Tag: New Single

 

Just in time to close out the year, the members of Radiohead announced that last year, they were approached to write a theme song for the latest James Bond film, Spectre. Knowing that the studio and the film’s director went with Sam Smith‘s “Writing On The Wall,” it’s pretty obvious that someone decided that Radiohead’s “Spectre” just wasn’t going to work out — although to be honest, “Spectre” is a gorgeous,moody and dramatic jazz-inspired composition that sounds as though it could have been on Amnesiac or King of Limbs. To my ears, what makes the song so strange is that Radiohead’s theme song as though it could have been part of an art-house film about consumerism, greed, alienation and regret, while capturing the tone and feel of a Bond film.

 

The Insurrectionists is the solo recording project of  young, up-and-coming 20-something, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Casey K, who began playing the guitar when he had turned 10. Using songwriting as an outlet for his frustrations and pain of growing up in a broken home, The Insurrectionists actually began as a full-fledged band featuring Casey K., his brother and a friend in 2005 before eventually morphing into its current solo format. But whether as a trio or as a solo act, the project has been largely influenced by a diverse array of acts and genres including Nirvana and Brand New while incorporating elements of piano ballads and piano rock, as well as synths and electronic music.

With the 2013 release of his debut EP, SquarePeg/RoundHole and several other singles, Casey K. has received praise for anthemic alt rock/indie rock with driving rhythms and lyrics that explore and discuss the modern condition — including the hellish company of people, messy lust and desire and more. “Diet Coke,” the first single off The Insurrectionists’ soon-to-be released album, I Gave You The Moon But You Wanted The Stars will likely cement Casey K.’s burgeoning reputation for writing a song with an anthemic and infectious hook, earnest vocals and driving rhythms — but it also sounds as though it draws from New RadicalsYou Get What You Give” but with a harder, grittier edge, while possessing a dreamy feel. The song suggests that the young singer/songwriter and multi-instruemtalist has an innate ability to craft an infectious radio-friendly hook that also manages to be subversive.

 

]

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d likely know that as this site has developed an increasingly international focus, that I’ve seen an enormous amount of emails from producers, artists, band managers, record labels and label execs from all over the world — and occasionally some rather far-flung places, too. Recently, I received an email from an Uppsala, Sweden-based electronic music trio Bucky.

Comprised of three childhood friends, Fredrik Akogan, Anton Linqvuist and Jonas Skosberg, Bucky’s latest single “Haunting Me” is a slickly produced, anthemic and radio-friendly club banger consisting of shimmering synth stabs, big tweeter and woofer rocking drops paired with sultry vocals and infectious hooks. Listening to the song, it’s the sort of song that you can envision kids lustily shouting along to the hook in a club.

 

 

Comprised of husband and wife duo, Keith Kenniff (multi-instrumentalist/producer), also known for his work as Helios and Goldmund and Hollie Kenniff (vocals and primary songwriter),  Portland, OR-based duo Mint Julep started in 2007 with relatively modest intentions –an attempt to get the normally shy Hollie Kenniff to sing more. Initially, the duo’s sound drew from early 90s shoegaze but eventually their sound gradually became influenced by electronic music through the duo’s admiration of rough edged sounds of industrial electronica, which Hollie was a big fan of, and punk rock, which Keith was a big fan of. As Keith Kenniff explained in press notes, “It took us a while to suss out whether this was something we were just going to have fun with, or if we’d actually release our music. But we ended up keeping at it, and now we’re at the point where we’ve created something with its own sound that’s very unique to us.”

The Portland-based duo’s sophomore effort, Broken Devotion was written over a four year period with the duo’s sound reportedly being more lush and intricately layered than their debut effort, Save Your Season while thematically the material explores both the light and dark dimensions of love. “White Hot Heart,” Broken Devotion‘s first single pairs a driving, motorik groove, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and Hollie Kenniff’s ethereal coos in a slickly produced and moody pop song with a shimmering and breezy melody. Sonically, the song is clearly indebted to the synth pop of Pet Shop Boys — think of “West End Girls” for example — as the song possesses a hazy nostalgia over a love affair that has slowly unravelled before the narrator’s eyes while being danceable.

 

 

 

Jonathan Hoard is a Columbus, OH-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, vocal arranger and teacher, who has had a lengthy history performing and recording with a number of Grammy Award-winning artists and producers including Regina Belle, Tracy Pierce, Richard Smallwood, Rashad McPherson and DivinePURPOSE and his father, Stellar Award– nominated artist Ronald Hoard as a background vocalist. And with as the frontman of his own act, J. Hoard and The Greenhouse People, Hoard and company has opened for Dwele; however, I’m actually most familiar with Hoard through his work with Gentei Kaijo, the backing band to the popular soul/funk/hip-hop residency The Lesson.

Here’s where things get interesting. Earlier this month, I was at the Women In Music Holiday Party at Le Poisson Rouge when I ran into Melany Watson and a producer/songwriter and guitarist Greg Seltzer. And while chatting with Seltzer, he told me that he recently produced a song by J. Hoard featuring Rabbi Darkside. “Tidal Wave” pairs subtle soul clap-percussion and skittering drum programming with icily swirling synths, guitar chords played through reverb and twinkling keyboards with Hoard’s soulful falsetto which express ache, desire, and joy within a turn of a phrase. Rabbi Darkside contributes a silky smooth 16 bars at the song’s bridge about being in a seemingly turbulent situation and at the mercy at something far larger than yourself in a song that metaphorically views a tidal wave as both destructive and as a cleansing force — all while possessing a a quiet, understated self-determination.

 

 

 

Amanda Steckler is a New York-based electronic music artist and producer, who has received attention across the blogosphere over the past year for her solo recording project,  Blonde Maze. Interestingly enough, JOVM was among the very first to write about Steckler and Blonde Maze — and if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you may recall that I wrote about “Summer Rain,” the first single off her debut EP, Oceans, which was released earlier this year. “Summer Rain,” much like the material off Oceans focuses on and is informed by the pain, excitement and longing that comes from being an ocean away from someone — or something dear to you. Written between stints in New York and London, Oceans‘ first single was comprised of layers of slowly cascading synths, a glitchy vocal sample, swirling electronics and an aching yet ethereal vocals that float over an icy and bracing mix. And in some way, that single evoked the sensation of being haunted by the presence of a loved one, who you can’t possibly have at that moment, because of a great distance.

Steckler’s latest single is slow-burning and atmospheric rendition of a familiar holiday song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”that possesses a chilly and melancholic longing as slowly cascading synths, swimrling electronics  and chiming percussion and Steckler’s ethereal vocals — and much like “Summer Rain” and the Oceans EP, the single seems to evoke the idea that the love interest at the song is quite a distance away, and won’t come back any time soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially formed in 1971 and comprised of Werner “Zappi” Deirmaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Arnulf  Meifert,  Jean-Hervé Péron, Rudolf Sosna and Gunther Wüsthoff, German sextet Faust developed an internationally recognized reputation for a sound and aesthetic that proudly defied genre conventions and expectations — and perhaps most important as being pioneers of a sound that critics have since dubbed krautrock. Adding to their reputation of pioneering a new sound and eventually a new genre, the German band was one of the first acts to sign with Richard Branson‘s Virgin Records. And as the story goes, after Virgin Records rejected what was slated to be the band’s fifth full-length effort, the band broke up — with the individual members of the band largely disappearing from the public. Other than a handful of shows sometime in the 80s and the release of Patchwork, a compilation of outtakes, which featured three pieces the band recorded in the early 80s, the band’s whereabouts and what they were even up to were shrouded in mystery until the trio of Irmler, Diermaier and Péron began performing reunion shows in the early 1990s.  But despite the questions regarding Faust’s whereabouts, the band’s recorded output maintained a level of interest and curiosity among krautrock fans and newer fans as Recommended Records reissued and re-released their four full-length efforts, as well as releasing unreleased material and a variety of compilations.

Interestingly, since their reunion in the early 1990s, the band has managed to be remarkably prolific, although they’ve managed to record and tour with a variety of different lineups and members with the most recent effort being 2010’s Faust Is Last.

“Jennifer,” off their fourth and aptly titled album Faust IV is a song that defies conventional songwriting and structure at every single turn. The song eschews the familiar format of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, coda for a series of distinct movements held together with a propulsive rhythm section. And as you listen to the song, you’ll hear a band that tackles minimalist drone and noise rock, jazz fusion and creaky, old-timey vaudeville with an unexpected turn of a musical phrase to create something that’s mind-bendingly trippy and unexpected.

Although the Birmingham, AL-based trio Wray formed a little over two years ago, the individual members of the band, David Brown (bass and vocals), Blake Wimberly (drums) and David Swatzell (guitar) have been mainstays in their local music scene, performing in a number of musical projects including Last Flight In, Comrade, Waterfall and several others. However, Wray has been a sonic departure from Brown’s, Wimberly’s and Swatzell’s previous work as the trio have developed a national profile for a textured, atmospheric shoegazer rock sound; in fact, the band’s debut effort was released to critical praise from media outlets such as The New York Times and MOJO — and they made appearances on MTVu and Daytrotter.

The members of the Birmingham AL-based trio have spent the past year writing, revising and then recording the material that would eventually comprise their soon-to-be released and highly-anticipated sophomore effort, Hypatia, which the renowned and eclectic Birmingham, AL-based indie label Communicating Vessels Records will release on January 15, 2016. Co-produced by the band and Lynn Bridges, who has worked with Jack Oblivian, Devendra Banhart and Dan Sartain, the album reportedly has the band making what they believe is their most cohesive effort yet with the material fitting into a particular mood as the band explored subtle contrasts.

Hypatia‘s latest single coincidentally is a somewhat stripped down cover of Faust’s “Jennifer” that turns the expansive and structure defying song into a slow-burning, minimalist and shoegazey meditation on the Jennifer that the song’s narrator seems to adore; however, Wray’s cover managed to possess a wistful, melancholic feel, as though Jennifer has become part of the narrator’s past that they can never get back.

Check out how Wray’s cover stands up against Faust’s original below.

Seattle, WA-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and musician Joseph Sant whose work is reportedly inspired and informed by his youth in the Pacific Northwest and the urban hustle and bustle of New York — in other words lush yet angular, dreamy yet forceful. Sant’s debut effort, Sea White Salt features his friends and collaborators Stirling Krusing on lap steel, Tyler Graham on drums and Georgia Tan on bass with production from Sant’s friend and long-time collaborator Gabriel Galvin, proprietor of Four Foot Studios.

According to Sant, Sea White Salt is thematically informed by climate change — the sort of climate change that has most recently reshaped much of the New York area’s coastline and rampant greed and development while exploring the connections between forces of nature, seemingly impassible social barriers, and the power of all-consuming love and dreams. Ironically, rampant greed and development directly impacted the artists during the recording of the album — they reportedly spent a few overnights recording the album before Four Foot Studios was about to be evicted. Certainly, as a New Yorker, the forces of gentrification and development rapidly changing one’s neighborhood is something that’s all too common . . .

“Nor’easter,” the album’s brooding first song consists of propulsive drumming and layers of shimmering guitars paired with Sant’s plaintive and ethereal vocals floating over the song’s arrangement in a way that nods to shoegaze — while evoking a slowly brewing storm over the horizon. And as a result the song possesses a tense, anxious beauty — as though just under the surface, something dangerous is about to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past two years or so, Vancouver, BC-based producer, electronic music artist, Pat Lok has quickly built an international profile. Lok’s 2013 remixes of Cashmere Cat and Justin Timberlake, along with his own original single “Remember” received BBC Radio One airplay – and an AlunaGeorge bootleg, which was praised by the renowned electronic act received over 300,000 plays. Original singles like “Move Slow” and “Same Hearts” were released to critical praise from the likes of Vice’s THUMP and iTunes — and at at one point, the Canadian electronic music artist received over 1 million Soundcloud plays. Adding to a growing international profile, Lok has played clubs across Canada, Western Europe, Mexico, Columbia and the US.

Lok has been rather prolific this year, releasing a number of high profile singles that have captured the attention of this site and other blogs — and he ends the year with the release of “Your Lips” feat. Dirty Radio, a single that has seen airplay from BBC Radio 1Xtra, as well as spins by a number of renowned DJs including Tensnake, Moon Boots, Goldroom, Just Kiddin, Nick Catchdubs and others. And when you hear the song, you’ll see why it’s received such attention early on as the song pairs layers of cascading synths and skittering drum programming with Dirty Radio’s sultry vocals to create a song that possesses a seductive and dance-floor ready groove — while nodding to synth pop and R&B. Sonically, the song reminds me a little bit of a house music-version of Michael Jackson‘s “I Can’t Let Her Get Away.

The Vancouver, BC-based producer and electronic music artist recently announced the release of the “Your Lips” remix package, which features remixes from Dutch producer Tony Tritone, Leeds, UK-based artist Crvvcks and renowned Chicago-based duo Christian Rich.  The Tony Tritone remix (below) retains the soulful vocals but pairs them with hard hitting drum and bass and atmospheric synths to give the song an airy and  funky soul-leaning feel that makes the song sound as though it were drawing from Dam-Funk and 80s synth R&B — all while remaining dance-floor friendly.