Tag: HBO

Glassio · Breaking Through

Glassio is a Queens-based synth pop act that can trace its origins back to 2015 when its founding members — Sam R. and Charles Pinel  — met while attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Since the project’s formation, it has increasingly become the Queens-born and-based Sam R’s solo recording project. Interestingly, during that same period of time, Sam R. has managed to develop and hone what he has dubbed “melancholy disco,” a mix of dance music influences, wavering pop melodies, introspective, narrative-based lyrics and lush harmonies. Thematically, Glassio’s work draws from its creative mastermind’s own life and heartbreak, the difficult wrestling of self-acceptance we all deal with throughout our lives, loneliness and of course, major life changes.

Last year, Sam R released his sophomore Glassio EP EP Age of Experience, an effort that Mother Jones called “proof that electronic music and great storytelling are a perfect match.” The EP featured “Back for More,” which amassed over 2 million Spotify streams while being featured on Alan Ball’s HBO show Here & Now Outside of his own work, Sam R. has received attention for remixing and reworking the work of artists like Madge, Argonaut & Wasp, Sulene and Goldwash.

Sam R’s full-length, 11 song debut For The Very Last Time officially dropped yesterday — and so far, the Queens-based artist has released a handful of singles including “A Million Doubts,” which was featured in the latest season of the Freeform TV series Good Trouble“Nobody Stayed For The DJ,” “Are You Having Fun Without Me?” and “Make No Mistake,” the album’s fourth single, which featured a guest backing spot from New York-based vocalist Daneshevskaya. Centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, thumping beats and a soaring hook, the song finds Sam R. balancing an achingly wistful nostalgia with a much-needed sense of optimism. In a narrative sense, the album’s material captures the growth and re-birth of someone’s character out of a dark space. Thematically, the album is focused on shedding negativity and figuring out a way to trust yourself to love others again. So by the album’s last song, the character you’ve been hearing about has managed to evolve, accept their shortcomings and find a way to heal from personal loss.

“I wanted to take electronic-pop tropes and use them in a more fragile, loving way. I think there’s a bit of spiritual nature to the album — much of it is about rediscovering your faith in the world and those around you, as well as yourself, and much of it is about accepting fate,” Glassio’s Sam R. explains in press notes. “For those reasons, I wanted the songs to all sort of feel like little electronic-pop hymns. The record is about proudly displaying and accepting fragility. I needed the mixes and production to mirror that too. Nothing is mixed ‘perfectly’ by any means. I like having some instruments uncomfortably quiet and some uncomfortably loud. Many of the songs on the record are about feeling very disconnected and isolated from the world.”

“Breaking Through,” For The Very Last Time‘s fifth and latest single is centered around layers of glistening synth arpeggios, thumping beats and Sam R.’s plaintive vocals. And while further cementing the Queens-based artist’s reputation for an unerring knack for writing deeply earnest material with infectious hooks, the track evokes a skittish uncertainty that begrudgingly and slowly grows into confidence, as its narrator admits his vulnerability and frailties.

I have to add that half of the proceeds from the album will go to Black Mental Health Alliance while 100% of Bandcamp proceeds will go towards BHMA. So if you dig Glassio and want to buy the album, your money will also go to a great and necessary cause.

https://glassio.bandcamp.com

Glassio · Make No Mistake

The Queens, NY-based synth pop/New Wave/dream pop act Glassio can trace its origins back to 2015 when its founding members — Sam R. and Charles Pinel  — met while attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Since its formation, the act has become the Queens-born and-based Sam R’s solo recording project. And during that same period of time, Glassio has developed and honed what its creative mastermind has dubbed “melancholy disco,” a mix of dance music influences, wavering pop melodies, introspective, storytelling-based lyrics and lush harmonies. Interestingly, the project has increasingly pulls from Sam R’s own life and heartbreak, while thematically wrestling with self-acceptance, loneliness and major life changes.

Last year, Sam R. and Glassio released their sophomore EP Age of Experience, an effort that Mother Jones called “proof that electronic music and great storytelling are a perfect match.” Interestingly, the EP featured “Back for More,” which amassed over 2 million Spotify streams while being featured on Alan Ball’s HBO show Here & Now Outside of his own work, Sam R. has received attention for remixing and reworking the work of artists like Madge, Argonaut & Wasp, Sulene and Goldwash.

Glassio’s long-awaited full-length debut, the 11 song, For The Very Last Time is slated for a July 23, 2020 release and earlier this year, the Queens-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and remixer has put out a couple of singles, the lullaby-like “A Million Doubts,” which was featured in the latest season of the Freeform TV series Good Trouble; the early 80s inspired “Nobody Stayed For The DJ;” and the contemplative “Are You Having Fun Without Me?”

“Make No Mistake,” For The Very Last Time‘s fourth and latest single continues a run of shimmering and swooning electro pop, centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, thumping beats, soaring hooks, Sam R.’s ethereal vocals and a guest backing spot from New York-based vocalist Daneshevskaya. What makes the song intriguing to me is that it balances achingly wistful nostalgia and a much-needed optimism. In many ways, the song is an anthemic blast of encouragement when coping with and facing circumstances much greater than ourselves  — as we all are right now.

“I was having a hard time getting out of bed towards the end of 2018 and facing everyday life. My anxiety was starting to go through the roof and daily tasks like taking the subway started to become difficult,” the rising Queens based artist explains in press notes. “The seed for the song came from wanting to talk about those feelings and I wanted to write a song that could get me moving. The lyrics and melody of the verse hit me out of the blue at the same time one morning while I was lying in bed and it was just there, already completed. The whole thing just unraveled very naturally and I think more than any other song on the album, it was very much written in the middle of the situation that it was about. Usually some time needs to pass before I write a song about an event, but this one was very much in the moment.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Cones Release a Behind the Scenes-like Visual for Breezy Album Single “Seeing Triple”

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the  San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones. The duo which is comprised of Jonathan Rosen, an acclaimed, pop music influenced, hand-drawn animator, who has created music videos for Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve,  and played Johnny Thunders on the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial and film composer and experimental sound artist, can trace the origins of their band back to their stint playing together as members of the New York-based indie act Icewater, an act that at one point became Friedberger’s session and touring band during New View. As the story goes, while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, ultimately deciding that their project would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation.

After releasing a string of critically applauded singles, which they followed up with their debut EP, the Rosen Brothers went into a friend’s studio to collaborate with a producer for the first time in their history.  They recorded what they initially thought would be their full-length debut but ultimately, they decided to scrap it, as it didn’t feel like a proper Cones album to them. So they went back to their home studio and started working on the full-length debut from scratch. The end result wound up being their full-length debut Pictures of Pictures. 

Now, as you may recall, earlier this month, I wrote about “Moonstone,” a breezy bit of psych pop that struck me a being a sort of seamless synthesis of Steely Dan and MGMT, but while being a swooning and delicate love song. “Seeing Triple,” Pictures of Pictures’ latest single is a shimmering and breezy New Wave-like track, that kind of reminds me of The Cars and of The World’s Best American Band-era White Reaper, complete with a soaring hook and plaintive vocals. But at its core, the song evokes the ambivalence and confusion of getting older.  

Interestingly, the recently released video for “Seeing Triple” is arguably their first live-action video, centered around the duo performing the song in a studio in front of psychedelic-tinged lighting. The video reveals, the behind-the-scenes of a video filming and of the brother’s relationship — like most siblings, they fight and fuss but there’s a profound amount of love there.

Over the course of 2017, I wrote quite a bit about the  San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones, and as you may recall, the duo, which is comprised of Jonathan Rosen, an acclaimed, pop music influenced, hand-drawn animator, who has created music videos for the likes Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve,  and played Johnny Thunders on the HBO series Vinyl; and Micheal Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial and film composer and experimental sound artist, can trace the origins of the band to when they began playing together as members of New York-based indie rock band Icewater, an act that eventually became the session and touring band for Eleanor Friedberger’s New View. As the story goes, while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, ultimately deciding that their project would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation.

After the New View tour ended, the Rosen Brothers along with a collection of friends, associates and collaborators wrote and recorded the material that would comprise their debut EP Whatever You’re Into, which featured the 70s AM radio-like “Echoes On,” and the breezy “Back In The Brain,” an ode to solitude. “Later,” was arguably one of their most dance floor friendly tracks but ironically, was about when someone has begun to find some semblance of peace after a breakup — but with some of the bitterness still hanging around. While “First Time,” found the band nodding towards breezy Pavo Pavo-like bubblegum pop.

Recently, the JOVM mainstays signed to Dangerbird Records and to celebrate that occasion and a Bootleg Theater residency, the sibling duo released their latest single, the shimmering, arpeggiated synth-led “Run the Risk,” a track that decidedly sounds as though it were inspired by Steely Dan and Billy Joel. In particular, “Movin’ Out,” which interestingly enough I mentioned in an earlier post, as well as “Peg” and “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number” come to mind. And while centered around slick production and thoughtful craft, the song continues a run of breezy and sincere material.

Check out their Bootleg Theater Residency dates below.

 

Live Dates

8/06: Bootleg Theater w/ Pavo Pavo, Wolcott’s Instant Pain Annihilator
8/13: Bootleg Theater w/ Lily McQueen, Palm Springsteen
8/16: Taix in the Champagne Room – Echo Park Rising
8/20: Bootleg Theater w/ Malcolm Oliver Perkins, Lisa Sonoda

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Earlier this year, I wrote about  San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones  and as you may recall the sibling duo comprised of Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator,  who has created music videos for a number of renowned artists including Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve, whose rock ‘n’ roll dream started in earnest when he played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, who is a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist can trace the origins of their band to when they began playing together as members of the NYC-based indie rock act Icewater. Eventually, the members of Icewater began playing as the session and backing band for Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger, helping to write, record her latest album New View.

And as the story, while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what Cones would sound like, and ultimately they decided that the project’s overall sound would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation.  Shortly after the tour, the Rosens with a bunch of friends, associates and collaborators to write and record the material that would eventually comprise their debut EP Whatever You’re Into, which featured single “Echoes On,” a single that paired Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country-like arrangement with a breeziness reminiscent of 70s AM radio.

Their latest single “Back In The Brain” will further cement the sibling duo’s reputation for crafting breezy and wistful synth pop with a motorik-like groove and soaring hooks but underneath the breeziness is a song is an aching loneliness. As Jonathan Rosen explains “A friend of mine once described living alone as a sensation of being constantly inside of your own brain — your house is your head. After a while I realized I would often think the phrase ‘back in the brain’ upon returning home from being out, so we turned it into a song. It’s my ode to solitude.

“The animation, drawn and colored by hand, brings this idea to life. Through the yes of Bob the Hippie — an extremely groove dude, who lives inside of a lava lamp, we witness the magical confusion of seclusion.”