Tag: Silversun Pickups

New Video: The Rocket Summer Returns with a Slick Visual for Anthemic “Blankets”

Dallas, TX-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Bryce Avary is the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed, solo indie rock/indie pop recording project The Rocket Summer. With The Rocket Summer, Avary has released six albums and a couple of EPs, including 2010’s Of Men and Angels, which landed at #1 on the Top Album spot on iTunes and 2012’s Life Will Write the Words, which landed at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums Chart, as well as #12 on the Top Independent Albums Charts.

Avary’s soon-to-be released seventh album Sweet Shivers is slated for an August 2, 2019 and as you may recall, the album’s third single “Peace Signs”  was one part ardent plea for peace and one part ironically detached sire. centered around a breezy, summery groove an enormous Silversun Pickups-like hook. “Blankets,” Sweet Shivers latest single continues a run of singles featuring enormous, arena friendly hooks paired with motorik-like grooves, shimmering synths and Avary’s plaintive vocals. And while infectious, the track thematically focuses on surrendering a bit to the flotsam and jetsam that life will inevitably toss in your path — and finding whatever silver linings we can. Along with that, the song suggests that the cliche is true: there is strength in numbers. And that more important, that if you’re struggling, you’re not alone; we’ve all been there at some point. 

“I wrote the song in the middle of the night watching fuzzy TV in a cabin in rural Texas, long before I tracked it, but I’ll never forget what it was like having to cut this vocal in the studio only 2 hours after catching wind that my childhood friend had taken her life,” Avary says of the song’s creation. “While only parts of the song point to that type of narrative, I think it will forever resonate with me as a lyric that just simply needs to be sung. ”

“Sweet Shivers (which comes from a lyric in ‘Blankets’) is referring to an emotion: a feeling of excitement and joy in the unknown, even if the unknown itself is more dressed up in less than ideal feelings of uncertainty,” Avary continues. “A letting go of sorts; beauty in the free fall. Sonically, to me, the melancholic yet contrastingly hopeful spirit within the journey of the free fall is what this song sounds like. 

Directed by Dillon Slack and Ben Busch, the recently released video for “Blankets” stars Brianna Brill and Nick Morbitt, who travel through literal blankets to find one another. At its core, the video tells the story of two people, who come to terms with life and its chaotic moments — through the comfort of another.

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New Video: The Rocket Summer Releases a Slick and Symbolic Visual for Breezy Summer Anthem “Peace Signs”

Bryce Avary is a Dallas, TX-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer, who’s the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo indie rock/indie pop project The Rocket Summer. His growing catalog includes six previously released full-length albums and a couple of EPs — including 2010’s Of Men and Angels, which landed at #1 on the Top Album spot on iTunes and 2012’s Life Will Write the Words, which landed at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums Chart, as well as #12 on the Top Independent Albums Charts.  

Avary’s forthcoming Rocket Summer album Sweet Shivers is slated for an August 2, 2019 release and the album’s third and latest single is the anthemic “Peace Signs.” Centered around a breezy and summery groove, and an enormous Silversun Pickups-like hook, the song is one part ardent plea for peace and one part ironically detached satire, meant to play loudly while cruising in your car. 

Directed by Dillon Slack and Ben Busch, the recently released, slickly shot video follows Avary in a white convertible, wearing oversized, burnt-orange sunglasses, hair blowing in the wind and driving towards the beach — with two masked figures as passengers, who represent contrasting emotions.  

Taylor Knox is a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who can trace the origins of his musical career to over a decade ago, when he was recruited to play drums for The Golden Dogs, an act that was considered one of Canada’s criminally under-appreciated bands — and coincidentally, one of Knox’s favorite bands, too.

During his stint with The Golden Dogs, Knox forged friendships with several other bandmembers, who all go on to form Zeus. As a result of Zeus, Knox was a frequent presence at the band’s Toronto studio Ill Eagle, which naturally offered him the perfect environment and the opportunity to begin experimenting with his own original material. Interestingly, Knox and his then-newly formed Zeus were tapped by Jason Collett to be his regular backing band — and it brought him into contact with an even wider circle of musicians, including Luke Doucet, whom he joined on Doucet’s tour to support his acclaimed Steel City Traveler. He also joined Hayden for the Us Alone recording sessions and subsequent tour. He also played with acclaimed Halifax, Nova Scotia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Rich Aucoin.

With the release of the Lines EP and his full-length debut Love, Knox stepped out into the spotlight, crafting anthemic power pop that has drawn comparisons to acclaimed and highly influential Canadian power pop act Sloan and others. Slated for a June 7, 2019 release, Knox’s sophomore album Here Tonight thematically focuses on the mystery, stillness and artistic inspiration of the night; in fact, Knox’s tendency to be a night owl was a major influence on the album. And when he started writing the material that would eventually comprise his forthcoming sophomore album, he focused on precisely what he was thinking about — and what he wanted to do and say with it. He didn’t want to waste the insight that nighttime has always given him.“I really try to make sure the songs I write come from a place of not something I want to write but something I kind of have to get out. What I’m feeling below what I’m thinking,” Knox says in press notes.

Sonically speaking, the album, which sees Knox working with Josh Korody reportedly sees Knox continuing with the power pop that has won him attention — fuzzy and /or crunchy power chords, forceful drumming and rousingly anthemic hooks; but he sought guidance and inspiration from much more contemporary artists like The Weeknd, SZA and Prince in terms of production and songwriting, as well as the legendary Joni Mitchell. In fact, Korody’s production helped to add new textures to his overall sound, thanks to the incorporation of synths and keyboards to create glistening gutter tones. Knox also worked with Rob Schnapf in Los Angeles, who helped make one song reportedly to sound like one of the best Oasis songs to never appear on an Oasis album.

Interestingly, what sets the Toronto-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s sophomore album apart from this previously released work is a free flowing spontaneity that was encouraged by Korody and Schnapf — and that left room for unrestrained creativity. Doing this, he says, “leaves a little bit of room for discovery with the collaborator and room for their influence. I’ve always tried to do that but I did it more this time because I have confidence that I’ll be able to come up with it on the spot.” Adding to that, Knox brought in a number of Toronto’s finest musicians to collaborator for the sessions including July Talks‘ Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay and Tokyo Police Club‘s Dave Monks.

Here Tonight‘s latest single is the rousingly anthemic, Live It Up.” Centered around fuzzy power chords, forceful drumming, a big arena rock friendly hook and an ethereal falsetto, the track recalls 120 Minutes alt rock — in particular, The Posies, The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins and even more contemporary acts like Silversun Pickups but with the free-flowing air of a bunch of guys jamming and coming up with something incredibly cool and full of furious passion.

 

 

New Video: Introducing the 90’s Alt Rock-Inspired Sound of Dopamine

Consisting of Olly Dean (vocals, guitar), Jonny Wright (bass) and Chris Kidd (drums), the British rock trio Dopamine formed back in early 2015 and since their formation they’ve developed a reputation for a boozy, power chord-based, arena rock friendly sound heavily influenced by the likes of Royal Blood, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Band of Skulls, Silversun Pickups and Nirvana — but while incorporating elements of the blues and country. And as the trio mentioned by email, they’ve just finished their debut EP, which features the anthemic, Ten and Vs. era Pearl Jam and early Soundgarden-like bruiser “Remedy,” a track that the band says is about a familiar situation to some at least — the end of a toxic relationship that in some small and nagging way feels as though it was kind of good.

With the release of their first two EPs, Gloomy Tunes and Crushed, the Portland, ME-based indie rock trio Weakened Friends, comprised of Sonia Sturino (vocals, guitar), Annie Hoffman (bass), and Cam Jones began receiving quite a bit of buzz for a sound that  clearly draws from power pop and 90s grunge rock. And in fact, over the past year or so the band has seen a growing profile as they played this year’s SXSW and have shared stages with the likes of CHVRCHES, Silversun Pickups, Beach Slang and Juliana Hatfield, essentially adding themselves to a growing list of contemporary fuzzy guitar pop-leaning acts that include JOVM mainstays Dead Stars and others.

“Hate Mail,” the trio’s latest single is a rousingly anthemic, mosh pit friendly “fuck off/don’t you come back here/you were the worst thing that ever happened to me/good riddance” song, perfect for anyone who’s gotten out of a miserable and toxic relationship — with some semblance of their dignity and sanity intact, and the sentiment is complimented (and emphasized) with a fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled, distorted vocals. While the song will further cement their growing reputation for crafting 90s grunge rock-inspired power pop, the song features the Maine-based trio collaborating with Dinosaur Jr.‘s J. Mascis, who contributes his imitable guitar sound to the proceedings.

 

Live Footage: Minus the Bear Covers Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” on A.V. Undercover

Going back to their print days, I’ve long been a fan of  The Onion AV Club, as they’ve consistently offered some of the smartest, most incisive, funniest criticism of movies, music and pop culture around. Since moving exclusively to the web, the folks behind The Onion AV Club created the Undercover video series.  The concept behind the video series is pretty interesting — every season, the website’s writers and editors devise a list of songs that they would love to have contemporary artists cover. The website’s staff then invites a bunch of artists and bands to stop by their Chicago studio, where they have the invited band choose a song from the AV Club’s list for that season — and then they record it in a live session. Now, here’s where things get really interesting: Once a song is chosen and then covered, it’s crossed off their list, reducing the number of songs anyone else can cover that season, so if an artist or band is invited later on in their season, their choices may be much more limited than a band that was invited earlier. By doing that, it prevents having several invited artists or bands from covering the same sets of songs over and and over and over again. And while revealing the influences and tastes of many contemporary acts, it also forces artists out of their confront zones, sometimes to a gloriously weird result — such as  They Might Be Giants’ boisterous  cover of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” and Screaming Females’ feral, punk rock cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Gwar’s thrash punk covers of Billy Ocean’s “Get Out of My Dreams (And Into My Car),”  and  Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” which are so fucking awesome, that you need to check them out below) or to the “oh shit, I never thought that artist could pull that song,” like  Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater’s collaborative cover of Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” And as you can imagine, sometimes the covers are straightforward — and other times, the band or artist brings a unique, never thought of take. Adding to the unpredictability of the series, they’ve had Shearwater cover Bowie’s Lodger. 

To start off the eighth season of Undercover, the A.V. Club invited the Seattle, WA-based indie rock blogosphere darlings Minus the Bear to their newly redesigned Chicago studio, where they played a forceful and lovingly straightforward cover of Fugazi’s “Waiting Room.” 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times on this site, I frequently multitask while writing about the various songs, videos and other materials I post — and while at lunch, I was eating, writing about a particular band and once I was finished I stared to tweet about something or another when I came across “Here Comes The Light,” from the Birmingham, UK-based rock duo Glass Cut Kings. Comprised of Paul Cross (vocals, guitar) and Greg McMurray (drums, vocals), the Birmingham-based duo specialize in arena rock-friendly, power-chord based rock that sounds indebted to Silversun Pickups, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters and others, complete with rousingly anthemic hooks. Naturally, what caught my attention was the fact that for a duo, they create an enormous and forceful sound — and those guitar riffs remind me of 70s glam rock.

 

Initially begun as the solo recording project of Salt Lake City, UT-based founding member and frontman Jordon Strang and now currently a quartet, indie rock/shoegazer rock band  No Sun has seen regional and national attention for a harder and more modern take on shoegaze that draws from the genre’s masters,  Swervedriver, RIDE and Failure and contemporaries including Pity Sex, Silversun Pickups and others. The Salt Lake City, UT-based band’s full-length debut It’s Only was released through  The Native Sound Records and hot on its heels, the members of No Sun released a brooding, sludgy grunge rock-leaning cover of Dead Kennedys “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” a song that’s become much more urgent, in light of increasing anti-Semitic and racist-based attacks and bullying across the country.

“America has shown its very disgusting underbelly over the past few months, and I’m sure it will only get worse. Going to shows, and the DIY community in general shoudl be a place where everyone feels safe, except for those that live to make others feel unsafe for something as simple as the color of their skin, their gender identity or their sexual orientation. We covered this song to let everyone know that we think Nazism and bigotry is not welcome, and will not be tolerated within our fanbase or at any of our shows,” the band’s founder and frontman Jordon Stang says of why they decided to cover the song.

Lyrics 

Punk ain’t no religious cult

Punk means thinkin’ for yourself
You ain’t hardcore ’cause you spike your hair
When a jock still lives inside your head

Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off

If you’ve come to fight, get outta here
You ain’t no better than the bouncers
We ain’t tryin’ to be police
When you ape the cops it ain’t anarchy
Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off

Ten guys jump one, what a man
You fight each other, the police state wins
Stab your backs when you trash our halls
Trash a bank if you’ve got real balls

You still think Swastikas look cool
The real Nazis run your schools
They’re coaches, businessmen and cops
In a real fourth Reich you’ll be the first to go

Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks fuck off

You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
Unless you think
No Sun will be embarking on a lengthy tour to support their debut album throughout March and April — and it’ll include an NYC area stop at Saint Vitus on March 25, 2017. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates: 

3/9     Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
3/10    Denver, CO @ Mutiny Information Cafe
3/11    Kansas City, MO @ The Couch
3/12    St. Louis, MO @ Foam
3/13    Milwaukee, MN @ Ground Zero
3/14    Minneapolis, MN @ Safe Haus
3/15    Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
3/16    Fort Wayne, IN @ The Tiger Room
3/17    Elyria, OH @ Blank State Elyria
3/18    Toronto, ON @ The Smiling Buddha
3/19    Montreal, QC @ Brasserie Beaubien
3/20    Syracuse, NY @ The Reformed Church of Syracuse
3/21    Florence, MA – 13th Floor Music Lounge
3/22    Boston, MA @ The Middle East
3/24    Montclair, NJ @ Meatlocker
3/25    Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
3/26    Wilkes Barre, PA @ The Other Side
3/27    Baltimore, MD @ The Windup Space
3/28    Philadelphia, Pa @ Kung Fu Necktie
3/29    Richmond, VA – @ The Castle
3/30    Charlotte, NC @ The Station On Central
04/1    Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar
04/2    Austin, TX @ Beerland
04/4    El Paso, TX @ The Sandbox
04/5    Tempe, AZ @ 51 West