Tag: My Bloody Valentine

New Video: Tape Waves Release an Intimate and Playful Visual for “Invisible Lines”

Charleston, SC-based dream pop duo Tape Waves — Kim and Jarod Weldin — have released three albums through San Diego-based label Bleeding Gold Records, which have garnered comparisons to the likes of Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins and Best Coast while receiving glowing praise from the likes of SPIN Magazine, who once described the duo’s sound as “wistful, lens-blurred dream pop to soundtrack nostalgia daydreams and sleepy weekend afternoons.” 

The duo’s two most recent albums were also released through 2670 Records in Japan, where they toured to support 2018’s Distant Light.

The South Carolina-based act’s fourth album Bright is slated for a June 4, 2021 release through Emotional Response Records — and the album reportedly finds the duo combining their long-established sun-drenched pop with the influences of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Teenage Fanclub.

Earlier this week, the Chucktown-based duo released “Tired,” a lush and sunny track equally indebted to dream pop and shoegaze that reminded me quite a bit of Slowdive’s gorgeous 2017 self-titled album. Bright’s latest single “Invisible Lines.” centered around shimming acoustic guitar, gently oscillating feedback, padded drumming and Kim Weldin’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, “Invisible Lines” — and as a result, the track is arguably one of the album’s more contemplative yet dreamy tracks, evoking the sensation of daydreaming on a gorgeous late Spring or early Summer afternoon. (Much like today — May 13 — in New York.)

The recently released DIY video for “Invisible Lines” is an intimate yet playful look into the Weldin’s world: we follow the duo as they ride bicycles down the street, head to a local ice cream shop, play with their cat, pull out the album’s that they love and have insisted them, and of course, play the song in their home.

New Audio: The Glow Releases an Expansive and Trippy Single

Best known for being a member of Purchase, NY-based lo-fi act LVL UP, Mike Caridi stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist with his solo recording project The Glow Caridi released his The Glow debut 2019’s Am I and in the subsequent years since that album’s release, the project expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition of LVL UP bandmate Greg Rutkin, Hellrazor’s and Potty Mouth’s Kate Meizer and Doe’s Nicola Leel.

The addition of the project’s new members necessitated change in musical and thematic direction — and the band offered a glimpse of that new direction with the recent release of the “Love Only”/”Heavy Glow” double single. “‘Love Only’ and ‘Heavy Glow’ are the first two songs written by The Glow, sorta,” Caridi says in press notes. “I’ve been releasing music under The Glow moniker since 2016 or so, but until now I’d considered it a solo outlet. The Glow live band came together around the 2019 record Am I, and somehow I got lucky enough to play with a bunch of musicians who I’ve known and admired for years; Greg Rutkin, Kate Meizner, Nicola Leel, and Madeline Babuka Black. To be surrounded by so much talent and not be open to collaboration would have been a major misstep on my part. There’s so much joy in collaboration that I missed a lot while trying to do things on my own. ‘Love Only’ is about reflection and growth; I feel extremely lucky to be playing music with my friends, and with these two songs The Glow feels like it’s just beginning to bloom.”

Interestingly, this sense of openness may arguably be most apparent on “Heavy Glow,” the newly minted quartet’s first entirely collaborative song: The track sees Kate Meizner taking on vocal duties on in expansive track centered around dizzying tremolo and fuzzy power chords, Rutkin’s metronomic-like drumming and Leel’s driving baselines. The seven minute-plus track finds Caridi and collaborators at their most dynamic and layered with the track subtly nodding at the textured soundscapes of shoegaze — think of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and The Verve — but with a power pop penchant for infectious hooks.

Charleston, SC-based dream pop duo Tape Waves — Kim and Jarod Weldin — have released three albums through San Diego-based label Bleeding Gold Records, which have garnered comparisons to the likes of Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins and Best Coast while receiving glowing praise from the likes of SPIN Magazine, who once described the duo’s sound as “wistful, lens-blurred dream pop to soundtrack nostalgia daydreams and sleepy weekend afternoons.”

The duo’s two most recent albums were also released through 2670 Records in Japan, where they toured to support 2018’s Distant Light.

The South Carolina-based act’s fourth album Bright is slated for a June 4, 2021 release through Emotional Response Records — and the album reportedly finds the duo combining their long-established sun-drenched pop with the influences of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Teenage Fanclub.

“Tired,” Bright‘s latest single is a lush and sunny track, equally indebted to dream pop and shoegaze, centered around shimmering guitars, cavernous drumming, Kim Weldin’s ethereal vocals and rousingly anthemic hooks. Interestingly, “Tired” reminds me of Slowdive’s gorgeous 2017 self-titled album, complete with a similar sonic depth.

After stints in bands like Kite Flying Society, Saving Twilight, The Weak Ends and The Wonderers throughout the early 2000s, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Geannie Friedman initially founded Semihelix in Austin, back in 2012 as a solo recording project in which she used drum beats, keyboards for bass lines while accompanying her vocals with guitar. After several lineup changes, the band eventually settled on their current lineup: Friedman (vocals, guitar), Valdemar Barrrera (drums) and Kevin Martin (bass).

Influenced by My Bloody Valentine, The Kinks, Black Tambourine, Sebadoh, The Pixies and Sonic Youth, the Austin-based act have established and cemented a sound that’s one part dream pop, one part 90s psych fuzz and delay with melodic yet loud sounds. The trio’s latest single “New Destination” finds the band crafting a song that to my ears, sounds indebted to New Zealand jangle pop, Katy Goodman’s work with La Sera and acts like Seapony, complete with an infectious and rousingly anthemic hook. But just underneath the sunny vibes, the song tells a tale of a narrator discovering the resilience she’ll need for the slings and arrows of the rest of her life.

“The catalyst behind the idea for this song came from a place where I felt ostracized and bullied in my hometown,” Semihelix’s Geannie Friedman explains. “I wrote about how moving and starting new would help to heal from many experiences of feeling like an outsider.
 
“Also, having been in relationships with others that weren’t healthy, it was a time for me to learn how to be happy on my own without being dependent on a relationship for happiness. Although I wrote this song over a decade ago when I was in my 20s, it’s a song that I relate to for many stages in my life, where I’m leaving behind and shedding the old, and renewing into someone stronger and resilient.”

 

Best known for being a member of Me You Us Them, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and bassist Ian Ljungquist has stepped out on his own with his solo recording project Time Travel Ban.

During quarantine isolation, Ljunqquist was rather productive: he wrote and recorded Time Travel Ban’s five-song debut, Smoke & Mirrors in a Brooklyn-based rehearsal space. Seemingly inspired by 120 Minutes MTV-era alt rock like My Bloody Valentine, Hum, Jawbox, Shiner, Foo Fighters, and Ringo Deathstarr, the EP’s material will likely be nostalgia-inducing yet fresh sounding.

The EP’s material was carefully assembled by stacking layers of woozy guitars and chugging low-end atop of structure of persistently pounding rhythms. The EP’s latest single “Free Me From Myself” is a great example of what listeners should expect: rousingly anthemic hooks, woozy, pedal-effected power chords, a motorik-like chug of a rhythm and thunderous drumming. And while this particular song sonically manages to remind me a bit of Finelines-era My Vitriol, the song feels urgent and desperate. As Ljungquist explains in press notes, the song is about the feeling as though you were trapped within your own malfunctioning mind — without respite or escape.

New Video: Athens, GA’s Easter Island Releases a Gorgeous and Cinematically Shot Visual for Soaring “Always Room For Another”

Rising Athens, GA-based dream pop act Easter Island — sibling’s Ethan (guitar) and Asher Payne (keys), Ryan Monahan (guitar), John Swint (drums) and Justin Ellis (bass) have developed and honed a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Explosions in The Sky, My Bloody Valentine, DIIV, Pedro the Lion and others. Their full-length debut, 2012’s Frightened featured material, which appeared in a number of TV show including ABC’s Off The Map, MTV’s Awkward and an live appearance on a 2019 episode of the CW’s Dynasty.

Adding to a growing profile, the act has shared stages with a number of acclaimed acts including David Bazan, The B52’s Cindy Wilson, The Low Anthem, Bully, Wild Nothing, White Rabbits, Valley Maker and a lengthy list of others. Over the past six years or so, the members of the Athens-based act have been working on new material in various studios across the country while touring and making stops across the national circuit touring — with stops at SXSW, CMJ, Treefort, Underground Music Showcase, Secret Stages and AthFest. They’ve even traveled to Japan to work on material — and to shoot the video for Take All The Time You Think You Need’s single “Island Nation.”

Speaking of Take All The Time You Think You Need, the Ryan Monahan-produced album which is slated for a December 2020 release draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including Sufjan Stevens, Max Richter and The Never Ending Story. The album’s latest single, the cinematic “Always Room For Another” originally premiered on Billboard back in 2018. The single is an incredibly cinematic track, centered around shimmering guitars, ethereal textures, a propulsive groove led by thunderous drumming, plaintive falsetto vocals and euphoric hooks paired with earnest songwriting packed with an emotional wallop.

Directed by the band’s Ethan Payne, the gorgeously shot, cinematic visual for “Always Room For Another” follows the band’s Ryan Monahan on an epic journey through Denver and eventually through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Throughout the video, the viewer is supposed to get a sense that its protagonist is on a quest to ultimately find himself.

Live Footage: Nick Hakim Performs “QADIR” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

I’ve written quite a bit about the Washington, DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, guitarist Nick Hakim over the past handful of years. Hakim’s critically applauded full-length debut, 2017’s Green Twins can trace its origins back to when he finished his two critically applauded EPs Where Will We Go Part 1 and Where We Will Go Part 2. Armed with the masters for those efforts, Hakim relocated from Boston, where he was then based to Brooklyn.

As soon as he got himself settled, he quickly went to work, spending his spare time writing and recording sketches using his phone’s voice memo app and a four-track cassette recorder, fleshing the material out whenever possible. He then took his new demo’d material to various studios in NYC, Philadelphia and London, where he built up the material with a number of engineers, including frequent collaborator Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering and production), who were tasked with keeping the original spirit and essence of the material intact as much as humanly possible.

Thematically, the album’s material focused on specific experiences, feeling and thoughts he had during the time he was writing and composing it, making the album feel like a series of different self-portraits. Much like Vincent Van Gogh’s famed self-portraits, the material sometimes captures its creator in broad strokes, with subtle gradations in mood, tone and feeling. Sonically, Green Twins drew from a broad array of influences including Robert Wyatt, Marvin Gaye, Shuggie Otis and My Bloody Valentine and others. “We wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if RZA had produced a Portishead album. We experimented with engineering techniques from Phil Spector and Al Green’s Back Up Train, drum programming from RZA and Outkast, and we were listening to a lot of The Impressions, John Lennon, Wu-Tang, Madlib and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins,” Hakim said in press notes at the time.

Since the release of Green Twins, Hakim developed a reputation as a highly sought-after, go-to collaborator working with Lianna La Havas, Anderson .Paak, Onyx Collective, Sporting Life, IGBO, Nappy Nina, Ambrose Akinmusire, Slingbaum, FKA Twins and Oumou Sangare.

The JOVM mainstay released his highly-anticipated sophomore album WILL THIS MAKE ME SOUND GOOD earlier this year through ATO Records. Interestingly, the album’s material manages to be distinctly Hakim while being a tonal shift from its predecessor: his sophomore album reflects the ideas with which he grappled with while writing and recording the album. To prepare listeners for the experience, Hakim shared the following statement about the record:

“I feel the people simmering, on our way to the boiling point. There’s a lot of madness going on around us and this world can feel so cold. It can get hard to remember what makes it worth it. The people around me and the music I love helps.

For a while, I couldn’t write. I worked on new music but couldn’t find the right words. But that time was just a build-up to the three months of expression that led to this album. I hope this music will raise awareness about where we are right now. About how we are living on this planet. About how we treat our neighbors. About community. About depression. About what can heal us and what can’t. About overmedication, overstimulation and manipulation. About respecting and loving the people around us, because one day they won’t be here-or you won’t.

But it’s also true that I’m still trying to figure this record out. People have told me that it’s confusing or that it’s messy-that’s fine. There’s so much pressure on artists to commit to being one thing, or to restrict an album to exploring just one subject or sound. But my life isn’t like that, and so my music can’t be like that either. I’m not thinking about this music as a product to be bought and sold, or how I’ll buy your interest. This is my world; a lot of friends touched this record, and that makes me feel lucky and proud. These songs are glimpses into my community. I’m exploring, but I’m not alone. It’s a journey in progress; it’s an experiment, every day.”

“QADIR” is a slow-burning and atmospheric single, centered around a repetitive and hypnotic arrangement featuring shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar, a sinuous baseline fluttering flute, stuttering beats and Hakim’s expressive and  plaintive vocals — and as a result, the track is a fever dream full of ache and longing, partially written as an ode to a late friend and an urgent reminder to check in on your loved ones before it’s too late. ”If I really sink into a recording, I don’t want it to end,” Hakim says. “[‘QADIR’] is repetitive and hypnotizing, like a trance — that’s intentional. The song is my ode to him. It’s my attempt to relate to how he must have been feeling.”

Recently Hakim and his backing band performed a socially distant rendition of “QADIR” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which features Hakim singing the song on a cartoon-background that’s one part hood, one part Sesame Street. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Nick Hakim Releases a Gorgeous and Surreal Visual for Atmospheric “Bouncing”

I’ve written quite a bit about the critically applauded, Washington, DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay  Nick Hakim over the past handful of years. Hakim’s 2017 full-length debut, Green Twins was written after he had completed   Where Will We Go Part 1 EP and Where We Will Go Part 2 EP and relocated from Boston, where he was then based to Brooklyn. 

After getting himself settled in, he quickly went to work, spending his spare time writing and recording song sketches sing his phone’s voice memo app and a four-track cassette recorder. He fleshed out the sketches as much as possible and then took his demo’d material to various studios in New York, Philadelphia and London, where he built up the material with a number of engineers, including frequent collaborator Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering and production), who were tasked with keeping the original spirit and essence of the material intact as much as humanly possible.

Thematically, the album’s material focused one specific experiences, feelings and thoughts he had during the time he was writing and composting it, and as a result the album is a series of different self-portraits that generally captures its creator in broad strokes — but if you pay close attention, you pick up on subtle gradations of mood, tone and feeling. Sonically, Green Twins was drew from a broad and eclectic array of influences including Robert Wyatt, Marvin Gaye, Shuggie Otis and My Bloody Valentine and others. “We wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if RZA had produced a Portishead album. We experimented with engineering techniques from Phil Spector and Al Green’s Back Up Train, drum programming from RZA and Outkast, and we were listening to a lot of The Impressions, John Lennon, Wu-Tang, Madlib and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins,” Hakim said in press at the time.

Since the release of Green Twins, Hakim has also developed a reputation as a highly sought-after, go-to collaborator working with Lianna La Havas, Anderson .Paak, Onyx Collective, Sporting Life, IGBO, Nappy Nina, Ambrose Akinmusire, Slingbaum, FKA Twins and Oumou Sangare. Now, as you may recall, Hakim’s highly-anticipated sophomore album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is slated for a May 15, 2020 release through ATO Records. 

Interestingly, WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD reportedly represents a tonal shift from its predecessor with the album’s material reflecting the ideas that he had grappled with while writing and recording it. 

“I feel the people simmering, on our way to the boiling point. There’s a lot of madness going on around us and this world can feel so cold. It can get hard to remember what makes it worth it. The people around me and the music I love helps.” Hakim writes in a statement on the album. 

“For a while, I couldn’t write. I worked on new music but couldn’t find the right words. But that time was just a build-up to the three months of expression that led to this album. I hope this music will raise awareness about where we are right now. About how we are living on this planet. About how we treat our neighbors. About community. About depression. About what can heal us and what can’t. About overmedication, overstimulation and manipulation. About respecting and loving the people around us, because one day they won’t be here — or you won’t.

But it’s also true that I’m still trying to figure this record out. People have told me that it’s confusing or that it’s messy-that’s fine. There’s so much pressure on artists to commit to being one thing, or to restrict an album to exploring just one subject or sound. But my life isn’t like that, and so my music can’t be like that either. I’m not thinking about this music as a product to be bought and sold, or how I’ll buy your interest. This is my world; a lot of friends touched this record, and that makes me feel lucky and proud. These songs are glimpses into my community. I’m exploring, but I’m not alone. It’s a journey in progress; it’s an experiment, every day.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the slow-burning and atmospheric “QADIR,” a fever dream of ache and longing that brings up psych pop, psych soul and 70s soul simultaneously.  “QADIR” was the first song that Hakim wrote for the album with the track being an ode to a late friend, and a urgent and plaintive reminder to check in on your loved ones before it’s too late. “BOUNCING,” WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD’s third and latest single is a delicate and atmospheric track centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar, blown out and distorted drums, gently swirling feedback paired with Hakim’s aching falsetto expressing a vulnerable yearning for companionship and warmth on a bitterly cold day — and knowing that it won’t come any time soon. “BOUNCING” is a sound bath where I wrote about one of the coldest days in New York I remember, while lying in my bed, restless by a radiator. It’s about feeling uneasy,” Hakim says in press notes. 

Directed by Nelson Nance, the recently released video for “BOUNCING” continues Hakim’s ongoing visual collaboration with the director while serving as a sequel to “QADIR.” The video follows Hakim and a small collection of attendees to a surreal event that becomes a spectacle that’s recorded by the attendees. But it asks much larger questions of the viewer: “”The ‘BOUNCING’ video asks the viewer to question our drive to find spectacles and how the pursuit of such can lead to becoming a spectacle,” Nelson explains in press notes. “There is nothing inherently wrong with viewing or being a spectacle but I think it’s healthy to question if our energy is being put in the right place when interfacing with what draws our attention.” 

Lyric Video: Gateway Drugs Releases a Shimmering and Heartbreaking Ballad

Formed in 2010, the rising Los Angeles-based act Gateway Drugs — siblings Gabe, Noa and Liv Niles, who all share vocal and instrumental duties, and their longtime friend James Sanderson (bass) — emerged into the psych rock scene with the 2015 release of their full-length debut, Magick Spells, an album that helped to establish their noisey and melodic take on shoegaze that Hellbound has likened to “The Stooges meets My Bloody Valentine and The Brian Jonestown Massacre — a little dark, a little eerie and a little grainy and all intoxicating.”

Slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Future Shock Records, the Los Angeles-based psych rock quartet’s, ten song, Sune Rose Wagner-produced sophomore effort PSA was recorded during a 12 day recording session at Josh Homme’s Pink Duck Studio. Centered around what the band says was some of the quickest and most direct songwriting process of their young careers, the album as the band told Foxes Mag “. . . is much more intimate and raw than our first album. All of the songs were recorded live for the most part.”

While further establishing their noisy and melodic take on psych rock, the material reportedly finds the band writing more introspective material, drawing from a wild and chaotic few years for the band — and for the world at large. According to the members of Gateway Drugs, the album reflects “everything that is wrong in the here and now: the weakness of the world laid bare, and the almost total state of apathy we all find ourselves in due to feeling powerless to effect any change with respect to all of this. PSA is an attempt to connect with others, who feel the same way and regain a sense of our ability to change things for the better.”

Now, as you may recall, last week, I wrote about, the brooding and hook-driven  “Slumber,” PSA’s second single, a track that reminded me a bit of the aforementioned Brian Jonestown Massacre, Riot City Blues-era Primal Scream, while being an earnest reflection on unrequited love that focused on the rejection and heartbreak of a jilted suitor. PSA’s third and latest single is the slow-burning ballad “I’m Always Around.” Centered around shimmering guitars, the song was written and sung by the band’s Liv Niles — and is essentially, a bitter and heartbreaking goodbye letter to a lover ad a relationship that seems bound to come to a close. 

“The song reflects my nostalgia at the time towards my relationship that was failing, my sadness knowing he would hate me one day for choosing myself over him,” the band’s Liv Niles explains in press notes. 

New Video: Rising Los Angeles Psych Rockers Gateway Drugs Release an Intimate Visual for Brooding “Slumber”

Formed in 2010, the rising Los Angeles-based act Gateway Drugs — siblings Gabe, Noa and Liv Niles, who all share vocal and instrumental duties, and their longtime friend James Sanderson (bass) — emerged into the psych rock scene with the 2015 release of their full-length debut, Magick Spells, an album that helped to establish noisey and melodic take on shoegaze that Hellbound has likened to “The Stooges meets My Bloody Valentine and The Brian Jonestown Massacre — a little dark, a little eerie and a little grainy and all intoxicating.”

Slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Future Shock Records, the Los Angeles-based psych rock quartet’s, ten song, Sune Rose Wagner-produced sophomore effort PSA was recorded during a 12 day recording session at Josh Homme’s Pink Duck Studio. Centered around what the band says was some of the quickest and most direct songwriting process of their young careers, the album as the band told Foxes Mag “. . . is much more intimate and raw than our first album. All of the songs were recorded live for the most part.” 

While further establishing their noisy and melodic take on psych rock, the material reportedly finds the band writing more introspective material, drawing from a wild and chaotic few years for the band — and for the world at large. According to the members of Gateway Drugs, the album reflects “everything that is wrong in the here and now: the weakness of the world laid bare, and the almost total state of apathy we all find ourselves in due to feeling powerless to effect any change with respect to all of this. PSA is an attempt to connect with others, who feel the same way and regain a sense of our ability to change things for the better.” 

“Slumber,” PSA’s second single is brooding yet shimmering and hook driven track that features the band’s Gabe Niles taking up vocal duties. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to the aforementioned Brian Jonestown Massacre, Riot City Blues-era Primal Scream, the song is an achingly earnest reflection on unrequited love, focusing on  rejection and heartbreak. 

Shot, edited and directed by the members of the band, the recently released video for “Slumber” is an intimate view into the band’s daily lives inn a way that personally reminds me of 120 Minutes-era MTV. “Videos nowadays tend to be overly cinematic or pretentious. The songs get lost and leaves little room for the listeners imagination,” the band says of the video. “We wanted to keep it simple, sincere, and true to form, so we shot and edited the video ourselves.”