Tag: Kate Bush

Amy Kuney is a Tulsa, OK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as AMES. Kuney began piano lessons when she turned four, and participated in piano recitals and church performances throughout her childhood. The Tulsa-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist wrote her first song when she turned 12 and by the following year, Kuney’s father moved the family from their Tulsa home to Honduras to live as missionaries after he saw a video highlighting the destruction of Hurricane Mitch. As a teenager, Kuney taught herself guitar chords off a poster her father bought from Wal-Mart, while grappling with being gay in a strange country — and without friends; however, Kuney spent her time listening to the only secular album she could get her hands on, Fiona Apple‘s Tidal and writing songs.

The Tulsa-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist returned to the States to study at a religious college but she dropped out because of their archaic views on LGBTQ and relocated to Los Angeles, where she vowed to spend the rest of her life creating art and helping young people in the LGBQT community much like herself. Since relocating to Los Angeles, Kumey has developed a reputation as a go-to songwriter, who has written songs for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, AKON, Rita Ora, Michelle Branch, Tori Kelly, Lights, Icona Pop, Adam Lambert, Jason Mraz, Jojo, ALMA and growing list of others. Kuney steps out from behind the scenes with the release of the breezy “Hold On,” a single centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, strummed acoustic guitar, and a soaring and anthemic hook — and sonically speaking, the song manages to nod at Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Feist but with a much-needed message for anyone who has felt marginalized at any point.

 

 

New Video: An Intimate Look Behind the Scenes for Visuals for Mass Gothic’s Soaring 80s-Inspired Synth Pop Single “Keep on Dying”

Mass Gothic is an acclaimed New York-based synth based project comprised of married duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri, and the over course of their 18 year relationship, the’ve managed to dip in and out of each other’s creative spaces, advising on their respective projects and supporting one another; but throughout that bulk of their relationship, they never completely committed themselves to collaborating together on an entire album, sharing equal load — that is until, the project’s recently sophomore album, I’ve Tortured You Long Enough, a tongue-in-cheek title based around the fact it took way too long for the duo to finally collaborate together. 

Interestingly, Heroux started Mass Gothic back in 2016 as a solo project, after the breakup of his previous band Hooray for Earth. Reportedly plagued by his own insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn’t yet ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into a shared, collaborate project — and perhaps most importantly, he wasn’t ready to do so with someone so close and so fundamental to his life. But before work began on the second Mass Gothic album, the phrase “I’ve Tortured You Long Enough” had reverberated through his head and quickly became both a mantra and a premonition. “It just popped into my head,” Heroux explains in press notes. “You can say it to a loved one or to a friend. Or You could wish someone say it to you. It covers so many basses but it’s taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years, while everybody is at each other’s throats; frustrated and confused all the time.” At the time, Heroux was in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of his prior, deep-seated stubbornness — and by the fall of 2016, circumstances forced him to face his biggest fears head on. “We rented a small tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. We put ourselves away and worked on music all day, wondering what it would feel and sound like,” Jessica Zambri recalls in press notes. 

The first song they wrote together was an early iteration of “Keep On Dying.” Zambri had the melody and lyrics while Heroux had arranged the chords. From there, things snowballed and while the writing began in New York, early last year the duo threw caution to wind, got rid of their Brooklyn apartment, purged most of their belongings and relocated to Los Angeles to write and record their album. They then bought a car, drove to L.A. where they lived out of duffle bag with co-producer Josh Ascalon, and they spent the bulk of their time writing. “The entire record from start to finish was done without having our own place to live,” Heroux recalls. Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn’t have worked.”

Working as a duo helped to evolved the project’s sound, with the duo’s sophomore album being a more intentional meeting of the minds, centered round a complete openness to work together without rules or conditions — although last spring, when they initially thought they had finished the album, Heroux and Zambri separately realized that the material had way more potential; in fact, while they were preparing to go on tour with Zambri’s sister Cristi Jo and her boyfriend Jospeh Stickney when Heroux woke up one morning, turned to his spouse and said “Oh God, we have to fucking re-record the whole album.” The duo quietly agreed that it was required and during the final ten days, they made sure that the material was perfect but felt alive. Reportedly, the album’s material basks in and celebrates the acceptance of co-dependence and independence simultaneously — and while being autobiographical (it’s rooted around the relationship of its creators), it’s not so autobiographical and a conversation between its creators but while not being  alienating to the listener. 

I’ve Tortured You Long Enough’s latest single”Keep On Dying,” is a  hook driven song that features brief blasts of horn, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping beats and Zambri’s ethereal vocals — and while sonically the song brings to mind Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks, it possesses a swooning Romanticism that’s tethered to the real world; vulnerable but with the recognition that love, like all things doesn’t make much sense and can be simultaneously easy and difficult yet so necessary in an increasingly stark, cynical world. 

Co-directed by the band and Nira Burnstein, the recently released video is an look of the band while on tour, goofing off, practicing — and with a profound, behind the scenes intimacy of a touring band.

Several years ago, I wrote about the London-based electro rock/industrial rock trio Blindness, an act that featured Beth Rettig (vocals, programming), Emma Quick (bass) and Debbie Smith (guitar), who also had stints in Curve, Echobelly and Snowpony. After Blindness split up, Rettig started tinkering around with new music and reworking some ideas that she had lying around without much of a plan. As Rettig told me in an email, “Recently, I decided it was probably time to do something with some of the new stuff.” Debbie Smith, her former Blindness bandmate contributed guitars, along with some programming on one of the two singles, Rettig has released with her new project Where We Sleep, a project that Rettig hopes will have her working with other musicians as well. Unsurprisingly, the project draws from some of Rettig’s lifelong influences — Curve, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Massive Attack, and others.

“Veins,” the first Where We Sleep single finds Rettig collaborating with her former Blindness bandmate Debbie Smith, who contributes some thumping drum programming, arpeggiated synths and buzzing power chords in a sultry and anthemic New Wave-like song that sounds as though it were influenced by Sixousie and the Banshees and Depeche Mode. “Crawl” is a moody and atmospheric track centered around Rettig’s breathy vocals and industrial clang and clatter — and sonically speaking, the song may arguably be the most Depeche Mode-like that she’s released yet.

 

 

Born Rebecca Maria Molina, the 25 year-old, Copenhagen, Denmark-based singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist Molina can trace the origins of her music career to when she was 8. As the story goes, Molina began writing her own music, inspired by the music her mother played for her including Bjork, Kate Bush and Royksopp. “I remember wanting the Basement JaxxRooty album for my birthday at the same age as I was dancing to children’s music.Molina recalls.

In her teens, Molina furthered her musical education by searching the corners of the internet and following a trail of like-minded bands and artists, and as a result the Danish singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist quickly became obsessed with Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, 70s-80s new wave and punk , shoegaze and Japanese music — in particular, the work of Miharu Koshi and Mariah among others. And all of those disparate styles and sounds have influenced Molina’s solo work within her solo recording project Molina.

With the release of her debut EP Corpus, Molina received attention internationally from the likes of BBC Radio 6, Beats 1 Radio, The 405, The Line of Best Fit among others for a sound and songwriting approach that embraces experimentation while drawing from  late 70s and 80s synth pop. Her latest single “Hey Kids” is centered around woozy and dizzying arpeggiated synths, boom bap-like beats and Molina’s ethereal vocals. Additionally, the song features a guest spot from Swedish artist and co-writer Late Verlaine, who contributes vocals on the song’s second verse. And while revealing a young artist, who’s self-assured and confident beyond her relatively young age, the track to my ears reminds me quite a bit of Peter Gabriel‘s work in the sense that it manages to be enigmatic and completely out of left field while being accessible and radio friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Lush Swooning and Psychedelic Visuals and Sounds of Jonathan Wilson’s “Loving You”

Jonathan Wilson is a Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has collaborated with the likes of Father John Misty, Lucius, Karen Elson and Conor Oberst, contributed guitar and vocals as a member of the backing and touring bands for Roger Waters‘ Grammy nominated Is This The Life We Really Want?, and throughout that same period, the highly sought after Wilson has released two albums which have garnered comparisons to the Laurel Canyon troubadours of the 1960s and 1970s — in particular Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Dennis Wilson, Tom Petty and others; however, Wilson’s third and forthcoming album, Rare Birds, which is slated for a March 2, 2018 release through Bella Union Records is reportedly one of the singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s most ambitious, “maximalist” works to date featuring contributions from collaborators Father John Misty and Lucius, as well as Lana Del Rey and New Age musician Laraaji.

While much of the album’s material thematically and lyrically find Wilson meditating on a failed relationship and its aftermath, he has insisted in press notes that it’s not meant to specifically be a concept album. “It’s meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming, healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music, to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It’s all in there.” Late last year, I wrote about the album’s first single “Over The Midnight,” which brought to mind Peter Gabriel 3, Security and So-era Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Tears for Fears  while nodding at the lush psych pop of Tame Impala; but the song is underpinned by a swooning Romanticism, as it’s about a sacred and profoundly safe space where lovers could exist and freely be in love, escaping a world on the verge of collapse.

Rare Birds’ latest single “Loving You” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as its a lush yet deeply meditative track with the bittersweet tinge of regret of someone, who’s looking back at a major relationship in his life, and of all the things he felt and believed that he should have or could have done. And as a result, it evokes the lingering ghosts of a man, who’s lived a messy and complicated life. Wilson says in press notes about the song, “One day, one of my musical heros Laraaji came into my studio to just experiment and record some music. I had the ditty ‘Loving You’ lying around, (it was a song I wrote from a feeling or inflection of a word I heard John Lennon emote in one of his songs) and I then put down a simple little drum machine beat along with the piano and vocal that you hear now. Laraaji then beautifully chanted over the song, one take … then he played his cosmic zither, undulated gracefully with his ipad, and truly shaped the scope of the track. I then added a specific drum/cymbal treatment used throughout Rare Birds, my funky Crumar bass, Lana Del Rey, a few other things and boom that was the genesis of the new album Rare Birds, that song set the tone.”

Directed By Matthew Daniel Siskin, the recently released video for “Loving You” will also continue Wilson’s run of pairing trippy and beautiful visuals to lush instrumentation. In this case the video features the renowned New Age multi-instrumentalist Laraaji floating over some gorgeous natural scenery — at points holding an old TV monitor that features a meditative Wilson singing the song. Later on, Wilson’s face and on that old TV monitor is seen in a number of New York locales, including an airport, a train station, a Manhattan intersection and so on. And interestingly, the visuals manage to further emphasize the swooning nature of the song.

New Video: The Trippy Psychedelia Meets New Age Visuals for Jonathan Wilson’s Lush New Single “Over The Midnight”

Jonathan Wilson is a Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has collaborated with the likes of Father John Misty, Lucius, Karen Elson and Conor Oberst, contributed guitar and vocals as a member of the backing and touring bands for Roger Waters’ Grammy nominated Is This The Life We Really Want?, and throughout that same period, the highly sought after Wilson has released two albums which have garnered comparisons to the Laurel Canyon troubadours of the 1960s and 1970s — in particular Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Dennis Wilson, Tom Petty and others; however, Wilson’s third and forthcoming album, Rare Birds, which is slated for a March 2, 2018 release through renowned indie label Bella Union Records is reportedly one of the singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s most ambitious and downright “maximalist” works to date featuring contributions from collaborators Father John Misty and Lucius, as well as Lana Del Rey and New Age musician Laraaji.

While much of the album’s material thematically and lyrically find Wilson meditating on a failed relationship and its aftermath, he has insisted in press notes that it’s not meant to specifically be a concept album. “It’s meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming, healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music, to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It’s all in there.” And interestingly enough, the album’s first single “Over The Midnight” finds Wilson pairing British, early 80s synth pop with layered instrumentation that may bring to mind Peter Gabriel 3, Security and So-era Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Tears for Fears but while nodding at the lush psych pop of contemporaries like Tame Impala — but with a swooning romanticism; after all, the song is about a sacred and profoundly safe space where lovers could exist while escaping a world on the verge of collapse.

Directed by Andrea Nakhla and featuring animation by Clara Luzian, the recently released video for “Over The Midnight” draws from New Age concepts of consciousness and awareness of one’s connectedness to the larger universe around them and to others.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the better part of the past 6-9 months or so, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstay producer and electronic music artist KC Maloney, and although he’s best known as being one-half of renowned electro pop act Radar Cult,  Maloney has received an increasing national profile with the release of last year’s LXII EP with his solo side project Adult Karate, a project that expands upon the sound of his primary project a is it draws from several different styles and sub-genres of electronic music — including house, acid house, techno, ambient electronica and others. And building upon the buzz that LXII received, Maloney’s Adult Karate follow up Indoors is slated for a March 31, 2017 and the effort will reportedly see Maloney’s side project taking on a decided sonic departure as the material generally possesses elements of post-punk and post-rock reminiscent of mid 80s New Order and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.

From The Dust,” Indoors‘ first single while being a marked sonic departure, also managed to be a thematic departure as the song is less introspective than the material off LXII; however, the song possessed a swaggering confidence — the sort of confidence that can only come from living a fully-lived in life, in which the song’s narrator has had his heart broken made mistakes, and has found some hard-fought wisdom, by living life in his own terms. And Maloney does all of this in what may arguably be one of the breeziest songs he’s released to date.  The EP’s latest single “Friction” consists of an ethereal, Kate Bush meets contemporary electro pop production featuring featuring thumping 808-like beats, swirling yet ambient electronics and twangy blasts of guitar, shimmering cascades of synths and a swooning hook paired with Maloney’s and Adeline’s breathy cooing. Lyrically, the song continues in a similar vein as its preceding single; but in this case, the song captures the sensation of attempting to break forward from heartbreak or a dysfunctional past, towards a new relationship — with the hope that this time, that blind leap of faith will be result in something different than all the previous ones.

 

 

 

 

Just the other day, I wrote about Gabriela Jimeno, a Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based drummer, electronic music artist and producer, who musically grew up in two parallel, underground musical worlds — hardcore and electronic music. And after years of playing in a variety of bands across Colombia and the US, Jimeno relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a dual major in drum set performance and music synthesis. As the story goes, soon after graduation, Jimeno relocated to New York. where she played drums in several rather ambitious bands — while working on her own solo projects and building her own synthesizers and instruments.

After growing bored with the band life, the Bogota-born, New York-based drummer and electronic music artist decided to go completely solo — and under the moniker ela minus, released her debut effort First Words EP. Interestingly, instead of spending time working and releasing one album, the Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based artist decided to release a trilogy of EPs, which would presumably allow listeners to follow her as her songwriting and musicianship evolved during the trilogy’s completion. Grow, the 2nd EP of the trilogy was released to critical acclaim from The FaderVice and Remezcla, and as a result, Jimeno wound up playing at a number of major festivals across North America, including Estéreo PicnicNRMALSXSWViva Pomona and others. Adding to a growing profile, Jimeno has opened for the likes of Chairlift and Chrome Sparks.

The third and final part of the trilogy Adapt is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through YEBO Music — and as Jimeno has explained in press notes: “This has been like a re-birth for me as an artist: so, like a new baby, first words – grow – adapt. It made sense with the time I was living in too, on first EP everything was changing I didn’t really know what or why I was doing it, in the experience of making the second EP I grew as an artist a lot, and now I am adapting. I learned to learn.” Just the other day, I wrote about Adapt‘s first single “Juan Saint,” which was a moody yet shimmering bit of electro pop featuring twinkling synths, propulsive drum programming are paired with Jimeno’s ethereal cooing in a song that sonically is reminiscent of Empress OfYumi Zouma,  the Cascine Records roster and Kate Bush — but with a subtly bracing iciness at its core.

“A.R.P.,” is the EP’s latest single and sonically the song features Jimena’s coquettish and breathy vocals over a slickly produced bed of stuttering drum programming, shimming and twinkling synth, various electronic bloops and bleeps in a wistful yet breezy bit of synth pop with a tender and aching heart under its icy surface, while being radio friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriela Jimeno is a Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based drummer, electronic music artist and producer, who musically grew up in two parallel, underground musical worlds — hardcore and electronic music. And after years of playing in a variety of bands in Columbia and the US, Jimeno relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a dual major in drum set performance and music synthesis. Soon after graduation, Jimeno relocated to New York, where she played drums in several rather ambitious bands while working on her own solo recording work, which also included Jimeno spending time building her own synths.  After growing bored with the band life, the Bogota-born, New York-based drummer and electronic music artist decided to go completely solo — and under the moniker ela minus, released her debut effort First Words EP.

Interestingly, instead of working on just one particular album, the Bogota, Columbia-born, New York-based decided to release a trilogy of EPs, which would allow listeners to follow her and her project as her songwriting, musicianship and artistry evolved during the trilogy’s completion. Grow, the 2nd EP of the trilogy was released to critical acclaim from The Fader, Vice and Remezcla, and as a result, Jimeno wound up playing at a number of major festivals across North America, including Estéreo Picnic, NRMAL, SXSW, Viva Pomona and others. Adding to a growing profile, Jimeno has opened for the likes of Chairlift and Chrome Sparks.

The third and final part of the trilogy Adapt is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through YEBO Music — and as Jimeno has explained in press notes: “This has been like a re-birth for me as an artist: so, like a new baby, first words – grow – adapt. It made sense with the time I was living in too, on first EP everything was changing I didn’t really know what or why I was doing it, in the experience of making the second EP I grew as an artist a lot, and now I am adapting. I learned to learn.” The third EP’s latest single “Juan Sant” is a moody yet shimmering bit of electro pop in which twinkling synths, propulsive drum programming are paired with Jimeno’s ethereal cooing in a song that sonically is reminiscent of Empress Of, Yumi Zouma,  the Cascine Records roster and Kate Bush — but with a subtly bracing iciness at its core.