Sunday, 22 January 2017

And The Beat Goes On: Soulin Wild - Sorority Noise - SPC ECO - Heavy Tiger - Tall Tall Trees - Hajk

Soulin Wild - Instinctive Echoes.

Background - Soulin Wild began as an outlet of musical expression for Dan Gunn and Matt Bracknell and has now grown into a collective of gifted musicians and talented artists with over eight years of musical experience together.

Soulin Wild are excited to share their first single, ‘Instinctive Echoes’, from their album Balance. Produced and recorded by Soulin Wild at Womb Language Studio on the banks of the Kalgan River, WA, ‘Instinctive Echoes’ is a song that expresses and evokes intrigue into the mystery and magic of instinct, intuition and other unconscious elements that reside beyond the thinking mind. The track moves through light and heavy sounds with vastly contrasting sections, yet remains fluid, held together with solid grooves, fat guitar riffs and lush euphoric vocals.

Embracing the technical facets of recording and music production, Soulin Wild built a bedroom studio on the banks of the Kalgan River in Albany, WA. Four years later, their self produced album Balance was complete. Mixed by Tim Morris and mastered by Dick Beetham, Balance is “a sensory journey through our creative soul expression. Each of the twelve tracks is sort of stitched together to create one long musical piece,” says Matt Bracknell.

On stage, Soulin Wild create alluring rhythms and intricate instrumentation whilst sharing lush harmonies and swapping instruments. Intertwining music with elements of live visual art, they align in intuitive expression to present a performance of highly concentrated creativity.

Currently performing shows with live Fremantle visual artist Jess Richards along the West Australian coast, Soulin Wild aim to share their soulful sounds with ear canals and open hearts in their community, Australia and eventually the world. Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

The richness of the music on 'Instinctive Echoes' is superb. Mixing detailed rhythms, calm soring vocals (reminded me a little of Grant Lee), and the occasional explosion of guitar riffs, I can't help but just love this song.


Sorority Noise - No Halo.

Background - Sorority Noise have just released "No Halo", the first single off of their new full length record You're Not As _____ As You Think. You're Not As _____ As You Think is the follow up to 2015's critically acclaimed Joy, Departed. The new album us set to be released on March 17th via Big Scary Monsters. Pre-orders are available now here. A quote from singer/guitarist Cam Boucher on the story behind the song can be found below.

"This song is about having a friend pass away and still keeping them fondly in your mind to the point where you show up to their house forgetting that they're no longer there. It's about struggling to keep up with the people you love when you're away and how to be/how it feels to not be there for them when they need you most." - Cam Boucher

Sorority Noise have also recently announced they will be touring this March with Modern Baseball, Kevin Devine and The Obsessives. Website here, Facebook here.

The new song 'No Halo' is really getting some attention. It's a tight indie rocker with a chorus so full of hooks, that it is potentially going to be huge!


SPC ECO - Under My Skin (EP).

Background - Electronic dream pop duo SPC ECO present their single ‘Under My Skin’, which also just featured in Series 6 Episode 7 of the MTV series 'Teen Wolf'.

"It was fantastic to wake up and hear what had happened with the Teen Wolf sync. Under My Skin is very close to both mine and dad’s hearts so it couldn't have been a better track for something like this to happen to," says SPC ECO vocalist Rose Berlin.

SPC ECO is comprised of alternative electronic maverick producer Dean Garcia, the musical mastermind behind seminal alternative rock band Curve, and his daughter Rose Berlin.

Rose is a Sound and Light artist, having graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2013 with a first class honours degree. She experiments with the potential for sound and light to be used as atmospheric mediums, intent on bridging the gap between art and music. She has exhibited her work in various shows around London and, in 2015, was selected to showcase her work as part of the Venice Biennale. Rose is currently making artwork for a show in London.

For his whole life, Dean Garcia has been sculpting sound to create alternate-universe pop hits that simultaneously straddle several genres. Apart from a decade with SPC ECO and nearly 15 years with Curve, Garcia has also toured the world several times and recorded multiple albums with such established artists as Eurythmics, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Bryan Ferry, Sinead O'Connor and Ian Dury. Website here, Facebook here.

Title track of the new EP 'Under My Skin' is a sweeping and majestic piece, where the lush musical sound scape provides a wonderful background for Rose Berlin's sweet and ethereal vocals. As for the other tracks, expect an aural feast of quality.


Heavy Tiger - Saigon Kiss.

Background - Thanks to their involvement in TUI's new commercial and the success of the song "Let The Sunshine In" (in writing at top 10 on ITunes Scandinavia Rock section) Heavy Tiger is at the moment receiving a great deal of attention as well as a lot of new fans. They plan extensive touring in Europe spring/summer 2017.

It's been a busy time for Heavy Tiger, spending the two past years constantly on the road. The Stockholm trio has been touring all over Europe, making national television and even playing in Japan as well as Vietnam to the delight of their ever-growing fan base. However, after completing another European stint last spring together with Backyard Babies, it was finally time to exit the tour bus and record a new album.

Glitter, the band's sophomore effort and the logical sequel to their debut Saigon Kiss is now ready to be launched to an unexpected crowd! The album was produced by Rikard Löfgren with Gustav Ydenius handling the recording duties at Leon Music Studios (Mustasch, Sparzanza, Sister Sin).

So, what can one expect from the Stockholm rockers? The first single, entitled Devil May Care was written for the band by singer Ola Salo of the Swedish pop/rock-phenomenon The Ark. With Devil May Care, this little Adam Ant-scented pop song is no exception. The single was the band's first release on Wild Kingdom Records. The new Heavy Tiger album Glitter - Release Date: 24 March 2017 - Label: Wild Kingdom. Facebook here.

Title track of their previous album 'Saigon Kiss' is shared as a substitute at the moment. It's a little frustrating having a copy of the forthcoming release but nothing to feature, hopefully that will change soon, however to be ahead of the game, here is a taste of this feisty trio, for your listening pleasure. As for the new album 'Glitter', it's eleven thumping, raucous, rockers and everyone of them are fabulous!


Tall Tall Trees - Free Days.

Background - To say that Mike Savino is an innovator would be an understatement. Touring under the moniker Tall Tall Trees, the banjo-wielding bard has reshaped the landscape of what is possible with the instrument. On stage and in studio, Savino breaks down the banjo into its most basic iteration, reminding audiences that the banjo is, at root, a drum. Coupled with his mastery of electronic effects, loops, toy ray guns, and heaps of spontaneous creativity, Tall Tall Trees has been encapsulating audience members worldwide with his mystifying solo shows, as well as playing alongside fellow innovator Kishi Bashi.

His latest album ‘Freedays’ is, in a way, his debut album. Having recorded two previous albums in a traditional collaborative band setting, ‘Freedays’ is the first album Savino wrote and recorded as a solo project. Beginning in 2015, Savino took a much-needed respite from New York City, where he had spent a decade and a half honing his craft, and assumed the role of sole caretaker at an abandoned health retreat nestled in the green mountains of northern Georgia. The Bird’s Nest, as it was called, completely surrounded by national forest, provided the freedom and space to work without time constraints or interruption.

Composed and recorded over a period of eight months, ‘Freedays’ tells the story of a man in transition and documents an artist alone at the crossroads of the life he has and the one he wants. The album begins with “Backroads”, which drops the listener into a darkened forest amidst a chorus of wailing coyotes and quickly takes off on a midnight drive. Tracks like “Being There”, “A Place to Call Your Own”, and “CLC” provide an honest look into the author’s thought process and decision making. Although it’s often hard to imagine, most of the sounds on the album are experiments with the banjo, and they all reflect the innovative musings of one of the freshest sounds to come out of the Appalachians in decades. Facebook here.

Banjo and musical innovation aside Mike Savino is one fine singer as well. 'Free Days' is lush, powerful, highly melodic and layered beautifully, to allow every sonic inclusion to stand out.


Hajk - Best Friend.

Background - Hajk's new single 'Best Friend' is now out on all streaming services. Their previous single 'Magazine' received plenty of support on line. Both tracks are taken from Hajk's self titled, highly anticipated, debut album due to be released early this Spring. Hajk’s debut album is being released by Jansen Plateproduksjon.

The band said of the track: "This is an in-your-face little pop-tune. We wanted it to sound modern and tight, but also with a little '80s vibe, referring to our childhood music. This is a song about close friends who might expect too much of each other and get to the point where it finally falls apart - just like it did for me in my late teens, for better or worse."

Hajk are fronted by Preben Sælid Andersen and Sigrid Aase, who share the vocals, while Johan Nord (drums), Knut Olav Buverud Sandvik (bass) og Einar Næss Haugeth (keys) completes the backbone of the band . Musically, Hajk are situated in a modern pop/rock landscape, with an emphasis on very strong melodies. The band are influenced by artists like Dirty Projectors, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Amason, but still they stand firmly on their own feet, with an original sound that also challenges the genre they belong to. Facebook here.

'Best Friend' is another fine tease for the forthcoming debut album. With a well structured indie pop soundtrack, it's the vocals and harmonies that standout at first. However paying attention to the instruments, Hajk can and do deliver some funky tight sounds that just add to the overall flavour.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saturday Seven: Snowball II - Kelly Lee Owens - D.A. Stern - Tesla Boy - Port Juvee - Laughed the Boy - Vanbot

Snowball II - Anais & Me.

Background - Los Angeles’ own chameleonic shoegaze, indie rock, and noise collective Snowball II has announced the release of their third full-length album in the first year since the band’s formation. The album is titled Flashes of Quincy.  ­Just as on the first two Snowball II albums, band leader/producer Jackson Wargo took on nearly all instrumental responsibilities on these recordings; although, the album’s first single offers a very rare and special guest appearance by Kurt Heasley—founder and frontman of influential ‘90s shoegaze band Lilys.  The first single—entitled “CR-VUC”—exemplifies yet another unpredictable stylistic departure from Snowball II’s dreamy and acoustic sophomore release Doughnut Holes—which itself was a drastic generic departure from their feedback drenched shoegaze debut album.  Flashes of Quincy is slated for release mid-February 2017.

With this new album, Snowball II has resurrected and revived both the musical spirit and the production vision of classic 1990s indie rock—one is apt to expect Flashes of Quincy to have been recorded not in 2016, but in 1996—when Wargo was a mere four years old.   Keeping a DIY spirit, each of these songs was written, produced, performed, recorded, and mixed by Wargo himself at his personal studio in Southern California called The Doughnut Shop.  Though Wargo has taken on each of the myriad of roles needed to make this unique album, the skill that stands out as strongest is his songwriting.  Flashes of Quincy comprises ten exceptionally catchy songs that are filled with substantive lyrics that are as intricate as they are articulate.

In addition to producing three full-length albums in a single year, Snowball II also wrote and recorded a song for Gavin Weisen’s film The Runaround (to be released 2017), performed a Daytrotter session, contributed two songs to a Lilys tribute album sponsored by The Blog That Celebrates Itself, and contributed a cover of Cloud’s song “Desperation Club” for Practice Room Records’ compilation Secret Admirer. Bandcamp here.

'Anais & Me' is full of vibrant indie rock energy, along with a catchy melodic chorus. For a band that are so productive, they are certainly not compromising on quality.


Kelly Lee Owens - Anxi. (ft. Jenny Hval).

Background - Kelly Lee Owens announces her self-titled debut album, due March 24th via Smalltown Supersound, and shares lead single, “Anxi" ft. Jenny Hval. It follows the release of her “Oleic” EP, released this past fall. An album that bridges the gaps between cavernous techno, spectral pop, and Krautrock’s mechanical pulse, Kelly Lee Owens brims with exploratory wonder, establishing a personal aesthetic that is as beguiling as it is thrillingly familiar.

Before starting work on the self-produced album, Owens, a 28-year old Londoner, turned her keen ear towards dance music after working in a record store with techno producer Daniel Avery. Her voice and contributions can be heard on Avery’s Drone Logic. Since then, she self-released two white label 12”s, with the “Oleic” EP to follow.

Her debut solo album is first and foremost Owens’ vision, a record that exudes a startling level of intimacy even in its largest-sounding moments - such as “Arthur,” a percolating mixture of looped vocals and rustling rhythms that rides on a perpetual near-crescendo. The song is a tribute to the late iconoclastic musician and kindred spirit Arthur Russell. “He wrote music and stayed true to his vision up until the day he died, ” Owens explains. “He didn’t compromise as an artist, and those are the kind of people I look up to - people who know what they want.” On S/T Owens translates that self-assertiveness into a record that explores a variety of moods - sadness, anxiety, darkly shaded ecstasy - with a trippy-eyed clarity and confidence that only bodes well for the future. Bandcamp here and Facebook here.

 'Anxi' is already gaining a lot of attention and rightly so. This is a delicious dreamy electronic piece where the synths and vocals soar above a superb and trippy rhythm. Album eagerly awaited.


D.A. Stern - Miami.

Background - D.A. Stern shares his first video from Aloha Hola in the form of this Albert Brooks inspired gem ahead of the records release via Two Syllables on January 27. In D.A. Stern’s own words...

"I am a huge Albert Brooks fan and Real Life might be my favorite of his movies.  It's basically about a filmmaker, played by Brooks, who plans to make a feature out of footage he shoots of a real American family during their day-to-day lives; naturally, everything goes wrong.  The hilarious and beautiful montage that occurs during one of the family's happier spells depicts a typical all-American family living an all-American dream in slow-motion, yet we are aware that this is not the truth.  Beneath all of the smiles, ice cream cones, and board games, this family is being pushed to their limits by a selfish man with a vision.  The idea that not everything is as it seems and that things are different below the surface ties directly into what the song Miami is about." Facebook here.

'Miami' is a beautiful song, a surf meets indie rock piece is how I would describe it. The video may not actually teach the French how to make a proper montage, but it makes a fine support for the storyline of the song, without overwhelming this melodic track.


Tesla Boy - Avoid.

Background -  "Tesla Boy are huge in their native Russia. Blessed with choruses the size of entire cities and riffs that can stun at a thousand paces, it's little wonder that their homeland has embraced them. The band now have their sights set internationally, spending an increasing amount of time in the United States.

Russian pop music has undeniably come a long way since its shy development over the last 20 years, and has only just started to make waves within the international consciousness. Enter Tesla Boy, a quintessential Synth-pop/New wave project created in 2008 that was not only spawned from an era of hungry youth in ‘80s and ‘90s Moscow that eagerly sought out new and experimental pop music from abroad, but is leading the next generation of Russian electronic artists to take on the global scene with force.

Tesla Boy is charismatic frontman and producer Anton Sevidov, who from an early age learnt to speak the international language of music through his father’s old vinyl collection that included Ray Charles, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Blondie. From here, a clear affinity with ‘80s pop and soul from the US and Britain emerged, and has since played a strong role in crafting the Tesla Boy identity. From their beginnings with the release of debut single Electric Lady and first LP Modern Thrills in 2010, the sounds of Tesla Boy’s global influences are immediate, with their acclaimed follow-up single Split, produced to a high level with deep catchy melodies and disco undertones.

As only a preview to what is to come, it is obvious Tesla Boy are not to be mistaken with passing club trends that have come out of Russia in previous years. Tesla Boy carry a shiny pop sensibility, combined with sleek and sophisticated production that takes their nostalgic synth sound and punching soul hooks into the new wave era of EDM with global appeal. Facebook here.

Tesla Boy really get the balance right with 'Avoid'. Nothing over dominates the track, the synths are crisp, vocals smooth and flowing and the overall production oozes quality. Add in the hooks (as they have) and you are on to a winner, as I expect this may well be.


Port Juvee - Crimewave.

Background - Port Juvee have shared a new music video for the title track of their recently released album Crimewave. Vocalist Brett Sandford said of the video: "We wanted to combine some of the inspiration we found in the kitsch of old public access television style telethons with some nods to the underground radio scenes of The Warriors. The entire record was made in a chaotic time in our lives, and the track is about finding opportunities for change in those crazy times where you think everything's gone wrong. All the live footage was shot in our jamspace, this little concrete room in Calgary that's covered with graffiti, which is also where we recorded the Crimewave EP."

Port Juvee may call the plains of Canada home, but they are no stranger to international success. Having played a multitude of festivals including CMJ, Sled Island X-Fest and Rifflandia, the fivesome has also supported DIIV, Titus Andronicus, Twin Peaks, Sticky Fingers, Bleachers and The Orwells on tour. The band slipped into the global spotlight in 2014 when tracks from their Revenge EP were featured in Herschel Supply Company’s Spring ad campaign.

Produced by the band with help from Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend “Contra”), third studio album Crimewave moves seamlessly through the lackadaisical punk of "Bleached Out Soda Pop," "Trapped Underwater’s" pounding garage rhythms and the 80’s-inspired escapism of the title track. If you're heading to SXSW in March, you'll be able to catch Port Juvee there. Website here, Facebook here.

Third time in just a few months for Port Juvee on Beehive Candy, and this time it's a new video for the recent album release 'Crimewave'. Once again the distinct vocals and the bands recipe of blended rock styles, makes the song so attractive and re playable.


Laughed the Boy - Bell Rock.

Background - And the band tell us, "We had been playing shows around the area and while rehearsing we ended up with an album’s worth of fresh material. We headed into the studio soon after to record nine new tracks that will make up our debut full length LP. "Bell Rock" is one of these tracks". This second single is from Laughed the Boy’s forthcoming album “Here is Fine.” "You'll find the dreamy atmosphere of the song is set by hook driven guitar lines and complemented by wistfully moody lyrics".

The track is the follow-up to last year's well-received debut single 'Indifferent'. The single is part of their upcoming 9-track LP, scheduled for a February 10th release.

The record utilizes an honest and unpretentious look at 90s nostalgia, filled with hooky guitars and sing along melodies. Facebook here.

Having listened to the forthcoming album a little earlier today I think it's fair to say that 'Bell Rock' is a very good indicator of the overall sound and quality of what is for me, a fabulous album. As debut full length albums go, the band have struck some gold here, and deserve to be heard.


Vanbot - Collide (Krasnoyarsk).

Background - Swedes are well known for their forward thinking in design, fashion, healthy living and of course music. Their latest export, in the form of electronic-pop Vanbot, has been the talk of the town already. By distinguishing herself with Ester Ideskog’s hooky melodies, memorable song-writing and striking vocals, Vanbot is all about the highest level of pop craftsmanship.

‘Collide (Krasnoyarsk)’ begins a new chapter in Vanbot’s musical journey by making this record less polished and more expansive on the production front. Whilst being noticeably led with its electronic beat, from the word ‘go’ the song incorporates spacious and brooding undertones in the style of Phantogram. Highlighted with a Poliça-esque electro-noir shade of colour, Vanbot knows just how to add ethereal authority around the edges to its very straight forward Annie and Noonie Bao-like pop structure.

Ester says: “’Collide (Krasnoyarsk)’ was written after four days on the Trans-Siberian Railway, traveling through the deepest parts of Siberia. The temperature was just above zero, it was raining and we were passing through small villages and old industrial communities. It describes the collisions and the attractions in relationships, and having no choice but to accept the raw and un-retouched feelings. You know, it’s like the poem of David Jones: ‘It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply’.”

Taken from her forth-coming ‘Siberia’ album, ’Collide (Krasnoyarsk)’ was released yesterday and distributed via Sony Music Sweden. Website here and Facebook here.

'Collide' is an imaginative and extremely well produced song. The electronic beat drives the track along in a supportive, rather than overwhelming manner, allowing the creativity of other sounds to blend with the dreamy refined vocals.


Friday, 20 January 2017

Weekend Wonders: VOWWS - Her Harbour - Kambui Chui-Moore - Lowlands - Tuffet Bunnies - Atticus Chimps

VOWWS - Heartbreaker.

Background - With their new single, “Heartbreaker,” VOWWS veer into the wrong lane - and smash backwards into Pop. The new single was released this week, coinciding with their North American tour in support of British post-punk band White Lies.

A flash-grenade of musical justice, “Heartbreaker” opens with the layered ramblings of a mad man - before exploding into an urgent groove of cascading beats, vertical guitars and a guiding, screaming synth - a musical offering that pummels you over the head with a sick smile on its face.

"We wanted this song to be a window into casual insanity. It's war music for peaceful people cos when everything looks the same, it's harder to choose,” says Matt. Heartbreaker was produced by the duo and Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Fear Factory, Youth Code). Their second album, the follow up to 2015's 'The Great Sun,' is due mid-2017.

Australian duo VOWWS met while studying music in Western Sydney. They played in multiple prominent experimental rock bands together and quickly became fixtures in Sydney’s underground music scene. It didn't take long for the duo to become restless however, and soon enough they packed up, said goodbye to Australia and moved to Brooklyn NY in 2011 - where where they began writing music together with full focus. Website here and Facebook here.

A thumping rhythm kicks in and 'Heartbreaker' is underway. Dark and moody in part, the song also develops a more melodic feel as it progresses, whilst the vocals are absorbed into the atmosphere.


Her Harbour - Chime and Knell.

Background - The song comes from her new LP Go Gently Into The Night, which will be released on February 3rd via E-Tron Records.

Gabrielle's thoughts on how the song is filled with the spectre of death, surrounded by the passing winter:

“Chime and Knell” is about the juxtaposition of life and death in the spring. I began writing it in the last stretches of the winter, when the snow was first melting and the dormant land was beginning to thaw. In a season that had always seemed abundant with life, I felt haunted by death; I saw it in the landscape and everything that surrounded me. I ultimately found peace in understanding the importance of loss to life renewing itself and hoped to convey that sentiment with “Chime and Knell”. Website here, Facebook here.

Second time around on Beehive Candy for Her Harbour this time with 'Chime and Knell'. last time we stated "a beautiful and tender song, where Gabrielle Giguère's wonderful vocals are supported by a haunting piano lead background". This is clearly something Her Harbour can deliver over and over as this charming song demonstrates.


Kambui Chui-Moore - Confier.

Background - Kambui Chui-Moore is thrilled to share his debut full length album Confier this week. Confier means “entrust” in French. Kambui delivers heartfelt lyrics covering themes of identity, vulnerability, and the fear of what’s next. Taking cues from James Blake and Kid Cudi, he creates otherworldly beats built on unconventional rhythms, sparse piano riffs, and multilayered vocals to be the emotive backdrop to his message. The production may seem minimal, but upon a repeat listen it’s clear that Kambui provides a nuanced complexity in his music that derives from his love of classical music. As his debut album, it’s clear that he’s holding nothing back.

Kambui Chui-Moore was born in Houston to a pastor and early childhood educator where music was the backdrop of their lives. From James Brown to Mahalia Jackson, music was always playing in their house but he was the only child of three to adapt his parents’ musical talents. Kambui first started playing drums in church when he was 7 and, with the help of his godbrothers, he began performing with local group Eternal Groove and played in his school’s concert and marching bands. Although Kambui came from a place of love and security, he never felt he had his own voice.

Upon new job opportunities, Kambui’s family moved to Detroit in 2001. It was here that he was forced out of his shell and expanded his musical tastes. Acts like Paramore and Evanescence first taught him about alternative song structures and inspired him to look at the science of music. He quickly became unimpressed with the structure of marching band and quit practicing drums throughout high school.

It wasn’t until he was at Michigan State University that Kambui began playing music again. His friends built a makeshift home studio and the group began making beats, recording, and freestyling any chance they got. Recording in that studio was a life changing experience for Kambui. He could take the music anywhere he wanted to with no restrictions. He had found his purpose and his voice. Kambui means “unafraid” in Swahili, and that he is. Facebook here.

'Confier' is one of five tracks I have heard by Kambui Chui-Moore, and on each occasion I have been struck by the intimate nature of the songs, and yet the atmosphere and detailed production adds so much additional depth.


Lowlands – Floating.

Background - Lowlands is an American bi-coastal music group based in NYC & San Diego, CA. Formed in NYC in 2014 by guitarist T.C. Garcia (of Mrs Magician) and vocalist Gabriel Spatuzzi, Lowlands play slow, dark, minimalist ghost-punk that draws inspiration from the likes of Rowland S. Howard and Ennio Morricone.

Recorded in fits and starts on two different coasts throughout 2014-2015, their debut album 'Lovers Blessings' is characterized by sparse droning arrangements and wistful, mostly ad-libbed lyrics that touch on themes of loneliness, isolation, architecture, sexual frustration & all forms of doubt (religious, self, etc).

Lowlands excellent debut album, Lovers Blessings, is now available on vinyl. This release is very limited (250 white LPs) so get 'em while they're hot here. Facebook here.

'Floating' reminds me in part of The Sisters Of Mercy with the vocals so deeply immersed in the mix. That said the band are no copycats, and this is one hook laden slow rocker, that pleads for another listen.


Tuffet Bunnies - Everything.

Background - Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Tuffet Bunnies is excited to share the music video for his single "Everything" off his debut release Love Songs For Scarlett EP. The video sees Clem Darling enjoying a day at the park surrounded by loving couples, an acrobat, and a sparkly butterfly. The video perfectly depicts the charming, happy-go-lucky love song.

Tuffet Bunnies is the alias for Clem Darling's musical whims. He's from the American northeast, born in Boston, MA and grew up in Albany, NY. His father is a surgeon. His mother is a therapist. He played music in the northeast for awhile, from ages 10-18, mostly making music reminiscent of Unicorns and Pavement. Clem then moved to Los Angeles to attend film school. After graduating, he moved to Austin, TX and played a lot of live music in garage rock bands. Then, Clem moved back to Los Angeles because he fell in love with an acrobat and burlesque performer who inspired this debut album of love songs.

The quirky nature of the video aside, 'Everything' is one cheerful melodic song that can surely put a smile on your face, with or without a clown juggling!


Atticus Chimps - Illusion.

Background - Atticus Chimps formed in November 2015. Founding members Theo and Sam are cousins who have played casually as a duo since their teenage years. Kerrod was a friend of Sam’s who had only started playing drums earlier in the year. The band played 3 small gigs together, in front of crowds no bigger than a classroom, before recording a 5 track EP, Hug Me ’Til You Drug Me in July 2016. After recording the EP Kerrod departed the band to move overseas, and Theo and Sam enlisted new member, Jordan, to fill in on drums; he has become an integral part of the group ever since.

The first single from the EP, “Illusion” was recorded at Tall Poppy Productions in July 2016 and was engineered by Nathan Woodrow. After writing several dark and edgy songs, the band started leaning more towards writing a song that was optimistic and uplifting - something that would make people feel good. “Illusion” has all the melodic qualities of a melancholic 90s rock song, while incorporating lyrics that touch on the all too familiar experience of growing up and living in a never ending state of perpetual change and confusion. “Dwell on the past, it only exists in your head.”

The song attempts to sooth anxieties and past regrets, while having a mindset that is happy and content with the present moment. The EP ranges from slow, calm and melodic love songs to angry, progressive, emotionally charged anthems that convey dissatisfaction and alienation from authority, bearing the influence of their Punk roots. Facebook here.

'Illusion' is a refined and smooth flowing alt rock song given some edge by the vocals. The band keep things tight and straight and there are a good few hooks thrown in along the way.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

BeeVids: Christina Rubino - MILCK - Hippo Campus - Crane

Christina Rubino - Down To The Sea.

Background - Brooklyn singer/songwriter Christina Rubino has a new video for a song entitled "Down to the Sea", off her upcoming full length album ''Godspeed and Guns" set for release on Valentines Day -February 14th 2017.

With the release of the Godspeed & Guns album, Christina Rubino brings a new feel to a classic genre. Lush with addictive progressions, soulful vocals, and an alternative edge, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie rock anthems. Though the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds it all together, much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

In 2008, Rubino joined the all-female group Violator, a NYC based Depeche Mode cover band, as the lead guitarist. Throughout her time with the band, she loved the excitement of travel and live performance, but always longed to return to making original music. 2009 marked the transition by members of Violator to Josephine, an all-female trio in which Rubino, lead vocals and guitars, wrote and collaborated with drummer Tracy Thompkins (Aerial Love Feed, Violator) and bassist Leigh Regan (Violator). After releasing an EP with Josephine in 2009 under Feed that Baby Records, Rubino went on to write and record her debut solo record, Alive From The Scrap Heap in 2014 before returning to the studio for her 2016 Godspeed & Guns release. Facebook here.

The combination of Christina's soulful vocals and the driving piano on 'Down To The Sea' makes for a very atmospheric anthem. Adding in the supporting arrangement gives the song additional warmth, ensuring this is a memorable track. New album in February!


MILCK - Quiet.

Background - After MILCK’s first single, “Devil Devil,” hit over 1 million streams on YouTube, landed on multiple TV shows and films including The Royals, Marco Polo, Lucifer, and Pretty Little Liars, and garnered her a spot on Shazam’s Watchlist, the Los Angeles-based artist found that her rebellious voice was gaining momentum. Her next single, “Quiet,” was released via iTunes and Spotify on January 18th, and feels perfectly timed as our newly elected leader has sought to silence any criticism he has faced and his egregious comments about women and minorities continue to circulate.

“Quiet” is a rally cry for men and women to not be afraid of their truth. It is MILCK’s self-proclaimed “thesis,” which she wrote as a rise against her own history of physical and sexual abuse, alongside pressures to fulfill commodified standards of beauty. “With this song, I feel like I'm finally allowing my truest inner self to be expressed," she says. "In this time of fear, propaganda and discrimination, it is critical for our individual and collective voices to be heard. With this song, I’m saying I am NOT the woman who is going to stay quiet where there are figures who promote oppression. I want to encourage others to give a voice to whatever they may have silenced, political or personal.” Facebook here.

'Quiet' is a wonderful song, that builds around a hook laden melody and the passionate and determined vocals of Milck. The piece follows the message of 'Quiet' in as much as, it's anything but, by the end. 


Hippo Campus - way it goes.

Background - Fresh from a breakthrough 2016 which saw them announce their debut record, ‘landmark’ Hippo Campus have unveiled ‘way it goes’ and its accompanying music video.

The single follows Hippo Campus recent critically acclaimed AA-side release ‘boyish/monsoon’, which marked the band’s first studio recordings in over a year and picked up substantial support from the likes of Annie Mac, Greg James, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, NPR and more, whilst the tracks currently sit on over 1,000,000 combined Spotify streams.

One of the band’s most immediate songs to date, ‘way it goes’ is an exploration of the human condition and self perception, whilst considering the idea that the culture of cool is rapidly becoming something of a religion in its own right.

Discussing the track, Hippo Campus offered the following; "Set in early spring on a frozen lake in Cumberland Wisconsin, "way it goes" was a moment of clarity; a realization that we are comedy. We exist in a world where our main news source is a social media website. Materialism is our dogma. We seek to control the way our peers perceive us. We engage social issues as a backdrop for our personal drama. It’s the rare moments when we can escape from this artificial reality, that really matter." Website here.

Back in October of last year we described a Hippo Campus song as having "charm, energy, melody and enough hooks to explain the bands success so far". The new song 'way it goes' not only endorses that opinion, it moves it on some, with another fabulous and very catchy song.


Crane - Fast Life.

Background - “For a long time, Crane was just me recording songs in my room,” says the band’s frontman, Bobby Crane, “and it probably would have stayed that way if I hadn’t believed in what I was doing enough to leave my bedroom and get into the studio.”

Crane had it’s genesis in early 2016 at The Abstract Recording Studios in Los Angeles, when Bobby Crane began recording his debut EP with the help of young producers Mark Einhorn (former member of Portugal. The Man) and Jesse Rhodes. The interpersonal and creative synergy between the three was undeniable, and they knew they were on to something worth pursuing. Shortly after, Crane recruited drummer Billy Parks, and the four got to work on their live performance.

Fear of Flight, Crane’s debut EP, has a distinctly recognizable sound while also seamlessly incorporating elements from a wide variety of genres throughout the record, from electronic to hip-hop to punk. The band has been tirelessly working on the record for over a year, and is proud to begin their collective venture into the Los Angeles music scene and beyond.

Get a taste of Bobby Crane's ability to tell a vivid story through his lyrics with "Fast Life," a track that describes the quintessential tale of a girl who moves to Hollywood with stars in her eyes to chase attention and fame. Her life soon takes a grim turn, though, when she finds there is nothing below the glittering, superficial surface of stardom. In our era of obsession with likes and follows, the track can't help but feel relevant. Fear of Flight will be available on March 10th, 2017! Facebook here.

I do enjoy a fine storytelling song and 'Fast Life' is all of that and more. The melody and infectious vocals of Bobby Crane give the song it's edge, the forthcoming EP sounds like a good one.


The Dream - Get Dreamy (1967 Album Reissue).

The Dream - Get Dreamy (Round 2) 3 March 2017.

Background - From the somewhat sparse, yet unique catalogue of adventurous, high-quality rock music coming out of Scandinavia in the late 60’s, the sole album ‘Get Dreamy’ by The Dream has been one of the most hunted treasures. Originally released in 1967, the album proves that the youth of Norway were just as happy swinging as their Blighty cousins. It also marks the beginning of guitar legend Terje Rypdals journey from beat music and pop into new musical territories, which would ultimately lead him to become a key player in the European jazz world.

Any album that opens with a track (‘Green Things’) describing the heartbreak of aliens abducting your love, is clearly out of this world. But ‘Get Dreamy’ somehow fits there, and it doesn’t feel alarming when it takes you with it. Getting lost in the cosmos and making a great time out of it was the aim in ’67 and The Dream follow the tradition well. Having clear references to The Beach Boys (Driftin’), Floyd (‘Aint No Use) as well as some truly lust-filled riffs that sound like unreleased Hendrix tracks from a lost session, The Dream’s highly personal and almost fearless take on free rock and psychedelia was, actually, the first of its kind in Norway. With elements of jazz, glam horror (Hey Jimi), hazy sounding pop and the occasional whimsical Vaudeville-vibes so typical of 1967, it is a special slice of vinyl from the era.

Round 2 proudly presents this rarity and true Norwegian classic, remastered from the original tapes and with liner notes written by Rypdal aficionado and guitar ace, Reine Fiske (Dungen, The Amazing).

Comprising of ten tracks the reissue of 'Get Dreamy' takes us back to 1967, a time when a good number of bands were beginning to test the conventional pop music boundaries and psychedelia, was well into its first flourish of experimentation. The Dream however seemed to have already absorbed much of those values which is notable across the album, however the riff driven full on rock adds considerably more to the album. So there were most people in Great Britain thinking the Norwegians were still churning out their Nordic folk music, and it turns out they were having their own little summer of love...