Tag: The xx

Comprised of  Amber Lane-Mcivor, Jake Blythe and Oliver Lamb, the Manchester, UK-based electro pop trio Ambiere have received attention from the blogosphere and BBC Introducing over the past year for a sound that’s drawn comparisons to the likes of Portishead and The xx among others. Building upon a breakthrough year and a growing profile, the Manchester-based electro pop act’s latest single “I See Faces” finds the act pairing strummed, electric guitar and Lane-Mcivor’s gorgeous and soulful vocals with a lush and effortlessly slick production consisting of arpeggiated and shimmering synths, propulsive yet stuttering beats and a soaring hook. And while their latest single manages to simultaneously be both radio and club friendly, their sound — to my ears at least — reminds me of Ways We Separate and Escapements-era Beacon, as the British trio manages to evoke similar, lingering ghosts.

 

 

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New Video: Mount Kimble’s Playful Visuals and New Single Pushes Their Attention-Grabbing Sound in Trippy New Directions

Comprised of Kai Campos and Dominic Maker, the London and Los Angeles-based production and electronic music artist duo Mount Kimbie can trace their origins to when the. St. Austell, Cornwall-born Campos and the Brighton-born Maker met while studying at London Southbank University, where Campos was having another go at school and Maker was studying film.  And with 2009’s Maybes EP and Sketch on Glass EP, and their  2010’s full-length debut Crooks & Lovers, the duo quickly rose to national attention for pushing dubstep into new, exciting directions, including using field recordings to form major elements of their material paired with glitchy synths and electronics, as well as elements of post-punk and other genres — with some critics hailing them as the pioneers of post-dubstep. Unsurprisingly, Crooks & Lovers appeared on over 30 different “Best of 2010” lists, including NME, Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound — and along with that NME listed them at number 22 of their 30 Artists for 2011. Adding to a growing profile, the duo have frequently collaborated with James Blake, King Krule and Micachu and have remixed the The Big Pink, Foals, The xx and Andreya Triana among others.
 
By 2012, the band signed with renowned electronic label, Warp Records, who released their critically applauded breakthrough album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth the following year and their third album Love What Survives, which was released earlier this year. Interestingly, their latest album marks two different and important milestones for the duo — their first studio album in four years and the first album with the duo as a Transatlantic duo with one member in London, the other in Los Angeles. The album’s latest single “You Look Certain (I’m Not So Sure),” feat. Andrea Balency finds the duo pushing their sound in completely new directions — in this case, nodding at breezy surf pop, psych pop and industrial electronica while retaining the glitchy synths and boom bap beats that first caught the attention of the blogosphere while pairing that with Balency’s coquettish and ethereal vocals. And while seemingly self-assured, the song bristles with the narrator’s awareness of their insecurities and faults. 

Directed by Rosie Marks and Frank Lebon, the recently released video is set in Miami and focuses on (and even emphasizes) the insecurities one has while in a new place — especially when you’re someone from far away, trying to figure out what the hell is going on and how you fit in. 

With the release of their first two singles, “Loveless” and “This Is It,” the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Lo Moon, comprised off Matt Lowell (vocals, guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass, keys) and Sam Stewart (guitar), quickly became one of their hometown’s most buzzed about bands after receiving early praise from the likes of New York Times, NPR Music, V Magazine, KCRWLos Angeles Times, NPR’s World Cafe and others, and they’ve opened for the likes of Phoenix, Glass Animals, The Lemon Twigs, Air, London Grammar and others. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the band is currently finishing up their Chris Walla and Francois Tetaz-produced full-length debut; but before that, the trio’s latest single “Thorns” is a slow-burning and atmospheric track that sounds indebted to Roxy Music (think of “More Than This” “The Space Between” and “Avalon“), The xx and others.

The band is currently on a lengthy tour that includes a November 6 stop at Rough Trade and a December 15 stop at The Beacon Theatre for WFUV’s Holiday Cheer. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates
October 14: Buffalo, NY @ HRVST Festival (w/ Phoenix)
October 15: New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall (w/ Phoenix)
October 17: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 18: Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 20: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 21: London, UK @ Eventim Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 23: Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 24: Edinburg, UK @ Usher Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 26: Nottingham, UK @ Rock City (w/ London Grammar)
October 27: Bristol, UK @ Colston Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 29: Newcastle, UK @ City Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 30: London, UK @ O2 Brixton Academy (w/ London Grammar)
November 1: Dublin, IE @ Olympia Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 2: Belfast, IE @ Waterfront Hall (w/ London Grammar)
November 6: Brooklyn @ Rough Trade (headline)
November 7: Philadelphia @ Boot & Saddle (headline)
November 16: Los Angeles @ The Troubadour (headline)
November 22: Luxembourg @ Rockhal (w/ London Grammar)
November 23: Amsterdam, NL @ AFAS Live (w/ London Grammar)
November 25: Cologne, DE @ Palladium (w/ London Grammar)
November 26: Berlin, DE @ Velodrom (w/ London Grammar)
November 28: Hamburg, DE @ Mehr! Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 30: Zurich, CH @ Halle 622 (w/ London Grammar)
December 4: London, UK @ The Lexington (headline)
December 8: Stuttgart, DE @ Liederhalle Hegelsaal (w/ London Grammar)
December 9: Munich, DE @ TonHalle (w/ London Grammar)
December 11: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 12: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 15: New York City, NY @ WFUV Holiday Cheer at Beacon Theatre (w/ Jeff Tweedy and more)

Comprised of London-born, Los Angeles-based duo Hetty Clark (vocals) and Ned Douglas (keys, guitar, programming), The Dot and The Line can trace its origins to a mutual love and appreciation of downtempo electronica acts like Portishead, The xx, Haelos and others. As the story goes, the duo started working together to carve out their own sound and to write the material the would comprise their debut EP, and as you’ll hear on the duo’s second and latest single “Wait For You,” the duo pair Clark’s breathy and sensual vocals with a stark and cinematic production featuring layers of cascading, shimmering synths, twinkling keys, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a soaring hook. And while nodding at Portishead, The xx and Garbage, the song as the duo’s Hetty Clark explains in press notes is an ode to the complicated and often frustrating essence of desire. “It’s a song about desire, desire being the blueprint of all we do and act upon. There is a dazzling aspect to desire, with all the unassimilated feelings that lie below the surface, causing us to act and behave in unpredictable ways. Desire is a huge life force, but it can also be an annihilating force. Deeply longing for something requires also accepting the pain of unfulfillment.””

Of course, unsurprisingly the song while further cement the duo’s growing reputation for crafting moody and cinematic downtempo electronica with a tense, push and pull familiar to relationships and involvements in which one’s feelings and motivations are uncertain and confused.

 

 

New Audio: Goldfrapp’s Latest Single Reveals Both a Return to Form and an Improvisational Feel

Now, with the release of 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory —released what was arguably one of their most cinematic, hauntingly and lushly gorgeous efforts, as the album’s material paired Goldfrapp’s arresting vocals with classical-leaning arrangements featuring piano, a soaring string section, acoustic guitar with some electronic flourishes here and there. Interestingly, with the release of “Anymore,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released and much-anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye revealed a bit of a return to form for the duo as the single features a slick production consisting of enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals, expressing a tense impatience and longing with a tougher, more abrasive sound while buzzing with a restless, creative energy and sense of experimentation, which stems from the recording sessions with Grammy-wining producer John Congleton, who has worked with St. Vincent, John Grant and Wild Beasts; as well as collaborations with electronic composer Bobby Krlic, best known as The Haxan Cloak and Leo Abrahams, a guitarist, who has collaborated with Brian Eno contributed abstract guitar textures. And lastly, the album was mixed by David Wrench, who has worked with The xx, FKA Twigs and Caribou.

Much like the previously released singles, “Ocean” reveals an abrasive sound featuring layers of arpeggio synths, tribal like drumming, enormous, thundering beats, and ominously swirling electronics within a fairly minimalist-inspired production that allows Goldfrapp’s expressive vocals room to express anger, disgust and frustration. As the duo explained to the folks at Billboard the song was created during a morning writing and recording session and was originally built from what Goldfrapp called a “a very small improvisation.” “I remember coming into the studio one morning and I think we just had a few drums going and it was really basic,” Goldfrapp recalled. “Will said ‘Do you fancy doing some vocals this morning?’ So I was like, ‘Alright then’ and slightly reluctantly, i went into the vocal both and the words just came out.” And as a result, the song manages to bristle with a wild, unpredictability unlike any of their previously released material.

With the release of her debut EP, Where’s Your Love?, the up-and-coming, NYC-based pop artist Khodara received attention across the blogosphere for a soulful take on electro pop that according to some critics evoked the likes of Diana Ross, Kylie Minogue and Donna Summer.  Building upon the buzz, she received with her debut EP, Khodara along with producer and collaborator Billy Pavone wrote and recorded material, which would eventually comprise her soon-to-be released EP Billie. And with “Anxious,” the second single off the EP, the New York-based  up-and-coming pop artist along with her collaborator Billy Pavone, reveal that the EP will be comprised of slow-burning and atmospheric synth pop that to some ears has been compared to the XX and Phantogram, although to my ears I’m reminded of the likes of ACES (if they did Quiet Storm-like R&B) and others — while lyrically, the song deals with its narrator overcoming her own self-doubts and anxiousness in a very human and imperfect fashion.

 

 

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Goldfrapp Return with a Buzzing, Dance-Floor Friendly, New Single

With 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory — released what may have arguably been one of their hauntingly gorgeous and lushly atmospheric efforts they had ever released as the album’s material leaned more towards compositions featuring piano, stunning string arrangements, classically strummed guitar paired with Alison Goldfrapp’s equally gorgeous and arresting vocals. The duo’s much anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye is slated for a March 31, 2017 release though Mute Records, and the forthcoming album’s first single “Anymore” reveals a radical change in sonic direction with the duo’s sound as the single features enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Version 2.0-era Garbage, the song possesses a tense impatience and longing at its core.

Comprised of songwriting and production duo of Amber Lane-Mcivor and Jake Blythe, the Manchester, UK-based indie electro pop act Ambiere have been compared to the likes of blogosphere darlings The xx — while crafting a sound that the duo have described as “fairytale grunge, with a jellybean peanut butter finish.” The Manchester, UK-based duo’s latest single “Tree of Life” is a dreamy and atmospheric song in which Lane-Mcivor’s soulful vocals is paired with a spacious production featuring layers of shimmering guitars, dramatic percussion to create a song that possesses a vulnerability and longing at its core.

 

Initially comprised of founding members Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, along with Baria Qureshi and Jamie Smith, who joined a bit later, the renowned indie trio The xx can trace their origins to when its founding members met while studying at Elliott School, a school in which Pierce Bronson, the members of Hot Chip, Burial and Four Tet attended — although the members of the band have publicly downplayed the school’s influence on their career. And with the release of their 2009 self-titled debut, the then-quartet quickly received critical praise across both major media outlets and the blogosphere as the album landed at number 9 on Rolling Stone‘s Best of 2009 List, number 2 on NME‘s Best of 2009 list, and along with that the band itself landed at number 6 on NME The Future 50 List and was named one of MTV Iggy‘s “Top 10 Bands with Buzz” at that year’s CMJ Festival. Additionally, album single “Crystalised” was featured as an iTunes UK single of the week that August. And adding to a quickly burgeoning international profile, the band toured with of Friendly Fires, The Big Pink, and Micachu, played an All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival curated by Matt Groening in Minehead, UK and played at some of the biggest Stateside music festivals — Coachella, Sasquatch!, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

The band’s 2012 sophomore effort Coexist revealed a subtle change in sonic direction as it was largely inspired by club music and their own experiences of returning from extensive touring to party with each other and with friends. And much like its predecessor, the album was written and recorded in relative isolation.

Over the past couple of years, the trio of  Sim, Croft, and Smith have pursued their own creative pursuits — most notably Smith released a solo effort or two; but they also managed over the course of the past two years to write and record their long-awaited third full-length effort I See You, which Young Turks Records will be releasing on January 13.  Recorded between March 2014 and August 2016 in New York, NY; Marfa, TX; Reykjavik, Iceland; Los Angeles, CA; and London UKI See You reportedly has the band writing and recording their most outlook-looking, open and expansive work to date. Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single “Say Something Loving
is a slow-burning and atmospheric pop song that possesses a Quiet Storm R&B/soul-like intensity paired with an urgently plaintive vulnerability and need; but along with that the song reveals that love is frequently a difficult balance between our past baggage, our crippling self doubts and the recognition that as much as we cherish love, that love rarely makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Melancholic Visuals and Sounds of WILDHART’s “We Made Up A Dream”

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Gothenburg, Sweden-based indie electro pop trio WILDHART, and with the release of “Stuck In A Second,” the trio comprised of  Ylva Homdahl (vocals), Kiwi Berg (synths) and Josefin Runsteen (drums) quickly […]