Tag: Garbage

Formed last year, the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Cynister features Cynnie Jane (vocals) and two mysterious members, who wear black and white masks respectively.  The act’s debut single “Stuck” reveals a band, whose sound is centered around elements of arena friendly, power chord-based heavy rock, thumping trap beats and enormous, rousing hooks paired with Cynnie Jane’s powerhouse, pop belter vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Paramore and Garbage, the song as the band’s Cynnie Jane explains in press notes “is about anxiety and sadness can feel like a trap, like prison walls closing in on you. Whether triggered by heartbreak or otherwise, racing thoughts and self-deprecating attitudes can be really difficult to control once they take ahold of you. This can be very destructive, and it’s something that many of us struggle with. With this song, our hope is for people to understand that they’re not alone in dealing with these emotions. We all go through it.”

 

 

 

 

 

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New Audio: Introducing the 90s Grunge Rock-Inspired Sound of Los Angeles’ Starcrawler

With the release of last year’s critically applauded, self-titled debut, the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Starcrawler, comprised of Arrow de Wilde (vocals), Henri Cash (guitar), Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass) quickly emerged into the national and international scene for a sound that is indebted to 90s alt rock — and for a feral live show. Since the release of their full-length debut, the Los Angeles-based quartet have been busy with a busy touring schedule that has seen them play at some of the world’s major festivals including Primavera Sound, Rock Am Ring, Download Festival, Voodoo Festival, FujiRock Festival, Reading Festival, Leeds Festival, SXSW and others; in fact, the band won last year’s SXSW Grulke Prize for best US act, after consistently kicking ass over the course of 9 shows in a grueling 4 or 5 day period.

Adding to a rising profile, the band opened for the likes of Foo Fighters, MC50 and Morrissey — and they were included as part of last year’s incredibly diverse crop of VEVO DSCVR artists; however, they were the only ones to have Garbage’s Shirley Manson praise the band and their frontperson in a video testimonial. 2019 may arguably be an even bigger year for the up-and-coming band: their first single of this year “Hollywood Ending” received praise from NPR and Rolling Stone, and as a result, the track spent several weeks at #1 on speciality radio charts — and they’ll spend a good portion of this year opening for the likes of Beck, Cage The Elephant, Spoon and The Distillers to support their forthcoming, highly-anticipated sophomore album.

“She Gets Around,” the second single of the year from the buzzworthy, Los Angeles-based quartet will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting material that’s clearly indebted to 90s alt rock as the track is centered around scuzzy, distortion pedal-fed power chords, thunderous drumming, heavily down-tuned yet propulsive bass lines, snarled vocals and a rousingly anthemic, mosh pit friendly hook delivered with a ass-kicking, name-taking self-assuredness and an unhinged fury.

Black Bear Whisper is the collaborative dark, electro pop project of Danish singer/songwriter and producer Kat Boelskov, who has released music that has been largely ignored in her homeland but has found some popularity among the Mexican gay community; and the London-born Iranian producer Unfamed, who has collaborated in a number of projects, including this one, which has already seen praise from Allmusic, Uncut and The Quietus among others — also, Unfamed also spent 18 years studying the Iranian santur, a 72 stringed dulcimer, played with small wooden hammers, developing a reputation for being one of the best santur-players outside of Iran.

Interestingly, the duo have never met in person but they can trace the origins of their long-distance collaboration to a chance meeting on the Internet. Although their collaboration is currently based primarily in email and music files, the duo quickly realized that the material they had begun working on centered around extremely dark themes with lyrics that specifically focused on anger, euphoria, jealousy, deception, desire and other forbidden emotions and thoughts. Sonically speaking, the duo’s work is defiantly difficult to categorize as it pairs modern electronic production with santur, adding an ancient vibe to the proceedings.

The duo’s latest single, the Garbage meets glittering disco-like “1000 Eyes” features a funky disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, blasts of shimmering santur chords — and while dance floor friendly, the song thematically focuses on selfishness, self-obsession, blind, spiteful rage at everything and everyone. As the duo’s Kat Boelskov says in press notes, “I’m self-obsessed, and I’m angry. All I ever see is me, and no-one else ever meets my expectations. Every good act I do is for myself only. If I’m nice to you, it’s only another tactic, another play. I try above all else to be in control, to not give you a chance to gain equality. When I fear that you may be my equal, I desperately try to hold you down, by whatever means.” Of course, what makes the song so disturbing is that it’s rooted in a profound and deeply cynical truth about human nature — people can be selfish, delusional, greedy, stupid assholes. We see it every single day in the Trump Administration and elsewhere.

 

 

Initially formed back in 2009 as Sister Crayon, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo  Rituals of Mine, comprised of  Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez developed a national profile through years of relentless touring up and down the West Coast, playing house shows, DIY venues, basement rooms, followed by touring with the likes of The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree and others. Adding to a quickly growing profile, the Los Angeles-based duo’s first two albums — 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic — were released to critical acclaim, while cementing a reputation for crafting cathartic material centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, soulful vocals and trip hop-inspired production.

2015’s Wes Jones-produced album Devoted continued their successful run of critical applause with the album landing on a number of indie “Top Ten Albums of 2015” lists; but despite the attention the album received, that year was a rather harrowing and difficult year for the duo’s Terra Lopez, as her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson died in a tragic accident. Reeling from the grief of such profoundly unexpected loss, the duo felt the need to put the Sister Crayon name to rest, moving forward with their new mane Rituals of Mine. As Terra Lopez wrote at the time, “It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times. Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”

2016 saw the re-issue of the Tom Coyne re-mastered Devoted through Warner Brothers Records and the re-issue featured some previous unreleased remixes and B-sides. And although some time has passed since I’ve personally written about the acclaimed Los Angeles-based pop duo, Lopez and Fernandez have been incredibly busy — earlier this year, they opened for a number of dates for The Afghan Whigs and Built to Spill’s co-headliing tour, and they’re currently opening for Garbage during the multi-plantium Grammy Award-winning band’s US tour. Additionally, the duo recently announced their first UK tour in November with Geographer and The Seshen. They’re also currently working on Devoted‘s follow up with longtime producer Wes Jones and Neal Pogue — and the first batch of new material from the duo is the righteously furious anti-Trump anthem “No Time To Go Numb.” Centered around a hyper modern production featuring stuttering and thumping beats, distorted vocal samples over which Lopez sings and spits fire, reminding the listener, that now isn’t the time to slink back from the horrors of a power mad and greedy administration; that it’s time to be fueled by righteous anger and fight like hell for the things that truly matter. As the duo’s Terra Lopez explains in press notes ” We started writing this song on Inauguration Day. It was a bleak time in the studio and we were feeling very hopeless, like most of the country. Two years later and the collective fear and disgust we all felt is still there, if not compounded, and that really inspired every lyric in this song. I wanted to address things that stay on my mind: the mediocrity of men and how our society treats womxn, the strength of the LGBTQ community and the resiliency of POC. I’m angry but also hopeful and ready to fight, to keep fighting. I’m so tired of seeing the same shit repeat itself – it’s time we set the bar higher. This song is an anthem for the LGBTQ community, to womxn and to people of color.

We carry so much on our shoulders, on our hearts. And this current administration continues to burden us and place us in danger, so we have to stick together. This is my way of showing up for us. “

 

Last year, I had written quite a bit about Holy Wars, led by Connecticut-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Kat Leon, and as you may recall, Leon initially developed a reputation for writing material that focused largely on her obsessions with death and the occult as one-half the of the Los Angeles-based electro pop act Sad Robot. Leon’s critically applauded Holy Wars debut Mother Father was influenced by some of the darkest days of her life — when she was reeling from the sudden losses of her mother and father, who both died within months of each other. Building upon the attention she received here and elsewhere with Mother Father, Leon’s latest Holy Wars single “Born Dark” was produced by AFI’s Hunter Burgan, and while arguably being among the slickest produced singles she’s released, the arena rock friendly, hook-driven track is centered by propulsive tribal drumming, buzzing power chords and Leon’s pop star-like powerhouse vocals — and sonically the song manages to nod at Nine Inch Nails, Garbage and Siouxsie and the Banshees in a self-assured and ambitious fashion.

Interestingly, the track reportedly finds Leon going back to her roots — literally — as she explores the very moment of her birth, with the possibility that she may have been a bit of a bad seed, if not devilish, complete with a “don’t give a single fuck” swagger.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Screaming Females Return with One of Their Most Anthemic Radio Friendly Singles to Date

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the  New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums), the trio cut their teeth playing their hometown’s renowned all-ages basement, punk rock scene; however, with the release of  2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful and raw live album, Live from the Hideout and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV.  Adding to a growing profile, the members of Screaming Females have toured with a number of internationally and nationally known acts including Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arguably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work. Up until last year, a couple of years had passed since they had released new material, and “Black Moon,” the first single off their recently released All At Once not only continues their ongoing collaboration with Matt Bayles, it also reveals a band that’s restlessly experimenting with their songwriting approach and song; in the case of “Black Moon,” there’s a continued attention on a forceful conciseness but a greater attention to crafting razor sharp hooks while thematically, Paternoster meshes the metaphor of a post apocalyptic earth with the universal experience of a relationship that has ended in a rather embittering, frustrating and demoralizing fashion.

Interestingly, with All At Once, the band reportedly set out set out to write an album in the spirit of a salon-style gallery show, where the larger pieces provide an eye-level focal point to a galaxy or smaller works — and as a result of a more expansive thematic reach, the members of the band openly and decidedly focused on experimentation with arrangements and song structure to evoke the energy and spontaneity of their live sets. As the band’s Mike Dougherty explains of their motivation “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”

You might recall that All At Once’s first official single “Glass House” found the band embracing a simplicity — with Paternoster playing two relatively simple riffs in a 90s grunge rock structure paired with some incredibly melodic vocals. “A song like ‘Glass House’ is something we knew we were capable of, but it took a while to fully embrace,” Paternoster says in press notes. “It’s something very simple — just bass, drums and two simple riffs. In the past, I might have insisted on adding more. Practicing self-restraint is something I have consciously been trying to do.” The album’s second official single, “I’ll Make You Sorry” may be one of the more decidedly straightforward, arena rock friendly songs they’ve released to date, bolstered by Paternoster’s powerhouse vocals. While reminding the listener that she may be small but that she roars with a mighty, oceanic force.

Directed by Lance Bangs, the recently released video features the band performing the song in an abandoned loft space with the band’s Paternoster beginning the video laying on the floor or in rubble, before seeing the entire band shred.

New Video: The Dark and Sultry Visuals for K. Flay’s Anthemic “Blood in the Cut”

Born Kristine Meredith Flaherty, the Wilmette, IL-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter K. Flay emerged into the national and international scene with 2014’s Life as a Dog, an album that peaked on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart at #2 and Billboard’s Rap Albums chart at #14. She then signed with Interscope Records last year, as the first artist signed to Dan Reynolds’ Night Street Records, who released her latest effort,  the Grammy nominated album Every Where Is Some Where — receiving nods for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical with album single “Blood in the Cut” was nominated for Best Rock Song. Adding to a growing profile, Flaherty has made national televised appearances on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, TBS’ Conan, and has received praise from The New York Times and Pitchfork for material that features socio-political commentary and detailed lyrics, while reportedly being one of the most deliberate and dynamic effort to date, an effort that manages to capture the anxieties and uncertainties of today’s world. 

As for the Grammy nominated “Blood in the Cut,” the song has been a smash hit as it has amassed over 250,000 track equivalent units in the US according to Nielsen Music, spending more than 6 months on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, peaking at #4, and was certified Gold in Canada, reaching #1 on the Canadian Alternative charts. And when you heard the song, you’ll see why it’s been an attention grabbing, smash hit: the incredibly self-assured song features Flaherty’s sultry cooing over a sleek production featuring bluesy guitar chords, propulsive drumming, swirling electronics and an anthemic hook reminiscent of Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill, The Black Keys, Garbage and others, essentially balancing a careful tightrope between the blues, electronic rock and arena rock. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Screaming Females Release Surreal and Artistic Visuals for Their Most Restrained Single To Date “Glass House”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past few years, you’ve likely come across a number of posts featuring New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females, comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums). And as you may recall, the trio cut their teeth playing their hometown’s renowned all-ages basement scene; however, with the release of  2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, Live from the Hideout and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV.  Adding to a growing profile, the New Jersey-based punk rockers have toured with a number of internationally and nationally known acts including Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

Interestingly enough, 2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arguably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work. Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since they had released new, original material, and while “Black Moon,” continues their ongoing collaboration with Matt Bayles, it also reveals a band that’s restlessly experimenting with their songwriting approach and sound. Unsurprisingly, “Black Moon” finds the band crafting material with a forceful conciseness with razor sharp hooks — but thematically, the song also reveals a band that’s simultaneously meshing larger metaphors of a post apocalyptic earth with the universal experience of a relationship that ends in an embittering and frustrating fashion.

All At Once. the band’s seventh full-length studio album is slated for a February 23, 2018 release through Don Giovanni Records and the band reportedly set out to write an album in the spirit of a salon-style gallery show, where the larger pieces provide an eye-level focal point to a galaxy or smaller works — and as a result of a more expansive thematic reach, the members of the band openly and decidedly focused on experimentation with arrangements and song structure to evoke the energy and spontaneity of their live sets. As the band’s Mike Dougherty explains of their motivation “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”

The album’s first official single “Glass House” finds the band practicing a sense of restraint in which the band embraces simplicity as Paternoster plays two relatively simple riffs in a 90s grunge rock song structure — quiet verses, loud, rousingly anthemic hook, quiet verse. But along with that, the song features some of Paternoster’s most melodic vocals of their catalog. “A song like ‘Glass House’ is something we knew we were capable of, but it took a while to fully embrace,” Paternoster says in press notes. “It’s something very simple — just bass, drums and twos simple riffs. In the past, I might have insisted on adding more. Practicing self-restraint is something I have consciously been trying to do.”

The recently released video for the song may be among the most surreal and artfully done videos they’ve released to date, as it cuts between the members of the band brooding and pensively sitting in a rather sparse room, Paternoster singing the song in dramatic lighting and a butler, who arranges vases — before smashing them over each band member’s head. 

Now, as you may recall, Keep Shelly in Athens is an internationally renowned electronic music production and artist duo that has released dreamy, mid tempo electro pop material through Forest Family Records, Transparent Records, Planet Mu Records, Cascine Records and Friends of Friends Records and others — and building upon a growing internationally recognized profile, the duo have played at some of the world’s largest festivals including — Coachella, Parklife Festival, The Great Escape Festival and Fun Fun Fun Festival. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the act has made official remixes for Tycho, Blood Diamonds and Steve Mason among others.

Philokalia, the Athens, Greece-based electronic music duo’s third full-length album is slated for a Friday, September 29, 2017 release through the duo’s own Athenian Aura Recordings, and the album finds the act featuring their newest vocalist, Aussie Award-winning novelist and poet Jessica Bell. Last month, I wrote about album single “Game Over (Daniel’s Theme),” a track that further cemented their reputation for crafting moody and cinematic, mid-tempeo electro pop as the song featured a production that consisted of shimmering synths, swirling, ambient electronics, a mournful string arrangement and stuttering drum programming paired with Bell’s viscerally earnest and heartfelt vocals — and interestingly enough, the song bristles with the self-flagellation and recrimination of someone who’s been betrayed or lied to in some deeply unforgivable fashion.

“Dark Light” Philokalia‘s latest single is a a bit of decided change in direction for the renowned electronic act as it featured Bell with self-assured and in-your-face vocals paired with what may arguably be their most industrial leaning production featuring wobbling and buzzing synths, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming and a rousing hook while retaining some elements of the dreamy, ethereal sound that has captured the attention of the blogosphere — namely with the song’s introduction and coda. But interestingly enough, the song possesses a dark, sultry seductive quality reminiscent of Version 2.0-era Garbage and Portishead.