Tag: San Francisco CA

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.

Oakland-based funk and soul outfit The Grease Traps can trace their origins back through about two decades and two previous projects: Back in 2000, Aaron Julin (keys) answered a classified ad by Kevin O’Dea (guitar), searching for players who were hip to the grooves laid down by Blue Note Records artists like Grant Green and Lou Donaldson. The duo quickly formed Groovement, an act that covered those artists, along with other jazz-funk staples. 

When Groovement’s rsax player and frontman moved, Julin and O’Dea switched gears and formed Brown Baggin’, an act that got into the harder hitting funk of The JBs, The MetersKool & The GangMickey & the Soul Generation and a lengthy list of others. They increasingly became influenced by the rare funk compilations released by Keb DargeGerald Jazzman Short and labels like HarmlessUbiquitySoul Jazz and Now-Again, as well as contemporary outfits like BreakestraThe Whitefield Brothers and the Daptone and Soul Fire crews. 

Back in 2005 while still with Brown Baggin,’ Julin and O’Dea began to get fed up juggling the schedules of seven band members, who each had their own varying professional and personal obligations. The pair put out a classified ad seeking a bassist and drummer to jam with as a quartet. The first two musicians, who answered the ad and showed up were Goopy Rossi (bass) and Dave Brick (drums). It was clear from those early jam sessions, that the quartet had a great musical and creative chemistry. 

Originally intended as a fun side project, The Grease Traps quickly became a priority as Brown Baggin broke up. Performing as an instrumental quartet for a handful of years, the band expanded their lineup with the addition of a horn section and lead vocalist The Gata. Over the years, the band has shared stages with the likes of Shuggie OtisRobert Walter, Durand Jones and The IndicationsMonophonicsNeal Francis and Jungle Fire

Now, as you might recall, the Oakland-based outfit released their full-length debut Solid Ground through Italian purveyors of funk and soul, Record Kicks. Six years in the making, Solid Ground was recorded at Kelly Finnigan‘s San Francisco-based Transistor Sound by Finnigan and Ian McDonald and at Oakland-based Fifty Filth Studio by Orgone‘s Sergio Rios, live and straight to eight-track tape on a Tascam 388 to recreate that old-school analog sound. The album’s material features guest spots from the Monophonics’ horn section, backing vocals by Bay Area-based vocalists Sally Green and Bryan Dyer, as well as strings arranged by Kansas City-based violist Alyssa Bell

Solid Ground features a mix of covers and originals. The originals draw from the band’s various influences including funk, psych soul and lowrider soul among others. Lyrically and thematically, the album’s originals see The Gata discussing the pressing issues of our moment — racism, finding hope in a world that seems pitted against you and more. The albums’ covers manage to capture the energy of the band’s live set.

In the lead up to the album’s release late last year, I wrote about album single ”Birds of Paradise,” a strutting synthesis of Muscle Shoals-like soul, The Meters and The JB’s featuring shimmering and arpeggios Rhodes, old school breakbeats, a chugging bassline, wah-wah pedaled guitar, a funky horn line and enormous hook paired with The Gata’s soulful crooning, yelps and howls. Fittingly, the song is focuses on affairs of the heart: the song’s narrator brags, struts and attempts to do anything and everything he could to prove that he’s the man for the woman he desires. 

“Roots,” Solid Ground‘s album opener and latest single is a strutting synthesis of Muscle Shoals, Isaac Hayes-like orchestral psych soul and The Payback era James Brown centered around an expansive song structure that includes the song’s underpinning guitar riff, some bluesy harmonica riffs, an alternating verse chorus verse section, featuring a rousingly anthemic hook, a trippy freak out reminiscent of The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout,” as part of the song’s lengthy outro. Lyrically, the song focus on gathering up the strength to face a hateful and brutal world that’s pitted against you at every single turn. But during the outro, the personal struggle becomes universal with the song pointing out that we need to band together and rise up against those who keep us down. Power to the people, indeed!

“‘Roots’ was the last song we recorded for the album in our studio,” The Grease Traps’ Kevin O’Dea says. “It started off with just the basic riff you hear over the verses. While the main rhythm section groove was cool on its own, we knew we wanted to build up the energy over the course of the song. I wrote some horn lines and added fuzz guitar on top which helped, but we still felt like the song needed something uptempo and driving after the darker beginning. After a false ending, we ramp up the tempo with a faster four-on-the-snare soul groove, followed by a breakdown to just guitar and drums, before building up to a feverish pitch on the outro. We decided to convert most of my original horn arrangements to strings which we felt added to the depth of this track. The Gata did a fantastic job with the lyrics, keeping it heavy on the slower verses, but imploring for change and unity during the outro. His harmonica work also lends an earthy poignancy which really suits the overall feeling we were trying to convey. This was the first and only take we did of the song, including the scratch lead vocals the Gata laid down, because the vibe was just right. Sergio Rios of Orgone created a brilliant mix, blending the many elements into one cohesive unit and making it one of the tracks we’re most proud of.”

Formed by Eddie Roberts and Robert Walter founding members of The New Mastersounds and The Greyboy AllStars respectively, The Rare Sounds is a new act that also features The Greyboy All Stars’ Chris Stillwell and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and The Greyboy AllStars’ Zak Najor.

The Rare Sounds’ debut single “Yeah You” is a gritty and urgent bit of 70s-like jazz funk and fusion centered around a relentlessly funky groove and some inspired soloing that to my ears is a slick mix of The JBs Booker, T and the MGs and Headhunters era Herbie Hancock. And at its core, is the knowing familiarity, comfort and esteem held by musicians who have played together for years in a number of different projects and configurations.

Interestingly, the Robert Walter penned composition had been workshopped in several different projects but its found a home during the band’s session at San Francisco‘s Hyde Street Studios last August. Walter describes “Yeah, You!” as “70s jazz-funk and fusion before the edges and dissonance were smoothed over to make it more commercial.” 

The band will be releasing additional tracks from their Hyde Street Studios session in the coming months and plan on booking additional performances in select markets to showcase the material.

New Video: The Money War Releases a Brooding Visual for Yearning “Miles Away”

Perth-based dream pop duo The Money War — married duo Carmen and Dylan Ollivierre — can trace their origins to a road trip that the pair took across the States back in 2015. Inspired by the trip, the duo wrote and record ton of iPhone demos. After a chance meeting with producers Thom Monahan and Arne Frager in a San Francisco dive bar, the duo were convinced of the value of their demos together, and began to further flesh out their material, eventually leading to their full-length debut, 2019’s Home.

Since forming in 2016, the Perth-based duo have attained a national and international profile: They’ve toured with Meg Mac, Dope Lemon, Holy Holy, and Neil Finn across Australia and they’ve received an Australian Music Prize nomination for their full-length debut. They’ve made the rounds of the global festival circuit with stops at SXSW and BIGSOUND among others. The duo has received radio airplay nationally and globally with Double J, Triple J, BBC 6, KCRW, NPR — and they’ve cracked Stateside college radio charts. And in their native Australia they’ve been covered by Rolling Stone Australia, Tone Deaf, Pile Rats, and theMusic.

Last year was a busy year for the acclaimed Aussie duo. They released their sophomore album Morning People. They signed a global publishing deal with Mirror Music/BMG — and they had a baby. Continuing upon that momentum, the duo released their latest single, the slow-burning and brooding “Miles Away.” Centered around a gorgeous yet sparse arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, gently padded drumming, and a mournful sax solo paired with Carmen Ollivierre’s plaintive vocals, “Miles Away” is fueled by longing for someone, who you can’t be with — because of distance and/or timing. Sonically “Miles Away” is a slick and soulful mesh of Still Corners and 80s Bruce Springsteen.

Money War’s Carmen Ollivierre driving down a country road, as though driving to the shore to think and reflect. We also see Dylan Ollivierre getting dressed in a jacket and tie, before heading to the beach for a stroll — and perhaps to hopefully meet his beloved.

New Video: I M U R Releases a Sultry Pop Banger Rooted in Self-Doubt

Formed back in 2015, rising Vancouver-based indie electro pop act I M U R (pronounced I am You Are) — founding members singer/songwriter Jenny Lea and guitarist and producer Mikey J. Blige and producer/multi-instrumentalist Amine Bouzaher — have firmly established a unique sound that’s a cinematic yet sultry and catchy blend of alt R&B, avant-pop and contemporary electro pop paired with lyrics that tackle personal and often uncomfortable subjects like addiction, recovery, female sexuality, self-reflection, vulnerability and strength, partially inspired by Lea’s early, near-death experience and the strength and resiliency she gained from her recovery.

Since their formation, the act has released a growing batch of critically applauded material:

2015’s debut EP Slow Dive, which featured “Trippin’ On Feet”
2017’s full-length debut Little Death, which featured standout tracks “FFL” “Little Death” and “Breathless.” “Breathless” was featured in SyFy’s Wynonna Earp Season 2 and Freeform’s Good Trouble Season 1.
2018 saw the release of the Thirty33 EP, which featured “Miss You Hate You,” “Should Be” and “Afterglow.” All three of those tracks featured in a number of TV shows including Netflix’s Snowpiercer, Pretty Little Things, Wu Assassins and Workin’ Moms.

Adding to a rising profile, the act has amassed millions of streams globally, which has lead to the band landing on the Spotify Viral 50 Charts. They’ve won an Electronic Music Artist of the Year Award at the 2019 Western Canadian Music Awards — all while receiving critical applause across the blogosphere, including this site. Around the same time, the Canadian electro pop act managed to maintain a busy touring schedule: The act toured in India in 2018. The following year, they made the rounds of the North American festival circuit with stops at Shambala, Bass Coast, Capitol Hill Block Party and Winnipeg Jazz Fest, while playing shows in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

2019 saw the release of two more singles “Fever” and “Lips, Tongue and Teeth,” which I managed to write about on this site. Much like countless acts across the worlds, the pandemic put their touring plans on an indefinite pause; but the act used the newfound free time to write and record their highly anticipated album My Molecules.

Slated for a June 25, 2021 release, My Molecules will reportedly be a deeply personal journey into Lea’s life, centered around a thread of undeniable realness for anyone who’s experienced love, loss, lust and everything else in between. My Molecules’ second and latest single “Sad Girls Club” further cements the band’s penchant for genre-defying yet infectious pop: sonically the song meshes skittering trap beats, Quiet Storm-like R&B and contemporary electro pop in a sleek fashion. Thematically, underneath its club friendliness, the song is one part unvarnished confessional and one part messy cry at your own party because everything is fucked up.

“Sad Girls Club” was inspired by the first month of quarantine, when all of Lea’s daily distractions ground to a halt, and a lot of her personal demons reappeared. Self-doubt, depression and addiction patterns in her life bubbled up when she felt purposeless and adrift. Writer’s block became a harsh reality. “Sad Girls Club was my break-through from the block, but also by expressing my fears in a tangible way, it helped to pull me out of the mud,” Jenny Lea says in press notes. She goes on to explain that “Sad Girls Club is about the trickery our subconscious mind plays on us when we’re feeling low. It’s about Self-deprecation, unworthiness, and being burdensome.” I M U R’s Amine Bouzaher adds “Ironically, a lot of negative thoughts combined to create an epic, dark banger, and we were able to pour all of those feelings into the production of the track. It’s always amazing to see what incredible art and positivity can come from channeling negative thoughts and feelings.” The Canadian act’s Mikey J. Blige encapsulates the overall vibe of the song, by saying “It’s ok at any age to feel like an emo kid that loves pop music AND trap music.” 

Directed and edited by Sterling Larose, the glitchy visual features Lea laying an iron on herself and at other points wearing roughly 80 pound boat chains to symbolize the emotional weight and heaviness of doubt, depression and addition can have on a person. The tattoo that she gets the video is a real tattoo and the footage of her in the shower was part of an hour-long shower she took after. “I think it was the heaviness that sometimes comes along with being real and being honest,” Lea says. “Just because you’re being honest doesn’t mean that it’s gonna be a happy ending Disney princess movie.” 

New Video: La Femme Releases a Dreamy Visual for Shimmering “Le Jardin”

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French JOVM mainstays released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” Striking while the proverbial iron was red-hot, the members of La Femme quickly followed up with three more singles, which I managed to write about:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik grooves, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.
“Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck freak out that meshed Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with ’77 punk rock nihilism.

Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their long-awaited and highly-anticipated, third album Paradigmes will be released on April 2, 2021 through the band’s own label Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL.
Continuing to build buzz for Paradigmes, the members of La Femme recently released the album’s fourth and latest single, the dreamy and achingly sad lullaby of sorts “Le Jardin.” Interestingly, the song is the band’s first song written and sung in Spanish — and the song can trace its origins to a trip that the band’s members took to Spain a few years ago. “This is kind of an old-school slow dance which underlines how fate can be random and fragile,” the band explains. “The moments we go through, sometimes very sudden, from shadows to light, and vice-versa.”

Directed by the band, the recently released video for “Le Jardin” was shot in Southern Spain between Granada and Sevilla. The video itself is a gorgeous fever dream in the middle of gorgeous Romanesque architecture, “where the Holy Virgins are omnipresent on the walls, overlooking at mankind and its madness.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Releases a Motorik Groove Driven Freak Out

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” They promptly followed up with two more singles, which I covered on this site:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik groove, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric elecvtroincns, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.

Interestingly, the Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated third album Paradigmes is slated for an April 2, 2021 release through the band’s Disque Pointu/IDOL. And along with the album’s announcement, the members of La Femme released Paradigmes’ latest single Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck, nihilistic, motorik-groove driven, freak out that sonically seems like a slick synthesis of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with a ’77 punk rock nihilism. The approximate English translation of the words chanted in the song’s chorus is: “It’s the return of terror, all the kids sing in unison, I wanna fuck it up!” And as a result, the song is a decided dance floor meets mosh pit ripper specifically designed to turn a crowd upside down.

The recently released video for the song was animated and directed by the members of the band — and the visual is a neon colored, lysergic freakout that includes a surfing guitar player, musicians, who’s innards are revealed and other weird imagery. It’s La Femme at their best — being a wild head fuck that you can bop to.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Release a Feverish and Surreal Visual for Genre-defying Freak Out “Disconnexion”

La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the-then unknown band managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut EP, Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of the La Femme returned back to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success, which won a Victoires de la Musique Award while completely reinventing the sound that began to win them attention. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile. La Femme’s sophomore album, 2016’s Mystére was released to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Earlier this year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme,” They promptly followed up with “Cool Colorado,” the second single off their forthcoming third album, which will be released through the band’s Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL.“This album does not correspond to one specific period of our lives,” the band explains. “We have always composed songs all along the journey of the band. Therefore, this album is composed with temporality, it has to be seen as a big piece of a puzzle we create. It is an ongoing process, but all this stays in the range of a concept and remains uncertain.”

Featuring a bombastic horn sample, shimmering guitars, blown out beats, insouciantly sung lyrics in French and English and an infectious hook, “Cool Colorado” sounds indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s, which is so rare and precious to us even if we never lived in this period,” and to Colorado, the first state to legalize cannabis.

The members of La Femme closed out 2020 with “Disconnexion,” the third single off their forthcoming third album — and arguably, the oddest and most difficult to pigeonhole track I’ve come across all year,. Centered around a pulsating, motorik groove reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder’s heyday, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and trippy operatic caterwauling “Disconnexion” is a vivid and surreal fever dream of a song that’s full of “what the fuck” and yet completely danceable.

Speaking of what the fuck, the recently released video for “Disconnexion” continues the surreal and mysterious universe of the preceding videos: initially taking place on a Laugh-In meets Top of the Pops and American Bandstand sort of show, the video quickly morphs into a wild parody of an intellectual TV debate that features a bald and pretentious philosopher type who delivers the song’s wild soliloquy before walking into a phantasmagorical orgy, compete with a hellish clown playing the banjo like he was in a Charlie Daniels tune and a lysergic opera singer wailing away. It’s wild and follows a universe that’s wilder and perhaps more interesting than our own.

New Video: Acclaimed French Act La Femme Release a Lysergic Romp

La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the-then unknown band managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and an EP.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of the La Femme returned back to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success, which won a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile. La Femme’s sophomore album, 2016’s Mystére was released to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Earlier this year, the band released their first bit of new material in four years, the critically acclaimed “Paradigme.” Continuing upon that momentum, the applauded Parisian act recently released the cinematic “Cool Colorado,” the follow-up to “Paradigme” and the second single from the band’s forthcoming third album which will be released through the band’s Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL. “This album does not correspond to one specific period of our lives,” the band explains. “We have always composed songs all along the journey of the band. Therefore, this album is composed with temporality, it has to be seen as a big piece of a puzzle we create. It is an ongoing process, but all this stays in the range of a concept and remains uncertain.”

Featuring a bombastic horn sample, shimmering guitars, blown out beats, insouciantly sung lyrics in French and English and an infectious hook, “Cool Colorado” sounds indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks.“‘Cool Colorado’ alludes to freedom, the insouciance of a journey,” the band explains. “We were somewhere between the states of Utah and Wyoming, during our last American tour, when this ode to the San Francisco of the 70s, which is so rare and precious to us even if we never lived in this period, came to us.” The band adds, “Colorado is the first American state which legalized cannabis, this is where the line ‘And I smoke in the streets without stress’ comes from/ This song is also related to the Beatnik spirit, to the literature of Kerouac. Do you remember the Magic Bus? It was going from Europe to Kathmandu on a now-mythical hippie trail.”

Co-directed by the members of La Femme and Aymeric Bergada du Cadet, the recently released video for “Cool Colorado” is a psychedelic romp that brings American Bandstand, T.A.M.I. Show, Top of the Pops and the Playboy mansion to mind. “This is a sort of psychedelic mass parodying the cliché of the ‘teen idol’ in the way of Brian Jones or Swan from Phantoms of the Paradise. Like a pastiche of a past period of time,” the members of La Femme explain.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Kills Cover Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You”

Throughout the course of this site’s 10+ year history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of ink covering the critically applauded and commercially successful duo The Kills. And with the release of albums like 2003’s Keep on Your Mean Side, 2005’s No Wow, 2008’s Midnight Boom, 2011’s Blood Pressures and 2016’s Ash & Ice, the duo — Alison Mosshart (vocals) and Jamie Hince (guitar, production) — have cemented a reputation for crafting a scuzzy and swaggering power chord-based blues and garage rock sound and approach.

Some time has passed since I’ve come across new material from the JOVM mainstays. Individually, the members of The Kills have been busy with their own creative projects — Mosshart published a book of poetry and photography and released solo material while Hince has been busy with production work. But interestingly enough, earlier this month the acclaimed duo announced that they would be releasing a career-spanning B-side and rarity compilation titled Little Bastards.

Slated for a December 11, 2020 release through Domino Recording Company, Little Bastards consists of material that date back from the band’s first batches of 7 inch singles released in 2002 up until 2009. The material has been newly remastered for release on CD, digitally and on LP — and it makes the first ever vinyl pressings for some of the tracks. A great deal of the compilation features covers — including the album’s second and latest single, a somewhat straightforward cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ oft-covered Halloween classic “I Put A Spell On You” that bristles with a feral sensuality.

Edited by the band’s Mosshart, the recently released video for “I Put A Spell On You” features live footage from shows in Portland, OR; Pomona, CA; and San Francisco. While capturing the duo’s live energy, the video makes me miss live music so very much. Sigh.