Tag: Manchester UK

New Video: The Legendary Johnny Marr Releases a Trippy Visual for Rousingly Anthemic “Spirit, Power And Soul”

Manchester-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr first rose to fame as the guitarist and co-songwriter of The Smiths between 1982 and 1987. Since The Smiths split up in 1987, Marr has been extremely busy: he has played in number of different projects and has collaborated with a who’s who of acclaimed artists including the likes of The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, The Avalanches, Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer.

The Manchester-born and-based artist’s highly anticipated fourth album Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 is a double album, with the first segment, Fever Dreams Pt. 1 being released through BMG on October 15, 2021. Reportedly fusing the language of soul music with his roots as a self-described “Mancunian glam rocker,” the four-song EP features lyrics that could be seen as simultaneously personal and universal — paired with an high energy electronic sound. The end result is an EP worth of material that reflects and is informed by Marr’s legendary and multifaceted past but while seeing him push his sound to a new direction.

Fever Dreams Pt. 1’s first single is the rousingly anthemic, “Spirit, Power And Soul.” Centered around heavily arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering guitars, Marr’s plaintive vocals and an enormous hook, “Spirit Power And Soul” manages to bring Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies era New Order to mind while subtly hinting at Marr’s past, beloved work.

“‘Spirit, Power And Soul’ is a kind of mission statement. I had an idea about an electro sound with gospel feeling, in my own words… an electro soul anthem,” Marr says of the new single.

The recently released video or “Spirit, Power And Soul” features the legendary Marr in series of trippy set ups, where he’s seen floating serenely through the cosmos and through repeating geometric shapes — sometimes playing his guitar, sometimes rocking out to the song or just with a Buddha-like zen calm.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Piroshka Releases a Delicate Meditation on Love

Deriving their name from the Hungarian version of Little Red Riding Hood, the acclaimed indie rock All-Star fact Piroshka — Lush’s Miki Berenyi (vocals, guitar) Moose’s KJ “Moose” McKillop (guitar), Modern English’s Mick Conroy (bass) and Elastica’s Justin Welch (drums) — features members, best known for their individual work with some of the most acclaimed and beloved indie acts of the past 30 years or so. The JOVM mainstay act can trace its origins to the completed web of connections between its acclaimed members: Individually, Piroshka’s Berenyi and McKillop are considered shoegazer pioneers with their own respective bands, releasing a number of critically applauded albums before they got married and started a family. With their critically appalled and commercially successful 1995 self-titled, full-length debut Elastica exploded into the international scene as Brit Pop megastars — and as admirers, Berenyi and McKillop were familiar with Welch and his work with the band. Conroy joined Moose after Modern English split up for the second time. Welch eventually joined the reunited Lush in 2015. And when Lush needed a bassist for their final show in Manchester, Conroy filled in.

Lush’s final Manchester show laid the foundations for Piroshka’s foundation — but I need to add some much-needed and complicated background: Life is complicated and knotty after all. After Lush’s Chris Acland committed suicide in 1997, his grieving bandmates felt it was impossible to continue as a band without him. The band split up. Berenyi was so heartbroken by Acland’s death that she quit music and spent the next 20 years as a working mother. Because of a variety of personal and professional obligations, Berenyi didn’t agree to a Lush reunion and to touring until 2015. Welch, who coincidentally was a close friend of Acland’s was a logical choice to lovingly fill in.

At some point during the lead up to Lush’s finally show together, Welch asked Berenyi if she’d be up to something new once things ended. As Berenyi recalled in press notes, up until that point in her life, she hadn’t made music outside of Lush and solo work never had much appeal to her. “I need someone else to motivate me, and in this case it was Justin. He sent drum tracks with guitar parts and odd words, so I wrote some vocals and lyrics, which became ‘This Must Be Bedlam’ and ‘Never Enough.’ When Mick added bass, it sounded great. When Moose added guitar and keyboards — I’d never written like that before, it was such good fun.” “We sounded great!” Welch added in press notes. “Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought this is the kind of band I want to be in again.” Conroy agreed, adding “I’d seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed and it was good fun, too. And with Moose available, we thought, ‘let’s all have a bash, see what happens.’”

Now, as I said before life is often complicated and knotty — and with Piroshka there are some additional layers of entangled personal, professional and creative connections that are at the heart of the band: Bella Union’s label head Simon Raymonde was among the first people to hear the Brickbat demos and he quickly signed the band to the label. Raymonde’s former Cocteau Twins bandmate Robin Guthrie produced Lush’s debut album. And Raymonde’s current Lost Horizons bandmate Richie Thomas was a former member of Moose.

Building upon the attention they received after the release of 2019’s full length debut Brickbat, the band just released their highly-anticipated sophomore album Love Drips and Gathers today. Deriving its title from a line of a Dylan Thomas poem, Piroshka’s sophomore album is a deeply introspective effort, that thematically focuses on the ties that bind us — in particular as lovers, parents, children and friends. Berenyi and McKillop split lyric writing duties, and as a result the album features songs about Berenyi’s and McKillop’s relationship and family, the deaths of McKillop’s mother and father, and the death of longtime friend and 4AD in-house art director Vaughan Oliver, who died suddenly at the end of 2019.

Sonically, Love Drips and Gathers finds the quartet employing more of an ethereal ound than its predecessor while still reveling in energy and drama. “If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” Piroshka’s Miki Berenyi says in press notes. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.” Mick Conroy adds “Brickbat was a classic first album; noisy and raucous. On Love Drips And Gathers, we’ve calmed down and explored sounds, and space.”

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

“Scratching at the Lid,” a shimmering and ethereal pop anthem centered around Berenyi’s imitable vocals, twinkling keys, a rousingly anthemic hook and a forceful motorik groove. But underneath the big hooks and breakneck gallop, the song is a deeply conflicted meditation focusing on McKillop’s relationship with his father and one’s relationships with their parents. 
“V.O.,” a heartbreaking and brooding mediation on heartache and inconsolable loss. dedicated to their friend and longtime collaborator Vaughan Oliver. Centered around heavily arpeggiated synths, shimmering guitars, Berenyi’s wispy delivery, a propulsive rhythm section and soaring strings, “V.O.” is a fittingly a 4AD Records/Cocteau Twins-like track that focuses on the funeral of a loved one in an impressionistic fashion.

“Loveable,” Love Drips and Gathers’ third and latest single is a swooning love song centered around Berernyi’s plaintive vocals and a delicate arrangement featuring shimmering guitars, a sumptuous bass line and gently rolling percussion. The song focuses on something that in my 42 years I’ve learned is extremely rare: stumbling across, true, deeply fulfilling love with another person.

I thought it was finally time to write an out and out love song! It was written very simply – led by the vocals and then finding the chords to meander around the melody,” Piroshka’s Miki Berenyi says in press notes. “Justin’s percussion, Moose’s accent notes… there’s a lovely delicacy to the embellishments. I am getting very sentimental in my old age because when I first heard Mick’s bass (one of the last things to be added) my eyes started welling up.”

Continuing their ongoing collaboration with Conor Kinsey, the recently released video for “Loveable” features the central romanic couple of the “V.O.” video. We see the couple of on a beautiful sunny day, sharing the sort of intimacy and comfort held between those madly in love. And yet, there’s a sense that the visual is an achingly bittersweet flashback on the days and moments we can never get back.

New Video: The KVB Releases a Hallucinogenic Visual for Euphoric “World on Fire”

Currently based in Manchester, the acclaimed shoegazer duo The KVB initially was started back in 2010 as the solo recording project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood. Wood had a series of limited cassette and vinyl releases. In 2011, vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kat Day joined the project. And over the next decade, the duo released several critically applauded albums and EPs through a several different labels before signing to Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records, who released 2018’s Only Now Forever.

Each of the duo’s acclaimed releases found them blending the reverb soaked shoegaze with minimalist electronic production simultaneously inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cabaret Voltaire — but while increasingly streamlining their sound with each subsequent effort.

Having toured extensively across the European Union, the UK, China, Russia and Japan, the Manchester-based duo have amassed a devoted fanbase globally. And during the pandemic, the duo relocated from Berlin to Manchester to work on new material with Andy Savours. The duo’s latest single “World on Fire” is the first single from those sessions and interestingly enough, the track finds the duo further refining their sound: Starting with burst of drum machine, the song is centered around buzzing and slashing power chords, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a relentless motorik groove and a euphoric hook paired with the duo’s breathy boy-girl harmonies. Sonically, the track finds the Wood and Day pushing the boundaries of shoegaze in a similar fashion to Lightfoils, BLACKSTONE RNGRS and others while giving their sound a gauzy, New Order-like sheen.

World On Fire’ was written in late 2019 and at its core it’s about duality and how a phrase like ‘set the world on fire’ which sounds so destructive, is also about doing something remarkable,” the members of The KVB explain. “We wanted it to be a phrase that is deliberately open to interpretation in this song.” They add, “Over time we have all become desensitised to bad news and horrific events through television and social media. In much the same way as people slow down to look at a car crash, it feels like we’ve all become more and more obsessed with watching the world on fire.”

wer of Babel comprised of TVs. Eventually, we see the background burst into flames and other signs of the apocalypse.

New Video: Piroshka Releases a Brooding Meditation on Loss

ustin Welch (drums) — features members, best known for their work with some of the most acclaimed and beloved indie acts of the past 30 years. Their collaboration together can trace its origins to the knotted and complicated web connections between each of the band’s members: Individually Berenyi and McKillop are considered shoegaze pioneers with their own respective bands, releasing a number of applauded albums before getting married and starting a family. With 1995’s acclaimed self-titled debut, Elastica quickly became internationally recognized Brit Pop stars — and as a result Berenyi and McKillop were intimately familiar with Welch’s work. Conroy joined McKillop’s band Moose after Modern English broke up the second time. Welch eventually joined the reunited Lush in 2015. And when Lush needed a bassist for their final show in Manchester, Conroy filled in.

As it turned out, the rehearsals for the Manchester show are what laid the foundations for Pirsohka to happen — but I must add some much needed background: After Lush’s Chris Acland committed suicide in 1997, his grieving and devastated bandmates felt that it was impossible to continue as a band. The band split up. Berenyi was so heartbroken by Acland’s death that she quit music and spent the next 20 years as a working mother. Because of personal and professional obligations, Berenyi didn’t agree to a Lush reunion and touring until 2015. Welch, who coincidentally was a close friend of Acland was a logical choice to lovingly fill in. And as the story goes, at some point Welch asked Berenyi if she’d be up to doing something new after the final Lush show. As Berenyi recalled in press notes up until that point in eh life, she hadn’t made music outside of Lush and solo work never really appealed to her. “I need someone else to motivate me, and in this case it was Justin. He sent drum tracks with guitar parts and odd words, so I wrote some vocals and lyrics, which became ‘This Must Be Bedlam’ and ‘Never Enough.’ When Mick added bass, it sounded great. When Moose added guitar and keyboards — I’d never written like that before, it was such good fun.”

“We sounded great!” Welch added in press notes. “Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought this is the kind of band I want to be in again.” Conroy agreed, adding “I’d seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed and it was good fun, too. And with Moose available, we thought, ‘let’s all have a bash, see what happens.’”

There are several more layers of that entangled and complicated web of personal, professional and creative connections at the heart of Piroshka, of course: Bella Union’s label head Simon Raymonde was among the first people to hear the Brickbat demos and he quickly signed the band to the label. Raymonde’s former Cocteau Twins bandmate Robin Guthrie produced Lush’s debut album. And Raymonde’s current Lost Horizons bandmate Richie Thomas was a former member of Moose.

Brickbat managed to have a deeper symbolic meaning for the band: the title also hit upon the fact that the album was a marked departure from the individual members’ best known work. Written through the anxious prism of parenthood in a world gone made, the album lyrically and thematically touches upon the fear, loathing, envy and strife at the heart of our current — and ongoing — sociopolitical moment. 

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Love Drips and Gathers derives its title from a line of a Dylan Thomas poem. Slated for a July 23, 2021 release through Bella Union, Love Drips and Gathers reportedly follows a more introspective line, with the album thematically focusing on the ties that bind us — in particular, as a lovers, parents, children, friends. Berenyi and McKillop split lyric writing duties, and the album features songs about Berenyi and McKillop’s relationship, their family, the deaths of McKillop’s mother and father and the death of longtime friend and 4AD in-house art director Vaughan Oliver, who died suddenly at the end of 2019. Sonically, the album finds the indie rock legends employing a much more ethereal sound while still reveling in energy and drama. “If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” Piroshka’s Miki Berenyi says in press notes. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.” The band’s Mick Conroy adds “Brickbat was a classic first album; noisy and raucous. On Love Drips And Gathers, we’ve calmed down and explored sounds, and space.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Scratching at the Lid,” a shimmering and ethereal pop anthem centered around Berenyi’s imitable vocals, twinkling keys, a rousingly anthemic hook and a forceful motorik groove. But underneath the big hooks and breakneck gallop, the song is a deeply conflicted meditation focusing on McKillop’s relationship with his father and one’s relationships with their parents. Love Drips and Gathers’ second and latest single, the brooding “V.O.” is dedicated to the band’s longtime friend and collaborator Vaughan Oliver. Centered around arpeggiated synths, shimmering guitars, Berenyi’s wisps of smoke-like delivery, a propulsive rhythm section and soaring strings, “V.O.” fittingly is a Cocteau Twins-like track full of heartache and unfathomable loss delivered in an impressionistic fashion.

put a vocal on it,” Piroshka’s Miki Berenyi explains in press notes. “The lyrics are snapshot snippets of Vaughan Oliver’s funeral in January 2020 – lines from the speeches, fleeting impressions of the day. I’m getting to the age where the people I grew up with are dying and I find funerals a comfort in the sadness, formal but emotional, a celebration of a life, a space for the living to reconnect.” 

The recently released video continues Piroshka’s ongoing collaboration with director Conor Kinsey. The video follows an ominous and shadowy being and its relationship with a woman. Throughout the video there’s love, sacrifice, dedication, heartbreaking loss and fear. “We wanted to put this ominous-being centre frame and allow the viewer to reflect on fear and loss whilst also embracing hope and futurity through its life experiences,” Conor Kinsey explains. “Giving the subject no recognisable features meant that it’s emotional journey through the different timelines felt more relatable to a wider audience.”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Pastel Coast Return with a Shimmering and Nostalgia-Inducing Bop

The rising French dream pop act Pastel Coast, led by  Boulogne-sur-Mer, France-based creative mastermind Quentin Isidore (vocals, guitar) and featuring Benjamin Fiorini (drums), Ingrid Letourneau (keys), Marion Plouviez (guitar, vocals) and Renaud Retaux (bass) have received attention both nationally and internationally for developing and honing a breezy yet melancholic sound indebted to the early 90s developing and honing a melancholic sound deeply indebted to the early 90s Manchester scene and to acclaimed French indie act Phoenix.

2019 proved to be an enormous year for Pastel Coast: their full-length debut Hovercraft landed on Dream Pop Magazine‘s Top 100. And the band wound up landing a slot at last year’s Inouïs du Printemps de Bourges, which was unfortunately cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing upon that momentum, the French dream pop JOVM mainstays sophomore album Sun officially dropped today — and if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that the album features the following singles:

The attention grabbing “Rendezvous”
“Dial” a breezy synths of New Order and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-era Phoenix that evoked the swooning euphoria of new love. 
“Sunset,” a glistening and breezy number that’s a carefully crafted synthesis of New Zealand jangle pop and Phoenix that thematically focused on lovelorn folks racing against time to try to find love before sunset.
“Distance” one of the album’s more synth-driven numbers featuring angular guitar bursts, gently Autoned vocals and a euphoric club and beach friendly hook.

“Funeral,” Sun’s fifth and latest single begins with an atmospheric intro before quickly morphing into a euphoric bop centered around twinkling synths, jangling guitars, Isidore’s plaintive vocals and a motorik groove that sounds like synthesis of early 80s New Order and Phoenix but imbued with an achingly wistful nostalgia for simpler times and the proverbial “one that got away.”

New Video: French JOVM Mainstays Pastel Coast Return with a Cinematic Visual for Breezy “Distance”

Led by their Boulogne-sur-Mer, France-based creative mastermind Quentin Isidore (vocals, guitar) and featuring Benjamin Fiorini (drums), Ingrid Letourneau (keys), Marion Plouviez (guitar, vocals) and Renaud Retaux (bass), the rising French dream pop act Pastel Coast has received attention both nationally and internationally for developing and honing a melancholic sound deeply indebted to the early 90s Manchester scene. 

2019 was an enormous year for the French indie act: their full-length debut Hovercraft landed on Dream Pop Magazine‘s Top 100. And adding to a the growing buzz surrounding them, the band wound up landing a slot at last year’s Inouïs du Printemps de Bourges, which was unfortunately cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing that momentum, the French dream pop act and JOVM mainstays will be releasing their highly anticipated full-length debut Sun is slated for a June 4, 2021 release. The album will feature two previously released — and attention grabbing — singles “Rendezvous” and “Dial” a breezy synths of New Order and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-era Phoenix that evoked the swooning euphoria of new love.

Earlier this year, the band released “Sunset,” a glistening and breezy number that’s a carefully crafted synthesis of New Zealand jangle pop and Phoenix that thematically focused on lovelorn folks racing against time to try to find love before sunset. The album’s fourth and latest single “Distance” continues a run of shimmering and infectious pop — but interestingly enough, it’s more of a synth-driven number with angular guitar bursts, gently Autotuned vocals and a euphoric hook that’s perfect for the club and for the beach.

Directed by the band’s Quentin Isidore and filmed by David Sagot, the recently released video for “Distance” continues a run of incredibly cinematic visuals — this one seemingly indebted to French New Wave, thanks to the use of subtitles with the song’s lyrics as we follow a man who’s blocked by flowing fabrics and flags in front of him.

New Video: indie Rock All Star act Piroshka Follows An Adorable Little Girl on a Big Day Off in Visual for “Scratching at the Lid”

Deriving their name from the Hungarian version of Little Red Riding Hood, the acclaimed All-Star act Piroshka — Lush’s Miki Berenyi (vocals, guitar) Moose’s KJ “Moose” McKillop (guitar), Modern English’s Mick Conroy (bass) and Elastica’s Justin Welch (drums) — features members, best known for their work with some of the most acclaimed indie acts of the past 30 years. And their latest project together can trace its origins to the knotted web of connections between them: Berenyi and McKillop are considered shoegaze pioneers, who have released a number of applauded releases before getting married and starting a family. With the release of 1995’s self-titled debut, Elastica quickly became internationally recognized Brit Pop stars — and as a result. Berenyi and McKillop were intimately familiar with Welch and his work. Conroy joined McKillop’s band Moose after Modern English broke up for the second time. Welch eventually joined the reunited Lush in 2015. When Lush needed a bassist for their final show in Manchester, Conroy filled in.

As it turned out, the Manchester show rehearsals are what laid the foundations for Piroshka to exist — but admittedly, I need to add some background here: After Lush’s Chris Acland committed suicide in 1997, his grieving and devastated bandmates felt it was impossible to continue as a band. The band eventually broke up. Berenyi was so heartbroken by Acland’s death that she quit music and spent the next 20 years as a working mother. Because of personal and personal obligations, Berenyi didn’t agree to reunite Lush and tour again until 2015. Welch, who coincidentally was a close friend of Acland was a logical choice to lovingly fill in. At some point, Welch asked Berenyi if she’d be up to doing something new after the final Manchester show. And as Berenyi recalled in press noters, up until that point in her life, she hadn’t made music outside of Lush and solo work never really appealed to her. “I need someone else to motivate me, and in this case it was Justin. He sent drum tracks with guitar parts and odd words, so I wrote some vocals and lyrics, which became ‘This Must Be Bedlam’ and ‘Never Enough.’ When Mick added bass, it sounded great. When Moose added guitar and keyboards — I’d never written like that before, it was such good fun.”

“We sounded great!” Welch added in press notes. “Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought this is the kind of band I want to be in again.” Conroy agreed, adding “I’d seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed and it was good fun, too. And with Moose available, we thought, ‘let’s all have a bash, see what happens.’”

Of course, there are several more layers to the entangled and complicated web of personal, professional and creative connections at the heart of Piroshka: Bella Union’s label head Simon Raymonde was among the first people to hear the Brickbat demos and he quickly signed the band to the label. Plus, I should add that Raymonde’s former Cocteau Twins bandmate Robin Guthrie produced Lush’s debut album. And Raymonde’s current Lost Horizons bandmate Richie Thomas was a former member of Moose. In any case, Raymonde introduced Piroshka to Lanterns on the Lake‘s Paul Gregory, who mixed all but one track on the album. Lastly,  Fiona Brice, who was once a Bella Union recording artist, wrote string arrangements while The Higsons and Blockhead‘s Terry Edwards, who played on Lush’s final album played brass.

Deriving its name for a slang term for missile, the band’s 2019 full-length debut Brickbat managed to have a deeper symbolic meaning for the band: the title also hit upon the fact that the album was a marked departure from the individual members’ best known work. Written through the anxious prism of parenthood in a world gone made, the album lyrically and thematically touches upon the fear, loathing, envy and strife at the heart of our current — and ongoing — sociopolitical moment.

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Love Drips and Gathers derives its title from a line of a Dylan Thomas poem. Slated for a July 23, 2021 release through Bella Union, Love Drips and Gathers reportedly follows a more introspective line, with the album thematically focusing on the ties that bind us — in particular, as a lovers, parents, children, friends. Berenyi and McKillop split lyric writing duties, and the album features songs about Berenyi and McKillop’s relationship, their family, the deaths of McKillop’s mother and father and the death of longtime friend and 4AD in-house art director Vaughan Oliver, who died suddenly at the end of 2019. Sonically, the album finds the indie rock legends employing a much more ethereal sound while still reveling in energy and drama. “If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” Piroshka’s Miki Berenyi says in press notes. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.” The band’s Mick Conroy adds “Brickbat was a classic first album; noisy and raucous. On Love Drips And Gathers, we’ve calmed down and explored sounds, and space.”

“Scratching at the Lid,” Love Drips and Gathers is a shimmering and ethereal pop anthem centered around Berenyi’s imitable vocals, twinkling keys, a rousingly anthemic hook and a motorik groove. But underneath the euphoria inducing hooks and breakneck gallop, the song is a conflicted meditation on McKillop’s father and one’s relationship to their parents that sonically sounds a bit like a synthesis of Brit Pop, indie rock and shoegaze.

Directed by Connor Kingsley at Home Picture Films, the recently released video for “Scratching at the Lid” follows a rambunctious and energetic little girl, who’s one of the best things a kid can heart — there’s no school today. Throughout her day, she does all the things that kids do: running around the house causing chaos; plays with her dog, puts on makeup and pretend she’s an adult singing star. And in this girl’s world, we rarely see an adult, which probably allows her to be even more of a kid. The main thing for me is that the girl is adorable — and in some way, a reminder of our own childhood and childhood dreams.

New Video: Rising French Act Pastel Coast Releases a Satirical Send-Up of Love and Heartbreak

Led by their Boulogne-sur-Mer, France-based creative mastermind Quentin Isidore (vocals, guitar) and featuring Benjamin Fiorini (drums), Ingrid Letourneau (keys), Marion Plouviez (guitar, vocals) and Renaud Retaux (bass), the rising French dream pop act Pastel Coast has received attention both nationally and internationally for developing and honing a melancholic and nostalgia-including sound deeply indebted to the early 90s Manchester scene. 

2019 was an enormous year for the French indie act: their full-length debut Hovercraft landed on Dream Pop Magazine‘s Top 100. Adding to a the growing buzz surrounding them, the band wound up landing a slot at last year’s Inouïs du Printemps de Bourges, which was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing upon that momentum, the band has been working on their highly-anticipated sophomore album Sun, which will feature the attention grabbing singles “Rendezvous” and “Dial,” an infectious and summery track, which brought New Order and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-era Phoenix to mind, while evoking the swooning euphoria of new love.

The French act’s first single of 2021, “Sunset” is hook-driven and breezy bit of glistening jangle pop that sonically — to my ears, at least — is a carefully crafted synthesis of New Zealand jangle pop and Phoenix. And much like its predecessors, the song focuses on affairs of the heart: in this case, capturing lovelorn folks racing against time and trying to find love before sunset.

Directed by Robin Laroque and Quentin Marinello, the recently released and gorgeously shot video for “Sunset” is a satirical look at love and heartbreak that stars Samya Arrat as a lovelorn woman, who winds up falling for a houseplant. And although initially she’s wildly in love, she gradually gets increasingly annoyed with the one-way nature of her affair.

New Video: Berlin’s The Underground Youth Releases a Brooding and Introspective New Single

Since its founding in Manchester in 2008 as a solo recording project by its creative mastermind and primary songwriter Craig Dyer, the prolific Berlin-based post punk act The Underground Youth has developed a cult-like following through the release of nine albums which have established a primal and intense sound.

Earlier this year, the band which also features Leo Kaage (guitar, production), Dyer’s wife Olga (drums) and Max James (bass) were in the middle of their first North American tour when the pandemic forced the band to cut their tour short and return home. Additionally, their original plans to head to the studio upon the completion of the tour also ground down to a halt with the members of the band spending several months in isolation as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns.

The Berlin-based act;’s forthcoming tenth album The Falling was written and recorded in Craig Dyer’s and Leo Kaage’s apartments-turned studios. The album is a marked departure from their previous work with the material showcasing a softer, more cinematic sound, centered around acoustic guitar and piano, as well as string and violin arrangements. Unsurprisingly, the album sonically and thematically is a product of the distressing, uncertain and very unfamiliar world we find ourselves living in right now, while expressing the frustrations, heartbreak and longing for a past we may never get back.

“Lyrically this album finds me at my most honest and autobiographical,” The Underground Youth’s Craig Dyer says in press notes. “I still shroud the reality of what I have written within something of a fictional setting, but the honesty and the romance that shines throughout the record is more sincere than it has been in my previous work. The idea was to strip back the band to allow for lyrical breathing space.”

The album’s first single is the introspective “A Sorrowful Race,.” Centered around an arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, twinkling bursts of keys, a supple bass line, and brooding string arrangement paired with Dyer’s plaintive baritone, “A Sorrowful Race” is a cinematic yet unvarnished and painfully honest bit of self-examination of its narrator’s sense of ego, self-worth and feelings of envy. If you’ve ever felt resentment and hatred because someone else has attained the success you haven’t, the song should feel both familiar — and like a call out of your own ugliness and frailties.

“This track is something of personal attack on myself, and the narcissistic frustration at those whose success has overshadowed my own,” Craig Dyer explains in press notes. ” It could be perceived as egoistic, but the idea with this record was to be as honest as possible lyrically, that included addressing the feelings that were maybe harder to face.”

The recently released video by the band’s Olga Dyer employs a simple, DIY-like concept: Olga Dyer recording her husband singing the song in their living room full of books and records,.

The Falling is slated for a March 12, 2021 release through Fuzz Club Records,.

New Video: Rising French Act Pastel Coast Releases an Infectiously Breezy Single

Led by their Boulogne-sur-Mer, France-based creative mastermind Quentin Isidore (vocals, guitar) and featuring Benjamin Fiorini (drums), Ingrid Letourneau (keys), Marion Plouviez (guitar, vocals) and Renaud Retaux (bass), the rising French dream pop Pastel Coast has developed and honed a melancholic and nostalgic sound largely inspired by the sound of early 90s Manchester scene.

Last year was a big year for the rising French act: their full-length debut, Hovercraft landed one Dream Pop Magazine’s Top 100 and as a result, they landed a slot at this year’s cancelled Inouïs du Printemps de Bourges, one of France’s biggest and most renowned festivals. Building upon a growing profile, the act will be releasing their sophomore album next year, an effort that will feature “Rendez Vous” and their latest single, “Dial.”

Centered around a supple and sinuous bass line, shimmering synths, a motorik-like groove, Isidore’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, and an euphoric, Brit Pop inspired hook, “Dial” evokes the swooning feelings and sensations of new love with an infectious and summery air while recalling New Order and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-era Phoenix.

Directed by the band’s Quentin Isidore, the recently released video for “Dial” features people-chatting with each other, on old, fashioned, heavy rotary phones. And through their connection, we see people joyously escaping into another world — through flirting or just having a deep and thoughtful conversation.