Tag: New Video

New Video: The Dream Syndicate Release Lysergic Visuals for J-Dilla Inspired “Black Light”

Currently comprised of founding members Steve Wynn, an accomplished and critically applauded singer/songwriter, guitarist and solo artist and drummer Dennis Duck, along with bassist Mark Walton and guitarist Jason Victor, the Los Angeles-based psych rock act The Dream Syndicate can trace its origins back to the early 80s when Wynn along with fellow founding member Kendra Smith and future True West members Russ Tolman and Gavin Blair played in one of the area’s first new wave bands in the Davis, CA music scene, The Suspects. Wynn also recorded a single with another band, 15 Minutes, which included members of Alternate Learning. 

After returning to his hometown, Wynn spent a brief stint of time rehearsing in Goat Deity with future Wednesday Week members, Kelly and Kristi Callan — and while with Goat Deity, Wynn met Karl Karl Precoda, who had an answered an ad seeking a bassist. The two started a new band with Precoda switching to guitar. Wynn’s college pal and former bandmate Smith and Duck (Mehaffey), who was a member of Pasadena-based act Human Hands joining the band to complete The Dream Syndicate’s initial line up. (Interestingly, as the story goes Duck suggested the band’s name as a reference to Tony Conrad’s early 1960s New York-based experimental ensemble, best known as the Theatre of Eternal Music, which featured John Cale.) 

With the release of their Paul B. Cutler-produced debut EP, The Dream Syndicate received attention locally for a sound influenced by The Velvet Underground, Neil Young and Television, completely with aggressively long, feedback-filled improvisations. The members of the band signed to Slash Records subsidiary Ruby Records, who released the band’s 1982 full-length debut, the attention-grabbing and influential Days of Wine and Roses. Rough Trade Records released their debut’s lead single “Tell Me When It’s Over” as the A-side of a UK EP, which included a live cover of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” that was released in early 1983. Smith left the band and joined David Roback in Opal — and she was replaced by David Provost. 

Their Sandy Pearlman-produced sophomore effort Medicine Show was recorded and released through A&M Records in 1984 — and as a result of being on a major label, the band opened for R.E.M. and U2. Attempting to build on a growing profile, the members of the band released a five song EP This Is Not The New Dream Syndicate Album . . . Live!, which was noteworthy as it was the last recorded effort to feature Precoda, who left soon after to pursue a career in screenwriting — and it was the first to feature Mark Walton on bass. The EP’s commercial failure led to the band’s first breakup — although a temporary one. The band was then dropped by A&M Records after the label rejected the band’s demo for “Slide Away.”

During the band’s break up, Wynn and Green on Red’s Dan Stuart wrote and recorded 10 songs with Duck and a number of other musicians, which was released by A&M Records in 1985 as Danny and Dusty’s The Lost Weekend. After the release of Lost Weekend, Wynn, Duck and Walton teamed up Paul B. Cutler to form a then-newly reunited iteration of The Dream Syndicate that recorded two full-length studio albums — 1986’s Cutler-produced Out of the Grey and 1988’s Elliot Mazer-produced Ghost Stories. The band recorded a live album Live at Raji’s which was recorded in 1988 before the release of Ghost Stories but released afterward. 

The band broke up in 1989 — and a batch of previously unreleased material was released that included 3½ (The Lost Tapes: 1985-1988), a compilation of studio sessions and The Day Before Wine and Roses, a live KPFK radio session, recorded just before the release of the band’s applauded debut album were released.  After the breakup, Walton went on to play bass in the Continental Drifters while Wynn went on to become an acclaimed singer/songwriter and solo artist with a reputation or restlessly exploring a variety of different styles — and leading a number of different projects including Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3, The Baseball Project and others. 

Wynn led a reunited Dream Syndicate to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their full-length debut that featured Walton, Duck and Jason Victor, Wynn’s longtime Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 guitarist at a festival appearance at 2012’s Festival BAM in Barcelona Spain. The reunited band went on to play a handful of other live sets, including two 2013 Paisley Underground reunion shows that included The Bangles, The Three O’Clock and Rain Parade. September 2014 saw the band playing a handful of shows in which they played their first two albums in their complete entirety — and those shows marked the band’s first shows in the Southeast in almost 30 years.  Between their first reunion show and 2017, the band played more than 50 shows. 

Anti-Records released the band’s fifth full-length album How Did I Find Myself Here in 2017. The album which featured a lineup of Wynn, Walton, Duck and Victor with keyboardist Chris Cacavas was recorded at Montrose Studios — and notably the album’s final track “Kendra’s Dream” featured vocals and lyrics from Kendra Smith.  Building upon the growing attention around the reunited band, the members of The Dream Syndicate recorded three songs, which were included on the 3 x 4 compilation. The compilation also featured new material from The Bangles, The Three O’Clock and Rain Parade with each of the four bands covering songs by the other bands. 

Slated for a May 3, 2019 release through Anti-Records, the John Agnello and The Dream Syndicate co-produced These Times will be the second full-length studio album since the band reunited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut and the album’s material is reportedly a subtle yet noticeable departure for the band sonically. “When I was writing the songs for the new album I was pretty obsessed with Donuts by J-Dilla,” lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn explained. “I loved the way that he approached record making as a DJ, a crate-digger, a music fan wanting to lay out all of his favorite music, twist and turn the results until he made them into his own. I was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops—anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though I was working on a compilation rather than ‘more of the same’. You might not automatically put The Dream Syndicate and J-Dilla in the same sentence, but I hear that album when I hear our new one.” Additionally, Wynn also changed up his lyric writing process for the album — instead of the song’s sound being dictated by previously written lyrics, he wrote all the material’s lyrics after the band finished instrumental tracking, so that the lyrics were influenced by the sounds.  

The atmospheric and surrealistic dream Black Light,” is These Times’ first single and the track is built on a looped arpeggiated key and congo sequence, shimmering bursts of guitar, and a motorik groove centered around a propulsive and sinuous bass line and a backing vocal section that sings “aaah” while Wynn’s vocals sing surrealistic and symbolic lyrics about how the night exposes our darkest and deepest inhibitions and fears.  Directed by David Dalglish, the recently released video is an appropriately surrealistic and lysergic fever dream set during a desert night. 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Piroshka Releases Politically Charged Visuals for “What’s Next”

Over the past few months, I’ve written quite a bit about the indie rock All-Star act Piroshka. Deriving their name from the Hungarian version of Little Red Riding Hood, the band is comprised of Lush’s Miki Berenyi (vocals, guitar) and Moose’s KJ “Moose” McKillop (guitar), who are married, along with Modern English’s Mick Conroy (bass) and Elastica’s Justin Welch (drums) — and while each member may be known for their highly acclaimed projects, they’ve been long connected within a complex and knotted web: Berenyi and McKillop are considered shoegaze pioneers with a number of applauded and beloved releases before getting married and starting a family; with the release of their breakthrough, full-length debut, 1995’s self-titled debut, Elastica were rising Brit pop stars, and as  result, Berenyi and McKillop were familiar with Welch and his work; Conroy, was a member of Modern English and after that band broke up for a second time, he joined McKillop’s band Moose. Welch joined the reunited Lush in 2015 — and when they needed a bassist for what turned out to be their final show in Manchester, Conroy filled in. 

The Manchester show rehearsals are what laid the foundations for Piroshka — but I need to backtrack a bit: After Chris Acland’s suicide in 1997, his devastated and grieving Lush bandmates felt it was impossible to continue with the band, and the band broke up as a result. Berenyi was so devastated by Acland’s death that she quit music, spending the next 20 years as a working mother. Because of her personal and personal obligations, Berenyi didn’t agree to reunite Lush and tour again until 2015. I should add that Welch was a close friend of Acland’s, making him a logical choice to lovingly fill in.  Interestingly, as the story goes, Welch asked Berenyi if she’d up to doing something new after the final Manchester show. As Berenyi recalled in press notes, up until then she hadn’t made music outside of Lush and solo work never appealed to her. “I need someone else to motivate me, and in this case it was Justin. He sent drum tracks with guitar parts and odd words, so I wrote some vocals and lyrics, which became ‘This Must Be Bedlam’ and ‘Never Enough.’ When Mick added bass, it sounded great. When Moose added guitar and keyboards — I’d never written like that before, it was such good fun.”

“We sounded great!” Welch added in press notes. “Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought this is the kind of band I want to be in again.” Conroy agreed, adding “I’d seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed and it was good fun, too. And with Moose available, we thought, ‘let’s all have a bash, see what happens.’”

There are serial more layers to the entangled web of personal, professional and creative connections, Bella Union’s label head Simon Raymonde was among the first people to hear the band’s Brickbat demos and he quickly signed the band to the label. Raymonde’s former Cocteau Twins bandmate Robin Guthrie produced Lush’s debut album. Additionally, Raymonde’s current Lost Horizons bandmate Richie Thomas was a former member of Moose. In any case, Raymonde introduced Piroshka to Lanterns on the Lake‘s Paul Gregory, who mixed all but one track on the album — “What’s Next,” which was mixed by Alan Moulder. Lastly,  Fiona Brice, who was once a Bella Union recording artist, wrote string arrangements while The Higsons and Blockhead‘s Terry Edwards, who played on Lush’s final album played brass.

Now, as you may recall, Brickbat was released earlier this month, and while the album’s title is derived for a slang term for missile, it also manages to symbolically hit upon the fact that the material is a marked departure from each individual bandmembers’ known work — with the focus being on blue, forceful lyrics that tap into the fear, loathing, envy, spite and strife at the heart of our ongoing sociopolitical climate. Unsurprisingly, with some of the band’s members being parents, much of the material was written through the anxious prism of parenthood in a world gone completely mad. Brickbat’s first single “Everlastingly Yours” was centered by a devastating and profound fear — that you can’t possibly predict the evolving dangers of our world, and that you can’t completely protect your loved ones from them either. While built upon a shimmering and anthemic shoegazer-like arrangement featuring soaring synths, a propulsive, angular bass line, four-on-the-floor-like drumming and Berenyi’s aching and ethereal vocals, the song thematically as McKillop explains is “about school shootings and our reaction to almost being almost unable to take our eyes off twenty-four hour news and internet feeds.” As a result, the song taps into deeper sense of powerlessness and helplessness. 

Brickbat’s latest single “What’s Next” continues in its predecessor’s footsteps as it’s centered around the urgency of our sociopolitical moment — with the song’s narrator essentially saying “Wait, hold up. What the fuck, man? Shouldn’t we want better?” And throughout there are references to people hitting the streets to protest, out of fear, concern and outrage.  “‘What’s Next’ started life as a guitar-and-drums demo from Justin that he’d called ‘Protest’ – the drums being inspired by the idea of a protest march. It’s one of the very first songs Piroshka worked on together,” Berenyi explains in press notes. “The lyrics are inspired by the shock and fallout regarding current political upheavals – how this finger-pointing and rage and blame are so damaging, how we need to get back some kind of solidarity if we possibly can because the divisions between us are playing into certain people’s hands. Funnily enough, the song was called Time’s Up when it was first recorded, but that title then got taken so we thought we’d better change it!”

Designed and directed by Bunny Schendler, edited by Jonathan Hodgson and featuring animation by Bunny Schendler, Sofa Umarik and Jonathan Hodgson, the video captures the anxiousness and righteous outrage of our political climate as its centered around political demonstrations, protests and skirmishes in the streets — while stressing that in the Internet age, it’s easy to stir up hatred, infighting and finger pointing. 

New Video: Mexican-Panamanian Singer Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist Michelle Blades Releases a Topical Post Punk Anthem

Michelle Blades is a Mexican-Panamanian singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, who grew up in a family of salsa musicians — and as a result, a young Blades soaked up notions of her heritage, studio life and production. When Blades was seven, her family fled Panama as a result of the vestiges of violence and unrest left by Manuel Noriega, eventually relocating to Miami, where they all learned English and lived in different recording studios and apartments. 

Ironically, music was all but forbidden at home and many of Blades’ artistic aspirations were halted by the family patriarch until she moved out when she turned 16. She then spent time juggling a number of different jobs including — being a journalist for the local CBS affiliate, producing a biweekly show, Focus on South Florida, selling smoothes, working for MIA Skatepark, and pursuing a passion for film and video by producing skate videos for her website 2TEN AM Productions. Interestingly, this love of film would wind up being important for her aspirations and her career, as it paved the way for her to direct and produce music videos for several artists. 

After buying a ukulele with her first paycheck, Blades relocated to Arizona, where she immersed herself in Phoenix’s and Tempe’s DIY scenes, learning guitar, drums, synths and bass, eventually recording and releases EPs under her own name and with the noise punk trio North Dakota. Along the way, Camaraderie Limited Records, a small Paris-based label invited Blades to go on a month-long tour of house shows and while discovering Europe for the first time, she also made friends, who would change her life. As the story goes, during her third tour of France, Blades befriended the team at Midnight Special Records — and it prompted a move to Paris, where she created the bulk of her work to date, collaborating with the label and artists in a familial sort of collective of like-minded souls. 

Since relocating to Paris, Blades has been rather prolific as she has released 2015’s Ataraxia, 2016’s Polylust EP, and 2017’s Premature Love Songs EP, written music and arrangements for Laure Briard, played bass in Fishbach, put together a Transatlantic band Michelle Blades y Los Machetes, and directed videos for Clea Vincent’s “Retiens mon desir” and “Chateau Perdu” among a list of others. 

Slated for a March 29, 2019 release, Blades’ forthcoming album Visitor continues the Mexican-Panamanian multi-disciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s ongoing collaboration with Midnight Special Records. The forthcoming album’s third and latest single “Politic” is a remarkably topical song that to my ears sounds like a seamless synthesis of campy B52s-like garage rock/garage pop, angular and neurotic More Songs About Food and Buildings era Talking Heads-like post punk and Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs as the song is centered around arpeggiated synths, looping garage rock guitar lines, a propulsive groove, an infectious hook and lyrics delivered in wild yelps, squeals and howls. At its core, the song expresses an anxious, existential frustration — with everything. The recently released video is centered around live footage of Blades and her backing band performing the song shot with trippy filters and colors and strobe lights galore. 

New Video: Dear Boy Releases Gorgeous Black and White Visuals for Shimmering and Moody Single “Semester”

Comprised of four longtime friends Ben Grey (vocals, guitar), Austin Hayman (guitar), Keith Cooper (drums) and Lucy Lawrence (bass), the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet Dear Boy had a breakthrough 2018 — while crafting music that’s both deeply personal and a celebration of their hometown: local critics and music publications hailed the quartet as one of the best, up-and-coming area bands; they played multiple sold out hometown shows and toured with Rogue Wave, Day Wave and Sunflower Bean.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of Dear Boy will be releasing the Strawberry EP on March 1, 2019 through the band’s Easy Hell Records and Burnside/The Orchard and the EP’s first single is the bittersweet and anthemic “Semester.” Centered around shimmering guitar chords, a sinuous bass line, an infectious hook and plaintive vocals, the song focuses on profound loss — and that peculiar moment in the immediate aftermath in which you can’t quite figure out how to feel, what to do next or if you can even move forward. As the band’s Ben Gray says in press notes, “Most of us have whole periods of our lives that are defined by one person… And when that person leaves, returning to your normal life feels strange. Almost as if the world moved on behind your back.”

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the recently released video features black and white footage of the band earnestly performing the song in an art gallery with the camera artfully going in and out of focus. 

New Video: Acclaimed Antillean-French Singer-Songwriter Gerald Toto Releases a Sensual Video for “You Got Me”

Born in France, the Antillean-French singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gerald Toto’s parents were tax officials; however, they were ardent and obsessive music lovers and their vinyl collection, which featured American soul, Afro-Caribbean dance music, Congolese soukous and Cameroonian makossa was essential listening to a young Toto. By the time Toto was ten, he picked up guitar and bass. And by the time, he was in college, he used a student loan to finance the building of a home studio, with which he quickly became an intrinsic part of the French underground music scene, as a pioneering wold music artist and producer. 

Toto has collaborated with a diverse and eclectic array of artists including Algerian rai singer Faudel, Parisian act Nouvelle Vague and Middle Eastern electro futurists Smadi; but it was his breakthrough collaboration with French-Antillean singer/songwriter Gerald Toto, Cameroonian jazz musician Richard Bona Toto Bona Lokua that led to two internationally applauded albums — 2005’s commercially successful, self-titled debut and 2017’s well-received Bondeko — all while each individual member was busy with their own diverse series of projects both solo and with other artists. 

Last year was a very busy year for the Antillean-French singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist: Toto Bona Lokua released their third full-length album and he released a solo album, Sway — both which were released through Nø Førmat. Now, as you may recall, album single “Away” was centered around a languid and tropical groove, gently strummed guitar, brief bursts of arpeggiated synths and an infectious hook paired with Toto’s yearning falsetto. Sonically speaking, the song further cemented the acclaimed Antillean-French’s reputation for crafting breezy and mischievously difficult to categorize pop that draws from Tropicalia, Bossa nova, 70s soul, Afro pop, French pop and folk, while encouraging the listener to slow down a bit to pay attention to the gentle sway of life’s natural rhythms.  Interestingly, the album’s latest single “You Got Me” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor —  breezy and infectious pop; but at its core, the song is thematically centered around desire, longing and profound loneliness. 

Created by Cannes-nominated French agency Temple Caché, the recently released video features sensual and humorous depictions of mundane daily gestures — cooking, sunbathing, a cat grooming itself, a young couple in a stolen moment in their car. But within these small moments, each character within the video is actually longing for something that they may not be able to receive. As Toto says in press notes about the video, “The sensualist acidulated video for ‘You Got Me’, through the depiction of seemingly anodyne daily gestures like cooking, sunbathing, a cat grooming himself; reveals the life of the inhabitants of a neighbourhood soaked with desire, pleasure & stolen moments, often in connection with nature. But under the luscious joy of the colours, humour & earthiness, surfaces a sense of longing and loneliness. As in cooking, love and the romantic relationship require generosity, presence and time. We must make ourselves consciously available, consent to the vulnerability of laying bare and let go.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Sego Return with a Trippy Visual for the Post Punk Anthem “Neon Me Out”

Now, over the a significant portion of this site’s nearly nine year history,  I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Sego. Initially comprised of Mapleton, UT-born founding duo Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll, the band expanded to a quartet with the addition of Alyssa Davey (bass) and Brandon McBride (guitar, keys) last year.

As you may recall, the band’s long-awaited sophomore album Sego Sucks is slated for an April 5, 2019 release through Roll Call Records, and the album is partially inspired by  the band’s extensive touring across North America, Europe and the UK and by the addition of the band’s newest members. Unsurprisingly, both events have made the band’s sound and approach much more focused — while retaining a raucous and rowdy spirit. The rowdy and anthemic album single “Shame” was centered around a shout worthy series of hooks, buzzing and distorted guitars, thumping beats and pulsating electronics paired with ironically delivered lyrics. Sonically speaking, the song found the band moving towards a radio friendly, somewhat pop-leaning take on pop. Interestingly, Sego Sucks’ latest single “Neon Me Out” sort of continues in a similar vein — it’s centered around anthemic, sing along and shout along worthy hooks and a propulsive bass line; however, the song to my ears  is a seamless and mischievous synthesis of Odelay-era Beck and Gang of Four-like post punk. And while radio friendly, the song touches upon social media distortions and social media fame, boredom, phoniness, the desperate attempt to fit into a scene, and so on with a post-modern sense of ironic aplomb. 

Decidedly lo-fi, the recently released video is a lysergic-tinged trip, comprised of a series of collages of the band hanging out, fucking around and so on, the members of the band playing in front of a fun house mirror-like distortion. It creates a weird view of the band’s innermost world.  

New Video: Shawn Johnson’s Trippy Animated Visuals for Czarface’s and Ghostface’s Latest Single

Last year, I wrote quite a bit about Czarface, a collaborative project featuring renowned, underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric and the Wu-Tang Clan‘s Inspectah Deck. The act derives its name from a character they created that’s patterned after comic book super villains and aspects of each of the individual members of the project. Now, as you may recall, the act can trace its origins to when the trio toured together, which led to a handful of singles — including “Speaking Real Words” off 7L & Esoteric’s 2001 album, The Soul Purpose and “12th Chamber” off their 2010 album 1212, and a number of other singles. Since the act formed back in 2013, they’ve released four critically applauded albums: their 2013 self-titled debut, 2015’s Every Hero Needs a Villain, 2016’s A Fistful of Peril and their collaboration with MF Doom, Czarface Meets Metalface, which was released last year.

Interestingly, the acclaimed trio follow their critically applauded and highly-anticipated collaboration with MF Doom by teaming up with another legendary and beloved emcee, Ghostface Killah, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Starks on Czarface Meets Ghostface, which is slated for release later this week. “Iron Claw,” the album’s first single was a perfect taste of what hip hop heads should expect from the album — four of the world’s dopest emcees trading swaggering bars about running crime syndicates, taking over the world, being the dopest around and more over a thumping and downright menacing production featuring enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, chopped up vocal samples and arpeggiated synths.  The album’s second and latest single “Mongolian Beef” features each emcee making an insane array of pop cultural references with some of the most inventive word play and rhyme schemes I’ve heard in some time — and each emcee trades their dense bars over a wobbling yet cinematic production consisting of a thumping and stuttering beats, chopped up vocal samples, buzzing organs, a sinuous and funky bass line. It’s a track that manages to be trippy and yet full of the street shit that I love so much — and much like Strong Arm Steady’s “Premium,” the track finds the collaborative unit pushing their talents, skills and overall sound in a wild, new direction. 

Directed by Shawn A. Johnson, the recently released, collage-based animated video fittingly draws from comic books, anime and Japanimation and is as much of a trip as the song it accompanies. 

New Video: The Creepily Cinematic Visuals for Holy Golden’s “Seven of Diamonds”

Comprised of Leslie Schott and Andrew Valenti, the acclaimed indie duo Holy Golden can trace their origins to a serendipitous meeting on Martha’s Vineyard — during a lunar eclipse. As the story goes, Schott decided to take a ferry to the island and happened upon the record store where Valenti was working at the time. After chatting a bit, Valenti wrote down his band’s email address on a business card, gave it to Schott, suggesting that she should come to a show that night. Schott purchased a few CDs and left, assuming that she’d probably never see Valenti again, but as the ferry back to the mainland was about to depart, she ran off the boat and found the show. Since then, Schott and Valenti have traveled back and forth between Martha’s Vineyard and Los Angeles, where they’re currently based, creating mythological, multi-media based mini-worlds through music, music videos, short films and photography. Sonically speaking, the duo have developed a reputation for a sound that blends dream pop and 90s alt rock — while being inspired by their deepest sorrows and brightest fantasies, Maya Deren, David Lynch, Edward Gorey, and the lonely terrain of gilded Americana.

Wallflower Records’ founder Corey Savage signed the duo after catching them play in Houston during their first tour, and the label released their critically applauded full-length debut Wax Castle, an album that was written and recorded in various locations across the country. Building upon a growing profile, The Licking River EP was recorded, produced and mixed at Providence, RI-based Machines With Magnets Studio, and the EP was named by a number of blogs across the blogosphere as one of the top indie EPs of 2017. The duo’s sophomore album, the Steve Rizzo-produced Otherworld was a concept album inspired by a recurring childhood daydream of Schott’s — and it was recorded in a historic ballroom in Newport, RI. Interestingly, the duo frequently record while traveling and as a result, their work is affected by the rapidly changing landscapes, as well as the changing external and internal environment; in fact, they’ve had stints in Los Angeles, Detroit, Rhode Island and Cape Cod. 

Released earlier this year, the duo’s Sleepwalkers in the Milky Way EP will further cement their growing reputation for crafting atmospheric and cinematic dream pop — and while the band’s sound has been described as if Dolly Parton were backed by The xx, their latest single “Seven of Diamonds” to my ears, sounds as though it were influenced by the now-defunct Denver-based act Ending People and the classic 4AD Records heyday roster. In other words you’ll hear an arrangement of shimmering and angular guitar chords, dramatic drumming, a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook paired with Schott’s ethereal and plaintive vocals. 

Directed by Beatrice Pegard, the recently released video for “Seven of Diamonds” is a fever dream that seems influenced by Roger Corman’s Edgar Allen Poe films and the work Dario Argento among others — and as result, it has a palpably tense and uneasy creepiness. 

New Video: The 80s Inspired Visuals for Swooning Phil Spector-like “Can’t Help The Way I Feel”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the Indianapolis, IN-based folk pop duo Lily & Madeleine, And as you may recall, the act, which consists of siblings Lily and Madeline Jurkiewicz can trace its origins to when the Jurkiewicz Sisters began singing together while attending high school, uploading home videos of various covers to YouTube. Those videos caught the attention of Bloomington, IN-based producer Paul Mahern, who invited the sisters into his studio to record what would become their debut EP, 2013’s The Weight of the Globe when their class schedule permitted. Kenny Childers (Gentleman Caller) assisted by co-writing the material off the EP with the sisters; but it was video of the sisters singing in Mahern’s studio reached the front page of news aggregator Reddit — and as a result, Sufjan Stevens signed the Jurkiewicz Sisters to his label Asthmatic Kitty Records.

Adding to a growing profile, John Mellencamp asked the Jurkiewicz Sisters to contribute guest vocals to the soundtrack of his musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. After playing some of their first sold out shows in their hometown, they made their national TV debut on CBS This Morning to promote their self-titled, full-length debut, which was released in February 2013. The album was praised from a number of major media outlets, including The New York Times, which praised the album for their extraordinary sibling vocal blend, “deep and seamless and relaxed.” Since then the Indianapolis-based sibling folk pop duo have released two more albums — 2014’s Fumes, which was released through Asthmatic Kitty and 2016’s Keep It Together, which was released through New West Records.

Now, as you may recall, the Jurkiewicz Sisters kicked off this year with the inclusion of “Just Do It” on the first Spotify New Music Friday playlist of 2019 and the track, which was co-produced by Grammy Award-winning production team Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuck, who worked on Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour pairs the Lily and Madeleine’s gorgeous and effortless harmonizing with a shimmering dance pop-like production centered around a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, hand claps and fluttering electronics; but at its core, the song not only talks about taking chances, it talks of confidently coming of age as a woman — and demanding what you need and want from yourself and others.

Canterbury Girls, the Jurkiewicz Sisters’ the fourth full-length album is slated for a February 22, 2019 release through New West Records and interestingly, the Phil Spector-like “Can’t Help The Way I Feel” is centered by what may arguably be the tightest and funkiest groove on the entire album, with a razor sharp and infectious hook, handclaps, twinkling keys and the Jurkiewicz Sisters easygoing yet gorgeous harmonizing. At its core, the song’s narrator is proud and defiant, openly saying that while her friends may disapprove of her love interest, she simply can’t help how she feels — even if the relationship isn’t good for her. Somehow, I suspect that many of us can relate.

Directed by Horatio Baltz, the recently released video for “Can’t Help The Way I Feel” features the Jurkiewicz Sisters are swooning and lovestruck 80s teens. Owing a visual debt to John Hughes films, the video features some slick split screens and some dreamy glamor sequences.

New Video: Yacht Punk Releases Wistful and Bittersweet Video for “Indian Summer”

Late last year, I wrote about the Los Angeles-based indie rock act Yacht Punk, and as you may recall, the act which is comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Graham Brockmiller (vocals, guitar), Michael Pozzi (guitar), Tricky (drums) and Justin Ricard (bass) can trace their origins to when Brockmiller’s previous band Great White Buffalo broke up. As the story goes, at one point Brockmiller was laying on the floor of his unfinished Beachwood Canyon basement studio, unsure of what would or should come next. But he did realize that it was time to go off on his own, so she spent the next year holed up in his studio, contemplating life, writing, collecting nude calendars of Eastern European women suggestively holding large trophy carp and experimenting with the raw recording skills had taught himself. In time, he began exploring new sounds and textures outside the traditional rock and indie rock arrangements of guitar, drums, bass as a way to test his DIY recording chops, as well as a way to find a more interesting, moodier sound.

Brockmiller was tinkering with what would be eventually become early Yacht Punk demos,  when he had a chance meeting with Michael Pozzi at Davey Wayne‘s. Pozzi quickly joined the project after heading to Brockmiller’s studio to hear Brockmiller’s demo and liked the direction the music was going. Brockmiller’s roommate Tricky joined, followed by Justin Ricard, completing the band’s lineup. The then newly formed quartet took those demos to Matt Wignall‘s Tackyland studio, where they recorded “Hang Me Out to Dry” with Wignall assisting to push the band’s sound into new and stranger places. Along with some other Wignall-produced tracks, the band then had Will Brierre mix and engineer the tracks. 

The attention-grabbing “Need a Reason” was featured on Spotify’s New Noise and Fresh Finds playlists. Building upon a growing profile, the glossy and hook-driven “New Wave Denier” further cemented the quartet’s growing reputation for crafting pop-inspired indie rock — although somewhat ironically, the song is fueled by disillusionment; in fact, as Brockmiller explained in press noted, the song “is about disillusionment and being over mainstream music. I wanted to capture the feeling of being young and disillusioned by life, by love, and by current and/or popular music. The sense of being unable to relate to your peers, the sense of searching for something more meaningful, and ultimately finding identity and belonging in the music from a past generation.” Interestingly, the Los Angeles-based indie quartet’s latest single, the shimmering and slow-burning “Indian Summer” was released along with the announcement that their forthcoming album Ghosts will be slated for an April 5, 2019 release. Sonically bearing a resemblance to Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” the song is centered jangling and shimmering power chords, an anthemic hook and wistful remembrances of youthful (and perhaps foolish) concerns — with an emphasis on time passing by quicker than you ever expected it to pass. Shot with what appears to be either Super 8 film or an Instagram-like filter, the recently released video further emphasizes the song’s wistful vibes in a way that feels classic yet contemporary.