Tag: TOY Join the Dots

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm-based psych act Phogg quickly established a buzz-worthy sound that critics across Scandinavia and elsewhere compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Building upon a growing profile, last year’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh, an album about “robots that take over the world,” featured two attention grabbing singles:

  • Three Shirts:” a motorik-groove driven single that to my ears brings TOY‘s Join the Dots and Primal Scream‘s Evil Heat to mind.
  • Pearls:” an expansive and lysergic track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out ripper and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove.

Much like everyone else, 2020 has been a difficult year for the members of Phogg. Riding high from the critical reception of their sophomore album, the band began the ambitious challenge of working on two different albums simultaneously with the goal of working on each album in parallel — and then releasing them at the same time. But as the old saying goes: “The best laid plans of mice and men go awry.” Recording two different albums at the same time, wound up being a terrible decision with the band experiencing burn out and fatigue. And for a period of time, the band sort of floated around with no direction and no goal, waiting until their creative instincts returned.

During that the period, the band had deep-seated philosophical questions that tied into their own creative process. What does it really mean to be a rock band these days? Does anything even matter? The legendary days of rock have faded into the ruthless fart of the pandemic era. It’s not fun to make songs about the end times when you are in the middle of it.”

Phogg’s forthcoming third album The Sharkness is informed by and influenced by the harrowing events and emotions of the pandemic, an existential crisis and a recent heartbreak. The Sharkness‘ latest single “Corme (Rental Palace)” is a brooding yet meditative instrumental jam centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric and twinkling keys, a propulsive rhythm section before turning into a gallop towards the song’s last half. Some dexterous guitar work darts in and out of the song’s propulsive rhythm, giving the song a subtle surf rock air. Interestingly, the track may be among the most brooding yet heartfelt tracks of their growing catalog.

New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Psych Rock Act Phogg Releases a Surreal and Post Apocalyptic Visual for “Three Shirts”

With the release of last year’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm, Sweden-based indie act Phogg quickly emerged into the Swedish psych rock scene with a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra — and as a result. they’ve received airplay on Sweden’s P3, and praise from the likes of HYMN, Nordik Simit and Born Music Online among others. 

Building upon a growing national profile, the up-and-coming Swedish psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Records. Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh’s trippy, first single “Three Shirts” is centered around a motorik groove reminiscent of Join the Dots-era TOY, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Flamingods’ forthcoming Levitation paired with jangling guitars, blasts of shimmering synths, a rousingly anthemic hook and some blazing guitar solos. Interestingly, the recently released video for “Three Shirts” is a surrealistic romp that owes a debt to 60s and 70s promotional videos, as it features the members the band in a post-apocalyptic quarry. It begins with the lead singer, showing up to an old computer with a cup of coffee, as though he’s going to work. We see the other bandmates riding around on motorcycles; at points his bandmates interrupt the frame or do some other odd thing to disrupt the goings on. There’s no rhyme or reason for anything — and yet it’s trippy and pretty hilarious. 

New Video: The Trippy and Sounds Visuals for Mint Field’s Expansive New Single “Quiero Otoño de Nuevo”

With the release of their debut EP Primeras Salidas, the Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico-based duo Mint Field, comprised of 21 year-olds Estrella Sanchez and Amor Amezcua, quickly received international attention that included sets at some of North America’s […]

New Video: The Psychedelic and Lynchian-like Visuals for Norma’s “S.A.D.”

Largely inspired by NEU! and Faust, as well as Spiritualized and Spacemen 3, the Stockholm, Sweden-based trio Norma, comprised Erik Vallin, Love Martinsen, and Petter Bendelin formed in a living room in 2007, watching David Lynch movies while experimenting with pedal steel guitars, vintage organs and synthesizers. As the story goes, after a while, the trio started rehearsing in a bomb shelter and eventually developed a bigger, heavier sound, which wound up on their debut effort Book of Norma. Several years later, the band followed that up with their 2013 sophomore effort, The Invisible Mother. Over the past few years, they’ve developed a reputation for being deliberate — and over a decade since their formation, the band will be releasing their third, full-length album sometime in 2018. 

“S.A.D,” the yet-untitled album’s first single features a prerequisite, chugging motorik groove paired with shimmering, pedal effected guitars and a soaring hook to create a song that reminds me quite a bit of Join the Dots-era TOY — but interestingly enough, the song is both about seasonal affective disorder and a character that the band has dubbed Neil, a figure that appears during the darkest season, and attempts to thwart you as you go about your daily life. As the band explains, “. . . We probably all have our personal devils, wherever we want them or not, it’s just about learning how to live with them. It may be quite difficult to get a daily life working as it is and it will not be easier to discuss economics, logistics or food when Neil creeps along your spine and says he’s going to shoot you in your leg.”

Edited by Frederick Stewart Holm and featuring photography by the band and Najda von Bahr with scenography, costumes and makeup by Emila Esping, the recently recently video for “S.A.D.” follows Neil, a vagabond-like character as he travels the countryside in a custom built jalopy to the kindergarten where he entertains kids as a clown/entertainer. Eventually, he disappears into a dream where he floats among planets, fishes and laser lights in a Lynchian and psychedelic nightmare. 

New Video: Dinowalrus Returns to Pair Trippy, Psychedelic Visuals with Their Manchester-Channeling Sound

You may have become familiar with Brooklyn-based psych rock act Dinowalrus, an act that I’ve written a bit about quite a bit over the past few months. Currently comprised of frontman and guitarist Pete Feigenbaum, who has spent some time as a touring guitarist in Titus Andronicus; Max Tucker; Meaghan Omega; Dan Peskin; and John Atkinson, who joins the band as a touring member, the members of the Brooklyn-based band have developed a growing national and international profile for a sound and aesthetic that draws from post-punk, krautrock, shoegaze, synth pop and psych rock as you’ll hear off “Tides,” the first single off the band’s recently released full-length effort FAIRWEATHER. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though the band had been listening to Join The Dots-era Toy, Primal Scream and the Manchester sound as the band pairs shimmering and undulating synths with a driving, motorik-like groove, guitar chords played through delay and other effect pedal and Feigenbaum’s plaintively cooed vocals.

The recently released video for the song is appropriately psychedelic and begins with Feigenbaum tripping on hallucinogens in a forest, when he stumbles upon four strangers, his bandmates in a variety of situations, and they unite on a singular purpose based on the fact that each of the members of this crew have a portion of a larger piece of art scrawled on their arms. And while in a cemetery, they encounter a guitar pick, which may have mystical powers. Trippy, indeed.

New Video: Dinowalrus Returns with Trippy, Motorik Groove-Driven Shoegaze and Psychedelic Visuals

FAIRWEATHER’s latest single “Falling to the Periphery” will further cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting a sound that pairs ethereal melody and propulsive motorik groove. And while some of my colleagues have described “Periphery” as sounding as though it drew from Achtung Baby-era U2, which is a fairly apt description, the song to my ears reminds me much more of Primal Scream and TOY — in particular think of “Autobahn 66” off Evil Heat and “Conductor” off Join the Dots but possessing an airier quality.

The recently released music video however, features the band performing the song on top of a Brooklyn rooftop under increasingly psychedelic and neon-colored skies and interestingly enough, the video does reminds me of two distinct and completely different U2 videos — the video for “Where The Streets Have No Name” and the video for “Mysterious Ways.”

New Video: The Psychedelic Imagery for Toy’s “I’m Still Believing”

As you’ll hear on “I’m Still Believing,” Clear Shot’s second and latest single, the band’s sound has began to lean more towards lush, guitar pop territory as layers of shimmering and jangling acoustic guitar chords (with gentle amounts of reverb) are paired with soaring synths, an anthemic hook and Tom Dougall’s introspective lyrics, all while nodding at Nick Drakeand Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd.

The recently released music video employs a pretty basic concept of having the extremely British looking band performing the song in a variety of strobe lights and Super 8-like filters, sequences of the individual band members broodingly hanging out, brief bursts of animation and Japanese commercials and it gives the entire proceeding a trippy vibe reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s The Wall but with a playful air.