Tag: Of Montreal

New Video: The 120 Minutes MTV-Like Sounds and Visuals of Mute Swan’s “Enough Fun”

Since their formation back in 2014, the Tuscon, AZ-based quartet Mute Swan, comprised of Mike Barnett, Prabjit Virdee, Thomas Sloane and Roger Reed, have developed a reputation for crafting swirling, densely layered psych rock that’s been described by some as a less jittery Of Montreal and compared to Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips, and although that may be arguable, their latest single “Enough Fun” is a hazy, power chord driven song that should remind you (if you’re old enough) of 120 Minutes-era MTV — in particular, Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins, Melvins and others, with an uncanny pairing of melody with enormous, crowd-pleasing hooks. However, as the band’s frontman Mike Barnett explains, “America is having a meltdown. This song is about that. With fuzz.” And as a result, the song find the band carefully walking a tightrope between ethereal and summery guitar pop and furious, sociopolitically charged rock, expressing frustration at the unchecked greed and power of the wealthy elite.

The recently released is shot in a grainy VHS style, reminiscent of home videos from the 80s and follows a group of one-percenters cruising around aimlessly in a Mercedes, burning money with a religious cult-like figure. It’s trippy and pretty fucking surreal but all too fitting.

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Sugar Candy Mountain Offer Empathy as a Weapon of The Resistance

Currently comprised of founding member Will Halsey (vocals, drums), Ash Reiter (vocals, guitar), Sean Olmsted (guitar, synth) and Jeff Moller (bass), the Oakland, CA-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays Sugar Candy Mountain can trace its origins to when Halsey, who had had stints drumming in several different Bay Area-based bands including The Blank Tapes, fpodbpod and Ash Reiter‘s backing band began the project as a bedroom recording project in which he initially wrote songs in the vein of of Montreal and The Beach Boys. Shortly after Halsey began the project, he recruited Ash Reiter, and the duo began writings songs together — with the duo writing decidedly psychedelic material, inspired by Reiter’s obsessive collecting of various effects pedals. Since the release of their earlier material, there has been a series of lineup changes with the band adding Olmsted and Moller, as its newest members, allowing Halsey to return to drum duties.
 
Sugar Candy Mountain’s latest album Do Right was released earlier this month and the album is deeply influenced by our outrageous and infuriating sociopolitical moment. Written as part travelogue and part response to the moment, the album’s material is also an attempt to offer a much needed balm that says “come on outside and daydream a bit; look at the sky; look at the flowers; enjoy a moment of necessary peace — because it’s so rare.” With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that the band has noted that nature is where they often go to re-calibrate their moral compass, when it’s been frequently upended by the demoralizing and maddening daily news cycle. Sonically speaking, Do Right finds the band retaining elements of the 60s and 70s rock and psych rock inspired sound, centered around Reiter’s ethereal vocals; however, the album finds the band adding synths, which will subtly modernizing their sound also gives it a slightly retro-futuristic sound similar to
Pavo Pavo and Drakkar Nowhere.
 
Now, as you may recall album single “Split in Two” was a hazy and mesmerizing track in which the band invites the listener to join them as they had to a quiet, beautiful place to escape this mad, mad, mad, mad world. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Mar-a-Lago” as the band’s Reiter explains in press notes was written from the perspective of a Trump supporter, of someone who feels voiceless and vaguely unsatisfied with life and who desperately wants to matter, to belong to something bigger than themselves, to be lead by someone who can get them what they think they need in their lives — and as a result, it’s arguably one of the more empathetic portrayals of desperately lost, desperately stupid people I’ve heard in some time, as it suggests that desperation the Trump supporter has felt is a familiar one. 
 
Directed by Arsenii Vaselenko, the recently released video for “Mar-a-Lago” features the band’s Reiter and Halsey dressed as astronauts (sort of), and playing in front of psychedelic-tinged visuals.
 
 
 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Sugar Candy Mountain Return with a Slow-burning and Contemplative Ode to Escaping an Anxious and Uncertain World

Currently comprised of founding member Will Halsey (vocals, drums), Ash Reiter (vocals, guitar), Sean Olmsted (guitar, synth) and Jeff Moller (bass), the Oakland, CA-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays Sugar Candy Mountain can trace its origins to when Halsey, who had had stints drumming in several different Bay Area-based bands including The Blank Tapes, fpodbpod and Ash Reiter‘s backing band began the project as a bedroom recording project in which he initially wrote songs in the vein of of Montreal and The Beach Boys. Shortly after Halsey began the project, he recruited Ash Reiter, and the duo began writings songs together — with the duo writing decidedly psychedelic material, inspired by Reiter’s obsessive collecting of various effects pedals. Now, up until recently some time had passed since I had personally written about the act, and in that time, there has been a series of lineup changes with the band adding its newest members Olmsted and Moller, allowing Halsey to return to drums.
 
Slated for a May 4, 2018 release, Sugar Candy Mountain’s newest album Do Right is deeply inspired by our current, anxious and uncertain sociopolitical moment and is written as part travelogue and part response, while attempting to offer a much needed balm; in fact, the band has noted that nature is often where the band goes to re-calibrate their moral compass when it’s been frequently upended by the infuriating and demoralizing daily news cycle.
 
Sonically speaking the material on Do Right finds the band retaining the 60s and 70s rock inspired sound that first captured the attention of the blogosphere, centered around Reiter’s ethereal vocals; however, the new album finds them adding synths, which while subtly modernizing their sound, also manages to add an increasingly ethereal quality, similar to the likes of Pavo Pavo and Drakkar Nowhere — but dustier, and as though the gears have slowed to a grinding halt. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Split in Two” is a mesmerizing, hazy and slow-burning track that has the band inviting the listener to join them, and head to a quiet, beautiful place to escape the world as we know it. Perhaps on the other side, there’s something much better than this.
 
The recently released video by TG Eaton features the members of Sugar Candy Mountain playing the song in front of appropriately psychedelic projections, further emphasizing the trippy yet contemplative nature of the song.

Officially formed in Athens, GA during the winter of 2014 and comprised of primary songwriter Gresham Cash (vocals, guitar), Wes Gregory (drums) and Connor Sabula (bass), the indie rock/psych rock trio Oak House have developed a reputation for an uncompromisingly weird sound that effortlessly meshes elements of melodic and pop-leaning indie rock, psych rock, experimental rock and grunge rock paired with contemplative and visceral lyrics that explore and investigate life’s inevitable conflicts; bur interestingly enough, Cash’s songwriting is largely influenced by classical music, jazz, Eastern melodic structure and contemporary, minimalist instrumental music, which unsurprisingly gives their overall sound a cinematic air.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, the Athens, GA-based trio’s sophomore effort Hot or Mood was recorded at Chase Park Transduction with Drew Vandenberg, who’s worked with of MontrealToro y MoiKishi BashiDeerhunter and Mothers and the album reportedly finds the band accurately capturing their live sound and energy — and as I wrote of the rapidly shifting album single “Cut That Out,” the track managed to capture the narrator’s vacillating thoughts and emotions with a shaky, unsteady almost anxiety-inducing accuracy. As the band’s Gresham Cash explains in press notes ” I wanted to craft a picture of dreams by using frenetic, shifting imagery with a blend of hopeful nostalgia muddied by sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Also, I felt that anxiety, depression and suicide are things that not only influence us directly, but also, those around us; hence, the chorus, ‘We’re all responsible for someone else.’ The ending is the feeling of the dream unraveling combined with the feeling that you are living within someone else’s dream: unsettling to say the least. Your only defense against the confusion and discomfort is like swatting at an irksome fly that keeps buzzing in your ears: ‘Cut that out.’”

Hot or Mood‘s latest single “Esque” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, thanks to a rapidly shifting structure that touches upon ambient and minimalist electronics, anthemic power chord-based indie rock and expansive psych rock — and while sounding as though it were influenced by OK Computer and Kid A-era Radiohead; but pay close attention to the lyrics, as the song’s narrator at one point ruminates on the relativistic nature of time, in which past, present and future all co-exist simultaneously as the song feels like swirling, feverish and anxious dream.

The band will be embarking on a tour throughout next month and it’ll include an August 20, 2017 stop at The Bowery Electric. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates: 

August 10 – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
August 11 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
August 12 – Tampa, FL @ New World Brewery
August 14 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House
August 15 – Durham, NC @ The Cave
August 16 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Golden Pony
August 17 – Washington, DC @ TBA
August 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
August 20 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Electric
August 21 – Fairfield, CT @ Fairfield Theatre
August 22 – Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles
August 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Black Forge Coffeehouse
August 24 – Huntington, WV @ V Club
August 25 – Lexington, KY @ Green Lantern
August 26 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
August 27 – Nashville, TN @ Fond Object Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Gresham Cash (vocals, guitar), Wes Gregory (drummer) and Connor Sabula (bass), the Athens, GA-based indie rock/psych rock trio Oak House formed in 2014 and since their formation they’ve developed a growing reputation for a sound that possesses elements of melodic indie rock, grunge rock, psych rock and prog rock paired with contemplative and visceral lyrics that explore and investigate life’s inevitable conflicts — and for high energy live shows.

The Athens, GA-based trio’s forthcoming sophomore full-length album Hot or Mood was recorded at Chase Park Transduction with Drew Vandenberg, who’s worked with of Montreal, Toro y Moi, Kishi Bashi, Deerhunter and Mothers and the album reportedly represents a cohesive sample of their live sound — a sound that has been described as tumultuous, melodic, raucous infectious and immersive.  The album’s latest single “Cut That Out” is rapidly shifting and angular song with propulsive, rolling drumming, droning synths, buzzing guitar chords and a throbbing bass line that seems to capture the narrator’s rapidly vacillating thoughts and emotions, and with an unshakable anxiousness. As the band’s Gresham Cash explains in press notes ” I wanted to craft a picture of dreams by using frenetic, shifting imagery with a blend of hopeful nostalgia muddied by sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Also, I felt that anxiety, depression and suicide are things that not only influence us directly, but also, those around us; hence, the chorus, ‘We’re all responsible for someone else.’ The ending is the feeling of the dream unraveling combined with the feeling that you are living within someone else’s dream: unsettling to say the least. Your only defense against the confusion and discomfort is like swatting at an irksome fly that keeps buzzing in your ears: ‘Cut that out.’”

 

 

New Video: The Playfully Retro-Futuristic, Videogame Inspired Visuals for Kishi Bashi’s “Say Yeah”

Interestingly, Ishibashi’s recently released, third album Sonderlust was produced by Grizzly Bear‘s Chris Taylor and co-engineered by Pat Dillet, who has worked with Angelique Kidjo and David Byrne, and drummer Matt Chamberlain, who has been a member of Morrissey‘s and Fiona Apple’s backing band and a member of Montreal, and the album finds Ishibashi expanding and playing with the sound that won him acclaim across the blogosphere — thanks largely in part to the fact that the album’s material didn’t come about immediately or through his usual creative process. “As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes,” Ishibashi explained in press notes. “I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assume were my forte, and in turn, I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.” This period of creative uncertainly, along with significant changes in his personal life, led him experiment with a new musical direction. “I questioned everything about what it means to love and desire…the difference between loving someone and being in love,” Ishibashi says.

The album’s first single “Say Yeah” has Ishibashi pairing twinkling and shimmering synths, lush string and wind arrangements, propulsive drum programming, an incredibly infectious hook and the renowned violinist, vocalist and producer’s tender and aching falsetto in a swooning yet dance-floor friendly song that interestingly enough sounds as though it were indebted to disco and both electro pop — all while still possessing a swooning Romanticism. Lyrically, the song can be seen as a plaintive and urgent plea to a lover to try to make their relationship work, as a charmingly flirtatious come-on to an object of affection in which the narrator is trying to get his lover to finally just be with him — and in another way, as an admission of the sort of perceived (and sometimes real) wrongdoing and misunderstandings that can break up a relationship, and the continued desire to makeup and get it right, even if just for a little while.

The retro-futuristic and charmingly playful take video-game inspired video manages to capture the spirit and tone of the song as it follows a couple, who meets cute, fall desperately and madly in love, and through chance or fate, they’re separated with the male character going through a variety of obstacles to reunite with his love. Twice within the video a timer appears to remind the video’s central character of how much time is left for the song, and during two other points, the protagonist has instruments miraculously appear that he plays — as part of the game.

Initially beginning his recording career as a member of Regina Spektor‘s and Sondre Lerche‘s backing bands, as well as a co-producer and full-time member of critically acclaimed indie act of Montreal, violinist, vocalist, composer, and producer K. Ishibashi through the release of critically applauded two full-length efforts — 151a and Lighght — with his solo recording project Kishi Bashi has developed a reputation for decidedly crafted and swooning orchestral pop with a subtly modern take, as K. Ishibashi would frequently use looping machines and samplers for a lush, layered sound.

Produced by Grizzly Bear‘s Chris Taylor and engineered by Pat Dillet, who has worked with Angelique Kidjo and David Byrne, and drummer Matt Chamberlain, who has been a member of Morrissey‘s and Fiona Apple‘s backing band, as well as being a member of Montreal, Ishibashi’s third full-lenght effort Sonderlust reportedly finds the renowned composer and vocalist expanding upon the sound that first captured the attention of the blogosphere. Interestingly, Ishibashi has publicly mentioned that Sonderlust‘s material didn’t come immediately or through his usual creative process. “As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes,” Ishibashi explains. “I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assume were my forte, and in turn, I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.” This period of creative uncertainly, along with significant changes in his personal life, led the composer, violinist, vocalist and producer to experiment with a new musical direction. “I questioned everything about what it means to love and desire…the difference between loving someone and being in love,” Ishibashi explained.

The album’s first single “Say Yeah” has Ishibashi pairing twinkling and shimmering synths, lush string and wind arrangements, propulsive drum programming, an incredibly infectious hook and the renowned violinist, vocalist and producer’s tender and aching falsetto in a swooning yet dance-floor friendly song that interestingly enough sounds as though it were indebted to disco and both 80s and contemporary electro pop — all while still possessing a swooning Romanticism. Lyrically, the song is a plaintive and urgent plea to a lover to stay and try to make it work because the narrator can’t just bear to be without his love.

You can catch Kish Bashi on a lengthy North American tour this fall, and it includes an October 2, 2016 stop at Webster Hall. Check out tour dates and ticket information below.

Tour Dates:
9/27: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre (tickets)
9/28: Charlotte, NC @ Visulite (tickets)
9/30: Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (tickets)
10/1: Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore – Silver Spring (tickets)
10/2: New York, NY @ Webster Hall (tickets)
10/3: Boston, MA @ Royale (tickets)
10/4: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (tickets)
10/6: Toronto, ON @ MOD Club (tickets)
10/8: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern (tickets)
10/9: Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom (tickets)
10/10: Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre (tickets)
10/11: St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall (tickets)
10/12: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue Mainroom (tickets)
10/14: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown (tickets)
10/15: Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre (tickets)
10/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge (tickets)
10/18: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (tickets)
10/19: Vancouver, BC @ The Fox Cabaret (tickets)
10/20: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom (tickets)
10/21: San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic (tickets)
10/22: Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium (tickets)
10/23: San Diego, CA @ Irenic (tickets)
10/24: Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater (tickets)
10/26: Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress (tickets)
10/28: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger (tickets)
10/29: Austin, TX @ Mohawk (tickets)
10/30: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (tickets)
11/1: New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks (tickets)
11/2: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse (tickets)

 

 

Earlier this year you may recall that I wrote about Joshua Tree, CA-based psych rock quartet Sugar Candy Mountain. Comprised of founding member Will Halsey (vocals, guitar), Ash Reiter (vocals, guitar), The Beehavers‘ Bryant Dennison (guitar) and The Electric Magpie‘s Peter Maffei (bass), the psych rock quartet can trace their origins to when Halsey, who has had stints as a drummer in renowned Bay Area-based bands like The Blank Tapesfpodbpod and Ash Reiter‘s backing band, began the project as a bedroom recording project in which Halsey initially wrong songs in the vein of of Montreal and The Beach Boys. Shortly after Halsey began the project, Reiter joined him and the duo began writing songs together. And interestingly enough, there was a brief period in which they experimented with electro pop songs before they had gone on a decidedly psychedelic direction after Reiter had started obsessively collecting effects pedals. Denison, who also was a bassist and former bandmate in Ash Reiter’s backing band with Reiter and Halsey, joined on as a guitarist (which was interestingly enough, his first instrument).

The band’s recently released album 666, the Joshua Tree, CA-based quartet will further cement their burgeoning reputation for a sound that has been described as being indebted to Jacco GardnerTame Impala and the classic psych rock sounds of 60s Laurel Canyon. The album’s first single, album title track “666” possessed an uncanny attention o dreamy melody with the band pairing Reiter’s gorgeous and chilly crooning with gently fuzzy guitar chords, soaring and ethereal organ chords with gentle almost minimalist drumming. Yes, it sounds as though it could have been  was recently discovered in a used record store — perhaps one like Last Vestige in Albany — but with a subtly modern production sheen. 666‘s latest single “Windows” is a slow-burning and contemplative track that features some gorgeously shimmering guitar work, gently padded drumming and jazz-like xylophone with Reiter’s ethereal vocals floating through a mix that will further cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for a classic psych sound straight out of 1966.