Tag: music

New Video: The Playfully Ironic Visuals for Winstons’ “Without You”

Comprised of Lou Nutting (guitar, harmonica, and vocals) and Ben Brock Wilkes (drums, vocals), the up-and-coming Virginia-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Winstons can trace their origins to when the duo met while working at Williamsburg hotspot and music venue, Baby’s All Right. And with the release of 2015’s Turpentine EP and Black Dust, the duo quickly received attention for a soulful, garage-based blues rock that sonically speaking seems to owe a debt to The Black Keys, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, complete with a visceral and forceful earnestness — and for making a decided point in recording live to tape, with no touch-ups, no overdubs and no-retakes; in other words recording with the old adage, first thought, best thought. “Without You,” the A side of their “Without You”/”Enough” 7 inch will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for blues and garage rock that possesses an unmistakable immediacy — while in this particular song, a visceral
Directed by Buried Muse, the recently released video for “Without You” cuts between footage of the duo performing at Baby’s, hanging around and singing the song and running around all over Brooklyn — to suddenly encounter their dopplegangers looking back at them.

Live Footage: Fufanu Live on KEXP

Over the past couple of months here, I’ve written quite a bit about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. The trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. And after quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. Within a month of their formation, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had started playing shows in and around Reykjavik.

Building on a growing local profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded the album was burgled. And as a result, the album was presumed lost. Instead of trying to recall the material they initially wrote from memory, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson decided that the moment was a perfect time for them to completely reinvent their sound. Interestingly, as that happened, Katkus was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a revised sound, which according to Kaktus Einarsson managed to coney exactly what he had been thinking. The duo then added guitars and drums, along with Kaktus’ brooding and detached vocals — and with their revised sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with a number of internationally renowned acts including The Vaccines and have played at JaJaJa Festival. With their recently released sophomore effort Sports, Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction.

Now, you may recall that I’ve written about the first two singles off the Icelandic trio’s recently released sophomore effort Sports — the album’s title track “Sports,” which retained the synth-driven sound that first captured national and international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik-like groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel (in particular, think of Peter Gabriel 3 and Security) along with live instrumentation, which gives the material both an organic feel and a forcefulness — and “Liability,” which while continuing in a similar vein was a bit more slow-burning. Both singles possessed a murky and enigmatic air, they point at the soul-crushing mundanity and drudgery of daily life but just under the surface there’s the broiling frustration and resentment of someone who’s desperate to break free — and not sure how to do so without some recrimination.

Last year, the members of the band were on KEXP and the set included live versions of “Circus Life” and “Now” off their full-length debut Few More Days to Go along with “Sports” and then-unreleased single “Bad Rockets” off the recently released Sports. And while being fairly straightforward renditions of the material, the KEXP set will give you a sense of their intense and live set, a live set that frequently includes Kaktus Einarsson storming, strutting and stomping about the stage, alternating between being menacing and playful and so on. During this set, Kaktus throws his monitor headphones off his head and on to the floor, to headbang and stomp about as Gulli plays a furious and blistering solo. Just from this particular footage, I’m hoping that the Icelandic act will play a set or two here in NYC.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the better part of the past 6-9 months or so, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstay producer and electronic music artist KC Maloney, and although he’s best known as being one-half of renowned electro pop act Radar Cult,  Maloney has received an increasing national profile with the release of last year’s LXII EP with his solo side project Adult Karate, a project that expands upon the sound of his primary project a is it draws from several different styles and sub-genres of electronic music — including house, acid house, techno, ambient electronica and others. And building upon the buzz that LXII received, Maloney’s Adult Karate follow up Indoors is slated for a March 31, 2017 and the effort will reportedly see Maloney’s side project taking on a decided sonic departure as the material generally possesses elements of post-punk and post-rock reminiscent of mid 80s New Order and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.

From The Dust,” Indoors‘ first single while being a marked sonic departure, also managed to be a thematic departure as the song is less introspective than the material off LXII; however, the song possessed a swaggering confidence — the sort of confidence that can only come from living a fully-lived in life, in which the song’s narrator has had his heart broken made mistakes, and has found some hard-fought wisdom, by living life in his own terms. And Maloney does all of this in what may arguably be one of the breeziest songs he’s released to date.  The EP’s latest single “Friction” consists of an ethereal, Kate Bush meets contemporary electro pop production featuring featuring thumping 808-like beats, swirling yet ambient electronics and twangy blasts of guitar, shimmering cascades of synths and a swooning hook paired with Maloney’s and Adeline’s breathy cooing. Lyrically, the song continues in a similar vein as its preceding single; but in this case, the song captures the sensation of attempting to break forward from heartbreak or a dysfunctional past, towards a new relationship — with the hope that this time, that blind leap of faith will be result in something different than all the previous ones.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of founding members Mario Giancarlo Garibaldi (vocals) and Jorge Velásquez (guitar) and later joined by Alex De Renzis (drums), the Peruvian-born, Miami, FL-based members of Hunters of the Alps derive their name from a reference to the citizens in the Alps region, who were actively working and fighting for a united Italy in the 1800s — and as the story goes, the trio can trace its origins back a bit as Velásquez had played in several wave-making Latin Alternative rock bands while Garibaldi had fronted the indie rock band Modernage. Feeling an increasing desire to break away from his then-primary project and have more creative freedom, Garibaldi eventually branched out into Hunters of the Alps.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Miami-based trio have opened for several renowned acts including Twin Shadow, Tanlines and Unknown Mortal Orchestra and have played sets at Ill Points, Transatlantic Festival and House of Creatives — all before the recent release of their debut Time (How To Love) EP, which features EP title track “Time (How to Love),” a track that caught the attention of All Things Go and Atwood Magazine. The EP’s latest single “It’s You” will further cement the trio’s burgeoning reputation for a New Wave and 80s synth pop sound reminiscent of New Order and Depeche Mode as the trio pairs angular guitar chords with propulsive drumming, a sinuous bass line, shimmering and fluttering arpeggio synths, and Garibaldi’s slightly detached crooning with an anthemic hook in a dance floor friendly song.

New Video: FYUTCH’s Hilarious Action Movie-based Take on Rejection

Harold Simmons II is a Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who writes and records as FYUTCH (pronounced Fi-yoo-tch). Simmons can trace the origins of his musical and performing career to when he initially began to receive attention as a public speaker, who had given speeches at a number of impressive and major public events — including Gary’s Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When he turned 17, Simmons formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy a band in which he played alto sax and contributed vocals with friends, Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass). The quintet received regional acclaim as they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards’ Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007. And over the subsequent two year period, the band saw a rapidly growing profile as they’ve been on bills that included nationally and internationally recognized artists including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

Simmons relocated to Nashville and while using the moniker Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced solo debut The Sci Fly EP, which garnered a Nashville Music Award nomination for Best Urban Recording of the Year, which he followed up with his Overnight Mixtape series in which he wrote and recorded six mixtapes — with each mixtape being recorded during an overnight studio session and then released as a free download the next day. The mixtapes caught the attention of renowned site, Nashville Scene, who praised Simmons’ work; in fact, thanks to the growing attention he received, the fourth mixtape of the series found Simmons collaborating with the likes of Bun B and GLC. Additionally, as a solo artist, he has opened for Wale, Pharrell Williams, Little Brother and Afroman.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH after discovering that there was another artist who also went by the name Future, who was receiving quite a bit of attention nationally — and internationally. And since changing his performing moniker, Simmons has released several efforts including Mr. Flattop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion. Interestingly, “Funked Up,” the first single off his Philosophy of Love EP was produced by Solar Shield — and the single is a Dam-Funk/Thundercat retro-futuristic -leaning jam featuring shimmering, arpeggio synths and wobbling low end paired with Simmons rhyming and singing a hilarious and very true tale about approaching an attractive woman, who’s been attracted to for some time or has noticed for a little bit and being cruelly rejected for his efforts. On one level, the song is about having the blind courage to risk being made a fool of and being rejected; on another level, the song is a tell off to someone, who in the narrator’s eyes doesn’t see what kind of man he is; but also, the song can be viewed as an admission of how stupid and vulnerable love can make us. And Simmons does all of this in a slick and funky as hell, dance-floor friendly song.

Filmed by Wesley Crutcher, the recently released video for “Funked Up,” is a mischievous take on action movies — in particular, movies like Jumper in which the main character travels through time; in this case, the future FYUTCH winds up traveling through time to see a younger FYUTCH get rejected by one of his first love interests, while the older FYUTCH gets rejected by a love interest, who was sitting near the younger FYUTCH. Trippy, right? But at the same time, it’s goofy and hilarious take on rejection.

Comprised of Sally Spitz (vocals), Ali Day (guitar, bass), Max Albeck (drums), and Daniel Trautfield (bass, sax), the Los Angeles, CA-based feminist art-punk quartet French Vanilla can trace the band’s origins to the members being partially driven by a desire to forcefully challenge Southern California’s established music scene, dominated by a few influential, male tastemakers and to do cool shit while hanging with friends, the band played their first shows within their hometown’s queer punk underground. Interestingly, the quartet quickly developed a local and regional reputation for socially conscious lyrics paired with a post-punk and No Wave-leaning sound — and as a result, the band has opened for the likes of Girlpool, Screaming Females, Tacocat, Genesis P-Orridge and Cherry Glazerr and others.

Adding to the growing buzz surrounding the Los Angeles-based band, their self-titled full-length effort is slated for a March 24, 2017 release through Danger Collective Records — and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Anti-Aging Global Warming,” the quartet pairs the propulsive and angular bass lines and slashing guitar lines with incredibly neurotic lyrics that express the narrator’s anxious and neurotic worries about the impending end of the world as we know it, and how easy things can suddenly turn to shit before you know it; but sonically speaking the song strikes me as being reminiscent of Talking Heads: 77 and Fear of Music-era Talking HeadsEntertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four and A-Frames.

 

 

 

New Video: The Trippy and Mischievous Visuals for The Kills’ “Whirling Eye”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d be fairly familiar with the internationally acclaimed indie rock duo The Kills. And as you may recall, the band’s latest effort, Ash and Ice was the first album of new material from the duo in over five years — and from the album singles “Heart Of A Dog” “Siberian Nights,” and “Impossible Tracks,” the material off their latest album revealed a refinement of the sound that first caught the attention of fans and critics.

Fire and Ash’s fourth and latest single “Whirling Eye” continues in a similar vein to the album’s preceding singles as the duo pair tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, layers of shimmering shoegazer rock-like guitar chords, a towering and anthemic hook and Mossheart’s imitable wail in a swaggering and bluesy song that builds up to stormy intensity — but much like their previously recorded output, there’s a palpable sensuality and sexual tension at its core.

Directed by Sophie Muller, the recently released music video for “Whirling Eye” was shot using several Go Pro cameras to create a 360º virtual reality video that follows the members of the band swaggering and strutting about in a variety of surreal and artistically shot scenarios and while giving the viewer an incredible amount of control to change camera angles at will and placing the viewer within the world of Mossheart and Hince, the video also manages to evoke the trippy sensation of the song’s whirling eye. (Please note, that in order to capture the 360º effect, you will have to view the video on Google Chrome.)

Comprised of three siblings, twins Alexis (bass) and Zandy Fitzgerald (guitar), along with their brother Darius (drums) and cousin Jasmine Mullen (vocals, guitar), The New Respects are a Nashville, TN-based blues rock act, that has been heavily influenced by the gospel music they were surrounded by — but also by a healthy amount of secular and pop artists including Aretha Franklin, Alabama Shakes, John Mayer and others. Produced by Leagues‘ Jermey Lutito, the Nashville, TN-based quartet’s debut EP Here Comes Trouble is slated for a March 10, 2017 release through Credential Recordings and with the release of the EP’s first single “Trouble,” which has seen recent placements on ESPN’s Major League Soccer coverage, Fox Sports’ Road To The Octagon and TNT’s NBA coverage, as well as praise from NPR World Music Cafe‘s Jewly Hight. And unsurprisingly, as a result, The New Respects’ debut EP may arguably be one of the most highly-anticipated EPs of the first few months of 2017.

Here Comes Trouble‘s second and latest single “Money” is a gritty yet funky and soulful that not only displays The New Respect’s genre-defying sound — a sound which effortlessly meshes blues, arena rock, pop and hip-hop; but it also reveals a band that has an uncanny ability to write an swaggering and anthemic, power chord friendly hook paired with a sinuous bass line, a darting yet funky guitar line, thunderous drumming and Mullen’s powerhouse, pop belter vocals. Sonically speaking “Money” will likely remind listeners of The Black Keys, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and others and while that would be a fair comparison, lyrically the song has struck me as an ironic take on “If I Was a Rich Girl” that not only points out that being filthy rich won’t buy you more time, nor would it buy you much in the way of happiness.  In fact, the song suggests two things that seem to be an anathema in our consumer world — that having money and a lot of possessions actually distracts you from life’s true purpose: to love someone else and to be here now.

Directed by Ry Cox, the artfully shot, recently released music video follows the members of the band as they break into the home of some rich guy as he’s away to play music and invite friends and other associates to the house, along with footage of the band languidly enjoying the fruits of greed and power as they sing the song’s hook. And while being kind of trippy, the video ends with the band disappearing before the rich man’s return.

The quartet will be opening for Robert and The Family Band throughout March. Check out tour dates below.

Tour

Supporting Robert Randolph & The Family Band

3/15 — Cincinnati, OH @ The Ballroom @ Taft

3/16 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom

3/17 — Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

3/18 — Madison, WI @ Majestic

3/20 — Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads

3/22 — Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie

3/24 — Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre

3/25 — Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre

3/26 — Aspen, CO @ Belly Up

New Video: The Dark and Surreal Visuals for Vaarwell’s “You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOl-f7-BhDA%5D

Comprised of Margarida Falcão, Ricardo Nagy and Luís Monteiro, the Lisbon, Portugal-based indie pop trio Vaarwell, derives their name from the Dutch word vaarwel, which translates into English as farewell — and since their formation back in 2014, when the members of the band met at a music production class, the up-and-coming trio have received attention in their native Portugal and internationally with the release of their debut EP Love and Forgiveness, which revealed a sound that paired ethereal and delicate melodies with minimalist instrumentation and production. Adding to a growing profile, the trio had been included in 2015’s FNAC Best New Talent Compilation, named Tradiio’s “Artist of the Week,” played at the renowned Portuguese music festival NOS em D’Bandada and more recently commissioned by French designer Philippe Starck to write and record a track for his exhibition at the Groninger Museum during this year’s Eurosonic Nooderslag Festival.

“You,” the achingly melancholy and gorgeous, first single off the Portuguese trio’s forthcoming full-length debut Homebound 456 will further cement their reputation for pairing Falçao’s tender and ethereal melodies with a minimalist production featuring warm and soulful keys with subtle industrial clatter, fluttering electronics and shimmering guitar. And while sonically speaking, the song reminds me of Flourish//Perish-era BRAIDS, the song has a narrator who spends a significant portion of the song self-flagellating herself for getting herself fooled by someone she shouldn’t have, who has hurt her in an egregious fashion — and as a result, the song possesses a visceral sense of confusion, bitter heartbreak and desperate searching.

Featuring production work from the Playground Production Company, the accompanying video further emphasizes the brooding contemplative feel of the song, as the video has the trio sitting in a deserted, late night parking lot while a human-sized teddy bear stalks and stomps around nearby. And as the band’s frontwoman is seemingly focusing on some past event or situation and caught within her own revelry, the teddy bear stomps around — without anyone treating it as out of the ordinary; in fact, even the bandmembers quickly treat it as a feverish figment of the imagination.

New Video: Swedish Dream Pop Sensation Linnea Olsson Takes You to Hell — and Back in New Video

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you’ve likely recall that I’ve written about Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Linnea Olsson. After collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Ane Brun and Maia Hirasawa., Olsson quickly established herself as a go-to cellist; however, the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has recently begun to receive international attention for her self-described cello-driven fantasy pop.

“The Weekend,” which was released at the end of last year, was a swooning track featured Olsson paired a gorgeous and lush, classical string arrangement with highly modern and ironic lyrics describing a neurotic and delusional narrator, who escapes into her own revenge fantasies. And yes, Olsson’s latest single “Hall of Tragedy” will further cement her growing reputation for crafting swooning and gorgeous pop, and for her equally beautiful and plaintive vocals; however, while “The Weekend” possesses a quirky mischievousness and an atmospheric chamber pop quality, “Hall of Tragedy” pairs that atmospheric chamber pop sound with a brooding seriousness reminiscent of Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen.

Featuring Olsson’s stop-motion animation, the recently released animated video is according to Olsson an “apocalyptic children’s book video for grown-ups” that manages to illustrate what falling into deep, unyielding depression would feel like from the song’s narrator’s perspective. And as a result, it adds a deeply visceral and haunting feel to the proceedings.