Tag: Tears for Fears

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.




New Audio: Kino Kimino and Son of Stan Team Up for a 80s Synth Pop-leaning Cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ 90s Mega-Hit, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”

Comprised of Kim Talon, who’s perhaps best known for playing with Deerhoof, Jawbreaker’s Blake Schwarzenbach and Sia, and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, post-punk/indie rock trio Kino Kimino recently released their full-length debut album Bait Is For Sissies to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork and FADER. Continuing on the buzz the trio have received off their full-length debut, they recently collaborated with former Ben Harper’s Relentless7 member Jordan Richardson, a.k.a. Son of Stan to cover Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,”a song that was a major hit back in 1992 — and if you were alive and coherent back then, you’d probably remember that Z100 used to play the song at least 3 times an hour. Anyway, the key take away here is that the song is incredibly sexy and the Kino Kimino and Son of Stan cover manages to retain some of that sexiness while turning the song into a subtly propulsive synth pop song and in some strange way, it strikes as what the song would sound if Tears for Fears had covered it.

Liverpool-based, indie rock quintet ETCHES have started to receive attention across the UK for a batch of singles that reportedly (and subtly) draws from a variety of influences including Tears For Fears, Interpol, electronica, post-punk and psych rock and others; however to my ears, the Liverpool-based quintet’s latest single “Love Is” sounds to my ears as though it were channeling Milagres‘ Violent Light — in particular, I think of “Column of Streetlight” and “Urban Eunuchs” — as the sleek, moody and sultry song possesses elements of R&B, soul, indie rock and pop while thematically touching upon the conflicting (and inherent) push and pull in romantic relationships.





Over the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with a monthly Spotify playlist that covers the songs I’ve reviewed over the course of the past month, along with the songs I’ve referenced. And although some songs almost always seem to be missing during the initial compilation, I think it still manages to be a fairly comprehensive look at the past month on JOVM. (Just an early world, December will be pretty interesting as there will be a monthly playlist and I will be doing a Best of List primarily through Spotify as an additional experiment. But we’re jumping ahead here.)

November’s playlist continues the eclectic and tasteful curation that this site has long been known for and includes Aroc!‘s collaborations with Eric Bellinger, the gorgeous sounds of Floating Points, the socially conscious psych rock of Brazilian superstars Boogarins, JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Escort, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Pr0files, White Reaper, Beacon, New Order and Freddie Gibbs and others among a lengthy list. You’ll catch new singles from the Houston, TX-born, New York-based indie soul artist Melany Watson, several singles off Coke Weed‘s excellent Mary Weaver, two singles off The Giraffes kick ass, stoner rock album Usury, a new single from Swedish psych rock sensation Caviare Days, anthemic singles from Brandi Carlile‘s powerhouse country album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter and Canadian trio Red Moon Road, a few singles off Neon Indian‘s club-friendly VEGA Intl. Night School and more. There’s quite a bit of funk on this list as I make references to The Whispers, The Gap Band, Kool and the Gang, Chic, Rick James, and others. And there’s quite of synth pop including Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, The Human League and more.  Check it out and tell your friends while you’re at it!