Tag: San Francisco CA

New Video: Dreckig Shares Propulsive and Dreamy “Non Zero Sum”

Portland, OR-based electro pop duo Dreckig — married couple Papi Fimbres and Shana Lindbeck — derive their project’s name from the German word for dirty. Believing that destiny led them to meet each other, the project is fueled by the duo’s desire to honor their respective Mexican and German heritages in a new and collaborative way. 

Sonically, the duo have crafted a sound that meshes cumbia rhythms, motorik groove-driven krautrock and electronic music — with lyrics written and sung in Spanish, English and German. 

The Portland-based duo’s third album, Digital Exposure was released last year through San Francisco-based Broken Clover Records. The album sees the duo continuing their ongoing collaboration with Pinewave Studio‘s Johann Wagner. The album thematically touches on social constructs, our impact on the environment and embracing every day life. 

Last year, I wrote about album single “La Ballena,“a slow-burning and lysergic song featuring oscillating synths, fluttering and looping flute, cumbia rhythms and a relentless motorik groove paired with lyrics chanted and crooned in a sonorous Spanish. While sonically being a feverish synthesis of Kraftwerk and Meridian Brothers, “La Ballena” for me conjures an image of a dancer on narcotics, gently swaying to the song.

The album’s latest single “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo pairing skittering cumbia rhythms with glistening Kraftwerk-inspired synths and blown out beats to create a sensual, sinuous bed for their ethereal harmonizing in Spanish. “Non Zero Sum” manages to bring a trippy synthesis of Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk and Señor Coconut‘s El Baile Alemán.

Directed and edited by Alicia J. Rose, the accompanying video for “Non Zero Sum” sees the duo as space age Druids changing in the woods and drumming in a disco wonderland, complete with kaleidoscopic effects.

New Audio: King Canyon, A Supergroup Featuring Eric Krasno Shares Soulful Track with Son Little

King Canyon is a new supergroup featuring:

  • Eric Krasno, a a two-time Grammy winning, guitarist, producer and JOVM mainstay, best known for his work with Soulive, Lettuce, and Pretty Lights. Krasno has received seven Grammy nominations in the following categories: Best Blues Album, Best Contemporary Blues, Best R&B and Best Electronic Album.
  • Otis McDonald, a producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known for a large catalog that continues to be used in millions of videos across the Internet.
  • Mike Chiavaro, a Brooklyn-based electric and upright bassist, who has played with Richard Marx, Boy & Bear, and a lengthy list of others.

The trio can trace their collaboration back to April 2020: Krasno came across McDonalds music on Instagram and immediately became a fan. Months later, McDonald who had been woking on material with his longtime friend Chiavaro, enlisted Krasno to add some of his guitar to the mix. And before they knew it, the trio had an album’s worth of material rooted in classic R&B, funk and soul-tinged grooves, nostalgia, and a newfound friendship based in their mutual love for music.

For the creative process and the feel captured on the album are unlike any other project that these artists have been involved with previously. With each musician in a different location — Krasno in Los Angeles, McDonald in San Francisco and Chiavaro in Brooklyn — the band wrote and recorded material remotely while becoming arguably the highest band who never played a gig. “It was easy and fun. Exactly what it should be,” King Canyon’s Otis McDonald says. “It didn’t take long before we had a couple of albums’ worth of songs. Some tracks feature special guests and others showcase the power trio format. King Canyon is fresh and rooted in nostalgia.”

The trio’s self-titled, full-length debut is slated for a January 13, 2023 release through Mixto Records. The album will feature the trio collaborating with an impressive and eclectic array of guests including Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s Derek Trucks and Son Little. The trio have released two singles “Keep on Moving” and “Mulholland” that have received praise from the likes of Khraungbin, John Mayer, Black PumasAdrian Quesada, Live for Live Music, Jambands.com, and Relix.

The self-titled full-length debut album’s third and latest single “Ice & Fire” is an old-school soul and R&B-inspired strut centered around twinkling keys, an irresistible, funky groove and swinging, J. Dilla-inspired drumming paired with Son Little’s soulful yet plaintive vocal. Sonically, “Ice & Fire” brings a mix of JOVM mainstays Black Pumas and classic soul to mind — thanks to a dusty, old-timey feel with subtly modern production flourishes, and earnest performances.

“Son Little and I met a few years back at a festival. We had a lot of mutual respect for each other’s music and decided to start writing together,” Eric Krasno explains. “We instantly became tight as friends and frequent collaborators. Ice & Fire is a perfect mixture of the sounds of Son Little & King Canyon. Son’s lyrical imagery blends with the KC’s soundscape creating a unique and soulful sound.“

New Video: Alexandra John Shares Glittery and Earnest Confection “Healing”

Deriving their project’s name from the combination of their middle names, the emerging, Los Angeles-based, fraternal twin sibling, indie electro pop duo Alexandra John — Liza and Weston Cain — officially formed back in 2020. But they can trace their passion for music, and the origins of their music careers to growing up in a musical household in San Francisco: Liza Cain spent much of her childhood dancing, acting and singing, as well as playing piano. Weston Cain is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist, who first started playing the drums when he was four, and picked up other instruments, like guitar and piano, as he grew older.

With Alexandra John, Liza and Weston Cain craft hook-driven indie electro pop influenced by Massive Attack, Glass Animals, and Zero 7 meant to embody both feminine and masculine energies. Fittingly, their creative process is rooted in their uniquely deep personal connection. “When my sister and I get into a room together to work there’s a kinetic, creative energy that’s so familiar,” Alexandra John’s Weston Cain says. “We just seem to feed off one another.” Thematically, the duo’s work tackles big, universal concerns including anxiety, addiction, grief, loss and more.

The duo’s debut EP Healing officially drops today, and the EP was written and informed by the weirdness, chaos and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were all grieving our old lives and accepting the new,” Weston Cain explains. “Everyone goes through healing, every day. The EP lyrically breaks down the process of grieving from denial to acceptance. Each song on the EP adds a new layer of acceptance. It’s really about the growth we all go through while experiencing this crazy beautiful thing we call life,” Liza Cain adds.

Centered around Liza Cain’s self-assured and sultry pop starlet delivery gliding over a slick and contemporary production featuring skittering, trap beats, woozy and atmospheric synths, squiggling funk guitar, Healing EP‘s second and latest single, EP title track “Healing” is a slickly produced, glittery, lounge and club friendly bop that to my ears meshes 80s synth pop with trap and contemporary R&B. But underneath the slick production is earnest, seemingly lived-in lyricism with the song reminding and urging the listener that true healing can only happen when you’re in touch with and acknowledge your feelings.

Featuring videography by Mallory Tuner and Flasch World and edited by Flasch World, the accompanying video for “Healing” features the siblings performing the song and filmed through hazy and kaleidoscopic filters while serving lewks.

London-based DJ and producer Jimmy Verschoyle, best known as Jimmy V, has developed a reputation for being “DJ’s DJ,” cutting his teeth playing the clubs and bars of the Bristol scene, before becoming a London underground scene mainstay. His highly-respected status as a tastemaker and selector gradually earned his slots across the global festival scene, including Burning Man and Glastonbury’s The Rabbit Hole, as well as clubs across the UK and States.

Jimmy V further exploded into the scene with his debut EP No Way Back. Building upon the buzz surrounding him, the London-based producer and DJ released a remix of Della Zouch‘s “Rebel” and “Lose My Mind” feat. Liz Cass.

His early releases caught the attention of San Francisco-based electronic label Smoke-n-Mirrors, who signed him and released his most recent singles “Amasonica” and “Yukon,” which have received widespread attention in the international scene: Those tracks landed on TraxSource‘s Top 40 and Beatport‘s Tech House’s Top 20.

https://open.spotify.com/track/7ikxriQICFkW0w2mDJrNZY?si=d72a652bcdb844fd

The London-based producer and DJ’s latest single “Orinoco” is a genre-defying, globalist banger that pairs tweeter and woofer rocking thump, Afro-Colombian percussion, Iberian-influenced groove and a looped horn-driven hook that sounds as though it could rock clubs from Berlin to São Paulo, Medellin to Miami, London to New York.

New Video: clo Returns with Vibey “Big Smile”

clo is an emerging, 20-year-old, San Francisco-born, Brussels-raised, neo-soul/R&B and jazz singer/songwriter, who’s currently splitting her time between New York and Paris, where she’s simultaneously pursuing studies in Neuroscience while modeling, and starting a professional music career. 

The emerging Belgian-born artist can trace the origins of her music career to when she started receiving classical and jazz training in piano when she turned four. Since then, clo has spent much of her formative years creating her own original music, inspired by Etta JamesElla FitzgeraldSnoh Aalegra, and CELESTE

Earlier this year, I wrote about clo’s debut single “room,” a slow-burning and vibey ballad centered around the young Belgian-born artist’s sultry vocals paired with a brooding production featuring skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats, twinkling jazz piano and atmospheric synths. The song reveals an artist, who’s remarkably self-assured beyond her relative youth — while showcasing an artist, with an uncanny knack for mature, lived-in lyricism and a well-placed, razor sharp hook. 

Her second single “Big Smile” is a vibey, neo-soul-like ballad that finds the emerging young artist collaborating with a live band, which gives the song a lush, cinematic sound and a vibrant, you’re-there-in-the-studio immediacy — all while continuing to reveal a singer/songwriter with a mature beyond her years self-assuredness.

The accompanying video for “Big Smile” primarily features home video shot footage of the young San Francisco-born artist as a small child. The video hints at the very origins of the young artist’s passion and career and a loss of innocence and simplicity.

Portland, OR-based electro pop duo Dreckig — married couple Papi Fimbres and Shana Lindbeck — derive their project’s name from the German word for dirty. Believing that destiny led them to meet each other, the project is fueled by the duo’s desire to honor their respective Mexican and German heritages in a new and collaborative way.

Sonically, the duo have crafted a sound that meshes cumbia rhythms, motorik groove-driven krautrock and electronic music — with lyrics written and sung in Spanish, English and German.

Slated for release on Friday through San Francisco-based Broken Clover Records, the Portland-based duo’s third album Digital Exposure sees the duo continuing their ongoing collaboration with Pinewave Studio‘s Johann Wagner. The album thematically touches on social constructs, our impact on the environment and embracing every day life.

Digital Exposure‘s latest single “La Ballena” is a slow-burning and lysergic bop centered around oscillating synths, fluttering and looping flute, cumbia rhythms and a relentless motorik groove paired with lyrics chanted and crooned in a sonorous Spanish. While sonically being a feverish synthesis of Kraftwerk and Meridian Brothers, “La Ballena” for me conjures an image of a dancer on narcotics, gently swaying to the song.

Neil Sethi is a rising, Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based, Indian-American electronic music producer and DJ, best known as AIR APPARENT. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic array of artists and genres including Bollywood, hip-hop, pop punk and the likes of James Blake, Japanese Breakfast, Vampire Weekend, CHVRCHES and Purity Ring among others, the rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based artist has developed and honed a critically applauded sound and approach that sees him effortlessly meshing a myriad of genres and styles. Beyond braking down musical barriers, Sethi hopes to inspire other marginalized young people to pursue their creative endeavors.

Sethi released his sophomore AIR APPARENT EP, Color Dreams in 2019. He followed that up with his biggest single to date, 2020’s “three strikes” feat. DAVVN, a track that has since amassed over 119,000 Spotify streams.

The rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based electronic music artist’s full-length debut, Chromatic is slated for a September 16, 2022 release. Sonically, the album’s material reportedly will be a splashy and vibrant fusion of 80s funk and electronic dance music paired with soaring, R&B and pop-leaning hooks — while thematically, the album chronicles the highs and lows of a romantic relationship. Along with that, the album will display Sethi’s range as a musician on full display: he wrote more melodies and lyrics than ever before. Reportedly, the end result is dynamic, dreamy fantasy that imagines summer lasting all year long while busting traditional genre boundaries.

“I wanted to play on the idea that electronic music doesn’t have to be one thing. It can be stretched and smeared in different directions,” Sethi says of Chromatic. “The title refers to me expressing my vision of electronic music in a range of different colors, just how you can take a human experience and find 25 different angles and narratives within it.”

Chromatic‘s latest single, “Leave Me” is a sultry, infectious bop that sonically is a slick synthesis of New Jack Swing, 80s synth funk, contemporary electro pop and R&B centered around glistening synth arpeggios. wobbling bass synths, skittering and thumping beats, a chopped up and distorted vocal sample paired with Megan Ashworth‘s sultry yet contemplative delivery and a soaring, infectious hook. But underneath the breezy and infectious hookiness of the song, is a narrator, who’s desperate to move forward with her life, and is begging her partner to leave her and find someone else that might be a better fit.

Interestingly, the track emerged from Sethi’s desire to pay homage to electronic influences like KAYTRANADA and Disclosure, and took shape after he discovered a vocal sample on Splice that he played around with, eventually chopping it up and distorting it. “As I listened to it more and more,” Sethi explains, “I realized the melody was really hooky so I went back and wrote an initial pass of lyrics based on the vocal sample and tune.”

Inspired by Flying Lotus and J. Dilla, pantology added an electric bass line that took the production further — but it still lacked a vocalist. “When it came to figuring out a topline vocal,”says Sethi, “I was lucky to discover Megan Ashworth online and work with her team on getting an impeccable vocal that sat nicely in the mix with a powerful, yet reflective energy.” 

New Video: Spacemoth’s Woozy and Wobbling “Round In Loops”

Bay Area-based Afghan-American musician, composer and producer Maryam Qudus has been driven by a lifelong devotion to music: When she turned 12, she traded chores for guitar lessons; when she was 16, she took on after school jobs to pay or voice lessons. As a first-generation Afghan-American child of working-class immigrant parents, finding a place in music was nothing short of a challenge for Qudus. “Women are often discouraged from pursuing music in the Afghan and Muslim community, and those who follow that path receive a lot of heat,” she explains. 

Qudus’ career began in earnest with her first solo project Doe Eye, which quickly received radio airplay, magazine features and blogosphere buzz after 2014’s John Vanderslice-produced Television, a lush batch of indie pop and spacey rock. Working with Vanderslice at his San Francisco co-op-turned studio, Tiny Telephone opened new avenues for the Bay Area-based artist: She began studying at Bay Area-based recording arts non-profit Women’s Audio Mission, eventually interning both there and at Tiny Telephone, before becoming a staff engineer at both. 

Picking up studio techniques and tricks from clients like Wax Nine Records artists Sad13Toro Y MoiSasami, and Tune-Yards helped inspired the arrangements she was working on. And in between sessions, she was able to play with electronic ambiance and tape experimentations for her latest solo project Spacemoth

Qudus’ Spacemoth full-length debut, No Past No Future is slated for a July 22, 2022 release through Wax Nine Records. Centered around lush, intergalactic, avant-pop made with vintage synths like the Yamaha CS-50 and Korg Polysix with fluttering tape manipulations paired with Qudus’ striking vocals, No Past No Future thematically serves as a reckoning point between nostalgia and nihilism, exploring the struggle to hang on to a moment as it warps in time. Overall, the album radiates in the awe of the complex emotional landscape humans contain within themselves and the preciousness of our time here. 

Last month, I wrote about No Past No Future‘s third single “Waves Come Crashing,” a swooning and hypnotic pop song featuring blown out beats, glistening analog synths, wobbling tape distortion and rumbling bass paired with Qudus’ plaintive vocals and a razor sharp hook. Sonically, the song seems to simultaneously nod at the dusty yet retro futuristic leanings of BBC Radiophonic Workshop and JOVM mainstays Pavo Pavo, but while increasingly getting darker emotionally — and sonically — as the song flutters and wobbling to its conclusion.

Throughout the song, the song’s narrator confronts the inevitability of death while exploring the most difficult and heartbreaking aspect of falling and being in love — the fear of losing the person you love. “‘Waves Come Crashing’ was written during a period when I was haunted by the idea of losing my partner,” Qudus explains. “I would lay awake at night and all I could think of was ‘what if something happens to them tomorrow‘? While I was unable to shake these thoughts, I slowly realized my time spent worrying about loss was consuming the time we have together.”

No Past No Future‘s fourth and latest single, “Round In Loops” is centered around woozy, analog tape loops, looping and glistening guitar lines and blown out beats paired with Qudus’ plaintive and dreamy delivery. While being a wobbly yet infectious bit of dusty, psych pop, the song thematically focuses on the cyclical patterns we create and endure throughout our lives — to the point of being nonsensical and defeatist.

“I often start a song by creating tape loops and layering different sounds together to create a bed of abstraction to build upon,” Qudus explains. “In ‘Round In Loops,’ I wanted to connect the loops in the song with the cyclical patterns we endure both in our minds and in our lives.”

Co-directed with her brother Dean, the accompanying video for “Round In Loops” is a hazy, lysergic and playfully loving homage to the classic and memorable Maxell “High Fidelity” ad campaign in the early 80s, essentially adding to the overall analog feel.

New Video: Spacemoth Shares Hypnotic and Swooning “Waves Come Crashing”

Bay Area-based Afghan-American musician, composer and producer Maryam Qudus has been driven by a lifelong devotion to music: When she turned 12, she traded chores for guitar lessons; when she was 16, she took on after school jobs to pay or voice lessons. As a first-generation Afghan-American child of working-class immigrant parents, finding a place in music was nothing short of a challenge for Qudus. “Women are often discouraged from pursuing music in the Afghan and Muslim community, and those who follow that path receive a lot of heat,” she explains.

But Qudus’ career began in earnest with her first solo project Doe Eye, which quickly received radio airplay, magazine features and blogosphere buzz after 2014’s John Vanderslice-produced Television, a lush batch of indie pop and spacey rock. Working with Vanderslice at his San Francisco co-op-turned studio, Tiny Telephone opened new avenues for the Bay Area-based artist: She began studying at Bay Area-based recording arts non-profit Women’s Audio Mission, eventually interning both there and at Tiny Telephone, before becoming a staff engineer at both.

Picking up studio techniques and tricks from clients like Wax Nine Records artists Sad13, Toro Y Moi, Sasami, and Tune-Yards helped inspired the arrangements she was working on. And in between sessions, she was able to play with electronic ambiance and tape experimentations for her latest solo project Spacemoth.

Qudus’ Spacemoth full-length debut, No Past No Future is slated for a July 22, 2022 release through Wax Nine Records. Centered around lush, intergalactic, avant-pop made with vintage synths like the Yamaha CS-50 and Korg Polysix with fluttering tape manipulations paired with Qudus’ striking vocals, No Past No Future thematically serves as a reckoning point between nostalgia and nihilism, exploring the struggle to hang on to a moment as it warps in time. Overall, the album radiates in the awe of the complex emotional landscape humans contain within themselves and the preciousness of our time here.

No Past No Future‘s third and latest single “Waves Come Crashing” is a swooning and hypnotic pop song built around blown out beats, glistening analog synths, wobbling tape distortion and rumbling bass paired with Qudus’ plaintive vocals and a razor sharp hook. Sonically, the song seems to simultaneously nod at the dusty yet retro futuristic leanings of BBC Radiophonic Workshop and JOVM mainstays Pavo Pavo — but while getting emotionally and sonically darker as the song flutters and wobbles to its conclusion.

The song’s narrator confronts the inevitability of death while exploring the most difficult and heartbreaking part of falling and being in love — the fear of losing that person you love. “‘Waves Come Crashing’ was written during a period when I was haunted by the idea of losing my partner,” Qudus explains. “I would lay awake at night and all I could think of was ‘what if something happens to them tomorrow‘? While I was unable to shake these thoughts, I slowly realized my time spent worrying about loss was consuming the time we have together.”

Co-directed by Qudus and Kimber-Lee Alston, the accompanying kaleidoscopic video for “Waves Come Crashing” seems to be partially inspired by 60 French New Wave films as it follows the Bay Area-based producer and artist navigating love and loss through swirls of saturated prismatic patterns, split screens and gorgeous color patterns.

Lyric Video: Maggie Gently Shares Anthemic and Earnest “Worried”

Maggie Gently is a San Francisco-based singer/songwriter and queer woman, whose identity is very important to her and to the community she creates and participates in. And with the release of her debut EP, 2020’s Good Cry and singles like “Where My Time Went” and “Bitter Pills,” Gently’s work explored heartbreak, attempts at healing, learning things the hard way, establishing boundaries and protecting your heart. Sonically, her work is generally inspired by Snail Mail, Lala Lala, Tancred and Clairo, as well as Meg Hayertz’s “Make It Mean It” tarot-focused. guided meditations, lesbian romance novels and the Enneagram of Personality. As a result, her work is often melody-driven and heartfelt.

The San Francisco-based artist’s full-length debut, the Eva Treadway-produced Peppermint is slated for a March 18, 2022 release through Refresh Records. Recorded at San Francisco’s El Studio the album features a backing band that includes Treadway (lead guitar), Gently’s brother Joey Grabmeier (drums) and Sinclair Riley (bass). Peppermint‘s nine songs focus on the personal yet deeply universal questions of commitment and love, the terrifying possibility of being vulnerable and known, and ultimately trusting something enough to let yourself get swept away in it.

Peppermint‘s latest single “Worried” is an anthemic bit of 90s alt rock-inspired pop featuring chugging guitars and thunderous drumming paired with earnest and lived-in songwriting, Gently’s plaintive vocals and an enormous, sing-along worthy hook. The song is written from the perspective of an uneasy and anxious person desperately trying to hold on to the things and people who she believes she can’t afford to lose.

Peppermint‘s latest single “Worried” is an anthemic bit of 90s alt rock-inspired pop featuring chugging guitars and thunderous drumming paired with earnest and lived-in songwriting, Gently’s plaintive vocals and an enormous, sing-along worthy hook. The song is written from the perspective of an uneasy and anxious person desperately trying to hold on to the things and people who she believes she can’t afford to lose; but ironically she may lose anyway.

The lyric video follows the rising San Francisco-based artist on what may arguably be the longest Uber ride ever taken.