Tag: Portishead

New Audio: Newcastle’s Acclaimed Lanterns on the Lake Release an Urgent Call to Resist Hate

Lanterns on the Lake are a critically applauded Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based indie rock quintet, currently comprised of founding trio Hazel Wilde (vocals, guitar, piano), Paul Gregory (guitar, production) and Oliver Ketteringham (drums, piano) with Bob Allen (bass) and Angela Chan (violin, cello, viola).  Founded back in 2007, the band self-released two EPs and a single, which caught the attention of Bella Union Records, who signed the band in late 2010. 

Shortly after signing to their label home, the band contributed a track to Bella Union’s Christmas 10″ EP compilation, which featured tracks from Peter Broderick and Radiohead’s Phillip Selway. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding, the band’s self-produced and self-recorded full-length debut effort, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home was released to critically applause in 2011.  During that period, the band opened for Explosions in the Sky, Low, and Yann Tiersen. 

The band’s sophomore album 2013’s Until the Colours Run was released to critical praise, with most reviewers noting the material’s sociopolitical thematic concerns and undertones. The members of Lanterns on the Lake supported their sophomore effort through the following year with extensive touring across the European Union and their first Stateside tour. 

Lantern on the Lake’s third album 2015’s Beings continued a run of critically applauded albums with Drowned in Sound calling the band “one of Britain’s most crucial bands of the present moment” and DIY Magazine describing them as “virtually without equal.” The Newcastle-based act supported the album with extensive tours across the European Union and the UK, playing their largest hometown show to date, at Sage Gateshead, where they were accompanied by Royal Northern Sinfonia, performing orchestral arrangements by Fiona Brice.  The show was recorded and released as a 2017 live album, Live with Royal Northern Sinfonia. 

Adding to a growing profile nationally and internationally the band has played sets across the international festival circuit, including End of the Road Festival, Glastonbury Festival, SXSW and Bestival. 

The band’s highly-anticipated fourth album, Spook the Herd is slated for a February 21, 2020 release through Bella Union. Deriving its title from a pointed comment at the manipulative tactics of ideologies, the album thematically is inspired by and draws from our turbulent and uncertain times in which we’re on the brink of our own annihilation — with the album’s nine songs touching upon our time’s hopelessly polarized politics, social media, addiction, grief, the climate crisis and more. 

Interestingly, Spook the Herd marks the first time that the band left their native Newcastle to record in a studio — Yorkshire’s Distant City Studios, where the album was engineered by Joss Worthington. Naturally, this shook up comfortable mindsets they’ve developed during their relatively young careers. “We are a pretty insular band in how we work, and trusting other people enough to allow them to get  involved is not always easy for us,” the band’s Hazel Wilde admits in press notes. 

Recorded live as much as possible, the band’s sound still draws from dream pop and post rock — but with a stripped down approach, which gives the material a stark urgency and immediacy. And it reportedly may be the most intimate feeling album of their growing catalog with the material feeling as though you were in the room with the band. The album’s latest single “Baddies” finds the acclaimed British act balancing a widescreen and bombastic cinematic air with a balladeer’s intimacy, centered around soaring strings, dramatic and forceful drumming, shimmering guitar lines and Wilde’s gorgeous and expressive vocals. And while being breathtakingly beautiful, the song which seems to recall Portishead-like trip hop, Beach House-like dream pop and post rock is its narrator’s desperate, last stand against hatred and polarization; one that has its narrator actively seeking the universal to bring the little people of the world together. 

“Baddies is a song about the rising tide of anger and hate in the world that seems to have been unleashed over the last few years, with those in positions of power and influence actively encouraging it for their own ends, and the polarization of society as a result,” Hazel Wilde explains in press notes. “It is about the need for the individual, the underdog, to stand up to it, but the fact in doing so we become part of it. We become someone else’s baddie.” 

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New Audio: Les Flâneurs’ Trip Hop Inspired Debut

Alessando “Alex” Marchetti is a multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known for his work in Italian indie band Il Disordine delle Cose, an act which has released three albums through Quite Please and Warner Chappell Music.

Marchetti’s solo side project Les Flâneurs — Les Flâneurs  in French means “stroller,” “lounger” “saunterer” or “loafer” — can trace its origins to when the Italian multi-instrumentalist began writing and recording material with a different vibe and feel from his primary gig; but with artists he had met while as a member of Il Disordine delle Cose. Sonically, the project’s sound features elements of indie electro pop, indie electro folk, complete with synths, drum machines and orchestral sections.

Interestingly, Marchetti views his work with Les Flâneurs as part director, part producer, in which everyone brings their talents to create — or improve upon the material. So far, the Italian producer and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with an array of up-and-coming internationally based artists including Italy’s Carlot-ta, Sweden’s Hanna Turi and Brazil’s Priscila Ribas among others.

Marchetti’s Les Flâneurs debut single, the slow-burning and contemplative  “Dark Souls,” is centered around a sparse and atmospheric production featuring twinkling piano, stuttering beats and Alice Greco’s haunting and expressive vocals. Indebted to 90s trip hop — in particular Dummy-era Portishead and Massive Attack, the song manages to possess a chilly and air,  evoking a walk in a brisk and clear night. 

New Video: Genre-Defying French Artist MHUD Releases a Bloody Commentary on Violence and Toxic Masculinity

Initially beginning his creative career as a painter, the mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer MHUD got into music as a creative outlet relatively recently. And in short period of time, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist has developed a reputation for material that thematically focuses on man’s spiritual, emotional and intellectual split from himself — paired with a sound that’s genre defying. 

The mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist’s full-length debut is slated for a March 2020 release, and the album’s latest single “Cheval de Bataille” is a slickly produced track that possesses elements of trip hop, electroclash, electro pop and arena rock as its centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, buzzing, distortion pedal-fueled guitar lines, a motorik-like groove, expressive blasts of horn and arpeggiated synths. Sonically speaking, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me a bit of synthesis of fellow countrymen Black Strobe, Dystopico-era Kriget, Third-era Portishead, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and The Deltahorse.  

Produced by David Garnacho and Nicolas Bouf, the recently released video for “Cheval de Bataille” follows the violent fantasies of a nerdy and relentlessly bullied office drone, who gets his revenge at a team-building paintball game. In the face of psychological violence in relation to economic and societal pressures, some people feel as though the only response they have is to respond with physical violence, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist says of the video treatment. The directors and the artist went with a hyper realistic take on violence — so that the impact it has on people can’t be trivialized or glorified. But on another level. it points out how toxic masculinity can lead to increasing amounts of brutal and senseless violence. 

Laura Burhenn is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, musician, activist and restless creative mastermind behind The Mynabirds, an act that has released four critically applauded and stylistically different albums through Saddle Creek Records — 2010’s What Was Lose in the Fire, 2012’s Generals. 2015’s Lovers Know and 2017’s Be Here Now. Burhenn also had had stints as a touring member of critically applauded and commercially successful acts The Postal Service and Bright Eyes. Burhenn has helped found Omaha Girls Rock, a non-profit that helps young girls find their creative voices — and she has given a TED talk based on her New Revolutionist photo project, which explored what it meant to be a revolutionary woman in this day and age. (Before all of that Burhenn was a member of Washington, DC-based indie act Georgie James with Q and Not U’s John Davis and released two-self produced solo albums through the label she founded, Laboratory Records.)

Interestingly, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Portishead‘s classic debut Dummy, an album that was highly-influential to Burhenn. “Dummy was my all-time favorite make-out record in high school and is in my permanent top ten, period,” Laura Burhenn says in press notes. To celebrate the occasion, The Mynabirds’ creative mastermind recently released a Patrick Damphier-produced cover of “Glory Box” that retains the original’s slow-burning and sultry nature and quietly defiant feminism — but while giving it a subtle, old-school country vibe. “That Beth Gibbons slid that feminist anthem into my teenage brain — that song completely rewired me.” Certainly, when women’s rights are being edged backwards, the song and its refrain “I just want to be a woman” would have to feel more powerfully necessary than ever before.

The track was released through Our Secret Handshake, a womxn-driven, women-focused creative strategy collective that Burhenn co-founded last year. A portion of the proceeds from the single will benefit Omaha Girls Rock.

 

With the release of their attention-grabbing single “Denim,” which was played on BBC Introducing, the Manchester, UK-based alt pop sextet Mealtime quickly emerged into the British music scene with a sound that meshes pop sensibilities and experimental production values. Since then, the band has built upon a growing profile with two consecutive sold-out shows at their hometown’s prestigious Band On The Wall, live sets at Bluedot Festival and Dot To Dot Festival, as well as a live session for BBC Introducing, Manchester.
Interestingly, Mealtime’s latest single, the atmospheric “Teef” finds the band channeling New Order and Portishead simultaneously, as the song is centered stuttering beats, shimmering synths and guitars, trading male and female verses and a sinuous hook — and while nodding at murkiness, the song is a coquettish and sugary pop confection.

 

was·sail

/ˈwäsəl,ˈwäˌsāl/

ARCHAIC
verb
gerund or present participle: wassailing
  1. 1.
    drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. 2.
    go from house to house at Christmas singing carols.
    “here we go a-wassailing”

 

  1. drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. to go from house to house at Christmas singing carols.

 

Featuring a former member We Were Evergreen, an act that toured across the UK and opened for the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Slow Club, Metronomy, Nick Mulvey, Villagers and others, the up-and-coming London-based indie electro pop project Wassailer derives its name from the word “wassailing” — and was discovered by the artist while looking for an anagram on a Scrabble website. With the help of a Tyneside-born girlfriend, Wassailer’s mastermind fell in love with a variety of different things that wound up influencing him — including Irish folk songs, grime, Auden’s poetry, Indian cuisine, UK garage and the peacefulness of the lake district.

Wassailer’s somewhat mysterious mastermind has since relocated to Lewisham, where he’s joined a contemporary crop of singer/songwriters, who are influenced by folk, jazz and soul as much as they are by electronic and urban productions. His latest single, “Ghosts” is a soulful trip hop production featuring looping, twinkling piano, brooding and mournful flugelhorn and trumpet from Johnny Woodham, thumping beats, soulful vocals from Wassailer and Demi Ma and a sinuous hook. And while seemingly drawing from Portishead and The Brand New Heavies, the track as Wassailer said via email was written while reading an article about the British Royals, who were refurbished their private properties with taxpayers’ funds — ” . . .and humbly aims at blending folk with modern urban beats and neo jazz in a pop song.”

 

 

Leee Zimmer is an Essex, UK-born, French-based electronic music and sound designer, who has worked with brands like Vivo Barefoot, Clark’s, Soul Of Africa and others. He started his solo recording project iD3 and since then he’s released a handful of EPs and a full-length album. Zimmer’s latest effort, the independently released Simple Beats is inspired by his love of contemporary soundscape-based producers including Bonobo, Four Tet, Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin, and jazz.

Interestingly, Simple Beats‘ latest single, is the slow-burning and nocturnal “Joy of a Kind.” Centered around an atmospheric production featuring twinkling synths, boom bap-like beats and a mournful, reverb-drenched trumpet line, the noir-ish track is one part Toto-era Miles Davis, one part Portishead, on part The North Borders-era Bonobo.

New Video: The KVB Releases Dreamy Visuals for Shimmering “Violet Noon”

Initially formed back in 2010 as a solo recording project of its founding member, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood, the British shoegazer act The KVB stated off with a number of limited cassette and vinyl releases that included “The Black Sun,” which was released through FLA Records and the Into the Night EP, which was released through Downwards Records. Vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kay Day joined Wood the following year, and the newly constituted duo released their full-length debut Always Then through Clan Destine Records. 

2013 was a busy year for the duo, as that year saw the release of their sophomore effort, Immaterial Visions, which was released through Cititrax that February. Wood and Day followed that up with a remix EP featuring contributions from Regis and Silent Servant that May — and a reissue of 2011’s limited edition cassette release Minus One through The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe’s label, A Recordings.

The following year, Wood and Day went to Newcombe’s Berlin studio to track what would eventually become the Out of Body EP, which A Records released later that year. Interestingly, those sessions marked a couple of firsts for the duo — the first time that they worked outside of their home studio and the first time that they worked with Joe Dilworth, a dummer known for his work with Stereolab and Cavern of Anti-Matter. The more experimental material they recorded the year, would up comprising 2015’s Mirror Being, which was released through Invada Records. 

2016’s Of Desire found the duo’s sound moving in a more experimental, electronic-leaning direction, as they recorded with vintage synths from Invada Records head and  Portishead and Beak> mastermind Geoff Barrow’s collection. Continuing at a busy pace, the duo’s Fixation/White Walls EP was release in 2017 and they released a re-masted, fifth anniversary edition of Always Then. Interestingly, last year’s Only Now Forever finds the duo returning to their DIY roots, with the duo recording in their Berlin apartment over the course of 2017. 

The album’s atmospheric, “Violet Noon” will further cement the duo’s reputation for pairing reverb-drenched shoegaze, 60s pop inspired boy-girl harmonies and minimalist  electronic production — but within a swooning and achingly hazy dream-like song.  “Influenced by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, ‘Violet Noon’ is a dark love song set against the backdrop of the apocalypse. While the world falls apart, all you can think of is the person you want to spend those last moments with,” The KVB say of the song and its accompanying video. “We shot the video last October, on the last unseasonably warm day of the year on the Jurassic coast in Dorset on the south coast of England. For us, the dreaminess of the video perfectly reflects the otherworldliness of this song, it feels like a hazy memory, timeless and romantic.”

 

Suvi is a Finnish-born, Swedish-based singer/songwriter and elecvtronic pop artist, who first emerged nationally and internationally with the release of acclaimed singles “Find You” and “Bleeding For Your Love,” which resulted in  an attention-grabbing European tour. Just as she was ready to release her full-length debut Mad at Heart, everything in her life turned upside down.

The Finnish-born, Swedish-based singer/songwriter and electro pop artist had suddenly felt ill and her mood was constantly changing. She began to lose weight and was torn — without understanding what was going on within herself. She stumbled into a black hole that she couldn’t get up from. And as a result, the album wasn’t finished and wasn’t released. “The feeling surrounding all this is very blue. So many feelings that comes to life just by thinking about this time, at the same time it almost feels like a dream from another time and place. It’s unreal. Did it really happen? Another feeling that I get when thinking about it is gratitude, and love, for everyone involved and the journey we did together, it’s shaped me a lot as a person,” Suvi says in press notes. 

Interestingly, Mad at Heart will finally be released in February 2019 and the album reportedly is a journey through love, friendship and betrayal while also being about being broken and finding the will and strength to put the pieces back together again. The album’s first single “Come Out and Play” is centered around a production consisting of a looped string sample, thumping beats, and a soaring hook paired with Suvi’s ethereal yet sultry vocals. Sonically speaking, it’s a cinematic take on trip hop that reminds me a bit of Portishead and Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp — but with a subtle Middle Eastern feel.