Paris-based Australian-French singer/songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and sibling duo Djakarta — Raphaël and Tristan Stuart — have received attention in their native France for crafting intimate yet hook-driven pop songs in which they mesh acoustic and electronic textures.
Slated for a November 2020 release, the duo’s forthcoming sophomore Stan Neff-produced EP Overseas is the first batch of original material from the duo in over three years. Inspired by wide-open spaces and cityscapes, the sibling duo’s experiences living in Europe and Australia, the EP’s material reportedly finds the duo crafting bittersweet yet sun-drenched pop that thematically question the routines and melancholy of city life.
Overseas’ latest single, “Any Open Door” is a breezy yet brooding bit of pop, centered around an infectious hook, shimmering guitars, stuttering four-on-the-floor, a sinuous bass line and the duo’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the song may find some listeners thinking of JOVM mainstays Tame Impala and CONES, as well as Phoenix and Air but underneath the breezy infectiousness of the song is the sort of bittersweet, melancholy that comes from the passing of time and the loss of innocence.
Directed by Baptiste Perrin, the recently released, animated video for “Any Open Door” features at trippy use of bright watercolors in which colors quickly morph into a variety of shapes including silhouettes of the Stuart Brothers, a man surfing and so on.
Tracing their origins back to when its members — Guillaume Adamo and Florian Deyz — met in grade school, the Nice, France-based indie pop duo Ninety’s Story have developed a warm, sophisticated and sensual music inspired by the French Riviera and the likes of Phoenix, Daft Punk and Air. The duo released their debut single “KIKUKYU” and their debut EP through Kitsuné Musique in 2017. Adding to a growing profile, the Nice-based duo have opened for Archive, Morcheeba, Pale Waves and Puggy among others.
Additionally, the duo wrote the music for Citroën C4 Aircross ad campaign that aired in China — with the band representing the company at the Paris and Hangzhou Motor Shows. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that I wrote about the rising French duo’s acoustic rendition of the breezy yet anthemic “APO.” The French electronic duo return with the sultry R&B-influenced “Home.” Centered around skittering trap and boom bap beats, atmospheric synths, expressive and bluesy bursts of guitar, fuzzy bass synth, plaintive vocals, a soaring hook and an enormous drop “Home” may remind some listeners of JOVM mainstays Beacon, as well as Montreal’s Seoul and Detroit-based JOVM mainstays Gosh Pith. “The song was composed, produced and recorded in Brussels during the quarantine period,” the rising French duo explain. “Everything was quiet outside and put us into a very inspiring [sic] mood, different than usual.”
Directed by Victor Rahman, the recently released, cinematically shot lyric video features the rising French duo rocking out to the song during a gorgeous purple-red sunset. “For the video, we drove across Belgium and just stop [sic] in a spot were [sic] the sunset and the sea were beautiful. We just put the music [on] very loud and enjoyed the vibe in front of the camera,” the duo says.
Andries is an emerging Oak View, CA-based electronic music artist, electronic music producer and sound designer for film and television. The Oak View-based artist and sound designer began making music while studying Media Arts at Chico State University. Initially starting out by making hip-hop beats, he eventually veered out towards more progressive electronic productions, inspired by Bonobo, Air, and Amon Tobin.
Upon graduation, Andries spent some time in Tokyo, gravitating towards sound design in TV and film. He’s spent the past decade working as a sound effects editor for a number of shows, including Den of Thieves, Up in the Air, Lost in Space and a growing list of others. His music was sidelined for much of that decade, as he focused his energy on his profession; however, interestingly enough, his experience as a sound effects engineer has become an important part of his approach to arranging and mixing his own original work, work that has been influenced by Dan Deacon, Flying Lotus, Lindstrøm, Boards of Canada, Jean-Michael Jarre, and video game music of the ’80s and ’90s.
The Oak View-based electronic music artist, producer and sound designer’s latest single “Bird of Paradise” balances a cinematic sweep with a club friendly thump in an ambitious yet incredibly accessible fashion. Centered around an expansive song structure featuring shifting moods and textures, the song is held together by layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, a soaring hook and a motorik-like groove, the song sonically speaking recall a synthesis of John Carpenter soundtracks, Kraftwerk, and Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa — but with an almost painterly attention to gradation and shading.
Tastycool is an emerging Angoulême, France-based indie electro pop duo — Victor Barougier and Tom Meyronnin — that specializes in a sound that draws from house music, funk, nu disco and electro pop. The duo’s latest EP, Luved is slated for a May 8, 2020 release, and the EP’s latest single “Velvet” is a summery club banger. Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, finger snaps, insistently thumping beats, a sinuous bass line, a sultry saxophone solo, an infectious hook and ethereally sung lyrics in French, the track brings Daft Punk, Air, Phoenix, and Polo & Pan to mind — but while possessing a swooning sensitivity. Interestingly, the song is written for a local artist Ykoner, who through his art uncovers his once-hidden sensitivity.
Directed by Lucas Minier, and shot in Tours, France, the recently released video for “Velvet,” continues their ongoing collaboration with the director while following a young graffiti artist — in this case, Ykoner himself — through his daily routine. As the duo mention in press notes, as a result of the quarantines across the globe, Minier and the duo had to rethink the filming of the video, discreetly going through Tours, stealing shots when they could until they were able to finish.
Tracing their origins back to when its members — Guillaume Adamo and Florian Deyz — met in grade school, the Nice, France-based indie pop duo Ninety’s Story have developed a warm, sophisticated and sensual music inspired by the French Riviera and the likes of Phoenix, Daft Punk and Air. The duo released their debut single “KIKUKYU” and their debut EP through Kitsuné Musique in 2017. The band has opened for Archive, Morcheeba, Pale Waves and Puggy among others.
Building upon a growing profile, the duo wrote the music for the new Citroën C4 Aircross TV commercial in China and represented the company at the Paris and Hangzhou Motor Shows. Interestingly, the duo’s latest single is an acoustic rendition of “APO.” Centered around twinkling keys, strummed guitars, an enormous hook and gorgeous melodies and harmonies, the track is a breezy and crafted bit of pop that’s anthemic and radio friendly.
I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the rapidly rising and acclaimed Halifax, UK-based act The Orielles over the past couple of years. Founded by siblings Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (vocals, bass) and their best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals), the JOVM mainstays built up a great deal of buzz, when Heavenly Recordings‘ head Jeff Barrett signed the band after catching them open for labelmates The Parrots in late 2016.
2017’s critically applauded, full-length debut Silver Dollar Moment found the band establishing a genre-defying sound that meshed elements of psych rock, pop and disco centered around surrealistic observations of everyday life. After the release of Silver Dollar Moment, the band’s founding trio recruited Alex Stephens (keys) as a full-time member of the band, expanding the band into a quartet. And with their newest member, they went into the studio to record material that included “Bobbi’s Second World” and a cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane).” Those two singles saw the band’s sound increasingly (and playfully) leaning towards Speaking in Tongues-era Talking Heads, ESG and the like, while featuring rock-based instrumentation.
Released earlier this year, The Orielles’ sophomore album Disco Volador continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with producer Marta Salogni – and the album’s material finds the newly constituted quartet pushing their sound towards its outer limits. The end result is that the rapidly rising Halifax-based JOVM mainstays have sonically become astral travelers of sorts, creating mind-bending, trippy and progressive material that features elements of samba, ‘70s disco, boogie funk, 80s New Wave, dance floor grooves and ‘90s acid house. The material also draws from the work of Italian film score composers Sandro Brugnolini and Piero Umiliami, as well as contemporary acts like Khruangbin and Altin Gun. “All the influences we had when writing this record were present when we recorded it, so we completely understood what we wanted this album to feel like and could bring that to fruition,” the band’s Sidonie B. Hand-Halford says in press notes.
Deriving its name from a literal interpretation from Spanish that means flying disc, the band’s Esme Dee Halford says, “ . . . everyone experiences things differently. Disco Volador could be a frisbee, a UFO, an alien nightclub or how you feel when you fly; what happens when to your body physically or that euphoric buzz from a great party. But it’s an album of escape; if I went to space, I might not come back.”
The album also manages to capture the British indie quartet riding high off the success of their critically applauded debut, which included a lengthy and successful summer tour with festival stops Green Man and bluedot. Two official singles have been released off the album so far: the expansive, hook-driven and genre-defying “Come Down On Jupiter,” which features a slow-burning and brooding intro, before quickly morphing into a bit of breakneck guitar pop before ending with a psychedelic freakout – and “Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme),” a shimmering dance floor friendly boogie woogie with an lysergic air. And interestingly enough, the album’s first two singles are perfect examples of how versatile and dexterous the JOVM mainstays are – they’re pulling from a wild and eclectic array of sources, like a bunch of mad, crate-digging audiophiles and meshing them into something familiar yet completely novel.
The members of The Orielles are about to embark on their first North American tour. And as you may recall, the tour will include a handful of sets at the second annual New Colossus Festival. Unfortunately, SXSW has been cancelled because of COVID 19 – but as of this writing, the band’s West Coast dates are still happening. You can check out those tour dates below.
For JOVM’s latest Q&A, I contacted the members of the British JOVM mainstay act. We discuss Halifax’s local sites of note, their impressive and expansive sophomore album, their cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane),” the gorgeous and cinematic video for “Come Down on Jupiter,” their upcoming Stateside debut and New Festival Colossus Festival sets and more. Check it out, below.
3/11/2020-3/15/2020 – New York, NY – New Colossus Festival
3/24/2020 – Los Angeles CA – Moroccan Lounge
3/25/2020 – San Francisco CA – Popscene at Rickshaw Stop
3/27/2020– Boise ID – Treefort Music Festival
3/28/2020 – Portland OR – Bunk Bar
3/29/2020 – Seattle WA – Vera Project
WRH: If I’m traveling to Halifax and Northern England in general, what should I see and do that would give me a taste of local life? Why?
The Orielles: We have all grown up listening to music and trawling through our parents record collections definitely helped influence our love and passion for music. We started playing music pretty much by chance. When we met each other, only Henry could actually play an instrument, but we decided to meet up and jam together the following day regardless. After that we realised our passion for playing music together was huge and we didn’t want to do anything else.
WRH: How would you describe your sound to someone completely unfamiliar to you?
The Orielles: We like to describe our sound as post-punk funk.
WRH: Before you went into the studio to your latest album Disco Volador, the band added keyboardist Alex Stephens. Has the addition of Stephens changed your creative process at all? And if so, how?
The Orielles: He helped to develop our sound and his expanded knowledge on chords and harmony really worked well with our vision of what we wanted this record to be. The creative process stayed the same, we all still write together, and the recording process has always been very collective and shared. We never like it to be rigid in terms of what we play.
WRH: Sadly, it doesn’t appear on the new album, but I love your cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane).” How did that come about?
The Orielles: Thanks! We wanted to cover a song for a B-side and thought it’d be fun to rework something that wasn’t the genre of music that we make already.
We also love that song and listen to a lot of dance and electronic music so had the idea to try add our own personality to the cover.
WRH: Two of my favorite songs on the album are album opener “Come Down on Jupiter” and album closer “Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme).” Can you tell me a bit about what they’re about and what influenced them?
The Orielles: “Jupiter” is about the idea of fate and being controlled by a potential higher force from outer space. “Space Samba” is a similar idea but more about boogie and having a disco in space!
WRH: I love Rose Hendry’s cinematic and hallucinogenic video treatment for “Come Down on Jupiter.” How did that collaboration come about? Can you talk a bit about how the treatment came about?
The Orielles: We met Rose through a recommendation and as soon as we read her treatment we were in love with her creativity and her ability to be able to understand the lyrics and the ideas of the song on a deeper level.
We think she’s done a really great job of it and are very proud.
WRH: With the release of your debut, 2017’s Silver Dollar Moment, the band went from being one of the most exciting, emerging bands in Northern England to becoming an international blogosphere sensation, playing some of the biggest festivals of the UK touring circuit. How does it feel to be in the middle of that whirlwind of attention and activity?
The Orielles: It’s really surreal! We definitely didn’t expect for our music to be so well received and for that we’re eternally grateful.
WRH: From what I understand, as you were touring to support Silver Dollar Moment, the members of the band wound up absorbing a wider and more eclectic array of music and sounds – in particular the film scores of Sandro Brugnolini and Piero Umilani, as well as the work of Khruangbin and Altin Gun (who I really dig, by the way). And sonically, the album does manage to reflect getting into a wider variety of things, throwing them into a big old pot and mixing them into something that’s sort of recognizable and sort of alien. So as a result, the material on Disco Volador seems like a bold and self-assured expansion of your sound. Was this intentional? And how much did Altin Gun influence the overall sound and aesthetic?
The Orielles: I guess it was sorta intentional. We don’t really listen to a lot of western music and prefer exploring other styles and eras. I think just expanding our musical palette meant that this progression came naturally.
We have been listening to Altin Gun for a while now after first seeing them play in Utrecht. We love the way that they can make traditional Turkish folk songs very danceable and fun and wanted to replicate that idea with guitar music.
WRH: There are brief hints at 80s New Wave – there’s a brief 30 second or so sequence on “Rapid I” that reminds me of Stop Making Sense-era Talking Heads before closing out with a house music-influenced freakout coda. How much did house music and New Wave influence the material?
The Orielles: Those genres inspire us a lot. We feel that they are often a lot more interesting than straight up guitar indie etc. We also really wanted to have a go at creating guitar music that people can have a boogie to.
WRH: Disco Volador finds the band returning to the same studio you recorded Silver Dollar Moment and continuing an ongoing collaboration with Marta Salogni. How has it been to work with her?
The Orielles: Working with Marta is incredible! She’s such a great energy and has a really special and inspiring knowledge of musical production. She’s also a great storyteller and really hilarious!
WRH: You’re about to embark on a handful of sets at this year’s New Colossus Festival here in NYC, before heading down to Austin for SXSW. If I’m not mistaken, these sets will be your first Stateside shows. Are you excited? Nervous? What should Stateside audiences expect from your live show?
The Orielles: That’s right! It’ll be our first time playing there. We’re very excited! We are hugely inspired by the NYC late 70s/80s art and music scene and so playing out there will feel special to us.
WRH: Is there anything you’re looking forward to on your first Stateside tour?
The Orielles: We’re looking forward to living up to our collective nickname and being proper ‘thrift shop cowboys’. Also excited for hopefully a bit of Vitamin D in California lol.
WRH: Provided that you’ll have the chance to do so: Is there anyone you’re looking forward to catching at New Colossus?
Burgalat encouraged and enabled many of Savanet’s formative musical experiments, including a short-lived voodoo ‘n’ roll band. Interestingly, Savanet’s latest project TSHEGUE, which derives its name from her childhood nickname, a Congolese slang term for the boys who gather on Kinshasa’s streets, can trace its origins to when she met her bandmate, French-Cuban producer Nicolas ‘Dakou’ Dacunha.
Their debut EP, 2017’s Survivor thematically explored the challenges faced by the African Diaspora paired with Dacunha’s forward-hthinking, hypnotic, club-banging productions which features elements of Afropunk, garage rock and electro-clash. Survivor EP was championed by the likes of Mura Masa and Noisey, which led to a growing international profile. And adding to a growing profile, the video for “Munapoto,” which was shot on the Ivory Coast received a UK Music Video Award nomination alongside videos for tUnE-YaRdS and Chaka Khan.
“The Wheel,” the first bit of new material from the duo since the release of Survivor EP, and I’m certain that it’ll further cement TSHEGUE’s growing reputation for crafting swaggering, forward-thinking, genre and style-blurring bangers. Centered around a wildly exuberant, hypnotic and percussive production featuring ricocheting industrial clang and clatter, stuttering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, explosive blasts of bass synth paired with Savanet’s commanding flow, the song bears a resemblance to JOVM mainstays Kokoko! as it sounds as though it comes from a sweaty, post-apocalyptic future where the club and the ghetto are one and the same — but delivered with a decidedly punk aggressiveness.
Directed by Renaud Barret, who was also behind the Africa Express documentary featured Damon Albarn, Peter Hook and Tony Allen, the recently released video for “The Wheel” was filmed in a gorgeously cinematic black and white amidst the chaotic traffic of Savanet’s hometown, follows members of the local, mixed-gender, teenaged skating club, Club Etoile Rollers hitching rides on the backs of speeding busses, cars, motorbikes through the heaving megalopolis’ crowded streets. Speaking about the video Barret says ““An ordinary day in Kinshasa. I’m in a taxi on Lumumba Boulevard, when suddenly I’m in the middle of this gang of kids slaloming between cars. We exchange thumbs up, signs of complicity, rolling side by side for a moment. One of them spots my camera, and comes closer to shout ‘Hey sir! Do you wanna shoot something crazy?’ I couldn’t refuse. This is the magic of a limitless city where each and every day brings incredible spontaneous possibilities. Now as I watch the beaming faces of these kids, thrown at full speed on their crumbling rollers, almost out of control, intoxicated by danger and only protected by their faith in good luck; I can only see a metaphor for the Congo’s situation. But also a middle finger to a society trying to maintain an illusion that everything should be controlled, supervised. These free riders remind us that life must be lived in the present.”
The duo has begun to make a name for themselves with commanding live performances, including sets at Lowlands and The Great Escape Festivals and from what I understand the act will be announcing a series of headlining UK live shows to coincide with the release of more new material.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the Amsterdam, The Netherlands-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist, Tessa Rose Jackson, who’s perhaps best known for her solo recording project Someone. Now, as you may recall, her debut EP Chain Reaction was an ambitious and creative undertaking that involved an accompanying short film. Unsurprisingly, the Amsterdam-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist’s forthcoming sophomore EP, Orbit may arguably be her most ambitious undertaking yet: the material finds Jackson exploring the intensity with which art and music can be fused and how they can fully enhanced.
Thematically, the material incisively comments on our overstimulated digital age, suggesting that we spend so much time on our phones and on social media being exposed to external distractions that we’re essentially orbiting around each other and our passions, rarely touching, resting or even focusing long enough to truly connect to anything or anyone. Jackson also created an interactive augmented reality exhibition that combines her music with cutting edge technology and hypnotic art, which employs elements reminiscent of space and planets, with the exhibition being presented in gallery spaces in Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and Paris.
When viewed through a tablet or a smartphone, the artwork comes to life, and the song linked to that particular piece will be played through the viewer’s headphones. The artworks each react differently and react to the music, dynamically building as the songs progress. They will also react to touch from the viewer on their tablet screens, allowing full interaction and immersion. Trippy, huh?
Orbit‘s first single, the dreamy and ethereal “Get It Together” was centered by shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, buzzing power chords and a soaring hook that in some way brought Tame Impala and Air to mind. Centered around an infectious groove, shimmering guitars, four-on-the-floor like beats, the EP’s latest single “I Can’t Remember How To Talk To You” will further Jackson’s growing reputation for crafting breezy and buoyant hooks.
Tessa Rose Jackson is an Amsterdam, The Netherlands-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist, best known among indie circles as Someone. Her debut EP Chain Reaction was an ambitious creative undertaking that involved an accompanying short film. Jackson’s forthcoming EP Orbit finds Jackson exploring the intensity with which art and music can be fused, and how they can fully enhance themselves. And interestingly, the Amsterdam-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist crated an interactive augmented reality exhibition that combines her music with cutting edge technology and hypnotic art, which use elements reminiscent of space and planets. The exhibition will be presented in gallery spaces in Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and Paris.
When viewed through a tablet or smartphone, the artwork comes to life and the song linked to that particular piece will be played through the viewer’s headphones. The artworks each react differently and react to the music, dynamically building as the songs progress. They will also react to touch from the viewer on their tablet screens, allowing full interaction and immersion. Trippy, huh?
The EP’s material thematically comments on our overstimulated, digital age, suggesting that we spend so much time on our phones and on social media being constantly exposed to external distractions that we’re essentially orbiting around each other and our passions, rarely touching, resting or even focusing long enough to truly connect to anything or anyone.
Orbit‘s first and latest single is the dreamy and ethereal “Get It Together,” a track that’s centered by shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping hip hop-like drumming, buzzing power chords and a soaring hook. And while clearly being indebted to Tame Impala and Air, the track also nods at classic, bubblegum pop and 60s psych pop — but with a soaring and infectious hook.
With the release of their Basel Prize-winning album Spagat der Liebe, the Swiss electro pop duo Klaus Johann Grobe, comprised of Sevi Landolt and Dani Bachmann quickly received national and international attention for a difficult to pigeonhole, genre-defying sound that meshes elements of electro pop, electronic dance music, komische and others while centered around slinky jazz fusion-like grooves. Adding to a growing profile, the duo with their live backing band have toured with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Growlers and Temples, and have made festival stops in the US, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Spain and their native Switzerland.
Last month, I wrote about the acclaimed Swiss duo, and as you may recall “Discodanken,” off the duo’s soon-to-be released album Bist So Symmetrisch managed to reveal a duo that’s expanded upon the sound that has won them national and international attention, as the song was a breezy arpeggiated synth-led track centered around a sinuous motorik groove and metronomic beats to create a hypnotic, dance floor friendly yet lysergic feel that brings to mind Vinyl Williams, Kraftwerk, Air, and Phoenix — with a retro-futuristic quality. Interestingly, Bist So Symmetrisch’s latest single “Out of Reach” may arguably be the album’s most dance floor friendly tracks, as its centered around a Kraftwerk-like motorik groove, a sinuous, disco-inspired bass line, arpeggiated synths and an infectious hook. Interestingly, the song manages to sound as though it were drawing from De Lux’s Scion AV Presents De Lux EP and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk.
Directed by Ralph Kuehne and starring Patric Gehrig, Remo Seeland, Elvio Yair Avila Kai tha Boy, Regula Bühler and Kathrin Brun, the recently released video is a vividly surreal and feverish dream.