Tag: noise pop

New Video: The Acharis Share a Trippy Video for Brooding “False Positive”

Oakland-based shoegazer outfit The Acharis — life partners Shaun Wagner and Mila Puccini — features Bay Area music scene vets, who have played in a number of different bands over the years. Back in 2015, Wagner and Puccini decided to create something together, that was entirely theirs.

2017’s full-length debut, Lost in the Vortex saw the pair sharing vocal and songwriting duties, as well as playing every instrument on the album. The duo’s John Fryer-produced sophomore album Blue Sky/Grey Heaven finds Wagner and Puccini collaborating with a newly recruited live band crafting a much darker sound with a studio polish that stylistically ranges from fragile noise pop to fuzzed out shoeaze. The album’s material also sees the band delivering a wider spectrum of moods.

“False Positive,” Blue Sky/Grey Heaven‘s first single is a brooding and decidedly 120 Minutes MTV era-like anthem centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, ethereal boy-girl harmonies and an alternating quiet verse, loud chorus song structure. Sonically, “False Positive” seems to recall My Bloody Valentine, early Smashing Pumpkins and In Utereo era Nirvana — with a nasty, pissed off vibe.

“I came up with this riff when I was a teenager and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. The inspiration came from the huge sounding guitars on the first 2 Smashing Pumpkins albums. The original title was ‘Elephant’ as a nod to the Pumpkins track ‘Rhinoceros,'” the band explains in press notes. “When It came time to write the lyrics, I was walking around just being fucking bummed and wondering what I could possibly have to say to the world that would matter. I feel like often there is pressure to reveal some great truth or intelligent insight in a 3 minute rock song, which is just kind of ridiculous. I remember Kurt Cobain talking about how ‘Pennyroyal Tea‘ was about just being hopelessly depressed. So I took inspiration from that and just wrote about how I was feeling at the time. It has that kind of slacker 90’s vibe like yeah, everything is fucked, so what? It all comes full circle in the unintelligible screaming at the end of the song “There’s an elephant in the room. A rhinoceros. A hippopotamus. It’s true” 

The accompanying video for “False Positive” sees the duo performing and wandering in a trippy Victorian house, where they encounter surreal and mind-bending decor and backdrops.

New Video: Howless Shares a “120 Minutes” MTV-like Visual for Brooding “Rain and Ice”

Led by co-lead vocalists Dominique Sanchez and Mauricio Tinejro, the rising Mexico City, Mexico-based noise pop/shoegaze quartet Howless will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut, To Repel Ghosts on February 18, 2022 through Static Blooms Records.

Reportedly, To Repel Ghosts will see the Mexican shoegaze outfit grappling with big themes, while hinting at nervous foreboding and striking different levels of consciousness throughout the album’s eight crafted and dynamic songs. Sonically, the album’s songs seamlessly transition into the next — and are performed with the self-assuredness and effortless aplomb of a group of old pros.

Late last year, I wrote about album single “Levels.” Lyrically inspired by William Garvey’s “Goodbye Horses,” “Levels” saw the members of Howless pairing old-fashioned pop craftmanship and textured soundscapes with an uncanny ability to write a razor sharp hook.

“Rain and Ice,” To Repel Ghosts‘ brooding, new single is a slick synthesis of Garlands era Cocteau Twins-like atmospherics and A Storm in Heaven-like, painterly textures with the song featuring a glistening synth intro, layers of chiming, reverb-drenched guitars and forceful chug and thunderous drumming paired with Sanchez’s and Tinejro’s languid and beguiling harmonies. Perhaps one of the Mexican outfit’s heaviest and darkest songs — both sonically and thematically — of their growing catalog, “Rain and Ice” further establishes the band’s ability to craft melodic and hook-driven material while evoking the sensation of a flop sweat inducing fever dream.

The recently released video for “Rain and Ice” was shot on a VHS camcorder — for that grainy, analog quality. And as a child of of the 80s and 90s, the video reminds me of 120 Minutes MTV alt rock, complete with the band members standing and/or moving in front of trippy projections.

New Video: Kids On A Crime Spree Release a Furious New Ripper

Deriving their name after a San Francisco Examiner article by Bruce Kook and James Finefrock titled “Mousepacks: Kids On A Crime Spree,” which also inspired the late 70s exploitation film Over The Edge, the Oakland-based indie act Kids on a Crime Spree — longtime friends Bill Evans (guitar), Rebecca Barron (drums) and Mario Hernandez (vocals, guitar) — released their debut EP We Love You So Bad through Slumberland Records back in 2011. They followed that up with 2013’s “Creep the Creeps” and a 4-song split EP with fellow Bay Area indie outfit Terry Malts back in 2017. Each effort was short, punchy — and to-the-point.

Although their long-awaited full-length debut Fall In Love Not In Line has been a decade in the making, the album gives their devoted fans something they’ve always wanted — more. Written and recorded at Mario Hernandez’s analog home studio in Oakland, the 10-song DIY effort clocks in at a brisk 25 minutes — on 45 RPM vinyl — and is reportedly a solid assemblage of noise-pop exuberance that finds the band consciously moving beyond their idols, both in recording method and lyrical content, as the band’s Hernandez explains. While the band retains many of the elements that their fans have long loved — pelting drum beats, buoyant bass lines, chiming guitar lines and Hernandez’s distinct vocals, the material features more shifting tempos and melodies — and is reportedly much warmer and centered around a deeper unity of purpose.

Clocking in at a little under 3 minutes Fall In Love Not In Line‘s latest single “All Things Fade” is a blistering, breakneck ripper, centered around a persistently chugging rhythm section, relentless drumming, layers of chiming, reverb-drenched guitars, a garage rock-inspired solo, an enormous hook and Hernandez’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the song is one-part classic, scuzzy garage rock and one-part lovingly crafted, hook-driven pop, centered around a bittersweet realization that everything is transitory.

The recently released video employs a simple concept: the band all dressed in red and black ripping and roaring through the song in front of projections of a complicated schematic for something or another, mug shots of a hardened criminal and other images.

Fall In Love Not In Line is slated for a January 21, 2022 release through Slumberland Records.

New Video: Mexico City’s Howless Releases a Nostalgia Inducing Visual for Anthemic Single “Levels”

Rising Mexico City, Mexico-based noise pop/shoegaze quartet Howless is led by co-lead vocalists Dominique Sanchez and Mauricio Tinejro. The Mexican indie outfit’s highly-anticipated full-length debut, To Repel Ghosts is slated for a February 18, 2022 through Static Blooms Records.

Thematically, To Repel Ghosts sees the rising Mexican quartet grappling with big themes, while hinting at nervous foreboding and striking different levels of consciousness throughout the album’s eight crafted and dynamic songs that seamlessly transition into the next. And they manage to do so with the self-assuredness and effortless aplomb of a group of old pros.

“Levels,” To Repel Ghosts‘ latest single was lyrically inspired by William Garvey’s “Goodbye Horses” and centered around chiming guitars, booming 808 tom fills, arpeggiated synths, alternating boy-girl vocals and a rousingly anthemic chorus. “Levels” sees the rising Mexican indie outfit pairing old fashion pop craftsmanship with textured soundscapes and an uncanny ability to write a razor sharp hook.

The recently released video for “Levels” is features VHS shot footage of an early 90s club night and dance competition, And while being goofy and nostalgia-inducing, the video — for me, at least — captures young people at their most carefree and fun, and when things seemed far simpler.

New VIdeo: Hamburg’s Seasurfer Releases a Surreal and Brooding Visual for “SOS”

Dirk Knight is a Hamburg-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and grizzled scene vet. Knight’s musical career began back in the 90s: his previous band Dark Orange was a pioneering act in the Heavenly Voices scene — and as a result, he collaborated with Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie. With his latest recording project Seasurfer, which he started in 2013, the Hamburg-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist eschews the traditional rock band set up and collaborates with a rotating cast of vocalists and musicians, who help flesh out the project’s sound. Through his first two critically applauded Seasurfer albums, Knight has worked with members of Trespassers William, Whimsical, Jaguwar and Last Leaf Down.

Knight’s third Seasurfer album Zombies was released last month through Reptile Music and the album finds the Hamburg-based act refining the sound that has won them fans internationally: while still retaining the fuzziness and layers of reverb, the German, there has been an increased focus on drawing from cold wave and dark wave influences — with the material employing the use of synths, motorik-like grooves, and synthetic beats in what the act has dubbed “electrogaze for dancers and dreamers alike.”

Written and recorded during tight pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, Zombies thematically crafts a dark and murky portrait of a society on the brink of annihilation. Interestingly, the album is the first Seasurfer album that features Knight playing and recording all of the instrumentation and contributing some vocals. The first part of the album finds Knight collaborating with singer/songwriter Apolonia. As the duo were putting the finishing touches on Zombies, they both had the distinct impression of the world completely losing its mind: Of course, there’s the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19; but there’s also self-serving political leaders ruled by greed, corruption and lust, as well as the largely ignored, yet unavoidable global climate catastrophe. And the entire ordeal made the duo feel as though they were zombies stumbling through a lost world.

Zombies also will feature a digital only eight track mini album release, The Dreampop Days, which finds Knight collaborating with Kirilan Camera’s Elena Alice Fossi. But in the meantime, Zombies’ latest single, is the dark and brooding “SOS.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, motorik grooves, thumping and skittering beats and industrial clink, clang and clatter, paired with Apolonia’s ethereal cooing. Arguably one of the act’s more dance floor friendly and seductive songs, “SOS” immediately brings 80s post punk and goth to mind — but while reminding me a little bit of No Swoon, Lightfoils, BLACKSTONE RNGRS and the rest of St. Marie Records roster.

The recently released video by JH Rochereuil.is spilt between gorgeously shot footage in black and white, stock footage, psychedelic imagery, digital fuzz, ubiquitous COVID-19 virus and color footage of a political protest/uprising. And it manages to further emphasizes the bleakness of its accompanying audio.

New Audio: No Joy’s Jasamine White-Gluz and Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom Team Up for an Atmospheric and Eerie Single off Collaborative EP

Over the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based shogeaze duo No Joy. Interestingly, the duo, which is comprised of primary songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd can trace their origins to when White-Gluz, who was then living in Los Angeles began collaborating with the Montreal-based Lloyd via email — and their collaboration eventually lead to White-Gluz returning to Montreal, so that they could play their first show, with Husker Du’s Grant Hart. As the story goes, after that show, White and Gluz continued collaborating, playing a number of shows locally, including with Best Coast, who’s frontwoman Bethany Cosentino became an early champion of the duo.
Building upon the growing buzz surround the Montreal-based duo, White-Gluz and Lloyd signed to renowned indie label Mexican Summer, who released their debut 7 inch single “No Summer”/”No Joy,” an effort that allowed them to book their own national headlining tour with Katy Goodman’s, La Sera. The 7 inch quickly sold out, and by November 2010, the duo released their full-length debut Ghost Blonde to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, AllMusic.com, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian and others. No Joy followed that with the British release of the “Hawaii” 7 in, a release that featured a remix of “Indigo Child,” by Stereolab‘s Tim Gane, which they supported with a UK tour with  Surfer Blood, an opening spot in London for Wire, and an appearance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.
The  members of No Joy spent the better part of 2011 touring across North America — and it included a busy SXSW schedule, a tour with Vivian Girls, and a co-headling tour with Marnie Stern with whom they released a split single, which featured No Joy’s cover of the Shangri-La’s “He Cried.” Since then, the band has released 2012’s Negaverse EP and Wait to Pleasure, 2013’s Pastel and Pass Out EP, 2015’s More Faithful, 2016’s Drool Sucker, the first of a planned series of EPs and last year’s Creep, which was released through the band’s new label Grey Market Records.

Interestingly, this year finds No Joy’s White-Gluz collaborating with Spacemen 3’s and E.A.R.’s Sonic Boom (a.k.a. Pete Kember), and although the collaborators can’t accurately remember how they met or when they met, but what they do clearly recall is that the idea of collaborating together was brought up in an email exchange back in 2015. At the time, No Joy had finishing touring to support their third album More Faithful, an album that the duo has considered one of their most difficult and demanding efforts they’ve worked on together, and White-Gluz was eager to try new ideas and do something different. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” White-Gluz explains in press notes. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

Initially, the collaboration began as a bit of exploration between two friends, who admired each other’s work with each one passing songs back and and forth with White-Gluz writing and producing songs in her hometown of Montreal and Kember writing, arranging and producing in Portugal. The end result was their collaborative EP together — four tracks that reportedly walk the tightrope between electronica, trip hop and experimental noise.  As White-Gluz says in press notes, “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

Now, as you may recall, the EP’s first single “Obsession” featured a Giorgio Moroder meets Evil Heat-era Primal Scream-like production featuring shimmering and undulating club friendly synths and a mesmerizing, trance-like groove. “Slorb,” the EP’s latest single is a slow-burning and atmospheric track which features a minimalist production consisting of wobbling synths and electronics, brief bursts of guitar, and skittering beats within a highly unusual song structure — and interestingly enough, the song finds the collaborators nodding at experimental pop, ambient electronica and noise pop simultaneously.