Tag: glam rock

New Video: Art d’Ecco Releases a Stylish and Noir-ish Visual for Anthemic “Desires”

The mysterious and enigmatic British Columbia-based singer/songwriter now known as Art d’Ecco is a grizzled Vancouver music scene vet, who once played in a band with acclaimed producer and ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett; but in 2018 he emerged as a dark bobbed hair wearing, androgynous and charismatic glam rocker with the release of that year’s critically applauded, full-length debut Trespasser. 

Since the release of Trespasser, the Canadian art rocker has played a live session for Seattle’s KEXP and played more than 75 clubs and music festivals across North America. Last spring, d’Ecco opened for acclaimed UK-based psych rock act Temples right before the pandemic struck. “Trespasser was the start of a two-year ride taking me to all sorts of places I’d never been to,” the acclaimed British Columbia-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “Seeing how different cultures interact with entertainment was the genesis for In Standard Definition. A lot of this record was actually written on the road late at night in motel rooms – with the flickering light of a television in the background.”

Slated for an April 23, 2021 release through  Paper Bag Records, the Colin Stewart-produced In Standard Definition was recorded on two-inch tape with a handpicked, rotating cast of musicians that featured jazz and blues-trained horn players, Victoria Symphony Orchestra string players, soul singers and his backing band on a 50 year old console at The Hive. Sonically, the album will reportedly find the acclaimed Canadian art rocker further establishing a sound that some critics have described as neo-glam. But interestingly enough, the album’s overall sound and aesthetic pushes the boundaries of glam rock, as it draws draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including elements of 50s pop, psychedelia, Velvet Underground-like art rock, Grimes-inspired electronics, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and Brian Eno among others. “I’m obsessed with tape, film, and sounds of yesteryear, so recording could only be analogue – in standard definition – the way entertainment was once created,” d’Ecco explains. “I wanted to go back in time, exist in a different era and breathe my creativity through it.”

Thematically, the album holds up a mirror to pop culture and explores our obsessions with entertainment and celebrity. “No matter where you live or what language you speak, there’s an entertainment god for you,” d’Ecco explains in press notes. “Whether on TV or writing the books you read, it’s an odd sense of purpose we allocate to these humans whose talent is in distracting us from the doldrums of daily life. We’re constantly searching for something… glued to our phones… consuming various forms of entertainment. We feel less close with each other, and closer to the strangers who make us feel good.”

So far, throughout the year I’ve written about three of In Standard Definition‘s previously released singles: 

“TV God,” a synthesis of ’77 punk, Ziggie Stardust-era Bowie and Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan, centered around anthemic hooks, twinkling piano stabs, punchily delivered lyrics, soulful backing vocals, propulsive bass lines, a scorching guitar solo and squiggling synths. 
“Head Rush” an infectious boogie that owes a sonic debt to Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, complete with an enormous horn line and glistening synths. 
“I Am The Dance Floor,” a shimmering and strutting disco take on glam rock that may remind some of Bay City Rollers “Saturday Night,” Echoes-era The Rapture and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy. 

In Standard Definition’s latest single “Desires” is a jangling, densely layered, glam rock anthem centered around rousingly anthemic hooks, blasts of twinkling synth arpeggios, soulful horn blasts, an angular bass line, strummed rhythm guitar and shimmering guitar solos and punchily delivered vocals. Sonically, the song is a slick synthesis of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, Gary Numan and The Cars — all while being carefully crafted. “A tale born inside the dark underbelly of old Hollywood, then repackaged and reimagined as a rock and roll tragedy,” d’Ecco explains. “’Desires’ is about the entertainer at the end of their career — soon to be phased out by the next wave of rising talent, and shifting audience tastes. For the old guard, this spectre of change is a constant existential threat that will challenge their ability to keep up with the times and to remain relevant in this brutal industry of show business.”

Directed and edited by Brandon William Fletcher, the recently released video for “Desires” is a stylistically shot, noir-is black and white visual that features d’Ecco and his backing band performing the song — but underneath the stylish surface, there’s this sense of an artist fearful of being phased out by an indifferent and bored audience and industry. Certainly, as you get older in an industry that often values beauty and youth before wisdom and experience, those fears become increasingly real — and the desire to be relevant more desperate.

New Video: Art d’Ecco Releases a “Saturday Night Fever” Inspired Visual for Dance floor Banger “I Am The Dance Floor”

The mysterious and enigmatic British Columbia-based singer/songwriter now known as Art d’Ecco is a grizzled Vancouver music scene vet, who once played in a band with acclaimed producer and ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett; but in 2018 he emerged as a dark bobbed hair wearing, androgynous and charismatic glam rocker with the release of that year’s critically applauded, full-length debut Trespasser.

Since the release of Trespasser, the Canadian art rocker has played a live session for Seattle’s KEXP and played more than 75 clubs and music festivals across North America. Last spring, d’Ecco opened for acclaimed UK-based psych rock act Temples before the pandemic struck. “Trespasser was the start of a two-year ride taking me to all sorts of places I’d never been to,” the acclaimed British Columbia-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “Seeing how different cultures interact with entertainment was the genesis for In Standard Definition. A lot of this record was actually written on the road late at night in motel rooms – with the flickering light of a television in the background.”

The forthcoming, Colin Stewart-produced In Standard Definition was recorded on two-inch tape with a handpicked, rotating cast of musicians that featured jazz and blues-trained horn players, Victoria Symphony Orchestra string players, soul singers and his backing band on a 50 year old console at The Hive. Sonically, the album will reportedly find the acclaimed Canadian art rocker further establishing a sound that some critics have described as neo-glam. But interestingly enough, the album’s overall sound and aesthetic pushes the boundaries of glam rock, as it draws draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including elements of 50s pop, psychedelia, Velvet Underground-like art rock, Grimes-inspired electronics, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and Brian Eno among others. “I’m obsessed with tape, film, and sounds of yesteryear, so recording could only be analogue – in standard definition – the way entertainment was once created,” d’Ecco explains. “I wanted to go back in time, exist in a different era and breathe my creativity through it.”

Thematically, the album holds up a mirror to pop culture and explores our obsessions with entertainment and celebrity. “No matter where you live or what language you speak, there’s an entertainment god for you,” d’Ecco explains in press notes. “Whether on TV or writing the books you read, it’s an odd sense of purpose we allocate to these humans whose talent is in distracting us from the doldrums of daily life. We’re constantly searching for something… glued to our phones… consuming various forms of entertainment. We feel less close with each other, and closer to the strangers who make us feel good.”

So far, throughout the year I’ve written about two of In Standard Definition’s previously released singles:

“TV God,” a synthesis of ’77 punk, Ziggie Stardust-era Bowie and Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan, centered around anthemic hooks, twinkling piano stabs, punchily delivered lyrics, soulful backing vocals, propulsive bass lines, a scorching guitar solo and squiggling synths.
“Head Rush” an infectious boogie that owes a sonic debt to Man That Sold The World and Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, complete with an enormous horn line and glistening synths.

“I Am The Dance Floor,” In Standard Definition’s latest single is a shimmering and strutting disco take on glam rock centered around a rapid-fire four-on-the-floor, fluttering synth arpeggios, a funky and propulsive, dance floor friendly grooves, a regal horn sample and an enormous hook that may remind some of Bay City Rollers “Saturday Night,” Echoes-era The Rapture and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.

Directed by Wai Sun Cheng, the recently released video for “I Am the Dance Floor” features d’Ecco and his backing band under a glittering disco ball and on a giant, patchwork light up floor, made famous in Saturday Night Fever, beckoning the viewer — and of course, the listener — on to the dance floor, where there’s true liberation, if only for a three-minute song.

“I was picturing this alt version of Saturday Night Fever where the lead is this aging loner obsessed with dance, who every weekend shows up at different clubs around town and just murders the dance floor, and then disappears out the back door,” d’Ecco says. “There is a person from my home town who sort of fits this description quite well. I think every scene has their own version of Random Dancing Dude.”

In Standard Definition is slated for an April 23, 2021 release through Paper Bag Records.

New Video: Art d’Ecco Releases a Strutting Glam-Inspired Ode to Nostalgia

Although he’s a grizzled Vancouver music scene vet, who once played in a band with acclaimed producer and ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett, the mysterious and enigmatic British Columbia-based singer/songwriter now known as Art d’Ecco emerged as a dark bobbed hair wearing, androgynous and charismatic glam and art rock-inspired presence with the release of 2018’s critically applauded, full-length debut Trespasser.

Since the release of Trespasser, the Canadian art rocker has played a live session for Seattle’s KEXP and played more than 75 clubs and music festivals across North America. Last spring, d’Ecco opened for acclaimed UK-based psych rock act Temples before the pandemic struck. “Trespasser was the start of a two-year ride taking me to all sorts of places I’d never been to,” the acclaimed British Columbia-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “Seeing how different cultures interact with entertainment was the genesis for In Standard Definition. A lot of this record was actually written on the road late at night in motel rooms – with the flickering light of a television in the background.”

Sonically, the forthcoming, Colin Stewart-produced In Standard Definition was recorded on 2-inch tape with a handpicked, rotating cast of musicians that featured jazz and blues-trained horn players, Victoria Symphony Orchestra string players, soul singers and his backing band on a 50 year old console at The Hive. Sonically, the album will reportedly find the acclaimed Canadian art rocker further establishing a sound that some critics have described as neo-glam. But interestingly enough, the album’s overall sound and aesthetic draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including elements of 50s pop, psychedelia, Velvet Underground-like art rock, Grimes-inspired electronics, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and Brian Eno among others. “I’m obsessed with tape, film, and sounds of yesteryear, so recording could only be analogue – in standard definition – the way entertainment was once created,” d’Ecco explains. “I wanted to go back in time, exist in a different era and breathe my creativity through it.”

Thematically, the album holds up a mirror to pop culture and explores our obsessions with entertainment and celebrity. “No matter where you live or what language you speak, there’s an entertainment god for you,” d’Ecco explains in press notes. “Whether on TV or writing the books you read, it’s an odd sense of purpose we allocate to these humans whose talent is in distracting us from the doldrums of daily life. We’re constantly searching for something… glued to our phones… consuming various forms of entertainment. We feel less close with each other, and closer to the strangers who make us feel good.”

Last month, I wrote about “TV God,” a shimmering and strutting synthesis of ’77 punk, Ziggie Stardust-era Bowie and Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan, centered around anthemic hooks, twinkling piano stabs, punchily delivered lyrics, soulful backing vocals, propulsive bass lines, a scorching guitar solo and squiggling synths. In Standard Definition’s second single “Head Rush” is a shimmering and strutting boogie that owes a sonic debt to Man That Sold The World and Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, complete with an enormous horn line and glistening synths. Directed by Avi Glanzer, the recently released video for “Head Rush” features the Canadian art rocker in a sleek leather jumpsuit and acoustic guitar in a stylish, slick and trippy visual.

“It’s a song about the head rush of our youth – nostalgia is a powerful drug, it distorts and reframes the past, often reconciling our memories into one place for easy access and to better suit our current disposition or state of mind,” d’Ecco explains. “I wanted all the hallmarks of a classic rock song – the kind of music that used to blast from the kitchen radio at the summer jobs I’d worked at as a teen. Guitar solo? Check. Drum solo? Check. Big horns and sparkly synths? Check.”

In Standard Definition is slated for an April 23, 2021 release through Paper Bag Records.

New Video: Canadian Art Rocker Art d’Ecco Releases a Flashy VIsual for Shimmering Glam Inspired Strut

Although he’s a grizzled Vancouver music scene vet, who once played in a band with acclaimed producer and ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett, the mysterious and enigmatic British Columbia-based singer/songwriter now known as Art d’Ecco emerged as a dark bobbed hair wearing, androgynous and charismatic glam and art rock-inspired presence with the release of 2018’s critically applauded, full-length debut Trespasser.

Since the release of Trespasser, the Canadian art rocker has played a live sessions for Seattle’s KEXP and played more than 75 clubs and music festivals across North America. Last spring, opened for acclaimed UK-based psych rock act Temples before the pandemic struck. “Trespasser was the start of a two-yeah r ride taking me to all sorts of places I’d never been to,” the acclaimed British Columbia-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “Seeing how different cultures interact with entertainment was the genesis for In Standard Definition. A lot of this record was actually written on the road late at night in motel rooms – with the flickering light of a television in the background.”

Sonically, the forthcoming, Colin Stewart-produced In Standard Definition was recorded on 2-inch tape with a handpicked, rotating cast of musicians that featured jazz and blues-trained horn player, Victoria Symphony Orchestra string players, soul singers and his backing band on a 50 year old console at The Hive. Sonically, the album will reportedly find the acclaimed Canadian art rocker further establishing a sound that some critics have described as neo-glam. Although interestingly enough, the album’s overall sound and aesthetic draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including elements of 50s pop, psychedelia, Velvet Underground-like art rock, Grimes-inspired electronics, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and Brian Eno among others. “I’m obsessed with tape, film, and sounds of yesteryear, so recording could only be analogue – in standard definition – the way entertainment was once created,” d’Ecco explains. “I wanted to go back in time, exist in a different era and breathe my creativity through it.”

Thematically, the album holds up a mirror to pop culture and explores our obsessions with entertainment and celebrity. “No matter where you live or what language you speak, there’s an entertainment god for you,” d’Ecco explains in press notes. “Whether on TV or writing the books you read, it’s an odd sense of purpose we allocate to these humans whose talent is in distracting us from the doldrums of daily life. We’re constantly searching for something… glued to our phones… consuming various forms of entertainment. We feel less close with each other, and closer to the strangers who make us feel good.”

In Standard Definition’s first single, the infectious “TV God” is a shimmering glam rock-like strut featuring twinkling piano stabs, punchily delivered lyrics, soulful backing vocals, an angular bass line, a scorching guitar solo and blasts of squiggling synths that sonically feels like a slick synthesis of ’77 punk, Ziggie Stardust-era Bowie and Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan, centered around anthemic hooks.

The recently released flashy video features the acclaimed Canadian rocker and his backing band performing the song in a smoky studio — and all of them, especially Art d’Ecco serves up some fierce as fuck looks with swaggering self-assuredness

New Video: Uni Rocks Out Until the Bomb Drops in Visuals for “Mushroom Cloud”

Founded by the Atlanta, GA-born, New York-based model, singer/songwriter and musician Kemp Muhl, who’s best known as one-half of The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, with Sean Lennon and featuring David Strange (guitar) and Nico Fuzz (vocals, guitar), the New York-based trio Uni specializes in an slick, anthemic, power chord-based rock that’s indebted to 70s glam rock and power pop as you’ll hear on the act’s latest single “Mushroom Crowd,” which will be part of their forthcoming 7 inch, slated for a March 23, 2018 release through Chimera Music. And the single manages to slyly evoke the current sociopolitical climate, in which we’re all afraid of what seems to be an impending nuclear holocaust by asking the listener “what you do if you get the news that the nuclear missiles are coming and you have maybe 3 minutes left?”

Directed and animated by Rich Ragsdale, the recently released video features the high-heeled and bell-bottomed members of Uni playing an ass-kicking concert at the end of life as we know it — but at its core, the video suggests that the threat of nuclear annihilation is essentially a bunch of dick waving that could kill us all. And of course, the band plays until their faces melt off. Whoa. 

New Video: Sweet Spirit’s Aggressively Freaky Visuals for “The Power”

Austin, TX-based, self-described “freak parade” octet Sweet Spirit initially began as a solo project of its founding member and frontperson Sabrina Ellis. And when she started the project, Ellis’ personal and creative lives were falling apart in front of her — Bobby Jealousy, the band she fronted and co-founded with her then-husband had been disintegrating along with her romantic relationship. Ideally, Ellis conceived Sweet Spirit as a way to hone her writing and offer her an ability to perform solo. “It was supposed to be focused on me writing solo, and performing with the guitar,” Ellis said in press notes. But interestingly enough, when the Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began her latest project, she was simultaneously writing and performing as a member of a local garage punk band A Giant Dog — and her A Giant Dog co-founder Andrew Cashen was intrigued by Ellis’ newer material, which drew from soul, country and pop music. Cashen quickly joined as a way to challenge himself creatively and as a musician. “I’m very comfortable doing loud and fast,” Cashen explained in press notes, “so this is uncharted territory for me.”

Ellis and Cashen began writing material at a breakneck pace and then recruited a core backing band of four more members, with whom they rehearsed religiously before playing a series of attention grabbing gigs around town. Within their first six months as a live, performing band they caught the attention of Spoon’s Britt Daniel, who then asked the band to play at Spoon’s “secret” kick off show for the tour to support They Want My Soul, which resulted in both greater local and national attention, including playing 2015’s SXSW — without having an actual album under their belts or applying. Adding to growing attention, the members of Sweet Spirit opened for Spoon for a 12 of Spoon’s Midwest and West Coast dates.

Building on the buzz they were receiving, the band released their full-length debut Cokomo and a two song collaborative effort with Britt Daniel to critical praise from the likes of Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Spin and other media outlets, which lead to two national tours. In between playing shows, the band squeezed in studio time with producer Steve Berlin, best known for his work Los Lobos and Deer Tick to record their forthcoming sophomore full-length effort, St. Mojo, which is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Nine Mile Records. Interestingly, the album’s first single “The Power” is a relatively recent staple of their live sets and a fan favorite, while revealing a change of songwriting approach and sound — towards the anthemic hooks, power chords and thundering drumming of glam rock; in fact, “The Power” sounds as though it draws from T. Rex‘s “Bang A Gong” but being both a battle cry for the outcasts, rebels and misfits to stand up and be proud of what they are, and feminist anthem that says “defy shitty stereotypes and be the you, you’re always meant to be — no matter what.” Considering our world and sociopolitical climate in which conformity is constantly demanded of you and in which in some cases being yourself can threaten the perceived social mores and sensibilities of judgmental, hypocritical prudes, rebelling and being your truest and only self may be the biggest, most revolutionary act of your life.

Directed by Ed Dougherty, the recently released video for “The Power” takes the band’s self-professed freak show vibe and turns it up to about 22, as it features the band in a variety of costumes performing in front of what could be a cult of conformists — and it seems the audience is both awestruck and horrified by what they see, and perhaps even inspired to do something incredibly freakish and strange.

Austin, TX-based, self-described “freak parade” octet Sweet Spirit initially began as a solo project of its founding member  and frontperson Sabrina Ellis. And when she started the project, Ellis’ personal and creative lives were falling apart in front of her — Bobby Jealousy, the band she fronted and co-founded with her then-husband had been disintegrating along with her romantic relationship. Ideally, Ellis conceived Sweet Spirit as a way to hone her writing and offer her an ability to perform solo. “It was supposed to be focused on me writing solo, and performing with the guitar,” Ellis said in press notes. But interestingly enough, when the Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began her latest project, she was simultaneously writing and performing as a member of a local garage punk band A Giant Dog — and her A Giant Dog co-founder Andrew Cashen was intrigued by Ellis’ newer material, which drew from soul, country and pop music. Cashen quickly joined as a way to challenge himself creatively and as a musician. “I’m very comfortable doing loud and fast,” Cashen explained in press notes, “so this is uncharted territory for me.”

Ellis and Cashen began writing material at a breakneck pace and then recruited a core backing band of four more members, with whom they rehearsed religiously before playing a series of attention grabbing gigs around town. Within their first six months as a live, performing band they caught the attention of Spoon’s Britt Daniel, who then asked the band to play at Spoon’s “secret” kick off show for the tour to support They Want My Soul, which resulted in both greater local and national attention, including playing 2015’s SXSW — without having an actual album under their belts or applying. Adding to growing attention, the members of Sweet Spirit opened for Spoon for a 12 of Spoon’s Midwest and West Coast dates.

Building on the buzz they were receiving, the band released their full-length debut Cokomo and a two song collaborative effort with Britt Daniel to critical praise from the likes of Stereogum, Consequence of SoundSpin and other media outlets, which lead to two national tours. In between playing shows, the band squeezed in studio time with producer Steve Berlin, best known for his work Los Lobos and Deer Tick to record their forthcoming sophomore full-length effort, St. Mojo, which is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Nine Mile Records. Interestingly, the album’s first single “The Power” is a relatively recent staple of their live sets and a fan favorite, while revealing a change of songwriting approach and sound — towards the anthemic hooks, power chords and thundering drumming of glam rock; in fact, “The Power” sounds as though it draws from T. Rex‘s “Bang A Gong” but being both a battle cry for the outcasts, rebels and misfits to stand up and be proud of what they are, and feminist anthem that says “defy shitty stereotypes and be the you, you’re always meant to be — no matter what.” Considering our world and sociopolitical climate in which conformity is constantly demanded of you and in which in some cases being yourself can threaten the perceived social mores and sensibilities of judgmental, hypocritical prudes, rebelling and being your truest and only self may be the biggest, most revolutionary act of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps best known as the guitarist in Mikal Cronin‘s backing band and the bassist in Fuzz, Chad Ubovich is part of the larger Bay Area/Ty Segall/Thee Oh Sees universe — and over the past couple of years Ubovich has been receiving attention leading his own band Meatbodies, which features Ubovich along with collaborators Patrick Nolan and Kevin Boog, a band which specializes in equally weird, scuzzy, fo-fi rock. Interestingly enough, the trio’s forthcoming sophomore effort ALICE will reportedly be a “heavy-pop” concept album primarily focusing on war, sex, politics and religion and has the trio expanding on their sound a bit, as you’ll hear on the shuffling, Bowie and Bolan meets psych rock new single “Creature Feature.”

 

 

 

 

 



New Video: Introducing the Debaucherous Old School Rock Sounds and Visuals of NYC’s Cheena

Cheena is a New York based indie rock act, who specializes in a gritty and scuzzy old-school sound that draws from glam rock and punk paired with lyrics full of sleazy, rock ‘n’ roll mayhem and debauchery — or as the liner notes of a great EP by a now-defunct band once read these are “songs to fight and fuck for.” And with the release of their full-length debut, Spend the Night With . . . , the band has received both national and international attention for a sound that seems inspired by T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie and others, as you’ll hear on the anthemic, barn-burner “Stupor.” Frankly, just listening to this song reminds me of all the great dive bars I used to drink irresponsibly in — oh how, I miss them so!

Interestingly, as the band announced their first European tour, they also released the video for “Stupor,” a video that captures the members of the band, in tight jeans and leather, drinking beer, running around and shot on grainy VHS-style tape to give it that proper old-school, shitty feel