Tag: Starlight Girls

New Audio: Temples Release a Dance Floor Friendly and Kaleidoscopic Sean Ono Lennon-Produced Single

Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples — currently founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) with Adam Smith — can trace their origins back to 2012 when its founding members started the band as home-baed studio project, featuring two musicians, who had known each other through their hometown’s scene. 

Bagshaw and Walmsley uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup. Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing profile, the British psych rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets, Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past few years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

2018 saw a number of major changes for the band: Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who released last year’s Hot Motion, which they supported with a busy touring schedule that included a stop at the Desert Daze Festival. The members of Temples caught their labelmates The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s set and shortly after they found themselves chatting about music with them band’s frontman Sean Ono Lennon. 

Several months later, ATO Records asked the band about releasing a previously unreleased Hot Motion sessions track as a single, and they immediately thought of Lennon and asked him to produce the track. “We couldn’t think of any greater mind than his to create with on this track,” the band’s Tom Walmsley says.  “When I first heard the demo for ‘Paraphernalia’ I knew they had a great tune,” says Lennon, who enlisted Dave Fridmann to mix the track.  “Paraphernalia” is a slick and kaleidoscopic synthesis of psych pop and disco pop featuring a sinuous and propulsive, dance floor friendly groove, shimmering guitars, twinkling keys, soaring strings and an anthemic hook paired with Bagshaw’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the track reminds me of Fantasm-era Starlight Girls  but as the band explains the song is about the disconnect between reality and the online world. “In an age of constant distraction, we all strive to find focus and a sense of calm. ’Paraphernalia’ questions the depth of ‘real’ connections in a digital world,” the band says. 

Starlight Girls · Teenage Crime

Brooklyn-based indie rock act Starlight Girls can trace their origins back to 2011, when Christina Bernard (vocals), an Ohio-born megachurch chorister turned rocker and Shaw Walters (guitar), a San Francisco-born, guitar savant and tech wizard met and decided to start a band. Bernard and Walters found their bandmates — Sara Mundy (keys) and Isabel Alvarez (backing vocals), two Long Island-born theater junkies, Tysen Arveson (bass), a Seattle-born, Hawaii-raised art freak and Josh Davis (drums), a University of Michigan educated jazz drummer through Craigslist.

The band initially emerged into the public eye through a wildly successful April Fool’s prank: they recorded an impression of acclaimed artist Joanna Newsom covering one of their songs and a handful of blogs took the bait, covering the song with rapturous praise. Unsurprisingly, as a result, Starlight Girls quickly became a buzz worthy band, eventually releasing an EP that they supported with a handful of national tours — including an opening slot for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Building upon a growing profile, the Brooklyn-based at played one of Europe’s biggest festivals, and they followed that up with their noisy and attention-grabbing Jamie Stewart-produced 7 x 3 EP.

2016 saw the release of their enigmatic and cinematic, full-length debut Fantasm, which they supported through tours with an eclectic array of artists including Kate Nash, St. Lucia, Tilly and the Wall, Nick Waterhouse, Total Slacker, Crystal Fighters and Lucius. Since then, the members of the band have ventured outside of music and outside of Brooklyn in a variety of different creative projects: Christina Bernard has delved into film and directing, directing a self-penned short film shot in California, which will be released later this year. Shaw Walters has become a rising star in the tech world, traveling around the world creating holographic augmented reality projects for performers and artists, including a mixed-reality collaboration with acclaimed artist Marina AbramovićThe Life, which has become a lightning rod for alt-right conspiracy theorists. The rest of the band has continued to solider on as musicians, during what may be the most difficult time for artists and creatives in recent memory.

Interestingly the band’s Christina Bernard-produced EP Entitled was recorded at Upstate New York-based Marcata Recording— and the material is a dark yet upbeat come-on to an unknowable future while evoking a sexy freak-out from the edge of oblivion. That sounds and feels familiar, doesn’t it? Last month, I wrote about Entitled‘s expansive first single “Get Right,” a kaleidoscopic and cinematic track that possesses elements of shoegaze, art rock, goth rock, psych rock and 70s AM rock — all while being one of the sexiest songs they’ve released to date.

“Teenage Crime,” Entitled‘s second and latest single is a slow-burning and atmospheric single centered around reverb and pedal effected guitars, twinkling keys and a soaring hook — and while reminding me a bit of Slow Air-era Still Corners and Stevie Nicks, the track’s lyrical themes, as the band’s Christina Bernard explains touches upon spiritual exploration, hope for the future and reconciling the past.

“As far as songwriting goes, most of the music came together spontaneously during rehearsals,” Bernard says of the EP’s creative process. “There was a lot of change happening for us around the time we wrote it—a lot of times when we played we didn’t know when our next time playing together might be. So the energy was insane every time we played.

“We’d gotten really in sync as a band through playing live so much, so someone would pull a riff out of the air in rehearsal and we’d just run with it full speed for four minutes and that would be the song. I’d always record rehearsals in case magic happened, and it did a lot. Then I would write lyrics (if I hadn’t already written them on the spot) and later we’d recreate what we’d played.

The only song that didn’t happen that way was Teenage Crime, which I wrote one night in my room. The guys in the band hated it at first because it’s like the slowest thing we do. But when we played it live all the ladies started swaying and I think that’s when everyone changed their minds.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our influences are hard to pin down. We all listen to really different music and I can’t remember what we were each into while recording. I personally was out dancing a lot to some pretty out there international drum circles. I was getting into the idea of music as a ceremonial thing—repetitive and rhythmic and visceral—so I was influenced by that, and how those ideas would translate to rock.

 

New Video: Starlight Girls Release a Woozy and Trippy Visual for “Get Right”

Brooklyn-based indie rock act Starlight Girls can trace their origins back to 2011, when Christina Bernard (vocals), an Ohio-born megachurch chorister turned rocker; Shaw Walters (guitar), a San Francisco-born, guitar savant and tech wizard met and decided to start a band. They find their bandmates Sara Mundy (keys) and Isabel Alvarez (backing vocals), two Long Island-born theater junkies, Tysen Arveson (bass), a Seattle-born, Hawaii-raised art freak and Josh Davis (drums), a University of Michigan educated jazz drummer through Craigslist. 

The band initially emerged into the public eye through a wildly successful April Fool’s prank: they record an impression of acclaimed artist Joanna Newsom covering one of their songs and a handful of blogs take the bait, covering the song with rapturous praise. As a result, they quickly became a buzz worthy band, eventually releasing an EP that they support with a handful of national tours — even opening for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Building upon a growing profile, the Brooklyn-based at played one of Europe’s biggest festivals, which they followed up with their noisy and attention-grabbing Jamie Stewart-produced 7 x 3 EP. 

2016 saw the release of their enigmatic and cinematic, full-length debut Fantasm, which they supported through tours with an eclectic array of artists including Kate Nash, St. Lucia, Tilly and the Wall, Nick Waterhouse, Total Slacker, Crystal Fighters and Lucius. Since then, the members of the band have ventured outside of music and outside of Brooklyn in a variety of different creative projects: Christina Bernard has delved into film and directing, directing a self-penned short film shot in California, which will be released later this year. Shaw Walters has become a rising star in the tech world, traveling around the world creating holographic augmented reality projects for performers and artists, including a mixed-reality collaboration with acclaimed artist Marina Abramović, The Life, which has become a lightning rod for alt-right conspiracy theorists. The rest of the band has continued to solider on as musicians, during what may be the most difficult time for artists and creatives in recent memory. 

Interestingly the band’s Christina Bernard-produced EP Entitled was recorded at Upstate New York-based Marcata Recording– and the material reportedly is a dark yet upbeat come-on to an unknowable future while evoking a sexy freak-out from the edge of oblivion. That sounds and feels familiar, doesn’t it?  Hinting at Ennio Morricone film scores, shoegaze, art rock, goth rock, psych rock and Fleetwood Mac, the EP’s expansive first single “Get Right” further establishes the band’s cinematic and kaleidoscopic sound — but while arguably being the sexiest song they’ve released to date. 

Directed by the band’s Christina Bernard, the recently released video for “Get Right” was shot on a commune in rural North Carolina and is a feverishly surreal and psychedelic spoof on 90s karaoke videos that seems — to me, at least — to nod at Dario Argento films, as it’s part lysergic freak out, and part sensual slow dance into the dark recesses of the psyche. 

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

New Audio: Starlight Girls Slinkily Seductive, Western Leaning, New Single “Hero”

Since their formation back in 2010, the Brooklyn-based sextet, Starlight Girls have developed a reputation for a unique brand of “noir-ish indie pop” and a live set that employs the use of video projections. After releasing a well-received, self-produced […]

New Audio: Starlight Girls Newest Single “Intrigue” Channels Siouxsie and the Banshees

Comprised of founder, keyboardist and vocalist, Christina B, Shaw Walters (guitar),Sara Mundy (backing vocals, keyboards), Tysen Arveson (bass) Josh Davis (drums) and Isabel Alvarez (backing vocals, keyboards), the Brooklyn-based sextet of Starlight Girls have developed a reputation for […]