Tag: Louder Than War

Throughout the course of last year, I wrote quite a bit about Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Jonny Couch. Couch initially began his music career as a drummer, who played in a number of local punk bands before completely reinventing himself and his music career with 2016’s debut EP Animal Instinct, a soulful take on 80s synth pop that drew comparisons to the legendary Bryan Ferry while receiving praise from Louder Than War and High Times

Last year saw the release of Couch’s Peter Mavrogeorgis-produced full-length debut Mystery Man, an effort that found the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay further establishing a sound that’s indebted to and influenced by power pop and New Wave. “My favorite bands are Cheap Trick and Buzzcocks,” Couch said in press notes. But he goes on to explain that his solo work is deeply influenced by Nick Lowe with elements of Duran Duran and The Psychedelic Furs

Couch closes out 2020 with his latest single “Hideaway.” Released earlier this month, the single simultaneously marks the first bit of new, original material from the JOVM mainstay since the release of Mystery Man while continuing upon the synth-pop, power pop and New Wave-inspired sound that won him attention across the blogosphere. Featuring shimmering A Flock of Seagulls-like shimmering synths, twinkling keys, four-on-the-floor and the sort of anthemic hook that Phil Collins would love, “Hideaway” is a sweet love song centered around a classic pop trope: the desire to be in a sort of protective cocoon with your love, far from the madding crowd.

Beginning his professional life with working in finance and as a co-owner of London‘s The Society Club, the Norwegian-born, London-based singer/songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist Erik Brudvik left both to pursue a career with his solo recording project Brudini. Slated for a May 15, 2020 release, Brudvik’s forthcoming self-recorded and self-produced Brudini debut From Darkness, Light is a conceptual album that draws from his own personal experience traversing between two seemingly contradictory worlds before finding his creative voice — and of a life spent as a sort of itinerant traveler.

From Darkness, Light is reportedly a soul searching effort that thematically and narratively weaves an abstract, wandering tale through feelings of loss and longing, anger, lust and despair, towards cosmic consolation as the album features Brudvik’s lyrics and the poems of California-based poet Chip Martin paired with old-timey and atmospheric arrangements featuring creaky pianos, analog synths, syncopated jazz-inspired lyrics and occasional blasts of distorted guitar. The end result is a contemplation of the various transitions, compromises and dashed dreams of adulthood.

The album’s first three singles — “Reflections,” ‘Emotional Outlaw” and “Pale Gold” — were released to widespread critical praise in the UK with Louder Than War referring to the rising singer/songwriter as “an indescribable talent,” as well as praise from NYC music legend Danny Fields. Each of the album’s first singles have received airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 2 personality Frank Skinner‘s program. Building upon a growing profile, Brudvik has developed a reputation as a must-see live act, collaborating with Lulu Gainsbourg, Lanah P, and Erasure‘s Andy Bell.

“Radiant Man,” From Darkness, Light‘s fourth and latest single finds the rising Norwegian-born, British-based singer/songwriting crafting a song that balances a thoughtful and earnest intimacy with a widescreen, cinematic quality that subtly recalls Harvest-era Neil YoungOK Computer-era Radiohead and The Invisible Band-era Travis — thanks, in part to an arrangement centered around strummed guitar, atmospheric synths, twinkling piano, shuffling jazz-like rhythms and Brudvik’s plaintive vocals.

Thematically, the song is centered around a narrative that’s older than time, and yet strangely relevant and contemporary: it follows a well-meaning protagonist, full of good intentions who fights onward despite being slowly crushed by a tidal wave of enormous forces beyond his control.  The human spirit can be indefatigable — and in these very dark and uncertain times, we’ll need to dig deep, perhaps deeper than ever before to make it to whatever awaits us on the other side.

“‘Radiant Man’ is the story of a person fighting against a tidal wave. In the midst of a crisis, I find there is something about the enduring human spirit that emerges and brings us closer. ‘Radiant Man’ is an homage to this human radiance, echoed today in streets everywhere from Wuhan and New York to Sao Paolo and Milan.” 

New Video: Brooklyn’s Jonny Couch Releases a Delirious and Goofy Visual for “Vertigo”

Earlier this month, I wrote about the up-and-coming, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriterr Jonny Couch. Initially Couch started his career as a drummer, playing in a number of local punk bands before reinventing himself and his career as a solo artist with the release of 2016’s debut EP Animal Instinct, a soulful take on 80s synth pop that drew comparisons to Bryan Ferry — and received praise from Louder Than War and High Times. 

Building upon a growing profile, Couch’s highly-anticipated Peter Mavrogeorgis-produced full-length debut Mystery Man will reportedly further develop the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter’s reputation for crafting infectious material that’s seemingly descended from 70s and 80s power pop and New Wave. “My favorite bands are Cheap Trick and Buzzcocks,” Couch says in press notes, “but this is more of a personal record than a band effort, highly influenced by power pop solo artists like Nick Lowe.” But there’s also elements of Duran Duran and The Psychedelic Furs as well.

Coincidentally, Couch’s forthcoming full-length debut is also deeply influenced by the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter’s love of classic film noir — in particular, films like Body Heat and Body Double. In fact, the album is centered by deep film-noir metaphors, from the album’s title, its artwork and even song titles like ” Vertigo” “Framed” and others.

Now, as you might recall, album title track “Mystery Man” was a sleek , Roxy Music meets No Jacket Required-era Phil Collins -like track centered around atmospheric synths, shimmering and angular guitars, a motorik-like groove, a soaring hook and Couch’s plaintive vocals.  The album’s latest single “Vertigo” is a sleek yet anthemic bit of New Wave-inspired synth pop that recalls Cheap Trick and The Cars — and continuing in a similar vein as its predecessor, the song reveals an ambitious, arena rock meets Top 40 populist bit of songwriting underpinned by the dizzying sense of confusion that comes when you’ve maybe fallen for someone, yet aren’t quite sure what to do about it. 

Directed by Jordan Edwards, the recently released video for “Vertigo” brings to mind some of the glorhsouly goofy and slap-dash videos of early MTV — including cheesy 80s styled graphics and stock footage from the 30s and 30s. It continues a run of trippy and delirious visuals that reveal Couch’s good-natured, mischievous humor. 

New Video: Jonny Couch Releases Noir-ish and Mischievous Visual for “Mystery Man”

Initially starting his career as a drummer in a number of local punk rock bands, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Jonny Couch reinvented himself and his career with the release of 2016’s debut EP Animal Instinct, a soulful take on 80s synth pop that drew comparisons to Bryan Ferry — and received praise from Louder Than War and High Times. 

Building upon a growing profile, Couch’s highly-anticipated Peter Mavrogeorgis-produced full-length debut Mystery Man will reportedly further develop the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter’s reputation for crafting infectious material that’s seemingly descended from 70s and 80s power pop and New Wave. “My favorite bands are Cheap Trick and Buzzcocks,” Couch says in press notes, “but this is more of a personal record than a band effort, highly influenced by power pop solo artists like Nick Lowe.” But there’s also elements of Duran Duran and The Psychedelic Furs as well.

Coincidentally, Couch’s forthcoming full-length debut is also deeply influenced by the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter’s love of classic film noir — in particular, films like Body Heat and Body Double. In fact, the album is centered by deep film-noir metaphors, from the album’s title, its artwork and even song titles like ” Vertigo” “Framed” and others. 

Mystery Man’s latest single, album title track “Mystery Man” is a sleek, Roxy Music meets No Jacket Required-era Phil Collins -like track centered around atmospheric synths, shimmering and angular guitars, a motorik-like groove, a soaring hook and Couch’s plaintive vocals. And while revealing an ambitious, arena rock-like populist bit of songwriting, the track is underpinned by an earnest sense of late night loneliness and longing. 

Directed by Art Boonparn, the recently released video stars Couch, Audrey Cover and Sara Nelson and begins in a dark Brooklyn bar during karaoke night. We first catch a band singing Journey’s smash hit “Don’t Stop Believing” — poorly.  Kovar and Nelson follow the man singing Couch’s “Mystery Man.” Couch is there the entire time, in the background, but as he leaves the bar, he turns into his alter-ego, a fedora wearing noir-like detective, collecting clues. We then see Couch, along with Kovar and Nelson perfuming the song in a house party full of hipsters and characters. It’s trippy but it reveals Couch’s good-natured, mischievous sense of humor. 

Comprised of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitar), Peter Gudim Marberg (bass), Håvard Haga (guitar), Bjørn Marius Kristiansen (touring drummer) and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (studio drummer/live drummer), the Oslo, Norway-based indie rock band Mayflower Madame formed during the winter of 2010-2011. They started rehearsing in a desolate industrial building, where they shared the space with a carwash company. And amidst the lonely and gritty surroundings, the band quickly came upon an appropriately dark, post-punk sound, and then recorded a four song demo, which quickly won them national attention.  By August 2011, the Oslo-based indie rock band won the Unsigned Band of the Week on one of Norway’s biggest radio stations, which then lead to regular airplay on national radio — with the band spending 2012 building upon their growing profile with local and national touring, and writing material for their first official release.

In 2013, Mayflower Madame was selected to play a showcase featuring Scandinavia’s best, up-and-coming band at that year’s Norwegian Wood Festival, which was headlined by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and My Bloody Valentine and they continued a big year by releasing their debut EP Into the Haze, an effort that received attention across the blogosphere. In fact, adding to a growing profile, the Norwegian band opened for renowned neo-psych act Crystal Stilts — and they released an attention-grabbing video for EP title track “Into the Haze” that had been directed by Kenneth Karlstad and was inspired by Expressionist horror films.

In early 2015, the Norwegian indie rock band released “Lovesick” a single that was picked up by Custom Made Music and received Stateside radio airplay and praise from several publications including L.A. Record, who wrote that the single was “powerfully lysergic reverb rock” and The Work Magazine, who wrote that the single was a “loyal homage to the legends of the 60s and a heaping spoonful of UK drone-rock.” The members of the band spent the rest of ’15 writing and recording tracks for their full-length debut Observed in a Dream while touring and playing shows with Disappears, Moon Duo and La Femme — and along with that they toured outside of Scandinavia for the first time.

Mayflower Madame – Lovesick from Mayflower Madame on Vimeo.

The band’s full-length debut, Observed in a Dream was released last year through the band’s own label Night Cult Records throughout the European Union in April and through Custom Made Music throughout North America in June, and the album managed to caught the attention of several internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, Drowned in SoundClash MagazineClassic Rock MagazineLouder Than WarGhettoblaster Magazine, as well as praise in their homeland. Adding to a growing profile, album singles “Lovesick” and “Weightless” received extensive airplay in the US, including several Top 20 and Top 5 rotations on college radio stations.

Mayflower Madame is currently on a North American tour, which includes a stop tonight at Philadelphia‘s Kung Fu Necktie — and you can check out the rest of the tour dates below; however, as they were about to go on tour, the band released a reverb-filled, moody, new single “Drown,” which interestingly enough will further cement their reputation for crafting 80s-inspired post-punk that sounds as though it draws from The Sisters of Mercy, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 while subtly nodding at classic shoegaze and the 4AD Records sound.

TOUR DATES
4/2 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
4/3 – Diabolical Records – Salt Lake City, UT
4/4 – The Manor – Boise, ID
4/5 – Funhouse – Seattle, WA
4/6 – The Cobalt – Vancouver, BC
4/7 – Out From The Shadows Festival @ Tonic – Portland, OR
4/8 – Somos Gallery – Salinas, CA
4/9 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
4/10 – Complex – Los Angeles, CA
4/11 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA