Week in Pop
Nashville’s west coast dreaming poppers & boppers Big Surr are guided by Helen Van who presents a listen to their new single “Sometimes” that deals with the idiosyncratic aspects of privy knowledge & more. Embodying a rhythmic approach that would be right at home with the C86 anorak clad dreamers; the Nashville group grooves with infectious sound that was recorded by Andrija Tokic at The Bomb Shelter & later mastered by John Baldwin. Keep an ear on the sweet Pacific cool chords from this Nashville quintet for further great audio emeralds soon to follow.
UK’s Crystal Fighters dropped their third album Everything Is My Family via [PIAS] and we present the Patrick Blades video “Good Girls” that tackles matters of virtual & tangible realities. From headset sensories that involve everything from apocalyptic bike rides & dance parties; the Crystal Fighters jubilant sound is provided with visual accompaniment that fluxes between the hedonistic & bizarre.
Off their album Stick Around that was produced/engineered by Christopher Daly at Salvation Recording Co. in New Paltz, NY available January 27; Active Bird Community gives you something to soar about freely to with “Dead Legs”. The Brooklyn band makes a song for places where feet & roads are not needed as they set their sights & sounds for extensive, ascending latitudes.
Hideout, oka Gabriel Rodriguez known for work with Cults & Mrs. Magician’s Cory Stier, brings us a listen to “I Got Your Message” featured off the upcoming second album So Many Hoops/So Little Time available February 3 from the Rhode Island imprint . Transmissions & messages in a bottle are illustrated like cryptic telepathic notes penned in dream worlds that somehow are cohesively deciphered through luxurious pop cadences here in the awakened world.
The latest from Tom Herman, aka Old Smile; the artist presents us with something a little different that errs on the electronic side of matters operating under the moniker of Glowing Mourning with a spacey cover of “Summertime” ft. Viankafka. The classic standard gets turned into an echo-laden sparse event of evocative resonances that pique the imagination.
Check out Alex Fermanis’s video for “Futility” made up of vintage twentieth century film archives edited by Old Smile’s Tom Herman. The sentiments of unrest & upheavals are seen through a learned lens where classic chaos spells out the questions of what sorts of futile existences await in the wings of tomorrow.
Denzel Curry took us to West London’s Trellick Tower in the Mornix Motion Picture video for the remix of “Knotty Head” featuring AJ Tracey & Rick Ross from Curry’s second album Imperial. With footage of Denzel keeping London’s Jazz Cafe hyped up & lively; AJ & Ross join the party with their verses while you witness the sides of London that are not in the tour guides.
Featuring The Flaming Lips’ own Jake Ingalls, hear the Spaceface single “Cowboy Lightning” that sets the controls for those outer regions that exist in the outer reaches of charted galaxies & the realms of the cartographed known dimensions.
Jay Pray’s self-titled album debut will be available March 3 and we share the first listen with the single “Surrender” that raises up the blank flag and arms with an abandon into an ever-engulfing array of electronic hooks.
Malmö, Sweden’s Hater shared the lovely slice of internal peace with “Mental Haven” that offers up an angular holiday in your mind off their debut album You Tried available March 10 from PNKSLM Recordings. Those chords that have haunted your misspent youth to now will spring to new real time nostalgia in ways you have never previously known or understood.
Sxip Shirey delivers the carnival creature comforts with the video for “Palms” starring Puddles Pity Party & a whole host of traveling eccentrics to further accentuate the song’s passionate drama & exuberance. Find this and more on the artist’s upcoming album A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees available January 13 from VIA Records.
DFA’s Nils Bech presents a performance of the Swedish translation of “O Holy Night”, oka “o helga natt” originally featured via Originally via the Norwegian television program Skam. Through the tumultuous of ups & downs; Nils proves that love triumphs above all else in our complicated worlds.
Cape Town by London’s The Wintyr present the Richard Gorven video spirited winter wading video for the big bold pop invites to “follow me” with “Followers” featured off their forthcoming album Fury available March 10. The sentiments of winter shared between confident hearts near & far ring out in ways that transcend the tides of the seasons.
Ethan Bence brought a rhythmic panacea for tough times with a listen to the smooth & syrupy “Desire”. Sporting production from J-Louis, the rising Pittsburgh emcees finds his voice & footing in rhymes that pit urges of want against the mandates of needs.
Take in the following live Uppermost performance of “Reminder” captured by Fabien Faure & Karel Martin that provides some plugged-in, switched-on electric feels to keep your holiday season all kinds of lit.
Check out Peter Buffett’s cover of CSNY’s “Woodstock” where the visual component further highlights how those revolutions of tomorrow carry into the protests of today, that lead toward a tomorrow of justice.
The Pop Group present the video for “Little Town” directed by Douglas Hart, famed photographer/videographer & former bassist of The Jesus & Mary Chain. Taken off the new album Honeymoon On Mars, the post punk progenitors of Mark Stewart & Gareth Sager continue their inverted dub hymns of discontent over images of mass commerce & the various components that comprise the modern experience of life in the UK (and all the clandestine allusions in between).
Holly Macve took us to the seaside shores of Blackpool, England in her video for “No One Has The Answers” that provides a sun-kissed afternoon of twang aplenty. Featured off her debut album Golden Eagle available March 3 from Bella Union, Holly brings about a timeless glow for the seasons of cold & shortened days.
Ten Fé are readying their album debut Hit the Light available February 3 and today they present their cover of Underworld’s “Born Slippy .NUXX”. Illustrating the various inherent and until now untapped aspects & unheard potential of this modernist dance track banger. The drama is transformed into a pop rock odyssey where synths, chords, rhythms & an earnest delivery allude toward better & brighter futures. In Ten Fé’’s own words:
We jammed this at our office xmas party last week…and enjoyed it so much! So here she is, re-born, and recorded as a Christmas special: Underworld’s “Born Slippy” Merry Merry Christmas and a vibey New Year from Ben & Leo
Take in the gorgeous Francis Lane/ silent tapes video for Frida Sundemo’s “We Are Dreamers” that offers up futuristic vibes of Euro electro pop essences. Found off the Swedish artist’s upcoming album debut available in 2017 via the Scandinavian label Cosmos Music; Frida’s sound takes that building portion of a pop song where that sentiment of ascension never quite quits it’s rise toward celestial destinations.
Boogie down along with Chick Quest & their Marc Jarabe video for “Savant Garde” from their upcoming album available February 24. The situations & savants engaging with liaisons out of their leage are spelled out & sung with a smart & snarky sort of sensibility.
Lucy Mason’s EP Going Home Broke will be available March 31 & we have her song of pangs & yearning with “Hunger”. The understated chords & atmosphere make for a winter resonance where the urges brought about by stomach rumbles provide inspirations for new opportunities & journeys.
Bloody Death Skull presents the stop-motion animated video of eccentric Barbie dolls from Daiana Feuer for “Betsy’s Back” featured off the recent The Haunting of Bloody Death Skull EP. Classic vintage rock pop is met with the world of wild figurines that take off on wild adventures of their own.
French icon YELLE presents the random happenstance video for “Ici & Maintenant” (Here & Now) directed by Paul B. Cummings & Jean-François Perrier featuring an appearance from Nathan Barnatt. The world of the yesterday and today brings both components of past & present closer together in some internationally infectious arrangements.
On the heels of their Loveblood EP, Sundara Karma shares the wistful harmonies & earnestness heard with every utterance & chord strum on “Happy Family” that will bring a sense of comfort to all those near or far, far away. Announcing that their debut album will be released later in 2017, “Happy Family” provides a certain echo laden hymn that could melt snow & sleet that shines new lights & electric notes of hope for new years, new beginnings & more.