Videos

New Video: Madagascar’s LohArano Releases a Boldly African Take on Metal

Formed over five years ago, LohArano is an emerging Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio featuring Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals)  that specializes in a unique sound that meshes popular and beloved Malagasy music styles — in particular, Tsapiky  and Salegy — with metal.  The Madagascar-based trio’s sound and approach represents a a bold, new generation of young people, who respect the traditions of their elders but while roaring with the urgency of our moment. 

The Madagascar-based trio’s official debut single “Andrambavitany” is centered around a shimmering and looping guitar lines, an enormous power-chord riff-driven, mosh pit friendly hook, thunderous drumming paired with a brash and forceful delivery to create a unique sound: a boldly African take on metal — or a boldly metal take African music that roars, kicks ass and forcefully taking names, but while being defiantly pro-Black and pro-women. “Andrambavitany,” as the trio explains plays on the Malagasy word for “fallen nature of the Malagasy women.”

VThe recently released video is split between footage of young women stripping and the band kicking ass  — with the video expressing a misunderstanding the need for these young women to strip and show off to others on social media. The video points out that a very modern phenomenon among young people everywhere — that everyone is desperate to show off and be an influencer or be popular. 

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New Video: Emerging Reykjavik Indie Duo BSÍ Releases a Hazy and Lysergic Visual for “Manama”

Deriving their name from what is considered one of the most miserable locations in Iceland, Reykjavik’s BSÍ Central Bus Terminal, BSÍ is an emerging Icelandic indie rock duo featuring Sigurlaug Thoransen and Julius Rothlaender. With the release of the “Tomatenplatten/Berlin”/ “Why Not? plötur/Reykjavík” 7 inch vinyl and a single on Post-dreifng’s Drullumall #2 compilation, the Icelandic duo quickly established their sound and songwriting approach: centered around a DIY ethos, the duo’s specializes in what’s known around Iceland as Krútt pönk — and from what I’ve been able to look up, is a decidedly Icelandic take on indie rock and post punk. 

Since then, the release of the “Tomatenplatten/Berlin”/ “Why Not? plötur/Reykjavík” 7 inch and their Post-dreifng’s Drullumall #2 compilation, the Reykjavik-based duo have played concerts and festivals across Iceland and Germany. Like countless bands across the world, they started the year with writing and recording new material — but interestingly, their latest single “Manama,” was initially recorded back in 2018. Regardless of when the track was recorded, it’s a jangling yet brooding bit of guitar rock that sounds indebted to 120 Minutes era MTV — but with a hazy and trippy vibe.

Directed by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based filmmaker Adriana Berroteran, the recently released video follows the stunningly beautiful Folasade Adeseo as she wanders around the streets of Mexico City– but her Mexico City is a fittingly viewed through a lysergic and hazy dream. 

New Video: Swedish Nu-Cumbia act Cumbiasound Releases an Adorable Visual for “Cumbia Alta Vida”

Daniell Fridell is a Swedish-based multi-instrumentalist and producer with a deep background in jazz, funk, soul and Balkan music, who spent a decade residing in Denmark. Throughout his career, he has played and produced material for albums, commercials, TV and for the theater — and as a result of his various work, Fridell has managed to tour across the European Union, Africa and the States.  

His latest project, Cumbiasound finds the Swedish multi-instrumentalist crafting compositions that draw from Colombian cumbia and Peruvian chicha with elements of reggae, Balkan folk, Afrobeat, soul and jazz among others. Interestingly, the project can its origins back to 2010 when Fridell first heard cumbia. “2010 I heard Cumbia the first time while standing outside of a supermarket eating ice cream,” Fridell explains in press notes. “It was blazing hot and all of a sudden this music came out of the speakers. ‘What’s that?’ I asked and the rest is history. A true love affair.”

Cumbiasound’s debut EP Vol. 1: Instrumentales sees Fridell collaborating with longtime friend and colleague Erik Axelsson who contributes trombone and euphonium to the mix. The EP’s latest single “Cumbia Alta Vida” is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated Rhodes, looping guitar and shuffling, Latin polyrhythm — and while sounding as though it were recorded sometime between 1962-1965, the song is a joyous and much-needed bit of escape. 

Speaking of escapism: the recently released video by Cesar A. Ortiz, the recently released video stars two adorable rugrats dancing to the song in their backyard and messing around with some instruments at home. We see the youngest kid, a tow-headed boy eating arepas — because of course. Life seems so much simpler in their eyes doesn’t it? 

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: Peel Dream Magazine Releases a Trippy Anachronistic Bit of Dreamy Psych

Joe Stevens is a New York-based singer/songwriter and musician and the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed psych rock project Peel Dream Magazine. Deriving its name from the legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, one of England’s preeminent tastemakers, the band’s name is meant to evoke a certain strain of independent music. “I wanted to create an outlet for subcultural wanderers. Something you can subscribe to,” Stevens explains. 

Earlier this year, the New York-based psych pop act released their critically applauded sophomore album Agitprop Alterna, an album which draws from a wide set of post-punk, shoegaze and indie pop influences while possessing a self-assured and unique sound. Building upon the attention and momentum they’ve earned earlier this year, Peel Dream Magazine recently released the Moral Panics EP, a companion effort that features previously unreleased songs from the Agitprop Alterna sessions. Far from outtakes, the EP’s material are songs that can stand on their own — while functioning as a sort of corollary to their sophomore effort. 

The EP’s title is derived from Stanley Cohen’s Folk Devils and Moral Panics, a pivotal study of the media treatment of the mod movement and the political, societal and cultural fault lines that the media panic embodied. Unsurprisingly, the EP’s material continues Stevens’  and Peel Dream Magazine’s investigations into those frought and areas where art, culture and commerce meet. 

“Verfremdungseffekt,” Moral Panics’ latest single is a fuzzy, half-remembered dream centered around layers of arpeggiated and droning keys, a chugging bass line, shimmering, atmospheric guitars and ethereal vocals — with the end result being a mod-like take on psych rock that superficially sounds as though it could have been released in 1965, 1995, 2015 or — well, yesterday. 

Centered around footage of Stevens and Company performing at Chicago’sSleeping Village and Ottawa’s Cinqhole just before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the video is an eerie reminder of the things we all miss and can’t have right now — shows, bars, hanging out and bullshitting with friends. 

Live Footage: Rising Parisian Electro Pop Act L’Imperatrice Releases a Slinky Disco Strut

Formed back in 2012, L’Impératice is a rising Paris-based electro pop sextet currently featuring founder Charles de Boisseguin (keys), Hagni Gown (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), Tom Daveau (drums) and Flore Benguigui (vocals), who joined the band in 2015. 

Since their formation, the band has been rather busy: they released their self-titled debut in 2012, their sophomore EP Sonate Pacifique in 2014 and their third EP Odyssée in 2015. Interestingly, a re-edited and remixed edition of Odyssée, L’Empreruer, a slower version of the original, inspired by a fan mistakenly playing Odyssée at the wrong speed was released the following year. An acoustic version, featuring violin, cello and acoustic guitar was released in 2017. 

During the summer of 2017, the band signed to Microqlima Records, who released their Séquences EP that year. Aussie pop act Parcels remixed some of Séquences’ material and released it that September. 

2018 saw the release of the band’s full-length debut Matahari. The album featured “Erreur 404,” which the band performed on the French TV show Quotidien. After two years of touring to support their full-length debut, the band released their first bit of new material since Matahari — “Exit,” and its French version “Fou.” The French electro pop sextet’s latest single “Voodoo?” is a slinky, disco-influenced strut centered around a propulsive groove, atmospheric synths, arpeggiated bass synths, jazz-like percussion, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and Benguigui’s sultry, come-hither vocals. 

The recently released video is centered around live footage of L’Impératice performing the song in a sparsely decorated studio. And it should give the viewer a sense of the band’s live set and sound. 

Throwback: Happy 81st Birthday Mavis Staples!

Throughout the course of this site’s almost ten year history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the legendary Chicago-born singer, actress, and civil rights activist Mavis Staples. Going into a deep dive into her career as a member of the Staple Singers and and a solo artist will be a bit gratuitous — but throughout her career, she has received commercial and critical success, as well as a proverbial boatload of accolades. Stapes has received eight Grammy Awards nominations with the Staple Singers, winning one — a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2004. She also received a Grammy nod for a collaboration with longtime friend Bob Dylan. And as a solo artist, she’s been nominated for five Grammys, winning two — Best Americana Album for 2010’s You Are Not Alone and a Best American Roots Performance for  2015’s ”See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.”

She also has been nominated for 11 Blues Music Awards, winning nine, including Album of the Year for 2004’s Have A Little Faith, which featured Song of the Year and album title track “Have A Little Faith.” She’s also won three Soul Blues Female Artist Awards — one in 2004 and back to back wins in 2017 and 2018. Staples was also inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Staple Singers in 1999, was a Kennedy CenterHonoree in 2016 and inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017.

Today is the legendary vocalist’s 81st birthday and I personally wanted to wish the national treasure a very Happy Birthday. May there be at least another 80 more!

New Video: Acclaimed Aussie Artist Peter Bibby Releases a Fiery Examination of Rural Australian Life

Peter Bibby is a rising and critically applauded Fremantle, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, whose career started in earnest when he turned 19: he quit the unfulfilling job he was working at the time to busk, eventually landing a few paying gigs. Sometime later, Bibby landed a high paying job that he wound he losing because he would show up hungover from the gigs he’d play the night before. So, he wound up playing even more gigs with a series of different backing bands including Frozen Ocean, Fucking Teeth and Bottles of Confidence while developing a unique, rough and tumble sound and approach — one that many have described as being like Shane McGowan screaming at bleeding laudanum and typhoid hallucinations while his guitar playing has been described as being like a dog drunk on rum.

With the release of his first two albums 2014’s Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician and 2018’s Grand Champion, Bibby has been championed for being an inherently working class and wholeheartedly independent artist, further documented in greater detail in the 2018 film Chasing Palm Springs, which followed Bibby on a cross-country trip from Perth to Melbourne in a  temperamental van. Since then, the Fremantle-based artist has begun to build a growing profile and reputation as a must see act, as a result of a rowdy and raucous live set —  and through headlining shows and international festival circuit stops at Laneway, Falls and SXSW.

Earlier this year, Bibby released “Oceans,”  the first bit of new material since the release of Grand Champion. Featuring his latest backing band Dog Act — “Strawberry Pete” Gower (bass) and “Dirty Dave” Taylor (drums) — “Oceans” is disorderly, boozy and wobbly take on garage roc that’s full of spittle, fury and howled inventive, fuzzy and lurching power chords, thunderous drumming and drunken, shout worthy choruses that reminded me a bit of Johnny Thunders‘ “Born to Lose,”and John Cale‘s “Pablo Picasso”  — but much more unhinged. 

“Oceans” will be included on Bibby’s  forthcoming third album, Marge. Slated for a September 18, 2020 through Spinning Top Records, the album features Dog Act as his backing band. Reportedly, Marge, which derives its name from Dave Taylor’s grandmother Marge, and is an album of splintered, volatile Australiana written as a sort of soundtrack to a surf movie from hell — the sort where there’s blood in water; a dirt road leading to a dirt end; and everything is covered in diesel fumes and dust. “The Dog Act and I recorded this album in a week off in Perth between two Australian tours. We were match fit and full of beans,” Bibby says of the album. “It features a selection of songs, some fun, some completely bloody miserable. It was made better by the involvement of the fourth Dog, Mitch McDonald, who engineered the record and offered endless energy and ideas. I love this record.” 

The titular Marge is prominently featured on the album’s cover art,  smoking a cigarette on a beach in Darwin, Australia, seemingly watching her corner of the world go by.  “I felt there was no better image than a smoking nanna to be the face of this album,” Bibby says. 

“Whyalla,” Marge’s second single derives its name from name of a South Australian steel town that had been in decline for years. Centered around churning  power chords, thunderous drumming and an unhinged spittle and invective delivered vocal and a classic grunge rock song structure, the track is simultaneously a love letter and a fiery condemnation of rural Australia, pointing out the hopelessness, small-minded thinking and boredom of rural life in a way that feels full of the sort of lived-in hate, despair and abiding love you’d feel for a dysfunctional and fucked-up family member. The song’s spoken word bridge features Bibby telling some tall tales about some of Whyalla’s notable legends — but drenched with irony. 

“I wrote this song a few years back after my mate Racoo asked me to write a song for a road trip compilation she was putting together. I don’t think it saw the light of day. I had a lot of help from Wikipedia,” says Bibby of the track. 

Directed by Brendan Hutchens, the video is sort of a hitchhiker’s guide to nowhere in particular; the sort of nowhere in particular that somehow feels, well — American. We see Bibby getting up from camp, walking alongside a deserted road, hitchhiking until two guys — the members of his band — pick him up, They pull over to the side of the road to play and pay homage to Whyalla’s legends. Much like the video for “Oceans,” the accompanying video for “Whyalla” feels like a slow-burning fever dream. 

“We shot this thing out in Glen Eagle’s Rest, due to COVID 19 we couldn’t shoot it in Whyalla,” Bibby says in press notes. “It came together nicely with the help of great friends, a great crew and a weird toilet cleaner who hung around telling us strange and creepy facts about the location. He said he was disappointed that we weren’t shooting a porno.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Adeline Returns with an Intimate Visual for Slow-Burning “Just Another Day”

Since initially making a name for herself as the frontwoman of the equally acclaimed dance music/nu-disco outfit Escort, the New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer and JOVM mainstay Adeline has developed a reputation as a solo artist of note, releasing her self-titled, full-length debut to critical praise from the likes of Vogue, NPR, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, The Fader and many others.

The JOVM mainstay has opened for Anderson .Paak, Lee Fields, Chromeo, Big Freedia and Natalie Prass among a lengthening list of artists, which  which has helped to further cement her reputation for dazzling audiences with her beauty, her captivating live show and energetic presence. Adding to a growing profile as a solo artist, the Parisian-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and bassist, has made appearances across the national festival circuit, including Afropunk, Funk on the Rocks and Winter Jazz Fest. She’s also a member of CeeLo Green’s touring band, making her — arguably — one of the hardest working women in New York’s music scene. 

Officially dropping today, Intérimes EP, the highly-anticipated follow-up to her full-length debut features seven tracks that are a future-facing nod to old school soul, funk, R&B and neon that will include “Middle,” which she performed on CBS This Morning,  the sultry Quiet Storm-like “Twilight,” the disco-tinged Jonathan Singletary co-written “After Midnight,” the and the EP’s latest single, is a slow-burning, neo-soul strut “Just Another Day.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, the JOVM’s sultry vocals, her unerring knack for an infectious hook and some twinkling Rhodes, the track recalls Erykah Badu — but as the JOVM mainstay explains in press notes “‘Just Another Day’ is about questioning your place in the world, not feeling accepted, pretending to be in someone else’s shoes, so I wanted to show characters that exude confidence and self-acceptance as a message of hope for the LGBTQ people out there who feel rejected and misunderstood.”

The recently released accompanying video features the JOVM in a couple of stylish outfits and a bikini on the beach, playing her bass and three of her dearest friends — Yussuf, Gitoo and Bambi. Each of the video’s subjects reveals a bit of their personality and humanity in a way that’s endearing: one of the men has kind eyes and a mischievous smile, another is fierce as fuck, the other serves up moves — hard.  “The video features 3 beautiful friends of mine, Yussuf, Gitoo and Bambi. They are some of the people in my life who I look up to the most when it comes to confidence and style,” the JOVM mainstay explains. 

New Audio: Meridian Brothers Release a Chiptune Inspired Take on Cumbia

Eblis Alvarez is a Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed and forward-thinking recording project Meridian Brothers.  Alvarez’s forthcoming Meridian Brothers album  Cumbia Siglo XXI is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (largely  acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? continues the Colombian artist’s long-held reputation for relentlessly pushing his sound and approach in new and radical directions. 

Inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees Alvarez using a multitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and whatever tech that the acclaimed Colombian artist could get his hands on. And while the album’s material sonically seemingly to draw a bit from Kraftwerk, the album reportedly is a sonic blend of EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Cumbia Siglo XXI‘s first single “Puya del Empressario,” an infectious yet let field take on cumbia that sounded a bit like like eThe Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty — with a mischievous sense of adventurousness.  “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia,” Cumbia Siglo XXI’s latest single is a mischievous synthesis of chip-tune, electro pop and cumbia that sounds like came straight from the Island of Misfit Toys. 

The recently released Bibiana Rojas-edited video for “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia” features a split screen — the left-hand side of the screen we see a man, text people, receive a phone call and take selfies. On the right-hand side, we see some surreal drawings by Mateo Rivano.