Amelia Airhorn is an unique collaboration between the New York-based blogosphere champion electronic music production and artist duo The Knocks and nu-disco producer Skyler Spence. As the story goes, the trio connected when Spence opened for The Knocks during their Feel Good Feel Great, North American headlining tour, and when the tour finished they spent time working at the The Knocks’ HeavyRoc Studio mixing snippets of classic soul and disco with YouTube apocrypha and random bits of obscure, movie dialogue — and as you’ll hear on the trio’s loving homage to New York, “NY is Red Hot,” the trio’s aesthetic is a hedonistic, lysergic and wildly anachronistic, groove-based collage that nods at Studio 54 disco and late 90s – early 00s French house music — in particular Stardust‘s “Music Feels Better With You” and Homework-era Daft Punk.
The slow-burning song pairs Mendler’s breathy coos with a slick, hyper modern production featuring stuttering drum programming, vocoder fed vocals, glitchy electronics, various bleeps, bloops and blips and twinkling synths and a flirtatious verse from Kaiydo. Sonically, the song is reminiscent of Abby Diamond’s “Love to Watch You Leave” while nodding at Timbaland’s revolutionary production — in other words, stuttering and bizarre angles while being airy and coquettish but underneath there’s an aching vulnerability.
The video was produced by Allie Avital, who has produced videos for Chairlift, The Knocks and Autre Ne Veut, and as Bridgit Mendler explains in press notes “We found a concept that has both dark satirical and heart-aching moments. I break into my ex’s house and try to recreate our lost love while he is passed out. Even in the midst of fun and light moments in life, my heart is limp as his hand hits my knee while we dance in the kitchen. I’m a huge fan of Allie’s work but in addition to that, she is a smart and warm-hearted person that went above and beyond to make this project what it is.”
New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer Sylvia Gordon, best known as Sylvia Black. Gordon is an internationally recognized artist for her work as the frontwoman of electro pop act K.U.D.U. and for her collaborations with The […]
Throughout the course of this site’s history, there have been a number of insanely talented artists, who have released work that I’ve become obsessed with — and have spilled copious amounts of (virtual) ink. Now, […]
As a Queens native, The Ramones have a very special place in my heart — I’ve walked on the streets that young Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee and Johnny walked on as a teenagers and young men and in some way or another I’m intimately familiar with many of the places they’ve referenced in their songs. Hell, if you grew up in Queens, I’d bet that you probably spent some part of your summer on Rockaway Beach, and it gives “Rockaway Beach,” a deeply personal feel. In any case, more than enough ink has been spilled on how influential the band had been to both punk rock, rock and other genres throughout the band’s run and their lives — and more than enough ink has been spilled on what arguably may be one of their best known songs “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you may be familiar with New York-based singer/songwriter Sylvia Gordon, best known in the music world as Sylvia Black. (To avoid deeper confusion, I’ll refer to Gordon as her musical pseudonym, Sylvia Black from this point forward.) Black has received international attention for her time as the frontwoman of electro-pop outfit K.U.D.U., and for collaborations with The Black Eyed Peas, Moby, William Orbit, Kelis, Spank Rock, The Knocks and Telepopmusik, among others. Over the past year, Black has received attention both here and across the blogosphere performing and recording under the moniker and alter ego Betty Black. Interestingly with her alter ego, Sylvia Black’s sound is a decided departure from her previously recorded work as it generally draws from garage rock, Southern gothic blues, Spaghetti Western soundtracks and atmospheric electronics while thematically the material explores love, lust, longing and obsession — and in a fashion that’s darkly seductive.
As a special holiday treat, Black is gifting one of the most interesting and unique covers of The Ramones’ mega-hit “I Wanna Be Sedated” that I’ve ever heard. Featuring a gorgeous Burt Bacharach/pop standard-like arrangement of horns, strings, vibraphone and upright bass Black’s rendition is decadently opulent and sensual, while sounding as though it were recorded under the influence of Quaaludes and/or Xanax that makes it trippy — and evokes the dreamy sensation of being sedated. There are a couple things that make Black’s rendition so interesting to me: it manages to radically change the song’s tempo and tone without distorting or removing the song’s essence; but it also makes a long-forgotten connection between 50s and 60s pop that had been such a major influence on Joey Ramone and company.
Check out how Betty Black’s version radically differs from the original below.
Black has a series of upcoming live dates including a residency at Happy Ending every Wednesday in January as Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge, The project will continue what Happy Ending is best known for — putting a lounge lizard/exotica spin on rock and post-punk classics along with originals. Check out dates below.
12/21 NYC, NY @ Pinks (Betty Black & Cullers)
12/22 NYC, NY @ Leftfield ((Betty Black & Cullers)
12/28 NYC, NY @ Elvis Guesthouse (Betty Black DJ set)
1/6 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/13 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/20 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/27 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
2/7 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint (Betty Black & Cullers)
2/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Resident (Betty Black & Cullers)
New York-based singer/songwriter Sylvia Black has received international attention for her time as the front woman of the electro-pop outfit K.U.D.U. and for her collaborations with The Black Eyed Peas, Moby, William Orbit, Kelis, Spank […]
Comprised of Matt McGurn and Don Skotnicki, the Buffalo-based duo of Solidisco have won the attention of the blogosphere for remixes of The Knocks, Mystery Skulls, Icona Pop, as well as original material such as […]
Comprised of Matt McGurn and Don Skotnicki, the Buffalo-based duo of Solidisco have had a breakthrough year as they’ve released remixes for the likes of The Knocks, Mystery Skulls, Icona Pop, and an original single, […]