Tag: The Verve

Earlier this month, I wrote about the up-and-coming  London-based, up-and-coming shoegaze quintet Cosmic Strip, and as you may recall, the band, which is fronted by  primary songwriter and creative mastermind, Camella Agabalyan, has described their work as “music to watch girls by, music to move the stars,” and with EP title track “Heavenly,” off the band’s recently released debut EP, the band seems to specialize in shimmering and soaring shoegaze that brought Wolf Alice and Lightfoils to my mind.  The EP’s latest single “Sugar Rush” is a decidedly 120 Minutes MTV-era bit of shoegaze, centered around squalling and towering feedback, shimmering guitar chords, ethereal vocals, soaring hooks and an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure that immediately brings Slowdive and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve to mind, complete with a lysergic haze.

“I wanted to write a song about the feeling of addiction whether it’s sugar, love, a drug, whatever your vice is”, Camella Agbalyan says in press notes about the new single. “I personally really connect to dreamy, druggy songs like Air, My Bloody Valentine, Beach Fossils, Slowdive, The Jesus & The Mary Chain, etc., so I wanted to inspire myself from that feeling but also show the darker side of addiction that you might not always get from those types of songs”.

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New Video: Introducing the 4AD Records-Inspired Shoegaze Sound of Los Angeles’ Tennis System

With the release of their latest effort PAIN earlier this year through Graveface Records,the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based noise rock/shoegaze trio Tennis System has developed a reputation for a classic 4AD Records sound: squalling feedback-tinged power chords fed through delay and effect pedals, thundering drumming and ethereal melodies, centered around a rather sunny ambivalence, and a sense of profound loss — and for quickly establishing themselves as one of their hometown’s best, new live bands. In fact, the trio have played sets at Austin Psych Fest, Noise Pop Fest, Echo Park Rising and the Air & Style Festival, and have shared stages with The Flaming Lips, Ride, Dinosaur Jr., Kendrick Lamar and Diiv among others. 

“COMINGDOWN,” PAIN’s latest single will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting a familiar and beloved sound — in this case, recalling My Bloody Valentine, A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, JOVM mainstays Dead Leaf Echo, My Vitriol and others but with an anxiety of wha the future could hold, after a horrible event that the song’s narrator knows they will regret. 

Directed by Logan Rice, the video follows  Niamh Hannigan as she distractedly goes through her day — and through a series of rapidly changing colors, grainy fade outs and fade ins, the video suggests that its protagonist is slowly coming down from the throes of hallucinogenic fugue. 

New Video: Kind of Rider’s Elegiac and Atmospheric Ode to Loss and Hope

Initially formed in  Tulsa, OK, the indie act No Kind of Rider, which is comprised of  Sam Alexander, Wes Johnson, Jeremy Louis, Joe Page and Jon Van Patten has developed a reputation for a genre-defying sound that draws from indie rock, shoegaze, R&B, indie rock and electro pop. Currently, the band has members split between Portland, OR and Brooklyn but before that the members of the band spent several years writing, playing an hustling hard, hoping for a moment. “Working like that can break your heart,” the band’s frontman Sam Alexander says in a lengthy statement written by him and his bandmates.

Interestingly, the Portland and Brooklyn-based act’s recently released full-length debut Savage Coast draws from several years of difficult, life-altering experiences. As the band says, “there are things we have been during to say, and this record is a release emotionally for us. Both musically and lyrically we focus on ‘change’ a lot in this record.We use as many synthesizers and electronic samples as we do guitars and drums.  We want the listener to both feel comfortable and continuously be surprised.”  In fact, that sense of change throughout the album was inspired by the life altering transitions within the individual band member’s personal lives: Joe Page’s father suddenly died two years before the band entered the studio to write and record the material that would eventually comprise their full-length debut. And as Sam Alexander notes, the year that Page’s father died, was the same year he had gotten married. This was followed by the sudden death of Wes Johnson’s father, Jon Van Patten’s relocation to Brooklyn and Alexander’s own father suffering a stroke. “There’s been so may times in the last few years where I got stuck in my head: ‘Do other artists go through all this while making a record? Is this some kind of curse?’ For a long time I used to think of music as my path out of a difficult reality. I don’t anymore. Now, writing music is what keeps me rooted in my reality, it’s what lets me live with more presence and attention,” Alexander says.

“This isn’t a concept album,” Alexander and his bandmates continues. “But it does tell a story. We want the listener to uncover that story for themselves. However, a part of it is our story. Our loves, our friendships, our triumph, our losses. The story wouldn’t have happened without our move from Oklahoma to Oregon. We slept on friends floors and rehearsed in basements. I have over 300 hours of voice memos from our rehearsals down there!  Even though we recorded at incredible studios with talented friends, when I listen: I somehow still hear us in that moldy basement. I still hear the first time we pulled over on hwy 101 and saw the jagged wounds of the Pacific coastline.  Creatively, Joe actually drove out to Haystack Rock on the coast with a tape recorded – he designed new sounds and he embedded them into the tracks, so some of that is the actual article.  Most of it is just in the way that the music feels to me.” Unsurprisingly, the album thematically deals with loss, frustration and resiliency through love, friendship and music and of holding on to hope in the most difficult of times. Certainly, while deeply personal, the album will resonate on a universal and personal level to the listener, especially through the transitions that come about as we get older, and in these increasingly desperate and frightening times. From personal experience, I’ve learned that sometimes when things are so unmooring, so painfully difficult, so utterly confusing and uncertain that all anyone can cling to is the small things, the tiny and fleeting joys of life — a kind word or a smile shared among friends, the touch of a lover, the simple presence of a beloved family member, your favorite album, the thin soup of hope that sustains you for another few moments or a few days.

Last month, I wrote about “Sophia,” a song that Alexander noted was recored with the quintet facing each other and playing in the same room, and much like The Verve‘s Urban Hymns, there’s a vital and urgent “you-are-there-in-the-room” feel to the song while sonically the song — to my ears at least — brought JOVM mainstays TV on the Radio and The Veldt to mind. The album’s latest single “Autumn” is an elegiac and atmospheric track centered around a production featuring fuzzily distorted boom bap-like beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, equally shimmering guitar chords and Alexander’s plaintive vocals — all of which evoke the ache of loss, the recognition of its permanence, and the hope that there’s something better beyond this mortal realm. 

Directed by Parker Hill, the recently released video for the song is a cinematic and hallucinogenic fever dream full of the familiar lingering ghosts of regret, of things unsaid that should have been said, of time’s endless passing as it follows the band’s lead singer dealing with the loss of a loved one as he returns to a familiar place without him — and throughout there’s the palpable sense that one can never really return home. As the video’s director says in a statement:

“When I first heard Autumn, I immediately felt the song’s sense of complex loss and the possibility of renewal.  We wanted the video to reflect a person’s experiences before they let themselves begin grieving.

It was a dream to shoot with No Kind of Rider in their home city of Portland, OR because I knew the vast and almost eerie pacific northwest setting would help communicate much of the story we wanted to tell.

We crafted the video to be about Sam’s (lead singer) journey of saying goodbye to a loved one as he returns to a familiar place, alone for the first time.

Shooting on the foggy roads leading out to the coast, flanked by looming evergreen trees, we captured Sam amidst a cathartic release as he arrives at the monumental Canon Beach.  The sheer magnitude of nature that he is set against only further reveals the size of his loss.”

Comprised of Sam Alexander, Wes Johnson, Jeremy Louis Joe Page and Jon Van Patten, the indie act No Kind of Rider has members split between Portland, OR and Brooklyn — although the act, which has developed a reparation for a sound that possesses elements of indie rock, shoegaze, r&b, indie rock and electro pop initially formed in Tulsa, OK. Between the time of their formation and their relocation, the band spent several years writing, playing and hustling hoping for a moment. “Working like that can break your heart,” the band’s Sam Alexander says in a lengthy statement written by him and his bandmates.

No Kind of Rider’s soon-to-be released full-length debut Savage Coast draws from several years of experience. As the band says, “there are things we have been during to say, and this record is a release emotionally for us. Both musically and lyrically we focus on ‘change’ a lot in this record.We use as many synthesizers and electronic samples as we do guitars and drums.  We want the listener to both feel comfortable and continuously be surprised.”  That sense of constant transition was inspired by the events of the band’s personal lives: Joe Page’s father unexpectedly died died two years before the band entered the studio to write and record the material that would eventually comprise their full-length debut. Sam Alexander notes that the year Page’s father died, was the same year that he got married. Wes Johnson’s father suddenly died. Jon Van Patten relocated to Brooklyn. And shortly after that, Alexander’s father had a stroke. “There’s been so may times in the last few years where I got stuck in my head: ‘Do other artists go through all this while making a record? Is this some kind of curse?’ For a long time I used to think of music as my path out of a difficult reality. I don’t anymore. Now, writing music is what keeps me rooted in my reality, it’s what lets me live with more presence and attention,” Alexander says.

“This isn’t a concept album,” Alexander and his bandmates continues. “But it does tell a story. We want the listener to uncover that story for themselves. However, a part of it is our story. Our loves, our friendships, our triumph, our losses. The story wouldn’t have happened without our move from Oklahoma to Oregon. We slept on friends floors and rehearsed in basements. I have over 300 hours of voice memos from our rehearsals down there!  Even though we recorded at incredible studios with talented friends, when I listen: I somehow still hear us in that moldy basement. I still hear the first time we pulled over on hwy 101 and saw the jagged wounds of the Pacific coastline.  Creatively, Joe actually drove out to Haystack Rock on the coast with a tape recorded – he designed new sounds and he embedded them into the tracks, so some of that is the actual article.  Most of it is just in the way that the music feels to me.” Unsurprisingly, the album thematically deals with loss, frustration and resiliency through love, friendship and music and of holding on to hope in the most difficult of times. Certainly, while personal, the album will likely resonate in much deeper and darker ways for so many of us in these desperate and frightening times. Sometimes music, your friends and loved ones and the hope of hope are the only things you can cling to — and that shouldn’t be shameful; not when the small things can be so sustaining and so necessary.

In any case, the album’s latest single “Sophia,” Alexander notes was recorded with the quintet facing each other in the same room, playing together in the same room — and much like The Verve‘s Urban Hymns, it has a different, more vital and urgent feel to the proceedings, as though the listener was a fly on the wall during the recording sessions. Sonically speaking the song is a slickly produced and effortless meshing of contemporary electro pop and R&B, anthemic indie rock and shoegaze that immediately brings to mind the likes of JOVM mainstays TV on the Radio and The Veldt as the track is rooted by shimmering guitar chords and synths, a propulsive bass line and Alexander’s achingly tender vocals, which puts a unique sensibility on their genre blurring sound and approach.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Modern Time Machines Send Up Classic TV Shows in Video for Album Single “Freefall (Can’t Stop)”

Over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, and as you may recall with the release of singles like Dweeb,” the band comprised of Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson have received attention for a pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonizing with a sound that has drawn comparisons to  M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band has received airplay on  KROQ 106.7FM, have appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God. 
The up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based shoegazers’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for release next week, and the album features guest spots from Nightmare Air‘s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens’ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. Earlier this year, I’ve written about the A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve “High Noon” and the  Dinosaur, Jr-like “Failsafe,” off the album — both of which further cemented their reputation for crafting 120 Minutes-era MTV-like indie rock. And much like its predecessors, MTM’s latest single “Freefall (Can’t Stop) continues in a similar vein as the band has a penchant for soaring hooks, feedback drenched guitars and dreamy boy/girl harmonizing, centered around earnest and plaintive lyrics. 

Directed by the band’s Ben Golomb and featuring a lengthy cast, the recently released video is a hilarious and ridiculous send up on a number of classic TV shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Small Wonder, Gilligan’s Island and others.  

New Video: Modern Time Machines Return with 120 Minutes-era MTV Inspired Visuals for Rousingly Anthemic Single “Failsafe”

Earlier this year, I wrote about  the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, and as you may recall with the release of their debut single “Dweeb,” and several other singles, which received airplay on KROQ 106.7FM, the band comprised of  Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson have received attention for pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonies with a sound that’s drawn comparisons to M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based shoegazers appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God.

Modern Time Machines’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for an April 6, 2018 release and will feature guest spots from Nightmare Air‘s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens‘ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. And as you may recall, album single “High Noon” featured the boy/girl harmonies that first garnered them attention while sonically reminding me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve. Interestingly, MTM’s latest single “Failsafe” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV affair — in particular, I’m somehow reminded of Dinosaur, Jr. and others, as the song features feedback drenched and pedal effected power chords, rousingly anthemic hooks, a propulsive and insistent rhythm section and those boy/girl harmonies; but underneath the dreamy vibes is an aching yearning.

Directed, edited and filmed by Kimberly Zsebe of ZB Images, the recently released video, much like the song itself seems heavily indebted to 120 Minutes-era MTV, as it features the band performing the song while partially shot under kaleidoscopic filters, which gives the video a trippy feel.

New Audio: Up-and-Coming Los Angeles-based Shoegazers Modern Time Release PT Anderson-Inspired Visuals for Wistful New Single “High Noon”

With the release of their debut single “Dweeb,” which received airplay on KROQ 106.7FM and several other singles, the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, comprised of Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson, have received attention for pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonies with feedback and distortion pedal effected guitars — while drawing comparisons to M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based shoegazers appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God.

Modern Time Machines’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for an April 6, 2018 release and will feature guest spots from Nightmare Air’s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens’ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. “High Noon,” MTM’s latest single will further cement their growing reputation for pairing wistful, boy/girl harmonizing with layers of feedback drenched guitar chords, soaring hooks and four-on-the-floor drumming — and in some way, the track to my ear is reminiscent of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve.

Directed and edited by the band’s Ben Golomb, the recently released music video begins with the members of the band driving around Los Angeles on a gloriously sunny day, stopping to pick up instruments and band members before shifting to the band in their rehearsal room performing the  song. Throughout the video, there are reportedly over a dozen mischievously hidden Paul Thomas Anderson-related visual gags.

Live Footage: Ulrika Spacek Performs “Mimi Pretend” at Tapetown Studios

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for bit, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts featuring Ulrika Spacek, and as you may recall the act, which is comprised of long-time friends and collaborators Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams can trace their origins to a night in Berlin, when the duo conceptualized the project’s sound and aesthetic around their mutual love for Television, Pavement, Sonic Youth and krautrock. When the duo returned to their hometown of Homerton, they began working on their full-length debut, The Album Paranoia, which featured the 120 Minutes-era  MTV-like single “She’s A Cult,” and the shoegazer-like “Strawberry Glue.”

While on a tour across the European Union, the members of the band stopped by Aarhus, Denmark-based Tapetown Studios to participate in the Live at Tapetown Series, in which Sound of Aarhus and the recording studio invite touring bands to come in and do a live session; but along with the touring bands during their downtime would get a unique taste of Aarhus beyond the typical touring routines of load-ins, sound checks, tear downs, pack ups and van rides.

Last month, Sound of Aarhus released footage of the JOVM mainstays performing their  A Storm in Heaven and  A Northern Soul-era The Verve and The Bends-era Radiohead-like single “Everything, All The Time.” The second video from the live session is the shimmering and jangling shoegazer track “Mimi Pretend,” and much like its predecessor from the sessions, the video will further cement their reputation for crafting 90s alt rock/shoegazer songs but with a subtly modern sheen. 

Live Footage: Ulrika Spacek at Tapetown Studios Aarhus Denmark

Comprised of long-time friends and collaborators Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, the indie rock act  Ulrika Spacek can trace their origins to a night in Berlin, when the duo conceptualized the project based around their mutual passions and influences — namely, Television, Pavement, Sonic Youth and krautrock. And as the story goes, upon their return to Homerton, the duo began working on the material that would eventually comprise their full-length debut The Album Paranoia, an album which featured the 120 Minutes-era  MTV-like single “She’s A Cult,” and the shoegazer-like Strawberry Glue.”
Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about them; however, the members of the project has been pretty busy writing and recording new material and touring — with their latest single “Everything, All The Time” managing to sound as though it nods at A Storm in Heaven and  A Northern Soul-era The Verve and The Bends-era Radiohead, thanks in part to jangling and distorted power chords, a propulsive rhythm section and an anthemic hook. And while among the most 90s alt rock-inspired songs they’ve released to date, the song reveals a subtle yet decidedly contemporary production sheen, along with a blistering urgency. 

While on a European Union tour, the members of the band stopped by Aarhus, Denmark-based Tapetown Studios to participate in the Live at Tapetown Series, in which Sound of Aarhus and the recording studio invite touring bands during their downtime to get a taste of the city beyond the routines of load-ins, sound checks, shows, tear downs and van rides — and it’ll include a live session in their studio. 

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