Week in Pop: Fascinating, Pascale Project, WRITER

Sjimon Gompers

Chronicling the rise of Montreal's Pascale Mercier—aka Pascale Project; photographed by Alessandro aka l'homme viande.

Week in Pop

Glam queen of LA—Banny Grove's Louise Chicoine; photographed by Nicky Giraffe.

Glam queen of LA—Banny Grove’s Louise Chicoine; photographed by Nicky Giraffe.

Louise Chicoine launched Banny Grove last year on the imprint Nicey Music she runs with Grape Room’s Peter Nichols with the wondrous, absolutely vibrant & original album debut-Who Is She? and today presents the Philip Steiger (of Nancy Shirley fame) video for “Cheese Dream”. Cultured dairy fixations are brought to the fields & rivers as Louise is decked out to the nines in Banny approved attire as Peter provides some boom-box & guitar accompaniment for the cheesy & zany recounting of quesso-crazed fixations/obsessions. Catch Banny Grove on tour now through May 19.

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Following up their 2014 album Distractions, Athens’ own A Victim Of Society announced their second album Freaktown available April 26 from Inner Ear Records & shared their wild-west style/gun-slinging single “The Quick and the Dead”. Vagelis Makris & Fotis Ntouskas have brought percussionist Pantelis Karasevdas into the fold who expanses the universe of AVOS that makes for a larger, meaner & more menacing sound that you have to witness for yourself.

Yaeji just dropped the Anthony Sylvester & Mark Rubbo video for “Feel It Out” that features the NYC based artist having a ball with pineapples, receivers, consoles, rotary phones & more. The visual & pop production artist, born Kathy Lee, has joined the 88rising family who illustrates with eye & ear catching manifestations of the lyrics “open up in a new way..”

Mr. Husband, otherwise known as New God’s Kenny Thompson’s alter-ego that is full of the most cherished harmonies & celestial melodies that could ever be described. With the double a-side single “Cookie Pie” / “Love Don’t Worry” featured off the forthcoming album Plaid On Plaid (available May 5 from the Thompson brothers imprint of distinction, Yellow K Records). “Cookie Pie” rocks with that throwback fare of a forever floating & super-twiterpated crush that counts lucky stars with a bunch of glistening power pop that takes some serious cues from all your west heavies from back in the 60s. And like the statement we once made about New God back in the day that they were one of the world’s greatest acts out there; the mesmerizing solo single “Love Don’t Worry” from Kenny should be ranked right up there with some of your Brian Wilson favorites.

You might remember one of the greatest understated big time super-groupers phenomenons—Simon Doom—who we helped introduce last year, are back with their their single “I Feel Unloved” that tackles the topic of self-loathing with a clever concoction of a radio history studied smartness. It’s all the free-form of the no-wave era being channeled into the contemporary world of your big stage rocking vets that present what we believe to their most beautiful track achieved. Everything is in its right place, those wrenching commentaries of critical self-over-analysis dig deep to the point of painfully aware while the power-pop on steroids places a driving pragmaticism to the entire production that keeps the affair upbeat.

Featured off the upcoming Not Human EP, NYC’s Birch offered the new single “Cell Phone” that tackles the subject of connections, conversations & the devices that enable these actions. “Cell Phone” pushes the conversation past the contrived binary designations that pushes toward a greater understanding of deeper dimensions & distinctions.

Little Cub recently announced their album Still Life available April 28 through Domino & presented us with the visuals for “Hypnotise” gathered & edited together by Kim Taylor. The hypnotizing effect of ingesting an excessive amount of media is depicted in the band’s sound & accompanying visuals that make for a head spinning experience that mirrors the weird world that we know only too well.

The Wild Now shared the title track from the forthcoming Afterglow EP available May 19 where the Austin duo delivers some gilded electro action. The two bask in the enthralling thrills of after-effects that are arranged with the feeling of an after-party to last for all time.

Catch the new single from Tony Pops with “P.S.” that pens a post-script expression set to synths & sultry rhythms. The Los Angeles artist offers understated vocals that emerge from the mix that takes over with a cool & confident force that will inspire you to paint the town red.

San Francisco’s Hot Flash Heat Wave announced their follow-up to Neapolitan with word that their Jeff Saltzman produced second album Soaked will be available June 2 through OIM Records. Presenting a look at their self-made video for “Gold Years”, the band gets cosmic in the Bay with weirdness that involves wizards, psychedelic segments, floating disembodied lips (of various hues) & a whole lot of oddball alchemy to compliment the group’s addictive & blissfully eccentric aesthetic.

Sevdaliza presented the world with a listen to the Mucky produced single “Hero” that seeks out a certain sort of savior figure in the fold. From family heroes to schoolmate besties; Sevdaliza sings out an electronically orchestrated salute to the heroes that inspire & inform our lives.

Stolen Jars just released their visual EP glint (a release where 25% of proceeds will go to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project) and present the video for “Long New York” from Felix Handte & Abie Sidell. Watch as the video’s youthful protagonist Kylie Silverstein confronts a world of grown-ups, a mysterious monstrous creature & all the imagination one can muster while interacting with the surrounding real world.

In case you missed it, embrace the late night moods & indulgent make-up play in the Finders Motion Pictures for Monogem’s electro pop essences discovered on “Wild” that rollicks with the sounds & sights of a night to last for all time.

BOSCO presented a vibrant look & listen at the video for “Castles” feat. St. Beauty that offers production from fellow Fool’s Gold roster artist Sammy Bananas. Found off BOSCO’s Boy EP (and heard recently on HBO’s “Insecure”); the sensations of a limitless spring vacation & the promise of an early summer descend in an array of high end fashions, eye popping styles & a dazzling array of colors & sensational sounds that will alleviate any hectic work day.

London, Ontario shared a listen to their latest pair of singles that seem to have the entire pop universe talking. First up is “East Van Band Van” that provides some intriguing tales live from the tour van, while “Night School” tackles evening academics with some heavy, heavy guitars with a sweetly snarling vocal delivery.

Embracing their inner-Zeppelins & all that stadium-style rock that you can never get your fill of returns with Greta Van Fleet’s ferocious “Highway Tune”. Based out of a lesser known tiny town called Frankenmuth, Michigan (some 50 miles north of Detroit); the quartet trades in the oughts era style chic of arena-adonis axe wielders and the like—but perhaps this is the kind of track that your pops might adore as much as you (please note the acid flashback trigger warning for parental consumption).

From the artist whose moniker was inspired by vintage Madonna styles as Blond Ambition dished out some of the best sounds of the week with the super smooth track “Good News” that made us all long for the days when the headlines didn’t read like yesterday’s paper from some post-apocalypse tabloid hoax. The track jumps at you like a snappy headline and unleashes all the emotive & understated romantic insinuations that provides the perfect score to starting your own storied after party located at parts unknown.

Alex Napping presents the Eleanor Petry & Aykut Ozen video for “Fault” that brings inner ruminations to sacred meditative spaces. Styled by Annabelle Petry, portable pool-time relaxation & dances with a mannequin illustrate visually the song’s privy portrayals of dialogues that are full of all the intricate antinomies that make up our daily existences & obsessions.

New Zealand’s Ryan McPhun, oka The Ruby Suns has been sending out word of the forthcoming album Sprite Fountain available June 9 from Sellout! Music and we present the new single “Tilt of His Hat” that offers up an illustrious tip of the hat toward the sounds of a bright new tomorrow. With an illustrious array of electronic & organic elements delicately fused together, McPhun follows up releases through Sub Pop & Memphis Industries to bring a new batch of brightness from the eclectic & artist that orchestrates sounds of endless enchantment.

ACES’s Alex Stewart takes us out on a night on the town in the video for “Baby, I Don’t Mean To Ignore” from Alex Munro & Oresti Tsonopoulos off her forthcoming Stranger EP available April 21. The feeling of walking with one’s own thoughts amid the backdrop of city lights is ruminated in the soft-synth textures that propel the events of an evening’s amorous outing. Stewart described the inception of the video with the following thoughts:

I love the motion in driving and walking scenes and that’s where I tend to do my best thinking. The song was an idea I had about a person in their most vulnerable moment. Some time before they’re in a relationship or before they’ve even decided what they’re going to do about their feelings. They’re really mulling things over. The video took shape from those images and I think you get the sense that this is a girl on a mission. She’s ready to make her move.

New Portals presented their Emily McDonald video for “Fill Me Up!” taken off their beloved debut EP Stereo where we are taken to a showcase of talents performing in front of the duo. From yoga artists, proud parents, magicians, percussionists, photographers and more; relax and enjoy an array of artists acting out the essences offered up by NP’s beautiful new single.

Teflon Sega dropped the new single “Deleted Conversations” that offers up co-production from WAJU that seeks some sort of confirmation from within the electronic ether of previous exchanges that have been vanquished into the electronic ether.

New Zealand’s System Corporation sent word to the world of their debut single “Dismal Universal Hiss” available April 28 that rocks with a ferocity & innovation from a powerhouse of talents. A group that started out from a demo exchange between The Datsuns’ Phil Somvervell & engineer Scott Newth that would soon see Datsuns bandmate & The Joint Chiefs’ Ben Cole joining forces, along with Rumpus Room’s Andrew and Kent Newth. The result is all forces contributing some of the most curious & peculiar type of popular sounds that you don’t exactly hear all the time. With a breakout track like this, we are patiently awaiting the next single, or word of an EP or LP from one of the world’s most exciting acts.

Catania, Italian quartet Clustersun make one heckuva mighty sound as demonstrated on their striking “Raw Nerve” single that storms like a cyclone for the duration of four minutes. Featured off the forthcoming Surfacing To Breathe album from Seahorse Recordings available May 19; we can expect more massive stormy weather walls of sound to soon follow later this spring.

Strange Familia delivered the cut that plays upon the continuum of chemically addled connections with “Love/Drugs” that tackles the topic of amour and other narcotics that can be found on their forthcoming self-titled album debut available April 21.

Something of a tribute to The Replacement’s eternal “Bastards Of Young” visual via the Andrew Neuhues video for “Just Fly By” from Big Mother Gig. Complete with the b/w visuals and a laptop playing update; find this off Almost Primed, Big Mother Gig’s first release in something like 20 years time that features .

This past week World’s Fair member & Queens based artist Remy Banks released the champ hoody music ep. 1 that followed up 2015’s higher.. Moving in swiftly with “intro.” featuring production from Black Noi$e, Remy rides through his streets with that sunny day type of consciousness with the Knxwledge produced “queens shit.”, with more Noi$e atmospheres on the insightful exposition on local logistics of “how the came go.”, right before matters get super lifted on “sky’s falling.” featuring Cody B.Ware, Jesse James Solomon & Isaiah Barr. That flight of fancy keeps on with production from Cities Aviv on “head joint.”, right before rolling with the Stoney Willis produced “no static.” featuring bar assists from Prince SAMO & Lansky Jones on the quest for calmate, chilling deeper on “pine.” that features an appearance from Nasty Nigel & Black Noi$e’s unusual creaking back-beat, right before Hodgy joins Remy on “p.s.a.” where east & west coast champions are brought together under the harmony of a big bold SAMIYAM beat. After enjoying one of the year’s top releases to date, be sure to turn the page to read Remy Banks’ Week in Pop guest selection-takeover.

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