Tag: indie synth rock

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pleasure Motel Releases a Sensual Visual for Thumping and Propulsive New Single

Dave Tudi is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been the creative mastermind behind a number of musical projects I’ve written about throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history. His latest project, Pleasure Motel is a minimalist synth pop project with a sleazy and menacing, industrial-leaning sound that recalls Ministry, early Nine Inch Nails and Suicide. 

Tudi’s latest Pleasure Motel single “Love Songs” continues a run of minimalist and propulsive tracks centered around arpeggiated synths, relentlessly thumping beats, an infectious hook and mantra-like lyrics delivered with an icy and ironic detachment. Unlike his previous released Pleasure Motel work, “Love Songs” may arguably be among the sleaziest and most debauched songs of his growing catalog. And if doesn’t stir lust deep in your loins and in the reptile brain, there’s something wrong with you. 

The recently released video is split between sensual, black and white stock footage of young couples making out and hooking up, and sleazy red-filtered footage of a sunglasses wearing Tudi singing the song’s lyrics. The visual manages to continue the project’s DIY ethos  — cheap, fast, sleazy.  

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New Video: Froth Releases a Lysergic Visual for Minimalist “77”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk, Lodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

Directed by Shane McKenzie, the recently released, lysergic visual for “77” is centered around glitchy, neon-colored, VHS glitchiness. “We’ve known Shane McKenzie (Shake Chime Zen) for a long time, he’s always doing analog projections at shows around LA. We liked his VHS vibe and thought it would be fitting for the ’77’ video. He was able to match the analog glitchiness of the song with the way he processed the video. Other than that, it was inspired by scenes from The Eric Andre show and some of R. Stevie Moore’s VHS videos.”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era KraftwerkLodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

The members of Froth are currently on the road, touring to support the new album and the tour includes a July 3, 2019 stop at Elsewhere’s Rooftop with A Place to Bury Strangers doing a DJ set. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

# = w/ Black Marble
* = w/ Versing
% = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers DJs (DJ Set)
$ = Release Show w/ Adult Books

6/7: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room, Desert Daze Presents $
6/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse *
6/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
6/21: El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz *
6/22: San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light *
6/23: Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
6/24: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/25: Houston, TX @ Satellite *
6/26: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe *
6/28: Madison, WI @ UW-Madison *
6/29: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival *
6/30: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
7/2: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong *
7/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop * %
7/5: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom *
7/6: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/7: Toronto, ON @ Baby G *
7/8: Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
7/10: Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag *
7/12: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall *
8/23: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Fuzz Club Festival

Formed last year, the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Cynister features Cynnie Jane (vocals) and two mysterious members, who wear black and white masks respectively.  The act’s debut single “Stuck” reveals a band, whose sound is centered around elements of arena friendly, power chord-based heavy rock, thumping trap beats and enormous, rousing hooks paired with Cynnie Jane’s powerhouse, pop belter vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Paramore and Garbage, the song as the band’s Cynnie Jane explains in press notes “is about anxiety and sadness can feel like a trap, like prison walls closing in on you. Whether triggered by heartbreak or otherwise, racing thoughts and self-deprecating attitudes can be really difficult to control once they take ahold of you. This can be very destructive, and it’s something that many of us struggle with. With this song, our hope is for people to understand that they’re not alone in dealing with these emotions. We all go through it.”

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays White Lies Release Anthemic New Single Paired with Gorgeous and Cinematic Visuals

London-based indie trio White Lies’s aptly titled, fifth, full-length album Five is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings, and while marking the trio’s tenth anniversary together, the album reportedly finds the British pop trio pushing their sound in new and adventurous directions paired with arguably some of the most deeply personal and intimate lyrics of the band’s entire catalog. Unlike its predecessors, the writing and recording process was Transatlantic, and included a trip to Los Angeles, where they worked on new material with Ed Bueller, who produced the band’s chart-topping debut To Lose My Life and their third album Big TV. Throughout the process, the band enlisted past associates and collaborators to assist on the proceedings including engineer James Brown, who has worked with Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters; the renowned producer Flood, who contributes synths and keys on a couple of tracks; and Grammy Award-winning Alan Moulder, who has worked with Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and The Killers to mix the album.

Now, as you may recall, the Snow Patrol-like album single “Time to Give,” was an ambitious song that clocked in at a little over 7 and a half minutes, and was centered around a lush yet moody arrangement of shimmering synths, a propulsive motorik groove, Harry McVeigh’s sonorous baritone and an arena rock-friendly hook — but underneath the enormous hooks was a song that focuses on a dysfunctional and abusive relationship from a real and lived-in place. In fact, the song feels so lived-in that it bristles with the bitterness and hurt that comes from being in a relationship in which you’ve left broken, fucked up and confused. “Believe It,” continued in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor as it’s full of enormous, arena rock friendly hooks while bearing a resemblance to Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears, Jef Barbara and Joy Division/New Order.

“Tokyo,” Five’s latest single continues a run of rousingly anthemic singles centered around enormous hooks, arpeggiated synths, razor sharp grooves and McVeigh’s inimitable vocals. And while the song reminds me of Tears For Fears’ “Shout,” “Change” and “Everybody Wants to Rule The World,” the song will remind the listener, that the British trio have an unerring and uncanny ability to write a triumphant, arena rock-like song. 

The recently released, gorgeously shot video for “Tokyo” was directed by long-time visual collaborator David Pablos and was shot back-to-back with the video for previously released single “Believe It,” in Tijuana, Mexico late last year. As the band explains in press notes “Once again we were lucky to work with David in Tijuana to create what is our best video since ‘Death’. His unique knowledge of the area affording us access into some of the city’s most stunning and bizarre locations helps bring to life his vision of stories of love and loss. Where in the world would you be able to film a scene of the band sat on a 4-story high nude woman? Tijuana, that’s where apparently and resulted in our favourite collaboration with him yet.”

Pablos adds  “As soon as I heard the song I knew I wanted to shoot the video during night time. Everything starts with us seeing scenes of life through windows from the outside, but once we go inside we discover nothing is exactly what it looks like or what it appears to be. Each window is a metaphor; more than a real space it is a representation of a mental state. But more than portraying the city, what was important was the human face and to capture the personalities of each one of the characters.”

New Video: Future Generations Hook-Driven 80s Synth Pop Take on Indie Rock

Currently comprised of longtime friends, including founding trio Eddie Gore (vocals, keys, guitar), Mike Sansevere (synths, guitar, percussion) and Eric Grossman (guitar), with newest members Devon Sheridan (bass), the Brooklyn-based indie act Future Generations can trace their origins to when its founding members met while attending Fordham University. The trio of Gore, Sansevere and Grossman wrote and recorded an EP that included their breakthrough single “Stars,” which caught the attention of Frenchkiss Records before they had finished school. And as a trio, they also quickly wrote and recorded their 2016 full-length, self-titled debut. Interestingly, Sheridan, was invited to join the band after Gore met him while waiting in line at a school dance — while Wells was a lucky Craigslist find. 

After graduating, the members of Future Generations moved to Brooklyn, where they quickly split their time between music, their day jobs and hanging out — and live together. “Some people might think, ‘Don’t you guys get sick of each other?’ But even though we live together and work on music together and tour together, I don’t ever feel like I’ve had too much of anybody,” Gore says in press notes. As he notes, the Future Generations home life is always kept colorful by the band members’ varying obsessions. “Eric loves good food, he’s always cooking these very intricate things for us,” says Gore. As for the others, “Devon is always illegally streaming NBA games and Dylan is very talented when it comes to betting on horse races.”

Released earlier this year, the Brooklyn-based indie quintet’s Justin Garish-produced sophomore album Landscape is the first recorded output with the band’s full-lineup finds the band expanding upon their sound with some free-form, mischievous experimentation that included recording guitar riffs and guitar lines from the receiving end of phone calls, using a vintage synthesizer called the Fun Machine, building percussion tracks by sampling a batch of drum circle recordings with a deliberate attention to a greater emotional intensity — while retaining the pop-leaning, hook-driven sensibility that won the band attention across the blogosphere. “The title partly came from ending the first significant relationship of my life, and with the band’s move to Brooklyn, we were all put into this world we’d never experienced—living on our own and navigating the landscape of being in New York City,” the band’s Eddie Gore explains in press notes. Making this album was the most creative time we’d ever experienced together,” Gore adds. “I remember after the ninth day of recording, we were all walking to the subway together to go home, and we just stopped and looked at each other like, ‘This is crazy, what’s happening here.’ It was this euphoric experience; the energy in the studio was completely palpable.”

Landscape’s latest single is album title track “Landscape,” a track centered around a lush, arpeggiated synth line, propulsive yet skittering percussion and a rousingly infectious hook that nods a bit of post-punk, 80s synth rock and contemporary indie rock but with an earnest look at themselves, their lives and their relationships as they get older — and as life becomes much more uncertain and confusing.

Directed by Kenny Polyak and Drew Lewis, the recently released video for “Landscape” mischievously draws from the opening sequences of bad 80s and 90s sitcoms — particularly Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers. As the band says of the video treatment ““You know that feeling when you’re two hours into a YouTube session and you come across a legendary Sizzler commercial from the 90s and you decide your next music video has to be a tribute to it? Thats how this all got started.”

 

With a handful of singles and their full-length debut Vaporwave, the Washington, DC-based indie electro rock and synth pop sextet Color Palette, comprised of Jay Nemeyer (vocals, guitar), Josh Hunter (guitar, keys, bass), Matt Hartenau (drums), Rogerio Naressi (keys) and Maryjo Mattea (vocals) received attention both locally and internationally from the likes of NME MagazineUSA Today, NPR and Impose Magazine— and adding to a growing profile, the band has shared bills with  Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr. Little Jeans, The Kickback, Spirit Animal, VanLadyLove and others.

Up until late last month, some time had passed since I had come across the DC-based sextet but as you may recall, the band had been busy working on their sophomore album, which is currently slated for release sometime next year — and the album’s first single “Sunburn,” was a breezy and anthemic track centered around shimmering and jangling guitar lines, ethereal electronics and a soaring hook paired with a wistful vocal that evokes the passing of summer, and the impending end of another year. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Chelsea” is a synth-based track that some have compared favorably to Depeche Mode, although to my my ears, the song recalls St. Lucia as the members of Color Palette layer of arpeggiated synths are paired with angular and hanging guitar chords, an a propulsive rhythm section — and while much like its predecessor, the song reveals a band that can craft a razor sharp and infectious hook, “Chelsea” may arguably be the most ambitious, arena rock friendly track they’ve written and released to date.

 

Sam Arion is an Iranian-born, Toronto area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, and the creative mastermind behind Mute Choir. Raised in the Toronto suburbs of Richmond Hill and Newmarket, Arion left the ‘burbs when he turned 18 to seriously pursue a career in music. Eventually, Arion had a glimpse of success as a part of a band that signed to a major label, and although countless young musicians across the world would salivate over such an opportunity, Arion quickly saw that the demands of the situation ran counter to his own musical and creative philosophy. And for the Iranian-born, Toronto area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, the only solution was to make a clean break and take full command over his artists output with his own solo recording project — Mute Choir.

Behind the Bars Arion’s self-produced Mute Choir full-length debut was primarily written and performed by the Iranian-born Canadian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer himself. “I’d say that 98% of this album was made by me alone on my laptop at 3 a.m.,” Arion admits in press notes. “I’m not a great drummer so I had to get a friend to do that, but I wrote all his parts. As soon as I started playing music when I was 13, I immediately wanted to learn how to produce because I never wanted to be in a situation where someone else was telling me how my music should sound. What’s most important to me is not feeling like I’m faking it, not just with music but all aspects of my life. That’s what this album represents most—it’s a true expression of who I am.”

Interestingly, Arion has dubbed his sound “post-electronic” as a nod to a split musical personality as a balladeer and experimentalist; in fact he admits that his songwriting has almost always been a bit melancholy but that incorporating electronic music elements became almost like meditation, as it has allowed him to lose himself in the music. “Growing up in a generation musically dominated by EDM, I saw how powerful the ability to make people dance can be,” Arion says. “It brings music into the physical realm. I want to bring that out in people, I want people to lose themselves in the music the same way I did making it, but not necessarily as a means of escape. It’s also very important to me to have lyrical content and themes that also allow listeners to think and reflect on their lives.” Thematically speaking, the album reportedly focuses on freedom — particularly, the freedom to live your life however you choose, and the freedom to follow your creative vision wherever it leads. Of course, in order to develop and have a concept of freedom, there has to be the experience of its direct opposite, so the album in some way also focuses on that dichotomy and how it clashes in one’s personal and creative life.

Behind the Bars‘ latest single “Election Season” is an anthemic bit of electro rock/synth rock that immediately brings to mind Empire-era Kasabian — but within an expansive song structure centered around bombastic hooks, arpeggiated synths, thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a sinuous bass line that features a gorgeous and cinematic string arrangement before building up to a cathartic cacophony. It’s the rare song I’ve heard this year that’s both dance floor friendly and mosh pit worthy but underneath the self-assured swagger is some thoughtful and ambitious songwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: SSHH Returns with a Club Banging Industrial Electronica-Influenced New Single Paired with Trippy Visuals

Comprised of Bondi, Australia-born, London UK-based Sssh Liguz (vocals) and Zak Starkey, the son of Ringo Starr, a multi-instrumentalist, best known as a touring drummer for The Who and Oasis (guitar), the London-based electro punk duo SSHH received attention with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Issues, which featured the duo collaborating with some of rock’s most renowned rhythm sections, including members of The Sex Pistols, Mott the Hoople, the backing bands of Marilyn Manson and Peter Tosh — to benefit charity.

The propulsive, industrial techno-like single “Rising Tide” which features heavily arpeggiated synths with thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an infectious hook is the duo’s first bit of new material since Issues and the club banger was born, as Liguz told Earmilk “from a fiery argument” while “driving in a heavy rainstorm.” “I remember being furious beyond belief. Not only because we were having a huge fight, but because even though we were acting like assholes to each other, I couldn’t stop thinking how much I loved him,” Liguz recalled. “Just like I couldn’t stop the rain from falling, or the stars from shining, I just can’t stop loving this man!” Liguz continued, “There is anger in the happiness and a little hate in the love. At the end of the day, passion rules.” And as a result, the song possesses a raw and unbridled tension at its core, influenced by the tempestuous push and pull between love and hate in a fiery and passionate relationship.

BMG released the single globally today, and the single comes with 7 additional remixes and re-workings of the tracks, including re-workings by the likes of YOUTH, Sondrio, Acaddamy, Secret Space, Jevo,  and the members of SSHH.

Co-directed by the band and Billy Zammit, the recently released video for the song manages to subtly draw from rave and electronica culture, as well as psych rock, as it features the duo performing the song in strobe lights and projections.