Tag: Nirvana

New Audio: French Producer Ukiyoe Releases a Trippy and Infectious Banger

Born in Southern France, the emerging Paris-based artist Ukiyoe grew up surrounded by and immersed in music: she listened to Nirvana, George Michael, The Cure, Ellen Allien, punk rock and cold wave; in fact, the emerging French artist can trace her love of music to listening to George Michael’s “Amazing.”

As Ukiyoe got older, she began to sing and write original material about life and love, eventually developing a difficult to pigeon sound and style that draws from and meshes alternative, indie pop and techno. Interestingly, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, the emerging Paris-based artist released new material including her debut single “Angel” earlier this year. Her latest single “On est tous des animals” is a dense layered and trippy take on techno featuring skittering beats and the Paris-based artist’s vocals fed through distortion. Interestingly, the track is a mischievously forward-thinking yet accessible song.

New VIdeo: Follow St. Vincent on a Gritty 70s Inspired Heist

Initially starting her professional career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree and as a touring member of Sufjan Stevens’ touring band, the Tulsa-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist and frontperson with her acclaimed project St. Vincent. Since the release of 2007’s full-length debut Marry Me, Clark’s work has continued to grow in stature and complexity with her self-titled fourth album winning a 2014 Grammy for Best Alternative Album, making her only the second female artist to ever win in that category.

Along with her work as a solo artist, Clark has collaborated with the legendary David Byrne on 2012’s Love This Giant, performed with the living members of Nirvana at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and da 2019 Grammy Awards duet with Dua Lipa.

Clark collaborated with co-producer Jack Antonoff on 2017’s critically applauded, smash hit album MASSEDUCATION, an album that landed on both the US and UK Top 10 Charts while landing at #1 of the Best of 2017 list of The New York Times and The Guardian — and placing high on the Best of 2017 lists of The AV Club, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Mashable, New York Daily News, NME, Paste, Pitchfork, Q, Stereogum, USA Today and a length list of others. 2018’s MassEducation found Clark collaborating with pianist Thomas Bartlett: Recorded over two nights in August 2017, the effort found Clark stripping back MASSEDUCATION’s material to its bare bones, revealing the vulnerable and earnest songwriting at their core.

MASSEDUCATION’s title track won a Grammy for Best Rock Song with the album winning another Grammy for Best Recording Package in 2019. As she was celebrating an enviable run of critical and commercial success, Clark’s father was released from prison. Clark began writing a new batch of materials which would become her soon-to-be released seventh album, Daddy’s Home. Daddy’s Home thematically closes the loop the loop on a journey that began with her father’s incarceration back in 2019 — and it ultimately led her back to the vinyl records her dad had introduced her when she was child — the gritty and sleazy rock records written and recorded in New York between 1971-1975.

Interestingly, Daddy’s Home’s latest single, “Down” is centered around a groove that’s simultaneously sultry and anxious with the track evoking images of the legendarily sleazy New York: in this case, a coke and booze fueled bender that starts at the local bar, features a stop at CBGB’s or Max’s Kansas City to see Blondie or Ramones before heading off to Studio 54. Warhol is somewhere in this picture, right? Now, while some critics have compared the album’s overall aesthetic and sound to Young Americans-era Bowie and Prince, “Down” to my ears reminds me more of Station to Station and Lodger-era Bowie. It’s far more anxious and murkier with a bit of menace seeping through.

Co-directed by Clark and Bill Benz, the recently released video features Clark in Candy Darling-like regalia through an anxious chase that’s one part French Connection and one part drug-fueled, paranoid fever dream. It fits the song’s careening and glitchy groove perfectly.

New Video: Watch JOVM Mainstays Warish Appear on a Trainwreck of a Late Night Show

With the release of their 2019 full-length debut, Down In Flames, the San Diego-based noise punk trio Warish — currently founding member Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals), Alex Bassaj (bass) and Justin de la Vega (drums) — quickly established a reputation for crafting mosh pit friendly, bludgeoning rippers, that bring early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others to mind.

The San Diego-based JOVM mainstays’ 13-song sophomore album Next To Pay officially drops today and the album finds the noise punk trio at their darkest and most vicious.“Next To Pay is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone is going to die,” Warish’s Riley Hawk says in press notes. “It’s not the happiest record, I guess.” Sonically, the album finds the band continuing to draw from the same influences as its predecessor, but while pushing their sound in a much more forceful — and in turn, nastier — direction, with the album’s guitar sound being heavily influenced by the work of Greg Ginn and Buzz Osborne — i.e., wiry contortions drenched in various chorus effect pedals. “This album is more of an evolution, it’s a little more punk-heavy,” Hawk adds. “We figured out what our sound was.”  

It could be argued that the band’s sonic evolution was informed by a massive lineup changes within the band: The band’s original drummer Nick “Broose” McDonnell plays on roughly half the album’s songs while their newest drummer Justin de la Vega played on the more recently written and recorded tracks. Alex Bassaj joined the band after their debut was recorded, so Next To Pay marks his official Warish debut. 

So far I’ve written about three of the album’s released singles:

“Seeing Red,” a breakneck, Bleach-era Nirvana like ripper centered around Hawk’s howled vocals, scuzzy power chords, a forceful and chugging bass line paired with pummeling drumming that continues a run of mosh pit friendly material — but with a feral snarl. 
“S.H.M. (Second Hand Misery)” another breakneck ripper that sonically reminded me of a gritty synthesis of Nirvana and Melvins — but full of bile and evil intentions. 
Scars,” a piss and bile fueled ripper that managed to sound like a synthesis of
Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica.

“Destroyer,” Next To Pay’s fourth and latest single is a furious and snarling ripper that may remind some folks of Melvins, Nevermind-era Nirvana and others, as its centered around fuzzy and distorted power chords, thunderous drumming and distorted vocals. Much like its predecessors, “Destroyer” is the sort of song meant to play excessively loud and jump into a mosh pit full of sweaty and jubilant humans. God, I fucking miss shows.

Filmed by Lannie Rhoades and Nate Correia, the recently released video throws the members of Warish on a low-budget, train wreck of a talk show, hosted by an indifferent and sarcastic host. The interview segment is cringe-inducing and full of Dad jokes, followed by a live performance of sorts much like a real talk show.

Next To Pay is out now through RidingEasy Records. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Warish Release another Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

With the release of their 2019 full-length debut, Down In Flames, the San Diego-based noise punk trio Warish — currently founding member Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals), Alex Bassaj (bass) and Justin de la Vega (drums) — quickly established a reputation for crafting mosh pit friendly, bludgeoning rippers, that bring early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others to mind.  

The San Diego-based JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album, the 13-song Next To Pay reportedly finds the noise punk trio at their darkest and most vicious. “Next To Pay is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone is going to die,” Warish’s Riley Hawk says in press notes. “It’s not the happiest record, I guess.” The album’s material sonically finds the band continuing to draw from the same influences as its predecessor, but while pushing their sound in a much more forceful — and in turn, nastier — direction, heavily influenced by the guitar work of Greg Ginn and Buzz Osborne — wiry contortions drenched in various chorus effect pedals. “This album is more of an evolution, it’s a little more punk-heavy,” Hawk adds. “We figured out what our sound was.” 

Along with that evolution, the band went through a massive lineup change. The band’s original drummer Nick “Broose” McDonnell plays on roughly half the album’s songs while their newest drummer Justin de la Vega played on the more recently written and recorded tracks. Bassaj joined the band after their debut was recorded, so Next To Pay marks his official Warish debut. 

So far I’ve written about two of the album’s released singles:

“Seeing Red,” a breakneck, Bleach-era Nirvana like ripper centered around Hawk’s howled vocals, scuzzy power chords, a forceful and chugging bass line paired with pummeling drumming that continues a run of mosh pit friendly material — but with a feral snarl. 
“S.H.M. (Second Hand Misery)” another breakneck ripper that sonically reminded me of a gritty synthesis of Nirvana and Melvins — but full of bile and evil intentions.

“Scars,” Next to Pay’s third and latest single continues a remarkable run of piss and bile fueled rippers — but with this one managing to sound a bit like a synthesis of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica. Fittingly, the recently released video brings 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind, as it features the band performing the song in a studio in front of various colored background.

The JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album Next To Pay is slated for an April 30, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Warish Release a Hilariously Demented Visual

With the release of their full-length debut, 2019’s Down In Flames, the San Diego-based noise punk trio Warish — currently founding member Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals), Alex Bassaj (bass) and Justin de la Vega (drums) — quickly established a reputation for crafting mosh pit friendly, bludgeoning rippers, that would bring early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others to mind for listeners.

The San Diego-based JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album, the 13-song Next To Pay reportedly finds the noise punk trio at their darkest and most vicious. “Next To Pay is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone is going to die,” Warish’s Riley Hawk says in press notes. “It’s not the happiest record, I guess.” The album’s material sonically finds the band continuing to draw from the same influences as its predecessor, but while pushing their sound in a much more forceful — and in turn, nastier — direction, heavily influenced by the guitar work of Greg Ginn and Buzz Osborne — wiry contortions drenched in various chorus effect pedals. “This album is more of an evolution, it’s a little more punk-heavy,” Hawk adds. “We figured out what our sound was.” 

Along with that evolution, the band went through a massive lineup change. The band’s original drummer Nick “Broose” McDonnell plays on roughly half the album’s song while their newest de la Vega played on the more recently written and recorded tracks. Bassaj joined the band after their debut was recorded, so Next To Pay marks his official Warish debut.

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Seeing Red,” a breakneck, Bleach-era Nirvana like ripper centered around Hawk’s howled vocals, scuzzy power chords, a forceful and chugging bass line paired with pummeling drumming that continues a run of mosh pit friendly material — but with a feral snarl.

“S.H.M. (Second Hand Misery),” Next To Pay’s latest single is a breakneck ripper featuring fuzzy, chugging power chords, a rousingly anthemic hook paired with Hawk’s yelps and howls. Sonically, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me of a gritty synthesis of Nirvana and Melvins, but full of bile and evil intentions.

Edited by the band’s Riley Hawk, the hilariously demented video features edited footage from Barney that features the enormous purple dinosaur and some innocent kids seemingly dancing and singing along to the song. “This video came to mind when I heard the ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ song by Barney playing somewhere while I was in a bad mood and was thinking, this song is kinda evil sounding. Then I went home and instantly started editing the video to the track ‘S.H.M.’ because it’s the polar opposite of ‘If You Are Happy And You Know It.’ It fit nicely I thought, hah.” 

The JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album Next To Pay is slated for an April 30, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records.

New Video: Jaguar Jonze’s Sensual and Cinematic Visuals for “Curled In”

Deena Lynch is a Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, multi-disciplinary artist and the creative mastermind behind three very different creative projects — the rising music project Jaguar Jonze, the narrative illustration project Spectator Jonze and the photography project Dusky Jonze. “Everything I do stems from the need for dialogue – Jaguar being an internal dialogue with my subconscious, Spectator being an external dialogue with others on mental health and the mind and Dusky being a dialogue with the body,” Lynch says.

All of her adjacent projects are powerful ways for Lynch to process and explore her most intimate vulnerabilities, mining the depths of her psyche and personality — while empowering and encouraging others to do the same. “I can’t do anything without meaning,” Lynch says of her Spectator Jonze project, which centers on bold and surreal pop-art that attempts to de-stigmatize mental-health issues through interviews and illustrated portraits of her subjects. Her 50th portrait, a year into the project, confronted her own PTSD stemming from an unstable, unsafe childhood. “I realized when I stepped out of hiding, I could actually move forward, feel less isolated. I want other people to unburden themselves from the wasted extra energy spent pretending and hiding,” the rising Aussie artist explains.

Sometimes, she finds her subjects; other times, they find her. “There’s a girl in the States; she’s still one of my favorite drawings,” Lynch recalls. “She reached out to me, having come to terms with her psychosis, depression and anxiety. The level of awareness and openness she had really moved me because I was oblivious to the stigma I still held over the mental illnesses I hadn’t yet been exposed to. We still have this pen pal relationship with each other. We’ve never met in person, but I think she’s one of the biggest supports in my everyday life.”

Her photography project Dusky Jonze focuses on toxic masculinity with provocative photos. “We don’t talk about toxic masculinity enough. So I thought of it’d be funny to shoot male photographers,” Lynch explains. “And they ere open to it. They’d say ‘You know what? This makes me a better photographer.’” As a result, the photo project has become a more fluid effort to undo insecurities and taboos that surround the male and female body within the engendered eye of the photographer. The photos are dramatic but there’s a playfully crass sense of humor. You may see male genitalia obscured with something phallic-like, like a banana. “I wanted it to be crass and crude. I like testing boundaries and making people question why they’re uncomfortable,” she says, laughing.

Interestingly, much of Lynch’s early success has stemmed from instinct and a healthy dash of good ol’ serendipity: When the rising Aussie artist turned 19, she fell into music after a close friend died. As the story goes, while she was walking home one day, she passed a garage sale, where she purchased her first guitar on a whim. Without a single lesson, she began writing songs as a way to help her manage her grief. “He was always in my ear about living life passionately—he could see that I was falling into this societal structure of doing what everyone expects you to,” says Lynch. “He left behind so much; amazing artwork, poetry and film. He was/is inspiring.”

Lynch’s musical project Jaguar Jonze can trace its origins back to a serendipitous moment: while playing an Iggy Pop tribute night in her native Brisbane, she witnessed an unhinged performance of an artist emulating Iggy that made her realize that she needed to up her game. “So, I cracked down two tequila shots,” she recalls. And then she became a roaring banshee. “Everything I ever suppressed came spilling out. My shame and inhibitions broke down. I wasn’t afraid.” After that performance, everyone started calling her Jaguar Jonze, which of course, has stuck.

With her first three original singles –“Beijing Baby,” “You Got Left Behind” and “Rabbit Hole,” Lynch quickly became a buzzworthy sensation in her native Australia: CoolAccidents named her an “Artist to Watch” after catching Lynch perform at 2019’s BIGSOUND. She was also named a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist, which led to a collaborative cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box” with labelmates Hermitude on the station’s ongoing Like a Version cover series.

Lynch had plans for a massive 2020: She appeared Eurovision Australia Decides 2020, where she performed such a frantic and energetic version of “Rabbit Hole” that she wound up dislocating her shoulder — in front of a national television audience of about 2 million people. Last year, I chatted with Lynch, who played some of her first Stateside sets at that year’s New Colossus Festival, right as the world ground to a halt and everything turned to complete shit. And although things were uncertain for everyone, she released her debut EP, which featured the aforementioned singles “Rabbit Hole,” “Beijing Baby,” and “You Got Left Behind.”

Lynch’s sophomore EP ANTIHERO thematically sees Lynch’s Jaguar Jonze taking on the role of righteous and badass avenger, taking on everyone and anyone, who deserves it to task. And while that gives the material the feeling of a long overdue reply to everyone who has ever taken you for granted or pissed on your parade, the EP further establishes Lynch’s unique aesthetic both sonically and visually. Sonically, her work often possesses a gorgeous, cinematic quality but urgent and unafraid to proverbially cut down to the bone, getting at the most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.

“Curled In,” ANTIHERO EP’s latest single was cowritten with her bassist Aidan Hogg. Centered around slashing and twangy Ennio Morricone-inspired spaghetti Western-like guitars. skittering and tribal-like drumming, Lynch’s sultry and forceful vocals and an anthemic hook, “Curled In” is a cathartic single that finds its narrator realizing her own power — and in turn, how she could realize her own needs in her own way.

Directed by Ribas Hosn and Deena Lynch, the recently released video features art direction by Lynch. The gorgeous cinematic and sensual visual finds Lynch further establishing a fantastical cyberpunk world that dives deeply into her identity as an Asian-Australian woman while nodding at Kurosawa, Ghost in the Shell and others.

Throwback: Happy 54th Birthday Kurt Cobain!

I remember my response the first time I heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit:” I was 11 and was sitting in the backseat of my father’s brown ’79 Dodge Aspen — and my mind was blown. I was an instant fan and wanted more. And although I don’t listen to Nirvana as much as used to, the music that Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl wrote were an important part of my teen years.

Today would have been Kurt Coban’s 54th birthday. Thank you, Kurt for music that was so instrumental to me. Nirvana forever! Kurt Cobain forever!

Live Footage: Montreal’s Prieur & Landry Perform New Ripper “Surreal Memories”

Montreal-based duo Prieur & Landry — Gab Prieur and Elliot Landry — have developed and honed a sludgy power chord riff driven rock sound that draws from ’90s grunge rock and ’00s blues rock. But more than mere mimicry, the duo’s sound and approach thrives on a careful balance of intensity and nuance with their live set finding the duo expanding upon riffs and songs structures — at will.

Prieur & Landry recently released a live session shot in a bare, wood shed in Saguenay-Lac- St-Jean, Québec that featured the bluesy “For Once I Breathe in Control” and their latest single “Surreal Memories.” Centered around sludgy power chord driven riffs, thunderous drumming and howled Kurt Cobain-like vocals, “Surreal Memories” finds the Montreal-based duo crafting a mosh pit friendly ripper that will bring memories of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Tool to mind.

New Video: Emerging French Act Voie 81 Releases a Shimmering, Synth Pop Banger

Deriving their name from the French of word for “track” while simultaneously being a bit of a pun for the French word for voice voix and for 1981, a paradigm shifting year that saw an incredible array of changes in technology and across society, the Paris-band electro pop/New Wave duo Voie 81 prominently features three female vocalists hailing from Paris, Madrid, and Berlin, who sing unifying and socially conscious lyrics in German, English, Spanish and French.

The act’s full-length debut Ralentir which means “slow down” in French finds the act further developing a sound that’s heavily influenced by the analog synth sound of the 80s while thematically touches upon humans’ resistance to an unfair and unjust world and the hope for a better, fairer world. The album’s first single “Nirvana” is a euphoric track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, angular guitars and an arena friendly hook paired with vocals delivered in an ethereal yet sultry French. Sonically, the track finds the emerging French act nodding at early-to-mid 1980s New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Tour de France-era Kraftwerk and even contemporaries like DBFC.

Directed by the members of Voie 81, the recently released video for “Nirvana” is set in an industrial train yard as we follow, a boombox carrying dude and a gorgeous dancer, hang out and dance together before pulling out to follow a train track across the French train ride. The video manages to be playful and decidedly DIY.