Tag: Sparks

New Video: Gemma Ray’s Creepy Visuals for Slow-Burning and Gothic “Death Tapes”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Basildon, Essex, UK-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Gemma Ray, and as you may recall, Ray has collaborated with the likes of SparksAlan Vega and members of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds while releasing 8 full-length albums that have found the Basildon-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist meshing a number of disparate genres into what’s been described pop-noir, sideway blues and gothic folk.G

Bronze Rat Records, the Basildon-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter’s longtime label home released her latest effort Psychogeology earlier this year, and the album which was recorded at Candybomber Studios and Ray’s Berlin-based studio found her expanding upon her sound and approach throughout the incorporation of elements of sci-fi synthscapes, girl group dramarama, gothic surf disco, blues cantatas, Melody Nelson-era Gainsbourg groove, and harmony-laden reverb-drenched folk-pop among other things. Album single “Blossom Crawls” was a Stevie Nicks meet Phil Spector Wall of Sound-era bit of girl pop that revealed some ambitious songwriting, centered around a careful attention to craft.

The Basildon-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist is gearing up for a 2 part evening of music that will feature two audio installations presented for the first time and for one night only — Psychotic Gemmation: A sonic tapestry process, progress, madness and form, which is a psychedelic and personal appendix to the new album and ‘The Gemmatron, an interactive instrument/choir generator. Musically,. the night will feature Ray and her backing band playing material from the new album as well. But in the meantime, Psychogeology‘s latest single is the Western gothic-tinged “Death Tapes.” The brooding track is centered around shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, buzzing synths, Ray’s sultry delivery and some girl group harmonies — and while bearing a bit of a resemblance to PJ Harvey and The Black Angels, the song possesses a swooning, Edgar Allan Poe-like Romanticism.

Directed by Ziska Riemann, the recently released video is split between sequences of Ray wearing an elaborate headdress with her backing band performing the song in the studio and what appears to be a mass grave robbery among other weird goings-on.

 

Gemma Ray is a Basildon, Essex, UK-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has collaborated with Sparks, Alan Vega and members of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds while releasing 8 full-length albums that have found the Basildon-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist meshing a number of disparate genres into what’s been dubbed pop-noir, sideway blues and gothic folk.

Ray’s forthcoming full-length album Psychogeology is slated for a February 15, 2019 release through her longtime label home Bronze Rat Records and interestingly the album which was recorded at Candybomber Studios and Ray’s Berlin Studio finds her incorporating sci-fi synthscapes, girl group dramarama, gothic surf disco, blues cantatas, Melody Nelson-era Gainsbourg groove, and harmony-laden reverb-drenched folk-pop among other things. Although the album’s first single “Blossom Crawls” sounds a bit like Stevie Nicks mixed with shimmering Phil Spector Wall of Sound-era girl pop, complete with a soaring hook. Unsurprisingly, the song reveals some ambitious songwriting centered around a careful attention to craft and a swooning romanticism.

 

 

New Video: Franz Ferdinand Releases Surreal and Mischievous Visuals for Re-worked Version of “Glimpse of Love”

Over the past few months, I’ve written quite a bit about the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand, and as you may recall, the Scottish band, which is currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and the recently added Dino Bardot (guitar) can trace their origins back to 2002. With the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Franz Ferdinand quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, helping the Scottish indie rockers to establish themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post-punk revival movement.

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album with album single “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tilted album in 2015. Franz Ferdinand’s fifth, full-length album Always Ascending was released earlier this year and with album singles “Feel The Love Go,” and “Lazy Boy,” the band continued forward with the quirky, disco-like take on  the Gang of Four-inspired sound that first won them international attention but with a loose, adventurous vibe; in fact, the album’s latest single “Glimpse of Love,” finds the band subtly nodding at house music, thanks to the use of twinkling and arpeggiated keys — but within an expansive, groove-friendly song structure. Interestingly, the version of the song that accompanies the recently released video is a re-working of the album track, re-corded as live and mixed by Serban Ghenea, who has worked with the likes of Rihanna and Lorde.

Directed by Alice Kunisue, the hilarious and surreal visuals for “Glimpse of Love” was shot just outside of Paris and features the members of the band primping, brooding and flat out being ridiculous.

Live Footage: Franz Ferdinand Perform “Always Ascending” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and the recently added Dino Bardot (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Glasgow-based indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, helping the Scottish indie rockers to establish themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post-punk revival movement. 

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album with album single “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. Now, you may recall that Franz Ferdinand’s fifth album Always Ascending was released on Friday, and from the album single “Feel The Love Go,” the band has continued with a disco-leaning take on the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention — but with warm blasts of Hall and Oates/blue-eyed soul era saxophone that gives the song a quirky quality. “Lazy Boy,” much like its predecessor is a sleek, dance floor friendly track with a funky, disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and a slick hook; but interestingly enough, the song finds the quintet at their most adventurous and mischievous, as the song also features twinkling synths and a loose, Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”-like vibe.

Recently, the renowned Glasgow-based post-punk act was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform album title track Always Ascending, a sleek, dance floor friendly song that in some way seems to nod at Talking Heads’ cover of “Take Me to the River” — but with surprisingly soaring and infectious hook. 

New Audio: Franz Ferdinand’s Emotional Rescue-Era Stones-like New Single

Currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and recently added Dino Bardot (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Glasgow-based indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, not only did their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, the band established themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post punk revival movement. Along with that, the band has won two Brit Awards — one for Best British Group, as well as one NME Award.

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. Now, for the sake of this site, you may recall that Franz Ferdinand’s fifth, full-length album Always Ascending is slated for a February 9, 2018 release and from album single “Feel The Love Go,” the band continues with a disco-leaning take on the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention — but with warm blasts of Hall and Oates/blue-eyed soul era saxophone that gives the song a quirky quality. “Lazy Boy,” Always Ascending’s latest single, much like its predecessor is a sleek, dance floor friendly track with a funky, disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and a slick hook; but interestingly enough, the song finds the quintet at their most adventurous and mischievous, as the song also features twinkling synths while giving off a loose, Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”-like vibe.

New Audio: Franz Ferdinand Continues Their Run of Shimmering and Quirky Dance Floor Friendly Singles

Currently comprised of founding quartet Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keys and backing vocals), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy, the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Scottish indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” the band’s signature song peaking within the Top of the UK Singles Chart, and later earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, not only did their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, the band established themselves at the forefront of the post punk revival movement. Along with that, the band has won two Brit Awards — one for Best British Group, as well as one NME Award. 

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, with the album receiving a nomination for Best Alternative Album and “Do You Want To” receiving a nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand found the band moving from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance friendly sound while continuing an impressive streak of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer. 

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action and they followed that up with teaming up with Sparks to form a supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. The renowned Scottish band’s fifth full-length album Always Ascending is slated for a February 9, 2018 release and the album’s latest single “Feel The Love Go,” finds the band continuing with a dance floor friendly, disco-era inspired sound while retaining elements of the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention as they pair angular guitar chords, sinuous bass lines, four-on-the-floor drumming and thumping beats with arpeggiated synths, warm blasts of soulful, Hall and Oates-like saxophone and razor sharp hooks. And yet interestingly enough, the song also finds the band maintaining their unique ability to craft quirky, white boy funk. 

New Video: The Animated and Psychedelic Visuals for Gordon Raphael’s “Savage”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts Seattle, WA-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, and producer Gordon Raphael. As a producer, Raphael has worked with an impressive, who’s who list of contemporary indie rock and rock artists including  The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Damon Albarn, Ian Brown, The Cult‘s  Ian Astbury, Hinds and others; however, Raphael primarily sees himself as a singer/songwriter and guitarist.  “I love producing, but playing guitar and writing songs is what I’ve always done,” Raphael explains in press notes. “I wanted to show what I can do on the other side of the desk all the time, but producing kept getting in the way.”

Raphael’s full-length debut Sleep on the Radio was released last month and the album draws from Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Kimono My House-era Sparks, Frank Zappa and prog rock among others. Reportedly “View From Blue,” the album’s first single was part of over 1,000 songs he had written over the years; but it came from the most unlikely source — from a dream. In particular, “View From Blue” is a part of a selection of 12 songs that were carefully honed and perfected to the point that they were living, breathing and fully fleshed out songs that needed to be played, recorded and heard – – right now.  And as a result, while the song clearly nods at Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie — think “Queen Bitch,”“Panic in Detroit,” and others — the anthemic, hook-laden song possesses a forceful urgency underneath its boozy, free-flowing psychedelia.

“Savage,” Sleep on the Radio‘s latest single sounds as though it draws from Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, Brit Pop and 60s psych pop as twinkling synths, buzzing and whirring electronics are paired with blazing guitar pyrotechnics, an anthemic hook and a  spacey, psychedelic vibe that belies an incredibly sensual nature.  And much like its preceding single, Raphael’s latest reveals him to be a songwriter, who can craft an incredibly catchy hook and has an ability to have both a signature sound and aesthetic while being a musical chameleon, who can morph into any genre, any style at will.

Directed and produced by Marta Figuredo, the recently released animated video is set in a intricately detailed and drab world in which a Raggedy Andy-like Raphael carries a flower that opens up a brightly colored, wildly psychedelic universe. 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you’ve come across a couple of posts featuring  Seattle, WA-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, and producer Gordon Raphael. As a producer, Raphael has worked with an impressive, who’s who list of contemporary indie rock artists including  The StrokesRegina SpektorDamon AlbarnIan BrownThe Cult‘s  Ian Astbury, Hinds and others; however, Raphael primarily sees himself as a singer/songwriter and guitarist.  “I love producing, but playing guitar and writing songs is what I’ve always done,” Raphael explains in press notes. “I wanted to show what I can do on the other side of the desk all the time, but producing kept getting in the way.”

Raphael’s full-length debut Sleep on the Radio draws from Ziggy Stardust-era David BowieMick RonsonKimono My House-era SparksFrank Zappa and prog rock among others. Reportedly “View From Blue,” the album’s first single was part of over 1,000 songs he had written over years; but it came from the most unlikely source — from a dream. But in particular, “View From Blue” is a part of a selection of 12 songs that were carefully honed and perfected to the point that they were living, breathing and fully fleshed out songs that needed to be played, recorded and heard – – right now.  And as a result, while the song clearly nods at Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie — think “Queen Bitch,”
Panic in Detroit,” and others — the anthemic, hook-laden song possesses a forceful urgency underneath its boozy, free-flowing psychedelia.

 

“Savage,” Sleep on the Radio‘s latest single sounds as though it draws from Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Brit Pop as twinkling synths, buzzing and whirring electronics are paired with blazing guitar pyrotechnics, an anthemic hook and a  spacey, psychedelic vibe that belies an incredibly sensual nature.  And much like its preceding single, “Savage” reveals a songwriter, who can craft an incredibly catchy hook and an ability to simultaneously be a musical chameleon while having a signature sound and aesthetic.

New Video: Producer for The Strokes and Regina Spektor Releases Mischievous and Psychedelic Visuals for “View From Blue”

Gordon Raphael is a Seattle, WA-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, and producer, who has worked with an impressive array of contemporary artists including The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Damon Albarn, Ian Brown, The Cult‘s Ian Astbury, Hinds and others; however, Raphael primarily sees himself as a singer/songwriter and guitarist. “I love producing, but playing guitar and writing songs is what I’ve always done,” Raphael says in press notes. “I wanted to show what I can do on the other side of the desk all the time, but producing kept getting in the way.”  Interestingly, Raphael’s long-awaited full-length debut Sleep on the Radio draws from Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Kimono My House-era Sparks, Frank Zappa and prog rock among others, as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “View From Blue.”

Reportedly “View From Blue” came to the renowned producer, singer/songwriter and guitarist in a dream and was part of over 1,000 songs he wrote over a period of time — and a section of 12 that were carefully honed and perfected to the point that they were living, breathing songs that needed to be heard, now.  And as a result, the anthemic hook-laden song possesses a forceful urgency underneath its boozy, free-flowing psychedelia.

The recently released visuals for the single features Raphael performing the song in the studio in front of psychedelic projections and playing with balloons but at one point Raphael is inexplicably in a purple wig — because why the hell not?