Tag: U.S. Girls

New Video: Join Holy Ghost!’s Alex Frankel on a Euphoric Dance Party

New York-based duo Holy Ghost! — Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser — developed a sound that meshes synth pop, disco and a range of electronic music genres and sub-genres that made them an international dance floor and festival staple. Along with their own original material, which they released through DFA and West End, the duo have been in-demand remixers, remixing the work of acts like LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix and Cut Copy. Interestingly, Holy Ghost!’s Frankel has also done remixes for the likes of U.S. Girls, Naeem, Neon Indian and Moby.

Frankel steps out into the limelight as a solo artist again with his latest single “Still Got It” which was released through CASUAL, a new label founded by Jen Pearce, CEO of music licensing and consulting company Low Profile and Justin Spindler, CEO of Out of Office Management. (Ed Banger also is distributing the track.)As for the single, “Still Got It” is a euphoric, 80s-inspired banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, handclaps, soulful backing vocals from the New York-based gospel group East Coast Inspirational Singers paired with Frankel’s plaintive vocals. Interestingly, the song finds Frankel and company finding joy in resilience, celebrating that personal spark each of us has that fortifies a sense of optimism even in hardship — all while suggesting that the listener should enjoy this moment because nothing else is guaranteed. And soon we’ll be able to dance to this banger — in a club with other adults.

“I played the demo for Thibaut( Breakbot) one night at Bernie’s Restaurant while we were outside on a smoke break  (back when, you know… people still ate dinner out) and on the spot he demanded we go try it on the audience at his gig that night,” Frankel says of the song’s origins. “The response was great and after that, I knew I had to finish it. I called the East Coast Inspirational Singers, my favorite gospel group in NYC and they came by to help me get it there.”

Directed by Pierre Dixsaut and François Prost, the recently released visual for “Still Got It” is centered around stop motion animation of Frankel dancing in front of photos of French club exteriors from Prost’s book After Party, making the video a virtual dance party on the streets.


Last month, I wrote about Brijean Murphy, a Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist, who has made a name for herself as a highly-sought after touring musician with stints in the touring bands of Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls and Poolside, as well as several others. Interestingly, Murphy can trace the origins of her musical career to her childhood — Murphy’s father, Patrick is a percussionist and engineer, who taught a young Brijean her first drum patterns on a pair of congas that she inherited from the late Trinidadian steel pan drum legend Vince Charles.

The Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based percussionist managed to find some free time to collaborate with Doug Stuart, a producer, who shares a background as a jazz and pop session musician, who has worked with JOVM mainstays Bells Atlas, Meerna, Luke Temple, Jay Stone and others. Written and recorded in marathon sessions at their intimate home studio, wedged between rarely over-lapping tour schedules, the duo formed BRIJEAN, a project that meshes Murphy’s Latin jazz and soul upbringing with Murphy’s 70s disco and 90s house-inspired production.

Slated for a June 28, 2019 through Native Cat Recordings, BRIJEAN’s debut effort, WALKIE TALKIE EP finds Murphy stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist in her own right. Now, as you may recall, the slickly produced “Show and Tell” was centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line, glistening chimes, shimmering synths, Latin soul percussion, dreamily delivered vocals singing metaphysical-leaning lyrics, and a sleek hook within an expansive and trippy arrangement that nods at Roy Ayers and classic house. The EP’s latest single, the dance floor friendly EP title track “Walkie Talkie” features a sinuous, 90s house music-influenced production consisting of shimmering arpeggiated keys, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end and Latin percussion — and unsurprisingly, the song brings Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa to mind, complete with a coquettish air.



Perhaps best known as one-half of acclaimed Brooklyn-based noise rock duo Talk Normal, an act that released two critically applauded albums, Sugarland and Sunshine and opened for the likes of Sonic Youth, Wire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Zola Jesus among others, Andyra Ambro (vocals, drums) saw the breakup of the band, as marking a major shift in her own creative process and an opportunity to start something completely new with her solo recording project Gold Dime, which has been performing live as a trio — with  Jessica Ackerley and Ian Douglas-Moore — since 2014. Interestingly Ambro’s Gold Dime has received some attention nationally as the live trio have opened for Lower Dens, U.S. Girls and Xiu Xiu. And after several years of touring, writing and recording material, Ambro’s long-awaited Gold Dime debut Nerves is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Fire Talk Records.

Self-produced by Ambro, recorded by PC Worship’s Justin Frey, mixed by Jonny Schenke and mixed by Ambro’s former Talk Normal partner Sarah Register, the album is a result in marked shift in Ambro’s creative process with the material reportedly consisting of much more exploratory and experimental compositions, and as you’ll hear on “Shut Up,” Nerves’ second single, Ambro’s sound manages to effortlessly alternate between swirling, hypnotic drone and wild and abrasive dissonance while held together by a propulsive motorik groove. Ambro’s ironically (and somewhat detached) deadpan vocals float over the mix. And while clearly possessing an almost neurotic and anxious tension, “Shut Up” in particular focuses on the challenges of confronting the struggles to continue creating meaningful, interesting art when there seem to be larger forces against you — and those forces push, shove and taunt you in every possible way.

Seemingly drawing from New York’s early 80s No Wave, art rock, noise rock and post-punk the song — and in turn, Ambro’s latest work — manages to do in a way that’s uncompromisingly, defiantly and joyously weird.