Tag: Grammy Award

Live Footage: Franz Ferdinand Perform “Always Ascending” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and the recently added Dino Bardot (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Glasgow-based indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, helping the Scottish indie rockers to establish themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post-punk revival movement. 

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album with album single “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. Now, you may recall that Franz Ferdinand’s fifth album Always Ascending was released on Friday, and from the album single “Feel The Love Go,” the band has continued with a disco-leaning take on the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention — but with warm blasts of Hall and Oates/blue-eyed soul era saxophone that gives the song a quirky quality. “Lazy Boy,” much like its predecessor is a sleek, dance floor friendly track with a funky, disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and a slick hook; but interestingly enough, the song finds the quintet at their most adventurous and mischievous, as the song also features twinkling synths and a loose, Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”-like vibe.

Recently, the renowned Glasgow-based post-punk act was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform album title track Always Ascending, a sleek, dance floor friendly song that in some way seems to nod at Talking Heads’ cover of “Take Me to the River” — but with surprisingly soaring and infectious hook. 

Comprised of husband wife duo Aslyn and Kalen Nash, the Joshua Tree, CA-based synth pop duo DEGA features two accomplished, veteran musicians: Ashlyn had released two solo albums, Lemon Love through Capitol Records and The Dandelion Sessions through Lemonade Records, and she has a stint was a touring keyboardist and backing vocalist for Grammy nominated artist Kesha. Kalen Nash was guitarist and vocalist for Athens, GA-based indie rock act Ponderosa, a band that released their critically applauded, Joe Chiccarelli-produced album Midnight Revival, which was released through New West Records.

Unsurprisingly, the origins of the Nashes latest project can be traced back to 2008 when they first met and eventually fell in love — and although they married in 2011, they were so busy with their own respective musical projects, that they hadn’t seriously considered working together. Eventually, the loneliness of the road led the Nashes to consider a different path. “I remember a phone call when I was out with Kesha and Kalen was on tour with Ponderosa,” recalls Aslyn. “We were a country apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. I told him that we needed to start collaborating so, at the very least, we could see each other more often.”

Ashlyn and Kalen Nash formed DEGA with the idea that they could shed any and all of their preconceived notions about their previous work and freely explore new sounds and musical ideas — in this case anthemic, synth-based indie pop in which they merged their talents and ideas into a unique sound and approach. Now, as you may recall, the duo’s self-titled debut effort is slated for release later on this month through Lemonade Records, and the album reportedly is one of the most personal either has released to date as it focuses on the highs and lows of their lives together; in fact, album single “Phoenix” focuses on Asyln’s pregnancy and miscarriage during the recording sessions. With both Asyln and Kalen touring with their various projects, the duo would record whenever they were both in the same city and had free time, and as result, the album took two years to complete with sessions helmed by  Justin Loucks and Jon Ashley at various studios across the States.

Don’t Call It,” which I wrote about late last year was a carefully crafted yet urgent song that remind some quite a bit of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy as layers of shimmering synths were paired with a sinuous bass line, African-inspired percussion and a soaring hook. The duo’s latest single “Mirrors” continues the 80s vibes of its predecessor — but in this case Purple Rain and 1999-era Prince, as well as A Flock of Seagulls as the song features some blistering guitar work paired with propulsive drumming, layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while being a remarkably slick, radio friendly track, it reveals some incredibly ambitious and earnest songwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Franz Ferdinand’s Emotional Rescue-Era Stones-like New Single

Currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and recently added Dino Bardot (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Glasgow-based indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, not only did their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, the band established themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post punk revival movement. Along with that, the band has won two Brit Awards — one for Best British Group, as well as one NME Award.

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. Now, for the sake of this site, you may recall that Franz Ferdinand’s fifth, full-length album Always Ascending is slated for a February 9, 2018 release and from album single “Feel The Love Go,” the band continues with a disco-leaning take on the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention — but with warm blasts of Hall and Oates/blue-eyed soul era saxophone that gives the song a quirky quality. “Lazy Boy,” Always Ascending’s latest single, much like its predecessor is a sleek, dance floor friendly track with a funky, disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and a slick hook; but interestingly enough, the song finds the quintet at their most adventurous and mischievous, as the song also features twinkling synths while giving off a loose, Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”-like vibe.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Thundercat Returns with Sunny and Redemptive Visuals for Collaborative Single with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely been made familiar with the he critically applauded  bassist, vocalist and JOVM mainstay Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, and as you may recall, within the past three years or so, Bruner has been remarkably prolific as he’s made attention-grabbing guest appearances contributing his imitable bass and vocals to Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Award-winning To Pimp A Butterfly and Brainfeeder Records labelmate, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic. Bruner followed that up by releasing what arguably best may have been one of the best releases of 2015, The Beyond/Where Giants Roam. 

Last year, Bruner teased us with some more new material, including “Bus In These Streets,” a comedic and playful ode to our reliance and dependence on technology in which Bruner collaborated with the renowned producer, beatmaker, electronic music artist and filmmaker Flying Lotus contributing programming and Louis Cole contributing keys and programming. And as you know, Bruner’s third, full-length album Drunk was released earlier this year, and the album was written as a journey deep into the bizarre, hilarious and sometimes very dark mind of its creator, who collaborated with an impressive array of friends and guests including the aforementioned Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar, along with a few other folks you may have heard of, like Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. 

Drunk’s first official single “Show You The Way”is a smooth and soulfully jazz-like pop track in which arpeggiated synths, stuttering drum programming and Bruner’s dexterous bass lines serve as a shimmering and silky bed over which Bruner, Kenny Loggins and Micheal Donald trade soulful vocals to create a song that feels like a polished and effortless synthesis of Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” and Bruner’s signature funky, retro-futuristic jazz fusion.

Directed by Katarzyna Sawicka and Carlos Lopez Estrada, the recently released music video for “Show You The Way,” follows the characters and the storyline the directors began with the surreal and darkly comic visuals they created in “Them Changes,”  and while that video ended in a grim note with an armless and heartbroken protagonist, “Show You The Way” is a sunny contrast, offering a semblance of redemption, healing and love for our armless protagonist.  

New Video: Visuals for Wolf Alice’s “Heavenward” Capture Life on the Road

Currently comprised of founding members Ellie Roswell (vocals, guitar) and Jeff Oddie (guitar, vocals), along with Theo Ellis (bass) and Joel Amey (drums, vocals), the London-based indie rock quartet Wolf Alice derive their name from an Angela Carter short story, and can trace their origins to when its founding members Roswell and Oddie began the act in 2010 as an acoustic act. Eventually, Roswell and Oddie decided to add more electric elements to their sound and they recruited Roswell’s childhood friend Sadie Cleary (bass) and Oddie’s friend George Barlett (drums) to join the band. And with the original lineup, the quartet released a self-titled EP, which featured “Every Cloud,” “Wednesday,” and “Destroy Me,” with the band releasing a video for “Wednesday.”

When Barlett broke his wrist in 2012, Joel Amey joined on as a temporary replacement but later became a permanent member. Also in that year, Cleary left to focus on her studies, and Theo Ellis was recruited to join in. Despite the lineup changes, the band released “Leaving You,” on Soundcloud as a free download, and it received airplay on BBC Radio 1 was featured in NME‘s Radar section. Building upon the buzz they received nationally, the quartet toured with Peace, and they began the following year with a session for Huw Stephens’ BBC Radio 1 show.

Since then the quartet have released two EP’s 2013’s Blush and 2014’s Creature Song and a full-length album — 2015’s critically applauded and commercially successful My Love Is Cool, which featured the Grammy Nominated-single “Moaning Lisa Smile,” a track that peaks at #9 on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs Chart. The British indie rock quartet’s soon-to-be released sophomore effort Visions of a Life is slated for a September 29, 2017 release through Dirty Hit/RCA Records, and the album’s aptly soaring, latest single “Heavenward” reminds me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, as lush layers of shimmering guitar chords, four-on-the-floor drumming and Roswell’s yearning vocals are paired with an arena rock-like power chord-based hook. And while revealing some impressive guitar work, the song manages a rare feat — to be intimate,  immediate and bombastic yet yearning as the band arches heavenward, even if just for a few moments.

Directed by Andy DeLuca, the recently released visuals for “Heavenward” aptly capture a vision of a life — a life on the road, as the video follows the band on tour, rushing from place to place, goofing off to kill time between shows, playing sets in front of enthusiastic crowds in sweaty clubs, the rare moments between the members of a band before they hit the stage; but adding to the psychedelic vibe of the song are kaleidoscopic colors that includes members of the band playing superimposed over various imagery throughout. 

(Credit: Violet Foulk)

Currently comprised of founding member Nick Wold (vocals, guitar), Marc Nelson (bass, vocals) a.k.a. Nelson, and Jacob Wick (drums), the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based indie trio DREAMERS can actually trace their origins back to New York. As the story goes, the band’s Wold moved from his hometown of Seattle, WA to attend New York University’s Steinhart School to study jazz saxophone, and he quickly formed a grunge rock-inspired band Motive, along with Chris Bagamery, who Wold had known back in Seattle. Interestingly, after Motive split up, Wold had been living and writing songs in a Brooklyn rehearsal space when he and Bagamery met Nelson, who they recruited to join their new project — DREAMERS.

The trio’s debut single “Wolves (You Got Me)”  was released in July 2014 and quickly landed regular rotation on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation and was included on their Danny Kalb-produced, self-titled debut EP, which was released later that year. They ended the year with Alternative Press naming them one of their 100 Bands You Need To Know. With growing buzz around them, the trio signed a record deal with Fairfax Recordings and with a busy touring schedule, the band eventually relocated to Los Angeles; however, they went through a lineup change with Bagamery leaving the band and being replaced by their current drummer Jacob Lee Wick, who joined at the end of 2015.

 

DREAMERS ended 2015 with the release of their sophomore EP You Are Here, which featured “Shooting Shadows,” which was cowritten by Wold and Atlas Genius‘ Keith Jeffery, “Wolves (You Got Me)” and “Drugs,” among others — and they were wound up being selected (out of 500 aspiring bands) to open for Grammy Award-winning and-nominated act Stone Temple Pilots, during a select schedule of West Coast dates. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the band released their full-length debut This Album Does Not Exist,” which features many of the aforementioned songs and its first official single “Sweet Disaster.”  

Since then the band has been busy with a rather busy touring schedule that has included the summer festival circuit, and in fact, I wound up chatting with the band’s Nelson after their closing day set at The Meadows Music and Arts Festival at Citi Field last weekend. (More on that in future.) Recorded on my trusty iPhone 6s (so you do get the general ambience of a press area at a festival, including the 7 train above us), we chatted about the band’s formation and influences, as well as his advice on how artists can make a name for themselves; but along with that, Nelson shares a touching story about an incredible act of kindness by Chester Bennington during their stint opening for Stone Temple Pilots, and he updates us on Lil’ Trucker, the abandoned kitten the band found while on tour in Texas. Check it out.

 

New Video: New Visuals for Tourist’s “We Stay Up All Night” Captures the Joy and Possibility of Youth and Young Love

Now, if you were frequenting this site around this time last year, you may have come across a post or two featuring William Phillips,  London, UK-based electronic music artist/producer and songwriter, best known in electronic music circles as Tourist, and cowriter of Sam Smith’s smash hit, Grammy Award-winning single “Stay With Me.” Adding to a breakthrough 2015, Phillips played that year’s Coachella and Pitchfork Festival Paris, went on lengthy tours of the European Union and North America, made mixes for BBC 1‘s Diplo and Friends and i-D Magazine, as well as received praise from a variety of media outlets — including Pitchfork, FADER and others. Phillips built upon a growing international profile with the release of his full-length debut U, an album that focused on a failed personal relationship the songwriter and producer had; in fact, as Philips mentioned in press notes on his full-length debut, “I’ve always recorded a lot of my life through my phone. Whilst writing the album, I found a huge number of recording that I had whilst being in that relationship, so my ex’s voice is all over this record. Also the sounds of the places we lived and visited together form prominent backdrops to the music.” 

I don’t know how to describe it sonically, it’s not really body music, it’s just a story told through different tempos and sounds. I’m not channelling any specific scene or sound, just my thoughts and feelings. I don’t really understand the term ‘electronic music’ but I suppose if pressed I’d call it that.

I have zero interest in beats and scenes, I’m much more interested in stories. I feel as though this is the biggest lesson I learnt whilst writing this album, that I don’t write music to express myself but to enrich myself. It wasn’t until finishing this album that I could truly feel at peace with that chapter in my life.”

“We Stay Up All Night” is Phillips’ latest single is an ethereal and shimmering collaboration with pop vocalist Ardyn that features the sort of soaring and anthemic hooks reminiscent of M83 — but underneath the bright neon-colored vibes is a subtle hint at wistful nostalgia — presumably at the passing of youth but with a fondness and sweetness. As Phillips mentions in press notes, the new single is “more reflective of who I am now, and how my life has changed over the past year. I moved out of my windowless studio and started writing from home again. I think subconsciously, I’ve started writing more joyous, colourful music and I’ve loved being collaborative once again. ” Phillips goes on to say that the new music he’s recently written may be some of his favorite material he’s produced so far, because he’s loved the opportunity to push his sound towards a new place. Of course, while pushing his sound to a warmer and happier vibe, the internationally renowned producer and songwriter has retained elements of the aesthetic that caught the attention of fans and the blogosphere across the world — mainly  a shimmering, cosmic glow and a swooning earnestness to the proceedings. 

Directed by Daniel Brereton, who has directed videos for Kindess, Connan Moccasin and Metronomy, the video follows a quartet of teenagers as they drive to the British countryside to goof off, explore both in daylight and at night, couple up, canoodle, get high and share intimate moments before one couple stumbles upon a forest-based all night rave, and spends the morning watching the sun rise. The video manages to perfectly encapsulate the feeling of exploration, limitless possibility, naivete and foolhardy passions of youth. 

New Video: Gorillaz Collaborates with Peven Everett on Their Most House Music-Inspired Track in Years

Created by Blur frontman and founding member Damon Albarn and renowned comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz is a virtual band, featuring animated characters 2D (vocals), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar) and Russel Hobbs (guitar) that exploded into with the international scene with the 2001 release of their eponymous debut. The BRIT and Grammy Award-winnng act has since released three critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2005’s Demon Days, 2010’s Plastic Beach and 2011’s The Fall and with each of their four previously released albums the act has topped charts around the world, receiving millions of streams, selling millions of copies and playing arenas, clubs and festivals from San Diego to Syria. Along with that the act has won the Jim Henson Creativity Honor and have been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s Most Successful Virtual Act. 

Humanz, the virtual act’s fifth and latest album was released to critical applause last month and the album has continued the band’s incredible run of commercial successes with the album landing at number 1 and number 2 on the US and UK charts respectively, as well as topping the iTunes chart in over 60 different countries. Produced by Gorillaz, The Twilite Tone of D /\ P and Remi Kabaka, the album was recorded in studios in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica and has the members of the virtual band — er, Damon Albarn and company — collaborating with an eclectic and accomplished array of contemporary artists including Savages’ Jehnny Beth, Danny Brown, Benjamin Clementine, De La Soul, D.R.A.M., Anthony Hamilton, Grace Jones (!!!), Zebra Katz, Mavis Staples (!!!), Vince Staples, Popcaan, Pusha T., Peven Everett and others. 

Humanz’s latest single “Strobelite” features the members of Gorillaz collaborating with Harvey, IL-born, Chicago, IL-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Peven Everett, an artist whose work has spanned across R&B, jazz, hip-hop and house music.  The Harvey, IL-born, Chicago-based artist received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music when he was 17 before leaving to collaborate with the likes of Betty Carter, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis. Since then Everett has contributed trumpet on a handful of jazz recordings, including Curtis Lundy’s Against All Odds while becoming a leading figure in Chicago’s house, soul and R&B communities, releasing seven solo albums. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Gorillaz collaboration with Everett is the most dance floor-friendly track they’ve released in several years — since, perhaps “Dare” off Demon Days, as the album’s  latest single features Everett’s soulful crooning singing uplifting lyrics over a club banging, Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles-era house music production featuring cosmic ray-like synths, twinkling keys and dance floor-friendly beats; it’s frankly the sort of song that’s so uplifting that you’d have to dance and smile — and if you didn’t there was something deeply wrong about you. 

Directed by Stoke, UK-native Raoul Skinbeck, the recently released video for “Strobelite” features Peven Everett with the members of Gorillaz and a multicultural cast of clubgoers tearing up a London nightclub and if there’s one thing that the video confirms in an increasingly unsettled and frightening world that it’s the things that remind us of our humanity that unite us — that music has the power to let us escape for a little bit, to have us fall in love, and to remind us of who and what we are; and that there’s freedom on the dance floor.