Tag: PJ Harvey

New Video: Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Eliza Shaddad Releases a Rousing and Candid Breakup Song

With the release of her first two EPs Run and Waters, the London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Eliza Shaddad quickly rose to international prominence, receiving praise from a number of major media outlets including The Fader, Nylon, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, The Independent, Clash, The 405, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Beats 1 Radio and countless others for a sound that some have compared to the likes of PJ Harvey, Cat Power and others. I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed British singer/songwriter over the past couple of years, and as you may recall Shaddad arguably has one of the more interesting biographies and backstories I’ve come across in some time: she’s the daughter of Sudanese and Scottish parents — and on her mother’s side, she’s the descendant of a long and very proud line of artists and poets that can be traced back to the 1800s; in fact, her great great grandfather James Paterson was a member of the Glasgow Boys, a collective of extremely forward-thinking artist, best known best known for challenging the style and subjects of Victorian Scottish painting. She’s also been a true citizen of the world, with stints living in seven different countries, and as a result she speaks four languages. Along with that she’s earned a Masters in Philosophy and graduated from the Guildhall School with a degree in Jazz. Considering that background, it should be unsurprising that Shaddad’s work centers around constantly shifting and widening perspectives.

Shaddad has developed a reputation for pairing her creative work with significant causes. Along with fellow musician Samantha Lindo, she co-founded Girls Girls Girls, a female arts collective that has worked to empower women within the arts through special cross-disciplinary events across the UK. She has also raised awareness and funding for the anti-female genital mutilation charity Orchid Project. Although she’s been extremely busy, Shaddad’s highly anticipated full-length debut Future is slated for an October 26, 2018 release through Beatnik Creative, and the album finds the acclaimed singer/songwriting continuing her longtime collaboration with Chris Bond.

Now, earlier this summer, I wrote about Future’s second single “My Body,” a moody and hook driven track centered around shoegazer-like atmospherics and dark, seductive trip hop-like groove — and while evoking a plaintive but uncertain need, the song as Shaddad explained in press notes was about ” “Being betrayed by your body.  Knowing full well that you need to be alone, but doubting it every night.” Future’s latest single “This Is My Cue” sonically continues in a similar vein as its predecessor — moody and shimmering atmospherics but the major difference is that the song is a candid and ironically rousing breakup song in which the song examines the period of ambivalence and uncertainty in romantic relationships when passion cools to indifference, and throughout the song its narrator is desperately trying to figure out what to do — and to gain the strength to leave. 

The recently released video features footage shot by Jodie Canwell, Tom Pollard and Ben Jackson while Shaddad and her were on tour across Europe, and its an intimate view of the artist and her band goofing off, performing in clubs, wandering the streets of European towns that manages to capture the touring life as a blur of joy, awe, boredom and confusion. 

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New Video: Phantastic Ferniture Release Whimsical Visuals for “Dark Corner Dance Floor”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the Sydney, Australia-based band Phantasmic Ferniture, the garage rock/guitar pop side project (of sorts) of acclaimed singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin and two of her closest and dearest friends, Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan K. Brennan. And as the story goes, the band can trace their origins to a birthday gathering at a Sydney bar to celebrate Jacklin’s 24th birthday. At some point, a group hug had manifested itself with all ten of the group’s participants drunkenly promising to start a band together. “Only four of us remembered,” Hughes recalls. The band’s core and founding members bonded over a mutual love and appreciation for fern-related puns and leisurewear, and they would meet up whenever their individual schedules would allow, writing songs and playing smatterings of live dates to an increasingly devoted audience.

Eventually, Jacklin, Hughes and Brennan decided that Phantastic Ferniture wasn’t a side project, and they should focus on writing and recording an album together, centered around the fact that the band would be a lot more spontaneous and less technical than their individual pursuits. “That was the fun part,” Jacklin says in press notes. “Ryan never played drums in bands, Liz had never been a lead guitarist, Tom didn’t play bass and I’d never just sung before.” Hughes adds “We wanted a low level of expertise, because a lot of good music comes from people whose passion exceeds their skill.”

Now, as you may recall, the band’s self-titled full-length debut was released last month through Transgressive Records, and the album finds the band adopting their mantra of not overthinking and focusing on the urgency of the moment as the basis of the writing and recording sessions that produced it — but underpinned with a sense of whimsy. The album’s second single “Gap Year” was a 90s alt rock-inspired track that recalled  PJ Harvey while the album’s third single “Bad Timing” was a bit of rollocking indie rock with a cinematic sweep. The fourth and latest single off the Australian indie rock act’s debut “Dark Corner Dance Floor” is centered around a shuffling disco-like bass line, shimmering guitar chords and soaring, anthemic hooks making it one of the more danceable songs on the album although its underpinned by love, awe and disappointment. 
Co-directed by Nick Mckk and Phantasmic Ferniture, the recently released video for “Dark Corner Dance Floor” continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with Mckk while featuring the band’s Jacklin and Hughes dressed up and wandering the streets of Sydney in a way that nods at David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing in the Street” — but with a charming goofiness. As Jaclkin and Hughes explain in press notes, ” When you’re a kid from out of the city you think Darling Harbour is the essence of Sydney. The aquarium, the Ferris wheel, the IMAX theatre. You imagine when you finally make it to the big smoke you’ll spend your weekends falling in love under the lights of the high rises. Turns out if you move to Sydney you’ll probably never go there. We wanted to capture that feeling we had when we were two starry eyed teens imagining a fake city life.”

With the release of their debut single “Johnny,” the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based indie rock trio Basement Revolver, comprised of Chrisy Hurn (guitar, vocals), Nimal Agalawatte (bass) and Brandon Munro (drums) saw a rapid career trajectory as they received praise from the likes of DIY Magazine, The FADER and Exclaim! for a sound that draws from 90s alt rock and dream pop — but paired with deeply personal, yearning lyrics. Adding to a growing profile, the band released a handful of Hype Machine, chart topping songs which resulted in the Canadian indie rock trio amassing more than one million streams of their songs.

Recorded at TAPE Studio, where they recorded their first two EPs, their Adam Bentley and Jordan Mitchell-produced full-length debut Heavy Eyes is slated for an August 24, 2018 release through Fear of Missing Out Records and Sonic Unyon Records, and as the band’s Chrisy Hurn explains in press notes, recording in a comfortable environment allowed them to not only hone the sound that has won them international attention, it allowed them freedom to get heavy or more laid-back when the song required it; but perhaps more important, as Hurn says, “It also gave me the confidence as a writer to not take myself so seriously, to let myself get cheesy or goofy with some songs.”

“Dancing,” the buzz-worthy Canadian indie rock trio’s latest single finds the duo pairing buzzing and distorted power chords, propulsive drumming, a soaring hook and yearning lyrics within a song that sounds as though it were influenced by The Cranberries and PJ Harvey — and while subtly uptempo, it manages a buzzing and brooding nature. As the band’s Hurn explains of the song, When I’m feeling down, I like to borrow a car and drive until I am lost – it makes me feel better and distracts me a little. So, yeah, break out of your shell and dance… or get some fresh air.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Phantastic Ferniture Returns with Mischievous Visuals for Soaring Album Single “Bad Timing”

Although I’ve suffered a number of frustrating technological setbacks, you may recall that last month, I wrote about Phantasmic Furniture, the  garage rock/guitar pop side project (of sorts) of acclaimed singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin and a collection of some of her closest and dearest friends, Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan K. Brennan. And as the story goes, the band can trace their origins to a birthday gathering in a Sydney, Australia-based bar to celebrate Jacklin’s 24th birthday. At some point, a group hug had manifested itself with all ten of the group’s hug participants, drunkenly promising to start a band together. “Only four of us remembered,” Hughes recalls. The band’s core and founding members bonded over a mutual love and appreciation for fern-related puns and leisurewear, and they would meet up whenever their individual schedules would allow, writing songs and playing smatterings of live dates to an increasingly devoted audience.

Eventually, Jacklin, Hughes and Brennan decided that Phantastic Ferniture wasn’t a side project, and they should focus on writing and recording an album together, centered around the fact that the band would be a lot more spontaneous and less technical than their individual pursuits. “That was the fun part,” Jacklin says in press notes. “Ryan never played drums in bands, Liz had never been a lead guitarist, Tom didn’t play bass and I’d never just sung before.” Hughes adds “We wanted a low level of expertise, because a lot of good music comes from people whose passion exceeds their skill.”

Slated for a July 27, 2018 release through Transgressive Records, Phantastic Ferniture’s self-titled debut finds the band adopting a mantra of not overthinking — of focusing on the urgency of the moment, while being whimsical. “Gap Year,” the second single off the band’s full-length debut is a 90s alt rock-like track that struck me as owning and spiritual debut to PJ Harvey. “Bad Timing,” the third and latest single of the single continues on a somewhat similar vein as its immediate predecessor — rollicking indie rock with a cinematic sweep centered around a propulsive rhythm section, psych rock-like guitar pyrotechnics and a soaring hook. 

The recently released video for “Bad Timing” continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with director Nick Mckk and the video finds the band mischievously employing the use of fern imagery — with some friends holding potted ferns in front of the band members. At one point, you even see them put a fern-related puzzle together — because, of course! As the band’s Jacklin says in press notes, “We have to really thank all of our friends who came and made this clip with us. It turned out to be quite a painful process but probably good for our dwindling musician specific fitness levels. I think all our arms were aching for about a week after. I think anyone who is already on the fence in regards to our use of fern imagery is going to really hate us after watching this. We had also just got back our puzzle that features on the cover of our record and were putting it together while we waited for each shot to be set up.”

New Video: The Cinematic Yet Whimsical Visuals for Phantastic Ferniture’s “Gap Year”

Phantastic Ferniture is the garage rock/guitar pop side project (of sorts) of acclaimed singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin and the band features some of her closest friends, Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan K. Brennan can trace their origins to a birthday gathering in a Sydney, Australia-based bar to celebrate Jacklin’s 24th birthday. At some point a group hug manifested itself amid pinball participants with all ten of the group hug’s participants drunkenly promising to form a band together. “Only four of us remembered,” Hughes recalls. The band’s core and founding members bonded over a mutual love and appreciation for fern-related puns and leisurewear, and they would meet up whenever their individual schedules would allow, writing songs and playing smatterings of live dates to an increasingly devoted audience.

Eventually, Jacklin, Hughes and Brennan decided that Phantastic Ferniture wasn’t a side project, and they should focus on writing and recording an album together, centered around the fact that the band would be a lot more spontaneous and less technical than their individual. “That was the fun part,” Jacklin says in press notes. “Ryan never played drums in bands, Liz had never been a lead guitarist, Tom didn’t play bass and I’d never just sung before.” Hughes adds “We wanted a low level of expertise, because a lot of good music comes from people whose passion exceeds their skill.”

Slated for a July 27, 2018 release through Transgressive Records, Phantastic Ferniture’s self-titled debut finds the band adopting a mantra of not overthinking — of focusing on the urgency of the moment, while being whimsical. “Gap Year,” the second single off the band’s full-length debut is a 90s alt rock-like track that to my ears reminds me a little bit of early PJ Harvey as the rollicking and expansive track is centered around buzzing power chords, a propulsive rhythm section and a soaring hook — and in some way, the track may inspire some listeners to loosen up and venture off someplace to experience and see things, and to discover themselves. But as the band’s Elizabeth Hughes says about the song, “This song is about just doing what you need to do, with no expectation of any kind of return. It’s about trusting your instincts and not seeking validation …Julia and I are performing our hearts out to absolutely no one at one …The lack of audience doesn’t dull our enthusiasm, and we know our companionship and community will be enough of a reward. It’s poignant because we grew up in the mountains, both desperate for a stage.”

Directed by Nick Mckk and Phantastic Ferniture, the recently released and incredibly cinematic visuals for the song features the band’s Jacklin and Hughes performing an dancing and while not seeming desperate for an audience and for a stage, the viewer will immediately pick up on the isolation of their surroundings, and the companionship that the duo has.
 

New Video: Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Eliza Shaddad Releases 120 Minutes-like Visuals for Mesmerizing New Album Single

With the release of her first two EPs Run and Waters, the London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Eliza Shaddad quickly rose to international prominence as she received praise from a number of major media outlets including The Fader, Nylon, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, The Independent, Clash, The 405, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Beats 1 Radio and countless others for a sound that some have compared to PJ Harvey, Cat Power and others. (Not bad company to be a part of, if you ask me!) Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that I’ve written about the acclaimed British singer/songwriter, and as you may recall that Shaddad has arguably one of the more interesting backstories I’ve come across in quite some time. As the story goes, she’s the daughter of Sudanese and Scottish parents — and on her mother’s side, she’s the descendant of a long and very proud line of artists and poets that can be traced back to the 1800s; in fact, her great, great grandfather James Paterson, was a member of the Glasgow Boys, a group of extremely forward-thinking artists, best known for challenging the style and subjects of Victorian Scottish painting. She’s also spent time living in seven different countries and as a result, she speaks four languages. Along with that she’s earned a Masters in Philosophy and graduated from the Guildhall School with a degree in Jazz. Considering that background, it should be unsurprising that Shaddad’s work centers around constantly shifting and widening perspectives.

Additionally Shaddad has developed a reputation for pairing her creative work with significant causes. Along with fellow musician Samantha Lindo, she co-founded Girls Girls Girls, a female arts collective that has worked to empower women within the arts through special cross-disciplinary events across the UK. She has also raised awareness and funding for the anti-female genital mutilation charity Orchid Project.

The extremely busy Shaddad’s highly anticipated full-length debut Future is slated for release this fall, and the album, which will continue her ongoing (and longtime) collaboration with Chris Bond is slated for release later this year. The album’s second and latest single “My Body” is moody and hook-driven track centered around shoegazer-like atmospherics — in other words, shimmering guitar chords paired with Shaddad’s gorgeous vocals —  and trip hop’s dark and seductive grooves. The song evokes a plaintive  yet kind of uncertain need. Interestingly, as Shaddad explains in press notes, the song is about “Being betrayed by your body.  Knowing full well that you need to be alone, but doubting it every night.”

Directed by Joe McCrae, the recently released video was shot with several different cameras and employs the use of animation to show the transition between one’s conscious and subconscious while capturing the song’s — and in turn, its narrator’s — restlessness.

 

New Video: Introducing the Swaggering Sultry and Bluesy Sounds of Germany’s Sky Blue Skin

Comprised of founding member and creative mastermind Olivia Solner (vocals, electric slide guitar), Vincent Kusche (drums) and their newest member, Jakob Heeren (keys), the German indie rock trio Sky Blue Skin derives their name from the title of an unreleased Jeff Buckley demo that Solner was obsessed with. Initially, the project began as a solo project that began to receive a bit of attention for a series of live shows, before Solner recruited Vinzent Kusche. Jakob Heeren is a recent recruit, who makes his debut with the band on their recently released debut EP.

“Mirror Mirror,” the EP’s latest single is a scuzzy and swaggering blues rock with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and power chord riffs that immediately brings The Kills, The Black Keys and PJ Harvey to mind. As Solner told me in an email, “Mirror Mirror” and the rest of the EP is the culmination of a difficult and emotionally intense period which resulted in the realization that nothing and nobody is what it seems — and that resulting disillusion is a good thing. Edited by the band’s Olivia Solner, the recently released video is a surreal and hallucinogenic mash up of found footage and old movies.

Several years ago, I wrote about the London-based electro rock/industrial rock trio Blindness, an act that featured Beth Rettig (vocals, programming), Emma Quick (bass) and Debbie Smith (guitar), who also had stints in Curve, Echobelly and Snowpony. After Blindness split up, Rettig started tinkering around with new music and reworking some ideas that she had lying around without much of a plan. As Rettig told me in an email, “Recently, I decided it was probably time to do something with some of the new stuff.” Debbie Smith, her former Blindness bandmate contributed guitars, along with some programming on one of the two singles, Rettig has released with her new project Where We Sleep, a project that Rettig hopes will have her working with other musicians as well. Unsurprisingly, the project draws from some of Rettig’s lifelong influences — Curve, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Massive Attack, and others.

“Veins,” the first Where We Sleep single finds Rettig collaborating with her former Blindness bandmate Debbie Smith, who contributes some thumping drum programming, arpeggiated synths and buzzing power chords in a sultry and anthemic New Wave-like song that sounds as though it were influenced by Sixousie and the Banshees and Depeche Mode. “Crawl” is a moody and atmospheric track centered around Rettig’s breathy vocals and industrial clang and clatter — and sonically speaking, the song may arguably be the most Depeche Mode-like that she’s released yet.