Tag: Superhuman Happiness

New Video: Sego Returns with an Ambitious and Anthemic, Guitar Pop Single Paired with Slick and Mischievous Visuals

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its almost eight year history, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts featuring the Mapleton, UT-born, Los Angeles, CA-based duo Sego.  And as you may recall the duo, which is comprised of Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll, relocated to Los Angeles to seriously pursue careers in music, where they quickly developed a reputation for a sound that at the time, employed contemporary production techniques while maintaining an eccentric and human touch; in fact, a single like “Townland,” found the duo adopting a sound that was reminiscent of  Talking Heads and Superhuman Happiness, while it’s follow up, “Obscene Dream” off their full-length debut, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Out was reminiscent of Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundystem. 

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about them but interestingly enough, the duo’s latest single “Sucker/Saint” finds the duo adopting a jangling, hook-driven, 90s grunge rock-inspired sound, reminiscent of Pixies, The Posies and others — and much like the sources that they song seems to draw from, Sego’s latest manages to balance an easy going, garage rock jam feel with some of ambitious songwriting that finds the duo nodding at psych rock, krautrock and guitar pop. 

Directed by Jared Clark Gay, the slick accompanying video for “Sucker/Saint” finds the duo in a   studio with their backing band, performing the song but it employs the use of multi-split screens, in which at points you’ll see the song’s lyrics, while quickly switching back and forth between color, black and white and wild psychedelia within a turn of a phrase. 

Rue Snider is a Brooklyn-based folk singer/songwriter, who since his debut in 2012 has developed a reputation for writing material with an unvarnished honesty, a relentless touring schedule of more than 100 shows a year, opening for the likes of Lydia Loveless, Squirrel Nut Zippers‘ Tom Maxwell, Superhuman Happiness, Benjamin Scheuer, Blue Healer, Donna Missal and The Silos‘ Walter Salas-Humara, and for collaborating with the likes of Jon Estes, who’s played with Ruby Amanfu and Steelism, Rubblebucket‘s David Cole, Derrek C. Philips and others. Adding to a growing profile, “Speak My Mind,” the EP title track of his most recent Andrija Tokic-produced EP, Speak My Mind was featured as song 80 of the politically charged, 1,000 Days, 1,000 Songs project.

Interestingly, Snider was impressed by Brooklyn-based producer and electronic music artist Brothertiger‘s re-imainging of Tears for FearsSongs from the Big Chair and asked  him to remix the EP’s sole love song, “Moving Me,” and Brothertiger turns the sparsely arranged, singer/songwriter ballad into a decidedly 80s synth pop-inspired track featuring shimmering arpeggiated synths and big, gated reverb-based beats over which Snider’s plaintive vocals float ethereally — and while further cementing the Brooklyn-based producer’s reputation for a sound that’s reminiscent of JOVM mainstays Washed Out and Moonbabies, Brothertigter retains the song’s swooning Romanticism and honesty.

 

 

 

 

 

The new single releasing November 3 is called “Moving Me (Brothertiger Remix).” The original version was part of a very political EP. We took the one love song from that package and had Brothertiger give it a chill wave makeover. Brothertiger’s reimagining of “Songs From the Big Chair” by Tears for Fears is what made us want to work with him.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Classic Sci-Fi and Horror Movie-Inspired Visuals for Rubblebucket’s “If U C My Enemies”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of its almost seven-year history, you’ve likely come across a number of posts on the Brooklyn-based Afro-pop/dance pop act and JOVM mainstays Rubblebucket. Currently comprised of founding duo and primary songwriters Alex Toth (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Kalmia Traver (lead vocals, tenor sax, baritone sax), Adam Dotson (trombone, vocals and percussion), David Cole (drums) and Ian Hersey (guitar), the Brooklyn-based act can actually trace their origins to when Traver and Toth met while playing in a Burlington, VT-based Latin jazz act. Quickly bonding over being horn players, a love of Afrobeat and Afro pop and an uncannily preternatural connection, the duo relocated to Boston in 2006, where they did fairly respectable things to survive — Traver spent time as a nude model for art classes, while Toth spent time hustling $50 a performance marching band gigs. And while being broke as shit in Boston, the duo began Rubblebucket.

Relocating to Brooklyn some years later, the members of the Afro pop/indie pop/dance pop act emerged into the national scene with the release of their critically applauded 2011 album Omega La La and an established reputation for a rather relentless touring schedule full of ecstatic, energetic and mischievous live sets which at various times included puppets and bandmembers jumping into the crowd and leading dance circles and dance trains with the audience. By early 2012, the band had made their first nationally televised appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And over the past few years, the band has been pretty busy as they’ve released a handful of critically applauded EPs and their sophomore full-length Survival Sounds. And while their touring schedule had slowed down a bit, Toth and Traver also a brief period of time touring as backing guests for follow JOVM mainstay act Superhuman Happiness, a collaboration that goes back to when Stuart Bogie, Eric Biondo and company opened for Rubblebucket for a handful of shows up in Burlington, VT. Interestingly, during that time Rubblebucket’s recorded output has revealed a band that has gradually crafted and then cemented a signature sound while also subtly expanding upon it; in fact, on their Save Charlie EP the band retained their genre-blurring sound that possessed elements of funk, pop, psychedelia and Afrobbeat with a populist sensibility but at points you’ll hear elements of boom-bap hip hop and electro pop. But perhaps just as important, in that same period of time, Traver has slowly emerged as a frontperson.

If U C My Enemies, the band’s latest EP was released earlier this year though So Sensation Records, and from the EP’s first single “Donna” the band has further refined their sound — while they retain Traver and Toth’s enormous, swaggering horn lines, the band employed the use of swirling electronics, distorted vocal samples around Traver’s ethereal and coquettish cooing. The EP’s latest single, EP title track “If U C My Enemies” continues along a similar vein as Traver and Toth’s enormous horn lines are paired with sinuous and funky bass and guitar chords, swirling electronics, twinkling synths and a soaring, anthemic hook — and while being a bit more mid-tempo song in comparison to its preceding single, the latest single is arguably the most muscular and forceful song they’ve released to date.

Directed, shot and edited by Ian Perlman, the recently released music video for “If U C My Enemies” draws from classic sci-fi and horror films as it follows a mysterious, faceless, frightening creature of the night, who takes each band member’s soul to an alternate plane because of the time they spent staring at their phones instead of actually interacting with people. And the video ends with the members of the band goofing off, chatting and actually spending time getting to know each other — without their phones. Perhaps it’s a cautionary time for our age, huh?

Featuring Superhuman Happiness‘ founding members Stuart Bogie, Eric Biondo, along with Andrea Diaz (a.k.a. Dia Luna); producer and multi-instrumentalist Ian Hersey, a former member of Rubblebucket; and Brain Bisordi (percussion), the Brooklyn-based experimental pop act TOUCH/FEEL can trace its origins to when Superhuman Happiness’ primary trio, had convened to write material for what they thought would be the band’s third full-length effort. And as the trio explains in press notes, while they had already begun to be known for crafting a sound based around bright and mischievous harmonies and driving, funky polyrhythms, the newer material turned out to be the complete inverse, as the material took on much darker melodies and harmonies with slower, heavier rhythms. The lyrics they began writing with that new sound focused on death, destruction and transformation as being a necessary part of the cycle of existence, drawing some thematic influence from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Tarot, re-runs of Unsolved Mysteries and the renewed sense of urgency that countless folks across the country felt after this past Presidential election. The project’s founding trio of Bogie, Biondo and Diaz then enlisted Ian Hersey and Byran Bisordi to join their new project, as the founding trio felt that both Hersey and Bisordi helped bring a rough edge to the proceedings that makes the music feel raw and alive, “and more like chamber music in the sense that we are playing to each other, and striving to engage each other like a string quartet would — without backing tracks or whatever to regulate the music to a clock.”

The project draws from a wild variety of influences including early Peter Gabriel, Sade, the Kronos Quartet, Fela Kuti and Kraftwerk, sonically as you’ll hear on the project’s debut single “ASHES/GOLD,” Diaz’s husky crooning ethereally floats over a slick production featuring processed drums, analog synths, filtered bass guitar, saxophone, flute and trumpet — and while still bearing a resemblance to the sound that won them attention with Superhuman Happiness, the track is a mid tempo track, full of  plaintive, unresolved longing and ambiguous and murky emotions.

From what I understand live, the material is meant to take the audience through 9 specific movements, much like a chamber music group balancing composition and improvisation and incorporating dancers and a degree of performance art. TOUCH/FEEL’s first live set is on March 4, 2017 at National Sawdust — and based on what the band describes, it sound be a spectacle.

 

 

Thanks to technology, I’m writing this post while on a flight to Amsterdam, The Netherlands with the eventual destination being Dordrecht, The Netherlands for a few days for meetings related to my day job.  JOVM will be continuing as normal or close to normal as possible — although some of my posts will be at unusual times back home in the States thanks in part to the 6 hour time difference. Once I’m done with the business portion of my trip, there will be a few days hanging out in Amsterdam, which I’ll blog about at some point; after all, I wouldn’t be a blogger worth a damn if I didn’t bring my camera with me, right? But on to the business at hand — music, followed by music.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its almost seven-year history, you’ve come across a number of posts on Brooklyn-based Afro-pop/dance pop act and JOVM mainstays Rubblebucket. Currently comprised of founding duo and primary songwriters Alex Toth (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Kalmia Traver (lead vocals, tenor sax, baritone sax), Adam Dotson (trombone, vocals and percussion), David Cole (drums) and Ian Hersey (guitar), the Brooklyn-based act can trace their origins to when Traver and Toth met while playing in a Burlington, VT-based Latin jazz act. Quickly bonding over being horn players, a love of Afrobeat and Afro pop and an uncannily preternatural connection, the duo relocated to Boston in 2006, where they did fairly respectable things to survive  — Traver spent time as a nude model for art classes, while Toth spent time hustling $50 a performance marching band gigs. And as the story goes, the duo of Toth and Traver began the band while being broke as shit in Boston. (Somehow that sounds like a song title, doesn’t it?)

Relocating to Brooklyn some years later, the members of Afro pop/indie pop act emerged into the national scene with the release of their critically applauded 2011 album Omega La La and an established reputation for a rather relentless touring schedule full of ecstatic, energetic and mischievous live sets. Over the past few years, the band has been pretty busy as they’ve released a handful of critically applauded EPs and their sophomore full-length Survival Sounds.  And in between slower touring periods, both Toth and Traver spent some time touring as special guests with fellow JOVM mainstay act Superhuman Happiness, a collaboration that goes back to when Stuart Bogie, Eric Biondo and company opened for Rubblebucket for a handful of shows in Burlington, VT. Interestingly during the same period of time, Rubblebucket’s recorded output revealed a band that gradually crafted and then cemented their own signature sound — while subtly expanding upon it. Their Save Charlie EP revealed a band that retained their genre-blurring sound but while also possessing elements of boom-bap hip-hop and electro pop. Additionally, as I noticed, Traver began increasingly emerging as a true frontperson.

The band’s soon-to-be released EP If U C My Enemies is slated for a January 20, 2017 release through So Sensation Records and from the EP’s first single ” “Donna” the band has further refined their sound — Traver and Toth’s enormous and swaggering horn lines are still there but they’re paired with swirling electronics, a distorted vocal sample and Traver’s coquettish cooing. “If U C MY Enemies” continues along a similar vein as Traver and Toth’s enormous horn lines are paired with sinuous and funky bass and guitar chords, swirling electronics, twinkling synths and a soaring, anthemic hook. And while being a bit more mid-tempo in comparison to its preceding single, that song may have arguably been the most muscular and forceful song that they had released to date.  Of course, building upon the buzz around the EP, the band recently released If U C My Enemies latest single “Not Cut Out For This,” a single that seems a bit like a return to form as sonically, it’s reminiscent of the material off Omega La La — twinkling and atmospheric synths are paired with propulsive, boom bap-like drums, a sinuous bass line and Traver’s sultry cooing. And while being a party song — sort of — the song reveals a much more deliberate, thoughtful nature.

The band is in the middle of touring to support the new effort. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
Jan 19 – Providence, RI @ Fete
Jan 20 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Jan 21 – Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
Jan 26 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow
Jan 27 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
Jan 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of its almost seven-year history, you’ve likely come across a number of posts on the Brooklyn-based Afro-pop/dance pop act and JOVM mainstays Rubblebucket. Currently comprised of founding duo and primary songwriters Alex Toth (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Kalmia Traver (lead vocals, tenor sax, baritone sax), Adam Dotson (trombone, vocals and percussion), David Cole (drums) and Ian Hersey (guitar), the Brooklyn-based act can actually trace their origins to when Traver and Toth met while playing in a Burlington, VT-based Latin jazz act. Quickly bonding over being horn players, a love of Afrobeat and Afro pop and an uncannily preternatural connection, the duo relocated to Boston in 2006, where they did fairly respectable things to survive  — Traver spent time as a nude model for art classes, while Toth spent time hustling $50 a performance marching band gigs. And while being broke as shit in Boston, the duo began Rubblebucket.

Relocating to Brooklyn some years later, the members of Afro pop/indie pop act emerged into the national scene with the release of their critically applauded 2011 album Omega La La and an established reputation for a rather relentless touring schedule full of ecstatic, energetic and mischievous live sets which at various times had included puppets, bandmembers jumping into the crowd and leading dance circles and dance trains with the audience. By early 2012, the band had made their first nationally televised appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  And over the past few years, the band has been pretty busy as they’ve released a handful of critically applauded EPs and their sophomore full-length Survival Sounds. And while their touring schedule had slowed down a bit, Toth and Traver also a brief period of time touring as backing guests for follow JOVM mainstay act  Superhuman Happiness, a collaboration that goes back to when Stuart Bogie, Eric Biondo and company opened for Rubblebucket for a handful of shows up in Burlington, VT. Interestingly, during that time Rubblebucket’s  recorded output has revealed a band that has gradually crafted and then cemented a signature sound while also subtly expanding upon it; in fact, on their Save Charlie EP the band retained their genre-blurring sound that possessed elements of funk, pop, psychedelia and Afrobbeat with a populist sensibility but at points you’ll hear elements of boom-bap hip hop and electro pop. But perhaps just as important, in that same period of time, Traver has slowly emerged as a frontperson.

If U C My Enemies, the band’s forthcoming EP is slated for a January 20, 2017 release through So Sensation Records, and from the EP’s first single “Donna” the band has further refined their sound — while they retain Traver and Toth’s enormous, swaggering horn lines, the band employed the use of swirling electronics, distorted vocal samples around Traver’s ethereal and coquettish cooing. The EP’s latest single, EP title track “If U C My Enemies” continues along a similar vein as Traver and Toth’s enormous horn lines are paired with sinuous and funky bass and guitar chords, swirling electronics, twinkling synths and a soaring, anthemic hook — and while being a bit more mid-tempo song in comparison to its preceding single, the latest single is arguably the most muscular and forceful song they’ve released to date.

The band will be embarking on a late Fall/Winter tour to support the new effort throughout parts of the Midwest, New England and Northeast. If you’re around any of these cities, you should catch them — their sets are fun and you will spend the night dancing and signing along with them. Tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
Dec 01 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Dec 02 – Chicago, IL @ Chop Shop 1st Ward
Dec 03 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Founders Brewing Co.
Dec 05 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
Dec 06 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward
Dec 07 – Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
Dec 08 – Buffalo, NY @ Studio at Waiting Room
Dec 09 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theater
Dec 10 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
Dec 29 – Rochester, NY @ Anthology
Dec 30 – Holyoke, MA @ Gateway Arts
Dec 31 – Holyoke, MA @ Gateway Arts
Jan 19 – Providence, RI @ Fete
Jan 20 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Jan 21 – Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
Jan 26 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow
Jan 27 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
Jan 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

 

New Video: Tokyo, Japan’s LITE and Their Funky Take on Prog Rock

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line from trumpeter Tabu Zombie, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together. Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a release through Topshelf Records on Friday and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below. And interestingly, as the band was in the middle of seven date West Coast tour, they released an official music video comprised of the band performing the song in a studio in front of alternating colored lights — and in some way it gives a sense of what their live show would be like.

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs  developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together.  Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a November 18, 2016 release through Topshelf Records and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below.

TOUR DATES
All dates with Mouse on the Keys

Nov 10 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Nov 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat
Nov 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Nov 13 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
Nov 14 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Nov 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Nov 16 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern