Tag: post punk

New Audio: Italy’s IC2 Releases a Brooding Yet Dance Floor Friendly Single

IC2 is the darkwave/post-punk solo recording project of a rather mysterious Villa Latina, Italy-based producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The emerging Italian artist’s latest single, the brooding yet dance floor friendly “Falling Down” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, thumping electronic drums, wiry bursts of distorted guitars, crooned vocals and an enormous hook. Sonically, “Falling Down” may remind some listeners of post-punk heavyweights like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and Joy Division — as well as contemporaries like ACTORS, Bootblacks and others.

New Video: French Artist Haya The Hellcat Takes Viewers on a Tour of Paris in Trippy Visual for Punchy “Histoire De Se Revoir”

Haya The Hellcat is a Nancy, France-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who writes and records out of a basement studio of an artists’ house called AXLV — All Exclusive. The Nancy-based artist grew up spitting his time between Reunion Island and France, where he studied music and began writing instrumentals when he turned 14. When he turned 26, the emerging French singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began writing his own lyrics — and recording material singing his own lyrics.

The Nancy- based artist’s debut EP Quarante-Six Kilomètres Dans Les Sable was released earlier this month, and the EP touches upon several themes including travel, emotions and others. The EP’s latest single “Histoire De Se Revoir” is a decidedly post-punk influenced tune centered around a punchy and propulsive bass line, shimmering guitars, plaintive vocals and a razor sharp hook. Interestingly, the song sees the French artist deftly balancing wistful nostalgia with a breezy, radio friendly accessibility.

The recently released, gorgeously shot black and white visual for “Histoire De Se Revoir” follows Haya The Hellcat through Paris — sometimes forward, sometimes backward.

With the release of her first two albums — 2016’s Sirens and 2018’s Empty Sea — Berlin-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and photographer Laura Carbone received critical praise for a sound that has frequently drawn comparisons to PJ HarveyShana FalanaChelsea WolfeSt. Vincent and others. 

If you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Carbone and her band were scheduled to go into the studio last May to record what would be he highly-anticipated third album. But unfortunately, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, Carbone’s plans were indefinitely shelved, much like countless other artists and bands across the world at the time.

While she was touring across the European Union to support her first two albums, Carbone and her band appeared on the beloved German live concert series Rockpalast. For Carbone, who grew up in a small, southwestern German town watching Rockpaalst, appearing on the show was the achievement of a lifelong dream: A who’s who list of artists and bands have appeared on the show including Siouxsie and The BansheesRadiohead, Sonic YouthPatti SmithSinead O’ConnorDavid BowieR.E.M., Echo and the BunnymenScreaming TreesLynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Charles Bradley and a very lengthy list of others. 

Inspired by the lockdowns, Carbone and her band came up with an idea: “What if Rockpalast would let us release that show as a live album?” Taken from her October 2019 Rockpalast set at Harmonie Bonn, the Laura Carbone — Live at Rockpalast is a career-spanning set featuring material from her first two albums.

I had written about three of the live singles:

  • Who’s Gonna Save You,” which found Carbone and her band deftly balancing menace and sultriness, while introducing a rock goddess, you need to know — right now.
  • Cellophane Skin” which found Carbone and company taking the tension of the original and informing with a feral intensity developed while touring. And as a result, the song finds its narrator — and perhaps, even the artist herself — turning into a seductive, yet vengeful force of nature tearing down the bonds of poisonous social norms that have imprisoned her, while demanding that we — men particularly so — examine ourselves.
  • “Nightride,” a slow-burning and brooding bit of psychedelia-tinged post punk that sonically and lyrically nods at The Doors “The End” as though covered by PJ Harvey.

Each video from the live session continued Carbone’s ongoing visual collaboration wit Olya Dyer — but the visual for “Nightride” also featured  The Underground Youth‘s Carig Dyer as a dark and handsome stranger, who picks up Carbone.

Carbone and The Underground Youth have collaborated on the recently released In Dreams EP, an effort that sees them tackling four Roy Orbison songs, which chart the age-old and universal narrative of falling in and out o love, and the deep yearning for romance and connection we all feel — even if we don’t want to always admit it. (As a personal note, I fucking love Roy Orbison.)

The In Dreams EP shines with its bittersweet blend of a reserved musical background that leaves space for Craig’s earthy voice and Laura’s soaring, ethereal vocals to connect, embrace and unravel again. Centered around sparse and atmospheric arrangements, the EP’s material is roomy enough for Craig Dyer’s earthy baritone and Carbone’s yearning and ethereal vocals to seemingly connect, embrace and unravel throughout.

In Dreams‘ latest single “Crying” finds Dyer and Carbone slowing the tempo down and stripping the song down to its barest elements — shimmering guitar. Dyer’s baritone and Carbone’s achingly tender vocals. Turning the song into a duet, subtly changes the song into a conversation between a couple, who both realize — with some aching bitterness — that their relationship has come to an end, and that there’s nothing much they could do to resolve it. At some point, all of us have been there, and the song’s universality and familiarity is what makes it powerfully transcendent.

Post punk outfit Sei Still — Sebastián Rojas (organ, synths), Mateo Sánchez Galán (guitar), Jerónimo Martín (drums, percussion) and Lucas Martín (vocals, guitar) — can trace its origins to when the members of the band decided to take a random trip to some desolate woodlands outside of Mexico City to work on a couple of songs. Those sessions were so productive that it led to the quartet starting the band in earnest. 

With just a couple of singles under their collective belts — 2017’s “Oto” and 2019’s “Tacticas de Guerrilla Urbana” — the band quickly earned a rapidly growing profile in their native Mexico, sharing stages with StereolabKikagaku MoyoInstitute, and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. As a result of the growing buzz surrounding them, the Mexican post-punk outfit signed to London-based label Fuzz Club Records, who released their self-titled full-length debut last year. The album quickly solidified a new European fanbase for the Mexican post punk outfit, while selling out its initial vinyl pressing. 

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album El Refugio is slated for a November 26, 2021 release through Fuzz Club Records, and the album marks a number of major changes for the Mexican post-punk quartet: The band relocated to Berlin, where they wrote and recorded El Refugio. And sonically, the album represents an evolution in the now-Berlin-based band’s sound. Whereas their self-titled debut was heavily indebted to the Krautrock sounds of Can and Neu!El Refugio reportedly sees the band eschewing the expansive and hypnotic tendencies of their previously released work for a wiry, post-punk inspired sound, that’s still centered around a motorik pulse. Additionally, the songs are shorter and unapologetically to the point, while bristling with tension and anguish.

“The biggest influence on this record was the fact that our personal lives had a radical change and we felt the need to do something different, to dig deeper into the possibilities of what the band was about,” the members of Sei Still explain. “We never wanted to make the same record twice.” Understandably, the move from Mexico to Germany would normally be a massive upheaval culturally, emotionally and personally — but the band managed to move a few weeks before COVID-19 struck across the world and forced shutdowns and lockdowns. And as a result, the material possesses a visceral unease,

More expressionist than psychedelic, the and explains that El Refugio thematically  “alludes to childhood, dreams, desire, loneliness, paranoia and hope. A longing for a different reality that breaks the monotony of daily life. It’s more about sensations than something you can describe in words. I think what makes music great is that it has to be experienced so we try to part from a specific mood or emotion, which is something very abstract that people can interpret in their own way.”

Last month, I wrote about “Extraradio,”a brooding,  Joy Division-like take on post-punk centered around Lucas Martín’s dry sprechgesang delivery in Spanish, an angular bass line, bursts of wiry, delay pedaled guitar and an insistent motorik pulse. The song to me managed to evoke the profound loneliness of being an Other in a foreign land and surrounded by a culture and language you can’t speak or understand.

El Refugio‘s latest single “Exilo” is a taut and brooding bit of post-punk centered around a relentless motorik pulse, wiry bursts of guitar, glistening synths, mathematically precise electronic drum paired with forceful kick drum paired with Martín’s dry vocal delivery. Reportedly indebted to Spanish New Wave, “Exilo” personally reminds me of endlessly gray, German skies, damp rainy nights in Frankfurt’s Romer and Haupwatche sections with the seemingly permanent costume of foreigner, of man from far away.

New Video: Nice, France’s BLC MIRROR CLB Releases a Creepy Visual for Scorching “Sleepwalk Time”

Nice, France-based act BLC MIRROR CLB was initially formed as a duo in 2017 featuring founding members Fabz (vocals, guitar, synths) and Marz (drums, backing vocals). The French act’s 2019 self-titled debut EP was release to critical praise nationally and internationally from Skriber, Rock Made in France, Indiebox and Eric Alper among a list of others, and the EP received airplay globally from stations like CT Rocks, London Radio, Nuevos Pero Rotos, CATA Radio, ODDScene, Radio Kaos Caribou and Radio Volna.

The rising French act expanded into a trio with the addition of Ben (bass, backing vocals). Shortly after Ben joined the Nice-based outfit, gradually went through a radical change in sonic direction, moving from indie rock into brooding electro post-punk, inspired by Portishead, Eagulls, Siouxsie and The Banshees and others.

BLC MIRROR CLB’s latest effort, the five-song We Are The Ghosts Part 1 was recently released through Shake A Leg/Exquisite Noise Records. The EP continues the act’s gradual movement into post punk and cold wave. EP single “Sleepwalk Time (A Song for M)” is a brooding and uneasy song featuring buzzing bass synths, scorching guitar lines, thumping beats, industrial clang and clatter and howled vocals in an expansive, dread-inducing song structure. Sonically, the song — to my ears, at least — brings The Fragile era Nine Inch Nails, Third era Portishead to mind but while evoking our near-dystopian reality.

Directed by Albin Lunareiff, the recently released video features grainy and intimate VHS-styled footage of the band performing the song in a bare studio. Bursts of computerized MS DOS-like text appears superimposed over the band. It’s just as creepy and uneasy as the accompanying song.

New Video: Sei Still Releases a Trippy Visual for Tense and Brooding “Extraradio”

Post punk outfit Sei Still — Sebastián Rojas (organ, synths), Mateo Sánchez Galán (guitar), Jerónimo Martín (drums, percussion) and Lucas Martín (vocals, guitar) — can trace its origins to when the members of the band decided to take a random trip to some desolate woodlands outside of Mexico City work on a couple of songs. Those sessions were so productive that it led to the quartet starting the band in earnest.

With just a couple of singles under their collective belts — 2017’s “Oto” and 2019’s “Tacticas de Guerrilla Urbana” — the band quickly earned a rapidly growing profile in their native Mexico, sharing stages with Stereolab, Kikagaku Moyo, Institute, and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. The members of the Mexican post punk outfit signed to London-based label Fuzz Club Records, who released their self-titled full-length debut last year. The album quickly solidified new European fanbase for the Mexican post punk outfit, while selling out its initial vinyl pressing.

Slated for a November 26, 2021 release through Fuzz Club Records Sei Still’s highly-anticipated sophomore album El Refugio marks a number of major changes for the Mexican post-punk outfit: The band relocated to Berlin, where they wrote and recorded El Refugio. And sonically, the album represents an evolution in the now-Berlin-based band’s sound. Whereas their self-titled debut was heavily indebted to the Krautrock sounds of Can and Neu!, El Refugio reportedly sees the band crafting a somewhat skeletal effort: while still centered around a motorik pulse, El Refugio‘s songs sees the band eschewing the expansive and hypnotic tendencies of its predecessors for a more wiry, post-punk sound. The song are much shorter and unapologetically to-the-point, while brimming with tension and anguish.

“The biggest influence on this record was the fact that our personal lives had a radical change and we felt the need to do something different, to dig deeper into the possibilities of what the band was about,” the members of Sei Still explain. “We never wanted to make the same record twice.” Naturally, the move from from Mexico to Germany would have been a massive upheaval both personally and culturally, but the rising post punk outfit managed to do so a few weeks before pandemic-related shutdowns and quarantines, which gives the material a visceral feel.

Expressionist rather than psychedelic, the band explains that El Refugio “alludes to childhood, dreams, desire, loneliness, paranoia and hope. A longing for a different reality that breaks the monotony of daily life. It’s more about sensations than something you can describe in words. I think what makes music great is that it has to be experienced so we try to part from a specific mood or emotion, which is something very abstract that people can interpret in their own way.”

El Refugio‘s latest single is the brooding, “Extraradio.” Centered around Lucas Martín’s dry sprechgesang delivery in Spanish, an angular bass line, bursts of wiry, delay pedaled guitar and an insistent motorik pulse, “Extraradio” bears a resemblance to Joy Division while evoking the profound loneliness of being an Other in a foreign land with a culture and language you can’t understand.

Directed by Pilar Gost, the recently released video for “Extraradio” evokes the lonely and paranoid feel of the song, capturing the band’s members dancing, vamping and brooding in strobe light.

Since the release of 2016’s full-length debut High HopesHalifax, Nova Scotia-based post-punk act Like a Motorcycle — currently Kim Carson (bass, vocals), KT Lamond (guitar, vocals) and David Casey (guitar, vocals) and Clare McDonald (drums, vocals) — have managed to muscle through the sort of tumult and instances that has busted up countless other bands: substance abuse, health issues, several lineup changes, and a former label that nearly bankrupted them. And despite all of that they’ve bravely — and perhaps stubbornly — kept on, honing on their long-held reputation for crafting anthems for disenfranchised rejects like themselves, who are working several different gigs, maneuvering five-figure college debts and barely surviving.

The Halifax-based post-punk outfit’s sophomore effort, last year’s aptly titled Dead Broke featured the anthemic, Ganser-like “Wide Awake,” a bristling and incisive commentary on a capitalist system that allows and celebrates rampant exploitation for personal gain.  

Adding to a growing profile in their native Canada, Like a Motorcycle has opened for the likes of Against Me!, Propagandhi, Headstones, The Vibrators, Japandroids, The Pack A.D., Art Bergmann, Danko Jones and JOVM mainstays L.A. Witch and METZ.

The Halifax-based post-punk outfit’s latest single sees them tackling a song by Los Angeles-based cult favorite punk act The Screamers, who despite the buzz surrounding them at the time, never recorded or released an album. “122 Hours of Fear” outlines the 1977 hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 from the point of view of a hostage on the flight. Beginning with blown out beats, reverb and pedal effected guitars, the song quickly turns into a tense affair centered around angular guitar bursts, glistening synth arpeggios in the background, howled vocals and thunderous drumming. And at its core is slow-burning sense of dread of the potentially terrible fate that awaits the song’s narrator, much like the original.

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Initially formed in Chicago back in 2019 and now currently based Portland, OR, the members of rising indie rock outfit Koalra quickly established a sound and songwriting approach indebted to 120 Minutes-era alt rock — in particular, The CureDinosaur Jr., WeenSonic YouthBoyracer, and The Thermals, as well as contemporaries like No Age, and Waaves

In the almost three years since their formation, the Portland-based outfit has been remarkably prolific: They’ve released three albums and a handful of EPs, including 2019’s self-titled debut, last year’s The Wakes and this year’s Into The Everything. Interestingly, Into The Everything, which featured “Water’s Push” found the rising indie rock act pushing their sound into decidedly New Wave territory. 

Koalra’s fourth album Love Songs To Remind Us That We Can’t Stand Each Other continues upon the band’s reputation for being prolific while being a collection of songs inspired by the disenchantment of our current sociopolitical climate, as well as a major lineup change — and their recent relocation to Portland.

Last month, I wrote about the  4AD Records-like “Sight Unseen,” a track centered around atmospheric synths, angular guitars, a driving, motorik-like groove, plaintive vocals and an enormous hook. Thematically, the song focused on some familiar and universal themes — in particular, nostalgia over a youthful yet major love that’s been long lost.

“When We Fall” is a melodic and yearning bit of post punk featuring shimmering and atmospheric synths, plaintive vocals, a driving 80s New Order-like groove, propulsive four-on-the-floor and a swooning hook. Much like its immediate predecessor, “When We Fall” is centered around a familiar nostalgia — of a time and place that you can’t quite get back.

New VIdeo: JOVM Mainstays Kælan Mikla Teams up with Alcest on Brooding and Atmospheric “Hvítir Sandar”

2018 was a breakthrough year for Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla— Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synths, vocals),  Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass), and Laufey Soffía Þórsdóttir (vocals): The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. The Icelandic post punk outfit played that year’s Roadburn Festival, and they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s soon-to-be released, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for release next week through their longtime label home Artoffact RecordsUndir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release I’ve managed to write about three of the album’s released singles:

  • Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”
  • Ósýnileg,” a dance floor friendly track centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves, rapid fire, four-on-the-floor beats and blood curdling screams in the background. Interestingly, the track manages to evoke strobe lit discos and howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena simultaneously. 
  • Stormurinn,” a decidedly widescreen take on the sound that has won them attention internationally: While you’ll still hear shimming synth arpeggios, rapid fire four-on-the-floor, motorik grooves and razor sharp hooks paired with the trio’s ethereal vocals, you’ll also hear some a gorgeous flute arrangement and howling winds, which evoke Icelandic’s stormy and unpredictable weather.

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s fourth and latest single is the slow-burning and brooding “Hvítir Sandar,” a collaboration with French act Alcest. Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir’s hauntingly ethereal vocals float over a stormy mix of glistening and icy synths and industrial clang and clatter.

“‘Hvítir Sandar’ is about feeling like you’re being defeated by your inner faults and demons. It’s about self-acceptance,” the Icelandic JOVM mainstays explain in press notes. ” Even if you carry a darkness within, it’s what makes you who you are, and you shouldn’t have to change for other people.”

“We felt really honored when Kælan Mikla offered us to be guests on their song ‘Hvítir Sandar,'” the members of Alcest say in press notes. “Alcest and Kælan Mikla toured together in 2020 and from the start we definitely saw connection between the two bands, despite the stylistic difference. ‘Hvítir Sandar’ is one of our favorites on the album and before even starting to work on it we had a vision of what the aesthetics of Alcest could bring to the song. We are so proud of how it turned out and we hope that the fans of Kælan Mikla will enjoy this collaboration just as much as we did!”

Directed by Máni Sigfússon, the recently released video for “Hvítir Sandar” continues a run of gorgeous and cinematically shot and incredibly eerie visuals paired with computer generated graphics.

Album pre-order is available here: https://kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com

New Video: Tampa’s Glove Releases a Frenetic Yet Dance Floor Friendly Ripper

Rising Tampa-based indie act Glove can trace their origins back to 2017: the band’s founding members Rod Wendt, Brie Deux and Michelle Primiani started playing music. Justin Burns joined shortly thereafter, and the band quickly established their sound, which blends 80s synth-based New Wave with elements of contemporary rock ‘n’ roll,.

The Tampa based indie outfit honed their show through two years of self-booking DIY shows, and then opening for The Nude Party and Broncho on a string of East Coast shows. The members of Glove caught the attention of Cage the Elephant‘s Brad Shultz, who produced the band’s forthcoming, full-length debut Boom Nights.

Boom Nights‘ first single “Glass” was released in April and landed on Spotify’s New Noise playlist. Since then, the Tampa based band has hit the road: they finished a month-long tour with White Reaper and have played sets at Lollapalooza and Levitation. They’ll play a handful of dates with Wavves this month.

2022 looks to be a breakthrough year for the Tampa-based quartet: they’ll begin the year touring with A Place to Bury Strangers and Boom Nights will see its release. As always, tour dates are below. But in the meantime the album’s third and latest single “Modern Toy,” which features the band’s Brie Deux taking up lead vocal duties, is a frenetic yet dance floor friendly ripper that’s one-part Freedom of Choice era Devo, one-part Fever to Tell era Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

“‘Modern Toy’ refers to the dark underbelly of Hollywood,” Glove’s Brie Deux says. “The song slowly creeps up and starts revealing the frustrations and alienation within the entertainment industry. It all leads up to a full fledge lash out, where the industry has completely consumed the person and reveals they’re nothing but a prop. This can be interpreted in any industry or life and for anyone who is being used or treated unjustly. I dedicate this song to Britney Spears.

The recently released video features the band’s Brie Deux is a Tron-inspired silver jumpsuit and silver wraparound shades. If you’re a child of the 80s as I am, the video brings back a lot of memories.