Tag: Radiohead Amnesiac

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Joy with Sonic Boom Release Surreal and Experimental Visuals for Their Most Unusual Song To Date

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you would have seen that I’ve written quite a bit about Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based shogeaze duo No Joy, and as you may recall, the duo, which is comprised of primary songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd can trace their origins to when White-Gluz, who was then living in Los Angeles began collaborating with the Montreal-based Lloyd via email — and their collaboration eventually lead to White-Gluz returning to Montreal, so that they could play their first show, with Husker Du’s Grant Hart. As the story goes, after that show, White and Gluz continued collaborating, playing a number of shows locally, including with Best Coast, whose frontwoman Bethany Cosentino became an early champion of the act. 

Building upon the growing buzz surround the Montreal-based duo, White-Gluz and Lloyd signed to renowned indie label Mexican Summer, who released their debut 7 inch single “No Summer”/”No Joy,” an effort that allowed them to book their own national headlining tour with Katy Goodman’s, La Sera. The 7 inch quickly sold out, and by November 2010, the duo released their full-length debut Ghost Blonde to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, AllMusic.com, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian and others. No Joy followed that with the British release of the “Hawaii” 7 in, a release that featured a remix of “Indigo Child,” by Stereolab‘s Tim Gane, which they supported with a UK tour with  Surfer Blood, an opening spot in London for Wire, and an appearance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.

The  members of No Joy spent the better part of 2011 touring across North America — and it included a busy SXSW schedule, a tour with Vivian Girls, and a co-headling tour with Marnie Stern with whom they released a split single, which featured No Joy’s cover of the Shangri-La’s “He Cried.” Since then, the band has released 2012’s Negaverse EP and Wait to Pleasure, 2013’s Pastel and Pass Out EP, 2015’s More Faithful, 2016’s Drool Sucker, the first of a planned series of EPs and last year’s Creep, which was released through the band’s new label Grey Market Records.

Interestingly, this year finds No Joy’s White-Gluz collaborating with Spacemen 3‘s and E.A.R.’s Sonic Boom (a.k.a. Peter Kember), and although the collaborators can’t accurately remember how they met or when they met, what they do clearly remember is that the idea of collaborating together was brought up in an email exchange back in 2015. At the time, No Joy had finishing touring to support their third album More Faithful, an album that the duo has considered one of their most difficult and demanding efforts they’ve worked on together, and White-Gluz was eager to try new ideas and do something different. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” White-Gluz explains in press notes. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

Initially, the collaboration began as a bit of exploration between two friends, who admired each other’s work with each one passing songs back and and forth with White-Gluz writing and producing songs in her hometown of Montreal and Kember writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal. The end result was their collaborative EP together — four tracks that reportedly walk the tightrope between electronica, trip hop and experimental noise.  As White-Gluz says in press notes, “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP’s latest single “Triangle Probably,” continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor “Slorb,” as it features a minimalist production featuring swirling wobbling electronics, twinkling and droning synths and industrial clang and clatter paired with  Gluz-White’s ethereal crooning, which make the song one of the most experimental songs not the EP, as it finds the duo nodding at Amnesiac and Kid A-era Radiohead — but with murky feel. 

Created by Jacob Cooper and Ride or Cry, the recently released video for “Triangle Probably,” features live screen grabs from independent, open source and free Unity/3D simulators and the hodgepodge nature further emphasizes the experimental tone and vibe of the song.

Deriving their name from a Vladimir Nabokov short story about a voyager, who finds a place so beautiful that he wants to spent his life there, before being cruelly dragged back to reality, the Dublin, Ireland-based act Cloud Castle Lake, currently comprised of Daniel McAuley (vocals, synths), Brendan William Jenkinson (guitar, piano), Rory O’Connor (bass), Brendan Doherty (drums), and a rotating cast of collaborators, friends and associates received attention with their 2014 self-released debut EP Dandelion, an effort that found the Irish pop act juxtaposing dark, despairing lyrics with a euphoric catharsis that’s largely influenced by the work of  Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. Adding to a growing profile, the band has opened for touring acts such as GlasserLisa Hanningan and Ultraisa.

Late last year, I wrote about their breathtakingly gorgeous Amnesiac-era Radiohead-like single “Bonfire,” and the cinematic, Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp and Ennio Morricone soundtrack-like “Twins” off the band’s forthcoming, highly anticipated-Rob Kirwan-produced debut album, Malingerer both of which prominently feature McAuley’s achingly tender falsetto. Slated for an April 20, 2018 release through Bright Antenna Records, Cloud Castle Lake’s full-length debut reveals an act writing their most ambitious and thought provoking material to date, making the album a gorgeous and transcendent statement of intent, and the album’s first official single, album title track “Malingerer,” is a cinematic and expansive track that draws from the cosmic jazz explorations of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders and Sun RaAmnesiac-era Radiohead and Sigur Ros — but with an unusual song structure that features several sections that manage to simultaneously be discordant yet flow into each other, while being an otherworldly experience.

As the band’s Daniel McAuley says impress notes, “’Malingerer’ started out as a recording of Brendan J[enkinson] just messing around on a piano through a cool echo effect. There was a mood to it that was instantly very inspiring. As we fleshed it out into a song we constantly referred back to the early recordings to make sure we maintained that feeling. One of the reasons it has such a bonkers structure is that we wanted each section to flow into the next and progress without losing that initial spark. A big goal of the album was to get closer to our most honest and original sound together. We consider it the one that best articulates that. I did that textbook thing and went off to a remote cabin to try write. It was in the middle of nowhere in Donegal, no running water or electricity and at the tail end of a January storm so I went a little bit crazy there and the lyrics absorbed a lot of that.”

New Audio: The Gorgeous and Soaring Sounds of Dublin’s Cloud Castle Lake

Currently comprised of Daniel McAuley (vocals, synths), Brendan William Jenkinson (guitar, piano), Rory O’Connor (bass) and Brendan Doherty (drums), along with a rotating cast of collaborators and friends, the Dublin, Ireland-based act Cloud Castle Lake derive their name from a Vladimir Nabokov short story about a voyager, who finds a place so beautiful that he wants to spend the rest of his life there, but is cruelly dragged back to reality. And with their 2014 self-released debut EP, Dandelion, the Irish act received attention for a sound that routinely juxtaposes dark and despairing lyrics with a euphoric catharsis that increasingly draws from the work of Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders while being equal parts pastoral folk and soaring post-rock crescendos. And adding to a growing profile, the band has opened for touring acts such as Glasser, Lisa Hanningan and Ultraisa. 

Cloud Castle Lake had recently re-surfaced with the release of “Twins,” their first single in quite some time and building upon the buzz of that single, the Irish quartet released the stunning and breathtakingly gorgeous, Amnesiac-era Radiohead-like single “Bonfire,” which features twinkling, arpeggiated keys, and jazz-infected drumming and a tender yet soaring melody. As the band’s Daniel McAuley explained in press notes, “Bonfire is based around a pretty simple melody I came up with a few years ago. I kept being drawn back to it periodically and steadily adding and expanding it until it grew out into a full song. Writing it felt like a meditative task – what I’d imagine knitting a scarf is like. The choir parts were performed by our pals Tonnta, a contemporary choral group from Dublin. The giddiest day of recording for me was probably the first day they came in and sang through their parts. Getting to hear such talented musicians turn all that midi data and notation into music feels like magic. The lyrics have to do with doubt and denial and keeping secrets. They’re very loosely based on an old Irish/Welsh myth about rival tribes trying to find out the secret name of the other’s god in order to defeat them.”

Next month, the members of the Irish quartet will be embarking on a 5 date North American tour with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and a February 6, 2018 stop at Rockwood Music Hall. These tour dates will serve as a bold re-introduction to the band, as well as building up buzz for the band’s Rob Kirwan-produced debut, slated for a Spring 2018 release. 

With the release of “Brontos” and “Snowboy,” the Gothenburg, Sweden-based electronic trio Emmecosta received attention across the European Union and elsewhere for an electro pop sound that aesthetically drew from jazz, trip-hop, hip-hop and the like, with the intention of evoking the sensation of stumbling home fucked up and possibly half-awake from the club as the sun is slowly rising.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site three years ago, you may recall that I wrote about “Thousands of Me,” a moody track consisting of a slick production the nodded at Portishead, Amnesiac-era Radiohead and Chet Faker as it featured stuttering drum programming, sparse piano chords and a mournful horn line with a confessional and deeply personal vibe.

The trio’s latest EP Velour was released Friday through Swedish boutique label Icons Creating Evil Art and the EP’s first two singles “His Power of Youth” and “Miguel” revealed that the trio had been experimenting and expanding upon their sound with those two singles reportedly nodding at the likes of early 2000s-era Phoenix and Washed Out — and while those comparisons may be fair to some degree, as you’ll hear on the trio’s latest single “A Mountain From Us” the Swedish trio’s sound also nods at fellow Swedes Moonbabies and Summer Heart as they pair layers of choppy and shimmering arpeggio synths, swirling electronics, ethereal vocals but underneath the dreamy yet murky vibe is a aching sense  of longing and desire for something that you know deep inside is practically impossible to have; in fact, as the members of the band explain, the EP thematically focuses on “the feeling of unshakable longing we’ve never been. This is a specific form of wanderlust — a craving for a distant land or deep feeling of ‘homesickness’ for a place we have never seen. We imagine distant places through small fragments: everyday life seen elsewhere. We are going through a strange sensation of disorientation, something magical seen from far away. We fall in love with this fragment. It holds the promise for more . . . ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Vienna, Austria’s Hearts Hearts Return with a Brooding and Artistic Meditation on Identity, Self-Invention and Perspective

“AAA” is the Austrian quintet’s latest single off Young and sonically it’s a song that nods at Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief-era Radiohead as shimmering guitar chords, stuttering drum programming, swirling electronics, twinkling keys and a lush string arrangement with Österle’s tender and aching falsetto expressing a deep yearning for more while possessing an underlying uncertainty at its core. Interestingly enough as the band’s frontman David Österle explained about both the song and its video treatment: “I think that the world is a place, where we can dare to pretend. ‘AAA’ deals with that basic feature of the human condition. We fake it till we make it, and thereby go (at least sometimes) astray in the plethora of metamorphoses in that societal masquerade. I think that by assuming different roles we ourselves are fulfilling the requirements of the economy, demanding excessive flexibility and changeability. As a result we all feel like faceless puppets sometimes.

“We wanted to make a video that visually underscores this figuration of identity as a permanent process of self-inventions. The video is much about showing people in different perspectives. The images are blurry, sometimes they are overlapping and merging together seamlessly. What the lens captures, is actually the performance of a performance, the play in a play.”

New Video: The Harsh and Haunting Sounds and Visuals for Boogarins “Cuerdo”

Much like the album’s previously release single “Tempo,” the album’s latest single “Cuerdo” is a deeply contemplative song; however, the dreamy new single sounds as though it draws from Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead and Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd as reverb-heavy guitar chords, a subtle yet gorgeous horn arrangement with the vocals at times feeling peacefully submerged, almost entombed within the dreamy and slow-burning mix. Interestingly, as the band’s guitarist Benke Ferraz notes, the song focuses on the feeling of not belonging and being in a situation in which you can’t express yourself — perhaps out of danger if you’re part of a minority group.

Directed by Ricardo Spencer, the recently released video for “Cuerdo” reveals the haunting and harsh beauty of nature as it depicts a group of buzzards descending upon a dead cow at various angles — a cinematic wide screen which has every figure involved look like microscopic dots before quickly panning in to see the vultures eating the dead cow in super slow motion. As the band’s Ferraz expressed in press notes, the vultures seemed to represent quite a bit for anyone who feels for minorities of any stripe and how our especially conservative — and seemingly sadistic — societies and media outlets deal with them.

Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), along with Howard’s two childhood friends Jeb Hardwick (guitar) and Ed Sanderson (piano/synths), the Brighton, UK-based founding trio behind Phoria recruited Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Seryn Burden (drums) to flesh out the band’s sound. And over the past couple of years, the Brighton, UK-based quintet have developed a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes; in fact, 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and received several million Spotify streams. They also have a burgeoning reputation for their live set which pairs Hardwick’s visual installations and projections with their live sound. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may have come across a post or two on the British quartet.

As the band’s primary songwriter Howard has publicly explained that he never really wanted to be a storyteller, and that he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot. And as as a result, the quintet’s material generally focuses on setting up a particular mood — while simultaneously focusing on a number of different themes. In press notes, Howard has mentioned that the material on Volition thematically touches upon love, sex, mortality, pain, joy, the way people interact, change and move each other and several other things. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Everything Beta,” the first single off the band’s recently released full-length debut Volition, a single that sounds indebted to  Amnesiac and King of Limbs-era Radiohead, as Howard’s ethereal and plaintive vocals are paired with clicking and clacking percussion, twinkling piano chords, buzzing synths and a subtly anthemic hook in a song that slowly builds up an unresolved tension before quickly fading out. And while ethereal, the song manages to evoke a desperately aching yearning at its core.

The album’s second and latest single “Loss” continues on a similar vein as “Everything Beta” as Howard’s delicate and yearning falsetto is paired with a sparse and ambient arrangement of twinkling keys, minimalist beats, shimmering synths and a hauntingly beautiful string arrangement to evoke a sense of profound, inconsolable loss in what may arguably be the most gorgeous song the Brighton-based band has released to date.

Over the past 15 years, singer/songwriter and musician Jordan Geiger has developed a reputation for being incredibly prolific — he’s been a member of several renowned indie rock acts including Shearwater, The Appleseed Cast, Des Ark and Minus Story, and he’s released three albums with his solo recording project Hospital Ships. Geiger’s fourth full-length Hospital Ships effort, The Past is Not a Flood is slated for a March 11, 2016 release through Graveface Records, and the album features a myriad number of Austin, TX-based collaborators including longtime friend, Swans‘ Thor Harris — and is Geiger’s sixth album with renowned producer John Congleton, best known for his work with St. Vincent, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse and others.

Thematically speaking, The Past is Not a Flood reportedly draws from Geiger’s own battles with mental illness, anxiety and depression, which will arguably make his fourth full-length album his most personal one to date. The album’s first single “You and I” possesses a gorgeous painterly quality as layers of twisting and turning piano chords undulating and chiming percussion and ominously ambient electronics are slowly added like brushstrokes upon a canvas — and then they’re paired with Geiger’s achingly tender vocals expressing vulnerability, shame, regret and confusion over a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship that’s at an impasse. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Amnesiac-era Radiohead, Remember Remember and Mogwai‘s most recent ambient experiments “You and I” manages to feel like a lingering and anxious fever dream.