Tag: Late Night with Seth Myers

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sam Fender Releases a Cinematic and Nostalgia-Tinged Visual for Anthemic “The Borders”

I’ve written a lot about the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender over the past 18 months or so, and during that same period, the rapidly rising British singer/songwriter and guitarist has received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for crafting rousingly anthemic material with a broad focus on hard-hitting social issues, that generally draws from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England. 

2019 has been a breakthrough year for Fender: his full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles was released earlier this year to critical applause. Now, as you may know, the album, which was recorded and produced at Fender’s self-built North Shields-based warehouse studio, with longtime friend, producer and collaborator Bramwell Bronte is fueled by Fender’s long-held belief that great guitar music with enormous hooks still has the power to influence people and change lives — and to even better themselves and change the world. Adding to an already momentous year, Hypersonic Missiles recently topped the British Album charts. 

Hypersonic Missiles last official single “The Borders” continues an incredible run of pop anthems. While being slickly produced, the track is centered around deeply heartfelt and earnest songwriting and singing, shimmering guitars, a soulful horn solo, arpeggiated synths and an enormous, arena rock friendly hook. And while sonically the song is essentially one part Born in the USA-era Bruce Springsteen, one part Reckless-era Bryan Adams and Billy Idol and Rebel Yell-era Billy Idol, the song’s narrator tells a story about two boys growing up together as best friends and brothers-in-arms but who then go their separate ways. Throughout there are memories inferred and implied but not completely addressed, the wistful and halcyon-tinged nostalgia of people, places and times you can never get back. It’s a track that’s both personal and lived-in, yet universal — and to hear that from a songwriter as young as Fender is a rare gift.

Directed by Thomas James, the recently released official video, which is shot through a series of startling flashbacks and flash-forwards gives the song’s central story a lived-in world, as it focuses on two best friends, who lives go in different directions after a major falling out leads to a life-changing incident between the pair and a young girl. And as a result, the video finds its central pair endlessly haunted by the incidents and ghosts that have split them apart — and yet somehow kept them inextricably tied together. 

Coincidentally, the official video’s release comes on the heels of Fender’s appearance on Late Night with Seth Myers last night, where he performed “The Borders” to close out his extensive North American tour to support his debut. Now, as you know, I caught Fender’s New York area debut earlier this year at Rough Trade, and from that show, I can tell you that the rapidly rising Newcastle-born and-based artist is a must see. The live footage will give you a sense of his live show, as he’s about to embark on a lengthy — and mostly sold out — UK tour.

New Audio: Sheer Mag Returns with a Politically-Charged Power, Chord-Fueled Anthem

Philadelphia-based rock act Sheer Mag, comprised of Tina Halladay, Kyle Seely, Hart Seely, Matt Palmer and Ian Dystrka, quickly emerged with three self-released 7 inches and regular touring across the Northeastern DIY circuit. Ironically, the Philadelphia-based quintet stood apart because their sound was so warmly familiar: big riff-based power pop, 60s and 70s proto-metal and 70s arena rock but without the toxic and fucked up machismo. They received praise from Rolling Stone who named the band one of their “10 New Artists You Need To Know” in January 2015, played at Coachella the following year and made their national television debut on on Late Night with Seth Myers.

Building upon a rapidly growing national profile, the band released their critically applauded full-length debut, 2017’s Need to Feel Your Love. Further cementing their enormous riff-based sound, the album thematically found the band surveying the contemporary political landscape through the lens of history with the band figuratively transporting themselves back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, denouncing redlining and gerrymandering practices that undermine the popular vote while paying homage to German, Anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl. 

Sheer Mag’s highly-anticipated sophomore album A Distant Call is slated for a September 23, 2019 release through the band’s own label, Wilsuns RC, and while the album finds the band writing about surviving our hellish sociopolitical moment, the album’s politics are deeply personal. The album documents one of the most alienating periods of Tina Halladay’s life: She was laid off from a job and found herself broke and newly single. And her father, with whom she had a fraught and difficult relationship died, which left her with more heartache and wounds than what felt possible to heal. On another level, the album’s material makes an argument for socialism on an anecdotal level.

Sonically, the album’s material possesses a studio sheen while retaining the big riffs, even bigger hooks, grit and intensity that first caught the attention of the blogosphere, as you’ll hear on the album’s first single, “The Killer.” And it may arguably be the most ambitious and self-assured bit of material in the band’s growing catalog.”There are many killers out there,” Sheer Mag’s Tina Halladay says in press notes. “The Killer is a liar with a strange hold on the world. The Killer is a war criminal the corrupt of society have produced and protected. The Killer spends his life covering up atrocities and defending right-wing dictatorships. The Killer stifles accountability and truth. We want to know, when does The Killer die?”