Tag: music

New Video: Finland’s Mere Stellar Shares a Sarcastic Examination of Contemporary Dating

Milja Inkeri is a Finnish singer/songwriter, who can trace her career back to 2007: She competed on that year’s Finnish Idol and reached the Top 24. And as a result of growing national attention, her covers series on YouTube amassed over two million organic views between 2006-2007. Inkeri also has had stints in Finnish bands Kailo and Antti Kokkomäki & Tammikuun Lapset. Additionally, she has collaborated with a number of projects both nationally and internationally, including Taiwanese shoegazers The Other and Finnish metal outfit Planeetta 9, along a growing list of others.

Inkeri is the creative mastermind behind the indie pop outfit Mere Stellar. Influenced by Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom and Radiohead, the Finnish artist’s new project sees her playfully meshing experimental electro pop with acoustic elements to create a sound that is at times quirky yet melancholic. The Finnish artist explains that “Mere Stellar is the creation of a free soul, who stopped caring about external rules and authorities of music . . ” and
“started to have fun with music again and speak her true soul’s voice — the pain, the joy, the channeling of healing.” Inkeri adds “Mere Stellar is the manifestation someone who held it inside and listened to others too much, who channels pure love, fun and crazy vibes.”

Inkeri’s latest Mere Stellar single, the recently released, woozy and hook-driven “The Crush Realm” pairs a looped sample of twinkling and arpeggiated keys, skittering beats, industrial clang and clatter with Inkeri’s plaintive and yearning delivery. While sonically seeming to channel a quirky synthesis of Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Kid A-era Radiohead, “The Crush Realm” is a lived-in, bittersweet and desperate examination of contemporary dating culture, in which everyone feels simultaneously desperate to find “the one” or “someone” but tacitly recognizes that everyone feels miserable and disposable. But she does so with a sarcastic, snaky sense of humor.

Directed by the Finnish artist, the accompanying video for “The Crush Realm” captures the desperation, uncertainty and quirky sarcasm at the hear of the song, as it follows Inkeri and a snail around a rather European-looking house.

New Video: We Melt Chocolate Shares Trippy Visual for Dreamy “Holy Ramen”

Florence-based shoegazers We Melt Chocolate can trace their origins back to the fusion of two different bands evanicetrip and Shades of Blue back in 2012. Since then, the Italian band over a handful of releases that includes a self-released demo, and an EP and their full-length debut through Annibale Records has firmly cemented a sound and approach that equally draws from the noisier side of shoegaze — i.e.,  My Bloody ValentineLush, and even The Sugarcubes

The band has opened for a number of internationally renowned bands including The ShivasHoly WaveThe Asteroid No. 4, The Underground YouthHis ClancynessMagic ShoppeYour 33 Black Angels and GIFT among a growing list of others. 

Holy Gaze, the Florence-based outfit’s highly anticipated and long awaited sophomore album was released earlier this year through Miracle Waves and features guest spots from Francesco D’Elia, Rev Rev Rev‘s Sebastian Lugli and Sensitive Club‘s Ben Moro. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “No Meaning Man,” a song that alternates between dreamy and stormy passages built around a relentless motorik groove, layers of distorted and fuzzy guitar textures, shimmering synths, thunderous drumming paired with reverb-soaked vocals buried within the oceanic mix. Thematically, the song speaks of disillusionment with superficial people, who base their entire lives on appearances and conceal their vapidity and lack of empathy towards others. 

“Holy Ramen,” Holy Gaze‘s latest single showcases the Italian outfit at their dreamiest to date — with the song featuring swirling Slowdive and A Storm in Heaven-like guitar textures paired with a driving rhythm section and yearning, ethereal vocals. 

The band explains that “Holy Ramen” is an exhortation to overcome daily difficulties, look at the sky and allow yourself a special, sacred moment just for you. “For us (particularly for the singer), one of these moments is indulging in a good hot ramen.” The band goes on to say that for them, “it is the simplest moments that become sacred.”

The accompanying video fittingly seems inspired by 120 Minutes-era MTV and feature some lushly shot visuals of a bowl of ramen being prepared and then serving as a mind-bending backdrop for the band — both while performing and even enjoying a comforting meal of the stuff, often while the sky races behind them.

New Video: Uma E. Shares an Atmospheric Cover of 80s Synth Pop Hit

Ulriqa Fernqvist is a Swedish multi-disciplinary artist, who strongest forms of expression have always been dance, theater and singing. Over the course of two-plus decade career, she has worked on an experimental, improvisational concerts, musical installations, theater and dance performances. Along with producer and collaborator Don Gog, she runs the performing arts company Art of Spectra, a company that has been invited to perform at numerous festivals, theaters and art centers around Europe.

As a pop artist, Fernqvist is the creative mastermind behind solo recording project Uma E. Her latest single, sees Fernqvist and her longtime producer and collaborator tackling a-ha‘s 1985 song “The Sun Always Shines On TV.” The original begins with a dramatic introduction featuring twinkling keys and atmospheric synths before quickly morphing into a hook-driven, prog rock-like anthem reminiscent of Yes‘ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and Duran Duran. Clocking in at a little under six minutes, the Uma E. rendition sees the Swedish collaborators stripping the song down to the bare bones, transforming the song into a brooding and uneasy, Portishead and Massive Attack-like bit of trip hop built around thumping kick drum beats, gently twinkling synth arpeggios, grainy bass synths and atmospheric electronics paired with Uma E.’s ethereal and plaintive delivery.

“I worked in the theatre play TOUCH by Falk Richter in Germany at Münchner Kammerspiele during the pandemic. I was asked to perform the A-ha song, ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’ and it started off quite close to the original,” Fernqvist says. “I realised after a while I wanted to express the song in a different way to make it feel right. I got very attached to this song and the lyrics as it was a song I heard a lot growing up. I felt that I wanted to express it more like a poem – slower and more intimate.” 

Changing the style of the song was planted in the Swedish artist’s mind, and came to fruition later that summer, when she returned to Sweden. Me and my producer Don Gog started to experiment with what that change  could be. It developed to what we came to call ‘a techno prayer’ and we started building this track with the idea that it was to be performed in this play. Later we reworked that version to make it more like a track without the theatrical context – even though those memories still live in the track. The challenging thing with the vocals was to keep it very fragile and honest even if we wanted the music to have this constant rise. It was also very interesting to blend the electronica with elements from techno. 

Directed by Fofo Altinell, the accompanying video for “The Sun Always Shines On TV” is a hazy fever dream, following the Swedish artist in the countryside during golden hour.

New Video: Aloysius Bell Shares Dreamily Mischievous and Introspective “That Is Me”

Aloysius Bell is the creative alter ego of Winnipeg-born, Montréal-based singer/songwriter and indie pop artist Annick Brémault, a former member of the now defunct Juno Award-winning outfit Chic Gamine. With Chic Gamine, Brémault toured extensively internationally and appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, Vinyl Café, Radio Canada’s Studio 12 and a number of other notable broadcasts. She has also collaborated and performed with an array of artists including Damien Robitaille, Willows, Sala, and David Myles

While the project’s name is a nod to male pseudonyms of the Brontë Sisters, the persona is informed by deep and intense soul-searching with the aim to shed light on murky, in-between spaces.

Back in 2019, Brémault stepped out into the spotlight as a solo artist with “Mountains” and “Your Heart Is Feathers” songs offered a glimpse into the Canadian artist’s introspective world and showcasing an ethereal, opened-eyed perceptive, imaginative and atmospheric pop language and a minimalist prose style.

Brémault’s long-awaited Aloysius Bell debut EP, the David Plowman-produced Warm Thing is slated for February 2024 release. The EP reportedly sees her blending her distinctive songwriting with pop, R&B and electronic influences with her ethereal delivery being at center of it all.

Warm Thing‘s latest single “That Is Me” is a slow-burning and atmospheric pop song built around fluttering synth arpeggios, Bréamult’s ethereal delivery singing deeply introspective lyrics informed by the deeply lived-in, personal experience, thoughts and feelings of a modern woman maneuvering competing societal norms and roles.

“I wrote this song in late 2021, in my bedroom-turned-studio during a cold snap. I remember looking at the painting on my wall, by the artist Louise Gill, of a woman lying alone on a bed in a dark room and thinking, “That is me,’ right now. I was feeling cozy and nothing could induce me to go out at that point. I remembered the times I’d gone out despite not feeling like it and ended up disappointed. ‘That Is Me’ reimagines myself the way I wish I’d been in my 20s: not wasting my time trying to please other people and instead doing what feels good to me.

This song is about one other thing: rest. I’m trying to get better at it, taking breaks and naps.”

Directed and shot on Super 8 by Montréal-based filmmaker Dominique Montesano and featuring choreography by the artist’s sister Kalliane Brémauult, the video follows Annick Brémault as she returns home, goes up the stairs, gets undressed and gets into her bed.

“I started putting out music with this project in 2019. Those songs were the result of a tumultuous time, so they have an intense kind of energy to me. The pandemic gave me a breather and what I wrote in that period feels a bit more relaxed and less fraught,” the Montréal-based artist continues. She goes on to add that the song — and its accompanying video — showcases a lot of bedroom imagery, since it was written and partially produced in her bedroom.

New Video: Ghostly Kisses Shares Cinematic Visual for Swooning and Ethereal “Golden Eyes”

Québec City-based singer/songwriter Margaux Sauvé is the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed Canadian electro pop project Ghostly Kisses. The project derives its name from William Faulkner’s “Une ballade des dames perdues,” which seemed to her like the perfect reflection of her ethereal voice. 

Sauvé has received attention both nationally and international for crafting hauntingly gorgeous and spectral electro pop that pairs her ethereal vocal with moody productions featuring gently swirling and ambient electronics, twinkling keys and propulsive drumming. 

Her latest single, the swooning “Golden Eyes” sees her channeling Goldfrapp and Portishead with the song pairing skittering, UK garage beats, atmospheric house-inspired synths with her ethereal yet achingly yearning delivery. 

Sauvé explains the track is “about being in love with your best friend and how gauche it feels to finally admit it. The lyrics were inspired by a revelation from a fan we met on tour, about how hard and vertiginous it can be to express our true feelings to someone that we really love.” While party about Sauvé’s own experience falling in love with her songwriting partner Louis-Étienne Santais, the song is also inspired by Ghostly Kisses’ ‘Box of Secrets’ project, where fans submitted anonymous stories to the band.

Directed by Gerardo Alcaine, the accompanying video begins with Sauvé being the subject of an intimate photo shoot before following her across the Québec countryside in some gorgeously cinematic footage. Sauvé and her songwriting partner Louis-Étienne Santais say, “We aimed to create a visual journey, inviting viewers into a crimson-hued world and a perspective framed by a lens, offering a subtle preview of the new dimension to come in our upcoming releases.”

New Video: Beach Ready Shares Dreamy and Meditative “Gili”

Christopher Cordoba is a London-based instrumental solo artist, composer and session musician, whose career started in earnest as a member of Jack Adaptor, a band formed with The Family Cat’s Paul Frederick. As an instrumental solo artist, Cordoba has released a series of critically acclaimed, eclectic efforts that has seen him collaborating with a an equally eclectic array of artists and producers including Robert Wyatt David Watson, The Associates’ Billy Mackenzie, Phil Vinall, Propaganda’s Claudia Brucken, Robyn Hitchcock, Pascal Gabriel, PJ Harvey’s Terry Edwards, Audrey Riley, Alex Thomas, Charlie Winston and a list of others.

Cordoba released his sophomore Beach Ready Archipelago was released earlier this year through Snow in Water Records. The album’s material is darker in texture and more extreme than Cordoba’s self-titled Beach Ready debut while still being centered around Cordoba’s guitar work and penchant for atmospheric soundscapes. The album also sees Cordoba incorporating drone, glitch, Frippertronics, industrial, New Wave and New age to create a unique sound collage that imparts an urgent ambience. Fittingly, the album thematically focuses on destruction — an all too present theme in our seemingly pre-apocalyptic moment.

The album’s latest single, the meditative “Gili” is a shimmering and slow-burning dream built around glistening, reverb-soaked guitars, gently glitchy electronics paired with jazz-like percussion. It’s a dreamy bit of nostalgia, heartache and peaceful longing that seems like a bit of a respite in a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Cordoba explains that “Gili” “is a shimmering and romantic call to keep the Archipelago (the Gili Islands in Indonesia) above water so that its beauty can be treasured for generations to come.”

The accompanying video is time-lapse footage shot in Lower Manhattan and edited by Jon Sadlier. Fittingly, the video evokes the unending passing of time and cycling of the seasons.