Tag: NPR

With the release of their politically charged, fourth, full-length album Running Out of Love, the Stockholm, Sweden-based pop duo The Radio Dept., comprised of Johan Duncanson and Martin Carlberg earned praise from the likes of NPR, PitchforkThe Atlantic and others. Building upon a growing profile, the Swedish pop duo recently released their latest single, the jangling and yearning “Your True Name,” which the band noting that the “song is about faith in a way, not divine but utopian, believing in something that will probably never be. And it’s about falling short, sometimes with your goal just barely out of reach.” As a result, the song manages to be simultaneously optimistic yet bittersweet  — all while reminding us that life is often about hoping for something, trying to achieve it, getting knocked down and getting back up to go for it again. (Interestingly, the single is the first release from the band’s own label, Just So!)

The members of The Radio Dept. will be embarking on a Stateside tour that begins on January 29, 2018 in Los Angeles and includes a February 3, 2018 stop at Warsaw. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates

1/29: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre

1/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

2/1: Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

2/2: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre

2/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw

2/4: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

New Video: Dream Wife’s Dystopian Anime-Influenced Visuals for Anthemic New Single “Hey! Heartbreaker”

Deriving their name as a commentary on society’s objectification of women, the London-based punk rock trio Dream Wife, comprised of Icelandic-born, London-based Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals) and Bella Podapec (bass, vocals) met while the trio were attending art school in Brighton, UK — with Mjöll, Go and Podapec forming the band in 2015 as part of an art project conceptualized around the  idea of a band born out of one girl’s memories of growing up in Canada during the 1990s.  And since their formation, the trio quickly developed a national profile, as they’ve received critical praise for their earliest releases and their live shows from the likes of NPR, DIY, Stereogum, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly and others. Adding to a growing profile, the trio have toured across the European Union, opened for Sleigh Bells and The Kills during their respective US tours, and have played a number of the world’s biggest festivals, including SXSW.

Dream Wife’s highly anticipated self-titled debut is slated for a January 26, 2018 release through Lucky Number Music and from the album’s latest single “Hey! Heartbreaker,” the British based punk trio’s sound features stomp and shout in the mosh pit worthy hooks, fuzzy and angular guitar chords and a steady backbeat in a fashion that’s reminiscent of Is Is and Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Elastica, complete with a brassy, kick ass and take names self-assuredness and bratty mischievousness at its core. 

Animated by Joe Prytherch, a former art director of Boiler Room, best known as Mason London, the recently released video envisions a dystopian yet familiar future inspired by anime, Akira, Josie and the Pussycats and Jem, in which the members of the band are depicted as robot performers held in a sleazy bar against their will, where they perform in front of bored customers. But when we catch them in the world of the video, the trio violently escape and lead the police through a breakneck escape from the city. 

As the members of the band said in press notes about the video and its concept, “We were super excited to work with Mason London to bring the world of ‘Hey! Heartbreaker’ to life. Collaboration is integral in our approach to Dream Wife, and we encourage different creative ideas and paths to mix with our own vision.

“It’s uncanny to watch these mechanical, parallel versions of ourselves rock out and then break out. We like to think that in another reality our robot versions are continuing their adventures; perhaps in the forest, perhaps plotting for a robot revolution, perhaps playing wild, secret rock shows to other robos.”

New Video: WINDHAND Releases Ominous Visuals for Doom-Laden New Track “Old Evil”

Currently comprised of Dorthia Cottrell (vocals), Garrett Morris (guitar), Parker Chandler (bass) and Ryan Wolfe (drums), the Richmond, Virginia-based doom metal band WINDHAND was founded back in 2009, and with their 2010 practice space, two track CD, the band quickly garnered comparisons to Electric Wizard, The Devil’s Blood and Black Sabbath.  2012 saw the release of the doom metal band’s self-titled debut, which became an underground hit and sold out of multiple vinyl pressings within a few months. 

By the following year, the Virginia-based doom metal band signed to Relapse Records and after a busy touring schedule, they collaborated with fellow Richmond-based band Cough on a split single “Reflection of the Negative,” which was released to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork and others. Building upon the growing buzz around them, the members of WINDHAND released their sophomore effort Soma to critical applause and attention from Stereogum, Spin, LA Weekly, Revolver, Invisible Oranges, MetalSucks, Metal Injection, Rolling Stone and NPR — with Pitchfork naming the album as one of the third best metal releases of the year. Adding to a growing profile, the band also spent the course of 2013 and 2014 touring throughout North America, Europe and Australia with Sleep, High on Fire, Dead Meadow and Kvelertak, as well as playing a number of major festivals including Roadburn, SXSW, Scion Rock Fest, Day of the Shred and Maryland Deathfest, before ending that period with a split album with Swedish doom metal act Salem’s Pot, an effort praised by Noisey. 

2015 saw the release of the band’s Jack Endino-produced, third full-length album, Grief’s Internal Flower and unsurprisingly, the album, which featured album singles Crypt Key.” and “Two Urns” further cemented the Richmond, VA-based  reputation for crafting punishing, sludgy, and murky dirges with enormous power chords. 

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about WINDHAND but interestingly enough, they’ll be releasing a split album with fellow Virginians Satan’s Satyrs, which Relapse Records will release in February 2018, and the split album’s first single is the blistering, forceful and mosh pith worthy “Old Evil” which prominently features thundering drumming, some impressive, psych rock meets metal god-guitar work and soaring, anthemic hooks that belie the lurking evil within the song. 

Edited by by Jordan Vance, the recently released video for “Old Evil” features footage of the band shot as though it were filmed don film negatives, superimposed over equally ominous footage of nuns by Stonehenge, mountains that seem to undulate before the viewers eye, collapsing icecaps and the like. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Screaming Females Release Surreal and Artistic Visuals for Their Most Restrained Single To Date “Glass House”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past few years, you’ve likely come across a number of posts featuring New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females, comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums). And as you may recall, the trio cut their teeth playing their hometown’s renowned all-ages basement scene; however, with the release of  2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, Live from the Hideout and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV.  Adding to a growing profile, the New Jersey-based punk rockers have toured with a number of internationally and nationally known acts including Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

Interestingly enough, 2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arguably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work. Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since they had released new, original material, and while “Black Moon,” continues their ongoing collaboration with Matt Bayles, it also reveals a band that’s restlessly experimenting with their songwriting approach and sound. Unsurprisingly, “Black Moon” finds the band crafting material with a forceful conciseness with razor sharp hooks — but thematically, the song also reveals a band that’s simultaneously meshing larger metaphors of a post apocalyptic earth with the universal experience of a relationship that ends in an embittering and frustrating fashion.

All At Once. the band’s seventh full-length studio album is slated for a February 23, 2018 release through Don Giovanni Records and the band reportedly set out to write an album in the spirit of a salon-style gallery show, where the larger pieces provide an eye-level focal point to a galaxy or smaller works — and as a result of a more expansive thematic reach, the members of the band openly and decidedly focused on experimentation with arrangements and song structure to evoke the energy and spontaneity of their live sets. As the band’s Mike Dougherty explains of their motivation “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”

The album’s first official single “Glass House” finds the band practicing a sense of restraint in which the band embraces simplicity as Paternoster plays two relatively simple riffs in a 90s grunge rock song structure — quiet verses, loud, rousingly anthemic hook, quiet verse. But along with that, the song features some of Paternoster’s most melodic vocals of their catalog. “A song like ‘Glass House’ is something we knew we were capable of, but it took a while to fully embrace,” Paternoster says in press notes. “It’s something very simple — just bass, drums and twos simple riffs. In the past, I might have insisted on adding more. Practicing self-restraint is something I have consciously been trying to do.”

The recently released video for the song may be among the most surreal and artfully done videos they’ve released to date, as it cuts between the members of the band brooding and pensively sitting in a rather sparse room, Paternoster singing the song in dramatic lighting and a butler, who arranges vases — before smashing them over each band member’s head. 

Currently comprised of founding member Alex Tebeleff (vocals, synth, guitar) and newest members Matt Dowling (vocals, bass), Rick Irby (guitar) and Danny Bentley (drums), the Washington, DC-based psych rock act Paperhaus have released 5 EPs. including 2013’S LoHiLo EP, which garnered attention from NPR and the Washington Post and was supported with a two month two that included a NYC area stop. Building upon the buzz they had received, the band’s 2015 full-length debut premiered on NPR First Listen. Along with their full-length debut, the band played at that year’s SXSW, played a headlining, album release show at DC’s famed 9:30 Club and received coverage from Brooklyn VeganUSA Today, NPR’s All Songs Considered and several others.

Now, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written about the Washington, DC-based psych rock act, but the band’s latest effort, Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? officially drops later today, and the album which was recorded and co-produced by Peter Larkin at his Alexandria, VA-based studio The Lighthouse reportedly marks a major turning point for the band, as the album’s title and material urges the listener to ask questions about their surrounding world — while focusing on our increasing reliance on technology, a craving for nature and the natural world, the return and increasing rise of authoritarian ideas and the division it creates for people, and what all of this means for human relationships. In fact, the album’s latest single “Told You What To Say” sonically features shimmering and wobbling synths paired with a strutting bass line and a soaring hook in an expansive song structure that possesses elements of psych rock, prog rock and post punk — all while reportedly pointing out that history has a way of echoing and paralleling itself. But unless we make vital connections between the past and present, we’re not only doomed to repeat the past, we’re doomed to repeat it — without ever knowing why or how to stop it.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Sweaty Voodoo and Psychedelia Fueled Visuals for “Blood”

Comprised of Rett Smith (guitar, vocals), who is an accomplished solo artist and Daniel Sousa (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based (by way of Nashville, TN) indie rock act SAENTS formed earlier this year as a way for Smith to unpack untapped sonic curiosities — and interestingly, the duo have quickly received attention from American Songwriter, NYLON, Gibson Guitars and NPR among a growing list of others for a power chord-based blues rock sound, similar to The Black Keys. 

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the duo will be releasing their self-titled debut EP on November 10, 2017 and EP single “Blood” will further cement their burgeoning reputation for arena rock friendly, power chord-based blues featuring anthemic hooks and thundering drumming — but the song bristles from bitter, personal experience. As the duo’s Smith explains in press notes the EP’s latest single was penned during a challenging recovery process in the Caribbean and focuses around a metaphorical woman that stands for everything that we all chase — frequently without regard to physical well-being, sanity. “‘Blood’ is very much a first person account of who I was up to that moment, a letter to myself, in ways that I’ve always felt but needed to hear myself say to truly acknowledge.” He adds, “The way the drums hit between the vocal lines really mimics the way life can hit us all. Especially while living the moments being described lyrically.  The manic way the guitar solo builds is very much a representation of how relationships and our extreme feelings can, at times, run out of control.”

Directed by Ricardo Coelho, the recently released video for “Blood” is a highly stylized video that draws from 50s and 60s stock footage to create a sweaty psychedelics and voodoo-style influenced video. 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums), the trio can trace their origins to a band that Paternoster and King Mike formed while in high school — and after a series of lineup changes that band had finally settled to their current lineup, before changing their name to Screaming Females. Now, as you may recall the trio got their start in their hometown’s all-ages basement scene; but with the release of 2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPRLast Call with Carson Daly and MTV, and adding to a growing profile, the members of the band have toured with internationally and nationally known acts like Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arugably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work; however, it’s been some time since there’s been new, original material from the New Jersey-based punk rockers — that is until now. “Black Moon,” the band’s latest single continues in a similar vein as the material on Rose Mountain with band focusing on crafting tight, yet rousingly anthemic hooks. And while adding to a growing collection of radio friendly material, the band manages to remind the listener that Paternoster is one of the baddest guitar players in the world.

Lyrically speaking the song meshes a larger metaphor on earth abandoning humanity but fed through the fairly universal experience of a relationship ending in a rather bitter and frustrating fashion, which gives an underlying sneering forcefulness.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the summer, you’d know that JOVM mainstay act Widowspeak will be releasing their third full-length album Expect The Best through Captured Tracks Records next week. And as you may recall, the album’s first single “Dog,” as Widowspeak’s Molly Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener’ mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more.

Expect The Best‘s second single“When I Tried” is a slow, churning blues with layers of jangling, guitar pedal effect guitars paired with a propulsive yet simple drum pattern  which Hamilton’s aching yet ethereal vocals float over, and much like its preceding single, captures a bored and frustrated narrator, who yearns for more and more — and yet feels hopelessly stuck and confused. Interestingly though, as Hamilton explained to Stereogum “I didn’t go into this record trying to make every song about feeling stuck, or about self-doubt or anxiety. Those feelings aren’t really what you want to proclaim to the world or make a whole record about, even if it’s the truth. But, in the end, it ended up making more sense to be honest. ‘When I Tried’ is about when I was having a hard time starting things, or finishing them, maybe due to my own expectations of what it would turn into or maybe due to me doubting that I’d even be able to make it happen at all . . . I wasn’t sure what the motivation was anymore. Not specifically related to music, or creative work, but to everything. I wanted to get out and be social to take my mind off it, but I had a hard time keeping that up, too. It’s hard to keep up the effort of trying.”

“The Dream,” Expect The Best‘s third and latest single manages to continue with the permanently restless and unhappy vibe of someone who has picked up and left things behind with the hopes of something better, only to find that she can’t ever escape herself, and that perhaps as a result, things never really change; in fact, the song’s title, along with the album’s title possess an ironic duality — that being hopeful in a bleak world means expecting terrible things and knowing how to deal with them or to survive, and that dreams can become waylaid or averted. And yet, one has to keep on trying because — well, anything else is death, right? Sonically speaking, the song is a  lush and sublime, dream-like reverie of a song in which Hamilton’s ethereal crooning is paired with jangling guitars, twangy pedal; but right underneath the surface is a familiar ache of reality slapping you in the face yet again.

The band recently announced updated tour dates, which include a handful of new American dates and a European tour, which will have them stop at one of my favorite cities in the entire world — Amsterdam. And if you’re in NYC, they’ll be playing Rough Trade on October 13, 2017. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
09/08 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
09/09 – Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot
09/11 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
09/12 – Detroit, MI – El Club
09/13 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
09/15 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
09/17 – Des Moines, IA – Des Moines Social Club
09/19 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
09/20 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
09/21 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/22 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
09/23 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
09/24 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
09/26 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
09/27 – Visalia, CA – The Cellar Door
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA – Pico Union Project
09/29 – San Diego, CA – Space Bar
09/30 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
10/01 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
10/03 – Austin, TX – Sidewinder
10/04 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
10/05 – Birmingham, AL – Syndicate Lounge
10/06 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
10/07 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
10/08 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
10/09 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall
10/10 – Washington, DC – DC9
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
10/12 – Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
10/13 – New York, NY – Rough Trade NYC
11/14 – Amsterdam, NL – Sugarfactory
11/15 – Utrecht, NL -Db’s
11/17 – Birmingham, UK -Actress & Bishop
11/18 – Glasgow, UK -Nice n Sleazy
11/20 – London, UK – Oslo
11/21 – Brighton, UK -The Hope
11/23 – Rotterdam, NL – Rotown
11/26 – Berlin, DE -Volksbühne
11/27 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
11/28 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
11/29 – Stockholm, SWE -Obaren
11/30 – Oslo, NO – Revolver
12/01 – Gothenburg, SWE -Oceanen
12/02 – Lund, SWE -Mejeriet
09.08 – 10.13 (except 09.13) w/ Clearance
bold = newly confirmed

 

New Video: Widowspeak Returns with Moody and Lonely Visuals For New Single “Dog”

Currently comprised of Tacoma, WA-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Molly Hamilton (vocals, guitars) and Robert Earl Thomas (guitar), the indie rock duo Widowspeak initially formed in 2010 and featured founding members Hamilton, her longtime friend Michael Stasiak and Thomas. As a trio, they released their critically applauded 2011 self-titled debut, an effort which had album single “Harsh Realm” featured in an episode of American Horror Story. And with greater attention on the group, the then-trio recruited Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh for their subsequent tours; however, by 2012 Stasiak and Gravano-Coolbaugh left the band, leaving two of its original members.

Interestingly, while going through a massive lineup change, Hamilton and Thomas began working on their Kevin McMahon-produced sophomore effort Almanac, an album that was released to critical applause both nationally and across the blogosphere; in fact, the band was named one of Fuse TV’s 30 must-see artists at 2013’s SXSW — and if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, especially around 2013, you would have come across a couple of posts featuring the Brooklyn-based duo.  Now, it’s been four years since I’ve written about them but as it turns out, Widowspeak will be releasing a new album, Expect The Best through renowned indie label Captured Tracks on August 25, 2017. And the album’s latest single “Dog,” as Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener” mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more, and as a result the song feels urgent yet paradoxically un-rushed.

Filmed, produced and edited by Otium, the recently released video for “Dog” possesses a feverish and lonely late night nostalgia that emphasizes the song’s longing and overall ambivalence.