Tag: Interscope Records

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Tame Impala Releases a Shimmering Disco-Tinged Examination of Nostalgia

I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink over the past decade — yes, decade — covering the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop project Tame Impala. Now. as you may recall Parker’s third album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough. Released to overwhelming and wide-ranging critical applause across the blogosphere and elsewhere, the album was Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified effort that reflected a decided change in direction for Parker’s songwriting and sound: the material  featured some of  his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with an nuanced and textured sound that draw from psych rock, psych pop, prog rock, synth pop and R&B. 

Slated for a February 14, 2020 release through Interscope Records, The Slow Rush reportedly conjures the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by you while you’re looking at your phone. Thematically, the album focuses on the rapid passing of time and the unending cycles of creation and destruction in life.  “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it,” Parker told the New York Times last year.

Last year Parker released the first batch of new Tame Impala material in over four years — “Patience,” a decidedly upbeat banger that seamlessly bridged 90s house and 70s funk while being a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life and “Borderline” a blissed out, shimmering mid-tempo track with house music flourishes and a razor sharp hook. Unofficially, those two tracks were the first two singles off Parker’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated fourth album, The Slow Rush. Parker closed out last year with the release of “It Might Be Time,” a swaggering prog rock meets psych pop banger, centered around layers of shimmering  synth arpeggios, thumping beats,  an anthemic hook and Parker’s plaintive vocals.  

The Slow Rush’s fourth and latest single “Lost in Yesterday” is a woozy and hallucinogenic  disco-tinged banger centered around a propulsive and sinuous bass line, shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a cathartic and soaring hook and Parker’s plaintive vocals. While sonically the song seems to continue a run of glistening and decidedly 80s inspired synth bangers, the song thematically finds Parker exploring time’s distorting effect on memories. Given enough time, nostalgia gives even the most embittering times in your life a bit of a rosy tinge, and a sense of purpose and meaning that you didn’t feel while experiencing it. At it s core, the song is a plea to break the urge to look back with rose colored glasses and live in the here and now.   

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Throughout the bulk of this site’s nine-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, best known for his acclaimed psych pop/synth pop recording project Tame Impala. Now, as you may recall Parker’s third full-length album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause, the album was a Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified effort that reflected a decided change in songwriting and approach that featured emotionally direct lyrics paired with an increasingly nuanced and textures sound that drew from psych rock, psych pop, synth pop, prog rock and R&B.

Earlier this year, Parker released the first bit of new Tame Impala material in over four years — “Patience,” a decidedly upbeat banger that seamlessly bridged 90s house and 70s funk while being a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life and “Borderline” a blissed out, shimmering mid-tempo track with house music flourishes and a razor sharp hook. These two tracks were unofficially the first two singles off Parker’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated fourth album, The Slow Rush. Slated for a February 14, 2020 release through Interscope RecordsThe Slow Rush reportedly conjures the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by you while you’re looking at your phone. Thematically, the album focuses on the rapid passing of time and the unending cycles of creation and destruction in life.  “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it,” Parker told the New York Times earlier this year.

“It Might Be Time,” the album’s latest single is centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a rousingly anthemic hook and Parker’s plaintive falsetto. And while being a swaggering prog rock meets psych pop banger, the song possesses an underlying sweaty paranoia about getting older and being forced to accept a sad and fateful inevitability — that you’ve lost it and not as cool as you used to be, and that maybe you were never really cool in the first place. If you haven’t had this moment yet, you will. Trust me.

 

 

New Video: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Announce Their Long-Awaited Second Collaborative Album and Release a Cinematic Visual for “Crime Pays”

Born Fredrick Jamel Tipton, the Gary, IN-born emcee and JOVM mainstay Freddie Gibbs initially signed with Interscope Records in 2006 and after recording his full-length debut with the label, the Gary, IN-born emcee was dropped as a result of the label’s management changing hands — and the album was subsequently shelved; however, with the release of 2009’s The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, a prolific series of mixtapes and his 2013’s full-length debut ESGN (Evil Seeds Grow Naturally), Gibbs quickly established a reputation for being a talented lyricist and narrative-based storyteller with an imitable, gruff flow. 

Gibbs’ work largely focuses on street shit and hustling but unlike most of his peers, who take on exaggerated, superhuman personas and describe tales in which their heroes always win, Gibbs pulls the showbiz curtains aside with a frank and unvarnished honesty and realism. His characters inhabit a world much like own, full of gritty, almost Darwinistic struggles in which men and women do evil things to others to get by, fully aware of the fact that they’re paving roads to their own unique, fucked up hell.  And as a result, the Gary, IN-born JOVM mainstay became a go-to collaborator, working with an impressive list of artists and producers including Young Jeezy, Juicy J, Philadelphia Freeway, Dom Kennedy, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Big K.R.I.T., Cardo, DJ Burn One, Speakerbomb, Block Beattaz, Beatnick and K-Salaam, Chip tha Ripper, The Cool Kids‘ Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, Krayzie Bone, SpaceGhostPurrp, Jadakiss, Kirko Bangz, Jay Rock, Curren$y and others. 

Five years ago, Gibbs teamed up with Madlib, arguably one of hip-hop’s dopest, most inventive and prolific producers on the critically and commercially successful Piñata, which landed at #38 on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the US Top Rap Albums Charts. At the time of its release, I compared Piñata to Small Professor’s and Guilty Simpson’s collaboration Highway Robbery as both albums were the result of a shared artistic vision that channelled golden era hip hop.

In 2016 Madlib announced that he would be working with Madlib on their second album together Bandana, and that many of the rejected beats he auditioned for Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo would appear on the new album. Gibbs and his manager later confirmed that on Twitter. During that same period, the Gary, IN-born JOVM mainstay was busy with the release of his third solo album, 2017’s You Only Live 2wice and last year’s Fetti, a collaborative album with Curren$y.

Interestingly, three years after its initial announcement, the long-awaited Bandana is slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Keep Cool Records, RCA Records, Madlib Invazion and ESGN. Earlier this year, Gibbs and Madlib released Bandana’s first single, the album title track “Bandana,” which featured dancehall artist Assassin. Bandana’s second and latest single “Crime Pays” is centered around a Roy Ayers-like shimmering, old-school 70s jazz soul sample and Gibbs gruff and imitable baritone dexterously rhyming about the street shit and hustling that he’s well-known for, but underneath that is the bitter recognition that you can roll the dice so many times before hitting snake eyes at some point. 

Directed by Nick Walker, and starring Gibbs as himself, Zoe Neal as Farm Girl, John Pistone as Farm Guy 1, Mazen Shehabi as Farm Guy 2 and Benedikt Sebastian, the recently released video for “Crime Pays” is set on a farm in the seemingly fiction Mt. Kane. Gibbs’ character is a farm owner, who owns a massive property with three male helpers, who he cajoles and chides endlessly for being lazy, slow, stupid and so on. In fact, Gibbs’ character is so rich that he owns horses and zebras — but the video slowly reveals that they’re running a drug scheme that involves stashing loads of drugs in hay for delivery and distribution elsewhere. Gangster as fuck, indeed. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pond’s Bittersweet Ode to Small Pleasures When the World is Ending

Over the past handful of years of this site’s almost nine-year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed psych pop act POND fronted by its Perth, Australia-based mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jay Watson, along with Nicholas Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Jamie Ireland. With the project’s first three albums —  2009’s Psychedelic Mango, 2010’s Frond and 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim found POND’s sound moving from straightforward psych rock to a decidedly pop leaning sound.

Since then, Watson and company have released a series of critically applauded albums include 2017’s The Weather, which both continued the project’s ongoing collaboration with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and further cemented the band’s reputation for crafting trippy yet accessible pop. Now, as you may recall, Watson and company released “Burnt Out Star,” the first bit of new material from the Perth Australia-based psych pop act in some time and the expansive track managed to nod a bit at at Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and VI-IX” but centered around the aforementioned shimmering synths and propulsive beats, making it deceptively arena rock friendly. Interestingly, that track was informally, the first single off POND’s forthcoming album Tasmania, an album conceived as a sort of sister missive to its predecessor. 

Slated for a March 1, 2019 release through Interscope Records, the new album is reportedly a dejected and heartbroken meditation on planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame and responsibility, love, blame and empire. And while coasting on an undercurrent of the restless, anxious dread we’re all desperately feeling, the material instead of wallowing in self-pity also reportedly encourages the reader to celebrate the small things — frolicking in the ocean, rolling around in the grass, the sweet feeling of being in love and so on, while we still can. “Daisy,” the album’s latest single and opening track beings with a mournful string-led introduction, before the curtain is opened, and the track turns into a shimmering, synth pop-based, power ballad centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line and Allbrook’s ethereal falsetto. The track sees Allbrook imagining his childhood friends and family in the Kimberly region in chains — whether rightfully so or not, is up to the listener; but the track toys with the idea of bitterly retreating to Tasmania to lick their wounds. But there’s also the recognition of retreating just before everything gets fucked up beyond recognition. 

Directed by Jesse Taylor Smith and featuring aerial cinematography by Joseph Ryan, the recently released video for “Daisy” was shot in the lands of the Kulin and Nyoongar Nations — but it suggests the ruins of a country and civilization from its hubris and greed with the bandmembers enjoying some small pleasures — playing with a beloved dog, daydreaming on a lazy summer day. Sometimes small pleasures are the only thing we can cling to when everything is on fire. 

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Teen Singer/Songwriter Billie Eilish Performs on Vevo LIFT

16 year old Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and pop artist Billie Eilish can trace the origins of her musical career to when she joined the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus whens he had turned 8. And while with the Children’s Chorus, Eilish perfected and honed her vocal talents. Interestingly, as the story goes, when she turned 11, she began writing and performing her own songs, much like her older brother Finneas, who had been writing and performing his own songs with a band he had formed some years before. In 2015, the sibling duo had written and released two songs SoundCloud — “sHE’s brOKen,” and “Fingers Crossed” for fun and to have their friends listen to.

As the story goes, late that year, Eilish’s older brother told his sister of a song he had been playing with his band “Ocean Eyes.” The up-and-coming Southern Californian singer/songwriter covered the song and sent it to her dance teacher, who she hoped would choreograph a dance routine to the song. The following year, Eilish released Ocean Eyes” and he single quickly became a viral hit. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, its follow up, “Six Feet Under,” led to Darkroom/Interscope Records signing her and officially releasing material to critical applause from major media outlets like Stereogum and others. 

Last year was a breakthrough year for Eilish, thanks in part to her critically applauded debut ep dont smile at me, which resulted in sold-out headlining tours across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, a number of national daytime and late night television appearances in the States. Additionally. she was long listed for BBC’s Sound of 2018 , was profiled in Apple’s Up Next Artist campaign, and was named VEVO dscvr Artist To Watch 2018.
Eilish’s “bitches broken hearts” continues a run of sultry and self-assured tracks in which the up-and-coming singer/songwriter’s breathy coos ethereally float over a minimalist yet soulful production centered around bluesy guitar chords, stuttering beats and an infectious, radio friendly hook. Interestingly, while the song sonically nods at 90s neo soul and classic Quiet Storm-era R&B, it’s an unabashedly honest ode to the bitterness of a lost love and the inherent excitement of fresh starts and new love — even when that new love is dysfunctional and completely fucked up.  

Vevo has been championing Ms. Eilish for the better part of the past year or so, and they recently included the young singer/songwriter as part of their LIFT initiative, which connects today’s rising stars to global audiences with original creative content through the release of weekly installments of live performances and behind-the-scenes footage to bring fans closer to the artist than before, essentially pulling back the curtain and revealing the humanity of the artist. Directed by Ryan Booth, the second installment of the series is a live performance of “bitches broken hearts” shot in a ostentatious old mansion/performance space as Eilish seductively and self-assuredly performs the song with her backing band.  

New Video: The Dark and Sultry Visuals for K. Flay’s Anthemic “Blood in the Cut”

Born Kristine Meredith Flaherty, the Wilmette, IL-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter K. Flay emerged into the national and international scene with 2014’s Life as a Dog, an album that peaked on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart at #2 and Billboard’s Rap Albums chart at #14. She then signed with Interscope Records last year, as the first artist signed to Dan Reynolds’ Night Street Records, who released her latest effort,  the Grammy nominated album Every Where Is Some Where — receiving nods for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical with album single “Blood in the Cut” was nominated for Best Rock Song. Adding to a growing profile, Flaherty has made national televised appearances on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, TBS’ Conan, and has received praise from The New York Times and Pitchfork for material that features socio-political commentary and detailed lyrics, while reportedly being one of the most deliberate and dynamic effort to date, an effort that manages to capture the anxieties and uncertainties of today’s world. 

As for the Grammy nominated “Blood in the Cut,” the song has been a smash hit as it has amassed over 250,000 track equivalent units in the US according to Nielsen Music, spending more than 6 months on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, peaking at #4, and was certified Gold in Canada, reaching #1 on the Canadian Alternative charts. And when you heard the song, you’ll see why it’s been an attention grabbing, smash hit: the incredibly self-assured song features Flaherty’s sultry cooing over a sleek production featuring bluesy guitar chords, propulsive drumming, swirling electronics and an anthemic hook reminiscent of Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill, The Black Keys, Garbage and others, essentially balancing a careful tightrope between the blues, electronic rock and arena rock. 

Currently comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone (keys), Allen Tate (vocals), Charlene Kaye (vocals), Rebekah Durham (vocals, violin), John Brandon (trumpet), Stephen Chen (sax), Tyler McDiarmid (guitar) and Michael Hanf (drums), the renowned indie pop collective San Fermin can trace its origins to when Ludwig-Leone had attended Yale University. While at Yale, Ludwig-Leone had studied composition and assisted renowned composer Nico Muhly, known for his critically applauded work with Antony and the Johnsons, Sufjan Stevens and Grizzly Bear, on several film scores and operas. And although Ludwig-Leone had been in a number of bands throughout high school and college, he didn’t decide to focus on pop music until the end of his college career. As San Fermin’s primary songwriter has publicly mentioned he put on a concert with some pieces written for female vocalists and the night ended with the backing band playing some pop tunes with over-the-top arrangements. And as he has noted, at the time he realized that he could mesh both his interests in a seamless fashion.

Shortly after graduating from Yale, Ludwig-Leone relocated to secluded Banff, Alberta, Canada, where he would write the material, which would eventually comprise San Fermin’s self-titled debut, an effort that was widely praised for musicianship that   the New York Times‘ Paul Krugman described as delivering “epic and emotion-laden rock, with glorious and operatic vocals, electronic break beats, horns, strings, and other flourishes.” And as a result of the band’s growing live reputation and wide critical praise, the album reached #18 on Billboard‘s Top Heatseekers album chart. After the release of the San Fermin’s self-titled debut, the band built upon their growing profile with the release of their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Jackrabbit, an album which garnered further praise from NPRRolling Stone and others, as well as national TV appearances on CBS This Morning and Last Call With Carson Daly. With the growing attention on the Ludwig-Leone and company, their sophomore effort was even more commercially successful than its predecessor, as it landed at number 8 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers album chart.

Belong, Sen Fermin’s third, full-length effort is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Downtown/Interscope Records and reportedly the material on the album reflect a marked shift in Ludwig-Leone’s songwriting approach with songs focusing on a much more personal perspective — with the album’s material thematically focusing on feelings of disconnection, displacement and everyday anxiety, among other things.  “No Promises,” Belong‘s first single was as Ludwig-Leone explains in press notes “the last song I wrote for this record, and it’s addressed directly to my bandmates. We’ve spent the past few years together; I just realized how much of their lives they’ve devoted to being in this band. It’s overwhelming to think about. The verses are about how touring can go from this exciting thing to feeling like you’re quite literally going in circles. The bridge is a rapid-fire list of things they’ve been required to do: early flights, all-night drives, maintaining long-distance relationships, etc. But really the song is about the fear of disappointing the people you love.” Along with the change in songwriting approach, “No Promises,” reveals a subtle change in sonic direction as Ludwig-Leone and company pair gorgeous and ethereal female melodies with a production that begins with a dramatic minimalism the builds up to a swooning, soaring and anthemic hook. Interestingly, the song to my ears, reminds me a bit of St. Lucia‘s breezy, pop confections.

San Fermin will be touring extensively throughout the Spring and Summer to support Being and the tour includes a May 13, 2017 stop at Brooklyn’s newest venue, Brooklyn Steel. Check out tour dates below.

Spring 2017 Tour Dates

04.11.17 – Toronto, ON – Great Hall
04.12.17 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
04.14.17 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
04.15.17 – Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre
04.17.17 – Calgary, AB – Festival Hall
04.18.17 – Edmonton, AB – The Needle
04.20.17 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
04.21.17 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
04.22.17 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
04.24.17 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
04.26.17 – West Hollywood, CA – The Roxy Theatre
04.27.17 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
04.28.17 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
04.29.17 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
05.01.17 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
05.02.17 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
05.03.17 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
05.05.17 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
05.07.17 – Atlanta, GA – Park Tavern
05.09.17 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
05.10.17 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
05.11.17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Andy Warhol Museum
05.12.17 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
05.13.17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
05.15.17 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
05.16.17 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
05.18.17 – Dublin, IE – The Sugar Club
05.20.17 – Amsterdam, NL – Bitterzoet
05.22.17 – London, UK – Village Underground
05.25.17 – Berlin, DE – Grüner Salon
06.02.17- Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall
06.03.17 – Bunbury Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH
07.15.17 – Green River Festival – Greenfield, MA

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Check Out Ella On The Run’s Soulful Take on Electro Pop On Her Latest Single and Video, “Rodeo Clowns”

After studying at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, London-based indie pop artist Ella On The Run began collaborating with the Los Angeles-based producer/co-writer Matthew Bang, who has primarily worked with Interscope Records […]