Tag: Tears for Fears

New Audio: Introducing the Industrial Post-Punk Sounds of Springfield, MO’s Kudzu

Publicly citing Tears for Fears, The Cure, Spectrum, Guided by Voices, Sympathy Nervous and This Heat as major influences, the Springfield, MO-based synth wave/synth punk duo Kudzu, comprised of Seth Goodwin (vocals, synths, drum programming) and Mark Gillenwaters (vocals, guitar) will be releasing their forthcoming full-length album Defeated on March 2, 2018 through Push & Pull Records. And reportedly, the album’s 9 songs come from several layers of disenchantment and frustration — first with their local punk and DIY scenes, which has resulted in a general dissociation from them and second, the stark reality of life in the Ozarks. As the band’s Mark Gillenwaters explains in press notes “I feel like there is a type of alienation you can harbor in a place like this that lends itself to bleak music. I like to treat lyrics as more emotional than literal, so some lyrics might not make sense but still convey the emotion I’m trying to present.” 

“Some Cops,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming album finds the duo drawing from the likes of Ministry, PIL and early Nine Inch Nails as it features layers of buzzing, analog synths, slashing and buzzing power chords, propulsive yet forceful drum programming and an anthemic hook — and while clearly being mosh pit friendly, the song bristles and snarls with a pent up frustration at its core. 

New Video: The Trippy Psychedelia Meets New Age Visuals for Jonathan Wilson’s Lush New Single “Over The Midnight”

Jonathan Wilson is a Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has collaborated with the likes of Father John Misty, Lucius, Karen Elson and Conor Oberst, contributed guitar and vocals as a member of the backing and touring bands for Roger Waters’ Grammy nominated Is This The Life We Really Want?, and throughout that same period, the highly sought after Wilson has released two albums which have garnered comparisons to the Laurel Canyon troubadours of the 1960s and 1970s — in particular Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Dennis Wilson, Tom Petty and others; however, Wilson’s third and forthcoming album, Rare Birds, which is slated for a March 2, 2018 release through renowned indie label Bella Union Records is reportedly one of the singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s most ambitious and downright “maximalist” works to date featuring contributions from collaborators Father John Misty and Lucius, as well as Lana Del Rey and New Age musician Laraaji.

While much of the album’s material thematically and lyrically find Wilson meditating on a failed relationship and its aftermath, he has insisted in press notes that it’s not meant to specifically be a concept album. “It’s meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming, healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music, to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It’s all in there.” And interestingly enough, the album’s first single “Over The Midnight” finds Wilson pairing British, early 80s synth pop with layered instrumentation that may bring to mind Peter Gabriel 3, Security and So-era Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Tears for Fears but while nodding at the lush psych pop of contemporaries like Tame Impala — but with a swooning romanticism; after all, the song is about a sacred and profoundly safe space where lovers could exist while escaping a world on the verge of collapse.

Directed by Andrea Nakhla and featuring animation by Clara Luzian, the recently released video for “Over The Midnight” draws from New Age concepts of consciousness and awareness of one’s connectedness to the larger universe around them and to others.

 

2017 has been a breakthrough year for the up-and-coming, electro rock/electro pop duo Foreign Air — their latest EP For The Light, which was released earlier this year, received over 15 million Spotify streams, they had material included in a Nike ad campaign, and building upon a growing profile, the duo opened for the likes of Phantogram, Aurora, BØRNS, X Ambassadors, Kevin Garrett and Lewis Del Mar, before heading to Seattle to record their forthcoming, Phil Ek-produced full-length debut, slated for release in 2018.

Their latest single “Chakra Daemon” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for material inspired by heady subject matters — for this particular song, evolution, biomechanics and the ubiquitous email bounce back bot Mailer Daemon, as a comment on how much of one’s daily routine is heaped in negative, harmful and repetitive energy.  Sonically, the song follows along a similar vein as its predecessors — a murky and menacing production featuring layers of arpeggiated and pulsating synths, four-on-the-floor drum programming, bursts of buzzing guitar and an anthemic yet somewhat post-apocalyptic hook paired with Jesse Classen’s crooned vocals. Interestingly enough, this single finds the duo’s sound nodding at classic 80s synth pop like Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode and others, as well as contemporary synth pop acts like Painted Palms.

As the duo’s Classen explains “We as humans are constantly looking for a connection. However, more often than not we fail to find that connection leaving one to feel lonely or even invisible at time. As humans slowly begin self evolving by integrating bio-technology, I imagine one day there will be a Chakra Daemon. This will be like an artificial subconscious. An enhanced intuition. Beyond the obvious implication of keeping us out of danger, I think it will also play a role in navigating us through relationships both platonic and romantic.”

The duo, who also just wrapped a short stint supporting Bishop Briggs, will begin a co-headlining run w/ D.C. electro-pop act SHAED on Nov. 30 in Chicago and it’ll include a December 5, 2017 stop at Public Arts. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates:
*Co-headlining dates w/ SHAED​​​​​​​
11/30: Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen*
12/2: Toronto, ON @ Drake*
12/4: Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
12/5: New York, NY @ Public Arts*
12/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
12/8: Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel*

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates:
*Co-headlining dates w/ SHAED​​​​​​​
11/30: Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen*
12/2: Toronto, ON @ Drake*
12/4: Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
12/5: New York, NY @ Public Arts*
12/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
12/8: Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel*

New Video: Introducing the Soaring and Anthemic Synth Pop of Up-and-Coming Italian Synthwave Act YOOP

Comprised of Luca Sammartini and Valentina Sicco, YOOP are an up-and-coming Vicenza, Italy-based synthwave/synth pop act, who released their full-length debut effort Take Shelter earlier this month, and with the release of slickly produced album single “Rainbow,” the duo’s sound that seems to draw influence from Tears for Fears and contemporaries like Moonbabies, St. Lucia and Washed Out, as they pair soaring and anthemic hooks with a production featuring shimmering arpeggiated synths, propulsive, tweeter and woofer rocking, industrial-like beats, a sinuous bass line and angular guitar chords — and while managing to be arena rock friendly and a club banger, the track possesses an aching yearning at its core.

The recently released video follows a dream-like logic in which a woman wakes up to find herself tied to a chair and as soon as she escapes, where she spends a dizzying period seeking something just out of her grasp through a series of rooms and staircases.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Portland, OR-based singer/songwriter producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Braun grew up in an extremely musical home, as his father once played drums in Hall and Oates‘ backing band — and interestingly enough, the younger Braun is perhaps best known as as one-half of synth pop act Mackintosh Braun, an act that has received attention for a 80s synth pop and New Wave-inspired sound. Unsurprisingly, Bruan’s solo recording project  BRAUN has managed to further cement his reputation for crafting a cinematic, 80s synth pop sound.

Now, if you have been frequenting this site, you may know that Braun’s full-length full-length debut Silent Silence reportedly began from Braun’s awareness of the personal freedoms that he had felt he had sacrificed to live in the comforts of a constantly connecte life full of new technological devices, and as you’d hear on “Prague,” the album’s second single, the material while being slickly produced, manages to be under-pinned by a longing for a much simpler life, all while nodding at Tears for Fears‘ “Head Over Heels” and much more contemporary fare like Rush Midnight.

Silent Science‘s third and latest single “Gardens” continues along a similar path as its immediate predecessor as the track, shimmering and cinematic synth pop, complete with  soaring hooks and sinuous guitar and bass chords; however, unlike its predecessor, the song possess a swooning, Romantic urgency — all while managing to feel mischievously anachronistic, as the song sounds and feels as though it could have been released in the 80s and — well, yesterday.

 

 

Portland, OR-based producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Braun can trace some of the origins of his own musical career to growing up in a musical home, as his own father played drums in Hall and Oates‘ backing band. Interestingly enough, the youngest Braun is best known as one-half of synth pop act Mackintosh Braun, an act that received attention for an 80s synth pop and New Wave-inspired sound. And while Braun’s solo recording project B•R•A•U•N will further cement his reputation for crafting 80s inspired synth pop, the project and its forthcoming full-length debut Silent Science began from Braun’s awareness of the personal freedoms that he felt he had sacrificed to live in he comforts of new technology, and as a result, the material possesses a longing for a much simpler life — but while paradoxically revealing his unique production style featuring lush and propulsive synths and chopped up vocal samples.

Silent Science’s second and latest single “Prague” while nodding at Tears for Fears‘ “Head Over Heels” and much more contemporary fare like Rush Midnight and others, features Braun’s production style of layers of propulsive and shimmering synths, boom bap beats,  rousing hooks, and an angular bass line paired with Braun’s breathy vocals but underneath the slickly produced and lush surface is a deeply reflective yearning that gives the material a subtly cinematic vibe.

 

 

Comprised of singer/songwriter Jacob Pearson and multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jonathan Bowden, the Sidney, Australia-based indie electro pop duo PLGRMS have received both national and international attention for glitchy and deliberately crafted electro pop — with Australian critics considering the Sydney-based duo as one of Oz’s more inventive and forward thinking contemporary acts. And as a result, Pearson and Bowden have have a rapidly growing profile — over the past year or so, they’ve amassed more than 7 million streams for their previously released singles, which have received praise from StereogumComplex, The Line of Best Fit and Clash, as well as airplay on Beats 1 Radio, BBC 6 Radio, Triple J and others. Along with that, they’ve opened for Mansionair, Vera Blue and Oh Wonder.

“Crawling Back,” the up-and-coming Australian pop duo’s latest single manages to be a significant sonic departure while maintaining elements of the sound that first captured national and international attention — Pearson and Bowden retain the soaring and anthemic hooks of their previously released output; however, while those singles were much more electronic-leaning, the new single has the duo employing more of an organic, “live band” arrangement in which Afropop-like percussion, a sinuous bass guitar, twinkling synths reminiscent of Tears For Fears‘ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and boom bap beats paired with Pearson’s warm, soulful vocals.  Interestingly, the new single kind of finds Pearson and Bowden’s sound leaning heavily towards the direction of fellow Aussies and JOVM mainstays Fairchild, St. Lucia and others — all while revealing what may arguable be the duo’s most ambitious songwriting to date, as the song manages to be  radio and arena rock friendly.

 

 

 

Blood Cultures is a rather mysterious New Jersey-based electro pop act that has begun to receive attention for a hazy and summery sound that nods at Washed Out and Neon Indian — and to some degree, the Cascine Records roster as you’ll hear on “Scenes From A Midnight Movie,” the opening track to the act’s soon-to-be released full-length debut Happy Birthday; but Blood Cultures sets themselves apart from a crowded field of contemporary purveyors of hazy, wistful and carefully crafted synth pop confections with an incredibly subtle touch — a regal yet mournful horn arrangement towards the song’s coda that reminds me of Tears For Fears‘ “Break It Down Again.”

Blood Cultures will be making their live debut at Rough Trade on August 9, 2017.

 

If you’ve been been frequenting this site over the course of the last several years, you’d be extremely familiar with JOVM mainstay Rhythm Scholar. And over the years, the wildly prolific New York-based DJ, producer and remixer has developed a reputation for a continuing series of genre-mashing remixes packed with both obscure and recognizable samples in a way that’s reminiscent of Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys. Last year, Rhythm Scholar released an incredible Girl Talk-like mashup of Herbie Hancocks “Rockit” and Michael Jacksons “Bad,” that the producer, DJ and remixer has dubbed “Bad Rockit” and sonically the mashup possessed a club-banging, retro-futuristic feel with a larger-than-life, I’m going to kick ass, take names and kick more ass-like swagger.

This year, Rhythm Scholar returns to his signature genre-mashing remixes — this time with a shimmering and dance floor-friendly remix of Tears For Fears‘ mega-hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” that also meshes “Mother’s Milk” “Memories Fade” and “Mad World” with an additional bit of funk from Locksmith while retaining elements of their beloved sound.