Tag: Ganser

Over the past handful of years, I’ve managed to write quite a bit about the Los Angeles-based garage rock trio and JOVM mainstays L.A. Witch — Sade Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar), Irita Pai (bass, backing vocals) and Ellie English (drums) — and as you may recall, with the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s self-titled effort, the band quickly established a jangling reverb-drenched guitar rock sound that drew from a number of sources, including late 50s-early 60s rock,  The Pleasure SeekersThe SonicsThe Black AngelsThe Brian Jonestown Massacre and others —but while bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay artists like  The CoathangersSharkmuffin and Death Valley Girls.

The members of L.A. Witch have readily admitted that the writing and recording sessions for their self-titled album was a casual affair — with the album’s material coming together over the course of several years. The natural and seemingly effortless creative flow hit a snag when the band’s profile and popularity grew and they began touring regularly. So when the trio got together to write and record their forthcoming sophomore album Play With Fire, they felt that they needed a new strategy.

Between their touring schedule, studio availability and the timeline for releasing an album this year, the members of the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays found themselves with only two months to do the bulk of the writing for Play With Fire‘s material. The trio holed up during January and February for the writing process — before March’s mandatory COVID-19 related shutdowns across the world. “As far the creative process goes, this record is a result of sheer willingness to write,” L.A. Witch’s Sade Sanchez says in press notes. “When you sit down and make things happen, they will happen, rather than waiting to be inspired.” The time constraints and tightly focused writing sessions forced the band into new territories. “I’ve definitely learned that having restrictions forces you to think outside the box,” the band’s Irita Pai says. “That structure really brings about creativity in an unexpected and abundant way.”

Play With Fire finds the band pushing their sound forward with a muscular insistence but while not being a complete reinvention of their sound. Thematically, the album may arguably be their most sobering, serious work of their catalog to date. “Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen,” L.A. Witch’s Sanchez explains. “Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.”

Last month, I wrote about “Gen-Z,” a scuzzy and expansive, beer and whiskey fueled rockabilly blues that seethes with the sort of dissatisfaction and frustration that feels like our contemporary zeitgeist. “True Believers,” Play With Fire‘s latest single is a deceptive return to form. Sounding as though it could have been a single off their full-length debut, the track possesses an urgent post funk feel that subtly nods at JOVM mainstay Ganser — while possessing a seething disgust over everything. It evokes the recognition that we live in a morally bankrupt world; a world and paradigm that needs to die.

“‘True Believers’ is about being overwhelmed with the constant stream of news and information we see everyday,” L.A. Witch’s Sanchez explains in press notes. “It’s about feeling anger and frustration with the state of the world. In a way, the track mocks the All Lives Matter culture that has come to fruition in the U.S.

“At times when you’re traveling around and meeting new people, you get into conversations about social matters and different political standpoints. A lot of people don’t believe they have any power over the matters concerning them, and that can be frustrating. It can be difficult for people to see themselves having an actual impact with what we’re all facing in the world today, all you can really do is take it day by day, lead by example, and know that any and all change starts with you. It’s important to always believe in who you are, even through all the chaos.”

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Take Us on a TED Talk from Hell in New Visual for “Projector”

Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser can trace its origins back to when its founding members Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) and Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) met while attending art school. Bonding over a mutual love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters and David Lynch, the duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried over into the band. Each of the band’s members — Garofalo, Gaines, Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — sharing writing duties and collaborating on every aspect of their creative work, including music videos, album art and the visuals, which often accompany their live shows. 

2018’s full-length debut Odd Talk received widespread praise nationally and across the blogosphere with some critics comparing their sound and approach to Sonic Youth and Magazine. Thematically, the album focused on communication breakdowns — namely, the difficulties of being understood, avoidance and intimacy

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut, Odd Talk, the Chicago-based post-punk outfit developed a national profile with the album receiving widespread praise for sound that some critics have compared favorable to Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with incisive lyrics critiquing larger social issues. Odd Talk thematically focused on communication breakdowns, the difficult of being understood, intimacy and avoidance. 

Now, as you may recall the Chicago-based JOVM mainstays’ highly-anticipated sophomore album Just Look at That Sky is slated for a Friday release through Felte Records. Thematically, their sophomore album finds the quartet probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chaos — while evoking an all too familiar manic worry and generalized sense of dread and doom. The album acknowledges that we’re online all the time and inundated with too much information about other people and situations. We’re all a tweet, a status update, an Instagram post or a text exchange away from truly knowing what our followers, friends and loved ones really think about us. And in a larger sense, the world as we know it is dying before our eyes. We can watch the replays every night at 8, 10, 11 — in slow motion. 

So far, I’ve written about two of Just Look at That Sky’s released singles — the tense and explosive album opener “Lucky.” and the atmospheric and brooding “Emergency Equipment and Exits.” The album’s latest single “Projector” is an uneasy song centered around propulsive drumming, angular blasts of guitar and bass paired with Garofalo delivering a psychological study of people desperately trying to hold on to anything when everything is so absolutely insane. 

“It’s what happens when someone becomes so far removed from general society that their thoughts become a Dunning-Kruger Effect echo chamber of pseudo-wisdom and self-affirmations. Connection and perspective gets lost, but that echo becomes louder and often public,” Ganser’s Garofalo says of the song, 

Directed by the members of the band, the recently released video for “Projector” stars the band’s Nadia Garofalo as a painfully awkward and intensely self-aware TED Talk-like speaker, giving a talk on “Pseudo Philosophies for Living in the Current Climate,” and the talk includes the prerequisite PowerPoint slides and video clips. But as the video pulls out at the end, we see that Garofalo’s TED talk speaker has been speaking in front of an empty room — the entire time. 

“We shot this the day after SXSW was cancelled,” the members of Ganser recall in press notes. “We didn’t know what was coming, but we knew it wasn’t going to be good.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Returns with a Contemplative Visual for Brooding Single “Emergency Equipment and Exits”

I’ve managed to write quite a bit about the Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser over the past couple of years — and as you may recall, the act can trace its origins back to when its founding members Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) and Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) met while attending art school. Bonding over a mutual love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters and and David Lynch, t he duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried over into their band — with the band’s members, which also features Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) sharing writing duties and closely collaborating one all of their music videos and album art, as well as crafting visuals to accompany their live show. 

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut, Odd Talk, the Chicago-based post-punk outfit developed a national profile with the album receiving widespread praise for sound that some critics have compared favorable to Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with incisive lyrics critiquing larger social issues. Odd Talk thematically focused on communication breakdowns, the difficult of being understood, intimacy and avoidance. 

Building upon a growing profile, Ganser’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Just Look at That Sky is slated for a July 31, 2020 release through Felte Records. Thematically, the album finds the band probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chaos. The  songs evoke an all too familiar maniac worry  and dread and a generalized and overwhelming sense of doom with a sardonic specificity. The world as we know it is breathing  its last gasps and we haven’t a clue as to what will be beyond this.  The songs also acknowledge that we’re online all the time and that any given moment we’re inundated with too much  information about other people and other situations. We’re all generally a tweet, a status update or an Instagram post away from truly knowing what our followers and others really think about us. Shrug and laugh — even if it’s completely mirthless. And then admit that you’re emotionally and mentally drained. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Just Look at That Sky’s first single, the tense and explosive album opening track “Lucky.” One part, Midwest noise-rock, one part post punk and one part art rock centered around rumbling low end, discordant blasts of angular guitar, thunderous drumming and Garofalo’s desperate howling, “Lucky” may arguably be the most urgent and uneasy songs they’ve released to date.  Interestingly, “Emergency Equipment and Exits” may arguably be the most atmospheric and brooding song they’ve released, as its centered around incessant and breakneck, four-on-the-floor, atmospheric synths, explosive blasts of angular and distorted guitars, a gorgeously plaintive melody and an enormous hook. 

Directed by the band’s Alicia Gaines, the recently released video follows Gaines as she just gives up and walks as far away she could from it all. We see Gaines as she walks out of Chicago and to the country — with her thoughts as company.While the video explores the possibility of finding greater clarity beyond our immediate reality — it also asks the viewer: What if you gave into that urge to walk away? What would happen?  “Sometimes everything gets too close, even when things are good, and you get this screaming desire to run away,” the band’s Alicia Gaines. “The song and video are both about feeling estranged from reality and choosing nothing over too much– the floor drops out, and you only have yourself to deal with.”

“It was very strange to be focused on not only the video direction, but also safety precautions during this time.”  

New Video: Halifax’s Like a Motorcycle Releases a Forceful and Timely Anthem

Since the release of 2016’s full-length debut High Hopes, the rising Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based post-punk act Like a Motorcycle — Michelle Skelding (drums, lead vocals), Kim Carson (bass, vocals), KT Lamond (guitar, vocals) and David Casey (guitar, vocals) — have muscled through a number of obstacles that would have busted up countless other bands: substance abuse, internal break-ups, health issues and a former label that nearly sunk them financially. And yet, despite all of that, they’ve managed to boldly keep on, building a reputation for crafting post punk anthems for disenfranchised rejects, who are working minimum wage jobs while maneuvering five-figure debt. 

The rising Halifax-based post punk quartet recently signed to Cadence Music Group’s rock imprint Known Accomplice, who released “IDOLS,” the band’s first bit of original music this year, as well as their latest single, the rousingly anthemic “Wide Awake.” Centered around angular bursts of guitar, thunderous and propulsive drumming, an enormous mosh pit friendly hook, and punchily delivered lyrics the song finds the band sonically bringing JOVM mainstays Ganser — while offering a bristling commentary on a capitalist system that allows rampant exploitation for personal gain. “Although ‘Wide Awake’ was written some time ago, its sentiment rings true now more than ever. ‘Wide Awake’ is about waking up between a past stained with unhealthy choices and a future of bleak dystopian uncertainty,” the band’s Kim Carson explains in press notes. “Where do we go when leaving the past means potentially losing everything we’ve worked for? Can we break vicious cycles and bad habits without losing the people and things that comfort us? How does change and its uncertainty make us feel?”

Directed and edited by the band’s KT Lamond and Cat Hennnigar and shot in Lamond’s apartment, the video is centered around the use of a green screen and background sourced rom Unsplash Free Stock Photo. While capturing a life constrained to one’s four walls, complete with the boredom and unscheduled hours of endless Netflix watching, the video shines a light of what might happen when people aren’t constrained by a daily routine designed for the benefit of capital and capitalism; a life in which people have the free will and desire to make a life of their own design. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Releases a Cinematic and Sinister Visual for “Lucky”

Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser can trace its origins back to when its founding members Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) and Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) met in art school. Bonding over a shared love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters and David Lynch, the duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried over into their band — with the band, which also features Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) sharing writing duties. closely collaborating on all of their music videos and album art, as well as crafting visuals to accompany their live show. 

With the release of their full-length debut, 2018’s Odd Talk, the members of the Chicago-based post-punk outfit quickly developed a national profile, with the album receiving attention nationally and across the blogosphere for a sound that critics compared to the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with incisive lyrics critiquing larger social issues — with their debut thematically focusing on communication breakdowns and the difficulties of being understood, intimacy and avoidance. Last year, the band was in the studio writing and recording material — some of which comprised their Brian Fox and Mia Clarke co-produced EP You Must Be New Here, which featured songs that focused on self-aware observations on the tenuous and dysfunctional relationship between author/creator and their audience. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Ganser’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Just Look at That Sky is slated for a July 31, 2020 release through Felte Records. Thematically, the album finds the band probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chaos as the songs evoke manic worry and dread and a generalized sense of doom with a sardonic specificity. The songs also acknowledge that we’re all online all the time and that at any given moment, we have too much information about other people and other situations — and that we are all generally a tweet, a status update or an Instagram post away from truly knowing what our followers and others really think of us. The world seems like it’s ending, and it’s all overwhelming and draining mentally and emotionally. 

Just Look at That Sky’s first single, album opening “Lucky” is an tense and explosive track that’s one part Midwest noise-rock, one part post-punk and one part art rock centered around rumbling low end, discordant blasts of angular guitar, thunderous drumming and Garofalo’s desperate howling. Arguably one of the most urgent and uneasy songs they’ve released to date, the song as the band’s Nadia Garofalo explains “is a commentary on personal feelings of inadequacy and how these feelings can often result in unhealthy or extreme behaviors. Especially now, as we are in a time of uncertainty, it feels like we have even less control over what is happening to and around us. Isn’t it shitty when things don’t work out in the way we’d hoped?”

Written, directed and edited by the members of Ganser, the video stars Tom DeFrancisco and Sean Gunderson as two desperate and friends/frenemies, who spend a night drinking irresponsibly — and just like any other party, there’s a brief moment in which things inexplicably take a weird and dangerous turn. Shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white, the video is a bit of a mind-fuck with the action at times going forward and in reverse at will, capturing a never-ending and vacillating stream of doubt and over-examination. 

Lyric Video: Ganser’s EP Title Track “You Must Be New Here”

With the release of last year’s critically applauded full-length debut, Odd Talk, the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser — founding members Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) and Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) received attention nationally for an angular post-punk sound heavily indebted to Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with incisive lyrics critiquing larger social issues. 

Now, as you may recall the members of the Chicago-based JOVM mainstays have spent the bulk of this past year in the studio, recording the material. which will comprise their forthcoming EP You Must Be New Here. Slated for a November 8, 2019 release, You Must Be New Here continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with Brian Fox — but joined in the control both with Electrelane‘s Mia Clarke. The EP’s first single “Buio” featured the angular and driving post-punk sound that first caught my attention and the rest of the blogosphere — but with a clean and precise studio sheen. And yet, at its core the song was centered around acutely self-aware observations on the tenuous and dysfunctional relationship between the author/creator and their audience.  

“You Must Be New Here,” the EP’s latest single and title track features shimmering key arpeggios, twisting and turning guitars and a stuttering rhythm that creates a tense and uneasy air while Alicia Gaines’ vocals vacillate between intention, magical thinking and making uneasy bargains with reality within a turn of a phrase. Importantly, the song is underpinned by a desperate fight for some semblance of agency within chaos and uncertainty. And in some way, it captures our current zeitgeist with a vivid accuracy. 

The lyric video takes place in a sunny, suburban-styled kitchen. The band’s Alicia Gaines has her back to us as she’s washing dishes and singing parts of the song to herself. She’s so lost in her own thoughts that she barely notices her bandmates, who come in and out of the kitchen to make themselves cups of coffee. The ordinariness of the situation gives the lyric video a surreal air. 

 

With the release of their breakthrough single “air” earlier this year, the Hackney, UK-based trio deep tan drew comparisons to early Warpaint, Wild Beasts, and Foals. Building upon their growing momentum in their native UK, the trio recently released a double a-side single “shimmer” and “constant inconsistencies” through Practise Music, the label home of rapidly rising act Squid, along with Konradsen, Osquello and others.

“shimmer” is a slick and atmospheric track centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line, subtly twinkling synths handclap-led percussion, an infectious hook and sultry vocals – and while nodding a bit at their breakthrough single, because of its subtle use of electronics, the track sonically reminds me a bit of Kalaboogie-era Doomsquad. “constant inconsistencies” is more of a confrontational post-punk inspired song featuring a sinuous bass line leading a motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of guitar, stuttering drumming paired with sultry vocals. Interestingly, while drawing from a more cold-wave side of post-punk, the track reminds me a bit of JOVM mainstays Ganser. Both singles reveal an emerging band that’s remarkably versatile and self-assured.

“Both tracks explore sides of people they don’t like. ‘shimmer’ is about surface-level people with malice that runs deep,” the band explains in press notes. “People who operate with cruel intentions, who mask their agenda with a pretty convincing, shiny veneer. Whereas ‘constant inconsistencies’ is about someone who isn’t there for you when you need them, whether thats for support in a serious crisis or just for a pint: It’s a commonly felt thing, everyone has had someone where they’ve thought ‘You love them, but where the fuck are they?’”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Release a Probing and Cake Smashing Visual for “Buio”

Formed back in 2014, the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser — comprised of founding members Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) and Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — have received attention both locally and nationally for a sound that has been largely influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with lyrics, which served as incisive critiques on larger social issues. The Chicago-based quartet’s critically applauded full-length debut Odd Talk thematically focused on communication breakdowns with the material centered around narrators, who desperately attempting to seek meaning in hopeless confusion and messiness. 

The members of Ganser have spent the bulk of this year in the studio recording new material, some of which will appear on their forthcoming EP You Must Be New Here. Slated for a November 8, 2019 release, You Must Be New Here finds the band working with longtime collaborator Brian Fox and Electrelane’s Mia Clarke. The EP’s first official single “Buio” features the angular and driving post-punk sound that first caught my attention and the rest of the blogosphere — with a clean and precise studio sheen. But at its core, the song  possesses acutely self-aware observations centered around the relationship with author/creator and audience. 

Directed by the band, the recently released video is set at a highly uncomfortable dinner party, where we follow a self-conscious and awkward woman, who happily kills the mood of the party by going wild on a cake with her bare hands.  In some way, by the woman deciding to not give a fuck, she finds her own power and agency. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Return with a Surreal and Symbolic Visual for Their First Single of 2019

Formed back in 2014, the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser — comprised of founding members Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) and Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — have received attention both locally and nationally for a sound that was largely influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with lyrics, which served as incisive critiques on larger social issues. And as you may recall, the act’s critically applauded full-length debut Odd Talk focused on communication breakdowns with the material featuring narrators desperately seeking meaning in hopeless confusion and messiness. At points, narrators seem to be literally sorting through layers of syllables and signals in an attempt to find the right words to say what they wanted — or needed to say. 

The members of Ganser have been in the studio recording new material over the past few months while working on their second album. Their first single of this year, “Bad Form” is a furious song that seethes with anxiety,  self-loathing and self-flagellation that further cements the tense, angular sound that first caught my attention. While the song is a cathartic reaction to a year-long writing period, it finds the band increasingly adapting to a collaborative writing process. “When you’re in the middle of writing and recording, it’s very easy to fall into extreme feelings of guilt over procrastination, when you’re already stretched thin,” the band’s Alicia Gaines explains in press notes. “It’s nice to operate as a team, and act as a unit that can take the burden of some really ugly inner talk.” 

Co-directed by Kirsten Miccoli and Ganser, the recently released video features blinding light that paralyzes the band’s members, rapid-fire cuts, surreal vignettes that communicate the wishful thinking (and desire) of being someone else, a disorientating array of dopplegangers and lookalikes. The video suggests that the creative process as being a frustrating and soul crushing series of doubt, anxiety, uncertainty and procrastination and ugly self-talk. 

Formed by founding member Mariel Beaumont back in 2014, and currently featuring Michael Liszka (drums), Joseph Wright (guitar) and the recently added Vince Vullo (bass), the Philadelphia-based post-punk act Church Girls have developed a reputation for being one of their hometown’s most promising up-and-coming bands. Since their formation, the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, which has also resulted in the band revising and refining their sound and songwriting approach. Additionally, two years ago Beaumont left her full-time job at a clothing band to focus on music full-time — and as a result, Beaumont has found her relationships and the creative chemistry with her bandmates improving.

Interestingly, the Philadelphia-based post-punk outfit’s soon-to-be released EP Cycles thematically focuses on the dissolution of relationships and the responsibilities one faces in setting boundaries for loved ones, who are in the throes of substance abuse; in fact, the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Cycles,” is centered around a close family member’s substance abuse and how that has impacted the song’s narrator — mainly in the form of cycling anger, forgiveness, guilt, reconciliation and dedication. As Beaumont says in press notes, “This person has a disease. As much as I’ve blamed that family member for certain failures, I have my own. I could’ve addressed the problems at hand, instead of pretending everything was fine and just receding.” Sonically, the song bears a resemblance to the likes of Ganser and others, as it features jangling and angular guitar chords, thunderous drumming and a shout along worthy hook that packs an emotional wallop.

Cycles EP is slated for a January 25, 2019 release through Chatterbot Records, and the band will be embarking on a tour to support it, which will begin tomorrow in Washington, DC. Check out the tour dates.

TOUR DATES
JAN 15th – Washington, DC @ DC9 Nightclub
JAN 16th – Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s Downtown Distillery
JAN 17th – Charlotte, NC @ Petra’s
JAN 18th – Asheville, NC @ The Odditorium
JAN 19th – Atlanta, GA @ East Arcanum Studio
JAN 20th – Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
JAN 22nd – Denton, TX @ Backyard on Bell
JAN 24th – Houston, TX @ Leon’s Lounge
JAN 25th – Austin, TX @ Beerland
JAN 26th – San Antonio, TX @ The Pleasure Hill House
JAN 28th – Phoenix, AZ @ The Lunchbox
JAN 29th – Tucson, AZ @ The Roach Ranch
JAN 30th – Pomona, CA @ dba256 Bar & Gallery
JAN 31st – Los Angeles, CA @ Silverlake Lounge
FEB 1st – Berkeley, CA @ Alternative Music Foundation
FEB 3rd – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
FEB 5th – Medford, OR @ Johnny B’s
FEB 7th – Portland, OR @ Turn! Turn! Turn!
FEB 8th – Boise, ID @ High Note Cafe
FEB 9th – Provo, UT @ The Superfuzz
FEB 11th – Fort Collins, CO @ Pinball Jones
FEB 12th – Denver, CO @ Seventh Circle Music Collective
FEB 14th – Sioux City, IA @ The Ox
FEB 15th – North Kansas City, MO @ The Rino
FEB 16th – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
FEB 17th – Chicago, IL @ Emporium Wicker Park
FEB 18th – Muncie, IN @ Be Here Now DIY Music Venue & Craft Brew Bar
FEB 19th – Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
FEB 20th – Indianapolis, IN @ Healers
FEB 21st – Columbus, OH @ Celler Door