caught attention from Refinery 29, who placed the song on their New Music To Know This Week round-up. The slow-burning “Place To Be” is centered around denitia’s tender and aching vocals, atmospheric synths, and thumping beats.  Interestingly, the new track bears more of a resemblance to the cinematic and aching pop of JOVM mainstay ACES — while being inspired by the bittersweet loneliness that frequently sets in during the aftermath of a tumultuous affair.

 

 

 

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New Video: Napoleon Gold Releases a Hazy and Surrealistic Video for 80s Inspired Pop Confection “Love Don’t Cut Me Down” feat. Haiva Ru

Born Antoine Honorez, the Luxembourg City, Luxembourg-born French electronic music producer and artist Napoleon Gold received attention across the European electronic music scene and elsewhere for as a solo artist, whose ambient electronic production work is generally centered around bewitching arrangements, warm, low-pitched vocal samples and rousing percussion — and for a series of remixes and collaborations with Sun Glitters and Monsoonsiren. Building upon a growing profile across the European Union, Honorez toured across the European Union’s festival circuit, making appearances at Liverpool Soundcity Festival, Nordik Impakt, Galapagai Festival, Rock A Field and others.

After signing to New York-based electronic labels 13 Audio and Cinematic Music Group last year, Honorez released an attention grabbing collaborative EP,  A New Colour with T-Pain. However, 2019 may be a breakthrough year for the Luxembourg City-born producer: his highly anticipated full-length debut Sunset Motel is slated for a September 20, 2019 release. Deriving its title from a fictitious place, where the producer takes refuge from his life-long struggles from insomnia — and the thoughts, desires, regrets and dreams that come during the late night hours, the album thematically is about the inspiration he feels late at night. The album will also further cement his reputation for being an expert curator of collaborative talent, as the album finds him working with an eclectic array of up-and-coming artists including Haiva Ru’s Annie Merrill, Anna Majidson, Madge, Jesus Honcho, PH Trigano, Raquel, Kimberly Tell and Jalen Santoy. 

The album’s first single “Love Don’t Cut Me Down,” a collaboration with Haiva Ru is a decidedly 80s synth R&B two-step centered around thumping beats, layers of arpeggiated synths, brief blasts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a funky bass line, a sinuous and infectious hook and Haiva Ru’s Allie Merrill’s tender and plaintive vocals. And while sonically speaking, the song manages to recall Cherrelle, and even contemporaries like ACES, the song expresses a mix of yearning, longing and desperate hope that seems all too common in any romantic relationship. “I think I associate my first encounters with insomnia to a period of my childhood when my parents were constantly listening to this Belgian radio station called RTL2, on which they’d always play this kind of music. The songs trigger emotions linked to my childhood and they really speak to me. I wanted to add similar textures and vibes into this album” Honorez says in press notes. 

Starring Haiva Ru’s Allie Merrill, the recently released video is a hazy, languid and surrealistic dream that has Merrill in a hotel room that’s both decadent and dilapidated. We see her intimate moments, dancing to a song and reminiscing — before bathing with her clothes on. 

New Video: Winona Oak Releases Feverish Visuals for Soaring Ballad “Break My Broken Heart”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the up-and-coming, Solleron, Sweden-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist Winona Oak. And as you may recall, Oak who was born Johanna Ekmark has a rather unique backstory: Growing up  on the small, Swedish island known to Swedes as the Island of the Sun, the up-and-coming Solleron-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist spent much of her childhood encountering more animals than people. As the story goes, she grew up as a trained horse acrobat and because she grew up in a musical home, she was encouraged to pursue creative endeavors as much as possible: Ekmark began playing violin when she was 5, piano when she was 9, and she wrote poetry and songs at an extremely young age. 

Ekmark eventually moved to Stockholm to pursue a career in music, but a leap of faith that had her attend a Neon Gold Records writing retreat in the Nicaraguan jungle led to her to meet Australian-born and based hit making producer and pop artist What So Not. And from this serendipitous meeting, she went on to co-write ““Better” and “Stuck In Orbit,” before stepping out into the spotlight as both the writer and featured artist on the Aussie producer and pop artist’s “Beautiful,” which was released last year.

Adding to a busy 2018, Ekmark covered HAIM‘s “Don’t Save Me” for Neon Gold Records’ 10th anniversary compilation, NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold. She then closed out the year with a co-write and vocal contribution of The Chainsmokers viral hit “Hope,” a track that has amassed over 250 million streams across all digital platforms globally — including over 100 million streams on Spotify. And as a result of a rapidly growing profile, Oak signed to Warner-Chappell Music Publishing and to Neon Gold/Atlantic Records.

Oak’s long-awaited debut single “He Don’t Love Me” revealed an ambitious songwriter, who has an uncanny knack for a sultry and infectious hook paired with a sleek, hyper modern production and an achingly bittersweet air. Her latest single “Break My Broken Heart” is a slow-burning and anthemic ballad featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, Oak’s yearning vocals and a soaring hook. And while the track sonically manages to recall the atmospherics of JOVM mainstay ACES, it’ll also further cement Oak’s reputation for crafting earnest pop with enormous hooks. “You have to be brave to love someone with all of your heart,” Oak says. “But the biggest risk is not to take any risks at all. As long as we’re breathing, what’s one more scar?”

Directed by Andres Ohman, the recently released video for “Break My Broken Heart” continues their ongoing collaboration, it continues a bit in the vein as its predecessor — cinematically shot but while evoking a feverish dream. 

With the release of their debut single “Visions of You,” feat. Electric Youth, the up-and-coming Stockholm and Los Angeles-based electronic production and electronic music artist duo ROOM8 — Ezra Reich and Nic Johns — quickly established a reputation for crafting a sound that draws from electro pop, electronic dance music and film soundtracks. Building upon a growing profile, the duo produced, wrote and/or cowrote a series of attention-grabbing singles including Electric Youth‘s “Without You” which was praised by NPR, as well as “No Hard Feelings,” feat. King Deco and “This Place Again,” feat. Polina, which received praise form Neon Gold, Huffington Post, Noisey, Blackbook, Flaunt and elsewhere. “Better Than Music,” a collaboration with acclaimed British electro pop artist Little Boots premiered on Billboard.

This year has been an incredibly busy and productive year for the duo. They’ve produced the score for the forthcoming motion picture Cuck — and their latest album, Transduction is slated for an October 11, 2019 release. The album’s latest single is the slow-burning and atmospheric ballad “Only You.” Centered around shimmering synths, trembling beats, the achingly plaintive vocals of The Sound of Arrows and a soaring hook, the song manages to sound as though it could easily be on the soundtrack of at least a dozen different 80s films, while also recalling JOVM mainstays ACES and others. But at its core. the song is a contented sigh — the sort that comes when you’ve discovered that one person, who understands everything about you, when you feel the most out of place and misunderstood.

New Video: Bat For Lashes Release a Cinematic and Wistful Visual for “Kids in the Dark”

Natasha Khan is a Brighton, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Bat For Lashes — and for being the vocalist for Sexwitch, a collaboration with the members of British psych rock act TOY and producer Dan Carey. Born to an English mother, Josie and Pakistani squash player Rehmat Khan, Natasha Khan traces some of the influences of her musical career to attending her father’s and her uncle’s Jahangir’s squash matches, which she felt inspired her creativity: “The roar of the crowd is intense; it is ceremonial, ritualistic, I feel like the banner got passed to me but I carried it on in a creative way. It is a similar thing, the need to thrive on heightened communal experience.” Her father left when she was 11, and she taught herself to play the piano, which quickly became an important channel to express things, to get them out.

Khan’s debut single “The Wizard” was released digitally through Drowned in Sound Records and on seven-inch vinyl through her own imprint, She Bear Records — and by 2006, she caught the attention of Echo Label, a record label owned by Chrysalis Records that acted as an incubator for emerging artists and assisting their careers while moving them to major labels. Echo released her debut, 2006’s Fur and Gold. The following year, Khan and Echo signed an international licensing deal with Parlophone Records, who re-released Fur and Gold that year. The album reached #48 on the UK Albums Charts and since its release, it’s been certified gold. Building upon a growing profile, the British singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer played at Glastonbury Festival and toured across the States. The album was shortlisted for that year’s Mercury Prize, losing to Klaxons’ Myths of the Near Future, despite being a named a heavy favorite to win — and being critically applauded. She won ASCAP’s Vanguard Award, which resulted in her performing at their “ASCAP Presents . .  .” SXSW showcase. 

2008 continued an incredible run by the British singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist as she was notated for two Brit Awards — British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist. She opened handful of dates for Radiohead, and she released a cover of The Cure’s “A Forest,” which appeared on the Perfect as Cats charity album. 

Khan’s sophomore album, 2009’s David Kosten and Khan-produced Two Suns was inspired by a trip she took to Joshua Tree, CA. The album focuses on her desert-born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while living in New York. Sonically, the material was inspired by the Brooklyn bands that had started to receive attention nationally and internationally at the time — in particularly, TV on the Radio, MGMT, Gang Gang Dance and others. Interestingly, the album also found her collaborating with the members of Yeasayer, who contributed bass and beat programming. The album debuted at #5 on the UK Albums Chart and has since been certified gold as a result of “Daniel,” which peaked at #36 on the UK Singles Chart. “Daniel” later won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Additionally, Khan received her second Mercury Prize nomination and a second BRIT Award nomination for British Female Solo Artist. 

Summer 2009 saw her play at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset House and the iTunes Festival, which was followed by a special edition of Two Suns, which was released ahead of her October UK tour an included a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” 

Khan’s third Bat for Lashes album, 2012’s The Haunted Man debuted at #6 on the UK Albums Chart, her second consecutive Top 10 album, an effort that has since been certified silver. Khan was nominated for her third Best British Solo Female BRIT Award and was nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards — Best Song Musically and Best Song Lyrically for album single “Laura.” That year saw her play at Coachella Festival. She also opened for Blur and Depeche Mode. 

During a surprise 2015 Green Man Festival set in Wales, Khan debuted her collaboration with Dan Carey and TOY — Sexwitch. That September, the project released its self-titled debut through Echo and BMG, which featured six covers of 1970s psych and folk from different parts of the world. 

2016 saw the release of her fourth full-length album The Bride, an album that was nominated for the Mercury Prize. 

Slated for a September 6, 2019 release through AWAL Recordings, Khan’s forthcoming album Lost Girls continues a run of concept albums in which she creates an off-kilter coming of age film in which fans of marauding female biker gangs roam the streets — and teenagers make out on car hoods. The women characters are parallel to the protagonists of her previously released albums — particularly, the street tough, darkness-driven Pearl from Two Suns. In this case, the album’s main character is Nikki Pink, one of the album’s Lost Girls. Thematically, the album is a romantic album that pays homage to Los Angeles, being a child of the 80s, and to the films that touched and changed her life. 

Sonically, the album finds Khan mixing sounds she’s always loved — heavy bass line, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats and cascading choruses. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Kids in the Dark,” is a hazy bit of 80s inspired synth pop centered around shimmering synths, reverb-drenched blasts of guitar, a soaring hook, stuttering beats and Khan’s ethereal vocals, and interestingly enough, the track bears an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstay ACES, as it possesses an achingly wistful air. 

Directed by Natasha Khan, the recently released video for “Kids in the Dark” was shot against the Los Angeles hills with the eerie and gorgeous waning of dusk casting shadows — and it emphasizes the song’s wistful air, as it features the Lost Girls and two star-crossed lovers. The video hints at how its protagonist Nikki Pink became a Lost Girl. 

Comprised of Ottilia Kjulsten and David Sugar, Girl Crush is an up-and-coming Swedish/British duo that have a special interest in lost youth, heartbreak and a future never arrived. The duo’s singles “Warm Blooded” and “Past Life” received airplay on Phil Taggart’s BBC Radio 1 show while “Radio Silence,” was named The Guardian‘s Track of the Week — and as a result, each single has amassed over 1 million streams on Spotify.

Fittingly, their latest single “Baby Steps,” which was released on Valentine’s Day is a sultry, Quiet Storm-inspired track about taking a relationship to the next level that’s centered around Kjulsten’s ethereal vocals and a shimmering, atmospheric production that will remind some listeners of JOVM mainstays ACES and others.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Introducing the Atmospheric and Brooding Synth Pop of London’s Sailing Stones

Jenny Lindfors is an Irish-born, London-based singer/songwriter and indie electro pop artist, best known for her solo recording project Sailing Stones. And with the release of her debut EP She’s A Rose, the Irish-born, English-based singer/songwriter received national attention with airplay on Gideon Coe’s, Tom Robinson’s and Don Letts’ BBC Radio 6 shows and played a live session for BBC Music Introducing In The West. Lindfors is currently working on the final touches of her TJ Allen-produced full-length debut, which is slated for a 2019 release through her own label Keep Her Lit.

But in the meantime, Lindfors latest single “To Know Nothing At All (Telescopes)” is a re-imagined, re-worked and retitled take on an an earlier release, a vinyl B-side for the original “Telescopes” single. Interestingly, Dan Moore, best known for is work with Will Gregory Moog Ensemble and Modulus III came up with a version of the song, completely composed on analog synthesizers — and as a result, it gives the reworked song a brooding and atmospheric vibe that recalls JOVM mainstay ACES, and the cinematic 80s synth pop that clearly inspire it. 

As Lindfors says in press notes, the use of synthesizers was “a game changer in terms of how I wanted to record my songs. It hooked me into making more music that reminded me of the AOR bands/singer-songwriters of the late 80s when I was little.” Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for the single is centered around a grainy VHS-like footage of a late night drive to Bristol, complete with the sodium glow of streetlights, a constant flow of headlights and taillights of cars, further emphasizing the song’s brooding nature.

New Audio: Introducing the Ethereal 80s Synth Pop Sounds of Barrie

While now currently based in Brooklyn, the individual members of the up-and-coming indie pop act Barrie, comprised of founding trio featuring lead songwriter Barrie Lindsay, who worked as a studio assistant for a sculptor; Spurge and Noah, who both work at The Lot Radio, a community-run online, radio station, where the band’s founding trio met through a mutual friend and eventually connected with their drummer Dom; and their bassist Sabine, who was recruited through a Tinder profile set up by the band to meet a bassist, each individual member can claim the following as their hometowns — Baltimore, Boston, Sao Paulo, Brazil, London, and Upstate New York. 

“Canyons,” the Brooklyn synth pop act’s debut single is a slow-burning track that finds them pairing gossamer vocals with wobbling arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, propulsive drumming and a feathery and ethereal hook in a minimalist song that draws from 80s synth pop but possesses an underlying bittersweet barb similar to Yumi Zouma, as well as JOVM mainstays ACES and Beacon. 

Tiny Fireflies is an indie electro pop/dream pop duo that initially began when two Chicago, IL-based electronic music producers and artists Lisle and Kristine, who were best known for their own solo projects,  Fireflies and Tiny Microphone were invited to contribute to “Between Two Waves,” an Eardrums Pop Records compilation series centered around the concept of two musicians collaborating together to write and record a song together. Their song together, “Don’t Wait Until I Fall Asleep” paid homage to the Factory Records synth pop/post punk-era sound and was a fan favorite.

In October 2010, Tiny Fireflies became the first act to release a single for the label’s single  club with the three song offering being voted as one of Eardrum Pops favorite releases and featured one of the favorite singles of the singles club, “Snow.” And since then, the duo have played at New York City Popfest, toured the UK and Spain, and opened for Memoryhouse during the renowned indie act’s Midwest tour. Building upon a growing profile, the duo released their Ian Catt-produced, 2015 full-length debut The Space Between to critical applause from the likes of AllMusic.com and CMJ. 

Late last year saw the release of “2040,” the first single off a forthcoming vinyl 7″ single slated for release during the first few months of this year, and the new single will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting smoky and gossamer-like synth pop, reminiscent of JOVM mainstay ACES and others, complete with a soaring hook and achingly tender vocals.