Tag Archives: Pop

Random Order – Black Lipstick Kiss Album Review

Taking cues from Twin Peaks, James Bond and Quentin Tarantino films, Toronto based collective Random Order’s spine tingling swamp rock reggae attracts a diverse cultural audience. Their newest offering, Black Lipstick Kiss, which was released 29 July, injects their signature subversive rock into the sexy soundscapes of dangerous spy movies.

Since their inception in 1995, Random Order have consistently released great material, toured Canada, the East Coast and Japan, played Festivals, charted on Canadian Top 30 and opened for artists as diverse as Joan Osborne and Salt-n-Pepa.

Black Lipstick Kiss starts with The Morning After Kill which showcases Random Order’s strange combination of reggae, soul and rock with influences from Imelda May and Diana Ross being heard in the vocals. It’s a punchy yet seductive song which makes it an instantly great opening track.

The title track, Black Lipstick Kiss, appears next on the record. Black Lipstick Kiss is a soulful song where the seductive guitar riff and jazz drum beat compliment those sexy and gorgeous vocals.

The next track, Do It Quattro, is a great jam track where the vocals are suspended entirely; this track is solely about Random Order’s rock/reggae style – it’s totally all about the music. Do It Quattro has a distinct live sound – it’s raw giving it that automatic enthusiasm.

Spoiled is a silky track; the guitar is summery and soft while the vocals are airy and bright sounding. If you’ve ever seen Ten Things I Hate About You then Spoiled has a similar sound to the band, Save Ferris, who perform I Know at the school ball. Spoiled is reminiscent of No Doubt with its swing and reggae influences. It’s a brilliant upbeat song to get you moving.

Trans Mission on the other hand lends itself to sound a little bit like Patti Smith especially on the vocals. The track is much darker than those heard previously on Black Lipstick Kiss. The notes held resemble Patti’s deeper vocals and there’s also a bit of spoken word with that angst and punk attitude that Patti has.

Pink Cloud closes the record on an upbeat, pop and totally absorbed reggae beat. This song will instantly lift your mood despite the lyrics, “I want to ride on your pink cloud/Even though I know it’s going nowhere/And I know it’s going to break…” Pink Cloud sings about being totally in love with someone or something and not caring about the consequences or worrying that the cloud could fall apart, “I know I’m going to be the one to fall…You don’t even know you gave up the fight to trust/In anyone a long time ago”. It’s about the danger and the passion behind our human reactions.

Random Order’s Black Lipstick Kiss is a brilliant reggae/rock/ska album that will make you fall in love with this band’s sound.

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Weezer Announce New Album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Los Angeles, CA’s Weezer will release their highly anticipated ninth album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, on September 30 2014 on Republic Records. Produced by Ric Ocasek, who previously helmed production on the band’s first and third records (The Blue Album and The Green Album), Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the band’s first collection of new material in four years.

Weezer new album

Weezer’s album artwork

Since forming in 1992, Weezer has released a myriad of celebrated, chart-topping albums, selling over 13 million records worldwide. Following an intensely prolific couple years at the end of the aughts, the band chose to deliberately dial down the tempo in 2010, a move singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo says allowed him to write at a slower pace, giving the songs he wanted to use for an album the time to gradually grow into their final forms. He started almost every song on the piano, eventually transferring them to the guitar before taking them to the band. When it came time to record the material, Weezer reunited with the man who helped them make some of their most iconic album-length work, Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The resulting album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, is a stand-out gem in Weezer’s vast and varied catalogue, a reflection of a much-loved band at their very best. Organised thematically around three groups of songs, it is an album that utilises that sound from the band’s earliest days to tell new stories in 2014, creating some of the finest, most heartfelt songs Weezer has ever recorded.

Weezer have revealed the first track from the record, Back To The Shack, which can be heard here.

You can catch Weezer live on the following dates: 7/24/14 London, ON @ Rock The Park 2014
Aug 1  Las Vegas, CA @ The Cosmopolitan
Aug 2  Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
Aug 9 Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest PNC Plaza
Aug 13 Southaven, MS @ Snowden Grove Amphitheater
Aug 14 Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Casino Resort
Aug 31 Los Angeles, CA @ Made In America
Sept  6 Charlotte, NC @ 106.5 The End presents Weenie Roast ‘14
Sept 12 Paso Robles, CA @ Vino Robles Amphitheatre
Sept 13 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
Sept 14 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
Sept 19 Denver, CO @ Riot Fest

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Sinkane To Release New Album, Mean Love, In September

Sinkane has announced his new album Mean Love for release on City Slang on September 1 2014 and has revealed the first two tracks, Hold Tight and How We Be. He’s also confirmed a string of European live shows for September.

Melodically beat-driven and meditatively lyrical, Sinkane’s Mean Love rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Ahmed Gallab has created an altogether unique compound of sound, stylistically nostalgic and ultramodern at the same time.

Sinkane Mean Love

Sinkane Mean Love album artwork

From Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a Pan-African influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal and especially the monumental task he underwent as musical director of ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor.

Gallab excavated and arranged a treasure trove of lost classics from the West African synth-pioneer to put together a now legendary series of performances. Alongside his band-mates in Sinkane (jaytram on drums, Ish Montgomery on bass, Jonny Lam on guitar), he also brought on guests Damon Albarn, David Byrne, The Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark and members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture and Blood Orange.

The experiences from this on-going endeavor contribute to the collective feel of the record and attest to his uncanny ability to embrace and assemble a huge history as pure and generous modern-musical expressions. Employing the architecture of pop and a forward-thinking approach to its classic instrumentation, the vibes of Sinkane’s deep-groove past remain intact, in full force. There are doses of West African funk slow-burners, a noir blaxploitation cool and a more afro-centric Curtis Mayfield is present, specifically in album standout Hold Tight. A surprising country soul rising is detectable in the title track, Mean Love, and also in the hauntingly beautiful slide guitar work of Galley Boys a la such soul heavyweights as James Carr and Solomun Burke.

You can catch Sinkane live on the following dates:
04 Sept First We Take Berlin Festival – Berlin, DE
05 Sept Grelle Forelle – Vienna, AT
06 Sept Deep into the Woods Festival – Heer-Sur-Meuse, BE
07 Sept Into the Great Wide Open – Vlieland, NL
09 Sept Ekko – Utrecht, NL
10 Sept La Badadoum – Paris, FR
11 Sept Shacklewell Arms – London, UK
12 Sept La Peniche – Lille, FR
13 Sept Big Next Festival – Ghent, BE
16 Sept Iboat – Bordeaux, FR
17 Sept Scopitone Festival – Nantes, FR
18 Sept Palace – St. Gallen, CH
20 Sept Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg, DE
22 Nov Sonic Visions Festival- Luxembourg, LX
23 Nov Prêt A Porter Festival – Heidelberg, DE
24 Nov Atomic Cafe – Munich DE
25 Nov Conne Island – Leipzig, DE
26 Nov Lido – Berlin DE
29 Nov Week-end Festival – Cologne, DE

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Introducing…Jesse Macht

Interlaced in Jesse Macht’s melodies are an abundance of stories overflowing with passion, vulnerability, empathy and honesty. On September 23 2014, the Los Angeles born and raised songwriter and singer will independently release his sophomore album, Suitcase Heart, produced by Nashville’s Justin “Uncle” Tockett (Marc Broussard, Eli Teplin). “I completely trust Justin and the artistic space he created with Suitcase Heart,” says Jesse. “He was able to access the sound that I have been hearing in my head for years but couldn’t get out on my own.” The album was recorded at both Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, TN and Dockside Studios in Lafayette, LA.

Jesse Macht

Jesse Macht

Suitcase Heart is a product of Jesse Macht’s recent participation in ASCAP’s prestigious Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop. The album follows his 2012 debut solo release, Acts of Providence, which validated his switch to a solo career after leaving his former band, Burn Down The Mission. Now, feeling confident and comfortable in his journey, the new album has shown Jesse just how cathartic the recording process can be. Over a year ago, Jesse learned that he had an extra electric impulse in his heart that would turn on when his adrenaline would pump, such as when performing live. A normal heart rate after working out is around 160 BPM and his was at 260. Heart surgery fixed the problem but six weeks later he went through an unexpected breakup. “Both my physical and my figurative heart were recovering from injury,” he says. Abruptly faced with his mortality and sense of direction as a man, Jesse says: “Suitcase Heart was my way of acknowledging the baggage that recently weighed on my heart.”

The album title, as well as the overall intention of each song, explore the idea that we carry our hearts full of the stories of our lives and that we must constantly choose how and with whom we will share the value of what’s inside. “These are songs that, I hope, are generous, honest and optimistic, although anchored in heartbreak,” he says. “Pain is what allows us to be more vulnerable and open and realise we all are fighting our own demons.”

Much like legendary songwriters before him such as Neil Young and Gram Parsons and modern day influences like Dan Wilson, Glen Hansard and Jon Brion, Jesse has proven his aptitude for storytelling. His music has been placed in many television shows and networks as well as commercials, including The Voice, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Giuliana and Bill, Nickelodeon, Cymbalta and the MTV/E! cable catalogue. He’s also had numerous original songs placed in independent films such as James Franco’s Good Time Max and Kevin Nealon’s And They’re Off.

You can catch Jesse Macht live on the following dates:
July 26 – Arlington, TX @ The Chuggin’ Monk
August 7 – New York, NY @ Rockwood III
August 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Grape Room
August 17 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Jives Coffee Lounge
More dates TBA soon

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Introducing…Dreamers

Dreamers

Dreamers

Prepare to embark on a journey with Dreamers with their unique brand of grunge that is nostalgic for a space somewhere between art-school eccentric and the late 1970s punk scene. The band have recently made their debut on Interview Magazine with their new single, Wolves.

With their debut album release, This Album Does Not Exist set to be released later this year in November, Dreamers are ready to send their kaleidoscopic sound out into the universe. Their music will tug at your heartstrings and have you dancing around the room all in one fell swoop.

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Stormporter Release New Single, Sparkle Shimmer Shine

Stormporter are two story-writing Brits making sweet, soulful, indie pop-rock noise. Tim, from England and Tones, a Scot, came together to share their stories, make sweet music together and share fun times in their adopted country – New Zealand.

Stormporter tell stories through their music; stories about life. We all go through storms in our lives – sometimes exciting, often turbulent and sometimes life-changing. Stormporter believe there will always be someone or something to carry you through the storm.They hope the songs will get under your skin, that you’ll be moved or touched in some way, that the songs will become part of the soundtrack of your life. Perhaps, these songs will somehow help you through life’s storms.

Their debut single, Find Yourself, was released on March 10 and was well received. Now they are back with their new single, Sparkle Shimmer Shine.

Stormporter’s sound and the influence for their songs are rooted in British Mod culture. The result of this is a sweet and unique, soulful, grooving indie pop-rock sound and a vibe that will get you up out of your seats.

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Introducing…Victoria + Jean

Divine Love is the unreleased debut album and second single of Swedish-Belgian duo Victoria+Jean. The album has been recorded during two years all over the world and all the tracks will be released one after the other with a unique film director doing its own interpretation of the group’s music.

There’s really no point in playing the reference game with Victoria+Jean; it just wouldn’t work for them. Although Victoria sings and Jean plays guitar – like thousands of others across the globe – their new album Divine Love is from another world.

Victoria spent just enough time in Stockholm to enter this life, passed through London to get an education before she discovered Paris. Then comes Brussels, her meeting with Jean, an uncommonly talented musician and latent globetrotter. The Victoria + Jean duet is born. Their first opus reflects their lives: between cities, between sights. The album sleeve mentions some of today’s greatest sound engineers, those mysterious sorcerers who toiled on some of their favourite records, including John Parish (PJ Harvey), Ian Caple (Tricky, Tindersticks, Bashung), Christoffer Berg (Depeche Mode, The Knife, Fever Ray) and Rob Kirwan (U2, Depeche Mode, The Horrors) and the high priestess of mastering, Mandy Parnell.

Victoria + Jean’s journey starts here. Divine Love. For those who might still have doubts: love is divine.

In their own words: “As Love can be Divine, Divine is love, Love is a strange thing that we all want and don’t want to let go, for as a drug, it envelops us all in a comfy cotton candy like way. For some are ready for anything to keep it and to have it.

“When we composed the song it just came out like something evident, we composed it in Sweden, Jean did some percussive beats on the border of a lake and since then, it really hasn’t changed. It’s got that drifty feeling to it, as love can have.”

This song was mixed by Ian Caple: Tricky, Tindersticks and Kate Bush.

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