Tag: Bear in Heaven

New Audio: Weeknight’s Anthemic Take on Post-Punk

Initially formed as a duo featuring founding members, longtime partners an co-frontpeople Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon, the Brooklyn-based dark pop/post-punk act Weeknight received attention with the release of 2014’s full-length debut Post Everything.  And as the story goes, after playing hundreds of shows to support Post Everything including touring with Phantogram, Bear in Heaven, Frankie Rose, Moonface, School of Seven Bells, and Crystal Stilts, the duo returned home and began to write the material that wound up eventually comprising their forthcoming sophomore album Dead Beat Creep, which is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through Dead Stare Records. 
Written at the duo’s Bushwick home studio and recorded during the bleak winter of 2017 at House Under Magic Studios with co-producer and engineer Danny Taylor, the recording sessions for the album found the band expanding into a quartet with the addition of Russell Hymowitz (bass) and Jasper Berg (drums). And while inspired by the disillusionment of the 2016 election and profound loss and grief, the album’s material finds the band imposing limitations as they were writing and recording, as the band’s Andy Simmons explains in press notes: “We would only use analog gear and we would only write parts that we would be able to play live.” 

Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Holes In My Head” manages to bring classic 4AD post-punk to mind as the track is centered around a moody arrangement featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, an angular and propulsive bass line, delay pedal effected guitars, dramatic drumming and a rousingly anthemic hook –with a clean, studio polish. However, the song was written for Holly MacGibbons’ father, who died last year after a decade struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was written from his perspective, and says what I imagined he would have wanted to say to me if he was able to,” the band’s Holly MacGibbons explains in press notes. 



Mark Berg is an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based singer/songwriter, electronic music artist and producer, whose solo recording project Tropic Harbour specializes in hazy, dream pop inspired by nostalgic images and dreams of the coast, during the summer — and in many ways, Berg reportedly created the project as a way to mentally escape the harsh Edmonton winters. Along with a backing and that features Kurtis Cockerill
Andrew Brostrom, and Marcus Rayment, Berg began receiving national attention, playing at a number of Canada’s renowned festivals including Pop Montreal, NXNE and Sled Island, as well as opening for the likes of DIIV, Jessy Lanza, Homeshake and Will Butler.

Berg’s latest Tropic Harbour single “Can’t Pretend” will further cement his reputation for crafting, 80s-inspired, nostalgia-inducing and summery synth pop; however, it’s a much more downtempo and atmospheric production featuring a sinuous bass line, gently swirling electronics, shimmering synths and stuttering drum programming, and in some way, the song sonically speaking will remind some listeners of I Love You It’s Cool-era Bear in Heaven, Neon Indian and others — while thematically focusing on its narrator letting go of a past relationship and trying to find himself again in the process.



Led by mysterious singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Constantine Anastasakis, Blonder is a New York-based act, that has received praise from the likes of Clash MagazinePigeons and Planes and Nylon, and has songs placed on several Spotify Playlists, including Indie Mix for a synth-heavy sound that nods at Cut Copy, Bear in Heaven, St. Lucia and others. And the act’s latest single “Talk To Me” will cement their reputation for slickly produced synth pop-leaning rock as a sinuous bass line is paired with atmospheric and shimmering synths, a soaring and anthemic hook and Anastasakis’ plaintive vocals. in what may arguably be the act’s most dance floor-friendly yet wistful song they’ve released to date.

Earlier this year, I had written about Los Angeles, CA-born and based producer and multi-instrumentalist Ronald Kaufman, who began his solo, electronic music recording project Kauf after several experimental rock bands split up — and an eventual return back to his hometown. Kaufman received international attention for the release of his critically applauded As Much Again through Cut Copy‘s Dan Whitford’s highly-regarded indie dance/indie electro pop label Cutters Records. And adding to a growing internationally recognized profile, Kaufman toured with Cut Copy,   Maribou State and others, as well released remixes of the work of PoliçaThe Big Pink and Public Service Broadcasting and others.

Regrowth, Kaufman’s forthcoming full-length debut is slated for a 2017 release and thematically the album’s material reportedly will focus on exploring the small fractures that come about within one’s closest relationships — the ones that have long been there; but have been willfully or ignored or conveniently missed until a situation in which you’re forced to try to repair the relationship before it shatters. And unsurprisingly, as a result the material also focuses on the denial and doubt that can blind and distract you from relationships issues. The album’s first single “Through the Yard” bore a resemblance to Zonoscope-era Cut Copy as the song possessed an ethereal tropicalia — shimmering synths are paired with sweaty, tropical beats and Kaufman’s plaintive and yearning vocals in a song that evokes a sweaty and lingering fever dream full of regret and doubt.



The album’s latest single “Pacify” is a lush and slickly produced single consisting of shimmering and twinkling synths, swirling and undulating electronics, a sinuous guitar and bass lines paired with Kaufman’s plaintive vocals in a song that describes a relationship, in which every bitter sentiment and feeling has been revealed in a nasty fight  — and it does so with an accuracy in a mid tempo song that sounds as though it could have been released in 1984 while drawing from I Love You It’s Cool-era Bear in Heaven and others.


Comprised of Kristin Henry (vocals) and Brad Boettger (production), Seattle, WA-based  duo NAVVI have developed a reputation for crafting brooding and propulsive electro pop; in fact, the duo have had their work appear on a compilation curated by renowned French electronic label Kitsune, and they’ve received press from a variety of media outlets including NME, Brooklyn Vegan, Impose, The Line of Best Fit and Jay Z’s Life+Times, among others. Building on the early buzz they’ve received, the Seattle-based duo will be releasing their long-awaited full-length debut Omni later this week through Hush Hush Records.

Now earlier this month, I wrote about “Close,” Omni‘s gorgeously minimalist electro pop first single thad the duo pairing Henry’s sultry and intimately with a sleek and hyper-modern production consisting of crisp, yet stuttering drum programming, ambient, swirling electronics, bleeps, bloops and boops, layers of shimmering and buzzing synths. and a propulsive groove while reminding me quite a bit of BRAIDS’ Flourish//Perish and Octo Octa’s Between Both Selves; in other words, the single possess a bracing and icy chill that belies an urgent and swooning Romanticism. Omni‘s second and latest single “What Reason Do We Need?” will further cement the Seattle-based duo’s reputation for crafting chilly and atmospheric electro pop as you’ll hear stuttering and skittering drum programming, swirling electronics, trembling bleeps and bloops and beeps and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Henry’s sultry yet ethereal vocals. Sonically, the song reminds me a bit of Bear in Heaven‘s I Love You It’s Cool but with a plaintive Quiet Storm-like sensuality at its core.


New Video: Neon Indian’s Soul Train-Inspired Performance Video for “The Glitzy Hive”

Over the five year history of this site,  Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist Alan Palomo and his solo recording project Neon Indian has become a JOVM mainstay — especially in the lead-up to the release […]