Tag: indie rock

Over the past couple of months on this site, I’ve written a bit about the  Oklahoma City, OK-based indie rock/psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE — and as you may recall, the band, comprised of primary songwriter and founding member Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), along with Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), can trace their origins to when Hamm, Blythe, Brewer and Belk met while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Although each member comes from a vastly different musical background and influences, their sound manages to be a seamless convergence of their influences including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others, while thematically their material focuses on lost love, heartbreak, the unknown and inevitable life experiences.

With the release of their debut EP Hiraeth, an effort that focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the members of the Oklahoma City-based quartet toured extensively across the Midwest last year, eventually winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.” Building upon the buzz the members of Space4Lease have released a batch of singles off their forthcoming EP Drifting: Must Be Something” one of the first singles I wrote about, was a lush single reminiscent of  JOVM mainstays  Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others but bristling with a sense of endless possibility  that can only come from being on the road, and seeing the world open up before your eyes. “Lately,” struck me as drawing from classic, Quiet Storm-era R&B, blue-eyed soul and indie rock in a way that reminds me of Milagres’ exceptional first two albums Glowing Mouth and Violent Light — and much like the material off of those albums, there’s the push and pull of infatuation, lust, love and heartache at the core of a confusing relationship.

Drifting‘s latest single “I Tried Calling” is a slow-burning track that pairs Hamm’s plaintive vocals paired with a lush and haunting arrangement featuring twinkling keys, guitars fed through a series of atmospheric effects — and much like the preceding singles, it’s a deeply personal song that focuses on the frustrating yet necessary ups and downs of a maintaining a relationship and the lingering ghosts of the person you’re no longer with, and of the relationship that’s over.  But what makes the song interesting is that it comes from the perspective of someone, who has a lot more to say to a partner (or ex-partner in the case), who doesn’t seem all that interested in hearing it, and as a result, the song has an underlying bitterness — the bitterness that comes from having a relationship fail and not knowing how or why it happened.

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Throughout the course of 2015, I had written quite a bit of about the currently Los Angeles-based, Sudbury, Ontario-born multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter Jennie Vee. Growing up in a small, rural Ontario town, the young Jennie Vee was the rare “goth” girl, who loved New Wave, post-punk and goth, which began when a friend introduced her to the Manchester sound. Vee relocated to England, where she began writing songs and later spent stints in Nashville and New York, where she settled down to write and record her debut LP, as well as played her first solo gigs. And while in NYC, she met a number of creators and influential folks including visual artist Katrin Albert, who produced a series of videos to accompany Jennie Vee’s music; Grammy Award-winning producer Chris Lord-Alge, who later remixed a song from her debut LP; and Courtney Love, with whom she toured with in her backing band, and who quickly became a very dear friend.

Following up on the buzz around her full-length debut, Vee wrote, recorded and released the exceptional Spying EP, which featured a gorgeous and sensual cover of Echo and the Bunnymen‘s “Lips Like Sugar,” and further established her a solo artist, who specialized in a hook-driven shoegaze and New Wave-like guitar pop paired with lyrics that frankly focus on themes of heartbreak, loss, loneliness and death.

Suffer EP is the follow-up to Spying and the EP, which is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through WaxRomantix Records was written and recorded after she spent the spring of 2015 playing bass with Courtney Love, during Love’s Endless Summer Tour, which featured Lana del Rey. And since then Vee has opened for the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, Manic Street Preachers and The Darkness, and recently joined Eagles of Death Metal. “Hospital Bed,” Suffer‘s latest single is reportedly a deeply personal song that explores the mixed feelings of guilt, anger, and the difficult and painful decisions one faces while watching a loved one struggle with addiction — while sonically, the song will further cement her reputation for hook-laden and swooningly earnest guitar pop with some gorgeous guitar work.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Jamie Batten (vocals, guitar) Charlie Gardner (guitar, synth), David Sherry (bass) and Omri Covo (drums), the London, UK-based indie rock/shoegazer quartet Honey Lung have quickly exploded into national scene as they’ve received airplay and cosigns from BBC Radio 1′s Huw Stephens and Radio X‘s John Kennedy, and have played at The Great Escape, Reading and Leeds Festivals.  And when you hear the London-based quartet’s latest single “Stuttering Mind,” you’ll see why the up-and-coming band has built up such buzz around them: Honey Lung specializes in the sort of anthemic, power chord-based guitar pop that could have been released in 1993, complete with a soaring hook and some dexterous, psychedelic-tinged guitar work.

 

Comprised of Tom Barr (vocals, guitar), Lachlan Banner (drums), Matt Pownall (guitar, vocals) and Stanley Braddock (bass, vocals), the Leeds, UK-based quartet Party Hardy can trace their origins to when the band’s founder Tom Barr came up with the idea of the band at his house with his buddies Banner, Pownall and Braddock las year. And within their first year together as a band, the British quartet have quickly developed, refined and developed a sound that locals have dubbed as “Blur meets surf rock with a bit of Beach Boys shoved up its arse.” Along with that, the band has also developed a growing reputation for their live set, as they’ve opened for the likes of Trudy & The Romance, Mouses, Bruising, Diet Cig, Cowtown, INHEAVEN and The Magic Gang, among others.

2017 has been a big year for the band as they’ve released two attention grabbing singles “Friendly Feeling” and “Jobs,” which have quickly helped add the band to a growing list of Leeds-based bands receiving attention across the blogosphere, and with the release of their third and latest single of the year, “Mindchanger,” you’ll see why, as the band specializes in walking the tightrope between dreamy and shimmering guitar pop and explosive, power chord-based, anthemic rock, complete with a shout worthy, mosh pit friendly chorus.  Interestingly, as the band explains in press notes “‘Mindchanger’ is an ode to the experiences felt by the parents of the youth of yesterday, Played out through the perspective of a parent struggling with the difficult nature of an anxty (sic) teen, the song takes the listener through a journey of their own personal past, with a new meaning easily discovered upon each listen.”

 

 

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve come across a couple of posts featuring  Leeds, UK-based indie rock/post-punk quintet AUTOBAHN. And you may recall that with the release of 2015’s debut effort Dissemble, the British quintet comprised of Craig Johnson (vocals) Michel Pedel (guitar) and Gavin Cobb (guitar), Daniel Sleight (bass) and Liam Hilton (drums) received attention both nationally and across internationally for a sound that was influenced by Joy Division and their legendary producer  Martin Hamett; in fact, the band has openly admitted that they wrote and recorded the album imagining what Hannett would have done with them in the studio. However, as the story goes, sometime before they were about to write and record the material, which would comprise their forthcoming sophomore full-length effort The Moral Crossing, the members of the band decided to give up their long-held practice room, which had doubled as a hardcore punk venue, and build their own space.

They found a former double-glazing firm under a disused bridge in Holbeck, Leeds’ red light district and despite having no real experience building a studio from scratch, they undertook the job. And after finishing the studio, the band’s Craig Johnson then taught himself how to produce and record an album — with the boring desire to create their own sound and be in control of their own artistic vision.  “I was down there nearly every night,” Johnson recalls. “It was pretty horrible at times, but worth the pain to have control over everything. We’ve had the chance to create the sound we want, at times it’s more melancholic, and romantic.” Of course, as they went about changing their overall sound, the band went through a change in songwriting approach, in which they went through a deliberate and painstaking process, where they constructed songs piece-by-piece as they went along rather than working to revise already created songs, as they previously did. . Lyrics came about at the end, and thematically the material finds the band focusing on birth — but in a way that emphasizes that the person “had no choice in the decision. And then it’s about the different outcomes that could happen, Which could be glorious or torturous,” Johnson explains in press notes.

Last month, I wrote about album title track “The Moral Crossing,” a single, which revealed that the band went though a bold and forceful new direction — and while retaining the angular attack of their previously released singles and of Martin Hammett-era Joy Division, the single finds the band crafting some of their most ambitious material to date, as it possesses the swooning and antehmic hooks reminiscent of Snow Patrol paired with prog rock and arena rock-like sensibility. “Future,” The Moral Crossing‘s latest single features familiar, post-punk angular guitars, four-on-the percussion, soaring synths and a rousing hook before dissolving into noisy chaos but where there are similarities between this single and its predecessor, the biggest difference to my ears is that this track reminds me quite a bit of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO or in other words, as though it comes from some brutal and ridiculous post apocalyptic future that kind of resembles our own.

Over the course of this site’s seven year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and in that same period, the members of the band have built a growing national profile, as the’ve played at some of the country’s biggest and best known festivals, and have opened for a lengthening and impressive array of renowned bands, including The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes. And along with that, over the past few years, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays have also developed a reputation for being rather prolific — starting with 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language, Dead Leaf Echo promptly followed that up with 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die and a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which retained their towering, wall of sound-inspired production, while nodding at RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain among others.  Released earlier this year, the band’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

Recorded at Mexican Summer’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based studio with Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht, Dead Leaf Echo’s long-anticipated, sophomore full-length effort, Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, finds the band continuing to refine the sound that they’ve recently dubbed “noveeau wave”, a moody and shimmering mix of shoegaze and layered guitar pop, and as you’ll hear on Beyond.Desire‘s first, official single “Temple,” the single continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as featured layers of shimmering power chords paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. But interestingly enough, much like their previously released material, the album is a something of a concept album, as the material reportedly is based on themes of maturation and growth beyond pure, animal lust and physical need; in fact “Temple” is an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion.

The band will be embarking on a number of tour dates to build up buzz to support the new album, and then to support it and int includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory.

Tour Dates 
9.15: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9.16: Hattiesburg, MI @ The Thirsty Hippo
10.7: Kingston, NY @ O Positive Festival
10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

Coincidentally, the last few posts over the past 12 hours or so have been focused on long-time JOVM mainstays — and interestingly enough, the  London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors came back into my radar again, as they’re building up buzz for a brief Stateside tour that will include two NYC area dates at Rough Trade — September 18, 2017 and September 19, 2017 — and for their soon-to-be released fifth studio album, aptly titled V, which is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through  Wolftone Records/Caroline Records.

And while being the first batch of new material from the London-based JOVM mainstays, the Paul Epworth-produced album reportedly finds the band experimenting and expanding upon their sound — the album’s first official single “Machine” seemed to have the British indie rock quintet incorporating elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream with abrasive, industrial electronica, along the lines of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks to craft what may arguably be one of the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog. “Something to Remember Me By,” V’s second single was a propulsive, trance-inducing, dance floor-friendly track featuring a sinuous bass line paired with shimmering and cascading layers of synths, four-on-the floor drumming and a soaring hook in a song that nodded at Get ReadyWaiting for the Siren’s Call and Music Complete-era New Order, complete with a swooning romanticism.

“Weighed Down,” V‘s moody, third single nods at dub and dubstep and features a pulsing yet tweeter and woofer rocking electronic beat, squalling and squelching feedback, soaring keys, cosmic ray-like bursts and a hazily lysergic bridge before ending with an ethereal coda. Interestingly, while the song strikes me as a trippy yet fitting synthesis of the sound of Skying and Luminous but while revealing an expansive and experimental bit of songwriting with the band focusing on creating and sustaining a particular mood, much like Interpol‘s Antics.

The Horrors currently have three Stateside dates, and it includes two NYC area dates — September 18, 2017 and September 19, 2017 at Rough Trade. Check out the dates below.

The Horrors U.S. Tour Dates

Sep 16 Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland Block Party

Sep 18 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC

Sep 19 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its seven-year history, you’d know that I’ve written quite a bit about the Grand Rapids, MI-based psych rock quartet and JOVM mainstays HEATERS. And as you may recall, the band, which formed back in 2014 quickly received a growing national and international profile with their attention grabbing appearance on Stolen Body‘s Vegetarian Meat psych rock compilation. The Grand Rapids, MI-based quartet quickly followed up with the Solstice EP, released through Dizzybird Records and the  “Mean Green” 7 inch.  Renowned, Brooklyn-based indie label Beyond Is Beyond Records released their full-length debut Holy Water Pool to critical applause throughout the blogosphere back in 2015. And with each successive recorded effort, the band began to firmly cement a reputation for crafting a spacey, motorik-like take on West Coast, 60s psych rock and garage rock.

As you may recall, after the release of their sophomore effort Baptistina the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band’s founding members Nolan Krebs and Joshua Korf are currently paired with newest recruits Ryan Hagan and Ben Taber. And interestingly enough “Seance,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming third album Matterhorn retains the gorgeously shimmering guitar lines, propulsive, motorik-like groove and enveloping sound that first caught the attention of this site and the e rest of the blogosphere; however, there’s a noticeably different energy and vibe to the proceedings — simply put, “Seance” reveals a band with a swaggering self-assuredness within what arguably may be their most expansive and ambitious songwriting. Matterhorn‘s second single “Thanksgiving II” continued along a similar vein as its predecessor, as it prominently featured the band’s propensity for crafting tight, motorik grooves paired with shimmering guitar lines and ethereal vocals. But while the song may be among the most trance-inducing they’ve released, it’s also one of the more arena friendly songs they’ve written and released to date, with the song slowly unfurling to reveal its creators’ ambitious and expansive songwriting.

“Kingsday,” Matterhorn‘s third and latest single while possessing the stalwart elements of their sound — towering and shimmering layers of guitar chords and ethereal vocals and a trance-inducing, lysergic vibe, but within its four minute run time, the song reveals an expansive song structure consisting of four subtle yet discernible movements connected by a chugging motorik groove — and interestingly enough, the song may arguably be one of the most decidedly 60s influenced songs they’ve released in quite some time.