Tag: indie rock

New Video: Denmark’s Twin Dive Releases a Surreal Visual for Mosh Pit Friendly Single “Holly”

Over the course of this past year, I’ve written a bit Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock act Twin Dive. And as you may recall, the Danish alt rock act formed back in 2018 when its founding duo of Robert Jancevich (vocals, guitar) and Ragnar “Raggi” Gudmunds (drums)  met and bonded over a mutual passion for all things rock ‘n’ roll. Since then, the band has split their time between the studio and live gigs honing and polishing their sound while releasing material that has been compared favorably to Foo Fighters, The Hives and others. During that same period, Charlotte Mortensen (bass) joined the band, helping the band bolster their sound. 

Building upon a growing profile in their native Denmark and across Scandinavia, the band played at this year’s Spot Festival, which caught the attention of Drowned in Sound, who picked the band as one of the best acts of the festival — and they just recently finished a tour of Finland with Finnish act Ursus Factory. Earlier this year, I wrote about the grungy “Animal,” a track that recalls 120 Minutes-era alt rock — i.e., Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and the like — while thematically, the song was about knowing and taming one’s inner animal. 

The rapidly rising Danish trio’s latest single “Holly” continues a run of grungy, power chord-driven material that draws from 120 Minutes-era alt rock. In fact, because of an arrangement centered around heavily pedal effected and jagged power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals the band’s latest single may arguably be the most indebted to Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana of their entire catalog — but at its core. the song explores the unending battle between our sense of self and our ego in a way that’s partially ironic. 

Directed by Mark Vesterlund, the recently released and incredibly cinematic video is a surreal fever dream featuring a troupe of older Asian women doing traditional dances to the song — and while it’s an odd juxtaposition, the visual is meant to leave the interpretation of its message and meaning to the  viewer. 

New Video: The Still Tide Releases an Intimate and Mischievous Visual for Shimmering and Introspective “Keep It”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about Anna Morsett, an Olympia, WA-born, Denver-based singer/songwriter, musician and creative mastermind behind the up-and-coming indie rock act The Still Tide. And as you may recall, Morsett’s work as The Still Tide has largely been inspired by her experiences growing up in the Pacific Northwest, living in Brooklyn in her 20s and traveling the world as a guitar tech for the likes of critically applauded acts like Kaki King, The Tallest Man on Earth and The Devil Makes Three among others. As a solo artist, she has landed opening spots for Cat Power, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats and Margaret Glaspy.

Her latest Still Tide EP Between Skies is slated for a January 20, 2020 release through Mod y Vi Records and the effort is largely inspired by the duality she regularly experiences as a magnetic frontwoman and a self-described introspective loner — with the material touching upon love, loss, opportunities won and lost and the closed doors of our lives. So far I’ve written about two of the EP’s previously released singles: The shimmering, The Smiths and Pretenders-like “Change of Address,” an introspective song centered around the sense of loss and defeat after the embittering end of a long-time relationship that also managed to be imbued with a sense of hope over new starts — and the swooning “On The Line,” a song was written about her own experiences of being in a long distance relationship that managed to capture the longing, ache, hope and anxiousness at their core.   

“Keep It,” the EP’s third and latest single continues a run of shimmering and introspective guitar pop, centered around sharp and infectious hooks, and earnest songwriting rooted in lived-in, personal experience. “‘Keep It’ is about a relationship running its course and the aftermath of the split; how these two try to sort themselves out afterwards,” shares Morsett. “The hope that despite all the mess of the breakup that we keep our hearts open, keep our health and carry ourselves well. I also tried to highlight that weird feeling of watching that person who was once YOUR person go through a tough time but knowing that it isn’t your place to help them through it anymore. That perhaps it’s almost unkind to try to intervene with help in that space of a breakup as helping may just prolong emotional pain. Especially if you were the one to cause it – to break it off –in the first place.”

Directed and produced by Jonah Hart, the recently released video for “Keep It” is an intimate look behind-the-scenes of the video’s filming and of a promotional photo shoot that finds Morsett stretching and morphing from introspective and shy loner to self-assured frontperson — but with a mischievous sense of humor. 

I’ve written quite a bit about Swedish-born singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist producer and JOVM mainstay Sofia Härdig throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history. And as you may recall, the Swedish-born JOVM mainstay’s career began in earnest at a very young age:she began playing in bands when she nine and even began touring, eventually playing a solo set at CBGB’s. Years later, as an adult Härdig has been hailed the rocktronica queen of experimental music in her native Sweden, developing an uncompromising commitment to a truthful artistic approach. “I find beauty in flaws and that which is not perfect is what excites me, I love the unusual, the unexpected, untrained and unplanned… I hope my music portrays that in its sound,” Härdig says about her approach in press notes.

Adding to a growing profile in her native Sweden and elsewhere, Härdig has collaborated with Swedish Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob Hund, BoredomsFree Kitten’s Yoshimi P-We and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson. She’s also shared stages with No Wave pioneer Lydia LunchIkue Mori, John Tilbury and a list of others.

Härdig’s recently released, fourth album This Big Hushfinds the Swedish-born singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay moving away from the deliberate electronic-based sound of her previous work and towards a gritty and raw, old-school rock sound. “I recorded this album with the band in less than three days live in Tambourine Studios in Malmö,” Härdig says of the recording process for This Big Hush. “The vocals were all done in one day, a lot of them are even kept from the original live take. Part of the process is that my electronic demo making has become so thorough and time-consuming that they have been good enough to be released. Since they are out in the world and out of my system, I can break free and do something different with the band, and not the same thing all over again. We never play the same tempo, same length, they follow me where I lead them… this is THIS BIG HUSH”

Infatuation,” This Big Hush‘s fist single was written to pay homage to post-punk pioneers like Siouxsie and the Banshees — but the decidedly riff driven song seemed to Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, Marc Bolan/T. Rex and Horses-era Patti Smith, complete with an enormous, arena rock friendly hook. “I built this song on a riff that I really loved, building up a groove and then adding backing vocals and playing percussion with whatever I found lying around in the studio and studio kitchen,” the Swedish-born JOVM mainstay said in press notes of the song’s creation. “I used film reels, a serving bowl from IKEA, egg, yar, a knife and fork, to creating an overall feeling of skating down Sunset Boulevard in a Mohikan with a ghetto blaster on your shoulder.”

Radiant Star,” This Big Hush‘s second single was slow-burning and jangling bit of guitar pop that brings Pretenders and the aforementioned Patti Smith to mind. “It was made during many endless nights,” Härdig says in press notes, “on my own and in my studio and also with the band on some more hectic days. Then a lot of other endless days and nights in the studio producing it. My own take of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’; a song I learned as a 3-year old on the grand piano we inherited from my grandmother.”

“Silence,” This Big Hush‘s third and latest single is a slow-burning, lush song that recalls the emotional intensity and lyricism of Patti Smith and Nick Cave with an enormous arrangement centered around jangling guitars, twinkling keys, dramatic drumming, a soaring hook and a gospel-style backing vocal section and what may arguably be one of  Härdig’s most emotionally direct vocal performances in some time.

Eva Lawitts is a New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been both a session and touring musician for the likes of Vagabon and Princess Nokia. Lawitts is also known for being one-half of the production and engineering team at Brooklyn-based Wonderpark Studios.

Lawitts’ recording project Stimmerman finds the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer stepping out into the limelight as a solo artist — and as a musical force to be reckoned with. Interestingly, Lawitts’ Stimmerman full-length debut Goofballs is slated for release at the end of the this year. And as the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer explains in press notes, “the album is more or less about loss and survivor’s guilt: it’s a meditation on a friend’s fatal overdose at a young age through that lens. Side A of the album focuses on looking back at the environment in which our friendship started — pressures imposed on chidden to be successful, growing up too fast in all the wrong ways, and the often debauched nature of our great and terrible adolescence here in Brooklyn. Side B centers me more as an unreliable narrator, and features songs about grief and culpability in a close friend’s death, some of which are, I believe, misguided.”

“The name ‘Goofballs’ is twofold,” Lawitts continues. “I think this album recaptures some of the sense of humor my other projects have had that the first Stimmerman EP lacked, and of course, there is the drug allusion — ‘Goofballs’ meaning barbiturates or any cocktail thereof.” 

Goofballs‘ second and latest single “It Shows” is built around a classic grunge rock song structure — alternating quiet verses and loud choruses, featuring enormous, arena rock friendly power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to Bleach-era Nirvana, PJ Harvey and others, the song evokes the uneasy internal struggle of its narrator, a character, who simultaneously strikes out against themselves and others, to no avail or satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

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Over the better part of the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based post-punk JOVM mainstays Russian Baths. And as you may recall, with the release of their debut EP Penance, the band — Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner — quickly established a reputation for crafting a brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock-like sound.

Building upon a growing profile, Russian Baths will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Deepfake through Good Eye Records next week.  Reportedly, the album finds the members of the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays pushing a sound long rooted in juxtapositions to its extreme:  feedback and dissonance seem to swallow softly whispered harmonies, arpeggiated synths and booming 808 like drumming are paired with angular and shrieking guitars, propulsive drumming and motorik-like grooves.

Often centered around surgical imagery, the album’s material touches upon themes of personal regret, cultural guilt, reflection on systems in collapse — and while evoking the zeitgeist of the moment, the material alternates between voices seemingly so close that they seem in the room right beside you and at other times, from an impossible distance. So far I’ve written about two of the album’s previous singles. The album’s first single was the aggressively abrasive “Tracks,” which to my ears was one part post-punk, one part noise-rock and one part shoegaze that evoked the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust of someone, who has frequently been forced to ask difficult questions of themselves and their relationships with others. The album’s second single “Responder” found the band crafting an atmospheric track with elements of shoegaze, post-punk, brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock and Western Gothic in a way that brought Shadow on Everything-era Bambara to mind.

Interestingly, Deepfake‘s third and latest single “Wrong”  may arguably be the most grunge rock-like song rebased from the album to date, as it’s centered around alternating quiet-loud-quiet sections, featuring fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. Sonically, the song manages to evoke a slow-burning and seemingly unending sense of dread and unease of a world going impossibly mad before your eyes.

 

New Audio: All Them Witches Release an Enormous Prog Rock-like Single

After the release of last year’s critically applauded album ATW, the Nashville-based psych rock act All Them Witches went through a massive lineup change, which has resulted in the band’s most pared down lineup in their entire history — Charles Michael Parks, Jr (bass, vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar, vocals) and Robby Staebler (drums, vocals). And although it’s stereotypically expected for a bands with pared down lineups to release more restrained and even quieter work, All Them Witches’ latest standalone single, the self-produced “1X1” finds the band employing a muscular, prog rock-like leaning sound, complete with scorching guitars, thunderous drumming, distorted vocals and enormous arena rock friendly hooks.  Interestingly, the track may arguably be one of the heaviest of the band’s growing catalog. 

Lyric Video: Post Animal Releases Shimmering Dance Floor Friendly New Single

With the release of last year’s self-produced, critically applauded full-legnth debut, When I Think of You In  A Castle, the Chicago-based prog pop act Post Animal — Dalton Allison (bass, vocals), Jake Hirshland (guitar, keys, vocals), Javi Reyes (guitar, vocals), Wesley Toledo (drums, vocals), and Matt Williams (guitar) — received attention nationally for a kaleidoscopic, guitar-heavy sound. Interestingly,  “Safe or Not,” the first bit of new material from the act since the release of When I Think of You . . . is a bit of a change of sonic direction for the Chicago-based act, as the track finds the band employing a dance floor friendly sound centered around shimmering guitars, four-on-the-floor drumming and glistening synths, a sinuous base line, a motorik-like groove and a mind-bending and expansive song structure. 

“We wanted to leave the content more open ended for the listener to navigate, but it’s about self reflection,” the members of Post Animal explain in press notes. “We played around with more somber, serious lyrical content over a particularly dance-oriented song to juxtapose how one may feel internally versus how they’re outwardly portraying themselves in the moment.”

Post Animal recently released an aptly hallucinogenic lyric video to accompany the song.

Although their name to many of us may recall the obnoxious and announced telemarketing call, the Athens, GA-based act Telemarket conceptualized their name from a conjured and mesmerizing vision reminiscent of the sound they’ve developed — a sort of marketplace of noises, delivered from afar over muted and hazy signals all twisting and tumbling into a pulsing mass of indie rock energy with melodies driftingly vaguely out of chugging power chords.

Inspired by that vision, Adam Wayton (vocals, guitar) formed the Athens-based indie rock act with his University of Georgia Music Business program classmates Hunter Pinkston (bass,  guitar) and Jack Colclough (drums) in 2017. By the following year, the trio wrote and recorded their debut EP, What’s Behind You, a five song effort released through Wayton’s and Pinkston’s Avenue Noise and Sound.

Since the release of their debut EP, the band added Will Anderson (organ, synths) and enlisted the help of Will Wise, who produced their soon-to-be released sophomore EP You deserve a hard day’s work after a long night’s rest. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the fuzzy and gauzy, 120 Minutes alt rock-like “Woke Up on Time.” Centered by an infectious hook and some clear-eyed lyricism, the song manages to evoke the half-remembered and hazy feeling of waking up in the morning and having to rush out to work.