Tag: The Knitting Factory — Brooklyn

New Video: Belgian Shoegazers Slow Crush Return with a Dreamy Visual for Brooding and Lush “Lull”

Belgian shoegazer outfit Slow Crush — currently Isa Holliday (vocals, bass), Jelle Harde Ronsmans (guitar), Jeroen Jullet (guitar) and Frederik Meeuwis (drums) — exploded into the international shoegaze scene with the release their full-length debut, 2018’s Aurora. Between 2018 and 2020, Slow Crush supported the album with nonstop, relentless touring across the world with acts like PelicanTorcheSoft Kill, and Gouge Away — and with festival stops at RoadburnArcTanGent2000Trees and Groezrock.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the Belgian shoegazer outfit was forced to cancel plans for two European tours and a Stateside tour at the last minute. But interestingly enough for the band, the pandemic was a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse: The time off from touring allowed the band to re-think and re-group. Aurora‘s unexpected success and the demands of heavy touring had taken a toll on everyone’s personal lives. This was intensified with a massive lineup change, which saw two members leave. Eventually Holliday and Ronsmans recruited the band’s newest members Julioet and Meuwis to complete the band’s newest lineup. And adding to a stormy period of change and uncertainty, the band’s label Holy Roar Records collapsed, leaving the band without a home. 

Slow Crush’s highly anticipated sophomore album is slated for a Friday release through Quiet Panic. Written in between tours and the unexpected downtime during pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, the album’s material is heavily influenced by turbulent times — both personal and global. While further cementing their sound, featuring abrasive and whirling layers of guitars and thunderous drumming paired with Holliday’s ethereal vocals, Hush reportedly finds the band growing as musicians and songwriters. Although the album was informed by and inspired by the dark and heavy times, the material isn’t all bleak; in fact, it’s filled with the hope for a bright, new day. 

In the lead up to the album’s release, I’ve written about two of Hush‘s released singles:

  • Brooding album title track “Hush,” which was centered around an expansive song structure with towering layers of feedback and fuzz pedaled guitars, thunderous drumming and Holiday’s sensual yet ethereal cooing. And at its core, the song expresses an aching and unreciprocated longing.
  • Swoon,” a breakneck ripper with mosh pit friendly hooks that brought Finelines era My Vitriol and Lightfoils to mind but paired with introspective and impressionistic lyrics. The song can be read in a number of different ways: it could be read as touching upon the loneliness, uncertainty and longing that comes about as a result of a seemingly bitter breakup. But it can also be read as a desire to escape a bleak world through connecting with someone equally as lonely as you are. 

“Lull,” Hush‘s latest single continues a run of brooding and lush painterly textured shoegaze that may remind some listeners of a slick synthesis of A Storm in Heaven, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. And much like its predecessors, the song features impressionistic lyrics that express a profound and bitter ache.

The recently released video for “Lull” by Bobby Pook at SumoCrucial is a hazy yet cinematic fever dream that follows a man riding around a very European town on a bicycle when he sees a woman walking into the sea, The man gets off his bicycle and runs towards the woman — but is she a mirage? Is she some lingering ghost that has haunted him? That is up to you.

New Video: Slow Crush Returns with a “120 Minutes” Era MTV-like Visual for “Swoon”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Aurora, Belgian shoegazers Slow Crush — currently Isa Holliday (vocals, bass), Jelle Harde Ronsmans (guitar), Jeroen Jullet (guitar) and Frederik Meeuwis (drums) — exploded into the international shoegaze scene. And between 2018 and early 2020, the Belgian outfit supported their debut with relentless touring across the world with acts like PelicanTorcheSoft Kill, and Gouge Away — and with festival stops at RoadburnArcTanGent2000Trees and Groezrock.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slow Crush was forced to cancel two European tours and a Stateside tour at the last minute. Interestingly, for Slow Crush, the pandemic was a bit of a blessing and a curse: The time off from touring allowed the and to re-think and re-group. Aurora‘s unexpected success and the demands of heavy touring had taken a toll on everyone’s personal lives. And it was intensified with a massive lineup change that resulted in two members leavingHolliday and Ronsmans eventually recruited the band’s newest members Jullet and Meeuwis to complete the band’s newest lineup. Shortly after the band’s newest lineup was settled, their label Holy Roar Records collapsed, leaving the band without a home. 

Hush, Slow Crush’s sophomore album is slated for an October 22, 2021 release through Quiet Panic. Written in between tours and the unexpected downtime during pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, the album’s material is heavily influenced by turbulent times — both personal and global. While further cementing their sound, featuring abrasive and whirling layers of guitars, thunderous drumming paired with Holliday’s ethereal vocals, Hush reportedly finds the band growing as musicians and songwriters. Although the album was informed by and inspired by the dark and heavy times, the material isn’t all bleak; in fact, it’s filled with the hope for a bright, new day.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the brooding album title track “Hush.” Centered around an expansive song structure with alternating dreamy and stormy sections featuring towering layers of feedback and fuzz pedaled guitars, thunderous drumming and Holiday’s sensual yet ethereal cooing, “Hush” expresses an aching and unreciprocated longing.

“Swoon,” Hush‘s latest single is a breakneck ripper centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, mosh pit friendly hooks. And while the song’s arrangement brings Finelines era My Vitriol and Lightfoils to mind, Isa Holiday’s ethereal vocals sing introspective and impressionistic lyrics. The song can be read in a number of different ways: it could be read as touching upon the loneliness, uncertainty and longing that comes about as a result of a seemingly bitter breakup. But it can also be read as a desire to escape a bleak world through connecting with someone equally as lonely as you are.

Directed by Jeroen Jullet, the recently released video for “Swoon” follows young doppelgängers for Slow Crush as they hit the road for their next show in a van paired with footage of the band’s Holiday walking through the woods in a frenetically edited, 120 Minutes MTV-like visual.

New Video: Meatbodies’ New Scorching Ripper “Cancer”

Over the course of the past decade, Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chad Ubovich has developed and honed a reputation as a key mainstay of one of the country’s most fertile and important music scenes: Ubovich had a lengthy stint playing guitar in Mikal Cronin’s backing band and he’s currently contributing bass with Ty Segall and with Charlie Moothart and as a member of Fuzz. Additionally, the founding member and frontman of his own band, the experimental noise rock/freak rock outfit Meatbodies.

Meatbodies’ latest effort 333 was officially released today through In The Red Records. The album, which features corrosive bangers, raw acoustic rave-ups and primitive electronics, charts Ubovich’s personal journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety — while simultaneously reflecting on how the world he re-entered was still pretty messed up — if not more so. “I’d been touring for eight years straight with all these bands, and just couldn’t do it anymore,” Ubovich recalls. “There was also a feeling in the air that everything was changing, politically. Things just didn’t feel right, and I went down a dark path.” Ubovich adds, “These lyrics are dark, but I think these are things that a lot of people are feeling and going through. Here in America, we’re watching the fall of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish representation of that decline.” 

Fortunately Ubovich was able to pull himself back from the brink and upon getting sober, began writing and recording material at a furious and impassioned pace. By late 2019, the band — Ubovich and Dylan Fujoka (drums) — had a new album in the can, ready to be mixed. Much like countless other artists, the pandemic forced the band to put their record on hold.

With some newfound downtime, Ubovich discovered a cache of demos that he and Fujoka recorded in a bedroom during the summer of 2018. As it turns out, Ubovcih really liked what he heard. Unlike their established full-band attack, the demos were deliriously disordered. Ironically, because 333’s material found the band working within a much tighter lo-fi aesthetic, the restriction allowed them to open space for more free-ranging experimentation. While speaking of the disillusionment of a lost generation, the album’s material is sparked by the innovation that limited resources and moxie can inspire.

333’s latest single “Cancer” is an expansive mosh pit ripper centered around scorching power chords driven riffage, thunderous drumming and mantra-like lyrics. While on one hand, the song superficially seems nihilistic, the song is fueled by a celebration — albeit of very small things.

The Josh Erkman-directed video for “Cancer” is a fittingly trippy visual split between the members of the band in the studio, shot in a hallucinogenic haze and two costumed men riffing out in front of a camp fire in the middle of nowhere.

New Video: Belgian Shoegazers Slow Crush Release a Brooding and Gorgeous Visual for Stormy Yet Dreamy “Hush”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Aurora, Belgian shoegazers Slow Crush — currently Isa Holliday (vocals, bass), Jelle Harde Ronsmans (guitar), Jeroen Jullet (guitar) and Frederik Meeuwis (drums) — exploded into the international shoegaze scene: Between 2018 and early 2020, the Belgian shoegazer outfit supported Aurora with relentless and almost nonstop touring across the world with acts like Pelican, Torche, Soft Kill, Gouge Away — and with festival stops at Roadburn, ArcTanGent, 2000Trees and Groezrock.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slow Crush had to cancel two European tours and a Stateside tour at the last minute. Much like countless other artists around the world, the pandemic for the band was both a blessing and a curse. The time off from touring allowed the band centered around Holliday and Ronsmans to recoup and rethink. Aurora’s unexpected success and heavy touring had taken a toll on everyone’s private lives — and it was intensified with a massive lineup change that resulted in two members leaving. Holliday and Ronsmans eventually recruited the band’s newest members Jullet and Meeuwis to complete the band’s newest lineup. Shortly, after the band settled on a new lineup, their label Holy Roar Records collapsed, leaving the band without a label home.

The Belgian shoegazers’ highly anticipated sophomore album Hush is slated for an October 22, 2021 release through Quiet Panic. Written in between tours and the unexpected downtime during a pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, the album’s material is heavily influenced by turbulent times — both personal and global. While further cementing their sound, featuring abrasive and whirling layers of guitars, thunderous drumming paired with Holliday’s ethereal vocals, Hush reportedly finds the band growing as musicians and songwriters. And although the album may arguably be the darkest and heaviest of their growing catalog to date, it’s filled with hope for a bright, new day.

Hush’s latest single, album title track “Hush” is a brooding track featuring towering layers of feedback and fuzz-pedaled guitars, thunderous drumming paired with Holiday’s sensual yet ethereal cooing within an expansive song structure centered around alternating stormy and forceful sequences and shimmering, slow-burning and dreamy sequences. Interestingly, at its core “Hush” is filled with an aching — and perhaps somewhat unreciprocated — longing.

Directed by Bobby Took at Sumo Crucial and featuring live band footage by Vincent Van Hoorick, the recently released video for “Hush” is a gorgeously shot, brooding and moon-lit like shot visual with witches, eerie woods and hallucinogenic sequences.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Black Pumas on Tiny Desk (at Home)

Over the past year or so, I’ve spilled a ton of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas over the past year. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017.

Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars a day while developing the stage presence, that would later win attention both nationally and internationally. He then traveled across the Western US, eventually relocating to Austin, where he set up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s busy downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.

Meanwhile Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone new. He had been reaching out to friends in Los Angeles and London but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, with that friend telling Quesada that Bruton was the best vocalist he had ever heard. As the story goes, Quesada had reached out to Burton, but it took the San Fernando Valley-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Last year, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators released their breakthrough full-length debut. And since the self-titled debut’s release, the album has sold 155,000+ album equivalents worldwide, with smash hit “Colors” hitting #1 on Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio and has been streamed over 60 million times. They also maintained a relentless tour schedule across North America that brought their uplifting and powerful live show to New York three times: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, the band began to make stops across the nationally televised, talk show circuit, playing Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

And adding to a breakthrough year, Black Pumas earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist along with fellow JOVM mainstay Yola — with both acts anti-climatically losing out to Billie Eilish.

This year has seen the release of a deluxe version of their breakthrough self-titled album — and it features new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photographs and a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live in-studio versions of popular album singles “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves, as well as attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” (a staple of their live shows), Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car,” which they premiered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Continuing upon an enviable run of success, Black Pumas recently received three nominations for the 2021 Grammys — Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best American Roots Performance for “Colors.” And they’ve capped off the year with an NPR Tiny Desk (At Home) session that featured album singles “Fire,” “Oct 33,” and “Colors,” as well as set opener “Red Rover.” And although they’re performing in an empty studio — it’s a pandemic after all — the NPR set is fueled by the same passionate and soulful spirit of their live sets.

Live Footage: Black Pumas Performs “Fire” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

I’ve spilled quit a bit of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas over the past year. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017. Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars and day and honing his performance skills. He then traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin, setting up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.  

Meanwhile, Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone new. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles and London — but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, telling the Grammy Award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer that Burton was the best singer he had ever heard. The two musicians connected but Burton took a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Last year, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators released their breakthrough full-length debut. Along with that, the band had gone on a relentless tour schedule that brought their uplifting live show across North America and the European Union, including three separate stops in the New York area: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, during that same period of time the band has made begun to make the rounds across the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

Since the self-titled debut’s release, the album has sold 155,000+ album equivalents worldwide, with smash hit “Colors” hitting #1 on Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio and has been streamed over 60 million times. And as I mentioned earlier, the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy along with fellow JOVM mainstay Yola — losing out to Billie Eilish.

Black Pumas will be releasing a deluxe version of their breakthrough self-titled album, which will feature new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photographs, as well as a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live-in studio versions of “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves; the band’s attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car,” which they premiered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month.

Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the act was recently on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where they performed one of my favorite songs off their self-titled album, the Muscle Shoals-like shuffle “Fire.”

Live Footage: Black Pumas Perform “Confines” with a String Quartet

I’ve spilled quit a bit of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas over the past couple of years. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017. Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater 

Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars and day and honing his performance skills. He then traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin, setting up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.  Meanwhile, Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone knew. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles and London — but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, telling the Grammy Award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer that Burton was the best singer he had ever heard. 

The two musicians connected but Burton took a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Last year, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators released their breakthrough full-length debut. Along with that, the band had gone on a relentless tour schedule that brought their uplifting live show across North America and the European Union, including three separate stops in the New York area: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, during that same period of time the band has made begun to make the rounds across the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

Since the self-titled debut’s release, the album has sold 155,000+ album equivalents worldwide, with smash hit “Colors” hitting #1 on Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio and has been streamed over 60 million times. And as I mentioned earlier, the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy along with fellow JOVM mainstay Yola — losing out to Billie Eilish. 

Black Pumas will be releasing a deluxe version of their breakthrough self-titled album, which will feature new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photographs, as well as a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live-in studio versions of “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves; the band’s attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which they premiered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month. To celebrate the forthcoming release of the deluxe edition, the band released live footage of their in-studio performance of “Confines” with a string quartet. While continuing to show viewers that Burton is a stand-out star, the in studio rendition is a stunningly gorgeous version of the album single. 

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Black Pumas Perform Their Gorgeous Cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and guitarist Adrian Quesada and 27 year old singer/songwriter Eric Burton, the act can trace its origins back to when Burton, a popular street performer in his native  Los Angeles busked his way across country to Austin, where he eventually met Quesada.

Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Austin-based soul act their critically applauded and commercially successful self-titled, full-length debut, an effort that featured the smash hit “Colors,” which amassed over four million YouTubeviews —and being one o the most added songs to Adult Album Alternative (AAAA) radio. Along with that, the band had gone on a relentless tour schedule that brought their uplifting live show across North America and the European Union, including three separate stops in the New York area: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, during that same period of time the band has made begun to make the rounds across the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the acclaimed, Austin-based JOVM mainstay act had been covering Tracy Chapman‘s  smash hit “Fast Car” during their live sets — and their rendition has quickly become a fan favorite. Unsurprisingly, the song and its lyrics resonate deeply with Burton — and although the Black Pumas cover is fairly straightforward and loving rendition, it comes from a deeply personal place, as though Burton could have written it himself. “To me, ‘Fast Car’ is a song of hope, dreams and a relentless heart to go somewhere and be someone,” says Burton. “I learned the song when I first began to busk and of the covers that I knew, it garnered the most attention from the random passerby. As a musician and artist, I’m attracted to songs that make us reflect on our daily struggles for making life worth living for.”

Recently, Black Pumas performed their gorgeous and heartfelt cover of “Fast Car” on Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Interestingly, with each repeated listen of the Black Pumas cover, I’m reminded of what a great song “Fast Car” is — and how much I loved it.  Sometimes a great song is an artist reaching down within themselves to tell the truth as they see it, paired with their voice and a guitar — or whatever instrument they feel fit.