Tag: Deerhoof

New Audio: Acclaimed JOVM Mainstay Amber Arcades Releases a Mournful 70s AM Rock Inspired Single

Over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve managed to write quite a bit about Utrecht, The Netherlands-based singer/songwriter Annelotte de Graff and her solo recording project Amber Arcades. And with the release of her full-length debut, Fading Light, de Graaf quickly received attention for pairing crafted guitar pop with erudite thematic concerns — in particular, time and the relativistic experience of it, magic, jet leg and her own dreams, which have managed to influence a great deal of her personal and creative life. In fact, as the story goes, De Graaf used her life savings for a flight to New York and studio time with Ben Greenberg, who has worked with The Men, Beach Fossils and Destruction Unit, and a studio backing band that included Quilt’s Shane Butler (guitar) and Keven Lareau (bass) and Real Esate’s Jackson Pollis (drums) — both of whom she had specifically hand picked because she had dreamt of working with them.

de Graaf’s critically applauded Cannonball EP, an effort that landed at #1 on this site’s Best of List last year — with the gorgeous “Wouldn’t Even Know,” landing at #4 on the Best Singles list. Slated for a September 28, 2018 release through Heavenly Recordings,de Graaf’s forthcoming album European Heartbreak was recorded and co-produced in Los Angeles with Deerhoof’s Chris Cohen and in Richmond, Virginia with Trey Pollard, who oversaw horn and string overdubs from the Spacebomb Records crew. And the album sonically and thematically are reportedly a major step forward for the Dutch- born and-based singer/songwriter and musician — thematically, the album is about the nature of memory and the human tendency to over-romanticize the events of our lives. And while naturally focusing on the passage of time, there’s a disillusionment that’s been concealed just under the romanticized surface. Nothing in this life is what it really seems — and ultimately, everything can be a bit disappointing, alienating and downright strange. As Annelotte de Graaf says of the album, “If it were called ‘American Heartbreak,’ you wouldn’t bat an eye. Somehow calling it ‘European Heartbreak’ feels far less comfortable, almost like a statement in itself. I’m Dutch, hence European. The focus of the record is Europe. As for Heartbreak, for me a heartbreak symbolises any kind of falling apart of one of these concepts or stories we invent for ourselves, like romantic love, a sense of identity, nationality, an economic system. It’s kind of a universal thing in my mind.”

Sonically speaking, the material, as you’d hear on the album’s first single “Goodnight Europe” managed to be both sophisticated yet anachronistic as it finds her sound nodding at classic, late 60s and early 70s rock — in particular, Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, T. Rex and Sgt. Pepper and Let It Be-era Beatles, as the song features some impressive and bluesy guitar work paired with a gorgeous string arrangement; but interestingly, the song is both a meditation on the current state of the European Union and of a dysfunctional and confusing romantic relationship, meshing the personal and the political in a way that expresses a concern over what it all means in the first place.

European Heartbreak’s latest single “Alpine Town” is a decidedly 70s AM rock-like song centered around shimmering guitar, twinkling piano, a sinuous bass line, a mournful horn and string arrangement and de Graaf’s ethereal vocals floating over the mix. The song evokes a deeper  disappointment — that an illusion that the song’s narrator once held as true has now been proven to be false. And as a result, the song is a world weary sigh while being someplace away from home. As de Graaf says of the song “I wrote this song exactly a year ago while on holiday in Guillestre, a small town in the French Alps. I was kind of in a sad place and my boyfriend had dragged me along to get away from all that, but I guess it doesn’t really work like that, ha. It just made me reflect on the sad part of the tourist condition as a metaphor for life, man.”

Comprised of Ben Roth (vocals, guitar, synth), Lance Umble (bass), Zach Dimmick (guitar, synths) and Jonathan Angle (drums), the Seattle WA and Tacoma, WA-based indie rock quartet bod is arguably one of that area’s more accomplished bands as the band features former and current members of several renowned indie bands including Oberhofer, EZTV, Telekinesis, Sloucher, Crater, and BOAT. The recently released True Cinnamon EP is the second release from the band, since their formation in 2013 and the EP’s material reportedly is an aggressive exploration inwards, a sort of adult re-calibration of their sound and thematic concerns, in which they realize the dark and uncertain realities of a world in constant turmoil — and to be constantly overwhelmed by it while drawing influence from a broad variety of artists including D’Angelo, Deerhoof, Can, Cate Le Bon, Bjork, Big Star and others.

True Cinnamon‘s latest single, EP title track “True Cinnamon” is an anthemic bit of Brit Pop-leaning psych rock that reminds me of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses while nodding at Radiohead and others, thanks to a rousing, arena rock friendly hook and blistering guitar work; however, the song possesses a twisting and turning structure and an explosive sense of unpredictability   — both of which evoke a sense of being awoken from a pleasant dream and experiencing a sudden, world-altering, nightmarish trauma.

Although the band recently released True Cinnamon, they’re finishing up work on a full-length album, produced by Telekineses’ Michael Lerner, slated for a fall 2017 release.






Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays White Reaper Performing New Album Single “Little Silver Cross”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for the past couple of years, you may recall that with the release of both their self-titled EP and their critically applauded full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper received national attention and toured with acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others while quickly becoming JOVM mainstays. And after touring to support their full-length debut, the members of the Louisville-based band retreated to write and record the material that would comprise their long-awaited sophomore effort, The World’s Best American Band, which Polyvinyl Records officially released today.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about The World’s Best American Band’s first two singles “Judy French,” which revealed that the band had gone through a decided change in sonic direction — going from scuzzy, power chord-based garage barn burners towards a sound that clearly draws from 80s New Wave, power pop and prog rock with a studio sheen that reminded me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush. The album’s second single, album title track “The World’s Best American Band” continued on a similar clean, lean vein, while being reminiscent of the anthemic power pop of Cheap Trick. And from the release of their sophomore album’s first two singles, several websites have begun to tab the album as one to be on the look out for, if not arguably one of the better releases of the year. Building on the growing buzz that The World’s Best American Band has received, the members of White Reaper recently released live footage of the album’s third and latest single “Little Silver Cross,” and like its preceding singles, it possesses incredibly self-assured and ambitious songwriting and an undeniable studio polish — while retaining a vibrant, forceful, punk rock and garage rock urgency, the band reveals an ability to craft arena rock worthy hooks paired with a propulsive rhythm section and some inspired, blistering guitar work.

Interestingly, the live footage will serve as a bit of a taste of what the band’s live set and sound is like, as they’re about to embark on a lengthy national tour to support their sophomore effort that includes a May 30, 2017 stop at Baby’s All Right.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays White Reaper Return with an Arena Rock-Friendly Power Pop Anthem

With the release of their self-titled EP, their critically applauded full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again and a series of tours with nationally renowned acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper quickly became JOVM mainstays and received attention nationally and elsewhere. After touring to support their White Reaper Does It Again, the band retreated to write and record the material that would comprise their long-awaited sophomore effort The World’s Best American Band, which is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Polyvinyl Records.

Last month, I wrote about The World’s Best American Band’s first single “Judy French,” a single, which revealed that the band had gone through a decided change in sonic direction from scuzzy, power chord-based garage towards New Wave and prog rock and a bit of a studio sheen that reminded me a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush while retaining a sneering punk attitude and rousingly anthemic hooks. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single, album title track “The World’s Best American Band” continues on a somewhat similar cleaner, leaner vein as its preceding single while seemingly drawing to the anthemic power pop of Cheap Trick and others; and in fact, the single finds the band with the same sort of enormous sound you’d expect from the sorts of bands that have played arenas and stadiums.

Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstay White Reaper Returns with a New Wave-Leaning Anthemic Single

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cloP2ZIkxuo%5D

With the release of their blistering and urgent, self-titled EP, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper quickly received national attention — and after a number of tours with nationally renowned acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others, the quartet built upon the early buzz they received by recording and releasing their hook-laden, breakneck, full-length effort White Reaper Does It Again, which Polyvinyl Records released to critical praise two years ago. After touring to support their critically praised full-length debut, the band seemed disappeared for a bit; however as it turns out, the band had gone into the studio to write and record the material that would comprise their highly-anticipated, forthcoming sophomore effort The World’s Best American Band, which Polyvinyl Records on April 7, 2017. And from the album’s first single “Judy French,” the single reveals a decided change in sonic direction as the song leans heavily towards New Wave and prog rock — to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush; but with a garage punk sneer. Interestingly, the band has retained their ability to craft tight and anthemic hooks paired with earnest, swooning sentiment.

While currently comprised of founder and primary member Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkelman, indie rock trio Xiu Xiu have throughout the course of their history developed a reputation for restless experimentation and lately for a period of extraordinary diverse prolificacy — earlier this year, they released their critically applauded album Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with renowned indie pop artist Mitski on a song that will appear on a forthcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, collaborated with Merzbow on an album, composed music for several art installations by renowned artist Danh Vo, wrote the score for an experimental reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute — and then they found time to write and record the material that comprises their forthcoming 11th full-length effort FORGET, which Polyvinyl Records will release on February 24, 2017.

Co-produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Blondie and Sigur Ros; Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier and Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo, the album features guest appearances by minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, Los Angeles Banjee Ball commentator Enyce Smith, Swans‘ Kristof Hahn and renowned drag artist Vaginal Davis. And as the band’s Jamie Stewart explains of both of the album’s title and its overarching theme, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.”

“Wondering,” FORGET’s first single is a propulsive  dance floor-friendly single in which the band pairs layers of scuzzy, angular guitar chords with undulating synths, stuttering and skittering beats, brief bursts of twinkling keys and Stewart’s plaintive crooning with a swooning and anthemic hook — and while the equally shimmering and murky single sonically nods at Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back” and others, the song possesses and underlying tension between the known and unknown.










Tour Dates

Mar. 16th – Los Angeles, CA – Union

Mar. 17th – Escondido, CA – A Ship in The Woods

Mar. 19th – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

Mar. 21st – Seattle, WA – Kremwork

Mar. 22nd – Portland, OR – Holocene

Mar 23rd – 26th – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

Mar. 30th – Detroit, MI – El Club

Mar. 31st – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle

Apr. 1st – Jacksonville, FL – The Sleeping Giant Film Festival

Apr. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar

Apr. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle

Apr. 8th – Harrisburg, PA – Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor

Apr. 9th – Baltimore, MD – The Wind-Up Space

Apr. 11th – Jersey City, NJ – Monty Hall

Apr.12th – New Haven, CT – Bar

Apr. 13th – Providence, RI – Colombus Theatre

Apr. 14th – Portsmouth, NH – 3SArtspace

Apr. 15th – Boston, MA – Cambridge Elks Lodge / Hardcore Stadium

New Audio: Kino Kimino and Son of Stan Team Up for a 80s Synth Pop-leaning Cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ 90s Mega-Hit, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”

Comprised of Kim Talon, who’s perhaps best known for playing with Deerhoof, Jawbreaker’s Blake Schwarzenbach and Sia, and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, post-punk/indie rock trio Kino Kimino recently released their full-length debut album Bait Is For Sissies to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork and FADER. Continuing on the buzz the trio have received off their full-length debut, they recently collaborated with former Ben Harper’s Relentless7 member Jordan Richardson, a.k.a. Son of Stan to cover Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,”a song that was a major hit back in 1992 — and if you were alive and coherent back then, you’d probably remember that Z100 used to play the song at least 3 times an hour. Anyway, the key take away here is that the song is incredibly sexy and the Kino Kimino and Son of Stan cover manages to retain some of that sexiness while turning the song into a subtly propulsive synth pop song and in some strange way, it strikes as what the song would sound if Tears for Fears had covered it.

New Video: Follow A Partying Death on His Day Off in White Reaper’s New Video for “Make Me Wanna Die”

Comprised of Tony Esposito (vocals, guitar), Ryan Hater (keyboards), Sam Wilkerson (bass) and Nick Wilkerson (drums), Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper have become yet another mainstay act on the site. After the release of a blistering and urgent […]