Tag: MTV

New Video: Iceland’s Laura Second Releases a Surreal “120 Minutes”-like Visual for “Crop Circles”

Laura Second is a fairly mysterious multi-national indie rock act based in Iceland. Their forthcoming full-length debut Ending Friendships is slated for a November release through Icelandic indie label Why not? Plötuútgáfa! Records. The album was recorded last winter in a cabin in the Icelandic countryside — and interestingly enough, the album’s first single “Crop Circles” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV-inspired track: alternating slow-burning and dreamy verses and explosive, power chord-driven choruses. And while seemingly bearing a resemblance to the likes of The Breeders, The Posies, Pixies and others, the song possesses a drunken and uneasy lurch.

The recently released video features two Icelandic children attentively watching a surrealistic TV show on a videocassette player. It’s appropriately bizarre — and much like its accompanying single manages to emphasize the oddness of the song.

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New Video: Chicago’s The Hecks Release a “Flashdance”-Inspired Visual for Album Single “Flash”

Formed back in 2012 as a duo featuring founding members members Andy Mosiman (guitar, vocals) and Zach Herbert (drums, percussion), the Chicago-based indie act The Hecks recorded their 2016 self-titled debut with recording engineer and guitarist Dave Vetteraino. And by the following year, Vetteraino joined the band as a full-time member. 

Now, as you may recall the band’s forthcoming and long-awaited sophomore album My Star has taken three years to write and record. After recording an early version of the album in 2017, the band started playing live shows with Jeff Grauper (synths, keys). The members of the band found that Graupner’s synth playing added some welcomed heft and swagger to their new material. The band reworked and re-arranged much of the material they originally wrote in 2017 to accommodate Graupner. But while they were reworking the material, the band decided that to completely scrap the early recordings, eventually rebuilding the material to further incorporate Graupner and his skills. And as a result, My Star is reportedly a decided leap forward sonically for the band, as the album’s material draws from Manscape-era Wire, Paisley Park nu-funk, and abstract new wave and art rock.

Album single “So 4 Real” was a jagged bit of post-punk, centered around a motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of synth and Mosiman’s plaintive vocals. And while nodding at XTC (“Mayor of Simpleton” specifically comes to mind) and Amoral-era Violens, the track was essentially a swooning and soulful love song that sounds as though it should be the part of the soundtrack of a quirky, 80s rom-com. “Flash,” My Star is an angular, neurotic take on XTC-like post punk featuring squiggling bursts of neon-tinged synths, propulsive syncopated drumming and lyrics delivered with an ironic sort of detachment. And yet, it evokes the rapid-fire heartbeat of the anxious and desperately in love.  

Produced by the members of The Hecks and featuring a video wall and lamination by Studio Super, the recently released video for “Flash” is a decidedly 80s-inspired, VHS-tape recorded affair as there are references to Flashdance and 80s MTV. It’s a feverish pop fantasy of a bunch of average white guys, who have big dreams — that sadly may never happen. “We stumbled through the whole thing and just leaned in on what was working. The end result reads like the contents of a VHS tape mailed to the president of Columbia Records from some kids from Valparaiso, Indiana, who got grounded right after filming because mom found an empty bottle of poppers in the basement,” The Hecks say in a statement. “Some forgotten relic of an aspiring nobody’s pop fantasy.” 

New Video: Brooklyn’s Pom Pom Squad Releases a Decidedly “120 Minutes”-era MTV-like Visual for “Heavy Heavy”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Brooklyn-based grunge rock/punk rock-band Pom Pom Squad — Mia Berrin (vocals), Mari Ale Figeman (bass), Shelby Keller (drums) and Ethan Sass (guitar)  — and as you may recall, the act have quickly become a local DIY scene staple for a modern take on the 90s grunge rock sound that finds the band balancing solemnity and whimsy, old school punk aesthetics and emotional vulnerability, which they’ve dubbed Quiet Grrrl punk — and for a raucous live show that they’ve honed playing alongside the likes of Soccer Mommy, Adult Mom, Long Neck and others.

The band’s sophomore EP Ow was released last Friday. Now, as you may recall EP single “Honeysuckle” was an anthemic track, centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and a big hook within a quiet, loud, quiet song structure that accurately captured the mindset and emotions of a modern, young woman. Now, as you may recall, “Heavy Heavy” received attention from Stereogum, Paste, Under the Radar, Highsnobiety and Thrillist, as well as airplay on SiriusXM Alt Nation, and as soon as you hear it, you’ll understand why: the band crafts mosh pit friendly, power chord-driven hooks paired with thunderous drumming and a unhinged, feral vocal performance reminiscent of Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 

Directed by the band’s Mia Berrin, the recently released video features Pom Pom Squad’s front person in a variety of guises — cheerleader, princess, angel that busts of out of those stifling roles through the destruction of a number of cakes. Of course, there’s also footage of a Doc Marten-wearing Berrin and her bandmates furiously performing the song. For any of you that have actually come of age during the 90s as I have, the video immediately brings 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind. 

Interestingly, over the past couple of years, I’ve written about Madison, WI-based punk act The Hussy here and there, and as you may recall the band formed back in 2008 as a duo featuring by Bobby Hussy (guitar, vocals) and Heather Hussy (drums, vocals) — with both members contributing vocals. The duo quickly developed a reputation for a trashy and scuzzy take on punk and for a chaotic live show that wound up with the duo playing shows alongside a who’s who list of indie rock and punk — including Mudhoney, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Twin Peaks, Reigning Sound,Spectrum, Black Bananas, Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, The Faint, Tenement and countless others. All of that helped the band gain a cult-like following across the Midwestern underground scene.

Between 2009 and 2015, the band went through one of their most prolific periods of their history, in which they released material through 20 different labels and in countless different formats. During that same period, the duo also went through a relentless touring schedule across US and the European Union, including an appearance at Gonerfest after the release of their beloved sophomore album 2012’s Weed Seizure. Additionally, they also pulled double duty as the opening and backing band for NOBUNNY through tours of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Since touring with NOBUNNY, the band’s founding duo have split time between The Hussy and a series of other creative pursuits. Bobby Hussy has continued to tour off and on with NOBUNNY as a touring bassist. His other projects include playing in Fire Heads with Tyler Fassnacht, who recently joined The Hussy to help further flesh out their live sound — and synth wave post-punk act Cave Curse, who released a full-length in 2017. Heather Hussy is also a member of Proud Parents, an act that released their full-length debut through  Dirtnap Records last year.

At the end of last year, the members of the newly constituted trio began tracking their forthcoming full-length album Looming, the follow-up to 2015’s Galore. Galore saw the band moving into a more focused direction with their songwriting, and it included material with more complex arrangements paired with a mid-fi production. And while the album reflected an evolution in their sound and approach, they managed to retain the infectious pop-leaning hooks that won them cult-favorite status. Interestingly, the album which is slated for a September 27, 2019 release, finds the band going in a much darker thematic direction, as the material touches upon death and sudden loss, divorce, addiction and our  current horrifying, infuriating, and depressing sociopolitical moment.

Last month, I wrote about album single “Coast.” Beginning with a deceptive and upbeat intro featuring plinking and chiming guitars, the song quickly turned into a scuzzy power-chord ripper with an infectiously anthemic hook. “Sorry,” Looming‘s latest single is a decidedly 90s alt rock-inspired fuzz pop anthem featuring ironic lyrics, fluttering blasts of flute, layers of distortion pedaled guitars and thunderous drumming. Sonically speaking, “Sorry” will likely bring to mind a series of 120 Minutes-era MTV titans, like Hole, Veruca Salt, The Breeders and others with a similar gritty and bilious quality.

The members of The Hussy will be embarking on a lengthy tour during the fall. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
09/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
09/14 – Madison, WI @ Mickey’s Tavern
09/19 – Chicago, IL @ Reed’s
09/20 – Springfield, IL @ Dumb Records
09/21 – Fayetteville, AR @ Backspace w/ The Wirms
09/22 – Dalls, TX @ Ruins in Deep Ellum
09/23 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas w/ Xetas
09/24 – New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar w/ Thelma and the Sleaze
09/25- Hattiesburg, MS @ The Looney Bin
09/26 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone – Gonerfest 16!
10/11 – Madison, WI @ Crystal Corner Bar – Turkeyfest 10 w/ Vacation
10/12 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ Oh Sees & Prettiest Eyes
10/13 – Detroit, MI @ Outer Limits
10/14 – Cleveland, OH @ Little Rose Tavern
10/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rock Room
10/16 – Washington, D.C. @ Slash/Run w/ Natural Velvet
10/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Century
10/18 – New York City
10/19 – Stamford, CT @ Boy’s Club w/ Jacques Le Coque
10/20 – New Haven, CT @ Three Sheets w/ Jacques Le Coque
10/21 – Boston, MA @ The Greek w/ G Gordon Gritty
10/22 – Providence, NJ @ News Cafe
10/23 – Salem, MA @ Front Street Coffee House
10/24 – Montreal, Quebec – Canada @ Quai des brumes
10/25 – Buffalo, NY
10/26 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR

Earlier this year, I wrote about the commercially and critically successful London-based soul and funk act The Brand New Heavies. And as you may recall, the act which is led by founding members, primary songwriters and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Levy and Simon Bartholomew was at the forefront of Britain’s late 80s and early 90s Acid Jazz movement, alongside the likes of Young Disciples and Grammy Award-winning and multi-BRIT Award-winning act Jamiorquai.

With the release of their debut single, the celebrated club classic “Got To Give,” through Chrysalis Records, the members of The Brand New Heavies began to make waves in their native UK. Eventually, the band signed to Acid Jazz Records, who released their applauded self-titled debut album in 1990 across Europe and elsewhere, while the album was picked up in the US by renowned hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl. Now, if you were around and conscious back in 1990, you’d likely recall their debut album’s Top Three R&B smash hit, “Never Stop,” which led to the album being on the R&B Album charts for the better part of year — and to the act winning a MTV award for the track. As a result of the wild success of “Never Stop,” the album went on to becoming arguably the most commercially successful of their career, as it went Gold in the UK.

Interestingly, the London-based funk and foul act’s full-length debut proved to be both popular and influential within hip-hop circles. In fact, the members of the band have wound up collaborating with an impressive array of the genre’s luminaries including A Tribe Called Quest, and Kool G. Rap, Gang Starr and Main Source for Heavy Rhyme Experience.

The London-based neo-soul act’s follow-up two immediate efforts — 1994’s Brother Sister and 1997’s Shelter — went Platinum, with the act eventually scoring 16 Top 40 hits including “Dream Come True,” “Stay This Way,” “Midnight At The Oasis,” “Sometimes,” and “Dream On Dreamer.

Coincidentally, the acclaimed London-based funk and foul act have been a major influence on the equally acclaimed, smash-hit multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and singer/songwriter Mark Ronson, who caught their first lineup and first show in New York in 1991. Ronson invited the members of the band to play at his 40th birthday party — and later began collaborating with the band on the first batch of new material in over five years, the disco-like groove “Getaway” which featured a horn line that hinted at Cheryl Lynn‘s 1978 disco smash hit “Got To Be Real,” and the soulfully sultry vocals of longtime vocalist N’Dea Davenport, with whom they’ve earned their biggest charting, best-selling work.

Slated for a September 6, 2019 release through their longtime label home Acid Jazz, the band’s forthcoming Sir Tristan Longworth-produced album TBNH finds The Brand New Heavies carefully refining and reimagining the sound that won them international acclaim while featuring a variety of vocalists throughout the album — including longtime vocalists N’Dea Davenport and Siedah Garret along with Beverly Knight, Angie Stone, current vocalist Angela Ricci and labelmate Laville. TBNH‘s latest single is a breezy, 70s soul-tinged cover of Kendrick Lamar‘s “These Walls” that features longtime vocalist N’Dea Davenport, a warm, Quincy Jones-like horn arrangement, twinkling Rhodes and a sultry hook — and while retaining the soulfulness and swagger of the original, The Brand New Heavies gently push the street banger into the lounge and into the club.

 

 

 

New Video: Florence Italy-based Shoegazers We Melt Chocolate Release a Lysergic “120 Minutes”-like Visual for “everyjoy”

Formed back in 2014, the Florence, Italy-based shoegazer outfit We Melt Chocolate consists of a group of friends, w ho have been active in their hometown’s music scene for some time, as the band features members of Interzone, Evanicetrip, Scum, Smell of trees, Shades of blue and others. And with a self-released demo and EP under their belts, the Florence-based act have developed a reputation for crafting lilting and noisy shoegaze that owes a debt to My Bloody Valentine, Lush and The Sugarcubes among others. 

We Melt Chocolate’s self-titled, full-length debut is slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Annibale Records and the album’s latest single “everyjoy,” is a perfect example of classic shoegaze as the song is centered around distortion and pedal effected guitars, four-on-the-floor-like drumming, a propulsive bass line, ethereal and plaintive vocals and a soaring hook, all of which emphasizes the song’s dreamy and lysergic vibes. Centered around the band performing the song in an empty studio with superimposed special effects and trippy light effects, the video brings memories of 120 Minutes-era MTV  to mind. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Kiwi Band Miss June Releases Feverish Visuals for Mosh Pit Banger “Best Girl”

Miss June is an up-and-coming Auckland, New Zealand-based indie rock quartet, comprised of Annabel Liddel (vocals, guitar), Jun Park (guitar), Chris Marshall (bass) and Tom Legget (drums), and in their homeland, they’ve received attention for a jagged, feedback-driven alt rock meets New Wave and No Wave sound that’s been described as “some unholy union between Sonic Youth and Le Tigre” and for a formidable, attention-grabbing live show that has earned them opening slots for Foo Fighters, Shellac, Wolf Alice, Idles and Die! Die! Die!

The Kiwi-based band has recently signed to acclaimed New York indie label Frenchkiss Records, who will be releasing their double A-side 7 inch “Twitch”/”Best Girl” on June 10, 2019. Building upon a growing profile, the band will be playing shows in London, Los Angeles and New York; in fact, they’ll be playing three shows in town: June 17, 2019 at Elsewhere, June 18, 2019 at Berlin Under A and June 20, 2019 at Union Pool with Twen. (You can check out the tour dates below.) The double A side 7 inch’s latest single “Best Girl” immediately recalls riot grrrl-era punk and 90s alt rock, as the track is centered around Liddel’s sultry vocal delivery, fuzzy distortion pedaled power chords, thunderous drumming and and an rousing, arena rock meets mosh pit friendly hook. The song as the band says in press notes “is anthem for anyone, who has been misled from birth, into battle for a spot that doesn’t exist.” 

Directed by Chi’lita Collins and shot in the band’s hometown of Auckland, the recently released video for “Best Girl” features the band getting out of a broke down hoopty and passionately performing the song in a wind-swept  suburban backyard. But just behind them is some surrealistic, logic-defying action — a man wearing a suit and a tiger face paint pulls a passenger out of the trunk, who begins dancing on top of the car. Their drum kit is set on fire, another older, Rick Rubin lookalike tries to put it out and stands next to the man in the suit, watching dispassionately. Simply put it’s a 120 Minutes-era MTV fever dream. 

New Video: Los Angeles-based Singer-Songwriter Eva Gardner Releases Sultry Visuals for “Dirty Bird”

Born the daughter of British Invasion-era rock act The Creation’s Kim Gardner, Eva Gardner is a Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and bassist, who has toured and recorded with an eclectic array of artists: Gardner was an original member of The Mars Volta with the bulk of work appearing on their debut EP Tremulant — and although she didn’t perform during the recording sessions of Deloused in the Comatorium, she did write some of the material’s bass parts. She’s had stints touring with The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, El Vez, Veruca Salt, Tegan and Sara, Pink, Moby, Cher, and a long list of others, all while being in bands of her own, including Lyra and Telstar. 

Slated for a June 14, 2019 release, Gardner’s debut EP Chasing Ghosts finds the Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and bassist stepping into the limelight as a solo artist, singer/songwriter and producer, as the EP was co-produced by Gardner and her former Telstar bandmate Chris Unck and Stew Heyduk. Songwriting has long been a cathartic experience for Gardner, who sees it as another facet of her musical and creative expression — and the EP’s 5 songs were compiled from batches of songs that she had written in hotel rooms while touring across the world.  

Chasing Ghosts’ latest single is the sultry “Dirty Bird.” Centered by a looped, old-fashioned dial tone, angular guitar chords, a throbbing and insistent bass line, propulsive drumming, Gardner’s seductive cooing and an anthemic hook, the track manages to recall New Wave — in particular, the song seemingly nods at The Divinyls’ smash hit “I Touch Myself” but with a darkly seductive and trippy vibe. 

Directed and edited by Jessamyn Violet, the recently released video for “Dirty Bird” balances the song’s dark seductive nature with a light, coquettish air — all while paying homage to Hollywood glamor and classic 80s MTV videos. 

New Video: Don Vail’s Lo-Fi Classic MTV-Inspired Visual for Anthemic “On The Wire”

Mitch Bowden is the founder of Mechanical Noise Studio, a recording studio that reportedly sits at the en dog a quiet, winding country road in Dunnville, Ontario, Canada; the sort of road frequently hared with foxes, windmills and little else. He’s also the founding member and creative mastermind behind indie rock act Don Vail — and over the past decade, all of those different identities have blurred into something synonymous for him. 

Bowden emerged into the Canadian indie rock scene with the release of his 2009 Jordon Zadorozny-produced, self-titled debut, an effort that deftly paired harmonic warmth and dispassionate math rock riffs. And instead of serving as a launching pad for Bowden’s career and rising profile, he spent the better part of close to a decade, releasing eight songs and playing two shows.  2016’s self-recorded, self-performed effort Fades managed to be a carefully crafted effort that on a certain level revealed the effect that isolation can have on an artist — way too much personal control, mastery of their craft countered by crippling perfectionism and a lack of urgency. 

Interestingly, during the spring of 2017, Bowden (and in turn, Don Vail) received a rather fortuitous invitation as a result of the previous year’s Fades — an invitation to record material at Grouse Lodge Studios in Ireland. Of course, there was a major catch: the window to show up and record wasn’t open indefinitely; in fact, Bowden only had a matter of a few weeks to turn sketches and pieces of ideas into fully fleshed songs. And at the time, Bowden realized that the band needed to be more than just him. So he enlisted the assistance of longtime drummer Victor Malang, guitarist Matthew Fleming and keyboardist/vocalist Kori Pop for the recording sessions for the act’s forthcoming third full-length album That Stand of Tide. 

The newly-constituted quartet wrote and rehearsed material together — and they all treated the experience at Grouse Lodge as an opportunity not to be wasted. And although the album was finished back at Mechanical Noise Studios in a similar fashion to his previously released material, the trip to Ireland pushed Bowden to get his shit together and finish the album. Reportedly, the album’s 13 songs at points recall Guided by Voices, Jon Biron and Figure 8-era Elliott Smith. While that may be arguable, the album’s latest single “On The Wire is an anthemic bit of fuzzy power pop centered around big and seemingly effortless hooks, and a palpable anxiety and uncertainty; but at its core is an intentionally heartfelt earnestness. 

Directed by Mitch Barnes and the band’s Victor Malang, the recently released video for “On The Wire” follows a painfully awkward and incredibly sad sack man, desperately trying to figure himself out and forge his own identity. And as he does so, he fails miserably — at everything. If there’s one thing that he’s good at, it’s his own nerdy awkwardness. Interestingly, the visuals are purposefully lo-fi, and bring to mind classic MTV with a mischievous aplomb. 

Ellis Redon is a San Antonio, TX-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrument, who emerged into his hometown’s indie scene with the release of his debut 2013’s Into the Jungle, a synth and drum machine-based effort with limited guitar; however, his recently released album Bloody Honey is a decided change in sonic direction, as the album’s material finds the San Antonio-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist collaborating with a live backing band featuring Andres Nunez (bass), Por Do Sol’s Shaz Soto (drums) and Soft Mothers‘ Luis Miguel Rocha De La Fuente (lead guitar).

Redon and his backing band have spent the past two years crafting and honing their sound. “For the record we spent about two years. It was a rough two years of making the record fueled by heartbreak and substance abuse and making friends and family,” Redon says in press notes. “When we brought Shaz Soto as a drummer, we had to rework the songs and bring them into a different light.”

“Black Hole,” Bloody Honey‘s latest single is centered around jangling and distorted power chords, thunderous drumming, Redon’s snarled vocals and an anthemic hook and while bringing 120 Minutes-era MTV alt-rock/indie rock to mind, the track reveals a songwriter with an ambitious attention to craft while dexterously (and easily) writing material across disparate genres.