Tag: Video Review

New Video: French Electro Pop Duo Synapson Teams Up with Sengalese Singer/Songwriter Lass on a Breezy and Genre-Defying Single

Synapson is a French electronic music production and artist duo, comprised of Alexandre Chiere (keys, saxophone, beats, vocals) and Paul Cucuron (drums, turntables, production and mixing) and since their formation in 2009, the duo have been critically and commercially successful — they’ve sold over 150,000 physical copies and have amassed over 100 million streams; however, they may be best known for their remake/re-work of Burkinabe singer/songwriter and musician Victor Deme’s “Djon’maya,” which they renamed “Djon Maya Mai,” and their original track “All In You,” featuring Anna Kova. Both tracks were smash hits in the duo’s native France, as they charted at #12 and #10 respectively. 

The duo’s soon-to-be released album Super 8 will further cement their reputation for a sound that possesses elements of nu-disco, deep house but it finds them at their most ambitious, as they collaborate with a diverse, international cast including French act M83’s Mai-Lan,  Archive’s Holly, Kaleem Taylor, L. Marshall, Idyllwild’s Casey Abrams, Miami-born, Paris-based rapper Beat Assailant, Jamaica-born, London-based Taneisha lJackson, Tim Dup, Haute’s Tessa B. and Blasé, Sengalese singer/songwriter Lass and a list of others. 

Super 8’s latest single “Souba” synthesis of French electro pop, house music and Afropop as its centered around a slick yet soulful production featuring a looped, shimmering guitar line, a sinuous bass line, thumping beats and a club rocking and radio friendly hook. And unsurprisingly, the two step inducing track will remind the listener that electronic dance music translates language and culture, and that perhaps most important, it’s music that’s always a beneficial unifying force. Additionally, the track will establish the duo on a growing list of French electronic music acts that blur genre lines with a globe spanning bent. 

The recently released video employs a simple but endearing concept — we see Lass and the members of Synapson hanging out in and around a prototypical European car. At points the videos features the members of the trio brooding, but for the most part they’re hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. 

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New Video: The Cinematic and Dreamy Visuals for Rueben and the Dark’s Anthemic Album Single “Dreaming”

Led by primary songwriter and creative mastermind Rueben Bullock and featuring multi-insturmetnalist and vocalists Shea Alain, Brock Geiger, Ian Jarvis and Dino Soares, the Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based indie folk act Rueben and the Dark have […]

New Video: Introducing the Power Chord-based Rock of Vancouver’s SAVVIE

Savannah Wellman is a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based singer/songwriter and musician, whose solo recording project SAVVIE as Wellman described in an email to me “is sexy, gritty rock ‘n’ roll, delving into the murky depths of lust, love, and everything in between.” Wellman’s latest single “Creature of Habit,” is the follow up to 2015’s debut effort Night Eyes, and the power chord-based, arena rock and radio friendly hook-driven single was produced by John Raham, who has worked with The Belle Game, Dan Mangan, and Dralms sounds as though the Canadian singer/songwriter was drawing from The Black Keys, as well as JOVM mainstays The Coathangers and Anna Rose. As the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter explains in press notes “everyone has their vice, and ‘Creature of Habit’ begs the question — is that a bad thing? is it worth fighting? Sometimes it most definitely is, but sometimes we need to hold on to what makes us happy.” 

Directed by Nakasone Folk, the video as Wellman told Billboard is “a take on the idea of struggling with trying to be different. It kind of takes us through a cleansing, the idea of wanting to let go and cleanse yourself of these habits that you might hold onto, but at the end seeing in your reflection that they never really leave you. It’s still a a part of you, and maybe in some cases, it’s not all that bad. Some habits can get the best of you, and sometimes they’re the release you need.” And as a result, the video features a lot of inky and murky blacks, brilliant and heavenly whites, and mystical cleansing rituals; it’s sexy but darkly so and fitting. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Beach House Release Gorgeously Cinematic Visuals for “Black Car”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Baltimore-based indie rock act Beach House. And as you may recall, the duo, which is comprised of founding and primary members Victoria Legrand (organ, vocals) and Alex Scally (guitar, vocals) have released a number of critically and commercially successful, including 2015’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, which were written and recorded within a two-and-a-half year period between 2012-2014. And while they were individual efforts, they were meat to be viewed as companion pieces that build upon similar themes and an overall  sound centered around sparse and atmospheric arrangements of organ, guitar and Legrand’s ethereal vocals.

The Baltimore-based indie rock act’s seventh, full-length album 7 was released last month through Sub Pop Records in North America, Bella Union Records in Europe and Mistletone Records in Australia and New Zealand, and the recording sessions found the band working with  Spacemen 3‘s Sonic Boom (a.k.a. Peter Kember) as a producer — but not in the traditional sense, as he helped the band in their attempts to start anew by shedding conventions and ensuring that the album’s material would be fresh, alive and protected from the tendency of overproduction and perfectionism.  Additionally, the album features Beach House’s most recent live drummer James Barone, who as Legrand and Scally say helped “keep rhythm at the center of a lot of these songs.”

“Throughout the process of recording 7, our goal was rebirth and rejuvenation. We wanted to rethink old methods and shed some self-imposed limitations. In the past, we often limited our writing to parts that we could perform live,” Legrand and Scally explain. “On 7, we decided to follow whatever came naturally. As a result, there are some songs with no guitar, and some without keyboard. There are songs with layers and production that we could never recreate live, and that is exciting to us. Basically, we let our creative moods, instead of instrumentation, dictate the album’s feel.

“In the past, the economics of recording have dictated that we write for a year, go to the studio, and record the entire record as quickly as possible. We have always hated this because by the time the recording happens, a certain excitement about older songs has often been lost. This time, we built a ‘home’ studio, and began all of the songs there.  Whenever we had a group of 3-4 songs that we were excited about, we would go to a ‘proper’ recording studio and finish recording them there. This way, the amount of time between the original idea and the finished song was pretty short.”

As the act admits, the societal sense of instability, uncertainty and chaos was deeply influential on the album’s material. “Looking back, there is quite a bit of chaos happening in these songs, and a pervasive dark field that we had little control over. The discussions surrounding women’s issues were a constant source of inspiration and questioning. The energy, lyrics and moods of much of this record grew from ruminations on the roles, pressures and conditions that our society places on women, past and present.” They go on to say that in a general sense, “we are interested by the human mind’s (and nature’s) tendency to create forces equal and opposite to those present. Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that arises in dealing with darkness; the empathy and love that grows from collective trauma; the place one reaches when they accept rather than deny.”

So far, Beach House has released a handful of singles off the album — “Lemon Glow,” a jangling and atmospheric track centered around Legrand’s ethereal vocals; the shoegazer-like “Dive,” one of the most expansive and ambitious tracks they’ve released; and “Dark Spring,” a shoegazer-like single featuring woozy power chords, twinkling keys and a soaring hook. 7‘s latest single “Black Car” finds the duo pushing away from their well-known formula as its centered around twinkling and arpeggiated keys, atmospheric synths, paired with Legrand’s vocals.

Directed by Alistair Legrand, the recently released video for “Black Car,” fittingly features a black car — a Cadillac, I think — shot in a sumptuous and cinematic black and white, as it rides around desolate, late night streets. 

New Video: Introducing the Global, Genre- Blurring Sound of Up-and-Coming Benin-born, New York Artist Shirazee

Shirazee is  Benin-born, New York-based Afrosoul artist and singer/songwriter, who studied in Ghana, overcame homelessness and after spending a stint in Atlanta, relocated to New York to pursue his dream of being a performer and singer/songwriter. Since then, Shirazee has written for and collaborated with Afrojack, Sting, Ty Dolla $ign and Kiesza — and as a solo artist, the Benin-born, New York-based artist has received attention from Wonderland, OkayAfrica and Hunger Magazine, as well as millions of streams across Spotify and Apple Music for a sound that draws from Afropop, American hip-hop and contemporary electronic music paired with songs that possess underlying personal narratives.

The up-and-coming Benin-born, New York-based Afrosoul artist’s debut EP Make Wild finds him collaborating with the Brooklyn-born and-based hip-hop artist and producer SAINt JHN — and as the Brooklyn-based artist and producer says of their collaboration, “he’s a friend first and a rising star in his own right second. When he heard me playing Juju in Toronto and asked to jump on it, I thought he was kidding, until he insisted, ‘Juju issa vibe!’”

“Make Wild,” the EP title track and latest single is a breezy and summery track featuring thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering and looping guitar lines, and a sinuous and infectious hook — and while managing to be a slickly produced amalgam of African pop, Afrobeat, American electro pop and soul, the up-and-coming Benin-born, New York-based artist manages to do so in an incredibly accessible, crowd pleasing fashion.

Produced by WOVE, the recently released video employs the use of incredibly vibrant video, full of colors meant to evoke sunset over the Sahara Desert as Shirazae sings to a gorgeous woman just out of his reach. 

New Video: The Gorgeously Cinematic Visuals for Uma E. Fernqvist’s Lush and Textured “For U”

Best known as one of the world’s most acclaimed professional dancers for more than 20 years, the Swedish-born dancer (and singer/songwriter) Uma E. Fernqvist has taken her love of movement and music to inspire her debut EP Reverse. Interestingly, the material on the recently released EP is largely inspired by Lamb, Massive Attack, and Portishead — and as you’ll hear on the hauntingly mesmerizing and lushly textured single “For U,” Fernqvist’s tender vocals ethereally float over a minimalist yet cinematic production consisting of pulsating and thumping beats, shimmering synths and atmospheric electronics; but under the chilly surface, the song trembles with a vulnerable, human need.

Directed by Joakim Envik Karlsson and Peter Svenzson and produced by  Nåck Creative, the recently released, cinematic video for “For U,” features Fernqvist and a diverse cast of dancers dancing in inky and murky shadows and brilliant sunlight, seemingly symbolizing a deeply human struggle. 

New Video: Acclaimed Alt Pop Artist Vilde Releases Tense and Unsettling Visuals for “Warm Milk”

Best known as the frontman of British-based indie act Kins, the Melbourne, Australia-born and now Stockholm, Sweden-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer Thomas Savage received attention with his solo recording project Vilde, which found Savage’s sound and overall aesthetic drawing from Radiohead, Wild Beasts, TV on the Radio, BØRNS and Tim Hecker — but with a warm take to the moody atmospherics that he dubbed “study-dance.” Now, if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that Savage’s full-length debut eschewed the traditional album release format in which an artist releases a few singles, then puts out an album several months later; rather, much like JOVM mainstays The Raveonettes and Rene Lopez, he released a new single off the album every single month, and one of those singles, the Kid A-era Radiohead-like “Maintain” was a bit more of an uptempo affair with arpeggiated synth chords, a propulsive rhythm section and Savage’s plaintive, falsetto vocals floating over an icy mix.

Thud is Savage’s first proper album, and the album which is slated for a July 13, 2018 release found the Australian-born, Swedish-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer superimposing the album’s overarching themes onto the material’s lyrics — and as he explains in press notes, that was an altogether much more natural process. “I hadn’t any idea for a theme in the beginning, the conscious element in the process is quite limited. It’s mostly reliant upon feeling resonance in the words rather than a specific line of thought. Sometimes I bring in more conscious thinking, but if I really succeed, they somehow manage to fall into linear coherency. I’m in it for the feeling of experiencing and what poured out of me afterwards, rather than attempting to express any sort of certainty. If I was certain about something, I supposed it’d be better as a novel.” Interestingly, throughout the writing and recording of the album, there was a recurrent element — “our relationship to technology and social media. I feel like the record almost became a plea for people to down their phones and speak to each other, or to just sit and think,” Savage adds. “But if this is the future for us, one should just accept it right?”

“Warm Milk,” Thud’s latest single is centered around a propulsive, motorik-like groove, shuffling beats, shimmering electronics and Savage’s plaintive vocals — but unlike his previously released material, not only does the song bring Peter Gabriel 3 and Security-era Peter Gabriel, Barbarossa and others to my mind (at least to my ears), it’s a deeply unsettling track meant to evoke the creeping dread and anxiety of being alone — and yet, when we’re constantly plugged into the digital realm, we’re always alone and never truly connecting with others.

Created by Elin Ghersinich and Thomas Savage, the recently released video is claustrophobic and unsettling as its centered around imagery of liquids being poured — at one point, the aforementioned white milk but cut with footage of Savage shot in an tightly cropped closeups in a dark, almost dungeon-like bathroom, full of self-loathing, regret and desperate loneliness. When we see Savage, it’s much like seeing a man struggling with his own warped, fractured psyche and emotions — and losing.

New Video: Montreal’s Scattered Clouds Releases Tense and Furious Animated Visuals for New Single

Comprised of Philippe Charbonneau, Jamie Kronick and Mike Dubue, the Montreal-based post punk trio Scattered Clouds have received attention for a dense and scuzzy sound reminiscent of JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers and Chain of Flowers among others — especially on their latest single, the fuzzy, tense and panic-filled “Justice,” which was inspired by the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi at the hands of the Ottawa Police Department. The intent of the song is make listener to feel desperate, impotent and vulnerable — to remind them of their smallness within a cruel sociopolitical system that crushes people within its path.

Interestingly, the recently released video features animations from Montreal-based animator Joel Vaudreuil and it depicts the central antagonist (the police) as a fearsome, monstrous and violent figure, meant to symbolize how most marginalized communities fear those who claim are there to protect and serve them.

New Video: Jon Spencer Teases Solo Debut with Scuzzy Trashtastic Visuals for “Do The Trash Can”

Best known as the founding member of New York-based alt rock acts, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash and Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer will be releasing his first solo album, Spencer Sings the Hits later on this year through In The Red Records, and the Bill Skibbe-produced album, which finds the renowned guitarist and frontman embracing a DIY approach while collaborating with Quasi’s and Heatmiser’s Sam Coombes and M. Sord.

“Do The Trash Can,” the album’s propulsive and blistering first single will further cement Spencer’s long-held reputation for a scuzzy and abrasive sound that draws from the blues, industrial rock and metal centered snarling, garage punk attitude, caustic power chords and an oddly danceable yet mosh pit friendly groove — while kicking ass and taking names. Interestingly, the album will reportedly feature percussion with a metallic edge as a nod to Spencer’s past with Pussy Galore. 

Created by Andrew Hooper, the recently released video for the song is aptly scuzzy and trashy, as its centered around utterly trashtrastic horror film footage, bikini beach movies and other vintage ephemera — with the result being visuals that are a trippy mind fuck. 

New Video: Deap Vally’s Surf Rock Inspired New Single

With the release of their first two albums — 2013’s Sistrionix and 2016’s Nick Zinner co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Deap Vally, comprised of Julie Edwards Pirrone (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly developed a reputation for crafting blistering garage rock that had been described by some critics as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. However, their Chris Kaysch co-produced FEMEJISM (Unplugged) EP found the duo playing stripped down, acoustic interpretations of four songs from FEMEJISM, revealing a band that had begun to experiment with their sound and approach.

Despite the success and attention the duo have received, working together hasn’t always been easy; after all, trying to make it financially and spiritually as a musician in a hyper competitive industry — one that’s typically unfair for women, can cause fissures in even the most solid relationship. The duo went to couples therapy to help them — and the duo feel that it’s rejuvenated their creative process, with the duo exploring and expanding upon their sound and songwriting approaching, embracing freedom and looser sound structures; in fact, the duo’s latest single “Get Gone” finds the duo adopting a ramshackle surf rock sound reminiscent of JOVM mainstays High Waisted and others.

Directed by John Stavas, the recently released video further evokes the song’s throwback feel and vibe, as it uses footage of the band duo playing for the Volcom for Every Body, all -inclusive sizing denim campaign official video but played through distorted, multi-colored, kaleidoscopic filters. It’s trippy as hell while kicking ass.