Tag: White Reaper

Over the past decade the Toronto-based indie rock act Wildlife, currently comprised of Dean Povinsky, Derek Bosomworth, Dwayne Christie, Chris Dawe and Nick Greaves have released three albums — 2010’s Strike Hard, Young Diamond, 2013’s On the Heart and 2016’s The Age of Reason — which, firmly established their sound — anthemic, power pop-tinged indie rock that has drawn comparisons to Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and others.

Building upon a growing profile both in their native Canada and elsewhere, the Toronto-based act’s fourth album Take The Light With You was released last Friday, and the album, which was recorded over a three week session with Dave Schiffman with a additional work at Threshold Studio with Mike Keire finds the band crafting some of their most concise and forceful material to date. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about  “No Control,” a hook-driven anthemic track that the listener can imagine sweaty fans shouting along to at their local music venue. “Follower (Lala),” Take The Light With You‘s latest track is a shimmering and decidedly New Wave-inspired track that recalls The Cars and even The World’s Best American Band-era White Reaper — and while continuing a run of incredibly hook-driven anthems, the song is a sweet love song about being someone’s champion and them being yours; what it feels like to know someone has your back and always wanting them to know they can also rely on you. 

 

 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Cones Release a Behind the Scenes-like Visual for Breezy Album Single “Seeing Triple”

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the  San Francisco-born, Los Angeles-based sibling duo Cones. The duo which is comprised of Jonathan Rosen, an acclaimed, pop music influenced, hand-drawn animator, who has created music videos for Toro y Moi, Eleanor Friedberger and Delicate Steve,  and played Johnny Thunders on the HBO series Vinyl; and Michael Rosen, a classically trained pianist, commercial and film composer and experimental sound artist, can trace the origins of their band back to their stint playing together as members of the New York-based indie act Icewater, an act that at one point became Friedberger’s session and touring band during New View. As the story goes, while touring with Friedberger, the Rosens began to conceptualize what their new project would sound like, ultimately deciding that their project would fuse Jonathan’s pop sensibilities with Michael’s lush, atmospheric soundscapes and keyboard-based instrumentation.

After releasing a string of critically applauded singles, which they followed up with their debut EP, the Rosen Brothers went into a friend’s studio to collaborate with a producer for the first time in their history.  They recorded what they initially thought would be their full-length debut but ultimately, they decided to scrap it, as it didn’t feel like a proper Cones album to them. So they went back to their home studio and started working on the full-length debut from scratch. The end result wound up being their full-length debut Pictures of Pictures. 

Now, as you may recall, earlier this month, I wrote about “Moonstone,” a breezy bit of psych pop that struck me a being a sort of seamless synthesis of Steely Dan and MGMT, but while being a swooning and delicate love song. “Seeing Triple,” Pictures of Pictures’ latest single is a shimmering and breezy New Wave-like track, that kind of reminds me of The Cars and of The World’s Best American Band-era White Reaper, complete with a soaring hook and plaintive vocals. But at its core, the song evokes the ambivalence and confusion of getting older.  

Interestingly, the recently released video for “Seeing Triple” is arguably their first live-action video, centered around the duo performing the song in a studio in front of psychedelic-tinged lighting. The video reveals, the behind-the-scenes of a video filming and of the brother’s relationship — like most siblings, they fight and fuss but there’s a profound amount of love there.

New Audio: Nashville’s Twen Releases an Anthemic New Single

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Nashville-based indie rock act Twen.  The act, which is led by founding members Jane Fitzsimmons (vocals) and Ian Jones (guitar) can trace their origins to their involvement in Boston’s DIY scene, and as you may recall, the duo since their formation have been actively been redefining what a touring band should be and should be in the streaming age. Initially releasing only a live EP recorded from the band’s live debut in a Boston basement, the band has toured non-stop, honing and perfecting a live show that’s been described by critics and fans alike as raw and mesmerizing. 

Continuing to proudly ascribe to the DIY ethos that has influenced and sustained them, Twen’s core duo have run AirBNBs while touring, played in exchange for skydiving, screen printed self-designed merch items by hand and book their own tours. The duo emerged into the national scene with the release of their attention-grabbing single “Waste,” which received praise from the likes of NPR, Stereogum, Paste Magazine, BrooklynVegan, Uproxx, Under The Radar and others. Earlier this year, the duo opened for the acclaimed Louisville-based JOVM mainstays White Reaper — and they released the slow-burning and shoegazer-like “Holy River,” a track that to my ears would likely draw comparisons to classic 4AD Records, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and Beach House — but with a yearning, dream-like quality that gives the ethereal track a subtle bit of emotional weight.

 Building upon a growing profile, the buzz-worthy, Nashville-based duo will be releasing their full-length debut Awestruck through Frenchkiss Records on September 20, 2019. I also wrote about the album’s first official single “Baptism,” an atmospheric and shoegazer-like track centered around shimmering guitars, propulsive drumming, Jane Fitzsimmons’ enormous, room-filling vocals singing impressionistic lyrics full of a yearning desire to be born, becoming and re-born. The album’s latest single “Make Hard” is centered around jangling, reverb-soaked guitars, propulsive drumming and rousingly anthemic hook — and while bearing a bit of a resemblance to Fleetwood Mac, the song is rooted in lived-in, personal experience that gives the song an emotional weight. 

“The song was rewritten and arranged very late in the recording process,” the band explained to DIY. “Another one of our earliest tunes, the second verse was a response to the growing pains we were going through at the time, transitioning from part-time rockers to full-time road warriors. The lyrics have come to symbolize the dynamics and relationships within a band as it grows, through the transformation of defined roles and how they change over time.” 

New Video: The Paranoyds Release an Interactive and Trippy, 360º Visual for “Face First”

Formed back in 2015, the buzz-worthy Los Angeles-based punk act The Paranoyds, derive their name as a bit of an apt summary of their general outlook on technology and modern culture — but ironically, the act can trace its origins to a friendship forged between its founding members Staz Lindes (bass, vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys vocals) over MySpace in their early teens. Initially bonding over a shared interest in local underground music, the duo eventually became friends in real life. Eventually, the duo recruited Hashemi’s childhood friend Lexi Funston to join the band — with David Ruiz (drums) completing the band’s lineup in 2015.

Since their formation, the band has developed a reputation as one of Los Angeles’ most exciting bands as a result of tours with the likes of DIIV, White Reaper, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sunflower Bean, Tacocat, BRONCHO and others, and for playing major festivals like Coachella. The band’s highly-anticipated (and long-awaited) full-length debut Carnage Bargain is slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Suicide Squeeze Records — and the album is reportedly a raucous blend of gritty garage rock, New Wave swagger, B movie camp and a myriad of other left-of-center influences.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the album’s second single, album title track “Carnage Bargain,” a track which found the band pairing ironically delivered lyrics that offered a scathing observation of our world of instant gratification with quirky yet infectious pop hooks, fuzzy power chords  and forceful drumming. Beginning with a pair of alternating half-tones that sound like sirens piercing through the air, the album’s third and latest single, album opener “Face First”  quickly develops a motorik groove featuring some explosive blasts of post punk skronk and squeal. And over that the band’s Lexi Funston sings lyrics about watching other people’s private lives unfold on social media and on our phones. 

Directed by David Gantz and Theo Cohn, the recently released video for “Face First” is  trippy 360º and interactive visual that follows a stalker. “We wanted the video to be driving, as the song has always reminded us of some sort of forward movement, like running, driving in a car late at night, etc.,” the members of The Paranoyds say in a statement. “The song is loosely about a stalker and we wanted that idea to be involved in the movement somehow. The video directors, our friends Theo Cohn and David Gantz, wanted to challenge themselves by doing something they had never done before–shooting with a 360º camera. This allowed us to show the point of view of these stalkers, where you could watch the video multiple times and still notice little Easter eggs each time depending on where you look. So many people watch videos on their phones now, and a 360º video makes for a much more interesting and fulfilling experience on a phone.”

New Audio: Nashville’s Twen Releases a Shimmering and Celestial New Single

The Nashville-based indie rock act Twen, led by founding members Jane Fitzsimmons (vocals) and Ian Jones (guitar) can trace their origins to when they formed while both were involved in Boston’s DIY scene. Since their formation several years ago, the band has been busy redefining what a touring band should do — and should be in the streaming age. Initially releasing nothing more than a live EP recorded fro the band’s live debut in a Boston basement, the band has toured non-stop, honing and perfecting a live show that’s been described as raw and mesmerizing.

Continuing to proudly ascribe to the DIY ethos that influenced them, Twen’s core duo have run AirBNBs while touring, played in exchange for skydiving, screen printed self-designed merch items by hand and book their own tours. Now, as you may recall, the duo quickly emerged into the national scene with the release of attention-grabbing single “Waste,” which received praise from the likes of NPR, Stereogum, Paste Magazine, BrooklynVegan, Uproxx, Under The Radar and others. Earlier this year, the duo opened for the acclaimed Louisville-based JOVM mainstays White Reaper — and they released the slow-burning and shoegazer-like “Holy River,” a track that to my ears would likely draw comparisons to classic 4AD Records, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and Beach House — but with a yearning, dream-like quality that gives the ethereal track a subtle bit of emotional weight.

Building upon a growing profile, the buzz-worthy, Nashville-based duo will be releasing their full-length debut Awestruck through Frenchkiss Records on September 20, 2019. “Baptism,” the album’s first official single is an atmospheric bit of shoegaze centered around shimmering guitars, propulsive drumming, Jane Fitzsimmons’ enormous, room-filling vocals singing impressionistic lyrics full of a yearning desire to be born, becoming and re-born. Interestingly, Jones’ guitar lines actually is a revisited riff that he wrote as a teenager, that he reworked with a fresh perspective — essentially giving the song a trippy and anachronistic sensibility. 

New Video: Los Angeles’ The Paranoyds Release a Trippy B Movie-Inspired Visual for “Carnage Bargain”

Formed back in 2015, the buzz-worthy Los Angeles-based punk act The Paranoyds, derive their name as a bit of an apt summary of their general outlook on technology and modern culture — but ironically, the act can trace its origins to a friendship forged between its founding members Staz Lindes (bass, vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys vocals) over MySpace in their early teens. Initially bonding over a shared interest in local underground music, the duo eventually became friends in real life. Eventually, the duo recruited Hashemi’s childhood friend Lexi Funston to join the band — with David Ruiz (drums) completing the band’s lineup in 2015.  

Since their formation, the band has developed a reputation as one of Los Angeles’ most exciting bands as a result of tours with the likes of DIIV, White Reaper, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sunflower Bean, Tacocat, BRONCHO and others, and for playing major festivals like Coachella. The band’s highly-anticipated (and long-awaited) full-length debut Carnage Bargain is slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Suicide Squeeze Records — and the album is reportedly a raucous blend of gritty garage rock, New Wave swagger, B movie camp and a myriad of other left-of-center influences. 

Carnage Bargain’s second and latest single, the album title track will further cement their long-held reputation for pairing ironically delivered lyrics with quirky yet infectious pop hooks, fuzzy power chords and forceful drumming. And while being the sort of mosh pit friendly track in which you can envision sweaty concertgoers bopping about and singing along at your local music venue, the track is centered around a scathing observation of our current world of instant gratification that has left us unhappier. “People want things all the time—there seems to be a constant manic need of consuming now more so than ever. ‘Carnage Bargain’ is about the people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price,” the band’s Staz Lindes says in press notes. 

“It’s an extremely vulnerable time in America—things aren’t sugar coated anymore,”Lindes adds. “The dirt and grime that was swept under the rug has risen to surface. It’s impossible for us to get through a day without thinking of the thousands of migrant children in cages at the border alone, some without proper beds, soap, toothbrushes, and with lights on 24/7. We can not continue to ignore the black lives, young and old, taken by police almost every week. The plastic crisis. The mass shootings. The extreme need for prison reform. The opioid crisis. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The list goes on, and the hole gets deeper. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wonder: do they sleep well in the White House? What else can I do as a privileged citizen? They want to get a Carnage Bargain. I want to pick up garbage.”

Directed by David Ruiz and Max Flick, the recently released video immediately brings 120 Minutes to mind as its split between placing the band in a seemingly dysfunctional and dystopian reality and their studio — while nodding at constant commercials. 

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. 

Founded in early 2015, the Austin, TX-based indie rock Dryspell, which is comprised of Hunter Thompson (vocals, guitar), a touring member of acclaimed Louisville, KY-based indie rock band White Reaper; Samuel Jacobsen (bass), a member of Austin-based act Hovvdy; Chad Doriocourt (guitar) and Hugh Vu (drums), the up-and-coming act can trace some of its origins to when each individual member was playing in different bands on the same cassette tape label. And although the members of the band have been extremely busy with their involvements in other bands, they’ve managed to found time to continue working and writing together, further refining their sound and songwriting approach; in fact, “Can’t Wait,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming EP More finds the band pairing some classic, 70s AM radio vibes with alt-country and indie rock within a moody and somber track seemingly inspired by the musician’s life on the road (which can frequently be bittersweet and very strange, as you’re constantly leaving family and friends for the next “big” gig).

 

 

 

New Video: Kick Ass with White Reaper in New Video for “Judy French”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Louisville, KY-based JOVM mainstays White Reaper, who with the release of a blistering and urgent, self-titled EP and their critically applauded, hook-laden, breakneck full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again quickly received national attention.  After a relentless touring schedule to support their debut, the band spent the better part of the past two years or so writing and recording their sophomore effort, The World’s Best American Band, an effort that was released earlier this year. And from the album’s first single “Judy French,” the single reveals a decided change in sonic direction as the song leans heavily towards New Wave and prog rock — to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush while emphasizing a rousing, arena rock friendly hook but at its core, the track may be the most earnest love song they’ve released to date. 

Directed by Brandon Dermer and starring Alexandra Daddario, the recently released video for “Judy French” employs a relatively simple concept but with forceful effect, as the video quickly cuts back and forth between the members of White Reaper performing the song with Daddario presumably playing the role of the song’s Judy French, as we see her rocking out as hard as the boys in the band are; and of course, along with that are some subtly patriotic-leaning imagery to boot.