Tag: Primal Scream

New Video: The Symbolic (and Messy) Visuals for INVSN’s “This Constant War”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Umea, Sweden-based post-punk quintet INVSN, an act comprised of some of Sweden’s most accomplished musicians — including Dennis Lyxzen (vocals), a founding member and frontman of Refused, and a former member of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Lost Patrol Band, AC4, and who has collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots and others; Sara Almgrem (bass, vocals), a member of The Doughnuts, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Vicious and Masshysteri; Andres Sternberg (guitar, keyboards), a member of Deportees, The Lost Patrol Band and a member of Lykke Li’s backing band; Andre Sandström (drums, percussion), a member of Ds-13, The Vicious, The Lost Patrol Band, Ux Vileheads and others; and Christina Karlsson (keyboards, vocals), a member of Tiger Forest Cat, Honungsvägen and Frida Serlander‘s backing band. And interestingly enough, the members of the band are five, long-term friends, with Lyxzen in particular being known for a lengthy career incorporating sociopolitical themes into his work; in fact, as Lyxzen has publicly explained, “Music always meant more to me then just entertainment. It has had a profound impact on everything that I am as a person and I see music as art and art as life. We live in a world devoid of meaning where we serve the lowest common denominator at all times. Where politics as an idea has failed us and where art is being reduced to consumerism and clickbait.”

The band’s initial recordings were written and recorded with lyrics in their native Swedish under the name Invasionen, but when the members of the band decided that it was time to take the project and their work internationally, they felt that writing and singing lyrics in English, along with a new name would be necessary — and they settled on INVSN.   Regardless of the name or the language, the post-punk band has always had a political message — and during this particular moment, when humanistic, Enlightenment values and thinking are being challenged by extreme right wing and extreme religious movements across the world, the members of INVSN strongly believe that their music, and the work of other like-minded musicians are part of a necessary and urgent outcry from a counterculture that has yet to give up. And while being righteously angry, their overall approach is rooted in the belief that change is gonna come — and it’s going to come real soon. 

The Swedish band’s latest effort The Beautiful Stories is slated for release on Friday, and the album was recorded and produced by by Adam “Atom” Greenspan, best known for his work with Nick Cave and The Veils at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Reportedly, the album finds the band experimenting and expanding their aesthetic and songwriting approach with material that possesses elements of post-punk, industrial electronica, indie rock and indie pop, which gives their sociopolitical concerns an accessible, almost radio-friendly vibe. 

Now, as you may recall “I Dreamt Music” was a decidedly post-punk leaning song, sounding as though it drew influence from Joy Division and Gang of Four, thanks to the song’s decided politically charged tone. And as Lyxzen explained in press notes,  “I wanted to write about the longing for resistance to the cultural/political/musical landscape that holds us imprisoned. I wanted to write about the naive, romantic and pretentious notion that music and art should be about ideas that can change and transform and maybe even be the beacon of hope in these dismal times.” And as a result, the song manages to possesses a sense of cynicism and distrust and an equal bit of outrage.”

Interestingly enough, Beautiful Stories’ latest single “This Constant War” finds the band pairing jangling, Country-leaning guitar chords, layers of buzzing electronics and a propulsive rhythm section with boy/girl harmonies and a soaring, swooning hook in a song that sounds a bit like Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby-era U2 but filtered through Primal Scream, New Order and Ministry, while nodding at The Lonely Wild, as the material possesses a cinematic yet yearning quality at its core. 

The recently released video for “This Constant War” features the members of the band passionately singing the song or broodingly staring off into space as the hands of an unseen person smears colored paint onto the faces and bodies of the bandmembers. 

New Audio: Mute Records Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Influential Krautrock Act CAN with a Compilation of Singles — Includes a Never Before Digital Re-Release

Initially, beginning his musical career as a pupil of avant garde composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gyorgy Ligeti, CAN’s founding member and primary composer/songwriter Irmin Schdmit (keyboard) had conducted a number of high-profile orchestrated pieces in his native Germany and aboard; however, a trip to New York where he encountered Andy Warhol and Hotel Chelsea, and heard the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa had transformed his life. Along with the band’s other core members — Holger Czukay (bass), Michael Karoli (guitar) and Jaki Liebezei (drums) CAN officially formed in Cologne, Germany (then-West Germany) in 1967. With the release of 1969’s Monster Movie, 1971’s Tago Mago, 1972’s Ege Bamyasi and 1973’s Future Days the German experimental act collaborated with a number of vocalists including Malcolm Mooney (1968-1970), Damo Suzuki (1970-1973) and a rotating cast of musicians and wound up developing a reputation for an imitable sound that possessed elements of avant garde and modern classical composition, minimalism, electronica, world music, psych rock and funk, while being widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock movement. And because of their eclectic, genre-defying sound the band’s influence has been massive and can be traced in the work of acts like Joy Division, Primal Scream, Radiohead and avant-garde composer Bernhard Lang, among others.

Throughout the band’s history — the bulk being a continuous run from 1967 or so – 1979 with the members of the band reconvening periodically over the past 30 years — the band has released a number of singles, some which have appeared on the band’s albums and others that have not. And to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation, Mute Records will be releasing CAN The Singles, a compilation featuring all the band’s single releases, including “Shikako Maru Ten,” a B side to the “Spoon,” a top ten hit in their native Germany back in 1972 and it’ll be available for the first time ever digitally. Interestingly, the single manages to possess a percussive and breezy arrangement that sounds as though it were influenced by Brazilian samba and Afro-Cuban/Afro-Caribbean jazz, further reminding listeners of the band’s reputation for being defiantly difficult to pigeonhole and being relentlessly, mischievously experimental with their sound and approach.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, you may recall coming across posts featuring one of this site’s newest mainstay acts, the Paris-based electronic music and production duo DBFC. Comprised of Manchester, UK-born, Paris-based David Shaw and Paris-born and-based Dombrance, the duo emerged onto the French electronic music scene with the release of a handful of singles during 2015-2017 through renowned indie label Her Majesty’s Ship Records — including “Autonomic,” a track that manages to nod at Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” and Primal Scream‘s “Autobahn 66” — but with a subtle cosmic glow around its edges.

Building upon a growing national and international profile, the Parisian electronic duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Jenks is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Different Recordings/[PIAS] Records. And you may recall that I wrote about Jenks‘ first official single “Sinner,” a track that further cements the French duo’s reputation for pairing slick, dance floor-friendly production with organic instrumentation — but while “Autonomic” took its cues from Kraftwerk, “Sinner” nodded at Come With Us-era The Chemical Brothers, as it possessed a similar cosmic haze. Album title track “Jenks” however, reminds me even more of Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, EMF‘s “Unbelievable” and the Manchester sound as dreamy vocals are paired with an infectious, motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line, shimmering arpeggio synths and a rousingly anthemic yet dance floor friendly hook.

New Video: The Surreal 120 Minutes-Inspired Visuals for Dead Leaf Echo’s Anthemic “Strawberry.Skin”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its almost seven years of existence, you’ve come across posts featuring the Brooklyn-based shoegazer rock and art collective Dead Leaf Echo. And over that same period of time, the members of the collective have seen a growing profile, as they’ve played at some of the country’s largest and best known festivals, have opened for a lengthy and impressive list of renowned, nationally touring bands including The Wedding Present, A Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Psychedelic Furs, Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, Weekend, Lorelei, The Ocean Blue, The Warlocks, Beach Fossils, and The Telescopes and have made appearances on KEXP‘s John in the Morning and on Nic Harcourt’s KCSN show.

With the release of 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language and 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, the band quickly established themselves as one of the preeminent, contemporary shoegazer rock acts while being quite busy — last year, they quietly released a split EP with die you die, as well as a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart”/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which interestingly retained the well-known and beloved wall of sound and swooning urgency along the lines of RIDE, Swervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive while nodding at Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and others.

Interestingly, the band’s latest effort Strawberry Skin was released last week through PaperCup Music and the EP found the band working with frequent collaborator and producer Monte Vallier, who has also worked with Weekend and Wax Idols — and along with Vallier, the album features contributions from Jorge Elbreht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently working with No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. The EP’s latest single, EP title track “Strawberry Skin” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning urgency; however, the song possesses a abrasive and muscular quality just underneath the surface — and it reveals a band subtly experimenting with their sound.

Directed by Emmanuella Zachariou, the recently released music video possesses a dream-like logic reminiscent of 120 Minutes-era MTV, complete with action going forward and in slow-motion as though the viewer is in a fever dream. The band is playing two shows to support the EP, so check out live dates below — and be on the lookout for the band’s long-anticipated sophomore effort, slated for release later this year.

Comprised of its Manchester, UK-born and Paris-based David Shaw and Paris-born and based Dombrance, the Paris-based electronic music and production duo DBFC emerged onto the French electronic music scene with the release of several singles throughout 2015 and 2016 through renowned indie label Her Majesty’s Ship Records — including “Automatic,” a track which remained me of Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” and Primal Scream‘s “Autobahn 66” — but with a subtle cosmic glow around its edges.

The duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Jenks is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Different Recordings/[PIAS] Records and the album’s first single “Sinner” will partially further their reputation for pairing slick electronic production with organic instrumentation but while a single like  the aforementioned “Automatic” struck me as owing a debut to Kraftwerk and Primal Scream, the new single still nods at those influences while subtly nodding at The Chemical Brothers‘ Come With Us as the song possesses a free-flowing improvisation paired with a similarly trippy and cosmic glow.

 

Featuring core members, founder and creative mastermind Isaac Flynn (vocals), who comes from a family of musicians and whose parents own Lawrence, KS‘ well-regarded guitar store, Mass Street Music; Eric Davis (keys, synths) and Garrett Childers (guitar, vocals), the Kansas City-based indie rock act Hembree received regional and national attention with the release of “Can’t Run Forever,” a shimmering and slickly produced, dance-floor friendly track that simultaneously nods at 80s New Wave, St. Lucia, and Interpol simultaneously.

Building upon the success of “Can’t Run Forever,” a track that has seen as of this post, over 500,000 Spotify and YouTube streams, the members of the Kansas City-based band went to record new material at Los Angeles-based Sunset Sound Studios with Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Future Islands and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but when Flynn returned home to Kansas City, he decided that those sessions should be tabled, and that it was time for the band to take a much different approach. “After ‘Can’t Run Forever’ came out, I was feeling the pressure to make our second single bigger and better, and found myself putting limitations on my writing,” Flynn explained in press notes.. “After being frustrated for several months, I decided to record whatever I want; just let it all pour out.” And with that mindset, Flynn, his bandmates Davis and Childers recorded their latest single “Holy Water,” with Foreign Fields’ Eric Hillman contributing additional production and Joe Visciano, who has worked with The Kills, Jamie xx and Beck mixing the proceedings.

“Holy Water” is a decided change in sound, as the swaggering and propulsive track nods at Kasabian and Primal Scream as the band pairs an an arena rock and dance floor-friendly hook with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, twinkling keys, enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with a “we’re ready to take over the world right this fucking moment” feel. Interestingly, part of the song’s anthemic nature stems from the song’s overwhelmingly positive message. As Flynn says of the song, “The song started with me making a conscious decision to stop letting the bad win. It was time to start embracing the obstacles and then doing my best to overcome them. I really just want to be true to myself and good to others, and I want the same for other people. Perhaps that’s the message from this song.” Certainly, considering how maddening and dire everything seems on a daily basis, any positive message seems desperately necessary.  Unsurprisingly, since the single’s release at the end of last year, the song has seen regular rotation on 10 Midwestern radio markets including Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; and the Kansas City area — and the track has seen over 250,000 Spotify steams as of this writing.

 

 

The band will be going on a run of tour dates in the Midwest, with the first show of the tour, finding the band opening for Cold War Kids. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/25 Columbus, Express Live
3/27 Omaha, Reverb
3/28 Iowa City, The Mill
3/29 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
3/30 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/24 Omaha, Reverb
4/25 Davenport IA, Raccoon Motel
4/26 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
4/27 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/28 Kansas City, Record Bar
4/29 Columbia MO, Rose Music Hall

New Video: Introducing the Anthemic Primal Scream and Kasabian-Inspeired Sound of Adelaide Australia’s The Byzantines

Comprised of Michael Pietrafesa (vocals), David Zammit (guitar), Jose Moucho (bass), and Johnny Zervas (drums), the Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock quartet The Byzantines have developed a reputation across their native Australia and internationally — mostly across the EU and the UK — for an electronic rock sound that’s been compared to the likes of Primal Scream and Kasabian, as you’ll hear on the swaggering and anthemic “Top Boy” off the Australian quartet’s forthcoming EP You’ll Pull It, which is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through Marshmallow Pavement Records.

The recently released music video for “Top Boy” is partially inspired by undercover, police procedurals, workplace comedies and old electronica videos — and in a trippy and mischievous fashion.

New Audio: Dum Dum Girls’ Kristin Welchez’s Synth Pop-Based Solo Project Releases a Slickly-Produced, Primal Scream-Inspired B Side

Although initially started as a solo recording project, the renowned indie rock at Dum Dum Girls had been led for the better part of a decade and through a critically applauded EP and three full-length albums by its creative mastermind, primary songwriter and frontperson Kristin Welchez, best known by her stage name Dee Dee. Welchez’s latest solo recording project Kristin Kontrol not only finds Welchez shedding her previous persona and performing and writing under her real name; the project also is a decided change of sonic direction from Dum Dum Girls, as she ditches the guitars and moody post-punk with a slickly produced New Wave and contemporary electro pop sound of her latest effort, X-Communicate which was released to great fanfare earlier this year.

Interestingly, her latest single “Baby Are You In?” was initially recorded during the X-Communicate sessions and was left off the album. As Welchez explains “I really regret not including it on the album. It was super fun to make — Kurt Feldman and I left loose on the production, trying to pin down that nebulous aggression from Evil Heat-era Primal Scream but it let it cork off the party at the end. ” And although it was previously unreleased until recently, the single has become a staple of Welchez’s live sets. After listening to it a few times before writing this, I can see why — Welchez’s gossamer yet sultry vocals are paired with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, ominously swirling electronics and industrial clang and clatter with an enormous, dance floor-friendly hook. And while danceable, the song does retain Welchez’s introspective and deeply personal lyrics.