Tag: The Joy of Violent Movement

 

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.”

 

 

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So last evening, the folks at Speak Into My Good Eye (SIMGE) in partnership with The Footlight had the first of a monthly series dubbed Blox Cord in which three other Tri-State area-based writers/editors/bloggers are invited to curate a live showcase of locally-based indie music. And each writer/editor/blogger did a short DJ set in between sets.

Sponsored by Narragansett Beer and Austin Eastciders, the inaugural lineup included:

SLONK DONKERSON // (SIMGE)
Fruit & Flowers // (CoolDad Music)
Leland Sundries // (Elmore Magazine)
The Vaughns // (The Joy of Violent Movement)

And there was a there was a happy hour with  Narragansett and Austin Eastciders drink specials and giveaways that was DJ’d by up-and-coming producer DJ DeModa.

Check out some of the songs that I wound up playing as part of my showcase, as well as a bunch of shows I would have loved to play if I had more than my allowed time.

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve come across several posts about  JOVM mainstay artist Rhythm Scholar. And over that period of time. the New York-based DJ, producer and remixer has developed a reputation of being both wildly prolific and for a continuing series of genre-mashing remixes stuffed to the gills with both obscure and recognizable samples, reminiscent of Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys and Girl Talk — and for a series of more straightforward remixes, as well.  Last month, the JOVM mainstay released a breezy and jazzy remix of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” consisting of cascading organs, strummed guitar, double bass, warm blasts of funky horn and swirling electronics.

Rhythm Scholar’s latest remix is a remix of ATCQ’s “Bonita Applebum” that retains the vocal track and hook of the beloved song and pairs it with a breezy, lounge funk/lounge jazz production consisting of twinkling keys, a gorgeous horn arrangement, and boom-bap drums  — and in some way, the JOVM mainstay’s remix while much more uptempo, still retains the cool, Quiet Storm-like charm of the original.

 

 

Comprised of Chelsey Hice (vocals) and multi-instrumentalist and producer Brent “The Noise” Watters, the Bay Area-based duo Chelsey and the Noise specialize in a murky and sensual electro pop sound that draws from dream pop, electrogaze and other genres as you’ll hear on their latest single off their Losing Landscapes EP, the glitchy, boom-bap beat driven “Edge of Infinity.” Sonically speaking Hice’s sultry yet ethereal come-hither vocals are paired with a dense production featuring the aforementioned boom-bap beats, cascades of stuttering and fluttering synths — and interestingly enough the duo’s sound reminds me quite a bit of New York-based sibling duo Zambri as it possesses a menacing tone just under the surface.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Sylvan Esso Return with a Dance-Floor Ready New Single

Heath and Sanborn return with the first bit of new material in two years with their latest single “Radio,” being the A side of the forthcoming “Radio”/”Jump Kick Start,” which is slated for an November 18 release. “Radio” has quickly become a staple of their live shows and a fan favorite — and interestingly enough, the song is arguably the most brash song they’ve released; but, it also manages to be both a refinement and expansion of the sound that first caught them attention. Heath’s sultry vocals are paired with a slickly propulsive and dance floor-friendly production consisting of layers of cascading synths, wobbling low end, stuttering drum programming, and as a result the song sounds as though it were nodding at Soft Metals’ swooning and sensual Lenses and Giorgio Moroder.