Tag: Mazzy Star

New Audio: Aussie JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Release a Warmly Atmospheric and Deceptive Pop Confection

I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf over the past couple of years, and as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin have known each other since they were both teenagers. However, their musical collaboration began when Kendrick, who grew up in a rather musical home started to seriously pursue music a few years ago. Kendrick enlisted the help of her old friend to help flesh out some of her early demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles that included “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s Top Ten and landed at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like “Don’t Talk About You;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much;”  the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,;” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” the JOVM mainstays released their Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last year.

Building on the growing profile, the duo’s highly anticipated sophomore album My Resignation is slated for an October 25, 2019 release through [PIAS] Recordings, and the album finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays collaborating with acclaimed songwriter and producer Justin Parker on a number of tracks.Reportedly, the album finds Kendrick writing what may arguably be the most brutally honest to date with the album touching about loneliness — in particularly, learning to accept it and to love the space it provides; but viewed through the lens of a 20 something trying to maneuver the weight of the expectations put upon by others and upon themselves. The album also touches upon heartbreak, growth and self-actualization. In fact, in some way, the material finds the duo maturing and trying to maneuver the difficulties and complexities of adulthood.

“I See Red,” My Resignation‘s first single was a subtle expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere. While employing the use of shimmering synths, the track is primarily centered around jangling guitar lines, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s crooning — and while sounding incredibly self-assured, the song comes from a deeply personal and lived-in place. “‘I See Red’ was written after an argument with my sister,” the duo’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “The song was a realization that you are only ever your most raw, horrible self when you’re with the people you love to death and who love you.

I have been very proactive over many years in going to therapy, talking openly about mental health and have constantly taken steps to control emotions, moods and even my temper – having a family history of mental illness, this is something my siblings and I have had a lot of awareness about.This song is about that process and what I’ve learnt. The ebbs and flows of trying to be the best version of yourself.”

My Resignation’s latest single “Round and Round” continues a run of sugary  pop confections, centered around warmly atmospheric synths, shimmering acoustic guitar, Kendrick’s imitable crooning and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to the material off their debut with a subtle nod to Slow Air-era Still Corners, the track was actually written in an extremely negative headspace and environment as it seethes with frustration over the narrator’s repetitive patterns. “I was frustrated with maybe a lack of self-control and an inability to break patterns in my life… In a few areas,” Geowulf’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “This song is my way to poking holes in how I handled that. The rest of the album follows a similar, emotional narrative, and is all about exploring those old things & how I’ve tried to leave them behind.”

New Video: Up-and-Coming Aussie Singer/Songwriter Gena Rose Bruce Releases a Surreal and Vulnerable Visual for “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You”

Earlier this year, you may have come across a post on Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Gena Rose Bruce. And as you may recall, her highly-anticipated Tim Harvey-produced, full-length debut Can’t Make You Love Me is slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Dot Dash Records took three years to write and record — and it features a notable guest spot from multi-instrumentalist Jade Imagine, who plays bass and guitar on the album. 

Fans have received glimpses of the album’s material with its first two singles “Coming Down” and “The Way You Make Love” being released independently last year. The album’s fourth single “Rearview” was the second single that Dot Dash has released this year, and the track was centered by a sparse arrangement of atmospheric synths, shimmering guitars, propulsive and pulsating drumming and a smoldering vocal performance, imbued with longing. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star and JOVM mainstays Still Corners, the song as Bruce explained in press notes “is a conversation I could never have with this person, it’s about accepting failed love. I was angry at the time but I didn’t have the energy to stay angry or feel sorry for myself.”

The album’s fifth and latest single, the slow-burning, “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” features what may arguably be the most sparse, atmospheric arrangement on the entire album — shimmering and jangling guitar lines, a simple yet propulsive rhythm second paired with a breathy and achingly vulnerable vocal performance by Bruce. Unsurprisingly, the song manages to evoke someone haunted by the lingering memories and ghosts of a lover that they can’t seem to let go. And in some way, the song’s narrator acknowledges that maybe they don’t want to get over this relationship either. 

“We wanted to create a meditative, surrealist-inspired video for this song,” Bruce says of the Katie Adams directed visual for the song, “The imagery hints at the concept of being buried, in this case by the thoughts or memories of someone you can’t let go of. It’s quite a personal song, so we felt it was important to include the lyrics – kind of like a scrawled letter where all vulnerability is revealed. Everything this song is about is captured in the opening lines; “I don’t think I’ll ever get over you. I don’t think I’ll ever really want too”. (But eventually, of course, I did.)” 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Expands Upon Their Blogosphere Winning Sound in New Single

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. As the story goes, although the duo have known each other since they were both teenagers, their musical collaboration began when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home started to seriously pursue music a few years ago — and Kendrick enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out some of her early 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;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” and the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” the JOVM mainstays released their Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last year. 

Slated for an October release, the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore full-length album My Resignation finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays collaborating with songwriter and producer Justin Parker, who has worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Bat For Lashes and Cloves on a number of tracks. Reportedly, the album finds Kendrick writing what may arguably be the most brutally honest to date with the album touching about loneliness — in particularly, learning to accept it and to love the space it provides; but viewed through the lens of a 20 something trying to maneuver the weight of the expectations put upon by others and upon themselves. Naturally, the album also touches upon heartbreak, growth and self-actualization. Or in other words, the material finds the duo maturing and trying to figure out the difficulties of adulthood — although to be honest, at 40, I’m not entirely convinced that I’ve tackled that myself. 

“I See Red,” My Resignation’s first single is a subtle expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere. While employing the use of shimmering synths, the track is primarily centered around jangling guitar lines, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s crooning — and while sounding incredibly self-assured, the song comes from a deeply personal and lived-in place. “‘I See Red’ was written after an argument with my sister,” the duo’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “The song was a realization that you are only ever your most raw, horrible self when you’re with the people you love to death and who love you.

I have been very proactive over many years in going to therapy, talking openly about mental health and have constantly taken steps to control emotions, moods and even my temper – having a family history of mental illness, this is something my siblings and I have had a lot of awareness about.This song is about that process and what I’ve learnt. The ebbs and flows of trying to be the best version of yourself.”

New Video: Up-and-Coming Aussie Singer-Songwriter Gena Rose Bruce Releases a “Twin Peaks”-like Visual for “Rearview”

Can’t Make You Love Me is the highly-anticipated full-length debut of Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Gena Rose Bruce. Slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Dot Dash Records, the Tim Harvey-produced effort took roughly three years to write and record and features a notable guest spot from multi-instrumentalist Jade Imagine, who plays bass and guitar on the album — although fans have received glimpses of the album with its first two singles “Coming Down” and “The Way You Make Love” being released independently last year. 

The album’s latest single “Rearview,” which is the second single that Dot Dash has released this year, is centered by a sparse arrangement of atmospheric synths, shimmering guitars, propulsive and pulsating drumming and a smoldering vocal performance by Bruce imbued with longing — and while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star and JOVM mainstays Still Corners, the song as Bruce explains “is a conversation I could never have with this person, it’s about accepting failed love. I was angry at the time but I didn’t have the energy to stay angry or feel sorry for myself.” 

Directed by Alex Badham, the recently released video has a weird, fever dream-like logic as it begins with Bruce standing in the forest, and spontaneously jumping into the backseat of a driverless car. Throughout her ride, the car and her are confronted by a number of equally weird, unexpected guests, who join her as she takes control of the car. 

Comprised of Stine Helen Tunstrøm (vocals), Terje Halmrast (guitar, vocals), Svein Petter Nilssen (guitar), Vegar Eriksfallet (drums, percussion) and Bendrik Dræge Orvan (bass), the Oslo, Norway-based band Monalia are deeply influenced by 60s pop and 4AD shoegaze.

The Oslo-based quintet’s debut single “My Little Lies” was released on Ghost Town Records and the song received airplay across Norwegian radio — but began to receive international attention once it was playlisted on German radio, and saw praise from international music blogs. Building upon a growing profile both nationally and internationally, the band’s debut EP 2016’s Waited All Too Long received regular airplay across Norwegian national radio and praise from a number of different blogs across the blogosphere. Since the release of their debut EP, the members of Monalia have played a number of high profile shows in Oslo and Eastern Norway, including a slot at Festivalen Sin, sharing a stage with some of their homeland’s most prominent artists including Stein Torlief Bjella, Enslaved and Greni.

Last February, the members of Monalia went into the studio to record their recently released full-length debut So Much Better. As the band explains in press notes, the album’s title is about taking an active choice in terms of how you want to live your life. In some way, the band wants to encourage the listener to step out of mediocrity and live a life in pursuit of your ambitions and passions, watching every new day with joy and anticipation rather than anxious dread. Sonically, the material on the band’s debut is a journey through doubt, darkness and longing and into a bight, hopeful future — all while further establishing what they’ve dubbed “mountain surf,” a sound and subgenre inspired by the Norwegian countryside and nature.

So Much Better‘s latest single is the slow-burning and atmospheric “Drank the Rain.” Centered around shimmering guitar lines, gently propulsive drumming, a soaring hook and Tunstrøm’s gorgeous and plaintive vocals, the Norwegian indie act’s latest single bears an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star and classic 4AD Records shoegaze; but as the band explains, the song is “about the contrasts between the good and bad feelings in a relationship and how all the band things make the love stronger and make you feel more alive.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Brochu is a Savannah, GA-born, Chicago, IL-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who can trace the origins of her musical career to feeling frustrated with the constraints of her craft, after completing her masters in fiction writing. And as a result, she turned to music for its raw and immediate emotional release. Beginning her musical career as a member of Chicago-based bands Astrobrite and Videotape, the Savannah-born, Chicago-based singer/songwriter and guitarist also leads her own project, Fauvely.

Featuring Dale Price, Scott Cortez, and Dave Piscotti, the Chicago-based band led by Brochu have received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for crafting deeply personal dream pop. The Chicago-based dream pop act’s debut, 2017’s EP Watch Me Overcomplicate This featured confessional material that ranged from delicately self-effacing to hauntingly sad; but its follow-up, last year’s Tides was inspired by Brochu’s birthplace and the effort found Brochu and company expanding their sound and approach, with bolder and brooding material that thematically focused on coming to terms with haunting and unsettling memories in a place revered for its beauty.

Slated for a May 17, 2019 release through Chicago-based indie label Diversion Records, Fauvely’s forthcoming This is What the Living Do EP derives its name from a collection of poetry by New York-based poet Marie Howe. The EP’s first single and title track, the brooding yet ethereal “This Is What the Living Do” is dedicated to her friend, who lost her mother to cancer. And while the sparsely arranged and hauntingly spectral track bears an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star, its centered by the grief and heartache of inconsolable, unfathomable loss.

 

New Video: Acclaimed Act Mass Gothic Release Surrealistic Visual for Atmospheric “How I Love You”

Last year, I wrote about the acclaimed New York-based synth-based band Mass Gothic, and as you may recall the act, which is comprised of married duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri can trace the project’s origins to the duo managing to dip in and out of their various creative projects throughout the course of their 18 year relationship, advising and supporting one another; but oddly, throughout the bulk of their relationship they never completely committed themselves to collaborating together on an entire album, sharing creative load.

Heroux stared Mass Gothic back in 2016 as a solo project, after the breakup of his previous band Hooray for Earth. Reportedly plagued by his own insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn’t yet ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into a shared, collaborative project. And perhaps most important, he didn’t feel that he was ready to do so with someone as close and fundamental to his life, like his wife. But before he began work on the sophomore Mass Gothic, the phrase “I’ve Tortured You Long Enough” reverberated through his head and quickly became a mantra and a premonition of his collaboration with his wife. And in many ways, that mantra became the title of the band’s sophomore album, a tongue-in-check reference to the fact that it took so long for the duo to work together. “It just popped into my head,” Heroux explained in press notes. “You can say it to a loved one or to a friend. Or you could wish someone say it to you. It covers so many basses but it’s taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years, while everybody is at each other’s throats; frustrated and confused all the time.”

As the story goes, as Heroux was about to work on the band’s sophomore album, he felt that he needed to force himself out of his comfort zone — and his deep-seated stubbornness. By the fall of 2016, circumstances found him facing his biggest fears head on. “We rented a small tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. We put ourselves away and worked on music all day, wondering what it would feel and sound like,” Jessica Zambri recalled in press notes. 

The first song they wrote together was an early iteration of “Keep On Dying.” Zambri had the melody and lyrics while Heroux had arranged the chords. From there, things snowballed and while the writing began in New York, in early 2017, the duo threw caution to wind, got rid of their Brooklyn apartment, purged most of their belongings and relocated to Los Angeles to write and record the album. They then bought a car, drove to L.A. where they lived out of duffle bag with co-producer Josh Ascalon, and they spent the bulk of their time writing. “The entire record from start to finish was done without having our own place to live,” Heroux said in press notes. “Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn’t have worked.”

Working as a duo helped with the project’s sound evolving with the album’s material being an international meeting of the minds, centered around their openness to work together without rules or conditions — although oddly enough during the spring of 2017, Heroux and Zambri separately came to the conclusion that the material they wrote had way more potential. As the story goes, while they were preparing to tour with Zambri’s sister Cristi Jo and her boyfriend Joseph Stickney, Heroux woke up one morning, turned to his spouse and said “Oh God, we have to fucking re-record the whole album!” Heroux and Zambri agreed that re-recording was required and during the final ten days of recording, they made sure that the material was perfect while being as alive as possible.

Thematically, the album’s material basks in and celebrates the acceptance of co-dependence and independence simultaneously — and while being rooted within the relationship of its creators, the material isn’t so autobiographical that it’s off-putting and alienating in its intimacy; in fact, the material was intentionally written to be a conversation between its creators about something deeply universal. Now, as you may recall, the swooning  Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks-like “Keep On Dying” managed to be both vulnerable yet grounded in an earthy realism.  I’ve Tortured You Long Enough‘s latest single, the atmospheric and euphoric “How I Love You” is a song is centered around Zambri’s ethereal vocals, gently strummed guitar and shimmering synths — and while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star and others, the song as the act’s Jessica Zambri explains in press notes, “The lights turned on for me. Committing to something can be relieving, even pleasurable.  I used to think I had to protect myself from anything that I perceived to get in the way of making music, but all that did was close me off. Whatever is happening I want to enjoy it. I wrote this song as a reminder to live and not be lived.”

Directed by Evan Fellers, the recently released video is centered around strange yet realistic feeling environments that feel digitally constructed — and in some way, captures the unusual terrain of a new, committed relationship. “I wanted to create strange realistic feeling environments that also felt a bit digital. I used a process called photogrammetry to grab a bunch of real-world elements and turned them into 3d models which make up most of everything you see. Anything from small rocks to large sections of woods, trees, moss, and dirt, to Jess and Noel.

“I knew I wanted to take the viewer through these different environments, but I wanted it to be more than just a camera flying around — something simple and purposeful, searching for something. I wanted there to be this feeling of a journey. I also wanted to trace specific paths through the environment I thought were pleasing. Creating a single red orb that illuminated the environment was a nice way to accomplish all of those goals with the story, and control the way in which I revealed each scene at the same time. The red orb also came to represent the voice of the song to me.”

 

Luvia is an up-and-coming Brighton, UK-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that she describes on her Facebook  page as a mix of Lana Del Rey, Mazzy Star and a hint of Stevie Nicks, brining together a tender ethereal, acoustic sound. Lyrically, the up-and-coming, British pop artist is inspired by spoken word poetry and story-telling — in particular, she’s been deeply influenced by stories of people, who have given into their guilty pleasures and have taken that proverbial walk on the wild side. Luvia’s latest single is the noir-ish “Love Lust,” centered around the young British artist’s achingly tender vocals and an atmospheric and slow-burning production featuring dramatic drumming, twinkling keys and a soaring hook. Sonically, the track bears an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstays ACES as it evokes a cinematic air, that recalls 80s movie soundtracks; but interestingly enough the song seems to capture

As Luvia explains in press notes, “’Love Lust’ is a reflection of what it was like growing up for me but also a lot of people I know. Lots of feeling numb and having a lot to deal with and doing things to feel something or anything. I think that’s where the main line ‘even if it kills me it makes us feel alive, even if it thrills me we might as well just try’ came from, an act of teenage thrill seeking perhaps. Although on the flip side the song is also about growing away from that and finding a way to come alive and wake up from the darker side of things and from the dull day to day.”

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