Week in Pop
Wax Idols’ Hether Fortune live at UC Theater; photographed by Bobby Cochran.
Wax Idols present the Dalton Townsend video for “Mausoleum” filmed at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland featured off the group’s upcoming album Happy Ending available May 16 from Etruscan Gold Records. The anthemic song from the East Bay icons laments those that they’ve lost & can’t get back as the visual aesthetics hearken back to the DIY idols & anarchic upstarts of the previous eras. Hether Fortune shared some introductory thoughts about the making of the new video:
We made this video ourselves with our friend Dalton Townsend and an old Sony Hi8 camcorder. The Monty Python-esque shenanigans are meant to stand in contrast to the bleak environment and subject matter of the song: life carries on after tragedy, but even though you learn to live with the pain of loss, it never really goes away. “Mausoleum” is a song about that feeling—when a memory or random experience has you unexpectedly thinking again about a loved one, and it almost feels like they’ve come back, just for a moment.
Take in the live performance of Amanda Brown’s identity affirming anthem “Believers” that champions the indefatigable rise above all adversarial forces. Amanda expresses the inclusive importance of all persons of color & non-binary peoples in a hard rocking & high atmospheric hymn dedicated to the mobilization of the marginalized, with an aura of hope & unlimited joy. As Amanda Brown told Afropunk:
“Believers” is a song I wrote with my friends Colin Smith and Greg Tannen. I wanted to express my frustration with what was happening around me socially and economically. In addition, I wanted to push myself to be more courageous and to believe in the power of community and protest. While we were working on the album, my producer and I decided to add a children’s ensemble to the recording of “Believers”. There are so many young individuals that inspire me daily to be stronger and braver. This song is for everyone, but it’s especially for them.
Greek powerhouse dervisis has an EP in the works & offers the world a listen to the illustrioius & organic single “Missing”. Currently based out of Athens, the artist expresses an array of conflicted & complicated thoughts & feelings about his hometown in a way that feels creatively familiar with the offset sense of renewal. As the artist told Clash:
The idea behind “Missing” was to create a pop track describing a needy and dysfunctional relationship, as a metaphor for my relationship with Athens, the city I grew up in. The past decade, due to the crisis (and decadence of the city, unemployment, shitty jobs, rise of the far right, gentrification, the absence of my friends who left to work abroad etc.) I have developed a weird relationship with Athens and sometimes I prefer missing the city than living here.
Rising LA dream pop artist Launder announced the upcoming Pink Cloud EP debut arriving April 27 & presented a look at the visual for “Keep You Close” ft. Soko from Lindsey Hartman, Faye Orlove & Casey Burr. Launder’s John Cudlip & Jackson Phillips music is lead further into the dream pop territories with vocal assists from Soko’s & DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith where the visual centers the endearing sentimental track around a karaoke outing that further emphasizes all the multidimensional feelings that the track elicits.
Declaime presented the CGi video “Cops Still Ain’t Shit” ft. Saul Williams, Ms. Dezy & Riley Fresh animated by Oji off D’s new album Young Spirit (produced by partner Georgia Anne Muldrow & Madlib) available now from SomeOthaShip Connect/eOne Music. With a visual that resembles something out of The Sims crossed with Grand Theft Auto; Declaime & company provides a digital view into the rampant systems of authoritative injustice that provides a creative & thought provoking take on the abuses of penchants of unfair profiling by the extensive branches of police networks.
Ascend toward the greatest celestial heights with RAINDEAR’s recent single “Sky”. The feeling where dreams elevate the human spirit upward toward ultra-elated places on display via a vibrant & moving arrangement of contemporary pop techniques.
Observe the Tom Conway video for “Unending” from Chicago’s Lume featured off their upcoming album Wrung Out available April 20 through Equal Vision Records. The meditative quality of the trio’s sound is visually depicted to stationary fixed-camera screen tests that observe pensive perspectives of deep meditative thought sequences that are seen from different angles & settings (that further resonates the emotive power of Lume’s sound).
Ace of Wands are preparing their Grown From Good EP available April 6 & presented a look at the Becca Lemire & Samuel Scott visual for the title track. Toronto’s Lee Rose presents the first of a video trilogy that features the artist swimming through the Georgian Bay & Lake Ontario with a colorfully sewn array of fabrics that resemble feathers as the song & visual steers the audience sweetly outward to those privy & sacred places of personal & spiritual reckoning.
Mating Ritual presented the sky-falling Brandon Allen Bolmer video for “Heaven’s Lonely” from their upcoming Light Myself On Fire album available May 4 from Smooth Jaws. The group emulates musically & visually the descent from celestial spaces in a track that attempts to ratify the spaces between dimensions of the known & those of the unknown.
D.A. Stern delivers a look at the Joshua Fu lyric video for “When I Said You Were Right I Was Wrong”, celebrating the Slumberland re-release of Aloha Hola. The lyrical visual for “When I Said You Were Right I Was Wrong” showcases our gifted power-pop champion ordering a bevy at the bar before settling into a very focused crossword puzzle game. Catch D.A. Stern playing June shows with Business of Dreams.
Those looking for a glamorous game of tennis & ultra-pop indulges need look no further than the raquet & courtside video for Cherry Pools’ single “Hollywood”. The ode to that tinsel-town life & the sports of the bourgeoisie is delivered with a wealth of pop sounds & visions that edifies the dreamy plush life of the SoCal elite.
Orem, UT’s Forever M.C. & Romanian duo it’s different released their collaborative album today through RBC Records offering a few listens. The crew goes hard in the paint with mind-expanding jams like “Terminally Ill” ft. Tech N9ne, KXNG Crooked, Chino XL, Rittz & Statik Selektah to the sky-scraping majesty of “DMX” ft. DMX, Royce Da 5’9′, KXNG Crooked & Statik to the previously lauded single “Piranhas” that features the mythic Wu-Tang Clan in a track about some fishes with super sharp teeth.
Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison presents the Ambar Navarro & Art Baby Girl animated video for “Cool” off the lauded Fat Possum album Clean. With a 90s visual aesthetic at work that features Allison & the band starring in a series of sequences that rock with a throwback after-school special type of style that ponders everything from idolatry & bored states of ennui.
Annabel Allum delivered a listen to the single “Rascal” that exhibits aspects of intuition & an unmatched level of empathy. The restrained chord scheme allows sentiments to fly like a calm yet passionate & privy dialogue privately shared with a close confidant.
From the Yorkshire circuit that has brought us groups like GRDNS, The Boxing and Dead Naked Hippies, Forever Cult, Team Picture, The Orielles & so forth; Leeds’ own The Indigo Project delivered the energetic new single “As Always”. A track that grapples with the forever changes that naturally transpire in our world reckons with these shifts that occur along with what remains amid constant states of growth.
Have fun in the snow with the Alec Basse visual for “Gelatin Mode” featured off Post Animal’s debut album When I Think Of You In A Castle available April 20 via Polyvinyl. A ski-lodge outing starts off as any other until rivals & all sorts of eccentric weirdness play out to compliment the group’s own heavy psych-pop sound.
Porlolo delivered the wintry Irvin Coffee video for “Wasting Time” that features the artist setting out on reflecting snow strolls. Introspection is seen & heard throughout the forests, mountains & foothills where we witness Porlolo’s recitations of nostalgic reminiscence alongside a ghost-like doppelgänger.
Arms and Sleepers shared the single “Be This Way” ft. Steffaloo from Mirza Ramic & Max Lewis’s upcoming album Find the Right Place available April 13 via Pelagic Records. The creative titans expand the possibilities of modern electro-pop dance tropes that features Steffaloo as the ghost from within the A&S creative pop machine of illuminated wonders.
HARE provided some sentimental reflections via the brass-inflected “Rolls Along”. The feeling of letting go & the weird ways of amour are explored & shrugged as the group embraces the fleeting beauty of the temporal.
Following up the Sunset Park EP & But The World Moves; A Valley Son provided some harmonic atmospheres with the earnest reflections that comprise “East Flatbush Sunset”. The group provides a heartfelt presentation of saloon soaked sentiments that stirs emotions & thought trails that questions the mysteries that make up of our fragile human existence.
Philly collective Killiam Shakespeare lead by Steve Mckie & Corey Bernhard delivered the Maximillian Shelton & Blackmouf video for “Take You Home” ft. Aloe Blacc from their upcoming album A Town Called Elsewhere arriving later this year. The song & endearing visuals move with a whole lotta heart that will move you to tears & a plethora of stirring emotions.
Check out the intimate & earnest new single “I Turned Away” from Westerman courtesy of Blue Flowers Music. The track accentuates those moments where we make those conscious 180 degree manuevers in a turn for something possibly better & brighter.
Also check out Westerman’s recent a-side single “Confirmation” that delivers a host of economic & utilitarian electronic arrangements that further accentuate the heart-core that lies at the center of the track.
Following up the recent “GRRRLS” single, AViVA presented a look at the Jefferton James video for “Drown” that tackles extreme lakeside baptisms. AViVA seeks some sort of respite from the undertow that oscillates between being completely submerged in water to raging about in clandestine dungeon lairs.
Irish group BARQ presented a listen to their double a-side singles starting off with “Sassy Mouth” that makes no apology or excuses. Displaying some creative rhythmic delivery work, “Sassy Mouth” asserts the band’s presence as a fascinating force to be reckoned with. The single “Earthquake” delivers more of the Dublin band’s keen ability to utilize some unconventional approaches to arrangements that will catch your senses by surprise every time.
Barcelona, Spain YOY is the project of Błażej Kotowski who shared a listen to the glitchy-ambient cycle titled glutton for Polish label Audile Snow. From the course of rhythm-crackle with “rast” to the ambient energy of “throat ache”; Kotowski curates a plethora of music to be enjoyed while taking public (and/or private) forms of transit—as well as for moments of deep focused study.
Bringing you more from the imprint known for their limited edition experimental-electro microSD cards releases Audile Snow—we bring you more meditative musical creations with ehh hahah’s second album netia genialna rozmowa z klientem. Spanning Parts 1-6, you witness a journey into the dimensions of fidelity & frequency where songs become inverted & the pains of phone-chord wrung miscommunication-connections will reverberate in the strangest of ways in your psyche.
Croatian artist Saša Ljuboja is Pedlar 76 who brought us a listen to the new self-released single “Try” that strives with the most lush arrangements of electric guitar chords & care. The delivery is presented with a quaint neatness that stirs with a sincereness that will inspire listeners to “Try” to be the very best they can be in life.
With a May through June tour in the works, Deeper dropped a listen to the shimmering & shiny new single “Pink Showers” featured off the upcoming debut album available May 25 via Fire Talk Records. The Chicago group of Nic Gohl, Mike Clawson, Shiraz Bhatti & Drew McBride tunes & angles their guitars in such a sharp fashion that allows the delivery to be accentuated with a punky type of articulation worthy of multiple listens.
LUI HILL dropped the tense cinematic visual for “Revolver” that takes pondering thought cycles of revolutions deep into the expanses of evening. The video revolves around a Kafa-esque vehicle pursuit that entertains the more introspective components of the track visually that alludes that the dark fairytale at hand will continue in a third chapter installment.
With the anticipated illuminati hotties debut album Kiss Yr Frenemies arriving May 11 via Tiny Engines; the rising band brought the bright new single “Paying Off The Happiness”. The group draws attention to the hidden tariffs & taxes that life deals us all in the most unusual & arbitrary ways (with a whole lotta succinct & perfect pop mixed in for good measure).
From the However Far Away album available April 6 from Johnkôôl Records; Colin Johnco delivers a listen to the new single “Illusion of a Dancing Goddess” that deals in subtle organic arrays of fluttering rhythms & moody ambiance. The new album was recorded and mixed at INA-GRM studio by Bérangère Maximin where creative takes & liberties were taken to expand the percussive centered electro music that works with an earthly economy.
Berea, Kentucky’s Nova Flares shared a listen to the western-soundtrack-sounding single “Krokodil Tears”. The track echoes the ambience from classic Screen Gems productions with the specter of Morricone in a track that blends expressive vintage rock styles in a sound-scape that feels larger than the silver screen itself.
Soft Science shared a listen to their new single suite “Undone / I Don’t Know Why I Love You” arriving April 6 via Test Pattern Records. Featured off the forthcoming album Maps, Katie Haley sails through the most evocative slip-streams of ethereal artistry that then arrives at an inspired cover of “I Don’t Know Why Love You” originally from Creation Records cult band House of Love. Keep an ear out for more sonic-sound-sweeps from Soft Science in the very near future.
Santiago, Chile group Maff are readying to release their Melaniña EP April 6 & provided us with an early listen at what dreamy displays of controlled dissonance that they have in store for the world. Maff makes a particular style that moves like the sleepy yet restless minds that constantly revisits the archives of treasured memories as heard on “Desfile”, to the otherworldly dance-ambiance island seeking single, “Hawaii”. The Santiago band delivers your spring break soundtrack designed to make accompany your future cherished memories.
Take in Echo Collective’s TRE Film animated visual for “I Might Be Wrong” featured off the album Echo Collective Plays Amnesiac available 7K! via March 30. The b/w graphic novel style springs to life as the Collective’s baroque sound takes the audience to the outer-lands toward unknown destinations of questionable certainty involving some dangerous liaisons & violent events.
Callie Ryan presents a listen to the new album HEALTH available via Outside Insight that provides a profound sense of everything that is involved with the multifaceted levels & layers of healing. Meditations on our conditions begin with the M.D. James co-produced “Are You Comfortable”, to the experimental deep tide pools of “Paste”, backed by the radical rhythm bouquet prayer “Lord, Are You Sleeping?”, as Callie continues to reinvent rhythm on “Marie” that brings the audience to the bright & hopeful world of “Orange Notes”. Ryan created Health in the aftermath of helping family during health scares, the loss of loved ones in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire to surviving a car accident—as documented in the cello-stringed sample botany of beats on “Collarbone”; Callie’s latest song cycle is a testament to treasuring the precious moments that you do have with loved ones. Ryan’s latest work finds the artist taking big creative risks as samples are stirred into sequences of captured moments of reality as enjoyed on the baroque blender “Femminile”, & contemporary audio collages like “You’re in My Gut Now (Is It Popping?)”, complete with a vocal-edit Sage Caswell remix of “Orange Notes”.
Absofacto delivered a look at the Matt Day video for “Dissolve” that stars Jonathan from Mason Prope, Alex Knight along with the synchronized swim team The Aqualillies. The moments of introspection & intimate reflection is brought out to the deep-end like a sequence from a vintage cinema spectacular.
Kadhja Bonet shared the enlightening & endearing single “Mother Maybe” featured off the upcoming album Childqueen available June 8 via Fat Possum Records. Following up 2016’s The Visitor, Kadhja creates a kind of sound that delves into that creative space that embodies the generations past with a sense of pause for future fancies & phenomenons.
Tors delivered the festival-ready single “We Say No” featured off the group’s Wilder Days EP. Having recently toured the UK with Tom Walker, the band shares assertive affirmation that are created to be enjoyed at all the outdoor amphitheaters in all of the world.
Normandy’s own Concrete Knives are preparing their album Our Hearts for release April 13 via Vietnam/Because Music & shared the ore-obsessed single “Gold Digger”. The group’s big buzzing electric sound celebrates the things in life that are worth more than the allure of shiny golden objects that often obfuscate our collective perception of what truly matters in this world.
Constine presents a live acoustic rendering for the single “Die” from Amanda Pousette & Joakim Eriksson with cello supplied by Adam Hilario & percussion by Axel Fagerberg. Filmed in vibrant black & white, the Swedish star shines brightly amid dramatic lighting whilst delivering high stake emotions & affections direct from the life & death continuum. The single is available now via O:KTO Records & Constine introduced the single “Die” with the following insights:
The song is about the feeling of being on the verge… It’s about when you’ve lost yourself, in someone or something. Both those feelings can be completely magical but also so damn unpleasant.
I knew I wanted to record an acoustic live session, although I didn’t really like the visual concept of an acoustic live session. So we kept the audio acoustic and live but let the visual get more like an actual music video. I wanted to stay true to the song and appreciate the darkness one feels when they’re about to lose themselves. There’s something mysterious about that state of being and I really wanted to capture that. I think my director, Amanda Pousette, really did and managed to depict what it’s like to be on the verge.
Carson Lund & Mines Falls offers a wealth of pianos, violins, subtle electronic arrangements & more on the new single “Recoil”. Swells of therapeutic harmonies & melodies move like the sea’s rhythms of the ebb & rolling tide that take cue from cosmic & lunar worlds of the grand sciences.