Tag: Bells Atlas

New Video: Brijean Takes Viewers on a Trip Through the Cosmos in Visual for Breezy “Take A Trip”

Brijean is an acclaimed indie pop project that features:

  • Brijean Murphy, a Los Angeles-born percussionist, who can trace the origins of her music career to her childhood: Murphy’s father Patrick is a percussionist and engineer, who taught a young Brijean her first patterns on a pair of congas that she inherited from the late Trinidadian steel pan drum legend Vince Charles. As a percussionist, the younger Murphy initially made a name for herself as a highly-sought after touring musician with sstints in the touring bands of Toro Y MoiU.S. Girls and Poolside, as well as several others.
  • Doug Stuart, a jazz and pop session musician and producer, who has worked with JOVM mainstays Bells AtlasMeerna, Luke TempleJay Stone and others.

Their debut EP, 2019’s WALKIE TALKIE was written and recorded in marathon sessions at their intimate home studio, during breaks in Murphy’s then-very busy touring schedule. The EP found the duo quickly establishing a unique sound that meshed Murphy’s Latin jazz and soul upbringing with Murphy’s 70s disco and 90s house-inspired production.

The duo released their acclaimed, full-length debut Feelings last year, through Ghostly International. The months surrounding the album’s release rang bittersweet with the sudden death of Murphy’s father and both of Stuart’s parents. In a haze of heartache, the duo left the Bay Area to be near family, resetting in four cities in under two years. Their to-go rig became their traveling studio and the tracks they had started writing, along with Angelo, Murphy’s 1981 Toyota Celica became their few constants.

Angelo, the duo’s latest EP was released yesterday through Ghostly International. Deriving its name from Murphy’s car, the nine-song EP features songs that the pair have written and carried with them through a two year period of profound change, heartbreaking loss and nomadic relocation. The EP finds Murphy and Stuart processing one of the most difficult periods of their lives in the only way they know how — through rhythm and movement.

Interestingly, while Feelings formed through collaborative james with friends, the Angelo sessions gave Murphy and Stuart the chance to record at their most intimate — “to get us out of our grief and into our bodies,” Murphy says. Despite being informed by a dark and somber period of heartbreak and loss, Angelo beams with positivity and creative renewal, and sees the duo exploring vibrant new moods and hues while reaching for effervescent dance tempos.

Angelo EP‘s latest single “Take A Trip” is a neon-hued, summery, dance floor friendly bop featuring a strutting disco-inspired bass line paired with crowd-noise, handclaps, whip-cracks, a horse neigh, twinkling synths, and hiccuping cuíca paired with Murphy’s ethereal cooing. “This song is an inquiry into shifting perspectives – a way to deepen our lived experience by becoming aware of the unexplored facets of our own perception, the band explain.

Directed by Nathan Castiel, the accompanying video for “Take a Trip” takes the viewer into a Dreamcast-era video game world that features the duo traveling through the cosmos to entertain all — and defeat an evil villain through music. But the video pulls back to follow the duo in our universe playing the video game fittingly called “Take A Trip” — and then driving in Murphy’s Toyota Celica.

“For the ‘Take A Trip’ video, I was inspired by Dreamcast-era video games and wanted to create something fun and otherworldly that interplays lo-fi 3D animation with the warmth of 16mm film,” Nathan Castiel explains.

Fake Shape is an emerging Hamilton Ontario-based indie quintet that formed back in 2018. Each of the band’s five musicians offer their own unique aesthetic into the mix — and as a result, their sound features elements of indie rock, pop, ambient electronica and others. Over the past few months, the band has been holed up at Hamilton’s Fort Rose Studios writing and recording material that would eventually comprise their forthcoming debut EP Night Swim.

“It’s Easy,” Night Swim‘s first single features an expansive song structure begins with an ambient and brooding intro before quickly morphing to swaggering prog rock and prog jazz-inspired pop centered around plaintive and expressive vocals, shimmering and atmospheric synths arpeggios, slashing guitars, a sinuous bass line and an infectious hook. And while recalling Radiohead and JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas and Milagres, the song drifts and effortlessly glides through contrasting mindsets and feelings, accurately capturing feelings of dread, unease and uncertainty with a psychologically precise attention to detail/


New Video: Los Angeles’ Carrousel Releases a Trippy Sci-Fi Visual for “A Solitary Soul”

Los Angeles-based duo Carrousel — Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt — have developed a reputation for crafting a unique sound that draws from a broad and eclectic array of genres and styles including blues, psych rock, shoegaze and New Wave, centered around pop melodies. 2020 looks to be a very busy year for the members of Carrousel: they released the I Wasn’t Well EP earlier this year, and their full-length album Magnificent Desolation is slated for release this Spring. 

Now, as you may recall, I Wasn’t Well’s lead single, the brooding “Psychobabble Drama” managed to recall Primal Scream, Portishead, Garbage and The xx. Inspired by Joel Piedt’s recurring nightmares, the song possessed a feverish and anxious quality, which was emphasized through the song’s anthemic hooks, shimmering synth arpeggios, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering beats and Sharon Piedt’s plaintive vocals. Interestingly, I Wasn’t Well’s second and latest single “A Solitary Soul” is an expansive and genre-defying song that features elements of shoegaze, contemporary R&B and pop and  experimental pop in a way that brings Bells Atlas, Hearts Hearts and others to mind. 

Directed and shot entirely on iPhones by the member of Carrousel, the recently released video for “A Solitary Soul” managed to “spark something creativity” for them. We follow the duo in ’50s-styled sci-fi spacesuits, as lost aliens exploring earth — at one point, they’re wandering the same location used for some of Star Wars’ famous Tatooine scenes. As a result, the the video manages to feel like an old-school space invasion, sci-fi movie — but with a level of absurdity to it. 

Beiju is an up-and-coming French-American musician, who splits her time between New York and Paris. And as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about the Bells Atlas and Hiatus Kaiyote-like Lost at the Beach,” a nostalgia-tinged track that was inspired by a weekend trip to the Rockaway with friends. Her latest single “Let’s Go Home” further establishes the emerging pop artist’s unique sound and approach: much like it’s predecessor, the track features Beiju’s alluring vocals floating over a glitchy production featuring stuttering beats, wobbling low end, synth laser blasts — but interestingly enough the song is a straightforward and coquettish come hither, about meeting someone you like at a party and wanting to go back home with them.






Featuring members of Oslo, Norway‘s jazz, indie, art rock and folk scenes, the Norwegian Grammy-winning septet The Switch formed back in 2010. They started out playing fairly straightforward pop rock with the thought that Norway — and Scandinavia in general — produced an over-abundance of eclectic, heavily hyphenated music. Eventually, their material became more forward-thinking and ambitious.

Their debut album, 2014’s Big If was a meditation on psych pop. Their sophomore album, 2015’s B for the Beast was an atmospheric, prog rock-inspired homage to their hometown. We’re Fooling No One, also released in 2015 found the band making forays into more painterly and improvised pop. Their next effort, The Switch Album found the Norwegian septet crafting a classic pop-rock-like sound — and it was their most successful album to date: it was listed on the Best Albums List of several Norwegian newspapers, before eventually winning a Norwegian Grammy (a Spelleman) in the Indie Music category.

Slated for a September 27, 2019 release, the acclaimed Norwegian act’s fifth album Birds of Paradise as the band’s Thomas Sagbråten says in press notes finds the band trying to “make a musical universe with slightly different laws of nature than real life. A bit less gravitation. The air is thicker. It’s hyper realistic but also unreal.” Interestingly, the album’s latest — and last official — single “Spring in the Forest of Time” is one Hiatus Kaiyote and Bells Atlas-like off kilter neo-soul, one part jazz fusion, one part Steely Dan-like AM radio rock: you’ll hear heavily arpeggiated synths, slashing guitars, twinkling keys, a bluesy guitar solo reminiscent of “Reelin’ in the Years,” and off-kilter syncopation held together by ethereal lead vocals and harmonizing. Centered around an adventurous and mischievous arrangement, the new single will further cement their reputation for crafting songs that are genre-defying yet hook driven, loose and jam-like yet incredibly tight.



Beiju is an up-and-coming French-American musician, who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her latest single “Lost at the Beach” is centered around the French-American musician’s sultry, jazz-like inflection gliding over a glitchy and brooding production consisting of jagged pulses of arpeggiated synths and off-kilter syncopation. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas and the acclaimed Hiatus Kaiyote, the song manages to possesses a breezy nostalgia.

The song as Beiju says in press notes is inspired by and reflects upon a recent weekend at the Rockaways with two of her friends. “Like many people, I can get caught up and anxious in such an intense urban environment as New York,” Beiju explains. “Getting back to basics by being with loved ones, playing music for pure enjoyment, and being carefree in the ocean made us feel gratitude for aspects of life, which we sometimes take for granted. That feeling of being reminded and aware is one to which I wanted to hold on and put into a song.”


Last month, I wrote about the up-and-coming Brooklyn-based indie pop act Roofers Union, and as you may recall, with the release of their critically applauded single “Karate,” the act began to receive attention across the blogosphere  for meshing shimmering disco-tinged pop with material that thematically focuses on millennial ennui.  Their last single “Tortugas” was a decidedly uptempo and breezy track that reminded  me of Kid A and Hail to the Thief-era Radiohead.

Interestingly, their latest single “Friends” is centered around shuffling drums, a sinuous groove, and quick chord and tempo changes that finds the band sonically drawing from the trippy neo-soul of Hiatus Kaiyote and JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas while evoking the complex push and pull dynamics of friendship. The song also finds vocalist T.C. Tyge delivering lyrics that are playful yet direct; but much like its immediate predecessor, the song seethes with the contradictory feelings of resentment and appreciation.

“‘Friends’ is about reconciling the practical advice of a loved one with the intangible tangle of depression,” Roofers Union’s T.C. Tyge explains in press notes. “Often we are told things we don’t like to hear, or that go against our intuition about how to deal with our own feelings, but nevertheless can flatten a cognitive tower of troubles onto a manageable 2D surface. We usually need an outside perspective to get down to the concrete brass tax [sic] of what can be done about a situation. Hence, ‘You gotta relax if you wanna hang.'”


Last month, I wrote about Brijean Murphy, a Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist, who has made a name for herself as a highly-sought after touring musician with stints in the touring bands of Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls and Poolside, as well as several others. Interestingly, Murphy can trace the origins of her musical career to her childhood — Murphy’s father, Patrick is a percussionist and engineer, who taught a young Brijean her first drum patterns on a pair of congas that she inherited from the late Trinidadian steel pan drum legend Vince Charles.

The Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist managed to find some free time to collaborate with Doug Stuart, a producer, who shares a background as a jazz and pop session musician, who has worked with JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas, Meerna, Luke Temple, Jay Stone and others. Written and recorded in marathon sessions at their intimate home studio, wedged between rarely over-lapping tour schedules, the duo formed BRIJEAN, a project that meshes Murphy’s Latin jazz and soul upbringing with Murphy’s 70s disco and 90s house-inspired production.

Slated for a June 28, 2019 through Native Cat Recordings, BRIJEAN’s debut effort, WALKIE TALKIE EP finds Murphy stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist in her own right. Now, as you may recall, the slickly produced “Show and Tell” was centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line, glistening chimes, shimmering synths, Latin soul percussion, dreamily delivered vocals singing metaphysical-leaning lyrics, and a sleek hook within an expansive and trippy arrangement that nods at Roy Ayers and classic house. The EP’s latest single, the dance floor friendly EP title track “Walkie Talkie” features a sinuous, 90s house music-influenced production consisting of shimmering arpeggiated keys, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end and Latin percussion — and unsurprisingly, the song brings Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa to mind, complete with a coquettish air.