Tag: Fuse TV

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Sounds and Visuals for Ramonda Hammer’s “Destroyers”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of  founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters, and with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Whatever That Means, the act quickly received attention both locally an nationally, as the album was released to praise from the likes of  Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and others. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine. The quartet released the Destroyers EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet chaotic and cathartic coda; but at the core of the song is a bitter, emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet ironic, triumphant and ass-kicking yet yearning for more — without quite knowing how to get there. 

Directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring the members of Ramonda Hammer along with Elizer Rios, Dylan Karate, Jessie Payo, Gayly Singletary, Addison Murphy, Caleb Hammond, and Justin Jackson, the recently released video draws from 120 Minutes-era visuals — but with a decidedly hazy, feverish vibe, as it features two toga wearing men, drinking wine until one drops dead presumably from poison, a series of Ancient Greek-like characters on the fringes, much like a Greek tragedy before splitting into focusing on the band performing the song, as though it’s the soundtrack to the proceedings. 

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Inadvertently over the past week, week and a half or so, I’ve focused on a handful of JOVM mainstay acts, who have released new material including Summer Heart, Tame Impala, Surf Rock Is Dead, METZ, The Afghan Whigs and others, and that streak will continue a bit longer with new material from another mainstays act, Widowspeak. And as you may recall, the act, which is currently composed of its  Tacoma, WA-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Molly Hamilton (vocals, guitars) and Robert Earl Thomas (guitar) can trace its origins back to 2010 when the band formed as a trio featuring Hamilton, Thomas and Hamilton’s longtime friend Michael Stasiak. As a trio they released their critically applauded 2011 self-titled debut, an effort that had album single “Harsh Realm” featured in an episode of American Horror StoryWith greater attention on the group, the then-trio recruited Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh for their subsequent tours; however, by following year, Stasiak and Gravano-Coolbaugh left the band.

While in the middle of a massive lineup change, Hamilton and Thomas began working on their Kevin McMahon-produced sophomore effort Almanac, an album that was released to critical applause and growing national attention; in fact, the band was named one of Fuse TV‘s 30 Must-See Artists at 2013’s SXSW. And if you were frequenting this site back then, you would have come across a couple of posts featuring the acclaimed, Brooklyn-based duo. Up until earlier this summer, some time had passed since I had personally written about them but as it turned out the members of Widowspeak had been working on a new album, Expect The Best, which is slated for an August 25, 2017 through renowned indie label Captured Tracks Records. Album single “Dog,” as Widowspeak’s Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener’ mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more. Expect The Best‘s latest single “When I Tried” is a slow, churning blues with layers jangling, guitar pedal effect guitars paired with a propulsive yet simple drum pattern  which Hamilton’s aching yet ethereal vocals float over, and much like its preceding single, captures a bored and frustrated narrator, who yearns for more and more — and yet feels hopelessly stuck and confused.

Interestingly though, as Hamilton explains to the folks at Stereogum “I didn’t go into this record trying to make every song about feeling stuck, or about self-doubt or anxiety. Those feelings aren’t really what you want to proclaim to the world or make a whole record about, even if it’s the truth. But, in the end, it ended up making more sense to be honest. ‘When I Tried’ is about when I was having a hard time starting things, or finishing them, maybe due to my own expectations of what it would turn into or maybe due to me doubting that I’d even be able to make it happen at all . . . I wasn’t sure what the motivation was anymore. Not specifically related to music, or creative work, but to everything. I wanted to get out and be social to take my mind off it, but I had a hard time keeping that up, too. It’s hard to keep up the effort of trying.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was once featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters. Their self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical applause from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolumeFuse TV and elsewhere, and as a result of a rapidly growing local and national profile, the band signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn VeganShe Shreds MagazineBlurred Culture and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Ramonda Hammer’s forthcoming EP Destroyers is slated for an August 4, 2017 release, and the effort’s jagged and off-kilter title track “Destroyers” received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that channeled  The BreedersVeruca SaltThe MallardBleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

The EP’s latest single “Bender” as Davis explains was written while she was binge-watching Shameless for two weeks straight and she just couldn’t get off the couch to anything remotely productive. “In retrospect, I guess I could call it ‘research’ or whatever, because I ended up writing this song. But yeah, the lyrics are really just a conversation between two opposing sides in one’s brain. The verses ask questions from the more sane, healthy part of one’s psyche, and the choruses respond from the anxiety-ridden, depressed, and very frustrated side. And the reason this person (okay, it’s me!) is so effing frustrated is because they care so so so much, but when crippling depression sets in from time to time, when they get caught in a bender of some sort, it’s so hard to do the things that make you happy. In a final cry, I end the song with, ‘I swear that I deserve good things’ because I think I do and I know other people feel the same.” And while arguably being the most personal song Davis has written, it may be one of the more melodic and anthemic tunes they’ve released to date, sounding as though it could have been released between 1992 and 1996.

Comprised of founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters.

The quartet’s self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical praise from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and elsewhere. Building upon the growing attention they’ve received, the quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Interestingly, 2017 looks to be a big year for the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based quartet as they’ll be releasing their new EP, Destroyers on August 4, 2017 — and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

 

 

Sameblod are a Stockholm, Sweden-based electro poo duo, who first came to international attention when Fuse TV named their previous single one of their “10 Best Dance Songs.” “Fade Out,” the duo’s latest single is a breezy and slow-burning bit of pop with anthemic hooks, cascading layers of synth stabs, rapid fire drum programming and achingly plaintive vocals. And although the duo has been compared favorably to the likes of MGMT and Passion Pit, this particular song reminds me — to my ears, at least — of Bear in Heaven‘s “Sinful Nature,” St. Lucia’s “We Got It Wrong” and the Cascine Records roster. In other words, it’s the same soaring and anthemic 80s-inspired synth pop, complete with a swooningly earnest, aching heart — and I suspect that you’ll be hearing quite a bit about this duo over the next few months.