Tag: Hype Machine

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.

 

 

 

I’ve written quite a bit about Stockholm, Sweden-based indie electro pop act Club 8 throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history. The act, which features Labrador Records label head and incredibly prolific and eclectic producer and electronic music artist Johan Angergård and vocalist Karolina Komstedt has a long-held reputation for being difficult to pigeonhole sonically: With the release of their debut album 1995’s Nouvelle, the duo initially was a Bossa nova-inspired pop act. However, with 1998’s The Friend I Once Had was a decided sonic left turn for the duo. with the material primarily being electro pop and electronic dance music.  The duo’s next three albums, which were released between 2001 and 2003 found them dabbling in old school soul.

2017 began an incredibly prolific and busy period for Angergård: his solo recording and production project The Legends released an album; Djustin, his collaboration with Rose Suau released their full-length debut Voyagers; and Club 8 released their ninth album Lost. Now, some time has passed since I’ve last written about the Stockholm-based JOVM mainstays — but this year has been busy for the acclaimed duo. They released a single earlier this year that landed on Hype Machine‘s Top 5. And following up on the momentum of that single, the duo’s latest track “The Hospital” may arguably be the most industrial/goth-leaning bit of material they’ve released in some time. Centered around thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths and Komstedt’s breathy and ethereal vocals, the club banging track manages to subtly recall the likes of Depeche Mode and Soft Metals. And while being a dance floor friendly anthem, the song finds the duo at their most contemplative: the song’s narrator is in a hospital bed, acutely aware that the end may be near — but desperately hoping that it isn’t.

 

 

 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Noosa, Australia-born, London-based indie pop duo and JOVM mainstays Geowulf. The act, which is comprised of longtime friends Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin have known each other since they were teenagers; however, their musical collaboration is a much more recent development that can be traced to when Kendrick enlisted the assistance of her old friend Benjamin, to flesh out some of her early demos.

The duo then released a string of highly successful, critically applauded singles that began with “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s Top Ten and landed at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts, continued with the Mazzy Star meets Fleetwood Mac-like “Don’t Talk About You,” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much” and  the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,;” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” before the release of their Duncan Mills-produced full-length debut, last year’s Great Big Blue.

Building upon their rapidly growing international profile. the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album My Resignation is slated for an October 25, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings. The album reportedly finds Geowulf’s Kendrick writing arguably some of the most brutally honest lyrics of the band’s growing catalog to date. Written from the perspective and lens of a 20-something women trying to maneuver the weight of expectations put upon by others and herself, the album touches upon heartbreak and loneliness — in particular, leaning how to accept and love the space and much-needed self-awareness it can provide. As a result, the album and its material finds the duo maturing and attempting to maneuver the complexities and uncertainties of adulthood with their dignity and sanity intact. And if that feels familiar to you, it should. We’ve all been there at some point or another, and we’re still struggling through it all.

My Resignation‘s fifth and latest single, album title track, the deliberately crafted pop confection “My Resignation” is centered around a Phil Spector Wall of Sound-like production consisting of shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s gorgeous vocals expressing regret, weariness and hope for a new start simultaneously. “‘My Resignation’ inspired the name and the theme of the album,” the band’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. It summed up a lot of the years before — resigning from old habits and relationships. Creating space for new things and learning to let go. Toma and I feel proud of the song and had a lot of fun writing and finessing it. I originally wrote the demo on holiday in Sweden, so it came back to London with me, where Toma and I worked on it some more.”

Geowulf will be returning to North America to embark on a handful of tour dates throughout November. The tour will include a November 11, 2019 stop at Mercury Lounge. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

NORTH AMERICAN DATES:
11/7/2019 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
11/8/2019 – Toronto, ON – Drake
11/11/2019 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11/13/2019 – Los Angeles, CA -Moroccan Lounge
11/14/2019 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
11/15/2019 – Seattle, WA – Barboza

New Video: DENM Releases an Ode to Summer and Southern California

Back in 2015, the emerging pop artist DENM was a bedroom producer, playing in a touring band full-time and producing songs on the side in his spare time. “My solo project basically started out as something to do when I was bored on tour,” DENM says in press notes. “We would all have our computers out, making our own music for fun on the road. I remember making this random dance song in the back row of a sprinter and thought it sounded pretty cool. I played it for a few friends and label people, and when they demanded to hear more, I took it to heart.” 

That dance song eventually became his critically applauded and commercially successful debut single “Lit,” a single that Pop Crush called “a garage house-y ode to hedonism and the rush of infatuation.” Within a month of its release, “Lit” amassed over a million streams and landed on the Top 10 of Spotify’s and Hype Machine’s Viral and Hot New Electronic Charts respectively. “Honestly, I just got super lucky,” DENM admits. “I didn’t make the song with the intention of it getting the reaction that it did. I was blown away by how well it did, but it also became somewhat of a curse to me. The people around me at the time wanted to hear more songs just like ‘Lit.’ But that wasn’t who I was or wanted to be as an artist. I’m not really an EDM artist. And I wanted to make music I truly believed in. Unfortunately, not everyone around me understand that, which left me stuck in this tension of wanting to be myself as an artist, but also not wanting to let my team down.” 

Since the release of “Lit,” DENM has been busy discovering who he is an artist, a lengthy process that at one point had him contemplating quitting music altogether. But instead of immediately quitting, he wrote “Life’s Too Short.” “When I wrote ‘Life’s Too Short,’ I had no money, nothing was working, and it seemed like I’d hit the final wall,” DENM shares.  “So as a form of therapy, I wrote a song about how life is too short – how it all flies by so fast. I mean, I remember being a little kid like it was yesterday. And now I’m an adult. Just like that. I’d been so focused on trying to make it, that I wasn’t even enjoying my life. So I decided to try and change my mindset. I let go. I told myself that I was going to be alright. That whatever will be, will be.”

Shortly, after writing “Life’s Too Short,” DENM was in a one-off writing session at Rock Mafia with some of the music industry’s biggest hitmakers. And as the story goes. when he was asked what he had been recently working on, he played a demo of “Life’s Too Short.” The industry folks dug the song, praising his laid-back, yet honest take on life. “Meeting them was life-changing for me,” recalls DENM. “I was so burned out from making music I didn’t like for other people. I told Rock Mafia how hard it was to write and create music under that kind of pressure. They simply responded, ‘Well, what kind of music do you wanna make?’ That question shifted something in me. It gave me this spark of hope inside. The energy in that room felt magical as we listened to the demo of ‘Life’s Too Short.’ I guess that’s where it all started for us. That’s when everything in my life began to change.”

Last year, DENM signed to Rock Mafia as an artist, songwriter and producer. Shortly after signing to Rock Mafia, the production team and the up-and-coming indie artist began working on his recently released Endless Summer EP.  Interestingly, the EP’s latest single, “Blow It Up” is a breezy summertime jam, centered by twinkling and reverb drenched keys, a sinuous bass line, a slick yet infectious hook and DENM’s laid back yet earnest delivery. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Sublime, the song is a subtly anthemic ode to hanging with your crew, getting high and escaping the shiftiness of your own life for a little while at least. Certainly, it’s a familiar theme for an uncertain and uneasy adulthood, which so many of us go through. 

The recently released video is a trippy and fitting ode to all things Southern California as you see DENM and his crew getting stoned under purple skies, playing craps and drinking beer. Others start a barbecue while local kids skateboard nearby. It’s the perfect ode to summer, as yet another year rushes by. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Releases a Shimmering and Self-Assured Pop Gem

I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf over the past few years. Comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin, have known each other since they were teenagers; however, their musical collaboration is a relatively recent development that can be traced to when Kendrick enlisted the assistance of her old friend to flesh out some of her early demos. 

The duo released a string of highly successful, critically applaud singles that included “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s Top Ten and landed at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like “Don’t Talk About You;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much;”  the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,;” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” the JOVM mainstays released their Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last year.

Building on the growing profile, the duo’s highly anticipated sophomore album My Resignation is slated for an October 25, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings, and the album finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays collaborating with acclaimed songwriter and producer Justin Parker on a number of tracks. Reportedly, the album finds Kendrick writing arguably some of the most brutally honest lyrics of the duo’s growing catalog to date. In fact, the material thematically focuses on loneliness — in particular, learning how to accept it and love the space and self-awareness it can provide. But naturally, the material is written through the lens of a 20-something woman trying to maneuver the weight of the expectations put upon by others and herself. Along with that, the album also deals with heartbreak. Of course that all should sound familiar and it should because all of us have been there at some point or another. In other words, the album finds the duo maturing and attempting to maneuver the complexities and uncertainties of adulthood with their sanity and dignity intact. 

My Resignation’s fourth and latest single “Lonely” is an incredibly self-assured bit of radio friendly and sugary pop, centered around jangling guitars, atmospheric synths, thumping drumming and Kendrick’s sultry crooning, but the song finds its narrator coming to a profound realization — that it’s better to be lonely and find yourself than to be lost and lonely with someone else. The song’s narrator also seems to be growing more confident within herself and within her own skin. It’s arguably one of the most mature and adult sentiments the duo have put to wax so far. 

“In a way, ‘Lonely’ epitomizes a lot of what this album means to me . . .” Geowulf’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “A bold and welcomed acceptance of myself and my own company. Feeling less and less like I need the approval of others. That’s one of the many nice things about getting a bit older.” 

The recently released video was shot on grainy Super 8mm film and it features Kendrick is a sparsely arranged room, wearing a gorgeous red, satin gown with matching veil. As she sings the song to herself, she takes off the gown and completes the song in just a plain bra and pair of panties. Essentially, the video finds Kendrick disposing of superficialities to get to the heart of the matter — her growing comfort with herself. 

New Audio: Aussie JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Release a Warmly Atmospheric and Deceptive Pop Confection

I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf over the past couple of years, and as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin have known each other since they were both teenagers. However, their musical collaboration began when Kendrick, who grew up in a rather musical home started to seriously pursue music a few years ago. Kendrick enlisted the help of her old friend to help flesh out some of her early demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles that included “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s Top Ten and landed at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like “Don’t Talk About You;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much;”  the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,;” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” the JOVM mainstays released their Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last year.

Building on the growing profile, the duo’s highly anticipated sophomore album My Resignation is slated for an October 25, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings, and the album finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays collaborating with acclaimed songwriter and producer Justin Parker on a number of tracks.Reportedly, the album finds Kendrick writing what may arguably be the most brutally honest to date with the album touching about loneliness — in particularly, learning to accept it and to love the space it provides; but viewed through the lens of a 20 something trying to maneuver the weight of the expectations put upon by others and upon themselves. The album also touches upon heartbreak, growth and self-actualization. In fact, in some way, the material finds the duo maturing and trying to maneuver the difficulties and complexities of adulthood.

“I See Red,” My Resignation‘s first single was a subtle expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere. While employing the use of shimmering synths, the track is primarily centered around jangling guitar lines, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s crooning — and while sounding incredibly self-assured, the song comes from a deeply personal and lived-in place. “‘I See Red’ was written after an argument with my sister,” the duo’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “The song was a realization that you are only ever your most raw, horrible self when you’re with the people you love to death and who love you.

I have been very proactive over many years in going to therapy, talking openly about mental health and have constantly taken steps to control emotions, moods and even my temper – having a family history of mental illness, this is something my siblings and I have had a lot of awareness about.This song is about that process and what I’ve learnt. The ebbs and flows of trying to be the best version of yourself.”

My Resignation’s latest single “Round and Round” continues a run of sugary  pop confections, centered around warmly atmospheric synths, shimmering acoustic guitar, Kendrick’s imitable crooning and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to the material off their debut with a subtle nod to Slow Air-era Still Corners, the track was actually written in an extremely negative headspace and environment as it seethes with frustration over the narrator’s repetitive patterns. “I was frustrated with maybe a lack of self-control and an inability to break patterns in my life… In a few areas,” Geowulf’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “This song is my way to poking holes in how I handled that. The rest of the album follows a similar, emotional narrative, and is all about exploring those old things & how I’ve tried to leave them behind.”