Tag: Violens

New Video: JOVM Mainstay No Joy Teams Up with Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz on a Feverish Visual for “Dream Rats”

Over the past three years or so of this site’s history,  I’ve written quite a bit about Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer Jasamine White-Gluz, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded JOVM mainstay act No Joy.  Initially starting out as a series of emailed guitar riffs between White-Gluz and her then-bandmate Laura Lloyd, the project has always been centered around White-Gluz’s penchant for restless experimentation. And throughout the project’s history, it has gone through a number of different sonic permutations with subsequent albums showcasing her love of delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion and sludgy droning over disco-like beats.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past handful of months, you’d recall that White-Gluz’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced Motherhood is slated for a Friday release through Joyful Noise Recordings and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada. The album is the Canadian-based artist’s first full-length album album in five years, and reportedly, the album finds her returning to the project’s early, DIY recording, shoegazer roots — but the material finds the JOVM mainstay continuing to expand upon her sound with the incorporation of elements of trip-hop, trance, nu-metal/deathcore and others. Some of the album’s genre-defying approach was inspired by White-Gluz’s many tours with genre-divergent artists: touring with Quicksand, No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans and ambient techno fans while touring with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.”

So far I’ve written about two of Motherhood’s singles —  “Birthmark,” which managed to be a seamless and trippy synthesis of Brit pop, shoegaze, trip-hop and shoegaze with a soaring hook and the Amoral-era Violens-like “Four.” “Dream Rats,” Motherhood’s third and latest single features White-Gluz’s sister Alissa White-Gluz, a member of deathcore supergroup Arch Enemy. Centered around thunderous drumming, synth choirs, twinkling strings, power chord shredding and soaring hooks, the song is a maximalist fever dream that recalls the aforementioned Violens while being a radio friendly 3.35.

“I’ve never collaborated musically with my sister before,” Jasamine White-Gluz says in press notes. “When we were kids we would sing and play music together but as we’ve both become adults and touring musicians we’ve never had a chance to work together. This is the heaviest song on this record so it felt fitting to have her on there. There is something special about her being on this album, specifically because it’s an exploration of family and motherhood.”

Directed by Beatrice Scharf-Pierzchala, the recently released video stars the White-Gluz sisters and a duck named Success, who’s something of a local celebrity in Montreal. (I just looked up the backstory behind Success and it’s adorable. And if you want to see a picture that will make your heart melt, there’s a picture of the bird on the Montreal metro.)

While the video is something of a surreal fever dream, the White-Gluz sisters bigger purpose was to spotlight the Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre, a non-profit organization located in Hudson, Quebec. Their mission is to conserve wild birds as part of Canada’s natural heritage. For more information and to donate, check out the following: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/le-nichoir-wild-bird-rehabilitation-centre/

Throughout the past three year or so I’ve written about Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer Jasamine White-Gluz, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded JOVM mainstay act No Joy.  Initially starting out as a series of emailed guitar riffs between White-Gluz and her then-bandmate Laura Lloyd, the project has always been centered around White-Gluz’s penchant for restless experimentation. And throughout the project’s history. it has gone through a number of different sonic permutations with subsequent albums showcasing her love of delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion and sludgy droning over disco-like beats.

Back in 2018, White-Gluz collaborated with Spacemen’s 3 Pete Kember, (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) on a collaborative EP that saw her trading the guitars she had long been known for, for modular synths — with the effort’s material baring a resemblance to Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past handful of months, you’d recall that Gluz’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced Motherhood is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Joyful Noise Recordings and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada. The album is the Canadian-based artist’s first full-length album album in five years, and reportedly, the album finds her returning to the project’s early, DIY recording, shoegazer roots. But the album’s material finds Gluz continuing to expand upon her overall sonic palette with the incorporation of elements of trip-hop, trance and nu-metal. Interestingly, some of the album’s genre-defying sound was inspired by the JOVM mainstay’s tours with genre-divergent artists: while touring with Quicksand, No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans and ambient techno fans while touring with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.”

So far I’ve written about two of Motherhood‘s singles —  “Birthmark,” which managed to be a seamless and trippy synthesis of Brit pop, shoegaze, trip-hop and shoegaze with a soaring hook and the Amoral-era Violens-like “Four.” “Dream Rats,” Motherhood‘s latest single features White-Gluz’s sister Alissa White-Gluz, a member of deathcore supergroup Arch Enemy, Centered around thunderous drumming, synth choirs, twinkling strings, power chord shredding and soaring hooks, the song is a maximalist fever dream that recalls the aforementioned Violens but while being a radio friendly 3.35.

“I’ve never collaborated musically with my sister before,” Jasamine White-Gluz says in press notes. “When we were kids we would sing and play music together but as we’ve both become adults and touring musicians we’ve never had a chance to work together. This is the heaviest song on this record so it felt fitting to have her on there. There is something special about her being on this album, specifically because it’s an exploration of family and motherhood.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Joy Follows Up-and-Coming Artist Ashley Diabo in her Home in Playful Visual for “Four”

I’ve written quite a bit about Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jasamine White-Gluz over the course of the past handful of years. Gluz is the creative mastermind of the critically applauded JOVM mainstay act No Joy.  Starting over a decade ago as a series of emailed riffs between White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, the project has been centered around White-Gluz’s restless experimentation — and since its formation, No Joy has gone through a number of different sonic permutations with subsequent albums showcasing her penchant for delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion and sludgey drones over disco-like beats. 

Back in 2018 White-Gluz collaborated with Spacemen’s 3 Pete Kember, (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) on a collaborative EP that saw her trading the guitars she had long been known for, for modular synths — with the effort’s material seemingly indebted to Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead.

Slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Joyful Noise Recordings and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada, the Jorge Elbrecht-produced Motherhood is White-Gluz’s first No Joy full-length album in over five years. Reportedly, the album’s finds White-Gluz returning to the project’s early, DIY recording, shoegazer roots — but while continuing to expand upon her overall sonic palette with the incorporation of elements of trip-hop, trance and nu-metal-like power chords among others. Interestingly, some of the album’s sound was inspired by the Montreal-based JOVM mainstay’s tours with genre-divergent artists: while touring with Quicksand, No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans and ambient techno fans while touring with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Birthmark,” Motherhood’s first single. Centered around atmospheric synths, propulsive boom-bap beats, muscular percussion, shimmering blasts of guitars and a soaring hook, the song was a seamless and trippy synthesis of Brit Pop, shoegaze, trip-hop and house music. “Four,” the album’s latest single continues the album’s  experimental bent a bit further: Centered around sizzling power chords, atmospheric electronics, wobbling synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an enormous hook, “Four” manages to recall Amoral-era Violens — but while possessing a mischievous, yet boldly feminine energy. 

Directed by Jodi Heartz, the recently released video for “Four: follows Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) visual artist Ashley Diabo at her home in Kahnawake, Quebec. Diablo’s primary medium is makeup  — and her work is deeply inspired by her home, family, Pennywise and nature. She has worked with Dazed Magazine, King Kong Magazine and brands like SSENSE and trans model, actress, and activist, Hunter Schafter. Diabo’s life is seemingly that of a prototypical suburban young woman: we see her putting on the vibrantly colored make up, she wears through the video, playing with and caring for her dog and cat, goofing off and daydreaming and swimming in her pool. And she does all of this with an infectious and warm smile and a playful energy that is — well, simply put, endearing. I couldn’t help but like this young woman and I think you will too. 

As White-Gluz explains, the aim of the Heartz-directed video was “to appreciate Ashley at home, hoping to inspire all to embrace the love and inspiration of their home, the way Ashley reminds us every day. She has a special gift to make the everyday more and better and magical.”

New Video: Chicago’s The Hecks Release a “Flashdance”-Inspired Visual for Album Single “Flash”

Formed back in 2012 as a duo featuring founding members members Andy Mosiman (guitar, vocals) and Zach Herbert (drums, percussion), the Chicago-based indie act The Hecks recorded their 2016 self-titled debut with recording engineer and guitarist Dave Vetteraino. And by the following year, Vetteraino joined the band as a full-time member. 

Now, as you may recall the band’s forthcoming and long-awaited sophomore album My Star has taken three years to write and record. After recording an early version of the album in 2017, the band started playing live shows with Jeff Grauper (synths, keys). The members of the band found that Graupner’s synth playing added some welcomed heft and swagger to their new material. The band reworked and re-arranged much of the material they originally wrote in 2017 to accommodate Graupner. But while they were reworking the material, the band decided that to completely scrap the early recordings, eventually rebuilding the material to further incorporate Graupner and his skills. And as a result, My Star is reportedly a decided leap forward sonically for the band, as the album’s material draws from Manscape-era Wire, Paisley Park nu-funk, and abstract new wave and art rock.

Album single “So 4 Real” was a jagged bit of post-punk, centered around a motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of synth and Mosiman’s plaintive vocals. And while nodding at XTC (“Mayor of Simpleton” specifically comes to mind) and Amoral-era Violens, the track was essentially a swooning and soulful love song that sounds as though it should be the part of the soundtrack of a quirky, 80s rom-com. “Flash,” My Star is an angular, neurotic take on XTC-like post punk featuring squiggling bursts of neon-tinged synths, propulsive syncopated drumming and lyrics delivered with an ironic sort of detachment. And yet, it evokes the rapid-fire heartbeat of the anxious and desperately in love.  

Produced by the members of The Hecks and featuring a video wall and lamination by Studio Super, the recently released video for “Flash” is a decidedly 80s-inspired, VHS-tape recorded affair as there are references to Flashdance and 80s MTV. It’s a feverish pop fantasy of a bunch of average white guys, who have big dreams — that sadly may never happen. “We stumbled through the whole thing and just leaned in on what was working. The end result reads like the contents of a VHS tape mailed to the president of Columbia Records from some kids from Valparaiso, Indiana, who got grounded right after filming because mom found an empty bottle of poppers in the basement,” The Hecks say in a statement. “Some forgotten relic of an aspiring nobody’s pop fantasy.” 

Chicago-based indie act The Hecks formed back in 2012 as a duo featuring founding members Andy Mosiman (guitar, vocals) and Zach Herbert (drums, percussion). Their 2016 self-titled debut was recorded as a duo with guitarist and recording engineer Dave Vetteraino, and by the following year, Vetteraino joined the band as a full-time member.

The band’s forthcoming and long awaited, sophomore album My Star has taken three years to write and record. After recording an early version of the album in 2017, the band started playing live shows with Jeff Grauper (synths, keys). The members of the band found that Graupner’s synth playing added some welcomed heft and swagger to their new material. After reworking and re-arranging much of that material to accommodate their new fourth member, the band decided that it would be scrap the early recordings, eventually rebuilding them to further incorporate Graupner’s skills. And as a result, My Star is reportedly a decided leap forward sonically for the band, as the album’s material draws from Manscape-era Wire, Paisley Park nu-funk, and abstract new wave and art rock.

“So 4 Real,” My Star‘s latest single is a jagged bit of post-punk, centered around a sinuous yet motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of synths and Mosiman’s plaintive vocals — and while nodding at XTC (“Mayor of Simpleton” specifically comes to mind) and Amoral-era Violens, the track is essentially a swooning and soulful love song that sounds as though it should be the part of the soundtrack of a quirky, 80s rom-com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Renowned Visual Artist Multi-instrumentalist Songwriter and Producer Jorge Elbrecht Releases Two Singles from Wildly Ambitious Concept Album

Throughout his career, visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jorge Elbrecht has been a  prolific, restlessly creative and inventive presence in contemporary indie rock and indie pop.  As a member of artist collective Lansing-Dreiden, Elbrecht developed attention-grabbing interdisciplinary work. With Violens, Elbrecht received attention for crafting slick, anthemic 80s guitar and synth pop and since their demise, he’s collaborated with Ariel Pink, Tamaryn, No Joy, Ice Choir, Kirin J. Callinan and Frankie Rose, developing a reputation as a go-to studio and touring musician, songwriter and producer over the past few years. Interestingly, Elbrecht’s forthcoming full-length effort Here Lies is a wildly ambitious, concept album split into different subcategories featuring the work of several different recording projects that while disparate possess a subtle yet continuous through-line. 

Interestingly, the backstory behind the album and its material  is complicated and strange: According to press notes, much of the album was written over a decade period in which Elbrecht reportedly suffered some kind of psychotic break with reality in which he became increasingly reclusive and barely coherent. Somehow, he managed to prolifically write and record material with a number of collaborators but he didn’t see much of a reason to actually release them. The press notes have suggested that as a result of this psychotic break with reality, that his family, friends and supporters have one unified intention –“to continue playing Elbrecht’s music, keeping his tenacity, imagination and recorded daydreams alive.” 

Two singles from the album, slated for a February 28, 2018 release digitally and on limited release vinyl have been already released — the atmsopheric and slightly warped, analog synth pop of REMYNYS’ “Flesh to Ash,” which features contemplative lyrics, focusing on aging and mortality, sung with a spectral quality  and Gloss Coma’s album title track “Here Lies,” a collaboration with Tamyrn that manages to be like Violens’ version of slick and moody New Wave pop, complete with layers of arpeggiated synths and industrial-like clang and clatter. But through both songs, you can hear Elbrecht’s uncanny knack for crafting soaring and anthemic hooks within subtly disparate material. 

 

Comprised of childhood friends Ben Grant and Paul Dutton, the up-and-coming, Seattle, WA-based duo Ravennas have been playing music since grade school — from drum lessons to junior high jazz band to their own creative pursuits in which Dutton contributes his expertise in music theory and instrumental mastery with Grant’s guttural artistic instinct. And with their DoM-produced debut single “Meet In A Garden,” the duo’s sound manages to be an effortless blend of psych pop, electro pop and indie rock that’s reminiscent of Amoral-era ViolensIn Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Forever and Horizon-era Painted Palms as the song is propelled by jangling guitar chords, an angular bass line and soaring hooks. But what makes the song remarkable to me is that the Seattle-based duo manage to balance a deliberate attention to craft with an earnestness of feeling and purpose.

 

With the release of their 2015 debut effort, Use Your Time Wisely, the Minneapolis, MN-born, New York-based trio Strange Names — comprised of Liam Benzvi, Francis Ximenez, and Fletcher Aleckson — quickly received attention across the blogosphere for a crafting airy and danceable New Wave-inspired pop. And as a result of the buzz around them, the members of the New York pop trio opened for Azealia Banks before eventually signing with renowned, local indie label Frenchkiss Records.

The trio’s highly-anticipated, third, full-length effort is slated for release in early 2018, and the album’s first single “Into Me” will further cement their reputation for crafting breezy, 80s inspired synth pop — and while some have made comparisons to The B52s and Phoenix, the latest single to my ears seems to draw from XTC and Violens’ fantastic Amoral as the song features a soaring hook rooted around shimmering arpeggiated synths. But underneath the song’s breezy nature is a swooning and flirtatious kiss off of sorts to someone, who is into the song’s narrator but for some perverse reason is pretending not to be.

 

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant  and vital role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Rose had briefly relocated back to her hometown of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest,” but interestingly enough, the cover album’s latest single is a slightly sped up rendition of “At Night,” which retains the original’s moody and foreboding vibe — all while reminding contemporary listeners of how influential and timeless The Cure’s work has been; in fact, you can easily imagine a contemporary band recording something that would have sounded like the material off Seventeen Seconds right now.