Tag: Nile Rodgers

New Audio: Los Angeles’ Total Brutal Releases a Shimmering Pop Confection

Emily Moore is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who may be best known as a touring musician, who has shared stages with Grammy Award-winning act fun., Børns, Ella Vos, X Ambassadors and a lengthy list of others. Moore is also the creative mastermind behind the indie pop, solo recording project Total Brutal. And withTotal Brutal, Moore’s goal is to spread positivity and self-empowerment, based on an ethos of standing up for yourself in order to be heard and seen, facing fears head on –and most importantly, being comfortable in your own skin.

Inspired by a series of strong female artists, Moore is determined to help other young women make their worth known and their voices heard. “It took me a really long time to understand that I am allowed to speak up, have opinions and speak directly,” Moore explains. “I’m starting to realize that I can be myself and be liked and professional all the same. I want to help foster that adventurous spirit and confidence in young women!”

Moore’s latest Total Brutal single “Egypt” is a slickly produced, dance floor friendly, pop confection centered around a sinuous bass line, shimmering synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like guitar, an infectious hook and Moore’s self-assured yet coquettish vocals. Seemingly indebted to 80s New Wave and synth pop, the track finds its narrator desperately trying to connect with the feeling of childhood excitement over what the future could hold. Of course, the past year has had us feeling fearful and uncertain — but the infectious track manages to remind the listener that there’s hope for something better, as long as you’re still here.

Moore confides, “I constantly need to remind myself to play more and lighten up. It’s easy to get lost in the seriousness of life but I want to go through life having fun and viewing everything with curiosity.”

New Audio: Penguin Prison Releases an Upbeat and Hopeful New Banger

Chris Glover is a New York-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and electro pop artist best known as Penguin Prison. With Penguin Prison, Glover has a critically applauded discography that includes 2011’s self-titled debut and 2015’s Lost In New York — and a handful of viral hits including “Don’t Fuck With My Money,” “Show Me The Way” and RAC’s “Hollywood.” Additionally, Glover has released acclaimed remixes of Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, and Imagine Dragons.

Glover’s latest Penguin Prison single “Better” is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed pop artist since last year’s “The Heat.” Beginning with a arpeggiated piano and soulful vocal-led intro with the quick addition of layered harmony, handclaps and shimmering synths, the track turns into a rousingly anthemic banger with the addition a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar and an even more uptempo, two-step inducing groove. Subtly nodding at soul and gospel spirituals, the song was written with the direct intention of uplifting listeners and inspiring them to hold on to the hope of a better world — even if it’s just for the duration of a fun pop song. Honestly, considering the dire state of everything, the song offers a necessary escape, as all great pop songs inevitably do.

“This song is my response to the times we find ourselves in,” Glover explains. “The global pandemic, social injustice, climate change; it’s overwhelming. I wanted to write about rising above it all. I want the listener to feel hopeful that we can find a way to get through even if it’s just for the duration of the song.”


New Video: Tallinn Estonia’s Lexsoul Dancemachine Release a Wild Action Movie-Inspired Visual for Swaggering “Carambola Jelly”

Formed back in 2013, the Talinn, Estonia-based funk sextet Lexsoul Dancemachine — Condor (vocals, congas), Jonas Mattius Sarapuu (keys), Kristen Kütner (keys, guitar, cowbell), Caspar Salo (drums, percussion). Jürgen Kütner (guitar) and Martin Laksberg (bass) — have developed reputation for turning venues into sweaty dance parties across Estonia and the other Baltic States with an infectious, feel good take on funk centered around thumping and propulsive bass lines, syncopated rhymes, infectious dance floor friendly grooves and soulful vocals.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Estonian funk sextet self-produced their debut effort, 2015’s Deus Lex Machina, which went on to receive praise from DJs and listeners alike — with “Beef Grinder” receiving airplay on Craig Charles’ BBC 6 and BBC 2 Funk & Soul Show and then being included on the compilation Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Vol. 4. Building upon a rapidly growing profile. the act spent the following year extensively touring with key sets at some of the region’s biggest festivals including Talinn Music Week, Positivus, Funky Elephant and Finland’s Pori Jazz Festival.

Mid 2016 saw the release of “Coconuts,” a tropical disco-influenced, funky tune that received attention globally while topping local radio charts. And as a result of the enthusiastic response to the single internationally, the members of Lexsoul Dancemachine were encouraged and continued onward with their new sonic direction,. In 2017, the Estonian funk act went on their first UK tour, playing successful shows in London, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds with a sold-out Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club show at Band on the Wall. Further encouraged by a growing international profile, Lexsoul Dancemachine wrote and recorded their sophomore effort 2018’s Sunny Holiday in Lexico, which was released through Funk Embassy Records.

The rapidly rising Tallinn-based outfit is currently working on their third album — but in the meantime, their latest single “Carambola Jelly” is an infectious and swaggering, funky disco-tinged, club banger centered around a propulsive bass line, shimmering synth arpeggios, four-on-the-floor, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and Condor’s self-assured and sultry vocals. But peel back the layers a bit, and you’ll discover a song that playfully nods at Latin funk, tropicalia, jazz, and Larry Levan house within an expansive, jammy song structure.

Directed by cult Ugandan low budget action movie director Nabwana I.G.G., the recently released video for “Carambola Jelly” is set in the slums of Kampala. While telling a Taken-like tale of a woman being abducted and her loved ones desperately searching for her, we see some surrealistic yet gorgeous moments of profound joy — in which we see people captured by the groove in the middle of action movie tropes. There’s also cameo from the band, too. Of course, the video ends with a happy ending with a romantic reunion of the video’s central couple.

Tomode is an emerging Swedish funk act founded by Carl Leanderson and Viktor Westerberg. Interestingly, the act can trace its origins to Leanderson’s and Westerberg’s mutual love of funk and disco. After spending a couple of years developing and honing their sound, the Swedish duo’s debut single “Destiny, No. 20” firmly establishes their sound and approach: featuring Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, shimmering synths, a sinuous bass line and shuffling four-on-the-floor, and an enormous hook, “Destiny, No. 20” will command comparisons to Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky,” and Chic’s “Good Times.” And much like those songs, the song is centered around a wistful and aching desire to escape — in nostalgia, as much as it is to escape to the dance floor.

“We want to make music that can act as a remedy to the slight despair we all feel, living
through the 2020’s,” the members of the emerging Swedish funk pop act say in press notes. ” Destiny No. 20 opens the door to everything we love – it’s got vibrant
drums, pulsating arpeggios, disco guitars and a funky bassline. It’s as much ‘Good Times’ with Chic as it is ‘Dancing On My Own‘ with Robyn. Hopefully it ignites a spark somewhere out there in the darkness.”

The band plans to release material throughout the summer — with their debut EP slated for release during the fall.

New Audio: Video Age Releases a Slow-Burning and Shimmering New Single

With the release of their first two albums, 2016’s full-length debut Living Alone and 2018’s sophomore album Pop Therapy, the New Orleans-based act Video Age — founding members Ross Farbe and Ray Micarelli, along with Nick Corson and Duncan Troast — received attention for crafting hook-driven material with a decidedly 80s synth pop-inspired sound.

Following the release of Pop Therapy, the band’s songwriting partners and co-founders Farbe and Micarelli were eager to write new material and continue upon the momentum they had just started to build up. The band convened at Farbe’s home studio to work on the band’s highly anticipated third album, Pleasure Line, which is slated for an August 7, 2020 release through Winspear, who recently signed the band.

Inspired by a vast range of influences including Janet Jackson, David Bowie and Paul McCartney, Pleasure Line finds the band crafting neon-bright 80s pop-like melodies to create an optimistic sound — with the material taking on a rosy hue.  “I’m often trying to create a more idealized version of the world I’m in,” Video Age’s Ross Farbe says in press notes. “In fact, some of that optimism may come as a result of both Farbe and Micarelli getting married this year — just a few weeks apart from each other. “We’re feeling the love,” Farbe says. 

Written as a salve that protects against cynicism. the album’s material is meant to help the listener see and feel a world full of romantic potential. But the album isn’t centered around one-dimensional puppy love — it’s the sort of fulfilling love that’s complicated, confusing and never easy; but ultimately worth it. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Shadow On The Wall” a decidedly  80s synth pop track — i.e., Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads and early Madonna — with a subtle hint of 70s AM rock. But while the track is superficially dance floor friendly, it manages to hint at something much darker under the surface. Pleasure Line’s second and latest single, album title track “Pleasure Line” is a slow- burning Quiet Storm meets Prince-like track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and an infectious hook. Interestingly, the song manages to be thematically about a restless anxiousness that eventually turns into possibility and love; of making comfort out of discomfort.  

New Video: Tanners Releases a Disco-Inspired Visual for Glittering “Night Move”

Tanners is a somewhat mysterious and rising Brooklyn-based pop singer/songwriter and producer, who throughout her relatively young professional career has been driven by the urgent need to stand out from a crowded field of pop artists and really connect with listeners, by writing about mental health and other topics with a heartfelt earnestness. 

In the past year, the rising Brooklyn-based artist has played at Rough Trade and at The Playstation Theater for the annual TEDxTeen event — and she her music has been featured in a number of major media outlets. including NYLON, Earmilk, Stereogum, Rolling Stone France and a list of others. Building upon a growing profile, Tanners’ latest single, the dance floor friendly “Night Moves” is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar, and a two-step including groove. And while seemingly indebted to 80s synth funk like Cherelle, Daft Punk and contemporaries like Rush Midnight, the track manages to have a dark underbelly: thematically, the song focuses on the feelings of regret and self-loathing that many people have had over the few months of quarantine for not being as productive as they should be. 

Employing a necessary DIY ethos as a result of of COVID, the recently released video stars Tanners as a character named Mother Disco, who performs the song inside a glittering disco ball, but adding to the 70s vibe are the some trippy kaleidoscopic effects in which we see three Tanners at a time.  “We threw ourselves into this music video with no prep, barely any gear, no storyboard or concept but we embraced the limitations and leaned into this kitschy, low-budget vibe,” said Tanners of the video inspired by The Cher Show. She continues, “For me, there’s nothing better than creating something that’s colorful and aesthetically pleasing and also makes you laugh at the same time.”

New Audio: Montpelier France’s JayJayBrass Band Releases a Party Friendly New Single

Formed in 2018 and  led by its founding member and bandleader JayJay (trumpet), the Montpellier, France-based brass act JayJayBrass Band specializes in a modern take on the classic brass band sound — one that features elements of hip-hop and funk. Last year, the band went into the studio to record their debut effort, which was released earlier this year and  features 9 original compositions and a cover of an Anderson .Paak song, as well as guest vocals from local emcee Loïs Hammel. 

The album’s “Radio Funk” is a swaggering and strutting bit of New Orleans-styled brass centered around some Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, swinging saxophone and trumpet lines, some muscular low end from the sousaphone within a dance floor friendly composition with big hooks. Loïs Hammel contributes a few party friendly rhymes on an already party friendly track. Considering how bleak things in our world are at the moment, a few moments of levity seem necessary. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Adeline Returns with a Sultry, Feel Good, Disco Banger

Initially making a name for herself as the frontwoman of the equally acclaimed dance music/nu-disco outfit Escort, the New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer and JOVM mainstay Adeline has developed a reputation as a solo artist of note, releasing her self-titled, full-length debut to critical praise from the likes of Vogue, NPR, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, The Fader and many others.

Adeline has opened for Anderson .Paak, Lee Fields, Chromeo, Big Freedia and Natalie Prass among others, which has helped to further cement her reputation for dazzling artists with her captivating live show and energetic presence. Adding to a growing profile as a solo artist, the JOVM mainstay has made appearances at a number of stops across the national festival circuit, including Afropunk, Funk on the Rocks and Winter Jazz Fest. And along with that, the New York-based artist has been one of the hardest working women in contemporary music, as she’s also a member of CeeLo Green’s touring band.

Intérimes EP, the highly-anticipated follow-up to her full-length debut is slated for a June 12, 2020 release and the EP will feature “Middle,” which she performed on CBS This Morning and the sultry Quiet Storm-like “Twilight,” which detailed the moment that both parties in a relationship realize that it’s over and that there’s nothing left to give, and nothing left to say. 

The Adeline and Morgan Wiley co-produced and Jonathan Singletary cowritten “After Midnight,” is the EP’s third and latest single. Featuring guest spots from Jaleel Bunton (guitar) and Jim Oroso (drums), “After Midnight” is an upbeat, feeling yourself and feeling good anthem, centered around twinkling and arpeggiated keys, propulsive drumming, a shuffling Nile Rodgers-like guitar line, a sinuous disco-influenced bass line, and a two-step inducing hook with the JOVM mainstay’s soulful, come-hither vocals. “After Midnight is a feel good song for anytime, day or night” says Adeline, noting that we can all use some feel good vibes right now. “The track was all about creating an undeniable groove. Something that’s fresh and fun yet classic and soulful at the same time.”

Shot at home, the recently release video for “After Midnight” follows the JOVM mainstay as she tries on different outfits and vamps for the camera. So we see Adeline serving up looks and fierceness — although she could easily be like the average person, gearing themselves up for a Friday or Saturday night on the town. 

Raised in Istanbul, Benjamin Dean, an emerging singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. who relocated to the US when he was a teenager. In his early 20s, he wound up in Atlanta, where he studied at Georgia State University‘s School of Music for about a year before leaving school to focus on his own creative projects.

After leaving Georgia State, Dean wound up performing at a a number of venues in the Atlanta area including Eddie’s Attic and Smith’s Olde Bar. Last year, Dean released a series of alternative folk singles before deciding that he should take his music in a completely new direction. Earlier this year, Dean started writing material, which began incorporating elements of New Wave funk, indie rock and R&B — with the end result being his latest EP, Tame the Beast, which was released earlier this year. The EP’s latest single “The Silence” is a slinky and funky track featuring shimmering and atmospheric synths Nile Rodgers-like guitar, thumping drums, a two-step inducing hook paired with Dean’s plaintive falsetto. And while centered around an incredibly upbeat air, the track sonically reminds me quite a bit of JOVM mainstays Tame Impala and Washed Out — earnest and thoughtful, yet dance floor friendly.