Tag: Hype Machine

With the release of “Hydrogen,” indie electro pop duo Darkroom Data — Irish vocalist Gillian Nova and Brazilian composer and producer Márcio Paz — quickly received attention across the blogosphere: the track landed on Hype Machine‘s most popular chart while receiving praise from outlets like Podcart, Obscure Sound, Son of Marketing, Indie Buddie and AnalogoueTrash for crafting moody and atmospheric soundscapes paired with melodic hooks and seductive rhythms. Interestingly, fellow critics have compared their sound to the likes of Chromatics, College, London Grammar, CHVRCHES and Niki & the Dove among others. Thematically, their material fittingly focuses on encounters with dark, fantastical characters and a yearning for lost, late-night spaces.

Building upon the attention that they earned with “Hydrogen,” the duo’s latest single, the Bob Lamb-produced “Groovatta” is a slow-burning and sultry take on synth pop, centered around a sample from 80s electro pop act The System, shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, anthemic hooks and an atmospheric and brooding bridge. And although the band claims that they were inspired by the aesthetic of Chromatics, the song reminds me of Quiet Storm synth soul — in particular, the likes of Cherelle and others.

With the release of Oceans EP, Blonde Maze, the acclaimed recording project of New York-based singer/songwriter. electronic music artist and producer Amanda Steckler received attention from this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere for slickly produced synth pop centered around earnest lyricism, documenting her experiences, feelings and thoughts. Since Oceans EP, Steckler has released a handful of singles including “Antartica,” “Thunder” and others to praise from Billboard Pride, DJMag, XLR8R, Impose Magazine and many others, as well as love and support from BBC1, MrSuicideSheep, and MTV Radar.

Adding to a growing profile, Steckler’s material has landed on several Spotify and Apple Music playlists, including Spotify’s US Viral 50, as well as landing at #1 on Hype Machine‘s No Remixes chart. LADYGUNN named her an “artist you should’ve seen at SXSW 2018″ — and she’s opened for the likes of The Shadowboxers, Elderbrook and Vallis Alps. During that same period of time, the JOVM mainstay also released collaborations with a number of established and up-and-coming electronic music producers including including the Iowa City, IA-born, Duluth, MN-based electronic music artist and producer Kyle Stern, best known as Attom. 

The New York-based electronic music artist, electronic music producer and JOVM mainstay begins her 2021 with a cover of Mazzy Star‘s beloved, 1993 smash hit “Fade Into You.” While replacing the jangling guitars, twinkling keys and tambourine of the beloved original with shimmering and atmospheric synths, synth click and skittering beats, the Blonde Maze cover retains both vocal melody and the swooning and urgent yearning of the original — but the end result is more of a contented sigh.

“IMO it’s kind of a blissful/happy take on the beautifully yearning original,” Steckler wrote to me in an email. “I’ve been listening to the original for years — probably a decade now — and still love it. Hope Sandoval and David Roback really created a gem.”

Claudia Ferme is a Chicago-based singer/songwriter and the creative mastermind behind the existential dream pop, solo recording project Claude. Ferme began crafting songs inspired by Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Angel Olsen and Weyes Blood during her senior year of college in Bloomington, IN as a way to deal with the dread and fear she felt with being finished with school and not knowing what she wanted to do with her life.

The project became fully realized when she returned to Chicago during the spring of 2018. After meeting other musicians, Ferme decided to form a backing band for the project and started playing shows locally. And since 2018, Ferme’s music has landed on a number of Spotify and YouTube playlists, including Spotify’s Fresh Finds, The LazyLazyMe, BIRP, My Old Kentucky Blog, and Hype Machine.

Ferme’s Claude debut, Enactor EP is slated for a February 12, 2021 release through Side Hustle Records/The Orchard. The EP’s second and latest single “Everything’s Great” coincides with the most recent impeachment hearings dominating the media landscape again — and it manages to tie back to the song’s origin: “I wrote this song after Trump got elected,” Ferme says in press notes. “It felt like the world was ending and I wanted to somehow poke fun at his ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.” Centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, gorgeous yet brooding strings and Ferme’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, “Everything’s Great” manages to tap into the deep in the soul exhaustion of the Trump Administration. The song is a gentle call for escapism as a form of self-preservation when everything is on fire — with the song’s narrator essentially saying “turn off your phone, so you can stop doom scrolling — and take a moment to daydream.” Maybe we should all take that advice every now and then.




Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine — Noah Prebish, Sabine Holler, Brother Michael Rudinski, and Peter Spears — can trace its origins back to when its founding duo of Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, Psymon Spine’s founding duo toured the European Union with Prebish’s electronic project Karate. And as the story goes, while in Paris,  Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together. By the time, they arrived in London, they were offered a record deal. 

When the band’s founding duo returned to the States, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to join their newest project. And with that lineup, they fished out the demos, which wold eventually comprise their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday. The band went out to support the effort with immersive art and dance parties like their Secret Friend party series across Brooklyn and through relentless touring.

Prebish was also splitting his creative time with rising Brooklyn-based dram pop act Barrie and around the same time, his work with the rising dream pop act began to receive attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere through the release of a handful of buzz worthy singles, followed by their full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly while with Barrie, Prebish met his further Psymon Spine bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler.

Without live shows and touring, the members of Psymon Spine have been busy releasing new material this year, which included two singles:

  • Milk,” a coquettish, club friendly banger with Barrie that brings In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals‘ Lenses and received quite a bit of attention internationally — with the single receiving praise from   VanyalandHigh Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The RevueHype Machine and a list of others.The track also landed on  Spotify playlists like UndercurrentsAll New Indie and Fresh Finds, as well as the YouTube channels of  David Dean BurkhartNice Guys‘ and Birp.fm. And lastly, the track received airplay on BBC Radio 6.
  • Modmed,” an  Andrew VanWyngarden-produced and cowritten, strutting disco-tinged track that’s actually deceptively upbeat, as it captures the ambivalent and confusing mixture of frustration, doubt and relief of a relationship that had long petered out and finally wound down to its inevitable conclusion. Interestingly, the song is inspired and informed by personal experience: Prebish and Holler’s difficult decision to leave Barrie to focus on Pysmon Spine full-time.

Psymon Spine’s third single of this year, is the hazy and lysergic banger “Confusion.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a wobbling bass line, blown out beats and Prebish’s plaintive vocals, a trippy spoken word-delivered break and a looping guitar solo, Psymon Spine’s latest single brings Tame Impala‘s Currents to mind. Much like its immediate predecessors, “Confusion” continues a run of carefully crafted and breezy, hook driven pop.

Interestingly, the release of the single manages to simultaneously coincide with the announcement of the Brooklyn-based act’s third album Charismatic Megafauna while encapsulating the album’s overall theme and vibe — the complicated feelings involved in the dissolution of human relationships. In particular “Confusion” finds the band channeling the confusing and contradictory feelings following the sort of breakup that has lead to a major rift in the larger social circle — but while also possibly hinting to the end of a friendship or working relationship. And as a result, the song seems to evoke the desire to dance away the hurt, for a little while at least.

Charismatic Megafauna is slated for a February 21, 2021 release through Northern Spy.



New Video: Rising Aussie Act Telescreen Releases a Bold and Striking Visual for Anthemic “Moving On”

Last year was a breakthrough year for the rising, Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock act Telescreen — Nic Schwarz, Dan Carolan, Ali Ward, Matt Martin and Ollie McIntyre — with EP title track “Growing Pains” getting regular rotation on Triple J Unearthed and community radio across the country. “Growing Pains” was featured on British blog Scientists of Sound before landing at #1 on the global Hype Machine charts. And as a result, the track garnered 15,000 SoundCloud streams within a few days. The rising Aussie act also released their first music video for EP track “In Mind,” which received airplay on rage, a national music video show — and was featured on popular music site ClippedTV.

Adding to a growing profile, the band opened for for the likes of Mosquito Coast, STUMPS, DIET., Francesca Gonzales, Creature Fear and The Attics, before eventually selling out their biggest headlining shows. And they played some of their first festival sets in the history. Interestingly, with the band’s rapidly growing profile, the band’s frontman Nic Schwarz left his full-time job to pursue music full-time. Schwarz has spent most of this past year cowriting with producers and artists across Australia through video conferencing during pandemic-related shutdowns and in-person when he could.

Of course, much like countless other bands across the globe, the members of Telescreen had hopes of making big moves this year, but they all managed to buckle down to write new material, including their latest single “Moving On.” Officially, serving as the follow-up to their attention grabbing debut EP, “Moving On” is centered around a rousingly anthemic, shout-along worthy hook, angular guitar blasts, staccato hi-hat and a slick, radio friendly production. However, under the studio polish, the song expresses the anger, frustration, shock and dismay over a disconnected and failing social order — but through the prism of a romantic relationship gone wrong.

“We, as a group, felt as though there was this real disconnect between the actions of Australia’s leaders and the true needs of those affected by the fires,” the band’s frontman Nic Schwarz says in press notes. “‘Moving On’ addresses our politicians’ disregard for public opinion, along with their seemingly growing inaction and detachment from issues in order to protect their self-interests.”

Earlier this year, the members of Telescreen put together a benefit show with fellow rising Melbourne acts Feelds and El Tee to raise much-needed funds for bushfire relief. And although, the year has been a loss, they did receive some incredibly good news: they won this year’s Triple J Unearthed NIDA Competition, in which the winner would be provided an opportunity to work with a team of students from the National Institute of Dramatic Art to create a music video. (Full credits are below, if you’re curious. Plus, we should try to always shout out talented young people, right?)

Shot with pandemic-related restrictions and limitations, the entire creative team came up with a bold and striking visual featuring a diverse cast of models/actors at a photoshoot. Initially forced to conform through wearing all black outfits. But as the video progresses, the actors strike back out of frustration and annoyance, eventually letting their freak flags — and their true selves proudly fly.

New Video: Psymon Spine Teams Up with MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden on a Glittery Club Banger

Rapidly rising Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine can trace its origins to when founding duo Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, the duo went off to tour Europe with Prebish’s electronic act Karate. While in Paris, Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together and when they got to London, they were offered a record deal.

Upon returning to the states, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to the band — and with that lineup they fleshed out the demos, which would eventually become their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday. The members of the rising Brooklyn-based act then supported the album with immersive art and dance parties through their Secret Friend series across Brooklyn, as well as relentless touring.

Simultaneously, Prebish’s work with rising Brooklyn-based dream pop act Barrie began to receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with a handful of buzz-worthy singles and their critically applauded full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly, this led Prebish to meet his Barrie bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler, who then joined Psymon Spine.

“Milk,” a collaboration with their former bandmate Barrie was the first bit of new material by the Brooklyn-based act inn three years — and it’s the first recorded output with their newest member Sabine Holler. Since the single’s release, it has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 and earned praise from a number of media outlets including Vanyaland, High Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The Revue, Hype Machine and a list of others. The track also landed on a number of YouTube channels including David Dean Burkhart‘s. Nice Guys‘ and Birp.fm, as well as Spotify playlists like Undercurrents, All New Indie and Fresh Finds. Additionally, Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson featured the track. None of this should be surprising: the track sonically recalls In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals‘ Lenses –but with a mischievously coquettish air that makes it a club friendly banger.

The Andrew VanWyngarden-produced and cowritten “Modmed” is a glittering and strutting disco-tinged track, centered around wobbling low end, glistening synth arpeggios and a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook. While drawing from 80s New Wave and classic house music, the track interestingly enough, is deceptively and ironically upbeat: the track actually captures the ambivalent and confusing mix of frustration, doubt and relief of a relationship that’s finally come to a conclusion. In particular, the song actually describes Prebish’s and Holler’s decision to leave Barrie and focus on Psymon Spine full-time.

“Psymon Spine invited me into the studio one winter’s day and we had a fun and funky time ripping Juno basslines and dialing in lush tones,” Andrew VanWyngarden recalls in press notes. “I like that their dj and record digging knowledge comes through distinctly on this track.”

Directed by the band and edited by Noah Prebish, the recently released video for “Modmed” is a delirious and playful lo-fi visual in which we see the members of the band goofing off and rocking out to the song in a variety of situations. This is split with footage of the members of the band actually performing the song. It’s all run through trippy filters and VHS-styled graininess, which also helps enhance the track’s retro-futuristic vibe.

New Video: Psymon Spine Teams Up with Barrie on a Shimmering Pop Confection and Playful Visual

Rising Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine can trace its origins back to when founding and core members Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, the duo went off to tour Europe with Prebish’s electronic act Karate. While in Paris, Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together and when they got to London, they were offered a record deal.

Upon returning to the states, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to the band — and with that lineup they fleshed out the demos, which would eventually become their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday, which they supported with immersive art and dance parties through their Secret Friend series across Brooklyn and some relentless touring.

Simultaneously, Prebish’s work with rising Brooklyn-based dream pop act Barrie began to receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with a handful of buzz-worthy singles and their critically applauded full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly, this led Prebish to meet his Barrie bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler, who then joined Psymon Spine.

“Milk” feat. Barrie is the first bit of new material from the Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act in three years — and it’s the first recorded output with their newest member Sabine Holler. Since the single’s release, it has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 and it has earned praise from a number of media outlets including Vanyaland, High Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The Revue, Hype Machine and a list of others. The track also landed on a number of YouTube channels including David Dean Burkhart’s. Nice Guys’ and Birp.fm, as well as Spotify playlists like Undercurrents, All New Indie and Fresh Finds. Additionally, Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson featured the track. And when you hear the new track, the attention its earned shouldn’t be surprising: the track is centered around an angular bass line, shimmering guitars, glistening synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a punchy and anthemic hook, and Barrie’s sultry vocals. Sonically, the track may remind some listeners of In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals’ Lenses –but with a mischievously coquettish air that makes it a club friendly banger.

Directed by Maya Prebish, Noah’s sister, the recently released video for “Milk” uses the wildly popular video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons and features each member of the band as a game avatar. And of course, each member of the band does something within the game — including play (sort of) an outdoor set, fish, sit in cafes and daydream.

“We were trying to come up with a way to shoot a music video together during a pandemic, with Sabine stuck in Germany and Barrie being god-knows-where,” Noah Prebish says of the new video made during pandemic-related social distancing and quarantine guidelines. “I remembered that my sister is a genius wizard and Nintendo dork and thought: ‘what’s more quarantine than a hap-hazard Animal Crossing video organized via a bunch of confusing Zoom calls?'” The video’s director, Maya Prebish, adds: “When Noah came to me with the idea, I jumped onboard right away. It was a lot of fun turning Psymon Spine and Barrie into villagers, and I think it was a super fun way to bring everyone together even though they’re dispersed all over the world at the moment. I don’t think any of them know how to fish in real life, but that’s creative license.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Palace Winter Release a Lysergic Visual for Anthemic New Single “Top of the Hill”

I’ve written quite a bit about the  Copenhagen, Denmark-based pop duo Palace Winter — Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish-born, Copenhagen-based producer and classically trained pianist Caspar Hesselager — over the past few years. The act can trace its origins to the duo’s mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work throughout a number of different projects. Naturally, that mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work, led to the duo working together. 

Coleman and Hesselager released their Palace Winter debut single in 2015 — but the following year was a breakthrough year for the Copenhagen-based duo: they released their EP Meditation and full-length debut Waiting for the World to Turn to critical praise from The Guardian, NME, The Line of Best Fit, and airplay from KCRW, KEXP, Norway’s P3, Denmark’s P6, as well as by BBC Radio personalities Guy Garvey, Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft. Adding to a growing profile, the duo have a Hype Machine #1 single under their belts, have opened for Noel Gallagher, and have made appearances across the European festival circuit, including sets at Guy Garvey’s curated Meltdown Festival, Roskilde Festival, Green Man Festival, Sziget Festival, Latitude Festival and Secret Garden Party among others.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Coleman and Hesselager released their sophomore album, 2018’s Nowadays. Arguably one of my favorite albums of the year, the album’s material found the duo expanding upon the sound and songwriting approach that won them praise, as they paired breezy, melodic, radio friendly pop with dark thematic concerns — in particular, the loss of innocence as one becomes an adult, with its accompanying tough and sobering lessons; the freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their live and destiny. But this was all underpinned by the inconsolable grief of profound loss. The album suggests a couple of things that I’ve learned about life in my 41 years : Life is ultimately about accepting immense, inconsolable loss as part of the price of admission, and somehow you have to figure out some way to move forwards, even its in fits and starts. And that a significant portion of our lives will be spent maneuvering the confusing push and pull between love and lust, with the prerequisite remote, anxiety, bitterness and loathing. Life is never easy and there’s never easy solutions. 

Palace Winter’s highly anticipated, third album . . . Keep Dreaming, Buddy is slated for an October 23, 2020 release through Tambourhinoceros Records — and unlike their preceding albums, . . .Keep Dreaming, Buddy’s material was written through a long distance correspondence as the band’s Coleman was residing in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain:“Caspar was sending me these synth hooks and drum loops from Denmark, so I started coming up with melodies and lyrical ideas to record into my phone,” Coleman says of the writing sessions. While Coleman’s lyrics were inspired by Tenerife’s unique landscape, drawing parallels between Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano, which also is one of Spain’s tallest peaks and the looming fear of a relationship disintegrating, Hesselager’s instrumental parts were inspired by Copenhagen’s landscape. And as a result, the album’s material is literally a tale of two cities.

“Top of the Hill,” which features a guest spot from Lowly is a perfect example of the album’s literal tale of two cities: shimmering and icy synths and thumping beats and an enormous, arena rock hook are paired with Coleman’s lyrics, which feature volcanic imagery to describe the broiling and bubbling feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration, deceit and distrust that come up in a failing relationship. And yet, throughout there’s the dim chance it could survive — even if it shouldn’t. 

Starring Carla Viola Thurøe, the recently released video follows the actor on a lysergic-tinged walk around Copenhagen’s parks and streets — and we see Thurøe’s attentive gaze shift from crystal balls to flowers, with the Danish actor carefully examining them and their texture. In many ways, the video mirrors Hesselager and Coleman’s writing process with Hesselager walking around Copenhagen figuring out the unfinished instrumentation and beats ins head and how they fit with Coleman’s phone recordings. 

STRØM is a rapidly rising (and somewhat mysterious) Värmdö, Sweden-born, Stockholm-based electronic music artist and producer, who can trace the origins of his music career to experimenting with instruments as a small child, eventually playing in a number of local bands as a teenager. As an adult, the rising Swedish electronic music artist and producer developed a growing interest in production, eventually relocating to Berlin, where he studied music production and sound design.

Interestingly, STRØM’s debut single came about from sheer coincidence: he initially composed a song for a BMW commercial, which he later finished and released as “Mesmerize,” which received praise from a number of outlets, eventually landing at #1 on the Hype Machine charts.

Speaking of coincidences, the rising Swedish electronic music artist and producer’s latest track, the shimmering and downtempo “Last Try” is both the second single he’s ever released and the first official single off his forthcoming full-length debut slated for a February 2020 release through This Is Scandinavia/Sony Music. Centered around a sleek,  propulsive synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, the Swedish producer and artist’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, subtle blasts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar and an enormous hook, the song manages to evoke an aching longing while being a crowd pleasing, radio friendly banger.

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Harris Breyfogle is an up-and coming singer/songwriter, guitarist and Berklee College of  Music graduate. His forthcoming full-length Complexus, which is slated for a Spring 2020 release and the album covers the emotional timeline of the Berklee Music School grad’s relationship with an ex girlfriend with the material thematically exploring the journey to find closure and peace in the aftermath of a messy and bitter breakup.

Some of the album’s material has received attention from Hype Machine, Imperfect Fifth and a number of other blogs. Building upon a growing profile, Breyfogle’s latest single “Angela” is breezy, two step-inducing pop confection centered around Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, a sinuous bass line and an infectious, radio  hook. And while the song may stylistically draw inspiration from Daft Punk‘s smash-hit “Get Lucky,” the song also nods at George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper” and 80s yacht rock. Interestingly, the song takes it title from the woman,  who ultimately inspired Complexus‘ material — and as a result, the song is imbued with a mix of ache, longing  and nostalgia.