Tag: Berlin Germany

Live Footage: Laura Carbone Performs “Who’s Gonna Save You” at Rockpalast

With the release of her first two albums — 2016’s Sirens and 2018’s Empty Sea — the rising Berlin-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and photographer Laura Carbone received attention across the European Union and elsewhere for a sound and approach that frequently draws comparisons to PJ Harvey, Shana Falana, Chelsea Wolfe, St. Vincent and others. Carbone also published and released a limited-edition book of photography, also named The Empty Sea.

Carbone and her backing band were slated to go into the studio in May to record her highly-anticipated third album — but as a result of pandemic-related restrictions, the rising Berlin-based artist’s plans were placed in an indefinite hiatus, much like countless other artists across the globe. Last year, Carbone and her backing band performed on the famed German live concert series Rockpalast — and for the Berlin-based artist, who grew up in a small town in Southwestern Germany, appearing on the show was the accomplishment of a lifelong dream: Rockpalast has recorded and broadcasted a who’s who list of influential and important artists, playing some of their most memorable performances, including Siouxsie and The Banshees, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Sinead O’Connor, David Bowie, R.E.M., Echo and the Bunnymen, Screaming Trees, Lynard Skynard, Bob Marley and the Wailers and an amazing and very lengthy list of others. And as a music mad teenager, Carbone often spent late Saturday nights watching the show, watching many of those artists play on national TV.

Interestingly, as a result of those pandemic-related shutdowns, an idea emerged with Carbone and her backing band: “What if Rockpalast would let us release that show as a live album?” Slated for a December 4, 2020 release, Laura Carbone — Live at Rockpalast is just that. Taken from her Rockpalast appearance, recorded at Harmonie Bonn last October, the live album features a career-spanning set featuring material off her first two albums with an unexpected cover. Hewing as closely as possible to their live sound, the album was mixed in Los Angeles by The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Scott Van Ryper and mastered by Philipp Welsing at Hamburg’s Original Mastering with no overdubs.

Laura Carbone — Live at Rockpalast’s first single “Who’s Gonna Save You” accurately captures the band’s dynamic live sound and Carbone’s sultry, self-assured presence — and in my book, the live rendition reveals that the Berlin-based artist is rock goddess you need right this very second. The live rendition finds Carbone and her band balancing menace with sultriness in a way that’s irresistible.

The recently released video for “Who’s Gonna Save You” is split between live footage shot in a gorgeous and broodingly cinematic black and white during last year’s Rockpalast and footage of the gorgeous Carbone in a equally gorgeous red dress wandering around Berlin’s Märchenbrunnen, or “Fairytale Fountain,” in Volkspark Friedrichshain shot by Underground Youth’s Olya Dyer. “To have this immaculate beauty yet melancholic aftertaste blended with the energy of the live performance is incredible. It’s a solitary present mixed with a crowded past.,” Dyer says of the footage he shot.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay James Chatburn Performs “The Hurt” in Leipzig

With the release of his first two EPs and a string of critically applauded, commercially successful collaborations =- including Aussie hip-hop act Hilltop Hoods‘ certified Gold single “Higher,” Brookyln’s rum.gold, the Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, producer and JOVM mainstay James Chatburn has quickly established himself as an in-demand songwriter and producer and as one of indie soul’s rising talents, developing and honing a sound that features elements of soul, blues, electro pop and neo-soul.

Chatburn’s split his highly-anticipated David Tobias co-produced full-length debut Faible into two parts — with the first part of the album released last week. Faible finds the rising Sydney-born, Berlin-based artist further cementing the warm, soulful sound that has won him international attention — but while pushing his sound towards a subtly psychedelic direction, influenced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, D’Angelo, Donny Hathaway, and Shuggie Otis among others.

Failble’s material finds Chatburn exploring his own vulnerability. “For long as I can remember, before people spoke so openly about it, I had these issues with anxiety,” the Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, producer and JOVM explains in press notes. “I kind of wanted to explore these ‘weaknesses’ that we all susceptible to. I mean, the way I am wired led me to be quite insular and creative especially when I was in my teens. I I now see how much of a strength it can be, it opened up my empathy and creativity and I think we all have these things we gotta talk through, if we talk about it we can band together and be stronger for it.”

Chatburn continues “David Tobias and I produced this album in his house. He is like this mad collector of vintage gear and his this incredible scope of music throughout the decades. I had this vision of soul meeting hip hop and modern psychedelic music I have been listening to. I could not have made it sound old but new without this genius dude backing me.”

Earlier this year I wrote about two of Faible’s singles:

“In My House,” a warm and vibey, two-step inducing bit of soul, centered around introspective, earnest songwriting, reverb-drenched guitars and thumping beats.
“Jewellery and Gold,” one of the album’s more tongue-in-cheek tracks, featuring a narrator looking forward to a future, where he’s flush with cash, and as a result, any of the major issues of his life being settled with that newfound cash — because dollar dollar bill y’all.

Recently, Chatburn performed an atmospheric version of the album’s third single “The Hurt,” which found him accompanying his achingly tender vocals with shimmering, gently picked guitar. At its core the song expresses longing and heartache in a way that reminds me quite a bit of fellow JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim.

Emerging Vancouver-based indie pop act Vox Rea — siblings Kate Kurdyak (lead vocals, piano, guitar, bass), her sister Lauren Kurdyak (vocals, piano) their childhood friend Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher (vocals, percussion) and Mitchell Schaumberg (vocals, piano, guitar, bass) can trace some of their origins back to when the Kurdyak Sisters and Hansen-Boucher singing in choirs together as children.

Lifelong academics at heart, the Kurdyaks attended a small liberal arts schools in the mountains, where Kate studied philosophy and Lauren studied ecology. And while at the school, they met Mitchell Schaumberg and started playing school parties under the name BEEF. Although they started the band as a lighthearted endeavor, the trio quickly realized the creative chemistry they all shared, and would later meet up all over the world for late night, liquor-fueled writing sessions that would eventually comprise Vox Rea’s earliest material. But more on that later. . . .

The Kurdyak Sisters and Hansen-Boucher formed the indie pop trio The Katherines, which released their full-length debut To Bring You My Heart back in 2017 through 604 Records. The album amassed over one million Spotify steams with songs off the album appear on a number of prominent playlists including New Music Friday, Pop All Day, Hot Hits Canada, Indie Pop Chillout and the Canada Viral 50 chart. The Katherines were featured in a number of major media outlets including Vice, MTV, Vancouver Sun, the National Post — and they’ve performed on morning shows in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Accompanied by a top-notch backing band, the members of The Katherines have toured across Canada and have made stops along the national festival circuit. including Rifflandia, NXNE, Juno Fest, Canada Day Vancouver and Denim on the Diamond, among others. And adding to a growing profile, the trio had songs appear on TV shows like Orphan Black, Reboot and The Order.

The Vancouver-based quartet’s latest project together Vox Rea is a bit of a sonic and stylistic departure. Citing influences that range from Arcade Fire to Friedrich Nietzsche, the members of Vox Rea, the act’s full-length debut chronicles a group of artists trying to come to terms with their generation’s place in the larger human story — and thematically, the album’s material touches upon addiction, self-doubt. lust, identity. independence and grief. And as a result, the album can be seen as a soundtrack to the confusion and euphoria of coming of age in a world seemingly on the verge of annihilation. The band’s unique brand of noir pop finds them crafting material that features classically inspired string arrangements, three part harmonies, brooding atmospherics and a seamless mesh of digital and analog while underpinned with raw emotionality.

Written in collaboration between the Kurdyaks, Hansen-Boucher, Schaumberg, Luca Fogale, Begonia, and Joël, their Connor Seidel, Tim Buron, Derek Hoffman and Joel Stouffer-co-produced Vox Rea full-length debut was written in apartments in Vancouver, Toronto, Berlin, Montreal and Boston — and was recorded during a snowy winter in the Quebec forests.

Vox Rea’s latest single “Dose Me Up” is a slow-burning, atmospheric ballad centered around a stunningly gorgeous lead vocal and three part harmonies, twinkling piano, brief bursts of shimmering guitar, stuttering drumming and electronic plinks and a soaring hook. Sonically speaking, the track may draw comparisons to Cloud Castle Lake‘s gorgeous Malingerer, PJ Harvey and others but with all the sturm und drang of one’s 20s.

Born to Welsh and Polish parents in Stoke-On-Trent, the rising British singer/songwriter and guitarist Benjamin Belinska relocated to Newcastle when he turned 17. He didn’t settle in Newcastle for very long; eventually he drifted around Europe, spending stints in Glasgow, Berlin, and Paris, supporting himself through a series of menial jobs, ranging from museum cleaner to estate gardener. During that period. he wrote music on borrowed guitars and stolen notebooks, garnering praise from the French press and the BBC along the way.

While in Paris, Belinska met E.A.R. and the duo started the band Paris, Texas, which released two Kramer-produced albums before deciding to relocate to Newcastle together. Two things happened to Belinksa, which may have altered the course of his life:

“Rushing to get a connection, I left a suitcase in York station. It was never recovered. Most of the early songs disappeared,” Belinska says in press notes. “Some months later, I was walking from home work and was randomly assaulted by a gang of four in broad daylight. During the recovery, I decided to stop drifting once and for all. As a first gesture, I would record a new album.”

The new album Belinska recorded, his solo, full-length debut Lost Illusions was released earlier this year, and the album’s first single, the Palace Winter-like “Young in Baltimore” reveals a songwriter, who can pair breezy and shimmering radio friendly soft rock, earnest, lived-in songwriting and an unerring knack for crafting an infectious, pop-leaning hook. But underneath the song’s breezy radio friendliness, is an achingly bittersweet lament evoking the inevitable and unstoppable passage of time, of nostalgia for seemingly simpler times, the uneasy compromises that every adult has to make and live with, the forced upon conformity to make a living and survive.

“The song is about regret, nostalgia and conformity,” Belinska said in an email. “It was inspired by Robert Frank’s photo-book The Americans and The Magnetic Fields. I played and recorded it myself and it was mixed and mastered by Giles Barrett and Simon Trought at Soup Studio, London.

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Act HAERTS Release a Dazzling Visual for Soaring “For the Sky”

Tracing their origins back to a budding high school romance in Munich, the acclaimed indie pop act HAERTS has evolved as its founding duo — Nini Fabi (vocals) and Benny Gebert (keys, guitar) — have evolved: the duo met their bandmates in Boston, while studying at Berklee College of Music with the the band relocating to Brooklyn, where they quickly built up a profile and released their major label, self-titled debut. And after a number of lineup changes in which the band’s founding duo has remained, Fabi and Gebert relocated to the woods of Upstate New York, where they worked on and released their sophomore album, 2018’s New Compassion.

Since the release of New Compassion, Fabi and Gebert have embraced their early international roots by splitting their time between Berlin and New York — and during that same period, they have been fueled by a renewed spirit of collaboration with musicians and visual artists they’ve long admired including Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste and Julian Klincewicz, who they worked with on POWER/LAND.

“For the Sky,” the duo’s first bit of new material. this year, is centered around Fabi’s ethereal vocals, shimmering guitars, persistent drumming and a soaring hook. And while featuring a guest spot from Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, “For the Sky” continues an incredible run of carefully crafted pop tunes that reference Fleetwood Mac paired with earnest, lived-in songwriting. “‘For the Sky’ came from a dream I had when I first found out that I was pregnant, which was the catalyst and beginning of writing the new music,” HAERTS explain in press notes. “When we finished the demo for the song I kept hearing Ed’s voice and just thought he would sound amazing on it. We didn’t know him at the time, but were such fans. When we reached out we honestly thought we’d never hear from him. But we did and we went into the studio in LA, and ended up recording it just singing together in a room. Now that feels like such a nostalgic notion. But even then it was special. It was that feeling you get when you sing with somebody and something just clicks. And it’s especially crazy when you sing with a vocal force as Ed. I wish everybody could sing together more and feel that.”

Directed by their longtime visual collaborator Julian Klincewicz, the recently released video for “For the Sky” features a very pregnant and stunningly beautiful Nini Fabi dancing and singing along to the song. Indirectly, the visual points to the delicate balance between life and death; the resilience, strength, love and joy of motherhood; and the blessed miracle of healthy new life — especially in light of a global pandemic. “A few months later, we decided that we wanted to do a music video a week before i ended up giving birth,'” HAERTS says. “So it all came full circle when Julian came to NY and filmed me dancing at 9 months pregnant.”

“I think my process on this video was kind of about pushing through to the next chapter in our collaborative visual language,” Julian Klincewicz says of the video’s creative process. “I think If you look back at POWER/LAND, there’s a sort of directness or rawness in the humanity of it. And then if we look at YOUR LOVE – that rawness sort of transitions into a spiritual softness. I think right now is such a confrontational time – that to deal with some of those same themes it needs to have a bit more of a confrontational visual language… with the harsher more vibrant colors… its shifting from a kind of spiritual language, almost more into just a more energetic language. I think for me that’s the best word to describe it – the video is very much about an energy, a visual translation of the energy of the song. I was also thinking a lot about this idea of a coloring book – creating images that almost felt drawn, or like tracings of drawings. I think we started touching on that with the last album, but i wanted to push that a little further along. The raw footage we started off with was so clean and beautiful untouched, but i also had this urge to see how that footage could be pushed until it becomes something else entirely – until it could almost become its opposite kind of beauty – indirect, abstract, less literal. taking the spirit of it, but translating it into just the energy version of it.“

Cape Town, South Africa-based singer/songwriter, actress and poet Chantel Van T is best known in her homeland as the frontwoman of the space rock act Diamond Thug — but she recently stepped out into the spotlight as a solo artist with the release of her full-length debut Nicalochan, which was released earlier this month.

“Petrichor,” Nicalochan‘s third and latest single is a cinematic and brooding track centered around twinkling keys, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, persistent drumming and reverb-drenched percussion that sounds as though it could easily be part of a David Lynch soundtrack — but interestingly enough, as the song’s title suggests, the song evokes the cleansing smell of rain on the ground, of wet earth and wet leaves, and of trying to find one’s way out — of the city, of one’s burden’s, of one’s struggles and towards something new and uncertain.

The song was written after a big storm while recording in Berlin. “The lights were dim and the skies were still grey but there was a stillness in the air and there I was reminiscing of being in nature after such a downpour. ‘Nothing like bare earth showing off its bursts,'” Chantel Van T recalls in press notes.

Throughout a significant portion of this site’s 10+ year history, I’ve managed to spill a lot of virtual ink covering the Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. Since the release of her full-length debut, 2012’s Contra, the JOVM mainstay has released two more albums, including 2017’s DOMINO, an EP and a handful of attention-grabbing singles — and she’s released much of that work to critical praise from a number of internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, The Line of Best Fit and NYLON, as well as airplay on BBC Radio 6. Building on a growing profile, Siik went on a European tour with Mitski to support DOMINO, which she followed up with headlining shows in Berlin and London.

Siik’s fourth full-length album will be released in two parts during Fall 2020 and Winter 2021. “Gate Keeper,” the album’s second single is a slow-burning and atmospheric track featuring whirring and wobbling synths and Siik’s plaintive vocals. And while seemingly easygoing, the song is centered around uneasy tension that feels familiar — particularly if you’ve been in love and have had to started anew.

“‘Gate Keeper’ is one of the key songs on the album. Like a little backbone,” the JOVM mainstay explains. “The melody wrote itself and has an ease about it, yet the lyrics is all about tension and resistance. I guess it’s about the art of trying to be there for someone else. Still be there for yourself. To be someone to count on in life and to trust, despite all your destructiveness and flaws. Maybe it’s when you dare to accept the shit that you carry around that you can fully be there and be loved? When you stop ignoring what scares you the most.”

James Chatburn · Jewellery And Gold

I’ve written a quite a bit about the Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and producer James Chatburn over the past five years or so. With the release of his first two EPs and a string of critically applauded, commercially successful collaborations — including Aussie hip-hop act Hilltop Hoods‘ certified Gold single “Higher,” Chatburn quickly established himself as an in-demand songwriter and producer, and one of indie soul’s rising talents, developing and honing a sound that features elements of soul, blues, electro pop and neo soul.

Chatburn’s highly-anticipated full-length debut, Faible is slated for release later this year, and the album reportedly finds the Sydney-born, Berlin-based artist further cementing the warm, soulful sound that has won him attention internationally  — but while pushing his sound in a subtly psychedelic direction: the album’s material sonically is influenced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, D’Angelo, Donny Hathaway, and Shuggie Otis among others. Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “In My House,” a warm and vibey two-step inducing track centered around introspective songwriting. “Jewellery and Gold,” Faible‘s latest single continues a run of vibey and dusty neo-soul featuring twinkling, old-timey keys propulsive boom bap-like breakbeats, a sinuous bass line and Chatburn’s effortlessly soulful crooning.

Interestingly, the song may be among the funniest, most tongue-in-cheek leaning song he’s written, as the song finds him — er, his narrator — looking forward to a future where he’s flush with cash and all of his issues would just dissolve, because — well, money.  Those of us, who have worked hard to live check-to-check understand that one implicitly.

“It started off as a noughties Pharrell/Neptunesy kind of vibe, but then I replaced the original synth with a piano and I decided to go for this throwback soul feeling, coming back to this Neptunes vibe in part c,” Chatburn says of his latest single. “As an indie artist I don’t live off much money, but sometimes I think, damn it would be nice to have a little more, even if I know that’s not gonna solve anything.”

New Video: KID DAD Releases an Earnest and Anthemic New Single Paired with an Urgent Visual

KID DAD is an emerging Paderborn, Germany quartet —  Marius Vieth (vocals, guitar), Maximillian Alexander Zdunek (bass, backing vocals), Michael Reihle (drums) and Joshua Meinert (guitar) — that’s heavily influenced by Radiohead, Placebo, Elliott Smith, Joy Division and Pixies. During their history, the band has toured across the European Union with Taking Back Sunday, Marmozets and Fatherson among others. 

Building upon a growing national and international profile, the band’s full-lengths debut In A Box is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Long Branch Records. Thematically addressing feelings of isolation and entrapment, In A Box was cowritten over a prolonged period of time  — and was inspired by songwriting trips to England, China, Switzerland and Berlin.  “I really enjoyed working with so many different setups. You absorb everything when you’re young – I want to take advantage of that,” KID DAD’s Marius Vieth says in press notes. 

“Limbo,” In A Box’s latest single was cowritten by acclaimed Welsh-born singer/songwriter Sarah Howells, a.k.a. Bryde during a trip that the band’s Marius Vieth took to London. Centered around an alternating quiet-loud-quiet song structure, with an enormous power-chord based hook reminiscent of Silversun Pickups paired with Vieth’s plaintive vocals. But at its core, the song deals with feeling unsafe, hassled and being abused, particularly if you’re powerless and lack agency — and desperately searching for something to hope for. 

The recently released video for “Limbo” follows a teenaged boy, as he hurriedly puts on sneakers and desperately tries to escape what’s an untenable situation for him. But at some point, the video seems to suggest that the boy quickly recognizes that he has nowhere to go and nowhere to help him. Although the video employs a relatively simple concept — thanks in part the COVID-19 based quarantine restrictions, the video reflects an all too common fear, with a surge of domestic abuse cases worldwide.  Home can be hell for those who are being abused by loved ones. 

“We address feelings of isolation and entrapment on our debut album In A Box and feel obliged to call attention to this situation. We want to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence cases worldwide and encourage people to donate to SOS-Kinderdorf (GERMANY: https://www.soskinderdorf.de/portal/spenden/haeusliche-gewalt) & NSPCC: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/make-a-donation/ ) in order to support the work they are doing in preventing such violence and supporting victims,” the band says in a statement. 

Born in Central Asia, the rising Berlin-based singer/songwriter, multi-hnstrumetnnalist, composer and producer Liam Mour can trace the origins of his music career to when he learned to play the piano at six — and at an early age, he began to record and produce music on mixers and tape machines. Because of his background, Mour was gradually drawn to enhancing his technical skills in music production.

After relocating to Berlin, Mour set up his own studio at Funkhaus Berlin, where he has pursued a number of musical projects, which have allowed him to play with Nils Frahm, tour with Gold Panda and to open for Four Tet and Max Cooper.

Mour’s latest single “Douro” is a slick synthesis of ambient electronics and techno thump that’s centered around layers of chiming percussion, shimmering synth arpeggios, a mournful horn sample and skittering beats. Sonically, the hook-driven track may remind listeners of Bonobo and Octo Octa — but with a subtle darkness just under the shimmering surface.