Tag: Los Angeles CA

Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet, essayist, visual artist, Dum Dum Records founder and head, and JOVM mainstay Taleen Kali (she/they) has made a career out of crafting romantic punk songs with a cosmic sound that features elements of shoegaze, psychedelia, and grunge that’s simultaneously dreamy and defiant. Kali has also been influenced by melodies and imagery from her Armenian heritage and her parents’ birthplaces of Lebanon and Ethiopia, managing to fuse her cultural heritage and identity with the sounds of the modern countercultures she grew up embracing and eventually exploring as a musician. 

Her poetry, essays and visual art have appeared in digital and internationally recognized publications including The OnionSpin MagazineRazorcakeLos Angeleno, and The Bushwick Review.

Kali’s music career started in earnest with a stint in Los Angeles-based band TÜLIPS. After TÜLIPS closed up shop in 2016, she stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist, eventually touring across the US with Ex Hex, Alice Bag and Seth Bogart

Her solo debut, 2018’s Kristin Kontrol-produced Soul Songs EP was recorded at Hollywood-based Sunset Sound Studios and was mixed by Machine’s Brad Laner. The EP, which found Kali’s riot grrl ethos maturing into a polished multifaceted punk sound with elements of noise pop and New Wave, was released to praise from BUST Magazine and Stereogum, who likened her sound to a contemporary BlondieSoul Songs was also included in Pitchfork‘s Guide to Summer Albums and LA Weekly‘s Best Indie Punk Albums. 

Kali and her backing band followed up with an unplugged version of the EP and covers of The Supremes‘ “Baby Love” and Garbage‘s “#1 Crush.” She also recorded a two-song pandemic project called Changing with her TÜLIPS-era producer Greg Katz.

Taleen Kali’s Jeff Schroeder and Josiah Mazzaschi-co-produced full-length debut Flower of Life is slated for a March 3, 2023 release through Kali’s Dum Dum Records. Sonically, the album reportedly sees the rising Los Angeles further cementing her fuzzy and noisy take on psych punk paired with vocals that run the range of femme punk and shoegaze siren. 

Over the course of this year, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s released singles:

  • Album title track “Flower of Life,” a grungy psych punk ripper centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, soaring organ chords and Kali’s sneering delivery paired with mosh pit friendly hooks and choruses that sonically was a bit of a synthesis of My Bloody Valentine and riot grrl punk. “‘Flower of Life’ was a spiritual concept I held onto for a long time before writing this song,” Kali explains in press notes. “The flower is a fractal, a cycle, ever blooming, ever decaying. 
  • Trash Talk“, a jangling Brit Pop-inspired anthem centered around a chugging motorik-like groove, fuzzy power chords, Kali’s unerring knack for rousingly anthemic hooks and a sneering “fuck off” attitude towards haters, trolls and toxic bullshit that almost anyone can relate to. “‘Trash Talk’ is a track that speaks out against haters, trolls, and toxic bullshit in the hope that it gives a voice to anybody who’s been silenced or worn down,” Kali explains. “I wanted to write a song that embodies my favorite jangly Brit-pop songs and the energy of ‘do no harm, but take no shit.'”

Flower of Life‘s third and latest single, the Too True-era Dum Dum Girls-like “Fine Line” is a gorgeous pop confection centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, a forceful and driving rhythm section paired with Kali’s plaintive delivery and her unerring knack for well, placed, rousingly anthemic hooks.

“‘Fine Line’ kicks off side B of the record. I wanted to explore the ways we feel marked by love and pain. How much of an impact the smallest of impressions can make. And how they can feel when they fade,” the JOVM mainstay explains. “I wrote this song in the summer of 2018 right when the last album Soul Songs was coming out. The process of putting out my first solo record was so strange and cathartic that a handful of new songs just came spilling out during that time, and this was the first one. I really wanted there to be a demarcation for side B of Flower of Life so ‘Fine Line’ is written in a minor key, setting the tone for the 2nd half of the album.”

New Video: Gabriel da Rosa Shares a Swooning Meditation on Loneliness

Gabriel da Rosa is a Cruz Alta, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. Growing up in rural, southern Brazil with a radio DJ for a father, de Rosa was exposed to a wide variety of music from his his homeland. But it wasn’t until he moved to Los Angeles that he began curating Brazilian records and DJ’ing himself.

da Rosa wound up bonding with Stones Throw Records‘ label head, founder, artist and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf over their shared love of Brazilian music. The Brazilian-born artist began writing his own bossa nova, inspired by traditional bossa nova but with a contemporary edge with Pedro Dom, a musician, who has worked with some of Brazil’s best, internationally known artists like Seu Jorge, Rodrigo Amarante, and Latin Grammy Award-winner Ian Ramil.

The Brazilian-born artist signed to Stones Throw earlier this year, and the label released his debut single “Jasmim parte 1” earlier this year, a song that details the enchanted feelings of first meeting someone, but having doubts whether the connection with actually last. As de Rosa puts it, “the song is about “wanting to remain in an eternal fairytale.”

da Rosa’s second and latest single “Bandida” is a swooning and swaying, wine-drunk Bossa nova rooted its creator’s thoughts while in solitude and centered around strummed guitar, the Brazilian-born artist’s heartbroken and weary delivery, a mournful saxophone line paired with the genre’s traditional shuffling rhythms. As da Rosa explains, the song came about after an idle night spent in, drinking wine and strumming his guitar. “The wine and my guitar brought out some bittersweet thoughts — all day, I’m surrounded by amazing people, real friends and acquaintances, but at the end of the day, I’m alone,” he says.

Directed and edited by Eric Coleman, the accompanying video is shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white, and feature the Brazilian-born artist and his backing band performing the song in a little club, as the wine-drinking crowd gently sways and sings along, recognizing a bit of themselves in the song’s bittersweet meditation of loneliness.

Though born in London, acclaimed singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and frontman of The Veils, Finn Andrews spent his teenaged years attending high school in Auckland. Largely disinterested in school, Andrews spent the bulk of his free time playing in several bands — and writing the material that would later comprise The Veils full-length debut, 2004’s The Runaway Found. When he was 16, a set of demos he sent to record companies created some buzz and led to invitations for him to return to London to record an album.

Andrews and The Veils were signed almost immediately to Blanco y Negro, an indie/major hybrid imprint led by Rough Trade label head Geoff Travis. The band released a handful of singles including the promo-only single “Death & Co,” their commercial single debut, “More Heat Than Light,” and “The Leavers Dance,” a single distributed exclusively at gigs. By 2003, increasing contractual disparities and creative differences between the head of Warner and Travis wound up delaying plans for the band’s full-length debut.

Blanco Y Negro closed up shop and the dispute turned into a court battle with The Veils regaining ownership of their masters from Warner. By mid-2003, Travis signed the band to Rough Trade. The band went on to record four more songs with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, including “Guiding Light,” “Lavinia,” and “The Wild Son,” which led to the release of the band’s full-length debut, The Runaway Found. Although the album was released to rapturous critical applause, Andrews felt unhappy with the band’s creative direction — and after alleged altercations between him and the other members, The Veils’ first lineup split up two months after their debut album’s release.

In early 2005, Andrews went on a solo tour of the States and Japan, eventually returning to New Zealand, where he rehearsed with high school friends Liam Gerrard (keys) and Sophia Burn (bass) in Gerrard’s bedroom, quickly amassing an album’s worth of material. When the trio returned to London, Dan Raishbrook (guitar) and Henning Dietz (drums) joined the band, completing the band’s second lineup.

Early the following year, then-newly minted quintet started recording sessions with Nick Launay in Los Angeles, which resulted in their sophomore album, that year’s Nux Vonica. Released to critical applause, with the album landing on the Best of Year lists of both American and British journalists, Nux Vonica had a darker, heavier and much more complex sound, bolstered by string arrangements by former Lounge Lizard Jane Scarpantoni.

Over the course of the next 16 months, the band played over 250 shows across 15 countries. But during the Stateside leg of the tour, the band announced that Liam Gerrard was leaving the band to return home, due to personal reasons. The band continued onward as a quartet, and while living out of a classic garage in Oklahoma City, started recording demos at The Flaming Lips‘ studio between Stateside tour dates of the East and West coasts.

By mid-2008, they returned to London to work on their third album with Graham Sutton. The three-week session at West Point Studios resulted in 2009’s Sun Gangs, an album that continued a remarkable run of critically applauded material — with the album appearing on a number of Best of Lists that year.

2011’s Finn Andrews and Bernard Butler co-produced Troubles of the Brain EP marked several major changes for the band: They had left Rough Trade, their longtime label home of nine years and started their own label Pitch Beast Records.

2013’s Time Stays, We Go was recorded in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and was supported with a 150-date world tour with sold shows across North America, Europe and New Zealand. Once the tour ended, Andrews told NME in an interview that the band had moved into their own studio in East London and had already begun work on a new record, slated for release in 2016. He also mentioned that he had been commissioned to write an orchestral piece to commemorate the Antipodean dead of World War I, which would be performed in Belgium.

2016’s Total Depravity was recorded in Los Angeles, London, NYC and Porto and features production by El-P, Adam Greenspan and Dean Hurley. The same month of the album’s release, David Lynch announced that Andrews would appear in the Twin Peaks reboot. The band with Andrews performed album single “Axolotl,” on episode 15.

Following the release of Total Depravity, Andrews released a solo album and supported it with a world tour. One night, while lashing out at a particularly intense moment on piano, he broke his wrist on stage. “It sounds wild and Jerry Lee Lewis-esque, but it was an absolute fucking nightmare,” Andrews says. He played on and finished the tour, but it wasn’t until after he got the wrist examined much later, that he learned that was a major mistake. “The scaphoid bone in my wrist had died, which I didn’t know was possible. My sister said that at least it was a really ‘on brand’ injury for me.”

Andrews’ convalescence necessitated a lengthy hiatus from touring, so he spent his free time at home writing songs. “I was in a cast and couldn’t use my right hand. I sang the melody lines, then recorded the right hand piano part, then the left hand part,” Andrews recalls. “It might have been an interesting, avant-garde process if it wasn’t also just profoundly annoying.” 

When his wrist had healed enough to allow him to play again, The Veils also found themselves in need of a new label, but in the meantime Andrews was determined to write and record an album regardless. Tom Healy invited Andrews to his studio, where they listened to the massive amount of songs he had written throughout the previous year. “Tom was incredibly patient. It was a really laborious process,” Andrews says. “I brought a lot of junk down there and we had to sift through it all to try and find the parts worth saving.”

During the past two years of intermittent recording between pandemic-related lockdowns, Andrews wife gave birth and he wound up writing even more songs. By the time the songs were recorded with a backing band that featured Cass Basil (bass), Joseph McCallum (drums) and longtime bandmates Liam Gerrard (piano) and Dan Raishbrook (lap steel, guitar) and guest spots from NZTrio, who play string arrangements by Victoria Kelly and Smoke Fairies, who contribute backing vocals, it was clear that the album’s material should be split into two halves to best suit such varied songs. But for a while, the overall meaning of the songs was eluded Andrews. “Then my daughter was born, and suddenly the whole record made sense to me,” he says. The music was telling a story, and somewhat strangely for The Veils, it seemed to have a happy ending.

The Veils’ forthcoming album . . . And Out of The Void Came Love is informed by and is the result of the past two-plus years of convalescence confinement, uncertainty and questioning. Structurally, the album is meant to listened in two sittings with a short break in the middle. Or as Andrews instructs us, “Make a coffee or smoke a cigarette – but don’t mow the lawn or go to the movies or something, that takes too long.”

. . . And Out of The Void Came Love‘s first single “Undertow,” is an atmospheric and brooding song centered around an arrangement of twinkling keys, reverb-drenched, guitar textures, dramatic, glistening bursts of pedal steel, padded drumming paired with Andrews’ hushed delivery. As The Veils’ frontman explains, “In the year before I started writing this album, I really didn’t think I’d ever write another album again. I was done. I’d irreparably broken my wrist on stage. Then this song came shimmying down the drainpipe, and it really seemed to be willing me to carry on. It is, embarrassingly enough, a song about writing songs, written at what I admit was a pretty low ebb for me emotionally. Both my parents are writers, and though I am grateful to it for the life it continues to afford me, it is a complex genetic inheritance.”

Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet, essayist, visual artist, and Dum Dum Records founder and label head Taleen Kali (she/they) has made a career out of crafting romantic punk songs with a cosmic sound that features elements of shoegaze, psychedelia, and grunge that’s simultaneously dreamy and defiant. Kali has also been influenced by melodies and imagery from her Armenian heritage and her parents’ birthplaces of Lebanon and Ethiopia, managing to fuse her cultural heritage and identity with the sounds of the modern countercultures she grew up embracing and eventually exploring as a musician.

Her poetry, essays and visual art have appeared in digital and internationally recognized publications including The OnionSpin MagazineRazorcakeLos Angeleno, and The Bushwick Review.

Kali’s music career started in earnest with a stint in Los Angeles-based band TÜLIPS. After TÜLIPS closed up shop in 2016, she stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist, eventually touring across the US with Ex Hex, Alice Bag and Seth Bogart

Her solo debut, 2018’s Kristin Kontrol-produced Soul Songs EP was recorded at Hollywood-based Sunset Sound Studios and was mixed by Machine’s Brad Laner. The EP, which found Kali’s riot grrl ethos maturing into a polished multifaceted punk sound with elements of noise pop and New Wave, was released to praise from BUST Magazine and Stereogum, who likened her sound to a contemporary BlondieSoul Songs was also included in Pitchfork‘s Guide to Summer Albums and LA Weekly‘s Best Indie Punk Albums. 

Kali and her backing band followed up with an unplugged version of the EP and covers of The Supremes‘ “Baby Love” and Garbage‘s “#1 Crush.” She also recorded a two-song pandemic project called Changing with her TÜLIPS-era producer Greg Katz.

Taleen Kali’s Jeff Schroeder and Josiah Mazzaschi-co-produced full-length debut Flower of Life is slated for a March 3, 2023 release through Kali’s Dum Dum Records. Sonically, the album reportedly sees the rising Los Angeles further cementing her fuzzy and noisy take on psych punk paired with vocals that run the range of femme punk and shoegaze siren. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about album title track “Flower of Life,” a grungy psych punk ripper centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, soaring organ chords and Kali’s sneering delivery paired with mosh pit friendly hooks and choruses that sonically was a bit of a synthesis of My Bloody Valentine and riot grrl punk. “‘Flower of Life’ was a spiritual concept I held onto for a long time before writing this song,” Kali explains in press notes. “The flower is a fractal, a cycle, ever blooming, ever decaying. 

“Trash Talk” Flower of Life‘s latest single is a jangling Brit Pop-inspired anthem centered around a chugging motorik-like groove, fuzzy power chords, Kali’s unerring knack for rousingly anthemic hooks and a sneering “fuck off” attitude towards haters, trolls and toxic bullshit that almost anyone can relate to.

“”Trash Talk” is a track that speaks out against haters, trolls, and toxic bullshit in the hope that it gives a voice to anybody who’s been silenced or worn down,” Kali explains. “I wanted to write a song that embodies my favorite jangly Brit-pop songs and the energy of “do no harm, but take no shit.””

New Video: Rising Pop Artist Ayoni Shares Anthemic “Vision”

Ayoni is a rising Barbados-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, pop artist and producer,. who spent her formative years bouncing around Singapore, Indonesia and the States. Naturally, she frequently draws on those experiences to guide her musical and professional journey as a young, Black woman — and as an immigrant. Her work is deeply inspired by Whitney Houston, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Lorde, and Adele among others.

The rising pop artist’s acclaimed debut EP 2019’s Iridescent saw her exploring the ups and downs of blossoming into her full-self. She followed that up with 2020’s “Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth),” which was inspired and informed by the Black Lives Matter movement. The single also saw Ayoni cementing a reputation as an artist, who is unafraid to confront raw truths in her work.

So far, the Barbadian-born artist has amassed millions of streams while being featured in V Magazine, Clash Magazine, Essence, Paper, Popsugar, Glide Magazine, NPR, Ones to Watch and Euphoria Zine. She also co-produced and appeared on Ricky Reed‘s “No Stone” with Dirty Projectors.

Her sophomore EP The Vision was released last month. While displaying deeply intentional production and songwriting, the EP’s material thematically is a testament to manifestation, prosperity and the cultivation of the self. Lyrically, the material sees Ayoni weaving her life’s story with authentic anecdotes. which grounds the material in gritty, every day realism.

The EP’s third and latest single “Vision” is a slickly produced bop centered around soaring and rousingly anthemic choruses, bursts of rock guitar, a sinuous bass line, twinkling and atmospheric synths and a cathartic, sing-a-long worthy chorus paired with the rising pop artist’s powerhouse vocals. The anthemic song details the persistence, hard work, and drive required to live out your dreams — while acknowledging the fact that the road ahead will frequently be rocky and uncertain. And yet it’ll be worth it.

Co-directed by Francisco Covarrubias and Ayoni, the accompanying video is split between footage shot in and around Los Angeles and in studios. “Making this music video was a really fulfilling experience,” Ayoni says, “It was filmed after the release of the EP and translating the sonic ambition of the EP into a visual manifestation was a very healing way to close out this chapter. We shot around downtown Los Angeles and in studio, with director Francisco Cavarrubias at the helm. I wanted to represent the journey to living your dreams. Using fashion, glam, and setting to highlight the beauty of the journey, I hope the video presents the song in new light.” 

New Video: Automatic Share Urgent and Angular “Teen Beat”

Los Angeles-based post punk outfit Automatic — Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals) — met while immersed in their hometown’s DIY scene. They started jamming together back in 2017.

Since then, the trio quickly became a local club circuit mainstay. Their full-length debut, 2019’s Signals saw the trio quickly establishing their sound, which paired motorik grooves with icy atmospheres. 

 Stones Throw Records released the Los Angeles-based trios sophomore album, Excess earlier this year. Sonically Excess reportedly rides the imaginary edge where the ’70s underground met ’80s corporate culture — or as the band says “That fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream all for the sake of consumerism.” Using that particular point in time as a lens through which to view our uncertain and seemingly apocalyptic present, the album’s material sees the trio taking aim at corporate culture and extravagance through deadpan critiques and razor sharp hooks. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Skyscraper,” a dance floor friendly bop built around glistening synth arpeggios, relentless four-on-the-floor and disco-influenced bass lines paired with an icy, insouciant delivery and razor sharp, well-placed hooks. And while sonically seeming like a slick and effortless synthesis of BlondieDevo and Talking Heads, the song is rooted in incisive and politically charged commentary. The band’s Halle Saxon explains that “Skyscraper” is ” . . .about spending your life making money and then spending it to fill the void created by said job.” Lola Dompé adds, “Kind of like going to LA to live your dreams.”

“Teen Beat,” Excess‘ latest single is a centered around multi-part harmonized chanted vocals, bubbling and arpeggiated synths and a relentless motorik groove. Sonically being a bit of a mesh of Gang of Four and Nots, the song continues a run of material rooted in incisive and urgent political commentary.

“The title was taken from a preset on a dinky drum machine, and the song is about the chaos of climate change descending upon Gen Z,” the band explain.

Directed by Kevin Clark, the accompanying video for “Teen Beat” is a surreal and apocalyptic fever dream that features the trio seemingly preparing for the end of the world in the California desert.

New Video: Frankie and the Witch Fingers Share a Furious Ripper

Since initially forming in Bloomington, IN over a decade ago, Los Angeles-based psych rock outfit Frankie and the Witch Fingers — featuring core trio Dylan Sizemore (vocals, guitar), multi-instrumentalist Josh Menashe and Shaughnessy Starr (drums) — have long been known for restless experimentation rooted in multiple permutations of their lineup, and for a high-powered, scuzzy, garage punk meets thrash punk take on psych rock centered around absurdist lyrics, often fueled by dreams, hallucinations, paranoia and lust. The end result is material that manages to be simultaneously mischievous and menacing.

When Starr joined the band, the band went through one of their many sonic permutations, which led to a lysergic and claustrophobic sound rooted in heavy, Black Sabbath-like riffage.

2020’s Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . .was released through Greenway Records and Levitation Festival‘s label The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Recorded in a breakneck five-day recording session, the album features much more insidiously evil and ambitious material while capturing the band in the middle of massive personnel changes: Longtime bassist Alex Bulli left the band and as a result, Josh Menashe wound up writing and playing most of the albums bass parts with occasional contributions from Dylan Sizemore.

Interestingly, much like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s 2019 effort Infest the Rats Nest, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . saw the band crafting expansive, maximalist material with fewer moving parts.

Since the release of Monsters, the members of Frankie and The Witch Fingers have been busy: They’ve written and recorded new material, which included last year’s “Cookin'” seven inch. “Cookin’” further cements the Los Angeles-based psych rockers’ long-held reputation for scorching rifffage paired with a punchy baseline and a rousingly anthemic, sing-along chorus. While superficially, a rollocking party starter, the song is rooted in incisive social commentary commentary with the song calling out humanity’s obliviousness, greed and wastefulness with a righteous fury.

Just as they about to embark on a series of Stateside shows before heading to Australia, Frankie and The Witch Fingers share their newest single “Electricide,” the A-side of a double single that sees the Los Angeles-based psych rockers crafting a breakneck, mosh pit ripper centered around scorching, eardrum shattering riffage paired with Sizemore’s howls and shouts. Interestingly, “Electricide” sees the band capturing the heaviness and power of their explosive, sweaty live show.

Directed by Bez Martinez, the accompanying video for “Electricide,” is set at a photo shoot for a a new, titular, Gatorade-like drink that turns very strange: The shoot’s model, Natty Jackson, winds up passing out and being taken to a weird and dark plane of the universe, where nanobots plot to take over our plane.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Carré Share Uneasy and Lysergic “Brothers”

Over the past couple of years, I managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Los Angeles-based indie electro rock outfit and JOVM mainstays Carré, an act that features:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that JusticeSoulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels ClineJonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “square,” “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed back in 2019 — and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.”

Carrè fittingly specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that frequently blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. And thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world.

2020’s attention-grabbing self-titled EP featured:

Since the release of their debut EP, the members of Carré have shared remixes of material off their self-titled EP. But earlier this month, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays released “Brothers,” their first single of 2022. Centered around a dense and woozy production featuring copious amounts of cowbell, buzzing guitars, layered arpeggiated synths, industrial clang and clatter, thumping and propulsive four-on-the-floor, the expansive “Brothers” is a slick synthesis of Pink Floyd‘s “On The Run,” Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails, and LCD Soundsystem that’s arguably the act’s trippiest and most dance floor friendly track of their growing catalog.

The band explains that the track “is a surrealistic allegory on climate change and human relationships with Mother Earth.”

The accompanying video was made by San Diego-based artist Jerry Scott Lopez and is an uneasy and lysergic nightmare featuring stop motion animation vaguely inspired by Darron Anrofski’s Mother.

New Video: MOMO. Shares Breezy and Wistful “Diz a Verdade”

Marcelo Frota is a Brazilian-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known as MOMO. Frota has been a true global citizen: He has lived in Brazil, Angola, the US, Spain, and Portugal — and he currently resides in the UK.

Frota’s critically applauded debut album, 2006’s A Estética do Rabisco quickly established the Brazilian-born artist as the forefront of a new Brazilian psychedelia movement, influenced by Os Mutantes, Milton Nascimento‘s Clube Da Esquina, and Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis. A Estética do Rabisco was also named one of Chicago Reader‘s best albums of that year.

Since then, Frota has released five more albums that have seen him build up an international profile while further developing a unique gift of reinventing classic music genres rooted in delicate melodies, earnest lyricism and dexterous acoustic guitar. The Brazilian-born, British-based artist has won the praise of music icons like David Byrne and Patti Smith. He also has contributed to a tribute compilation album for Caetano Veloso‘s 70th birthday, featuring songs performed and recorded by Devendra Banhart, Beck, Rodrigro Amarante and the aforementioned Os Mutantes. Additionally, MOMO. has toured the States, Brazil and Portugal a number of times, including a live show at David Lynch‘s Silencio Club in Paris — and an opening spot for Andrew Bird at 2016’s Misty Fest.

Frota’s sixth MOMO. album, I Was Told to Be Quiet was originally released digitally back in September 2019. The album’s material was written in Lisbon and sees the Brazilian singing lyrics in Portuguese, English, and French. The Brazilian-born artist moved into the home of Los Angeles-based producer Tom Biller for the collaborative month-long recording sessions.

Biller, who has worked with an eclectic array of artists including Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, Sean Lennon, Karen O., and Kanye West brought a new element of creativity and contemporary production to Frota’s sound and approach that paired samples and synths with MOMO.’s love and predilection for timeless singer/songwriters and the Brazilian sounds and styles, which shaped his childhood — in particular, Bossa nova and psych folk.

To celebrate the album’s third anniversary, Yellow Racket Records will be releasing I Was Told to Be Quiet on vinyl for the first time ever on October 28, 2022. But along with the vinyl release announcement, the Brazilian-born, British-based artist shared album single “Diz a verdade,” a subtly modern take on Bossa nova that pairs Frota’s achingly plaintive yet breezy delivery with strummed acoustic guitar, twinkling synths, Brazilian percussion and layered ahhs. And while being a remarkably slick synthesis of deliberate craftsmanship and electronic production, “Diz a verdade” is rooted in heartbreak, regret and the hope for a better day.

The accompanying video for “Diz a verdade” stars MOMO. and his young dopplegänger Meie Castanho on a rooftop full of bric-a-brac and signifiers of childhood — an enormous teddy bear, a rocking horse and the like. The video is charming yet full of heartbreak over the things we can’t get back.

New Audio: Paper Pools’ Ethereal and Mesmerizing “Portraits”

Allen Orr is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the psych pop/synth pop project Paper Pools, which he started back in 2019. Orr’s Paper Pools debut EP It’s in Our Mind is slated for a Friday release, and the EP thematically is a visionary travelogue charting Orr’s life.

Born and raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, music provided refuge from the constant uprootedness he felt growing up: he moved around the globe a lot with stops in Atlanta, Ireland and Prague before returning back to Atlanta. As a young man, Orr landed in New York, where he broke free of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and fully dove into his two main loves — music and visual art. Visual art took precedent for several years, helping him land a job in design in Los Angeles, where he has resided since 2013.

Music lured him back. And Orr’s music project derives its name as an allusion to artist David Hockney, best known for his shimmering paintings of Los Angeles area pools. Unsurprisingly, Orr considers Los Angeles a muse. “I’m lucky to live on a hill overlooking the city,” he says. “I wrote the music while staring across the skyline, which felt psychedelic.”

For Orr, it’s been a long, strange trip — but it’s all right there in the music: the peaks, the valleys and the years of soulful longing. Orr knew It’s in Our Mind needed to express — and convey — the highs and lows of his journey. “A key theme is the contrast between light and dark,” he says. “From a spiritual standpoint, the first half of my life thus far was completely opposite from the second half. There were many struggles to get to a more positive place.”

Setting up shop at Los Angeles-based 64 Sound with a cache of vintage gear, Orr wove the theme of contrast into the EP’s six songs while sonically the EP meshes elements of dance floor friendly indie pop, singer/songwriter introspection, contemporary psych pop like Tame Impala and Jim James, as well as Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Floyd. “Music from the 70s and 80s has so much sonic depth,” he explains. “I used that same kind of depth to draw listeners into my life and all the things I’ve gone through.”

Orr handled nearly everything himself: Doubling as producer, he sang and played almost every note, riff and synth part with the exception of some occasional backing vocals from The Amazombies‘ and Mal de Mer’s Kim Kelly and the material’s mesmerizing grooves, which were performed by Adam Christgau, who has worked with Troye Sivan, Sia, and Miley Cyrus.

It’s in Our Minds‘ latest single “Portraits” is a hypnotic bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering boom bap-driven groove paired with Orr’s plaintive falsetto and a well-placed, infectious hook. Sonically, the song evokes the sensation of tripping on hallucinogens — and the intense observations and feelings inspired by them.

“This song was inspired by a psychedelic experience I had during the COVID lockdown,” Orr explains. “The title ‘Portraits,’ alludes to a friend of mine. She’s a wonderful painter, and we did mushrooms together. It was one of the more visionary experiences I’ve had. It wasn’t like anything I encountered during my childhood. So much organized religion, and especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, is formal and structured. What my friend and I experienced was more like a journey. There was a moment when I thought the two of us were twins in a womb. It felt like we had traveled from birth to death. Then there were other times when I was basically looking down upon myself. It was intense. I know I didn’t actually experience these things, yet they felt very real and turned out to be deeply meaningful.”

It’s in Our Minds EP is slated for a Friday release. Be on the lookout for it.