Tag: Depeche Mode

New Video: French Duo MD ONE Releases a Moving VIsual for Rousingly Anthemic “Espérance”

MD ONE — Marc Vindret (multi-instrumentalist, production) and David Bernard (lyrics, vocalist) — is a French indie electro pop/electro rock duo, who derive their name from the names of the project’s individual members — M for Marc Vindret, D for David Bernard and ONE for the unity between the duo. The duo’s full-length debut Twelve Stars is slated for a June 11, 2021 — and the album finds them quickly establishing their sound and songwriting approach Vindret aims for simplicity and strength through chord changes while Bernard’s lyrics thematically find him reflecting on his personal quest for serenity and spirituality while reflecting on his past and present emotions, his relationship to life and love.

Twelve Stars’ three previously released singles have amassed over 800,000 views on YouTube and continuing upon that momentum, MD ONE recently released the album’s fourth and latest single, the arena rock-like anthem “Espérance.” Deriving its title from the name of an Australian fishing port named Espérance,” the song is centered around rousingly anthemic hooks, buzzing power chords, twinkling keys and four-on-the-floor, Vindret’s plaintive vocals and a relentless motorik groove that makes the song sound — to my ears, at least — like a slick synthesis of early New Order and Violator-era Depeche Mode. But thematically, the song is ardent and politically charged in a way that may remind some of early U2 — with the song’s narrator delivering a call of arms to the listener to fight inequality and unfairness — and to make the world a better place.

The recently released Kevin Adler-directed video for “Espérance” can trace its origins to MD ONEs Bernard being moved by a news report on Miracles Foundation and their mission to reunite houseless Americans with their often long-lost families and friends. At its core, the video aims to remind the viewer of the dignity of all people — and that there’s hope even in the most desperate of times.

New Video: Montreal’s Paupière Releases a Trippy “Groundhog’s Day”-like Visual for Infectious and Breezy “Coeur monarque”

With the release of 2016’s Jeunes instants EP, 2017’s full-length debut À jamais privé de réponses and 2019’s Jettatura EP, the rising Montreal-based indie electro pop duo Paupiére, visual artist Julia Daigle and Polipe’s and We Are Wolves‘ Pierre-Luc Bégin, established their sound, a sound that meshes elements of 80s English synth pop and New Wave — i.e., The Human League, Depeche Mode and others — with French chanson. But just under the breezy pop melodies and catchy hooks, the duo’s work thematically touches upon naive, adolescent and hedonistic romanticism and a contemporary disenchantment. 

Slated for a May 7, 2021 release, the duo’s sophomore album Sade Sati continues their ongoing successful collaboration with We Are Wolves’ Vincent Levesque, who produced their previously released work. Album single “Coeur Monarque” is an infectious and sugary sweet pop confection centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering polyrhythmic beats and boy-girl harmonies. Sonically, the song is a playful, hook-driven mix of Phil Spector-era pop and Ace of Base-like synth pop — but thematically, as the duo explain the song is much darker: “‘Coeur Monarque’ is an imaginary tale about a girl, who lives her life according to her moods. Her freedom contributes to her isolation and she loses herself in it. ‘Coeur monarque’ is a light and poppy piece, just like the protagonist of the story.

Directed by Kevan Funk, the recently released video for “Coeur Monarque” follows a a brash and very stylish woman, who’s caught in a Groundhog’s Day-like loop in which she endlessly repeats the same actions in generally the same fashion with minor — yet very important — differences: the seasons change, which require different outfits and outerwear and a few times the time of day changes. What we wind up encountering is this protagonist preparing for a night out with her usual rituals: making sure her makeup and outfits are just right, smoking a cigarette and/or pre-gaming with a quickly gulped glass of wine or a can of beer. Sometimes a friend stops by to hang out or to pick her up; but generally, she seems to be on her own and heading to meet someone. Much of the behavior is escapist and destructive without much rhyme or reason, except maybe boredom. “We really liked the idea of ​​being caught in a time loop, reliving that same routine over and over again,” the video’s director Kevan Funk says of the new video. “The idea was to focus on the cycle of a festive lifestyle, which in some way drives away the alluring fantasy that we often imagine. Evocative of a life synonymous with the monotonous and destructive treadmill on which our main character sits. “

Deriving her stage name from the Idlewood district of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasEleanor Idlewood is an emerging, 23 year-old, Bordeaux-based electronic music producer and artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she was 14: Idlewood explains that her best friend received music programming software and they shared the software with her. Ever since then she’s been making her own original music, inspired by the sounds of the 80s and 90s — including Depeche ModeFrankie Goes to Hollywood, The Human LeagueKraftwerkVangelisPet Shop BoysMadonnaJean-Michel JarreMobyTelepopmusikTestu InoueStephane PompougnacWilliam Orbit and a lengthy list of others. (Unsurprisingly, the emerging French electronic music artist and producer proudly admits that she’s obsessed with the 80s: she owns some vintage synthesizers from the 80s and owns vintage dresses, boots and other items from the 80s that she regularly wears.) 

After releasing a handful of singles that found the young, emerging, French electronic music producer and artist experimenting with darkwave and New Wave, Idlewood released her full-length debut, last year’s Little Secrets, which featured the brooding, John Carpenter soundtrack-like “Not Your Fault.” Building upon the attention she received with Little Secrets, Idlewood will be releasing its follow-up, Little Secrets: Remixes and Fantasies. Little Secrets: Remixes and Fantasies‘ first single “Akito’s Madness” is a decidedly Tour de France-era Kraftwerk-inspired single, centered around a hypnotic, motorik groove, shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats.

“Kraftwerk is a major influence for this electronica track,” Idlewild says. “Made with some sequencer, vocalic for the vocal, Korg MS-20, Volca Modular and other sound design.”

New Audio: Montreal’s Paupiére Releases a Shimmering Synth Pop Confection

Seemingly deriving their name from the French words for skin peau and stone pierre, the rising Montreal-based indie electro pop duo Paupiére, visual artist Julia Daigle and Polipe’s and We Are Wolves’ Pierre-Luc Bégin, have firmly established a sound that meshes elements of 80s English synth pop and New Wave — i.e., The Human League, Depeche Mode and others — with French chanson through the release of 2016’s Jeunes instants EP, 2017’s full-length debut À jamais privé de réponses and 2019’s Jettatura EP. But just under the breezy pop melodies and catchy hooks, the duo’s work thematically touches upon naive, adolescent and hedonistic romanticism and a contemporary disenchantment.

Slated for a May 7, 2021 release, the duo’s sophomore album Sade Sati continues their ongoing successful collaboration with We Are Wolves’ Vincent Levesque, who produced their previously released work. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Coeur Monarque” is an infectious and sugary sweet pop confection centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering polyrhythmic beats and boy-girl harmonies. Sonically, the song is a playful, hook-driven mix of Phil Spector-era pop and Ace of Base-like synth pop — but thematically, as the duo explain the song is much darker: “‘Coeur Monarque’ is an imaginary tale about a girl, who lives her life according to her moods. Her freedom contributes to her isolation and she loses herself in it. ‘Coeur Monarque’ is a light and poppy piece, just like the protagonist of the story.

Deriving her stage name from the Idlewood district of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Eleanor Idlewood is an emerging, 23 year-old, Bordeaux-based electronic music producer and artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she was 14: Idlewood explains that her best friend received music programming software and they shared the software with her. Ever since then she’s been making her own original music, inspired by the sounds of the 80s and 90s — including Depeche Mode, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Human League, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Jean-Michel Jarre, Moby, Telepopmusik, Testu Inoue, Stephane Pompougnac, William Orbit and a lengthy list of others. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, the emerging French electronic music artist and producer admits that she’s obsessed with the 80s: she owns some vintage synthesizers from the 80s and owns vintage dresses, boots and other items from the 80s that she regularly wears.

After releasing a handful of singles that found the emerging French electronic music producer and artist experimenting with darkwave and New Wave, she released her full-length debut Little Secrets last year. The album’s latest single “Not Your Fault” is a brooding and cinematic track featuring industrial clang and clatter, thumping beats and shimmering synth arpeggios. While the song seems indebted to John Carpenter soundtracks, it’s centered around a slick, contemporary polish.

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Born to an English father and Italian mother,  Paris-born and-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist, Frank Woodbridge grew up in a passionate, musical household: at an early age, the Woodbridge family spent their evening listening to their vinyl record collection in front of their huge stereo. “My father loved The KinksThe BeatlesThe Bee Gees and Al Jarreau. My mother introduced me to Stan Getz, Carole King and the romantic refrains of the crooners that reminded her of her childhood,” Woodbridge recalls fondly in press notes. “From the age of ten, I was already deep into The CureDepeche ModeU2. My teenage neighbor had decided to perfect my musical education. And then, Bernard Lenoir on Inter, the many weekends in London . . . I was an indie kid, that was my life.”

After spending many years in rock and electro pop groups as a singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Woodbridge has spent the past few years focusing on composing for films, the web, TV, as well as  sound design for events and stage music for theater. Currently, Woodbridge works with Andre Manoukian on his daily chronicle for the Daphne Burki-hosted TV show, Je T’aime, ETC — and he wrote a comic book Inversion, which follows its composer protagonist.

2020 has been a busy year for the French artist: companies like Kenzo Parfums and Oris Watches commissioned him to compose music for web campaigns and for a series of 10 films. He also composed the soundtrack for Florie Martin and Melissa Theuriau’s documentary  Seine Saint Denis Style, which aired on French station C8 earlier this year. Woodbridge also released an album of original compositions LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC earlier this year.  

I’ve written about two of LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC’s singles so far:

  • Lola dans le bus” a melancholic and cinematic M83-like track specially composed to drive to or daydream along with, inspired by personal experience: Woodbridge ran into an ex-girlfriend he had lost contact with. He saw her on a bus and waved at her but unfortunately, she didn’t see her. And as a result, the song is punctuated with a profound sadness over a missed connection, as well as nostalgia for something you can’t ever really get back.
  • To The End” is an optimistic, motorik-groove driven track, reminiscent of  New Order and From Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . and Back-era Giorgio Moroder As Woodbridge said at the time “It is music driven with an urge, a dream for something else, a lot of energy and yet peacefulness coming from inner strength and will, I composed it thinking of movies I love, where people are at a turning point of their lives knowing it or not, and heading for their future. Although slightly melancholic, it has a positive light and effect.”

LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC‘s lats single “Je me souviens de tout,” (which translates into English as I remember it all)” is a dreamy, downtempo track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats paired with a a heartfelt mantra as its main lyric, a lyric that simply says ” Love, in the end, is just love.” Interestingly, the track is one of the few off the album with lyrics — and was specifically written as a way to “escape gravy and access an inner light” as Woodbridge explains in press notes.

FRANK WOODBRIDGE · To The End

Born to an English father and Italian mother,  Paris-born and-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist, Frank Woodbridge grew up in a passionate, musical household: at an early age, the Woodbridge family spent their evening listening to their vinyl record collection in front of their huge stereo. “My father loved The Kinks, The Beatles, The Bee Gees and Al Jarreau. My mother introduced me to Stan Getz, Carole King and the romantic refrains of the crooners that reminded her of her childhood,” Woodbridge recalls fondly in press notes. “From the age of ten, I was already deep into The Cure, Depeche Mode, U2. My teenage neighbor had decided to perfect my musical education. And then, Bernard Lenoir on Inter, the many weekends in London . . . I was an indie kid, that was my life.”

After spending many years in rock and electro pop groups as a singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Woodbridge has spent the past few years focusing on composing for films, the web, TV, as well as  sound design for events and stage music for theater. Currently, Woodbridge works with Andre Manoukian on his daily chronicle for the Daphne Burki-hosted TV show, Je T’aime, ETC — and he wrote a comic book Inversion, which follows its composer protagonist.

2020 has been a busy year for the French artist: a companies like Kenzo Parfums and Oris Watches commissioned him to compose music for web campaigns and for series of 10 films. He also composed the soundtrack for Florie Martin and Melissa Theuriau’s documentary  Seine Saint Denis Style, which aired on French station C8 earlier this year.  Additionally, Woodbridge’s latest album of original compositions LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC was released earlier this month.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about, the Uppermost and M83-like “Lola dans le bus,” a melancholic yet cinematic track specifically composed to drive or daydream along with that was actually inspired by personal experience: Woodbridge ran into an ex-girlfriend he had lost contact with. He saw her on the bus and waved at her but unfortunately, she didn’t see him. So as the result the song is punctuated with the sadness of a missed connection, nostalgia for old times and of unfinished business. LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC‘s latest single “To The End” is a motorik-groove driven track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats and a fairly optimistic air.  Sonically speaking, the track sounds like a slick synthesis of New Order and From Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . and Back-era Giorgio Moroder.

“It is music driven with an urge, a dream for something else, a lot of energy and yet peacefulness coming from inner strength and will,” Woodbridge says of his latest single. “I composed it thinking of movies I love, where people are at a turning point of their lives knowing it or not, and heading for their future. Although slightly melancholic, it has a positive light and effect.”

 

 

 

 

New Video: Oakland’s Houses of Heaven Releases a Shadowy and Symbolic Visual for “Dissolve The Floor”

With the release of their debut EP Remnant, the Oakland-based electronic act, Houses of Heaven — Kevin Tecon, Adam Beck and Nick Ott — quickly established their sound, a sound centered around layers of synths, guitar, electronic percussion and drums, the act meshes early industrial and techno rhythms with shoegaze melodicism and dub-influenced effects.

The Bay Area-based trio’s highly-anticiated Matia Simovich-produced, full-debut Silence Places was released digitally earlier this month through Felte Records and will see a vinyl release on Friday.  The album’s material was written against a harsh contemporary backdrop: Northern California’s wildfires, expanding tent cities through Los Angeles, rampant greed and gentrification in San Francisco, rapidly changing the city’s character and soul with empty, luxury high-rises. Thematically, the album touches upon and explores the intimate experiences that transpire within the chaotic and uncertain confines of everyday, modern life. 

“Dissolve The Floor,” Silent Places first single may arguably be the album’s most dance floor friendly song. Centered around a pulsing synth arpeggios, industrial clang and clatter, muscular techno beats, woozy tape delay, an enormous hook and  emotionally detached vocals, “Dissolve The Floor” recalls early Depeche Mode, Factory Floor and others — but with a shadowy sense of menace and unease.

Directed by Cloaking, the recently released video is an appropriate shadowy visual that features the members of the band playing in front of projected geometric shapes and strobe light to create an eerie and surreal effect of the band being separated and pieced back together again. “The visible economic and social disparities in San Francisco create the illusion of parallel worlds, which gives living in the city a painfully surreal quality,” the band’s Kevin Tecon says in press notes. “‘Dissolve the Floor’ depicts a moment in two people’s lives when the false veil of separation is lifted and their worlds suddenly become one. By combining projected and three-dimensional images, the video takes the idea of parallel existence into abstract territory inspired by classic sci-fi and horror films.”

 

felte · Houses of Heaven – Dissolve The Floor

With the release of their debut EP Remnant, the Oakland-based electronic act, Houses of Heaven — Kevin Tecon, Adam Beck and Nick Ott — quickly established their sound: centered around layers of synths, guitar, electronic percussion and drums, the act meshes early industrial and techno rhythms with shoegaze melodicism and dub-influenced effects.

Building upon a growing profile, the Bay Area-based trio’s highly-anticipated full-length debut, the Matia Simovich-produced Silent Places is slated for a digital release through Felte Records on Friday and a vinyl release on May 22, 2020. The album’s material was written against the backdrop of the Northern California wildfires, expanding tent cities, the rampant greed and gentrification in San Francisco that has resulted in empty, luxury high-rises — and thematically, the album explores the intimate experiences that transpire within the chaotic and uncertain confines of everyday modern life.

“Dissolve The Floor,”Silent Places first single is the arguably the album’s most dance floor friendly song. Centered around a pulsing synth arpeggios, industrial clang and clatter, muscular techno beats, woozy tape delay, an enormous hook and  emotionally detached vocals, “Dissolve The Floor” recalls early Depeche Mode, Factory Floor and others — but with an underlying  and shadowy sense of menace and unease.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Mark Lanegan Releases a Shimmering and Brooding New Single

Over the past handful of years, I’ve managed to spill a fair share of virtual ink covering acclaimed, JOVM mainstay Mark Lanegan over the years on this site. And as you may recall, the Ellensburg, WA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist’s 11th full-length solo album Somebody’s Knocking continued an incredible run of critically applauded releases but the album’s material found the JOVM mainstay turning to some of his most formative musical influences and profound loves — electronic music.  “I’ve always been into electronic music since I was a kid,” Lanegan said in press notes at the time. “I think the reason those elements have become more obvious in my music is that my tastes have changed as I’ve grown older. The bulk of what I listen to now is electronic. Alain Johannes and I had actually written “Penthouse High” for Gargoyle but then it didn’t really fit on that record. I have been a huge fan of New Order and Depeche Mode forever and have wanted to do a song along those lines for a long time – a blatantly catchy, old-school dance-type song.”

2020 will be a busy year for Lanegan: his memoir Sing Backwards and Weep will be published by Da Capo Press on April 28, 2020 — and his 12th solo album Straight Songs Of Sorrow will be released through Heavenly Recordings on May 8, 2020. Featuring guest appearances from his longtime  Greg Dulli, Warren Ellis, the legendary John Paul Jones, Ed Harcourt and countless others, Straight Songs Of Sorrow is inspired by his own life story, as documented in his memoir.

Reportedly, Sing Backwards and Weep is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, centered around Lanegan’s recounting his journey from troubled youth in Eastern Washington, through his days as a drug-fueled member of Seattle’s grunge rock scene to today with Lanegan finding peace and salvation within himself with unsparing and unadulterated candor. While the book documents his lifelong struggle to find peace within himself, his forthcoming 12th album emphasizes the extent to which he realized that music is his life.

“Writing the book, I didn’t get catharsis,” Lanegan says. “All I got was a Pandora’s box full of pain and misery. I went way in, and remembered shit I’d put away 20 years ago. But I started writing these songs the minute I was done, and I realized there was a depth of emotion because they were all linked to memories from this book. It was a relief to suddenly go back to music. Then I realized that was the gift of the book: these songs. I’m really proud of this record.”  Interestingly, in press notes, Lanegan affirms that each of Straight Songs Of Sorrow‘s 15 songs references a specific episode or person in the book — albeit, some more explicitly than others.

Whereas the previous two Mark Lanegan Band albums, 2017’s Gargoyle and the aforementioned Somebody’s Knocking found Lanegan pairing his lyrics to music written by collaborators, most of Straight Songs Of Sorrow was written by Lanegan — with the exception being the collaborations with Mark Morton. Two other songs have shared credits — and those two songs were cowritten by Lanegan’s wife Shelley Brien. But much like the book that inspired it, the album ends  with its hero overcoming adversity and struggle and turning, battered and beat up, but cleansed, towards a bright new day

So far, I’ve written about the album’s first two singles — the slow-burning, part bluesy lament, part tale of survival and redemption “Skeleton Key.” and the uptempo yet vulnerable “Bleed All Over.” The album’s third and latest single “Stockholm City Blues” is a brooding and spectral song, centered around twangy and looped guitar, a shimmering string arrangement and an achingly plaintive vocal from Lanegan. Evoking the gnawing loneliness of being a foreigner in a foreign land that you can barely understand, and of a man wandering around narrow European streets with his own thoughts and regrets, the song may arguably be one of the most sorrowful of released to date.