Tag: Mew

Michael Desmond is a Long Island, NY-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who first earned attention as the frontman of orchestral indie rock act Gabriel the Marine, an act that went on national tours with Taking Back Sunday, Glassjaw, Mew, Jack’s Mannequin and The Dear Hunter. After some significant changes in his personal life that included the death of his uncle, the end of a six-year relationship and graduation from college, Desmond was inspired to reinvent himself and his career by going solo. “The only way I was able to slow my mind down was to write. I look at this body of work as a time capsule, as it represents a snapshot of life during this period of time,” Desmond recalls.

Desmond’s solo recording project, Local Nomad derives its name from several dichotomies: “Local Nomad is the resistance of sedentary life. It’s about seeking the strange and embracing the unknown. Wondering. Wandering. Young and Old. Everywhere and Nowhere. As cliche as it may sound – when I pick up a guitar and sing it’s the only time I feel at home,” Desmond says. Sonically, the project’s sound features soulful vocals, enormous hooks, atmospheric synths and lustrous beats and draws influence from the likes of Tears for Fears, Elvis Costello, and Phil Collins.

Local Nomad’s self-titled, debut EP is slated for a June 19, 2020 release, and the EP’s material found extra inspiration from the Long Island-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist borrowing his friends’ gear to implement mellotron, DX and 808s to add further texture and muscle to his attention-grabbing, anthemic sound. The self-titled EP’s latest single “Young Vampires” further establishes his remarkably self-assured and anthemic take on synth pop. Centered around a classic, alternating quiet verse, loud chorus-based song structure, an enormous, power chord-driven, arena rock friendly hook with shimmering and arpeggiated synths and Desmond’s plaintive vocals, the song reveals some ambitious songwriting bringing JOVM mainstays St. Lucia and the aforementioned Tears for Fears, among others.

“This song is about becoming the ugliest version of yourself in a relationship. You’re not necessarily trying to hurt one another, but you end up forgetting the thing that once brought you together,” the Long Island-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains. “‘Young Vampires’ is kind of an oxymoron because based on various films, vampires tend to live forever. They feed off of humans to survive and ultimately live a pretty reclusive lifestyle, only going out at night and sleeping all day. I think it’s comparable to being in an unhealthy relationship.”

Born Elizabeth Lowell Boland, Lowell is Calgary, Alberta, Canada-born singer/songwriter and up-and-coming pop artist, who spent time living in Carcross, Yukon Territories, near a mountain that once offered passage to gold hunters — and was also once a preying haven for wolves; the up-and-coming pop artist has also spent time living in Massachusetts, Ottawa, Georgia and Calgary, before splitting her time between Toronto and London, UK.

Early within her career, she won the attention of Martin Terefe, who has worked with KT Tunstall, James Blunt and Jason Mraz; Sacha Skarbek, who has worked with Lana Del Rey, Adele and Miley Cyrus; James Bryan, who has worked with Nelly Furtado and The Philosopher Kings; and Paul Herman, who has worked with Dido.  The quartet of songwriters and producers invited them to London’s Kensaltown Studios to write with them; however, what they all worked on wasn’t in sync with Lowell’s vision, so they scrapped what they had and started over again with the end result being her I Killed Sara V. EP and her full-length debut, We Loved Her Dearly, which was released on renowned indie label Arts & Crafts Records. Both efforts received attention for songs, which openly focused on topics like sexual abuse, rape, abortion, women’s rights, the lack of LGBTQ rights, as well as our cultural ignorance about (and simultaneous) obsession with homosexuality.

Ultimately, Lowell’s first efforts were fueled by the need to empower her and her listeners to challenge gender conventions and inspire freedom from social limitations, rules and misogynists’ abuse of power, and to celebrate and uphold individuality — and while those are understandably heavy and urgent subjects, the up-and-coming pop artist pairs that with accessible, downright radio friendly melodies and upbeat vibes. Much like Fela Kuti and others, she’s used music as a weapon — suggesting as they did, you can challenge social norms and speak truth to power while dancing. Interestingly, Lowell remained friends with Terefe et. al. and it lead to her working with Terefe as a member of his band Apparatjik, and to her mini album If You Can Solve This Jumble. Following that, it lead to four days of writing and recording with A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen, Coldplay‘s Guy Berryman, Mew‘s Jonas Bjerre and Terefe, who she joined onstage at 2012’s Roskilde Festival.

After the release of her full-length debut, Lowell took up residency in her own studio space, where she began writing for other artists, including Icona Pop, Dragonette, Netsky, Grandtheft and Bulow, and where she also spent time working at writing, producing and practicing her craft, as well as guitar and piano (which she is classically trained), so that she could be ready for a self-financed UK tour, where she was backed by a drummer. Since then, she’s played showcases at Canadian Music Week, CMJ, Sled Island, and performed at David Lynch’s Club Silencio in Paris, headlined in Oslo and Copenhagen, opened for Chad Valley in Berlin, Padova and London; and opened for The Raveonettes in Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid.

Lowell’s sophomore effort Lone Wolf was recently released on Friday, and the album’s material focus on the power an influence of youth — particular as a teenager, but from a more mature viewpoint; from someone, looking back on their own youth as an adult, who isn’t too far removed from it. And as a result, the album thematically focuses on self-discovery while retaining the upbeat, anthemic and dance floor friendly production that has won her attention.  In fact, the album’s first single “War Face” is an infectious and soulful track centered around an arrangement featuring bluesy guitar, handclaps, a propulsive battle rhythm and an infectious shout worthy hook that brings to mind The Black Keys and Alice Merton, among others.







New Video: The Brooding 70s-Inspired Visuals for Wilding’s “Hot Prowl”

Wilding is a Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio, comprised of Dave Woody (guitar, vocals), Dave Bowman (bass) and Andrew Platts (drums) that has publicly cited Hum, Fugazi, Mew, M83, Autolux and Interpol as influences, although with “Hot Prowl,” off their Secular Music EP, which was released earlier this year, the band manages to specialize in the sort of anthemic and moody shoegaze that reminds me quite a bit of Jersey City, NJ’s Overlake, Chicago’s Lightfoils and others, complete with some explosive guitar pyrotechnics paired with thundering and insistent drumming.

The recently released video for “Hot Prowl” is comprised of footage from an extremely obscure 70s film featuring some bored and brooding kids who goof off and get high — and it’s obvious that not only do they not have answers for anything, the footage has a hit of old PSAs about drugs and alcohol.

Comprised of Dave Woody (guitar, vocals), Dave Bowman (bass) and Andrew Platts (drums), Wilding is a Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio and although the trio cite influences including Hum, Fugazi, Mew, M83, Autolux and Interpol among others — although interestingly enough, as you’ll hear on “Hot Prowl,” the latest single off the trio’s forthcoming EP Secular Music, the band specializes in an anthemic and moody shoegaze that’s sonically reminiscent to the likes of Jersey City, NJ’s Overlake, Chicago’s Lightfoils and others, complete with some explosive guitar pyrotechnics paired with thundering and insistent drumming.



New Video: The Swooning and Heartbreaking Visuals of From Indian Lake’s “Blank Tapes”

Joey Vannucchi is an Indian Lakes, CA-bssed singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose solo recording project From Indian Lakes derives its name from the small community near Yosemite National Park where he grew up on 40 acres of land with virtually no electricity, aside from a sparely used generator. His latest effort Everything Feels Better Now can trace its origins to when Vannucchi recorded the skeletons of tracks for the album in the cheaply rented basement of a coffeeshop. He then traveled to Fairfax Studios in Los Angeles, where producer Kevin Augunus, who has worked with Delta Spirit and Cold War Kids and and engineer Gavin Paddock assisted Vannucchi in slowly stripping way tracks that needed to be replaced from the basement and home studio recordings and fleshing out material where necessary.

As for the completed album, it was released earlier this year to critical praise from the likes of Consequence of Sound and NPR Music for the “rawness of its emotions” and its “moody indie rock songs that look to the terse internal monologues of Now, Now and the atmospheric pop of Mew.” Vannucchi’s latest single “Blank Tapes” consists of lushly chiming and shimmering guitar chords, propulsive and rolling drumming and anthemic hook paired with Vannucchi’s plaintive falsetto vocals — and while the comparisons to Now, Now and Mew seem sensible to me, it doesn’t quite capture the swooning Romanticism at the core of the song or the fact that sonically speaking that this particular single manages to nod at both Silversun Pickups and classic shoegaze.

Directed by Joshua Hailing, the recently released video for “Blank Tapes” follows two young lovers and captures the ecstatic joy and heartbreaking agony of a relationship, and in some way the video is meant to be an allegory for more than the typical ups and downs of young love — hell, of any love, really. “I wanted to create an isolated world,” Hailing explains in press notes. “Everyone has their own ‘Sarah,” he continues. “They find themselves in this euphoric site with the idea of either someone, something or themselves. We become intoxicated with this image of how we wish things could be, and use it as a scapegoat to hide away from our own confusion, frustrations and denial.” And the video subtly reminds the viewer that love can often be a heartbreaking and confusing business, resulting in the endlessly lingering ghosts of our lives.