Tag: Grammy

New Audio: Goldfrapp’s Latest Single Reveals Both a Return to Form and an Improvisational Feel

Now, with the release of 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory —released what was arguably one of their most cinematic, hauntingly and lushly gorgeous efforts, as the album’s material paired Goldfrapp’s arresting vocals with classical-leaning arrangements featuring piano, a soaring string section, acoustic guitar with some electronic flourishes here and there. Interestingly, with the release of “Anymore,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released and much-anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye revealed a bit of a return to form for the duo as the single features a slick production consisting of enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals, expressing a tense impatience and longing with a tougher, more abrasive sound while buzzing with a restless, creative energy and sense of experimentation, which stems from the recording sessions with Grammy-wining producer John Congleton, who has worked with St. Vincent, John Grant and Wild Beasts; as well as collaborations with electronic composer Bobby Krlic, best known as The Haxan Cloak and Leo Abrahams, a guitarist, who has collaborated with Brian Eno contributed abstract guitar textures. And lastly, the album was mixed by David Wrench, who has worked with The xx, FKA Twigs and Caribou.

Much like the previously released singles, “Ocean” reveals an abrasive sound featuring layers of arpeggio synths, tribal like drumming, enormous, thundering beats, and ominously swirling electronics within a fairly minimalist-inspired production that allows Goldfrapp’s expressive vocals room to express anger, disgust and frustration. As the duo explained to the folks at Billboard the song was created during a morning writing and recording session and was originally built from what Goldfrapp called a “a very small improvisation.” “I remember coming into the studio one morning and I think we just had a few drums going and it was really basic,” Goldfrapp recalled. “Will said ‘Do you fancy doing some vocals this morning?’ So I was like, ‘Alright then’ and slightly reluctantly, i went into the vocal both and the words just came out.” And as a result, the song manages to bristle with a wild, unpredictability unlike any of their previously released material.

New Video: The Bold International Women’s Day-Themed Visuals for Sofi Tukker’s “Johnny”

As I mentioned in a previous post, with today being International Women’s Day, it’s necessary and appropriate to spend some portion of the day both here and on Twitter honoring the female artists, musicians and producers that have inhabited the JOVM universe — and of course, to continuing to cover both new and sometimes established female artists, producers and musicians throughout the day as much as humanly possible.

Now, as you may recall over the past couple of years, the New York-based, Grammy-nominated electro pop duo Sofi Tukker have become JOVM mainstay artists while simultaneously seeing both critical and astronomical, commercial success with the release of the duo’s debut EP, Soft Animals. “Johnny,” off their critically applauded and commercially successful debut features a slick and sensual production featuring a looped sample of a sinuously languid guitar line, propulsive handclaps, boom bap-like beats and Hawley-Weld singing with a languorous and sultry Spanish accent. And while further cementing the duo’s reputation for crafting world music-inspired, accessible, dance floor-friendly pop, “Johnny” manages to arguably be their most seductive and boldly self-assured song off the EP.

The accompanying video, released in time for International Women’s Day features a trio of unapologetically bold women expressing themselves and their individuality — and having a shit ton of fun for not giving a single fuck about what anyone thinks of them; but importantly, these young ladies radiate with an infectious and undeniable vivaciousness

New Video: Pom Poms Return with Sultry and Psychedelic Visuals for “Gimme You”

With the release of their debut single “Betty” and “123” the Los Angeles-based duo Pom Poms, comprised of singer/songwriter and frontwoman, the mononymic Marlene and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who is known for his work with Awolnation, Liz Phair, Kelly Clarkson, and Macy Gray, were quickly thrust into the national spotlight for a sound that owes a debt from classic garage rock and pop such as Connie Francis, Pasty Cline, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, the girl groups of the early 60s and others; however, lyrically, the material drew from Marlene’s own personal experiences, covering a wide spectrum of emotions from yearning, loss, perseverance, lust, desire, coquettish flirting and just wanting to have a good time with a very modern, unguarded frankness while possessing a loose, off-the-cuff, improvised feel. And as a result, of the early buzz the band received, they opened for The Psychedelic Furs and went on a West Coast tour with The Mowgli’s.

That off-the-cuff, loose feel has filtered into the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Turn You Out, as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single, the sultry, late night, come hither, come on “Gimme You,” a song that’s essentially about being desperately lonely and lusting for someone so badly that you crave them and their loving– to the point that you’re trying to set up a booty call; but in the case, of “Gimme You,” Marlene’s vocals posses a subtle hint of menace, that conveys the idea that the song’s narrator gets what she wants — by any means necessary, if possible. Sonically, the single will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting soulful and gritty 60s-inspired pop reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, thanks in part to its incredibly transgressive feel.

The recently released video for “Gimme You” is deeply indebted to both the mod 60s and psych 60s as it features Pom Poms frontwoman broodingly posing, dancing and singing in front of a projection screen featuring psychedelic imagery — and in a some way, the video feels voyeuristic, as though the viewer is watching the act’s frontman putting on a burlesque-like tease for someone else, who’s off-screen.

New Video: A Tree Grows Capture Both the Mysteries and Wonders of NYC and Nature in Visuals for “Future Calculations”

Comprised of founding members, Washington, DC-born, New York-based sibling duo Rashaan Carter (bass) and Russell Carter (drums), German-born, New York-based electronic music artist Emmanuel Ruffler, Georgia-born, New York-based Tivon Pennicott (saxophone) and Duane Eubanks (trumpet), the New York-based jazz quintet A Tree Grows features some of the city’s most accomplished and renowned jazz musicians — and arguably some of the city’s most accomplished musicians across any genre.

The quintet’s founding members, the sibling duo Rashaan Carter and Russell Carter were born in a very musical home as their father was a saxophonist and their mother, a radio programmer. Growing up, the Carters cut their teeth in the Washington, DC scene where they played with a number of locally and nationally renowned artists including the likes of Gary Thomas. Rashaan relocated to New York to attend New School University, where he began collaborating with a number of the school’s faculty members, including percussionist and composer Joe Chambers — and where he met future bandmate Emanuel Ruffler. Ruffler, a German-born, New York-based electronic music artist once won the grand prize in the Thelonious Monk Competition, has a songwriting credit on Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Aquarium” and has collaborated with world-famous designer Emanuel Ungaro, which led to Ruffler crafting the soundtrack for an ad campaign for an Ungaro-produced perfume. Georgia-born, New York-based Tivon Pennicott is a two-time Grammy winner and Thelonious Monk Competition runner-up, who is perhaps best known as a member of renowned, jazz-soul vocalist Gregory Porter’s backing band. Additionally while in college, Pennicott began playing with renowned guitarist Kenny Burrell, and as a result the Georgia-born, New York-based saxophonist has played in backing bands for Stevie Wonder and Wynton Marsalis among others. The Georgia-born, New York-based saxophonist has also collaborated with Esperanza Spalding on Radio Music Society and has toured as part of Al Foster‘s band. Finalizing the band’s lineup, Duane Eubanks is best known as a member of Dave Holland‘s two-time Grammy Award winning big band and as a member Mulgrew Miller’s band Wingspan. And as a result he’s played in some of the world’s most renowned and well-regarded music venues including Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, as well as countless tours across Europe and Japan. Eubanks has crossed over into other genres as he recorded and toured with an incredibly diverse array of artists including The Temptations, Alicia Keys, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan, Freedom Williams, Kirk Franklin and DeFunkt.

The jazz quintet’s self-titled EP was released earlier this year and while serving as a teaser for their forthcoming full-length effort, and if you had been following this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about the band’s coolly atmospheric and funky first single “Wau Wau Water,” a composition that managed to evoke seething, bubbling and frothing water. Interestingly, as the members of the band explained each composition that appears on both the EP and their forthcoming LP is based around a different concept, describing and evoking a distinct state in the evolution of life on Earth as we know it. “The images are snapshots, extending from the beginning of life, to the emergence of emotions, to aspects of modern human life. The cycle closes with possibilities for future development: self-perpetuating intelligence. The composition ‘Wau Wau Water’ is based on the following concept: ‘Enzymes are forming in a prehistoric ocean — evolving into bacteria. A stew of life is brewing, the cycle starts and intensifies in this patch of fertile Wau Wau Water.” As the band’s Emanuel Ruffler added “Defining and discussing these concepts during the rehearsal and recording process created a sense of purpose among the musicians and a deeper engagement with the compositions. This has transformed our creative process.”

“Future Calculations” the EP’s latest single is a coolly swaggering strut of a composition that much like its preceding single owes a debt to bop-era jazz and jazz fusion as a propulsive yet wobbling and retro-futuristic bass line, played through copious wah wah pedal is paired with shuffling and deceptively complex syncopation and a boldly expressive melody from the band’s brass players. Clocking in at a little over 2:30, the composition is roomy enough to allow room for the brass players — primarily saxophone — to solo in a composition that rapidly shifts gears in a prog rock-like fashion, and while evoking the wonders of minute mysteries of nature, even in a large city.

The recently released video for the song follows a young girl, with an expressive and highly intelligent face wandering around New York with a small container of dirt and seeds, who stops by Central Park’s Strawberry Fields to let a jazz musician she encounters to take a look at the suddenly growing seedling, before she plants it in the park nearby to replace a fallen tree.

Over the past couple of years, the New York-based, Grammy-nomiated electro pop duo Sofi Tukker have become JOVM mainstay artists while simultaneously seeing both critical and astronomical, commercial success with the release of the duo’s debut EP, Soft Animals. After a quick break, to make what the duo hopes will be the first of many Grammy appearances, the duo is currently on the road and with two Australian shows under their belts, the duo of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern; but they managed to find a bit of time to write and record what may be their most politically charged song to take — an incendiary take down of Donald Trump and his cohorts on  “Greed,” a furious stomp that suggests a punk rock sensibility meshed with club-banging house music. 

Starting next month, the duo will be embarking on a lengthy North American tour, which will include two NYC area dates — a sold out, April 1, 2017 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and a June, 29, 2017 set at this year’s Panorama Festival. Check out tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates*:
*More dates TBA
Mar 10 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel Underground (SOLD OUT)
Mar 11 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel Underground (SOLD OUT)
Mar 12 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas (TICKETS)
 March 14 – 17 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
Mar 18 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs) (TICKETS)
Mar 19 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa (TICKETS)
Mar 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 (TICKETS)
Mar 23 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings (TICKETS)
Mar 24 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall (TICKETS)
Mar 25 – Rockland, ME @ The Farnsworth Museum (TICKETS)
Mar 29 – Boston, MA @ Middle East (Upstairs) (SOLD OUT)
Mar 30 – Hamden, CT @ The Ballroom (TICKETS)
Mar 31 – Providence, RI @ Aurora (TICKETS)
Apr 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (SOLD OUT)
Apr 13 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s w/ Little Dragon (TICKETS)
Apr 16 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
Apr 23 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
Jun 15 – Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival
Jun 16 – Dufur, OR @ What The Festival
Jul 29 – New York, NY @ Panorama Festival

New Audio: Sub Pop Records and Soundgarden Release Second Single Off Remixed and Expanded Re-Issue of Their Debut Album

Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.

Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.

Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

 

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’d know that the past couple of years have been incredibly productive and prolific for the critically applauded and renowned bassist, vocalist and JOVM mainstay artist Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner as he made guest appearances on two critically and commercially successful albums  — Kendrick Lamar‘s Grammy Award-winning album, To Pimp A Butterfly and  Brainfeeder Records labelmate, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, and arguably one of of 2015’s best albums, The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, an effort which further cemented Bruner’s reputation for being  a dexterous bassist and mischievous songwriter, as the material off that album possessed a retro-futuristic sound that nodded at Steve Wonder‘s legendary 1970s output, complete with wobbling and propulsive bass lines, arpeggio synths and Bruner’s sultry and plaintive falsetto.

Bruner’s third, full-length effort Drunk is slated for a February 24, 2017 release through Brainfeeder and the album will be an epic 23 track journey into the bizarre, hilarious and sometimes dark mind of the singer/songwriter and bassist — and the effort finds him collaborating with an All-Star list of collaborators including frequent collaborators and friends Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell Williams, along with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. While the album will feature fan favorites “Bus In These Streets” and “Them Changes,” one of my favorite tracks off The Beyond/Where The Giants RoamDrunk’s first single “Show You The Way” was a soulful, 1970s jazz fusion-leaning track in which shimmering arpeggio synth lines, stuttering drums, Bruner’s incredible bass work and sultry falsetto with the legendary vocal work of Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald that interestingly enough reminded me of  Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).”

Although Valentine’s Day has passed, Drunk‘s latest single is an Anti-Valentine’s Day anthem in which the song’s narrator complains about a love interest, who has not only friend zoned him, but continually plays games with him and his feelings. And throughout the song, the song’s narrator builds up the courage to tell the object of his attention that he’s had enough of having his emotions and heart fucked with — and instead of being friend zoned by an asshole, he would be better off by himself. Sonically, the song continues along a similar vein of the album’s preceding single as shimmering, arpeggio synth lines, a wobbling and propulsive bass line and four-on-the-floor drums paired with Bruner’s dreamy falsetto; however, unlike “Show You The Way,” “Friend Zone” is full of the bitter recriminations and frustrations of cruelly unrequited love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past two years were incredibly productive and prolific years for the critically applauded and rewound bassist, vocalist and JOVM mainstay  Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner as he made guest appearances on two critically and commercially successful albums — Kendrick Lamar‘s Grammy Award-winning album, To Pimp A Butterfly and  Brainfeeder Records labelmate, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, as well as one of 2015’s best albums, The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, which further cemented his reputation as a dexterous and playful bassist and songwriter, with material that sonically channeled Stevie Wonder’s incredible 70s output, as it possessed a retro-futuristic sound as wobbling and propulsive bass lines were paired with arpeggio synths and Bruner’s sultry and plaintive falsetto.

Now, as you may remember last year, I wrote about “Bus In These Streets,” the first bit of music from the renowned bassist and vocalist in over a year, and the single was a comedic and playful ode to our reliance and dependence on technology in which Thundercat’s dexterous and sinuous bass lines with Louis Cole (keys, drums and programming) contributing shimmering and twinkling keys and propulsive drum programming and frequent collaborator Flying Lotus contributing more programming and editing in a song that evokes a dreamy, distracted  self-absorption as the song’s narrator spends their time staring at their smartphone, not noticing the world pass him by — or the inherent danger he might be walking into as he stupidly stares into his phone.

Bruner’s third, full-length effort Drunk is slated for a February 24, 2017 release through Brainfeeder and the album will be an epic 23 track journey into the bizarre, hilarious and sometimes dark mind of the singer/songwriter and bassist — and the effort finds him collaborating with an All-Star list of collaborators including frequent collaborators and friends Kamasi Washington (a Brainfeeder labelmate), Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell Williams, along with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. While the album will feature fan favorites “Bus In These Streets” and “Them Changes,” one of my favorite tracks off The Beyond/Where The Giants RoamDrunk‘s first single “Show You The Way” is a sleek and soulful jazzy  track in which shimmering arpeggio cascades of synths, stuttering drums, Bruner’s imitable bass lines are paired in an incredible collaboration that features Bruner’s sultry falsetto with the imitable vocals of Kenny Loggins and Micheal McDonald. Sonically speaking the song is an uncanny synthesis of Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” and Bruner’s signature funky, retro-futuristic jazz fusion.

So how did such a high-powered collaboration come about? Thundercat has publicly mentioned his love of Loggins and his work during interviews to promote both The Beyond and the tour for the album — and it lead to his keyboardist Dennis Hamm introducing Bruner to Loggins. According to both Bruner and Hamm, Loggins then suggested bringing in Michael McDonald on the track. And as Bruner adds in press notes “I think one of the most beautiful moments of it was realizing how amazing Michael McDonald was. He would go through so many ideas and have so much to offer.” As for the song, Bruner says “That song to me is about going down the rabbit hole, taking you to another place . . . On the edge of dark, there’s the brightest light. It means a lot to me in the sense of . . .the experience that I’ve had growing up with friends and people that I’ve been around where it’s inventing them into where I come from emotionally. Sometimes it’s a pretty intense thing. The point is how weird things can get. ”

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Goldfrapp Return with a Buzzing, Dance-Floor Friendly, New Single

With 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory — released what may have arguably been one of their hauntingly gorgeous and lushly atmospheric efforts they had ever released as the album’s material leaned more towards compositions featuring piano, stunning string arrangements, classically strummed guitar paired with Alison Goldfrapp’s equally gorgeous and arresting vocals. The duo’s much anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye is slated for a March 31, 2017 release though Mute Records, and the forthcoming album’s first single “Anymore” reveals a radical change in sonic direction with the duo’s sound as the single features enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Version 2.0-era Garbage, the song possesses a tense impatience and longing at its core.

New Video: Introducing the Funky, Jazz Fusion Sounds of A Tree Grows

The New York-based jazz quintet’s self-titled EP (which will serve as a teaser for their forthcoming full-length album) was released earlier this month and the band’s sound which is clearly jazz/jazz fusion based, also possesses elements of funk, bop jazz, jazz fusion shines through on the coolly atmospheric and funky first single “Wau Wau Water,” a composition that manages to evoke seething, bubbling and frothing water. And that shouldn’t be surprising as the band explains that each composition on both the EP and the LP is based around on a different concept, describing a distinct state in the evolution of life on Earth as we know it. “The images are snapshots, extending from the beginning of life, to the emergence of emotions, to aspects of modern human life. The cycle closes with possibilities for future development: self-perpetuating intelligence. The composition ‘Wau Wau Water’ is based on the following concept: ‘Enzymes are forming in a prehistoric ocean — evolving into bacteria. A stew of life is brewing, the cycle starts and intensifies in this patch of fertile Wau Wau Water.” As the band’s Emanuel Ruffler added “Defining and discussing these concepts during the rehearsal and recording process created a sense of purpose among the musicians and a deeper engagement with the compositions. This has transformed our creative process.”

Created by acclaimed videographer Hideki Shiota, who won Best Cinematography Award at the Asian American International Film Festival, the video employs a simple concept as you see the members of the band performing the song in the studio; however, the video is shot in a way so that you don’t see the musicians faces.