Tag: London UK

New Video: Mount Kimbie Releases a Brooding Visual for Previously Unreleased Single “Black Stone”

Currently split between Los Angeles and London, the acclaimed electronic music duo Mount Kimbie — Brighton-born, Los Angeles-based Dom Maker and Cornwall-born, London-based Kai Campos — burst into the international scene with their first three critically applauded full-length albums: 2010’s Crooks & Lovers, 2013’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth and 2017’s Love What Survives.

Since the release of Love What Survives, the members of Mount Kimbie have been rather busy: they’ve produced tracks by an eclectic array of acclaimed artists including James Blake, Travis Scott, Slowthai, Jay-Z, King Krule and a growing list of others. In the past year, Mount Kimbie have produced and featured on tracks on Slowthai’s #1 album Tryon, and have designed and cerated music for Undercurrent, an immersive, interactive multimedia installation that address the climate crisis, that also features contributions from Grimes, Bon Iver and The 1975. They also provided production work on Dave’s critically acclaimed We’re All Alone In This Together and James Blake’s “Say What You Will.” Additionally, Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker has contributed to the soundtrack of Oscar-winning short film Two Distant Stangers, co-producing with James Blake, the closing track, which features Travis Scott and Westside Gunn.

The acclaimed duo mark the fourth anniversary of the release of Love What Survives with the release of two previously unreleased and unheard tracks from the Love What Survives sessions — “Black Stone” and “Blue Liquid” as a free download by signing up through email and for pre-order on white label 12 inch vinyl. “Black Stone,” is an instrumental track centered around layers of reverb-drenched, twinkling synth arpeggios and a chugging post punk influenced groove.

Frank Lebon, a longtime Mount Kimbie friend, collaborator and art director recruited up-and-coming artist Peter Eason Daniels to direct, the recently released video for “Black Stone.” Shot in a grainy, security footage-like black and white in London, the video captures people waiting for trains or buses, getting on trains or buses and waiting on a train or bus. “The video is about waiting, moving and stopping. Collective moments of solitude experienced between one place and another,” Daniels says. 

MMYYKK (pronounced “Mike”) is a rising Inland Empire, CA-born, Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. 2019’s highly praised Electro Soul EP found the Inland Empire-born, Minneapolis-based multi-hyphenate artist further establishing a difficult to pigeonhole sound and approach that draws from soul, future funk, R&B, hip-hop, jazz and fusion — and seems equally indebted to Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder.

MMYYKK is also an accomplished ambient artist: Last year’s Mellow Moods and Meditations was released to praise. Earlier this year, he produced PASSAGE, a Black mental health and wellness initiative done in collaboration with the folks at Okayplayer. Building upon a busy year, the Inland Empire-born, Minneapolis-based artist will be releasing the Science EP through London-based label Rhythm Section INTL in September.

Science EP‘s first single is the slinky “Divine.” Centered around MMYYKK’s sultry falsetto, glistening synth arpeggios and a strutting bass line, the flirtatious “Divine” sonically will draw comparisons to D’Angelo and Thundercat, as the crafted manages to be effortless yet carefully crafted. Interestingly, underneath the funky grooves, the song is a much-needed and loving ode to Black women. “Black women taught me how to love. Women literally save the world every day. This track was a way for me to express appreciation and sing praises to the women in my life,” MMYYKK explains in press notes.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay DG Solaris Teams Up with Jeremy Tuplin on the Dream-like “Ocean/Are You weird Enough?”

London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Danny Green may be best known for being the frontman of acclaimed British folk pop act Laish. With Laish, Green wrote and recorded four critically applauded albums released through French indie label Tailres, which he and his bandmates supported with extensive touring across the UK, the European Union and the States.

In 2019 Green went through a number of major life changes: That March, he met Leanna “LG” Green — and by December they got married. For their honeymoon, Leanna and Danny Green decided to spend six months across South America with a simple recording setup that they carried with them in a backpack. During their trip, the couple wound up writing and recording demos that would become the earliest material of their recording project together DG Solaris.  “In between swimming with sea-lions, exploring sacred plant medicines and climbing mountains, we had been searching for beautiful spaces to set up our backpack studio,” the Greens explained in press notes. “All of our recordings feature the sounds of birds, cicadas and crickets.”

en’s latest single, “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?,” a collaboration with fellow London-based singer/songwriter Jeremy Tuplin can trace its origins back to some rather unusual circumstances: Although Green and Tuplin have been writing and recording albums during the past decade, they’ve only been vaguely aware of each other’s existence. One night in Peru, following an intense shamanic ceremony, Green had a vivid dream that he and Tuplin were floating high above the ocean. The next morning, Green contacted Tuplin to share his strange astral encounter — and the pair began a correspondence.

Of course, the end result is the dream-like “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?” Written and recorded during the middle of a pandemic — which created its own challenges — “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?” is centered around a sparse yet haunting arrangement of acoustic guitar, atmospheric synths, shuffling drums serving as a gentle and ethereal bed for a gorgeous melody — and some equally gorgeous harmonies. And while sounding a bit like a cross between The Church and Nick Drake, the song as Green explains thematically explores the oneness and weirdness of people within a collective whole.

The recently released video by Danny Tuplin features some gorgeous drone footage at the sea, meant to evoke the sensation of floating above the ocean and looking at life going on below interspersed with footage of jellyfish and endless plastic floating down to the seafloor, VHS fuzz, a retro-futuristic-like beach house. It’s an oddly gentle, dystopian and hallucinogenic dream.

Sneaker Pimps — currently founding members Liam Howe (production) and Chris Corner (guitar, vocals) with newly recruited Simonne Jones (vocals) — can trace their origins back to their formation in Hartlepool, UK back in 1994: The act’s initial lineup of Howe, Corner, Kelli Ali (née Dayton), Joe Wilson and Dave Westlake quickly established themselves as one of the pioneers of trip hop with their critically applauded and commercially successful, full-length debut, 1996’s Becoming X, which featured their signature track “6 Underground.”

Ali left the band after the release of Becoming X. Corner took over on vocal duties and the band went on to release two more albums, 1999’s Splinter and 2002’s Bloodsport. Wilson and Westlake left the band in 2002. Shortly after, Sneaker Pimps’ founding members made a mutual decision to explore other creative avenues: Corner and Howe went on to their own highly successful individual ventures in music and film, collaborating with the likes of Gary Numan, Lana del Rey and others with IAMX (Corner) and AMP (Howe). During their initial seven-year run, Sneaker Pimps had five UK Top 40 singles — the aforementioned “Six Underground,” “Spin Spin Sugar,” “Low Five,” and “Bloodsport.”

Sneaker Pimps’ founding members, who are currently split between London and Los Angeles ended a lengthy 14 year hiatus back in 2016 with hints of new music. Since then, the act’s fans have been desperately waiting for new material. Five years have passed but earlier this year Howe and Corner announced that they’d be releasing a new album, their highly anticipated fourth album, Squaring the Circle in the fall. Recently, Corner and Howe, along with their newest member Simonne Jones released a double single of album material, “Squaring the Circle” and “Fighter.”

Album title track “Squaring the Circle” is a yearning duet between Corner and Jones centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of twinkling piano, atmospheric electronics and layered backing vocals. Sonically, the track is a decided departure from their commercially successful initial run with the cinematic track reminding me quite a bit of Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. “Fighter” finds the legendary trip hop pioneers crafting a remarkably contemporary sound centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Jones’ sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While clearly being wildly different, the tracks are thematically related with both tracks being tales of survival — in desperate and uncertain times.

“After 18 years of dormancy and deliberation we (Sneaker Pimps) are releasing not one, but two new tracks,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe explains. “‘Fighter’ is a plea for courage and strength against prevailing mental health crises. ‘Squaring the Circle’ (via Nietzsche) is a heartfelt ode to eternal returns of love, in the face of desperate adversity. Contrasting in nature, hopefully these songs describe the diversity and essence of the new album.

“It’s taken many years and many false starts to get Sneaker Pimps back in the game,” Sneaker Pimps’ Chris Corner said on Twitter. “Sometimes [you] need to back the fuck off and let the universe take control. I’m proud and relieved to say that it is finally happening. We officially have new music.”

Look for Squaring the Circle on September 10.

New Audio: Emerging Artist Octavia Releases a Sultry Single

Octavia is a Corsica, France-born, London-based singer/songwriter who since 2017 has developed an a unique take on alternative pop/R&B inspired by the likes of Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Destiny’s Child, Martha Aregeritch, Hiatus Kaiyote and Alice Coltrane among others, paired with lyrics that touch upon being a survivor, the people she has lost, her experiences and being a woman in general — sung in English and in French.

French-born, British-based artist’s latest single “Girlfriend” is centered around a dark and brooding production by Moma, MADD..’s Basile Peter and Lous and the Yakuza’s Raphaël Zeboulon featuring skittering tweeter and woofer rattling beats, wobbling synths paired with Octavia’s sultry vocals to create a song that swoons with desperate and nervous desire: the song tells a story about a woman’s first romantic and sexual encounter with another woman — and the recognition that they’re at the very least bisexual. While thematically perfect for Pride Month, the track also manages to be an honest exploration of feminine sensuality and sexuality.

New Video: ISLAND’s Gorgeous and Broodingly Cinematic Visual for Atmospheric “Young Days”

Initially formed in Oxford and currently based in London, the acclaimed indie rock act ISLAND — founding member Rollo Doherty (vocals) with Jack Reader (guitar), James Wolfe (bass) and Toby Richards (drums) — can trace their origins back to when Doherty started the band as a solo, acoustic, bedroom project that became a full-fledged band when Doherty recruited Reader, Wolfe and Richards to flesh out the project’s sound. And with the release of their first two EPs and 2018’s full-length debut Feels Like Air, which featured singles like “Try,” “The Day I Die,” and “Ride” and “Horizon,” the British quartet established and cemented aa sound that paired arena rock friendly hooks, earnest songwriting and brooding atmospherics inspired by Fleetwood Mac, Kings of Leon, The War On Drugs, Grizzly Bear and others.

SLAND’S highly-anticipated sophomore album Yesterday Park is slated for a June 25, 2021 release through Frenchkiss Records. Recorded during pandemic-related lockdowns in London last summer with Mikko Gordon, Yesterday Park marks the first time that the acclaimed British indie rock quartet has worked with an outside producer. Reportedly, the end result is material that finds the act experimenting with more complex production while intruding new textures and recording techniques to further hone the sound that has won them acclaim worldwide.

Yesterday Park’s latest single, the slow-burning “Young Days” is centered around Doherty’s plaintive vocals, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, broodingly atmospheric synths, jazz syncopated-inspired drumming and a rousing, arena rock sing-a-long friendly hook. Interestingly, much like the album’s previously released singles, “Young Days” is an wistful look at the past, written from the perspective of someone who has suddenly began to recognize that they’re getting old — and the time has somehow rushed by while they’ve been living it. As someone, who’s fully in his 40s, the song feels achingly familiar.

not being able to look into the eyes of the generations who will suffer the worst of the consequences makes it not even seem real,” ISLAND’s Rollo Doherty says of their latest single. “‘Young Days’ considers those ideas, but it was also written when I felt like I had reached a point where I needed to look at aspects of my own life, and change to better my future. The song is lost somewhere between those two thoughts.” The entire band adds “Nostalgia is a feeling that has become more relevant for everyone in the last year, with more time and space to reflect on past experiences.” 

Directed by ISLAND’s Rollo Doherty, the cinematically shot black and white video follows a group of skateboarders fully in their youth — but these young people realize that the world that they will soon inhabit will be fucked up and broken unless the adults do the work to get it right on their behalf. Will we be successful? I don’t know. And that’s frightening.

Murillo “Muca” Sguillaro is a Brazilian-born, London-based songwriter, guitarist and producer, who has built up a modest following through a number of various recording projects — including Muca and La Marquise. Since the release of a handful of attention-grabbing singles and videos with that project, Sguillaro has been rather busy: the Brazilian-born, London-based songwriter, guitarist and producer recently became a father — and to celebrate such a wondrous occasion, Sguillaro collaborated with British singer/songwriter Alice SK and legendary Bossa nova pioneer Roberto Menescal on “Until We Meet Again,” an old-timey and breezy take on the Bossa nova sound I adore so very much with subtle elements of indie folk and pop.

Sguillaro can trace the origins of this new collaboration back a little bit. He recently finished working on Alice SK’s debut EP and believed that her voice would be perfectly suited for Bossa nova, and for a composition he had written. Sguillaro asked the British singer/songwriter to write lyrics and sing on the track. Muca originally met Menescal when the Bossa nova pioneer was in London on tour, and the two Brazilian artists managed to exchange ideas and shared love for Brazilian music and other music. Sguillaro and Menescal recorded the bulk of the song’s arrangement in Rio de Janiero — with Sguillaro and Alice SK working on the final arrangements and vocals in London.

Featuring gently galloping rhythms, Alice SK’s gorgeous and expressive vocals, Menescal’s shimmering and looping acoustic guitar, bursts of cinematic strings, fluttering flute, “Until We Meet Again” is centered around an nostalgic longing for much simple and more innocent times, summer nights dancing all night and reunions with loved ones — whether in this world or in the next.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays WRY Release a Trippy Visual for Anthemic Yet Intimate “Man In The Mirror”

Since their formation, the Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil-based psych rock act WRY — Mario Bross (vocals, guitar), Luciano Marcello (guitar), Ítalo Ribero (drums) and William Leonotti (bass) — have been at the forefront of Brazil’s indie rock scene, releasing six albums that have firmly established their sound that features elements of Brit Pop, shoegaze and post-punk with a distinctly Brazilian vibe.

After a stint living and working in London, the Brazilian psych rockers achieved a growing international profile, which helped lead to several tours across the UK and the European Union, including notable stops on the European festival circuit — in particular, a notable stop at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound.

Along with their recorded output, the band owns a popular club in their native Brazil, which has frequently hosted their internationally acclaimed countrymen and friends Boogarins. 

WRY’s latest album, last year’s brilliant Noites Infinitas thematically touched upon anxiety, despair and unconventional paths towards hope while living in our incredibly fractious and divisive world. And sonically, the album features ambitious and hook-driven arena rock friendly anthems rooted in lived-in experience.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you might recall that I’ve written about two of the album’s previous singles:

“Travel:” Brit Pop-like single centered around a motorik groove and a rousingly anthemic hook. 
“I feel invisible:” a shimmering New Wave meets shoegaze-like track featuring shimmering guitars fed through reverb and delay pedals that captures a narrator, who’s been oppressed and hemmed in by a society that won’t allow him to live his life in a truthful fashion. 

I also wrote about their career spanning-live streamed set for the (virtual) Febre Festival and a live set at their studio Deaf Haus centered around Noites Infinitas. Of course, the band is still actively promoting the album, and it’s latest single “Man In The Mirror” finds the act subtly expanding upon their sound: the song begins with a brief synth-led into before turning into a New Wave-like take on Brit Pop featuring angular and reverb-drenched guitars, driving four-on-the-floor, a relentlessly driving bass line and a rousingly anthemic hook. But despite its overall bigness, the song thematically focuses on something intimate and familiar to most of us — the sensation of being trapped in your head, in your own home without any distraction or escape. And the entire time, you might not actually like what you see in that proverbial mirror.

The recently released video for “Man In The Mirror” was shot during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in their native Brazil and is split between footage of the band’s frontman Mario Bross running in terror from something unseen throughout most of the video and the band performing the song in a front of trippy backdrops. As the video progresses there’s a trippy and mind-bending twist — that maybe the terror Bross is running from is himself.

New Video: London Duo Tullamarine Releases a Haunting and meditative Visual for “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said Next”

London-based electronic duo, Tullamarine — British-born writer/producer Adam Young and Kiwi-born, London-based writer/producer Joss Arrmitage — features two accomplished artists, who have been friends for over 20 years, but who have long created separately — until 2015 when the duo formed their latest, collaborative project through the fog of late-night conversations and half-formed ideas.

Inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, the duo’s initial idea behind the project was to creatively push each other through experimentation and remote collaboration, with the hopes of bettering their respective music. Sharing two, four or even eight-bar snippets, and never working physically together in the same studio, the duo saw ideas gradually form and organize themselves into symbiotic designs of experimental production. Interestingly, they had no prearranged agenda, no pre-determined style; they went where each track took them in an intuitive fashion.

The duo’s intuitive process shouldn’t be surprising: Young, who’s an expert int twisting and shaping audio found and Armitage, whose style is defined by a deep and abiding love of synths quickly found a natural fit that came together through a shared production and writing approach. Initially. tracks were guided by Young or Armitage, but rarely both. But by the time the released And So We Followed Her Blindly Into The Sun EP there was a marked shift in their creative process, with the duo collaborating much more while revealing influences from the likes of Nils Frahm, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and a lot of nights at The Barbican.

With the October 20120 release of the three-song Stratosphere EP, Young and Armitage firmly established their sound, one that’s an assertive, melancholic soundscape. Continuing where Stratosphere EP left off, the emerging British electronic duo’s 17 track album Frequency, allows listeners to further experience their complex and unique soundscape, which evokes memories of clubbing, to more expansive and meditative material, interspersed with beat work that brings 90s alternative hip-hop and IDM. Interestingly, Frequency’s latest single “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said” is an expansive track with a meditative piano-led introduction before quickly transforming into a trance-inducing section featuring skittering beats, shimmering synth arpeggios that slowly builds up tempo — but while being an exercise in tense restraint without release. Adding to the eerily cinematic feel of the song, get composition focuses on Billy, a bewildered fictional character, created by the duo’s Joss Armitage, who had conflicted relationships with women since his mother died when he was a young boy.

Directed by WIlliam Glass, the recently released video for “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said” is an achingly nostalgic dream that stars Lilly Ashley as a sort of distorted and romanticized image of someone’s late mother. Throughout the video, Ashley’s mother-like figure holds a fish balloon, which the duo and the video’s director explains is meant to embody both the child and childhood. Of course, at some point, the woman eventually decides to let her balloon go. So the video alludes to the innocent and playful mother, and to death — with the tacit understanding that death is a part of it all.

New Video: DG SolarIs’ Heartbreaking Cover of Marty Willson-Piper’s “I Don’t Think So”

Danny Green is a London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known for being the frontman of acclaimed British folk pop act Laish. And with Laish, Green was behind four critically applauded albums released through French indie label Tailres, which he and his bandmates supported with extensive touring across the UK, the European Union and the States.

Green went through major life changes in 2019: That March, he met his soon-to-be wife Leanna “LG” Green. And by December, the couple had married. For their honeymoon, the newlywed couple decided to spent six months across South America with a simple recording set up that they carried with them in a backpack. The duo wound up creating the demos that would help start their collaborative project together,  DG Solaris.  “In between swimming with sea-lions, exploring sacred plant medicines and climbing mountains, we had been searching for beautiful spaces to set up our backpack studio,” the Greens explained in press notes. “All of our recordings feature the sounds of birds, cicadas and crickets.”

Returning home to London after their honeymoon, Danny and Leanna recruited Tom Chadd, Matt Canty and Matt Hardy to help flesh out the material they demoed during their honeymoon. The end result was the act’s full-length debut, last year’s Spirit Glow, which drew from and meshed elements of 70s psych pop, synth pop, krautrock and prog rock in a unique and playful fashion — with the album’s material written as a textural journey through emotional realms. “We wanted to explore the idea of two voices, two spirits, two creative minds and see where this dynamic could take us,” DG Solaris’ Leanna Green says in press notes. Danny Green adds, “It has been an incredibly inspiring trip. We came back with over forty songs and it has been a challenge to chose our favourites for this first album.”

DG Solaris’ first single of 2021 is a fairly straightforward cover of Marty Willson-Piper’s “I Don’t Think So” that retains the original’s gorgeous melody but adds brief and subtle bursts of shimmering strings and steel pedal to the mix. Green’s sonorous baritone adds an even deeper sense of resignation and defeat to the proceedings. To me, the heart of the song are tacit acknowledgements that you play a role in your own misery and defeats — and that there are countless crushing defeats that you can’t maneuver around and are forced to accept. Along with that there’s a sense of shared past you long for that you can’t ever get back.

Green met Willson-Piper, a former member of the acclaimed Aussie rock act The Church when Green joined Wilson-Piper and Salim Nourallah for a week-long tour of Texas in October 2018. “I listened to Marty sing it every night and I fell in love with the melody and lyrical defeat,” Green says. “After the tour, Salim invited me for a day in his studio and it was still going around my head, so we sang it together.”

The recently released video is split between footage of Green singing and playing the song in his home, and singing the song’s chorus with his wife and a drunk reveler, who has gone a bit too far with the fun, fucking up to the point of having serious repercussions.