Tag: Vancouver BC

Comprised of Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Jahmell Russell (bass, vocals) and Adam Fink (drums), the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based post punk act ACTORS have developed a reputation for a decidedly modern take on the familiar post-punk sound, in a way that some critics have compared to The Soft Moon, Cold Cave and others.

Building upon a growing amount of buzz surrounding the band, their forthcoming full-length debut It Will Come To You, is slated for a March 9, 2018 through Artoffact Records, and from album singles “L’appel du Vide,” and “Slaves,” the band reveals an album featuring slickly, produced, hook-driven material that’s reminiscent from  4AD Records-era post-punk and New Wave with an urgent yet cinematic bent. The album’s third and latest “Face Comes To Glass” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for hook-driven, cinematic and moody post punk; however, the track finds the band employing atmospheric and shimmering synths along with angular bass and guitar chords, which makes the song subtly nod at John Carpenter soundtracks.

The Canadian post-punk act will be touring throughout their native Canada, the States and Europe throughout 2018. Check out tour dates below.

Feb 1 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria
Mar 10 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw (It Will Come to You album release show)
Mar 22 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Mar 23 – Boise, ID @ Vista Bar
Mar 28 – Sacramento, CA @ LowBrau
Mar 29 – Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull
Mar 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ La Cita (Part Time Punks)
Apr 2 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nicks
Apr 3 – Olympia, WA @ Crytatropa
Apr 4 – Everett, WA @ Obscurus
Apr 6 – Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge (Out from the Shadows Festival)
Apr 12 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria (Verboden Festival)
May 10 – Paris, FR @ Le Supersonic
May 11 – Lille, FR @ Le Bobble Cafe
May 17 – Stockholm, SE @ Debaser Strand
May 18 – Copenhagen, DK @ Stengade
May 19 – Hamburg, DE @ Gruner Jager
May 20 – Leipzig, DE @ Wave Gotik Treffen Festival

Adrian Underhill is a Vancouver, British Columbia-born, Toronto, Ontario-based singer/songwriter, who has a number of stints in indie rock bands in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, before the low-key release of his solo debut EP in 2012; however, sometime after that, Underhill completely revamped his songwriting process, employing keyboards, synths and drum machines, which found him gravitating towards a slinky R&B-inspired pop sound but paired with a simple and very direct, earnest lyricism.

Describing the writing process for forthcoming album, CU Again, Underhill says “I sat with a keyboard and one drum machine and tried not play much with production ideas. The tunes have a classic, 70s songwriter vibe, even though we ultimately pushed the production into a very different realm. This simple, direct way of songwriting is me at my best.”

The recording sessions for CU Again found the up-and-coming Canadian singer/songwriter collaborating with British electronic production Kindness (also known as Adam Bainbridge), best known for his work with Robyn, Solange and Blood Orange with the renowned producer and Underhill working on electronic elements in Montreal before they went to Los Angeles for at three-day session with a live, funk supergroup that included JOVM mainstay Dam-Funk (drums) Keith Eaddy (bass) and Brandon Coleman (keys). And the end result finds the material being a seamless blend of Kindness’ electronic production with warm, organic instrumentation as you’ll hear on CU Again‘s swooning “Weather,” which pairs a looped and chopped keyboard sample with stuttering and skittering drum programming, arpeggiated synths and Underhill’s plaintive vocals singing lyrics on how time changes people and their moods, like the weather.  What makes the song interesting to me is that it walks a careful tightrope between sincerity and playfulness, familiarity and complete strangeness.
As Underhill adds, “On ‘Weather’, I love how the production came out. Adam (Bainbridge) took my original demo and just kinda warped it and morphed it, almost like a remix, adding new drums and changing the keyboard sounds I had played. Then we added the live piano and synth bass from Brandon Coleman (Kamasi Washington) and Keith Eaddy (DāM-FunK). In the end it’s quite playful and strange – it’s a great combination of sounds.”

New Video: The 80s and 90s Inspired DIY Visuals for Jordan Klassen’s 60s Psych Pop-like “Dominika”

Jordan Klassen is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based chamber folk singer/songwriter, who over the past decade or so has developed a reputation for crafting critically applauded material that’s been considered “unsentimentally sincere” and “whimsically hopeful” — while focusing on his own life experiences; in fact, the Curses EP was a collection of brooding pop that explored mental illness and vulnerability, continuing themes he explored and wrote about on 2016’s Javelin.

Interestingly, Klassen’s recently released full-length effort, Big Intruder thematically explores growing up and making adult decisions, addressing the doubt and caution that become excuses to avoid any sort of actual commitment and unsurprisingly, the album not only finds Klassen increasingly moving away from the whimsical soundscapes that first won him attention — with Klassen embracing a more band-like approach than ever before; in fact, album single “Dominika” finds Klassen’s sound taking on a decided 60s psych pop and 70s AM rock sound.  

The recently released video is a gloriously low-budget, DIY affair. And as Klassen explains of the video, “For the ‘Dominika’ video I wanted to make something that was playful like the song; silly in an honest way. We were inspired by a lot of late 80s/early 90s music videos where it felt like the artist just shot a bunch of footage of them hanging around and lip syncing.”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts featuring the Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk act Ultrviolence. And throughout their history, the band has developed a reputation for purposefully adhering to old-school DIY principles, for frequently ignoring the clichés and dictates of the music industry machine and perhaps most important, for a sound that draws from the likes of Joy Division, Interpol, Preoccupations and others.

Since the release of last year’s Black Sea EP, the band has gone through a massive lineup change with Nate Jespersen (vocals, bass), the sole founding and original member, collaborating with several members of Vancouver, BC-based indie rock band ACTORS on the project’s much-anticipated, Jason Corbett  (of ACTORS) produced follow-up to Black Sea EP, Forty Knives EP.  Forty Knives finds Jespersen and the new lineup building upon the moody, post-punk sound that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere — while thematically focusing on the dark and seemingly unending solitude that arises when one allows themselves to be completely isolated from the world.

Guillotine,” the EP’s first single was a hauntingly moody and atmospheric track in which the band paired jangling guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, shimmering synths, a propulsive bass line and metronomic drumming with Jespersen’s equally moody baritone vocals. And interestingly enough, the song managed to evoke the lingering and embittering ghosts and ill-feelings of a particularly dysfunctional and/or ambivalent relationship; the awareness of time passing by and of the built-in regret that you’ve squandered the most valuable and important commodity you’ll ever know — time;  and that feeling of stepping away from the wreckage of a lengthy relationship and not quite knowing what to do next or how to even go about it. The EP’s second and latest single “Shadows of the Thief” is a swirling and jangling song held together with an angular and propulsive bass line paired with Jespersen’s crooning baritone. And while nodding at Joy Division, Interpol and Preoccupations, complete with a rousing and anthemic hook, the song possesses a subtly bitter yet dreamy and lonely undertone.

 

 

Late last week, I wrote about New York-based dream pop duo The Dream Eaters. And as you may recall, the duo, comprised of  Boston, MA-born, New York-based composer and songwriter Jake Zavracky and Vancouver Island, BC-born, New York-based vocalist and musician Elizabeth LeBaron can trace their origins back to 2015. As the story goes, after playing and touring in obscurity in both his hometown of Boston and New York, Zavracky had decided that it was time to give up music, and for a period do time he was working in a Brooklyn dive bar, where he met LeBaron, another bartender, who at the time had recently relocated to New York. Discovering that they were both musicians, they found an instant connection and began collaborating together — although initially, Zavracky had written songs for LeBaron. However, when Zavracky and LeBaron realized that their harmonies helped to create a truly unique sound, while drawing from dream pop, shoegaze, psych pop, folk and indie rock, they recognized that the best thing would be to be write, record,  and perform together.

Initially writing and performing as Jake and Elizabeth, the duo saw a rapidly growing profile; however, as they began to further refine their sound, they felt that it was necessary to rebrand themselves, eventually taking up the name The Dream Eaters. And as The Dream Eaters, Zavracky and LeBaron released their self-produced debut EP Five Little Pills, an effort which has proven to be the precursor of the bare-bone production and sparse yet hauntingly gorgeous sound of their soon-to be released full-length debut, We Are A Curse‘s first single “Dead On The Inside.” Sonically speaking, the duo pairs LeBaron’s lilting and effortless vocals with gently strummed folk-like guitar and chiming percussion with a soaring hook which displays the duo’s stunning harmonizing. And while bearing a resemblance to Moonbabies’ Wizards on the Beach, the song manages to sound as though it draws from Nick Drake and Crosby, Stills, and Nash-era folk. While thematically speaking, the song as the duo explained focuses on coming unmoored and getting lost, and walking around with the realization that you’re living in a murky, anxious and unforgiving dream, evoking what many of us feel living in this surreal political climate; and while being a gorgeous and understated protest song, there’s an underlying sense of resolve and determination to survive and overcome the dark days ahead.

Interestingly, “Neanderthals,” We Are A Curse‘s second and latest single wasn’t originally meant to be on the album — and according to Zavracky is a revised and altered version of a song that he had originally written towards the end of the Bush Administration. After the 2016 presidential election the song seemed sadly relevant again, and ultimately came together very quickly. And as Zavracky explains the song starts with a very pessimistic us vs. them mentality but takes on an optimistic, sort of “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” type of sentiment. “It’s mean to be more inspirational aha negative by the end,” Jake Zavracky says. Elizabeth LeBaron adds that over the past couple of months, the song has grown and developed a much deeper meaning, even after they had finished it. “When we decided to record this song, the Women’s March was breaking records all over the world and this song felt like an anthem. ‘They won’t make us crawl / They’re all neanderthals’ are words that I think will resonate with anyone who is against the “archaic” ideologies being pushed by the new administration,” LeBaron says. However, sonically speaking, the duo pairs shuffling, trip hop-inspired beats with their gorgeous harmonies, twinkling keys and a soaring, anthemic hook to craft what may be the most strident and forcefully political song they’ve released to date.

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ultrviolence Return with the Stark and Lonely Visuals for New Single “Guillotine”

Throughout their history together, the Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk act Ultrviolence have developed a reputation for adhering to old-school DIY principles and for frequently ignoring the clichés and dictates of the music industry machine. And over the past couple of years, the band has caught the attention of the blogosphere — and in particular this site, for a sound that seemingly draws from Joy Division, Interpol, Viet Cong and others.

Since the release of last year’s Black Sea EP, the band has gone through a massive lineup change with Nate Jespersen (vocals, bass), the sole founding member, collaborating with several members of Vancouver, BC-based indie rock band ACTORS. Produced by ACTORS’ Jason Corbett, the project’s much-anticipated follow-up to Black Sea EP, Forty Knives EP finds Jespersen and the band’s new lineup building upon the moody, post-punk sound that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere while thematically evoking the dark and seemingly unending solitude that arises when one allows themselves to be completely isolated from the world.

“Guillotine,” Forty Knives’ first single is a hauntingly moody and atmospheric track, which finds the band pairing jangling guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, shimmering synth chords, a propulsive bass line and a metronomic-like drumming paired with Jespersen’s equally moody baritone vocals. Interestingly, with my 38th birthday being yesterday, this particular song evokes something profoundly familiar — the lingering and embittering ghosts and ill-feelings of a particularly dysfunctional and/or ambivalent relationship; the awareness of time passing by and of the built-in regret that you’ve squandered the most valuable and important commodity you’ll ever know — time; and that feeling of stepping away from the wreckage of a lengthy relationship and not quite knowing what to do next or how to even go about it. And as a result, the song possesses a visceral ache.

The recently released video for the song nods at Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and INXS’ “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate” as the video features a man on the side of the road, holding cardboard signs with the song’s lyrics; however, this man is hitchhiking with a sense of desperate urgency.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays White Lung Return with an Anthemic, Radio-Friendly, Power Chord-based New Single and Trippy Visuals

“Sister,” the latest single off Paradise will further cement the trio’s reputation for urgent, anthemic hook-laden, power chord-based rock paired with some of the band’s most incisive and probing lyrics to date. Sure, the song may possess a radio-friendly, studio polish but it’s still as forceful as ever. Interestingly, the recently released video was directed by Justin Gradin, who also directed the video for “Hungry,” and the video features a desperate man’s attempt at finding love with two beautiful strangers. As Gradin explains in press notes “In a lonely world a man seeks to find love through his telephone. He discovers two women with whom he becomes obsessed with from their captivating and elegant conversations. In the end, these two women’s thrilling lives and escalating partying leave the man feeling isolated and rejected again.It’s basically a 90s chat line commercial on PCP.”