Tag: Norah Jones

If you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you’ve come across a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/dream pop duo Alyeska, and as you may recall the duo, which is comprised of Montana-born, Los Angeles-based frontwoman Alaska Reid and Ben Spear derive their name from an archaic spelling of the state of Alaska — and of course, Reid’s first name.

With the release of “Tilt A Whirl,” the first single off their John Agnello-produced debut EP, Crush, the duo began to receive attention across the blogosphere — as well as this site — for a sound that draws equally from 80s post-punk and New Wave, as it did from contemporary indie rock. The EP’s second single “Motel State of Mind,” as a moody and dramatic song that while meant to be a “rip off “rip off The Replacements” as Reid explained in an interview with Billboardmanaged to remind me quite a bit of Concrete Blonde‘s “Joey,” complete with a swooning heartache at its core. “Sister Buckskin,” the EP’s third single continued in the 80s post-punk/New Wave/college radio vein, as it managed to remind me of The Pretenders; but underneath the shimmering guitar work and anthemic hooks was a bitter sense of nostalgia over what could have have been — and just didn’t happen.

Since the release of Crush, the duo have gone on to open for the likes of Middle Kids, Frankie Cosmos and Blitzen Trapper but interestingly, the band recently released the EP’s latest single “Stones,” the last bit of music recorded at The Magic Shop, where David Bowie, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Norah Jones, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters once recorded albums. And while further cementing their reputation for crafting hook-laden, anthemic 80s-inspired rock, the “Stones” manages to make a subtle nod to Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as the song features some of the most impressive guitar work on the EP while bristling with a feral sensuality.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of founding members and primary songwriters Debbie Andrews and Mike Blaxill, the New York-based indie rock act Gladshot can trace their origins to when the duo met at a songwriter collective in which individual members performed and critiqued each other’s material. And at the time, Blaxill was writing roots rock-leaning material while Andrews work drew from pop and jazz; in fact, Andrews received a National Endowment of the Arts nod and had lessons with Joanne Brackeen, a session and touring pianist, who backed the likes of Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey and Stan Getz. Since their formation, the duo have developed a reputation for being uncompromising and restlessly creative as they’ve worked on a dystopian rock musical and writing songs that have appeared on TV shows on TNT, ABC and MTV.

Interestingly, the duo’s soon-to-be released, John Agnello-produced album These Are Vitamins find the band collaborating with a backing band — Jesse Murphy (bass), who’s best known as a member of Brazilian Girls; Tony Mason (drums), who’s played with Norah Jones and The Meters‘ Leo Nocentelli; and Tim Bright (guitar).  And the three new collaborators reportedly add to the push-and-pull dynamics that Blaxill and Andrews developed and perfected on the Maxwell’s Cool Demon EP — all while finding the band’s sound moving towards 90s alt rock-inspired garage rock, complete with buzzing power chords as you’ll hear on “Simulation” the latest single off the duo’s soon-to-be released album; in fact, the new single manages to remind me of 90s era Sonic Youth and 120 Minutesera MTV.

You can catch Gladshot playing their album release show at Trans-Pecos on October 28, 2017.

 

 

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Jersey City, NJ-based shoegaze trio Overlake officially formed in 2012 and can trace its origins to when its founding duo, Thomas Bareett (vocals, guitar) and Lysa Opfer (vocals, bass) were bandmates in another, local hard rock band. Offer and Barrett began to bond over their mutual love of shoegaze and 80s-90s alt rock. After practices and rehearsals, the duo would spend time jamming together, and after about a year of jamming and songwriting, the duo recruited Nick D’Amore (drums) and recorded their 2014 full-length debut Sighs, which was praised for a sound that drew from My Bloody ValentinePavement and Sonic Youth among others.

Up until recently, it had been some time since I had written about the trio, but as it turns out the Jersey City-based shoegazers have been extremely busy as they’ve spent the past couple of years extensively touring across the US to support Sighs and the “Travelogue”/”Winter is Why” 7 inch and writing and recording their sophomore Fall, which is slated for a May 12, 2017 release through Bar/None Records. Reportedly, the material on the new album builds upon the massive and enveloping sound of their debut — while adding subtle yet gorgeous flourishes, including contributions from Claudia Chopek, who has worked with Norah Jones, TV on the Radio, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger and others, contributing piano and violin on a couple of songs. From the album’s first single “Winter Is Why,” the band has managed to subtly expand upon their sound — and while retaining the dreamy, enveloping quality that first caught attention, the song possesses a rousing, arena rock friendly, anthemic hook paired with Opfer and Barrett’s harmonies and some gorgeous guitar work that reminded me of A Northern Soul and Urban Hymns-era The Verve.

Fall‘s second and latest single “Gardener’s Bell” will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting dreamy bit of shoegaze featuring Opfer and Barrett’s ethereal and swooning harmonies, paired with shimmering and swirling guitar work, propulsive drumming and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while continuing to be warmly, enveloping the song manages to be most 120 Minutes-era alt rock sounding song they’ve released in some time.

 

 

Comprised of its founding duo Thomas Barrett (vocals, guitar) and Lysa Opfer (vocals bass) along with Nick D’Amore (drums), who joined the band in 2015,  the Jersey City, NJ-based shoegazer trio Overlake officially formed in 2012 and can trace its origins to when its founding duo were bandmates in a local hard rock band.  Opfer and Barrett began to bond over their mutual love of shoegaze and 80s and 90s alt rock and after practices and rehearsals, the duo would spend time jamming together — and after about a year of jamming and songwriting, the duo recorded their 2014 full-length debut Sighs, which was praised for a sound that drew from My Bloody ValentinePavement and Sonic Youth among others.

Now, in terms of the JOVM universe, it’s been some time since I’ve written about the trio but as it turns out the New Jersey-based shoegazers have been pretty busy as they’ve spent the past couple of years extensively touring the US in support of Sighs and the “Travelogue”/”Winter is Why” 7 inch and writing and recording their sophomore Fall, which is slated for a May 12, 2017 release through Bar/None Records. Reportedly, the new album will build upon the massive and enveloping sound of their debut while adding some subtle flourishes as Claudia Chopek, who has worked with Norah Jones, TV on the Radio, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger and others, contributes piano and violin on a couple of songs. And from the album’s first single “Winter Is Why”  the band has continued to subtly expand upon their sound — while retaining a dreamy and enveloping quality to the moody proceedings, the song posses a m  a rousing, arena rock-friendly, anthemic hook and Opfer and Barrett harmonized choruses paired with some gorgeous guitar work that conveys a muscular and forceful insistence that reminds me a bit of A Northern Soul and Urban Hymns-era The Verve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Led by its Rochester, NY-born, Brooklyn-based bandleader dholi, drummer and composer Sunny Jain (a dhol, is a shoulder slung, two-headed drum, typically one of the main instruments of bhangra), who has  recorded several jazz albums with his Sunny Jain Collective and has collaborated with Norah Jones, Peter Gabriel, Q-Tip, and the acclaimed Pakistani Sufi rock band Junoon and others; and featuring John Altieri (sousaphone), Ernest Stuart (trombone), Jonathon Haffner (saxophone), Sonny Singh (trumpet), Chris Eddleton (drums), Rohin Khemani (drums), and newest member Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), the newly-constituted Brooklyn-based octet Red Baarat, whose name derives its name from a baraat, a wild wedding procession that Jain explains in press notes includes a groom on top of a horse, extended friends and family singing and dancing, usually led by a brass band and for what the color red symbolizes in both Indian and American culture. (Red is typically worn at traditionally Indian weddings and symbolizes fiery passion; the sort of passion that Jain and company have towards music and the passion they elicit from listeners.)

Although the band formed back in 2008, with the release of their critically applauded and commercially successful sophomore effort, Shruggy Ji, the members of the Brooklyn-based collective developed a national and international profile for a seamless, genre and boundary-defying sound that draws from Indian classical music, bhangra, hip-hop, rock and pop with rousingly anthemic hooks and a dance floor friendly funk, based around Jain’s utopian vision and faith that communication across cultures simply takes empathy, creativity, love and a willingness to surrender to the spirit of music, art — and of the moment. And as a result of Shruggy Ji‘s critical and commercial success, the band has played some of the world’s biggest, most renowned music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD Festivals in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, played sold out headlining shows at the Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Bowery Ballroom and have performed at the request of The White House, TED and the Olympic Games. Considering that we’re living in a presidential administration that is ruled around hate and distrust of outsiders and others, Jain and company’s mission seems not just hopeful; but proudly, defiantly revolutionary.

The band’s forthcoming (and much-anticipated) third full-length effort Bhangra Pirates is the first album with the band’s latest addition, guitarist Johnathan Goldberger, who adds psychedelic and surrealistic textures and percussive guitar lines. Additionally, the band has played a bit with their sound as the dhol and sousaphone also have been processed in a subtle fashion —  while retaining the enormous, propulsive, tribal stomp and equally enormous New Orleans brass-leaning horn section that won them international attention as you’ll hear on the rousing single “Bhangale,” which features guest spots from Delicate Steve. What has personally won me over with their sound  — and you’ll hear it on “Bhangale” is that there’s a sweaty, “you-are-there” improvised feel, in which the musicians seem to quickly get into a sustained and forceful groove and follow it and each other to its inevitable conclusion. And frankly, if it doesn’t make you get up and start stomping around and shouting along with them, there’s something wrong.