Rökkurró

Published by Doug under Indie Folk.

In 2010 Rökkurró released the studio album Í Annan Heim (produced by Alex Somers of Jónsi fame) to an unexpected wave of critical acclaim – not just within their native Iceland but internationally. The album spent
a staggering 100 weeks in the Icelandic chart’s Top 30, while international media such as NME, Clash, The Line of Best Fit, CMU Daily and KEXP Radio championed the band. Three years on, Rökkurró returned to the studio with two new members Helga (piano) and Skúli (bass) to record their follow-up second album which is set for release in late 2014.

In October 2013, Rökkurró released a teaser from the new album in the form of English-speaking album track Killing Time, a three-minute, stripped-down piece of music that talks about “a person who feels young, but their body is failing them and how getting old is a misleading thing,” said Rökkurró vocalist Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir. “Our new sound has a few obvious changes. We have added more electronic elements. I have taken a break from the cello and have replaced it with a synthesiser.” This time around, production was done by renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer Helgi Hrafn Jónsson. “His ideas are fresh and we liked the fact that he chooses the artists he works with very carefully. We found out very soon that we shared a common vision for this project and that is really important.” – Stefánsdóttir.

Rökkurró self-release their new album in late 2014, on CD, Vinyl and Digitally. The album release was preceded by the debut single The Backbone (released on 11 August 2014) and Blue Skies single (released 15 September 2014).

“Blue Skies is one of the first tracks we wrote for the new album. It came quite easily to us at the start but it was somehow way more of a pop song than any of the songs we’d written before. But in the studio the band had a disagreement about some elements in the song and we couldn’t really agree on anything. This song kind of turned into a ticking bomb, whenever somebody mentioned… But after some months we noticed how much we missed it. So we decided to rearrange it and make some drastic changes to be able to make it fit with the other tracks on the album,” explains Rökkurró vocalist Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir.

“The lyrics talk about fulfilling your dreams and the fact that these dreams can die, if you don’t nurture them. I was having a bad day and had this feeling of when things are slipping out of your hands. I noticed that the dress I was wearing had a blue skies pattern on it and it straight away inspired me to write this line: “Blue skies, all your dreams are dying, blue skies, come and bring them back to life.” It was an instant
reminder of how you sometimes just need to snap out of it and remember that blue skies are always there,” continues Stefánsdóttir. “We have performed the track a couple of times live and it was amazing to feel the energy in the venue completely changing. Many people came afterwards and talked to us about this song. I feel people can relate
very much to it.”

Rökkurró self-release their new album in late 2014, on CD, Vinyl and Digitally. The album release was preceded by the debut single The Backbone (released on 11 August 2014) and Blue Skies single (released 15 September 2014).

Rökkurró are playing Iceland Airwaves in November 2014, with more dates to be announced.

Andrew Cousins

Published by Doug under Alt. Country.

Andy C is a born entertainer with an energy that is infectious. His ability to express real life experiences through his music leaves listeners captivated and inspired.

His sound is earthy and honest. Audiences are instantly connected to his lyrics as he tells stories of growing up, family and love.

Andy’s father Neville introduced him to the acoustic guitar at a young age, however it wasn’t until he reached his teens that his passion for this instrument consumed him. Music was an outlet which allowed Andy to express his emotions and transform a stranger into a friend.

Over the past two years Andy has made it a life goal to share his music with everyone and anyone. He has travelled the world bearing his sounds on his sleeve and playing his music to a variety of audiences from all over the globe.

Andy has achieved amazing things with his music, including winning the 2MC Radio Songwriters contest which saw him perform at Johnny Diesel’s highly renowned “Lizotte’s” live music venue.

Recently Andy won the Gold Coast Global Battle of the Bands with his band “Andy C and the Moments”. They will be competing at the regional finals in November in Brisbane.

Andy is very excited to be working with Sean Carey (Thirsty Merc) on his second EP. Stay tuned for Andy’s EP which will be released towards the end of the year.

“Excuse Me Mister” by ANDREW COUSINS will be released 13th October 2014

Music For The Club Kids

Published by Doug under EDM.

I haven’t been posting much in the line of EDM lately. Since it’s been so long hopefully this will help you out with a few songs I’ve noticed lately in that genre.

Jonas Schwartz

Published by Doug under Indie Pop.

I first fell in love with Jonas Schwartz back in 2012 with his debut album “Six”.  He’s back again and is about to put out another album.  Before he does, he’s putting out the single, What If I Leave.  We can expect the album to be out this fall.

 Jonas Schwartz gave up his destrutive party life in Gothenburg, on the west coast of Sweden, and moved to the royal capital of Stockholm, got himself a dog, a girlfriend and an apartment. In Gothenburg Schwartz was employeed as a construction worker, famous for accidentally trashing water pipes, having his lungsfilled with dust. Everyday after work was a new party. Finally he just had enough and got out of there!
Jonas – “I wanted the colours.  All of them.  I needed to get away from Gothenburg – from trashy rehearsal space and flourescent lights.  I think its safe to say that Gothenburg started to give me less flattering personality issues.  I ate pizza three days a week and just spent my time watching horror movies.”

Kevin Morby

Published by Doug under Alt. Country.

 

Still Life is the second solo album from Kevin Morby. The namesake of the record is an art piece by Maynard Monrow entitled “Still Life with the Rejects from the Land of Misfit Toys.”

The album’s title has several meanings. On the surface, it refers to Morby’s change in lifestyle from moving to Los Angeles from New York in August of 2013.

But he also admits that the title is ironic. The songs from “Still Life” were written during yet another period of tour and travel for Morby, as he spent most all of 2013 on the road with Woods (whom Morby parted ways with amicably last year), The Babies, who are currently on hiatus and as a solo artist.

The album reflects both this time in transit and the quiet confines of his new home in Montecito Heights. Scenes of performers, audience expectations and the paradoxical confines of a roving individual perpetually caught in a crowd percolate the songs, notably in “The Jester, The Tramp, The Acrobat,” and “Parade.” (Morby calls the latter an elegy of sorts for one of his major influences, Lou Reed). Violent fates, wrestling with destiny and the nature of death creep into songs like “The Ballad of Arlo Jones,” “Bloodsucker” and “Amen”. Even Morby’s more obvious love songs like “All of My Life,” “Drowning”  and “Our Moon” are highly bittersweet; the characters in these songs seem to never quite find each other, but perhaps they find themselves.

As with “Harlem River”, “Still Life” is once again produced by Rob Barbato (Cass McCombs, Darker My Love) who adds his signature guitar and bass playing to the album. The album was engineered and mixed by Drew Fischer, who also worked on “Harlem River” and the Babies second full length album “Our House on the Hill” and recorded between March and June of 2014 at Barbato and Fischers new Burbank Recording Studio, Comp’ny.

Morby is also once again joined by Justin Sullivan (The Babies) on drums and percussion. Sullivan is a fixture in Morby’s live band, which completed a full U.S. tour in January of 2014, supporting Cate Le Bon.

Solo artist (and Le Bon guitarist), H. Hawkline handled bass duties for Morby on the tour and contributes bass to three songs on the record that were a live staple. Multi Instrumentalist Will Canzoneri (Cate Le Bon, Cass McCombs, Jessica Pratt), who also performed live with Morby on the Le Bon tour and who was a contributer on “Harlem River”, contributes piano and organ to the album. The album also features a prominent horn section on “Parade” and “Amen”.

Morby plans to spend much of the rest of 2014 and 2015 on the road. Initial plans include East and West Coast runs in August 2014 and Europe in September 2014.

While Morby called his solo debut “Harlem River” a love letter to New York City, the city hasn’t faded as a muse. (readliy evident in the eerie twisting journey of “Dancer”).

This makes sense. Morby says he always interpreted the “land of misfit toys” in the album’s namesake piece to be that of New York.

 

Tour Dates:

08/26 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts Black Box ^
08/27 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel ^
08/28 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
08/30 – Asheville, NC – Transfigurations II
08/31 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter ^
09/06 – Aarhus (DK) – Pop Revo
09/07 – Gothenburg (S) – Pustervik
09/08 – Stockholm (S) – Lilla Hotellbaren
09/09 – Oslo (N) – Pokalen
09/10 – Malmö (S) – Inkost
09/11 – Copenhagen (DK) – Vega @ Ideal Bar
09/12 – Hamburg (D) – Hasenschaukel
09/13 – Gent (B) – Big Next festival @ DOK
09/14 – Groningen (NL) – Vera
09/15 – Amsterdam (NL) – Paradiso
09/16 – Tilburg (NL) – Incubate
09/17 – Paris (F) – Le Point Ephémère
09/18 – Brighton (UK) – The Hope
09/19 – Manchester (UK) – Kraak
09/20 – Leeds (UK) – The Brudenell Social Club
09/21 – Leicester (UK) – The Musician
09/22 – London (UK) – The Shacklewell Arms
09/24 – Caen (F) – Maison de L’étudiant
09/25 – Rennes (F) – 1988 club
09/26 – Strasbourg (F) – Le Troc Café
09/29 – Barcelona (ES) – Heliogabal
09/30 – San Sebastian (ES) – Dabadaba
10/01 – Madrid (ES) – VillaManuela pre-party @ Sirocco
10/02 – Aveiro (PT) – Mercado Negro

^ w/ Steve Gunn
% w/ Small Black

 

Yelle

Published by Doug under Electro Pop.

Complètement fou. If you’ve got even a barely passable grasp on functional French then you’ll know what those two words mean. Bonkers. Bananes. Completely crazy. It’s a phrase that not only goes a long way to describing the gleefully mad electronic pop of Yelle – it also applies to the group’s unusual rise. They have taken their time between neon-streaked albums, sung every fizzy song in their native tongue, poked fun at their peers, and stayed clear of trends. And now, nearly a decade after forming in 2005, they’re releasing an album produced by Dr. Luke and his team. See? Complètement Fou.

Yelle’s third long-player will be released on the hit-maker’s own Kemosabe Records and the team-up makes good sense. Though these Frenchies may not have one of the household names we’re used to seeing next to that man’s handle (Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, Britney Spears) they’ve long possessed an originality of voice and strength in songwriting that transcends whatever their trappings. Of course, they see it a bit differently. “We just do things we love,” says Yelle, née Julie Budet. “This is the only rule we have. At the end of the day this is what makes Yelle: Spontaneity.”

And Yelle once again make an album that is pure Yelle. Complètement Fou is equally wild and wry, celebratory and melancholy, sensual and strange, forceful and full of fun. Cofounder and key composer GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier) laid down the frame for each song. Then Luke and his ace team – Oliver “Oligee” Goldstein, Cirkut, KoOol Kojak, A.C, Billboard, JMIKE, and MadMax – amplified what was already there instead of inventing a new identity. Collaboration was new territory, but it was the perfect path forward to advance the bouncy, synthesizer-rich sound of 2011’s Safari Disco Club.

Look no further than the titular track to hear that growth in action: “Complètement Fou” opens with chopped rave keys, round sequencer blips, a mighty low-end kick, and playful effects à la Basement Jaxx. Then comes Yelle’s voice – a transcendent thing that compliments those lush electronics so well. While “Coca Sans Bulles” tows the dark/light line between ’80s electro oddness and Daft Punk disco, “Jeune Fille Garnement” slinks/surges like the Knife’s freaky outré techno. “Ba$$in” swirls rap with Eurodance; “Dire Qu’on Va Tous Mourir” puts R&B through a Oneohtrix filter.

And then there’s “Moteur Action,” a song whose summer breeziness suggests a top-down highway ride, oversized sunglasses on, scarf trailing behind. Though knowing Yelle, the lyrics aren’t so blithe as those ebullient oohs might have you believe. Our heroine explains the album’s primary themes as “relationships, love, bodies, dance, and sensuality, but also death.” Ecstasy prevails in parts too. We’ll let you seek your own translation of “Nuit de Baise,” but “Florence en Italie” was inspired by Stendhal Syndrome, which causes viewers of particularly moving art to swoon and pass out.

Yelle sought a lyrical partner for Complètement Fou as well: “a French dandy called Jérôme Echenoz,” in her words, though he’s best known as Tacteel (of TTC, for those who remember the details of Yelle’s 2007 debut, Pop Up). “We used to do everything by ourselves,” she says, “but we wanted to open the circle this time around because we love people!” She insists there are no direct dis songs in the vein of “Je Veux Te Voir,” only “some winks here and there… not personal, more about society.” To wit, she counts Votaire’s monumental 1759 satire Candide among the LP’s influences.

At the heart of Yelle today is the same spirit that brought the pair formerly known as Julie and Jean-François together, as great friends, in 2000. They initially called their project YEL – an acronym for “You Enjoy Life” – but the exuberant, feminized, Francofied shout they’ve taken for a moniker suits them perfectly. We yell when we are happy with the world and we yell when we’re pissed off at its ways. But we probably yell our best when we’re complètement fou.

TOUR DATES:

10/9 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
10/10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
10/11 – Washington D.C. – 9:30 Club
10/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10/14 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
10/15 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
10/17 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
10/18 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/19 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
10/21 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/24 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
10/25 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
10/26 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10/29 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10/30 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
10/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
11/2 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
11/3 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
11/6 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
11/7 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/8 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
11/10 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft
11/11 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

 

Emily & The Complexes

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

Emily & The Complexes began on the road. While his peers moved into dorm rooms and attended lectures, singer/songwriter Tyler Verhagen took to the off-ramps, truck stops, and 24-hour diners that are the unseen epicenters of a hitch-hiking sub-culture. For the better part of two years, Verhagen criss-crossed the country with nothing but a backpack and an acoustic guitar. He caught rides in semis, slept on beaches, busked on the streets, and got kicked out of San Diego. It was here on the road that he wrote the songs that would become Emily & The Complexes’ first album, Styrofoam Plate Blues (2012). When passing through Ohio he would stay with future bandmates Jordan Finke, Tom Konitzer, and Brett Gregory who were all attending classes at OSU.

Fast-forward two years and the idea of movement is still an integral part of Emily & The Complexes’ existence. After spending much of 2013 on the road supporting their first record, the band began writing the songs that make up their new EP/7” Dirty Southern Love. Whereas the process for the first record was a rushed, cathartic release of autobiographical emotion and post-road longing, the songs that make up DSL touch on the realties of early adulthood in a more deliberate, well-crafted manner. Dirty Southern Love is lyrically diverse. Verhagen maintains a brutal honesty about life’s struggles while also combining multiple perspectives with a taste for the bizarre. The musicality of the new EP is perhaps the biggest departure from their earlier work. Dirty Southern Love features slightly slower tempos and dynamic song arrangements that allow Verhagen to croon over layers of clever guitar lines and driving bass/drums.

Tracking began in the depths of winter at The Bongo Tree studio in rural Ohio. After a month toiling away in the studio’s cold rooms, the band left for the South to mix with Drew Vandenberg (Of MontrealToro y MoiDrive-by Truckers) at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA. With such an impressive reputation for producing great music, Chase Park and Athens were an ideal fit for the band. Vandenberg’s craft and vision meshed well with the band’s desire to produce a natural sounding record that highlights their strengths as songwriters. For the final touches, Emily & The Complexes once again turned to veteran mastering engineer, Dan Coutant (Into It Over ItLemuriaTouche Amore) at Sun Room Audio in New York.

With the release of Dirty Southern Love, Emily & The Complexes will initially be touring down the East Coast into the South in late August, with more tours and festival appearances to follow. The songs on Dirty Southern Love mark a new stylistic awakening for the band, who have already begun work on their next batch of songs. They will follow in Verhagen’s original footsteps and take to the road to reform and define their work, knowing that long drives, sleepless nights, and the company of strangers will always be integral parts to their songwriting process.

The Death Of Pop

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

‘Key of Three’ follows in the wake of Circles, Whenever and Mirage as the final single from the Death of Pop‘s hard working flexizine release ‘Fifths’ released with Art is Hard records. The track builds from acoustic beginnings through the a familiar harmony rich shoegaze soundscape and into an explosive ending. The accompanying self produced video, draws from the twin influences of 1990’s Safeway adverts and Saved by the Bell era children’s entertainment.The EP Fifths is available physically at all major online record outlets aswell as digitally from Spotify and iTunes

The Death of Pop will be performing live in London on the following dates

 

12th of September – The Finsbury w/ Dignan Porch

13th of October – Old Church, St Pancras w/ GULP

7th of  November – Old Blue Last w/ Habitats

 

New Navy

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

It’s been a busy year for Australian band New Navy, who have made a comeback with the early lauded single Heaven, plus signed to booking agents Windish Agency internationally. Today they continue the buzz with the announce of a first official single release from the forthcoming debut LP, the gorgeous Rosaline.

Rosaline is the twisted love song dedication everybody has been waiting for from this silken-laden, pop-making Sydney outfit.  In true New Navy style though, it becomes clear in just a few listens that Rosaline isn’t quite so straight up or straightforward: “Rosaline is about that moment when you decide to hold onto something or let it go and its power to dictate fate.”

The band continues, “Rosaline, apart from generally being a nice name to sing over and over, is a reference to a silent character in Romeo and Juliet – mentioned as the woman Romeo fleetingly falls for before becoming distracted by Juliet“.

With the now familiar liquid vocals and tropical beats sitting softly behind wild and raring hooks, the single marks yet another step forward for New Navy.

Rosaline follows the group’s comeback single Heaven, which produced a near frenzied response from those awaiting a resurfacing from the band. Heaven has received well over 100 000 plays on soundcloud since its release and the video, all about roller skating and love at first sight.

Shy For Shore

Published by Doug under Electro Pop.

 

Synth duo Shy for Shore have announced the upcoming release of the melodic and 80s-inspired ‘Love, Again’ on June the 16th. The single is set to build upon 2013’s breakthrough EPs ‘Then The Heartbreak’ and ‘1985’, which saw Shy for Shore’s meteoric rise as one of the most up-and-coming acts in Scandinavia.

Forming in 2011 following a chance introduction at Camden’s Roundhouse, Shy for Shore quickly developed a penchant for post-rock and overdriven riffs. Inspired by the local sound of their environment, the band’s original outfit cut their teeth around the London local gig circuit. However, a move to the Netherlands completely reorganised and altered the band, transforming them into dreampop shoegazers reflecting their location with a chameleonic power. Heavy praise followed the organic change of sound, including critical admiration from Crack in the Road, HillyDilly and Under the Radar.

Since establishing themselves in Norway, including national television appearances and having their work on the soundtrack of an independent film, Shy for Shore are setting their sights on the rest of Europe with plans to tour extensively throughout the year. Shy for Shore’s Love, Again is the group’s flagship during this expansion.

With a heart made of ice that melts at the touch, Love, Again is an achingly beautiful track and the listener’s perfect introduction to Shy for Shore. Mari Nordén’s heartfelt vocals are marched perfectly with melodic and ocean-deep synthesisers courtesy of Oz Page, painting a composition that is delightful electronica possessive of the beautiful human spirit. Reminiscent of 80s synth whilst still being wholly originally, Shy for Shore and Love, Again are headstrong and powerful creations, a 21st century spirit dropped into a legwarmer distopia.