Tag: New Order

Soviet Soviet is Pesaro, Italy-based post-punk trio, who have received both national and international attention for a uniquely Italian take on the genre, while clearly drawing from familiar sources such as Joy Division/New Order and Echo and the Bunnymen, and shoegazers like RIDE, Slowdive, and others as you’ll hear on the wistfully nostalgic and anthemic “Endless Beauty” off the band’s recently released effort Endless.

Directed by fellow countryman Giulio Letizi, the recently released video for “Endless Beauty” features the members of the band performing the song in front of a projection screen that displays 60s stock footage of crashing waves, brilliant sunrises and sunsets and palm trees, cocksure surfers surfing but in wildly psychedelic hues, which creates both an aching nostalgia for a seemingly less complicated pass, while simultaneously being a reminder that like clockwork, another summer will soon be here. As the band explains of the video concept “We love this concept and these images complementing our music. We shot the live images of the band inside an old cinema where are from in Pesaro, Italy. ‘Endless Beauty’ reminds us of this kind of imagery — the beach, the surfers and days at the beach. We live in a coast city and love the sea.”

If you’ve been actively following the music blogosphere as I do, you’d likely know that the band’s Stateside tour and forthcoming SXSW appearances have been cancelled, due to visa issues that resulted in the members of the band being detained for the better part of a day before they were deported and sent back home. Based on the official statement from the band, the experience was both humiliating and terrifying; but I hope that maybe one day they will return to play in front of Stateside audiences — and soon.
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Initially formed as a quartet, comprised of founding member, Benjamin Plant (production),  along with Josh Moriarty (vocals, guitar), Aaron Shanahan (guitar, vocals and production) and Daniel Whitechuch (bass, keyboards and guitar), the Melbourne, Australia-based indie electro pop act Miami Horror quickly received national and international attention with their 2010 debut Illumination, an effort that was praised for a sound that drew from fellow countrymen Cut Copy, as well as New OrderPrinceMichael JacksonE.L.O. and others.

The then-quartet spent the next three years shuttling back and forth between their hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Los Angeles and Paris writing and recording the material that would comprise their critically praised 2013 sophomore effort, All Possible Futures, a breezy and summery, dance floor-friendly effort that was deeply inspired by the time the band spent writing and recording in Southern California and drew from 80s synth pop, classic house and 60s pop. Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the members of the act have extensively toured the globe — and along with the aforementioned Cut Copy, and fellow Australians Total Giovanni and others, have put their hometown on the international map for a unique yet approachable electro pop sound and approach.

Now, it’s been a few years since the blogosphere has heard from Miami Horror, as the act’s Benjamin Plant has been busy co-writing tracks with Client Liaison and Roland Tings and writing new Miami Horror material, while the act has gone through a lineup change that has them writing and recording as a trio. But interestingly enough, their soon-to-be released conceptual EP, The Shapes finds the band further exploring and expanding upon their sound, as the material draws from art pop, Talking Heads, Caribbean funk and African beats among other things while retaining elements of the sound that won them international attention. And as you’ll hear on the EP’s upbeat, dance floor-friendly first single “Leila,” the song nods at Tom Tom Club, Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, 80s synth pop  as the act pairs a buoyant and rousing hook, plaintive vocals, shimmering synths, African percussion, and an incredibly funky bass line with Moriarty’s plaintive vocals.  Interestingly, in some way, the song teases at something like a return to the sound of Illumination — but in a deceptive fashion says “well, not quite” as the material manages to possesses a boldly neon colored sheen while being a dance-floor friendly anthem.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Rick Hornby and Jen Devereaux, the Manchester, UK-born, London, UK-based electro pop duo TenFiveSixty have received attention across the blogosphere for a melancholy and urgent sound that to my ears reminds me a bit of New Order, Cocteau Twins and others, as you’ll hear on the duo’s latest single “You Say” — but with subtly bluesy and shimmering guitar lines and a sultry hook that evokes an urgent, plaintive need and vulnerability while being remarkably dance floor friendly.

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the better part of the past 6-9 months or so, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstay producer and electronic music artist KC Maloney, and although he’s best known as being one-half of renowned electro pop act Radar Cult,  Maloney has received an increasing national profile with the release of last year’s LXII EP with his solo side project Adult Karate, a project that expands upon the sound of his primary project a is it draws from several different styles and sub-genres of electronic music — including house, acid house, techno, ambient electronica and others. And building upon the buzz that LXII received, Maloney’s Adult Karate follow up Indoors is slated for a March 31, 2017 and the effort will reportedly see Maloney’s side project taking on a decided sonic departure as the material generally possesses elements of post-punk and post-rock reminiscent of mid 80s New Order and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.

From The Dust,” Indoors‘ first single while being a marked sonic departure, also managed to be a thematic departure as the song is less introspective than the material off LXII; however, the song possessed a swaggering confidence — the sort of confidence that can only come from living a fully-lived in life, in which the song’s narrator has had his heart broken made mistakes, and has found some hard-fought wisdom, by living life in his own terms. And Maloney does all of this in what may arguably be one of the breeziest songs he’s released to date.  The EP’s latest single “Friction” consists of an ethereal, Kate Bush meets contemporary electro pop production featuring featuring thumping 808-like beats, swirling yet ambient electronics and twangy blasts of guitar, shimmering cascades of synths and a swooning hook paired with Maloney’s and Adeline’s breathy cooing. Lyrically, the song continues in a similar vein as its preceding single; but in this case, the song captures the sensation of attempting to break forward from heartbreak or a dysfunctional past, towards a new relationship — with the hope that this time, that blind leap of faith will be result in something different than all the previous ones.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps best known as being one-half of renowned electro pop act, Radar Cult, KC Maloney has received an increasing national profile with the release of 2016’s LXII EP under his solo side project Adult Karate, a project that expands upon the sound of his primary project. And while arguably being a bit more minimalist, the project’s sound and aesthetic draws from several different styles and sub-genres of electronic music — including house music, acid house, techno, ambient electronica and others. Building upon the buzz that LXII EP received, Maloney will be releasing its follow up Indoors on March 31, 2017, and the album will reportedly see the Maloney’s solo project taking a decided sonic departure as the material possesses elements of post-punk and post-rock reminiscent of mid 80s New Order and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy. Also, as you’ll hear on Indoors‘ first single “From The Dust,” the material manages to also be a bit of a thematic departure. Although the song is less introspective than the material off its predecessor, the new single possesses a swaggering confidence; the sort of confidence that comes from a fully lived in life in which the song’s narrator has loved, had his heart broken, made mistakes and has found some hard-fought wisdom by living a life in his own terms — all while being one of the breeziest and summery songs Maloney has released to date.

Now while being a departure from his previously released material, Maloney’s latest single retains some of the elements that have won the attention of this site and the rest of the blogosphere as the song has a soaring hook, earnest and thoughtful songwriting paired with a sinuous bass line, along with shimmering and ethereal production.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based, JOVM mainstay post-punk act, The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. And over a period of a couple of years, the quartet released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouette to critical praise from the likes of The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others — although Silhouette, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi‘s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had expanded upon the sound that first won the attention of the blogosphere, as lush and shimmering guitar chords, played through layers of reverb, delay and other effects pedals were paired with sinuous bass lines, propulsive drum programming that frequently nodded at  Depeche Mode and New Order, swirling electronics and Irena’s plaintive and ethereal vocals.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve last written about them; however, the band’s frequent collaborator and friend, the aforementioned Xavier Paradis recently remixed “Kaleidoscope” as part of the band’s remix album Points of View, which will be comprised of remixes, reworks and interpretations of songs off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates — as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions. The original version of the song is a slow-burning, hazily atmospheric track featuring shimmering guitar chords, four-on-the-floor like drum programming and Irena’s plaintive vocals ethereally floating over a moody, 4AD Records-lenaing mix.

 

Paradis’ Automelodi Sonnambula Mix of “Kaleidoscope is a propulsive, Depeche Mode and New Order-inspired, dance floor remix in which industrial clang and clatter and propulsive and forceful beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals floating over the mix. Interestingly, while being dance floor friendly, Paradis’ remix manages to retain the original’s moody feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you had been frequenting this site back in 2015, you may recall that I once wrote about the New York/London-based electro pop outfit Stereo Off. Initially formed in 2012 as the solo recording project of frontman Sebastian Marciano, the project eventually evolved into a quintet whose sound drew from indie rock, classical music and electronic music. And by the following year, the quintet had played in a number of renowned venues across NYC including the Knitting Factory and Glasslands and had their music featured in sevaerl short films that made the film festival circuit, which added to a growing profile locally and nationally. Building upon the growing buzz, the project released their first two efforts — 2014’s New York EP and 2015’s The Long Hot Winter, which landed them a CMJ Festival appearance that year.

After several lineup changes over the past year or so, the band has settled into a trio featuring Marciano (vocals) and Niall Madden, a guitarist, who in that same period has switched from guitar to bass on most of their latest material and Bridget Fitzgerald (synths). Along with that, the band has gone through a change in sonic direction and songwriting approach that has each member frequently filling in where necessary and not always playing their primary instrument. And as you’ll hear on their sensual New Order and Yaz-inspired single “Venir” off the band’s appropriately titled, forthcoming EP III, the newly constituted trio’s sound has become more dance floor friendly as the band pairs a sinuous bass line with shimmering synths, Marciano sultry and plaintive vocals, a tight motorik-like groove and their while retaining renowned penchant for crafting tight, anthemic hooks.

Comprised of Emanuele Chiarelli (vocals, guitar), Simone Constantino De Luca (programming, keys) and Fabio Consentino (bass), the Consenza, Italy-based  new wave/synth-gaze trio Electric Floor over their 8 year run together, have developed a reputation for being among their homeland’s more interesting and up-and-coming underground acts. And with their recent signing to Vipchoyo Sound Factory, the label home of internationally acclaimed acts Stella Diana and Vibrissae, the Consenza-based trio have clear plans and hopes to expand their profile internationally with the March 6, 2017 release of their third full-length effort, Fader, an album that finds the band taking their sound in a much more synth pop/industrial electronica-leaning direction as you’ll hear on the propulsive, club-friendly,  Depeche Mode and New Order inspired single “Bluedive.”

As the band’s Emanuele Chiarelli explains “‘Bluedive’ is like a surge. It was born during a bad period for us. Initially, it was only messy ideas, but we gradually gave it are form. The lyrics are suspended between romance and sadness, anger and exhortation. Just like the other songs, our lyrics in this one are very emotional and tidal.” And as a result the song possesses a swooning, visceral and passionate urgency based around both the internal dialogue among the members of the band and within one’s psyche, and the confused feelings and sensations romance and heartache inspire within us.

 

 

 

 

Over the past couple of months  Stockholm, Sweden-based indie electro pop act Red Sleeping Beauty have added themselves to a growing list of JOVM mainstay artists. Initially comprised of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of The Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), the quartet originally formed in 1989 and with the release of two full-length albums Bedroom and Soundtrack, a number of EPs and singles, the Swedish pop quartet received both national and international attention before the quartet split up. After almost two decades of the renowned Swedish pop act’s members pursuing other creative and pursuits, the members of the band reunited as a trio featuring Angergård, Matsson and Näsström — with an occasional contribution from Borg, who was battling cancer during part of the band’s hiatus.

The reunited band quickly recorded a cover of Alpaca Sports song “Just For Fun” and “Merry Christmas, Marie,” a holiday-themed track, which caught the attention of fans and critics, who had been desperately awaiting both a reunion and new material from the act. Continuing upon the buzz, the act followed up with the release of the  “Always” 7 inch and “Mi Amor,” the first song the band recorded with a chorus completely sung in Spanish, as well as a live set at Madrid Pop Fest. And adding to the growing attention over the course of 2016, the band released their first full-length album in 19 years, Kristina, an album written as a sort of tribute to their friend and bandmate Kristina Borg. Now you may recall that I wrote about two of the album’s singles, “If You Want Affection” an 80s synth pop channeling single which had the band pairing a motorik groove with shimmering synth cascades, an infectious hook and chilly yet plaintive vocals while quietly undulating with an urgent, almost frantic need and “Cheryl, Cheryl, Bye,” a slow-burning, contemplative song in which the band paired layers of bass synth and shimmering keys with plaintive and aching vocals. And while both songs tackle slightly different themes — they do so with a

 

Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Cheryl, Cheryl, Bye” is a slow-burning , atmospheric and contemplative song in which the band pairs layers of bass synth and shimmering keys with plaintive and aching vocals; of course, that shouldn’t be surprising as the song is one part bitter farewell and one acceptance of a truth that the narrator doesn’t want to completely accept. After all, life pushes us forward no matter how much we want to deny it. In some way, sonically the song sounds as though it draws equally from Roxy Music — think of “Avalon” and “More Than This” in particular — as it does from Pet Shop Boys.