If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past month or so, you may recall coming across a couple of posts on indie electro pop sensation, Neon Indian. But just in case you might be new to […]
Featuring members of Bad Sports, Wiccans, Radioactivity and The Wax Museums among others, the Austin, TX-based quartet VIDEO have quickly developed a reputation for a sound that posses elements of punk rock, hard rock and melodic dissonance; in fact, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months, VIDEO may be familiar, as the members of the band consider themselves the pioneers of a new subgenre, which they’ve dubbed “Hate Wave.”
The band’s latest full-length effort, The Entertainers is slated for an October 30 release through Jack White‘s Third Man Records and as I’ve mentioned you might remember that I’ve written about the album’s first single “New Immortals,” a scorching, trash punk song with a sneering, in-your-face because we don’t give a fuck about anything vibe. The band initially released “New Immortals” as a 7 inch with the latest single, a live recording of “Nothing Lasts Forever.” Clocking in at a little under 90 seconds, the song is a furious, nasty and noisy bit of trash punk that kicks ass, takes names and sounds a though it would incite a furious mosh pit — or a riot.
Orange Red is the musical project of Gothenburg, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist Jonas Love, who has largely been influenced by shoegaze, 90s pop, Brian Eno and Angelo Badalamenti — and as a result, “Ocean,” the title track and latest single off his soon to be released EP, Ocean is comprised of twisting and turning synth chords, shimmering guitar chords, ethereal vocals and drum programming. Sonically, the song reminds me quite a bit of Dream Koala’s Odyssey EP as it has a hauntingly dreamy feel that belies it’s overall moodiness.
Although they’ve had a number of lineup changes over the years, the Athens, GA-based quartet Maserati, currently comprised of Coley Dennis (guitar), Matt Cherry (guitar). Chris McNeal (bass) and Mike Albanese (drums), have developed a reputation for a sound that draws heavily from post-rock, psych rock and prog rock since their formation back in 2000. Over the last few years, the band has increasingly been pursuing a sound that meshes elements of space rock, krautrock and psych rock with a retro-futuristic leaning.
The band’s forthcoming album Rehumanizer slated for an October 30 release through Brooklyn-based label Temporary Residence, Ltd. marks the first album that the band completely self-produced, as well as an effort in which the band openly employed technology as a songwriting tool.
As a result, Rehumanizer’s first single “End of Man” meshes a trippy motorik groove comprised of cascades of buzzing and shimmering synths, forcefully propulsive drumming and angular guitar chords played through layers of reverb and delay pedals paired with vocals fed through vocoder to craft a song that sounds inspired by Kraftwerk, Hawkwind and The Sword simultaneously. The album’s second single “Rehumanizer II” meshes propulsive and undulating synths, angular guitar chords reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls‘ “I Ran ” and U2‘s “Wire,” and four-on-the-floor drumming to craft a furious and tense composition that clearly draws equally from 80s synth pop as it does from krautrock, complete with a chugging motorik groove. Both tracks are taut yet incredibly cinematic, as though they should be part of the soundtrack of a post apocalyptic, sci-fi thriller.
Currently comprised of Eric Krasno (guitar), Adam Smirnoff (guitar), Neal Evans (keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ, piano), Adam Deitch (drums), Erick Coomes (bass), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone) and Eric Bloom (trumpet) and Rashawn Ross (trumpet), the acclaimed funk/jam-band octet Lettuce can trace their origins back to 1992 when several members of the band met and bonded over a mutual love of Herbie Hancock‘s jazz fusion work in the 1970s, Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power, while attending a summer program as teenagers at Berklee College of Music. And as you can imagine they jammed together over the course of the summer and then went off on their separate ways at the conclusion of the program.
By the fall of 1994, the members of the band had reconvened as undergraduate students at Berklee, and during that time, they attempted to pick up gigs with local musicians and at local clubs. Ironically, the band’s name is derived from this period, when the band would walk into a club and would ask a club owner or a band leader if they would “let us play.” Mainly through word-of-mouth, the band developed rather fervent followings in Boston, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago and Tokyo, and their profile grew even larger as the band released their debut effort, Outta Here (2001), followed by Live in Tokyo recorded at the Blue Note Jazz Club’s Tokyo location. Over the past seven or eight years, the members of Lettuce have been balancing a number of different projects with busy touring schedules. Krasno along with Evans and Evans’ brother Alan play together in Soulive, a jazz fusion/jam-band act, perhaps best known these days for their annual Brooklyn Bowl residency. But lately, Krasno has been exceptionally busy as he’s picked up roles as a producer, songwriter, released a solo album, and has played on a couple Grammy Award-winning albums by Tedeschi Trucks Band. Smirnoff has been a member of Lady Gaga‘s touring band and has had a stint as a touring member of Robert Randolph and The Family Band. Zoidis is a member of Rustic Overtones but he also joins Soulive during live shows as a member of The Shady Horns. Coomes has been a session player for Britney Spears, The Game, and has contributed to Dr. Dre‘s Compton. Deitch drums for and has produced a number of artists including Pretty Lights, Talib Kweli and has collaborated with John Scofield and Wyclef Jean. And Ross has been a full-time member of Dave Matthews Band since 2010. Of course, as a result Lettuce has had gaps between their recorded output with their sophomore studio effort, Rage! released in 2009, and Fly released in 2012.
Coincidentally during that time Lettuce developed a reputation for being one of the country’s best live acts — and as a result they’ve played at some of the country’s biggest festivals. Interestingly, the band’s forthcoming Crush is reportedly inspired and came to life during the band’s most recent stints on the road together — with a great deal of the material being road-tested. “Phyllis,” the first single off the new album continues the band’s reputation for jazz fusion and hip-hop inspired, psychedelic leaning funk — but with a subtly futuristic sheen as the song is comprised of spidery guitar lines that twist and turn paired with atmospheric and swirling electronics, hip-hop inspired beats and horn blasts. There’s a sense that the trippy composition comes from a basic idea and expanded upon during an expansive jam session, as the band builds up a tight, motorik-like groove — and in some way, the song is a subtle revision of the sound that has garnered the octet such attention.
The band is currently on a rather lengthy tour, which will include two NYC area shows. Check out tour dates below.
10/14 at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH
10/15 at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI
10/16 at The Pageant in St. Louis, MO
10/17 at Hillberry 2: Harvest Moon Festival in Eureka Springs, AR
10/18 at The Blue Note in Columbia, MO
10/20 at Slowdown in Omaha, NE
10/21 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS
10/23 at Art Outside in Rockdale, TX
10/24 at Hangtown Halloween Ball in Placerville, CA
10/27 at Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI
10/28 at The Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis, IN
10/29 at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY
10/30 at WorkPlay Theatre in Birmingham, AL
10/31 at Voodoo Music and Arts Experience in New Orleans, LA
11/1 at Suwannee Hulaween in Live Oak, FL
11/3 at The Chop Shop in Charlotte, NC
11/4 at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC
11/5 at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC
11/6 at Buckhead in Atlanta, GA
11/7 at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, TN
11/8 at Track 29 in Chattanooga, TN
11/10 ay Rex Theater in Pittsburgh, PA
11/11 at Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, NY
11/12 at State Theatre in State College, PA
11/13 at PlayStation Theater in New York, NY
11/14 at PlayStation Theater in New York, NY
12/3-12/6 at Dominican Holidaze in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
12/31 at Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL
1/6-1/10 at Jam Cruise 14
2/12-2/14 at Gem and Jam Festival in Tucson, AZ
Daniel Cartisano is a Sydney, Australia-based electronic music artist, producer and vocalist, and his solo recording project MK Grands draws from a diverse array of influences including Tom Waits, Arca, Bon Iver, and Flying Lotus, and in a relatively short period Cartisano has received praise and attention nationally and internationally through features on Triple J‘s Unearthed, HillyDilly, French publications Teez FM and Pause Musicale and GQ Magazine UK among others for a icy and broodingly atmospheric pop sound.
Building on the national and international buzz that he has already received, Cartisano will be releasing an EP at some point in the near future — but in the meantime, his latest single “Hold You Down,” is a sparse track that pairs ominously swirling and icy synths, glitchy beats and Cartisano’s plaintive falsetto as the song slowly builds up with a layer of cascading synths that appear towards the song’s last 45 seconds or so.
The song is centered around the deeply conflicting and intense feelings shared by two people, who are trying to leave each other after being together for a considerable period of time. In other words, it captures the strange push and pull sensation of desire, longing, revulsion and contempt that can frequently come about in long-term relationships. But at the core of the song is the sense that it comes from a deeply personal experience — one that’s paradoxically almost universal for anyone, who’s been in a long-term relationship.
The internationally acclaimed Brazilian indie psych rock quartet, Boogarins can trace their origins to when its founding duo, Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz started playing music together as teenagers in their hometown, the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. The music that Almedia and Ferraz began to write and then eventually record was a unique vision of psych pop that drew from their country’s incredibly rich and diverse musical history — but with a decidedly modern viewpoint. Their 2013 full-length debut, written and recorded as a duo, As Plantas Que Curam was a decidedly lo-fi home studio effort, pieced together in isolation before the duo had played a live gig. By the time, their debut album was released, Almedia and Ferraz had recruited a rhythm section, and the completed lineup had started developing a profile both in their hometown and nationally, as they started booking and playing regular gigs in Sao Paulo and several of Brazil’s largest cities. Without much support from a label or from a major PR firm, As Plantas Que Curam was a critical and commercial success in Brazil, as the album received praise from Rolling Stone Brazil, who had dubbed the band “Best New Artist” in 2013, and the album was nominated for several awards on GloboTV’s annual music award shows. Arguably, a great deal of the success and attention that Boogarins has seen in their homeland comes from the fact that unlike the majority of contemporary Brazilian acts that primarily sing lyrics in English, like their British, Australian and American counterparts, Boogarins material is written and sung completely in Brazilian Portuguese.
Now, if there’s one thing the blogosphere has gotten absolutely right, its the fact that as a general rule it has given attention and praise to a number of fantastic internationally based acts that many American listeners wouldn’t have been aware of before, unless they were particularly adventurous. And over the last two years or so, Boogarins have started to receive increasing international attention as the band as toured across the globe, playing at some of the world’s most renowned and largest festivals, including Austin Psych Fest, Burgerama, Primavera Sound Festival and headlining shows in clubs in London, Paris, Barcelona and New York. Naturally, with that kind of exposure, the band started to receive praise from a number of internationally recognized outlets such as Pitchfork and The New York Times, who compared the Brazilian band’s sound to the likes of early Jefferson Airplane.
During their Spring 2014 European tour, the members of Boogarins spent two weeks in Jorge Explosion’s Estudio Circo Perrotti in Gijón, Spain, where they started tracking for material, which would wind up comprising their sophomore effort, Manual, which is slated for an October 30 release. Actually, the album’s full (and official title) is Manual,ou guia livre de dissolução dos sonhos, which translates into English as Manual, or Free Guide to the Dissolution of Dreams, and the material on the album is specifically meant to be viewed as a diary or sort of dream journal. The band eventually returned to Brazil and in between concert dates across South America, they finished the album in Ferraz’s home studio.
Manual‘s material is reportedly not only more personal than their debut, it’s also more socially conscious as it draws from the sociopolitical and class issues affecting their homeland before, during and after the 2014 World Cup as entire neighborhoods were pushed aside and destroyed for massive commercial developments that helped wealthy global corporations make even more money, instead of uplifting those who desperately needed uplift and were promised it from the World Cup. (Certainly, as a native New Yorker, the stories of increasingly gentrification changing the face, character and population of the city would seem remarkably familiar.)
Just a few weeks ago, I had written about album single “Avalanche,” a slow-burning yet breezy and percussive song comprised of shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedals, swirling feedback and a sinuous bass line paired with plaintive and ethereal vocals. And in some way, the song sonically speaking sounded as though it drew from Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd and Tropicalia but thematically drawing from Rage Against the Machine; in other words, dreamy and trippy yet grounded in the real world — and done in a way that’s powerfully accessible. The album’s latest single “6000 Dias” is a slow-burning kaleidoscopic song that’s propelled and held together by a tight rhythm section, as the song is composed of about three distinct segments — one which includes a gorgeously, twisting and turning guitar solo that’s reminiscent of Robby Krieger‘s incredible, guitar solo in “Light My Fire” before ending in a gentle fade out, which evokes the sensation of slowly waking from a pleasant reverie.
Over the last couple of years, Umeå, Sweden has developed an internationally recognized reputation as the home of burgeoning indie scene, as the Northern Swedish town is the home of artists such as Casja Siik, Old Man’s Will, Refused, Meshuggah, Tove Stryke, Deportees, Lisa Miskovsky, and Frida Selander. And with the release of her first two, critically applauded full-length albums, Selander has been largely considered by many Swedish critics as her country’s closest thing to Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. Granted, those may be incredibly lofty but they also aren’t far off base, as Selander’s sound, as you’d hear on “Like A Cat” and on her latest single “Soon” off her forthcoming album I Hear Sunshine pairs blues-based rock chords, propulsive drumming, incredibly catchy, anthemic looks with Selander’s expressive and sultry vocals. It’s straightforward but in the case of “Soon,” the song possesses bluesy, boozy swagger that perfectly suits Selander’s vocals, which are feel warm and comforting, as though she’s commiserating with you and your pain.
Indeed, much like “Like A Cat,” “Soon” possesses a fearless honesty and emotional honesty that most music these days just doesn’t have — perhaps because the song comes from hard-fought personal experience, life altering mistakes. And thematically speaking, the song says you have to stop struggling against the tide and accept the fact that things happen at their own speed, and in their own way.
London-born, Birmingham-based producer and electronic music artist, Joe Flory. Flory’s musical career began with his first musical project, Primary 1. With the release of Primary 1′s No Thrills, Flory had a growing profile across the European Union as he had toured as a backing drummer with Chilly Gonzales and The Kaiser Quartett. His solo production and recording project. Amateur Best started in earnest when Flory relocated to Birmingham to fully concentrate on sharpening his songwriting and production skills.
So far, Flory’s solo recording project has been praised by the British blogosphere for a sound that compares favorably to electro pop duo Cassius, the soundtrack work of Michael Nyman, as well as The Avalanches, David Sylvian and Ryuchi Nakamoto — although as I’ve mentioned from the release of “They Know,” the first single off his recently released The Gleaners and the recently released second single, “White Noise,” Flory’s sound reminds me much more of Barbarossa, as both singles pair Flory’s plaintive and ethereal vocals singing deeply confessional lyrics over skittering and propulsive beats, cascading and chiming synths and swirling electronics to craft material that sounds as though it’s delving deep into the fractured psyche of its narrator, who seems crippled by his own insecurities and doubt; however, in the case of “White Nose,” the song also manages to express an aching and urgent vulnerability, that you hear in Flory’s vocals — with hopeful air that belies the song’s existential dread.
Born in Germany to a Finnish father and English mother, young, up-and-coming pop artist Leena Ojala was raised in Hong Kong and Essex before she relocated to London when she was 17. Influenced by London Grammar, Rae Morris and Florence and the Machine, Ojala spent a considerable amount of time experimenting, tweaking and honing her sound — until she felt she found her voice. After a six month stint in Berlin, absorbing everything it had to offer and then using her time there to inspire and inform her music and lyrics, Ojala returned to London, and began working on the material that would comprise her forthcoming EP, EP 1.
EP 1′s first single “Why” is comprise of some sparse piano chords at the song’s introduction followed by guitar, an ethereal string arrangement and stuttering synths and skittering percussion paired with Ojala’s plaintive vocals that express recrimination, anger, confusion, heartache and inner resolve within the turn of a phrase.And that shouldn’t be surprising as the song’s narrator seems to be demanding answers from a deceitful, absent lover in a bitter confrontation. Certainly, the song possess a heartfelt honesty that suggest that the song is inspired by the songwriter’s personal experience — while backed by production that gives the song a stormy and melodramatic heft. If you’ve ever been betrayed by a lover or made foolish by a lover, the song will remind you of a familiar (and universal) ache.