Tag: dream pop

New Video: Basement Revolver Shares Cathartic “Circles”

Formed back in 2016, Hamilton, Ontario-based dreamgaze outfit Basement Revolver — currently, Nimal Agalawatte (bass, keys), Chrisy Hurn (vocals, guitar), Jonathan Malström (guitar) and Levi Kertesz (drums) — can trace their origins back quite a bit earlier, to the longtime friendship between Hurn-Morrison and Agalawatte.

The band hit the ground running with the 2016 release of breakout single “Johnny Pt. 2,” which led to the band signing to British label Fear of Missing Out and later, Canadian label Sonic Unyon Records. The Canadian dreamgazers closed out that year with their self-titled EP. Over the next couple of years, Basement Revolver were remarkably prolific with the release of 2017’s Agatha EP, 2018’s full-length debut Heavy Eyes and 2019’s Wax and Digital EP. The band supported their recorded output with touring across Ontario, the States, the UK, and Germany.

2020 was a tumultuous year for much of the world — and unsurprisingly, it was tumultuous year for the Canadian quartet: They had written and recorded a bunch of songs. They had gone through a lineup change in which one member left and was replaced by another. But because of the pandemic and pandemic-related restrictions, they couldn’t rehearse or record in the way they had been long accustomed. And of course touring was completely off the table for much of 2020 and 2021.

The gap between their work and being alone, naturally resulted in serious introspection for the members of the band — including a reconsideration of who and what the band was. According to the band’s Agalawatte, the band had planned on making their sophomore album last year. But they wound up waiting and working out what to do, eventually making changes to what they had written. “The world was shifting around us – and there was some global trauma – with that, we decided we wanted to fully express ourselves. So far we had kind of held off sharing political views, but we were realizing that our silence was actually just violence. We realized that to be who we are fully and authentically, we needed to share our voice.”

For the band’s members, they felt the need to share things in public, that they had long held private: Agalawatte came out. Hurn came out. According to Hurn-Morrison, the pair came out against what she describes as homophobic and transphobic environments, much like Redeemer University, a private Calvinist university, which has been the birthplace of countless local acts.

Back in 2020, Redeemer University announced a policy that would discipline students for any sexual behavior outside heterosexual marriage. “While we were in the studio, the CBC released an article about Redeemer University, and their homophobic and transphobic policies. I realized then and there, I had to come out. I had to share my experience with being bi,” Hurn-Morrison explains.

Basment Revolver’s sophomore album Embody is slated for a February 18, 2022 release through Sonic Unyon Records. Thematically, the album sees the band wrestling with questions of identity, sexuality, faith and mental illness in an explicit, honest, and self-aware fashion. Sonically, the album’s material reveals a much deeper sound paired with a crisper production. And while arguably being the most personal album of their growing catalog to date, the album’s material is rooted in hope and hopeful waiting — to physically be with your friends, to tour and to engage with the world with this newfound understanding of yourself and your place within the world.

Embody‘s fourth and latest single “Circles” is a slow-burning and expansive bit of shoegazy dream pop featuring swirling layers of shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, atmospheric synths, Hurn’s achingly plaintive vocals and a driving rhythm section. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to A Storm in Heaven era The Verve and The Sundays, “Circles” is a deeply personal song in which it’s narrator openly struggles in the aftermath of being raped, and — sadly — informed by Hurn-Morrison’s personal experiences.

According to Chrisy Hurn, the song captures the feeling of “trying to do everything in your power to get better, but there is just that one thing that it always comes back to — knowing that it is a slow and long journey.

“As much as it is about this heavy, shitty thing that happened, I feel resilient. I feel a little bit stronger every time I hear it — a little bit more like I can stop hiding parts of myself.” Of course, while being cathartic for the band’s Hurn, she has the hope that it will help listeners, who may be going through similar experiences.

The recently released video is split between symbolic imagery of Hurn struggling with depression and anxiety — and seemingly gathering the courage to perform such a devastatingly honest song with her bandmates. The video’s color palette capture the brooding and serious nature of the song.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Blushing Return with Brooding “The Fires”

Featuring two married couples — Christina Carmona (vocals, bass) and Noe Carmona (guitar, keys) and Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Soto (drums), the  Austin-based dream pop/shoegazer outfit and JOVM mainstays Blushing can actually trace its roots back to El Paso, where Jacob Soto and Noe Carrmona grew up as lifelong friends and musical partners. 

Jacob Soto and Noe Carmona relocated to Austin around 2009. Coincidentally, they both met their wives at The Side Bar and according to the band, “naturally all four of us became close friends.” As Michelle Soto was learning guitar, she also began writing material, creating guitar parts and vocal melodies in her bedroom. Christina Carmona, who is a classically trained vocalist, was recruited by Michelle Soto to contribute vocals; but Christina then taught herself bass and helped flesh out Michelle’s songs. Shortly after, Jacob and Noe began to notice how much potential the material had, and they joined in on a practice session to help further flesh out their arrangements. And from that point on, Blushing was a full-fledged band. Their natural simpatico and like-minded musical influences helped to solidify their ongoing creative process. 

The members of the Austin-based shoegazer outfit spent the bulk of 2016 writing and refining material, which eventually led to their debut EP, 2017’s Tether. Tether was released to positive reviews across the blogosphere, including this site.

Building upon a growing profile in the shoegaze and dream pop scenes, the members of Blushing returned to the studio to write and record their sophomore EP, 2018’s Weak, an effort that saw them cementing a sound indebted to LushCocteau Twins and The Sundays but while also being a subtle refinement. They ended that year with the Elliot Frazier-produced and mixed “The Truth”/”Sunshine” 7 inch, which featured what may arguably be the most muscular and direct song of their catalog to date. The Austin-based shoegazers supported their recorded output with several tours, sharing stages with Snail MailSunflower BeanLa LuzBRONCHOIlluminati Hotties, JOVM mainstays Yumi Zouma and others.

2019 saw the release of their self-titled, full-length debut, which they supported with an extensive US tour with Ringo Deathstarr that included a stop at Saint Vitus Bar that November. Although touring was on an indefinite hiatus until the middle of last year, the Austin JOVM mainstays have been busy: they signed to Kanine Records, who will be releasing their highly anticipated Elliot Frazier-produced, sophomore album Possessions

Slated for a February 18, 2022 release, Possessions is an album born out of incredible patience and perseverance: The earliest tracking sessions started in 2019 and continued in fits and starts through the quarantines, lockdowns and re-openings of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a break in production while Frazier welcomed his second child, and that was followed by the massive blackouts across Texas as a result of last February’s winter storm that wrecked havoc across the region.

When it was finally finished, the album revealed itself as being heavier at points and at other points much lighter. Thematically and lyrically, the album reportedly sees the band embracing the full and complicated spectrum of life and relationships but while recognizing the need for escape and whimsy. The album also sees the band collaborating with two shoegazer legends — Lush and Piroshka‘s Miki Berenyi, who contributes vocals on “Blame” and RIDE‘s Mark Gardener, who mastered the album at his OX4 Sound in the UK.

In the lead up to the album’s release next month, I’ve written about two of the album’s singles:

  • Blame,” which fittingly features Miki Berenyi is a lush, densely layered song featuring glistening and reverb drenched guitars, an enormous hook and some eerily spectral harmonies and counter melodies between Christina Carmona, Michelle Soto and Berenyi. But just under the shimmering surface is a subtle sense of menace, expressed by the refrain “Stick around and find out . . . “
  • Sour Punch,” a woozy and seamless synthesis of 90s indie pop and grunge centered around reverb-drenched guitars, crunchy power chords, propulsive drumming and hazy yet ethereal vocals. But underneath the shimmering melody and power chords, “Sour Punch” as the band explains explores inequality and striving for independence in a relationship. You can feel the song’s narrator bristling from being hemmed in while desiring some space to herself, to be herself. 

Possessions‘ third and final single “The Fires” may arguably be the darkest and most brooding track on the album. Featuring Michelle Soto’s chiming reverb-drenched guitars and a motorik groove built around Christina Carmona’s propulsive bass line and Jacob Soto’s metronomic four on the floor, “Fires” sees the JOVM mainstays pushing their sound into post-punk, goth and even coldwave territory while retaining their unerring knack for rousing hooks and ethereal harmonies.

The recently released video for “The Fires” also serves as a counterpoint to its brightly colored counterpart “Sour Punch” with the video featuring the band’s co-vocalists and the rest of the band in a brooding monochromatic color schemes.

Founded back in 1987, the Bristol, UK-based label Sarah Records had developed a reputation for being a defiantly indie label. And during its short lifetime, the label managed to create a whole scene surrounding itself that initially featured British bands, but expanded to Arizona, California and even Sydney, Australia.

The label shut its doors in 1995 and has long eschewed re-releases and re-issues. But interestingly enough, the label’s alumni have continued to actively create gorgeous and captivating pop music: in some cases, with the original bands that recorded on the label — and in others, with new bands that featured members of the from the label’s roster.

When Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey founded Skep Wax Records last year, they were heavily influenced by the many amazing indie labels they’d work with in previous projects like K, Elefant, Fortuna Pop!, Wiiija, Matinée, WIAIWYA and others. But Sarah Records was the one they admired most: the label operated in an ethical fashion, was completely independent and better organized than most majors. When Fletcher and Pursey started to look around, they were surprised to discover how many of their labelmates were still actively creating interesting, beautiful music.

Skep Wax recently put together a compilation album titled Under The Bridge. Slated for a March 18, 2022 digital and CD release and a July 2022 vinyl release, reintroduces several of the bands — and individual band members — who released records on Sarah Records, during the label’s storied history. However, instead of being a trip down the nostalgia road, as many compilations often do, Under The Radar spotlights the new music that these bands are making right now — with much of it being exclusive to the compilation.

The album features original Sarah Records bands like Even As We Speak, Secret Shine, The Wake, The Orchids, Boyracer and St. Christopher — with relatively unchanged lineups. Under The Radar also features newer bands, which feature members of Sarah Records bands including Jetstream Pony and The Luxembourg Signal, which both features members of Aberdeen; The Catenary Wires and Tufthunter, which both feature members of Heavenly; Soundwire, which features members of The Sweetest Ache; Leaf Mosaic, which features members of Sugargliders; Sepiasound, which features members of Blueboy; and Useless Users, which features members of Action Painting; and Secret Shine.

Every track on Under The Bridge manages to continue Sarah Records’ reputation for crated pop. Some of the tracks are punk rock, some are indie pop, others are dream pop-like. Some are gentle, some are full of rage. But all of the tracks are defiantly sensitive, thoughtful, literate and fueled by DIY spirit.

The Luxembourg Signal — currently, Beth Arzy (vocals), Betsy Moyer (vocals), Johnny Joyner (guitar), Brian Espinoza (drums), Ginny Pitchford (keys), Daniel Kumiega (bass) and Kelly Davis (guitar) — features members split in LondonLos Angeles and San Diego. And with the release of 2014’s self-titled debut through Shelflife Records, the trans-national shoegaze/dream pop outfit quickly attracted a loyal following while receiving overwhelmingly breathless praise for crating material centered around ethereal vocals and lush soundscapes, paired with a pop sensibility. 

I’ve written a bit about The Luxembourg Signal over the past handful of years, and as you may recall, the band released their third album, the 10-song The Long Now was released back in 2020 through Shelflife Records and Spinout Nuggets. Although a couple of have passed since I’ve last written about them, the trans-national outfit contributes the slow-burning and gorgeous, compilation opener “Travel Through Midnight.”

Centered around a lush arrangement featuring glistening and reverb-drenched guitars, a supple bass line, gently padded drumming, and shimmering synths “Travel Through Midnight” is spacious enough for Arzy’s and Moyer’s gorgeous vocals to ethereally float over the mix. The song manages to evoke a gentle yet wintry melancholy.

 

New Video: Fluer bleu.e Returns with a Hazy and Wistful Visual for Shimmering “sun”

Deriving their name from a French expression that gently mocks sappy lovers, the Paris-based indie rock duo Fleur bleu.e — Delphine and Vladimir — features two accomplished musicians, who have been performing and writing music since they were both children: Vladimir was a guitarist in French garage rock band Brats, an act that recorded and released a Yarol Popouard-produced album that was supported with touring across France with BB Brunes. Delphine began playing cello in classical orchestras before learning guitar and playing at alternative festivals across Paris with her first band Le Studio Jaune.

When the duo met in 2019, they bonded over a mutual love of The Smiths, Beach HouseFrançoise Hardy and Elli et Jacno among others, and a desire to craft music that was emotionally ambiguous while being fueled by their teenage myths. Seemingly influenced by dramas and nightmares, their artistic vision is to go beyond the prism of the gender binary and call upon the listener to express their fragility, celebrating one’s inner world and the beauty in imperfections.

The Parisian duo released “Horizon” to critical applause late last year. Building upon a buzz worthy profile in their native France, the Parisian duo released “STOLT 89” earlier this year, a track that brought Bloom-era Beach House to mind while being an emotionally ambiguous feminist manifesto. Both of those singles will appear on the duo’s Ben Ettter-produced full-length debut slated for release next year. 

In the meantime, the forthcoming album’s third and latest single “sun” sees the members of Fluer bleu.e crafting an infectious yet beautiful song that adds elements of folk and jangle pop to their singular take on dream pop. The end result is a song that sounds like Beach House meets The Sundays. But underneath the song’s sunny instrumentation, the song is a bittersweet meditation on depression, the search for a soulmate embodied by the sun and the stifling nature of the gender binary.

Directed by Clémentine Chapron and shot on Super 8 during golden hours, the recently released video for “sun” evokes the heartbreak, loneliness and depression at the heart of the song. Throughout the video, there are subtle reminders that the sun is never far away — whether brooding in a small apartment or out on the streets.

New Video: Brooklyn’s Colatura Releases a Hazy Visual for Slow-Burning and Delicate “We Run On Empty”

Colatura — Jennica (bass, vocals), Digo (guitar, vocals) and Meredith (guitar, synth, vocals) is a rising Brooklyn-based indie trio that features multiple lead singers while establishing a sound that’s sometimes dreamy and sometimes heavy, centered around pop-leaning melodies and post-punk atmospherics. And as a result, some critics have described them as “Fleetwood Mac with shoegaze guitars.”

With the release of 2018’s debut EP Spring Drew Blood and a handful of singles last year, including “I Don’t Belong Here,” the Brooklyn-based indie outfit have begun to build up some buzz: They’ve been featured by The Deli and Oh My Rockness, and they’ve received breathless praise from Full Time Aesthetic, who covered a recent live show and wrote “the easiest way to describe Colatura is they’re like sunshine streaming out of an amplifier with its volume set at nine.” Adding to a growing profile locally, Colatura has played sets at Rough Trade, Baby’s All Right, Mercury Lounge and Elsewhere as well as house parties and DIY Brooklyn venues.

The Brooklyn-based trio’s full-length debut is slated for release next year. The album features lovingly crafted material that began to take shape as the trio passed demos back-and-forth to each other last year. The album’s creative process culminated in an upstate New York writing retreat before recording sessions across the Hudson Valley, Connecticut and the band’s own Manhattan-based Tessatura Studio.

In the lead-up to the album’s release, the Brooklyn-based trio have released two singles — “King Kalm,” and “The Met.” The album’s third and latest single, the slow-burning and subtly brooding “We Run On Empty” features Jennica and Meredith’s delicately interwoven vocals paired with a lushly textured soundscape consisting of jangling and reverb-drenched guitars, glistening synth arpeggios and a steady yet propulsive rhythm section. Sonically, “We Run On Empty” — to my ears, at least — will draw comparisons to early Beach House, A Storm in Heaven era The Verve, Alvvays and others while revealing the tiro’s uncanny ability to craft a soaring, memorable hook. Thematically, “We Run On Empty” focuses on the steady, almost imperceptible loss of identity that comes when one finds themselves in a toxic and abusive relationship.

Directed and shot by the band, the hazy, dream-like visual for “We Run On Empty” was filmed at a strikingly old-fashioned Upstate New York Air BNB. “We tried to find the weirdest one we could, and lucked out with one that had amazing and different grandmother-style wallpaper in each room,” Jennica explains. “We also bought a fog machine to add some extra ambiance, which was great until we set off the smoke alarm mid-take.” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Swoon Release a Brooding New Visual and Single

Formed back in 2016, JOVM mainstays No Swoon — Tasha Abbott (vocals, guitar) and Zack Nestel-Patt (synths) — have received attention across the blogosphere for a sound and approach that meshes elements of dream pop, shoegaze, post-punk and ethereal wave.

2018’s EP 1 was written in Los Angeles during a self-imposed exile from the East Coast. For Abbott, a native of Ontario, CA, the idea was to get back to her geographic and musical roots: she spent a great deal of time driving around the suburbs listening to the goth and New Wave that her mom played in the car when Abbott was a little girl  (BauhausLove and Rockets, New Order) and the indie rock and punk rock of her teenage years (Yeah Yeah YeahsThe White Stripes).

2019’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced, self-titled full-length debut saw the band firmly establishing their sound in an urgent and ambitious fashion. Drawing from the divisiveness of the 2016 election and its aftermath, the self-titled album featured incisive political commentary — often criticizing capitalism, unchecked power and greed, while touching upon the confusion, frustration and and uncertainty that so many of us have felt, and continue to feel.

Much like countless others across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the JOVM mainstay act found their lives and plans thrown into disarray: their planned tour to support their full-length debut last year was indefinitely scrapped. And after spending the past five years in Brooklyn, the duo relocated to Los Angeles. Understandably, the past year spent in isolation has forced the duo to take a step back and think about their lives in new ways, as well as examine the intricacies of going through life. (This has been a period of profound reflection and reinvention — for all of us.)

The duo’s latest single “Again” marks a period of massive transitions for the band: the aforementioned move back West — and the band reworking their sound as a result. The slow-burning “Again” sees the JOVM mainstays pairing Abbott’s ethereal and plaintive vocals with a stormy backdrop of forceful and buzzing power chords, thunderous drumming by frequent collaborator Jon Smith, swirling bursts of twinkling keys and a enormous hook. Sonically, the song manages to evoke the seemingly unending doldrums of the earliest part of the pandemic, while being a sort of mix of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins and Slowdive.

“This song is about when days begin and end with no real definition. About being stuck in the loop of our life and we can’t get out. It may come to no surprise that this song was written early on in the Pandemic. Before everything shut down, I (Tasha) was constantly moving: work, music, sleep, etc., and being at stand-still all of a sudden was definitely strange (on top of the already terror and stress of the pandemic).”

Directed, shot and edited by the members of No Swoon,  the recently released video for “Again” features the band’s Tasha Abbott by herself at night, shot in a series of super tight close-ups meant to evoke the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped by yourself with your own thoughts.

New Video: India’s Us and I Release the Slow-Burning and Aching “First Love”

Formed back in 2018, the emerging Bangalore, India-based synth pop duo Us and I — Bidisha Kesh (vocals) and Guarav Govilkar (production) — features members who come from very different backgrounds, who bonded over the fact that they share similar musical sensibilities: As the story goes, when they started to work together, Kesh and Govlikar quickly realized that they shared a unique way of crafting songs with deeply personal lyrics paired with the melancholia of the orange and yellow colors leaking from the sounds of their synthesizers. 

The duo spent the next two years developing and honing a sound that they believe will act as a bridge between the synth-driven work of Chromatics and the slow-burning, dream pop of Beach House — with subtle nods to darkwave and post-punk. Thematically, the duo’s material generally draws from everyday life and the relationships around them. 

As a result of the pandemic, the Bangalore-based duo played a few online, live-at-home livestream sessions. which helped the band gain attention for their debut EP Loveless, which was released earlier this year. Thematically, Loveless focuses on a universal subject, love — in particularly, a past love and how the nostalgia and grief of that past love can hit us like waves. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about Loveless single “Fragile,” deliberately crafted, textured pop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines, thumping beats and Kesh’s gorgeous vocals in a song that reminded me quite a bit of Dead Blue-era Still Corners.

The EP’s latest single “First Love” is slow-burning ballad centered around an atmospheric arrangement of twinkling piano, glistening synth arpeggios and Kesh’s achingly plaintive vocals. While sonically “First Love” strikes me as being a bit like Still Corners meets Tales of Us era Goldfrapp, the song as the duo explains is about “the nostalgic longing to be near someone that is distant, or that has bene loved and then lost — ‘the love that remains.'”

Fittingly, the recently released video for “First Love” is nostalgic and brims with an aching and unresolved longing for a time, place, and situation that can’t be recovered. And as a result, ghosts linger and taunt throughout.

New Video: Rising Toronto-based Act Tallies Releases a “120 Minutes” Era MTV-like Visual for Shimmering New Single

Toronto-based dream pop outfit Tallies — Dylan Frankland (guitar), Sarah Cogan (vocals, guitar) and Cian O’Neill (drums) — had a breakthrough 2019: Their self-titled, full-length debut was released to critical praise from the likes of Under the Radar, DIY Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, MOJO, Bandcamp Daily, Exclaim!, KEXP and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Canadian indie trio have opened for Mudhoney, Hatchie, Tim Burgess and Weaves.

The Graham Walsh and Dylan Frankland co-produced “No Dreams of Fayres,” was recorded at Toronto’s Palace Sound, Baskitball 4 Life, and Candle Recording and is the first bit of new material from the rising Canadian outfit since their full-length debut. While the new single continues to see the band draw influence from Lush, Beach House and Cocteau Twins, there’s a greater emphasis on shimmering guitars — paired with deeply lived-in songwriting and a razor sharp hook. Sonically reminding me of The Sundays‘ “Here’s Where The Story Ends,” the Toronto-based dream pop act’s newest single is ironically upbeat, as it documents Sarah Cogan’s struggles with depression — in particular, the moments when she was trying to work it out but couldn’t find the energy to do so.

“‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is a reflection of thoughts that I remember going through my mind when I stayed still in bed,” Tallies’ Sarah Cogan explains in press notes. Feeling as though staying still in bed was the only thing that would help the sadness – basically, disconnecting myself from family, friends, and having a life. Finding the way out of depression was hard but possible. ‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is also about the realization of letting yourself feel real feelings but not mistaking them for emotions. I had to learn to get a grip of what I wanted out of life and go for it with no self-sabotage – which was music, as cliché as it sounds. It pulled me out of bed, physically and mentally.”

Directed and shot by Colin Medley and edited by Christopher Mills, the recently released video for “No Dreams of Fayres” follows a discman listening Sarah Cogan, as she wanders around a snow-covered Canadian town with stops at a record store, a local eatery, the lakefront, and an empty bandshell, before heading to a local bowling lane to meet her bandmates.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay MUNYA Builds a Spaceship and Travels to Space in Playful Visual for “Voyage”

I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering Québec-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Josie Boivin, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded recording project and JOVM mainstay act MUNYA over the past couple of years. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you might recall that when Boivin was asked to play at 2017’s Pop Montreal, she had only written one song. Ironically, at the time, Boivin never intended to pursue music full-time; but after playing at the festival, she quickly realized that music was what she was meant to do. So, Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio, where she wrote every day. Those recordings would become part of an EP trilogy with each individual EP named after a significant place in Boivin’s life: Her debut North Hatley EP derived its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little Québecois villages. Her second EP, the critically applauded Delmano EP derived its name from Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based bar Hotel Delmano. The third and final EP of the trilogy, Blue Pinederived its name from the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

Since the release of that critically applauded EP trilogy, the Québec-born and-based JOVM mainstay has been busy: She released a string of singles, including the Washed Out-like “Pour Toi,” a single centered around the aching and unfulfilled longing of being forced to speak to a loved one from a distance. And she worked on her highly-anticipated full-length debut Voyage to Mars

With a background in opera and jazz, Boivin’s life has been centered around two big dreams: to be a musician — and to go to Mars. “I love space. I love aliens. I love thinking that we’re not alone in this big strange universe,” she says. “Those things give me hope.” Naturally, that hope led to Voyage to Mars, an album that derives its title from Georges Méliès’ classic silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune. Slated for a Friday release through Luminelle Recordings, the album’s material often feels as though it were beamed in from another, more beautiful and whimsical world. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release later this week I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released, official singles:

  • Deriving its title from the name of a Florida town, located about 15 miles from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, “Cocoa Beach” features a driving and funky bass line, four-on-the-floor, squiggling Nile Rodgers-like guitar, glistening synth arpeggios and Boivin’s dreamily coquettish vocals singing lyrics in English and French. The song is centered around the JOVM mainstay’s unerring knack for crafting a razor sharp, infectious hook — and fittingly, a ton of space and space travel-related imagery. 
  • A slow-burning cover of The Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Tonight, Tonight” that sees the JOVM mainstay stripping some of the original’s bombast away for an intimate, bedroom pop-like production centered around shimmering and reverb drenched guitars and skittering beats paired with Boivin’s ethereal and plaintive vocals.

“Voyage,” Voyage to Mars‘ latest single is an upbeat bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, squiggling rhythm guitar, a driving and funky bass line, handclap driven percussion and the JOVM mainstay’s ethereal cooing. Further cementing Boivin’s unerring knack for crafting infectious hooks paired with earnest songwriting, “Voyage” manages to tie the album’s themes together while being a celebration of the journey that led her to the release of the album. But it’s also about the importance of taking the time to enjoy your dreams as they — finally! — come true. “‘Voyage’ is about willing your seemingly impossible-to-achieve dreams to come true…like building a ship and traveling to space to meet up with an old friend on Mars,” the JOVM mainstay explains.

Directed by Ashley Benzwie and Boivin, the recently released and playful video for “Voyage” begins with Boivin reminiscing about her dear Martian friend. She then researches and builds a spaceship out of wood, reclaimed metal and other scraps to visit her friend. The video ends with Boivin blasting off towards her destination.

Led by Frank Corr, the rising indie pop/dream pop act Morning Silk can trace its origins back to when Corr was studying Architecture at The Rhode Island School of Design: Initially conceived as a side project while school took up most of his time, Corr was inspired to seriously pursue music once again after listening to MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations

Most of the early material was mainly just guitar-based but the project’s sound and aesthetic gradually began to materialize when Corr linked up with Matthew Lancaster (bass, production). The ideas they started working on desperately needed drums. Robert Norris (drums) joined the project, and as a trio they began playing almost every venue across Rhode Island. Simultaneously, Corr was busy collecting gear, so they could build a studio in NYC. Immediately upon their graduation, the trio relocated to New York and landed jobs in order to finance their studio. 

Working with a number of producers including Matthew Lancaster, Eamon Ford, Robert Norris and Caroline Sans, the rising New York-based indie pop/dream pop outfit’s full-length debut is slated for release later this year. Earlier this month, I wrote about album single “Don’t Try Hard Enough.” a dreamy, hook-driven bop that sonically brought MGMT and Tame Impala to mind while being a gentle reminder that it’s never too late to change the path and course of your life.

The debut album’s third and latest single “So Fun,” which features guest spots from Sur Black and Kolezanka is a breezy pop confection centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, lysergic guitars and The debut album’s third and latest single “So Fun,” which features guest spots from Sur Back and Kolezanka is a layered yet breezy pop confection centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, plaintive, shimmering guitars. a lysergic guitar solo and falsetto vocals. The end result is a song that sonically reminds me of a slick synthesis JOVM mainstay Summer Heart, Tame Impala and Washed Out with an infectious, two-step inducing hook.