Tag: Mazzy Star

Throughout the course of the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo have known each other since they were teenagers, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home, started to pursue music seriously a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” and the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” the JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. And along with the announcement of their debut, the duo then released, the shuffling and jangling, 60s girl group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” which continues the dream pop duo’s growing reputation for material that possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft but with subtly modern flourishes — all while focusing on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships.

The album’s latest single “Sunday” is a slow-burning, gorgeous and cinematic bit of guitar pop, with a soaring hook that should immediately bring comparisons like Mazzy Star, The Smiths and others — while continuing a string of songs that pair dark and moody lyrics with upbeat sounds.  As the duo says in press notes, “‘Sunday’ is a favorite of ours in the album. It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically, it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”

 

 

Rosie Carney is an up-and-coming, 20 year-old, Hampshire, UK-born, Downings, County Donegal, Ireland-based singer/songwriter, who has started to receive international attention for pairing mature beyond her years songwriting with vivid lyricism paired with minimalist arrangements and her effortlessly gorgeous vocals. Recently, the British-born, Irish-based singer/songwriter released a hauntingly spectral cover of Cigarettes After Sex‘s “K,” which features gently strummed guitar, swirling feedback and Carney’s gorgeous vocals singing an equally gorgeous melody — and although her cover is a bit more straightforward, sonically it bears a resemblance to Mazzy Star and Widowspeak.

As Carney explains of her decision to cover “K,” “I wanted to record a song that was released by one of my favorite artists this year. I chose ‘K’ by Cigarettes After Sex because, firstly I’m a huge fan of this band and their music and aesthetic, and secondly because this song definitely resonated with me the most from their new record. It’s such an honest song and I just love the message it carries. I love how relaxing and transcending the melody is. It’s one of those songs that I wish were mine.”

 

Throughout the course of the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born, longtime friends, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo currently split their time between London, UKGothenburg, Sweden, Berlin, Germany and Australia, the duo have known each other since the were teenagers; but their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also musicians, began to serious pursue music a few years ago and enlisted the help of Benjamin to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” a track that received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts,  “Don’t Talk About You,” which seemed to channel Mazzy Star covering  Fleetwood Mac but with a lovelorn ache, and the Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much” among others, the critically applauded blogosphere darlings recently announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced full-length debut Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. Along with that they released their latest single, the first official single from the forthcoming album, the shuffling, 60s girl group pop-like single “Hideaway,” which pairs Kendrick’s sultry cooing with a lushly layered production featuring jangling guitar chords, shimmering strings, a propulsive backbeat and soaring hooks. Unsurprisingly, there’s a careful and deliberate attention to craft that brings to mind the aforementioned Phil Spector but with subtle, modern flourishes.

Much like the duo’s previously released singles, the duo’s latest single focuses on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships — in this case, as the duo notes, “The song is about feeling like you’ve been completely transparent with someone only to realize they haven’t truly let you in.” And as a result, the song bristles with a bitter sense of betrayal and confusion underneath the gleaming and upbeat surface.

Oddnesse is a Los Angeles, CA-based collaboration between musician and singer/songwriter Rebeca Arango and producer Grey Goon, and if you’ve been frequenting this website over the past few months, you may recall that the project can trace its origins to a number of simultaneous coincidences — both members relocating from the East Coast to Los Angeles, haunted by the ghosts of expensive degrees in music seemingly being wasted and unused, failed bands and collaborations and countless gigs at Cake Shop and other venues, as well as a mutually shared vision of infectious, beautiful music with a dark, heavy groove. Interestingly, the project began much like how countless projects begin with Goon and Arago occasionally stopping by the studio to jam together but after some time, the duo realized that had something and began to take it much more seriously.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Are You Down,”Mazzy Star and early 90s Brit Pop-like single that paired Arango’s sultry, self-assured yet laid back crooning with a moody and sleek production featuring shimmering guitar chords, a sinuous and propulsive groove and a soaring hook — with a come hither vibe. As the duo’s Rebeca Arango explained in press notes, “Are You Down,” is her “Pina Colada” song, as “it’s a very confident and laid-back anticipation of my next lover, where I’m getting specific about calling in someone, who can match my energy and approach to life. The question of going ‘slow’ isn’t about romantic pacing per-se (though that is important), it’s more about generally moving slow, never rushing to pack in too much all at once or getting anxious about ‘missing out,’ and preferring to to sink in and explore the depths of all things.”

The duo’s latest single “I Used To” is an atmospheric and meditative track featuring an ethereal arrangement consisting of twangy, guitar chords, gently droning synths with Arango’s crooning vocals ethereally gliding over the the surface and while nodding at 80s New Wave and pop, there’s a subtle alt-country leaning to a song that has a rather cinematic vibe. As the duo’s Rebeca Arango explains in press notes, the song comes from a rather personal experience: “I had driven alone from LA to Utah and back twice. I absolutely loved it, in the way I’ve always loved the independence of no one needing me, no one expecting me, no one to confer with about where I might stop, when I might leave, if I might come back. I was grateful on those trips (as one usually is) for the dissolution of a relationship I had been overly attached to.  I was grateful that my mind was clear and that I had the experience to myself. I was happy. I didn’t need to know what was next.” And as a result, the song buzzes with an anticipation over a new, unseen future.

Sam Valdez is a Nevada-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, and classically trained violinist, who after spending time performing in a number of bands, discovered her own unique sound and decided that it was time to step out in front as a solo artist, writing her own original material influenced by the vastness of the desert and its sky, as well as Sufjan Stevens, The War on Drugs and the work of Sylvia Plath.  Interestingly, with the release of Hours, Valdez received attention from the likes of BlackBook.  Building upon a growing profile, Valdez’s latest single “It’s Alright” pairs incredibly forthright lyrics that thematically focus on coping with the disillusion that comes from relationships with a sound that manages to mesh anthemic shoegazer rock and twangy alt country/Americana in a way will remind some listeners of a brash and swaggering Mazzy Star, complete with rousing power chord-led hooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Los Angeles, CA-based indie pop project Oddnesse is a studio based collaboration between musician and singer/songwriter Rebeca Arango and producer Grey Goon can trace its origins to both members independently relocating from the East Coast to Los Angeles haunted by the ghosts of expensive degrees in music, failed bands and countless gigs at Cake Shop and other venues. As the story goes, Arango and Goon bonded over a shared vision for infectious, beautiful music with a dark, heavy groove, and  initially, they occasionally stopped by the studio with some random contributions as friends, who jammed together; that is before, the duo began to start taking the project seriously.

“Are You Down,” the duo’s latest single finds the duo pairing Arango’s sultry, self-assured yet laid back crooning with a moody and sleek production featuring shimmering guitar chords, a sinuous and propulsive groove and a soaring hook, and while being radio friendly , the track, sonically speaking manages to nod at Mazzy Star and early 90s Brit Pop — but with a come hither vibe. As the duo’s Rebeca Arango explained in press notes, “Are You Down,” is her “Pina Colada” song, as “it’s a very confident and laid-back anticipation of my next lover, where I’m getting specific about calling in someone, who can match my energy and approach to life. The question of going ‘slow’ isn’t about romantic pacing per-se (though that is important), it’s more about generally moving slow, never rushing to pack in too much all at once or getting anxious about ‘missing out,’ and preferring to to sink in and explore the depths of all things.”

New Video: The Mischievously Surreal Visuals for Geowulf’s “Drink Too Much”

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past year, you’d recall that I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

With the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

The recently released video for “Drink Too Much” is cinematic and feverish vision, featuring the duo at the pool of a resort — but instead of being surrounded by the expected young, lithe, buxom and beautiful, the duo is surrounded by a collection of middle-aged retirees with way too much time on their hands. And while initially suggesting a slowly creeping dread, the video turns mischievously surreal as the members of the duo lead a poolside dance party; but underneath there’s a wistfulness for the passing of yet another summer. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UKGothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

Now, as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

New Audio: Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions Return with a Sparse and Sublime New Track

Best known as the hauntingly ethereal voice of Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval has had a lengthy solo career, collaborating with a number of renowned artists including Massive Attack and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O’Coisog in her long-running post Mazzy Star project, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions. And if you had been frequenting this site last year, you’d likely recall that Sandoval’s Warm Inventions is a subtle yet decided departure from her Mazzy Star work in terms of overall theme, instrumentation and arrangement; whereas Mazzy Star’s sound is famously based around a sparse arrangement shimmering guitar chords paired with gentle drumming and Sandoval’s imitable vocals, The Warm Inventions sound while being based sound fairly sparse arrangements, draws from 70s AM radio — at least as you would have heard on the duo’s third full-length effort together Until the Hunter. 

Son of a Lady EP, is the highly anticipated follow up to Until the Hunter and the EP,  a which is slated for a September 15, 2017 release through Pledge Music as a 10″ with an exclusive track along with other exclusive items. As the members of Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions explain “‘Son of a Lady’ is a song we wrote and recorded some time ago and rediscovered it recently by chance. We worked with this really great upright bass player Damon Anderson, who we’d never worked with before and I believe it was the first time he’d ever played his bass over a cello part. He was really inspired by Ji-Young Moon’s exquisite playing. It’s a strange and lovely one; just the way we like it.” 

“Sleep,” the latest single from the Son of a Lady EP is a slow-burning, hazy and sublime dream of a song, in which Sandoval’s imitable vocals are paired with gently strummed guitar and twinkling percussion and much like the preceding single, it’s an odd yet haunting track. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the summer, you’d know that JOVM mainstay act Widowspeak will be releasing their third full-length album Expect The Best through Captured Tracks Records next week. And as you may recall, the album’s first single “Dog,” as Widowspeak’s Molly Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener’ mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more.

Expect The Best‘s second single“When I Tried” is a slow, churning blues with layers of jangling, guitar pedal effect guitars paired with a propulsive yet simple drum pattern  which Hamilton’s aching yet ethereal vocals float over, and much like its preceding single, captures a bored and frustrated narrator, who yearns for more and more — and yet feels hopelessly stuck and confused. Interestingly though, as Hamilton explained to Stereogum “I didn’t go into this record trying to make every song about feeling stuck, or about self-doubt or anxiety. Those feelings aren’t really what you want to proclaim to the world or make a whole record about, even if it’s the truth. But, in the end, it ended up making more sense to be honest. ‘When I Tried’ is about when I was having a hard time starting things, or finishing them, maybe due to my own expectations of what it would turn into or maybe due to me doubting that I’d even be able to make it happen at all . . . I wasn’t sure what the motivation was anymore. Not specifically related to music, or creative work, but to everything. I wanted to get out and be social to take my mind off it, but I had a hard time keeping that up, too. It’s hard to keep up the effort of trying.”

“The Dream,” Expect The Best‘s third and latest single manages to continue with the permanently restless and unhappy vibe of someone who has picked up and left things behind with the hopes of something better, only to find that she can’t ever escape herself, and that perhaps as a result, things never really change; in fact, the song’s title, along with the album’s title possess an ironic duality — that being hopeful in a bleak world means expecting terrible things and knowing how to deal with them or to survive, and that dreams can become waylaid or averted. And yet, one has to keep on trying because — well, anything else is death, right? Sonically speaking, the song is a  lush and sublime, dream-like reverie of a song in which Hamilton’s ethereal crooning is paired with jangling guitars, twangy pedal; but right underneath the surface is a familiar ache of reality slapping you in the face yet again.

The band recently announced updated tour dates, which include a handful of new American dates and a European tour, which will have them stop at one of my favorite cities in the entire world — Amsterdam. And if you’re in NYC, they’ll be playing Rough Trade on October 13, 2017. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
09/08 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
09/09 – Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot
09/11 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
09/12 – Detroit, MI – El Club
09/13 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
09/15 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
09/17 – Des Moines, IA – Des Moines Social Club
09/19 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
09/20 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
09/21 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/22 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
09/23 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
09/24 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
09/26 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
09/27 – Visalia, CA – The Cellar Door
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA – Pico Union Project
09/29 – San Diego, CA – Space Bar
09/30 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
10/01 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
10/03 – Austin, TX – Sidewinder
10/04 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
10/05 – Birmingham, AL – Syndicate Lounge
10/06 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
10/07 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
10/08 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
10/09 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall
10/10 – Washington, DC – DC9
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
10/12 – Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
10/13 – New York, NY – Rough Trade NYC
11/14 – Amsterdam, NL – Sugarfactory
11/15 – Utrecht, NL -Db’s
11/17 – Birmingham, UK -Actress & Bishop
11/18 – Glasgow, UK -Nice n Sleazy
11/20 – London, UK – Oslo
11/21 – Brighton, UK -The Hope
11/23 – Rotterdam, NL – Rotown
11/26 – Berlin, DE -Volksbühne
11/27 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
11/28 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
11/29 – Stockholm, SWE -Obaren
11/30 – Oslo, NO – Revolver
12/01 – Gothenburg, SWE -Oceanen
12/02 – Lund, SWE -Mejeriet
09.08 – 10.13 (except 09.13) w/ Clearance
bold = newly confirmed