Tag: K. Flay

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Geographer Releases a Wistful Visual for Soaring and Plaintive “Summer of My Discontentment”

JOVM mainstay Mike Deni is a New Jersey-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electro pop artist and producer, best known for his solo recording project Geographer. As the story goes, Deni relocated to San Francisco while living in the aftermath of the sudden and tragic death of his sister — and then the equally unexpected death of his father. While sleeping on a floor of a friend’s Haight-Ashbury apartment, Deni serendipitously found a synthesizer on the street and began to channel his grief and optimism into the songs that would eventually comprise his full-length debut 2008’s Innocent Ghost. And through the release of two more full-length albums 2012’s Myth, 2015’s Ghost Modern and three EPs, 2010’s Animal Shapes EP, 2015’s Endless Motion EP and last year’s Alone Time EP, Deni has received attention across the blogosphere for his unique, textured and soulful blend of analog, electronic  and acoustic elements, a sound that he has described as “soulful music from outer space.” 

Building upon a growing profile, Deni has toured with the likes of K. Flay, The Flaming Lips, Young The Giant, Tycho, Ratatat, Betty Who and Tokyo Police Club, and he played sets at Outside Lands Festival and Firefly Festival. Interestingly, last year the JOVM mainstay gave up his San Francisco apartment and hopped between tours and friends churches for the next six months, including a month stay back in Jersey and a few weeks in Italy (where both sides of his family are from). And he did that before finally relocating to Los Angeles. During that period of shiftlessness in which he was in limbo between his old life and new life, Deni wound up writing the material, which would eventually comprise his recently released New Jersey EP. 

Many of the songs of the New Jersey EP began in his childhood home and were finished at a friend’s Los Angeles home while he was looking for an apartment; in fact, the EP’s first two singles “Love is Wasted in the Dark” and its latest single “Summer of My Discontentment” were part of the first batches of material written during that period. “Summer of My Discontentment” is a perfect example of the JOVM mainstay’s specialty — swooning and earnest 80s-inspired synth pop, centered around a twinkling and arpeggiated piano, thumping beats, a soaring hook and Deni’s plaintive and aching vocals; but unlike some of his previously released material, the song possesses a wistful air that comes from nostalgia for a long-gone, seemingly simpler time that you can’t have ever again — and the dreams your younger self may have given up for the compromises of adulthood. 

Directed by Patrick Mattes, the recently released accompanying video follows a group of young people, full of youthful hopes and dreams on a gloriously sunny day while Deni broodingly sings the song from a different vantage point, during sunset. In some way, the video implies that the action are the reflections and reminiscing of the video’s central character — from the perspective of a complicated adulthood. 

New Video: Introducing the Anthemic Synth Pop of Kansas City’s Yes You Are

With the release of their attention-grabbing debut single “HGX” which debuted during Pepsi’s Super Bowl 51 halftime show and was featured in the major motion picture Bad Moms, FX’s Tyrant and MTV’s Scream, the Kansas City-based indie electro pop act Yes You Are, which is comprised of Kianna Alarid (vocals), Jared White (rhythm guitar, vocals), Jacob Temper (lead guitar, keys), Joseph Wilner (drums) and Willie Jordan (bass) quickly emerged into the national scene for a dark, goth-inspired take on pop that the band’s Kianna Alarid describes as black pop. “It implies that there might be shadows lurking, even in the shiny places.”  Interestingly, as a result of a growing profile, the band has opened for the likes of K. Flay, Moon Taxi, Marion Hill, Lucius and Neon Trees among others.  

Building upon a growing profile, the band is putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming full-length debut; but in the meantime, their latest single is the slickly produced and infectious “Blacklight.” Centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, an anthemic, shout along worthy hook and Alarid’s pop star belter vocals, the track sounds as though it were channeling Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back;” however, the song lyrically and thematically is inspired by one of the most terrifying experiences that Alarid has ever had. “I was 12 years old when I first started seeing the hooded entity in my room at night.” explains Alarid. “It was terrifying and it happened often. It wasn’t until a decade later, but I finally decided to put my foot down. I visualized a light inside of me and told the hooded figure that it didn’t scare me anymore. It never happened again. Those occurrences always made me feel weak and powerless but after I stood up to it, I felt stronger than I ever had before. ‘Blacklight’ is a song about finding that light in the dark places, and the mysterious feeling that maybe the darkness was working for you all along.”

Directed by the members of the band, the recently released video for “Blacklight” features Alarid running and dancing in a field towards brilliant light but at one point it seems as though she embraces some of the darkness surrounding her. 

bells roar is the DIY solo recording project of Albany, NY-based singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Sean Desiree. Originally, the project began with just Desiree’s vocals accompanied by guitar but over the last few years, the project’s sound has taken on elements of hip-hop and electro pop, which has further expanded the project’s sound — all while allowing Desiree to keep her voice ever present.

Desiree first started to receive attention with the release of her self-titled debut, which featured drumming from Kiran Gandhi, who was part of M.I.A.‘s touring band during the Matangi tour. And as a result, Desiree had opened for the likes of MSMR, Mirah, K. Flay, and Chrisette Michele. Her sophomore effort, Second Chances, Vol. 1 was released through Tom Morello‘s Firebrand Records, and the effort, which was largely inspired by the work of renowned poet bell hooks thematically focuses on pushing back against white supremacy and speaking truth to power. Considering the events of the past 18 months and the emergence of the Black Life Matters movement, hearing music that fearlessly discusses the sociopolitical and socioeconomic issues of the day in a thoughtful and serious manner feels desperately necessary — especially since many of those issues are largely being ignored among mainstream radio-friendly artists.

“Slow (remix)” is the first single off Second Chances, Vol. 1, and the single is a slow-burning, atmospheric single comprised of slowly cascading synths, swirling electronics, mournful horns, stuttering and skittering drum programming and shimmering and angular guitar chords paired with Desiree’s piercing and achingly mournful vocals.  In some way, the song sounds as though it were drawing influence from the Cascine Records roster — moody, 80s-inspired synth pop but in this case with a powerful and needed message. And although the song feels incredibly and desperately sad, its tinged with hopefulness at its core — in some way it suggests that things can get better, but that it requires actual work. Maybe we can all learn from that, huh?

You can catch bells roar on tour. Check out the following page for info: http://bellsroar.tumblr.com/shows

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for MS MR, Mirah, K Flay, and Chrisette Michele you can tell that her sophomore EP, due out November 13th, 2015 is going places. bell’s roar has the potential to be the voice of her generation and she refuses to be ignored.