Tag: Joy Division

New Video: The Brooding and Intimate Black and White Visuals for Fufanu’s “Tokyo”

Last year was a breakthrough year for the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu as their sophomore effort Sports received attention nationally and internationally, thanks in part to critically applauded album singles like album title track, Sports,” which retains the synth-driven sound of their debut A Few More Days to Go while nodding at Can, Neu!  Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel,  and the slow-burning and moody  “Liability” and “White Pebbles.” And if you were frequenting this site, you’d recall that the Icelandic trio ended a breakthrough year with the release of a previously unreleased album single “Top of the Queens,” which was recorded during the Sports sessions and didn’t make the cut. 

Building upon a growing national and international profile, the members of the Icelandic post-punk trio recruited photographer Jonatan Gretarsson to direct and shoot the striking visuals for the moody and atmospheric album single “Tokyo.” Nodding at the gorgeous black and white photography and video work of the legendary Anton Corbjin, and perfume commercials, the incredibly intimate  video features the members of the band in individual and group portraits and tight close ups — and while capturing these brooding young men, there’s an underlying sense of their vulnerability, frailty, and ultimately their own loneliness. And as result, it further emphasizes the brooding nature of the song. 

New Video: The Shimmering, Early 80s MTV-Inspired Visuals for Moaning’s “Artificial”

Comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson and Andrew MacKelvie, the Los Angeles, CA-based trio Moaning have spent the past few years crafting a moody and angular sound that draws from shoegaze, slacker rock and post-punk which has received attention both nationally and internationally from the likes of The Fader, The Guardian, DIY Magazine, Stereogum, and others. 

Building upon the growing buzz that’s surrounding them, the Los Angeles-based indie rock/post-punk trio’s highly-anticipated self-titled, full-length debut is slated for a March 2, 2018 release through Sub Pop Records. The album’s fourth and latest single “Artificial” possesses a decidedly familiar post punk sound reminiscent of Joy Division, as well as contemporaries like Precocupations and others, complete with an anthemic and directly infectious hook; but just underneath the surface, the song bristles with a tense, self-awareness of artifice, superficiality and ugliness. 

Directed by directorial team A Stranger, the recently released video for “Artificial” draws from early 80s MTV videos — and appropriately, it was shot on 35mm film, complete with tight zooms that follows the band, dressed completely in white as they play the song in a house covered in tin foil, filled with fake plants. At various points, the bandmembers faces are distorted and mirrored in ways that are trippy and somewhat disturbing. And in some way, the video continually points out artifice, insincerity and superficiality, while suggesting that there’s ugliness and uncertainty just beneath. 

Initially formed under the highly controversial name, Viet Cong, the members of the band now known as Preoccupations — Matt Flegel (bass, vocals), Mike Wallace (drums), Scott Munro (guitar) and Daniel Christiansen (guitar) —unknowingly and unwittingly found themselves in the middle of furious and tumultuous debate around cultural association and the association with historical groups and actions that would immediately evoke the horrors of despotism, war and genocide. And as an understandable result of that controversy, the members of the Canadian post-punk act made the difficult decision to change their name before releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore album.

When the members of the band reconvened to write the material that would comprise their self-titled effort as Preoccupations, each individual member of the band was in a rather unsteady and uncertain position: the members of the band had all relocated to different cities across North America, which made their long-established creative process of writing material while on the road extremely difficult. Along with that, as it turned out several members of the band were dealing with the heartache of having long-term relationships end, just as they were set to write. Adding to a growing sense of uncertainty, their sophomore effort found the band going into the writing session without having a central idea or theme to consider or guide them, making the sessions a collective and blind, leap of faith.

The end result was an album that drew from very specific things — the anxiety, despair and regret that has most people up at night. In fact, album singles like  “Anxiety,” focused on the natural and forced change placed upon the members of the band, and more generally on people while simultaneously capturing the confusing push and pull of human relationships, while “Degraded” one the album’s most straightforward and hook-laden songs was full of bilious accusation and recrimination. The album’s expansive, third single “Memory” as comprised of three distinct and very different movements held together by the song’s central narrative, which focused on the weight of one’s memory and the past has on every relationship and aspect of our lives.

Building upon a growing reputation for crafting dark and moody post punk, centered around themes of creation, destruction, futility, the Canadian post-punk band’s third, full-length album New Material is slated for March 23, 2018 release through Jagjaguwar Records, and the album, which finds the band recording the album themselves and enlisting the assistance of Justin Meldal-Johnson on mixing duties is as the band’s frontman Matt Flegel says in press notes, “an ode to depression. To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” Much like their previous album, the band went into the process without much written or demoed — and it was arguably the most collaborative writing sessions that they’ve ever had. While, writing New Material may have been extremely architectural with the band building ideas up, tearing others down to the support beams without quite knowing what exactly they were about, and as they were writing they had resolved for it all to show, not tell.

But reportedly, the writing and recording sessions led to a reckoning for Flegel.  “Finishing ‘Espionage’ was when I realized. I looked at the rest of the lyrics and realized the magnitude of what was wrong,” says Flegel. To that end, it’s interesting that “Espionage,” the murky and angular Manchester/Joy Division-like single is the first single off New Material — and in some way, the song evokes a narrator, who has finally become aware of his disturbing penchant for self-sabotage in every aspect of his life but despite the dark theme of the song, it finds the members of the JOVM mainstays crafting some of the most infectious, danceable material they’ve written to date.

Preoccupations will be embarking on a lengthy tour to support the album that begins in Toronto and includes two NYC area dates — April 19, 2018 at Rough Trade with Freak Heat Waves as an opener and April 20, 2018 at Elsewhere’s Zone One with Odonis Odonis as an opener. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES
4/14/18 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
4/18/18 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
4/19/18  Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
4/20/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Zone One) ^
4/23/18  Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts *
4/24/18  Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
4/26/18  Columbus, OH @ The A&R Music Bar *
4/27/18  Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
4/29/18  Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
5/1/18  Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret *
5/3/18  Edmonton, AB @ Starlite *
5/4/18  Calgary, AB @ Palomino *
5/5/18  Calgary, AB @ Palomino
5/9/18  Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
5/11/18 Seattle, WA @ Barboza #
5/12/18  Portland, OR @ Star Theater #
5/14/18  San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop #
5/18/18  Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo #
5/19/18  Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar #
5/22/18 Austin, TX @ Barracuda
5/23/18  Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/24/18  St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
6/5/18 London, UK @ London Underground
6/7 Berlin, D @ Musik & Frieden
6/10/18 Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
6/11/18 Paris, France @ Maroquinerie
6/12/18 Ramsgate, UK @ RMH
6/13/18 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
7/3/18 Amsterdam @ Sugarfactory
7/4/18 Hamburg @Molotow
^ w/ Odonis Odonis
* w/ Freak Heat Waves
# w/ Moaning

Live Footage: Other Lives at Music Apartment

Currently comprised of Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, vocals), Jonathon Mooney (piano, guitar, percussion, trumpet) and Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion, guitar and backing vocals), the Portland, OR-based indie rock trio Other Lives initially formed in Stillwater, OK back in 2004, recording and releasing an album under the name Kunek before changing their name, as they went through a decided change in sonic direction and approach that necessitated a rebranding. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of its almost 8 year history, you may recall that the trio have received both national and international attention for a lushly orchestrated sound reminiscent of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The National and Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen while nodding at Joy Division ,The Darcys and Caveman. 

Much like JOVM mainstays Warhaus, the members of Other Lives were invited to perform an intimate and career spanning set of their gorgeous, genre defying yet accessible and emotionally immediate material for Music Apartment. 

2017 has been a breakthrough year for the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio  Fufanu.. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this past year, you’d recall that the band, currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with newest member, Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding duo met while at school. And according to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. After quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. Interestingly, within a month of their formation, Kaktus and Gulli had started playing shows in and around their hometown.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus and Gulli had recorded the album was burgled. Naturally, everyone involved in the process presumed the album was lost. While many bands would be devastated by losing their life’s work in such a shitty fashion, Kaktus and Gulli put a positive spin on the ordeal, viewing it as an opportunity to reinvent themselves and their sound, as they were developing a growing technical and musical prowess. Coincidentally, Kaktus Einarsson had been spending time in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with the late and legendary Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously, Gulli had started to craft a completely revised sound, which according to Kaktus managed to convey exactly what he had been thinking and feeling at the time. The result was the duo pairing Kaktus’ brooding and ironically detached vocals with an arrangement that featured guitar, bass, drums, synths and other electronics. Armed with a new sound, the duo renamed the project Fufanu.

Fufanu’s first live set as Fufanu, with their new sound and material was at 2014’s Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Right after the festival, they went into the studio to record their full-length debut, A Few More Days To Go, which was released to applause both nationally and internationally; in fact, with an even bigger profile, Fufanu toured with The Vaccines and others, and played some of Northern Europe’s and Scandinavia’s largest festivals, including the aforementioned Iceland Airwaves, JaJaJa Festival and others.

Released earlier this year, the band’s sophomore album Sports finds the band going through some significant changes — Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh their sound out, with the newly constituted trio refining their material’s sound and thematic concerns, represented through album title track  “Sports,” which retains the synth-driven sound of their debut while nodding at CanNeu!  Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel,  the slow-burning and moody  “Liability” and “White Pebbles.”  However, the highly buzzed about Icelandic trio begin the holiday season and close out the year, with “Top Of The Queens,” a track that was recorded during the Sports sessions and didn’t make the cut.

Of course, what makes an the release of a previously unreleased album track intriguing is the fact that they frequently give the listener — if they’re familiar with the album in question — some insight into the complex editorial decisions that comprise the making of an album. In some cases, you can immediately tell why a particular song wasn’t included — it just didn’t fit the tone and vibe of the album. In other cases, it’s not apparent. Sometimes, it’s a matter of a song floating around for a while and the band just is tired of the song or it’s an issue of not having a whole lot of time and something has to get cut — or a variety of other issues. Interestingly enough, “Top Of The Queens” manages to continue in a similar, anthemic hook-laden, synth-based rock vibe but it has a rougher, punk rock band in a dive bar edge to it.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Introducing Kiev, Ukraine-based Post Punk Act On The Wane

With the release of their 2014 full-length debut Dry, the Kiev, Ukraine-based post-punk quartet On The Wane, currently comprised of Dari Maksimova (bass, vocals), Anna Lyashok (drums, vocals), Eugene Voitov (guitar, synth), and newest member, Eli Demyanenko (drums, drum machine), received attention across their native Ukraine and elsewhere for a sound that draws from shoegaze, goth, New Wave and noise rock — with the members of the band citing Sonic Youth, The Cure, Joy Division, Pixies, Bauhaus, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and Ringo Deathstarr as influences on their work. 

Following a successful Ukrainian tour, the band, the quartet went into the studio and recorded a 6 track EP, Sick, which found the band’s sound drawing from the likes of Mudhoney, Fugazi and others with the effort being praised for a sound that drew from Sonic Youth, Gang of Four and The Damned among others; however, after the release of Sick, the band went through a lineup change with their newest member Demyanenko and with his addition, the Ukrainian-based post punk act added synthesizers and a drum machine to their sound. And as a result, the quartet’s sophomore effort Schism finds the band changing things up yet again — this time with the band taking on an increasingly goth-based, electronic rock sound that nods at 4AD Records, Garbage and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Sultry Song.” 

Directed by Mikhail Efimenko, the recently released video, was based on the band’s idea to create a non-complicated video showing the atmosphere of their rehearsal space/studio/workplace and to introduce the band to the world. 

New Video: The Surreal Visuals for JOVM Mainstay Night Drive’s “Trapeze Artist Regrets”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you’d certainly come across a handful of posts featuring the  Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act  Night Drive. Comprised of songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, highly soap-opera-like yet very true circumstances: Connell and Duhon had met and bonded after they had discovered the the woman they had both unwittingly had been simultaneously dating tragically died in a car accident. And since their formation, the duo have received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy Division, Cut Copy, Brian Eno, The Knife, The Drums, LCD Soundsystem. Depeche Mode and others.

The duo’s self-titled debut is slated for a June 16, 2017 release through Roll Call Records and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets,” and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets” will likely remind listeners of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People,” Yaz’s “Situation,” The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others as the song features an effortlessly slick production consisting of layers upon layers of propulsive, undulating synths and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with an infectious, dance floor-friendly hook and emotionally direct lyrics. However, interestingly enough, as the duo admits “‘Trapeze Artist Regrets’ was never supposed to happen. We were writing something else for a short film and became bored, so we changed the bpm, started shifting things around and all of the sudden we had this groove we liked.  We just started working backwards from there. The title came first, a sorta metaphor for disaster; it’s about watching someone you care about make the same mistake over and over again and not being able to do anything about it. Just hoping they pull through.” And as a result, the song possesses a bitter sense of reality, along with the recognition that the narrator’s friend will do something incredibly harmful to themselves and others.

Directed by Jermey Cloe and starring Lindsey Naves and Alexandria Lee, the recently released video follows a woman with a strange and destructive super power, and her friend, who follows along to try to prevent her friend from doing something harmful to herself or others. 

New Video: The Surreal and Noir-ish Visuals for JOVM Mainstay Fufanu’s Latest Single “White Pebbles”

Over the course of this site’s 7 year history, I’ve been proud to champion an increasingly diverse batch of artists across the globe, writing and perform across a widely eclectic array of genres, sub-genres and styles. And as you may recall, earlier this year, I’ve written a quite a bit about Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. Currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with newest member, Erling Bang (drums) the up-and-coming Icelandic band can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. After quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their formation, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had started playing shows in and around Reykjavik.

Building upon a growing local and national profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded the album was burgled. And as a result, the album was presumed stolen and lost — forever. While many bands would be devastated by losing their work in such a fashion, the band’s founding duo decided that it was the perfect time to reinvent their sound and themselves, as they were beginning to develop a growing technical and musical prowess. Coincidentally, around the time that this was happening, Kaktus Einarsson was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with the late and legendary Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a craft a completely revised sound, which according to Kaktus managed to convey exactly what he had been thinking and feeling. They then paired Kaktus’ brooding and ironically detached vocals with live instrumentation — guitars and drums — and electronics, and with their new sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Fufanu’s first live set with their new sound and material was at 2014’s Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Almost immediately after the festival, the duo went into the studio to record their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut effort, the then-duo saw a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with The Vaccines and others, and they played some of Northern Europe and Scandinavia’s largest festivals, including the aforementioned Iceland Airwaves, JaJaJa Festival and others.

Released earlier this year, the band’s sophomore album Sports finds the band going through some significant changes — Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh their sound out, with the newly constituted trio refining their material’s sound and thematic concerns, represented through album title track  “Sports,” which retains the synth-driven sound of their debut while nodding at the likes of Can, Neu!  Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel, and the slow-burning and moody  “Liability.” Sports’ third and latest single “White Pebbles” continues in a similar vein of its immediate predecessor as it’s a slow-burning, moody and enigmatic track featuring angular bass and guitar chords and ominously swirling electronics, all of which evoke a late night, meditative sense of regret over the embittering, confusing and downright heartbreaking events of one’s life; after all, as the band explained to Billboard, the song is about “looking back in time, and understanding all the little things you didn’t get back then, but are so obvious today.” 

Directed by the Snorri Brothers, the recently released video for “White Pebbles” features the members of Fufanu as a trio of existentially bored policemen, who drive around in a badass car with no particular purpose — until they go on a rather chilled-out, nonchalant police chase, with the members of the band seeming much more fascinated by the entire thing; but the women they chase always manages to be just ahead of them and out of reach.

Reportedly, the video required an unusual amount of preparation, including extensive research for a muscle car in a Reykjavik suburb and a back-alley meeting with a local, police detective to acquire the uniforms but it adds a strange sense of realism to a surrealistic video shot in a noir-ish fashion. “On the actual day of shooting, driving around in this bad ass Mustang in a complete police outfit, getting people really confused and then having a stare-off against one of Iceland’s leading public figures of the commercial culture made everything make so much sense and felt so right,” the band explains. 

New Video: Introducing the Dark and Menacing Post Punk Sounds and Visuals of Paris’ SURE

SURE is a rather mysterious Paris-based post punk/dark wave act, who in an email described their sound as “dark songs to dance in caves.” Their murky and moody, debut single “Tasting Revenge” consists of a forcefully persistent kick drum, angular and propulsive bass lines,  slashing guitar chords fed through layers of distortion paired with vocals that are submerged within the mix and industrial clang and clatter.  And in some way, the French band’s sound manages to channel Joy Division and The Sisters of Mercy, as well as contemporaries like Chain of Flowers and Bambara, 

The recently released accompanying visuals for the song as the band notes may cause discomfort and seizures for those who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, as it features the members of the band in murky black and white with strobe lights flashing around them as they play in an empty room. 

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.