Tag: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you may have come across a post on the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk trio Second Still. Comprised of founding members Ryan Walker (guitar) and Alex Hartman (bass), and newest member Suki San (vocals), the trio can actually trace their origins to when its founding duo met in Los Angeles, back in 2007. By the time Walker and Hartman had relocated to New York in 2011, they had recored over 100 instrumental demos, which were largely influenced by French coldwave and No Wave. And as the story goes, the band’s founding duo had spent their time in New York searching high and low for a vocalist that they felt could match their intensity and output — until they met Suki San, with whom they felt an instant simpatico.

The trio’s first show was a party and the now-condemned McKibbin Street Lofts — and it was famously shut down by NYPD during the second song of their set. Building upon the buzz of that incident, the trio recorded their debut EP Early Forms, which was released last year as a limited edition cassette that quickly sold out. But interestingly enough, taking advantage of the time they spent in Brooklyn, the band wrote and recorded the material, which would eventually comprise their soon-to-be released Hilary Johnson-produced, self, titled, full-length debut — and the material on the album thematically focuses on deeply post-modern subjects: depression, frustration, anxiety and alienation.

With the release of “Walls” and “Recover,” the now Los Angeles-based band revealed a decided sonic departure from their previously released EP; in fact, “Recover” finds the band nodding at 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. “Strangers,” the album’s latest single sonically continues on a similar vein as its preceding single while being darkly seductive, complete with a slashing and fiery guitar solo. Unsurprisingly, the song reminds me a bit of Siousxie and the Banshees’ “Happy House” and “Israel” but with a clean, modern production sheen.

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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Over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay post-punk act The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. As a quartet, the Brooklyn-based act released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouettes to critical praise across the blogosphere including The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others —  although with Silhouette, the material, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi’s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had been subtly experimenting with and expanding upon their sound, as their sound took on a bit of an industrial feel, as though nodding at Depeche Mode and New Order.

Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since I had written about them; however, in the last few weeks, the band announced that they will be releasing a remix album Points of View, which would be comprised of remixes, re-workings and re-imaginings of the material off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions to the album.  And fittingly, the album’s first single was Xavier Paradis’ propulsive, dance floor-friendly remix of “Kaleidoscope” in which industrial clang and clatter and tweeter and woofer rocking beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals — and as a result, the remix retained the spirit and mood of the original, while being a subtle new take.

Interestingly enough, if you had been following the site since the early days, you may recall that I wrote about the Brooklyn-based synth pop duo Azar Swan. Comprised of singer/songwriter Zohra Atash, who was a touring vocalist with A Storm of Light and multi-instrumentalist and producer Joshua Strawn, who was a member of Blacklist, Vaura, Vain Warr and others, the duo’s current project can trace its origins to when Atash and Strawn ended their previous project Religious to Damn in 2012. And much like it, The Harrow it had been some time since I had written about them — that is until now, as the duo remixed The Harrow’s “Secret Language,” giving an already stark minimalist song an even moodier, retro-futuristic John Carpenter soundtrack vibe.

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

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.

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based, JOVM mainstay post-punk act, The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. And over a period of a couple of years, the quartet released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouette to critical praise from the likes of The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others — although Silhouette, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi‘s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had expanded upon the sound that first won the attention of the blogosphere, as lush and shimmering guitar chords, played through layers of reverb, delay and other effects pedals were paired with sinuous bass lines, propulsive drum programming that frequently nodded at  Depeche Mode and New Order, swirling electronics and Irena’s plaintive and ethereal vocals.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve last written about them; however, the band’s frequent collaborator and friend, the aforementioned Xavier Paradis recently remixed “Kaleidoscope” as part of the band’s remix album Points of View, which will be comprised of remixes, reworks and interpretations of songs off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates — as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions. The original version of the song is a slow-burning, hazily atmospheric track featuring shimmering guitar chords, four-on-the-floor like drum programming and Irena’s plaintive vocals ethereally floating over a moody, 4AD Records-lenaing mix.

 

Paradis’ Automelodi Sonnambula Mix of “Kaleidoscope is a propulsive, Depeche Mode and New Order-inspired, dance floor remix in which industrial clang and clatter and propulsive and forceful beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals floating over the mix. Interestingly, while being dance floor friendly, Paradis’ remix manages to retain the original’s moody feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM for some time — especially over the past few months, you may be familiar with the Brooklyn-based sextet Starlight Girls. Over the last five years or so, the band have developed a reputation for a unique brand of  “noir-ish indie pop.” After releasing a well-received, self-produced EP, the band was opening for a diverse array of acts including Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Kate Nash, La Sera, Lucius, Tilly and the Wall, St. Lucia and Crystal Fighters, which expanded their profile nationally. Building on a growing profile, the band followed that up with a 7 inch single “7 x 3” which was produced by Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart. Interestingly, that particular single was something of a sonic left turn, as that single bore a resemblance to Sneaker Pimps and Portishead.

Produced by band members, Christina B and Shaw Walters, Starlight Girls long-awaited full-length debut, Fantasm was released last week. Much like the album’s previous single “Lodestar,” the album’s latest single “Fancy” is a shimmering and dance-floor leaning track consisting of what sounds like a horn sample, angular guitar chords, shimmering synths, four-on-the-floor drums to create a moody and seductive song that sounds as though it draws from Siouxsie and the Banshees and Blondie