Tag: Rotterdam The Netherlands

New Audio: Elephant Shares a Gorgeous, Meditative New Single

Formed back in 2020, Rotterdam-based indie rock outfit Elephant spent the better part of that year throwing themselves fully into songwriting, spending much of their free time at their greenhouse studio, just outside of town.

Early last year, the Dutch indie rock band released their debut EP. The EP’s material, which featured beautiful melodies, subtle grooves and sobering lyrics caught the attention of journalists nationally, including pop journalist Leo Blokhuis. Several EP songs were playlisted on Amazing Radio with “Midnight in Manhattan” landing at #12 on the Verrukkelijke 15 Dutch National Radio Chart. They capped off a big 2021 by signing to Dutch label Excelsior Recordings, who will release their Pablo van de Poel-produced full-length debut Big Thing later this year.

The Rotterdam-based band started the year off with the critically applauded single “Calling” and an attention grabbing appearance at this year’s Eurosonic Nooderslag. Continuing upon that momentum, the band released “Medicine,” a 70s rock meets jam band-like song that’s simultaneously sunny and melancholy, evoking the sun peaking out from clouds.

Big Thing‘s third and latest single “Hometown” is a gorgeous song that’s one part 70s AM rock meets shoegaze: shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, a supple bass line and an enormous hook are paired with Crosby, Stills and Nash-like multi-part harmonies. Much like their previously released material, “Hometown” is emotionally ambiguous: hopeful and forward-thinking yet melancholy and full of the recognition that something has changed forever.

“‘Hometown’ is a song about leaving your hometown to chase your dreams and find your own place,” the rising Dutch band explain. “And about returning and realizing that the peacefulness is comforting but you can no longer call it home.”

Formed back in 2020, Rotterdam-based indie rock outfit Elephant spent the better part of that year throwing themselves fully into songwriting, spending much of their free time at their greenhouse studio, just outside of town.

Early last year, the Rotterdam-based outfit released their debut EP. The material, which was centered around beautiful melodies, subtle grooves and sobering lyrics caught the attention of journalists nationally including pop journalist Leo Blokhuis. Several EP songs were playlisted on Amazing Radio with “Midnight in Manhattan” landing at #12 on the Verrukkelijke 15 Dutch National Radio Chart. They capped off a big 2021 by signing to Dutch label Excelsior Recordings, who will release their Pablo van de Poel-produced full-length debut Big Thing later this year.

The rising Dutch band started off 2022 with the release of the critically applauded single “Calling” and an an attention grabbing appearance at Eurosonic Nooderslag. Continuing upon that momentum, the members of Elephant recently released Big Thing‘s second and latest single, the slow-burning, “Medicine.” Centered around a trippy, 70s rock meets jam band like groove, glistening and twangy guitars, and easy-going vocals, “Medicine” manages to be simultaneously sunny and melancholy, evoking clouds passing in front of the sun.

“‘Medicine’ is about finding a remedy for negativity and cynicism, whether it is through love, music, or of course another shot of the vaccine,” the band explains.

New Video: Italian-French Electronic Artist Kaouenn Releases a Feverish and Psychedelic Visual for John Delive’s Remix of “Les Hiboux”

Initially starting his career in the early 2000s with stints in acts like Butcher Mind Collapse, Lebowski and Jesus Franco and The Drogas, the mysterious Italian-born, French-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist behind the acclaimed electronic music project started Kaouenn started the project in 2014. With the release of 2016’s critically applauded, eponymous debut, Kaouenn developed a unique take on electronic music that draws from psychedelia, post-punk, trip-hop, New Wave, exotica and the blues — and for a multi-sensory and hypnotic live show. 

Inspired by and adapted from Charles Baudelaire’s “The Owls,” a poem that the Italian-born, French-based artist says highlights the ambivalent nature of these animals, which are often viewed as ancient and mysterious idols that possess a wisdom that the average person does not have — while also being the symbol of darkness, album single “Les Hiboux,” is an industrial-leaning take on the blues. Centered around thumping beats, electronic bloops, bleeps and clicks, synth arpeggios and enormous power chords, the song — to my ears, at least — manages to recall Black Strobe’s “Boogie in Zero Gravity,” complete with a sophisticated yet sleazy air. Recently, John Delive, a rapidly rising producer, who made a name from himself in Rotterdam’s techno and trace scenes before relocating to Barcelona, recently remixed “Les Hiboux.” And while retaining, the bluesy power chords and industrial vibes, Delive gives the song a subtle yet propulsive house music sheen, which gives the song a club friendly air.  Directed by Fabio Cotichelli, the recently released video for the John Delive remix of “Les Hiboux” is a psychedelic fever dream set to a propulsive motorik-like groove. 

Rotterdam, The Netherlands-based electronic music production and artist act The Policy is comprised of two of the region’s most accomplished producers and musicians , Pierre Hagelaar and Thiamin Hoebink, both of whom have lengthy experience as members of local bands and as producers — and those experiences have provided the duo with a unique and unconventoinal perspective and take on electronic music and the club scene. Interestingly, the duo have made a name for themselves with some attention grabbing remixes for JOVM mainstays Ten Fe, as well as J. Bernardt and Editors.

Sonically, the members of The Policy have developed a reputation for a sound that’s centered around electronic and organic instrumentation — and with their first original single “Das Lebenslied,” the duo pair arpeggiated Juno 106 synth chords, sitar and vocoder-fed vocals to create a sound that’s club friendly but with psychedelic textures —  while nodding at Come With Us-era Chemical Brothers and Kraftwerk.

 

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays METZ on “The Chris Gethard Show”

Over the past three or four years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Toronto, ON-based JOVM mainstays METZ, and as you may recall the trio’s third, full-length album Strange Peace was released last year, and album found the band retaining the furious and blistering energy of their live sets, while pushing their songwriting in new directions, with the most personal and politically charged material they’ve written yet, as it captures the anxiousness, uncertainty and fear of our time; but interestingly, the album’s material manages to suggest that when things are their bleakest, that you aren’t alone, because they are others just like you.  As the band’s Alex Eadkins explained in press notes, “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

The members of METZ have been relentless road warriors, melting faces and pummeling eardrums on stages large and small all across the world, and before  embarking on an extensive world tour that will include stops in lovely Amsterdam and Rotterdam and elsewhere, METZ appeared on truTV’s The Chris Gethard Show, where they played a face melting set featuring singles “Mr. Plague,” “Cellophane” and “Mess of Wires.” Oh and check out the exuberant dude in the banana suit, because if you had even half his exuberance, life would be way more fun.