Tag: Yes

 

Blinker the Star · Silent Types

I’ve written quite a bit about Jordon Zadorozny, the Pembroke, Ontario-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind acclaimed indie rock recording project Blinker The Star over the past few months. Zadorozny initially started the project as a solo project but by the time the  act signed to A&M Records, the project expanded into a full-fledged band for their first two albums — 1995’s self-titled debut and 1996’s A Bourgeois Kitten. During those early years, the band built up a profile nationally and elsewhere through steady touring.

In 1997, Zadorozny relocated from Montreal to Los Angeles, where he worked with Courtney Love, helping craft songs for Hole’s acclaimed and commercially successful album Celebrity Skin. While in Los Angeles, Zadorozny began soaking up new influences and became increasingly fascinated with production. Signing with Dreamworks in 1999, the band, which at the time featured Zadorozny, Failure’s Kelli Scott (drums), longtime bassist Pete Frolander and a rotating cast of Southern California-based session musicians recorded and released their critically applauded third album August Everywhere, which they supported with touring across North America with Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Failure and The Flaming Lips. 

Returning back to Pembroke in 2002, Zadorozny built his first commercial recording studio and began working with Sam Roberts, contributing drums and producing Roberts’ breakthrough debut EP The Inhuman Condition. Zadorozny also worked on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Chris Cornell, Lindsey Buckingham and others.

During the Winter of 2003, Zadorozny wrote and recorded Blinker The Star’s fourth album Still In Rome as a duo with Kelli Scott. Following a brief tour to support the album, the Pembroke, Ontario-born multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter quickly settled into the production side of the things working with an electric array of artists, including collaborative projects like Digital Noise Academy, SheLoom,  The Angry Moon, and others.

2012’s fourth album, We Draw Lines was the first Blinker The Star album that Zadorozny wrote and recorded as a solo recording project since he started the project over a decade earlier.  Interestingly, We Draw Lines began a rather prolific period that included 2013’s Songs from Laniakea Beach, a one-off single “Future Fires,” 2015’s 11235 EP, 2017’s 8 of Hearts and last year’s Careful With Your Magic.

After completing a short run of shows last fall, Zodorozny began working working on new material at his Skylark Park Studio. The solitude of his environment helped inform his forthcoming Blinker The Star album Juvenile Universe, which is slated for release this summer. So far, I’ve written about two of the album’s singles — the Station to Station-era David Bowie-like “Way Off Wave,” and the jangling, 70s rock-like “Only To Run Wild.” The album’s third and latest single, “Silent Type” is a decidedly 80s New Wave-inspired track, featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, glistening and angular guitars, a propulsive bass line and an enormous hook that reminds me a little bit of  Yes‘ “Owner of Lonely Heart.” But under the slick radio friendly production, the track continues a run of ambitious and deliberately crafted material.

 

 

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: Oh Sees Release Lysergic Visuals for Their Krautrock-Driven New Single “Anthemic Aggressor”

Throughout this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based  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 band which is led by its ridiculously prolific primary songwriter John Dwyer (vocals, guitar) and currently comprised of Tim Hellman (bass), Dan Rincon (drums) and Paul Quattrone (drums) have a long held reputation for a wide ranging experimentalism that has seen the band dabble and bounce between lysergic folk, furious and sweaty garage punk, sci-fi driven krautrock and countless others — with each successive album generally being completely different from its predecessors.

Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the current lineup with the material balancing a cosmic vibe with some of their most punishing tendencies in some time. They promptly followed that up with Memory of a Cut Off Head which found the band revisiting the sound and approach of their early years, However, their latest album, the recently released Smote Reverser was recorded at the dusty pecan farm, where they recorded Orc — and the album’s latest single is the expansive “Anthemic Aggression.” Clocking in at almost 13 minutes, the track is centered by a spacious, lysergic-tinged and percussive, krautrock groove and explosive blasts of cosmic ray-like feedback and bursts of fuzzy guitar. And while the song brings a cerebral, prog rock sensibility to mind, as I’m reminded of Yes, Rush and King Lizard and the Gizzard Wizard, it balances that with a primal, forceful groove that subtly hints at Afrobeat — all while directly drawing at krautrock.

Directed by John Dwyer and featuring puppets, a spaceship and green screen work by Dwyer, the recently released video follows two intergalactic space travelers fleeing our tiny little section of the galaxy and the mind-bending things they see as they go through dimensions and further galaxies.

Deriving their name from their name from the fictional spice in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga Dune that makes intergalactic travel, telepathy and longevity possible, Madrid, Spain-based psych rock quintet Melange, comprised of long-time friends Adrian Ceballos (drums and vocals), Daniel Fernandez (bass and vocals), Mario Zamora (keyboard and vocals), Sergio Ceballos (guitar and vocals), and Miguel Rosón (guitar and vocals) formed back in 2014, and they are among their hometown’s most accomplished and acclaimed musicians, as individual members of the band have played in a number of locally and regionally recognized acts including Lüger, RIPKC, and Bucles and others.

Now, as you may recall, the members of Melange brashly emerged into Madrid and the Spanish music scenes with their self-released, double LP, which featured a highly conceptual narrative reportedly influence by the diverse experiences of the bandmembers with materially thematically touching upon evolution, comprehension and transformation through music — while sonically, the Spanish rockers sound drew from prog rock, psych rock and folk. And as a result of their unique sound and approach, the Spanish rockers received praise from El Pais, Mondo Sonoro, Sol Musica, and Ruta 66 as well as airplay from Radio 3, and played at some of their homeland’s biggest and well-regarded festivals including Low Festival, Sonogram Festival, Sala Stereo Festival, Sala Planta Baja, Festival Noroeste, Festival Wos, Fueu Festival and others.

Building upon a breakthrough year, the band spent their free time writing and recording their soon-to-be released Carlos Diaz-produced sophomore effort Viento Bravo live to tape at Gismo 7 Studios in Motril, Spain and Phantom Power in Madrid Spain.  Reportedly, the band’s sophomore effort finds them refining and honing their sound while retaining the elements that first won them national attention — who the album’s first single “Rio Revuelto” being reminiscent of of JOVM mainstays Boogarins, Junip , Jose Gonzales and The Yes Album-era Yes. The album’s second single “Cotard” while continuing along in a similar vein as its predecessor featured an expansive, mind-bending song structure emphasized by arpeggiated organ chords and some impressive guitar work, reminiscent of The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” Yes’ “Roundabout,” and “I’ve Seen All Good People.

“Armas Preparadas,” Viento Bravo‘s third and latest single is the most straight forward psych rocker of the album, as it features an incredibly tight melody, an uncannily lush sense of harmony and some impressive guitar work paired with an expansive, twisting and turning song structure. And perhaps most important, possesses  an urgent improvised at the fly of a moment feel, revealing them to arguably be one of Spain’s most interesting and beguiling bands of the moment.

 

Forming in 2014 and deriving their name from the fictional spice in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga Dune that makes intergalactic travel, telepathy and longevity possible, the Madrid, Spain-based psych rock quintet Melange, comprised of long-time friends Adrian Ceballos (drums and vocals), Daniel Fernandez (bass and vocals), Mario Zamora (keyboard and vocals), Sergio Ceballos (guitar and vocals), and Miguel Rosón (guitar and vocals) are among their hometown’s most accomplished and acclaimed musicians — with the band’s individual members having stints in locally renowned acts including Lüger, RIPKC, and Bucles and others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the summer, you may recall that the members of Melange brashly emerged into both Madrid’s and their home country’s music scenes with their self-released, double LP, which featured a highly conceptual narrative influenced by the diverse experiences of the bandmembers. Thematically, the material touched upon evolution, comprehension and transformation through music — all while sonically drawing from prog rock, psych rock and folk music, and as a result, the band received praise from  El Pais, Mondo Sonoro, Sol Musica, and Ruta 66 as well as airplay from Radio 3, and played at some of their homeland’s biggest and well-regarded festivals including Low Festival, Sonogram Festival, Sala Stereo Festival, Sala Planta Baja, Festival Noroeste, Festival Wos, Fueu Festival and others.

Building upon a breakthrough 2016, which included a busy touring schedule, the band spent their free-time writing and recording their h ighly-anticipated, Carlos Diaz-produced sophomore album Viento Bravo,  which live to tape at Gismo 7 Studios in Motril, Spain and Phantom Power in Madrid Spain. Reportedly, the album finds the band refining their sound — with the album’s breezy, tropicalia-like first single “Rio Revuelto” reminding me quite a bit of JOVM mainstays Boogarins, Junip , Jose Gonzales and The Yes Album-era Yes. The album’s second and latest single “Cotard” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor but with an even trippier song structure emphasized by arpeggiated organ chords and some impressive guitar world — but unlike its predecessor, it has a more direct psych rock and prog rock-based sound, seemingly nodding at The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” Yes’ “Roundabout,” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” among others.

 

 

Renowned psych rock label Beyond Beyond is Beyond Recordswill be releasing Viento Bravo on November 17, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Hang Out with Stevenage’s Local Kids in the Wistful Visuals for Saint Etienne’s “Magpie Eyes”

Comprised of founding members and childhood friends Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs along with Sarah Cracknell, the London-based indie pop trio Saint Etienne have been associated with the UK’s indie dance pop and indie dance music scenes since the release of their 1991 debut, Foxbase Alpha, an effort which established the act for uniting 90s club culture with 60s pop and other disparate influences and styles.  Interestingly enough, as the story goes, childhood friends Stanley and Wiggs were both former music journalists, who originally intended their musical project to employ the use of several different vocalists; in fact, their aforementioned debut featured the duo working with a number of vocalists including Moira Lambert and Donna Savage. However, after working with Sarah Cracknell on “Nothing Can Stop Us,” Stanley and Wiggs decided to make Cracknell the permanent vocalist; in fact, since then Cracknell has written or cowritten may of the duo’s songs throughout their eight previously released albums. 

The trio’s ninth full-length album Home Counties was produced by Young Gun Silver Fox’s Shawn Lee and features some accomplished guests including Kero Kero Bonito’s Augustus; Carwyn Ellis, who has worked with Colorama and Edwyn Collins; The Dreaming Spires’ Robin Bennett; Richard X, who has worked with Girls On Top and Black Melody and long-time collaborator Gerard Johnson, who has worked with Denim and Yes — and the album’s latest single “Magpie Eyes” will further cement the trio’s reputation for crafting infectious and breezy pop, while subtly expanding upon their sound. In particular, the single manages to subtly mesh psychedelia, 80s synth pop and New Wave and bubblegum pop in a sleek and slickly produced track; but at its core, is a sweet and wistful sincerity, along with a aching recognition that all things are fleeting. including love. 

Shot in Stevenage, UK, the Tash Tung-directed video focuses on a group of its local kids, including an uncanny bunch of young dopplegangers of the trio, spending time aimlessly hanging out and goofing off. As the band’s Pete Wiggs explained in press notes, Stevenage was once a fleeting vision of a suburban utopia and by capturing the town’s kids, including the band’s doppleganger, the idea was to capture “the ennui and bonhomie of those years when you have no idea how your life will pan out.” As a result, the video possesses a dual and paradoxical sense of the uncertainty and confusion of one’s youth and the knowledge of time rushing by before you can catch up.  The video’s director, Tash Tung adds that he’s been a longtime fan of the trio, and that “it was a great experience to work in a small team, and also with a lot of creative freedom, sing film photography and shooting docu-potraits of kids from the local area in the town centre.’ He goes on to say that one his favorite moments from the shooting was arguably one of the most serendipitous — he cast his friend Eve Mahoney to play the young doppleganger to Sarah Cracknell, when he found out that Mahoney’s uncle, Joe Dilworth was the band’s longtime photographer. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Leeds, UK-based Band Koyo Returns with an Arena Rock-Friendly New Single

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the first few months of this year, you may recall a post featuring the Leeds-based indie rock quintet KOYO. Comprised of Kettering, UK-born, Leeds-based founding members Huw Edwards (lead vocals, guitar) and Jacob Price (synths and samplers) along with Seb Knee-Wright (guitar), Dan Comlay (bass) and Tom Hingham (drums). the up-and-coming British indie rock act have received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a sound that reportedly draws from n across the blogosphere for a sound that draws from 90s grunge and alt rock and from Edwards’ and Price’s parents’ classic rock and prog rock-heavy record collections, as well as the electronica and post rock sounds of Floating Points, JOVM mainstays Mogwai and Brian Eno — but manages to sound as though it nodded at the work of Tame Impala, Wish You Were Here and The Wall-era Pink Floyd, 90125-era Yes and Radiohead as you would have heard on “Tetrochromat,” the album title track and first single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Tetrochromat.

The album’s latest single “Lost in the Kingdom” continues in a similar vein as its preceding single as it clearly draws from prog rock and art rock while being remarkably accessible, thanks in part to a rousingly Brit Pop-like hook; however, “Lost in the Kingdom” may arguably be one of the most ambitious and adventurous songs the up-and-coming British band may have written and released to date. In fact, the song sounds as though the band actively were trying to write an arena rock anthem that nodded at the likes of U2, Coldplay and others, while retaining a buzzy psychedelia.

Filmed and edited by Barry Hoffman at Soundyoucansee with additional footage by Joseph Burn and Joseph Burn Video Production and Kayla Cosgrove at Loving Lotus, the recently released music video for “Lost in the Kingdom” employs kaleidoscopic footage shot in the desert, superimposed with footage of the band performing the song, followed by other surreal and dream like imagery — and it’s done in a way that sort of reminds me Candlebox’s “Far Behind” and others.

Currently comprised of co-founding members Huw Edwards (lead vocals, guitar) and Jacob Price (synths and samplers), along with Seb Knee-Wright (guitar), Dan Comlay (bass) and Tom Higham (drums), the Leeds-based indie rock quintet KOYO‘s sound draws from several varied sources — including 90s grunge and alt rock, Edwards’ and Price’s parents’ classic rock and prog rock-heavy record collections. Although recently the band has started to incorporate a variety of electronica and post-rock such as Floating Points, JOVM mainstays Mogwai and Brian Eno‘s influential ambient soundtracks, and as a result the band expanded to a quintet to fully flesh out their sound to incorporate their expanding influences and sonic palette. Naturally, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut is slated for release later this year will reportedly mesh psych rock, prog rock and ambient electronic in a way that will remind listeners of Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Yes and Radiohead — but with a decidedly modern turn, as you’ll hear on the atmospheric, moody and slow-burning “Tetrochromat,” the album title track off the band’s forthcoming debut, Tetrochromat.