Tag: Toro Y Moi

Earlier this year, I wrote about Trent Prall, a Southern California-born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter and his solo recording project Kainalu, which derives its name for the Hawaiian word for ocean wave.  The music that Prall has created over the past decade or so, draws from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop, funk and childhood trips to Oahu, Hawaii visiting his mother’s family — and the breezy and retro-futuristic mix is what the Southern California -born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter has dubbed Hawaii-fi, as a homage to his Hawaiian roots and their influence on him.  Now, as you may recall, “Love Nebula” reminded me quite a bit of Tame Impala, Toro y Moi,  Shawn Lee’s Synthesizers in Space, AM and Shawn Lee’s La Musique Numerique and Lee’s split album with Tim “Love” Lee New York Trouble/Electric Progression as “Love Nebula” was centered around shimmering analog synths, a sinuous bass line and copious amounts of cowbell; but underneath the breezy and summery groove is a bittersweet yearning both for a sense of belonging – and for someone.

“Finding Peace of Mind” Prall’s latest single was inspired by Trent’s father, who routinely gives him advice on life and other matters — and the song was written in some way from his father’s prospective. ““He would always try and get me to read Alan Watts’ literature as a way of accepting the stress and anxiety of the world. Although, it’s kind of ironic though because a book inspired the lyrics which are about not being able to learn yourself inside of books,” Prall explains in press notes. “The overall message is sometimes you can’t learn yourself by looking outward, instead you must accept that you can discover more by diving deep internally.” While focusing on a deep and thoughtful self-assessment and introspection, the single will further cement Prall’s reputation for crafting dreamy and retro-futuristic synth pop — but in this case with a decided psych pop leaning.

 

New Video: The Breezily Nostalgic Visuals and Sounds of JOVM Mainstays Cones’ Latest Single “First Time”

Throughout this past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones — and as you’d recall, the duo comprised of Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator,  who has created music videos Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve, and who played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist can trace the origins of their collaborative project together to when they began playing together as members of NYC-based indie rock Icewater. Eventually,  the members of Icewater began playing as the session and touring band for Eleanor Friedberger’s New View, and while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, ultimately deciding that their project would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation. 

Shortly after the tour to support Friedberger’s New View, the Rosens along with a bunch of friends, associations and collaborators wrote and recorded the material that would comprise their debut EP, Whatever You’re Into, which featured single “Echoes On,” a single that paired Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country-like arrangement with a breeziness reminiscent of 70s AM radio. The EP’s follow up single, “Back In The Brain” further cemented their growing reputation for crafting breezy and ethereal synth pop with soaring hooks — but with that song, there was a darker undertone, as it was an ode to solitude.

“Later,” which the band released a few months ago found the duo retaining the shimmering and atmospheric, synth-led arrangements that first caught the attention of this site and the rest of the blogosphere — but interestingly enough, it may arguably be one of the most dance floor friendly singles they’ve released, as the song pairs lush atmospherics with a funky, two-step inducing bridge. But underneath the joyous vibes, the song as Jonathan Rosen explained was much more ambivalent than what the listener should actually expect. “I wrote ‘Later’ a few years ago when I was moving back home to California from New York. I finished it on Highway 1. It captures that moment in a breakup when you finally start to find peace, but some of that bitterness is still hanging around. It was originally a bit somber, but Michael and I realized it worked pretty well as a dance track, so we went for it,” as Jonathan Rosen explains in press notes.

“First Time,” the JOVM mainstays latest single is a breezy bubblegum pop-inspired track that manages to nod at early Beach Boys and contemporaries like Pavo Pavo and others while featuring fluttering synths, ethereal vocals and propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming. As a result, the song has a sincere and wistful nostalgia over a profound universal experience — falling in love for the very first time with an expected naivety. 

The recently released video features Jonathan Rosen’s hand drawn animations with live 8mm footage, specifically chosen to evoke the nostalgic feeling within the song.

If you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of the year, you’ve likely come across a few posts featuring San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones, and as you may recall, the duo comprised of Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator,  who has created music videos Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve, whose own rock ‘n’ roll dream started in earnest when he played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist can trace the origins of their collaborative project together to when they began playing together as members of NYC-based indie rock Icewater. Eventually. the members of Icewater began playing as the session and touring band for Eleanor Friedberger’s New View.

While touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, and ultimately, they decided that the project should fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation. Shortly after the tour to support New View, the Rosen Brothers along with a bunch of friends, associates and collaborators wrote and then recorded the material that comprised their debut EP Whatever You’re Into, which featured single “Echoes On,” a single that paired Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country-like arrangement with a breeziness reminiscent of 70s AM radio. “Back In The Brain” further cemented their growing reputation for crafting breezy and ethereal synth pop with soaring hooks — but with that song, there was a darker undertone, as it was an ode to solitude.

The duo’s latest single “Later” while retaining the shimmering and atmospheric synth-led arrangements that first caught the attention of this site and the rest of the blogosphere, may arguably be one of their most dance floor friendly with the duo subtly nodding to disco and electro pop thanks to a two-step inducing bridge, which gives the song a playful, funky air; however, as the band’s Jonathan Rosen explains, the song is much more ambivalent than what you’d expect, “I wrote ‘Later’ a few years ago when I was moving back home to California from New York. I finished it on Highway 1. It captures that moment in a breakup when you finally start to find peace, but some of that bitterness is still hanging around. It was originally a bit somber, but Michael and I realized it worked pretty well as a dance track, so we went for it.”

 

Q&A with Kainalu A.K.A. Trent Prall

Trent Prall is a Southern California-born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter whose solo recording project Kainalu derives its name for the Hawaiian word for “ocean wave,” and interestingly enough the music Prall has created over the past decade or so draws from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk and from childhood trips to Oahu, Hawaii visiting his mother’s family to create a breezy and retro-futuristic sound that he’s dubbed Hawaii-fi, as a homage to his Hawaiian roots and their influence on him.

“Love Nebula” Prall’s latest single immediately brings to my mind Tame Impala, Toro y Moi,  Shawn Lee’s Synthesizers in Space, AM and Shawn Lee’s La Musique Numerique and Lee’s split album with Tim “Love” Lee New York Trouble/Electric Progression as the song is centered around shimmering analog synths, a sinuous bass line and copious amounts of cowbell; but underneath the breezy and summery groove is a bittersweet yearning both for a sense of belonging – and for someone.

I recently chatted with the up-and-coming, Southern California-born, Wisconsin-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter via email about how much Hawaii has influenced him and his music, his musical influences, the new single and more. Check out the Q&A below.

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WRH: How did you get into music? And when did you know it was your calling? 

TK: Both of my parents are creatives/musicians so I was surrounded by instruments for longer than I can remember. My dad always tells this funny story about how he would put some headphones onto my mom’s stomach while I was in the womb and blast Earth Wind and Fire haha…. I don’t know if that did anything but I still love EW&F …

WRH: From what I understand, you were born and raised in Hawaii and are now currently based in Wisconsin (which probably is one of the biggest cultural shifts I can think of while still being in this country). How was it like growing up in Hawaii? And how much have your formative years in Hawaii influenced your sound and overall aesthetic?

TK: I wasn’t actually born in Hawaii, I’m from Southern California but my mother’s family, extended and all, lives in Hawaii and so I would spend the majority of my summers there. I moved around the country a lot in my formative years and so I didn’t have a real “home base” growing up. The only constant was Hawaii. Those summers really had a lasting influence on me and the music I write. I was introduced to Hawaiian music early… a popular genre of music in the islands is called Jawaiian music which is a fusion of reggae and Hawaiian sounds, very groove-centric.

However, I think the ocean and the peace I feel with it is the biggest influence on my music. The ocean really feels like home to me… playing and later relaxing on the beaches of Oahu are my most cherished memories. I would grow each year but the beaches never changed, I’m not sure why but I love that concept, it’s very tranquil to me and I try to capture that feeling with Kainalu. Kainalu actually means ocean wave in Hawaiian

WRH: You’ve dubbed your sound “Hawaii-fi.” What does that comprise of? And how does that differ from say, dream pop or psych pop?

TK: I honestly am not a fan of naming genres because in my mind every artist is unique in their own way. From the point of view of describing the music to other listeners I understand why genre names exist, but I think it forces preconceived ideas on the listening experience. So I honestly just made it up because the music was heavily influenced by my love of Hawaii and my memories there. More specific, I think tropical psych music is Hawaii-fi. But yeah, it could very well be psych pop or dream pop, I think people who enjoy the music should decide how to describe it and I’ll gladly take the tag that’s given.

WRH: Who are your influences? 

TK: [I] live for psych rock and Motown. So Tame Impala, Toro y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra on one side and Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, etc. more recently though I’ve been taking a deep dive into bossa nova, Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz are getting to me in such a good way.

 WRH: What is the influence behind your latest single? 

 TK: “Love Nebula” was written because I wanted to write a heavy bass driven song. I started on the piano but bass is my favorite to play. Once I had the instruments laid out I wanted to write the lyrics about wanting to be wanted. Through middle and high school, I was bullied a lot about my race, it’s kind of fucked up… it made my cultural identity confusing as a child. This song was written to be a sort of reclaiming of my identity and confidence… but the reclaiming comes in the form of wanting to be desired by a love interest

WRH: What’s next for you?

TK: I’m about half way done with my next release, once it’s done I’m ready to tour.

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about  San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones  and as you may recall the sibling duo comprised of Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator,  who has created music videos for a number of renowned artists including Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve, whose rock ‘n’ roll dream started in earnest when he played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, who is a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist can trace the origins of their band to when they began playing together as members of the NYC-based indie rock act Icewater. Eventually, the members of Icewater began playing as the session and backing band for Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger, helping to write, record her latest album New View.

And as the story, while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what Cones would sound like, and ultimately they decided that the project’s overall sound would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation.  Shortly after the tour, the Rosens with a bunch of friends, associates and collaborators to write and record the material that would eventually comprise their debut EP Whatever You’re Into, which featured single “Echoes On,” a single that paired Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country-like arrangement with a breeziness reminiscent of 70s AM radio.

Their latest single “Back In The Brain” will further cement the sibling duo’s reputation for crafting breezy and wistful synth pop with a motorik-like groove and soaring hooks but underneath the breeziness is a song is an aching loneliness. As Jonathan Rosen explains “A friend of mine once described living alone as a sensation of being constantly inside of your own brain — your house is your head. After a while I realized I would often think the phrase ‘back in the brain’ upon returning home from being out, so we turned it into a song. It’s my ode to solitude.

“The animation, drawn and colored by hand, brings this idea to life. Through the yes of Bob the Hippie — an extremely groove dude, who lives inside of a lava lamp, we witness the magical confusion of seclusion.”

Officially formed in Athens, GA during the winter of 2014 and comprised of primary songwriter Gresham Cash (vocals, guitar), Wes Gregory (drums) and Connor Sabula (bass), the indie rock/psych rock trio Oak House have developed a reputation for an uncompromisingly weird sound that effortlessly meshes elements of melodic and pop-leaning indie rock, psych rock, experimental rock and grunge rock paired with contemplative and visceral lyrics that explore and investigate life’s inevitable conflicts; bur interestingly enough, Cash’s songwriting is largely influenced by classical music, jazz, Eastern melodic structure and contemporary, minimalist instrumental music, which unsurprisingly gives their overall sound a cinematic air.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, the Athens, GA-based trio’s sophomore effort Hot or Mood was recorded at Chase Park Transduction with Drew Vandenberg, who’s worked with of MontrealToro y MoiKishi BashiDeerhunter and Mothers and the album reportedly finds the band accurately capturing their live sound and energy — and as I wrote of the rapidly shifting album single “Cut That Out,” the track managed to capture the narrator’s vacillating thoughts and emotions with a shaky, unsteady almost anxiety-inducing accuracy. As the band’s Gresham Cash explains in press notes ” I wanted to craft a picture of dreams by using frenetic, shifting imagery with a blend of hopeful nostalgia muddied by sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Also, I felt that anxiety, depression and suicide are things that not only influence us directly, but also, those around us; hence, the chorus, ‘We’re all responsible for someone else.’ The ending is the feeling of the dream unraveling combined with the feeling that you are living within someone else’s dream: unsettling to say the least. Your only defense against the confusion and discomfort is like swatting at an irksome fly that keeps buzzing in your ears: ‘Cut that out.’”

Hot or Mood‘s latest single “Esque” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, thanks to a rapidly shifting structure that touches upon ambient and minimalist electronics, anthemic power chord-based indie rock and expansive psych rock — and while sounding as though it were influenced by OK Computer and Kid A-era Radiohead; but pay close attention to the lyrics, as the song’s narrator at one point ruminates on the relativistic nature of time, in which past, present and future all co-exist simultaneously as the song feels like swirling, feverish and anxious dream.

The band will be embarking on a tour throughout next month and it’ll include an August 20, 2017 stop at The Bowery Electric. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates: 

August 10 – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
August 11 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
August 12 – Tampa, FL @ New World Brewery
August 14 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House
August 15 – Durham, NC @ The Cave
August 16 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Golden Pony
August 17 – Washington, DC @ TBA
August 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
August 20 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Electric
August 21 – Fairfield, CT @ Fairfield Theatre
August 22 – Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles
August 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Black Forge Coffeehouse
August 24 – Huntington, WV @ V Club
August 25 – Lexington, KY @ Green Lantern
August 26 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
August 27 – Nashville, TN @ Fond Object Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Psychedelic and Animated Visuals for Cones’ “Echoes On”

Comprised of San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Jonathan Rosen, a pop music influenced, acclaimed hand-drawn animator, who has created music videos for a number of renowned artists including Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedburger and Delicate Steve, whose rock ‘n’ roll dream started in earnest when he played Johnny Thunders for the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, who is a classically trained pianist, commercial/film composer and experimental sound artist, Cones can trace their newest project to when they began playing music together, while they were both in NYC as members of Icewater. Eventually the members of Icewater began playing as the session and backing band for the Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger, helping to write, record her latest album New View.

As the story goes, while on tour the Rosens began to conceptual their latest project, a project that would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and key-heavy orchestration. And in the summer of 2016, the Rosens, along with a bunch of friends and associates wrote and recorded the material of their debut EP Whatever Your’e Into. And interestingly enough, the EP’s latest single “Echoes On” has the duo pairing Jonathan’s dreamy falsetto with a twangy, psych country arrangement that’s reminiscent of 70s AM radio, Tame Impala and Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT; but with a breezier feel and rousingly anthemic hooks.

The recently released video features Jonathan Rosen’s loose and playful, hand-held animation featuring the duo traveling in a car, wandering around aimlessly, playing the song through a variety of instruments with a fittingly psychedelic and trippy quality.

Comprised of Gresham Cash (vocals, guitar), Wes Gregory (drummer) and Connor Sabula (bass), the Athens, GA-based indie rock/psych rock trio Oak House formed in 2014 and since their formation they’ve developed a growing reputation for a sound that possesses elements of melodic indie rock, grunge rock, psych rock and prog rock paired with contemplative and visceral lyrics that explore and investigate life’s inevitable conflicts — and for high energy live shows.

The Athens, GA-based trio’s forthcoming sophomore full-length album Hot or Mood was recorded at Chase Park Transduction with Drew Vandenberg, who’s worked with of Montreal, Toro y Moi, Kishi Bashi, Deerhunter and Mothers and the album reportedly represents a cohesive sample of their live sound — a sound that has been described as tumultuous, melodic, raucous infectious and immersive.  The album’s latest single “Cut That Out” is rapidly shifting and angular song with propulsive, rolling drumming, droning synths, buzzing guitar chords and a throbbing bass line that seems to capture the narrator’s rapidly vacillating thoughts and emotions, and with an unshakable anxiousness. As the band’s Gresham Cash explains in press notes ” I wanted to craft a picture of dreams by using frenetic, shifting imagery with a blend of hopeful nostalgia muddied by sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Also, I felt that anxiety, depression and suicide are things that not only influence us directly, but also, those around us; hence, the chorus, ‘We’re all responsible for someone else.’ The ending is the feeling of the dream unraveling combined with the feeling that you are living within someone else’s dream: unsettling to say the least. Your only defense against the confusion and discomfort is like swatting at an irksome fly that keeps buzzing in your ears: ‘Cut that out.’”