Tag: trip hop

New Audio: France’s Flora Junie Shares DarK, Brooding Yet Accessible “Fleur”

Flora Junie is a French singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has spent several stints of her career as the frontwoman of several all-girl rock bands including Cognacq, Jays, Junie Jungle and Desilons.

With her Fred Lefranc-produced debut EP Init, Junie steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist crafting a sound that’s a decided change in direction from her previously released work — a brooding, percussive take on trip-hop and electro pop. Interestingly, the EP is Junie’s first effort with lyrics written and sung completely in French.

“Fluer,” Init‘s latest single features tweeter and woofer rattling boom bap, buzzing bass synths paired with Junie’s plaintive delivery and a rousingly anthemic hook. Sonically, “Fluer” to my ears manages to recall Third-era Portishead and Silver Eye-era Goldfrapp while possessing a pop-leaning accessibility.

New Audio: Orlando’s The Lovelines Share Woozy “Steadily”

Orlando-based sibling duo outfit The Lovelines — Tessa D (vocals) and Todd Goings (multi-instrumentalist, songwriting and production) — emerged late last year with their debut single “Strange Kind of Love,” which rose to #1 on SubmitHub’s Popular Charts.

Once you hear “Strange Kind of Love,” you can kind of hear why it took a portion of the blogosphere by storm. “Strange Kind of Love” is a slick synthesis of Amy Winehouse-like blue-eyed soul, jazz standadrs and Dummy-era Portishead-like trip-hop centered around Tessa D’s soulful crooning and a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, wobbly guitars and an infectious, razor sharp hook. 

Their second single “Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower” continued in a similar vein as its predecessor: a sultry trip hop-like number with a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, slashing guitars, propulsive polyrhythm paired with Tessa D’s soulful crooning and an infectious hook. “‘Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower’ was written to be free for interpretation,” The Lovelines’ Todd Goings explained to me in an email. “Is it a song about love or is it a song about a literal flower? Is it a song about pessimism, or a song about perversion, or is it a song about both?”

The duo have written and recorded their full-length debut and plan to release it single-by-single over the course of 2022-2023. The album will feature the previously released “Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower” and their latest single, the woozy “Steadily.” “Steadily” sees the Orlando-based duo firmly cementing their sound, a soulful take on trip hop in which Tessa D’s sultry vocals are paired with Geoff Barrow-like productions — in the case of the new single, strummed acoustic guitar, dusty hip hop-like breakbeats, glistening and twinkling Rhodes, a supple bass line and an infectious hook.

Interestingly, much like its predecessors, the new single feels rooted in lived-in experience: “Steadily is a song about a relationship between an old-fashioned romantic and a modern age lover,” the Orlando-based duo explained to me via email. “The singer knows that the modern age lover doesn’t have the same old fashioned ideals about love as her.”

New Video: Jenny Stevens and the Empty Mirrors Share Brooding Trip Hop-like “Beneath Smooth Waters”

Welsh-born, Finnish-based singer/songwriter and musician Jenny Stevens, a.k.a. The Ukelele Girl is the creative mastermind behind the songwriting project Jenny Stevens and The Empty Mirrors, which sees Stevens pairing dark-alt pop with quirky visuals.

Last year, Stevens released the The Distance Between Us EP, an effort that featured “The River Rolls On,” an atmospheric track that seemed indebted to the likes of Siouxsie and the BansheesThe Cure and Cocteau Twins

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site you may recall that she began the year with “No, I Wouldn’t Call It Love,” a bit more uptempo song that expresses nostalgia and aching longing. Her latest single “Beneath Smooth Waters” is a slow-burning and brooding track that sees the project adopting a 90s trip hop sound: glistening, reverb-drenched synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines paired with Stevens’ achingly plaintive vocals. According to Stevens, Bjork’s “Play Dead” and several other tracks were a major inspiration on the song — but to my ears, I’m reminded of Dummy era Portishead.

Stevens goes on to explain that the song is “also a literal siren song — don’t go too near the water’s edge . . . “

The trippy accompanying visual features a beautiful siren calling a random pedestrian closer to the water’s edge.

New Audio: Orlando’s The Lovelines’ Sultry New Single

So I royally fucked something up yesterday and realized after I posted something that I confused two different songs by the same artist. We all have off days but that’s — well, something different. I’m really sorry for the confusion. But let’s back to business at hand . . .

Orlando-based sibling duo outfit The Lovelines — Tessa D (vocals) and Todd Goings (multi-instrumentalist, songwriting and production) — emerged late last year with their single “Strange Kind of Love,” which rose to #1 on SubmitHub’s Popular Charts.

Once you hear “Strange Kind of Love,” you can kind of hear why it took a portion of the blogosphere by storm. “Strange Kind of Love” is a slick synthesis of Amy Winehouse-like blue-eyed soul, jazz standadrs and Dummy-era Portishead-like trip-hop centered around Tessa D’s soulful crooning and a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, wobbly guitars and an infectious, razor sharp hook. 

“Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower” is a soulful and sultry take on trip hop featuring Tessa D’s soulful crooning paired with a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, buzzing and slashing guitars, propulsive polyrhythm and their uncanny knack for infectious hooks.

“‘Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower’ was written to be free for interpretation,” The Lovelines’ Todd Goings explained to me in an email. “Is it a song about love or is it a song about a literal flower? Is it a song about pessimism, or a song about perversion, or is it a song about both?”

New Audio: Orlando’s The Lovelines Share a Soulful Take on Trip-Hop

Orlando-based sibling duo outfit The Lovelines — Tessa D (vocals) and Todd Goings (multi-instrumentalist, songwriting and production) emerged late last year with their single “Strange Kind of Love,” which rose to #1 on SubmitHub’s Popular Charts.

Of course, once you hear “Strange Kind of Love,” you can kind of hear why it took a portion of the blogosphere by storm. “Strange Kind of Love” is a slick synthesis of Amy Winehouse-like blue-eyed soul and Dummy-era Portishead-like trip-hop centered around Tessa D’s soulful crooning and a dusty production featuring twinkling Rhodes, slashing and buzzing guitars, propulsive polyrhythm and an infectious, razor sharp hook.

“‘Dark Thoughts About A Pretty Flower’ was written to be free for interpretation,” The Lovelines’ Todd Goings explained to me in an email. “Is it a song about love or is it a song about a literal flower? Is it a song about pessimism, or a song about perversion, or is it a song about both?”

Jindoss is a mysterious, Saint Malo, France singer/songwriter, who released their debut EP Rendez-vous earlier this year. The EP features “Saturday Night,” a single that quickly and boldly established the French artist’s sound: swirling and brooding shoegaze centered around shimming, reverb-drenched guitars, plaintive wailing and boom bap drumming. The end result was a song that to me seemed like a synthesis of PJ Harvey-like atmospherics and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve-like textures.

The mysterious French producer’s latest single “Dancing” continues the brooding atmospherics but in this case, the song finds Jindoss’ sound quickly moving more in the direction of Massive Attack and Portishead: plaintive wailing is paired with layers of glistening synth arpeggios and thumping beats. The track slowly builds up in intensity and crests until it’s brooding and slow-burning fade out.

Sneaker Pimps — currently founding members Liam Howe (production) and Chris Corner (guitar, vocals) with newly recruited Simonne Jones (vocals) — can trace their origins back to their formation in Hartlepool, UK back in 1994: The act’s initial lineup of Howe, Corner, Kelli Ali (née Dayton), Joe Wilson and Dave Westlake quickly established themselves as one of the pioneers of trip hop with their critically applauded and commercially successful, full-length debut, 1996’s Becoming X, which featured their signature track “6 Underground.”

Ali left the band after the release of Becoming X. Corner took over on vocal duties and the band went on to release two more albums, 1999’s Splinter and 2002’s Bloodsport. Wilson and Westlake left the band in 2002. Shortly after, Sneaker Pimps’ founding members made a mutual decision to explore other creative avenues: Corner and Howe went on to their own highly successful individual ventures in music and film, collaborating with the likes of Gary NumanLana del Rey and others with IAMX (Corner) and AMP (Howe). During their initial seven-year run, Sneaker Pimps had five UK Top 40 singles — the aforementioned “Six Underground,” “Spin Spin Sugar,” “Low Five,” and “Bloodsport.”

Sneaker Pimps’ founding members, who are currently split between London and Los Angeles ended a lengthy 14 year hiatus back in 2016 with hints of new music. Since then, the act’s fans have been desperately waiting for new material. Five years have passed but earlier this year Howe and Corner announced that they’d be releasing a new album, their highly anticipated fourth album, Squaring the Circle on September 10, 2021. Last month, Corner and Howe, along with their newest member, vocalist Simonne Jones released a double single of album material, “Squaring the Circle” and “Fighter.”

“After 18 years of dormancy and deliberation we (Sneaker Pimps) are releasing not one, but two new tracks,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe said in press notes. “‘Fighter’ is a plea for courage and strength against prevailing mental health crises. ‘Squaring the Circle’ (via Nietzsche) is a heartfelt ode to eternal returns of love, in the face of desperate adversity. Contrasting in nature, hopefully these songs describe the diversity and essence of the new album.

“It’s taken many years and many false starts to get Sneaker Pimps back in the game,” Sneaker Pimps’ Chris Corner said on Twitter. “Sometimes [you] need to back the fuck off and let the universe take control. I’m proud and relieved to say that it is finally happening. We officially have new music.”

Album title track “Squaring the Circle” is a yearning duet between Corner and Jones centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of twinkling piano, atmospheric electronics and layered backing vocals. Sonically, the track is a decided departure from their commercially successful initial run with the cinematic track reminding me quite a bit of Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. “Fighter” finds the legendary trip hop pioneers crafting a remarkably contemporary sound centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Jones’ sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While clearly being wildly different, the tracks are thematically related with both tracks being tales of survival — in desperate and uncertain times.

Interestingly, in the lead up to the act’s highly-anticipated fourth album, the members of Sneaker Pimps released a remix to “Fighter,” done by the band’s co-founder Liam Howe, under APE MINK PRESS, a.k.a. AMP. The remix is packed with a dizzying array of subtle sonic references and hints including krautrock grooves, shimmering synth arpeggios, chiming Japanese-like percussion and more while retaining Jones’ sultry vocal turn and the song’s rousingly anthemic hook.

“Here is the first ever Ape Mink Press remix. It’s a journey through Krautrock to Synthwave; via the genius of Japan and the splendour of early Ultravox,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe says in press notes. “It sets out to track the influences of Sneaker Pimps and creates an historical vignette of their origins. At the same time there are modern influences aplenty.”

Additionally, Sneaker Pimps announced a digital pre-release listening event through Moment House on September 8, 2021 at 11:00am PST/2:00pm EST to celebrate the album’s release. The limited event will include an advance stream of the album in its entirety, and a chance to chat live with the band about their new album. An upgraded ticket is also available that will allow a select number of fans into a live video Q+A session with Corner, Howe and Jones after the album stream. Along with the album preview and the chats, attendees will be treated to exclusive downloads and the chance to win a Squaring The Circle merch bundle. More info is available here: https://www.momenthouse.com/sneakerpimps

Sneaker Pimps — currently founding members Liam Howe (production) and Chris Corner (guitar, vocals) with newly recruited Simonne Jones (vocals) — can trace their origins back to their formation in Hartlepool, UK back in 1994: The act’s initial lineup of Howe, Corner, Kelli Ali (née Dayton), Joe Wilson and Dave Westlake quickly established themselves as one of the pioneers of trip hop with their critically applauded and commercially successful, full-length debut, 1996’s Becoming X, which featured their signature track “6 Underground.”

Ali left the band after the release of Becoming X. Corner took over on vocal duties and the band went on to release two more albums, 1999’s Splinter and 2002’s Bloodsport. Wilson and Westlake left the band in 2002. Shortly after, Sneaker Pimps’ founding members made a mutual decision to explore other creative avenues: Corner and Howe went on to their own highly successful individual ventures in music and film, collaborating with the likes of Gary Numan, Lana del Rey and others with IAMX (Corner) and AMP (Howe). During their initial seven-year run, Sneaker Pimps had five UK Top 40 singles — the aforementioned “Six Underground,” “Spin Spin Sugar,” “Low Five,” and “Bloodsport.”

Sneaker Pimps’ founding members, who are currently split between London and Los Angeles ended a lengthy 14 year hiatus back in 2016 with hints of new music. Since then, the act’s fans have been desperately waiting for new material. Five years have passed but earlier this year Howe and Corner announced that they’d be releasing a new album, their highly anticipated fourth album, Squaring the Circle in the fall. Recently, Corner and Howe, along with their newest member Simonne Jones released a double single of album material, “Squaring the Circle” and “Fighter.”

Album title track “Squaring the Circle” is a yearning duet between Corner and Jones centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of twinkling piano, atmospheric electronics and layered backing vocals. Sonically, the track is a decided departure from their commercially successful initial run with the cinematic track reminding me quite a bit of Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. “Fighter” finds the legendary trip hop pioneers crafting a remarkably contemporary sound centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Jones’ sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While clearly being wildly different, the tracks are thematically related with both tracks being tales of survival — in desperate and uncertain times.

“After 18 years of dormancy and deliberation we (Sneaker Pimps) are releasing not one, but two new tracks,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe explains. “‘Fighter’ is a plea for courage and strength against prevailing mental health crises. ‘Squaring the Circle’ (via Nietzsche) is a heartfelt ode to eternal returns of love, in the face of desperate adversity. Contrasting in nature, hopefully these songs describe the diversity and essence of the new album.

“It’s taken many years and many false starts to get Sneaker Pimps back in the game,” Sneaker Pimps’ Chris Corner said on Twitter. “Sometimes [you] need to back the fuck off and let the universe take control. I’m proud and relieved to say that it is finally happening. We officially have new music.”

Look for Squaring the Circle on September 10.

New Video: Union of Knives Release a Brooding and Feverish Visual for “There’s a River”

n‘s Peter Kelly (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2004: Founding members Chris Gordon and Dave McClean met at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy Bar,where McClean was working as a sound engineer in the bar’s venue space and Gordon was a bartending, while producing and touring with other bands. Gordon and McLean initially started working together as producers and engineers on material for local acts — and on remixes of the work of Snow Patrol and others. 

McLean had met Aberdeen-born, Scotland-based singer/songwriter Craig Grant while doing sound for an acoustic night at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. After meeting one night at the bar, Gordon and McLean invited Grant to work on some tracks they had started — and the early success of those sessions led to the formation of Union of Knives. With the release of their critically applauded full-length debut, 2006’s Violence and Birdsongquickly established a dark and brooding sound that references goth, industrial, trip hop and warped soul. The album also featured drum work from Peter Kelly, who later would join the band as a full-time member — and album single “Opposite Direction,” which appeared in episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy. Their Atticus Ross co-produced sophomore album was recorded the following year and was shelved due to internal issues with their label.

Since then Gordon has been releasing material with other projects and continuing his production work with artists, Kelly went on to tour with The Kills and Ladyton while also becoming an acclaimed artist with his work being instrumental in the band’s visual aesthetic. Thomas eventually made his way to Scotland, becoming a member of Dope Sick Fly. Gordon produced some of Thomas’ work and after they realized an irresistible musical connection, Thomas officially joined the band last year. Over the course of last year, the newly constituted trio worked on their sophomore album Endless From The Start, which is slated for release through Three Hands Records later this year, ending the project’s 14 year hiatus. 

st moments. The Glasgow-based trio have released two singles to critical praise, “Like Butterflies” and “A Tall Tale,” which features Ladytron’s Helen Marnie. And building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the album’s third and latest single “There’s A River” is a brooding and dystopian track centered around ambient synths, thumping industrial beats, reverb-drenched vocals, sampled Eastern-like vocals and a soaring hook. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Massive Attack, the track reveals the’s act carefully sculptured layered production style.

‘There’s a River’ is a song about going forward with clarity and pushing through the surrounding noise by simplifying the complex,” the band’s Anthony Thomaz says in press notes. The band’s Chris Gordon adds “If you like your dystopian soundscapes with a sprinkling of hope and a dream-like narrative then ‘There’s A River’ is the track for you.” 

The recently released video is shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white with the members of Union of Knives at the Scottish shore, near brooding storm clouds and crows — before slowly turning into a psychedelic fever dream

Glasgow, Scotland-based electronic act Union of Knives — currently founding member Chris Gordon (multi-instrumentalist, vocals, production), Dope Sick Fly’s Baton Rouge, LA-born, Glasgow-based Ant Thomaz (vocals) and The Kills‘ and Ladytron‘s Peter Kelly (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2004: Founding members Chris Gordon and Dave McClean met at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy Bar, where McClean was working as a sound engineer in the bar’s venue space and Gordon was a bartending, while producing and touring with other bands. Gordon and McLean initially started working together as producers and engineers on material for local acts — and on remixes of the work of Snow Patrol and others.

McLean had met Aberdeen-born, Scotland-based singer/songwriter Craig Grant while doing sound for an acoustic night at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. After meeting one night at the bar, Gordon and McLean invited Grant to work on some tracks they had started — and the early success of those sessions led to the formation of Union of Knives. With the release of their critically applauded full-length debut, 2006’s Violence and Birdsong quickly established a dark and brooding sound that references goth, industrial, trip hop and warped soul. The album also featured drum work from Peter Kelly, who later would join the band as a full-time member — and album single “Opposite Direction,” which appeared in episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy. Their Atticus Ross co-produced sophomore album was recorded the following year and was shelved due to internal issues with their label.

Since then Gordon has been releasing material with other projects and continuing his production work with artists, Kelly went on to tour with The Kills and Layton while also becoming an acclaimed artist with his work being instrumental in the band’s visual aesthetic. Thomas eventually made his way to Scotland, becoming a member of Dope Sick Fly. Gordon produced some of Thomas’ work and after they realized an irresistible musical connection, Thomas officially joined the band last year. Over the course of last year, the newly constituted trio worked on their sophomore album Endless From The Start, which is slated for release through Three Hands Records later this year, ending the project’s 14 year hiatus.

Endless From The Start reportedly finds the band further establishing their brooding and cinematic sound while revealing material that’s diverse yet uplifting — even in its darkest moments. The Glasgow-based trio have released two singles to critical praise, “Like Butterflies” and “A Tall Tale,” which features Ladytron’s Helen Marnie. And building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the album’s third and latest single “There’s A River” is a brooding and dystopian track centered around ambient synths, thumping industrial beats, reverb-drenched vocals, sampled Eastern-like vocals and a soaring hook. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Massive Attack, the track reveals the’s act carefully sculptured layered production style.

“‘There’s a River’ is a song about going forward with clarity and pushing through the surrounding noise by simplifying the complex,” the band’s Anthony Thomaz says in press notes. The band’s Chris Gordon adds “If you like your dystopian soundscapes with a sprinkling of hope and a dream-like narrative then ‘There’s A River’ is the track for you.”

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