Tag: New Order

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.

New Video: The Haunting Visuals for Preoccupations’ “Memory”

As the band’s frontman Matt Flegel has explained in press notes, Preoccupations’ self-titled album draws from very specific things — the sort of things that has most people up at night, fraught with anxiety and despair. And while the album’s first single “Anxiety,” was about the process of both natural and forced change upon the band and people generally, while on another level the song captures the uncertain and uncomfortable push and pull of human relationships, including the bitterness, regret, ambivalence, frustration and self-doubt they almost always gender within us all. The self-titled album’s second single “Degraded” while being a tense and angular song also may arguably be the most straightforward and hook-laden song they’ve written to date. However, lyrically speaking, the song reveals that its full of bilious accusation and recrimination while evoking a dysfunctional relationship splintering apart.

The album’s third single “Memory” is an expansive song that clocks in at just a little under 11:30 and is comprised of three distinct and very different movements held together by the song’s central narrative, which focuses on how much the past and its distortions, influences and invades every relationship and aspect of our lives and relationships — while also suggesting the vacillating cycles of bipolar mania. The song’s lengthy and atmospheric introduction consists of shimmering guitar chords paired with an angular, slashing bass line, and propulsive drumming and seems to look back on a relationship with a bit of regret. The song’s second section sounds as though it drew from Joy Division/New Order as shimmering guitar chords, soaring synths and Wolf Parade‘s Don Boecker contributing lilting falsetto vocals and an anthemic hook — and while being a bit bittersweet, the section also conveys a profound sense of joy and wonder before fading out into a coda consisting of gently undulating feedback that lingers with a spectral quality.

As the band’s Scott “Monty” Munro explains in press notes “‘Memory’ was the second song that we started working on for Preoccupations after ‘Anxiety.’ It was unique to the sessions of the record in that we worked on it in every studio that we were in. The idea we had for its arc made it necessary to put more work into it than any of the other tracks. The finished result was worked on in six different studios over almost two years. Getting Dan [Boeckner of Wolf Parade] to record the vocals was the final piece of the puzzle and was Matt [Fiegel]’s idea. We were tracking in Montreal and cold-called him to see if he wanted to sing a duet of songs, but his vocal was so perfect that we didn’t use Matt’s for most of it.” And the end result may be the most cinematic song they’ve released to date.

Directed by award-winning director Kevan Funk, the recently released short film/music video as he told NPR was loosely based on the story of Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor, who after years of harassment by police, who lit himself on fire in the middle of traffic in December 2010, much like the acts of self-immolation performed by Buddhist monks protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s. And much like those protests, some have said that Bouazizi’s protest may have triggered both the Tunisian Revolution, in which the country’s then-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to step down from power — and later the events of the Arab Spring. “I don’t mean to sound dark, but there’s something poetic about a fire burning so intensely that one day, it actually physically manifested,” Funk explains. “You ask yourself, ‘how much pain can we take? How much control do we have?'”

Starring the band’s Mike Wallace as the video’s lead, the video follow a man as he cycles and vacillates through the bipolar mania of action and boredom, while becoming further lost in his own mind and disconnected from others. Gradually, Wallace’s character becomes increasingly obsessed with fire and loses his grip on his own sanity and reality. Disturbingly, the video reminds us that there’s only so much loneliness and pain we can take before we shatter, and that our grip on ourselves and our sanity is ftenuous at best. But it also asks the viewer “Do you know your mind? Do you know how much you can take? Do you know the darkness within your heart?”

New Video: Scavenger Hunt’s “Stranger Things” and 80s Pop Inspired Sounds and Visuals for “Never Enough”

If you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that I wrote about “River Runs Dry,” a single off the duo’s soon to be released Shapes and Outlines EP — and that particular single found the band managing to mesh anthemic and swooning 80s-inspired synth pop with a slick, contemporary production with Lamoureaux’s sultry pop-star belter vocals. The EP’s latest single “Never Enough” is a mid-tempo bit of anthemic synth pop that sounds as though it were inspired by the likes of contemporary acts like St. Lucia and others, thanks in part to the use of chiming percussion that emphasizes the song’s hook, sinuous bass line, some Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar. Of course, I think the single will help to further cement the duo’s burgeoning reputation for crafting slick, anthemic and radio friendly electro pop with an heartfelt and swooning earnestness.

The recently released music video draws influence from both the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and from MTV-era pop videos but with an equally slick production and visual value.

New Video: Following Young People Hanging Out and Partying in JOVM Mainstay Lust For Youth’s “Tokyo”

Now over the past few years, the Danish electro pop trio have become JOVM mainstays — and you may recall that I wrote about that I wrote about “Better Looking Brother,” and “Sudden Ambition” the first two singles off the their sophomore effort Compassion, which was releaesd earlier this year. And both singles further cemented their reputation for crafting melancholic and aching synth pop that was simultaneously dance floor-friendly. The album’s third single “Tokyo” continues on the same vein of the album’s preceding singles but lyrically the song evokes the sense of confusion, loneliness and disconnectedness and wonder of being on the road, as the song’s narrator describes a life of hotel rooms, hotel room food, a brief chance to wander around a town and get a sense of it, the late night crowds and neon lights, the longing for someone who you either can’t have — or is thousands of miles away, removed from your unusual life on the road.

The recently released video for the song was shot by Tokyo residents, who filmed themselves and their daily lives in their hometown — late nights with Lust For Youth fans, who catch their idols playing at a local club, and then speeding off to the next thing, the next adventure or just goofing off with your crew. And in many ways, the video seems to capture young people almost anywhere.

With the release of “Swedish Guns,” off their soon-to-be released fourth, full-length album Running Out of Love, Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop production and artist duo The Radio Dept. received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere, and as a result the track shot up the Hype Machine charts, landing at number 1. Running Out of Love‘s second and latest single “We Got Game” will further cement the duo’s burgeoning international reputation for crafting slickly produced electro pop that channels mid 80s New Order and classic house but paired with socio-politically charged lyrics. Interestingly, the Swedish electro pop duo’s fourth album focuses on how life in their homeland seems to be quickly moving backwards politically, intellectually, socially — and about how a sense of impatience and privilege has lead to anger, hate and apathy. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Check out the song’s lyrics below:


There’s a choice to be made
We never used to blindly disobey
But now, make some noise
Never fade
Retrace the steps of millions before us
What is fair to get ahead?
It’s not an even game if you can’t bid
They don’t care
Never did
If we want it we will have to take it from the overfed

We got game
And we were put to shame
Acting kind
So we came to speak our minds
And what else?
What else?
What else could we do?
Jumpcut
Horses
Riots

You keep talking middle ground
So sick of hearing about that middle ground
This is it, you can’t go ’round
There’s just no other middle to be found
Like with this bunch of racist loons
The kind of guys you wouldn’t like to spoon
If in power
One whisky sour
And everyone I love would be jailed within the hour
So…

We got game
And we were put to shame
Acting kind
So we have changed our minds
And now what?
Now what?
Now what will they do?
Jumpcut
Horses
Riots
Is it true?
Laser beam
Swat team
Not a dream

I believe Paris Grey
Singing “the sun will chase the clouds away”
I believe what she say
Because I want and have to believe that way

Is it true?
Paycuts
Gunshots
Riots
Yes it’s true
It is true
Mind you
It’s true

 

The band will be embarking on a North American tour next winter and it includes two NYC are dates — March 8, 2016 at Bowery Ballroom and March 9, 2016 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.


North American Tour Dates

Feb 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Feb 15 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Feb 16 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Feb 17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Feb 18 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Feb 19 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Feb 20 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Feb 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Feb 27 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Feb 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Mar 1 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Mar 3 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Mar 4 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Mar 5 – Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
Mar 6 – Montreal, QC @ Théâtre Fairmount
Mar 7 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Mar 8 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Mar 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a  handful of posts about renowned violinist, vocalist, composer and producer K. Ishibashi and his solo recording project Kishi Bashi. And with the release of two critically applauded full-length efforts  — 151a and Lighght — Ishibashi has developed a reputation for decidedly crafted and swooning orchestral pop in which he employed the use of samplers, looping machines and other electronics for a lush and densely layered sound. Ishibashi’s third, full length effort Sonderlust was produced by Grizzly Bear‘s Chris Taylor, engineered by Pat Dillet, who has worked with Angelique Kidjo and David Byrne, and features the contributions of drummer Matt Chamberlain, who has been in the backing bands of Morrissey and Fiona Apple, as well as having a stint in of Montreal, and the album is a radical sonic departure from the sound that first caught the attention of the blogosphere as the material leans heavily towards hook-laden, electro pop as you would have heard on Sonderlust‘s earliest released single “Say Yeah.” Interestingly, this massive change in sonic direction came about from two different sources — the first being that Sonderlust‘s material didn’t come immediately or through his usual creative processes.  “As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes,” Ishibashi explained in press notes. “I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assume were my forte, and in turn, I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.” Second was that along with a period of creative uncertainty, Ishibashi also faced faced significant changes in his personal life, the sort of changes that had him questioning everything he thought he knew about being in love, loving another and desiring another. And as a result, the album’s material focuses on heartbreak, the difficult struggle to move forward and the how that heartache influences every subsequent relationship.

The album’s latest single “Can’t Let Go, Juno,” is comprised of shimmering and cascading layers of synths, a gorgeous and soaring string arrangement, Ishibashi’s aching and plaintive vocals, propulsive, four-on-the-floor like drums in what may arguably be some of Ishibashi’s most danceable, seemingly straightforward and hook-laden pop-leaning material he’s released to date. However, lyrically speaking, “Can’t Let Go, Juno” focuses on the lingering ghosts of a past relationship that has haunted the song’s narrator, a narrator who recognizes that he’s had a difficult time letting go and moving forward — and as a result, the song possesses a bittersweet sense of unfinished business, all while sounding as though it drew from New Order and Cut Copy.

You can catch Kish Bashi on a lengthy North American tour this fall, and it includes an October 2, 2016 stop at Webster Hall. Check out tour dates and ticket information below.

Tour Dates
9/27: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre (tickets)*
9/28: Charlotte, NC @ Visulite (tickets)*
9/30: Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (tickets)*
10/1: Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore – Silver Spring (tickets)*
10/2: New York, NY @ Webster Hall (tickets)*
10/3: Boston, MA @ Royale (tickets)*
10/4: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (tickets)*
10/6: Toronto, ON @ MOD Club (tickets)*
10/8: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern (tickets)*
10/9: Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom (tickets)*
10/10: Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre (tickets)*
10/11: St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall (tickets)*
10/12: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue Mainroom (tickets)*
10/14: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown (tickets)^
10/15: Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre (tickets)^ 
10/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge (tickets)^
10/18: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (tickets)^
10/19: Vancouver, BC @ The Fox Cabaret (tickets)^
10/20: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom (tickets)^
10/21: San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic (tickets)^
10/22: Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium (tickets)^
10/23: San Diego, CA @ Irenic (tickets)^ 
10/24: Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater (tickets)^ 
10/26: Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress (tickets)+
10/28: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger (tickets)+
10/29: Austin, TX @ Mohawk (tickets)+ 
10/30: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (tickets)+
11/1: New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks (tickets)+
11/2: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse (tickets)+
*  w/ Twain
^  w/ Busman’s Holiday
+  w/ Laura Gibson

Currently based in New Orleans, Kate Fagan is a ska, punk and new wave musician, who first emerged to local and regional attention as the founding member and frontwoman of Chicago-based ska act Heavy Manners, an act that once opened for the The Clash and The English Beat; but interestingly enough before that Fagan released a cult-favorited New Wave single “I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool” through local imprint Disturbing Records that was immediately embraced by local club DJs, radio stations and taste-making record stores like Chicago’s Wax Trax, where it became the best-selling release by a local artist ever.  The B-side single “Waiting for the Crisis” also received attention for its politically charged, Reagan-era lyrics, which manage to still resonate today.

 

As the story goes, Fagan wrote the title track after moving from New York to Chicago in the late 70s. “I pretty much came to visit Chicago and fell in love with the scene and never left,” Fagan recalled in press notes. “At the time I’d been working at New York magazine and was getting dismayed watching the CBGB scene give way to the whole Studio 54/velvet rope thing. So I spontaneously moved to Chicago, which was much more inclusive and everyone wasn’t standing around peering at each other from behind their shades. But eventually I saw that same kind of divisive hipster culture start to creep in. ‘Too Cool’ was my reaction to that.” Along with “Too Cool,” Fagan wrote many of her earliest songs as a solo artist and with Heavy Manners in an intuitive fashion, recording them at Chicago’s Acme Studios, where she’d meet the fellow artists with whom she’d form Disturbing Records.

Although the “Too Cool” single was a cult favorite back in the early 80s, sadly it was thought to be long lost, as the second printing of the album was lost in a house fire that destroyed almost everything Fagan had owned at the time — that is until Manufactured Recordings stumbled upon the original single, along with two unreleased bonus tracks that Fagan recorded with members of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Scarlet Architect. Interestingly, when you listen to the four tracks off the re-issued 7 inch, the songs manage to sound both of its time and incredibly contemporary — in some way you can imagine acts like Colleen Green, Courtney Barnett, Karen O. and several others citing Fagan as an influence, as Fagan’s lyrics possess a wry irony at at their core, as you’ll hear on the aforementioned “Too Cool,” a song that’s reminiscent of both The B52s and Go-Gos. “Waiting for the Crisis” sounds as though it were influenced by Sandinista! and Combat Rock-era The Clash. However, “Master of Passion” and “Come Over” are the most dance floor-friendly, New Order-like songs of the re-issue, featuring shimmering undulating synths, propulsive drum programming paired with Fagan’s sultry and coquettish delivery.

Of course, each track reveals a songwriter, who had an uncanny knack at writing an infectiously catchy hook that you could imagine kids bouncing up and down to in a sweaty club — and does so with a cool, swaggering self-assuredness.

 

With the release of their first singles “Lost” and “Dreamers,” which were featured in ad campaigns for Estee Lauder, Virgin Mobile and Hollister and made an appearance in the major motion picture Bad Moms, Los Angeles-based electro pop duo Scavenger Hunt, comprised of singer/songwriter Jill Lamoureux and producer, multi-instrumentalist Dan Mufson quickly rose to national attention for a sound that’s deeply influenced by Fleetwood Mac, 80s-era Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox, Sade, Robyn, 80s and 90s pop and R&B — while to my ears sounding much like Yaz and New Order. And adding to a growing national profile, the duo have toured with the likes of Haerts, Dragonette, Shura and Capital Cities. (In fact, I caught them open for Haerts at Brooklyn Bowl several years ago.)
“River Runs Dry,” the first single off the duo’s forthcoming EP manages to mesh 80s pop sentiment with slick and contemporary production that features propulsive drum programming, subtle use of xylophone that pop out of the ether and undulating synths paired with Lamoureaux’s sultry, pop star/pop belter vocals and an infectious and anthemic hook to craft a breezy, radio-friendly, dance-floor track that packs in quite a bit of swooning, aching emotion.

 

 

Over the past 18-24 months or so, New York-based electro pop duo Sofi Tukker have become blogosphere darlings while becoming JOVM mainstay artists. Comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, the duo can trace their origins to when the duo were students at Brown University . Meeting and a local art galley, the duo began writing music around their shared desire of crafting accessible, pop-leaning world music that could reach a wide audience. And much like a number of artists across the country, the duo upon their graduation relocated to New York, where over the next year they began working on material — including the material that would wind up comprising their soon-to-be released EP Soft Animals, which is slated for a July 8 release. 

Earlier this month, I wrote about “Deja Vu Affrair,” a single that drew from 80s s New Order and house music as angular guitar chords played through gentle washes of reverb and delay are paired with four-on-the-floor drum programming, cascading layers of wobbling synths and Hawley-Weld’s sensual cooing. The EP’s latest single “Awoo” is a mischievous collaboration with vocalist Betta Lemme that pairs propulsive and tribal drum samples with samba-styled keys. Lemme and Hawley-Weld’s contribute sultry vocals and gleeful, child-like shouting — as though they were losing their minds to the song in the club.

Sofi Tukker is embarking on a lengthy series of tour dates — some opening for M83 and a number of headlining shows, including a hometown set at Baby’s All Right  at the end of July. Catch them at a music venue near you.

Tour Dates:

Supporting M83*

July 1 – London, UK @ British Summer Time @ Hyde Park (w/ Massive Attack) (TICKETS)

July 1 – London, UK @ White Heat at The Lexington (TICKETS)

July 2 – PITCH Festival Amsterdam (TICKETS)

July 6 – Cesme, Turkey @ Burn Electronica Festival (TICKETS)

July 7 – Milan, Italy @ Festival Moderno (w/ Grimes & Blood Orange) (TICKETS)

July 9 – Zamardi, Hungary @ Balaton Sound Festival (TICKETS)

July 15 – Salacgriva, Latvia @ Positivus Festival (TICKETS)

July 17 – One Love Festival Istanbul (TICKETS)

July 20 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre (w/ Chairlift) (TICKETS)*

July 21 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (w/ Chairlift) (TICKETS)

July 25 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant (TICKETS)*

July 27 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove (TICKETS)*

July 28 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre* (SOLD OUT)

July 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (TICKETS)

August 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Popscene at Rickshaw Stop (TICKETS)

August 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Pershing Square (w/ Todd Rundgren) (FREE SHOW)