Tag: single

Linnea Olsson is Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who quickly established herself as a go-to cellist, thanks in part to her having worked with Peter GabrielStingAne Brun and Maia Hirasawa. Lately, Olsson has begun to receive international attention for her self-proclaimed cello-driven fantasy pop. Now, if you had been frequenting this site around the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “The Weekend,” a swooning and gorgeous track that reminded me quite a bit of Kishi Bashi as a classical string arrangement was paired with extremely modern and ironic lyrics describing a desperately neurotic and delusional narrator, who escapes into a world in which she’s an enormous star, who gets revenge on those who wronged her. Her latest single “Hall of Tragedy” thematically is much more serious; but it will further cement the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s burgeoning reputation for crafting swooningly gorgeous cello-driven pop — and in the case of her latest single, the song also serves as the perfect showcase for an undeniably beautiful vocals in what may be arguably be the moodiest and most atmospheric song she has released to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, the members of Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society have received attention both here and elsewhere across the blogosphere for a sound that draws from a diverse array of influences including  FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

The Liverpool shoegazers’ latest single “Sacred Flight” will further cement their growing reputation for crafting shoegaze with rousingly anthemic hooks, an enveloping sound and slick yet subtly modern production techniques  as the song possesses a shimmering, cosmic glow, some trippy pedal effected guitar work , a propulsive, motorik groove and a soaring, rousingly anthemic hook. And while being a bit of an expansion of the sound that first captured the attention of this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere, the song evokes the sense of freedom, possibility and discovery that can only come from traveling someplace new and far from home. Certainly, as I’ve listened to this song a number of times before writing, I couldn’t help but think of my own recent travels to The Netherlands — and how being more than 3,600 miles from home or from anyone who knows you is a both a liberating and profoundly strange feeling.

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Arguably best known as the guitarist in Mikal Cronin‘s backing band and the bassist in Fuzz, Chad Ubovich is part of the larger Bay Area/Ty Segall/Thee Oh Sees universe and over the past couple of years, Ubovich has received attention for his own band Meatbodies, a band that features Ubovich, Patrick Nolan and Kevin Boog playing incredibly weird, scuzzy lo-fi rock. Now, if you had been frequenting this site last month, you’d recall that the trio’s forthcoming sophomore effort ALICE is reportedly a “heavy pop” concept album primarily focusing on war, sex, politics and religion — and has the band expanding upon their sound; in fact, the album’s first single “Creature Feature” was a shuffling,  Bowie and Bolan-leaning take on psych rock.

However, ALICE’s latest single “Haunted History,” is a furious and buzzing take on psych rock, possessing  an anthemic and mosh pit-friendly hook paired with propulsive and forceful drumming — and in some way the song sounds as though it draws from grunge rock, thanks in part to some guitar pyrotechnics.

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Goldfrapp Return with a Buzzing, Dance-Floor Friendly, New Single

With 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory — released what may have arguably been one of their hauntingly gorgeous and lushly atmospheric efforts they had ever released as the album’s material leaned more towards compositions featuring piano, stunning string arrangements, classically strummed guitar paired with Alison Goldfrapp’s equally gorgeous and arresting vocals. The duo’s much anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye is slated for a March 31, 2017 release though Mute Records, and the forthcoming album’s first single “Anymore” reveals a radical change in sonic direction with the duo’s sound as the single features enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Version 2.0-era Garbage, the song possesses a tense impatience and longing at its core.

Comprised of founding members  Ousmane Ag Mossa and Cheick Ag Biglia along with Aghaly Ag Mohamedine,  Ibrahim Ag Ahmed Salam, Mahmoud Ag Ahmouden, Mossa Ag Borreiba, Fatma Wallet Cheick, Bassa Wallet Abdamou and Wannou Wallet Sidaty, the members of Tamikrest hail from the region around the city of Kidal in Northeastern Mali; in fact, all of the members of band attended the Les enfants de l’aurar school in Tinzawaren where they met and received basic music training. And with the members of the band being in their late 20s and early-to-mid 30s, their youths were shaped by the Tuareg Rebellion of 1990-1995 as each of the bandmembers had family, friends and others fought and died in their people’s fight for autonomy. Much like the members of the internationally acclaimed Tuareg collective Tinariwen, the members of Tamikrest began playing their people’s traditional music, as well as the music of Tinariwen — and thanks in part to the intent, the members of the band got a chance to listen to and be influenced but he work of Western artists like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd and Mark Knopfler.

When another series of riots exploded across Kidal and elsewhere in 2006, the band’s founding members decided the it would be best for them to fight with their instruments and songs — with songs that called attention to their people’s cause. Interestingly, a chance meeting with American-Australian band Dirtmusic at 2008 Festival Au Desert led to both friendship and to a lengthy collaboration in which the members of Tamikrest were invited to play on Dirtmusic’s 2010 sophomore effort BKO, which was recorded in Bamako, Mali. Chris Eckman, a member of Dirtmusic and The Walkabouts produced Tamikrest’s 2010 full-length debut Adagh and the band’s 2011 sophomore effort Toumastin

Kidal, the band’s fourth, full-length effort pays homage to the town in which the band was formed, as well as the town that’s one of their people’s main cultural centers. Historically, Kidal has been fought over, conquered and re-conquered many times over — and as a result, the town is a long-held symbol of the Taureg people’s defiance, resistance and hope. As the band’s co-founder explains of the album, “Kidal talks about dignity. We consider the desert as an area of freedom to live in. But many people consider it as just a market to sell to multinational companies, and for me, that is a major threat to the survival of our nomadic people.”

 

And although the Tuareg have traditionally been a nomadic people, there was a brief moment in which they actually had a homeland when the Tuaregs collectively rose up in 2017 and declared the Azawad region of Mali, an independent state. Sadly, it lasted less than a year as Al-Qaeda militants came in from the north and imposed strict Islamist rule and was followed by the French military, who arrived to liberate the area. And as a result, the Tuareg people were left with little or no chance for immediate self-determination; however, the dream remains for the Tuareg people, even if it seems trapped between several different governments, religious terrorists groups, and greedy, global corporations. As the band’s associate Rhissa Ag Mohamed mentions in press notes, “Kidal, the cradle of all of these uprisings, continues to resist the many acts perpetrated by obscure hands against our people. The album evokes all the suffering and manipulations of our populations caught in pincers on all sides.” And much like the aforementioned the members of Tamikrest feel an obligation to preserve and protect their people’s culture, while informing the world of their people’s plight — and unsurprisingly, Kidal‘s first single “Wainan Adobat” possesses a forceful urgency that belies its gorgeous yet cool self-assuredness. Interestingly, while the track nods at Tinariwen, the track also is reminiscent of Brothers in Arms-era Dire Straights. But perhaps most important, this song should be a reminder that in the difficult times that seem to be coming up ahead, that music and art should be used both as spiritual sustenance and as one of the most powerful political weapons known to man.

 

 

There are bands, whose sound and aesthetic make such a forceful and immediate impression that you can instantly recall the first time you had come across them; in fact the first time I had ever heard Soundgarden, I was watching MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball.  And what I can still remember more than 25 years later was how the show’s host at the time, Rikki Rachtman told viewers that they needed to be on the lookout for Soundgarden — mainly because of Chris Cornell, who Rachtman had described as being a little guy with an enormous voice. They promptly followed that with the music video for “Outshined” off Badmotorfinger — and I can remember being blown away.

Strangely, as the years have passed what’s been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had initially started their career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the now long-renowned grunge label had released the Seattle-based band’s first two EP’s Screaming Life and Fopp, which Sub Pop re-issued a few years ago, marking the first time that both of those early efforts would be availably digitally, as well as through vinyl. But interestingly enough, the renowned Seattle-based label also help distribute  Soundgarden’s full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

On March 10, 2017, Sub Pop Records will be releasing a remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s full-lengtht debut, as a long-planned “correction” of their debut. Ultramega OK was originally recorded and released through SST Records in 1988 — and while the members of the band enjoyed working with the album’s original producer, Drew Canulette, they were dissatisfied with the album’s final mix. And as the story goes, the band had intended to remix the album for subsequent pressings; however, the band quickly had major label success and were signed to A&M Records and the band went into the studio to work on their major-label debut effort, Louder Than Love. And as a result, the Ultramega OK remix had fallen off to the wayside.

Last year, the members of the band finally acquitted the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they all decided to set some time aside to work on the remix. Naturally, the band enlisted the assistance of renowned producer and engineer Jack Endino, a long-time friend and former collaborator, who has worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up some persistent loose ends and fixes the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the members of the band also found six early versions of songs that eventually wound up on the full-length album, which they initially recorded in 1987 with Jack Endino and Chris Hanszek at Reciprocal Recording — and mixed by Endino last year. Reportedly, those early versions of songs, which were later staples of the band’s live sets, capture the band in a much rawer form — and much closer to the Screaming Life EP. Naturally for die-hard fans and completists, the rediscovered material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and sound. The forthcoming re-issue’s first single is a crisper, tighter and much more forceful version of “Beyond The Wheel” which better displays Kim Thayill’s guitar work and its interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like drumming and Cornell’s vocals. And compared to the original, the re-mixed alternate version almost sounds like a completely different song.

As you may know, I was in Dordrecht, The Netherlands for business related to my day job and am currently in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for a couple of days to just check things out, maybe catch some live music, and whatever else comes to mind. And from being here a few hours last Sunday morning and returning this afternoon, I can see how easy it could be to fall deeply in love with Amsterdam and this entire country.  So far, the Dutch have proven to be a kind and friendly people. But there’s work to be done so let’s get to it right?

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you may recall that I wrote about the  Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter Maya Killtron. Killtron first came to attention across both her native Canada and across the States with the release of her 2012 debut EP Hipster/Gangsta — and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across North America with stops at Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love Taps “Back For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron’s latest single “Bad Decisions” as she explained to me via email “is a review of some of my best romances and worst choices in the field of love. It’s honest but light, real but unapologetic, and always dancy.” But interestingly enough, the single is an expansion of the sound that first caught her attention — you’ll hear a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, squiggling synths and soaring strings paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals in a song that nods both at 80s synth funk, early 80s disco and EDM and the sound of blogosphere darlings Escort.  And that shouldn’t be terribly surprising as Killtron explains in an email “With ‘Bad Decisions,’ as well as my first single ‘Never Dance Alone,’ I wanted to pay tribute to; but not copy my heroes — Teena Marie, Prince, and The Gap Band.”

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Dallas, TX’s Power Trip Returns with More Blistering, Hook-Laden Metal

Now, if you had stumbled on to this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about Dallas, TX-based metal quintet Power Trip. Comprised of Riley Gale, Blake Ibanez, Chris Ulsh, Nick Stewart and Chris Whetzel, the Dallas-based quintet have developed a reputation for a sound that draws heavily from 80s metal, complete with similiar guitar pyrotechnics and thundering drumming. “Firing Squad,” off the quintet’s forthcoming album Nightmare Logic was a mosh pit worthy song that’s reminiscent of Slayer, Metallica and Iron Maiden; but with a modern production sheen. The album’s latest single “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” continues on a similar vein as blistering cascades of power chords, propulsive and thundering drumming and howled lyrics while possessing a subtly modern production sheen –with what sounds like a bit of twinkling piano, just under the surface; but perhaps more important, both singles off the band’s forthcoming album reveal an emphasis on crafting incredibly tight and anthemic hooks while expressing a contemporary sense of complete hopelessness in everything. After all, things do seem increasingly bleak.

Dougie Poole is a Providence, RI-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, who began his musical career writing loud, heavy and dissonant music before eventually turning his focus on country music. And with his forthcoming full-length effort Wideass Highway, the Providence-based, New York-based singer/songwriter writes about his own, real-life experiences — heartbreak and loss and how we deal with it in the digital age, skittish use of psychedelics, his relationships with people and computers, and life in and in-between cities while expanding upon familiar country sounds and structures, essentially exploring country as an experimental and forward-thinking genre.  And as you’ll hear on his latest single “Less Young but as Dumb” Poole pairs the aching and wistful sentiment of country — in this case,  the song’s narrator speaks of his regret over a relationship that’s ended and his difficulties moving on — with a shimmering, cosmic Wall of Sound-like sound familiar to shoegazers, all while nodding at the lonely heartache of Roy Orbison.

 

 

Thanks to technology, I’m writing this post while on a flight to Amsterdam, The Netherlands with the eventual destination being Dordrecht, The Netherlands for a few days for meetings related to my day job.  JOVM will be continuing as normal or close to normal as possible — although some of my posts will be at unusual times back home in the States thanks in part to the 6 hour time difference. Once I’m done with the business portion of my trip, there will be a few days hanging out in Amsterdam, which I’ll blog about at some point; after all, I wouldn’t be a blogger worth a damn if I didn’t bring my camera with me, right? But on to the business at hand — music, followed by music.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its almost seven-year history, you’ve come across a number of posts on Brooklyn-based Afro-pop/dance pop act and JOVM mainstays Rubblebucket. Currently comprised of founding duo and primary songwriters Alex Toth (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Kalmia Traver (lead vocals, tenor sax, baritone sax), Adam Dotson (trombone, vocals and percussion), David Cole (drums) and Ian Hersey (guitar), the Brooklyn-based act can trace their origins to when Traver and Toth met while playing in a Burlington, VT-based Latin jazz act. Quickly bonding over being horn players, a love of Afrobeat and Afro pop and an uncannily preternatural connection, the duo relocated to Boston in 2006, where they did fairly respectable things to survive  — Traver spent time as a nude model for art classes, while Toth spent time hustling $50 a performance marching band gigs. And as the story goes, the duo of Toth and Traver began the band while being broke as shit in Boston. (Somehow that sounds like a song title, doesn’t it?)

Relocating to Brooklyn some years later, the members of Afro pop/indie pop act emerged into the national scene with the release of their critically applauded 2011 album Omega La La and an established reputation for a rather relentless touring schedule full of ecstatic, energetic and mischievous live sets. Over the past few years, the band has been pretty busy as they’ve released a handful of critically applauded EPs and their sophomore full-length Survival Sounds.  And in between slower touring periods, both Toth and Traver spent some time touring as special guests with fellow JOVM mainstay act Superhuman Happiness, a collaboration that goes back to when Stuart Bogie, Eric Biondo and company opened for Rubblebucket for a handful of shows in Burlington, VT. Interestingly during the same period of time, Rubblebucket’s recorded output revealed a band that gradually crafted and then cemented their own signature sound — while subtly expanding upon it. Their Save Charlie EP revealed a band that retained their genre-blurring sound but while also possessing elements of boom-bap hip-hop and electro pop. Additionally, as I noticed, Traver began increasingly emerging as a true frontperson.

The band’s soon-to-be released EP If U C My Enemies is slated for a January 20, 2017 release through So Sensation Records and from the EP’s first single ” “Donna” the band has further refined their sound — Traver and Toth’s enormous and swaggering horn lines are still there but they’re paired with swirling electronics, a distorted vocal sample and Traver’s coquettish cooing. “If U C MY Enemies” continues along a similar vein as Traver and Toth’s enormous horn lines are paired with sinuous and funky bass and guitar chords, swirling electronics, twinkling synths and a soaring, anthemic hook. And while being a bit more mid-tempo in comparison to its preceding single, that song may have arguably been the most muscular and forceful song that they had released to date.  Of course, building upon the buzz around the EP, the band recently released If U C My Enemies latest single “Not Cut Out For This,” a single that seems a bit like a return to form as sonically, it’s reminiscent of the material off Omega La La — twinkling and atmospheric synths are paired with propulsive, boom bap-like drums, a sinuous bass line and Traver’s sultry cooing. And while being a party song — sort of — the song reveals a much more deliberate, thoughtful nature.

The band is in the middle of touring to support the new effort. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
Jan 19 – Providence, RI @ Fete
Jan 20 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Jan 21 – Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
Jan 26 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow
Jan 27 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
Jan 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer