Tag: The Human League

Best known for stints as a member of post-punk acts DTHWBBA and White Fawn, the Halls Head, Western Australia-based singer/songwriter and producer Greg Weir has gone solo with his latest recording project UIU. Detonic Recordings commissioned Weir to provide two singles — “Wild and Innocent” and “Like A Doll” as the  fourth single in their Minimal Viable Product series, a monthly release featuring up-and-coming artists releasing A side and B side singles. At the end of the year, the entire series will be released as a comprehensive compilation. Interestingly, Weir is the first Australian to take part in the series so far — and that shouldn’t be surprising, as Weir’s UIU finds him drawing influence from  the likes of Futurisk, Suicide, Gary Numan, The Human League and others; in fact, the A side single “The Wild and Innocent” is centered around industrial-like drum programming, droning synths, a motorik  groove, a trippy yet ethereal sense of melodicism and  John Carpenter soundtrack-like cinematic bent.

Adding to the overall dark and murky vibes created by the sounds, the song thematically tells a tale of murder, loss and hopelessness from a woman’s perspective — but filtered through a murky, Blade Runner-esque lens.

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Initially releasing singles like “Seeing Is Forgetting” and “Half-Empty Happiness” under a decidedly intentional cloak of mystery, the Montreal-based DJ, production and electronic music artist duo The Beat Escape quickly received attention across the blogosphere for crafting moody and atmospheric pop that’s deeply indebted to 80s synth pop — i.e., Depeche ModeThe Human League and others —  while evoking the sensation of a half-remembered dream.

Slated for an April 27, 2018 release through renowned indie label  Bella Union Records, the Canadian synth pop duo’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut Life Is Short The Answer’s Long finds The Beat Escape shedding much of the mystery that surrounded them during their previous releases; in fact, as you may recall, the JOVM mainstays, comprised of Addy Weitzman and Patrick A Boivin can trace the origins of the act to a college short film they had worked on together. “We made a short oddball work; a video piece that followed two characters through a psychedelic waking dream,” the Canadian pop duo explain in press note. And since that initial collaboration, the duo have collaborated on a series of projects — but interestingly, their full-length Beat Escape debut finds them thematically speaking coming full-circle while further developing the sound that grabbed the attention of the blogosphere and elsewhere.

Life Is Short‘s minimalist first single “Sign of Age” featured propulsive and gently undulating Giorgio Moroder-like synths with a deliberate, textured and painterly quality that evoked gently drifting about in somnambulistic reverie. Continuing in a similar vibe, the album’s second and latest single “Moon in Aquarius” is a a decidedly motorik affair featuring a spectral melody — and while being clearly indebted to 80s synth pop, the song manages to evoke the mesmerizing sensation of a night time road unfurling before you, with white lines and dividers flashing by in a blur; but on another level, the song feels haunted by lingering and inescapable ghosts.

 

 

Initially releasing singles like “Seeing Is Forgetting” and “Half-Empy Happiness” under the intentional cloak of mystery, the Montreal-based DJ, production and electronic music artist duo The Beat Escape quickly received attention across the blogosphere for crafting moody and atmospheric pop that’s deeply indebted to 80s synth pop — i.e., Depeche Mode, The Human League and others —  while evoking the sensation of a half-remembered dream.

However, with the forthcoming release of their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Life Is Short The Answer’s Long through Bella Union Records on April 27, 2018, the Canadian pop duo have removed some of the mystery surrounding them; in fact, the duo comprised of Addy Weitzman and Patrick A Boivin can trace the origins of The Beat Escape to a college short film they had collaborated on together. “We made a short oddball work; a video piece that followed two characters through a psychedelic waking dream,” the Canadian pop duo explain in press note. And since that initial collaboration, the duo have collaborated on a series of projects — but interestingly, their full-length Beat Escape debut finds them thematically speaking coming full-circle while further developing the sound that grabbed the attention of the blogosphere and elsewhere.

Interestingly, the album’s first single “Sign of Age” pairs a propulsive and undulating Giorgio Moroder meets motorik groove with a deliberately, almost painterly and textured quality that makes the song feel as though it’s gently drifting along. And in some way, the song will further their reputation for crafting pop that evokes being roused from some half-remembered dream; but unlike their previously released material, the duo balances this with a melancholy and spectral minimalism.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Surreal Visuals for JOVM Mainstay Night Drive’s “Trapeze Artist Regrets”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you’d certainly come across a handful of posts featuring the  Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act  Night Drive. Comprised of songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, highly soap-opera-like yet very true circumstances: Connell and Duhon had met and bonded after they had discovered the the woman they had both unwittingly had been simultaneously dating tragically died in a car accident. And since their formation, the duo have received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy Division, Cut Copy, Brian Eno, The Knife, The Drums, LCD Soundsystem. Depeche Mode and others.

The duo’s self-titled debut is slated for a June 16, 2017 release through Roll Call Records and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets,” and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets” will likely remind listeners of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People,” Yaz’s “Situation,” The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others as the song features an effortlessly slick production consisting of layers upon layers of propulsive, undulating synths and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with an infectious, dance floor-friendly hook and emotionally direct lyrics. However, interestingly enough, as the duo admits “‘Trapeze Artist Regrets’ was never supposed to happen. We were writing something else for a short film and became bored, so we changed the bpm, started shifting things around and all of the sudden we had this groove we liked.  We just started working backwards from there. The title came first, a sorta metaphor for disaster; it’s about watching someone you care about make the same mistake over and over again and not being able to do anything about it. Just hoping they pull through.” And as a result, the song possesses a bitter sense of reality, along with the recognition that the narrator’s friend will do something incredibly harmful to themselves and others.

Directed by Jermey Cloe and starring Lindsey Naves and Alexandria Lee, the recently released video follows a woman with a strange and destructive super power, and her friend, who follows along to try to prevent her friend from doing something harmful to herself or others. 

New Video: The Dark and Moody Visuals for Sink Ya Teeth’s “Glass”

Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford are grizzled vets of Norwich, UK’s music scene, performing and recording in a number of projects before deciding to collaborate roughly two years ago in their latest recording project Sink Ya Teeth. And within a short period of time after their formation the duo of Uzor and Cullingford received national attention for a slick yet lovingly DIY electro pop that draws from 80s synth pop and early house music, as well as a broader range of influences — including Grace Jones, ESG, Nina Simone and Howlin’ Wolf. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about the duo’s incredibly dance floor friendly single “If You See Me,” a single that featured Uzor and Cullingford’s coquettish crooning over a sultry and percussive synth pop production — and while on a superficial level, the song is about having way too much but as the duo explained in press notes, the song was written “the day after one of those really good nights that you probably shouldn’t have! It’s a song about feeling sorry for yourself but knowing that you can’t blame anyone else either.” 
“Glass,” the Norwich duo’s latest single sonically speaking manages to nod at Giorgio Moroder’s production work with Donna Summer, in particular, “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby,” and The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” as the song features a slick and propulsive production featuring layers of arpeggio synths and mathematically precise drum programming. And while arguably being among the chilliest singles they’ve released, the duo explains that the song “is about that moment when you realise you want to break from the routine and turn a corner in life.” 

Directed by Doug Merton, the recently released music video featured the duo in a darkened car driving around. “We wanted to convey a feeling of a journey from light to dark,” the Norwich-based synth pop duo explains. Merton “transferred our idea into a literal journey, complete with light show to maintain that disco vibe that runs through the track. And I guess the twist at the end questions how easy it is or how willing we really are to change things.” 

Over the past three years or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the Gold Coast, Australia-based indie rock sextet and JOVM mainstay act, FAIRCHILD. And during that period, the up-and-coming Australian act have released three EPs with singles “Relevance” and “Start Again” landing on Spotify’s Viral 50 and FMQB SubModern Charts in the US. Adding to a growing national and international profile, the band comprised of siblings Adam Lyons (vocals) and Nathan Lyons (keys), along with Tim Voeten (guitar), Patrick Huerto (guitar), Tommy Davies (bass) and James Alexander (drums) have toured across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and North America, including showcases during Canadian Music Week and Music Maters Live, and while on tour in the UK they’ve opened for  The Human League and MOTHXR.

Up until relatively recently, a year or so had passed since I had last written about them; however, as it turned out, the past year has been an incredibly busy year for the sextet:  After spending an intense two year period in Manchester, UK where they focused on performing, touring and finishing their highly-anticipated Catherine Marks-produced full-length debut So Long and Thank You, the band returned to their homeland, where they are set to share the album and the experiences that influenced the material with the world. Now, as you may recall, album title track “So Long and Thank You,” was written after the death of guitarist Tim Voeten’s father, and reportedly the song is meant to show the sextet’s gratitude for all of the people they’ve had in their lives, especially those who have loved, supported and sometimes left them. As the band’s Voeten explained in press notes “‘So Long and Thank You’ was written in different sections, by different members of the band, but with the same person in mind — my father. When I hear this song, of course I think about my Dad, but I also remember that it helped cement in me my love for making music with these people. During those long nights in the studio, I knew it was okay to not be okay. I’d show up with some half-baked idea and we’d have a few drinks and mess around with it. I never knew one of those half-baked ideas would become ‘So Long and Thank You.’ There isn’t a single sound on this record that can’t simply be put down to enjoying writing music with your friends.”

So Long and Thank You‘s latest single “High As A Kite” will continue a lengthy strength of hook-laden, arena rock-friendly synth rock/indie rock-leaning pop with an overwhelmingly forceful earnestness; however, there’s one difference as the new single nods at the atmospherics of some of their previous singles but paired with a sinuous bass line and Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar. And much like the preceding single, the material is deeply influenced from the soaring highs and crushing lows of love and profound loss, of friendships gained and lost — and they do so with an swaggering self-assuredness beyond their relative youth as a band and as musicians; but perhaps more important it will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting incredibly catchy hooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years, you’ve likely come across a few posts featuring the Gold Coast, Australia-based indie rock sextet and JOVM mainstays FAIRCHILD. Over that period of time, the Australian up-and-comers have released three EPs with singles “Relevance” and “Start Again” landing on Spotify’s Viral 50 and FMQB SubModern Charts in the US. And adding to a national and international profile, the band comprised of siblings Adam Lyons (vocals) and Nathan Lyons (keys), along with Tim Voeten (guitar), Patrick Huerto (guitar), Tommy Davies (bass) and James Alexander (drums) have toured across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and North America, including showcases during Canadian Music Week and Music Maters Live, and while on tour in the UK they’ve opened for  The Human League and MOTHXR.

Now, it’s been about a year since I’ve last written about them and as it turned out, the past year has been rather busy for the band. After spending an intense two year period in Manchester, UK where they focused on performing, touring and finishing their highly-anticipated Catherine Marks-produced full-length debut So Long and Thank You, the band returned to their homeland, where they are set to share the album and the experiences that influenced the material with the world. The album’s latest single, album title track “So Long and Thank You” was written after the death of guitarist Tim Voeten’s father, and reportedly the song is meant to show the septet’s gratitude for all of the people they’ve had in their lives, especially those who have loved, supported and sometimes left them. As the band’s Voeten explains in press notes “‘So Long and Thank You’ was written in different sections, by different members of the band, but with teh same person in mind — my father. When I hear this song, of course I think about my Dad, but I also remember that it helped cement in me my love for making music with these people. During those long nights in the studio, I knew it was okay to not be okay. I’d show up with some half-baked idea and we’d have a few drinks and mess around with it. I never knew one of those half-baked ideas would become ‘So Long and Thank You.’ There isn’t a single sound on this record that can’t simply be put down to enjoying writing music with your friends.”

Of course, the new single will further cement the Australian sextet’s growing reputation for crafting hook-laden, arena rock-friendly synth-rock that possesses a rare and forceful sincerity — and it’s the sort of sincerity that has come from a live full of soaring highs, crushing lows, of love and profound loss, of friendships gained and lost; in fact, for such a relatively young band, the song reveals a swaggering self-assuredness of old vets, who make it seem far easier than it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you’d certainly come across a handful of posts featuring the  Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act  Night Drive. Comprised of songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, highly soap-opera-like yet very true circumstances: Connell and Duhon had met and bonded after they had discovered the the woman they had both unwittingly had been simultaneously dating tragically died in a car accident. Regardless of the circumstances behind their formation, the duo  has received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy DivisionCut CopyBrian EnoThe KnifeThe DrumsLCD SoundsystemDepeche Mode and others. However, the duo’s last single “Rise and Fall” managed to sound as though it were inspired by  A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away)” and Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” — and interestingly enough, the song thematically focused on the slow dissolution of a relationship that according to the song’s narrator seemed to be nearing its inevitable conclusion; but with the recognition that walking away from a relationship is difficult, even when it’s absolutely necessary. And in some way, you can sense the narrator’s unexpressed and deep seated fears about his life, post-relationship.

Last month, the renowned Los Angeles-based production and DJ duo Classixx remixed “Rise and Fall,” turning the moody, synth-based torch song into a breezy, funky, summery, club banger along the lines of Tuxedo, Dam-Funk, 7 Days of Funk and others, as the duo pairs the original vocal track with twinkling electric piano, a sinuous bass line and thumping beats — and as a result, the heartbreak at the core of the song is reduced to the dull throb of having time pass by. As Connell and Duhon explained to the folks at Billboard “Classixx reinterprets the song through the lens of that same person reminiscing about the incident many years later while chilling on a beach and sipping a martini. Sure it was sad and heartbreaking, but it’s hard to stay sad while in the Cayman Islands.”

As Classixx’s Michael David and Tyler Blake explained to Billboard, their remix of Night Drive’s “Rise and Fall” involved them pulling out electric piano and bass and recording one long take jamming over the vocal track. “We were feeling the groove and liked some of the imperfections, so we left them in. Our initial pass was more abstract, but the band [Night Drive] helped us bring it back a little closer to the original material. It was a pretty collaborative effort through email. I like how it still sounds a little rough around the edges though. Sometimes that’s where the charm lies,” the duo’s Tyler Blake added in an emailed statement to Billboard.

The duo’s self-titled debut is slated for a June 16, 2017 release through Roll Call Records and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets,” and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets” will likely remind listeners of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People,” Yaz’s “Situation,” The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others as the song features an effortlessly slick production consisting of layers upon layers of propulsive, undulating synths and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with an infectious, dance floor-friendly hook and emotionally direct lyrics. However, interestingly enough, as the duo admits “‘Trapeze Artist Regrets’ was never supposed to happen. We were writing something else for a short film and became bored, so we changed the bpm, started shifting things around and all of the sudden we had this groove we liked.  We just started working backwards from there. The title came first, a sorta metaphor for disaster; it’s about watching someone you care about make the same mistake over and over again and not being able to do anything about it. Just hoping they pull through.” And as a result, the song possesses a bitter sense of reality, along with the recognition that the narrator’s friend will do something incredibly harmful to themselves and others.

 

 

 

New Video: Following Young People Hanging Out and Partying in JOVM Mainstay Lust For Youth’s “Tokyo”

Now over the past few years, the Danish electro pop trio have become JOVM mainstays — and you may recall that I wrote about that I wrote about “Better Looking Brother,” and “Sudden Ambition” the first two singles off the their sophomore effort Compassion, which was releaesd earlier this year. And both singles further cemented their reputation for crafting melancholic and aching synth pop that was simultaneously dance floor-friendly. The album’s third single “Tokyo” continues on the same vein of the album’s preceding singles but lyrically the song evokes the sense of confusion, loneliness and disconnectedness and wonder of being on the road, as the song’s narrator describes a life of hotel rooms, hotel room food, a brief chance to wander around a town and get a sense of it, the late night crowds and neon lights, the longing for someone who you either can’t have — or is thousands of miles away, removed from your unusual life on the road.

The recently released video for the song was shot by Tokyo residents, who filmed themselves and their daily lives in their hometown — late nights with Lust For Youth fans, who catch their idols playing at a local club, and then speeding off to the next thing, the next adventure or just goofing off with your crew. And in many ways, the video seems to capture young people almost anywhere.

New Video: The 80s Inspired Visuals for Iconique’s “Sitting Pretty”

Building upon the buzz they’ve received for their first two singles and the video for “Step Into the Mood,” the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop trio Iconique recently released the fittingly 80s influenced video for “Sitting Pretty,” a video that visually reminds me quite a bit of the visuals for Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” The Human LeagueR’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others — but with a focus on the video’s glamour being seemingly fleeting and unattainable for most.