Tag: Blondie

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Electro Pop Act Miami Horror Releases a Sepia-Toned Visual for “Restless”

Initially formed in 2007, as the solo recording project of Melbourne, Australia-based DJ and producer Benjamin Plant, Miami Horror eventually expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition Josh Moriarty (vocals, guitar), Daniel Whitechurch (bass, keys, guitar) and Kosta Theodosis (drums) — and with the release of 2008’s Bravado EP, 2010’s full-length debut Illumination and 2015’s All Possible Futures, the band established a sound that drew from Prince, New Order, Todd Rundgren and Pink Floyd, combined with contemporary electronic production techniques, including house and electro pop. Interestingly, the act’s most recent recorded output, 2017’s The Shapes EP was a decided change in sonic direction with the band’s sound being indebted to 80s pop and New Wave — in particular, Talking Heads, Blondie and the like. 

Two years have passed since the acclaimed Australian indie electro pop act has released material and the act’s latest single, “Restless” finds the project returning to its collaborative and production-based roots. Plant champions this return to his roots as Miami Horror’s new incarnation. “The Shapes was always meant to be a one-off conceptual project, so once that was complete I began moving back towards the original creative process that Miami Horror started with; a simpler approach to production and a continued emphasize on outside vocalists.” Plant says. “For me, music has always been about completing a vision and trying to make something stand out. Allowing outside collaboration really opens me up to complete that vision without being restricted to my own skill set.”

Interestingly, “Restless” is a breezy and summery track centered around shimmering synths, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, hi-hat led drumming and a plaintive and sultry vocal contribution from Kevin Lavitt. And while retaining the slick, dance floor-friendly electronic production that has won Plant international acclaim, the song sounds indebted to 80s Quiet Storm R&B — in particular Cherelle’s “Saturday Love,” and Mtume’s “Juicy Love” immediately come to my mind, as the song has a similar sophisticated sexiness to it. “I love putting two people in a room that wouldn’t normally work together and seeing what comes of it,” Plant says of his collaboration with Lavitt. 

Directed by Keenan Wetzel, the recently released sepia-toned video for “Restless” features an assortment of quirky characters coming together for tennis training and some meet-cute lust — before ending with a menacing and suggestive air. “When I heard ‘Restless’ I was struck with a nostalgic feeling of starting out a relationship; those first feelings of anxiety coupled with the uncertainty whether or not the attraction is mutual,” Keenan Wetzel says of his video treatment. “I wanted to take these familiar feelings and add Miami Horror’s style to create a bright but strange world for these young people to find each other. I have always been interested in 1970’s culture and how people turned to communities, often ritual-based, to find a sense of belonging. So the idea for the ‘Restless’ music video was to put a pair of young people into a tennis playing community where they were looking for meaning. Only, instead of finding purpose in this community, they find each other, which leads to both love and realization that the nature of the community was not going to give them any more sense of belonging.”

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New Video: The Playful Sounds and Visuals of Sink Ya Teeth’s “If You See Me”

Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford are grizzled vets of Norwich, UK’s music scene, performing and recording in a number of projects before deciding to collaborate together 18 months ago in their latest project Sink Ya Teeth. And in a short period of time, the duo have received attention both in their hometown and nationally for a sound that draws from a board range of influences including Grace Jones, ESG, Nina Simone and Howlin’ Wolf among others in a lovingly DIY yet slick electro pop that clearly draws from early 80s synth pop and house music — all while being reminiscent of Las Kellies’ Total Exposure, Blondie, and others. In fact, the duo’s latest dance floor-friendly single “If You See Me” features Uzor and Cullingford coquettish crooning over a sultry and percussive synth pop production consisting of off-kilter percussion, electronic bleeps and bloops and a sinuous bass line — and although on a superficial level, the song is about having a bit too much fun on night out, as the duo explain “‘If You See Me’ was written the day after one of those really good nights that you probably shouldn’t have! It’s a song about feeling sorry for yourself but knowing that you can’t really blame anyone else either.”

As Maria Uzor says of the recently released video for “If You See Me,” “We shot the video in my flat one Saturday morning and got all of our friends to pile ‘rond ready to party on the promise of free booze. We had a loose idea after sitting down with director Jo Millington a few days before, and really just ended up rolling the camera and seeing what happened.” And the end result is a free-flowing, goofy energy of a bunch of friends hanging out, playing records and fooling around together.

Founded by Captured Tracks’ label head and founder Mike Sniper, Omnian Music Group is a label group, whose goal is to further develop and strengthen its pre-existing imprints (Body Double Records, Fantasy Memory Records and Squirrel Thing Recordings) and partnerships (with New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records) of Captured Tracks, while seeking out innovative labels, who would benefit from the larger Omnian Music Group structure to partner with, and creating new and distinct labels. Since its formation, Omnian has also partnered with Australia’s Dot Dash Records, New York’s Sing Sing Records, and created three new labels — Sinderlyn, 2MR Records, a dance music label founded by Italians Do It Better’s Mike Simonetta and Captured Tracks’ Sniper, and Manufactured Recordings, a label that specializes in re-issues across a wide variety of genres.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this month, you might recall that Manufactured Recordings developed a well-regarded Shoegaze Archive Series that focused on under-appreciated and/or overlooked shoegaze and noise rock bands — and as part of that of that series, they would be releasing re-issues of three largely overlooked early 90s shoegazers Alison’s Halo’s 1998 release Eyedazzler, a compilation of singles that the band wrote between 1992 and 1996; KG’s Come Closer, We’re Cool, a compilation featuring early tracks, unreleased material and material from a shelved Slumberland Records effort; and lastly, Bethany Curve’s mid 1990s debut, Mee-Eaux.

Adding to their growing catalog of re-issues, Manufactured Recordings will be releasing a compilation focusing on the late 70s, New York-based New Wave/post punk act Come On featuring re-issues of 1978’s “Don’t Walk On The Kitchen Floor”/”A Kitchen In The Clouds,” 1980’s “Housewives Play Tennis”/”Howard After 6,” unreleased studio recordings and live material recorded in the late 70s.  The band, which was comprised of a rather ragtag group of artists, musicians and scenesters including George Elliott (guitar), Ralf Mann (bass), illustrator Page Wood (drums), Elena Glasberg (guitar) and Jamie Kaufman (vocals) had a unique and egalitarian stage look featuring white button down shirts and black shirts, and played what they had dubbed “nervous rock,” full of angular and jagged guitar and bass chords, rapid-fire, four on the floor drumming, dark and wryly ironic — and unsurprisingly as you’ll hear on “Don’t Walk On The Kitchen Floor,” Come On’s sound manages to closely resemble Talking Heads ’77 and More Songs About Buildings and Food-era Talking Heads.

In light of both Talking Heads’ massive influence and popularity, Come On’s sound may not seem all that revolutionary, nor does it help that the band was only together for an incredibly short period of time; but what the band’s output does manage to do is to create a fuller, more interesting picture of what was going on in the Downtown scene o the late 70s while reminding the listener that although bands and artists like Talking Heads, Ramones, New York Dolls, Television, Patti SmithBlondie and a lengthy list of others who rose to be iconic, there were countless near misses.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Upstate New York-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Marissa Longstreet and Los Angeles-born and-based Matthew Lieberman, the Los Angeles-based indie pop duo Rival Cavves can trace their origins to a chance encounter back in 2012. At the time, Lieberman’s new band Magic Bronson was looking for rehearsal/studio space and stumbled upon a warehouse in the San Fernando Valley that seemed to fit what they wanted and needed. Upon their arrival, Lieberman met the warehouse owner’s sister, Marissa Longstreet, who had recently relocated from Upstate New York to the Los Angeles area and was just getting her feet wet in the area’s music scene, fronting an indie dance act.  Over the next three years, Lieberman and Longstreet found themselves playing a number of shows together with their respective bands.

As the story goes, in 2005 Lieberman moved into the same North Hollywood neighborhood as Longstreet. The duo began to hang out more frequently and spent a lot of late nights listening to Lieberman’s record collection and introducing each other to new bands. Feeling inspired by these hang out sessions, Lieberman armed with a vintage Roland June-106 synthesizer began making beats and started sending them to Longstreet, who would upload his beats into Garage Band and track vocals over them. Within a few weeks, the duo had a handful of songs and they officially started their latest project Rival Caaves.

The duo’s latest single “Creep” reveals that the duo’s sound is largely inspired by 80s New Wave, synth pop, hip hop and house music, as well as contemporary synth pop as Longstreet’s sultry vocals are paired with slick yet retro-futuristic leaning production featuring Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, a sinuous bass line, thick shimmering cascades of arpeggio synths and boom bap-like beats. And while clearly nodding at Blondie, Tom Tom Club and Las Kellies, the song possesses a subtly paranoid cynicism rooted in the fear of being hurt and fucked over by someone who may be pretty obvious about how fucked up they are themselves; in fact, as Longstreet says in press notes “People aren’t always aware of how transparent they are online until someone else is seeing through them and then you’re the creep for looking,”

 

 

Currently comprised of its Riga, Latvia-born, Brooklyn, NY-base founding duo Kerry Kaleja and Eric Jayk and recent recruits Rebecca Silber (bass) and Luca Bertalgia (drums), the Brooklyn-based glam rock act Astra the 22s can trace their origins back to 2011 when Kaleja and Jayk first met. As the story goes, Kaleja was looking for guitar lessons and stumbled onto Jayk’s Craigslist ad. Interestingly, at the time Jayk was a touring member of Wildstreet.

Three years later, Kaleja and Jayk started collaborating full-time, writing and recording music that drew from an eclectic set of influences including The Kills, Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails and Blondie among others. And with the release of their 2014 debut EP Blue Venom, the duo received attention across the Baltic region, playing at Vilnius Music Week, the Gaizin Kalns Festival and the KLANG! Rock Festival, and performed at the Gold Microphone Awards, one of Latvia’s biggest music award shows. Although both Kaleja and Jayk relocated to Williamsburg last year, where they recruited the band’s newest members their debut EP Blue Venom and their forthcoming sophomore EP Paris Love were primarily written while the band’s founding duo were living apart with one member in Riga and the other in Brooklyn; however, the band’s newest material may be the most self-assured and arena rock friendly work they’ve completed to date while the material thematically explores sex, narcissism love, art and war on a personal and global level.

The EP’s latest single, EP title track “Paris Love” is a sensual and swaggering song featuring an enormous, arena rock friendly sound — power chords upon power chords, propulsive and forceful drumming, sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. Structurally, the song manages to draw from radio friendly, 90s grunge and electro rock — think of Garbage, Nine Inch Nails and others –as quiet verses lead the way for the aforementioned anthemic hooks but with a sleek yet unfussy, contemporary sheen.