Tag: Holy Ghost!

New Video: Follow British Actor Jeremy Irvine Dancing Through London for Friendly Fires Rapturous “Heaven Let Me In”

Comprised of Ed McFarlane, Jack Savidge and Edd Gibson, the St. Albans, Hertfordshire, UK-based electronic music act Friendly Fires can trace their origins back to when they met while attending St. Albans School. When they were all 13, the trio formed their first band, a post-hardcore act First Day Back, which covered Green Day and other rock acts.  First Day Back lasted until the trio attended university — and during that time Ed Macfarlane released music under his own name through Skam and Precinct Recordings. 

Upon graduation Macfarlane, Savidge and Gibson formed Friendly Fires, their critically applauded electronic music act which derives its name from the opening track of Section 25’s Always Now. Sonically, the trio has cited the German techno label Kompakt, Carl Craig and Prince as major influences on a sound that draws from dance music, lush, shoegaze melodies and classic pop songwriting. 

2007 was their breakthrough year, as “Paris” was named Single of the Week in The Guardian, received praise from NME and airplay on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show — and they were the first unsigned act to appear on Channel 4’s Transmission.  Building upon a growing profile in their native England, the trio released their full-length, self-titled debut in 2008, an effort which featured album singles “On Board,” Jump in the Pool,” “Skeleton Boy,” and the aforementioned “Paris.” Their debut was a critical and commercial success. The album was certified double gold in the UK — and the trio was nominated for a Best Breakthrough Award at The South Bank Show Awards and for Best Dancefloor Filler at the NME Awards.  

Early 2009 saw the band touring on the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour with Glasvegas, White Lies, and Florence and the Machine. March of that year, Friendly Fires co-headlined with White Lies on the Stateside equivalent of the Shockwaves NME Awards tour, called NME Presents with The Soft Pack opening. Since then, the act has been nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, and two Brit Awards — one for Best British Group and British Breakthrough Act. 

In 2010, the duo released a split 12 inch single with Holy Ghost! in which they covered a single by the other, and included instrumental versions of both songs. They also contributed a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove” to the Frank Miller-directed commercial for Gucci’s Guilty. They ended the year with a compilation with London-based club promoters Bugged Out! called Bugged Out Presents Suck My Deck, which featured remixes of songs by The Phenomenal Handclap Band and Lindstrom and Christabelle handpicked by the trio and “Stay Here,” a collaboration between the members of Friendly Fires and Azari & III. 

2011 saw the release of their sophomore album Pala, which featured album singles “Live Those Days Tonight” and “Hawaiian Air.” It was arguably, their most pop-leaning effort; however, by the following year, the members of Friendly Fire had been working with producer Andrew Weatherall on some forward-thinking and psychedelic-leaning material. However, since then the trio have been on a lengthy hiatus that has found McFarlane and Gibson collaborating with The Advisory Circle’s Jon Brooks in a project called The Pattern Forms, which released their debut effort, 2016’s Peel Away the Ivy. 

Earlier this year, the trio released “Love Like Waves,” their first bit of new material since 2012. “Heaven Let Me In,” the acclaimed trio’s second single of this year, is a club-banger centered around a euphoric and chopped vocal loop and arpeggiated synths — and while nodding a bit at Daft Punk and Stardust’s classic “Music Feels Better With You,” the song which was co-produced with Disclosure evokes the ecstasy of dancing under strobe-lights and thunderous bass until the next morning. 

Directed by Bison, who has directed videos by Bonobo, London Grammar and Jon Hopkins, the video stars renowned British actor Jeremy Irvine, known for his roles in War Horse and Mama Mia dancing through the streets and landmarks of London’s Docklands, looking as though he just came out from the club — and wants the party to continue. 

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New Video: Scott Gilmore Retro-Futuristic Take on Instrumental Synth Pop

Scott Gilmore is a Northridge, CA-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and electronic music artist, who has recorded a handful of critically applauded releases through SFV REC and International Feel. His forthcoming album Two Roomed Motel is slated for a March 1, 2019 release through Crammed Discs, the label home of Juana Molina. And the album’s latest single, album title track “Two Roomed Motel” is a funky and percussive  yet laid-back retro-futuristic synth pop single that subtly recalls Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit,” Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz, Return to Forever and the Los Angeles-based, post J Dilla beatmakers. But unlike any of those references, the track finds Gilmore meshing a lo-fi, bedroom recording approach with slick electronic production in a way that’s mischievously anachronistic. 

Directed by Scott Gilmore, and shot and edited by Kenny Gilmore, the recently released video stars Gilmore checking into a hotel room, where he jams and records the song, first using a synthesizer before he gets room service to deliver bongos, a guitar, a keyboard which he then uses to complete the song. At one point, we follow Gilmore as he wanders out on to the streets and walks into a local bar, where he pensively has a drink. It’s a decidedly lo-fi affair centered around a simple concept, much like the song itself. 

New Video: The Retro-futuristic 80s Inspired Visuals for The Legends’ “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)”

So if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 12-15 months or so you’ve seen the name Johan Angergård as a result of his various electro pop projects including — Djustin, Club 8 and Acid House Kings, and he’s also known as the founder and label head of renowned Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop label Labrador Records; however, the acclaimed electro pop producer and label head, has had an equally accomplished solo career with his solo recording project The Legends — including 2009’s noise pop-leaning self-titled effort and 2015’s It’s Love, which featured lead single “Keep Him.” That same 12-15 month period has been an extremely busy and prolific period for Angergård: Djustin and Club 8 released long-awaited album and he released a series of critically applauded singles off his recently released full-length effort, Nightshift has revealed a decided change of sonic direction for his The Legends project, as his sound went towards a swaggering, neon-colored, retro-futuristic sound reminiscent of 80s Giorgio Moroder, Computerworld-era Kraftwerk, early house and Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz, and Homework-era Daft Punk as heavily vocoder-processed vocals are paired with tweeter and woofer rocking 808s, processed cowbell and layers of arpeggio synths as you’ll hear on the propulsive and summertime, club-banger “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else).” And while breezy, the song’s breezy quality is deceptive; at the core of the song is a bittersweet, sad sack narrator’s loneliness and heartbreak over being alone during yet another summer in the city while everyone else seemingly has someone in their lives.

The recently released video for the song is a pastiche of early 80s animation, including a lengthy Japanimation segment reminiscent of Pole Position and Voltron. Certainly, if you’re a child of the 80s, the video is remarkably fitting and will bring back some warm memories of easygoing, neon-colored summers.

New Video: French Electronic Music Artist Juveniles Returns with a Sensual Single Paired with Politically Conscious Visuals

Earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about Juveniles, the now-solo recording project of French electronic music artist and producer Jean-Sylvan Le Gouic, best known as Jean Sylvain. Initially formed as a duo featuring Sylvain and former member Thibault Doray, the project’s debut EP, We Are Young, which was released through renowned French electronic music label Kitsune Records, received attention slick, hypermodern, super-computerized, dance floor-friendly productions. Building upon a rapidly growing profile among electronic music circles, the duo released their 2013 Yuksek-produced full-length debut, which expanded the then-duo’s profile across the European Union, Southeast Asia, China and South America.

Now, as I’ve not so subtly hinted at, since the release of their full-length debut, the project has gone through some significant changes — Doray left the project, leaving it solely under the helm of Sylvain and his sophomore full-length effort Without Warning, which was released earlier this year through Paradis/Capitol Records finds Sylvain releasing music on a new label after several years with Kitsune Records. Produced and recorded by Joakim at Crowdspacer Studios here in NYC, Without Warning finds the French electronic music artist going through decidedly radical changes both in sonic direction and approach as he abandons the fully computerized sound of his previously released work to embrace a much more “human” approach, featuring live instrumentation from The Juan Maclean’s, Holy Ghost!’s and Yeasayer’s Christopher Berry (drums) and Big Data’s Ben Campbell (bass), along with pre-digital and traditional mixing and production techniques.

“Someone Better,” Without Warning’s preceding single features a sinuous and propulsive bass line paired with blocks of arpeggio organ and synth chords, four-on-the-floor drumming, and Sylvain’s sensual and seductive crooning with some of the sharpest, most dance-floor friendly hooks I’ve heard in quite some time. And while arguably being one of the warmest, most soulful, the French electronic music artist has released to date, the song clearly draws from classic disco, bearing a resemblance to Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real,” Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” but with a subtly modern production sheen. “Love Me” continues in a similar vein, nodding at Nile Rodgers’ work with Chic, Zonoscope-era Cut Copy and DFA Records as the song features an arrangement consisting of shuffling funk guitar, a sinuous bass line, cowbell-led percussion and squiggling synths and some incredibly dance floor-friendly hooks. But just under the surface is a plaintive yearning to be desired and loved that’s innately human.

Directed by Aube Perrie and David Moerman and starring Laure Berend-Sagols and Flore Gandiol as the video’s very pregnant leads and love-struck couple, the recently released and lushly shot video pairs surrealistic and psychedelic-tinged animation and impossibly vibrant colors to evoke the leads swooning passion and desire for one another. And while placing the video’s central pair in surreal situations, the pair radiate sweetness, light and the sort of love that feels (and looks) as though they may be the only people in the entire world, if only for a moment. Certainly, in light of our current political climate in which a presidential administration is in a vicious war against women (in particular single mothers), our dear friends, lovers, colleagues and associates in the LGBQT community, non-Christians and anyone not White, Berend-Sagols and Gandiol’s dignity and decency feel powerful and revolutionary. One day love will be simply that — love.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past year, you may recall that although Johan Angergård may be best known as a member of renowned Swedish electro pop acts Djustin, Club 8 and Acid House Kings, as well as the founder and heard of renowned  Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop label Labrador Records. But interestingly enough, Angergård has had an accomplished solo career, as he’s released several albums with his solo recording project  The Legends — including 2009’s noise pop-leaning self-titled effort and 2015’s It’s Love, which featured lead single “Keep Him.” Last year was an extremely busy year for Angergård as Djustin and Club 8 released long-awaited albums and he released two original singles “Cocaine” feat. Maria Usbeck, “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)” and a cover of The Chainsmokers smash-hit “Roses” feat. Rozes with his solo recording project. Those first three tracks wound up revealing a decided change of sonic direction for him and The Legends as his sound went towards a swaggering, neon-colored, retro-futuristic sound reminiscent of 80s Giorgio MoroderComputerworld-era Kraftwerk, early house and Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz as heavily vocoder-processed vocals are paired with tweeter and woofer rocking 808s, processed cowbell and layers of arpeggio synths; and in fact, the cocksure “Cash” and the dance floor and boom-box rocking “In Love With Myself,” the two most recently released singles off his recently released album Nightshift. 

“Riding The Wave,” is the latest single off Nightshift and sonically speaking, while the song continues the neon-colored, retro-futuristic vibe of the preceding singles, “Riding The Wave” manages to sound like a Giorgio Moroder-leaning take on Harold Faltermeyer‘s “Axel F,” and as a result, the song possesses a late night, coke and strobe-like fueled sensuality.

 

 

Lyric Video: The Legends’ Boom Box Rocking Single “In Love With Myself”

Although Johan Angergård may be best known as a member of renowned Swedish electro pop acts Djustin, Club 8 and Acid House Kings, and the head of Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop label Labrador Records, he’s also had an accomplished solo career, releasing several albums as The Legends — including 2009’s noise pop-leaning self-titled effort and 2015’s It’s Love, which featured lead single “Keep Him.” Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that last year wound up being a rather prolific and busy year for Angergård as Djustin and Club 8 released long-awaited albums, and he released two original singles as The Legends, “Cocaine” feat. Maria Usbeck, “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)” and a cover of The Chainsmokers smash-hit “Roses” feat. Rozes — and interestingly those three tracks wound up reflecting a change in sonic direction for him, as he developed a decidedly swaggering, neon-colored, retro-futuristic sound that nods at early 80s Giorgio Moroder, Computerworld-era Kraftwerk, early house and Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz as heavily vocoder-processed vocals are paired with tweeter and woofer rocking 808s, processed cowbell and layers of arpeggio synths as you would have heard on the cocksure “Cash” off his soon-to-be released The Legends album Nightshift.

Nightshift’s latest single “In Love With Myself” features guest vocals from Elin Berlin and while continuing with the swaggering, cocksure vibe of its preceding singles while arguably being the most straightforward, dance floor friendly song off the album, as Berlin and Angergård’s breathily cooed vocals float over a slick, retro-futuristic production consisting of shimmering synths, stuttering drum programming, and boom bap beats. In some way, the song sounds as though it were subtly modern take on the boom box rocking sound of the 80s.

New Video: The Sensual Visuals and Sounds of French Electro Pop Act Juveniles Latest Single “Someone Better”

With the release of their 2012 debut EP We Are Young through renowned French electronic music label Kitsune Records, the-then French electronic production and artist duo Juveniles, which featured Thibault Doray and its sole remaining member Jean-Sylvan Le Gouic, best known as Jean Sylvain quickly received attention for slick, hypermodern, super-computerized, dance floor-friendly productions. Building upon a rapidly growing profile among electronic music circles, the duo released their 2013 Yuksek-produced full-length debut, which expanded the then-duo’s profile across the European Union, Southeast Asia, China and South America.

Since the release of the project’s full-length debut, the project has gone through several significant changes — Doray left the project, leaving it solely under the helm of Sylvain and his sophomore full-length effort Without Warning, which officially was released today through Paradis/Capitol Records finds Sylvain releasing music on a new label after several years with Kitsune Records. Produced and recorded by Joakim at Crowdspacer Studios here in NYC, Without Warning finds the French electronic music artist going through a radical change in sonic direction and approach as he abandons the fully computerized sound of his previously released work to embrace a much more human approach, complete with organic instrumentation, featuring contributions from The Juan Maclean’s, Holy Ghost!’s and Yeasayer’s Christopher Berry (drums) and Big Data’s Ben Campbell (bass), along with pre-digital and traditional mixing and production techniques.

Without Warning’s latest single “Someone Better” features a sinuous and propulsive bass line paired with blocks of arpeggio organ and synth chords, four-on-the-floor drumming, and Sylvain’s sensual and seductive crooning with some of the sharpest, most dance-floor friendly hooks I’ve heard in quite some time. And while arguably being one of the warmest, most soulful, the French electronic music artist has released to date, the song clearly draws from classic disco, bearing a resemblance to Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real,” Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” but with a subtly modern production sheen.

Produced by Rodrigo Huarte, the recently released music video for “Someone Better” is comprised of a behind the scenes look at anti-hero cop movie in which its main character has a highly-stylized and dramatic love affair with a presumed “hooker with a heart of gold” type character and while the actors “on screen” play up a steamy relationship that they clearly don’t have — at various points, you can tell that both actors are wondering when they’re getting paid or thinking about what they’re doing once the scene is finally over — behind the scenes, two members of the crew, discretely hook up as the rest of the crew films the movie’s key love scene.

Best known as a member of renowned Swedish, electro pop acts Djustin, Club 8 and Acid House Kings and as the head of Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop label Labrador Records, Johan Angergård has released two full-length solo albums under the moniker The Legends — 2009’s noise pop-leaning self-titled debut and 2015’s It’s Love, which featured lead single “Keep Him.” Interestingly, last year was a prolific and very busy year for Angergård as Djustin and Club 8 released albums — and he released two singles, “Cocaine” feat. Maria Usbeck, “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)” and a cover of The Chainsmokers smash-hit “Roses” feat. Rozes which not only reflect a decided change in sonic direction for the Stockholm-based label head, producer and electronic music artist but are also marked the first three singles off his sixth, full-length effort as The Legends, Nightshift,  and with those early singles, Angergård  has developed a decidedly swaggering, neon colored, retro-futuristic sound and aesthetic that channels early 80s Giorgio Moroder, The Man Machine and Computerworld-era Kraftwerk, classic house and Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz as heavily vocoder-processed vocals are paired with tweeter and woofer rocking 808s, processed cowbell and layers of arpeggio synths.

Unsurprisingly, Nightshift‘s fourth and latest single “Cash” continues on a similar vein, complete with a cocksure, infectious hook straight out of 1983 and a boom box meets dance floor friendly sound.  And in some way, the song should serve as a reminder that even in our incredibly difficult sociopolitical times, that sometimes you need to have some mindless fun on the dance floor — and that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

 

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Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve come across a few posts on NYC-based electro funk/neo disco production and artist duo Holy Ghost!, comprised of Alex Frankel and Nicholas Millhiser. And with the release of their 2011 self-titled debut, 2013’s Dynamics through renowned indie dance label DFA Records and their self-released remix album Work For Hire, the duo quickly earned a national and international profile; in fact, as a result, the duo have remixed the work of Katy PerryLCD SoundsystemMoby and a lengthy list of others; made national TV appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show with David Letterman; toured with the legendary New Order; and played sets at some of this country’s and the world’s biggest festivals including CoachellaOutside LandsPrimavera Sound and Bonnaroo.

Earlier this year, the duo released their Crime Cutz Ep and from the EP’s first single and title track, “Crime Cutz,” the material further cemented the duo’s burgeoning reputation as artists for crafting slickly produced, retro-futuristic electro funk as Frankel and Millhauser paired shimmering synths, 808-like breakbeats, 8b it electronics and a sinuous bass line with sensually cooed vocals. And as I said of the song at the time, “Sonically, the song seems to draws so much influence from Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit,’ that it sounds as though it could have been easily released back in 1983″

Recently, Frankel quietly released his solo debut EP Negative Space, an effort that was mixed and mastered by the renowned, super-producer and electronic music Alex Epton, who has worked with and/or remixed the work of Bjork, TV on the Radio, FKA Twigs, Spank Rock and others, and interestingly enough, the EP was released to praise from the likes of Stereogum. Interestingly, the EP’s second and latest single “Get Back” will further Frankel’s reputation for crafting retro-futuristic electro funk as the single pairs Frankel’s sensual cooing with enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking 808-like beats, cascading layers of shimmering synths and Nile Rodgers-like guitar in a swaggering, dance floor friendly song that sounds as though it could have been released in the early 80s.