Tag: The Mallard

Born from the partnership between Hannah Gledhill (vocals, guitar) and Marcus Browne (guitar), the London-based post punk quartet H. Grimace also features Corin Johnson and Diogo Gomes. And with the release of last year’s In The Body, the British band received attention for crafting material that’s dark, enigmatic and possesses elements of shoegaze and psych, drawing comparisons to Savages and Sister-era Sonic Youth.

Building upon a growing profile, the members of the up-and-coming British post punk outfit will be releasing the “She’s In A State”/”In The Body” 7 inch through Living Waters Records later this month.The band’s latest single “She’s In A State” features a jangling and shimmering guitar chords, a chugging rhythm section, Gledhill’s ethereal crooning and infectious hook — and while sonically bearing a resemblance to Finding Meaning in Deference-era The Mallard and 120 Minutes-era alt rock, the song draws from text for a performance by Vivienne Griffin, a collaborator on “2.1 Woman” off H. Grimace’s debut album. “The title of the song ‘She’s In a State’ was a meditation on her acute sense of irony, and the impossibility of this notion.”

 

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Now, over the past 12-18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the up-and-coming, attention-grabbing Halifax, UK-based act The Orielles. The act which features founding members  Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums); her younger sister,  Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals); and their best friend, Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) had a great deal of buzz surrounding them in their native UK when Heavenly Recordings‘ head Jeff Barrett signed the band after catching them open for labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label.

Last year saw the members of The Orielles releasing a series of attention-grabbing singles, including The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle,” and the funky, almost dance floor friendly freakout of “Let Your Dogtooth Grow.” Building upon a growing national and international profile, the band released their highly-anticipated full-length debut Silver Dollar Moment earlier this year, and from the likes of album single “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist),” the album found the band continuing in a similar vein as it immediate predecessor as it found the band mischievously meshing elements of psych rock, pop and disco — in particular, as the band notes, Luther Davis Group’s “You Can Be A Star” and Rita Lee’s “Chega Mais,” while centered around an anecdote of someone spotting an unaccompanied blue suitcase on a train platform. Naturally, this was followed by allegorical discussions and theories about what was in the suitcase and why it was left behind.

Interestingly, since the release of Silver Dollar Moment the band’s founding trio recruited their newest member Alex Stephens on keyboards and with their newest member, they went into the studio to record two new tracks “Bobbi’s Second World” and a cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane)” — and both songs finds the band’s sounding leaning increasingly in the direction of dance floor-friendly New Wave, recalling early 80s Talking Heads, ESG and others while still being centered around rock-based instrumentation. With their releases, the members of The Orielles have revealed themselves to be restlessly expanding, playing with and experimenting with their sound and as a result, I’m excited to see which direction they wind up going next.

As the band writes in press notes, “‘Bobbi’s Second World’ written with the addition of a new member on keys, exhibits an explosion of new sounds and ideas that came to fruition after a long summer of playing festivals and taking inspiration from music that made us dance. It centres around the story of a cat named Bobbi who, in order to become a lady, has to experience the extremities of two complex and differing realities- situated in her front and back gardens respectively. The eccentric instrumentation, influenced by northern soul, post-punk and funk music, matches the quirkiness of the lyrics to create a song that concerns a young cats maturity whilst displaying a certain maturity in the music itself. After noticing a passion for songs that make us emotional; want to dance and quite literally ‘forget’, we decided to cover one of Peggy Gou‘s latest floor fillers, ‘Itgehane aka It Makes You Forget’ hoping that we could evoke the aforementioned qualities of music within other listeners!”

Although she is all of 25, the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and studio engineer Eva Lawitts has had a rather accomplished music career –beginning  as a high schooler, she’s had stints in the likes of Vagabon, Citris and others, touring across the US a number of times — and as a studio engineer, she runs Wonderpark Studios with Chris Krasnow.

Interestingly, Lawitts’ solo recording project Stimmerman finds the accomplished New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and studio engineer stepping out on her own as a creative mastermind and frontperson; in fact, with her Stimmerman debut, Pleasant Vistas in a Somber Place EP, Lawitts wrote, arranged and performed all of the vocal, guitar and bass parts with Beach Fossils‘ touring drummer Russel Holzman and acclaimed trumpeter Adam O’Farrill on an effort that as she told New Noise Magazine were drafts of a songs written for a new album by a now-defunct band she was in. “I had completed most of the instruments by fall 2016, the band I had written the songs for broke up in December, and I spent the firs half of 2017 racing around on tour with a horde of other musicians and bands, mostly getting really depressed in vans and hotels around about the sudden lack of direction in my life, and attempting to complete these songs on my own,” she explained. And as a result, the EP’s material reflects a childish moroseness and an impotent bitterness and frustration.

Reportedly, the EP’s latest single “Tough Talk” were culled from half-remembered conversations during a particularly intense period of touring, as well as her running commentary on those memories, followed by a sort of conclusion about how even attempting to reach a conclusion about what it all was supposed to mean was futile, and those observations give the song a bilious fury and frustration — while sonically, the song finds Lawitts drawing from prog rock, indie rock, noise and punk in a way that reminds me of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference.

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Wax Idols Return with an Anthemic Single from Forthcoming New Album Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ Famed Poem

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the  Oakland, CA-based indie rock act Wax Idols, and as you may recall that after 2013’s critically applauded album Discipline + Desire, the band went on hiatus as the band’s founding member, primary songwriter and frontperson Hether Fortune joined the equally acclaimed punk rock band and JOVM mainstays  White Lung. That was followed by a heartbreaking and life-altering divorce, which informed much of the material on the band’s critically applauded, third album, 2016’s American Tragic.

Informed by the one of the saddest and most difficult experiences of Fortune’s life, as Fortune explained that American Tragic wasn’t “. . .a sad album.The whole spectrum of grief is represented here — shock, pain, anger, loneliness, and then finding a way to work through all of that, and not only survive, and thrive. That’s what I was going through. I was kind of trying to save myself.” 

Fortune wrote and recorded every note and every single chord on the album, and as a result, it gives the album a deeply personal vision and point of view in which the heartbreak and grief at the core of the album is visceral and haunting — especially if you’ve ever experienced the dissolution of a long-term romantic relationship, as it evokes the lingering ghosts and resentments, the push and pull of longing, confusion and hatred towards that person, who may well never be in your life again; but it’s all underpinned by the recognition that if you’ve known love, you may know it again and again and again, and that somehow you’ll pick up most of the pieces and move forward. And while thematically being among the most sober and thoughtful material Fortune has written, the material sonically is reminiscent of Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, Concrete Blonde, Siouxsie and the Banshees and others.

Slated for a May 16, 2018 release through Etruscan Gold Records, Wax Idols long-anticipated forth Monte Vallier-produced album Happy Ending finds the band charting new territory thematically with band exploring the abstraction and finality of death from philosophical, political and personal perspectives, in some way, continuing on the deeply personal tone and vibe American Tragic. Along with that, the album finds the band continuing onward after a series of lineup changes with Fortune being backed by Peter Lightning (guitar, bass, organ, piano), Rachel Travers (drums) and Marisa Prieto (bass, backing vocals) — although Greer McGettrick, best known for being in The Mallard as the band’s newest member, joining the band after the material was finished. 

Despite the lineup changes, the Happy Ending’s first single “Scream” is an incredibly urgent track that will further the band’s reputation for crafting rousingly anthemic. 
80s-inspired post-punk  with a deeply personal, idiosyncratic vision, complete with some impressive guitar pyrotechnics that make the song seem as though the band were gently nodding at Boy and October-era U2.  As Fortune told NPR, “Finding inspiration in one of my favorite poems, ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas, I used this song as a vehicle to meditate on the concept of free will & how one could choose to exercise it even at the brink of death.” She adds, “The protagonist is someone who is young, madly in love AND desperately wants to live — though they know that they will not. They have chosen to use their final seconds, the only breath in their lungs, to scream out the name of the one that they love.”

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about one of the most exciting, young British indie rock acts I’ve come across in some time, the  Halifax, UK-based trio The Orielles, comprised of Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums); her younger sister,  Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals); and their best friend, Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals). And as you may recall, with a great deal of buzz surrounding them in the UK, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label.  The trio followed that up with a breakthrough 2017 that included a series of incredibly self-assured and attention grabbing singles,  The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle,” and the funky, almost dance floor friendly freakout of “Let Your Dogtooth Grow.”

February 16, 2018 will mark the release of the up-and-coming British trio’s highly-anticipated full-length debut, Silver Dollar Moment and quickly following upon the announcement of the album, the band released the album’s first official single “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)” continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor as it finds the trio mischievously experimenting with their sound, meshing and smashing elements of psych rock, pop and disco/boogie, in particular Luther Davis Group’s “You Can Be A Star” and Rita Lee’s “Chega Mais,” while fusing an anecdote of spotting an unaccompanied blue suitcase on a train platform, which was followed by allegorical discussions and theories about what was in it and why it was left behind — with the band touching upon Schrodinger’s Cat and James and the Giant Peach among others. Certainly, this single will further cement their reputation for crafting self-assured and increasingly genre defying material.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Contemplative Visuals and Sounds of Faith Healer’s “& Waiting”

Initially begun as the solo recording project of its Edmonton-based creative mastermind, founding member, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Jalbert, as a way to avoid and resist being pigeonholed as just a sensitive, singer/songwriter strumming a guitar, Faith Healer project expanded into a duo with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Remmy Wilson, who joined before the recording sessions for Jalbert’s sophomore Faith Healer effort (and first as a duo), Try ;-).  

As Jalbert has explained in press notes, the newly constituted duo’s recently released newest effort is a sonic and creative departure for her. “The last album had a lot of flowery ’60s flourishes. This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production.” And although the material may seem effortless to the listener, the creative process which spawned it were according to Jalbert, rather intensive, as she and her bandmate spent time meticulous crafting the album’s material while focusing on plainspoken lyrics that focused on self-empowerment, depression and appreciating all the good in life; in fact, the album’s title was also deeply inspired by its creative process, and is a reminder that sometimes you need to be proactive and grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

Now, as you may recall, “Light of Loving,” Try ;-)’s first single featured a lush melody within an expansive, 60s psych rock-inspired song structure consisting of trippy and unexpected key and tone changes and a soaring hook — and while being relatively stripped down from its predecessor, the song manages to reveal some ambitious, arena rock meets psych rock-inspired songwriting that in some way reminds me of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference and The Fire Tapes’ Phantoms. Interestingly, the album’s mellow yet jangling latest single is a subtle expansion of the sound they’ve developed on the album’s earliest single, as it finds them drawing a bit more from easy going, 70s AM rock, complete with a deeply introspective and sultry vibe. 

The recently released video further emphasizes the introspective nature of the song, as it features a simple concept, as we follow a brooding Jalbert on the beach, staring at the ocean, drinking wine from the bottle, waiting for something — or someone to happen. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Orielles Release Trippy Visuals for Their Latest Single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout this year, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio and JOVM mainstays The Orielles. And as you may recall, the band comprised of 21-year Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), her 18-year old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals) and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) have established themselves as one of Northern England’s  “most exciting local bands of recent years,” and one of their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets. Not bad for a band, that can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over a shared love of Stateside-based 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a great deal of buzz surrounding them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label. And already this year has been a breakthrough year for the Halifax-based trio — they went on and finished a successful UK/EU tour and have released two, incredibly self-assured, attention-grabbing singles  —  The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” and the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle.”

The Orielles’ latest single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Marta “Bueno” Salogni and interestingly enough, it finds the band mischievously expanding upon the socially conscious, shimmering guitar pop that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere with the use of an oscillating Mini Moog that appears during the last minute or so of the song, which the band says is “a melting-pot of our influences, combining guitar riffs reminiscent of Turkish psychedelic musician Mustafa Ozkent with the Moog Synth riff which is redolent of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love.‘” Thematically, the song is influenced by Yorgos Lanthimos’ feature film Dogtooth in which kids are brainwashed into thinking that they are confined within the boundaries of their household until their ‘Dogtooth’ falls out, the song lyrically discusses how in reality young people frequently face similar — although less bizarre — forms of oppression in their lives. The band adds:”Whilst we’re much more than a stones throw away from knocking our teeth out in order to break from the omnipresent restrictions us teenagers and young adults face, it’s still something that really bugs us as a ‘young band’! When are you gonna let us out of the house?”

Filmed and edited by Sam Boullier, the recently released video for “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” follows the band’s Esmé Dee Hand-Halford, as she goes to the dentist to have her dogtooth removed, and once under the influence of anesthesia has a surreal and menacing nightmare in which she encounters the dental office staff with red paint on their faces, juggling brains before they all perform the song together. When she leaves, and walks back home, some aspect of her dream linger, with her hallucinating — and it gives the video a creepy and uncertain vibe.  

If you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you would have come across a handful of posts featuring the up-and-coming, Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio The Orielles. Comprised of  21-year Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), her 18-year old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals) and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals), the trio have quickly developed a reputation as being one of Northern England’s “most exciting local bands of recent years,” and one of their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets. And as you may recall, the British indie rock trio can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over a shared love of Stateside-based 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a great deal of buzz surrounding them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label. 2017 has proven to be one of the biggest years in the band’s history, as they finished their first UK/EU tour and have released two incredibly self-assured, attention-grabbing singles —  The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” and the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle.

The Orielles’ latest single “Let Your Dogtooth Grow” continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Marta “Bueno” Salogni and interestingly enough, it finds the band mischievously expanding upon the socially conscious, shimmering guitar pop that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere with the use of an oscillating Mini Moog that appears during the last minute or so of the song, which the band says is “a melting-pot of our influences, combining guitar riffs reminiscent of Turkish psychedelic musician Mustafa Ozkent with the Moog Synth riff which is redolent of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love.‘” Thematically, the song is influenced by Yorgos Lanthimos’ feature film Dogtooth in which kids are brainwashed into thinking that they are confined within the boundaries of their household until their ‘Dogtooth’ falls out, the song lyrically discusses how in reality young people frequently face similar — although less bizarre — forms of oppression in their lives. The band adds:”Whilst we’re much more than a stones throw away from knocking our teeth out in order to break from the omnipresent restrictions us teenagers and young adults face, it’s still something that really bugs us as a ‘young band’! When are you gonna let us out of the house?”

 

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Sounds and Visuals for Ramonda Hammer’s “Destroyers”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of  founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters, and with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Whatever That Means, the act quickly received attention both locally an nationally, as the album was released to praise from the likes of  Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and others. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine. The quartet released the Destroyers EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet chaotic and cathartic coda; but at the core of the song is a bitter, emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet ironic, triumphant and ass-kicking yet yearning for more — without quite knowing how to get there. 

Directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring the members of Ramonda Hammer along with Elizer Rios, Dylan Karate, Jessie Payo, Gayly Singletary, Addison Murphy, Caleb Hammond, and Justin Jackson, the recently released video draws from 120 Minutes-era visuals — but with a decidedly hazy, feverish vibe, as it features two toga wearing men, drinking wine until one drops dead presumably from poison, a series of Ancient Greek-like characters on the fringes, much like a Greek tragedy before splitting into focusing on the band performing the song, as though it’s the soundtrack to the proceedings. 

Faith Healer initially formed as the solo, recording project of its Edmonton-based creative mastermind, founding member, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Jalbert, who started the project as a way to avoid being pigeonholed as just a singer/songwriter. However, the project has expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Remmy Wilson, who joined the project before the recording sessions for the project’s sophomore effort — and first as a duo — Try 😉, which was recorded at Wilson’s personal studio in Montreal, during  a month-long session last September.

As Jalbert explains in press notes, the newly constituted duo’s newest effort is a departure both sonically and creatively for her. “The last album had a lot of flowery ’60s flourishes. This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production.” And while the material may seem effortless, its creation was reportedly intensive, as the songs were meticulously crafted with deliberate effort but paired with plainspoken lyrics that reflected on self-empowerment, depression and appreciating all the good in life; in fact, the album’s title was deeply inspired by its creative process, and is a reminder that sometimes you need to be proactive and grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

“Light of Loving,” Try 😉‘s first single finds Jalbert and Wilson pairing a lush melody and an expansive 60s psych rock-inspired structure consisting of a trippy and unexpected key and tone changes paired with a soaring hook — and while revealing a relatively stripped down approach from the project’s preceding effort, the song reveals some ambitious, arena rock-leaning songwriting, as the band paradoxically possesses a towering sound full of some impressive, power chord-based guitar, fed through various pedals, blasts of organ and propulsive drumming. Interestingly, although the song is clearly nodding at 60s psych rock, there’s a subtle hint at much more contemporary fare — in particular, I think of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference, The Fire Tapes‘ Phantoms and others.