Tag: SXSW

New Video: Introducing the Up-and-Coming Taiwanese Dream Pop Act, The Fur

With the release of their full-length debut Town last September, the Kaohsiung, Taiwan-based dream pop act quartet The Fur exploded into the international indie scene, with some media outlets have compared their sound to the likes of Wild Nothing and Hatchie. Adding to a growing profile, the Taiwanese dream pop act toured across the UK and the European Union with a stop at last year’s Primavera Sound Festival. 

Building upon a growing profile, The Fur will be making their Stateside debut with sets at this year’s SXSW. In the meantime, the breezy album single  “Short Stay” is centered around an arrangement of shimmering guitar chords, atmospheric synths, a motorik-like groove, plaintive yet ethereal vocals and a soaring hook. Interestingly, the song finds the band balancing wide-eyed and mischievous levity with a wistful, melancholy-fueled nostalgia. The song and its narrator seem to suggest that we should have as much fun as we can, because things get complicated and pretty fucking messy. 

The recently released video emphasizes the song’s careful balance of mischief and melancholy, as it features the members of the band looking for their lost monster (perhaps from their childhood) on Happy Monster Day. The band finds their monster friend drunkenly passed out, and they take it home to nurse it back to health — by playing music, dancing and recalling fun times with their friend. It’s a fittingly goofy and sweet treatment. 

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Consisting of Accorinrin ( vocal, guitar), Yoyoyoshie (guitar, vocals), Hirochan (bass, vocals) and Kahokiss (drums, vocals), the Kyoto, Japan-based garage punk act Otoboke Beaver (おとぼけビ~バ~ in Japanese) trace their origins to when they met while beiner g members of Kyoto University‘s music club. The Japanese garage punk quartet quickly built a profile both locally and nationally for pairing incredibly dexterous musicianship with Accorinrin’s confrontational stage presence; but when Damnably Records released the Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver compilation, the Kyoto-based quartet received airplay internationally from the likes of BBC Radio 6′s Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft, XFM’s John Kennedy, as well as praise from the likes of Pitchfork, NPRi-D and The Fader.

Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, the members of the band made critically applauded and attention-grabbing appearances at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, played a sold out show at London‘s 100 Club — and their Love Is Short 7 inch charted in the UK for 4 weeks. Last year, the band went on a tour of the UK that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella. The up-and-coming band’s newest album ITEKOMA HITS is slated for an April 26 2019 release through their longtime label home Damnably Records, and from the album’s first two singles “Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi” and “Don’t light my fire,” you’ll see why they’re so buzzworthy: their feral rippers draw from from noise punk, no wave, prog rock, riot grrrl-era punk in a way that bear a resemblance to Bo Ningen while being defiantly feminist.

 

 

 

New Video: Russian Baths Release a Trippy and Unsettling Video for Brooding “Slenderman”

Last year, I wrote a bit about the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, and as you may recall with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the act comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner quickly received attention locally and elsewhere for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others. 

The band released their debut EP Penance last year through Good Eye Records, and the EP’s first single “Slenderman” is a brooding track that strikes me as owing a sonic debt to 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV and classic shoegaze, thanks in part to an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure featuring layers of shimmering guitars, a throbbing bass line and propulsive, tribal-like drumming with a rousingly anthemic hook. 

Based on concept by Sarah Ver Hoeve and featuring her animation, the recently released video comes in advance of the band’s upcoming New Colossus Festival and SXSW showcases in March. And while being visually being reminiscent of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” the new video features humanoid figures floating about in space along with enormous spiders. Interestingly, at point the video feels like being caught in the middle of a terrible and nightmarish trip without anyone to help you come down. 

Last month, I wrote about the Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist and electronic music artist and producer, Nick van Hofwegen, best known as Young & Sick. Initially van Hofwegen attempted the traditional route of being an artist by going through design school, but he found its cookie-cutting leanings discouraging and it led him to drop out after finishing his first year. He began working at a car parts factory in rural Holland and quit, eventually relocating to London. When he arrived in London, his friend Mark, the frontman of internationally recognized band Foster the People, introduced him to comedian Andy Dick, who came across some of his visual art and championed it. Additionally, Mark asked van Hofwegen to do the artwork for his band’s 2011 debut Torches.

Although the Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and producer released a full-length album back in 2014, last year was a breakthrough year for him: He released his Ojai EP, an attention-grabbing effort that served as a reintroduction to van Hofwegen’s sound and aesthetic. Adding to a growing profile, van Hofwegen was profiled in NYLON — and EP title track “Ojai” was featured in an ad campaign for Apple Watch.  van Hofwegen followed Ojai EP with the release of the No Static EP, which received praise from The Fader and Variety. He closed out a big year with a cover of Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” for Neon Gold Records‘ 10 Year Anniversary compilation.

The Dutch-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer played a run of critically applauded SXSW sets, including Neon Gold’s Neon Golden showcase. He played his first Stateside headlining shows in over 4 years with a pair of Los Angeles and NYC dates that featured an interactive multimedia experience. And as an artist, van Hofwegen had his first ever fine art gallery show last August, which featured a series of his original visual and sculptural pieces — and he designed the album art for Maroon 5‘s Overexposed, Mikky Ekko’s “Kids,” as well as for his work.

Building upon a breakthrough 2018, van Hofwegen will be releasing a new EP that’s slated for a spring release through Neon Gold Records/B3SCI Records. Now, as you may recall, the EP’s first single “Bitter End,” nodded heavily at Teddy Riley-era New Jack Swing, classic Chicago house and C+C Music Factory as it was centered by a production that featured tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, soulful vocals, a rousingly anthemic hook and a “you got this, man” positive vibe. The EP’s latest single “Jet Black Heart” is a swooning and summery bit of synth pop centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, chopped up vocals, a sinuous bass line, stuttering beats and van Hofwegen’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the slickly produced track is straightforward pop leaning bit of house that van Hofwegen says is “about all consuming love. The kind who’s intensity paralyses you. The sort that makes you lose it completely. It’s the LOVE I feel for making music and art.”

van Hofwegen is currently  opening for The Knocks during their 2019 North American tour during the winter. The tour will include a February 23, 2019 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out the tour dates below.  Also tickets are on sale here.

 

Tour Dates
Feb 9 // Austin, TX @ Historic Scoot Inn
Feb 10 // Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock Room
Feb 12 // St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 14 // Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Feb 15 // Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Feb 16 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb 17 // Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Feb 20 // Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
Feb 21 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Feb 23 // Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

New Video: Flamingods Release Trippy Visuals for Their Motorik Groove-Driven New Single “Marigold”

Growing up in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Kamal Rasool, the founding member of acclaimed multi-continental-based psych rock act Flamingods traveled widely and collected rate and unique instruments from Tanzania, the Amazon and elsewhere. When Rasool relocated to London to study music, he recruited a few friends from Bahrain and London to start a band, including the members of the band’s current lineup — Karthik Poduval, Sam Rowe and Charles Prest.  Interestingly, their first live show together was an attention-grabbing show at the 2010 ATP Festival, which quickly led to a national profile. 

Building upon a growing profile, the members of Flamingods quickly released two EPs, 2010’s Sun and 2011’s Away and 2013’s full-length debut Sun, a reimagining of the material off the EP of the same name that featured “Quesso,” a collaboration with Ponytail’s Dustin Wong on lead guitar. Around the time of the album’s release, the British government enacted new visa laws which forced Rasool to return to Bahrain after he finished school.  

Rasool moved to Dubai, where he worked for an independent magazine and coffee shop. Although the members of the band were on different continents and unable to play together, they continued to work on new material that eventually wound up becoming their critically applauded Hyperborea, an album that established a globe-spanning take on psychedelia that the band has dubbed “Exotic Psychedelia.” 

During the release of Hyperborea, Prest relocated to Dubai to work closely to Rasool. The band quickly began working on their third full-length album, 2016’s Majesty, an album that was largely inspired by the likes of Les Baxter, Tito Puente, Arthur Lyman and others. Although the album was received mixed reviews, it was championed by BBC Radio 6’s Gilles Peterson and Lauren Laverne, who both invited the band to record live sessions. With Rasool and Prest able to return to the UK, the band was able to extensively across the UK and the European Union to support the album, including sets at Green Man Festival, End of the Road Festival, and Fusion Festival. 

In February 2017, the band signed with Moshi Moshi Records, who released that year’s Kewali EP and the band toured to support the album, making their SXSW debut. The band also released a remix album of Majesty that featured remixes of album material by Ibibio Sound Machine, Meridian Brothers and Oasis’ Andy Bell. Additionally. the band released a Dan Carey-produced live version of “Hyperborea.” 

The acclaimed act’s fourth, full-length album Levitation is slated for a May 3, 2019 release through Moshi Moshi Records, and interestingly, the album is largely inspired by the disco, funk and psychedelic sounds out of the Middle East and South Asia in the ’70s but channeled through mysticism, positivity and sun-drenched imagery. Interestingly, the album’s recording sessions found the band living and working in the same continent for the first time in about four years — and as a result, the album’s material has a unified feel. Levitation’s first single “Marigold” is a trippy and sunny bit of psych rock centered around a motorik groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths and while delivered with a self-assured swagger, the song sonically reminds me of Evil Heat-era Primal Scream. 

Directed by Barbu.TV, the recently released video was shot during a trip the band made to Oman — in particular, the remote city of Nizwa, known for a gang of vintage motorbike riding youths — and the trip involved hazardous border crossing, self-made ornate, denim jackets. Additionally the video features some innovative camerawork and some appropriately hypnotic animation. As the band’s Kamal Rasool says of the video, “We had heard about this gang of motorbike riding youths through our friend [photographer] Ali Al Sharji and knew immediately that we wanted to make a music video with them. They live in a remote city in Oman called Nizwa and have had these vintage bikes passed down from generation to generation. The police aren’t so fond of them but they are some of the nicest guys we’ve ever met.  We joined them riding through the city and had a proper road trip along the way with the Barbu. TV guys, exploring through deserts, mountains, skate parks, palm groves and old monuments. I think the motion of them riding the bikes melded with the motorik groove of the song perfectly and the sun-soaked environment was just what we needed to capture the song’s themes”

New Video: Acclaimed French Electro Punk Act Kat Bambino Releases VHS-Styled Video For Rousingly Anthemic Single

Comprised of Caroline Martial (vocals) and Orion Bouvier (electronics, production), the Bordeaux, France-based electro punk act Kat Bambino formed back in 2001, and since their formation they’ve released four full-length albums that includes, 2002’s Love, 2006’s Zero Life Night Vision, 2009’s Blacklist and 2012’s Devotion, a handful of singles and an exciting and uncompromising live show. And as a result, they’ve been featured in NME, Another Magazine, Dummy Mag and Dazed & Confused Magazine — and they’ve played at a number of festivals, including ZXZW/Incubate, Dot to Dot and SXSW. 

Slated for an April 12, 2019 release through Because Music, the French electro punk duo’s fifth, full-length album Dust, Fierce, Forever features 12 tracks that reportedly nod at Eurodance and hardcore. The album’s latest single is the brash and anthemic “Erase.” Centered around propulsive and thunderous beats, layers of arpeggiated and undulating synths, industrial squealing and squawking and Martial’s shouted vocals. Sonically speaking, the song reminds me quite a bit of Atari Teenage Riot and Nine Inch Nails, complete with rousing and enormous hooks. 

The recently released video is a decidedly lo-fi affair, as it prominently features the duo performing the song and captures their energy, while being shot on grainy VHS-like tape and through some old school effects and fade outs. Essentially, it’s an appropriately abrasive, in-your-face vibe. 

Last year, I had written a bit about the acclaimed Bristol, UK-based electro pop/trip hop act The Desert, and as you may recall, the act which is centered around the longtime collaboration between singer/songwriter Gina Leonard and producer/guitarist Tom Freyer can trace its origins to when Freyer had produced some of Leonard’s solo work. And as the story goes, while working together, the duo quickly hit upon a formula of Freyer taking the songs that Leonard had initially written with an acoustic guitar and adding layers of electronics and lush, detailed production.

Slated for a March 8, 2019 release, the acclaimed act’s forthcoming EP Winning You Back builds upon a busy 2018 that saw their first live dates, accompanied in the UK with live backing members Ryan Rogers (bass) and Jonny Parry (drums, electronics), a sold-out hometown show and a BBC Introducing session — and the EP comes right before their first appearance at this year’s SXSW. The EP’s latest single, the ethereal and atmospheric “Bitterness” is built around Leonard’s breathy and achingly tender vocals and shimmering synths and stuttering beats; however, unlike their previously released material, the song has a sense of sighing resignation. In press notes, the act’s Gina Leonard describes how the song is “about coming to terms with being screwed up over and accepting it, and moving forward because it won’t do any good to stew in bitterness. I had written some angry songs, but they’d didn’t sit right and didn’t have a good message, so I was happy when this one came out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Melbourne Australia’s Money for Rope Releases Frenzied Visuals for Blistering and Swaggering New Single

Money for Rope’s forthcoming sophomore album Picture Us comes on the heels of a four-year period of relentless and intense international touring that saw the quintet comprised of Julian Mckenzie (vocals, guitar, sax), Rick Parnaby (keys, telephone), Erick Scerba (drums, tambourine), Chris Loftis (kazoo, drums) and Ted Dempsey (bass, laser printing) tour across Europe, America and India, including a short run of dates with Courtney Barnettt, who was an early supporter. Adding to a growing international profile, the band played sets at Glastonbury Festival, SXSW and Primavera Sound Festival. 

“Actually,” Picture Us’ latest single is a swaggering and bluesy bit of garage surf centered around a propulsive bass line, fuzzy power chords and howled lyrics within a sprawling song structure — and while sounding as though it were influenced by The Black Keys, the song possesses a feral and unhinged quality, 

The recently released video features a series of dizzying still images of the band rolling around, jamming and fucking around in their house-turned rehearsal space. It’s a scrappily done DIY visual that captures the frenzied passion behind the music — and it’s fun as hell, too.  The band’s Erik Scerba says of the video and its creative process “The photos were very much on the fly although I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like. It was pretty much impossible to know the timing of everything, but there’s a part in the song where the crash hits with a shot of me hitting the crash and it just worked. Sometimes that shit happens. There’s a kinda psychedelic aspect to it all which I liked – using the images to do different things like capture some of us in two places at once. The black and white makes it more nightmarish. We wanted to have all the shots happen at once so it had a constant flow of momentum. The hardest part was editing, as 25 frames a second doesn’t match the song’s bpm.”