NYC-based four-piece Una Lux are a more aesthetically ambitious group than the average indie band, as likely to throw around references to Baroque painters and avant-garde film directors as they are to Pink Floyd and Portishead. The group’s guitarist Matteo Liberatore, who directed the video for their new single “Simon,” says that the clip “is filled with homage. We tried to reference Vittorio Storaro’s use of lighting in ‘The Last Emperor,’ some of the poses in Caravaggio portraits, and the parapsychology of David Lynch’s films, and then we cut it like French New Wave.” The finished product’s studied arrangements of bodies and light are both formal and faintly surreal, making it a fitting match for a song that balances sequenced electronic sounds with singer Kelso Norris’ sensuous vocals.
Tag: Indie Rock (11-20 of 664)
After a decade-plus of being called an indie rock band without ever really sounding like one, avant-rockers TV on the Radio have released “Happy Idiot,” a track that emphasizes clean-toned guitar and accessible pop hooks over the atmosphere and electronic textures the rest of their discography’s been built on. The latest single from their upcoming album Seeds is as lyrically direct as it is musically, with frontman Tunde Adebimpe musing on non-thinking as a strategy for coping with emotional pain, sort of a less substance-centric relative of Sia’s “Chandelier” and Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High).” Seeds drops Nov. 18, and the band will be touring beforehand starting in mid-October.
New York City electropop quartet HAERTS went from utter obscurity to an extraordinary amount of attention in a very short time after releasing their first single back in 2012. Their forthcoming self-titled debut album, which drops Oct. 28, has turned out to be one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year, and the lead single, “Giving Up,” proves it’s worth believing the hype: a propulsive stroboscopic synthesizer provides a launch pad for delicately arranged layers of chiming guitars, airy synths, and a vocal melody delivered by vocalist Nini Fabi that builds to a sublime climax, delivering the gravity-defying sensation of a perfectly crafted pop tune.
Jeffrey Innes is best known as frontman for the quirky Canadian indie rock outfit Yukon Blonde, which, typical of a band of its stature (an underground act in America but capable of charting in Canada), spends a lot of time on the road. During an atypical period with nothing YB-related to do, Innes launched a solo project that he calls High Ends.
On Oct. 7, he’ll release High Ends’ 10-song self-titled debut album on Dine Alone Records. One of the tracks is “Cappuccino,” a synth-heavy tribute to caffeinated beverages that recalls idiosyncratic pop acts like Pulp and Sparks.
Anders Trentemøller is a Danish electronic musician who’s known for blending cutting-edge electronic production with dark and moody post-punk, resulting in tracks that can make a grown-up goth kid weak in the knees. For his last album, Lost, he took a more indie-friendly approach, collaborating with members of Lower Dens, Low, and the Raveonettes. On Sept. 1, he’ll release a set of remixes of Lost songs, including his own reworking of “Come Undone” featuring vocals by Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead. The accompanying video, by director Andreas Emenius, pairs the track’s shimmering electro-funk with greyscale footage of a diver in slow motion, creating a moody, nearly abstract juxtaposition that the old Factory Records creative team would have been proud of.
After a solid decade as the go-to soundtrack for disaffected youth, emo has pretty much suffocated itself beneath a mountain of asymmetrical haircuts, metalcore breakdowns, and barely sublimated misogyny, and few people are in mourning over it. However, there’s a growing wave of young musicians who are throwing out the subgenre’s recent history and returning to the core values that defined it in the ’90s (before it was absorbed by Hot Topic), fusing punk’s energy and DIY ethos with the swooning romanticism of a teenage Smiths fan and the delicate melodies of a ’70s singer-songwriter.
Philly’s Modern Baseball is at the leading edge of this movement, and may be the most accessible to pop fans who don’t know or don’t care that there’s even an emo revival happening. Their latest single, “Pothole,” foregoes the pop-punk tendencies that define much of their material in favor of lightly fingerpicked acoustic guitar and nakedly raw vocals, to subtly powerful effect. The video, made largely out of footage filmed on one of their tours, highlights the energy that the band and their community of fans produce together at their shows, as well as the monotony of life on the road.
For the past few years, indie auteur Stuart Murdoch has been splitting his energies between his usual gig leading Belle and Sebastian and a project called God Help the Girl. It started out as an experiment in which Murdoch and the rest of his group backed a cast of female singers he recruited through an ad in a Glasgow magazine, but since releasing a self-titled LP in 2009, the venture has grown considerably more ambitious.
Sept. 5 will see the release of a God Help the Girl film, written and directed by Murdoch. Starring Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, and Pierre Boulanger, it expands on Murdoch’s long-standing fascination with impeccably vintage-attired, romantically entangled young people in Glasgow. It has a strong musical aspect, as you might expect, and the soundtrack is comprised of previous GHTG recordings, new recordings sung by the film’s cast, with dialogue and score woven throughout, helping to underline the overall project’s leaky boundaries when it comes to format.
Freddie Mercury was such an iconic performer that it can be hard to listen to him and not re-create some of his famous body language: the pensively clenched fist, the hand reaching out as if to grasp an elusive feeling. We’ve all done it. The protagonist in the latest video by Buffalo trio the Tins takes things a step further, donning a fake mustache and taking his Freddie impression out onto the streets alongside a remarkably chill feline friend. The jagged power pop of “If You Want to Navigate” is a world away from Queen’s bombast, but the catchy tune plays well with the clip’s muted black-and-white tones and oddball energy.
“It’s totally creepy,” Big Data mastermind Alan Wilkis says, “the idea of being able to stalk people on Facebook and Twitter and whatever, and kind of learn more about strangers than you should be able to know and how easy that is. You can wind up on a total stranger’s page and then you’re looking at photos of their wedding and their children and stuff, and it’s like, I shouldn’t be allowed to see this.”
Wilkis’ discomfort over the erosion of privacy that social platforms like Facebook have engendered (and which Facebook and the NSA, among many others, have exploited for their own purposes) is one of the biggest influences on the music he makes. In fact, he ranks it above any strictly musical inspiration. He calls Big Data’s aesthetic approach “techy and paranoid,” and one of the first of his efforts to attract serious attention was an interactive music video that builds, in real time, a 3-D virtual sculpture out of photos and text scraped from your Facebook account. Seeing it create itself out of bits of your personal life, it’s not hard to share some of Wilkis’s unease.
As a producer and one half of the multi-instrumentalist duo the Rondo Brothers, Jim Greer has worked alongside acts like Foster the People, Galactic, and Yoko Ono, but the untimely loss of his three-year-old son to pediatric cancer almost drove him to quit music entirely. His new album Little Wings, which he’s releasing under the stage name Jim on Aug. 31, documents his struggle through the experience and will benefit the Teddy Berger-Greer Neuroblastoma Research Fund, which Greer set up through the nonprofit Pablove Foundation for pediatric cancer.
The album’s lead single, “I Will Belong,” highlights how despite the serious subject matter, Greer’s continuing to make uplifting music. “I wrote it as a mantra after spending over 100 nights in a hospital,” he says. “At that point, I needed to remind myself that I would not be beaten by the cancer my son was fighting, and that I would be able to once again participate in life. For me, the song fuses hope with anger in a way I’ve never experienced.”
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