Tag: Ariel Pink

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm-based psych act Phogg quickly established a buzz-worthy sound that critics across Scandinavia and elsewhere compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Building upon a growing profile, last year’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh, an album about “robots that take over the world,” featured two attention grabbing singles:

  • Three Shirts:” a motorik-groove driven single that to my ears brings TOY‘s Join the Dots and Primal Scream‘s Evil Heat to mind.
  • Pearls:” an expansive and lysergic track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out ripper and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove.

Much like everyone else, 2020 has been a difficult year for the members of Phogg. Riding high from the critical reception of their sophomore album, the band began the ambitious challenge of working on two different albums simultaneously with the goal of working on each album in parallel — and then releasing them at the same time. But as the old saying goes: “The best laid plans of mice and men go awry.” Recording two different albums at the same time, wound up being a terrible decision with the band experiencing burn out and fatigue. And for a period of time, the band sort of floated around with no direction and no goal, waiting until their creative instincts returned.

During that the period, the band had deep-seated philosophical questions that tied into their own creative process. What does it really mean to be a rock band these days? Does anything even matter? The legendary days of rock have faded into the ruthless fart of the pandemic era. It’s not fun to make songs about the end times when you are in the middle of it.”

Phogg’s forthcoming third album The Sharkness is informed by and influenced by the harrowing events and emotions of the pandemic, an existential crisis and a recent heartbreak. The Sharkness‘ latest single “Corme (Rental Palace)” is a brooding yet meditative instrumental jam centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric and twinkling keys, a propulsive rhythm section before turning into a gallop towards the song’s last half. Some dexterous guitar work darts in and out of the song’s propulsive rhythm, giving the song a subtle surf rock air. Interestingly, the track may be among the most brooding yet heartfelt tracks of their growing catalog.



New Video: Jorge Elbrecht and Geneva Jacuzzi Take Viewers on a Journey to a Dystopian Future

Throughout his career, visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jorge Elbrecht has been a prolific, restlessly creative and inventive presence: As a member of the Lansing-Dreiden collective, Elbrecht developed attention grabbing interdisciplinary work. As the creative mastermind behind Violens, Elbrecht received attention for crafting slick and anthemic 80s-inspired New Wave and synth pop. And since Violens’ demise, Elbrecht has been busy as a go-to collaborator cowriting, backing and/or producing a diverse and eclectic array of artists including Ariel Pink, Tamaryn, No Joy, Ice Choir, Kirin J. Callinan, Frankie Rose, Gang Gang Dance and No Swoon among others.

Back in 2018, Elbrecht released a wildly ambitious concept album, which contained roughly and EP’s worth of songs from four very different projects sonically and aesthetically: the shimmering and sunny pop of Presentable Corpse; 90s hi-fi ballads with REMYNYSl; the icy, full-frequency pulse of Gloss Coma; and the choral-driven, thrash metal blasts and gasps of Coral Cross. And while each project was wildly different, the entire album is held together by a subtle yet noticeable through-line. Since then Coral Cross and Gloss Coma full-lengths have been released, as well as an EP Happiness.

Elbrecht’s recent prolific period has a complicated and strange backstory, which I’ll briefly summarize: According to press notes, much of the material that’s been released since 2018 was written over a roughly decade period. At some point. Elbrecht suffered a psychotic break with reality in which he became an increasingly reclusive, barely coherent, aged husk of what he once was. During that period, the acclaimed visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer still managed to prolifically write and record material with a diverse array of collaborators — but he didn’t see much of a reason at the time.

The press notes suggest that as a result of this psychotic break Elbrecht suffered, his family, friends and supporters have settled upon one unified intention — “to continue playing Elbrecht’s music, keeping his tenacity, imagination and recorded daydreams alive.” From what I understand, more material will be released as Elbrecht has a substantial catalog of material to disseminate.

Elbrecht’s latest single “Perish” is a brooding yet campy 80s-inspired industrial/goth pop banger, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and tweeter and woofer rocking beats, alternating boy-girl vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook within an expansive song structure. And much like all of Elbrecht’s work, the song should serve as a reminder to the listener: Elbrecht has an unerring ability to craft an infectious, razor sharp hook — while evoking a large sense of existential dread. Interestingly, the song is the second time that Elbrecht has collaborated with Geneva Jacuzzi — the first being “Guillotine,” which appeared on the aforementioned Here Lies.

Directed by Zev Deans, the recently released video for “Perish” is a campy and absolutely batshit visual placing the viewer in a dystopian future with its own weird and unsettling practices and mythology. : “Upon hearing ‘Perish’ and then reading the lyrics, I felt like I was tapping into something at once ancient and futuristic,” Deans says. “There are themes of existential dread at times, while the song maintains a very campy atmosphere. The gonzo sci-fi fantasy film Zardoz came to mind, and I re-contextualized the film’s aesthetic as a backdrop to Elbrecht’s own lore and imagery. A dozen or so sci-fi films from the mid 70s seemed to deal with enclosed utopian societies in the distant future, that all have uniquely bizarre relationships with death and immortality. The aesthetic of these films seem to almost always be delightfully horrendous. John Boorman’s Zardoz is, to me, the single-most thoughtful incarnation of this trend, while boasting an absolutely batshit aesthetic that few other movies can touch.”

New Audio: Das Kope’s Apocalyptic and Lo-Fi Take on Psychedelia

Deriving his name from the letters within the word kaleidoscope, the mysterious São Paulo-born, Los Angeles-based psych pop multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Das Kope has a lengthy history of adhering to a DIY ethos. Frequently creating in solitude, the Brazilian-born, Southern California-based does everything himself: he writes and plays every note of his material, produces everything and even creates animated visuals that accompany his work. 

Thematically, his work focuses on his journey from São Paulo to Los Angeles, where a seemingly infinite run of ideas, kept him hostage — figuratively speaking — in his Hollywood apartment. Sonically, developing a sound that some have compared to Tame Impala and Ariel Pink with a “Beach Boys trapped in a Black Mirror episode vibe, the Brazilian-born, Los Angeles-based artist has built up a profile touring with STRFKR — and has had tracks fated on Spotify’s Fresh Friends and Modern Psychedelia playlists, who also called his self-made visuals as “groundbreaking.” 

Das Kope’s full-length debut Where I Live officially drops today and the album is an eerily fitting apocalyptic and lysergic portrait of a rebellious and boundary pushing artist in isolation. Interestingly, the album’s latest single, the decidedly lo-fi “Fascination,” which is centered around wobbling and shimmering synths, reverb drenched boom bap beats, buzzing guitars, an infectious hook and the Brazilian-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s dreamy vocals manages to recall Black Moth Super Rainbow — as it possesses a weird mix of menace and whimsy. 

“It’s easy for me to find ideas of isolation and anxiety in the album’s lyrics that relate to the feeling that people around the world seem to be sharing because of this crisis,” Das Kope says in press notes. “Even though I originally projected those feelings because of my artistic and personal struggles as a musician, I think they’re still very relatable to right now.”

Stockholm, Sweden-based indie act Phogg quickly emerged into the Swedish psych rock scene with the release of last year’s full-length debut Slices, which helped the band establish a sound that’s been compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. And in their native Sweden, they’ve received airplay on Sweden’s P3, and praise from the likes of HYMN, Nordik Simit and Born Music Online among others.

Now, as you may recall, the Stockholm-based psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Reckords, and the album’s first single was the motorik groove-driven “Three Shirts.” The album’s second and latest single is “Pearls,” a mind altering and expansive track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove. And unlike its predecessor, it may arguably be the most lysergic of their growing catalog to date.

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Psych Rock Act Phogg Releases a Surreal and Post Apocalyptic Visual for “Three Shirts”

With the release of last year’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm, Sweden-based indie act Phogg quickly emerged into the Swedish psych rock scene with a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra — and as a result. they’ve received airplay on Sweden’s P3, and praise from the likes of HYMN, Nordik Simit and Born Music Online among others. 

Building upon a growing national profile, the up-and-coming Swedish psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Records. Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh’s trippy, first single “Three Shirts” is centered around a motorik groove reminiscent of Join the Dots-era TOY, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Flamingods’ forthcoming Levitation paired with jangling guitars, blasts of shimmering synths, a rousingly anthemic hook and some blazing guitar solos. Interestingly, the recently released video for “Three Shirts” is a surrealistic romp that owes a debt to 60s and 70s promotional videos, as it features the members the band in a post-apocalyptic quarry. It begins with the lead singer, showing up to an old computer with a cup of coffee, as though he’s going to work. We see the other bandmates riding around on motorcycles; at points his bandmates interrupt the frame or do some other odd thing to disrupt the goings on. There’s no rhyme or reason for anything — and yet it’s trippy and pretty hilarious. 

New Audio: Renowned Visual Artist Multi-instrumentalist Songwriter and Producer Jorge Elbrecht Releases Two Singles from Wildly Ambitious Concept Album

Throughout his career, visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jorge Elbrecht has been a  prolific, restlessly creative and inventive presence in contemporary indie rock and indie pop.  As a member of artist collective Lansing-Dreiden, Elbrecht developed attention-grabbing interdisciplinary work. With Violens, Elbrecht received attention for crafting slick, anthemic 80s guitar and synth pop and since their demise, he’s collaborated with Ariel Pink, Tamaryn, No Joy, Ice Choir, Kirin J. Callinan and Frankie Rose, developing a reputation as a go-to studio and touring musician, songwriter and producer over the past few years. Interestingly, Elbrecht’s forthcoming full-length effort Here Lies is a wildly ambitious, concept album split into different subcategories featuring the work of several different recording projects that while disparate possess a subtle yet continuous through-line. 

Interestingly, the backstory behind the album and its material  is complicated and strange: According to press notes, much of the album was written over a decade period in which Elbrecht reportedly suffered some kind of psychotic break with reality in which he became increasingly reclusive and barely coherent. Somehow, he managed to prolifically write and record material with a number of collaborators but he didn’t see much of a reason to actually release them. The press notes have suggested that as a result of this psychotic break with reality, that his family, friends and supporters have one unified intention –“to continue playing Elbrecht’s music, keeping his tenacity, imagination and recorded daydreams alive.” 

Two singles from the album, slated for a February 28, 2018 release digitally and on limited release vinyl have been already released — the atmsopheric and slightly warped, analog synth pop of REMYNYS’ “Flesh to Ash,” which features contemplative lyrics, focusing on aging and mortality, sung with a spectral quality  and Gloss Coma’s album title track “Here Lies,” a collaboration with Tamyrn that manages to be like Violens’ version of slick and moody New Wave pop, complete with layers of arpeggiated synths and industrial-like clang and clatter. But through both songs, you can hear Elbrecht’s uncanny knack for crafting soaring and anthemic hooks within subtly disparate material. 

 

Now, over the course of this site’s seven-year history, I’ve personally spilled quite a bit of virtual ink about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and over that period of time, the band has developed a reputation for being prolific — 2013’s full-length debut, Thought and Language found the band establishing a sound that owed a debt to 4AD Records-era shoegaze. Since then, their follow up efforts-2014’s  true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die, the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch and this year’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band cementing their reputation for crafting shimmering shoegaze-like rock while simultaneously nodding at  RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

The band’s long-anticipated full-length effort Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, and the album’s first official single, “Temple,” thematically finds the band focusing on the process of maturation and growth beyond animal lust and physical need — with the single being an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion while sonically, furthering their reputation for crafting a shimmering and layered guitar-based sound, compete with an anthemic hook.

“Sunlessoul,” Beyond.Desire‘s second and latest single finds the band going the Morrissey route as they ironically pair an upbeat and rousing melody with lyrics that focus on loneliness and some of the other darker parts of the human condition. Sonically however, the song will further cement the band’s long-held reputation for shimmering and anthemic shoegaze, complete with a swooning Romanticism.

The band is currently on our to build up buzz for the new album, then to officially support it and it includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

Over the course of this site’s seven year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and in that same period, the members of the band have built a growing national profile, as the’ve played at some of the country’s biggest and best known festivals, and have opened for a lengthening and impressive array of renowned bands, including The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes. And along with that, over the past few years, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays have also developed a reputation for being rather prolific — starting with 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language, Dead Leaf Echo promptly followed that up with 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die and a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which retained their towering, wall of sound-inspired production, while nodding at RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain among others.  Released earlier this year, the band’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

Recorded at Mexican Summer’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based studio with Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht, Dead Leaf Echo’s long-anticipated, sophomore full-length effort, Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, finds the band continuing to refine the sound that they’ve recently dubbed “noveeau wave”, a moody and shimmering mix of shoegaze and layered guitar pop, and as you’ll hear on Beyond.Desire‘s first, official single “Temple,” the single continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as featured layers of shimmering power chords paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. But interestingly enough, much like their previously released material, the album is a something of a concept album, as the material reportedly is based on themes of maturation and growth beyond pure, animal lust and physical need; in fact “Temple” is an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion.

The band will be embarking on a number of tour dates to build up buzz to support the new album, and then to support it and int includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory.

Tour Dates 
9.15: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9.16: Hattiesburg, MI @ The Thirsty Hippo
10.7: Kingston, NY @ O Positive Festival
10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

 

Featuring members of Swans, Dead Heavens, twelve am flowers and Valley Lodge, Twiggy Branches specializes in swaggering, sleazy and anthemic power chord-based glam rock that sounds indebted to T. Rex, Foo Fighters and others, as you’ll hear on the EPs first two tracks “Never Gonna Be Told” and “Miss Available” off their  latest EP Waste Not, Want More. As the band told me by email, the EP was tracked live in studio, recorded by Paul Kostabi, who has worked with White Zombie, mixed by Violens‘ and Ariel Pink‘s Jorge Elbrecht and mastered by Alan Douches — and as a result, both singles possess a forceful “you-were-there” sort of immediacy that’s rare for contemporary rock.