Tag: garage rock

New Video: Frankie and the Witch Fingers Share a Furious Ripper

Since initially forming in Bloomington, IN over a decade ago, Los Angeles-based psych rock outfit Frankie and the Witch Fingers — featuring core trio Dylan Sizemore (vocals, guitar), multi-instrumentalist Josh Menashe and Shaughnessy Starr (drums) — have long been known for restless experimentation rooted in multiple permutations of their lineup, and for a high-powered, scuzzy, garage punk meets thrash punk take on psych rock centered around absurdist lyrics, often fueled by dreams, hallucinations, paranoia and lust. The end result is material that manages to be simultaneously mischievous and menacing.

When Starr joined the band, the band went through one of their many sonic permutations, which led to a lysergic and claustrophobic sound rooted in heavy, Black Sabbath-like riffage.

2020’s Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . .was released through Greenway Records and Levitation Festival‘s label The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Recorded in a breakneck five-day recording session, the album features much more insidiously evil and ambitious material while capturing the band in the middle of massive personnel changes: Longtime bassist Alex Bulli left the band and as a result, Josh Menashe wound up writing and playing most of the albums bass parts with occasional contributions from Dylan Sizemore.

Interestingly, much like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s 2019 effort Infest the Rats Nest, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . saw the band crafting expansive, maximalist material with fewer moving parts.

Since the release of Monsters, the members of Frankie and The Witch Fingers have been busy: They’ve written and recorded new material, which included last year’s “Cookin'” seven inch. “Cookin’” further cements the Los Angeles-based psych rockers’ long-held reputation for scorching rifffage paired with a punchy baseline and a rousingly anthemic, sing-along chorus. While superficially, a rollocking party starter, the song is rooted in incisive social commentary commentary with the song calling out humanity’s obliviousness, greed and wastefulness with a righteous fury.

Just as they about to embark on a series of Stateside shows before heading to Australia, Frankie and The Witch Fingers share their newest single “Electricide,” the A-side of a double single that sees the Los Angeles-based psych rockers crafting a breakneck, mosh pit ripper centered around scorching, eardrum shattering riffage paired with Sizemore’s howls and shouts. Interestingly, “Electricide” sees the band capturing the heaviness and power of their explosive, sweaty live show.

Directed by Bez Martinez, the accompanying video for “Electricide,” is set at a photo shoot for a a new, titular, Gatorade-like drink that turns very strange: The shoot’s model, Natty Jackson, winds up passing out and being taken to a weird and dark plane of the universe, where nanobots plot to take over our plane.

New Video: Kids On A Crime Spree Release a Furious New Ripper

Deriving their name after a San Francisco Examiner article by Bruce Kook and James Finefrock titled “Mousepacks: Kids On A Crime Spree,” which also inspired the late 70s exploitation film Over The Edge, the Oakland-based indie act Kids on a Crime Spree — longtime friends Bill Evans (guitar), Rebecca Barron (drums) and Mario Hernandez (vocals, guitar) — released their debut EP We Love You So Bad through Slumberland Records back in 2011. They followed that up with 2013’s “Creep the Creeps” and a 4-song split EP with fellow Bay Area indie outfit Terry Malts back in 2017. Each effort was short, punchy — and to-the-point.

Although their long-awaited full-length debut Fall In Love Not In Line has been a decade in the making, the album gives their devoted fans something they’ve always wanted — more. Written and recorded at Mario Hernandez’s analog home studio in Oakland, the 10-song DIY effort clocks in at a brisk 25 minutes — on 45 RPM vinyl — and is reportedly a solid assemblage of noise-pop exuberance that finds the band consciously moving beyond their idols, both in recording method and lyrical content, as the band’s Hernandez explains. While the band retains many of the elements that their fans have long loved — pelting drum beats, buoyant bass lines, chiming guitar lines and Hernandez’s distinct vocals, the material features more shifting tempos and melodies — and is reportedly much warmer and centered around a deeper unity of purpose.

Clocking in at a little under 3 minutes Fall In Love Not In Line‘s latest single “All Things Fade” is a blistering, breakneck ripper, centered around a persistently chugging rhythm section, relentless drumming, layers of chiming, reverb-drenched guitars, a garage rock-inspired solo, an enormous hook and Hernandez’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the song is one-part classic, scuzzy garage rock and one-part lovingly crafted, hook-driven pop, centered around a bittersweet realization that everything is transitory.

The recently released video employs a simple concept: the band all dressed in red and black ripping and roaring through the song in front of projections of a complicated schematic for something or another, mug shots of a hardened criminal and other images.

Fall In Love Not In Line is slated for a January 21, 2022 release through Slumberland Records.

New Video: Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds Release a Rocking and Loving Tribute to L.A.’s Sean DeLear

Brian Tristan is a La Puente, CA-born, Tucson-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known by his stage known Kid Congo Powers. The 62 year-old La Puente-born, Tucson-based singer/songwriter and musician has a lengthy career as a sideman and as a solo artist with stints in The Gun Club, The Cramps, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Divine Horsemen, Angels of Light, Die Haut, Knoxville Girls and Kid Congo & The Flying Monkey Birds, with whom he has released four albums — 2009’s Dracula Boots, 2011’s Gorilla Rose, 2013’s Haunted Head and 2016’s La Araña Es La Vida.

Tristan’s latest Kid Congo & The Flying Monkey Birds effort is the recently released Swing from the Sean DeLear EP. Thematically, the EP celebrates a dreamlike bridge between life and memory — with two of the EP’s four songs dedicated to dear friends and bandmates, who have since passed: Tristan’s Gun Club bandmate Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who died in 1996 and Sean DeLear, a beloved, underground Los Angeles non-binary punk rock singer/songwriter, artist, fashion maven and scenester, who died in 2017. Interestingly, the EP’s second and latest single “Sean DeLear” is a gritty garage rock ripper centered around a slashing guitars, a steady backbeat, a propulsive bass line, a shout along worthy hook and Tristan’s boozy Fred Schneider-like shouts and feral howling. Lyrically, the song plays a bit on DeLear’s name while featuring a playful metaphor of our dead loved ones swinging from a chandelier at a wild, never ending rager.

Directed and edited by DC-based filmmakers and musician Jonathan Howard with visual development by Jordan Albro, the recently released video for “Sean DeLear” features The Pink Monkey Birds playing in a bric-a-brac stuffed house that Wes Anderson would love, moving to room to room while Kid Congo is on the rooftop serenading a dear friend on a starry night — with the idea that the music will have DeLear rocking wherever his spectral journey takes him in the cosmos.

New Video: The Trippy Visual For Velvet Starlings’ Anthemic New Ripper “Technicolour Shakedown”

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — initially started as a solo recording project with Gisborne writing, recording and producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut, released when Gisborne was just 15. Velvet Starling’s sophomore EP Love Everything, Love Everyone was released in 2019. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

s 2019 Emerging Stage competition — and as a winner, he and his new bandmates will be playing a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021. The band also recently announced a handful of live dates, which you’ll see below.

engineered the album in the middle of his living room, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the material is influenced by early  Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Gisborne says “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.” 

h out the project’s live sound. The collaboration can trace its origins to when Giborne met the Poling while waiting on a line outside a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. Quickly discovering a shared mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, the trio set up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Previously, the Velvet Starlings founder and creative mastermind had long hired session and touring musicians but as his friendship with The Polings growing deeper, Gisborne recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his bandmates.

Last month, I wrote about the swaggering Technicolour Shakedown album single “Back Of The Train.” The rousingly anthemic psych rock stomper was centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drums and Gisborne’s guttural howls. Sounding a though it could have been released in 1964, 2008 or even two weeks ago, the song as the Velvet Starlings founder told Flood Magazine “is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

thunderous power chords, blown out drums. The end result is the sort of crowd-pleasing ripper that you can imagine sweaty crowds bouncing up and down to in a darkened, divey club. “The track is an anthemic ode to going out and to live music experience, and colorfully describing the energy of catching your favorite and on the local scene and being packed in a venue like sardines — and loving every minute of it!”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley GIrls Absurd Yet Defiant Visual for “I’m a Man Too”

I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink over the course of the site’s 11+ year history covering Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls. Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history, the band — currently founding duo and primary songwriters Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar, keys) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey — can quite literally trace its origins as a sort of safe haven for its founding duo, as they navigated the difficult path of getting clean from hard drugs.

Understandably, for Schemel and Bloomgarden, the band was a kind of rebirth for them, and an outlet for a new — perhaps clearer and cleaner — way of living. Their newfound appreciation for life, inspired a thirst for communal celebration. And their earliest shows wound up taking on a mystical fervor: While their overall aesthetic is influenced by The Manson Family, B movie theatrics and the occult, they paired that with adrenalized swagger, scuzzy garage rock and punk, without the hardened nihilism.

Glow in the Dark was a jittery and jubilant barnburner centered around scuzzy guitar riffle, rousingly anthemic choral hooks and thunderous rhythms. Thematically, the album sees the band reveling in the secret bond held between misfits and outcasts, who openly refused to submit to the crushing weight of “capitalism, classism and elitism” with the album’s songs being a rallying cry to like-minded souls. “Once you realize that money, government, and this whole system is a shitty construct that doesn’t work and stands in the way of our true magical infinite potential, we start to glow,” The Death Valley Girls’ Bloomgarden says about the album. “And we can see everyone that believes ‘cause they glow too!”

Physical copies of Glow in the Dark have been unavailable with the album being out of print since 2016. But thankfully, the good folks at Suicide Squeeze Records will officially re-issue Death Valley Girls’ sophomore album on August 27, 2021: The album will be available on all the digital platforms — and as an initial vinyl pressing limited to 2,000 copies (1,500 on Unite, Multiply, & Conquer splatter vinyl, 500 on Little Ghost tri-color vinyl).

brate the re-issue of Glow in the Dark, the band released a new video for album single “I’m a Man Too.” Centered around enormous and rousingly anthemic shout along worthy hooks, scuzz spattered power chords and a forcefully chugging rhythm section, “I’m a Man Too,” the song is a joyful and defiant anthem that calls for the end of societal ideals of gender and gender roles, pointing out that they’re complete restrictive bullshit.

“What it means to be a man and what we expect from a woman has negatively impacted all our lives. How we treat each other and ourselves shouldn’t be based on society’s ideals of gender!” Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes, “Everyone is a unique combination of feminine and masculine energy. It’s constantly changing. Somebody outside of you telling you how to be yourself is the most ridiculous and harmful thing I can imagine. You are a beautiful combination of many different things. Get to know yourself, be the most authentic you you can be. Label yourself if you wanna, don’t if you don’t, respect yourself and who everyone else is; that’s who they are!”

The recently released video by Cherry and edited by Little Ghost is a surreal and nightmarish makeup tutorial set to the song.

New Video: Deap Vally and Jennie Vee Star in a Lovingly Campy Tribute to True Crime TV

co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process. 

dwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EPwith Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one. 

chi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan. 

hat run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others. 

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

Directed by Amber Navarro and shot on 16mm film, the recently released video for “I Like Crime” is a campy and lovingly B film-like take on true crime TV that features Tory, Edwards and Vee in varying degrees of danger and imperilment — and it’s fucking twisted and hilarious.

“I really wanted to create a mash up of all the true crime tv we’ve all grown up watching and currently obsess over, thanks to more modern shows, reruns, and reboots (20/20, Unsolved Mysteries, Nightline, TruTV etc.) we all watch today,” Amber Navarro explains. “The video for ‘I Like Crime’ is like some sort of sick, twisted love letter to these shows.”

New Video: Follow Velvet Starlings on a Hallucinogenic Chase

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — was initially surged as a solo recording project with Gisbourne writing, recording, producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut EP, which he released when he was 15. When Gisborne was 17, he released his sophomore EP, 2019’s Love Everything, Love Everyone. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Speciality Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

Gisborne’s work with Velvet Starlings has also caught the attention of The Kinks’ Dave Davies and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who count themselves as fans of the project, as well as the BBC. Adding to a growing profile, Gisborne won Milwaukee Summerfest’s 2019 Emerging Stage competition, which has led to a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021.

Velvet Starlings highly-anticipated full-length debut Technicolour Shakedown is slated for an August 27, 2021 release through Sound x 3 Recordsr/AWAL/The Orchard with a vinyl release in the States by Kitten Robot. Much like his previously released material Gisborne wrote, produced, engineered and mixed Technicolour Shakedown — in the middle of his living room as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the album’s material draws influence from a number of various sources including early Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Christian Gisborne adds “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.”

After completing the album’s material, Gisborne recruited the Poling Brothers to help flesh out the band’s live sound. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer met the Poling Brothers while waiting on line outside of a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. After realizing that they all shared a mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, they found themselves setting up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Although Gisborne had long hired session and touring musicians, with his friendship with the Poling Brothers growing deeper, he recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his full-time bandmates.

Technicolour Shakedown’s first single “Back Of The Train” is a swaggering and rousingly anthemic, psych rock stomp centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous yet murky drums paired with Gisborne’s guttural howls that sounds as though it could have been released in 1964 or 2008 — or yesterday. As Gisborne told Flood Magazine: “The song is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

Directed by Megan Blanchard, the recently release video for “Back Of The Train” is one part classic Hitchcockian chase meets The French Connection, one part psychedelic trip and one part 120 Minutes MTV-inspired video.

With the release of their first two albums, 2013’s Sistrionix and 2016’s Nick Zinner co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process.

Last year, the duo collaborated with The Flaming Lips on the Deap Lips album. Edwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EP with Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one.

Slated for a June 18, 2021 release through Cooking Vinyl, the Los Angeles-based duo’s forthcoming Josiah Mazzaschi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan.

The duo explain that the EP “is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for while that run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others.

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

Jennie Vee adds “Recording with Julie and Lindsey felt very fresh but natural at the same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley Girls Release a Joyful Children’s TV-Inspired Visual for “Little Things”

Throughout this site’s almost 11-year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls. Currently featuring the band’s founding duo Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey, the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history — and yet throughout their history, the band’s overall aesthetic and sound has generally been indebted to The Manson Family, B movie theatrics and the occult.

Last year was a rather busy year for the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays: They started off the year with the two-song, 7 inch EP Breakthrough, an EP which featured a cover of  Atomic Rooster‘s “Breakthrough,” a song the band originally discovered through an even more obscure cover by Nigerian psych act The Funkees.  Continuing upon the momentum of Breakthrough EP, the JOVM mainstays’ longtime label home Suicide Squeeze Records released their fourth album Under the Spell of Joy late last year.

The album deriving its title from a the text on a t-shirt that the San Diego-based heavy psych rock act Joy gave to Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden, who wrote the shirt like a talisman ov er the course of the next five years. “I read it as being about manifesting your biggest dreams and responding thoughtfully and mindfully to everything that comes in your path with joy and compassion first,” Bloomgarden explains in press notes. “There is a lot to be really angry about in the world but joy is just as powerful if used correctly!”

Interestingly, with their fourth album, the band sought to make a spiritual record — what Bloomgarden describes as a “space gospel” — with the intention of bringing people together and creating the kind of participatory musical experience people have in places of worship: Much of the album’s material is centered around chants, choirs and rousing choruses, written with the expressed purpose of encouraging people to sing and shout along. Unlike their previously released material, which found the band connecting to listeners in esoteric means, the album’s material sees the band attempting to tap into an age-old tradition fo connecting with people by inviting them to actively participate with them.

Although Bloomgarden and Schemel knew their intention for the album’s material before they had written a single note, the nature and direction of the music was initially inspired by the Ethiopian funk records they had been listening to while touring — but once they began playing and recording the material they had written, the music, which they claim came from tapping into their subconscious seemed to come from the future. 

Last year, I wrote about three album singles:

The Universe,” an expansive and mind-bending track which featured elements of shoegaze and  Pink Floyd-like psych rock.
“Hold My Hand,” a euphoric track that evokes the swooning sensation of new love — and the urge to improve oneself through deep, personal reflection.
“Under the Spell of Joy,” a hallucinogenic fever dream that’s a rock ‘n’ roll take on the good news, gospel stomp that sonically is a seamless synthesis of part Fun House-era The Stooges, acid-tinged psych rock, Giant Steps-era Coltrane.

“Little Things” Under the Spell of Joy’s fourth and latest single is an ebullient and upbeat take on jangle rock centered around a shout along worthy hook. And at its core, the song is a gently smiling reminder that when life turns shitty — which is more often than not — that you should focus on the little things: in fact, sometimes your dreams can be what keeps you sane. “We wrote ‘Little Things’ for a friend of ours, who has been fighting for his life in physical pain for years,” Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes. “While we talked about how stinky his health and living situation was, he realized how much he still loved dreaming. We both realized that if he shifted his focus to the part of his life he loved — even if it was just when he was dreaming/daydreaming, that was perfectly ok! Focus on the little things!”

Directed by The Little Ghost/Kelsey Hart, the recently released video for “Little Things” is a psychedelic fever dream inspired by children’s TV shows — and it captures the song’s infectious, child-like joy.

“My aim for this video was to reflect the unbridled hope and joy of ‘Little Things,'” The Little Ghost explains. “Bonnie and I discuss our dreams daily, so I wanted to create a cartoonish psychedelic dreamscape that invited everyone to dance, sing, and revel in the optimism of daydreaming! In order to keep the production of this video maximally Covid-safe, I used special effects to bring Death Valley Girls together digitally. I was inspired by Teletubbies, public access TV, and Tony Oursler.”

New Video: Montreal-based Duo Jitensha Release a Playful Visual for Breezy Yet Existential New Single

Deriving their name from the Japanese word for bicycle, the rising Montreal-based husband-wife indie rock/indie pop duo Jitensha — multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Erin Rose Hubbard and David Martinez — can trace their the origins of their romantic relationship and their creative collaboration to how the duo initially met: avid bicyclists, who were both studying Japanese at the time.  “Jitensha just really seemed to fit us and since then has served as our life motto … the direction you choose, and the energy you put in, determines where you end up,” the duo explain in press notes.”

The Montreal-based duo’s latest single “Sojourn” seemingly draws thematic influence from a famous Albert Einstein quote: “Each of us is here for a brief sojourn for what purpose, he knows not, though he sometimes senses it.” Centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, propulsive drumming, an infectious and summery groove and the duo’s dueling boy-girl harmonizing, “Sojourn” is deceptively infectious and breezy song that is part dream pop, part indie pop, part indie rock. The hook-driven song finds the duo lyrically asking the existential questions that have given many of us anxiety and countless sleepless nights: Why are we here? What’s the purpose of this? What gives any of this meaning? What if the universe is indifferent to us? What happens to us after we die? The song’s hook “Hey ça va bien aller” (It’s going to be okay) is a partially ironic and partially earnest play on the sunny slogan used in Montreal during the pandemic.

As the rising Montreal-based duo explain, the song is inspired by the tragic deaths of a newlywed couple that Hubbard and Martinez had been friends with: “Friends of ours, a newly wedded couple, died in a motorcycle accident. They had been so young and so in love, full of smiles, laughter and gumption. They both lived life to the fullest and we thought the best way to honour and remember them is to try and do the same.” The duo add “”This single is the beginning of a new sound for Jitensha. We are delving further into the contemplative, and into the misty space between optimism and realism, where things are often darker but can be clearer.”

Directed by Richard and Stephanie Bastarache, the recently released video for “Sojourn” features the married duo wearing all white playing with contrast, shadows and color, honing in on the juxtaposition between the song’s breezy arrangement and existential-leaning lyrics. Towards the end of the video, the duo have on bright, vibrantly colored clothing, which may suggest that things will wind up being okay.

The Montreal-based duo will be releasing new singles throughout the rest of the year, and are hoping to release an album sometime later on.