Tag: Los Angeles

New Video: NVDES Returns With Another Off-Kilter and Anthemic Dance Punk-Inspired Track

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles-based collective NVDES, an act that I’ve written a bit about over the past 12-18 months or so. And if you may recall, with the release of 2016’s Life With Lobsters, an album consisting of glitchy, summery indie dance pop, the collective fronted by founding member and primary songwriter Josh Ocean received over 10 million streams across all digital platforms, landed on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart, and as a result of rapidly growing buzz, the project’s 2016 effort received praise from The Fader, Nylon and others.

You’ll also remember that I’ve written about the first two singles off NVDES’ recently released La NVDITÉ EP, the breakneck Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundsystem-like “Turning Heads” and the breezy, yet anthemic “Dancer From New York,” and of course, as a blogger, who has run this site for the past seven years, I can tell you that the blogosphere forces artists to strike while the iron is red hot and while the buzz surrounding them is at its apex. And to celebrate the release of the EP, Ocean and company released  La NVDITÉ EP’s latest single, the glitchy and angular “Sugar,” a track that continues along the lines of its predecessors thanks to a breezy yet anthemic vibe but interestingly enough, through the batch of singles they’ve released off the EP, the act have revealed themselves to specialize in off-kilter, global-spanning and genre-smashing yet danceable pop reminiscent of Gorillaz. 
Directed by Jenna Josepher and Guilia Marisco, the recently released for “Sugar” manages to smash the two artists’ unique and varying aesthetics in a way that’s mischievous and disturbing. 

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Sextile. And interestingly enough, the band which is comprised of Melissa Scaduto, Eddie Wuebben, Sammy Warren and Brady Keen derives their name from the classic, astrological definition of sextile, an astrological aspect that’s made when two planets or other astrological bodies are 60º apart in the night sky.

Now, as you may recall, “One Of These,” off the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Albeit Living, managed to sound as though it were influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wire, Public Image, Ltd., early Ministry and early Nine Inch Nails as it featured the band pairing a propulsive stomp with scorching feedback, chilly synths, a dance floor-worthy hook with a feral intensity.  The album’s subsequent signal “Who Killed Six” featured angular guitar chords, punchily delivered lyrics and industrial clang and clatter to create a song that sounded as though it were influenced by   Pink Flag-era Wire and Joy Division; but with a scuzzier and grittier feel.

Albeit Living‘s latest single “Situation” finds the band pairing a propulsive and throbbing synths with whirring and grinding electronics, persistent beats and laconically delivered vocals in a song that sounds like a dryly ironic cover of Elastica‘s “Connection.” And although the song manages to draw from some of the same influences and time period, the new single reveals a band playfully and restlessly experimenting with their sound to the point of being musical chameleons while retaining elements of the sound and aesthetic that captured the blogosphere’s attention — namely an ability to craft a rousing hook.

 

New Video: Real Gone Music to Re-Issue a Two Critically Successful Paisley Underground-era Albums

Founded in 1981 as The Sidewalks by founding members and college roommates Matt Piucci (guitar, vocals) and David Roback (guitar ,vocals) Rain Parade expanded to a quintet with the addition of Roback’s brother Steven (bass, vocals), Will Glenn (keys, violin) and then Eddie Kalwa (drums). And with the release of their debut single “What She’s Done to Your Mind” in 1982, the members of Rain Parade quickly established themselves within Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground psych rock scene in the early 80s, a scene which also included The Bangles, one of the more famous and commercially successful bands of the entire scene.

Building on the attention they started to receive, the members of the quintet released their debut effort 1983’s Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, an album that renowned music critic Jim DeRogatis would later write in Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock that “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is not only the best album from any of the Paisley Underground bands, it ranks with the best psychedelic rock efforts from any era,” as the band’s sound was largely inspired by The Byrds, early Pink Floyd, and others, but with dark and introspective themes.

Shortly after Rain Parade’s debut, David Roback left the band to form a new band Opal, and the band continued as a quartet, releasing 1984’s mini-LP Explosions in the Glass Palace, an album which NME would later praise for its “mind-meltingly beautiful guitar sounds, employed sparingly and dynamically amid dark, dizzy tales of murder, madness and drug paranoia.”

Eddie Kalwa left the band after the release of “You Are My Friend” and was repalced by Marc Marcum (drums) and John Thoman (guitar, vocals) was recruited to fill out the band’s second lineup, just as they were signed to Island Records. The reconstituted quintet released two more albums — Beyond The Sunset, a live album recorded in Japan and 1985’s Crashing Dream before breaking up. And unsurprisingly, the various members of the band went on to other creative pursuits with David Roback later forming Mazzy Star with Hope Sandoval.

In 2012, members of Rain Parade’s original lineup, Matt Piucci, Steven Roback and John Thoman, along with Mark Hanley, Alec Palao and Gil Ray, formerly of Game Theory played a reunion/comeback gig at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco and that lineup played a number of live shows over the next two years, before Gil Ray’s departure due to cancer. Stephan Junca replaced Ray, who died earlier this year.

Almost 35 years after their initial releases, Real Gone Music will be re-issuing Rain Parade’s seminal and critically applauded first two efforts — Emergency Third Rail Power Trip and Explosions in the Glass Palace both digitally and on CD, with “Look Both Ways,” a track that was cut from the original Stateside release. Remastered by SonicVision’s Mike Milchner and approved by the band’s Matt Piucci and Steve Roback, the remastered re-issue is the first remastering of both efforts since they were initially released on CD back in the early 90s. And along with that the re-ssiue will include expanded liner notes from Paisley Underground critic and history Pat Thomas based on interviews and reminisces from the band’s founding members.

The re-issue’s first single is the jangling and anthemic “This Can’t Be Today,” a track that manages to be anachronistic — while we may know that the band was inspired by 60s psych rock, and it was released in the early 80s, it feels as though it could have been recently released by a contemporary act — i.e. Elephant Stone and others; however, its served with a sobering reminder of the fact that for every Susanna Hoff and The Bangles, there are countless bands, who receive some relative level of success before quickly disappearing. Should Rain Parade have been bigger? Perhaps but the re-issue is a key document of what was going on in the Paisley Underground scene. 

New Video: Pom Poms Return with Sultry and Psychedelic Visuals for “Gimme You”

With the release of their debut single “Betty” and “123” the Los Angeles-based duo Pom Poms, comprised of singer/songwriter and frontwoman, the mononymic Marlene and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who is known for his work with Awolnation, Liz Phair, Kelly Clarkson, and Macy Gray, were quickly thrust into the national spotlight for a sound that owes a debt from classic garage rock and pop such as Connie Francis, Pasty Cline, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, the girl groups of the early 60s and others; however, lyrically, the material drew from Marlene’s own personal experiences, covering a wide spectrum of emotions from yearning, loss, perseverance, lust, desire, coquettish flirting and just wanting to have a good time with a very modern, unguarded frankness while possessing a loose, off-the-cuff, improvised feel. And as a result, of the early buzz the band received, they opened for The Psychedelic Furs and went on a West Coast tour with The Mowgli’s.

That off-the-cuff, loose feel has filtered into the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Turn You Out, as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single, the sultry, late night, come hither, come on “Gimme You,” a song that’s essentially about being desperately lonely and lusting for someone so badly that you crave them and their loving– to the point that you’re trying to set up a booty call; but in the case, of “Gimme You,” Marlene’s vocals posses a subtle hint of menace, that conveys the idea that the song’s narrator gets what she wants — by any means necessary, if possible. Sonically, the single will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting soulful and gritty 60s-inspired pop reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, thanks in part to its incredibly transgressive feel.

The recently released video for “Gimme You” is deeply indebted to both the mod 60s and psych 60s as it features Pom Poms frontwoman broodingly posing, dancing and singing in front of a projection screen featuring psychedelic imagery — and in a some way, the video feels voyeuristic, as though the viewer is watching the act’s frontman putting on a burlesque-like tease for someone else, who’s off-screen.

New Video: The Girl Power Visuals for Gothic Tropic’s “Stronger”

Perhaps best known as a touring and session guitarist for Charli XCX and BØRNS, Los Angeles, CA-based guitarist and vocalist Cecilia Della Peruti is also the creative mastermind behind up-and-coming act Gothic Tropic, a band whose New Wave-leaning sound is indebted to the likes of the Go-Gos The B52s and others as angular and punchy guitar chords are paired with a propulsive rhythm section, Peruti’s sultry vocals and an infectious hook as you’ll hear on their latest single “Stronger.”

Interestingly, the recently released music video cuts between footage of Peruti and her backing band performing the song in a studio and splices it with footage of a series of badass, confident women doing their thing, which naturally will instill the fact that the song is a modern feminist anthem about inner strength and resolve, determination and empowerment. You go, girl, indeed.

Sibling is a somewhat mysterious Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo who first came to the attention of the blogosphere with the release of their debut “Easy” earlier this year. Building on the buzz they’ve received so far, the mysterious Southern California duo’s latest single “Westside” has the duo pairing an atmospheric production consisting of industrial clang and clatter, sparse yet shimmering cascades of synth and pop star belter vocals with an rousingly earnest, anthemic hook — but just underneath the song’s breezy and radio-friendly air is a swooning and bittersweet longing as the song lyrically is based on lead vocalist’s Elodie’s estrangement from her sisters.

New Video: Israeli Superstar Ninet Tayeb is Set to Take Over the World with Ass-Kicking Visuals for “Superstar”

With a relocation to Los Angeles and the forthcoming Stateside release of her fifth full-length release this fall, Tayeb hopes to become an international superstar — and with the aptly titled first single “Superstar” Tayeb may well be the next big thing. Although some have said that the Israeli-born singer/songwriter and actress seems to take cues from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O., The Kills’ Allison Mossheart, sonically her sound reminds me quite a bit of Garbage — namely the self-titled debut and Version 2.0 — as the song is comprised of buzzing power chords, propulsive and thundering drumming, rousingly anthemic hooks and a towering self-assuredness that simply says “I’m here and I ain’t fucking around.”

The recently released music video directed by Yoni Ronn features Tayeb in action movie-like music video that features the singer/songwriter as a vengeance-seeking assassin, following her enemy through the streets of New York.

Perhaps best known as the keyboardist and guitarist of Twin Cabins, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentalist Drew Straus’s solo recording project Onsen recently released his full-length debut Earthquake Weather through Cosmic Dreamer Music. Straus’ solo project and debut effort was inspired by a major career change in which he went went from international police to music, a re-examination of sexuality and a relocation to another city — and as a result, the material captures an artist and a life in transition.

Straus’ latest single “My Own Advice” pairs shimmering and angular guitar chords, propulsive drumming and shimmering and ethereally atmospheric synths ad Straus’ plaintive falsetto in a song that Straus explains to the folks at Culture Collide is about “the end of first love. Written to myself from the perspective of the one I lost.” And as a result, the song possess a wistful “if I had known now what I had known then” vibe while the narrator also recognizes that the experience, despite the heartache, taught him something profound that he’ll take it on to his next relationship.

 

New Video: The Psychedelic Sounds and Visuals of Samiyam’s Collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt

Animals Have Feelings’ third and latest single is a shuffling and kaleidoscopic collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt “Mirror” that also features a surreal array of obscure 60s psych rock and 70s soul samples paired with boom-bap beats paired with Earl Sweatshirt dexterous inner and out rhymes — some dealing with issues of identity vs. how others perceive you and more.

New Video: The 80s Horror Movie-Inspired Visuals for Zig Zags’ “Giving Up The Ghost”

With the release of their debut effort In The Red, Los Angeles, CA-based thrash punk trio Zig Zags –-comprised of Jed Maheu (guitar/vocals), Caleb Miller (bass/vocals), and Dane Arnold (drums) — quickly received attention for a blistering, face-melting, no-bullshit thrash metal/thrash punk aesthetic that sounds as though it owes a massive debt to early 80s Metallica, Slayer,Iron Maiden and others. Last month, I wrote about album single “The Sadist,”a single off the trio’s recently released Running Out of Red that helped to further cement the trio’s reputation for pairing scuzzy, face-melting, mosh-pit friendly power chords guitar pyrotechnics, propulsive drumming and shouted vocals. Unsurprisingly, the album’s latest single “Giving Up The Ghost” continues on the exact same vein as “The Sadist” — although the latest single manages to directly channel Kill ‘Em All and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica in such an uncanny way that the songs manages to sound as though it could have been released in 1983.

The recently released music video is deeply indebted to cheap 80s horror flicks as a denim vest wearing zombie stalks an adorable, little skateboarding badass, who narrowly escapes him — in true horror movie fashion.