Tag: M.I.A.

New Audio: Haiku Hands Release an Infectious Club Banger

Featuring a core trio comprised of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis and Mie Nakazawa, the Australian indie electro pop act Haiku Hands is split between Melbourne and Sydney, and together the members of the act who are influenced by hip-hop, pop, electro pop dance music and more, curate, perform and work as part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. Interestingly, last year was a big year for the Aussie electro pop act as their previously released, high-energy bangers “Squat,” “Jupiter,” and “Not About You” amassed over 3.5 million streams — and as a result, each single landed spots on iTunes charts across the globe; in fact, “Jupiter” was included on Matt Wilkinson’s Best Songs of 2018 So Far list, and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X. 

Building upon a rapidly growing national and international profile, the Aussie electro pop act are about to embark on a month-long tour of North America with CHAI that features stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, as well as an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago. (You can check out the tour dates below.) They’re also making appearances at several SXSW showcases. But in the meantime, their latest single, the brash and infectious “Dare You Not To Dance,” will further cement their reputation for crafting club bangers that mesh elements of riot grrl punk, hip-hop, house music, drum ‘n’ bass, EDM and trap music with enormous, shout along worthy hooks in a way that brings M.I.A. and Gwen Stefani to mind. 

SXSW APPEARANCES
03/12 – Roologic Records / CS Disco at The Main @ 12:00 AM
03/13 – Ladiez Showcase at Scoot Inn @ 5:00 PM
03/13 – DIY Magazine showcase at Swan Dive @ 12:00 AM
03/14 – Aussie BBQ at Australia House @ 5:15 PM
03/15 – Panache showcase at Hotel Vegas @ 9:00 PM
03/16 – Do512’s The Big One at Barracuda @ 2:30 PM

Tour Dates
03/12 – Roologic Records / CS Disco at The Main @ 12:00 AM $
03/13 – Ladiez Showcase at Scoot Inn @ 5:00 PM $
03/13 – DIY Magazine showcase at Swan Dive @ 12:00 AM $
03/14 – Aussie BBQ at Australia House @ 5:15 PM $
03/15 – Panache showcase at Hotel Vegas @ 9:00 PM $
03/16 – Do512’s The Big One at Barracuda @ 2:30 PM $
03/18 – DC9, Washington DC *
03/19 – Market Hotel, Brooklyn *
03/20 – Velvet Underground, Toronto *
03/21 – Thalia Hall, Chicago #
03/25 – Moroccan Lounge, LA *
03/27 – Rickshaw Stop, SF *
03/29 – Vera Project, Seattle *
03/30 – Holocene, Portland *
04/26 – 05/11 – Groovin the Moo Festival, AUS

$ = SXSW
* = supporting CHAI
# = supporting Cupcakke

New Video: M.I.A. Releases a Previously Unreleased Collaboration with Elastica’s Justine Frischmann

Born Mathangi Arulpragasam, the London-based rapper, electro pop artist, singer/songwriter and activist M.I.A. is the daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance. As a child, Arulpragasam and her family were forced to flee to London, where she became precocious a nd creative immigrant teenager, who her friends called Maya. As M.I.A., Arulpragasam emerged on the global stage with a mashup, cut-and-paste aesthetic that drew from Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering voice of burgeoning multicultural youth. 

Released earlier this year, the documentary film MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A was drawn from a never-before-seen cache of personal footage that spanned several decades of the artist’s life, offering unparalleled and intimate access of her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as she became one of the most outspoken and provocative figures in contemporary music. The film was first released on iTunes and other digital platforms here in the States, Canada and the UK — and recently, the film’s producers announced that the film will be available on digital platforms across Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Latin America, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain and Sweden between March and April 2019 with more countries and regions to be announced. Interestingly, on the heels of the iTunes release of the documentary, the acclaimed Sri Lankan-born, London-based electro pop artist released a previously unreleased song and music video from her archives, “Reload.” 

Originally recorded in 2004, before the release of her critically acclaimed full-length debut Galang, “Reload” was cowritten by Elastica‘s Justine Frischmann, who wrote the beats by experimenting with a Roland 505 beat machine with Arulpragasam writing the lyrics — before Arulpragasam began writing and recording as M.I.A. The song is brash, swaggering mix of thumping hip hop, electro pop, feminist art punk that’s dance floor friendly while revealing an artist, who was just about to come into her own as an artist. 

The video was shot in Justine Frischmann’s basement and features Maya with her friends Rudy, Marsha and Deborah dancing to the song. It captures a brash confidence of young women, fucking around and grooving to their favorite song, while slapping fuckbois and douchebags away. 

New Audio: Acclaimed Duo Silk City Team Up with Dua Lipa on a Sultry Classic Chicago House-Inspired Banger

Born Thomas Wesley Pentz, Diplo is a prolific and acclaimed Los Angeles-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist. As a solo artist, he’s managed to see a fair degree of commercial success with 2013’s Revolution EP, which debuted at #68 on the US Billboard 200 — and the EP’s title track was later featured in a Hyundai ad campaign and on the WWE 2K16 soundtrack. Diplo is also known as the co-founder and lead member of the electronic dancehall project Major Lazer, and one-half of electronic music production and artist duo Jack U with Skrillex. And as a producer, the Los Angeles-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist has collaborated with M.I.A., Gwen Stefani, Die Antwoord, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyonce, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Trippie Redd, Chris Brown, CL, and G-Dragon. 

Mark Ronson is a London-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, DJ, singer/songwriter and producer and although his debut effort, 2003’s Here Comes the Fuzz failed to make the charts, his sophomore effort, 2007’s Version landed at number 2 on the UK charts, thanks to the fact that the album had three Top 10 singles — and as a result, he won a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. Building upon a growing profile, 2010’s Record Collection peaked at #2 on the UK Charts.

Ronson also won Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year, Non Classical, Best Pop Album and Record of the Year for his work on Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and Back to Black. He also produced “Cold Shoulder,” off Adele’s critically applauded and commercially successful debut 19. And unless you’ve been living in a remote Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas, Ronson’s first UK and US #1 single was his collaboration with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk,” and as a result of the single’s massive commercial success, Ronson won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year, as well as Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The London-born and-based producer, DJ, multi-instrumetanlist and singer/songwriter’s fourth full-length album Uptown Special was his first #1 album in the UK and peaked at #5.

Ronson’s and Diplo’s collaboration together Silk City can trace its origins to the duo’s long-time friendship, a friendship that dates back to the early 2000s. Their debut single “Only Can Get Better,” featuring Daniel Merriweather was released earlier this year, ahead of their Governor’s Ball set, and they’ve already made several other appearances across the international festival circuit with sets at Bestival and Treasure Island Music Festival among others.  The duo’s second single “Feel About You,” a collaboration with Mapei was a slickly produced and soulful track with arpeggiated synths that subtly nods at Robin S’s “Show Me Love” — but with a clean, hyper modern sheen. The acclaimed duo’s latest single “Electricity” find them collaborating with multi-Brit Award-winning Albanian-British singer/songwriter and model Dua Lipa, and The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft and Diana Gordon, who co-wrote and contributed lyrics and melodies, and much like it’s predecessors, “Electricity” is a slickly produced, anthemic banger. However, the piano-led, hook-driven track draws from classic Chicago house, complete with an irresistible sensual ecstasy at its core.

Directed by production duo Bradley and Pablo, the recently released video for “Electricity” is set during the Blackout of 2003 and stars Dua Lipa, who hosts a loft party that contains so much sexual energy that it keeps the lights on in the apartment. Of course, two of the guests — guess who, y’all? — wind up being stuck in an elevator and completely missing the party. 
 

Born Sophie Stern, Sophie Bom is a Los Angeles, CA-born and-based singer/songwriter and producer, who originally started her music career as a songwriter for mega-hit producer Dr. Luke writing songs for a number of pop stars, including Britney Spears, Kesha and Conor Maynard among others — and after spending a few years behind the scenes, the Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and producer, decided that she needed to go out on her own as a solo artist. Now, as you may recall, Bom’s solo career began with writing and recording with the Grammy Award-winning producer David Elevator, who’s best known for his work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known for his work with Marina and the Diamonds, Charlie XCX and M.I.A. for her attention grabbing recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms, which released the Shmixtape EP and the Going For the Heart EP before going on a hiatus.

“Broke,” Bom’s latest single, and first official single as completely solo artist finds the Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter her roots — sitting at the piano and writing songs. Additionally, the single finds her producing herself for the first time, and the single features a fairly stripped down production in which Stern’s vocals float over a metronomic beat, warm and expressively blasts of electric guitar, but the spacious and unfussy production has one true star to it — Stern, who’s at her most honest and vulnerable. As the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and producer says of the song, “This song was written stream of consciousness, I hit record and sat at [the] piano and tried to sort out my life. Like, ‘Hello, my name is Sophie, and I’m a broken ass person trying to make a relationship work with another broken ass person. Relationships are funny. Love can be 2 faced. When you’re in a relationship, it can be make you feel so connected and understood by no just the other person, but to everything and everyone, everywhere .  . . and then on the flip side, it touches on the most painful parts of life and yourself and humans, and you feel cheated by the whole fucking world. This song is about about the broken side. Like maybe there’s a wall that you’ll never grow tall enough to climb over. 2 broken people not knowing how to fix something. Like, ‘I love you, but I’m tired . . . and paranoid . . . are you even there? Are we going to fix this? Kiki? Do you love me? Are you riding?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Headbang with Rituals of Mine in Intense Live Footage-based Visuals for “Armor”

Comprised of Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez, the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine can trace their origins back to 2009, when they initially formed under the name Sister Crayon. After years of relentless touring up and down the West Coast, playing house shows, DIY venues, basement rooms and other small, local establishments, the duo built up a loyal fanbase, and as a result the duo began to build a growing regional and national profile, touring with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree and others. Adding to a growing profile, the duo’s first two independently released and critically applauded albums 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic helped to further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting cathartic material centering around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, soulful vocals and trip hop-inspired production. 

The Wes Jones-produced, third full-length album Devoted was released in 2015 to critical applause — with the album landing on a number of indie “Top Ten Albums of 2015″ lists; but despite the album’s success, 2015 was a harrowing and difficult year for the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop act’s Terra Lopez, as her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson died in a tragic accident. Reeling from grief, the duo felt the need to put the Sister Crayon name to rest, and landed on their new name Rituals of Mine.”  Terra writes “It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times. Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”

Because of its extremely limited release, Warner Brothers Records decided to re-master and re-release Devoted when the duo signed with the label last February. Re-mastered by Tom Coyne, who has worked with Led Zeppelin and Adele, the 2016 re-release features previously unreleased remixes and B-sides. Recently, the members of Rituals of Mine released a live, stripped down video for album single “Armor,” which features Madame Gandhi, a former drummer in M.I.A.’s backing band. 

Filmed by the Bay Area-based French Press Films with lighting by The Steel Hip (Moonlight), the video features the collaborators headbanging and rocking out intensely to their swaggering and percussive live version. And while swaggering, the live version manages to maintain the original’s cathartic vibe with a “you-are-there” intimacy and immediacy. As the duo’s Terra Lopez explains in press notes, “We’ve been long time fans of Kiran (Madame Ghandi) and we’ve all wanted to do a track together so when the idea came around to do a stripped down, percussive heavy live video for “Armor,” we were all so down. This track is raw, it hits heavy and it’s our version of an electronic/punk track. It’s one of my favorite tracks of ours to perform live and this version with Madame Ghandi is so fun and dynamic plus it’s just badass to see women head banging and having a good time together. French Press Films were so incredible to film with — they wanted to do something different visually for a live video so they set up a track in the Madden football building in the Bay Area and shot it beautifully. Huge thanks to them and the team for this. They kill it every time.”

New Video: Acclaimed World Dance Music Act Balkan Beat Box’s Swaggering Hip-Hop Influenced Visuals for “Chin Chin”

Currently comprised of founding members Ori Kaplan (saxophone), Tamir Muskat (production, percussion) and Tomer Yosef (vocals), the Tel Aviv, Israel-born, Brooklyn-based world, dance music trio Balkan Beat Box can trace its origins to Kaplan and Muskat meeting as teenagers in Brooklyn. As the story goes, both grew up immersed in music; Kaplan had been a klezmer clarinetists while Muskat was a drummer in a punk rock band — and the founding duo began collaborating together on a project, which would mesh the styles and sounds of Mediterranean and Balkan folk music with dub and thumping, club-banging hip-hop and dancehall beats. This is largely inspired by the fact that both Kaplan and Muskat had long felt that the traditional music they were long familiar with was a bit stodgy and outdated and didn’t adequately reflect the experiences of living in an increasingly globalized culture; however, fusing it traditional sounds with contemporary sounds was a way of bringing new relevance to old music, as well as a way of introducing old dance sounds to contemporary audiences. By 2006, Tomer Yosef was recruited as the group’s frontman and the lineup was completed.

And since their formation over a decade ago, the Brooklyn-based trio have maintained a long-held reputation not just for their wild genre mashing, deep digging in the crates grooves, but for a enormous club-banging beats paired with incendiary flows that call for riots and demonstrations in the streets and a for getting sweating on the dance floor — or perhaps suggesting that dance music and funk can fuel and inspire the next revolution. Interestingly throughout the course of five full-length albums, the trio have collaborated with a group of frequent and trusted collaborators and associates — and to add to a growing profile, the act has had their material sampled by Jason Derulo, Diplo, who used a sample for a Mac Miller song, had their music appear in FIFA ’17 and in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and have collaborated both as a unit and individually with platinum-ceritifed selling artist Asaf Avidan, Yemenite pop trio A-WA, Stargate and Fifth Harmony. But no matter what their work is rooted in a political urgency and authenticity; however, the band’s most recent effort Shout It Out finds the trio expanding upon their songwriting and creative process. As the members of the band explain in press notes when the members of the band gathered in the studio for the Shout It Out sessions, they played freely with collaborators for several days straight and then sampled what they felt was the best and boldest grooves, much like a DJ digging in the crates for the most interesting, weirdest material they could find. “A lot of weird things came out,” Kaplan exclaims in press notes. “We wold listen to jams and go ‘oh, here’s a moment, let’s sample it!” and they would build a track up from four bars or so.” And as Muskat explains of the material on the album “We are known to be that band to shout out things that bother us, but this time ew went inward and more personal. This album is us revealing who we are as people and what’s going on in our personal life.”

Shout It Out’s latest single “Chin Chin” has the trio pairing a slick, dance floor friendly production featuring looped klezmer-leaning, horn sample with stuttering drum programming, tweeter and woofer rattling 808 beats, distorted vocal samples and an enormous drop with Yosef rhyming about money — from the violent and desperate things people would do for it, the expensive and glittering possessions people buy with it. And in some way thematically and sonically, the song sounds as though it draws from M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” as it points out that money is what makes the world go around, while also reminding us that we live in a world in which people will sell themselves, their children, their children’s future’s for short term gain.

The recently released music video visually draws from crime movies like Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and hip-hop videos, and as a result, it further evokes the swaggering, stomping groove of the song.

Featuring primary and founding members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, along with a rotating cast of friends, collaborators and others, the Leeds, UK-based indie rock band Menace Beach received both national and international attention with the release of their full-length debut Ratworld and its follow-up Super Transporterreum EP — both of which were praised for an off-kilter, buzzing and fucked up take on 90s rock. The band’s forthcoming sophomore effort Lemon Memory was written in  Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield, UK with Russ Orton, who’s worked with M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and The Fall and the album was reportedly written as a way to lift a citrus-based curse that the band’s primary duo believe was placed on their house — yes, the band does believe this — as well as a way for them to forge their own sound and identity.

Now as you may remember last month, I had written about Lemon Memory‘s first single “Give Blood,” an anthemic, scuzzy power chord and thundering drum-based single in which Needham and Violet sing about death in an ironically detached tone — while nodding at Blur and psych rock. The album’s second and latest single “Suck It Out” maintains the anthemic hooks the band is known for, while being the most psych rock-leaning song the band has released to date as twisting and turning guitar chords, played through gentle amounts of reverb, thundering drumming and a propulsive bass line are paired with Needham’s vocals singing with a bratty and nasal snarl.

 

 

Featuring primary and founding members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, along with a rotating cast of friends, collaborators and others, the Leeds, UK-based indie rock band Menace Beach received both national and international attention with the release of their full-length debut Ratworld and its follow-up Super Transporterreum EP — both of which were praised for an off-kilter, buzzing and fucked up take on 90s rock. Now, if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that I wrote about “Ghoul Power,” the first single off Super Transporterreum EP, a song that tales a story about a pocket-sized, alien thou, who soaks up your darkness and anxieties –but after hanging out with the members of Menace Beach, who take him to way too many parties and shows, the alien winds up as a pale, sweaty  mess. Sonically, the song seemed to draw from PixiesThe Breeders and L7 while evoking a lurching fucked up, nauseating haze.

Written while in Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield, UK with Russ Orton, who’s worked with M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and The Fall, the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort Lemon Memory was partially written as a way to lift a citrus-based curse that the band’s primary duo believe was placed on their house and as a way for them to forge their own sound and identity. The album’s latest single “Give Blood” begins with a couple of false starts before noisily chugging along in earnest with layers of scuzzy power chords fed through effects pedals and tons of feedback, propulsive and thundering drumming and an anthemic hook in which Needham and Violet sing about death — all while sounding as though the song were inspired by Blur and psych rock.

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofi de la Torre Returns with Some Slow-Burning Synth Pop

de la Torre has been rather prolific releasing two EPs That Isn’t You and Mess, both of which critically applauded and received attention across the blogosphere; in fact, at one point Mess steadily climbed the the Hype Machine charts and was featured in Spotify’s Weekend Buzz playlist. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Sit Down” which may have arguably been the Spanish-born, Berlin-based pop artist’s boldest, feistiest song she had released to date while nodding at the work of M.I.A. Interestingly, de la Torre’s latest single “Flex Your Way Out” is a slow-burning and radio-friendly track in which de la Torre’s ethereal yet sultry vocals are paired with moody and sparse production comprised of swirling electronics, twinkling keys, and stuttering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats. Pop artist Blackbear contributes a verse to a song that focuses on a relationship between two difficult and damaged people, who can’t quite figure out how to make it work — or if they should make it work.

The recently released music video continues de la Torre’s reputation for pairing her slickly produced pop with slick music videos — and in this case, the visuals feature de la Torre driving around her gorgeous birthplace of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.