Tag: New Audio

Over the better part of the past year,  Detroit, MI-based duo Gosh Pith have become JOVM mainstays while winning the attention of the blogosphere for a sound and songwriting approach that focusses on capturing a specific feeling or sensation, rather than capturing a concrete narrative. considering that the duo, comprised of Josh Smith (vocals, guitar and production) and Josh Freed (samples, synths and production) reportedly started the project after a drunken and psychedelics fueled late night walk through the streets of Paris in which they found themselves moved and marveled by the sounds of their voices echoing of narrow streets, the focus on capturing mood before anything else shouldn’t be surprising. However, interestingly enough, over the past year the duo have been experimenting with their sound and songwriting approach over that same period of time — with their sound gradually becoming warmer and guitar becoming much more prominent and obvious throughout.

The Detroit-based indie electro pop duo close out a big 2015 with a set at Rough Trade on December 17 and with the release of their latest single “Gold Chain,” which the duo have described as “. . . a ratchet love song about the constant conflict between the meaningful and the meaningless.” Sonically the song pairs swirling electronics, bleeps and bloops, boom bap beats, skittering drum programming, strummed bluesy guitar chords with Freed’s earnest falsetto signing lyrics about longing for a particular lover, comparing them to a gold chain, which clearly has a financial value but doesn’t necessarily have a deep emotional meaning; in some way it’s a bizarre pick up line that’s both ridiculous and kind of endearing. Interestingly, the song may be the most R&B-leaning song the duo have released to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

 

 

Mark Dobson, the creative mastermind behind the British electronic music sensation Ambassadeurs has developed a reputation as a producer and electronic music artist for a sound that employs the use of samples that have been processed beyond recognition and that’s informed by dub, hip-hop, jazz, and drum ‘n’ bass. And as result of his signature sound and production style, Dobson has also become a go-to producer as he’s done work for a number of renowned labels including Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune, Moshi Moshi, Fat Cat, Wah Wah 45s, Universal, and Rough Trade — all while heading his own label, Lost Tribe Records and releasing a number of free singles for his rapidly growing fanbase. (He currently has 35,000 followers and his singles on SoundCloud have exceeded over 7 million plays.)

Dobson has received airplay from several BBC Radio 1 personalities,  as well as praise from the likes of The Fader, Mixmag, Vice, i-D, Clash, XLR8R and others, and as a result he has opened for the likes of renowned artists such as  ODESZA, Machinedrum, The Gas Lamp Killer, Danny Brown, Gold Panda, Daedelus and Kelpe, had a 15 date co-headline tour across North America with Daktyl and played at festivals such as Hard Day Of The Dead, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, and The Sound You Need Festival.

2015 has been a rather busy and prolific year for the London-based electronic music artist and producer as his debut effort Patterns was released to critical praise earlier this year, along with a number of EPs. Building up on the increasing buzz and serving as a teaser for his forthcoming 2016 efforts, Dobson recently released his latest single “Halos,” which was written and recorded during a vacation in the country — and in some way that vacation has influenced the single’s sound as it is reportedly much more organic than his previously released work as layers of staccato synths are paired with skittering drum programming, swirling electronics and soulful vocal samples with warm bursts of strings and twinkling keys. Sonically, the song seems to be equally influenced by Peter Gabriel (think of “Shock the Monkey” and “Biko“) as it is by house music; as I listened to the song I was reminded of Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves. In other words, the material manages to be atmospheric and melodic, while possessing a cinematic quality.

 

 

 

Comprised of  Juan Ledesma, Charlie Woods, Alex Lopez, and Robert Villar, the Miami, FL-based indie dance pop quartet Krisp formed back in 2011, and over the past few years they’ve developed a reputation for a groove-based, 80s inspired synth pop sound that possesses elements of indie electro pop, chill wave and indie rock.

Their debut EP, Mamani Vice was released in 2012 to critical praise from the likes of Earmilk and Indie Shuffle, and as a result they’ve opened for the likes of LCD Soundsystem‘s Nancy Whang, Miami Horror, Junior Boys, Blood Orange and Holy Ghost! among others, which has expanded their profile nationally. Their follow-up EP Sonic Monarch which South Florida-based talent house Gummdrops will be releasing in January will be comprised of material that is a subtle change of sonic direction. As the band’s Alex Lopez mentioned to the folks at Indie Shuffle, “On our first EP, Mamani Vice, we used a lot of synths and electric drums. For the new material on Sonic Monarch EP, it’s more organic, because its instrument-driven. We’re still using Charlie Wood’s synths, but not Juan’s or mine. We’ve got a funk/indie/electronic style going.”

The EP’s first single “167” pairs layers of  atmospheric, shimmering and cascading synths, four-on-the-floor drumming, angular funk guitar chords, a sinuous bass line and plaintive vocals in a song that sounds indebted to 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, the song reminds me quite a bit of an atmospheric and propulsive version of The Fixx’s “The Sign of Fire,”and “Red Skies at Night” with a slight surf rock leaning; it’s a danceable and goofily fun song that manages to evoke watching American Bandstand in the mornings and singing along to your favorite songs.

Over the course of this site’s history, the profile, New York-based DJ, producer and remixer Rhythm Scholar has become a JOVM mainstay artist for a series of wildly inventive remixes, which featured his signature, genre-mashing, psychedelic-leaning sound packed with a number of obscure and recognizable samples throughout.  His latest work is a Girl Talk-like mashup that mashes two 80s mega-hits — Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit” and Michael Jackson‘s “Bad,” that the producer, DJ and remixer has dubbed “Bad Rockit” which interestingly enough possesses a retro-futuristic and club banging feel and a larger-than-life, kick ass and name-taking swagger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I’ve said countless times on this site, more than enough ink has been spilled over the course of New Order‘s 35 year history, so delving into their background isn’t necessary; but what I will maintain is that throughout the band’s history they’ve managed to balance that rare and difficult tightrope of being both critically and commercially successful. And as a result they’ve also managed to be incredibly relevant, as a growing number of bands have cited them and their sound as a major influence.  Certainly, if you’re a child of the 80s as I am, Duran Duran, Guns ‘N Roses, Def Leppard, Run DMC, New Order and a lengthy list of others will likely hold a very dear place in your heart. So it wouldn’t be terribly surprising that a number of artists have covered New Order over the years — with an increasing frequency of late. . .

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four weeks, you might recall that I’ve written about the San Francisco-based indie pop artist Mike Deni’s solo recording project Geographer. The project has developed a reputation for crafting a thoughtful and deliberate sound that meshes blossoming synths with precise orchestral arrangements. And with the release of his critically praised, third, full-length effort, Ghost Modern through Roll Call Records earlier this year, Deni has expanded his profile towards greater national attention.

Interestingly, while taking some time off to write new material over the summer, Deni had worked on a cover/reworking of Arthur Rusell‘s “This Is How We Walk On The Moon,” and the cover was so inspiring to the San Francisco-based electronic music artist that he decided that he should work on an entire effort of covers — and the result was he recently released Endless Motion EP, which features reworking and covers of songs by New Order, Kate BushPaul Simon and Felix Da Housecat.

The EP’s latest single is a cover of New Order’s “Age of Consent” that seems fairly straightforward as Deni has retained all the familiar elements of the song with an exacting verisimilitude; however, Deni’s vocals have a swooning and plaintive quality that pulls the song’s heartache and despair front and center. And although it’s an incredibly subtle and nuanced interpretation, the Geographer cover should remind listeners that New Order wrote a number of songs that wound up becoming remarkably timeless. Check out how it stands up to New Order’s original below.

Formed by founding member and siblings Neil and Martha Weil, the Minneapolis, MN-based indie rock act The Chambermaids have gone through a number of lineup changes in their history. When the band’s newest members Ollie Moltaji and Max Schramm were recruited, the members of the new lineup felt an immediate chemistry. And as the story goes, rather than playing a number of live gigs or setting up an extensive tour, the members of the band immediately went into the studio to work on new material, integrating Neil Weir’s studio, Old Blackberry Way into their songwriting process. Naturally some songs came together quickly while others wound up reinventing themselves with the result being a dreamy yet subtly expansive take on reverb-heavy minimalism.

Although the band is putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming and yet untitled new album, which will be released through Old Blackberry Way/Guilt Ridden Pop Records, the album’s first single “Tall Trees” is a slow-burning, dreamy and reverb-filled bit of shoegaze-leaning material that feels and sounds as though it were inspired by The Verve‘s  A Storm In Heaven and A Northern Soul — in particular, “Already There” and “Stormy Clouds.”

 

So if you’ve been frequenting the site over the last few months, you’d likely be familiar with the Los Angeles-based quintet Lady Low have become something of a mainstay, as I’ve written about the band a handful of times over the past few months. Of course, because there are almost always new folks to the site — or some folks who need their memories refreshed, let’s discuss some backstory: Comprised of founding member Jimmy Sweet (guitar, vocals), who as once a member of the San Francisco, CA-based punk band Richmond Sluts and a touring member of Hot Hot Heat, Rachel Maxann (vocals, synth and bass), Eden Lee (vocals, drums), Kaitlin Wolfberg (violin) and Hannah Blumenfeld (violin), the quintet have received quite a bit of attention from this site and across the blogosphere for a sound that the members of the band has dubbed “Romance rock.” Sonically, they combines s straightforward, old-school, rock ‘n’ roll three chord, 12-bar blues approach with gorgeously lush string arrangements which gives their material a gritty yet swooning (and of course, dramatic) feel that also manages to indirectly channel Phil Spector’s classic “Wall of Sound.”

They’ve recently released a moody and swooning Christmas-inspired song that sounds as though it could have been released in 1962 as soaring strings are paired with layers of plaintive harmonies. Lyrically, the song concerns itself with a relationship ending right around the holiday and how miserable the holiday season can be when you’re single and heartbroken. Although kitschy as most Christmas-inspired pop songs are, it possesses a heartfelt sentiment that should be familiar to anyone who actually has been heartbroken during the holidays when everyone else seems to be happy.

Originating as the solo recording project of David Miller, the Chicago, IL-based lo-fi/punk/psych rock quartet Strange Faces expanded to a quartet when Miller recruited Taylor Walters (guitar), Philip Valdez (bass) and Ben Leach (drums) to flesh out and complete the project’s sound. “Brand New Way,” off the quartet’s soon-to-be released debut effort Stonerism is a swaggering, scuzzy bit of psychedelic  lo-fi reminiscent of Crocodiles and Raccoon Fighter as the album’s first single pairs buzzing guitar chords, a tight and propulsive rhythm section, big hooks and vocals fed through layers of distortion. And despite it’s swaggering nature, at its core is a bruised and aching heart as the song’s narrator talks about moving on from crushing loneliness while capturing the youthful restlessness and rebellion that’s always been the rock ‘n’ roll spirit.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of brothers Adam Lyons (vocals) and Nathan Lyons (keyboards), along with Patrick Huerto (guitar), Tommy Davis (bass), James Alexander (drums), the Gold Coast, Australian-born and now Manchester, UK-based sextet Fairchild have developed a growing international profile for an 80s inspired, hook-laden synth pop sound.  The sextet’s latest single “Breathless”  further cements the band’s reputation for 80s inspired synth pop; however, while their previously released material was rousingly anthemic, the new single is slow-burning, sensual, and moodily atmospheric in a way that’s reminiscent of The Fixx’s “Saved by Zero” as four-to-four drumming,  swirling electronics, slowly cascading synths, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb are paired with Adam Lyon’s soulful crooning and a slinkily sexy groove.

 

Produced by friend and frequent collaborator Catherine Marks, best known for her work with Foals, The Killers and Wolf Alice, the single not only reveals a subtle refinement of the sound that first won them international attention, it also inspired a change in their songwriting process. As the story goes, the time the members of the band spent writing “Breathless” actually inspired a series of pre-production jam sessions and songwriting sessions over the course of four months that had each band member contributing ideas unencumbered and unhindered by genre expectations. At times members of the band worked individually and in small groups, sometimes swapping instruments, sharing ideas and thoughts on bits of grooves, riffs and beats  and as they did so they began to see and feel even more parallels between their recorded efforts and their influences.

From listening to “Breathless,” I can tell you that the song is arguably the most self-assured, loosest and sexiest song that they’ve released to date, and that seems to stem from the songwriting sessions that birthed it. Granted,  if you were familiar with them before, it’s a subtle refinement of their sound but the hooks are sharper and laser focused. And while their material had always been emotionally direct, the new single pairs that directness with a deeper commitment to setting a particular mood. Be on the lookout for a new EP from the Australian-born, British-based band sometime in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally begun as a solo side project from her time with Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, Katy Goodman’s current musical project La Sera has developed a national profile with three critically applauded albums, her self titled debut, Sees the Light and Hour of the Dawn, which were released through Hardly Art Records.  Goodman’s last album, 2014’s Hour of the Dawn was very much a punk-inspired album; however, with the release of “High Notes,” the first single from her forthcoming album, Music For Listening To Music To reveals an artist, who has gone through both personal and artistic transitions. Sonically and structurally, the song reveals that Goodman has returned to an elegant and solid simplicity — it pairs the sort of shimmering guitar chords of The Smiths and the propulsive, old-school chugging rhythm of Johnny Cash (in particular, think of “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and countless others) with Goodman’s wistfully ethereal coos. And interestingly enough La Sera has added personnel to flesh out the project’s sound — Goodman’s guitarist, cowriter and husband Todd Wisenbaker, who is probably best known as a member of Listening To Music To‘s producer Ryan Adams‘ backing band.

Of course, “High Notes” makes a vital connection between punk, post-punk and renegade country that countless others have done before while possessing a sneering, real life irony that many of us have faced before — after a breakup, taking the high road not because you actually believe that it’s the best thing but for appearances and because you want to get the last word. It’s probably the most honest and heartfelt sentiment I’ve come across in quite some time.