Tag: single

Comprised of founding members Ryan Walker (guitar) and Alex Hartman (bass), along with Suki San (vocals), the Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk trio Second Still can trace their origins to when Walker and Hartman met in 2007 in Los Angeles. By the time Walker and Hartman relocated to New York in 2011, they had recorded over 100 instrumental demos, which were largely inspired by French coldwave and No Wave. And as the story goes, after the band’s founding duo, while in New York they searched high and low for a vocalist that they felt could match their intensity and creative output, eventually meeting Suki San, with whom they felt an instant simpatico.

The trio’s first show was a party at the now-condemned McKibbin Street Lofts that was famously shut down by the police during their set’s second song. And building upon the buzz of that incident, the band recorded their debut EP, Early Forms, which was released last March as a limited edition cassette that quickly sold out.  While they were living in Brooklyn, the members of the band wrote the material, which would eventually comprise their forthcoming, self-titled, full-length debut — and the material on the album thematically covers deeply post-modern subjects: depression, frustration, anxiety and alienation. And before they all relocated to Los Angeles in November 2015, the members of the band hunkered down at Brooklyn’s Studio G and Seaside Lounge Studios to record their Hilary Johnson co-produced debut in two days.

Interestingly, between the release of their debut EP and their forthcoming album, they released “Walls,” a single that revealed that the material on their self-titled album would be a decided sonic departure from their EP; in fact, as you’ll hear on their album’s latest single “Recover,” the band’s sound nods to 80s post-punk — in particular Sixousie and the Banshees as San’s gorgeous vocals, which to my ears bear an uncanny resemblance to Sixousie Sioux’s are paired with angular and shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, a propulsive bass line and stark, industrial-leaning drum programming. And as a result, the song simultaneously possesses a brooding chilliness and a motorik groove.

The band will be touring up and down the Pacific Coast around the time of the album’s official release. Check out tour dates below.

TOUR DATES

03.30 – The Acerogami – Pomona, CA
03.31 – Venue TBD – La Puente, CA
04.01 – Venue TBD –  San Diego, CA
04.04 – The Knockout – San Francisco, CA
04.05 – Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
04.06 – Venue TBD – Oakland, CA
04.07 – Out From The Shadows Festival – Portland, OR
04.08 – The Black Lodge – Seattle, WA
04.16 – Part Time Punks @ The Echo – Los Angeles, CA

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Rudie Edwards is an up-and-coming Dover, UK-born, Kent, UK-based singer/songwriter and producer, who has been influenced by a wide range of music including disco, Joy Division, gospel, Ray Charles and others. And although Edwards became obsessed with making music, she recognized that she had to move out of Dover. “It’s a very small town,” the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter and producer says in press notes. “I knew I had to move out of there. Music was the easiest way for me to escape. My sisters and I were the only mixed race kids at school. It’s a beautiful place, but i knew it wasn’t where i was going to be spend the rest of my life. i was bursting at the seams. I needed more. I wanted more. I was longing for the stage. I had to get to London.”

Edwards eventually relocated to London, where she attended the renowned BRIT School, the alma mater of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Imogen Heap and others. By 2012, Edwards’ music career had started in earnest as she was splitting her time between Los Angeles and London, writing for CeeLo Green, Erik Hassle, Beatrice Eli and others. And with her later single “Lover Like You,” Edwards reveals that as a solo artist, her material is fueled by a sensual, hold nothing back confidence and a sassiness that’s reminiscent of I Feel For You-era Chaka Khan while simultaneously  drawing from 80s synth pop, disco, soul and contemporary synth pop — and in a way that’s reminiscent of Escort‘s Adeline Michele. More important, the song is a slickly produced and seductive, club banger featuring layers of arpeggio synths, electronic bleeps and bloops, an 80s-like guitar solo, stomping beats and an infectiously  anthemic hook; it’s the sort of song you’d fully expect to lustily shout along with at the club around 2am.

Comprised of Nathan Lithow (vocals, bass), known as a touring and recording bassist for My Brightest Diamond, Inlets, and Gabriel and the Hounds; and Garth Macaleavey (drums), a former Inlets touring percussionist and head sound engineer at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s newest and intimate National Sawdust, the Brooklyn-based post-punk duo NØMADS incubated and forged a sound and songwriting process that owes a debt to Nirvana, Fugazi and Girls Against Boys — while subtly updating it in a way that reminds me of Zack De La Rocha’s post-Rage Against the Machine project, One Day As A Lion and Japandroids.

The duo received some attention with the release of their 2014 full-length debut, Free My Animal, an effort that reportedly drew from Death From Above 1979 and Queens of the Stone Age. After a year hiatus from touring and recording, the Brooklyn-based duo have re-emerged with new material off their newest effort, PHOBIAC, a conceptual collection of 12 songs, based on a different phobia — all approached in a very abstract, almost clinical fashion, capturing the inner thoughts of someone in the grips of their own fears. But just underneath the frantic, paranoid and irrational surface is a rather cautionary and rational message — that when we succumb to irrational fears, chaos will ultimately be the end of result. And with the current sociopolitical climate, the Brooklyn-based duo’s newest material is incredibly fitting and necessary, especially in light of the fact that there are large groups of people, who are currently ruled by their fears of “the other,” to the point of actually endangering everyone.

Each song off the album will be released every month over the next year, with the full album being released in 2018. The album’s latest single “Achluphobia” focuses on a fear of darkness, and throughout you can feel the narrator’s palpable and overwhelmingly primal dread and fear as darkness begins to envelope everything around him  — and it’s further emphasized by angular and forceful bass chords, thundering and propulsive drumming and Lithgow’s growled vocals. But the subliminal message of the song is that fear turns something that’s perfectly natural and normal into something horrible and dangerous.

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Joseph Kim is a Canadian-born, San Francisco, CA-based singer/songwriter producer and multi-instrumentliast, arguably best known as a member of San Francisco-based band Museums and for a solo recording experimental side project, Mount Vermont. He also works as a freelance soundtrack composer, who has clients like Canon, Deloitte, TED, and others. Kim also recently released material under his own birth name — and that music as he describes on his website “is an evolving blend of organic guitars and electronic experimentation. Whatever the instrumentation or approach, it retains its melodic and emotive nature: haunting, intimate and sincere.”

“Gone” the EP opening single off Kim’s 2016 effort Lost/Found EP is a hazy post-punk-inspired song featuring a sinuous bass line, lush, swirling layers of shimmering synths and precise drum programming paired with Kim’s crooning vocals. Sonically speaking, the song nods at The Harrow, the 4AD Records sound, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and others and while possessing a similar swooning and urgent Romanticism — and much like its (presumed) influences, the song focuses on visceral and profound heartache and confusion that has enveloped its narrator.

 

 

 

 

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.