Tag: The Joy of Violent Movement

Theodore is a critically applauded, Athens, Greece-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and composer, whose schooling in piano and traditional Greek folk music eventually led to a professional music career in London, where he studied Music Composition in 2011. As a composer and singer/songwriter, Theodore meshes classical compositions and arrangements with subtle electronic production and rock instrumentation to create a sound that’s atmospheric, cinematic that nods at psych rock, prog rock and experimental rock — and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Greek composer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist cites Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Manos Hadjidakis, Vangelis Papathanasiou, Nils Frahm, The National, Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter as being major influences on his work and sound. “I like a composer or a band because when I listen to the music or attend a concert I am just getting lost in the atmosphere,” Theodore explains in press notes. “I understand that orchestral music is something that I am really into and I will try to test my self in the future.”

Theodore has written compositions for Matina Megla’s Window, Vladan Nikolic’s film Bourek and he was commissioned to write a new, live score for Buster Keaton’s classic, 1928 silent comedy The Cameraman, which he and his band performed during  a screening at the Temple of Zeus. But interestingly enough, his sophomore album It Is But It’s Not, which was performed live at London’s Abbey Road Studio 2 has been his breakthrough effort as the accompanying performance video has amassed more than 2 million YouTube views — and as a result, the Greek composer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has played sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Reeperhbahn Festival, Eurosonic Nooderslag, Release Festival and SXSW. Adding to a growing profile, he has opened for Sigur Ros and DIIV, and has received praise from a number of major media outlets, including Clash Magazine, Music WeekTsugi, FGUK, Gaffa and Szene, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne. Oh, and I must add that “Towards (for what is to come)” is currently playlisted on NPR’s All Songs 24/7 and Germany’s Flux Passport Approved.

Theodore’s third, full-length album Inner Dynamics is slated for a November 2, 2018 release and the album finds him thematically looking inward to examine the dichotomies (and dualities) of his identity in order to seek new creative potential. “On It Is But It’s Not, I tried to explore how the opposite elements in the universe interact, how they fight and how without the one you can’t have the other.” Theodore says, adding, “For Inner Dynamics, I was trying to express my urge to connect the conscious and subconscious part of myself so I can be creative. It’s an understanding that humans are not just one thing, and they shouldn’t try to hide certain elements of their personality because society likes to put labels of who we are. It’s the different sides of my self that makes who I am.” Inner Dynamics‘ third and latest single “Disorientation” clocks in at a little over 6 minutes, and it finds Theodore’s sound nodding at dramatic film scores, Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead-like atmospherics, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and Rush-like prog rock expansiveness, centered around Theodore’s yearning vocals and slick production.

 

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New Video: Elkka Releases Empowering and Boldly Feminist Visuals for Genre-Meshing New Single

Elkka is a London-based producer, DJ and founder of art collective and label femme culture, which she founded as a response to the lack of support for women and women-identifying DJs, producers and artists, later teaming up with fellow DJ Ludo, who now co-runs the label. And since then, the progressive-minded collective has been receiving attention and recognition for a boundary-free ethos that champions women, women-identifying artists and the LGBTQ+ community — all while promoting forward-thinking electronic music.

Unsurprisingly, as a DJ, producer and artist, Elkka has developed a reputation for a freewheeling sound that seamlessly meshes eras and styles, often floating somewhere between electronic dance music, left-field pop and spacious R&B. Interestingly, her latest single “Stay (Warm Edit) is a thorough rework of a previously released track, centered around Afro-Brazilian percussion, arpeggiated synths and a looped ethereal vocal sample that gives the song a wistful and aching sense of longing. Interestingly, over the past year, the up-and-coming British producer, DJ, artist and label head has become deeply influenced by Brazilian music and dance culture, and while that’s apparent by the song’s clear influence, the recently released video directed by Undine Markus and produced by Girls in Film features a diverse team of female samba dancers of all age groups and backgrounds from The London School of Samba. As Elkka says of the video and the women in it, “When dancing I found myself surrounded by these confident, bold and mesmeric women, all supporting and encouraging one another and I really wanted to try and capture this in the video whilst paying homage to the Brazilian music and dance that I have fallen in love with.” Whether unintentional or not, the video possesses an empowering, you-can-do-anything spirit that’s infectious — and pretty fucking righteous.

New Video: Acclaimed Instrumental Canadian Act Shooting Guns Release Gorgeous Visuals for Atmospheric Album Single “Vampires of Industry”

With the release of their six full-length albums, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada-based instrumental psych rock/heavy psych/heavy metal act Shooting Guns have developed a reputation as a critically applauded, multi-award nominated act, known for work that’s largely inspired by Black Sabbath, Spacemen 3, Pink Floyd and others — and for touring over 60,000 miles across their native Canada without international touring.

While their previously released material was the sort of heavy and saturated sounds that was well-suited for horror-comedy files, Flavour Country, the Saskatoon-based instrumental act’s sixth and latest album  which was produced and recorded but the members of the band at their own Pre-Rock Studios features arguably some of the band’s fastest, heaviest and most visceral material they’ve written, recorded and released, as well as some of their most atmospheric; in fact, the album’s latest single “Vampires of Industry” consists of a slow-burning and moody drone paired with twangy and shimmering guitar chords that immediately bring to mind Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan,” Directions to See a Ghost-era The Black Angels, and the Silber Records catalog — but with a cinematic, sweep.

Directed by Parker Thiessen, the recently released video for “Vampires of Industry” features a flowing and shimmering, metallic piece of cloth, overtaking  the surrounding forest in a way that evokes the creeping of industrialization over nature in a way that’s gorgeous, surreal and unsettling.

 

Despite going through a number of lineup changes throughout the years, the New York-based jazz outfit New York Electric Piano, currently comprised of founding members Pat Daughtery (piano) and Aaron Commes (drums), who’s best known for his work in the Spin Doctors, along with newest member Richard Hammond (bass), initially formed in 2003 as a piano jazz trio, based around the Fender Rhodes electric piano sound featuring founding members Daughtery, Comess and Tim Givens (bass). Interestingly, that collaboration can trace its origins back to when the founding trio met, playing in various bands in the NYC music scene during the 90s.

Their eponymous 2004 debut effort was critically applauded and was a commercial success, as it cracked the Top 20 of the CMJ Jazz Charts. 2005’s Citizen Zen and 2006’s Blues in Full Moon were also released to critical praise. And adding to a growing profile, the band began a long residency at the Cutting Room, which featured their tradition of inviting dancers on stage with them. However, by 2008, the band expanded into a sextet as they added Deanna Kirk (vocals), Till Behler (sax) and Leon Gruenbaum (keys), who’s best known as a member of Vernon Reid’s backing band — and as a sextet, they released the critically applauded King Mystery, which found the members of the then-sextet expanding upon their sound and approach with material that shifted between dance rock, jazz and wild freak outs.

By 2010, the band expanded once again as they added Teddy Kumpel (guitar), known as a member of Joe Jackson’s backing band and Erik Lawrence (sax), known as a member of the legendary Levon Helm‘s backing band. And as a nonet, New York Electric Piano began a long and very successful run at Zinc Bar, which they followed with arguably their most commercially successful effort to date, 2011’s double album Keys to the City, which spent a month in the Top 10 of CMJ’s Jazz Charts and received critical praise from the likes of PopMatters, Sea of TranquilityJazz Times, Drumhead and All About Jazz among others.

And although the band received quite a bit of commercial and critical success as a large ensemble, they reverted to the original format a trio — recruiting the aforementioned Hammond with whom they released Black Hole In One, an album which featured alternating instrumental compositions and vocal tracks. Unexpectedly, for the members of New York Electric Piano, the album received international attention, thanks in part to album single “Party On.” As the story goes, “Party On” was pushed by an Australian DJ, and eventually the New Zealand National Rugby Team, the All Blacks adopted the song as their theme song during their Rugby World Cup Championship run. Along with that, Lollapalooza artist Norton Wisdom did a live action painting to the song, and the video and song became the subject of a climate change conference at Penn State University. Adding to the unexpected attention on the album, album single “Who Wants to Know” features a verse about Crazy Horse. One of his descendants heard the song and sent it to family members, who were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline — with the song becoming something of a rallying cry.

Recently, the members of the band have been playing monthly gigs at Rockwood Music Hall, and their extended, free-flowing jams were met with such tremendous audience approval that Aaron Comess immediately suggesting that they needed to try to capture the energy and vibe of their Rockwood shows on their next album — State of the Art, which is slated for a January 12, 2018 release through Fervor Records.

State of the Art‘s latest single “Road to Joy” is a loose and free-flowing jam that displays the trio’s uncanny simpatico, in which they all push and pull upon the other, teasing out ideas from one another, and much like the incredible Xylouris White, there’s a sense that the trio, musically speaking are dancing — with each member knowing exactly when to lead, follow. And although the composition begins with some stuttering discordance, the trio quickly finds a sustained, funky groove reminiscent of 70s era jazz fusion but with a contemporary touch.

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Stockholm, Sweden-based psych rock band Marble Mammoth. Featuring members, who have played in The Unisex, and have collaborated with  The MC5s Mike Davis and The Hellacopters‘ and Imperial State Electric’s Nicke Anderson, the band quickly developed a reputation across their native Sweden for a sound that meshes the bluesy power chords of Led Zeppelin with the dreamy, psychedelia of the likes of Tame Impala — although their previously released single “Wrecked Ship” reminded me of JOVM mainstays Goat and Black Sabbath, thanks to some blistering guitar pyrotechnics paired with soaring organ chords and rousingly anthemic hooks. Unsurprisingly, the Swedish rock band’s latest single “Glitter Amongst Gravel” continues in a similar vein, further cementing their reputation for crating material with incredibly dexterous guitar pyrotechnics and incredibly ambitious and expansive song structures, complete with twisting and turning organ chords — but it may be among the most gritty and prog rock-like songs they’ve released to date.

 

 

The Los Angeles, CA-based desert punk act, ExSage is essentially the solo, recording project of its creative mastermind, primary songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and frontwoman Kate Clover, who throughout the project’s run has chosen local musicians as part of her touring band, although with the project’s recently released sophomore EP, Total Devotion, Clover has specifically chosen an all female backing band. As it turns out, Clover had initially overlooked being the only woman member of the project, and she believes that it’s a highly symbolic (and necessary) change, that she hopes will inspire women to pursue what they believe in — especially grabbing instruments and kicking ass.

Interestingly, the project’s sophomore EP was inspired by a midnight drive through the Los Angeles area and she was driving, she heard Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” on a left-of-the-dial radio station. Returning home, Clover feverishly wrote new material — with a deeply personal mission: to be true to herself, no matter the cost. Additionally, the material on the EP is reportedly inspired by the work of PJ HarveyLet Love In-era Nick Cave and Black Sabbath while lyrically, the material draws from French Surrealistic poetry — namely the work of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud. And although  “Under Your Spell,” the EP’s first single is inspired by Suicide, sonically the song to my ears, reminds me much of Only in Dreams and Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, PJ Harvey and Josh Homme’s renowned Desert Sessions compilation, thanks to a blazing psych rock meets stoner rock-like power chord-based turn towards the song’s last one-third, but the song is under-pinned by a urgent and insatiable desire.

 

New Video: The Film Noir-Like Visuals for Nadine Shah’s Politically-Charged “Holiday Destination”

Born to Norwegian-English mother and a Pakistani immigrant father, Nadine Shah is a Whitburn, South Tyneside, UK-born, South Shields, UK-based singer/songwriter and pianist, who received attention nationally and elsewhere with her Ben Hillier-produced debut effort, Love Your Dum and Mad, an effort largely inspired by the suicides of two very close friends of hers; in fact, her debut album focuses on the social stigmas towards those suffering from mental health illnesses with an unvarnished candor and empathy. Shah continued her collaboration with co-writer and producer Hillier, with her sophomore album, 2015’s Fast Food, an album that focuses on the ecstasy and agony of short, passionate relationships.

However, while Shah’s third and soon-to-be released album Holiday Destination seems directly influenced by the growing sense of uncertainty, instability, political chaos, polarization, racism and xenophobia of the past year, as the daughter of a Pakistani emigrant, the headlines of the past 12-18 months have played a significant part of her life, and as a result the material may arguably be the most politically charged she’s released to date, as the material thematically touches on the plight of Syrian refuges — in particular, the desperate refugees, who landed on the European and shores, only to discover unmitigated cruelty; her own experiences as a Pakistani woman in the world, and of course much more.  In fact, album title track “Holiday Destination” as Shah explains is press notes is “a response to this really harrowing news piece about migrants and refugees arriving on the shores of Kos in Greece by the thousands. There were some holidaymakers being interviewed, and they were talking about how the situation was ruining their holiday. Despite their total and complete lack of empathy, the thing which shocked me the most was their bold and unashamed stance of saying such things on national television. This is what we’re seeing across the globe: people proudly expressing this hate-fueled rhetoric. It’s like wow — some people really don’t care, and they’ll happily talk about how they don’t care. I just don’t get it.” And as a result, the song’s narrator questions the humanity and decency of the vacationers, who can’t seem to see anything beyond their own pleasure and gratification; but along with that, it leaves a larger, more troubling question for the listener — just whose best interest are at the heart of those in power? And is there a point where humanity trumps profit?

Shah’s latest single should continue to remind you that music is indeed a powerful weapon, as she pairs a fiery outrage with layers of jangling guitars and a motorik-like groove and atmospheric synths in a song that manages to nod at Berlin trilogy-era Bowie and PJ Harvey simultaneously.

Directed by Christian Stephen and produced by Nick Rosier, the recently released video for “Holiday Destination” is shot in a lush and cinematic black and white and follows a trench coat wearing Shah through the streets and alleyways of a decidedly British town, passing by oblivious revelers, street buskers and scenes of every day life.

Earlier this summer, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring  Leeds, UK-based indie rock/psych rock trio The Boxing, and as you may recall, since their formation in 2014, the trio comprised of  Harrison Warke (vocals, guitar), Henry Chatham (bass) and Charlie Webb (drums) quickly asserted themselves as part of their hometown’s growing, contemporary indie rock and psych rock scenes; in fact, they’ve already drawn some comparisons to the likes of W.H. Lung, Eagulls and JOVM mainstays The Vryll Society.

Now, as you may recall “One by One” was a brooding track led by a sinuous bass line and steady drumming paired with a propulsive motorik groove, a soaring hook and  a whispered croon reminiscent of The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, and as the band’s Harrison Warke explained in press notes, “One by One,”  was an elaboration of the sound they developed across their first batch of singles; but perhaps just as important, “One by One” was the first single act the act recorded in a proper, professional studio. Of course, recording in a studio gave the members of the band the ability and freedom to experiment and flesh out the song’s arrangement in a way that they were unable to do before. “Heart of Me,” was released as the B-side (sort of) to “One by One” — and while continuing in a similar vein to its lead single, the track manages to be a slow-burning., moody and stormy bit of shoegaze with a creepy, existential dread at its core.

“Tame,” while being one of the trio’s shortest song to date — it clocks in at a little under 2 minutes and 40 sounds — will further cement their growing reputation nationally and across the blogosphere for crafting moody yet anthemic shoegaze, complete with shimmering, pedal effected guitar chords; however, as the band’s Warke explains “most of our songs are written in a darkroom without windows, but a hint of light managed to creep into this one. There’s a bit of sweet among the usual sour.” And what makes the song interesting is while nodding at a lighter, perhaps airier and arena rock-like fare, the song finds the band doing so while retaining soaring hooks and an enveloping feel.

 

Comprised of Antonia Sellbach (guitar, vocals), Alison Bolger (guitar, vocals), Ali McCann (guitar vocals), Gil Tucker (bass, vocals) and Karla Way (drums, vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock quintet Beaches formed in 2007, and since their formation the band has toured extensively both across Australia and the US, developing a reputation for trancelike live shows and critically applauded recordings that found the band’s sound drawing from psych rock, shoegaze, prog rock and krautrock and others; in fact, the quintet’s 2008 self-titled debut and 2013’s sophomore effort She Beats were shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. Their self-titled debut was included in John O’Donnell’s, Toby Creswell’s and Craig Mathieson’s 100 Best Australian Albums and received praise from internationally recognized outlets including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Gorilla Vs BearSpin Magazine, and others.

The band’s forthcoming full-length effort, Second of Spring is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Chapter Records and the album is a double LP, the first double LP released by an individual artist/band in the renowned Australian label’s history.  Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne with producer/engineer John Lee, who has worked with Totally Mild and Lost Animal, mastered by David Walker and features artwork from the band’s Ali McCann and design by artist Darren Sylvester.

Reportedly, the band’s forthcoming full-length effort finds the band expanding upon the sound that won them international attention while focusing on an extensive, jam-like feel. Second of Spring‘s first single features layers of buzzing power chords paired with a forceful a motorik groove, and anthemic hook — creating a song that sounds as though it drew influence by The Breeders Last Splash,” Liz Phair‘s “Supernova” and others but with a swirling, lysergic feel; but as the band’s Ali McCann explains to the folks at Vice Noisey “‘Void’ is a conversation between two people, who discuss a prolonged absence, a temporary disappearance into a space of emptiness. We wrote ‘Void’ in our rehearsal space in Reservoir (Melbourne) during a prolific period of songwriting. It was produced by John Lee (Phaedra Studios), who also plays synthesiser on this track. Karla and I are on vocals. There is a restrained interaction between them, tempered by the motorik drive of the instrumentation.”