Tag: Warsaw

New Video: Salt Lake City’s Choir Boy Releases a Mischievous 80s Influenced Visual for Shimmering Pop Confection “Complainer”

Fronted by its Cleveland-born, Salt Lake City-based founder, frontman and creative mastermind, singer/songwriter Adam Klopp, the rising indie pop act Choir Boy derives its name from an insult that was given to Klopp in his early teens when he fronted some of his earliest bands. Given Klopp’s religious upbringing and angelic voice, the insult at the time, may have been both fair and fitting. 

After graduating high school, Klopp left Ohio for college in Utah. Although, his college career was short-lived, he left religion behind and quickly integrated into Provo’s and Salt Lake City’s underground music and art scenes, eventually starting Choir Boy. With the release of the project’s full-length debut, 2016’s Passive With Desire, Klopp’s work drew comparisons to Scott Walker, Kate Bush and Talk Talk.

Klopp’s Choir Boy debut won the attention of Dais Records, and building upon a growing profile, he released “Sunday Light” in 2018, which was followed by a reissue of Passive With Desire on vinyl and CD. Recently, Klopp has filled out the band with a permanent lineup: Chaz Costello (bass, sax), Jeff Kleinman (keys) and Michael Paulson (guitar). Each member has brought their unique influences to the table, helping to develop subtly more dynamic sound for the band — one in which, there’s a bit of post-punk grit and 80s-influenced swing to the mix. 

Slated for a May 8, 2020 release, Choir Boy’s sophomore album Gathering Swans is the first bit of recorded output with the band’s new lineup. And importantly, while seemingly drawing from Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, The Cleaners from Venusand others, the material features Klopp’s achingly earnest and angelic falsetto, expressing those emotions that are particularly difficult to name. 

The album’s first single is the dance floor friendly  “Complainer.”  Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, some industrial-like drum machine and organic drumming, a looping and shimmering guitar line, an ehe enormous and rousingly anthemic hook and Klopp’s achingly tender falsetto, the song — to my ears, at least — seems like a synthesis between Meat Is Murder-era The Smiths, Tears for Fears and contemporaries like Washed Out. Interestingly, Klopp explains that the song “marked a shift in lyrical tone from previous releases. While many of our earlier songs serve as flowery lamentations of loss and grief, ‘Complainer’ snakily examines the self absorption of sadness. The opening line Oh my life was something I privately uttered while stewing over daily anxieties. It became comical to me that I would express my self pity like that, in earnest when my struggles seemed so relatively tame.  The song continues, It’s a phrase so funny when it’s spoken so sincere. But it’s not that bad, I’ve never really had it worse. I’m just a complainer. ‘Complainer’ multi-tasks as a pop song and a reminder to keep my privilege in check.”

Directed by the members of Choir Boy, edited by Choir Boy’s Adam Klopp and featuring an action cameo by Sam Rodriguez, the recently released video for “Complainer” is a decidedly lo-fi, fittingly 80s-inspired visual split between footage of the band playing the song in random locations while mischievously revealing the band’s involvement in a seedy, back alley, Fight Club-like fighting ring. 

New Audio: Rising British Pop Artist Jordan Mackampa Releases a Soulful and Radio Friendly Single

Mackampa’s work is inspired by his Congolese roots and his mother’s love of legendary soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield. And much like his influences, Mackampa has a developed a reputation for pairing an old school singer/songwriter soul-like vocal delivery with earnest songwriting and catchy melodies with a modern approach. Building upon that momentum, Mackampa’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Foreigner is slated for a March 13, 2020 release. Along with that the rising Congolese-British artist is currently on a North American tour opening for Amber Run that includes a stop tomorrow at Warsaw — and he has been confirmed to play at next year’s SXSW.

Jordan Mackampa is a rising London-born and-based Congolese-British singer/songwriter. With the release of “Under” earlier this year and 2016’s Physics EP, and 2017’s Tales From The Broken EP and Live from the Grand Cru EP, Mackampa has received critical praise from NME, The 405, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Indie Shuffle, Wonderland and others — with all of his previously released material amassing over 50 million Spotify streams.

Mackampa’s latest single, “Parachutes” is a breezy yet deliberately crafted track centered around a radio friendly and loose arrangement of twinkling keys, shimmering guitars, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming. But the star of the show is Mackampa’s easygoing and expressive vocals — in this case, Mackampa’s voice evokes the soaring high of being in love and the embittering low of heartache and betrayal within the turn of a phrase.

“‘Parachutes’ encapsulates those situations with people you’ve come across in life; who aren’t who they pretend to be and the person they are with you, isn’t someone you want to be around,” Mackampa explains in press notes. “However because you love them, either platonically or romantically, you’re conflicted by your feelings for them until it gets to a point where you don’t want to be hurt anymore… Nobody is perfect, but if you were trapped in an airplane with them and they had a parachute but you didn’t you would jump out regardless, because any pain you would experience afterwards, won’t be as bad as what you’ve already gone through.”

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Vivian Girls Reunite for a Kaleidoscopic and Trippy Visual for “Something To Do”

Formed back in 2007 by founding members Katy Goodman (bass, drums, vocals),  Cassie Ramone (vocals, guitar) and Frankie Rose (drums, bass, vocals), the acclaimed indie rock act Vivian Girls, derive their name from the title of outside author Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. And although they went through a series of drummers in their run together, they developed a reputation for being a band for outsiders, for playing warehouses, house parties, DIY spots and small clubs. Sonically, they bounced back and forth between heart-on-their sleeves romantics and feedback-driven sheogazers. 

After their third album, 2011’s Share the Joy, the band split up and went their own ways. Katy Goodman and the band’s third drummer Ali Koehler relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued with different musical pursuits — Goodman with her acclaimed act La Sera and Ali Koehler with Best Coast and Upset while starting families. Ramone continued to make art, released two solo albums and two albums with Kevin Morby in their band The Babies. Interestingly, Ramone relocated to Los Angeles after a phone call with Goodman sparked the possibility of a reunion. 

Last spring, the trio began jamming together, keeping their practices a secret  while enjoying the simple act of playing together again. By the fall, the trio had written an album’s worth of material and entered the studio to record their Rob Barbarto-produced fourth album Memory, the first batch of original material from the band in over eight years. 

Slated for a September 20, 2019 release through Polyvinyl Records, Memory’s title may conjure the concept of its band members waxing nostalgic over halcyon days — but actually, the material may be the darkest of their catalog. Fueled by their own experiences as individuals and as a band, the album thematically touches upon their personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all. Sonically, the album reportedly evokes desperation and longing while having a newfound sense of intensity and direction. 

Interestingly, Memory’s second and latest single “Something To Do” is a shoegazey-like song centered around layers of buzzing guitars, a propulsive groove and ethereal vocals bubbling up from the murky mix — and while sonically nodding a a bit at their past, the song is a bold push forward, imbued with a dark, murky quality of a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship. 

Directed by Jason Lester, the recently released feverish video for “Something to Do” was shot on what appears to be 8mm film in the Los Angeles area and features the band members running toward themselves playing in an abandoned structure — presumably, the band running to a new future together. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Prettiest Eyes Pay Homage to John Carpenter in Visual for “Mr. President”

Over the past few years, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles-based synth punk act Prettiest Eyes, and as you may recall the act which is comprised of San Juan, Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based founding members Pachy Garcia (drums, vocals), and Marcos Rodriguez (bass, vocals) along with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Paco Casanova (keys, synths vocals) can trace their origins back to San Juan, where the band’s founding members played in a number of local bands before relocating to Los Angeles to seriously pursue music. Casanova independently relocated to Los Angeles and joined the band to complete its lineup. And with the release of a couple of EPs and their first two albums,  2015’s Looks and last year’s Pools, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays firmly established a reputation for crafting sleazy and primal synth punk that throbs with a muscular insistence.  

The band’s third full-length album, the aptly titled Vol. 3 was released earlier this year through Castle Face Records, and album single “Nekrodisco” was a off-center, post apocalyptic ripper, seemingly inspired by Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!-era DEVO. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Mr. President” is a minimalist track centered around howled mantra-like lyrics, industrial clang and clatter and a relentless motorik groove that seethes with uncertainty and menace. 

Directed and edited by Andrew Frescas, the recently released video further emphasizes the song’s murkiness and menace — and interestingly enough, finds the video’s director and the band collaborating to pay homage to John Carpenter’s They Live!

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Oh Sees Release a Trippy and Nightmarishly Animated Visual for “Poisoned Stones”

Over the past nine years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstays Oh Sees. And as you may recall, the act, which is led by its ridiculously prolific founder and creative mastermind John Dwyer has a cultivated a long-held reputation for wide-ranging and restless experimentation that has seen the band dabble between a variety of genres and styles including lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage punk rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more — with each successive album being wildly different from its predecessor. 

Face Stabber, a 2LP album is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through their longtime label home Castle Face Records, and the album’s first single “Henchrock” was a free-flowing, skronky The Yes Album-era Yes meets Return to Forever-like expansive bit of prog rock. The album’s latest single “Poisoned Stones” continues on a similar vein — skronky prog rock but this time delivered with a muscular and forceful insistence, as the track is centered around enormous power chords and thunderous drumming. 

The recently released video for “Poisoned Stones” features 8 bit video game graphic animation by Eaten Alive Illustrations that’s a surrealistic nightmare as it follows our motorcycle riding protagonist being chased through the desert — until the bat-like creature chasing him captures him and drops him off into the lair of a cloaked magician. After killing the magician, the protagonist escapes, feeds something to a wolf, who has a mind-bending trip and allows our protagonist to ride him until they arrive at a castle that will be destroyed by an even weirder, alien-like dragon. 

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink on the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstays Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, The Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite and other variations). And as you may recall, the act which is led by its ridiculously prolific creative mastermind John Dwyer has a long-held reputation for wide-ranging and restless experimentation that has seen the band dabble and bounce between a variety of genres and styles including lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage punk rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more. Of course, with each successive album generally being wildly different from its predecessors, it makes the band incredibly difficult to pigeonhole.

Last year’s Smote Reverser found the band meshing classic psych rock and prog rock in a way that brought JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to mind, but with a muscular and menacing air.

Oh Sees’ latest album, the 2LP Face Stabber is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through their longtime label home Castle Face Records. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Henchrock” is a free-flowing skronky The Yes Album-era Yes meets Return to Forever-like bit of prog rock that clocks in at a little over 21 minutes and possesses a lysergic, retro-futuristic air.

The members of Oh Sees will be embarking on a lengthy tour throughout the summer and fall months that includes a three night, October run at Warsaw — October 18, 2019 – October 20, 2019. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:

July
11-13 Carnation WA Timber! Festival

August
 9 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s

23 Charleville Cabaret Vert festival

24 Guéret Check-in Festival

27 Ravenna Hana-Bi (Free)

29 Vienna Arena

30 Munich Strom

31 Berlin Kreuzberg Festsaal

September
Brussels Les Botaniquesen

Bordeaux BT 59

Toulouse Le Bikini

Paris Le Bataclan

London Troxy

Amsterdam Paradiso

30 San Francisco, CA The Chapel

October
San Francisco, CA The Chapel

San Francisco, CA The Chapel

4 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom

7 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre

10 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue Ballroom

11 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall

12 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall

14 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall

15 Montreal, QC Le National

16 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair

18 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

19 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

20 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

22 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer

23 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle

24 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge

25 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks

26 Austin TX Hotel Vegas

27 Austin, TX Hotel Vegas

29 Albuquerque, NM Sister Bar

31 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom

New Video: Follow Acclaimed Indie Act Hippo Campus on the Road in New Visuals for “Honestly”

Comprised of Jake Luppen (vocals, guitar), Nathan Stocker (guitar, vocals), Zach Sutton (bass, keys) and Whistler Isaiah Allen (drums, vocals), the acclaimed St. Paul, MN-based indie rock act Hippo Campus can trace their origins to when the members of the quartet met while attending the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Interestingly, at the time, the members of Hippo Campus were playing in a number of different, local bands before forming their current project.

Hippo Campus independent released their Alan Sparhawk-produced debut EP Bashful Creatures in 2014. But when they signed to Grand Jury Records, their new label re-released the EP during the following year. The EP which featured singles “Little Grace” and “Suicide Saturday” was supported with an appearance at SXSW, their national, late night TV debut on Conan, a live session on KRCW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and KEXP before ending the year with an appearance on CBS This Morning. Paste Magazine also named them that year’s The Best of What’s Next. 

“The Halocline” was featured in the series finale of TNT’s Falling Skies and building upon a growing profile, the members of Hippo Campus toured with Modest Mouse, Walk the Moon, The Mowgli’s, JOVM mainstays Rubblebucket, Vacationer and My Morning Jacket. They also toured across the national festival circuit, playing sets at Lollapalooza, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Minneapolis’ Rock the Garden — and an appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festival. They ended the year with the release of their sophomore EP, 2015’s South, which landed at #16 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. 

2017 saw the release of the band’s critically applauded and commercially successful, BJ Burton-produced, full-length debut Landmark, which featured album singles “Boyish” and “Way It Goes.” As a result of the album landing at #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers Charts, the band made their second appearance on Conan, and went out a headlining international tour that included festival stops at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. They ended the year with the release of the warm glow EP.

Last spring and last summer, the St. Paul-based indie rock act played at Sasquatch Music Festival, the Reading and Leeds Festivals and they opened for Sylvan Esso at Red Rocks before releasing their critically applauded BJ Burton-produced sophomore album Bambi. Interestingly, album singles “Passenger,” “Golden,” and album title track “Bambi” found the band pushing their sound in a new direction, as the material incorporates an increasing amount of synths and drum programming, 

Bambi’s latest single “Honestly” is centered around shimmering synths, angular guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and a soaring hook — and in some way the track reminds me of JOVM mainstays White Reaper, who also pushed their sound in a similar direction while maintaining an ability to craft an infectious, radio friendly hook. Underlying that  the song possesses a wistful air for something seemingly simple and easy although that may be an illusion that you have to learn to deal with. 

Directed by Brittany O’Brien, the recently released video for “Honestly,” follows the band goofing off behind the scenes while on tour — but underneath the hijinks and glamour, there’s the recognition that a life eon the road is lonely and profoundly strange. 

New Video: Los Angeles Synth Punks Prettiest Eyes Release Sleazy VHS-Styled Visual for “Nekrodisco”

Comprised of San Juan, Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Pachy Garcia (drums, vocals), San Juan Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles-based Marcos Rodriguez (bass, vocals) and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Paco Casanova (keys, synths vocals), the Los Angeles-based synth punk act Prettiest Eyes can trace their origins back to San Juan, where Garcia and Rodriguez played in a number of local bands before relocating to Los Angeles to seriously pursue music. Rodriguez relocated independently and joined the band — and within their first couple of years together, the act released a couple of EPs and a couple of albums, including 2015’s Looks and last year’s Pools. Both albums established the band’s growing reputation for crafting sleazy, primal, synth-based punk that throbs with a nasty, muscular insistence. 

The band’s third full-length album, the aptly titled Vol. 3 is slated for a June 24, 2019 release through Castle Face Records, and the album’s latest single “Nekrodisco” is a sleazy, cretinous stomp featuring  a muscular and insistent motorik-like, chugging groove, buzzing synths, Garcia’s vocal delivery, which alternates between shouted commands, whispers and howls paired with jagged hooks. And while the new track will further cement the Los Angeles-based synth punk act’s growing reputation for off-center, post-apocalyptic rippers, the track also manages to sound as though it were inspired by Q: Are We Men? A: We Are DEVO-era DEVO. Directed by Shane McKenzie, the recently released video is grainy, distorted VHS scuzz and snow, complete with the members of the band vamping and strutting throughout.