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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (31-40 of 662)

Experimental R&B duo Pony Bwoy share 'Creature Comforts'


Producer Hunter Morley and vocalist Jeremy Nutzman, the two Minneapolitans behind the experimental electronic group Pony Bwoy, cite contemporary R&B acts like The Weeknd and Warp Records-style IDM as their primary influences, but a better point of comparison might be early Ween. Like Gene and Dean in their early days, Morley and Nutzman deconstruct a genre into its tiniest constituent parts and reassembling it according to their own warped blueprints.

Their upcoming album när-kə, which they’ll self-release on Dec. 9, is a disorientingly fractured and woozily psychedelic spin on R&B that sounds like The Weeknd filtered through a prism of store-brand cough syrup. Get on their trip with the weirdly catchy slow jam “Creature Comforts.”


Anthropomorphism runs wild in Ha the Unclear's 'Secret Lives of Furniture' video


Everyone’s imagined at some point or another that the inanimate objects around them have some sort of sentience, an interior life and emotional landscape like people do, but that people are unable to connect with. Few, though, have followed that idea through to as bizarre a conclusion as Ha the Unclear frontman Michael Cathro has. In the latest single from the fascinatingly odd New Zealand indie pop band, he sings from the perspective of a coffee table with a perhaps-not-entirely-healthy fixation on the person whose living room it occupies. For the video the band came up with an ingenious low-budget conceit that examines the relationship between people and the furniture they own in an interesting way, as well as putting Cathro’s clever and creepy lyrics up front.

“‘Secret Lives of Furniture’ is about a coffee table who becomes infatuated with its owner and is left broken at the landfill after the owner passes away,” Cathro writes in an email. “We wanted to incorporate that anthropomorphism in the video. We spent a day walking around Mt. Eden putting up posters of missing furniture imagining that everyone’s furniture was running away because we hadn’t been treating them well enough. Maybe they had all gone underground to form a secret society and plan some kind of furniture revolt.”


Hear Tom Brosseau's elegantly folky 'Roll Along With Me'

Tom Brosseau calls the song “Roll Along With Me” the standout representative track of his new LP Perfect Abandon. Recorded with one microphone on “a vacant theater stage in Bristol, UK” with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, its stripped-down arrangements and expertly unpolished production give plenty of room for Brosseau’s featherlight folky melodies and intimately narrative lyrics.

“A simple riff that came about while watching a baseball documentary,” he says of the song. “Old habit, really. Practicing acoustic guitar in front of the television set. I like to visit San Diego. My good friend Gregory Page lives there, and when I do go for a visit I take the train, which parallels the Pacific Ocean. Speed, bodies in the sun, bodies in the moonlight, California towns along the way, beach, the vast sea. Not all the time but some this is how I escape from the world and when I escape that’s when things happen. Many things in life can be solved. It all starts with observing.”


Black English taps Flaming Lips collaborator for 'Hold On' video


L.A.’s Black English used to go by the name NO, which they changed due to it being massively confusing and un-Googleable (not to mention the fact that there’s another band called that) but gave it to their latest album, which was released at the beginning of the year. The latest single from NO is “Hold On,” and they’ve filmed a video for it with Natalie Wertzel and a gang of collaborators including Oliver Hibert, the psychedelic painter and sculptor who’s largely taken over visual identity duties for the Flaming Lips, including the cover art of their recent Sgt. Pepper’s tribute.

“The ‘Hold On’ video came about when I ran into a young lady, Natalie Wetzel, at an Echo Park cafe down my street,” writes Black English’s Bradley Carter in an email. “She was new to town and we started talking about how relationships can be so interesting in this time. You can be thousands of miles away from each other but still feel so connected, almost too much to a point that it can affect or intrude on everyone else around you if you aren’t careful.”


Hear Billy Joel's cover of 'Maybe I'm Amazed' from an all-star Paul McCartney tribute album

The real measure of a songwriter’s skill isn’t how many albums they’ve sold, but how often other artists have performed their songs. While Paul McCartney’s had no trouble moving units over the course of his career, the fact that he’s one of the most widely covered composers in pop music history–with over 2,000 known versions of his Beatles tune “Yesterday” alone–says much more about how much he means to the form.

Nov. 18 will see possibly the biggest tribute yet to Sir Paul’s compositional talents with the release of The Art of McCartney, a massive collection of covers by some of the biggest musicians of the past 50 years, including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and seemingly about half the performers who’ve ever been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Billy Joel contributes two covers to the cause: “Live and Let Die” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” We have a sneak peek at Joel’s take on the biggest hit from the ex-Beatle’s 1970 solo debut–along with some behind the scenes footage and more info on The Art of McCartney–after the jump.


Dirt Dress's 'Revelations' video is an ode to portable electronics and feral cats


Unless you’re a potamologist, when you hear the words “Los Angeles” you probably think about hellish traffic and fantastic taco stands before you think of bodies of water. But the Los Angeles River flows right through the middle of town and provides some of the many surreal juxtapositions of car-centric urbanization and raw nature that L.A. has to offer.

In the video for Dirt Dress‘s “Revelations,” directed by artist Ben Jeans Houghton, local scenester Diva Dompe explores the river and the wildlife living around it (including a colony of feral cats) with a shimmering postpunk soundtrack on her Walkman.

Dirt Dress’s Revelations EP is out now on Future Gods.


Adventurous pop musicians Soft Touch unveil 'Swim in the Night'


Soft Touch is made up of two musicians with formidable reputations in beat-based music: Chrome Canyon releases soundtrack-inspired music on the iconic Stones Throw label, and Saarid, (a.k.a. Mark Palgy) helped to find a place for rock ‘n’ roll in the contemporary club scene with his former band VHS Or Beta. When they joined up, they gave themselves a broad mission to make “adventurous pop music.”

On “Swim in the Night,” their collaboration with Norwegian singer Silya, that means blending together ’80s electro-funk and freestyle with a dash of house music, resulting in a big, bubblegummy mass of burbling synthesizers and hooky vocals that would have slayed at middle school dances 30 years ago (but still sounds great today).

“Swim in the Night” is available for pre-order as an MP3 or on vinyl.


Wild Smiles' 'Another Year Older' is a slice of grunge-pop heaven

There are a lot of bands trying to do the ’90s thing right now, but few do it as effectively or efficiently as Winchester, England’s Wild Smiles.

Their new single “Another Year Older” skillfully jams together a handful of distinct alt-rock styles from the time, from grunge to Britpop to shoegaze, into one four-minute mass of post-adolescent angst and heroically distorted guitars.

If EW‘s endorsement’s not enough for you, consider the fact that Portishead’s Geoff Barrow is not only a fan of the band but even released their first EP on his own label. And that guy’s a certified genius.

Their new album Always Tomorrow is out today.


Boxing and dance-offs commingle in Rocky Dawuni's 'African Thriller' video


In his native Ghana, Rocky Dawuni is much more than simply a pop star, serving as the country’s unofficial cultural ambassador and promoting a range of social reforms from HIV/AIDS prevention and ecological preservation to healthier cookstoves. But he’s still a pop star at heart, and he’s quite good at it. While he’s named his particular aesthetic “Afro-Roots,” his music isn’t as beholden to traditional styles as the handle suggests–on his new single “African Thriller” Dawuni uses the recursive, hip-winding rhythms of contemporary Jamaican dancehall as the foundation for a pile-up of reggae and jazzy Afrofunk tuned for maximum body-moving.

“‘African Thriller’ is a persona, a concept and a vision of what contemporary beauty and excitement will emerge from the confrontation and collision of cultures,” Dawuni writes in an email. “The video hints at  historical and cultural signposts in a metaphoric expression of how the dance floor is one of the ultimate and most colorful places for global unity, celebration, and liberation.”


TWICEYOUNG gives off dreamy electro vibes on 'Stay the Same'


Nashville trio TWICEYOUNG has the chiming guitars and sweet hooks of an indie rock band, the synthesized sounds of an electronic project, and a sweeping cinematic sensibility that’s probably making film and TV music supervisors exceptionally happy.

Their new EP Prefer You drops on Nov. 11 and with the frequency that they’ve been appearing on music blogs it already seems destined to be a cult sensation, if not something bigger. In the lead-up to its release, they’re sharing “Stay the Same,” a cool blend of postpunk and dream pop that sounds like the slightly more gothed-out cousin of Drive soundtrack sensations Electric Youth.


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