Tag: electro rock

Niko Antonucci is a Prague, Czech Republic-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentliast, singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she received piano lessons when she was 6. As teenager, the Prague-born, Los Angeles-based artist began stealing her father’s guitar as a teen — and when she turned 15, she had cut her first demo and began singing and playing in a number of local bands for a number of years. But at a young age, Antonucci recognized that in order to get the exact sound she wanted, she would need to do it herself and she began producing herself.

With her solo, downtempo/industrial electronica project Resin, Antonucci’s sound is inspired by many of the influences that have been a part of her creative life including Nirvana, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails , The Cure, Chelsea Wolfe, as well as ambient electronica and classic music, while thematically focusing on spirituality, dark magic, being an outsider. and so on. And with “Hoarse,” the first single off her self-produced full-length effort Fidget, Antonucci pairs swirling electronics, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering drum programming and a soaring hook with her sultry yet achingly vulnerable vocals — and while clearly nodding at Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, the single also manages to remind me of Version 2.0-era Garbage.

 

New Audio: The B52s Cindy Wilson Returns with Another Sleek and Modern Synth Wave Track

Since their formation back in 1977, the Athens, GA-based  The B-52s, their founding (and surviving members) Fred Schneider (vocals), Kate Pierson (vocals, keys), Cindy Wilson (vocals) and Keith Strickland (drums, rhythm guitar) have developed a reputation for an approach that draws from 60s garage rock, New Wave, post-punk and dance music, complete with the guy vs. gal, call and response vocals. Much ink has been spilled on them, so it won’t be very necessary to delve deeply into biographical detail; however, over the past few years, Cindy Wilson has embarked on a solo recording career that has managed to be an almost complete departure from her primary gig’s imitable and influential sound; in fact, earlier this year, I wrote about “Ballistic” off her Supernatural EP a single, which revealed that as a solo artist, her sound nodded at much more contemporary sources — i.e., the anthemic and trippy electro pop of Gary Numan, Tame Impala, Air and punk pop, complete with pulsating synths.

Much like the Supernatural EP, Wilson’s forthcoming full-length, solo debut Change was produced and engineered by PacificUV’s and Dream Boat‘s Sun Lyons, and continues her collaboration with some of Athens’ finest and most acclaimed, contemporary, young musicians including Easter Island‘s and Monahan’s Ryan Monahan, Ola Moon‘s and PacificUV’s Lemuel Hayes, and powerkompany’s Marie Davon. Change’s first single “Mystic” continues on a similar vibe as “Ballistic,” as the song is an icy retro-futuristic, dance floor-friendly blast of synth rock/New Wave that features Wilson crooning and cooing seductively, rather than her world-renowned belting and shouting from the mountains. And in some way, the material finds the New Wave/post-punk legend at her most mischievous and adventurous, as she pushes her sound into a new territory — while being a sincere and earnest exploration of contemporary sound and songwriting. 

As Wilson explained to the folks at Stereogum, “‘Mystic’ was actually one of the last tracks recorded for the LP. It quickly became one of the band’s favorites and maintains its energy on the road. Lyrically, it’s about our personalities — how we’re all multi-dimensional in ways that we will never understand. We all have a hidden mystic quality if we can learn and trust to tap into that power. This song is about how we’re all trying to define ourselves and make sense of ourselves, yet there is an ineffable, indescribable quality to consciousness.” 

 

Brooklyn-based indie rock act LCD Soundsystem was founded by frontman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy in 2002, and along with acts like The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Radio 4, Liars, and lengthy list of others are considered pioneers of a dance punk act renaissance that saw its height at the early part of this century. Interestingly enough, LCD Soundsystem may arguably be one of most critically and commercially successful acts of their era — 2005’s eponymous full-length debut, which featured their most successful single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” was nominated by a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with the album also being nominated for Best Electronic/Best Dance Album.  With a growing national and international profile, Nike commissioned the band to write and record a workout-inspired album — 45:33 — as part of Nike+ Original Run series and they followed that up with their 2007 critically acclaimed sophomore album Sound of Silver, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album. 2010’s This Is Happening was the band’s most commercially successful, as it was also their first Top 10 album in the States; however, by the next year, the band announced that it would be breaking up and celebrating with a series of farewell shows at Madison Square Garden and Terminal 5 — with the events of the final show chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits and was released as a live album, 2014’s The Long Goodbye.

After LCD Soundsystem broke up, Murphy and the members of the band went on to pursue a number of creative and business pursuits — with Murphy being the among the busiest in the band. Over the years Murphy has continued his production and sound engineering work, working with Arcade Fire during the Reflektor sessions, created a special set of remixes from the 2014 US Open, based on the actual sounds and events of matches and remixed David Bowie‘s “Love Is Lost,” for an expanded edition of the legendary artist’s The Next Day. He also occasionally DJ’d, including an incredible set to close out DFA Records’ 12th Anniversary Party at Grand Prospect Hall.  As far as other pursuits, Murphy participated in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n, which invited 5 different celebrities and personalities to direct short films based on pictures uploaded by photographers and other creatives around the world to their website — and the result was his first directorial effort, “Little Duck,” set in Japan. And interestingly enough, with the assistance of Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman, Murphy released his own blend of espresso and a few years later, Murphy opened a critically applauded restaurant in Williamsburg. Though Murphy publicly stated that LCD Soundsystem’s breakup allowed him the time and ability to pursue a wild array of projects in a way he had never before, he also missed being in a band. Interestingly, towards the end of 2015 there were rumblings that the members of LCD Soundsystem were considering a series of reunion shows for the major festival circuit — and those rumors went wild when the members of the band released “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” ironically enough on Christmas, the first single they released in over 5 years.

After the release of “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” Murphy and his bandmates confirmed a reunion tour, with appearances at several major music festivals, and a new album, which is slated for release sometime this year. Now, if you’ve been following the blogosphere, you know that Murphy and company had a series of hometown shows to open The Bowery Presents‘ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel and those live shows included two new singles, which will make appearances on the band’s new album — the atmospheric, Berlin Trilogy-era Bowie meets Roxy Music “Call The Police,” which features Murphy’s archly ironic and cynical lyrics and nods a bit at This Is Happening and their incredible cover of Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire” and “American Dream,” a slow-burning track featuring shimmering synths but subtly nods at “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” thanks in part to Murphy’s dramatic crooning, Certainly for fans, who have been waiting for new material for the past 18 months, it’ll give them a good hint of what they might expect from the new album, while also suggesting that the band has continued forward as though they never broke up.

 

 

 

 

Anthony Scott Burns is a Toronto, ON-based film director, visual effects artist and electronic music producer, who has released a number of instrumental albums — mostly as stand alone vinyl releases — with his solo recording project PILOTPRIEST. His soon-to-be released Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Waxwork Records — and while the label releasing the 22 track, triple LP effort is best known for releasing the soundtracks of Taxi DriverThe ThingThe WarriorsRosemary’s BabyNosferatuC.H.U.D.Goosebumps and others, Burns’ latest effort marks some interesting, new territory for the label, as it’s the first release of originally composed material that’s largely inspired by the soundtracks of 80s cult-classic films like Body DoubleManhunter and Legend And unsurprisingly, the album’s first single “Switchblade,” manages to be mischievously anachronistic — while clearly using analog synths to create a chilly, retro-futrustic and almost dystopian sound reminiscent of the great John Carpenter, backed by boom-bap beats, the song manages to reveal slick, modern production techniques that make it both cinematic and dance floor friendly.

 

 

Over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay post-punk act The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. As a quartet, the Brooklyn-based act released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouettes to critical praise across the blogosphere including The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others —  although with Silhouette, the material, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi’s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had been subtly experimenting with and expanding upon their sound, as their sound took on a bit of an industrial feel, as though nodding at Depeche Mode and New Order.

Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since I had written about them; however, in the last few weeks, the band announced that they will be releasing a remix album Points of View, which would be comprised of remixes, re-workings and re-imaginings of the material off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions to the album.  And fittingly, the album’s first single was Xavier Paradis’ propulsive, dance floor-friendly remix of “Kaleidoscope” in which industrial clang and clatter and tweeter and woofer rocking beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals — and as a result, the remix retained the spirit and mood of the original, while being a subtle new take.

Interestingly enough, if you had been following the site since the early days, you may recall that I wrote about the Brooklyn-based synth pop duo Azar Swan. Comprised of singer/songwriter Zohra Atash, who was a touring vocalist with A Storm of Light and multi-instrumentalist and producer Joshua Strawn, who was a member of Blacklist, Vaura, Vain Warr and others, the duo’s current project can trace its origins to when Atash and Strawn ended their previous project Religious to Damn in 2012. And much like it, The Harrow it had been some time since I had written about them — that is until now, as the duo remixed The Harrow’s “Secret Language,” giving an already stark minimalist song an even moodier, retro-futuristic John Carpenter soundtrack vibe.

New York music scene vet Kelsey Warren has been a JOVM mainstay as the singer/songwriter and guitarist has spent time as a hired gun, studio hand and frontman in a number of locally and nationally known projects including Denise Barbarita and the Morning PaperspILLOw tHeORY and a number of others. Earlier this year, Warren’s latest, mostly solo recording project Blak Emoji quickly received attention with the release of Sapiosexual,” a single, which revealed a radical change of sonic direction for grizzled NYC music scene vet as the power chord-based pyrotechnics have been pushed to the background for slinky synths and a dance floor friendly sound while retaining the anthemic hooks that first caught the blogosphere’s attention.

Warren’s Blak Emoji debut EP Intro is slated for a January 20, 2017 and if you had been frequenting this site last month, you may recall that I wrote about the EP’s second single “Velvet Ropes and Dive Bars,” which continues in a similar vein as “Sapiosexual” as Warren’s seductive cooing is paired with slinky synths, a sinuous bass and guitar lines, four-on-the-floor drumming and an infectious hook in yet another slickly produced, dance-floor friendly song. “Honey,” the EP’s third and latest single pairs throbbing low-end, swirling electronics, cascading and buzzing synths and guitars with arena rock-friendly hooks — and much like “Velvet Ropes and Dive Bars,” his last two singles have proven to be among the most seductive and propulsive songs he’s written to date.

 

With the 2015 release of their excellent, sophomore effort Manual, the Brazilian psych rock quartet Boogarins quickly became a JOVM mainstay artist. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’d recall that the internationally acclaimed psych rock quartet can trace their origins to when its founding members, Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz started playing music together as teenagers in their hometown, the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. Interestingly, the music that the duo of Almedia and Ferraz began to write and eventually record quickly revealed a unique vision of psych pop that drew from their country’s incredibly rich and diverse musical and cultural history  — but with a decidedly modern viewpoint. And unlike a number of contemporary rock bands in their native Brazil, Boogarins were among one of the first, who wrote and sung lyrics completely in Brazilian Portuguese.

The release of the band’s full-length debut As Plantas Que Curam reverberated throughout Brazil as it was a massive critical and commercial success — without the support of a major label or a publicity firm pushing the album. As the band rose to national prominence, they started to receive larger international attention, and as a result they’ve played some of the world’s largest and most popular festivals including   Austin Psych FestBurgeramaPrimavera Sound Festival, as well as playing headlining shows in clubs in LondonParisBarcelona and New York. And while touring to support their their full-length debut, the members of the quartet had began writing and revising the material that would eventually comprise Manual. Now, interestingly enough, the material on their sophomore effort was specifically conceived as a diary or dream journal, which gives the material a deeply personal, almost stream-of-consciousness-like feel; but it also reveals a band that has become increasingly sociopolitically conscious as the album’s lyrical content also draws from the complex socioeconomic and political that affected their homeland’s communities before, during and after the 2014 World Cup — namely that entire neighborhoods and communities were being razed for massive commercial developments that helped multinational, global corporations and their interests make money hand over fist instead of uplifting those who desperately needed uplift.

During a rather busy bit of international touring the Latin Grammy nominated act, the quartet holed up in house near Austin, TX‘s SPACE Studios for most of the summer, and they spent their time writing and recording new material in between a several weeks along Austin club residency. the band’s latest single “Elogio a Instituição do Cinismo” (translated into English, the title is “Praise the Institution of Cynicism”)is a decided sonic departure as the band incorporates the use of thumping beats and breakbeats, swirling and whirling electronics, abrasive and buzzing guitars to create a malevolent and angrily brewing storm of sound that’s paired with vocals that manage to be both dreamily placid yet pissed off. While being hallucinatory, the song manages to be a rowdy, furious almost dance floor-like stomp, revealing a band that’s readily and aggressively pushing psych rock and Brazilian rock into strange, yet excitingly new directions.

 

 

 

New Video: The Surreal Visuals for Teeth and Tongue’s “Turn Turn Turn”

Give Up On Your Health’s second and latest single “Turn Turn Turn” much like its predecessor is inspired by a painful breakup — and lyrically, the song is full of the bitter regret, uncertainty, self-deception and gradual acceptance that occurs in the aftermath of a breakup, while sonically speaking, the song draws from 80s New Wave, synth pop and the DFA Records roster. Or in other words, undulating and propulsive synths are paired with cowbell-led percussion, angular guitar chords in a sensual and slinky arrangement, along with an infectious, dance-floor friendly hook. And somehow, every time I’ve heard it I’m reminded of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll.”

The recently released video for the song turns the simple act of eating into something surreal, disgusting and detached and mechanical — and perhaps in some way, the video’s actors are deluding themselves into this being normal.