Tag: The Posies

New Video: Iceland’s Laura Second Releases a Surreal “120 Minutes”-like Visual for “Crop Circles”

Laura Second is a fairly mysterious multi-national indie rock act based in Iceland. Their forthcoming full-length debut Ending Friendships is slated for a November release through Icelandic indie label Why not? Plötuútgáfa! Records. The album was recorded last winter in a cabin in the Icelandic countryside — and interestingly enough, the album’s first single “Crop Circles” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV-inspired track: alternating slow-burning and dreamy verses and explosive, power chord-driven choruses. And while seemingly bearing a resemblance to the likes of The Breeders, The Posies, Pixies and others, the song possesses a drunken and uneasy lurch.

The recently released video features two Icelandic children attentively watching a surrealistic TV show on a videocassette player. It’s appropriately bizarre — and much like its accompanying single manages to emphasize the oddness of the song.

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Taylor Knox is a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who can trace the origins of his musical career to over a decade ago, when he was recruited to play drums for The Golden Dogs, an act that was considered one of Canada’s criminally under-appreciated bands — and coincidentally, one of Knox’s favorite bands, too.

During his stint with The Golden Dogs, Knox forged friendships with several other bandmembers, who all go on to form Zeus. As a result of Zeus, Knox was a frequent presence at the band’s Toronto studio Ill Eagle, which naturally offered him the perfect environment and the opportunity to begin experimenting with his own original material. Interestingly, Knox and his then-newly formed Zeus were tapped by Jason Collett to be his regular backing band — and it brought him into contact with an even wider circle of musicians, including Luke Doucet, whom he joined on Doucet’s tour to support his acclaimed Steel City Traveler. He also joined Hayden for the Us Alone recording sessions and subsequent tour. He also played with acclaimed Halifax, Nova Scotia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Rich Aucoin.

With the release of the Lines EP and his full-length debut Love, Knox stepped out into the spotlight, crafting anthemic power pop that has drawn comparisons to acclaimed and highly influential Canadian power pop act Sloan and others. Slated for a June 7, 2019 release, Knox’s sophomore album Here Tonight thematically focuses on the mystery, stillness and artistic inspiration of the night; in fact, Knox’s tendency to be a night owl was a major influence on the album. And when he started writing the material that would eventually comprise his forthcoming sophomore album, he focused on precisely what he was thinking about — and what he wanted to do and say with it. He didn’t want to waste the insight that nighttime has always given him.“I really try to make sure the songs I write come from a place of not something I want to write but something I kind of have to get out. What I’m feeling below what I’m thinking,” Knox says in press notes.

Sonically speaking, the album, which sees Knox working with Josh Korody reportedly sees Knox continuing with the power pop that has won him attention — fuzzy and /or crunchy power chords, forceful drumming and rousingly anthemic hooks; but he sought guidance and inspiration from much more contemporary artists like The Weeknd, SZA and Prince in terms of production and songwriting, as well as the legendary Joni Mitchell. In fact, Korody’s production helped to add new textures to his overall sound, thanks to the incorporation of synths and keyboards to create glistening gutter tones. Knox also worked with Rob Schnapf in Los Angeles, who helped make one song reportedly to sound like one of the best Oasis songs to never appear on an Oasis album.

Interestingly, what sets the Toronto-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s sophomore album apart from this previously released work is a free flowing spontaneity that was encouraged by Korody and Schnapf — and that left room for unrestrained creativity. Doing this, he says, “leaves a little bit of room for discovery with the collaborator and room for their influence. I’ve always tried to do that but I did it more this time because I have confidence that I’ll be able to come up with it on the spot.” Adding to that, Knox brought in a number of Toronto’s finest musicians to collaborator for the sessions including July Talks‘ Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay and Tokyo Police Club‘s Dave Monks.

Here Tonight‘s latest single is the rousingly anthemic, Live It Up.” Centered around fuzzy power chords, forceful drumming, a big arena rock friendly hook and an ethereal falsetto, the track recalls 120 Minutes alt rock — in particular, The Posies, The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins and even more contemporary acts like Silversun Pickups but with the free-flowing air of a bunch of guys jamming and coming up with something incredibly cool and full of furious passion.

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may be familiar with the Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Sego. And as you may recall, the indie act, comprised of the Mapleton, UT-born duo Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll, eventually relocated to Los Angeles to seriously purse careers in music — and as soon as the duo landed in Los Angeles, Peterson and Carroll quickly developed a reputation for employing contemporary production techniques while maintaining an eccentric and human touch that drew upon several disparate sources. “Townland,” the first single I wrote about reminded me of Talking Heads and Superhuman Happiness, while  “Obscene Dream” off their full-length debut, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Out was reminiscent of Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundystem.

Last December, the duo closed out 2017 with “Sucker/Saint,” which found the duo  adopting a jangling, hook-driven, 90s grunge rock-inspired sound, reminiscent of Pixies, The Posies and others while revealing some rather ambitious songwriting, as the duo nodded at psych rock, krautrock and guitar pop. “Cigarette Kids,” the Los Angeles-based duo’s first single of 2018 continues in a somewhat similar vein as its immediate predecessor as it features a jangling and shuffling hook; however, there this particular song seems to have more of a dreamy, almost krautrock vibe thanks to atmospheric synths and a motorik-like groove. And yet, underlying the dreamy vibes of the entire thing, the song reportedly dives further into Spencer Petersen’s relationship with his adopted hometown and its day-to-day culture — and in some way, it’s a bemused view an outsider, who can’t figure out why the people he’s around say the things they say or do the things they do.

The JOVM mainstays will be touring throughout March and it’ll include some SXSW sets, as well as a hometown show in Provo, UT. Check out tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/10: Tucson, AZ @ Flycatcher+
3/14: Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/15: Dallas, TX @ Not So Fun Wknd
3/16: Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/17: Norman, OK @ Opolis^
3/19: Taos, NM @ Taos Mesa Brewing
3/20: Fort Collins, CO @ Surfside 7#
3/22: Provo, UT @ Velour
3/26: Seattle, WA @ Vera Project*
3/27: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar*
3/29: San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill*
4/8: Las Vegas, CA @ Emerge Impact + Music
+ with Fenster
^ with Dick Stusso
# with Pujol
* with Dante Elephante

 

New Video: Sego Returns with an Ambitious and Anthemic, Guitar Pop Single Paired with Slick and Mischievous Visuals

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its almost eight year history, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts featuring the Mapleton, UT-born, Los Angeles, CA-based duo Sego.  And as you may recall the duo, which is comprised of Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll, relocated to Los Angeles to seriously pursue careers in music, where they quickly developed a reputation for a sound that at the time, employed contemporary production techniques while maintaining an eccentric and human touch; in fact, a single like “Townland,” found the duo adopting a sound that was reminiscent of  Talking Heads and Superhuman Happiness, while it’s follow up, “Obscene Dream” off their full-length debut, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Out was reminiscent of Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundystem. 

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about them but interestingly enough, the duo’s latest single “Sucker/Saint” finds the duo adopting a jangling, hook-driven, 90s grunge rock-inspired sound, reminiscent of Pixies, The Posies and others — and much like the sources that they song seems to draw from, Sego’s latest manages to balance an easy going, garage rock jam feel with some of ambitious songwriting that finds the duo nodding at psych rock, krautrock and guitar pop. 

Directed by Jared Clark Gay, the slick accompanying video for “Sucker/Saint” finds the duo in a   studio with their backing band, performing the song but it employs the use of multi-split screens, in which at points you’ll see the song’s lyrics, while quickly switching back and forth between color, black and white and wild psychedelia within a turn of a phrase. 

Over the past month or so, I’ve written a bit about the  Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Umm. Comprised of Stefanie Drootin, best known for stints in The Good LifeBig Harp and in the backing bands of She & Him and Bright Eyes, and her Big Harp bandmate (and her spouse), Chris Senseney, the Southern California duo specialize in a decidedly 90s, alt-rockinspired sound, full of fuzzy power chords, plaintive and swooning harmonizing and anthemic hooks reminiscent of The BreedersThe Posies and others. And in that same month or so period, you may recall the 120 Minutes-like “I’m in Love,” and the dark yet breezy “Black Summer” off the duo’s soon-to-be released debut together, Double Worshipper.

Double Worshipper‘s third and latest single is the slow-burning and moody ballad “Yeah I Want It,” and while further cementing their growing reputation for crafting anthemic, 90s alt rock-inspired tracks with rousing hooks; but what makes this particular track different is its emphasis on swooning boy-girl harmonies and a dreamily wistful melody, which makes the song the most summery, if not most dream pop-leaning song they’ve released to date.

 

 

 

 

Last month, I wrote about the  Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Umm. Comprised of Stefanie Drootin, best known for stints in The Good Life, Big Harp and in the backing bands of She & Him and Bright Eyes, and her Big Harp bandmate Chris Senseney, the duo specialize in an alt rock-inspired sound, complete with fuzzy power chords, plaintive and swooning harmonizing and anthemic hooks reminiscent of The Breeders, The Posies and others; in fact, as a child of the 80s, who started to come of age in the 90s, “I’m in Love,” off the duo’s soon-to-be released full-length Double Worshipper instantly reminded me of countless hours watching 120 Minutes, making mixtapes of my favorite songs off the radio, spending even more hours in record stores and trading cassette tapes with friends.  Interestingly enough, the album’s latest single “Black Summer” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for crafting 90s alt rock inspired material; but in the case of their latest single, the song possesses a breeziness that underlies both the dark lyricism and anthemic nature of the song.

 

 

Comprised of Stefanie Drootin, best known for stints in The Good Life, Big Harp and in the backing bands of She & Him and Bright Eyes, and her Big Harp bandmate Chris Senseney, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Umm specialize in a sound that features fuzzy power chords, plaintive and swooning pop-leaning harmonizing and anthemic hooks reminiscent of The Breeders, The Posies and others as you’ll hear on “I’m in Love,” the latest single off the duo’s forthcoming full-length debut Double Whisper. Certainly, as a child of the 80s, who started to come off age in the 90s, “I’m in Love” reminds me of making mixtapes, dubbing my friends tapes and making dubs for friends and spending countless hours in record stores.

 

 

Initially forming under the name Apteka, the Chicago, IL-based psych rock quartet Pink Frost, currently comprised of founding members Adam Lukas (vocals, guitar) and Paige Sandilin (guitar) and newest members Alex Shumard (bass) and Jesse Hozeny (drums), have released 2011’s debut Gargoyle Days (under the name Apteka) and 2014’s Sundowning to critical praise both locally and nationally from  Pitchfork, SPIN Magazine, Noisey, Magnet Magazine, and Chicago Reader for a sound that had been compared favorably to RIDE, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur, Jr. and Deerhunter. And adding to a growing national profile, the band had material from Sundowning placed in the major motion picture, The Lookalike and TV series such as The Vampire Diaries and CSI: Miami.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past 2 years or so, you may recall that the Chicago-based band released a painstakingly remixed and re-mastered edition of their debut effort, from the original analog masters to better reflect their live sound at the time — and with artwork reflecting the band’s name change, as a both a metaphorical and literal rebirth. And at the time, I wrote about Gargoyle Days‘s second single, the seemingly  The Posies’Ontario,” Foo Fighters‘ “This Is A Call” and The Black Angels’Telephone“-inspired “Where Days Go.” However, four years have passed since a full-length album of original material from the critically applauded, Chicago-based psych rockers and in that time, they’ve gone through a series of changes that have influenced the band’s songwriting approach, their overall sound and the material’s thematic concerns. As I mentioned earlier, the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band’s newest members Shumard and Hozeny take prominent roles — and as the band’s Adam Lukas explains in press notes, the album overall addresses a collective sense of abrupt changes. “There is a sentimentality or a sense of loss that permeates most of the songs,” Lukas says. “Whether it’s the loss of truth, the ones you love, your place in the universe, or general sense of meaning in changing landscapes.”

New Minds, the band’s latest album is slated for a June 16, 2017 release and the album reportedly finds the band’s material at points becoming much more introspective — and while the more straight ahead rock-leaning material manages to be heavier and darker, their more spacey, shoegazer-like material manages to be much more introspective and with more delicate melodies. “Bare Roots,” New Minds‘ first single is a power chord-based barn-burner that sounds as though it draws from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, complete with an anthemic hook. And interestingly enough, the song may be the most urgent and forceful song they’ve released to date, echoing our most urgent and forceful time.