Tag: Los Angeles CA

New Video: Spaceface Teams Up with Mikaela Davis on the Glistening “Rain Passing Through”

Founded back in 2012 by Jake Ignalls, a former member of The Flaming LipsSpaceface is self-professed “retro-futurist dream rock” outfit split between Memphis and Los Angeles The band features current and past members of The Flaming Lips and Pierced. And since their formation, Spaceface has developed a reputation for crafting catchy songs that whirl, twirl, bend and stretch, attract and propel while sonically featuring elements of dream pop, funk, rock and post-disco. 

Spaceface’s forthcoming full-length album Anemoia is slated for a January 28, 2022 release though Montreal-based label MothlandAnemoia is the result of several months spent at Blackwatch Studios in 2019 where the band spent several months working with Jarod Evans writing material inspired by funk rock and the turn of the millennium psychedelia revival. Although the material can be initially perceived as a feat of efficient and minimalistic songwriting by Ignalls and a cast of friends and collaborators, centered around slick melodies, lush arrangements and effortlessly flowing rhythmic grooves, each spin reportedly will reveal a new layer while painting a positive but somewhat critical portrayal of modern life.

In the lead-up to the album’s release next month, Mothland and the self-professed retro-futuristic dream rock outfit have released four singles off the album: “Happens All The Time,” “Earth In Awe,” “Piña Collider,” which featured samples and choir vocals from actual CERN scientists and “Long Time.” Featuring guest vocals from Penny Pitchlynn, best known for her work with BRONCHO and LABRYS, “Long Time” is Tame Impala-like song centered around a breezy and lush arrangement consisting of glistening synth arpeggios, crunchy bass lines and thumping beats. But at its core, the song contemplates life choices and alternate realities through a series of “well, what if I did x instead of y.” 

“Rain Passing Through” Anemoia‘s fifth and latest single is a glistening, Oracular Spectacular era MGMT take on disco centered around Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, four-on-the-floor, a sinuous bass line and lush layers of space alien-like synths serving as a glistening bed for an ethereal yet sultry duet with Mikaela Davis.

“It’s about fleeting moments you have between former or future lovers in passing turbulent times, knowing that you probably shouldn’t take shelter within each other, but knowing that it’s okay to feel good and safe together even if it’s as ephemeral as the rain passing through on a stormy night,” Jake Ingalls explains.

The recently released video is a collaboration between Spaceface’s Ignalls, Erika Mugglin and Mac Hanson and it a trippy but tender look at a teenaged love triangle featuring a mixture of stock footage, material from Hanson’s personal archives and of the video’s three love-crossed protagonists.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Swoon Release a Brooding New Visual and Single

Formed back in 2016, JOVM mainstays No Swoon — Tasha Abbott (vocals, guitar) and Zack Nestel-Patt (synths) — have received attention across the blogosphere for a sound and approach that meshes elements of dream pop, shoegaze, post-punk and ethereal wave.

2018’s EP 1 was written in Los Angeles during a self-imposed exile from the East Coast. For Abbott, a native of Ontario, CA, the idea was to get back to her geographic and musical roots: she spent a great deal of time driving around the suburbs listening to the goth and New Wave that her mom played in the car when Abbott was a little girl  (BauhausLove and Rockets, New Order) and the indie rock and punk rock of her teenage years (Yeah Yeah YeahsThe White Stripes).

2019’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced, self-titled full-length debut saw the band firmly establishing their sound in an urgent and ambitious fashion. Drawing from the divisiveness of the 2016 election and its aftermath, the self-titled album featured incisive political commentary — often criticizing capitalism, unchecked power and greed, while touching upon the confusion, frustration and and uncertainty that so many of us have felt, and continue to feel.

Much like countless others across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the JOVM mainstay act found their lives and plans thrown into disarray: their planned tour to support their full-length debut last year was indefinitely scrapped. And after spending the past five years in Brooklyn, the duo relocated to Los Angeles. Understandably, the past year spent in isolation has forced the duo to take a step back and think about their lives in new ways, as well as examine the intricacies of going through life. (This has been a period of profound reflection and reinvention — for all of us.)

The duo’s latest single “Again” marks a period of massive transitions for the band: the aforementioned move back West — and the band reworking their sound as a result. The slow-burning “Again” sees the JOVM mainstays pairing Abbott’s ethereal and plaintive vocals with a stormy backdrop of forceful and buzzing power chords, thunderous drumming by frequent collaborator Jon Smith, swirling bursts of twinkling keys and a enormous hook. Sonically, the song manages to evoke the seemingly unending doldrums of the earliest part of the pandemic, while being a sort of mix of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins and Slowdive.

“This song is about when days begin and end with no real definition. About being stuck in the loop of our life and we can’t get out. It may come to no surprise that this song was written early on in the Pandemic. Before everything shut down, I (Tasha) was constantly moving: work, music, sleep, etc., and being at stand-still all of a sudden was definitely strange (on top of the already terror and stress of the pandemic).”

Directed, shot and edited by the members of No Swoon,  the recently released video for “Again” features the band’s Tasha Abbott by herself at night, shot in a series of super tight close-ups meant to evoke the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped by yourself with your own thoughts.

Live Footage: JAWNY Performs “Take It Back” on Vevo DSCVR

Initially known as Johnny Utah, the rising Bay Area-born, Los Angeles-based self-taught bedroom pop producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist JAWNY has begun to win over the blogosphere through restless reinvention: Since the release of “Honeypie,” JAWNY has released material, in which at one moment, he might be playing a funky pop banger and in another, a distortion-fueled ripper born of an instinct-driven creative process he describes as “very scatterbrained and manic and all-over-the-place,” that’s equally inspired by Luther Vandross and STRFKR.

Vevo, one of the world’s biggest music video networks recently released their complete list for their DSCVR Artists to Watch 2022 campaign: Vevo received over 500 submissions from a variety of acts across the globe — and Vevo selected 21 of them, who the video network believes will break through into the mainstream. Those 21 acts will film two performances in visually unique settings. Appearing on the Artists to Watch list help the artists and bands on it receive critical exposure and promotion that help propel their careers to the next step: All 21 ATW artists and bands will be marketed and featured on Vevo’s expertly curated music video programming — through playlists and editorial features across Vevo’s network. including YouTube and connected TV platforms like Pluto TVSamsung TV Plus, and Apple TV. Rapidly rising Isle of Man-based duo Wet Leg was one of those 21 acts selected for Vevo’s DSCVR Artists to Watch 2022 campaign.

The latest artist on that list is the aforementioned Bay Area-born, Los Angeles-based multi-hyphenate artist. And for his live session, JAWNY performs the Local H-like “Take It Back.” Centered around a classic grunge rock song structure — quiet-ish verses, rousingly anthemic, power chord-driven choruses, thunderous drumming, “Take It Back” is a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring a fed-up, lovelorn narrator tired of being played around. We’ve all been there and the song’s universality will likely lead to countless kids shouting along to the chorus in sweaty mosh pits around the country.

“Since taking the internet by storm with ‘Honeypie,’ JAWNY has held our attention by propelling himself into project after project where in one instance, he may be grooving through a funky pop banger and in another he’s shredding on a distortion-heavy, lovelorn track,” James Mecker, Vevo’s Manger/Music Programming, shares. “It’s hard not to be reminded of Beck’s constant reinventions, this time through the voice of a 25-year-old who has experienced global events and personal heartbreak in the span of two tumultuous years. With his first tour since the pandemic currently underway, we’re excited to watch the next chapter of the artist formerly known as Johnny Utah get written in front of our very own eyes.”

tiger lily is a rising Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based Asian-American singer/songwriter and pop artist. But she can actually trace the origins of her career to fronting a Seattle-based all-female grunge band, which built up a regional profile: That band received praise from The Seattle Times and was once named “Seattle’s Best Underage Band” by Seattle Weekly. Adding to that growing profile, the band also received airplay from KEXP.

Stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist, the Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based pop artist has opened for Grammy-nominated duo Social House — and she has amassed over 70,000 followers across Tik Tok and Instagram. But more important, tiger lily is a vocal advocate for greater representation of Asian Americans and other POC artists in the music industry — with interviews appearing in Audiofemme, Spin Magazine and others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this year. you might recall that I wrote about the rising Asian American artist’s collaboration with Seattle-born and-based electronic music producer Fluencie, a collaboration that the duo can trace back to when they met as students at Ingraham High School. “juneau, alaska” was a slickly produced, radio friendly, Top 40-like confection that began with an acoustic guitar pop introduction before quickly morphing into a Taylor Swift/Phoebe Ryan-like banger centered around shimmering and wobbling synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an enormous hook. But underneath the song’s crowd pleasing surface, the song is rooted in an aching nostalgia for a period of time that seemed simpler and can’t be had again.

tiger lily’s latest single finds her collaborating with rising Toronto-based electronic music producer and artist MKSTN. During the course of the past year, both artists have released tracks to praise from Spin Magazine, Stereofox and Earmilk and landed on Spotify playlists like Fresh Finds, Indie pop and Make Out. MKSTN also had his music played in sets by artists like Martin Garrix and JOVM mainstay Washed Out. tiger lily on the other hand, also played benefit shows, which raised money for charities that supported POC and LGBTQ+ lives.

Although the duo met virtually, their collaboration together “like we’re an indie movie” is a achingly nostalgic bop centered around a dusty lo-fi-like production featuring twinkling synth arpeggios, shimmering hi-hat bursts, a strummed electronic guitar figure, skittering beats serving as a silky bed for tiger lily’s breathily sultry cooing. Sonically, the track — to my ears, at least — reminds me a bit of Washed Out’s earlier work.

As the artists put it, “We connected over the internet. We thought it’d be cool to capture Tumblr and internet culture into our take on a modern indie movie soundtrack. The song was inspired by Spotify playlist names and distant memories of spontaneous trips to chase a summer love. As the hook, sung over Paris field recordings and lofi riffs goes, ‘kiss me in the rain like you’ll only ever love me / like we’re in an indie movie.’”

New Video: Spaceface Teams up with LABRYS on a Breezy and Funky Meditation on Life Choices

Founded back in 2012 by Jake Ignalls, a former member of The Flaming Lips, Spaceface is self-professed “retro-futurist dream rock” outfit is split between Memphis and Los Angeles — and features current and past members of The Flaming Lips and Pierced. Since their formation, Spaceface has developed a reputation for crafting catchy songs that whirl, twirl, bend and stretch, attract and propel while sonically featuring elements of dream pop, funk, rock and post-disco.

Spaceface’s forthcoming full-length album Anemoia is slated for a January 28, 2022 release though Montreal-based label Mothland. Anemoia is the result of several months spent at Blackwatch Studios in 2019 where the band spent several months working with Jarod Evans writing material inspired by funk rock and the turn of the millennium psychedelia revival. Although the material can be initially perceived as a feat of efficient and minimalistic songwriting by Ignalls and a cast of friends and collaborators, as the result of slick melodies, lush arrangements and effortlessly flowing rhythmic grooves, each spin reveals a new layer, painting a positive but somewhat critical portrayal of modern life.

In the lead up to the album’s early 2022 release, Mothland and the self-professed retro-futurist dream rock have released three singles off the album to date: “Happens All The Time,” “Earth In Awe,” and “Piña Collider,” which featured samples and choir vocals from actual CERN scientists. Anemmoia‘s fourth and latest single “Long Time (feat. LABRYS),” which features Penny Pitchlynn, best known for her work with BRONCHO and LABRYS taking on vocal duties. Centered around a breezy and lush arrangement featuring glistening synth arpeggios, crunchy bass lines and thumping beats that recalls Tame Impala, “Long Time” contemplates life choices and alternate realities through a series of “well, what if I did x instead of y.”
 
“It’s about that dreamlike state of wondering where you could be in your own life if you had just taken that left down the other road instead of taking a right,” Spaceface’s Jake Ignalls explains in press notes.  “It’s this inescapable feeling that sometimes you’ve slipped into an alternate reality without realizing and you think, ‘My god, is this my life? There’s another one for me out there.’” 

Directed by Marina Aguerre, the recently released video for “Long Time” was shot on grainy VHS tape and follows three people — two women and a presumably Spaceface himself — getting ready for a small gathering, where the trio eventually dances the night away through trippy effects.

New Video: Los Angeles’ Elle PF Releases a Brooding Visual for Slow-Burning and CInematic “Ultimatum”

Ranelle Labiche is a classically trained, Minneapolis-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and frotntperson of Los Angeles-based indie outfit Elle PF. Labiche can trace the origins of her music career back to when she had turned five and started to play piano and violin. By the time she was in her late teens, she was playing in local punk bands. The Minneapolis-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist earned degrees in music and psychology. And as an adult, she splits her time between her full-time job as a board certified music therapist, who works in mental health treatment centers in the Los Angeles area. Between her full-time work and her creative work, Labiche has continued to find a way to fuse music and creative expression as a tool to help herself and others to process and analyze events and emotions.

With Elle PF, Labiche and her bandmates — Jessica LaSota (bass, backing vocals), John Acarregui (drums), Doc (guitar) — specialize in a lush, widescreen sound that features elements of indie rock, haunting harmonies and electronic production within symphonic-like movements , inspired by an eclectic array of artists including Bjork, St. Vincent, Amanda Palmer, and God Speed You! Black Emperor.

Elle PF”s full-length debut, 2018’s She Wrote It was recorded and produced by the band’s Labiche. The 12-song album touched upon themes of social frustration, loss, melancholy, existential apathy paired with incisive political commentary — all while firmly establishing their lush, widescreen sound.

During the pandemic, the members of the Los Angeles-based indie outfit went into the studio to write and record their sophomore album I Woke Up Today Laughing. The album’s first single is the the slow-burning and brooding “Ultimatum.” Centered around a lush production featuring glistening synths, shimmering guitars, Labiche’s sultry cooing, dramatic drumming and a soaring hook, “Ultimatum” sonically — to my ears, at least — brings the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and contemporaries like Jennie Vee to mind.

Directed by musician and director, Jimmy Whispers, the recently released video for “Ultimatum” is inspired by Labche’s love for motorcycles: on her free time, the Minneapolis-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist rides with local motorcycle crews like Queers on Gears, Women SoCal Rides and The Litas. The video follows Labiche getting on her beloved bike and riding through the Los Angeles area — through suburban sprawl, the Sunset Strip at night and windy canyon roads. The video makes it apparent that its protagonist is struggling with a difficult and challenging past and present, and the desire to freely move forward on a new path.

Since the release of 2016’s full-length debut High HopesHalifax, Nova Scotia-based post-punk act Like a Motorcycle — currently Kim Carson (bass, vocals), KT Lamond (guitar, vocals) and David Casey (guitar, vocals) and Clare McDonald (drums, vocals) — have managed to muscle through the sort of tumult and instances that has busted up countless other bands: substance abuse, health issues, several lineup changes, and a former label that nearly bankrupted them. And despite all of that they’ve bravely — and perhaps stubbornly — kept on, honing on their long-held reputation for crafting anthems for disenfranchised rejects like themselves, who are working several different gigs, maneuvering five-figure college debts and barely surviving.

The Halifax-based post-punk outfit’s sophomore effort, last year’s aptly titled Dead Broke featured the anthemic, Ganser-like “Wide Awake,” a bristling and incisive commentary on a capitalist system that allows and celebrates rampant exploitation for personal gain.  

Adding to a growing profile in their native Canada, Like a Motorcycle has opened for the likes of Against Me!, Propagandhi, Headstones, The Vibrators, Japandroids, The Pack A.D., Art Bergmann, Danko Jones and JOVM mainstays L.A. Witch and METZ.

The Halifax-based post-punk outfit’s latest single sees them tackling a song by Los Angeles-based cult favorite punk act The Screamers, who despite the buzz surrounding them at the time, never recorded or released an album. “122 Hours of Fear” outlines the 1977 hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 from the point of view of a hostage on the flight. Beginning with blown out beats, reverb and pedal effected guitars, the song quickly turns into a tense affair centered around angular guitar bursts, glistening synth arpeggios in the background, howled vocals and thunderous drumming. And at its core is slow-burning sense of dread of the potentially terrible fate that awaits the song’s narrator, much like the original.

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New Video: Jess Chalker Returns With a Trippy Visual for Sultry “Cynical”

Sydney-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer, Jess Chalker started her music career as the frontman of Aussie New Wave act We Are The Brave. And since We Are The Brave’s breakup, Chalker has become a highly sought-after collaborator: She has worked with Sam FischerVintage Culture, IsamachineGold Kimono, and Passenger — and she was part of the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team that cowrote Lisa Loeb‘s lead single on the acclaimed artist’s kids record Feel What U Feel. Additionally, the Aussie-born, British-based artist wrote “Darkest Hour” for the Amazon Original series Panic, performed by Tate McRae.

Chalker finally steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her full-length debut Hemispheres. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through her own imprint 528 Records, the album was completed under the massive weight of the pandemic, and as Chalker grappled with the loss of her day job and heartbreaking health issues. 

Much like countless others across the globe, she found herself spiraling and turned to music for the creative outlet she needed. Collaborating with friends across Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including Dan Long, Josh Humphreys and Chalker’s former We Are The Brave bandmate Ox Why, Chalker wound up finishing what would turn out to be a deeply emotional album. And interestingly enough, she managed to find much longed-for freedom in the process: “Releasing this album is terrifying and thrilling to me,” the Aussie-born, British-based artist says in press notes. “I grew up in a religion that discouraged us from pursuing career success, where women weren’t allowed on stage to address an audience directly. I think it’s why I’ve always tried to avoid the spotlight but, after the year we’ve all had, my perspective on things has changed quite a lot. I’m not wasting any more time doubting myself.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds Chalker and her collaborators crafting material featuring guitar-driven hooks and retro synths paired with the Aussie-born, British-based artist’s expressive vocals. Thematically, the album deals with themes that explore the dichotomy between depression and hopefulness, self-doubt and self-love and more. 

In the lead up to the album’s forthcoming release, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s previously released singles:

  • The Chalker, Rich Jacques and Martjin Tinus Konijnenburg co-written “Don’t Fight It.” Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched drums. Chalker’s expressive vocals, the track hints at Peter GabrielKate Bush and Prince, while full of the bittersweet longing and uncertainty of a narrator who’s physically and emotionally lost. 
  • The breezy and defiantly upbeat “Stupid Trick.”Centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, Chalker’s plaintive vocals, the song thematically focuses on the innocence and desperately intense feelings of teenaged love, before gradually learning what love really is and what it really means. And while bringing up memories of Pat Benetar‘s “Love is a Battlefield,” Rod Stewart‘s “Young Turks” and others, the song continued a run of material driven by Chalker’s unerring knack for paring earnestly written material with a razor sharp hook. 

“Cynical,” Hemisphere‘s latest single is a smoky pop song centered around Chalker’s achingly tender vocals, twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, a sinuous and propulsive bass line, and a bluesy guitar lines. But while being sultry and full of longing, “Cynical” possesses an underlying tension, tumult and tension that should feel familiar to anyone, who has been in a complicated, dramatic relationship full of fiery passion that will burn out or blow up in everyone’s faces,

“Musically this song feels quite drama-filled,” Chalker says, “There’s a tension in it that’s familiar, like the tumult of being in one of those relationships you know won’t go the distance but feels good in the moment.”

Directed by Thomas Calder, the recently released video for “Cynical” is part lyric video, part music video in which we see Chalker rendered in blown out, psychedelic colors,.

Pre-order the album now via Bandcamp (https://jesschalker.bandcamp.com)

Jake Ward is best known as one-half of Athens, GA-based indie rock act Eureka California. Ward recently took to his home studio and completed a solo album, Never Had A Touch To Lose, which finds him stepping out into the spotlight as solo artist. performing as Mild Mild Country.

Mild Mild Country is a decided sonic departure from Ward’s work with Eureka California: Never Had A Touch To Lose is a purely instrumental. mostly synth-based, 80s influenced affair, unlike the crunchy, literature indie-rock he’s best known for. The album’s material finds Ward composing the soundtrack to an imaginary detective movie, set in Los Angeles, where the album coincidentally was recorded.

While the album is mostly synth based, you’ll hear subtle nods to post-punk, the blues and some inspired guitar playing. The album is slated for an October 22, 2021 release through HHBTM Records. To build up buzz for the album, Ward and HHBTM Records recently released a digital only bonus track off the album, an indie rock leaning cover of Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” featuring a subtly different arrangement. While centered around heavily arpeggiated synths and industrial clang and clatter, the song also features buzzing guitars and a lengthy vocal coda. which pushes the song past the five minute mark.

Ward wrote a lengthy statement to me about Mild Mild Country’s sound and the new cover. I’ll let him speak for himself, below:

“I don’t know if it was a conscious decision to necessarily change my sound – I certainly didn’t think it was something that I had to do as much as it was that I wanted to try something new. There’s a quote by Warhol that I think about all the time – ‘Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.’ I think over the past year or so, I’ve really tried to adopt that mentality and to focus on making things (music, paintings, etc) that are interesting to me and then putting them out into the world. I’ve always enjoyed tons of different kinds of music and really the genesis for this new project was watching a documentary on Primal Scream’s Screamadelica and going ‘I want to try something like that.’ The only conscious aspect of it was that I didn’t want people to hear it and automatically go ‘oh, it’s a quarantine record.’ My thought was having it be an instrumental doesn’t really link it to a specific time than if I was singing about not going out, spending too much on GrubHub, etc. At the end of the day, I hope this isn’t my Hudson River Wind Meditations but that’s not really up to me.

I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve been a huge Depeche Mode fan for years and years. Honestly, before this year I maybe knew 3 or 4 songs and my biggest Depeche Mode memory was back in the winter of 2019 when my neighbors were blasting mariachi music for roughly 14 hours and the only break was at about hour 8 when they played ‘Policy of Truth,’ twice. And then on a random Thursday in August while I was doing some painting, everything changed. I put on a DM playlist because I wanted something with vocals but no guitars (sorry Aphex Twin), and put on the first song I knew, ‘World in my Eyes.’ But it was the second song, ‘Everything Counts,’ which was one I didn’t know that blew my shit wide open. It was so catchy, and intricate, creative, and clever in it’s arrangement. I’m writing this in October but I’m certain my Spotify wrapped is going to show this as my top played song of the year. And then every other song that followed just left me dumbfounded. I felt like I had stumbled upon a huge secret which is a hilariously sad thing to think about when hearing one of the most successful bands all of time. Still, where had this been all my life? What followed after this first listen was a blur. By Friday, I had listened to just about everything they’d released prior to Alan Wilder leaving and then on Saturday, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I spent the entire day learning and recording this cover. Ya know, for fun. And with that in mind, I hope when you listen to this you get a sense of the immediacy of someone discovering their new favorite band.”