Sunday, 6 March 2016

Quality Not Quantity: WE-ARE-Z - Summer Heart - Wolkoff

WE-ARE-Z - Easy.

Background promo - WE-ARE-Z produce quirky, rhythmic indie 'wonk-pop' born out of many wine fuelled late night jam sessions in bass player Archie's studio in London. Their idiosyncratic songs are largely observational, yet fully accessible, inspired by weekend booze fuelled culture and the late night chaos found in many British cities and towns, the increasing acceptance of the plastic surgeons knife as the norm, the futility of man's desire for ever increasing material acquisition and madness in its multifarious forms.

WE-ARE-Z represents the the culmination of each of the band members' adventures through music.
Bass player Archie, through his work as a producer has worked with James Morrison, Pharell Williams and Celtic song writing legends, The Waterboys. Frontman Gabby had weaved his way across the globe in an array of guises, playing and performing in desert festivals in California, working with Brazilian Hip Hop artists in Montreal and New York, and providing avant-garde musical textures for the alternative theatre scene across Germany. Drummer Guillaume and guitarist Drew have both clocked up air miles touring across most of Europe, Scandinavia and Russia in many different bands, whilst keys player Clement had travelled the length and breadth of France as a street magician before teaming up with the others to make the leap of faith from magic to music, whilst still retaining an element of magic in his on stage antics.

'Easy' is a song about the insane addiction to, and sweetly tormented lust, for ever increasingly adrenaline fuelled travel adventures. Each member regaled the others with various individual experiences of life on the road, before they had come together. Late night run-ins with Mafiosi in remote snow bound Russian towns, sumptuously hedonistic musical performances in the deserts of California with a mélange of tripped out hippy characters and naked women adorning pianos and whatever other parts of various musical instruments happened to be present, drives across the Atlas mountains of Morocco in vehicles that would frequently break down, horse riding in Mongolia, midnight skinny dipping in villages high in the Norwegian Arctic Circle. There was definitely a song to be had!

The musical influences are most definitely left-field, in what is a refreshingly upbeat song. Vocally it seems to drift from Russell Mael of Sparks one moment, into somewhere quite unique. Musically it's a melting pot of sounds that come together into a great indie type piece.


Summer Heart - The Forbidden.

Background promo - With much of the world blanketed in snow, now might be the perfect time to soak up a new release from Summer Heart, the solo project of Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, David Alexander. Best known for a nostalgic low-fi sound, David’s sun- bleached latest track The Forbidden is just the thing for those pesky winter blues.

In this song, Summer Heart brilliantly uses a mix of vocals, guitar, synths, bass and drum machines in the song to create his signature variety of hazy, dream pop.  With such an impressive blend of rhythms, tones and melodies, it’s hard to believe that there’s just one man behind the Summer Heart so artfully packaged sound.

Summer Heart is a featured performer at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin from March 15-20. Additionally, you can catch Summer Heart play a much-anticipated show at Brooklyn’s famed Knitting Factory in New York on March 23.

Taken from is forth-coming EP, the new single The Forbidden holds all those quirky attributes of David’s song-writing and production skills, and it was out 4th March 2016.

SXSW: Wednesday 16th March - The Townsend – 1:05am
Saturday 19th March - Icenhauer’s - 1am
NYC: Wednesday 23rd March - Live In Brooklyn – The Knitting Factory.

'The Forbidden' is a peaceful multi layered dream pop song, that kicks into a more energetic zone, without losing the charming warm vibes.


Wolkoff - Kings Highway.

Background promo - The song is from her debut album Without Shame and comes out April 15th.

Emerging from her laboratory clutching a new LP created with a mind to build exhilarating, dance-worthy songs about real life, the ever-prolific Wolkoff is proud to present eight new lavishly produced electro-pop tracks. Inspired by symphonic 90's Europop and deep house coupled with new wave motifs, her newest offering (and debut full-length) is titled Without Shame.

The Brooklyn-based Canadian, whose newly minted album was mixed by Grammy award-winning engineer Ariel Borujow and produced by Icarus Moth, used this body of work to explore the stock shame holds in our lives and, more importantly, the possibility of sidestepping its snare through breaking rank and venturing into the unknown.

Wolkoff experiments with tapping into trance writing, during which she delves into ideas and experiences to draw her out of her workday surroundings and situate her imagination in the midst of myriad recollections and musings. Creating Without Shame gave the artist several months to journey through a no man's land of ancient misgivings she'd psychologically set aside for a rainy day, and the product is a cathartic and vibrant octennial of her inner workings.

On the heels of her N64-soundbite/medieval instrumentation infused 2015 Talismans EP, Wolkoff's playful approach to crafting songs continues to generate a narrative-rich, beats-fraught listening experience. On Without Shame, Wolkoff and her collaborators take giant JNCO jeans steps though an engrossing musical landscape, building a spire on the edifice of her trademark sound; a blend of glittering glitch percussion and digital plug-ins, interlaced with pan-era compositions to leave you smitten.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

3/11 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Music Festival (Club One @ 10:30pm, w/ Prince Rama and Mr. Little Jeans)
3/31 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY - SMOG @ Bard College %
4/02 - Easthampton, MA - Flywheel %
4/03 - Jamaica Plain, MA - Midway (early show) %
4/06 - Pittsburgh, PA - Pints On Penn %
4/08 - Louisville, KY - Kaiju (w/ Quiet Hollers) %
4/09 - Asheville, NC - House Show (inquire for details) %
4/10 - Norfolk, VA - Thank You %
4/11 - Charlottesville, VA - Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar %
4/19 - Brooklyn, NY - The Knitting Factory %
5/13 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fire %
% - w/ Jesse R. Berlin.

The featured track 'Kings Highway' gives a good flavour of what is a, really good eight song album. The genre hopping collection of songs are in the main upbeat and lively, whilst you are treated to a spectacular range of sounds, all of which supports some 'delicious' hooks and vocals.


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