Tag: Phil Spector

Throughout the course of the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo have known each other since they were teenagers, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home, started to pursue music seriously a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” and the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” the JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. And along with the announcement of their debut, the duo then released, the shuffling and jangling, 60s girl group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” which continues the dream pop duo’s growing reputation for material that possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft but with subtly modern flourishes — all while focusing on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships.

The album’s latest single “Sunday” is a slow-burning, gorgeous and cinematic bit of guitar pop, with a soaring hook that should immediately bring comparisons like Mazzy Star, The Smiths and others — while continuing a string of songs that pair dark and moody lyrics with upbeat sounds.  As the duo says in press notes, “‘Sunday’ is a favorite of ours in the album. It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically, it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”

 

 

Throughout the course of the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born, longtime friends, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo currently split their time between London, UKGothenburg, Sweden, Berlin, Germany and Australia, the duo have known each other since the were teenagers; but their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also musicians, began to serious pursue music a few years ago and enlisted the help of Benjamin to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” a track that received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts,  “Don’t Talk About You,” which seemed to channel Mazzy Star covering  Fleetwood Mac but with a lovelorn ache, and the Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much” among others, the critically applauded blogosphere darlings recently announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced full-length debut Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. Along with that they released their latest single, the first official single from the forthcoming album, the shuffling, 60s girl group pop-like single “Hideaway,” which pairs Kendrick’s sultry cooing with a lushly layered production featuring jangling guitar chords, shimmering strings, a propulsive backbeat and soaring hooks. Unsurprisingly, there’s a careful and deliberate attention to craft that brings to mind the aforementioned Phil Spector but with subtle, modern flourishes.

Much like the duo’s previously released singles, the duo’s latest single focuses on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships — in this case, as the duo notes, “The song is about feeling like you’ve been completely transparent with someone only to realize they haven’t truly let you in.” And as a result, the song bristles with a bitter sense of betrayal and confusion underneath the gleaming and upbeat surface.

New Jersey-based pop duo Fascinations Grand Chorus can trace their origins to a long-held rivalry between its members and a free-standing and deeply competitive argument they had over which one was the better songwriter, based on a health respect and admiration of each one’s individual musicianship and songcraft; however, despite their countless, good-natured arguments, the duo bonded over their mutual love of The Misfits, 1910 Fruitgum Company and antiquated arcade games, while also recognizing that teaming up would be beneficial to navigate the contemporary music scene. And with “When You’re Mine,” the first single off their soon-to-be released EP Angelsea, the duo specialize in recording utilizing the analog techniques of Joe Meek and Phil Spector  — and much like contemporaries such as Pavo Pavo, Drakkar Nowhere and others, Fascinations Grand Chorus’ manages to be mischievously anachronistic with their current single sounding as though it was released in 1962 or 1982, but with a subtly modern sheen.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you’d recall that New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Maura Lynch was a founding member of locally renowned indie rock band Darlings, an act that released three albums and played at the Whitney Museum, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Death by Audio and Shea Stadium — and had a brief stint in blogosphere attention-grabbing act Beverly; but with her latest project, Blush, Lynch was inspired by the her missing the simple act of making and sharing music with friends through a sporadic series of bedroom recorded demos (which she had filed as Blush on her computer). And as Lynch explained in press notes, the material she began writing was inspired by a love of straightforward and simple guitar pop with layered vocals, while lyrically the material reportedly was written as a sort of diary of its creator’s late 20s, with songs that focused on loving people who didn’t deserve it, loving people who did deserve it, of making sense of the monotony of the workday world and perhaps much more important, finding her own unique place in the world.

Last year, Lynch felt ready to finally make those demos into real songs  and she got together with her friends — Pop. 1280‘s Andy Chugg and Pill‘s Nick and Jon Campelo to flesh out the material, which was recorded over a series of nights and weekends at Chugg’s Gilded Audio Studio, and from the album’s first single “Daisy Chain,” Lynch and company specialize in a shimmering guitar pop that seemed influenced by Phil Spector‘s Wall of Sound and Too True-era Dum Dum Girls — but with breakneck conciseness. Building on the attention that the band has received from their first single, their self-titled album’s second and latest single is a jangling, guitar pop cover of Mariah Carey‘s smash hit “Fantasy” that manages to retain the song’s swooning nature while being a unique and coquettish take on a familiar song.

New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Maura Lynch was a founding member of locally renowned indie rock act Darlings, an act that released three albums and played at the Whitney Museum, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Death by Audio and Shea Stadium; and had a short stint in blogosphere attention-grabbing act Beverly; however, her latest project Blush can trace its origin to Lynch missing the simple act of making and sharing music with friends with a sporadic series of bedroom recorded demos she had filed as Blush on her computer. And as Lynch explains in press notes, the material she began writing was inspired by a love of straightforward and simple guitar pop with layered vocals — while lyrically, the material was a sort of diary of her late 20s, with songs that focuses on loving people, who didn’t deserve it, loving people who did deserve it, of making sense of the monotony of the workday world and perhaps much more important, finding her own unique place in the world.

Last year, Lynch felt ready to finally make those demos into real songs  and she got together with her friends — Pop. 1280‘s Andy Chugg and Pill‘s Nick and Jon Campelo to flesh out the material, which was recorded over a series of nights and weekends at Chugg’s Gilded Audio Studio. And from the forthcoming album’s first single “Daisy Chain,” Lynch and Blush specialize in a shimmering guitar pop that sounds as though it were influenced by Phil Spector‘s Wall of Sound and Too True-era Dum Dum Girls — but with an incredible conciseness as the song clocks in at exactly 2 minutes.

 

New Video: The Mischievously Surreal Visuals for Geowulf’s “Drink Too Much”

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past year, you’d recall that I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

With the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

The recently released video for “Drink Too Much” is cinematic and feverish vision, featuring the duo at the pool of a resort — but instead of being surrounded by the expected young, lithe, buxom and beautiful, the duo is surrounded by a collection of middle-aged retirees with way too much time on their hands. And while initially suggesting a slowly creeping dread, the video turns mischievously surreal as the members of the duo lead a poolside dance party; but underneath there’s a wistfulness for the passing of yet another summer. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UKGothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

Now, as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

Live Footage: ATO Sessions: Nick Hakim Performs “The Want”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’d recall that earlier this year, the Washington, DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Nick Hakim quietly re-emerged with the first batch of new material in some time, “Bet She Looks Like You” “Green Twins,” and “Roller Skates,” the first three singles off his recently released and highly-anticipated full-length debut Green Twins. Hakim can trace the origins of Green Twins’ material back a bit — back to when armed with the masters for his first two, critically applauded EPs, Where Will We Go Part 1 and Where Will We Go Part 2, the DC-born singer/songwriter and guitarist, relocated from Boston, where he was then based to Brooklyn. And as soon as he got himself settled, Hakim quickly went to work, spending his spare time writing and recording sketches using his phone’s voice memo app and a four-track cassette recorder and further fleshing them out whenever possible. He then took his new demo’d material to various studios in NYC, Philadelphia and London, where he built up the material with a number of engineers, including frequent collaborator Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering and production), who were tasked with keeping the original spirit and essence of the material intact as much as humanly possible.

As Andrew Sarlo explained in press notes about the writing and recording process for Green Twins, for many artists, a demo typically serves an extremely rough sketch of what the song could eventually become and sound. However, with Hakim, things are done very differently; in fact, the demos are seen as more akin to building a comfortable, holy temple — and as a result, as a producer and engineer, Sarlo was tasked to clean, furnish where necessary and prepare those who entered for a profound, religious experience.

Thematically speaking the album’s material reportedly focuses on unique and particular aspects and events of his life with the bulk of the songs being based on specific experiences, feelings, and thoughts had at the time he was writing and composing. As a result, the album consists of a series of different self-portraits — and in a similar fashion to Vincent Van Gogh’s famed self-portraits, the album’s song captures the artist sometimes in broad strokes but frequently in subtle gradations of mood, tone and feeling. Hakim adds, “I also felt the need to push my creativity in a different way than I had on the EPs,” The record draws from influences spanning Robert Wyatt, Marvin Gaye and Shuggie Otis to My Bloody Valentine. We wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if RZA had produced a Portishead album. We experimented with engineering techniques from Phil Spector and Al Green’s Back Up Train, drum programming from RZA and Outkast, and we were listening to a lot of The Impressions, John Lennon, Wu-Tang, Madlib and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.”

Green Twins’ fourth and latest single “The Want” features Hakim’s tender and aching falsetto over a sparse and hauntingly eerie arrangement of shimmering and gently plucked guitar chords played through copious reverb and effect pedals, soaring organ and a gently propulsive rhythm section to evoke a plaintive, vulnerable and undeniably carnal longing for someone, when all you want in this world is the electric touch of their skin against yours, to lay around in an unkempt bed with limbs entwined all morning, kissing, touching, licking, tickling, laughing and bullshitting . . .

Currently comprised of founding duo Scott (lead guitar) and Loren (vocals and bass) along with newest members Niki (vocals, guitar) and Dan (percussion), the Chicago, IL-based indie rock/indie guitar pop quartet Star Tropics can trace their origins to an incredible chance meeting between the band’s founding duo. As the story goes, Loren was unemployed during Fall 2010 and as he was out for a walk on Logan Blvd., he was convinced that he heard a familiar melody in the distance. He followed the melody until he was led to a tall graystone that was glowing — and Loren realized that the music chiming from the attic was a song that was extremely familiar to him, “Back to the Old House,” an early Smiths b-side. After ringing the doorbell, Loren was introducing himself to Scott and they bounded over a mutual love of The Smiths and began writing material as a duo, with a drum machine. But by 2012 the band’s founding duo recruited Niki and Dan and with their two newest members, the band solidified their sound — and while clearly drawing on The Smiths, as you’ll hear on “Another Sunny Day,” off the band’s forthcoming full-length Lost World as the song features a driving beat, shimmering guitars with subtle fuzzy shadings and anthemic hooks, their sound also hints at renowned British guitar pop act Veronica Falls, bubblegum pop and Phil Spector, thanks in part to the ridiculously upbeat yet swooning and introspective vibe and the boy/girl vocals.