Tag: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Initially began as the solo recording project of the Seattle, WA-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter Peter Michel, Hibou quickly exploded into the national scene with his self-produced, home recorded, 2015 self-titled debut, which received praise from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound and others for crafting shimmering yet introspective bedroom pop. And adding to a growing profile, Michel opened for the like son Metric, Phantogram and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Michel’s sophomore Hibou effort Something Familiar is slated for a March 2, 2018 release through Barsuk Records finds Michel embracing a number of changes. The Seattle, WA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer made a rather conscious choice to track the album’s material in a real studio — this time, Chris Walla‘s Hall of Justice Studios, with an outside producer, Dylan Wall, who has worked with Craft Spells, a band that Michel once played drums in. Adding to a string of changes to his creative and recording process, Something Familiar finds Michel recording with his touring band. “I toured for a long time with the band, and it was really interesting to see how the songs changed when there were four people playing them, as opposed to just me in my bedroom,” Michel explains in press notes.

Along with that, the material reflects a period marked by profound changes. “I was still a teenager when I was writing the first album,” Michel says. “All of the songs feel a little one-faced. They’re about relationships and love and summertime and things like that. On this upcoming album, I really challenged myself lyrically to get a little more personal, and talk about some of the darker parts of myself.” In fact, the material addresses Michel’s ongoing bouts with anxiety and depersonalization. (Depersonalization is a disorder generally distinguished by feeling disengaged from the mind and body. as if if the sufferer is an outsider looking in at their own self.) Naturally, while still retaining elements of the sound that first caught both national attention and the attention of the blogosphere — namely, lush keys, reverb soaked guitars and Michel’s dreamy crooning.   “It was strange to start consciously writing from a different stylistic standpoint, but I didn’t want to totally turn the page,” Michel notes. “There is still a fundamental Hibou sound in there. It just is drenched in a little more honesty.”

“Junipero Love,” the latest single off Hibou’s forthcoming, sophomore effort was reportedly inspired by the Emmy Award-winning “San Junipero” episode of Black Mirror.  Interestingly, Michel found common ground with the episode’s protagonist Yorkie, who navigated two different realities and a burgeoning relationship.  “The contrast between the two worlds depicted in the episode hit very close to home for me,” Hibou’s creative mastermind says in press notes. “I often feel torn between a conscious state and losing a hold of my memories and who I am.”  And while the single will further cement Hibou’s reputation for crafting breezy and shimmering guitar pop, there’s a subtle expansion of his sound as you’ll hear a tight and funky groove throughout; but underneath the breeziness is a wistful and bittersweet tone that suggests that the song’s narrator isn’t quite sure if he’s dreaming or awake or if he’s experiencing is actually real.



New Video: The 80s Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Up-and-Coming Boston-based Duo Modesta

Comprised of Arjun Viswanathan and Kostas Papadopoulous, the up and-coming, Boston-based duo Modesta specialize in a retro-futuristic synth pop sound that will remind most listeners of John Carpenter soundtracks and 80s synth funk, as well as contemporaries like Umberto and others — although interestingly enough, the duo cites Roosevelt, The Shins and Unknown Mortal Orchestra as major influences while saying that their own own sound and aesthetic is rooted in diversity and experimentation.

Since their formation, the duo have accrued almost half a million streams on Spotify with over 15,000 monthly listeners, and along with that the duo have built a home recording studio from the ground up, while learning new ways to improve their craft and experiment with their sound and songwriting process. Their debut EP VHS is slated for a January 12, 2018 release and reportedly the EP will find the duo meshing contemporary, electronic production, analog synthesizers, and organic instrumentation while further cementing their reputation for crafting material that’s indebted to 80s synth pop; in fact, as you’ll hear on EP title track and first single “VHS,” Viswanathan and Papadopoulous as the duo pair shimmering layers of arpeggiated, analog synths, thumping beats, a sinuous bass line, ethereal vocals and a slick hook. But underneath the moody iciness of the song is a swooning devotion of love. 

The recently released music video further emphasizes the retro-futuristc theme and vibe of the song as it features VHS player noises, grainy footage shot on VHS tape and incredibly 80s-like graphics and special effects. 

New Video: The Surreal and Psychedelic Sounds and Visuals of Hollow Everdaze’s “Cartoons”

Founded by Daniel Baulch (vocals, guitar) and Jackson Kay (bass), along with Myles Anderson (violin), James Turner (drums) and Dylan Young (keys), the Ballarat, Australia-based psych rock act have developed a reputation in their homeland for a lush sound that at times clearly draws from Rubber Soul-era Beatles and bubblegum pop; however, with the contributions from Anderson and Young, the band’s sound manages to be both lush and mind-bendingly lysergic as you’ll hear on “Cartoons,” the latest single off the band’s John Lee-produced debut effort Cartoons, which is slated for release through Deaf Ambitions later this month.  But interestingly, the song subtly reveals some ambitious songwriting, thanks in part to an expansive, Summer of Love-like vibe and rousingly anthemic hooks. 

Interestingly, the band’s debut comes about as the band’s profile is steadily growing nationally in their homeland, as they’ve opened for the likes of The War on Drugs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Wavves and American Football among others. 

Directed by Alex McLaren, best known for his work with ORB, Pipe-Eye and Hierophants, the recently released video for “Cartoons” employs the use of stop-motion animation, based around surreal imagery taken and assembled from old, second-hand books.

Comprised of founding members Mario Giancarlo Garibaldi (vocals) and Jorge Velásquez (guitar) and later joined by Alex De Renzis (drums), the Peruvian-born, Miami, FL-based members of Hunters of the Alps derive their name from a reference to the citizens in the Alps region, who were actively working and fighting for a united Italy in the 1800s — and as the story goes, the trio can trace its origins back a bit as Velásquez had played in several wave-making Latin Alternative rock bands while Garibaldi had fronted the indie rock band Modernage. Feeling an increasing desire to break away from his then-primary project and have more creative freedom, Garibaldi eventually branched out into Hunters of the Alps.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Miami-based trio have opened for several renowned acts including Twin Shadow, Tanlines and Unknown Mortal Orchestra and have played sets at Ill Points, Transatlantic Festival and House of Creatives — all before the recent release of their debut Time (How To Love) EP, which features EP title track “Time (How to Love),” a track that caught the attention of All Things Go and Atwood Magazine. The EP’s latest single “It’s You” will further cement the trio’s burgeoning reputation for a New Wave and 80s synth pop sound reminiscent of New Order and Depeche Mode as the trio pairs angular guitar chords with propulsive drumming, a sinuous bass line, shimmering and fluttering arpeggio synths, and Garibaldi’s slightly detached crooning with an anthemic hook in a dance floor friendly song.