Tag: Soft Metals

Born Jennifer Hays, the Seattle, WA-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jenn Champion grew up in Tucson, AZ, where in the mid 90s, she worked at a local pizza shop with future bandmates Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke. In 1997 the trio moved to Olympia, WA for about a  year, before settling in Seattle and forming Hays’ first band Carissa’s Wierd. Although they only released three albums before splitting up in 2003, the band had a cult following that has resulted in the release of three compilation albums of their work, including 2010’s They’ll Only Miss You When You’re Gone: Songs 1996-2003, which was released through Hardly Art Records.

Since the breakup of Carissa’s Wierd, Champion has focused on several acclaimed solo projects including, the sparse, guitar and vocals-based pop project S, and with S she has released four albums, including 2010’s I’m Not As Good At It As You and 2014’s Chris Walla-produced Cool Choices. Critics and fans have applauded her open-hearted lyrics, technical skill and willingness to eschew conventions — and perhaps more important for writing sad songs meant to be cried to (or should I say be cried with?).  Interestingly, the B side of Champion’s last S album found her moving towards a more electronic-based sound; however, her single “No One” found Champion fully embracing electronics.  “I feel like a door got opened in my mind with electronic and digital music. There was a room I hadn’t explored before and I stepped in,” Champion says in press notes. While she’d initially intended to follow Cool Choices with “a rock record – guitar, a lot of pedals, heavy riffs,” plans changed. “I couldn’t pull myself away from the synthesizers and I realized the record I really wanted to make was more of a cross between Drake and Billy Joel than Blue Oyster Cult.”

After the release of “No One,” Champion’s publishers partnered her with Brian Fennell, an electronic music artist, songwriter and producer best known as SYML and the pair co-wrote “Leave Like That,” which was featured on SYML‘s Hurt For Me EP. Champion and Fennell hit it off so well that after Champion had written the demos for her forthcoming full-length Single Rider, she enlisted Fennell as a producer. Fennell agreed and they spent the next five months working on and refining the material on Single Rider. As Champion recalls, “In the studio with Brian, I was more open than I had ever been,” and as a result the material evolved into a slickly produced, anthemic dance floor friendly album; however, the new album reportedly finds Champion maintaining the earnest emotionality and vulnerability that has won her attention — but this time, the album’s material finds the acclaimed Seattle-based singer/songwriter imploring the listener to dance, dance, dance, dance, dance heartache, outrage and disappointment away, for a little bit at least. And goddamn it, sometimes strobe light, thumping bass and shimmering synths are so absolutely necessary to your basic survival.

Single Rider‘s latest single “Time To Regulate” is a slickly produced, sultry and propulsive bit of dance music centered around layers of shimmering, arpeggiated synths, cowbell-led percussion, thumping beats and an anthemic hook that reminds me of Soft Metals‘ Lenses, Cut Copy‘s In Ghost Colours, of 80s synth soul and Giorgio Moroder; but underneath the slick production, thumping beats and razor sharp hooks, there’s a desperate person trying to put on a brave face on a daily basis — with the acknowledgment that sometimes just being can be difficult in itself, and that adds a triumphant, “well, fuck man,” vibe to the shimmering proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOUR DATES

08.09.18 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
08.10.18 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
08.16.18 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg T

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Late last month, I wrote about Kalli Ma, an up-and coming, London-based electro pop production and artist duo, who with the release of their debut single  “Promises,,” quickly received attention across the UK and elsewhere, as the single revealed that the duo’s signature sound has been largely inspired by  techno, minimal wave and post punk. And as you may recall, their latest single “High Shot” found the duo employing both analog and digital synthesizers in a propulsive and kaleidoscopic, club banger, reminiscent of Soft Metals‘ Lenses, Factory Floor, Simian Mobile Disco, The Chemical Brothers and others, complete with layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a sinuous and sultrily sung hook.

Building upon the buzz they’ve received across the UK and elsewhere, the duo enlisted British producer Bird of Paradise to remix the song and while retaining the propulsive, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and arpeggiated synths and sultry hook of the original, the remix turns the song into an industrial house-leaning track full of the enormous clang and clatter of Kraftwerk’s “Metal on Metal” while expanding the song’s motorik-like groove and adding some cosmic ray bursts to the proceedings.

New Video: Up-and-Coming, British, Electronic Duo Kalli Ma Releases Kaleidoscopic Visuals for Propulsive, Club Banger “High Shot”

Kalli Ma is an up-and-coming, London-based electro pop production and artist duo, who have received attention across the UK with the release of their debut single “Promises,” an attention grabbing single that revealed that the British duo’s signature sound inspired by techno, minimal wave and post punk. The duo’s latest single “High Shot,” which sees the band employing the use of both analog and digital synthesizers in a propulsive, kaleidoscopic and club banger that’s reminiscent of Soft Metals’ Lenses, Factory Floor, Simian Mobile Disco, The Chemical Brothers and others, complete with layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a sinuous and sultrily sung hook. 

Directed by Katia Ganfield, the recently released video follows actor Alexander Arnold, best known for roles in British shows like Skins, My Cousin Rachel and The Salvation through a wild and trippy day around London with stops at several bars and pubs, including one where he just misses encountering the members of Kalli Ma. 

New Video: The Retro-Futuristic Sounds and Visuals of Gel Set’s “Bounce”

Gel Set is the solo recording project of Los Angeles, CA-based multimedia artist, producer and electronic music artist Laura Callier, and with singles “Don’t You Miss Me” and “Bounce” off her recently released album Body Copy, Collier specializes in a minimalist synth pop that simultaneously nods at the Manchester sound, early house music, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Soft Metals‘ chilly yet sensual Lenses complete with an appropriate dance floor friendly thump — but paired with deeply personal, almost journal-like lyrics, delving into the psyche and psychology of its narrator.

Directed by Jason Ogawa, the recently releaed video for “Bounce” features animation by Justin Thyme projected onto an enormous screen in an empty studio, and throughout people are seen just on the outskirts cleaning or fixing things, and fittingly enough, the video manages to evoke a similar retro-futuristic vibe. 

Gel Set is the solo recording project of Los Angeles, CA-based multimedia artist, producer and electronic music artist Laura Callier, and with singles “Don’t You Miss Me” and “Bounce” off her soon-to-be released album Body Copy, Collier specializes in a minimalist synth pop that simultaneously nods at the Manchester sound, early house music, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Soft Metals‘ chilly yet sensual Lenses complete with an appropriate dance floor friendly thump — but paired with deeply personal, almost journal-like lyrics, delving into the psyche and psychology of its narrator.

 

Live Footage: Sylvan Esso Performs “Radio” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Comprised of Mountain Man’s Amelia Heath (vocals, synths) and Megafaun’s Nick Sanborn (synths, programming, production) electro pop duo Sylvan Esso dominated the blogosphere two years ago — and in turn, became a JOVM mainstay for a sound that paired Heath’s coquettish vocals with a slick and somewhat sparse production featuring propulsive and undulating grooves, shimmering synths and big, tweeter and woofer beats that frequently made the material on their self titled debut sound as though it drew from the likes of Rubblebucket, Beacon and others.

Heath and Sanborn will be releasing their forthcoming sophomore full-length effort later this year, and the album’s latest single “Radio” has long been a staple of their live shows and a fan favorite. The song may arguably be the most brash song they’ve released while being a refinement and expansion of the sound that first caught attention as Heath’s sultry vocals are paired with a slickly propulsive and dance floor-friendly production consisting of layers of cascading synths, wobbling low end and stuttering drum programming. And as a result the song sounds as though it were nodding at Soft Metals‘ swooning and sensual Lenses and Giorgio Moroder.

Check out some live footage of the duo performing “Radio” on The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon. From watching it, it should give you a sense of what their live sets would be live, as they perform in front of an enormous countdown clock.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Sylvan Esso Return with a Dance-Floor Ready New Single

Heath and Sanborn return with the first bit of new material in two years with their latest single “Radio,” being the A side of the forthcoming “Radio”/”Jump Kick Start,” which is slated for an November 18 release. “Radio” has quickly become a staple of their live shows and a fan favorite — and interestingly enough, the song is arguably the most brash song they’ve released; but, it also manages to be both a refinement and expansion of the sound that first caught them attention. Heath’s sultry vocals are paired with a slickly propulsive and dance floor-friendly production consisting of layers of cascading synths, wobbling low end, stuttering drum programming, and as a result the song sounds as though it were nodding at Soft Metals’ swooning and sensual Lenses and Giorgio Moroder.

New Video: The Coquettish Sounds and Playful Visuals of Up-and-Coming Chicago-based Electro Pop Duo Chrissy and Hawley

As the story goes, Chrissy and Shoffner are both originally from Kansas — although they met in Chicago and began working together on an album that effortlessly meshes both of their unique styles — and as you’ll hear on their latest single “My Top Twenty,” off their soon-to-be released self-titled debut effort, Chrissy pairs a propulsive production of shimmering, brief bursts of twinkling keys and wobbling synths and skittering drum programming with Shoffner’s coquettish vocals singing lyrics about the connection between love and your favorite albums. And in some way, the duo’s latest single reminds me quite a bit of the propulsive and shimmering sounds of Soft Metals impressive Lenses album and classic house music — although “My Top Twenty” is far more coquettish and airier.

The recently released music video is an appropriately lighthearted and goofy video that features the duo’s Hawley Shoffner singing the song at a karaoke bar while the video within the video features Shoffner pensively wandering around parts of Chicago and goofing around in the karaoke-styled visuals you’d expect to see in a karaoke bar.