Tag: Donna Summer

New Video: Public Practice Releases a Glittering Dance Floor Banger

With the release of their critically acclaimed EP, 2018’s Distance is a Mirror, the New York-based New Wave/post-punk quartet Public Practice — founding duo Sam York (vocals), Vince McClelland (guitar) with Drew Citron (bass, vocals, synths) and Scott Rosenthal (drums, production) — received attention nationally and across the blogosphere for a reviving the spirit and vibe of the late 70s New York scenes with a sound that draws from No Wave and disco centered around punk, avant-garde flourishes, pop song structures, slinky rhythms and groove-driven hooks. 

York and McClelland have been creative partners for several years before the formation of Public Practice and through their long collaboration, they’ve developed an anarchic perspective that challenges the traditional notion of what a traditional song should do and what it could be. Citron and Rosenthal have a decidedly pop leaning sensibility. But instead of the contrasting styles and approaches clashing, they’ve found a way to challenge and complement each other — and the end result, the New York-based act’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut Gentle Grip is built around spiraling tensions. 

Slated for a May 15, 2020 digital relate and a June 26, 2020 physical release through Wharf Cat Records, Gentle Grip thematically explores ideas about navigating through the acts of creation, relationships and capitalism. And as we all know, in our daily lives, each of those things are at uncomfortable conflict, but at the end of the day, we have to figure out a way to be true to ourselves.  Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single, the slinky, disco banger “My Head.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, a soaring string arrangement, four-on-the floor drumming and an infectious hook the song manages to recall Blondie, Talking Heads and Donna Summer — and because the world at the moment is so bleak, it’s an even more of an escapist fantasy of strobe light and dancing fear and pain away. 

Directed by the band’s Sam York, the recently released video features a collection of dancers, who are isolated in their own little world, dancing to the song’s sultry, dance floor friendly grooves. “The video shoot for ‘My Head’ was Public Practice’s last social activity before we went into quarantine here in NYC — the final dance!” the band’s Sam York recalls in press notes. “Josie and Jon, who edited the video, were the last two people I saw, passing off the hard rive with the footage and walking home, listening to the news, not knowing that I would be spending the next month and then some inside my apartment in social isolation. With lyrics ‘I don’t want to waste my time / I don’t want to fade away’ combined with the visual of the dancers, each isolated in their own little world, the song and video feel strikingly relevant for these strange times. This video was created on the eve of isolation, edited entirely in isolation and is now coming to you while many of us are still stuck at home, but hopefully now we’re all dancing. ” 

New Video: Brisbane’s Confidence Man Releases an Occult Themed Visual for 90s House-Inspired “Does It Make You Feel Good?”

With the release of last year’s full-length debut, Confident Music for Confident People, which featured a handful of breakthrough singles, the Brisbane, Australia-based dance pop act Confidence Man — led by Janet Planet and Sugar Bones and featuring Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild — received attention nationally and internationally for a crowd-pleasing, club friendly sound seemingly inspired by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Deeee-Lite-era house music. 

Adding to a growing profile and busy summer, the rapidly rising Aussie dance pop played across the international festival circuit, including a stop at Glastonbury Festival — and amazingly earning an opening slot for the legendary New Order. Interestingly, Confidence Man’s latest single, the shimmering, club anthem “Does It Make You Feel Good” continues on the momentum of the past year. Centered around a slick production featuring  a thumping and propulsive beat, shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line and a rousing hook, the song manages to be heavily indebted to late 80s and early 90s house and Club MTV-era MTV — i.e., Black Box, C+C Music Factory, the aforementioned Deeee-Lite and others. But instead of ascribing to soulless mimicry, the song reveals an act with a careful  and deliberate attention to craft. 

Directed by the Aussie dance pop act’s longtime visual collaborators Schall and Schanbel, the recently released visual is s striking fever dream that’s reminds me quite a bit of the work of Dario Argento — but with an extensive dance sequence in between the gore, ecstatic occult rituals and laser shooting boobies and cute animals. 

 

Several years ago Red Bull Music Academy invited the legendary electronic music artist ad producer Giorgio Moroder to speak in front of a small group of music students about music, his creative process and more — and to what was then-billed as his first ever live DJ set at the now-defunct Williamsburg, Brooklyn nightclub Output. Along with his long-time collaborator and musical director Chris Cox, Moroder played a 75-minute set of re-arranged and exclusive remixes of some of his massive hits, as well as a Google-commissioned song (because of course, Google would do that) and his collaboration with Daft Punk.

Moroder’s DJ set manages to be an encompassing and thoughtful primer on his work and imitable sound, as well as about 45 years of disco and electronic music that boldly reminds the listener that the Italian-born, Beverly Hills-based legend would be on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of all things electronic music — and that without his work and his fellow electronic music pioneers, that 3/4s of the things you’ve listened to since about 1976 or so wouldn’t be possible. Personally though, the Red Bull Music Academy set brings back a flood of memories of one of the most formative periods of my entire life: I can picture myself as a small boy watching my mother cleaning and signing along (terribly off-key) to Donna Summer‘s “Bad Girls,” “I Feel Love”Hot Stuff,’ and “Love to Love You, Baby” as though it were yesterday.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the years, you may recall that I’ve posted this DJ set, which in some way makes this sort of a re-post; but this is necessary because the electronic music pioneer celebrates his 79th birthday today and we should be dancing the day and night away in his honor.

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Orielles Release Trippy Visuals for Their Latest Single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout this year, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio and JOVM mainstays The Orielles. And as you may recall, the band comprised of 21-year Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), her 18-year old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals) and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) have established themselves as one of Northern England’s  “most exciting local bands of recent years,” and one of their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets. Not bad for a band, that can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over a shared love of Stateside-based 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a great deal of buzz surrounding them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label. And already this year has been a breakthrough year for the Halifax-based trio — they went on and finished a successful UK/EU tour and have released two, incredibly self-assured, attention-grabbing singles  —  The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” and the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle.”

The Orielles’ latest single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Marta “Bueno” Salogni and interestingly enough, it finds the band mischievously expanding upon the socially conscious, shimmering guitar pop that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere with the use of an oscillating Mini Moog that appears during the last minute or so of the song, which the band says is “a melting-pot of our influences, combining guitar riffs reminiscent of Turkish psychedelic musician Mustafa Ozkent with the Moog Synth riff which is redolent of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love.‘” Thematically, the song is influenced by Yorgos Lanthimos’ feature film Dogtooth in which kids are brainwashed into thinking that they are confined within the boundaries of their household until their ‘Dogtooth’ falls out, the song lyrically discusses how in reality young people frequently face similar — although less bizarre — forms of oppression in their lives. The band adds:”Whilst we’re much more than a stones throw away from knocking our teeth out in order to break from the omnipresent restrictions us teenagers and young adults face, it’s still something that really bugs us as a ‘young band’! When are you gonna let us out of the house?”

Filmed and edited by Sam Boullier, the recently released video for “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” follows the band’s Esmé Dee Hand-Halford, as she goes to the dentist to have her dogtooth removed, and once under the influence of anesthesia has a surreal and menacing nightmare in which she encounters the dental office staff with red paint on their faces, juggling brains before they all perform the song together. When she leaves, and walks back home, some aspect of her dream linger, with her hallucinating — and it gives the video a creepy and uncertain vibe.  

If you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you would have come across a handful of posts featuring the up-and-coming, Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio The Orielles. Comprised of  21-year Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), her 18-year old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals) and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals), the trio have quickly developed a reputation as being one of Northern England’s “most exciting local bands of recent years,” and one of their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets. And as you may recall, the British indie rock trio can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over a shared love of Stateside-based 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a great deal of buzz surrounding them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label. 2017 has proven to be one of the biggest years in the band’s history, as they finished their first UK/EU tour and have released two incredibly self-assured, attention-grabbing singles —  The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” and the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle.

The Orielles’ latest single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Marta “Bueno” Salogni and interestingly enough, it finds the band mischievously expanding upon the socially conscious, shimmering guitar pop that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere with the use of an oscillating Mini Moog that appears during the last minute or so of the song, which the band says is “a melting-pot of our influences, combining guitar riffs reminiscent of Turkish psychedelic musician Mustafa Ozkent with the Moog Synth riff which is redolent of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love.‘” Thematically, the song is influenced by Yorgos Lanthimos’ feature film Dogtooth in which kids are brainwashed into thinking that they are confined within the boundaries of their household until their ‘Dogtooth’ falls out, the song lyrically discusses how in reality young people frequently face similar — although less bizarre — forms of oppression in their lives. The band adds:”Whilst we’re much more than a stones throw away from knocking our teeth out in order to break from the omnipresent restrictions us teenagers and young adults face, it’s still something that really bugs us as a ‘young band’! When are you gonna let us out of the house?”

 

New Video: The Dark and Moody Visuals for Sink Ya Teeth’s “Glass”

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 roughly two years ago in their latest recording project Sink Ya Teeth. And within a short period of time after their formation the duo of Uzor and Cullingford received national attention for a slick yet lovingly DIY electro pop that draws from 80s synth pop and early house music, as well as a broader range of influences — including Grace Jones, ESG, Nina Simone and Howlin’ Wolf. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about the duo’s incredibly dance floor friendly single “If You See Me,” a single that featured Uzor and Cullingford’s coquettish crooning over a sultry and percussive synth pop production — and while on a superficial level, the song is about having way too much but as the duo explained in press notes, the song 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 blame anyone else either.” 
“Glass,” the Norwich duo’s latest single sonically speaking manages to nod at Giorgio Moroder’s production work with Donna Summer, in particular, “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby,” and The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” as the song features a slick and propulsive production featuring layers of arpeggio synths and mathematically precise drum programming. And while arguably being among the chilliest singles they’ve released, the duo explains that the song “is about that moment when you realise you want to break from the routine and turn a corner in life.” 

Directed by Doug Merton, the recently released music video featured the duo in a darkened car driving around. “We wanted to convey a feeling of a journey from light to dark,” the Norwich-based synth pop duo explains. Merton “transferred our idea into a literal journey, complete with light show to maintain that disco vibe that runs through the track. And I guess the twist at the end questions how easy it is or how willing we really are to change things.” 

With the release of her debut EP, Where’s Your Love?, the up-and-coming, NYC-based pop artist Khodara received attention across the blogosphere for a soulful take on electro pop that according to some critics evoked the likes of Diana Ross, Kylie Minogue and Donna Summer.  Building upon the buzz, she received with her debut EP, Khodara along with producer and collaborator Billy Pavone wrote and recorded material, which would eventually comprise her soon-to-be released EP Billie. And with “Anxious,” the second single off the EP, the New York-based  up-and-coming pop artist along with her collaborator Billy Pavone, reveal that the EP will be comprised of slow-burning and atmospheric synth pop that to some ears has been compared to the XX and Phantogram, although to my ears I’m reminded of the likes of ACES (if they did Quiet Storm-like R&B) and others — while lyrically, the song deals with its narrator overcoming her own self-doubts and anxiousness in a very human and imperfect fashion.