Tag: Spotify

Throughout the course of the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. And although the duo have known each other since they were teenagers, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home, started to pursue music seriously a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out her earliest demos.

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” and the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” the JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue is slated for a February 16, 2018 release through 37 Adventures Records. And along with the announcement of their debut, the duo then released, the shuffling and jangling, 60s girl group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” which continues the dream pop duo’s growing reputation for material that possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft but with subtly modern flourishes — all while focusing on the complications, frustrations and aches of romantic relationships.

The album’s latest single “Sunday” is a slow-burning, gorgeous and cinematic bit of guitar pop, with a soaring hook that should immediately bring comparisons like Mazzy Star, The Smiths and others — while continuing a string of songs that pair dark and moody lyrics with upbeat sounds.  As the duo says in press notes, “‘Sunday’ is a favorite of ours in the album. It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically, it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”

 

 

New Video: The 80s Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Up-and-Coming Boston-based Duo Modesta

Comprised of Arjun Viswanathan and Kostas Papadopoulous, the up and-coming, Boston-based duo Modesta specialize in a retro-futuristic synth pop sound that will remind most listeners of John Carpenter soundtracks and 80s synth funk, as well as contemporaries like Umberto and others — although interestingly enough, the duo cites Roosevelt, The Shins and Unknown Mortal Orchestra as major influences while saying that their own own sound and aesthetic is rooted in diversity and experimentation.

Since their formation, the duo have accrued almost half a million streams on Spotify with over 15,000 monthly listeners, and along with that the duo have built a home recording studio from the ground up, while learning new ways to improve their craft and experiment with their sound and songwriting process. Their debut EP VHS is slated for a January 12, 2018 release and reportedly the EP will find the duo meshing contemporary, electronic production, analog synthesizers, and organic instrumentation while further cementing their reputation for crafting material that’s indebted to 80s synth pop; in fact, as you’ll hear on EP title track and first single “VHS,” Viswanathan and Papadopoulous as the duo pair shimmering layers of arpeggiated, analog synths, thumping beats, a sinuous bass line, ethereal vocals and a slick hook. But underneath the moody iciness of the song is a swooning devotion of love. 

The recently released music video further emphasizes the retro-futuristc theme and vibe of the song as it features VHS player noises, grainy footage shot on VHS tape and incredibly 80s-like graphics and special effects. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Pop Artist Alice Merton Pairs Her Swaggering Anthemic and Soulful Debut Single with Slick and Symbolic Visuals

Alice Merton is a Canadian-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has lived a rather nomadic life, as she was raised in Canada, finished high school in Germany and then with the rest of her family, relocated to England. Of course, music was a major part of her life, no matter where on Earth she was; she started taking classical piano lessons when she was five and by the time she was nine, she was introduced to vocal training. As the story goes, after spending the better part of a decade being classically trained, Merton discovered contemporary songwriting during one of her high school courses in Germany. And from that point forward, she went on to study songwriting and began pursuing her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

Naturally, while in school Merton would up working with a number or producers on projects and as you can imagine, finding the right producer, who can both compliment and challenge a singer/songwriter as a true collaborator is a rarity. And when she met Berlin-based producer Nicolas Rebscher, Merton quickly recognized that she finally found her musical match; in fact, the duo have managed to specialize in an anachronistic sound in which they’ve paired Merton’s soulful, pop belter vocals with slick production featuring analog synthesizers, classic soul music-inspired instrumentation while being rooted in hook driven, contemporary songwriting.  

Merton’s swaggering and bluesy debut single “No Roots,” features Merton’s self-assured and soulful pop belter vocals paired with a Rebscher production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, brief blasts of funk guitar, squiggly blasts of synths and a rousingly anthemic hook that nods at Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Taylor Swift and others but while managing to be emotionally ambivalent as the song’s narrator simultaneously expresses a wizened and resilient spirit, there’s an underlying and visceral ache based on personal experiences in which the narrator has never belonged to one place and had a life frequently thrown in disarray. 

Already “No Roots” has won the up-and-coming Merton an immense amount of attention both across the European Union and the States and elsewhere, as the song has already seen millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, and has recently been added to the playlists of several Stateside Adult Alternative Album radio stations, including stations in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, Minneapolis, the NYC area, as well as Sirius Alt Nation. Based on the incredible response the single has received, along with her recent signing to Mom + Pop Music, I suspect that we’ll be hearing more from the up-and-coming artist in 2018. 

Directed by Stolarow, the recently released video for “No Roots” is a slickly shot video focusing on a pensive yet proud Merton as she struts and sings the song in modern yet somewhat chilly apartment that looks decidedly European to me — at some point, you’ll see a man grab her and snatch her away, much like how she felt as a child, moving from one place to another. 

Live Footage: Royal Blood Performing “I Only Lie When I Love You” on “Conan”

Comprised of Worthing, UK-born, West Sussex, UK-based Mike Kerr (vocals, bass) and Rustington, UK-born, West Sussex, UK-based Ben Thatcher (drums), the British rock duo Royal Blood first met when the duo were briefly members of a local rock band, Flavour Country, in which Keer played keys and keytar; however, their collaboration together can officially traced back to a sabbatical Kerr spent in Australia, where he had started Royal Blood with Matt Swan on drums. And as the story goes, when Kerr eventually returned to his native England, his former bandmate Thatcher had picked up from the airport, and they immediately decided that they should start a band together. According to Kerr, the British iteration of Royal blood initially had a difficult time landing gigs and they wound up playing a lot of open-mic nights with acoustic singer/songwriters. 

After further developing their sound at Brighton Electric Studios, the band was signed to Warner/Chappell Music and the same management company that managed blogosphere darlings Arctic Monkeys, the duo began to receive a steady amount of buzz before the release of their first official single. Now, as you may recall, the duo released their sophomore effort How Did We Get So Dark? earlier this year to critical praise from USA Today, Rolling Stone, NME, Entertainment Weekly, and Forbes. Unsurprisingly, the album has also been a commercial success — it debuted at #1 on the UK Charts, as well as garnered over 30 million streams across Spotify and Apple Music and has sold over 250,000 copies. Adding to a breakthrough year for the British duo, they played at this year’s Outside Lands Festival and are finishing up a string of opening dates for Queens of the Stone Age throughout 2017 and 2018. (You can check out those remaining dates below.)
You may also recall that the swaggering, power chord-based arena rock friendly, album single “Lights Out”  reached #1 on the Rock Radio Charts as the #1 Gainer, marking the second time the band has reached #1 in their relatively young careers together. The duo were recently on Conan where they played the bluesy and scuzzy, power chord-based, ZZ Top-like “I Only Lie When I Love You,” which will further cement their reputation for crafting bombastic arena rock. 

2017 has been a breakthrough year for the up-and-coming, electro rock/electro pop duo Foreign Air — their latest EP For The Light, which was released earlier this year, received over 15 million Spotify streams, they had material included in a Nike ad campaign, and building upon a growing profile, the duo opened for the likes of Phantogram, Aurora, BØRNS, X Ambassadors, Kevin Garrett and Lewis Del Mar, before heading to Seattle to record their forthcoming, Phil Ek-produced full-length debut, slated for release in 2018.

Their latest single “Chakra Daemon” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for material inspired by heady subject matters — for this particular song, evolution, biomechanics and the ubiquitous email bounce back bot Mailer Daemon, as a comment on how much of one’s daily routine is heaped in negative, harmful and repetitive energy.  Sonically, the song follows along a similar vein as its predecessors — a murky and menacing production featuring layers of arpeggiated and pulsating synths, four-on-the-floor drum programming, bursts of buzzing guitar and an anthemic yet somewhat post-apocalyptic hook paired with Jesse Classen’s crooned vocals. Interestingly enough, this single finds the duo’s sound nodding at classic 80s synth pop like Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode and others, as well as contemporary synth pop acts like Painted Palms.

As the duo’s Classen explains “We as humans are constantly looking for a connection. However, more often than not we fail to find that connection leaving one to feel lonely or even invisible at time. As humans slowly begin self evolving by integrating bio-technology, I imagine one day there will be a Chakra Daemon. This will be like an artificial subconscious. An enhanced intuition. Beyond the obvious implication of keeping us out of danger, I think it will also play a role in navigating us through relationships both platonic and romantic.”

The duo, who also just wrapped a short stint supporting Bishop Briggs, will begin a co-headlining run w/ D.C. electro-pop act SHAED on Nov. 30 in Chicago and it’ll include a December 5, 2017 stop at Public Arts. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates:
*Co-headlining dates w/ SHAED​​​​​​​
11/30: Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen*
12/2: Toronto, ON @ Drake*
12/4: Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
12/5: New York, NY @ Public Arts*
12/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
12/8: Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel*

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates:
*Co-headlining dates w/ SHAED​​​​​​​
11/30: Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen*
12/2: Toronto, ON @ Drake*
12/4: Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
12/5: New York, NY @ Public Arts*
12/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
12/8: Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel*

filous is the solo recording project of an up-and-coming and somewhat mysterious. 20-year-old, Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker known as Percy. Interestingly, the young Austrian multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist, producer and beatmaker can trace the origins of his music career to a lifelong, incessant curiosity and need for discovery: when he was 10, he became proficient in dozens of instruments — and he immersed himself in a number of far-flung influences and sounds, including progressive jazz, country, bluegrass and black metal. However, he can trace the origins of his latest musical project to when he began teaching himself electronic music production via YouTube tutorials and experimenting on his own — with many of his earliest remixes coming from the artists he discovered while learning electronic production.

Since then, the up-and-coming Austrian has managed to amass over a quarter of a billion streams across YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify as a result of 11 Hype Machine number 1s and his debut EP Dawn topping the iTunes electronic charts in over 9 countries, including Switzerland, his native Austria, India and Russia — primarily as a solo artist. But after spending the past couple of years living and writing in Vienna, helping to push the city’s growing electronic music scene into new directions, the young producer eventually began to open up to collaborating with others, with the end result being his latest EP, For Love, which features a batch of his first co-written tracks, including the EP’s latest single “Already Gone,” which finds the Austrian producer collaborating with singer/songwriter Emily Warren, who has written songs for and has collaborated with The Chainsmokers and FRENSHIP.

Sonically, the song features Warren’s plaintive and delicate vocals ethereally floating over a production featuring arpeggiated synths, softly plucked acoustic guitar and gently swirling electronics paired with a soaring hook; but what makes the song interesting to me is that filous’ production manages to be simultaneously intimate and cinematic, radio-friendly and make-out session necessary.

 

 

New Video: The Mischievously Surreal Visuals for Geowulf’s “Drink Too Much”

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past year, you’d recall that I’ve written quite a bit about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

With the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

The recently released video for “Drink Too Much” is cinematic and feverish vision, featuring the duo at the pool of a resort — but instead of being surrounded by the expected young, lithe, buxom and beautiful, the duo is surrounded by a collection of middle-aged retirees with way too much time on their hands. And while initially suggesting a slowly creeping dread, the video turns mischievously surreal as the members of the duo lead a poolside dance party; but underneath there’s a wistfulness for the passing of yet another summer. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Geowulf, a dream pop duo, comprised of Noosa, Australia-born Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin and although currently the duo split their time between  London, UKGothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany, their musical project can trace its origins to Benjamin’s and Kendrick’s long-time friendship, a friendship that they can trace to when they were both in their teams; however, their musical collaboration began in earnest when Kendrick, whose parents were also professional musicians, began to seriously pursue music a few years ago, and enlisted the help of her closest friend to flesh out her early demos.

Now, as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Saltwater” Kendrick and Benjamin quickly saw attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere as the single received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before breaking at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. The Australian-born, European-based duo followed up on the buzz of their debut with the release of “Don’t Talk About You,” a single that channeled Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star as Kendrick’s gorgeously ethereal vocals were paired with lush, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, but underneath the self-assured, 70s AM Rock vibes was a lovelorn ache. As the duo’s Star Kendrick explained in press notes at the time, “This song went through a geographical and creative metamorphosis over almost two years. We originally wrote it in Copenhagen, demo’ed it in Stockholm and then revisited it recently when Toma and I were both in London. I guess the song speaks for itself but ultimately it falls in the good ol’ ‘wanting-something-that-ain’t-good-for-you’ vein …”

The duo’s latest single “Drink Too Much” is arguably one of the duo’s most playful and subversively upbeat songs they’ve released to date, as it features jangling guitars, twinkling keys, propulsive drumming and an anthemic, soaring hook to create a sound and aesthetic that nods at Phil Spector and Still Corners while nodding at something much darker; in fact, as the duo explain in press notes, the song is ultimately about “bulk red wine + tired relationships = bad news, baby” but below the surface is the sense that ghosts haunt and linger when we’re at our most vulnerable.

Live Footage: Royal Blood Performs “Lights Out” on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”

Comprised of Worthing, UK-born, West Sussex, UK-based Mike Kerr (vocals, bass) and Rustington, UK-born, West Sussex, UK-based Ben Thatcher, the British rock duo Royal Blood can trace their origins to when Kerr and Thatcher met when the duo were briefly members of the local rock quartet Flavour Country, in which Kerr played keys and keytar; however, the band can trace their official origins to sabbatical that Kerr had spent in Australia, where had started Royal Blood with Matt Swan (drums). And as the story goes, when Kerr returned to England, Thatcher had picked him up from the airport and they quickly decided to start a band together. Initially, the duo had a difficult time landing gigs and according to Kerr, they played a lot of open-mic nights with acoustic singer/songwriters. But after further developing their sound at Brighton Electric Studios, the band was signed to Warner/Chappell Music, and as a result of sharing the same management company as blogosphere darling act Arctic Monkeys, the duo began to receive a steady amount of buzz before the release of their first official single. 

Kerr and Thatcher’s sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark? was released earlier this summer and the album debuted at Number 1 on the UK charts. Since its release, the album has garnered over 30 million streams across Spotify and Apple Music and has sold over 250,000 copies, while receiving praise from the likes of USA Today, Rolling Stone, NME, Entertainment Weekly, and Forbes. And adding to a growing international profile, the band played the main stage at last week’s Outside Lands Festival, and will be opening for Queens of the Stone Age for a series of dates in the fall. (Check out those dates, as well as the band’s headlining Stateside dates below.) 

But before I forget, album single “Lights Out,” recently reached Number 1 on the Rock Radio charts, as the Number 1 Gainer, marking the second time the band has reached Number 1, and as soon as you hear the song you’ll see why it’s been dominating the charts, as it further cements the band’s growing reputation for crafting blistering and swaggering power chord-based arena rock.