Tag: Hype Machine

Throughout the course of the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo have known each other since they were teenagers, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home, started to pursue music seriously a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” and the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” the JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. And along with the announcement of their debut, the duo then released, the shuffling and jangling, 60s girl group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” which continues the dream pop duo’s growing reputation for material that possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft but with subtly modern flourishes — all while focusing on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships.

The album’s latest single “Sunday” is a slow-burning, gorgeous and cinematic bit of guitar pop, with a soaring hook that should immediately bring comparisons like Mazzy Star, The Smiths and others — while continuing a string of songs that pair dark and moody lyrics with upbeat sounds.  As the duo says in press notes, “‘Sunday’ is a favorite of ours in the album. It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically, it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”

 

 

 

Eric Sharp is a Los Angeles, CA-based electronic music producer, artist, DJ and promoter, who has developed a reputation for being one of the most accomplished tastemakers on the West Coast. As a DJ/producer and electronic music artist, he has a reputation for crafting intelligent, sophisticated house music that could comfortably fit at an intimate private party, at the club and at massive festivals simultaneously. And with material that ranges from deep and nuanced to the driving and syncopated, the Los Angeles, CA-based producer and artist has had his music licensed by Major League Soccer, SonyCSI: Miami, Hitachi, and others.

2010 saw the launch of Sharp’s label Rock It Science Laboratories, a label and platform for like-minded producers and artists, many of whom played at the warehouse parties he tirelessly promoted. Eventually, Sharp retooled his focus from underground warehouse parties to major club residencies and appearances on the festival circuit — including Coachella, Outside Lands, Amsterdam Dance Event, Decibel Festival, SXSW, Symbiosis Gathering, Miami Music Week and others. Interestingly, a growing profile in the electronic music scene coincided with a relocation from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and as a result he found himself collaborating with a number of his new hometown’s up-and-coming artists including Anna Lunoe, Daisy O’Dell, Siouxsie Black and George Cochrane on his 2013 EP Sharp Cuts.  Additionally he has remixed the material of Melanie Martinez, Jars of Clay and others, which have expanded his profile.

Last year, Sharp ramped up his output of original music significantly, releasing collaborations with Capital Cities’ Spencer Ludwig and up-and-coming artist Gavin Turek and others and it has continued well into 2017 with a number of Hype Machine chart topping songs.  Building upon the release of Hype Machine #1 track “Take This Time,” feat. Zhao, Sharp’s latest single “Night Turns To Day” is a shimmering and mid-tempo house track featuring arpeggiated synths, thumping and stuttering drum programming and a sinuous hook paired with Somme‘s sultry vocals — and much like Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves Sharp’s latest single possesses an bracing iciness while managing to walk the tightrope between chill out session and club banger.

 

Throughout the course of the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born, longtime friends, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo currently split their time between London, UKGothenburg, Sweden, Berlin, Germany and Australia, the duo have known each other since the were teenagers; but their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also musicians, began to serious pursue music a few years ago and enlisted the help of Benjamin to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” a track that received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts,  “Don’t Talk About You,” which seemed to channel Mazzy Star covering  Fleetwood Mac but with a lovelorn ache, and the Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much” among others, the critically applauded blogosphere darlings recently announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced full-length debut Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. Along with that they released their latest single, the first official single from the forthcoming album, the shuffling, 60s girl group pop-like single “Hideaway,” which pairs Kendrick’s sultry cooing with a lushly layered production featuring jangling guitar chords, shimmering strings, a propulsive backbeat and soaring hooks. Unsurprisingly, there’s a careful and deliberate attention to craft that brings to mind the aforementioned Phil Spector but with subtle, modern flourishes.

Much like the duo’s previously released singles, the duo’s latest single focuses on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships — in this case, as the duo notes, “The song is about feeling like you’ve been completely transparent with someone only to realize they haven’t truly let you in.” And as a result, the song bristles with a bitter sense of betrayal and confusion underneath the gleaming and upbeat surface.

filous is the solo recording project of an up-and-coming and somewhat mysterious. 20-year-old, Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker known as Percy. Interestingly, the young Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker can trace the origins of his music career to a lifelong, incessant curiosity and need for discovery: when he was 10, he became proficient in dozens of instruments — and he immersed himself in a number of far-flung influences and sounds, including progressive jazz, country, bluegrass and black metal. However, he can trace the origins of his latest musical project to when he began teaching himself electronic music production via YouTube tutorials and experimenting on his own — with many of his earliest remixes coming from the artists he discovered while learning electronic production.

Since then, the up-and-coming Austrian has managed to amass over a quarter of a billion streams across YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify as a result of 11 Hype Machine number 1s and his debut EP Dawn topping the iTunes electronic charts in over 9 countries, including Switzerland, his native Austria, India and Russia — primarily as a solo artist. But after spending the past couple of years living and writing in Vienna, helping to push the city’s growing electronic music scene into new directions, the young producer eventually began to open up to collaborating with others, with the end result being his latest EP, For Love, which features a batch of his first co-written tracks, including the EP’s latest single “Already Gone,” which finds the Austrian producer collaborating with singer/songwriter Emily Warren, who has written songs for and has collaborated with The Chainsmokers and FRENSHIP.

Sonically, the song features Warren’s plaintive and delicate vocals ethereally floating over a production featuring arpeggiated synths, softly plucked acoustic guitar and gently swirling electronics paired with a soaring hook; but what makes the song interesting to me is that filous’ production manages to be simultaneously intimate and cinematic, radio-friendly and make-out session necessary.

 

 

Over the past few months, Anna of the North, an up-and-coming Norwegian/Aussie (by way of New Zealand) electro pop duo, comprised of Gjøvik, Norway-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based producer Brady Daniell-Smith have quickly added themselves to the lengthy list of mainstay artists on this site.  And as you may recall, the duo’s debut single “Sway,” began an incredible run of attention grabbing, blogosphere dominating singles that have accumulated more than 60 million streams across all the streaming services, multiple number 1 spots on Hype Machine’s charts and regular rotation on BBC Radio 1, Triple J and Beats 1, thanks in part to the duo’s unique sound and aesthetic, which pairs a brooding, icily Nordic minimalism with bright, buoyant New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere-inspired pop — and doing so while being both club and radio-friendly.

Lovers, the duo’s full-length debut is slated to drop today and unsurprisingly, the album’s material focuses on heartbreak, in particular, the typical emotional stages people feel after a relationship ends — i.e., turmoil, grief, confusion and the tentative pangs of joy in letting yourself start moving forward with your life. But along with that, there’s the recognition that knowing and having love, including its inevitable heartbreak is necessary and wonderful, all because you will know them both over and over again in your life.

“Always,” Lovers‘ latest single is a swaggering yet breezy track that simultaneously draws from 80s synth pop and contemporary pop as it features a production consisting of swirling, ambient electronics, layers of shimmering arpeggio synths, stuttering beats, a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook, and while further cementing their reputation for crafting breezy and infectious pop, the song is under-pinned by two conflicting emotions — the bitterness of being and feeling as though you’re someone’s second or third option when you’ve been faithful and the triumphant feeling of knowing that you’re about to move on with your life from a shitty situation.

New Video: The Mischievously Surreal Visuals for Geowulf’s “Drink Too Much”

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past year, you’d recall that I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

With the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

The recently released video for “Drink Too Much” is cinematic and feverish vision, featuring the duo at the pool of a resort — but instead of being surrounded by the expected young, lithe, buxom and beautiful, the duo is surrounded by a collection of middle-aged retirees with way too much time on their hands. And while initially suggesting a slowly creeping dread, the video turns mischievously surreal as the members of the duo lead a poolside dance party; but underneath there’s a wistfulness for the passing of yet another summer. 

Comprised of longtime friends Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih, the Orlando, FL indie pop duo SALES can trace its origins to when Morgan and Shih met in high school Latin class. In fact, as the story goes, the duo bonded over a mutual love of pop music and despite coming from completely different musical backgrounds — Shih was an electronic music artist and producer, who learned to play guitar while Morgan was a punk rock guitarist, who learned how to use Ableton and other programming, essentially finding a way to synthesize their influences into a familiar yet unique sound. However, SALES didn’t start in earnest until 2012, when the duo invited their friends to like their music page. They then released their debut single “renee,” and split the costs on the first pressing of their 7 inch vinyl single “renee”/”tonka time.” Quickly building upon the buzz they started to receive, the duo self-released and self-promoted a series of singles (i.e., “chinese new year,” “getting it on” and “vow“) before releasing their 2014 debut EP, which was released to critical praise from the likes of Hype Machine, who named them “Ones to Watch,” Pitchfork, and from BBC Radio 6.

The Orlando, FL-based duo self-released their full-length, self-titled debut last year and because of the strength of their previously released singles, as well as album singles “ivy,” “big sis” and “jamz,” the Floridian pop duo have amassed more than 33 million streams. Pretty impressive for a fiercely independent and DIY-leaning band, who write, record, mix and master all of their material in their bedroom studio.

“Talk a Lot,” the duo’s first single of this year, is also the first bit of new material they’ve released since their full-length debut, and as the duo’s Lauren Morgan mentions in press notes, their latest single was produced with “a few new toys.” But interestingly enough, the single will further cement the Orlando-based duo’s reputation for crafting breezy and infectious pop that’s incredibly heartfelt and gushingly earnest — and in an age of sneering irony, and disingenuous, pre-packaged pop product, played on your multi-national conglomerate radio station, the Floridian duo are a welcome breath of fresh air.

The Orlando, FL-based duo will be embarking on a lengthy tour throughout the fall. Check out tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates 

SEP 14 / DENVER, CO / Globe Hall
SEP 17 / LOS ANGELES, CA / The Echo
SEP 20 / SAN FRANCISCO, CA / Great American Music Hall
SEP 22 / KALAMAZOO, MI / Audiotree Music Festival
SEP 23 / CHAMPAIGN, IL / Pygmalion Festival
OCT 3 / ATLANTA, GA / The Masquerade
OCT 5 / HOUSTON, TX / The Secret Group
OCT 6 / SAN ANTONIO, TX / Paper Tiger
OCT 7 / AUSTIN, TX / Barracuda
OCT 8 / DALLAS, TX / Club Dada
OCT 9 / NORMAN, OK / Opolis
OCT 12 / TALLAHASSEE, FL / Club Downunder
NOV 30 / SEATTLE, WA / Neumos *
DEC 1 / VANCOUVER, BC / Biltmore Cabaret *
DEC 3 / PORTLAND, OR / Aladdin Theater *
DEC 6 / SANTA CRUZ, CA / The Catalyst *
DEC 8 / SAN DIEGO, CA / The Irenic *
DEC 14 / PHOENIX, AZ / The Rebel Lounge
* w/ Chaos Chaos

Earlier this year, I wrote about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UKGothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

Now, as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

Comprised of Gjøvik, Norway-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based producer Brady Daniell-Smith, Anna of the North is an up-and-coming Norwegian/Aussie (by way of New Zealand), can trace their rather unlikely origins back to 2012. As the story goes, Lotterud was working in a  shop in her small town, just outside of  Oslo, and was settling down with her first love, anticipating a life of routine, normality and banality when a customer came in and changed her life. Polite, well-groomed and worldly, this stranger began making daily visits, browsing the shop’s wares but never buying anything. One afternoon, this customer suddenly approached and implored Lotterud to abandon the traditional life she had planned to set out and expand her horizons. This woman’s plea jolted something very deep in Lotterud, and in an act of rather uncharacteristic spontaneity she booked a flight to Australia, leaving her life and her partner behind.

The time Lotterud spent in Australia was both personally fulfilling and incredibly turbulent. She fell in love again, only to have her heart broken as suddenly and inexplicably as her decision to leave Norway and relocate to Australia was, but coincidentally around the same time, she managed to meet her then-future producer and collaborator Brady Daniell Smith. Smith, was also struggling with his own complicated relationships and was performing as an acoustic/folk singer-songwriter in Melbourne. Serendipitously, Lotterud, who was with a group of friends, caught Smith performing at a local cafe. After his set, Lotterud and Smith chatted and quickly became friends  — with Smith encouraging his newfound friend and soon-to-be collaborator to find solace from her heartbreak in songwriting; after all through making music, the duo could exorcise the ghosts of their past love lives. And although the project developed from serious circumstances, its name is actually derived from an in-joke between the two: Smith would frequently refer to Lotterud as “Anna of the North” and the name stuck.

Sway,” the duo’s debut single was released three years and it began an incredible run of attention grabbing, blogosphere dominating singles that have accumulated more than 60 million streams across all the streaming services, multiple number 1 spots on Hype Machine‘s charts and regular rotation on BBC Radio 1, Triple J and Beats 1, thanks in part to the duo’s unique sound and aesthetic, which pairs a brooding, icily Nordic minimalism with bright, buoyant New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere-inspired pop — and ultimately, the duo manages to craft material that’s both incredibly radio and club friendly.

Lovers, the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length effort is slated for a September 8, 2017 and unsurprisingly, the album’s material thematically focuses on heartbreak, in particular, the typical emotional stages people feel after a relationship ends — i.e., turmoil, grief, confusion and the tentative pangs of joy in letting yourself start moving forward with your life. Along with that, there’s the recognition that knowing and having love in your life, including the inevitable heartbreak is necessary and wonderful, because you will know it again and again and again.

Interestingly, album title track “Lovers” found the duo pairing a production featuring layers of shimmering synths, bouncy beats and a soaring hook with Lotterud’s tender and aching vocals, expressing a desperate an urgent longing that’s frustrated and can’t be fulfilled. “Money,” the third and latest single from the duo’s soon-to-be released debut is a breezy, radio friendly pop track featuring shimmering synths and a soaring hook paired with Lotterud singing an impassioned take-down of people who are driven by material goods — and while being among the most decidedly warmest songs they’ve released to date, there’s a subtle, underlying snarl and venom to the song.

“Fire,” Lovers latest single features a slick, radio and club-friendly production featuring twinkling, arpeggio synths, African-inspired percussive polyrhythm,  finger snaps, ambient electronics and a soaring, anthemic hook paired with Lotterud’s sultry crooning expressing an urgent and carnal desire. And while being one of the more seductive songs the duo has released to date, sonically the song manages to be reminiscent of When The Night-era St. Lucia and Zonoscope-era Cut Copy while retaining the buoyant and breezy quality that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and elsewhere; but underneath is a subtle hint of the bitterness and recrimination that one feels when they feel as though they’ve been — or about to be — betrayed.

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the up-and-coming Norwegian/New Zealand-Australian indie electro pop duo Anna of the North, and if you may recall, the duo comprised of Gjøvik, Norway-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based producer Brady Daniell-Smith can trace its unlikely origins back to 2012. As the story goes, Lotterud was working in a shop in her small town, just outside of  Oslo, and was settling down with her first love, anticipating a life of routine, normality and banality when a customer came in and changed her life. Polite, well-groomed and worldly, this stranger began making daily visits, browsing the shop’s wares but never buying anything. One afternoon, this customer suddenly approached and implored Lotterud to abandon the traditional life she had planned to set out and expand her her horizons. This woman’s plea jolted something very deep in Lotterud, and in an act of rather uncharacteristic spontaneity she booked a flight to Australia, leaving her life and her partner behind.

The time Lotterud spent in Australia was both personally fulfilling and incredibly turbulent. She fell in love again, only to have her heart broken as suddenly and inexplicably as her decision to leave Norway and relocate to Australia was, but around act time, she met her future producer and collaborator Brady Daniell-Smith. At the time, Smith, who was also struggling with his own complicated relationships was performing as an acoustic singer/songwriter in Melbourne and in a serendipitous moment, Lotterud had managed to catch Smith performing at a local cafe, while she was with a group of friends.  Smith and Lotterud quickly became friends — with Smith encouraging his newfound friend and soon-to-be collaborator to find solace from her heartbreak in songwriting with the idea that by making music, they could both exorcise the ghosts of their past love lives. Interestingly enough, the project’s name actually derives itself from an in-joke between the two — Smith would frequently refer to Lotterud as “Anna of the North” and the name stuck.

Three years ago, the release of their debut single “Sway” began an incredible run of attention grabbing, blogosphere buzzing singles that have accumulated more than 60 million streams across all the streaming services, multiple number 1 spots of Hype Machine‘s charts and rotation on BBC Radio 1, Triple J and  Beats 1. And that shouldn’t be surprising as the duo manages to pair a brooding, Nordic-influenced, icy minimalism with a bright, buoyant, New Zealand and Southern Hemisphere-inspired synth pop — and they do so while being incredibly dance floor friendly.

Now as you may recall, Lotterud and Smith’s highly-anticipated full-length effort Lovers is slated for release on September 8, 2017 release, and the album reportedly focuses on heartbreak — in particular, the various emotional stages people typically feel after a relationship ends, including turmoil, grief, confusion, and the tentative joy in letting yourself start moving forward. Of course, along with that there’s the recognition that knowing love, including its inevitable heartbreak is necessary and wonderful because it opens up the possibility to know love once more. In fact, album single “Lovers” found the duo pairing a production featuring layers of shimmering synths, buoyant almost rubbery beats and a soaring hook with Lotterud’s tender and aching vocals, expressing a desperate an urgent longing that’s frustrated and can’t be fulfilled.

“Money,” the third and latest single from the duo’s soon-to-be released debut is a breezy, radio friendly pop track featuring shimmering synths and a soaring hook paired with Lotterud singing an impassioned take-down of people who are driven by material goods — and while being among the most decidedly warmest songs they’ve released to date, there’s a subtle, underlying snarl and venom to the song.