Tag: Tame Impala

New Video: Introducing the Classic Rock Inspired Sounds of Hungary’s Ivan and the Parazol

Currently comprised of Vitáris Iván (vocals), Balla Máté (guitar), Beke István (keys) and Simon Bálint (drums), the Budapest, Hungary-based indie rock quartet Ivan and the Parazol can trace their origins to when its founding members, along with Tarnai János (bass) met at a private music school back in 2010. And since their formation, the Hungarian indie rock act has released three full-length albums, opened for Deep Purple, played SXSW twice, played Reeperbahn Festival, Eurosonic Nooderslag, on the Sziget Festival main stage and hundreds of shows internationally. Adding to a growing national and international profile the act was nominated for an MTV Hungary Brand New Award in 2010, won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Hungarian act in 2014 and their single “Together” was named the Sziget Festival anthem in the same year. 

This year has been an eventful year for the Hungarian indie rock band: Celebrating their eighth year as a band, the band has cemented a reputation for being at the forefront of their homeland’s growing, contemporary rock and indie rock scenes. Their forthcoming Wil Anspach-produced fourth, full-length album Exotic Post Traumatic is slated for release sometime next year, and the album which was recorded at EastWest Studios finds the band ambitiously expanding upon the sound and songwriting approach that has won them attention in the homeland — with the intention of winning ears and audiences across the rest of the European Union and the States. The album’s first single “Nr. 1003,” finds the band meshing glam rock, psych rock and arena rock in a way that feels both warmly familiar yet new. Beginning with a sample of an on-flight welcome to LAX and Los Angeles, the track is centered around a rousingly anthemic hook, classic rock power chords, arpeggiated synths and a soaring backing vocal. Sonically, the track sounds as though it draws from The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Tame Impala — but with a subtle bit of sunniness.  

As the members of the band say in press notes, “A music career is like a plane or spaceship that travels for decades to get to a seemingly unreachable destination. NR. 1003 is about this journey for Ivan & The Parazol, and a tough one at that. ‘Cause what do you do if a member of your band falls ill and needs to be left behind to make these dreams come true?

“NR. 1003 goes out to our bass player Jani. After spending years on the road together, him not being present leaves a massive hole in our team. We hope to have you back on tour with us soon.”

Directed by Miki357, the recently released video is an incredibly symbolic one, shot on the streets of Budapest and throughout the video, there’s a palpable sense of inconsolable loss and resolve. 

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Raymond James Mason is a Long Island, NY-born, Brooklyn-born trombonist and singer/songwriter. As the story goes, Mason picked up the trombone at a very young age, and as a teenager, he studied classical performance and jazz studies at my alma mater NYU, where he studied with Brian Lynch, Lenny Pickett, Alan Ferber and Elliot Mason. Upon graduating, Mason quickly became an in-demand musician, playing across a wide variety of genres; but he’s best known for being a member of renowned local Afrobeat act Antibalas, which eventually led to him becoming a member of the Daptone Records/Dunham Records in-house band, playing with the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band, Lee Fields and the The Expressions and many others. Additionally, Mason has performed and or recorded with the likes of Alicia Keys, David Byrne, Randy Newman, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Arcade Fire, Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monae, Lukas Graham, Nile Rodgers, Tame Impala, Maren Morris, Earth Wind and Fire, Mark Ronson and and more. Unsurprisingly, he very busy Mason learned from these artists while honing his own compositional and vocal skills, patiently waiting for his moment to step out in the spotlight.

Back in October 2016, Mason reached out to Daptone Records house band member, longtime friend and Dala Records founder Billy Aukstik to set up at a casual recording session. At the time, Aukstik was recording out of an old East Village brownstone basement, equipped with only a Tascam 388 8-track tape recorder and a few old ribbon microphones. Aukstik and Mason assembled an all-star squad of local soul musicians, including Alex Chakour, who has played with Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones; Freddy DeBoe, who has played with Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones; Joe Harrison, who has played with Nick Hakim and Charles Bradley; and Morgan Price, who has played with Antibalas to record a couple of Mason’s compositions — two of which wound up becoming the A and B sides of Mason’s solo debut, “Back When”/”No Clue.”

A side single “Back When” is a strutting and swaggering bit of a soul pop centered around an arrangement of Arp Omni bass synth, fuzzy guitar lines and a steady backbeat — and while thematically the song is a universal tale of lost opportunity and what could have beens, it’s a decidedly contemporary take on the Dala Records sound, as it nods at contemporary soul, hip-hop and psych pop in a way that brings Tame Impala, Nick Hakim and others to mind. “No Clue,” the B side single is centered around fuzzy power chords and a garage rock vibe, while thematically the song focuses on a dysfunctional and confusing relationship. Both singles reveal an an up-and-coming artist, who’s actively and earnestly pushing the sonic boundaries of soul.

 

 

New Audio: Tame Impala and Theophilus London Team Up on Two Synth Funk Bangers

Led by singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind Kevin Parker, the Melbourne, Australia-based psych pop act Tame Impala received international attention with the release of their first two albums, 2011’s Innerspeaker and 2012’s Lonerism. Interestingly, 2015’s Currents was centered around some of the most emotionally direct material he had written to date while expanding upon the sound that first caught attention with the material sonically drawing from synth pop, prog rock, R&B and psych pop to create a nuanced, textured and difficult to pigeonhole sound. 

Theophilus London is a Trinidad and Tobago-born, Brooklyn-based emcee, singer/songwriter and producer, who first emerged into the national and international scene with his 2011 debut EP Lovers Holiday, which found the Brooklyn-based emcee/singer/songwriter and producer collaborating with TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin, Glasser and Solange Knowles and his full-length debut 2011’s Timez are Weird These Days. Both of those early efforts quickly established London’s crowd-pleasing, genre-mashing sound and approach, which draws from soul, pop, post-punk, electro-pop, electro R&B, hip-hop and R&B — and that shouldn’t be surprising as London has publicly cited Michael Jackson, Prince, Kraftwerk and The Smiths as influences on his work.  2013’s sophomore effort VIBES found London collaborating with Jesse Boykins III and Kanye West, who was the album’s executive producer — and from album single “Tribe,” the album’s material further cemented London’s reputation for club-banging, synth pop-influenced hip-hop. 

So in some way, it shouldn’t be surprising that both genre-defying artists have collaborated together in a project informally dubbed Theo Impala, which has already released two singles — the first single, the swaggering “Whiplash” is a thorough and seamless amalgamation of their sound and approach, as it features London spitting fiery bars over layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats and Parker’s ethereal backing vocals singing a sugary pop-meets-soul melody. In some way, the song recalls 80s hip-hop, 80s synth soul, Crime Cutz-era Holy Ghost! and Dam-Funk among others. The second track is a cover Steve Monite’s Nigerian boogie hit “Only You” and while their cover is somewhat straightforward, it manages to possess a contemporary production sheen that gives the song a retro-futuristic thump. 

Danny Murcia is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, founding member and creative mastermind of Los Angeles-based bilingual indie rock act El Mañana. As an English major in college, Murcia immersed himself in magical realism, a major tenet of modernist and post-modernist Latin American literature, and after graduating, he was able to marry his loves for language and music as a songwriter. Interestingly, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter wound up penning a number of songs that were recorded by mainstream radio and as a result of the attention he received as a go-to songwriter, Murcia wound up as part of the major label system, signing a record deal with a major label that released a single; however, it didn’t take long for Murcia to to realize that he was a commodity in a machine that wanted to exploit his Colombian heritage — and that the label was actively trying to mold him into a white person’s version of a Latino pop star. At the end of the experience, he felt as though is creative energy was sapped.

El Mañana finds Murcia returning to his original dream of what he wanted his sound and music to be: insightful, earnestly emotional and bilingual rock driven by enormous power chords and plaintive vocals. As the story goes, Murcia who suffers from bipolar disorder began writing material for this new project while he was battling cancer, having to undergo multiple surgeries before the cancer went into remission. During his recovery, he read the works of Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which long informed his own work.

“Gota En El Mar,” the Los Angeles-based band’s latest single sonically manages to bridge the dreamy psych pop of Tame Impala and Washed Out with enormous Siamese Dream Smashing Pumpkins-era like  power chords fed through distortion and other effects pedals, thumping drumming and arena rock friendly hooks — but most importantly, the song is a swooningly urgent and earnest song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding members David Schnitzler (vocals) and Elias Foerster (bass) with newest, touring member Tilman Ruetz (drums), the indie electro pop/psych pop act Sea Moya was formed back in 2014 with its founding members writing material between shipping containers in a German harbor. As a duo, they released two well-received EPs and building upon a growing profile, the act’s full-length debut Falmenta is slated for an October 12, 2018 release through Golden Brown Records and Majestic Casual Records.

Falmenta was written and recorded in a reclusive cabin in the Italian Alps above Lago Maggiore, and unsurprisingly, the material is the restful of a total withdrawal from everyday life, the distractions of technology and any influence from outsiders. Such reclusiveness allowed the members of the band to completely immerse themselves in their surroundings, to be more introspective and to bounce ideas off one-another until their creative output became one; in fact, each song and every lyric on the album was a collaborative effort — and interestingly enough, while being effortless, manages to be experimental and deeply personal.

Sonically, the material on Falmenta finds the act drawing from a wide-ranging and diverse array of influences including Krautrock, Afrobeat, electronica, electro pop and psych pop underpinned by a mischievous sense of experimentation in which analog instrumentation is filtered through saturated tape, modular systems and a complex array of effect pedals. Interestingly, the forthcoming album’s latest single is the breezy “The Long Run, a single centered by twinkling synths, a sinuous and funky bass line, stuttering drumming, a throbbing, motorik groove and ethereal melodies that recalls Tame Impala, Toro Y Moi and Fela Kuti among others but in an upbeat, neon-bright, difficult to pigeonhole fashion.

Following the recording of their full-length debut, the members of Sea Moya spontaneously relocated to Montreal, where they have quickly embedded themselves into that city’s DIY underground scene, playing shows across Canada and the States. Of the spontaneous move, the explains in press notes,  “At that time we listened to a bunch of great artists from Montreal like Homeshake, TOPS, Suuns or Project Pablo. It felt like there was a free spirited and open-minded music and arts scene going on. Even though none of us had ever been to Canada before, we just decided to give it a shot.

And here we are, moved in early 2018, already played a whole bunch of shows in Canada and the States, dived into the music scene in Montreal which is incredibly rich of DIY spirits, mesmerizing artists and an amazing mixed-up and buzzing culture of ALL couleurs. It feels like you can find your spot for every tiny niche you want to experiment with and all that pretty easy going and not too serious. It’s an inclusive and yet far out scene which makes it wild, buzzing and forward thinking. The move to Canada has been one of the most inspiring steps we took in our lives for now.”

 

 

The up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based psych pop project Das Kope is the brainchild of its Sao Paulo, Brazil-born, Los Angeles-based creative mastermind, George. Interestingly, George lived a few blocks away from where renowned Brazilian psych rock act Os Mutantes had originated — and much like the members of the renowned group, George had long felt that he was an outsider with a unique vision. As a self-taught guitarist, influenced the city’s grey cityscape, he found his musical voice in punk rock. As a teen propelled by the DIY spirit and ethos, George saved up enough money to buy a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, leaving everything he had known behind to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. Quickly realizing that the money he had saved in his homeland didn’t translate to much in the way of American money, he did something rather unexpected considering the situation: he decided to join one of Los Angeles’ fastest and constantly growing lifestyles — broke musician.

The Sao Paulo-born, Los Angeles-based musician spent the next couple of years working at a slew of odd jobs and moving from place to place before eventually settling in as a partial recluse in a dark Hollywood apartment he nicknamed “the cave.” Isolated, he spent the next few years focusing on any and all creative pursuits that brought color to his mostly nocturnal existence. He became obsessed with guitar pedals, synthesizers, VCRs, after effects, tape recorders, green screen and the like. And as the story goes, those obsessions influenced Das Kope. Interestingly, his latest single, the breezy “L.A.X.” is centered around layers of shuffling guitar chords, a sinuous bass line, thumping beats, ethereal vocals and shimmering synths that recalls JOVM mainstays POND and Tame Impala but with a gritty urgency at it score.

 

 

 

James Clifford is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, and creative mastermind of the recording project Primaveras, which was once known as Modern Howls. As the story goes, Clifford grew up in a rather musical family; in fact, Clifford began playing guitar in his early teens and throughout his high school years, he played in a number of garage bands. Foregoing a formal musical education, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is largely self-taught with his passion for playing and writing stemming from a lifelong passion for everything music, as he’s been known to scour music stores for vintage guitars and synths or to stay up into the wee hours listening to records. Unsurprisingly, Clifford has cited the likes of David Bowie, Prince, The Clash, Funkadelic, Chic, Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music, Steely Dan, and The Beach Boys as some of his greatest music inspirations.  Thematically, Clifford and Primaveras draws influence from the stretch of the famed Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu to Santa Monica — warm breezes through cracked car windows, the soft sound of waves crashing and receding into the Pacific, and the silhouette of the Los Angeles skyline. For many it’s timeless and almost dreamlike; but those who haven’t stuck around long enough fail to notice the effects of salt air on the surroundings — in the form of rust and erosion. In some way, it evokes faded dreams and hopes of a paradise that never really was there in the first place, and in another sense, the faded surroundings evoke a lonely introspection. Clifford’s Primaveras debut Echoes in the Well of Being was written in a way to embody that dualism — with the album’s material generally being sunny psych pop yet possess an underlying longing and introspection.
Interestingly with Clifford’s previously released material and Echoes in the Well of Being‘s latest single, the shimmering and strutting “Better Off,” his sound has been compared favorably to the likes of Tame Impala and Phoenix — and while that is definitely fair, I also hear a subtle nod at Avalon-era Roxy Music as the song evokes bright neon lights, evening faces, Jack and Cokes, the buzz of a coke high and a desperate escape from one’s loneliness and regret. But interestingly enough, Clifford pays loving  homage to The Isley Brothers’Footsteps in the Dark, Parts 1 and 2” with the song’s intro drum break, which not only ties the song to classic R&B, but gives it a subtle sensuality.
As Clifford says of the song, “While most people will immediately interpret as a breakup song, I see the core sentiment as trying to grow up and move on from any sort of worn-out relationship.”
 

Since their formation in 1995, the Ghent, Belgium-based electro pop/electronic music production and artist act Soulwax, currently comprised of brothers and founding members David Dewaele and Stephen Dewaele, and Stefaan Van Leuvan have developed a reputation for continently pushing the boundaries of their music and creativity into new, innovative territory: along with Soulwax, the Dewaele Brothers tour as DJ duo 2manydjs, own and operate DEEWEE Records and DEEWEE Studios, are the founders of Radio Soulwax, a visual radio station and app, have collaborated with DFA Records‘ and LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy in the Despacio project. They’ve also remixed the work of LCD Soundsystem, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jagwar Ma, Warpaint, Tame Impala, Metronomy, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Gossip, Hot Chip, MGMT, and others.

Last year, BBC Radio 1 approached the acclaimed electronic music act about doing an Essential Mix, and as the Dewaele Brothers joke in press notes, “When we were approached to  make an Essential Mix for the BBC in May 2017, we chose to do what every sane human being would do, we decided to lock ourselves into our studio for two weeks and make an hour of new music based around the word ‘Essential’, instead of preparing a mix of already existing music.” Interestingly enough, the Belgian electronic music act the first to ever submit an entire hour’s worth of original material for a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix. “It felt like a challenge,” the members of Soulwax explain in press notes, “and something no one had done. We loved the challenge of releasing a full record live on a radio show without people having any advance notice, and we always wanted to release it on DEEWEE after it was aired on Radio 1.”

Essential, the Belgian electronic act’s latest album is slated for a June 22, 2018 release, and the album, which was recorded in two weeks at their DEEWEE Studio finds the duo using the gear that they didn’t use for their celebrated From Deewee, an album that was recorded live and in one take. Each of album’s 12 tracks is centered around and titled with Essential — “Essential One” through “Essential Twelve,” and the album’s latest single “Essential Three” features a slick, club-banging, house music-like production consisting of thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, arpeggiated synths, a Kraftwerk-like motorik groove, some industrial clang and clatter and a sultry vocal sample. The track reveals an act that can manage slick, hyper-modern productions with a sweaty and soulful sultriness.