Hailing from Nashville Tennessee, Kelley Cole has released her debut single “Anyone,” and it’s a synth-heavy bop ready to pack the dance floor with its smooth Funk-dominated swagger. The track was written and produced by Cole herself, indicating the possibility of her becoming an influential producer in the Pop world. She is definitely an artist to watch. You can listen to “Anyone” below:
Following her self-titled debut, which was released last year on St. Valentine’s Day, Riki is set to drop her follow-up album Gold on November 26th via “Dais Records.” The Los Angeles-based artist has also shared a new single titled “Marigold,” which is a duet featuring Telefon Tel Aviv co-founder Josh Eustis, who helped produce the album as well. “Marigold” carries on that dreamy synth-driven New Romantic sound that delightfully lit up her previous album, but the track pulls no punches when delivering an atmospheric tone with reverb-drenched guitars that will transport you to the days of old where New Wave was dominant. However, Riki is more intent on breathing new life into these genres, as opposed to being overly nostalgic, showing there’s much to be explored in these musical realms. You can listen to “Marigold” below:
Following his addicting debut E.P. Mimic, Ethan Attwood-Summers under his “Dare Above Nemo” project has shared a follow-up single titled “Synergy,” and it’s just as infectious as his previous work. Continuing the synth-dominated style of Mimic, “Synergy” is a sensual exploration of the hybrid of Dream Pop and Bedroom Pop that Ethan Attwood-Summers has crafted so brilliantly. You can listen to “Synergy” below:
Reveling in the retro nostalgia of Italo-disco, Synth-pop/Cold Wave duo “Xeno & Oaklander’s new single “Poison” is a celebration of a sub-genre of Electronic music that isn’t exactly fresh and new, but my God isn’t it nice to revisit what once was an emerging music scene, and to be reminded of the impact short-lived and obscure music can have on a genre so ever-changing and vast such as EDM. “Poison” is undeniably catchy, and the music video which was co-directed by visual artist Scott Kiernan evokes the spirit of Giallo Horror with Suspiria-influenced visuals that compliment the nature of the music quite well. The track will appear on the duo’s upcoming album Vi/deo, which is scheduled to be released on October 22nd via “Dais Records.” You can watch the music video for “Poison” below:
Like much of the music that’s being released this year, Synth-Pop duo “Xeno & Oaklander’s” upcoming album Vi/deo was conceived during the pandemic in the duo’s home studio. Though 2020 and still much of 2021 are the years of isolation and desolation, it’s interesting hearing all of the music that encapsulates these trying times. Simply put it, pandemic music hits different, and “Xeno & Oaklander” have returned to grace us with their signature retro, but futuristic style heavy on analog synthesizers and pulsating grooves that sound both robotic, but human enough to prompt one to move their feet. Vi/deo is the duo’s seventh studio album, and will be released on October 22nd via “Dais Records.” You can listen to the album’s first single “Infinite Sadness” below:
Following the incredibly catchy single “Beats,” which was a trip down memory lane through the Post-Punk/ Goth era of the 80s, U.K. artist Benjamin Mace-Crossley has released a follow-up single titled “Dirty Hot” under his “The Reality TV” moniker, and it pulls no punches when it comes to danceable synth-driven swagger cool and dark enough to make you want to bust out your black eye shadow and combat boots, but also genuine enough to not come off as mimicry. You can listen to “Dirty Hot” below:
Film: Geneva Jacuzzi’s Casket
Directed By: Chris Friend
Starring: Geneva Jacuzzi
Geneva Jacuzzi’s Casket is a short film that has been described as a “futuristic head trip” by the director of the film, Chris Friend, and no other description rings more true. Within a little over six minutes the viewer is delightfully bombarded with impeccable visuals that evoke the feeling one would get when reading a Philip K. Dick novel. Geneva Jacuzzi’s song “Casket” itself sounds like the kind of music replicants from the film Blade Runner would listen to. It’s robotic but filled with personality as if it were an android that has become self-aware. Chris Friend understands this music, so he perfectly mirrors the song’s tone with dystopian imagery, but instead of relying solely on trippy imagery, this film has a plot featuring characters with magnificent costumes and makeup, all played by Geneva Jacuzzi herself. The plot is intriguing, but frustrating, frustrating because it’s hard to follow due to the constant visuals being thrown at you, but that frustration is part of the film’s charm. Upon watching it my frustration got me thinking about the idea of “control.” Control is something we all like to think we have at any given moment. Much like the visuals in the film that derail your goal to follow the plot all the way through, life is filled with distractions and left turns that render us vulnerable as we try to work around the obstructions to reach our goals, and who knows how many secret forces are already controlling us right now. How does this relate to the film? Well, what is the sole purpose of robots? To control them. To have them do things for you to make your life stress free and convenient, but what happens when your Pleasure-U BioDrone contracts a mental disease and you’re forced to amputate its head? Well, our main character in the film who goes by the name Kate Shaw faces this dilemma, making the decision to keep the body of the drone alive in what is called a “Pleasure Center Casket” as an attempt to regain control of the situation, but sure enough that control diminishes as the BioDrone’s head continuously calls to Kate’s brain with hallucinatory visions. This could symbolize all of things that are used to brain wash us from various forms of media, constantly telling us how to think and how to feel. If that isn’t control, then I don’t know what is. Maybe that’s not even close to what director Chris Friend was getting at with this film, but this film is the work of a director who clearly has no interest in spelling things out for the viewer, so in the end you’re forced to formulate your own interpretation, and even if your interpretation is wrong, that’s okay, because you have no control over that either.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Artist: Viagra Boys
Album: Welfare Jazz
It’s been clear from the start that Swedish Post-Punk outfit “Viagra Boys” don’t take themselves too seriously. I mean, just their name alone is an indication of that, but that isn’t to say their music doesn’t have its place in contemporary Rock. Ah yes, “Rock.” What does that name mean anymore? It’s a vague term indeed. In this day and age where fusions and genre bending are commonplace, there’s enough proof for me that this is the most exciting time for music, and contrary to popular belief, I feel that “Rock” music and its countless sub genres are doing something exciting spawning younger bands drifting further and further away from traditionalism and music elitism. The spirit of “Punk” resides in “Hip Hop” in this day and age, the days of pristine and clean pop stars are fading away and now we’ve reached a more realistic “Pop” world that isn’t afraid to celebrate sexuality in its many forms, and just about anyone can produce their own music in the comfort of their own home. How is that not exciting? “Viagra Boys” in spirit are a celebration of modern music. However, I highly doubt the band see themselves as that. The band that once was considered the resurgence of “Punk” are so “Punk” that they don’t give a flying fuck about “Punk.” They just want to make noise, and making noise is what they do best, so that’s why it’s no surprise that they explore new territory on their new album Welfare Jazz, combining their signature rough and raw dive bar Art Punk with elements of “Jazz,” “Electronic” music, and “Country.” This album truly represents the idea of genre bending. Their uncompromising “Post-Punk” is still present, but the band cleverly incorporate elements of “Jazz” with woodwind instruments, dominating bass grooves that are both bluesy and funky, and southern twang that surprisingly fits quite well in the chaos, even going as far as covering John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves” with Amy Taylor of “Amyl and the Sniffers.” This album can even be considered the band’s most mature effort yet. Lead singer Sebastian Murphy gets a little more personal lyrically, jumping into self-realization and working out the flaws of someone who recognizes his wrongdoings. “I’d stop drinking and gambling to earn back your love,” laments Murphy on “Into the Sun,” and following this up with the synth-heavy “Creatures” is a moment that perfectly sums up this album. Likening his old self to a creature, he views himself as someone who’s at the bottom of the barrel. It takes courage to be completely honest about yourself like that. I don’t know the man personally, but whether or not he really was this person, or if he’s just singing from the point of view of a character he’s created, it’s impactful either way. As mature as this album is, well, whatever “mature” means in “Viagra Boys” world, this album is still fun from beginning to end, because at the end of the day, we do need to frequently work on ourselves yes, but we can’t forget to have fun. I think the band even knows that when they reach a point where they take themselves too seriously, that’s when it’s time to call it quits.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
2020 was undoubtedly a strange year, but out of the ashes of what used to be the norm pre-COVID, arose a resurgence of fresh new talented artists to discover in the midst of an uncertain and panic-driven way of living that has forced many of us to stay home, so what better way to stay hopeful than to discover new music with all of this free time? French artist BLISS MY HEART is one of the exciting up and coming artists who has garnered much of our attention thanks to her superb E.P. Morningstar, a release that showcased her unique voice and immense attention to detail with immaculately produced “Electropop.” It’s hard not to feel a sense of relief or comfort when hearing her music, and her new single “Latigo Canyon” is no exception. With a beautiful contrast of melancholia and melodic upliftment, the song is a powerful ode to her grandfather, and her new music video for the song powerfully reflects the positive energy of the track. She has also partnered with “Green Ticket Mx,” an environmentalist organization dedicated to helping our environment flourish with reforestation. After each 150 views, 1 tree will be planted in Mexico, so tell everyone you know about this video so everyone can listen to good music for a good cause. You can watch the music video for “Latigo Canyon” below:
Album: The Day Before Halloween
Genre: Hip Hop/Electronic
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
At this point in their career Hip Hop duo “Atmosphere” shouldn’t be sounding this refreshed and inspired with new ideas, but here we are over 20 years after the group’s formation and the two have surprised us all by sonically exploring new territories one with an old worn out cassette copy of Headshots Vol. Se7en would never see as a possibility for a new change in sound. I’ve never heard so many synthesizers on an “Atmosphere” record, let alone synthesizers that evoke the spirit of 80s “Horror.” Producer Anthony Davis drawing influence from “Horror” isn’t completely out of character, considering much of his early work featured samples from classic Horror films such as Night of the Living Dead, Suspiria, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and The Shining, but this deep dive into dark synth-driven Electro is a massive surprise. As for Slug, he isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but he solidifies his status as the ultimate MC who can unsparingly reveal his vulnerability and rap his ass off at the same time. This is the best “Atmosphere” has sounded in years.
Written By: Steven Sandoval