Week in Pop: Emily Ritz, Hélène Barbier, Pictorial Candi

Sjimon Gompers

The continuing adventures of Berlin pop designer Pictorial Candi; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

Week in Pop

The latest from Brooklyn’s Typhoid Rosie; press photo courtesy of the band.

Here to make all of your pop-punk dreams come true is Typhoid Rosie who delivers the just-released album This Is Now that is a song-cycle of instantaneous anthems that make the moment feel all the more celebratory. Out the gates of “Sailing On”, the Brooklyn takes us out to see with an indefatigable level of energy, to the action inquiry of “What Have You Done” to the fanciful, amorously vicarious hopes of “Belong to Somebody”. Rosie Rebel laments exhausting energy of chasing a “Broken Man”, to learning to live without others on bright pop of “Pieces”, to the perfect rocker for our snowed-in days with “Diamonds in the Snow”, & the fist-pumping pursuit of “Happiness”. The entire album operates on a momentum that doesn’t let up as heard on the balladry of “Take It Away”, to the night on the town style of “Come On Baby”, to the observing the passage & changes that arrive with the shifts of time on “That Was Then”. This Is Now is a gracious & gritty ode to the moment of the present that is thankfully a far cry from the Now That’s What I Call Music series (for which we all should be so lucky). Reflecting on the single “Belong to Somebody”, Rosie Rebel shared the following reflections:

“Belong To Somebody” is about temptation. Surely everyone has demons, or great obstacles to fight. Sometimes what you want is not always the right thing for you. There’s always a great battle between your heart and mind…at least for me anyway. There’s two branches of Cain and Abel in my bloodline, and they’re always at war: The angel and the devil. As I turned the corner of being 30, my body got so hungry, I think because it wanted to make a baby instead of this record. This song is about that starving hunger I faced and how I had to chain myself in the basement on the full moon instead of following my heart off a cliff.

LIKE, Mibbs & BeYoung of Pac Div are back after six years with a listen to the tranquil & mind-dazing new single “First Baptist”. Working around a slowed-stewed sample of The Association’s single “Never My Love” from 1967; the Southern Cali champ trio are welcomed back with a baptismal where everyone is invited to attend & get dunked on. This latest splash of hip hop holy water holds the promise of more material to come, we recommend playing this jam on repeat & appreciate the resurrection of one of our favorite west coast groups.

Introducing the duo Charge It To The Game, consisting of Fat Tony & Kyle Mabson who just announced their collaborative album House With A Pool available soon from Ghost Ramp. A record that features collaborative appearances from Juiceboxx & B L A C K I E; Tony & Kyle create an over-the top goth thriller camp spectacle with the Adam Franklin fright-flick video for “Dark Girl”. Charge It to the Game creates not just ultra-catchy head-rocking ditty but the sort of cult-creations you wake up to when you forget to set a television sleep-timer.

The Suffers announced their new album Everything Here arriving July 13 & shared a listen to the brass adorned & uplifting “Do Whatever” that is about to make your day extremely better & brighter. Off an album that includes production from Lili K, appearances from Bun B, Paul Wall, Lyle Divinsky & more; the group rocks their rolling self-anointed Gulf Coast Soul-sound as an important part of the prolific & highly influential Houston scenes.

Allie Hanlon & Peach Kelli Pop announced the upcoming anticipated EP Which Witch avaiable April 21 (Record Store Day 2018) courtesy of Mint Records. With a San Francisco show slated for June 28 at Hemlock Tavern; Allie presents the video for their new single “Crooked & Crazy” that is one of the best minute & a half pop wonders that tackles issues of self-esteem & depression & counters deep rooted fears with unabashed pure genius, economic & excellent pop.

Also check out the visual for Peach Kelli Pop’s new video for the single “Drug Store’s Symbol of Happiness” that offers more perfect pop that is just barely over the minute & a half mark of pure pop perfection.

Galway’s Cat Turner shared synth sailing soliloquies with the new track “Waster”. The thrill & stresses of high strees scenarios is transformed into a confrontational electro pop consortium cut that encapsulates elements of conflict & compromise.

Forged Artifacts has signed New Orleans duo Lawn with news of their debut album Blood on the Tracks arriving May 11, sharing the DIY power-pop beauty of “2000 Boy”. Introspective aesthetics are blended into a sleepy sort of hopeful pop that is big on sweetness, an endearing form of sentimentality & warmth.

Enter the flames of the single “Fire” from Preston, UK artist Pip Hall. The synths flicker like the elements of the song’s namesake as Pip emulates entrances to hell on earth concepts & other such worlds consumed & engulfed by unforgettable fires.

BAUM delivered a listen to the electro-pop shine of the new EP Ungodly that breaks against the canvas that contains the natural world. The heat is brought with the opening awakenings of the single “Hot Water”, to physical reflections on “This Body”, to the emotive ambiance of “Effortless”, the moving ballad of “Dream Girl Takeover”, right before leaving us with the title track that sets the stage of what might be next from BAUM.

HINDS presents a look at the Matthew Dillon Cohen video for “The Club” featured off the upcoming album I Don’t Run available April 6 from Mom + Pop. Ana Perrote & company bring about a timeless sound & international style that shines with an aesthetic that is brighter & cooler than all the decades of pop music arts combined.

Constine released the Scandinavian goth-styled single “Die” available now from O:KTO Records. Through an economy of precisely arranged & programmed sequences, the artist emphasizes profound connections that stretch strongly across landscapes where the distance & absence allows hearts to grow fonder (accompanied with a heightened level of intensity). Constine introduced the single “Die” with the following insights:

The song is about the feeling of being on the verge… It’s about when you’ve lost yourself, in someone or something. Both those feelings can be completely magical but also so damn unpleasant.

Bent Denim are back with the beautiful new single “Chasing Catherine” featured off the upcoming & anticipated new album Town and Country available May 11. The bedroom pop aficionados of the duo Ben Littlejohn & Denis Sager elaborate on a sound that hones in on those feelings & sleepy thoughts of love & desire that cannot be conventionally categorized (yet reverberate throughout the entirety of our beings).

Featured off the lauded Australia release from Don Giovanni Records/NuBlack Music Group; Zenizen’s Opal Hoyt presents a look at the serene visuals for “Nicer There” shot & edited by Vrinda Jagota & Zolzaya Brown. Like the meditative & spirit levitating quality of the entire Australia EP; the sky, sea & floral centered focuses fill the viewer/listener with a calming sense of peace that passes comprehension & conventional understanding. Keep an eye & ear out for more to arrive from Zenizen soon.

Gold Connections is Will Marsh previously of Car Seat Headrest who announced the follow-up to the Will Toledo produced debut EP with news of the debut full-length album Popular Fiction available May 11 from Egghunt Records. Sharing a listen to the single “Bad Intentions”, Marsh shares a slice of homeland electric strings & introspections that ponders the ranges of intents that span from the benevolent to the malevolent.

NYC’s The Exits recently released the single “Please Don’t Tell” about the conversations we would rather not have. The group’s arrangement of rhythmic chords & murmured delivery accentuates the sentiments of woe with a style that is the sound of nursing a hungover-headache that seeks the solace of a cozy room with the blinds drawn comfortably shut.

Check out the bright Cat Owens visuals for Sophie Fay’s new single “Reborn” that provides the r&b track with a creative CGi rendering. The nature of change & how things progress are seen as something out of psychotropic version of The Sims or Minecraft type of platform from another parallel planet.

Chicago’s RLYR dropped a listen to the single “Artificial Horizons” from their upcoming second album Actual Existence available April 13 through San Francisco imprint The Flenser. The instrumental trio of Steven Hess (of Locrian, Cleared), Colin DeKuiper (from Bloodiest, previously of Russian Circles) along with Trevor Shelley de Brauw (of Pelican, Chord) craft their experimental mindsets to create a kind of expansive synergy that continues to build by taking cues from one another.

Marmalakes offered a listen to the bright new single “Milwaukee” featured off the upcoming album Please Don’t Stop available May 11 from Austin Town Hall Records. The group bridges a combo of creative power-pop approaches that brings a bouquet of Midwest melodies & harmonies direct to the doorstep of your heart.

The Love-Birds delivered the sweet & super 60s style rock of “Kiss and Tell” from the upcoming album In the Lover’s Corner available May 25 via Trouble In Mind Records. The SF group gathers up all the vibes from summers of love past with a jingle-jangling arrangement of awkward romanticism & idiosyncratic affections.

Catalina, comprised of Jakob Shaw & Eric Poretsky, who shared the meditative single “Ceremony” that works in strange cryptic ways like rituals & meditations that were sent back in time to today from a not-so-distant future. The coast by coast duo operates by a restrained aesthetic that takes its time, breathing & progressing on a slow spring breeze to let every note & melody resonate properly with the listener.

Zena Carlota provided a listen to the ethereal & mind expanding single “Tis’ a Cold Day to Bear Fruit” from the upcoming The Confidence of the Birds EP. Drawing inspiration from the Attar of Nishapur, oka Farid ud-Din Attar, poem “The Conference of the Birds” & recorded at the Bay Area’s Tiny Telephone; Carlota fuses an original & evocative series of styles that bridges the artist’s own West African creative sensibilities with the pastoral passages of Californian west coast pop.

Madison Margot delivered the single “2780” full of big ultra-radio pop illuminations. Songs about loneliness & desires is designed like the anthem to be played in all future rom-coms involving star-crossed bashful lovers & their entourages that navigate their way through random collision courses of romance & life’s humors.

Isaac Gracie shared the b/w visuals for “Last Words” featured off the debut album available April 13. The British tunesmith gathers the rustic troubadour, artist & their guitar approach, with subtle big arrangement productions that underscore the mind wandering narratives & soul/world searching pursuits at work in Gracie’s song.

Neighbor Lady shares the powerful & darn near perfect pop of “Let It Bleed” from the upcoming May 11 slated album Maybe Later from Friendship Fever. The Athens group has a keen ability to mine the electric pop fundamentals to create a sound that is so spirit-stirring & instant that it feels both timeless with that new-car cadence of freshness.

Watch Gabriella Cohen’s fun & freewheeling video for “Baby” from Sky Richards featured off the upcoming album Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love via Captured Tracks. The Australian artist’s song is paired with a desert-bound adventure involving mysterious green-folk & a narrative motif that is centered around a cake with a perpetual-pyrotechnic sparkler.

Bad Gyal dropped the Jam-town repping visual for “Candela” from Manson featured off the Worldwide Angel mixtape available now. The track brings privy views to side-shows & hedonistic indulgences & interludes that span from day & all throughout the evening.

Oceanator provided a listen to “Inhuman” off the Lows EP available April 13 from Tiny Engines . Elise Okusami (percussionist for Vagabon) depicts instances of inhumane & unconscious behaviors that presents the moods & expressions both lyrically & via an evocative arrangement that will move your entire being. Oceanator explores the extents & stretches of humanity where human beings can seemingly act as if they aren’t human at all.

Holy Wave delivered a look at the James Oswald video for “Habibi” from their upcoming album Adult Fear available March 30 via Reverberation Appreciation Society. With lighting provided by Fez Moreno & visual effects from Nick Cointea that give the group’s psychic & sensational sound a stage all of their very own.

Timsters delivered a look at the Gaultier Durhin video for “Somewhere” via Elephant & Castle that showcases the artist working in the supply chain as a lonely freight driver. The artist’s electronic aesthetic elements create an audio vibe of introspection as the open roads & lonelier roadhouses, patrons & fellow drivers all connect to the song’s motif of being & belonging somewhere.

Introducing bdrmm from Hull who recently released the Alex Greaves produced single “kare” that is full of pensive & thoughtful audio traces. The feelings of caring for someone is conveyed in the unrequited ferris-wheel circular soft-spin of taking a chance on spending time with someone, along with all the emotions that arrive with. Artist Ryan Smith described the inspirations behind the track further:

“kare” was written inevitably after a night out. I had gotten the wrong impression from somebody and it turned out my feelings were being taken advantage of just so they didn’t have to stay in on a Saturday night.

Little Rock, Arkansas duo joan delivered a listen to the sentimental single “i loved you first” with the announcement of spring tour dates with Geographer starting April 11. The track of love triangles & other such complications is given the classic 80s lovers rock treatment that is prime for a video montage of emotive screen-tests to an epic ending of realized affections as the screen goes to black & the credits begin to roll.

Further commemorating 25 years of Wu-Tang, U-God dropped the single “Bit Da Dust” from the new solo album Venom available March 30 from Babygrande Records. Celebrating the artist’s new book RAW: My Journey Into Wu Tang & the RAW/VENOM tour; U shares some condolences & cautionary lessons from lives lost that leap off the obituary pages lyrically with tales of warning & life earned wisdom.

Chris Orrick (previoiusly known as Red Pill) delivered the Malcolm Critcher for Mild West Productions visuals for “Design Flaw” produced by L’Orange that involves puppets & people interacting in awkward, intimate & all kinds of imperfect ways. Featured off the album Portraits available May 4 from Mello Music Group, Orrick’s narrative reflects on the psyche of the self that oscillates between hyperbole & the drive to make it happen for yourself (utilizing the puppetry component as a creative narrative vehicle to entertain aspects of the unconscious underbelly of the human id).

Mitch Bradford shared the sincere sentiments of “Love Is Kind” featured off the upcoming album of the same name available later this year. With a homeward-bound style & slice of homeland pop, Bradford works with vintage country rock elements that emphasizes the winding, wonderful & weird ways & roads of amour.

Jonathan Zarola, oka Unbloom returned with the electro-pop painted new single “Chances” that emphasizes the happenstance nature of our collective cherished existences. “2017 was my first year doing music full-time,” Zarola explained to us, “In that same year, my father battled a life-threatening cellulitis infection. The two events converging made me realize that second chances are not guaranteed to anyone.” Jonathan described how that experience would inspire a new carpe-diem approach to Unbloom & life itself. “Although my new song is a lament, it’s as much a call-to-action; to try and embrace what we are given and make the most of it.”

Henry Green offered the ephemeral & sublime beauty of “Something” off the upcoming album debut Shift arriving March 30. The electronically aided chord progressions further carry Green’s sincere & serene delivery to new dimensions & warm spaces of the heart that then arrive at those empty corners of the empty space in the human soul.

Peep the Dillon Moore video for Jim-E Stack’s “Somebody” that follows on the heels of last year’s EP. The track works in ways of restrained, yet emotive electronica (of the vintage, 80s neon variety) with visuals full of effects that portray the adventures of an invisible individual out & about in the world.

morgxn delivered the moving Moses Moreno video for “translucent” featured off the upcoming album vital available May 18. From acting the part to figuring out the whole roles in the movie that is our live; morgxn takes us deep into the pensive places that question the epistemologies of our own existence.

The Soft Moon offered a look at the Kelsey Henderson video with effects & color by Victoria Keddie for the nu-industrial moods of “Give Something”. Found off the lauded Sacred Bones debut Criminal, Luis Vasquez’s expressive song is met by double framed visceral art-pop moving images that makes the entire track feel even more intense.

Bay Area artist INTICA recently released the album Nights Like These & presents a look at the visuals of coastal meditations for “I Can’t Breathe”. The artist’s electronic auto-tuned delivery & foggy production veneer are brought to the earthy & pebbled edges of the Pacific where INTICA calls out to the great wide open for a place of respite & breath.

Oakland duo Callow offered a look at the Jordan Perkins-Lewis produced video of edited televised images for “A Vein” featured off their forthcoming album Mothdust. With a decidedly space themed approach to the visuals; all the involved moods, emotions & intimate narratives provided by Callow are sent out deep into the stretches of space where the experience resonates like an astronaut out of this world & on their own between planets & solar systems.

Denmark Vessey dropped the CreditsCreates video for “Trustfall” produced by Earl Sweatshirt from the upcoming Sun Go Nova EP (that also features productions from Knwxledge) available April 20 from Mello Music Group. The visuals for Vessey’s track are as trippy & atmospheric as you are hurdled through the hall of mirrors with meditations on trust & leaps of faith.

Eternal Summers shared a springtime Valentine’s vignette with a listen to “Forever Mine” featured off the upcoming album Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying… available May 4 from Nevado Music. The Roanoke trio of Nicole Yun, Daniel Cundiff & Jonathan Woods continues to make a style of music that appeals to the most sensitive & treasured corners of the heart as they prepare their fifth album.

Watch the romantic JP Saxe video for “The Few Things” starring Anthony Ramos & Dina Shihabi that exhibits earnest & intimate exchanges between lovers. Confessions of heart-felt camaraderie & more invites a closer connection expressed in subtle rhythms & blues made with earnest passion & love.

Nashville’s Mona shared a listen to the festival-style rocking “Not Alone” featured off the upcoming album Soldier On available June 1 from Bright Antenna Records. Nick Brown & company create a grand sweeping rock anthem that obliterates the feelings of loneliness for something greater.

Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek shared a listen to the solo-strumming “Ruby” featured off the upcoming self-titled album available May 18 from Keeled Scales. Generous & creative Americana expressions are conveyed like an endearing daydream of infinite romanticism.

Vancouver’s FM Attack remixed Vandal Moon’s single “Baby Sounds” that introduces more midnight-mascara additions. With the original featured off the album Wild Insane available April 20 from Starfield Music; all the goth fantasias from the previous eras are here resurrected to bring some essences of night to counter the sunlight of your day.

Sweden’s Sibille Attar offered a listen to the assertive & outright honest “I Don’t Have To” off the forthcoming EP Paloma’s Hand available April 27 from PNKSLM Recordings. Attar combines a vintage approach to modern pop that blends decades of stylistic understandings with reiterations that states explicitly that Sibille doesn’t have to do anything that they don’t want to do.

Exitmusic shared the beautiful & spirit ascending new single “Iowa” from the forthcoming album The Recognitions available April 20 from felte. The duo of Aleksa Palladino & Devon Church continue to craft music that is set to stand alone in any environment or accompany the ingénues starring on both the silver & streaming screens.

Chelan delivered the title track from their upcoming album Dear Miracle available May 11 that accentuates the supernatural nature of instinctive evolution & other phenomena. The Olympia group of Jennifer Grady, Justin Hosford & Chad Austinson continue to create multidimensional epics that are musical mansions that consist of many grand suites to explore across multiple listens.

New York’s CUP are dropping the upcoming Jitter Visions available April 27 via Aagoo Records that follows up 2017’s Hiccup with a listen to the galactic hedonism of “Cosmic Brain” accompanied with Etienne Puaux animated visuals. The group brings a sound designed to stir-up the listeners of this galaxy & also to stretch outward to the cosmos that have yet to be charted by humankind.

Jaunt dropped the entertaining Max Parr visuals for “Faster Interactions” featured off their forthcoming Cue EP available April 13. Dance-inspiring visuals of desires that permeate the consciousness during the day & night cycles are seen manifesting themselves in all sorts of fun & fanciful ways.

Universal Sex Arena delivered a listen to the bombast single “Meridiem” featured off the upcoming album Abdita available March 30 via Kowloon Records. The track moves to the rhythm of its own dance party where the Italian group experiments with a form of dramatic & expressionist style of pop music.

NONONO shared the Joakim Envik Karlsson & Erwin Semler visual for “Friends” produced by Lurdo Collective & Tove Birgersson Fallgren & composed by Stina Wäppling, Erwin Semler & Joakim Envik Karlsson. The group takes us to those lonely poetic lowlands that explores aspects of loneliness along with the longings & needs for others in our lives.

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