Tag: Chris Issak

New Video: Julia Haltigan Releases a Jim Jarmusch-like Visual for “Wool”

Julia Haltigan is a New York-born and-based singer/songwriter, who has received attention for crafting a primal rock sound paired with a smoldering, bluesy expressivity. But along with a solo career, Haltigan has been rather busy: she moonlights at the slinky Jessica Rabbit-inspired jazz crooner Vivian Fairchild in the critically applauded off-Broadway show Sleep No More. She’s member of the fizzy pop act The Singles, an act that features Scarlett Johansson, Kendra Morris and Holly Miranda. And recently, she made a cameo appearance in HBO’s The Deuce.

Haltigan’s W. Andrew Raposo and Dave Sitek co-produced album Trouble is slated for an October 25, 2019 release, and the album’s first single “Wool” is a gorgeous, slow-burning and twangy ballad centered around Haltigan’s aching vocals that subtly recalls Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game” and k.d. lang’s “Constant Craving” — but while painting a picture of how we can sometimes allow the lines between fiction and reality to blur, way after the film or TV show has ended.

Directed by Marc McAndrews, the surreal Jim Jarmusch-like video stars Haltigan as a weary and bored New York cab driver, who picks up an eclectic variety of passengers across town. With each series of characters, we’re offered mini vignettes into their foibles, tragedies and idiosyncrasies as they’re rushing about — and it’s done with an empathetic yet playful touch.

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New Video: A Rollicking Look at a Woman Gone Wild in Visuals for Lola Kirke’s “Supposed To”

Over the course the past year, I’ve written a bit about the British-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, musician and actress Lola Kirke, and as you may recall while she may be best known for starting roles in Noah Bambauch’s Mistress America and the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, and a supporting role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Kirke is the daughter of drummer Simon Kirke, who’s had stints in 70s hit-making bands Bad Company and Free and Lorraine Kirke, the owner of Geminola, a vintage boutique known for supplying outfits for Sex and the City.

Downtown Records released Kirke’s Wyndham Garnett-produced full-length debut Heart Head West today, and the album which was tracked live to tape is a deeply personal album that the British-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, musician and actress says is “about basically everything I thought about in 2017 — time, loss, social injustice, sex, drinking, longing — essentially everything I’d talk about with a close friend for 40 minutes.” Last month, I wrote about “Sexy Song,” a slow-burning and meditative bit of honky tonk that recalls Chris Issak and Roy Orbison, but with a feminine and self-assured sultriness at its core. The album’s preceding single “Supposed To” is a rollicking and stomping country centered around an armament that features a chugging bass line, organ lines, a propulsive backbeat, and some bluesy power chords, and in some way the song recalls 50s early Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Patsy Cline and the like but as Kirke explains the song “is really about the intense pressure I feel to be what other people think I should be and what I think I should be. How rebellious would you feel if you had spent your life just doing things that you felt that you were supposed to do? That society told you to do?”

Directed by the Lola Kirke, the video is a rollicking and boisterous look at an older woman gone wild, a woman who drinks too much, smokes too much, misbehaves, seduces younger men to rob from them and so on, essentially doing all things she isn’t supposed to — and not giving a damn one way or the other. 

New Video: Lola Kirke Returns with Sultry and Expressive Visuals for “Sexy Song”

Lola Kirke is a British-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, musician and actress, best know for starring roles in Noah Bambauch’s Mistress America and the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, as well as a supporting role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl; but interestingly enough, she’s also the daughter of drummer Simon Kirke, who’s best known for stints in Bad Company and Free and Lorraine Kirke, the owner of Geminola, a vintage boutique known for supplying outfits for Sex and the City. Now as you may recall, last year I wrote about “Not Used,” off her self-titled EP, a song about learning to live with a lover’s absence and their lingering ghosts. 

Kirk’s full-length debut Heart Head West is slated for an August 10, 2018 release through Downtown Records, and the Wyndham Garnett-produced album, which was tracked live to tape, is a deeply personal album that Kirke says is “about basically everything I thought about in 2017 — time, loss, social injustice, sex, drinking, longing — essentially everything I’d talk about with a close friend for 40 minutes.” Heart Head West’s latest single “Sexy Song” is a slow-burning and meditative bit of honky tonk that’s reminiscent of Chris Issak and Roy Orbison, but with a feminine and self-assured sultriness at its core. 

Directed by Mara McKevitt, the intimate, recently released video for “Sexy Song” features expressive and sultry choreography by Elizabeth Sonenberg, and as Kirke told Harper’s Bazaar, “I think that understanding what the core and the truth of women’s sexual desire is really tricky. Is it something that’s just like a man’s? Is it totally different? is it something that is just a like man’s because men told us exactly how it should be or what they would like it to be?” 

Perhaps best known for his work drumming in Brooklyn-based bands like Vaura and Tombs, Charlie Schmid is stepping out from behind the drum kit, as a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter of his own right with his solo recording project Del Judas. Schmid’s Del Judas debut Deity slated for a July 13, 2018 release through Primal Architecture Records, and interestingly enough, the album and its respective material is a decided change of sonic direction from his previous work; in fact, Del Judas is largely inspired by a childhood growing up listening to country music — in particular, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. As Schmid says in press notes “I fell in love with Silvertone by Chris Isaak when I was a kid. I always knew i could add to the genre and put my own stamp on this style, but I didn’t feel ready to step out from behind the drum kit until now.”

“Through the Glass” is Deity‘s latest single and while it features Azar Swan’s Zohra Atash contributing gorgeous backing vocals, the single is centered around Schmid’s Chris Isaak-like crooning, a haunting and hushed arrangement of shimmering and twangy guitars played through reverb and delay pedals, gently padded drumming and a propulsive yet unfussy bass line. As Primal Architecture’s label boss Josh Strawn, best known as a member of Azur Swan and Vaura says in press notes, Schmid’s Del Judas debut could very well be “the soundtrack for a future David Lynch film” — and while that is a fair description, I’m also reminded of the work of Daughn Gibson, who also specializes in a spectral yet contemporary take on broodingly dark country; but all of those various comparisons are linked by a sultry and vulnerable sensuality rooted in a desire to enjoy the pleasures of the present moment as a way to escape the pain and ache of the lingering ghosts of one’s past. As Schmid explains, “This record is about the eternal interplay between the sex drive and the death drive. It’s about killing yourself, figuratively and literally. It’s about parts of yourself dying off as you go through different romantic relationships in your life and the rebirth that happens through both sensual pleasure and psychic growth.”

 

New Audio: Introducing the Gorgeous and Meditative Pop of Treya Lam

Treya Lam is a Brooklyn-based, classically trained vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, who specializes in crafting cinematic material centered around Nina Simone-inspired piano, meditative guitar, lush chamber pop arrangements and gorgeously ethereal vocals. Lam has shared stages with Yo-Yo Ma, Billy Taylor and has frequently collaborated with renowned guitarist Kaki King. Interestingly, Lam is the first artist signed to King’s label Short Stuff Records, and her forthcoming Kaki King-produced full-length debut Good News continues Lam’s collaboration with King, as King also played several instruments on the album. Along with King, the album finds Lam collaborating with an accomplished array of female musicians, including Catherine Popper (upright bass), who has performed with Ryan Adams, Jack White and Norah Jones. 

Good News’ first single “Magic” is a gorgeous and meditative song featuring a hauntingly atmospheric arrangement featuring slide guitar, ukulele and mbira — and while sonically nodding at 70s AM rock, Sting’s “Fragile” and Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game,” the song was written as a gift for close friends, who had just become parents; in fact, the mother, Megan Faye contributes violin and ukulele on the track. As Lam explains in press notes, “In 2012 one of my closest friends had just given birth to a child. The couple met on a flight to Hawaii after having spent some time in Africa and I had hoped to allude to this by incorporating the mbira, ukulele and slide guitar. The chorus was written the week that the Sandy Hook shooting took place. Beyond the unspeakable loss of 20 children and 6 adults, I was horrified by the idea that the surviving children in that community would lose their childhoods. . .This is not a song about a perfect world but rather one that aims to encourages listeners of all ages to look for, hold onto and create as much magic as we can.” As a result, the song has a deeply meditative and sobering vibe, just underneath the gorgeous arrangements; after all, it’s a reminder that in our constantly connected yet fragmented world, that we should be paying attention to the small moment that make us human. 

JOVM mainstay Nicole Atkins is a Neptune, New Jersey-born, Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter, best known for a sound that draws influence from 50s crooner pop, 60s psych rock and psych pop, soul music and Brill Building pop; in fact, some critics have compared her sound favorably to the likes of Roy Orbison and others; in fact, Atkins has publicly cited the favorites of her parents’ record collection as being major influences on her, including The Ronettes, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, The SundaysHarriet Wheeler and Cass Elliot.

And as you may recall, Atkins started playing piano when she turned nine, and taught herself to play guitar at 13. By the time she was attending Belmar, NJ’s St. Rose High School, she was playing in pick-up bands and playing gigs at local coffeehouses. Upon graduating from high school, Atkins attended the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she studied illustration and ingrained herself within the city’s independent music scene. While in Charlotte, she began writing original songs and befriending a number of local musicians; at one point, she was a member of a local supergroup Nitehawk that, at one point had close to 30 members. She also joined Los Parasols and released an EP with them, The Summer of Love in 2002; however, later that year, she moved to Brooklyn, where she began to be influenced by the Rainbow Quartz Records roster, and began writing songs more along the lines of Wilco and Roy Orbison.

By early 2005, Atkins ran into keyboardist Dan Chen, who she had known from her days playing at The Sidewalk Cafe. And as the story goes, Chen approached her about forming a new band, a band which eventually became Nicole Atkins and The Sea. During a residency at Piano’s, the band won the attention of music industry attorney Gillian Bar and Atkins along with her backing band quickly found themselves in a bidding war between several record labels before signing with Columbia Records in early 2006. At the end of that year, Atkins and her backing band went to Sweden — Varispeed Studios in Kalegrup, Sweden and Gula Studion in Malmo — to record their Tore Johansson-produced debut effort Neptune City, which was released in October 2007 to accommodate re-mastering of the album. The album was a critical and commercial success, debuting at number 20 on Billboard‘s Top Heatseekers Chart and reached number 6 on the Heatseekers Middle Atlantic Chart.

2011 saw the release of her critically applauded, Phil Palazzolo-produced sophomore effort Mondo Amore. Recorded at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge Studio, Atkins’ new backing band The Black Sea featured Irina Yalkowsky (guitar), Mike Graham (drums) and Jermey Kay (bass). Atkins and her backing band played that year’s SXSW and were named by Spin Magazine as “the best live band of the festival,” and Mondo Amore received attention from the The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

During the winter of 2012 Atkins returned to Malmo, Sweden to record her third full-length effort Slow Phaser with Tore Johansson. Released in February 2014 to critical applause, the album landed at number 143 on the Billboard 200 based on the strength of singles “Girl You Look Amazing” and “Who Killed the Moonlight?” Adding to a big 2014 Atkins appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, where she performed a new rendition of “War Torn” off her Live from the Masonic Temple, Detroit album, an album which was recorded while she toured as the opener for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Recoded at Fort Worth, TX‘s Niles City Sound, with a production team featuring Austin Jenkins, Josh Block and Chris Vivion and mixed by the Alabama Shakes‘ Ben Tanner, Atkins’ fourth album Goodnight Rhonda Lee marks two different but important occasions in the renowned singer/songwriter’s career — it’s her first album in three years, and more important, it marks a sonic departure from her previously released work. As I mentioned earlier, Goodnight Rhonda Lee‘s first single “A Little Crazy,” a collaboration with Chris Issak was a delicate and soulful ballad that clearly nods to some of Atkins’ earliest influences — in particular, Roy Orbison with a hint of Patsy Cline. However, “Darkness Falls So Quiet,” the album’s second single was a stomping and soulful track that nodded at  Dusty Springfield — and much like Springfield’s legendary work, Atkins’  vocals, which manage to simultaneously express swaggering self-assuredness and aching loneliness are paired with a warm and soulful arrangement that features a gorgeous string section, twinkling keys and a Daptone Records-like horn section. Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single “Sleepwalking” continues the soulful vein of its predecessor; however, with a shuffling arrangement featuring guitar, bass, twinkling keys and bold blasts of horn the song manages to nod at early Motown Records — to my ear, I thought of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, and even Charles Bradley. 

Atkins will be touring throughout the summer and fall to support the new album, slated for release in a few weeks. The tour will include a September 9, 2017 stop at Mercury Lounge. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
Tour Dates:

7/20 – Lexington, KY – The Burl
7/21 – Florence, AL – WC Handy Festival
7/23 – Nashville, TN – 3rd and Lindsley
7/25 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage w/Robert Ellis
7/26 – Fairfield, CT – Stage One
7/29 – Freehold, NJ – Monmouth County Fair
7/30 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival w/Steelism and Ruby Amanfu
8/7 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
8/8 – Chicago, IL – Space
8/10 – Davenport, IA – The Raccoon Motel
8/11 – Iowa City, IA – The Mill
8/12 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
8/18 – Asheville, NC – Altamont Theatre
8/19 – Athens, GA – Wildwood Revival 2017
8/26 – Arlington, VA – Lockn’ Festival
9/8 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
9/9 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
9/10 – Asbury Park, NJ – Shadow of the City Festival @ Stony Pony Summer Stage – Shadow of the City Festival

Nicole Atkins is a Neptune, New Jersey-born, Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter, arguably best known as one for her time in Asbury Park, NJ — and perhaps more important for a sound that draws influence from 50s crooner pop, 60s psych rock and psych pop, soul music and Brill Building pop; in fact, some critics have compared her and her sound favorably to the likes of Roy Orbison and others. This shouldn’t be surprising as Atkins has publicly cited the favorites of her parents’ record collection as being major influences on her, including The Ronettes, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, The SundaysHarriet Wheeler and Cass Elliot.
Atkins started playing piano when she turned nine and taught herself to play guitar at 13 and by the time she was attending Belmar, NJ’s St. Rose High School, she was playing in pick-up bands and playing gigs at local coffeehouses. Upon graduating from high school, Atkins attended the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she studied illustration and ingrained herself within the city’s independent music scene. And while in Charlotte, she began writing original songs and befriending a number of local musicians; in fact, at one point, she was a member of a local supergroup Nitehawk that, at one point had close to 30 members. She also joined Los Parasols and released an EP with them, The Summer of Love in 2002; however, later that year, she moved to Brooklyn, where she began to be influenced by the Rainbow Quartz Records roster, and began writing songs more along the lines of Wilco and Roy Orbison.

 

By early 2005, Atkins ran into keyboardist Dan Chen, who she had known from her days playing at The Sidewalk Cafe. Chen approached her about forming a new band, a band which eventually became Nicole Atkins and The Sea. During a residency at Piano’s, the band won the attention of music industry attorney Gillian Bar and quickly found herself in a bidding war between several record labels before signing with Columbia Records in early 2006. A the end of that year, Atkins and her backing band went to Sweden — Varispeed Studios in Kalegrup, Sweden and Gula Studion in Malmo — to record their Tore Johansson-produced debut effort Neptune City, which was released in October 2007 to accommodate re-mastering of the album. The album was a critical and commercial success, debuting at number 20 on Billboard‘s Top Heatseekers Chart and reached number 6 on the Heatseekers Middle Atlantic Chart.

2011 saw the release of her critically applauded, Phil Palazzolo-produced sophomore effort Mondo Amore. Recorded at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge Studio, Atkins’ new backing band The Black Sea featured Irina Yalkowsky (guitar), Mike Graham (drums) and Jermey Kay (bass). Atkins and her backing band played that year’s SXSW and were named by Spin Magazine as “the best live band of the festival,” and Mondo Amore received attention from the The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

During the winter of 2012 Atkins returned to Malmo, Sweden to record her third full-length effort Slow Phaser with Tore Johansson. Released in February 2014 to critical applause, the album landed at number 143 on the Billboard 200 based on the strength of singles “Girl You Look Amazing” and “Who Killed the Moonlight?” Adding to a big 2014 Atkins appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, where she performed a new rendition of “War Torn” off her Live from the Masonic Temple, Detroit album, an album which was recorded while she toured as the opener for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Recoded at Fort Worth, TX‘s Niles City Sound, with a production team featuring Austin Jenkins, Josh Block and Chris Vivion and mixed by the Alabama Shakes‘ Ben Tanner, Atkins’ fourth album Goodnight Rhonda Lee marks two different things — the first being her first album in three years, the second a marked sonic departure from her previous work. The album’s first single, co-written by Chris Issak, “A Little Crazy” was a delicate and soulful ballad that clearly nods to many of Atkins’ early influences — in particular, Roy Orbison with a hint of Patsy Cline. However, the album’s second and latest single “Darkness Falls So Quiet” is a stomping and soulful track that nods at Dusty Springfield — and much like Springfield’s legendary work, Atkins’ incredible vocals, which manage to simultaneously express swaggering self-assuredness and aching loneliness are paired with a warm and soulful arrangement that features a gorgeous string section, twinkling keys and a Daptone Records-like horn section. And if weren’t for the subtly modern production, you may have mistaken the song for being released in 1963.

Goodnight Rhonda Lee is slated for a July 21, 2017 release through Single Lock Records, and Atkins will be touring throughout the summer and fall to support the new album. The tour will include a September 9, 2017 stop at Mercury Lounge. Check out the rest of the tour dates below — and if she’s playing at a venue near you, go see her. She’s fantastic live.
Tour Dates:

7/20 – Lexington, KY – The Burl
7/21 – Florence, AL – WC Handy Festival
7/23 – Nashville, TN – 3rd and Lindsley
7/25 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage w/Robert Ellis
7/26 – Fairfield, CT – Stage One
7/29 – Freehold, NJ – Monmouth County Fair
7/30 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival w/Steelism and Ruby Amanfu
8/7 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
8/8 – Chicago, IL – Space
8/10 – Davenport, IA – The Raccoon Motel
8/11 – Iowa City, IA – The Mill
8/12 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
8/18 – Asheville, NC – Altamont Theatre
8/19 – Athens, GA – Wildwood Revival 2017
8/26 – Arlington, VA – Lockn’ Festival
9/8 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
9/9 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
9/10 – Asbury Park, NJ – Shadow of the City Festival @ Stony Pony Summer Stage – Shadow of the City Festival

 

Currently based in New York, Anya Marina is an Ann Arbor, MI-born, Cupertino, CA-raised singer/songwriter who initially made waves after relocating to San Diego, where she quickly developed a reputation as one of Southern California’s up-and-coming artists — and as a result, the then-San Diego-based pop artist was personally signed to Chop Shop Records by its founder Alexandra Patsavas, best known as the music director for films and TV shows such as Twilight, Gossip Girl and Grey’s Anatomy.  2009’s Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II was released to critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, SpinThe Village Voice and others and Anya Marina promptly followed that up with a core of T.I.‘s “Whatever You Like,” which appeared on a 2009 episode of Gossip Girl and spent two weeks on top of iTunes Top Alternative Songs chart, eventually selling more than 100,000 downloads. The official video for the track eventually received nearly 2.5 million views on Anya’s official YouTube channel. And adding to a breakthrough 2009, Anya Marina’s “Satellite Heart” was featured on the RIAA-certified platinum soundtrack for The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

2010 saw the release of her self-produced EP Spirit School, which included “Whatsit,” a collaboration with The Dandy Warhols‘ Courtney Taylor-Taylor and the “Satellite Heart (Tiny Stars Remix)“by Interpol‘s Sam Fogarino. With a growing national profile, Anya Marina has had a busy touring schedule both as an opener and headliner, touring with Jason Mraz, Spoon, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Chris Issak, Paolo Nutini, Emiliana Torrini, The Virgins, Greg Laswell, Jenny Owen Youngs, Steve Poltz, Rhett Miller, The Plain White Ts, The Dandy Warhols and Tristan Prettyman among others.  Along with that, she’s made several high-profile TV appearances including ABC‘s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the WB’s Rockville, CA and along with that she’s had music appear in CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, MTV‘s The City, Showtime‘s United States of Tara, and the CW‘s 90210 and Privileged, as well as ad campaigns for Frito-Lays’ Tostitos and Kate Walsh’s Boyfriend.

Anya Marina wrote and recorded the Felony Flats EP in Portland and was released in 2012 to critical acclaim before she relocated to New York, where she returned to releasing albums independently — with her fourth full-length effort Paper Plane being released via PledgeMusic and her own Good Rope Records. Her latest EP, The Serious Love is slated for a June 16, 2017 release and the material, which was cowritten with Nashville-based collaborator Ian Keaggy focuses on four stages of heartbreak: the first being wild, heads over heels infatuation but there’s something not quite right — the recognition that what you had hoped was a real relationship is at best a situationship; the second being the push-pull/hot-cold/on-off stage in which the relationship/situationship has grown on you and in the back of your mind, you’ve considered the possibility of a breakup; the third stage is the eventual despair and heartache after you’ve gone through with the breakup — and it’s frequently the point in which you’ve replayed every single thing that happened or was said in your mind, in the hopes that maybe you can gleam some comprehension into what happened; and stage four, which is the focus of the EP’s final track “Faze Me,” that period in which you’ve moved out of anger, resentment and hurt and have accepted the fact that the relationship is over and that you’re ready to move forward with your life, even if your ex thinks that it’ll be more of the same push and pull that’s been the bulk of the relationship. In fact, the song’s narrator seems so over it, that she’s mentally about 1,000 miles away from the relationship in question. Interestingly, the song sonically speaking pairs Anya Marina’s sultry and breathy cooing with a sparse, atmospheric production reminiscent of JOVM mainstay Sofi de la Torre.