Tag: Stevie Nicks Stand Back

Comprised of husband wife duo Aslyn and Kalen Nash, the Joshua Tree, CA-based synth pop duo DEGA features two accomplished, veteran musicians: Ashlyn had released two solo albums, Lemon Love through Capitol Records and The Dandelion Sessions through Lemonade Records, and she has a stint was a touring keyboardist and backing vocalist for Grammy nominated artist Kesha. Kalen Nash was guitarist and vocalist for Athens, GA-based indie rock act Ponderosa, a band that released their critically applauded, Joe Chiccarelli-produced album Midnight Revival, which was released through New West Records.

Unsurprisingly, the origins of the Nashes latest project can be traced back to 2008 when they first met and eventually fell in love — and although they married in 2011, they were so busy with their own respective musical projects, that they hadn’t seriously considered working together. Eventually, the loneliness of the road led the Nashes to consider a different path. “I remember a phone call when I was out with Kesha and Kalen was on tour with Ponderosa,” recalls Aslyn. “We were a country apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. I told him that we needed to start collaborating so, at the very least, we could see each other more often.”

Ashlyn and Kalen Nash formed DEGA with the idea that they could shed any and all of their preconceived notions about their previous work and freely explore new sounds and musical ideas — in this case anthemic, synth-based indie pop in which they merged their talents and ideas into a unique sound and approach. Now, as you may recall, the duo’s self-titled debut effort is slated for release later on this month through Lemonade Records, and the album reportedly is one of the most personal either has released to date as it focuses on the highs and lows of their lives together; in fact, album single “Phoenix” focuses on Asyln’s pregnancy and miscarriage during the recording sessions. With both Asyln and Kalen touring with their various projects, the duo would record whenever they were both in the same city and had free time, and as result, the album took two years to complete with sessions helmed by  Justin Loucks and Jon Ashley at various studios across the States.

Don’t Call It,” which I wrote about late last year was a carefully crafted yet urgent song that remind some quite a bit of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy as layers of shimmering synths were paired with a sinuous bass line, African-inspired percussion and a soaring hook. The duo’s latest single “Mirrors” continues the 80s vibes of its predecessor — but in this case Purple Rain and 1999-era Prince, as well as A Flock of Seagulls as the song features some blistering guitar work paired with propulsive drumming, layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while being a remarkably slick, radio friendly track, it reveals some incredibly ambitious and earnest songwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its eight year history, you’ve likely come across an article featuring renowned Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay  Sofia Härdig. And as you may recall, Härdig is part of a rapidly expanding list of Scandinavian artists, who have received attention internationally — and just as importantly, she’s at the forefront of a blogosphere attention grabbing Swedish pop movement that includes several acts that I’ve written about at some or another; in fact, in her native Sweden, she’s considered the queen of electronic rock. Adding to a growing profile, the Swedish-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob HundBoredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Härdig’s latest single “Illuminate” is an atmospheric, 80s-inspired, glistening and moody synth pop track consisting of layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook — and while in some way reminding me of Stevie NicksStand Back” and The CarsDrive,” “Illuminate” is a deeply contemplative and introspective song focusing on the endless and seemingly frustrating search for love and for connection. Although it comes from a deeply personal place, it’s a universal sentiment that we’ve all felt at one point or another — and with a similar yearning to find that sort of love once again.

As Härdig explains in press notes. I worked with the song ‘Illuminate’ alone in my studio for many long, lonesome nights. It was just the studio, the stars and I, while I played all the instruments, made the soundscape and recorded the single in solitude. Later, I invited over some friends to improvise over the track. Guitarist John Essing and bass player Mats Hellquist, both from the band ‘bob hund’, but also a classical pianist and cellist respectively, added parts to the soundscape of ‘Illuminate.’ I brought all the new recordings back into the studio – tore them apart, rebuilt them and made arrangements, as if I was a mad scientist in my lab. I then brought in Jari Haapalainen to produce the songs. The solitary fashion in which ‘Illuminate’ was crafted reflects the mood of the single.”

New Video: The Soaring 80s Inspired Pop Sounds and Visuals of Husband and Wife Duo DEGA

Comprised of husband wife duo Aslyn and Kalen Nash, the Joshua Tree, CA-based synth pop duo DEGA features two accomplished, veteran musicians: Ashlyn had released two solo albums — Lemon Love through Capitol Records and The Dandelion Sessions through Lemonade Records, as well as spending some time as a touring keyboardist and backing vocalist for Grammy nominated artist Kesha. Karen Nash was guitarist and vocalist for Athens, GA-based indie rock act Ponderosa, a band that released their critically applauded, Joe Chiccarelli-produced album Midnight Revival, which was released through renowned indie rock/roots rock label New West Records. Interestingly, the origins of the Nashes latest project can be traced back to 2008 when they first met — and although they got married in 2011, they were so busy with their own projects that they hadn’t really considered working together. Eventually, the loneliness of the road led the Nashes to consider a different path. “I remember a phone call when I was out with Kesha and Kalen was on tour with Ponderosa,” recalls Aslyn. “We were a country apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. I told him that we needed to start collaborating so, at the very least, we could see each other more often.”

The Nashes then formed DEGA with the idea that they could shed any of their preconceived notions about their previous work and freely explore new sounds — in this case, anthemic, synth-based indie pop in which they merged their talents and ideas into a unique sound and approach. Their forthcoming self-titled debut is slated for a February 23, 2018 release through Lemonade Records and the album reportedly is one of the most personal works either have released to date, as it focuses on their highs and the lows, as well as the love they have for each other; in fact, album single “Phoenix” focuses on Aslyn’s pregnancy and miscarriage during the recording sessions. With both Aslyn and Kalen touring, the duo would record whenever they were in the same city and had free time and although the album took two years to complete with sessions helmed by Justin Loucks and Jon Ashley at various studios across the States. 

The self-titled album’s latest single “Don’t Call It” is a an ethereal, 80s inspired synth pop confection reminiscent of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy as layers of shimmering synths are paired with a sinuous bass line line, propulsive yet African-inspired percussion and a soaring hook. And while being slickly produced, the song possesses an urgent and swooning romanticism that belies a careful attention to craft. 

Directed by Scott Lansing, the recently released video for “Don’t Call It” consists of a fairly simple premise — the duo performing the song in a darkened room, in front of bright, lysergic lighting effects. 

While currently comprised of founder and primary member Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkelman, indie rock trio Xiu Xiu have throughout the course of their history developed a reputation for restless experimentation and lately for a period of extraordinary diverse prolificacy — earlier this year, they released their critically applauded album Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with renowned indie pop artist Mitski on a song that will appear on a forthcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, collaborated with Merzbow on an album, composed music for several art installations by renowned artist Danh Vo, wrote the score for an experimental reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute — and then they found time to write and record the material that comprises their forthcoming 11th full-length effort FORGET, which Polyvinyl Records will release on February 24, 2017.

Co-produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Blondie and Sigur Ros; Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier and Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo, the album features guest appearances by minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, Los Angeles Banjee Ball commentator Enyce Smith, Swans‘ Kristof Hahn and renowned drag artist Vaginal Davis. And as the band’s Jamie Stewart explains of both of the album’s title and its overarching theme, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.”

“Wondering,” FORGET’s first single is a propulsive  dance floor-friendly single in which the band pairs layers of scuzzy, angular guitar chords with undulating synths, stuttering and skittering beats, brief bursts of twinkling keys and Stewart’s plaintive crooning with a swooning and anthemic hook — and while the equally shimmering and murky single sonically nods at Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back” and others, the song possesses and underlying tension between the known and unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates

Mar. 16th – Los Angeles, CA – Union

Mar. 17th – Escondido, CA – A Ship in The Woods

Mar. 19th – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

Mar. 21st – Seattle, WA – Kremwork

Mar. 22nd – Portland, OR – Holocene

Mar 23rd – 26th – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

Mar. 30th – Detroit, MI – El Club

Mar. 31st – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle

Apr. 1st – Jacksonville, FL – The Sleeping Giant Film Festival

Apr. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar

Apr. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle

Apr. 8th – Harrisburg, PA – Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor

Apr. 9th – Baltimore, MD – The Wind-Up Space

Apr. 11th – Jersey City, NJ – Monty Hall

Apr.12th – New Haven, CT – Bar

Apr. 13th – Providence, RI – Colombus Theatre

Apr. 14th – Portsmouth, NH – 3SArtspace

Apr. 15th – Boston, MA – Cambridge Elks Lodge / Hardcore Stadium

New Video: The Surreal Visuals for Teeth and Tongue’s “Turn Turn Turn”

Give Up On Your Health’s second and latest single “Turn Turn Turn” much like its predecessor is inspired by a painful breakup — and lyrically, the song is full of the bitter regret, uncertainty, self-deception and gradual acceptance that occurs in the aftermath of a breakup, while sonically speaking, the song draws from 80s New Wave, synth pop and the DFA Records roster. Or in other words, undulating and propulsive synths are paired with cowbell-led percussion, angular guitar chords in a sensual and slinky arrangement, along with an infectious, dance-floor friendly hook. And somehow, every time I’ve heard it I’m reminded of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll.”

The recently released video for the song turns the simple act of eating into something surreal, disgusting and detached and mechanical — and perhaps in some way, the video’s actors are deluding themselves into this being normal.

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock quartet Teeth and Tongue With the 2014 release of Grids, the band comprised of New Zealand-born, Melbourne, Australia-based Jess Cornelius (guitar, vocals), Marc Regueiro-McKelvie (guitar), Damian Sullivan (bass) and James Harvey (drums) received attention across Australia for an ambient-leaning sound that paired textured and layered vocals with lyrics that thematically focused on the intricacies of romantic relationships with an unvarnished honesty. And as a result of the attention they’ve received across Australia, they’ve managed to tour with internationally recognized indie rock sensation and fellow Australian Courtney Barnett, which has helped raised their profile internationally.

Dianne,” the first single off Teeth and Tongue’s recently released album Give Up On Your Health revealed a band that has gone through a change in sonic direction and songwriting approach, with the band taking up  an angular, dance floor friendly New Wave/post-punk sound reminiscent of Blondie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ It’s Blitz! and Dirty Ghosts. Give Up On Your Health’s latest single “Turn, Turn, Turn” much like its predecessor is inspired by a painful breakup — in particular, the song lyrically is full of the bitter regret,  uncertainty, self-deception and eventual acceptance that occurs in the aftermath of a breakup. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from 80s New Wave, synth pop and DFA Records as you’ll hear undulating and propulsive synths, cowbell-led percussion, angular guitar chords in a sensual and slinky arrangement, along with an infectious, dance-floor friendly hook. Somehow, every time I’ve heard it I’m reminded of Stevie Nicks’ Stand Back” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll.”

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård, the Ahus, Sweden-based electro pop duo Club 8 have a long-held reputation for being incredibly difficult to pigeonhole since their formation in 1995. Initially, the Swedish duo began as a Bossa Nova-inspired guitar pop act with the release of their debut effort, Nouvelle But with the 1998 release of their sophomore effort, The Friend I Once Had, the duo went through a complete and radical change of sonic direction, as that effort had the duo writing electro dance music. The duo’s next three albums, released between 2001 and 2003 had the duo switching things up with material that leaned towards indie soul.

Up until 2010, Angergård had served as produced — until the 2013 release of Above The City; however, Angergård takes up production duties on the duo’s soon-to-be released Pleasure slated for a November 20 release through Labrador Records. And as Komstedt explains in press notes, “Pleasure is an album about love, sex and jealousy. Musically, it is possibly our most focused release to date.” Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Late Night” is a swooningly wistful and melancholic song that looks at a love affair, viewing it as immediately exciting and passionate — that is until that initial excitement wanes and the bright colors of the relationship gently turn grey. At its very core, the song’s narrator clings to seemingly old-fashioned romantic dreams and notions, and their nostalgia, all while desperately wishing that feeling would come back. It seems to subtly suggest that while love is something that we all desperately desire, relationships with other people can be confusing and hellish — and yet, we want so badly that we’ll do anything for it.

Sonically, the song pairs wistful nostalgia with layers of glistening and undulating synths reminiscent of Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back,” and The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?” and Komstedt’s hushed coos to craft a song that’s a slickly produced pop confection — but from the viewpoint of someone who’s been in a number of love relationships and has seen them repeatedly fail and yet remarkably hasn’t had their hope beaten down.