Tag: music

New Video: Surf Curse Releases a Brooding and Cinematic New Visual for “Hour of the Wolf”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Surf Curse, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Reno, NV-born, Los Angeles-based duo Nick Rattigan (vocals, drums) and Jacob Rubeck (guitar) can trace their origins back to when they formed in 2013 back in Reno. And since relocated to Los Angeles, the band emerged from their adopted hometown’s local DIY, all-ages, punk scene, developing a reputation as one of the region’s best contemporary live acts, amassing a fervent, die-hard following — at first locally and now internationally.

Slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Danger Collective Records, the duo’s forthcoming Jarvis Tavaneire-produced third full-length album Heaven Surrounds You is reportedly a coming-of-age epic, inspired by the cult films the duo cherished growing up — and sonically, the album finds the band making a bold and decided step forward. Earlier this year, I wrote about two of Heaven Surrounds You’s singles — the swooning, The Smiths-like “Disco” and the shimmering, hook-driven “Midnight Cowboy.” Interestingly, the album’s latest single is the brooding and melancholy “Hour of the Wolf.” Centered around shimmering guitars and Rattigan’s plaintive vocals, the song evokes an aching longing that brings The Church’s “Under the Milky Way” to mind. The band offer a cryptic note behind the story of the song, saying in press notes, “Look close. There is filth. Rotten gold. What good is blood if not to be swallowed. Whole and clean.”

Shot in a gorgeously cinematic black and white, the recently released video for “Hour of the Wolf” is full of inconsolable loss, regret, loneliness and lots of gore, as it follows a Bryon-esque like protagonist, as he and the world surrounding him go completely mad. 

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New Video: Acclaimed Psych Rock Act Allah-Las Release a Psychedelic, Animated Visual for Brooding “Polar Onion”

Over the past few years, I’ve written a bit about the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock act Allah-Las, and as you may recall, the act — Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar) — formed back in 2008, and can trace their origins to when three of the band’s four members worked at famed, local record store, Amoeba Music. Since their formation, the members of Allah-Las have released three albums that have helped to firmly establish their sound, which draws heavily from 60s psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock — while thematically inspired by their hometown. 

The acclaimed psych rock band’s fourth album LAHS is slated for an October 11, 2019 release through Mexican Summer Records, and the album, which derives its name from a common misspelling of the band’s name reportedly finds the band crafting material that reveals their growth as songwriters, performers, arrangers and producers. Much of the album’s material focuses on Krautrock-like grooves — with album single “In The Air,” a shimmering and hook-driven track evoking a hazy and lingering lysergic fugue.  LAHS’ latest single is the brooding “Polar Onion.” Centered around shimmering, acoustic guitar, gently padded drumming and plaintive vocals, the song evokes an aching longing while sounding as though it could have been released sometime between 1966-1969. 

The recently released video for “Polar Onion” features super 8 footage the band’s Miles Michaud sent to Mexican Summer designer Bailey Elder, who played around with and altered the textures to create a psychedelic feel. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Garage Punk Act The Bobby Lees Release a Feral and Energetic Visual for “GutterMilk”

The Booby Lees are an up-and-coming Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act, comprised of Sam Quartin (vocals, guitar), Kendall Wind (Bass), Nick Casa (Lead Guitar), and Macky Bowman (Drums). And over the past year, the up-and-coming, garage punk quartet have honed their live show opening for The Black Lips, Murphy’s Law and Boss Hog. 

The band’s latest single, the Jon Spencer-produced “GuttterMilk” is 94 seconds of feral garage punk, centered around a rumbling and propulsive baseline, thundering drumming, buzzing and slashing guitars and Quartin’s howled vocals that nods at Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jon Spencer’s work with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. 

Directed by John Swab, the recently released video employs a simple concept — the band performing the song with in an abandoned building with raw and hungry energy. 

New Video: The Cinematic and Lonely Visuals for JOVM Mainstays Atmosphere’s “Earring”

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus-year history, I’ve written quite a bit about about the critically applauded and commercially successful Minneapolis, MN-based hip-hop act and JOVM mainstays Atmosphere.  The act formed over 20 years as at trio featuring Slug, Spawn D and Ant under the name Urban Atmosphere — and interestingly, whether as at rio or a duo, the JOVM mainstays have developed and maintained a long-held reputation for pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop should sound like and concern itself with thematically — especially as its members find themselves inching towards middle age. 

2016’s Fishing Blues continued a string of insightful, mature material reflecting men that have seen and experienced more than they could possibly put into words. And while settling down into the much-deserved and peaceful bliss of family and art seems ideal, the world we inhabit has fundamentally changed in a frightening and uncertain fashion.

Unsurprisingly, Atmosphere’s seventh album Mi Vida Local thematically finds the pair grappling with their own mortality, the anxiety and fear that comes from the painful acknowledgment that you’re completely powerless and can’t possibly protect yourself, let alone your loved ones from the dangers of the world. And while arguably, the most thematically sobering of their growing catalog, their seventh album much like the bulk of their creative output is largely centered around Slug’s and Ant’s deep and abiding friendship. 

The Minneapolis-based JOVM mainstays spent the bulk of the past year touring to support their seventh album, including a Brooklyn Steel stop last year with labelmates, collaborators and fellow Minnesotans The Lioness and deM atlaS. Continuing a lengthy run of touring, the duo will be headlining the Wild Waters Music Festival, an effort to save the Boundary Waters at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, MN. But just before that the duo released Mi Vida Local’s latest single, the pensive “Earring.” Centered around an eerie, Ennio Morricone-like production featuring looping and shimmering guitars, and soaring vocal sample that’s spacious enough for Slug and Musab to trade deeply reflective bars, focusing on their troubled relationships and their roles in their relationships. And as a result, the song is imbued with the weight of adults honestly looking at themselves and taking stock of themselves and their lives. 

Directed by Colin Floom, the recently released and gorgeously cinematic visual for “Earring” is set the snowcapped peaks of Colorado and shows the song’s two emcees taking a lonely and arduous trek across the frigid terrain — and in the midst of such loneliness and beauty, it seems only natural that they would be forced to reflect on their lives and their decisions. 

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Vivian Girls Reunite for a Kaleidoscopic and Trippy Visual for “Something To Do”

Formed back in 2007 by founding members Katy Goodman (bass, drums, vocals),  Cassie Ramone (vocals, guitar) and Frankie Rose (drums, bass, vocals), the acclaimed indie rock act Vivian Girls, derive their name from the title of outside author Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. And although they went through a series of drummers in their run together, they developed a reputation for being a band for outsiders, for playing warehouses, house parties, DIY spots and small clubs. Sonically, they bounced back and forth between heart-on-their sleeves romantics and feedback-driven sheogazers. 

After their third album, 2011’s Share the Joy, the band split up and went their own ways. Katy Goodman and the band’s third drummer Ali Koehler relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued with different musical pursuits — Goodman with her acclaimed act La Sera and Ali Koehler with Best Coast and Upset while starting families. Ramone continued to make art, released two solo albums and two albums with Kevin Morby in their band The Babies. Interestingly, Ramone relocated to Los Angeles after a phone call with Goodman sparked the possibility of a reunion. 

Last spring, the trio began jamming together, keeping their practices a secret  while enjoying the simple act of playing together again. By the fall, the trio had written an album’s worth of material and entered the studio to record their Rob Barbarto-produced fourth album Memory, the first batch of original material from the band in over eight years. 

Slated for a September 20, 2019 release through Polyvinyl Records, Memory’s title may conjure the concept of its band members waxing nostalgic over halcyon days — but actually, the material may be the darkest of their catalog. Fueled by their own experiences as individuals and as a band, the album thematically touches upon their personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all. Sonically, the album reportedly evokes desperation and longing while having a newfound sense of intensity and direction. 

Interestingly, Memory’s second and latest single “Something To Do” is a shoegazey-like song centered around layers of buzzing guitars, a propulsive groove and ethereal vocals bubbling up from the murky mix — and while sonically nodding a a bit at their past, the song is a bold push forward, imbued with a dark, murky quality of a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship. 

Directed by Jason Lester, the recently released feverish video for “Something to Do” was shot on what appears to be 8mm film in the Los Angeles area and features the band members running toward themselves playing in an abandoned structure — presumably, the band running to a new future together. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay RALPH Releases a Sassy Tell Off to an Obsessed Ex

Over the better part of the past year, I’ve written a bitt about Raffa Weyman, a Toronto-born and-based singer/songwriter, best known as RALPH. Weyman quickly emerged into both the national and international pop scene with the release of her bittersweet, disco-inspired debut single “Trouble” in 2015. Building upon a rapidly growing profile. Weyman released a series of attention-grabbing singles that found the Canadian pop artist restlessly bouncing around different genres and styles — i.e., the country and western-tinged “Young Hearts Run Free” and “Girl Next Door. ” a radio friendly hip-hop/pop crossover track.

Since then, Weyman received an IHeartRadio’s Much Music Video Awards Best New Canadian Artist nomination and released her RALPH full-length debut A Good Girl. , “I wrote ‘A Good Girl’ over the course of a year, maybe a little more…and a lot happened in that year,” Weyman explained in press notes. “Because I use songwriting as a type of therapy and a way to explore my feelings, the songs naturally began to reflect everything that was happening in my life. Sometimes I was hurting, other times I was the one hurting someone else, and then to make it more complicated, sometimes I’d be both, like in the last song ‘Cereal’. The album name is a tongue in cheek way of reflecting upon the tracks and their stories, because they represent a multi-faceted character who is good hearted but makes mistakes – no one is ever one thing, we’re not good or bad and shouldn’t feel guilty about it. ​​​​​​”

Now, as you may recall Weyman’s highly-anticipated follow-up to her full-length debut is slated for release later this year. And “Gravity,” the first official single off that forthcoming release was a club-friendly and loving house music homage that brings Daft Punk and others to mind. “No Muss No Fuss,” the EP’s second and latest single is a sassy brush off of a creepy ex, whom she can’t seem to get rid off, centered around thumping beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths an infectious, ear worm of a hook and Weyman’s self-assured and coquettish vocals. 

Directed by longtime collaborator Gemma Warren and shot on 16mm film, the video follows RALPH exuberantly singing and dancing along to the song in some 90s-inspired club outfits in a variety of different locations. “We just wanted a feeling of effortless fun to translate. We didn’t overthink the shoot,” Weyman says of the video’s filming. “We scouted the day before and drove through Gem’s favorite neighbourhoods (Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Echo Park), just taking pics of interesting looking spots. We wanted vivid colours and weird landscapes that would pop on film – like the golden yellow straw and the stacks of rubber tires. The song has a bounciness to it that makes you want to move, so we wanted to focus on organic, quirky movements instead of actual choreographed dances — playing with hand motions and kicks and spins. The lyrics in the track aren’t supposed to be mean, they’re just honest and a little sassy, so that was the mood we tried to capture.”

New Video: Introducing the Hazy Psych Pop of New Zealand’s Richard Dada

Richard Larsen is a Ōtautahi, New Zealand singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a founding member and creative mastermind behind the Wellington, New Zealand-based dream pop act Glass Vaults. The Kiwi singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s latest solo project Richard Dada finds Larsen crafting dreamy, lo-fi psychedelic music. Deriving its name from the early 20th Century avant-garde art movement, Larsen’s Richard Dada project is also anti-art, anti-war, anti-nationalism and rejects logic and capitalism for the expression of nonsense. 

Larsen’s latest Richard Dada single “Rose Quartz” is a slow-burning and swooning bit of psych pop centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths and Larsen’s achingly plaintive vocals singing surrealistic lyrics. While sonically bearing a bit of a resemblance to JOVM mainstays Milagres, the song is a feverish and lingering dream imbued with longing, vulnerability and desire. 

Directed and edited by Martin Sagadin, the recently released video features Larsen performing the song in flowering fields and the forest, before we see him dancing in front of some psychedelic lighting. It’s appropriately lysergic — but while further emphasizing the song’s longing and vulnerability. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pleasure Motel Releases a Sensual Visual for Thumping and Propulsive New Single

Dave Tudi is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been the creative mastermind behind a number of musical projects I’ve written about throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history. His latest project, Pleasure Motel is a minimalist synth pop project with a sleazy and menacing, industrial-leaning sound that recalls Ministry, early Nine Inch Nails and Suicide. 

Tudi’s latest Pleasure Motel single “Love Songs” continues a run of minimalist and propulsive tracks centered around arpeggiated synths, relentlessly thumping beats, an infectious hook and mantra-like lyrics delivered with an icy and ironic detachment. Unlike his previous released Pleasure Motel work, “Love Songs” may arguably be among the sleaziest and most debauched songs of his growing catalog. And if doesn’t stir lust deep in your loins and in the reptile brain, there’s something wrong with you. 

The recently released video is split between sensual, black and white stock footage of young couples making out and hooking up, and sleazy red-filtered footage of a sunglasses wearing Tudi singing the song’s lyrics. The visual manages to continue the project’s DIY ethos  — cheap, fast, sleazy.  

New Audio: Introducing the Dance Floor Friendly Noir of Montreal’s TEROUZ

Karim Terouz is a Cairo-born illustrator and singer/songwriter, who in 2008 relocated to Montreal, where he founded, fronted and managed the award-winning, brass folk/rock quintet The Rising Few,  an act that released two albums — 2014’s Sinners On St-Laurent and 2017’s Adult Entertainment.

Last year Terouz decided to re-invent himself and his music starting his latest project TEROUZ, a project which incorporates dancehall beats and synths and finds him employing a Bowie-esque vocal to create a refreshingly unique variation of hypnotic and moody noir that he describes in an email as “like Cohen on a treadmill.”His latest single is the swaggering,  “Outstanding.” Centered round a muscular and insistent groove centered by a sinuous bass line by guitarist/bassist Andre Galamba, thumping beats, sultry horn lines and shimmering and shimmering synths, the track sonically reminds me of I Will Set You Free-era Barry Adamson, Station to Station-era Bowie, Roxy Music and Black Strobe — in particular, “Boogie in Zero Gravity.” (In other words, it’s a moody and sultry dance floor banger.)

Directed by Alexandre Desrochers-Coderre, the recently released video for “Outstanding” is shot in a gorgeously, cinematic black and white and set in a boxing gym. And while we see a few local boxers train and spar in a lonely gym — in a kinetic and rapid fire fashion, no less. We also see a dapper looking Terouz in a black suit singing the song and caught in the song’s groove. 

New Video: City and Colour Releases an Intimate Visual for Plaintive “Strangers”

Throughout the first half of this year, I’ve written a bit about the St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada-born singer/songwriter and guitarist, Dallas Green and his acclaimed, commercially successful folk rock/alt country-solo recording project City and Colour. Green can trace the origins of his music career to when he was eight and started playing piano. By the time he turned 14, he was writing songs. Professionally, his career started in earnest as a member of Helicon Blue, but in his native Canada, he’s known for being a founding member of Canadian post-hardcore act Alexisonfire with whom he wrote and recorded four Platinum-certified albums and an EP — 2001’s self-titled album, 2004’s Watch Out!, 2006’s Crisis and 2009’s Old Crows/Young Cardinals and 2010’s Dog’s Blood EP — before officially breaking up in 2011.

City and Colour, Green’s solo recording project can trace its origins back to 2005 when he began releasing early versions of songs for fans to download. Many of those songs were written when Green turned 16 — and he complied those songs and rewrote many of those songs, eventually releasing them as his 2005 City and Colour debut, Sometimes.

2008’s City and Colour sophomore album, the folk-influenced Bring Me Your Love featured a wider arrangement of instrumentation, including harmonica, banjo, drums and lap steel and found Green collaboration with The Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie and Attack in Black‘s Matt Sullivan. The album’s lead single “Waiting . . . ” peaked at #32 on the Canadian Hot 100. Building upon a growing profile on both sides of the border, Green and his backing band went on their first American tour, opening for Tegan and Sara and Girl in a Coma. The following year, Green went on a Stateside headlining tour with William Elliott Whitmore. 

January 2010 saw Green on another headlining Stateside tour to support Bring Me Your Love with opening act Lissie, which he followed with a UK tour opening for Pink and Butch Waters, with a handful of headlining dates. He ended that year collaboration with Polaris Music Prize-nominated artist Shad on a remix of one of “Listen” off TSOL, and an original song “Live Forever.”

2011’s Little Hell featured Green’s highest charting single, “Fragile Bird,” which reached #1 on the Canadian rock/Alternative Charts. That August, Alexisonfire formally broke up with a statement from the band’s George Pettit saying that Green had been planning to leave the band to focus on his solo work, as balancing the two projects became too difficult.

In 2014 Green collaborated with multi-Grammy nominated and winning pop artist Pink in You + Me and the duo’s full-length debut, rose ave. debuted at #4 on the US Top 200 Charts, #1 in Canada and #2 in Australia, eventually being certified Platinum and culminating in appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Green’s most recent full-length album 2015’s If I Should Go Before You debuted at #16 on the US Billboard 200 and #1 in his native Canada, marking his third consecutive chart-topping album in his homeland.  As far as other accolades, Green has won 3 Juno Awards, including two Songwriter of the Year Awards — and in Canada he has 3 Double Platinum-certified albums, 1 Platinum-certified album and 1 Gold-certified album, which may arguably make him one of the most commercially successful, Canadian artists of his generation.

His forthcoming sixth, Jacquire King-produced full-length album is slated for release this Fall through the acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter’s newly minted Dine Alone Records imprint, Still Records. The as of yet-unnamed album’s latest single “Strangers” is interestingly enough, its first official radio single and it manages to continue in a similar vein as its predecessor “Astronaut” — a mesh of honky tonk country and towering shoegaze, centered around an enormous, arena friendly hook, Green’s plaintive vocals and a haunting refrain in which Green pleads “Don’t wake when when this is over/just let me drift amidst my dreams.” “‘Strangers’ is about how you will never truly know another human being,” says Green. “You’ll never really understand what it’s like to be inside someone else’s brain or heart. So, we need to appreciate the differences. If we do, maybe we can live better with one another.”

Directed by Michael Maxxis and Chris Verene, and shot on what appears to be a mix of digital cameras and Super 8 Film, the recently released, intimate video for “Strangers” throws the viewer into the lives of a beautiful Black family, a young mixed race couple, a white family, a young white couple, as one of them is preparing to surrender himself to authorities and a lesbian couple. And while each of these situations features incredibly unique individuals, the video captures profoundly universal moments — the loving and tender moments, the tearful and uneasy departures, the embittering fights about money and bills, the petty jealousies, the break ups and make ups that countless families and couples experience on a regular basis.