Tag: The Knitting Factory — Brooklyn

New Video: Wild Moccasins Release Symbolic Performance-based Visuals for Aching New Single “Longtime Listener”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Houston, TX-based indie rock/indie pop act Wild Moccasins, and as you may recall, the act which is led by its founding duo Zahira Gutierrez (vocals, keys) and Cody Swann (guitar, vocals), and features Avery Davis (drums) Nicholas Cody (bass) can trace their origins back to 2007 when its founding duo started writing songs together, about a year into their romantic relationship. And although Wild Moccasins has gone through a number of lineup changes throughout its history, the band initially wrote and recorded indie rock-inspired work centered around dance pop-like guitar lines and tight vocal harmonies; however, with the release of 88 92, the Houston-based quartet had begun to increasingly incorporate synths and other New Wave influences into their work — and that has continued with their recently released Ben H. Allen-produced Look Together.

As the members of the band note, Allen inspired a much different approach to their writing and recording process, and the result is an album that finds the band blending the guitar driven elements of their early work with 80s and 90s synth pop and New Wave; but unlike their previously recorded material, the album thematically, lyrically and emotionally is centered around the the volatility, heartache and confusion of the dissolution of a longtime romantic relationship — in the case, the romantic relationship between Gutierrez and Swann. But along with that, the album focuses on the difficulties of repairing a relationship after a breakup, of fresh starts and shedding past insecurities.

As both Gutierrez and Swann note, the breakup of their romantic relationship and its immediate aftermath were extremely difficult as it occurred as the band was in the middle of a lengthy tour. They would spend the countless hours driving from city to city in the tour van in silence; on stage they’d painfully stare each other down; and they’d exchange exaggerated and embittered he-said-she-saids through songs. Although countless bands with a romantic couple at their center have split up, the former lovers decided to choose a way to reconcile their differences by working towards a common musical goal. Songwriting has been engrained within Gutierrez and Swann’s relationship and while being emotionally vulnerable with a former romantic partner was initially difficult, they also found that it helped clear the air between them. “I think we look back on that time and take some comfort in knowing that we went through that together,” says Swann. “It needed to happen in order for us to have this resolve.”“Yeah, it needed to happen,” Gutierrez adds. “Now, when I sing the songs, I find myself breathing a sigh of relief.”

“No Muse,” Look Together’s second single was a slickly produced, shimmering New Wave-like song with an infectious, arena friendly hook — but underneath the self-assuredness of its performance, the song bristles with the bitter and aching hurt of someone who realizes that they’ve been used, and that they’ve had enough of it all. As Gutierrez explains “‘No Muse’ is about feeling like men use women as muses in the wrong context. A lot of women have had the experience of being taken advantage of or had men in power try to take control of what they do, so this song encourages women to be their own muses. Because of what the song represents to me, I decided it was best for me to direct the video and sought out a female cinematographer (Rachel Bays) to shoot it in order to remove any sort of male gaze. I felt it was important to see the video through the eyes of a woman.”

“Longtime Listener,” Look Together’s latest single while being a mid-tempo ballad continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as its centered around a simmering New Wave-like arrangement and soaring hooks; however, emotionally the song focuses on the overwhelming and confusing push and pull of emotions in the immediate aftermath of a longtime breakup, as well as the lingering ghosts of memories, smells and so on. But much like Fleetwood Mac’s “You Can Go Your Own Way,” the song is a bit of a kiss off — in which the song’s narrator is busy putting on a brave face. And while being an aching ballad on what once was and can’t be again, and a bit of a kiss off, there’s the subtle reminder that there was this amazing connection that the narrator once had that’s become part of a messy but well-lived life — and perhaps just as important, that she will move forward and love again.

Directed by the band’s Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann, the video begins with Gutierrez sitting impatiently by the phone before answering it. Her bandmates continually hand her phones that she picks up, answers and hangs up and at her most overwhelmed,  Gutierrez and her similarly dressed bandmates go off to perform the song. It’s surreal but it captures the song’s ache and bitterness.

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New Video: The Decadently Shot Visuals for Monogem’s Soulful New Single “Get You High”

Over the past handful of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the critically applauded JOVM mainstay act Monogem, the solo electro pop recording project of Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Jen Hirsch, and as you may recall the project derives its name from a unique cosmic phenomenon — a monogem ring, the leftover glow of an supernova explosion. Interestingly, one of the largest monogem rings in the observable universe is located near the Gemini and Cancer constellations. For Hirsch, whose birthday is on the cusp of the astrological signs of Gemini and Cancer, the project’s name has a deeply personal and special meaning for her. 
Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about her, but her latest single “Get You High” will further cement Hirsch’s reputation for crafting slickly produced,  Quiet Storm-influenced synth pop centered around Hirsch’s sultry vocals, shimmering synths and a sinuous bass line — and much like her previously released material, the song evokes a lingering yet plaintive need that hasn’t been completely fulfilled. 

Directed by Finders Motion Pictures and starring Hirsch, Julia Barna, Shane Allen and Shanina Morse, the recently released video for “Get You High” featured decadent and stylishly shot visuals, focusing on the idle yet beautiful rich — and in a way that’s reminiscent of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. 

New Video: The Hauntingly Eerie 360º Visuals for Oginalii’s Moody and Slow-Burning “Substance Abuse”

Comprised of founding members Emma Hoeflinger (vocals, guitar) and Karolyn Winegarner (vocals, drums), and Kurt Kraft (bass), the Nashville, TN-based psych rock/sludge rock trio Oginalii derive their name from the Cherokee word for “my friend,” and the up-and-coming band can trace their origins to when its founding members met in the dorm hall they both shared while studying at Belmont University back in 2014 — with Kraft joining the band in 2016. 

Locally, the trio have developed a reputation for a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as their material finds the band at one moment playing slow-burning, dreamy shoegaze and then the next moment playing ripping, sludgy power chords paired with Hoeflinger and Winegarner harmonizing and trading vocals throughout; in fact, from what I understand the Nashville-based trio, who released their critically applauded debut EP earlier this year, won quite bit of attention from crowds at SXSW last week. 

Building on the growing buzz that the Nashville, TN-based trio has already received for their debut EP, their follow-up EP, The Grey is slated for an October 20, 2018 and while reportedly continuing in a similar sonic vein as its predecessor, the Curtis Roush-produced and engineered effort thematically focuses on “the grey.” As the trio’s Hoeflinger explains in press notes, “The grey [as a concept] has been a thing for me my whole life. The in-between. Black and white shuts the demons up, but the grey is always constantly calling my name. It’s in between the grey of things that not  a lot of people talk about.” And as a result, the material discusses the sensation of feeling lost, the space between the inner self, which you rarely reveal and the out self, which you present to the world — but interestingly enough the material balancing pensiveness, with a tongue-in-check irony at other points while  being self-aware of both. “Substance Abuse,” the EP’s firs single and opening track begins with a slow-burning and mournful jangling reminiscent of Mazzy Star but boozier and bluesier with a chugging, sludgy chorus and an anthemic, beer raising, fist pumping chorus; however, throughout the song, it’s narrator is desperately and transparently putting on a brave face, smiling and claiming that everything is fine, when it’s obvious that everything is on the verge of complete 
collapse. 

The recently released 360º virtual reality video features the band performing the song in a basement that quickly turns into an eerie and ominous graveyard with bare, swaying trees just above them with haunting cult-like figures surrounding them. It’s incredibly creepy and further evokes the sense that something isn’t quite right. 

Now, over the course of this site’s seven-year history, I’ve personally spilled quite a bit of virtual ink about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and over that period of time, the band has developed a reputation for being prolific — 2013’s full-length debut, Thought and Language found the band establishing a sound that owed a debt to 4AD Records-era shoegaze. Since then, their follow up efforts-2014’s  true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die, the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch and this year’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band cementing their reputation for crafting shimmering shoegaze-like rock while simultaneously nodding at  RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

The band’s long-anticipated full-length effort Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, and the album’s first official single, “Temple,” thematically finds the band focusing on the process of maturation and growth beyond animal lust and physical need — with the single being an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion while sonically, furthering their reputation for crafting a shimmering and layered guitar-based sound, compete with an anthemic hook.

“Sunlessoul,” Beyond.Desire‘s second and latest single finds the band going the Morrissey route as they ironically pair an upbeat and rousing melody with lyrics that focus on loneliness and some of the other darker parts of the human condition. Sonically however, the song will further cement the band’s long-held reputation for shimmering and anthemic shoegaze, complete with a swooning Romanticism.

The band is currently on our to build up buzz for the new album, then to officially support it and it includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

Over the course of this site’s seven year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and in that same period, the members of the band have built a growing national profile, as the’ve played at some of the country’s biggest and best known festivals, and have opened for a lengthening and impressive array of renowned bands, including The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes. And along with that, over the past few years, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays have also developed a reputation for being rather prolific — starting with 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language, Dead Leaf Echo promptly followed that up with 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die and a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which retained their towering, wall of sound-inspired production, while nodding at RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain among others.  Released earlier this year, the band’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

Recorded at Mexican Summer’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based studio with Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht, Dead Leaf Echo’s long-anticipated, sophomore full-length effort, Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, finds the band continuing to refine the sound that they’ve recently dubbed “noveeau wave”, a moody and shimmering mix of shoegaze and layered guitar pop, and as you’ll hear on Beyond.Desire‘s first, official single “Temple,” the single continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as featured layers of shimmering power chords paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. But interestingly enough, much like their previously released material, the album is a something of a concept album, as the material reportedly is based on themes of maturation and growth beyond pure, animal lust and physical need; in fact “Temple” is an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion.

The band will be embarking on a number of tour dates to build up buzz to support the new album, and then to support it and int includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory.

Tour Dates 
9.15: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9.16: Hattiesburg, MI @ The Thirsty Hippo
10.7: Kingston, NY @ O Positive Festival
10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

New Video: Watch Renowned Seattle-based Emcee Grieves Entertain in Purgatory in New Visuals for “What It Dew”

Benjamin Laub is a Chicago, IL-born, Seattle, WA-based emcee, by way of New York, Colorado and San Diego, CA, who’s best known by his stage name Grieves, and interestingly enough, Laub has released four full-length albums — 2007’s independently released album Irreversible, 2010’s Budo-produced 88 Keys & Counting, 2011’s Budo-produced Together/Apart, which debuted at #112 on the Billboard Top 200, and 2014’s Winter & the Wolves, which debuted at #57 on the Billboard Top 200. 

Grieves’ fifth full-length album the Chords-produced Running Wild is slated for release Friday through renowned hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the label home of JOVM mainstay Atmosphere and others, and the album’s latest single “What It Dew” finds the critically and commercially successful emcee employing a complex rhyme scheme and some mischievously witty punch lines as he discusses succeeding against all odds and despite haters and naysayers over a swaggering and soulful production consisting of electric guitar, boom bap beats, brief bursts of organ and swirling electronics. But underneath the swaggering and slick production and witty punchlines is a honest devotion to pure hip hop — while pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop should sound like, look like and talk about. 

The recently released video was directed by HELICAL, the collaboration between Carlos Cruz and Thai M. Tran, the video pokes fun at the song’s more serious subject matter, as it features Grieves trapped in purgatory, and forced to entertain a shitty dive bar in perpetuity, where the regular patrons are the living embodiments of the seven deadly sins. The video ends with Grieves eventually making the best of a horrible situation, by finding something good about it. As the Seattle-based emcee explains of the video treatment “Not everything is a crisis. Some things are simple and easy. Feel good and let go with this one!”