Tag: The Cars

 

Now, over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about Copenhagen, Denmark-based electro pop duo and JOVM mainstays Palace Winter, and the act, which features Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Caspar Hesselager can trace its origins to Coleman and Hesselager’s mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work in a number of different projects — and naturally, the duo were encouraged to collaborate together. 2015 saw the release of their debut single, but 2016 the duo saw critical praise from The Guardian, NME, The Line of Best Fit, and airplay from KCRWKEXPNorway’s P3, Denmark’s P6, as well as by BBC Radio personalities Guy Garvey, Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft with the release of the Medication EP and their full-length debut Waiting for the World to Turn.  Adding to a growing international profile, Coleman and Hesselager have a Hype Machine #1 single under their belts, have opened for Noel Gallagher, and have made appearances across the European festival circuit, including sets at Guy Garvey’s curated Meltdown FestivalRoskilde FestivalGreen Man FestivalSziget FestivalLatitude Festival and Secret Garden Party among others.

Nowadays, the Australian-Danish duo’s sophomore album was released earlier this year and from album singles “Empire,”  “Come Back (Left Behind),” “Baltimore,” and “Take Shelter,” their sophomore album reveals an act that has managed to expand upon their sound and songwriting approach in a subtle yet decided fashion as the material is centered around Coleman and Hasselager’s penchant for pairing at times breezy, melodic and downright radio friendly pop with dark and sobering thematic concerns — with Nowadays, their material focuses on the inevitable loss of innocence as one truly becomes an adult; the recognition of the fear, freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their life and destiny; the tough and sometimes embittering life lessons that get thrown in your way; as well as the inconsolable grief and confusion of loss. Interestingly, the Australian-Danish duo’s latest single “Acting Like Lovers” may arguably be one of the upbeat songs on the album as its centered by a production that manages to be simultaneously cinematic and intimate as it features strummed acoustic guitar, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a motorik-like groove and their uncanny ability to craft breezy, 70s AM rock-like melodies. The song hints at a sense of closure — but with the subtle recognition that in life there is no such thing as closure, that life inevitably shoves you forward while you make every attempt to pick up the pieces and have some semblance of normalcy.

The single features two covers — the duo’s breezy, Junip-like take on Elliott Smith’s “Christian Brothers,” that feels like a subtle departure from the original, and one of my favorite songs by The Cars, “Drive,'” which manages to maintain the song’s moody and contemplative air. As the duo’s Caspar Hesselager explains, Elliott is someone who has influenced both me and Carl profoundly, and for me personally (growing up mostly with classical music and jazz) he became the guy that got me into listening to songwriters. We’ve often jammed his songs in the studio for fun and our cover of his song ‘Christian Brothers’ has been a favourite encore of ours on many shows. It’s from his second album ‘Elliott Smith’ which along with the debut album is him at his most lo-fi and raw. It’s almost ‘anti-produced’ but as always you can’t keep those songs from burning right through all of that.” The duo’s Carl Coleman elaborates on their cover of The Cars’ “Drive,” “This was a song that always followed me around growing up in the 80s and 90s. I’m a sucker for sad pop songs. I’ve just always been attracted to melancholy stuff and this song has it all. All that drama and mystery plus a beautiful simple melody. Hell, we couldn’t help but have a crack at it.”

 

 

 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofia Härdig Releases Moody Yet Upbeat Visuals for “Illuminate”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM Sofia Härdig, and as you may recall, she is at the forefront of an internationally renowned Swedish electro pop movement that includes a handful of JOVM mainstays and others that I’ve written about throughout the course of this site’s history; in fact, in her native country, she’s considered a queen of Sweden’s electronic rock scene. Along with that, Härdig has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters, Bob Hund, Boredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson. 

Härdig’s latest single “Illuminate” is an atmospheric, 80s-inspired, glistening and moody synth pop track consisting of layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook — and while in some way reminding me of Stevie Nicks “Stand Back” and The Cars “Drive,” “Illuminate” is a deeply contemplative and introspective song focusing on the endless and seemingly frustrating search for love and for connection. Although it comes from a deeply personal place, it’s a universal sentiment that we’ve all felt at one point or another — and with a similar yearning to find that sort of love once again.

As Härdig explains in press notes. “I worked with the song ‘Illuminate’ alone in my studio for many long, lonesome nights. It was just the studio, the stars and I, while I played all the instruments, made the soundscape and recorded the single in solitude. Later, I invited over some friends to improvise over the track. Guitarist John Essing and bass player Mats Hellquist, both from the band ‘bob hund’, but also a classical pianist and cellist respectively, added parts to the soundscape of ‘Illuminate.’ I brought all the new recordings back into the studio – tore them apart, rebuilt them and made arrangements, as if I was a mad scientist in my lab. I then brought in Jari Haapalainen to produce the songs. The solitary fashion in which ‘Illuminate’ was crafted reflects the mood of the single.”

 The recently released video by Stefan Sundlof features textured and looped footage of dimly illuminated streets and close ups of Härdig in soft vignette framing — the darkness at the edges of the footage, slowly envelope the Swedish singer/songwriter and producer at one point, leaving only her illuminated. Towards the end of the video, the footage becomes increasingly brighter and day lit, further emphasizing the song’s increasing upbeat tone towards its conclusion. “It’s amazing that three of my best friends are filmmakers, even more so that they’re all involved in some way or another with this album,” Härdig says in press notes “Jessica Nettelbladt took the photos for the singles and the album, Johannes Stjärne Nillson did the covers and Stefan Sundlöf directed this video. The video uses a special version of ‘Illuminate’ that Stefan had fallen in love with; a slower, darker one. Stefan and I often share music and talk about it. When I sent him this edit of ‘Illuminate’ he responded almost right away with a 30 second video clip, that he’d made of what he had in mind for the song. It was stunning. I was convinced and saved the version for the video. So especially for you, here you get a glimpse of another universe of ‘Illuminate’. The one for the video, the one for Stefan.”
 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about renowned Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist JOVM mainstay Sofia Härdig, who’s at the forefront of a blogosphere attention grabbing Swedish pop movement that includes several acts that I’ve written about at some or another; in fact, in her native Sweden, she’s considered the queen of electronic rock. Adding to a growing profile, the Swedish-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob HundBoredoms and Free Kitten’s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Last month, I wrote about Härdig’s “Illuminate,” an atmospheric and introspective, 80s-inspired synth pop track featuring layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook that managed to remind me of both  Stevie NicksStand Back” and The CarsDrive” but centered around a deeply personal and yet universal experience — the seemingly endless, frustrating search for love and connection with another. Interestingly, “Let Me Fall,” the latest single from her forthcoming full-length effort, Changing the Order is a thumping, club banging track that finds the renowned Swedish pop artist drawing from industrial electronica and 90s house music — to my ears, it’s a trippy yet forceful synthesis of Depeche Mode, Light Asylum and Snap!

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its eight year history, you’ve likely come across an article featuring renowned Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay  Sofia Härdig. And as you may recall, Härdig is part of a rapidly expanding list of Scandinavian artists, who have received attention internationally — and just as importantly, she’s at the forefront of a blogosphere attention grabbing Swedish pop movement that includes several acts that I’ve written about at some or another; in fact, in her native Sweden, she’s considered the queen of electronic rock. Adding to a growing profile, the Swedish-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob HundBoredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Härdig’s latest single “Illuminate” is an atmospheric, 80s-inspired, glistening and moody synth pop track consisting of layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook — and while in some way reminding me of Stevie NicksStand Back” and The CarsDrive,” “Illuminate” is a deeply contemplative and introspective song focusing on the endless and seemingly frustrating search for love and for connection. Although it comes from a deeply personal place, it’s a universal sentiment that we’ve all felt at one point or another — and with a similar yearning to find that sort of love once again.

As Härdig explains in press notes. I worked with the song ‘Illuminate’ alone in my studio for many long, lonesome nights. It was just the studio, the stars and I, while I played all the instruments, made the soundscape and recorded the single in solitude. Later, I invited over some friends to improvise over the track. Guitarist John Essing and bass player Mats Hellquist, both from the band ‘bob hund’, but also a classical pianist and cellist respectively, added parts to the soundscape of ‘Illuminate.’ I brought all the new recordings back into the studio – tore them apart, rebuilt them and made arrangements, as if I was a mad scientist in my lab. I then brought in Jari Haapalainen to produce the songs. The solitary fashion in which ‘Illuminate’ was crafted reflects the mood of the single.”

New Video: Kick Ass with White Reaper in New Video for “Judy French”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Louisville, KY-based JOVM mainstays White Reaper, who with the release of a blistering and urgent, self-titled EP and their critically applauded, hook-laden, breakneck full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again quickly received national attention.  After a relentless touring schedule to support their debut, the band spent the better part of the past two years or so writing and recording their sophomore effort, The World’s Best American Band, an effort that was released earlier this year. And from the album’s first single “Judy French,” the single reveals a decided change in sonic direction as the song leans heavily towards New Wave and prog rock — to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush while emphasizing a rousing, arena rock friendly hook but at its core, the track may be the most earnest love song they’ve released to date. 

Directed by Brandon Dermer and starring Alexandra Daddario, the recently released video for “Judy French” employs a relatively simple concept but with forceful effect, as the video quickly cuts back and forth between the members of White Reaper performing the song with Daddario presumably playing the role of the song’s Judy French, as we see her rocking out as hard as the boys in the band are; and of course, along with that are some subtly patriotic-leaning imagery to boot. 

New Video: The Mischievous Schoolhouse Rock-Influenced Animation and Live Action Visuals for White Reaper’s “The World’s Best American Band”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you might recall that with the release of their self-titled EP and their critically applauded full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper quickly became JOVM mainstays and received attention nationally and elsewhere. And after a busy touring schedule to support their full-length debut, the acclaimed band retreated and spent the past year writing and recording the material that would comprise their sophomore full-length effort The World’s Best American Band, which Polyvinyl Records released last month.

And from The World’s Best American Band’s first single, “Judy French,” which reminded me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush, the band has made decided change in sonic direction — and while retaining the power chords and sneering punk attitude, the material possesses a clean, studio sheen and anthemic hooks; in fact, the album’s second single, album title track “The World’s Best American Band” continues on the leaner, cleaner, meaner vein of its predecessor, nodding at Cheap Trick, revealing some ambitious yet incredibly accessible songwriting.
The recently released music video for “The World’s Best American Band” features a mischievous mix of Schoolhouse Rock-era animation and live action. Beginning with the typical pre-show/pre-set hijinks as the fans are waiting for their favorite band to get on the stage, we’re introduced to the animated dopplegangers of the band’s members — with lead singer Ryan picking up his bandmates and friends as they finish up some surreal situations, including a paying chess against an anthropomorphic hot dog. There’s also a dude who eats a psychedelic colored hot dog that makes him hallucinate that he’s turned into a different, anthropomorphic hot dog. And if there’s one thing to be certain of it’s this — don’t eat those concert hall hot dogs, man. They’ll fuck your shit up.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays White Reaper Performing New Album Single “Little Silver Cross”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for the past couple of years, you may recall that with the release of both their self-titled EP and their critically applauded full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper received national attention and toured with acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others while quickly becoming JOVM mainstays. And after touring to support their full-length debut, the members of the Louisville-based band retreated to write and record the material that would comprise their long-awaited sophomore effort, The World’s Best American Band, which Polyvinyl Records officially released today.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about The World’s Best American Band’s first two singles “Judy French,” which revealed that the band had gone through a decided change in sonic direction — going from scuzzy, power chord-based garage barn burners towards a sound that clearly draws from 80s New Wave, power pop and prog rock with a studio sheen that reminded me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush. The album’s second single, album title track “The World’s Best American Band” continued on a similar clean, lean vein, while being reminiscent of the anthemic power pop of Cheap Trick. And from the release of their sophomore album’s first two singles, several websites have begun to tab the album as one to be on the look out for, if not arguably one of the better releases of the year. Building on the growing buzz that The World’s Best American Band has received, the members of White Reaper recently released live footage of the album’s third and latest single “Little Silver Cross,” and like its preceding singles, it possesses incredibly self-assured and ambitious songwriting and an undeniable studio polish — while retaining a vibrant, forceful, punk rock and garage rock urgency, the band reveals an ability to craft arena rock worthy hooks paired with a propulsive rhythm section and some inspired, blistering guitar work.

Interestingly, the live footage will serve as a bit of a taste of what the band’s live set and sound is like, as they’re about to embark on a lengthy national tour to support their sophomore effort that includes a May 30, 2017 stop at Baby’s All Right.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays White Reaper Return with an Arena Rock-Friendly Power Pop Anthem

With the release of their self-titled EP, their critically applauded full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again and a series of tours with nationally renowned acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper quickly became JOVM mainstays and received attention nationally and elsewhere. After touring to support their White Reaper Does It Again, the band retreated to write and record the material that would comprise their long-awaited sophomore effort The World’s Best American Band, which is slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Polyvinyl Records.

Last month, I wrote about The World’s Best American Band’s first single “Judy French,” a single, which revealed that the band had gone through a decided change in sonic direction from scuzzy, power chord-based garage towards New Wave and prog rock and a bit of a studio sheen that reminded me a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush while retaining a sneering punk attitude and rousingly anthemic hooks. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single, album title track “The World’s Best American Band” continues on a somewhat similar cleaner, leaner vein as its preceding single while seemingly drawing to the anthemic power pop of Cheap Trick and others; and in fact, the single finds the band with the same sort of enormous sound you’d expect from the sorts of bands that have played arenas and stadiums.

Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstay White Reaper Returns with a New Wave-Leaning Anthemic Single

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cloP2ZIkxuo]

With the release of their blistering and urgent, self-titled EP, the Louisville, KY-based quartet White Reaper quickly received national attention — and after a number of tours with nationally renowned acts like Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others, the quartet built upon the early buzz they received by recording and releasing their hook-laden, breakneck, full-length effort White Reaper Does It Again, which Polyvinyl Records released to critical praise two years ago. After touring to support their critically praised full-length debut, the band seemed disappeared for a bit; however as it turns out, the band had gone into the studio to write and record the material that would comprise their highly-anticipated, forthcoming sophomore effort The World’s Best American Band, which Polyvinyl Records on April 7, 2017. And from the album’s first single “Judy French,” the single reveals a decided change in sonic direction as the song leans heavily towards New Wave and prog rock — to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush; but with a garage punk sneer. Interestingly, the band has retained their ability to craft tight and anthemic hooks paired with earnest, swooning sentiment.