Tag: Husky

Pierre Grech is a Toulon, France-based singer/songwriter, composer, producer and guitarist, who has long been influenced by folk, indie rock, hip hop, jazz, contemporary classical and electronica. Grech began writing songs as a child but he can trace the origins of his music career to the early 2000s: He was the frontman of experimental electronica act SLiDD — and around the same time, he co-wrote and arranged material on three Jen H. Ka albums.

As a solo artist and bandleader, Grech has played shows across Paris and Southern France with re-arranged and re-imagined renditions of his material in several different iterations including electro rock, acoustic, cello-guitar duo, rock trio and more. But over the past few years, the French singer/songwriter, guitarist, composer, arranger and producer has been refining and honing his songwriting and compositional approach, as well as his guitar playing. The en result is Grech’s latest project _telemaque_, which finds the Toulon-based artist drawing from his long-held influences while crafting energetic and sensitive pop.

Grech’s _telemaque_ debut, June EP was released last Wednesday and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “June” is a gorgeous and deliberately crafted track featuring shimmering acoustic guitar, Grech’s plaintive falsetto, propulsive drumming and a soaring hook. And while sonically bringing OK Computer-era Radiohead and JOVM mainstays Husky to mind, the song is centered around earnest lyricism and accessible, pop-leaning songwriting.

Beyond the recording of the album, a collaboration with New York artist Dani Choi is underway to illustrate each track on the album.

Johnny API is a mysterious and emerging singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has written and recorded original music on his homestead. “It’s not much, but I’ve got a little studio and no one ever tells me I’m too loud,” the mysterious singer/songwriter says in press notes. “And no-one comes looking for me.”

His latest single, “Easy” is centered around strummed acoustic guitar, Johnny API’s plaintive vocals, twangy blasts of shimmering pedal steel, and a rousingly anthemic hook that reminds me a bit of Starsailor and Husky.

Zooni · The Details

Zooni is a rapidly rising Brighton, UK-based art pop/indie rock act — Peter Martin, George Godwin, Ben Clark and Matt Glasbey — that was discovered by Mercury Prize and BRIT Award-winning producer Charlie Andrew.  Last year was a momentum changing year for the British act: they released their debut EP,  which they supported with a sold-out show at London’s The Waiting Room and a set at that year’s The Great Escape.

Zooni · Dissolve

Much like countless bands across the world, the members of Zooni hope to play shows as soon as humanly possible; in fact, they have some shows slated for the fall. But in the meantime, earlier this year, they released the critically applauded single “Dissolve,” and they’ve followed it up with their latest single, the ethereal “Details.” Centered around shimmering and angular guitars, propulsive and hypnotic drumming, atmospheric electronics, twinkling keys and plaintive vocals, the delicate yet painterly song sonically reminds me of OK Computer-era Radiohead and Forever So-era Husky — but within an expansive, prog-like song structure.

 

 

 

 

 

Brighton-based art-pop makers Zooni return today with new single ‘The Details’.  The follow up to their February single ‘Dissolve’. ‘The Details’ is a
 powerful yet fragile mix of poetic lyrics and transcendent textures. Combining hypnotic beats with delicate piano and angular guitars it is available to stream below …

 

Discovered by Mercury and Brit award winning producer Charlie Andrew (Alt J, London Gramma, Marika Hackman), Zooni – Peter Martin, George Godwin, Ben Clark, and Matt Glasbey – played a Sold-Out headline show at The Waiting Room (London) in the summer of 2019, following on from an unforgettable appearance at The Great Escape Festival in that same year – and still hope to be playing some UK shows later this year.

Kidsmoke · Layla’s Love

 

Last year was a momentum building year for the rapidly rising, Wrexham, Wales, UK-based indie act Kidsmoke — Lance Williams (vocals, guitar), James Stickels (bass, vocals), Sophie Ballamy (guitar, vocals) and Ash Turner (drums): they played at FOCUS Wales Festival‘s SXSW showcase. “Passenger” landed on NPR’s Austin 100 Playlist — and has since been featured on E4’s  Made in Chelsea along with “Rising Sun.” Additionally, “Take Me to the River” appeared in Netflix’s hit series Black Mirror. 

Continuing on the momentum of last year, the band recently signed to Libertino Records, who released the band’s first single of this year, The Bluest You,” which I wrote about last month. Centered around swirling layers of shimmering guitars, a propulsive rhythm section, a rousingly arena friendly hook and Williams’ plaintive falsetto, “The Bluest You” found the band crafting a song that possessed elements of dream pop, shoegaze and Brit pop with earnest yet ambitious songwriting — all while being a somber meditation of how mental health issues can impact the person suffering from them, and their loved ones.

“Layla’s Love,” the Welsh act’s latest single is a deliberately crafted yet upbeat guitar pop confection centered around shimmering guitars, a soaring hook and pretty boy-girl harmonies — and while bringing JOVM mainstays Husky and countless others to mind, the song features a narrator, looking back at a recent relationship with a series of “what ifs” about themselves, their actions and the relationship. But as the song ends, the song’s narrator comes to terms with the fact that the relationship has taught them about themselves — and has made them a much better person, which is something they can never lose.

“I’m a big fan of Prefab Sprout and love the way they utilise the male/female vocals; a dream-like section, when the main character is having an imaginary conversation with ‘Layla’ is my favourite moment on the album,” the band’s Lance Williams says in press notes. Kidsmoke’s Sophie Bellamy adds Layla’s Love’ took a little longer to come together than some of our other tracks. We were being pretty ambitious with the arrangement in the studio and wanted to make sure we got it perfect, as we knew it would be worth it if we nailed it.”

“The Bluest You” and “Layla’s Love” will appear on the Welsh act’s soon-to-be released full-length debut, A Vision in the Dark slated for a June 19, 2020 release.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Rapidly Rising Portuguese Singer-Songwriter Marinho Releases a Cinematic and Surreal Visual for “I Give Up and It’s OK”

Filipa Marinho is a Lisbon, Portugal-born singer/songwriter, who grew up in an emotionally abusive household with plenty of early exposure to American cartoons, mid-90s movies and a growing intimacy with Hollywood notions of love, relationships […]

New Video: Up-and-Coming El Paso Band Sleepspent Releases 120 Minutes-Inspired Visuals for “Come Smile With Me”

Currently comprised of founding member Austin North (vocals, guitar) with Cecilia Otero (bass) and Josh Mendoza (drums), the El Paso, TX-based indie rock/dream pop trio Sleepspent can trace their origins back to when it founding member returned from school in San Diego and started the band with friend and co-writer Aaron Quintalla. Although they’ve gone through a lineup change that has the band as a trio, since their formation, the members of Sleepspent have quickly become one of El Paso’s best, up-and-coming bands; in fact, locally they’ve become one of the area’s go-to bands, opening for a variety of nationally recognized touring bands. And from “Come Smile With Me,” off the El Paso-based band’s Chris Common-produced debut EP It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think, released earlier this year through Slow Start Records, the young band specializes in a sound that draws from shoegaze, dream pop and indie rock. “That can be heard in the alternate tunings used throughout our music as well as the melodic chord progressions and melodies,” the band’s Austin North says in press notes.
Although sonically speaking some of my colleagues may describe the band’s sound as being reminiscent of The Cure and The Smiths, the band’s sound bit reminds me of Forever So and Ruckers Hill-era Husky as the young Texans walk a difficult tightrope between technical craft and earnest emotionality.

The recently released video stars the band’s Austin North returning home to a house party and kicking everyone out of the house — and in some way, the video recalls 120 Minutes-era MTV. As North explains in press notes, “The video involves me kicking people out of a party. It kind of replicates the contrast that the song has. Sonically, it makes sense to soundtrack a house party, but lyrically it is much more introspective and contemplative than a stereotypical party track. The lyrics involve sleep and silence, and so it feels appropriate to showcase the song with the end of a party, when one is exhausted and just wants to rest.”
 

 

With the release of their first two singles “Desensitised” and “Twenty Six,” the London-based quintet Margot, comprised of Alex Hannaway (vocals), Ben Andrewes (drums), Albi Leghorn (guitar), Rob Fenner (guitar, keys) and Michael Webb (bass) quickly received attention across their hometown for crafting shimmering dream pop centered around laments on the repetitious nature of modern-day city life, and how to navigate it — and for a steadfast DIY writing and recording process, in which the band records their material over the course of a long weekend at Ben Andrewes’ home; however, the band’s third and latest single “Tired” finds the band expanding upon their sound with the addition of synths and a gorgeous and soaring string arrangement, along with the traditional dream pop arrangement of shimmering guitar chords, sinuous bass lines and propulsive drumming — over, which Hannaway sings wistful and observational lyrics. Obviously, the band’s sound and songwriting will get compared to the likes of The Smiths  and to JOVM mainstays Husky as the song is ethereal yet moody, upbeat yet bittersweet and rooted to an everyday realism.

Interestingly, as the band’s Hannaway says, the song was inspired by a late night commute on the tube. “I was being nosy, prying on a conversation between two men. One was expressing how difficult it was becoming with his teenage daughter, how hard it was to get any kind of conversation, how they used to be so close. He was struggling to come to terms with change.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding member Austin North (vocals, guitar) with Cecilia Otero (bass) and Josh Mendoza (drums), the El Paso, TX-based indie rock/dream pop trio Sleepspent can trace their origins back to when it founding member returned from school in San Diego and started the band with friend and co-writer Aaron Quintalla. Although they’ve gone through a lineup change that has the band as a trio, since their formation, the members of Sleepspent have quickly become one of El Paso’s best, up-and-coming bands; in fact, locally they’ve become one of the area’s go-to bands, opening for a variety of nationally recognized touring bands. And from “Come Smile With Me,” off the El Paso-based band’s Chris Common-produced debut EP It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think, released earlier this year through Slow Start Records, the young band specializes in a sound that draws from shoegaze, dream pop and indie rock. “That can be heard in the alternate tunings used throughout our music as well as the melodic chord progressions and melodies,” the band’s Austin North says in press notes.
Although sonically speaking some of my colleagues may describe the band’s sound as being reminiscent of The Cure and The Smiths, the band’s sound bit reminds me of Forever So and Ruckers Hill-era Husky as the young Texans walk a difficult tightrope between technical craft and earnest emotionality.
The band is currently in the middle of their first tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.
Tour Dates 
07/09/2018:  Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s
07/12/2018: Memphis, TN @ Sounds Good Memphis
07/13/2018: Nashville, TN @ Drifters BBQ
07/14/2018: Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet
07/16/2018: Minneapolis, MN @ Char Bar
07/17/2018: Omaha, NE @ B Bar
07/18/2018: Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
07/19/2018: Wichita, KS @ Kirby’s Beer Store
07/21/2018: Norman, OK @ Red Brick Bar
07/22/2018: Albuquerque, NM @ Moonlight Lounge

After 2014’s full-length effort, Voir Dire, the Chicago, IL-born and-based members of Minor Characters, the trio of long-time friends and schoolmates Andrew Pelletier (guitar, vocals), Shelby Pollard (guitar) and Thomas Benko (drums) felt a collective sense profound angst and confusion that almost broke the band up. “Getting that out was such a stressful moment in all of our lives that I think the band kind of imploded and deflated because of it,” the band’s Andrew Pelletier recalls in press notes. “We weren’t playing anymore and we decided to take a number of months off. In that interim, I did a little bit of traveling.”

Coincidentally, Pelletier’s traveling primarily took place during 2016, arguably one of the most politically contentious periods in at least 50 years, and naturally those trips criss-crossing the States and to Asia wound up influencing the Chicago-based band’s frontman, who eventually wrote a series of deeply personal vignettes focusing on his observations on the sociopolitical moment and thoughts but paired with sardonic reflections on the band’s health; but reportedly underneath it all, is a desire that many of us have felt — a desire to pack up your shit and leave for a while, despite the fact that American culture is inescapable. There’s literally a Starbucks or a McDonald’s on every corner with minor regional and cultural differences on the menu and an episode of Law & Order on TV.

As Pelletier says in press notes, “The insanity of the current government would be…I wouldn’t call it a source of inspiration, but certainly a source of disillusionment turned into inspiration. There are many things in my life that I put off,” the band’s frontman adds on a more personal note, “one of them being travel, especially to Asia because I’ve always wanted to go to Asia, and then also being in a relationship I put off for many, may years.” After his travels, Pelletier reconvened with his bandmates Pollard and Benko, along with Joe Meland (piano, string arrangements) and a series of collaborators at SHIRK Studios, where instead of a breakneck recording sessions, the band allowed the songs to morph with every recorded iteration, which would give each individual version a unique life. As the band’s Pollard says, “We’re doing string arrangements on this record, horn arrangements, there’s organ. There’s all of these components that, because we gave ourselves such unlimited amount of time to focus on, ‘Is this song ready?’ we were really able to figure out what each track needed individually and then it just so happens that it fits together.”The end result is the band’s forthcoming album We Can’t Be Wrong, which is slated for an April 6, 2018 release — and while the album’s latest single “Pimps of Freedom (Whores of D.C.)” will remind some listeners of The Bends-era Radiohead and JOVM mainstays Husky, possesses a breathless and bristling sense of outrage, as the song thematically focuses on the crony capitalists in DC deregulating then dismantling the government and handing it over to make money. “Vulnerable people’s lives are in their hands, and they’re passing handouts to the wealthiest of us, rather than the neediest. It’s whorish and abhorrent. But at the end of the day, it’s all so fucking entertaining. I can’t stop tuning in. All day long. Everyone I know can’t stop watching this madness. And what am I actually doing about it? Nothing. But this generation is turned up, and so we have to push back anyway we can. It’s a monstrous, captivating live television show, and it’s in full fucking high-definition.”  With this song, the Chicago-based band has managed to put into words, the seemingly futile horror and anger that many of us have felt on a regular basis, while gently attempting to rouse the listener out of the doldrums, to get up from the couch, to put the phone down and do something.