Tag: post punk

Formed in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio Ploho have firmly established themselves as one of the most prominent purveyors of a new wave of Russian music. Inspired by the aesthetic and sounds of late Soviet era of the 80s like Kino, as well as Joy Division, the band’s sound and approach also manages to reflect the icy chill of their homeland.

Since their formation, the Siberian band has been busy: they’ve released four albums, several EPs and over 10 singles, which they’ve supported with multiple tours across Europe with stops at over 40 cities. Building upon a growing profile, the band has made appearances at several prominent festivals including Боль in Russia, Kalabalik in Sweden, and Platforma in Lithuania. And as a result, the members of Ploho have slowly built up a fanbase in Europe and elsewhere. Building upon a growing profile, the band teamed up with Belarusian band Molchat Doma to collaborate on “Along the Edge of the Island” in 2019.

The rising Siberian act’s fifth album Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings) is slated for February 5, 2021 release through Artoffact Records, the label home of acts like Bootblacks, ACTORS, and Kælan Mikla. The album’s latest single “Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”)  is a perfect example of the band’s sound: shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, an angular and propulsive bass line, stuttering four-on-the-floor and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with ironically detached vocals sung in Russian. And while being a dance floor friendly bop, the song is imbued with the sort of nostalgia and melancholy that makes it sound as though it could have been released during 4AD Records‘ heyday.

Singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Christopher Goett may be best known for his work in Silo Halo. After a decade stint in Washington, DC. Goett returned to Los Angeles — and he quickly amassed a growing collection of songs. Interestingly, Goett credits his longtime friend, Sleepmask’s and Dreamland’s Adam D’Zurilla with encouraging him to further explore and expand upon those early song ideas. The end result is Goett’s latest project, the post punk/shoegaze act Blackout Transmission.

With the addition of Kevin Cluppert (bass) and Teenage’s Wrist’s Anthony Salazar (drums), the band’s lineup was solidified, and their sound and arrangements were fleshed out. Late last year, the members of Blackout Transmission slated playing live shows, developing and harnessing their live chemistry before they went to Long Beach-based Dream Machine Studio to record most of their Scott Holmes co-produced, eight song, full-length debut, Sparse Illumination. “Scott pushed me in the best way to reimagine elements of my approach” says Goett, “as such we captured the vibe and feel that I was seeking with these songs.”

As a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, Goett was forced to finalize his overdubs at his home studio, Twin Dragon West — and where he wrote and recorded two of the album’s eight songs. Despite where the material was written and recorded, the end result is an album that finds the band crafting material that’s a seamless lysergic journey seemingly influenced by Echo and the Bunnymen, The Verve, and others.

Sparse Illumination‘s latest single is the brooding and expansive “Portals.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, thunderous drumming, swirling reverb and delay pedaled guitar and Goett’s lyrics offering meditations on space, time and love, “Portals” possesses the sort of painterly and lysergic textures of A Storm in Heaven but paired with a widescreen, cinematic quality.

Sparse Illumination slated for a February 19, 2021 through Etxe Records.

New Video: Berlin’s The Underground Youth Releases a Brooding and Introspective New Single

Since its founding in Manchester in 2008 as a solo recording project by its creative mastermind and primary songwriter Craig Dyer, the prolific Berlin-based post punk act The Underground Youth has developed a cult-like following through the release of nine albums which have established a primal and intense sound.

Earlier this year, the band which also features Leo Kaage (guitar, production), Dyer’s wife Olga (drums) and Max James (bass) were in the middle of their first North American tour when the pandemic forced the band to cut their tour short and return home. Additionally, their original plans to head to the studio upon the completion of the tour also ground down to a halt with the members of the band spending several months in isolation as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns.

The Berlin-based act;’s forthcoming tenth album The Falling was written and recorded in Craig Dyer’s and Leo Kaage’s apartments-turned studios. The album is a marked departure from their previous work with the material showcasing a softer, more cinematic sound, centered around acoustic guitar and piano, as well as string and violin arrangements. Unsurprisingly, the album sonically and thematically is a product of the distressing, uncertain and very unfamiliar world we find ourselves living in right now, while expressing the frustrations, heartbreak and longing for a past we may never get back.

“Lyrically this album finds me at my most honest and autobiographical,” The Underground Youth’s Craig Dyer says in press notes. “I still shroud the reality of what I have written within something of a fictional setting, but the honesty and the romance that shines throughout the record is more sincere than it has been in my previous work. The idea was to strip back the band to allow for lyrical breathing space.”

The album’s first single is the introspective “A Sorrowful Race,.” Centered around an arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, twinkling bursts of keys, a supple bass line, and brooding string arrangement paired with Dyer’s plaintive baritone, “A Sorrowful Race” is a cinematic yet unvarnished and painfully honest bit of self-examination of its narrator’s sense of ego, self-worth and feelings of envy. If you’ve ever felt resentment and hatred because someone else has attained the success you haven’t, the song should feel both familiar — and like a call out of your own ugliness and frailties.

“This track is something of personal attack on myself, and the narcissistic frustration at those whose success has overshadowed my own,” Craig Dyer explains in press notes. ” It could be perceived as egoistic, but the idea with this record was to be as honest as possible lyrically, that included addressing the feelings that were maybe harder to face.”

The recently released video by the band’s Olga Dyer employs a simple, DIY-like concept: Olga Dyer recording her husband singing the song in their living room full of books and records,.

The Falling is slated for a March 12, 2021 release through Fuzz Club Records,.

New Video: The Lounge Society’s Sociopolitically Charged, Dance Floor Friendly Satire

The Lounge Society — Cameron Davey (vocals, bass), Archie Dewis (drums), Herbie May (guitar) and Hani Paskin-Hussain (guitar) — is a rising Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK band, whose members are roughly around the ages of 16-17. And in a remarkably short period of time, the Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire-based act have developed a sound and approach that draws from a diverse array of influences including The Fall, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground and Fat White Family among others.

The rising British act caught the attention of Speedy Wunderground co-founders Pierre Hall, Dan Carey, and Alexis Smith, and by the time the band’s manager had contacted the label, Hall, Carey and Smith quickly recognized that they were in a now-or-never moment to work with a band that by all accounts are lining themselves up to one of the next big things from Northern England. Because of their youth, the members of the and actually needed permission to miss their exams in order to come down to Speedy Wunderground’s Streatham, Greater London headquarters and studio to record material. And they needed an adult guardian to check them into the nearby hotel they booked for for their session.

Despite their relative youth, the young rising act made quite the impression on the Speedy Wunderground folks. “They are great. Really fun to work with — and a fucking amazing band,” Dan Carey enthuses. The day that the band entered the studio, things happened quickly: after messing around a bit with the members of the band trying out different amps and guitars. As soon as they were ready, Carey set the mood of the sessions by turning the lights off and turning on the smoke machine and lasers. And as they started to play, the building’s smoke alarm went off, which according to the band and the label was the first time that had ever happened.

Earlier this year,. I wrote about The Lounge Society’s debut single, the expansive yet breakneck “Generation Game.” Clocking in at 5:30, the band self-assuredly crafts a difficult to pigeonhole sound with the single featuring elements of shoegaze, psych rock, punk and Brit Pop held together by a propulsive rhythm section. “Generation Game” manages to capture the upstarts as a runaway train of rambunctious abandon, piss and vinegar and distortion pedaled power chords.

Building upon the buzz they received from “Generation Game,” The Lounge Society’s latest single “Burn the Heather” continues their ongoing collaboration with Dan Carey while being centered around a post-punk/punk funk strut that recalls Talking Heads, Gang of Four and Echoes-era The Rapture, complete with copious cowbell. And while being a dance floor friendly jam, the song finds the band continuing to write material that’s sociopolitically charged: The song’s title is derived from the annual local ritual of rich landowners burning moor-top heather for lucrative grouse-shoots. Locals in the valley have blamed that annual local ritual for frequent flooding that has devastated them financially and emotionally. Much like its predecessor, “Burn the Heather” is the sound and voice of England’s young people — and perhaps young people everywhere: hyper aware of their local and global world, articulate, pissed off, energized and ready to grab society by the horns.

Centered around strikingly macabre lyrics, “Burn the Heather” is a deeply personal song for the upstart British act. “‘Burn the Heather’ is a song deeply rooted in where we come from,” the band explain in press notes. “The lyrics are our interpretation of some of the darker aspects of where we live, and our personal reaction to them. Musically, ‘Burn the Heather’ is intended to be an adrenaline shot to the brain. We wanted this to be the second single all along. We don’t want to be just another post-punk band, and we knew ‘Heather’ would keep people on their toes. Unlike a lot of our tracks, the guitars are quite minimal and the rhythm really carries it, and we think it works really well. We want to make people move.”

Directed by Nick Farrimond, the recently released video fittingly follows the song’s macabre lyrics with rich landowner types hunting people — in this case, young people, dressed as prisoners in orange or perhaps red?) jumpsuits. (Editor’s note: Americans will see it this way. Across the country, the orange jumpsuit typically denotes prisoner.) Clearly pointing out the inequalities of power, class and wealth, the members of the band are hunted down — and there’s ton of carnage, as well as an ironic twist.

“Born from the sense of injustice surrounding irresponsible land owners who clear heather from the moorland for grouse hunting, (resulting in increased flood risks below in the valley where we all live) we decided to portray caricatured versions of grouse hunters, dressed head to toe in tweed and showing total disregard for the landscape and devoid of any values, morals or ethics,” the video’s director Nick Farrimond explains. “The band play the parts of grouse, making their way across the moors, dressed in fetching red boiler suits and unaware of the impending danger they face. What ensues is general carnage as the grouse are hunted one by one, each meeting a grizzly, untimely end…or do they? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Dream Wife Drops Blistering Single from Soon-to-Be Released Live Album

Deriving their name from a pointed criticism of society’s objectification of women, the London-based punk rock trio and JOVM mainstays Dream Wife — Icelandic-born, London-based Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals) and Bella Podapec (bass, vocals) — can trace their origins to when the trio met and started the band back in 2015 as an art project centered around a unique concept: a ban d born out of one girl’s memories of growing up in Canada in the 1990s.

Dream Wife’s 2018 self-titled debut was released to widespread critical acclaim — and the London-based JOVM mainstays supported the album by opening for Garbage, The Kills and Sleigh Bells and playing that year’s SXSW. Building upon a growing international profile, the members of Dream Wife also went on a series of headlining tours across the European Union and the States, which included a Rough Trade stop with New York-based genre-defying artist Sabri.

Released earlier this year through Lucky Number Music, the London-based trio’s Marta Salogni-produced So When You Gonna . . . finds the JOVM mainstays crafting what may arguably be their most urgent and direct material to date. Thematically touching upon abortion, miscarriage and gender equality, the album’s material if fueled by a “it’s now or never” immediacy, in which the listener is told that they need to get off their ass and start doing something to make the world a better place for all — right this very second. In the UK, So When You Gonna . . . has been a critical and commercial success: the album landed at #18 on the UK Albums Chart, making it the only album in the Top 20 to be produced by an all womxn/non-male production and engineering team — and the only non-major label release to chart that high.

To celebrate such a momentous achievement in their careers, Dream Wife will be releasing a live album, IRL (Live in London 2020). Recorded at a Peckham Audio show back in January, the live album, captures the band’s ferocious and feral live sound, which has made them a must-see live act. But it also captures something much larger and much more important what so many of us miss: the transcendent ecstasy of a fan seeing their favorite artist play their favorite song live; the camaraderie with newfound friends over your mutual love of that artist — or of traveling to see that artist and on and on and on.

IRL (Live in London 2020)’s first single is a previously unreleased song “Cheap Thrills.” Centered around slashing guitars, a propulsive bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and Mjöll’s brash and bratty delivery, “Cheap Thrills” sonically is one part Gang of Four, one part Yeah Yeah Yeahs and one part Garbage with a youthful and defiant urgency.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays ACTORS Release a Creepy Halloween Themed Visual for “Love U More”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut It Will Come To You, the acclaimed Vancouver-based JOVM mainstay act ACTORS — Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Jahmell Russell (bass, vocals) and Adam Fink (drums) — developed and honed a sleek, hook-driven, 4AD Records-era inspired post-punk sound.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for the Canadian post punk quartet: During most of that period, the members of ACTORS have been on tour to support their debut, a tour that included a headlining set at A Murder of Crows Festival at the now-shuttered Brooklyn Bazaar. Along with that the band’s Jason Corbett has been an in-demand producer, collaborating with fellow JOVM mainstays Bootblacks, Ultrviolence and a number of post punk acts.

“Love U More,” the band’s latest single is the first bit of new material from the band since the release of It Will Come For You. Interestingly, the single can trace it origins to the road: The track first came to life as the band was traveling the Autobahn at 190 kilometers per hour (about 120 mph) — and the song’s opening synth line melody looped through Jason Corbett’s head. Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular and reverb-drenched guitar blasts, and a motorik groove, “Love U More” finds the act crafting a brooding yet sensual song that evokes the feeling of being both watched and being watcher, of hunter and pray.

The band’s Shannon Hemmett describes the song’s atmosphere as “standing alone on a shadowy street. I see the flash of a cat’s eyes in the dark. I am hunting and hunted, recognizing that tension that lives inside me, and all of us. This track embraces the bittersweet moments of loss with the ancipatoon of new possibilities.”

Directed by Juno Award-winning and Leo Award-winning director Peter Ricq, the recently released video for “Love U More” the cinematically shot visual is set in a Vancouver that has just gone through a zombie apocalypse — and we follow, our undead protagonist as she travels the streets of Vancouver to an empty theater, where she delivers an unsettling performance.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Bootblacks Release a Shimmering Dance Floor Friendly Single

Throughout this site’s decade history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the rising New York-based post-punk act Bootblacks. The JOVM mainstay act — Panther Almqvist (vocals), Alli Gorman (guitar), Barrett Hiatt (synths) and Larry Gorman (drums) — derive their name from novelist William Burroughs’ description of the dark underbelly of New York. Unsurprisingly, the band’s surroundings have deeply influenced and informed their work both sonically and thematically. “It’s an energetic city and people have all the reasons in the world not to give you the time of day,” the band’s Panther Almqvist says in press notes. “I think our music has been shaped by that in many ways.”

In 2012, the New York-based post-punk released their Jim Sclavunos-produced debut EP Narrowed. 2016 saw the release of their full-length debut Veins, which they supported with extensive touring. Interestingly, 2017’s sophomore effort Fragments found the band expanding their sound with the material becoming more synth-based, more atmospheric and much bigger than its immediate predecessors. And as a result, Fragments received quite a bit of attention, which helped the band earn slots on a number of post-punk/New Wave/goth festivals including Cold Waves, Terminus, Absolution, Wave Gotik Treffen and A Murder of Crows — and the album landed on a lot of year-end lists.

Of course, like countless acts across the world, the members of the rising New York-based post-punk act had plans — and hopes — for a big 2020, pre COVID-19 pandemic quarantines and lockdowns: they were handpicked to open for Modern English during their North American tour this year. Unfortunately, that tour has been postponed. But in the meantime, the band’s highly anticipated Jason Corbett-produced third album Thin Skies will be released through Artoffact Records on October 9, 2020. Thin Skies reportedly finds the band zooming forward where Fragments left off, with the album’s nine songs meshing dance floor pulse and brooding post-punk with anthemic hooks.

Thin Skies continues the band’s long-held thematic concerns: the loneliness of city life. “Most of the lyrics on the album are about loneliness,” says Almqvist. “Looking back on the lyric writing process there seems to be some connective feeling of isolation and distance present in all of the songs… I’m always hoping that a listener personalizes the song, that’s why the songs never have a narrative but try to embody a feeling.”

I’ve written about Thin Skies’ first three singles: the brooding yet dance floor friendly “Traveling Light,” the jittery and anxious “The Jealous Star,” and the cinematic and atmospheric album title track “Thin Skies.” “Hidden Things,” Thin Skies’ fourth and latest single is centered around shimming, reverb-drenched guitars, arpeggiated synths and a dance floor friendly pulse, reminiscent of The Rapture and Cut Copy. According to Bootblacks’ frontman Panther Almqvist, “’Hidden Things’ is about looking into darkness to find your way out of it.”

New Video: Los Angeles-based Duo Peel Releases a Brooding Visual for Hypontic “Rom-Com”

Los Angeles-based duo Peel is a new collaboration between multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Sean Cimino and multi-instrumentalist and producer Isom Innis. Interestingly, the project can trace its origins back to a month-long recording session the duo held at Innis’ concrete loft above The Orpheum Theatre. The cavernous space, which once held fleets of sewing machines thrumming and humming served as the perfect setting for musical experimentation through drums, amps and modular synthesizers.

Interestingly, the duo’s debut single “Rom-Com” was the first song the duo wrote together, and the track is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a woozy guitar solo and hypnotic, motorik groove that brings Gary Numan and Antics-era Interpol to mind. “We are obsessed with records like Second Edition (Public Image Ltd.) and The Pleasure Principle (Gary Numan); records where spirit and improvisation guide expression,” Peel’s Isom Innis explains in press notes. “The lyrics, deriving from a stream-of consciousness, are from the perspective of trying to find your existential footing in the cyclical information spiral.”

Directed by Taylor Giali, Robbie Jeffers and the members of Peel, the recently released video for “Rom-Com,” is a live recording shot in a stark, industrial-like black and white while capturing the duo through different arrays of photographs and hazy analog, security cam-like video — but with an interactive twist in which the viewer can scroll through a split screen of the band performing.

Peel’s self-titled effort is slated for an October 16, 2020 release though Innovative Leisure. Be on the lookout

Led by frontman Zac Woolery, the London-based post-punk act DEADLETTER emerged into the national scene with the release of their debut single “Good Old Days” earlier this year, which received airplay on regional BBC and BBC 6. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the rising London-based act’s second single “Fit For Work” is an angry, attention-grabbing track featuring the angular guitar attack that recalls Entertainment!-era Gang of Four, centered around an alternating quiet verses, a No Wave-like, explosive chorus and call-and-response vocals.

Although the song has a decidedly British point of view, the song thematically focuses on our seemingly unending Kafkaesque hellscape of cruelly indifferent bureaucrats, and ridiculous laws and regulations that crush dreams, hopes and lives — in particular, governments and institutions that force people to work in the most absurd situations to get by — or to get a little bit of money from the government. “‘Fit For Work’ was a concept a long time before it was a song,” DEADLETTER’s Zac Woolery explains in press notes. “As a band, and as a writer, we [I] have always regarded the call and response strategy as biblical. The idea of having a conversation during the delivery of art leads to this absurd metaphysical tangent of acknowledging your art is art whilst performing it; similar to when artists use the line “I wrote this song for you because…” what they are doing, when you think about it, is taking away the idea that what they’re creating exists in itself, and is in fact an entity that exists in a wholly real world.

“As a song, “Fit For Work” is about more than just the Department for Work and Pensions. It provides a mirror to the world, and specifically the Britain of today.  The ideas explored within the track are seemingly exaggerated accounts of reality but, upon close examination, have worrying roots in true experience, with the track aiming to parallel the savagery of the narrator in the song with the actual brutality of our government.

“The declaration of someone as ‘Fit For Work’ is symptomatic of the apathy and bureaucratic cruelty prevalent in society, where being unable to meet a certain ticked number of boxes (either literally or metaphorically), equates to the surrender of personal autonomy, and by extension, individual identity.”

New Video: Reims France’s Not A Number Releases a 4AD Records-like Single

Not A Number (N.A.N.) is a post-punk act led by its Reims, France-based creative mastermind, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Bernard Collot. Slated for an October 15, 2020 release, Collot’s self-titled, three song EP  was recorded and mixed by Sylvain Masure at Le Chalet Studio — and the EP’s material finds the emerging French artist drawing from a mix of coldwave, shoegaze and post-punk. 

The EP’s latest single is the shimmering and brooding 4AD Records-like “Black Water,” which features shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, atmospheric synths and thumping beats, a sinuous bass line, and anthemic hook paired with Collot’s plaintive vocals.  And while being both slickly produced and carefully crafted, the song thematically is centered around an achingly familiar sentiment — the age old battle between nostalgia and the desire to move forward. 

Directed by Collot and Arnaud Klein, the recently released video follows a brooding Collot through an industrial looking tunnel, him and his bandmate swimming and walking through a suburban-looking pool — and of course, the duo playing the song poolside. It’s symbolic and feverish, and it emphasizes the overall feel and vibe of the song.