Week in Pop
Athens rising hip hop star Linqua Franqa woke up the world today with the Dope Knife directed visuals for “Eight Weeks” featured off the upcoming The Model Minority album available February 23 via Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. Presenting one of the most exciting & incredible voices & talents arising out of the Athens scene right now; Franqa brings a lyrical litany of perspectives & sentiments to shake you out of your complacent comfort zone. In a promotion for the Magnolia Fund organizations that seeks reproductive equity in the Southeast, Linqua illustrates inconvenient truths & exhibitions of life in real time that breaks the cultures of silence & taboo to truly talk about the pressing issues that matter to all of us in the narratives of humanity.
Introducing LA’s illuminati hotties with the visual for their single “(You’re Better) Than Ever” from Mark Lammerding, animated by Kat Bingley with a concept created by the group’s leader Sarah Tudzin. The group’s perfect pop sound gilded & minted via Hollywood’s Sunset Sound, The Snack Shack in Highland Park CA, and Collin Pastore’s own quarters in Nashville TN; illuminati hotties’ inspired new single is given an appropriately paired visual of pure excitement. The group’s follow up to the moodier melodies of “Hubble” showcases a group that is capable of magical & majestic cadences & qualities of pop expression.
Gwenno presents the illustrious visuals for “Tir Ha Mor” from the group’s own Gwenno Saunders, along with Eilir Pierce & Dyl Goch featured off the new album Le Kov available March 2 from Heavenly Recordings. A bevy of lights & a polychrome luster brings daily meditations into heightened stratospheres of consciousness & to the gates of personal & universal enlightenment. In Gwenno’s own reflective words:
We drove to St. Ives and marveled at the crashing waves, went up the coast, past Zennor and arrived at Levant Mine to pause for thought and remember those who had given and lost so much to the land. All we could do was appreciate the rugged landscape, as so many had done before us. We drove back to Cardiff and I mulled over the merits of dancing to your own song, and concluded that it’s alright to do so sometimes. Cornish Abstract Landscape artist, Peter Lanyon, Marghek an Gwyns (Rider of the Wind, his Cornish Gorsedd bardic name) glided over the land to get a better feel of Cornwall, and “Tir Ha Mor” (Land and Sea) is inspired by his methods and muse. I filmed what was in front of me, which is nowhere near the same level of commitment, but it is my interpretation of what I saw and felt and that, I hope, is worth something.
Available today across all the usual platforms & channels-Work Drugs rings in the new year with their illustrious new slice of sophisti-pop with “Miami Nights”. Sax inflected senses of brightness & eternal beauty are met with images from exotic & warm Florida nights that exalt the energy of evenings that could ride onward forever. In the band’s own words on their smooth new track:
Here is a new song to warm you up and start dreaming about summer. This is the first new single from the 2018 work drugs spring collection. “Miami Nights” is a sun soaked, vodka infused slice of smooth pop, the falls well within the pantheon of the Work Drugs universe. If you are new, welcome, if you are familiar, welcome back.
Fruition delivered a first look at their psych-tinged video for “I’ll Never Sing Your Name” from Visual Suplex filmed by Jordan Inglee & Ashley Jordan Gordon featured off the album Watching It All Fall Apart available February 2 from LoHi Records. Vintage power pop is exalted to the current era of aesthetic dissonance where those big chiming chords shine bright through the pedals & lenses of purposed distortion.
Grounders are prepping their forthcoming new album Coffee & Jam available February 23 from Nevado Music & presented a world with the single “Perfect” that sends out a Valentine’s note/card in the form of an affectionate single. “Perfect” is an ode to the special someones in our world that exude the gestalt of every understated emblem & epitome of all those truths that we hold to be self-evident deep in the recesses of our collective hearts.
Moviestar presented us with a look from their Bård Ingebrigtson & Viktoria Winge visual for “Chosen Ones” that is set up like a televised news broadcast by way of music video. Everything from space invaders to UN presentations collide like a pop UFO colliding into earth to enlighten us to the future & possibilities that extend beyond the limitations of our consciousness. Intergalactic forecasts & more abound…
New Jersey singer-songwriter Stephen Kelly makes music under the moniker of ManDancing who pours out raw passions from the deep chasms of the spirit into organized orchestrations of sounds. The album Everyone Else opens up with the heart wrenching “shows”, the brilliant blazes of “broken”, the lo-fi family reflections of togetherness on “(the) words”, skipping & strumming from “stones (again ((and again))” to the closing minimalist bedroom pop nursery rhyme of “teapot”. Kelly crafts vignette cycles to comfort the soul in a world of wonder & weirdness.
Brendon Avalos of B Boys is Gift Wrap who just announced the solo album debut available March 2 from Captured Tracks & dropped the visual for the title track “Losing Count”. Follow Brendon from subways to Grand Central Station where lives in transit are presented in analog video to match the analog lo-fi electro execution.
Following up their 2015 release Hablas with the glimmering & sentimental single “Marcy”. Expressions from the heart rise up from within the center core & outward in an electrically enhanced song of passions.
Malcolm Anthony delivered the track “My Town” featuring production by Pham that sends up a toast to the cities of influence & inspiration. The New Jersey by LA drops a brand new flavor in your ear that will instantly have you doing your own impromptu interpretive dance moves as you proceed to embrace the joys & jubilations found in your own respective town.
Brooklyn by way of SF’s Max Schieble is Elbows who delivers a listen to “Windowpane” that glows with glittering feels from the upcoming Sycamore EP available January 26. Smooth, sweet & serene soft pop elements are illustrated in sounds that spark elements of both nostalgia & future sensations.
Presenting the first single from Luminelle Recordings, we present a listen to Helena Deland spirit assuaging single “There Are a Thousand”. From the song cycle Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. I available March 2, Helena begins a tour that spans through March 13 with a performance tonight in Brooklyn at Baby’s All Right with Yumi Zouma.
Montreal group Look Vibrant presented word of their debut album The Up Here Place available March 23 with a look & listen to the Aaliyeh Afshar & Max T lyric video for “My Nerves”. Not your average karaoke session, Look Vibrant delivers a peek at their world of pop vibrance through lenses that blend the analogous with the multi-medium approaches popular now in the eclectic underground sects of our current era.
Bob Holroyd is readying the new album The Cage for release on March 9 and shared the natural vistas of fields & trees to compliment the pastoral composition of “Inner Mind Sigh”. The meditations of the morning that greet the new day are seen through the lens of a farmer or nature wander in the visuals from both Holroyd & Simon Painter.
Latvia pop star Agnese Stengrevics (daughter of acclaimed pianist/composer Helvijs Stengrēvics) presented the Artis Millers directed & Baiba Vēsma styled visual for the single “You Are My World”. Heart charged expressions are relayed in universal pop tropes commanded by Agnese that brings disparate lovers from all corners of the globe a little closer together in spirit & sound.
Solange & Blood Orange collaborator Starchild & The New Romantic delivered a listen to the title track featured off the upcoming album Language available February 23 from Ghostly International where expressions travel along electrical, urgent & organic currents & channels. The project of Bryndon Cook, the Brooklyn artist raises up the conventions of electronic rhythms & blues to create new models of communication for further generative dialogues between the involved parties.
Bounce between the east & west coasts with Queens’ own Meyhem Lauren & Los Angeles legend DJ Muggs who presented a look at Muggs’ visual for “151”. Featured off their collaborative album Gems From The Equinox, the duo bring a psych vibe to their respective home turfs as they prepare to make some live show appearances including March 3 in Washington DC at Howard Theater & March 4 at NYC’s Highline Ballroom.
NYC Drawing Boards announced their upcoming self-titled cassette available March 2 via Gentle Reminder Records & delivered their anthemic single “Grass Grows Backwards”. A supergroup comprised of Aaron Pfannebecker from Sisters, Doug Marvin of Dirty On Purpose, Jane Herships of TEEN with Peter Rynsky from Darlings—the crew together creates a beguiling sound set to ignite all available senses & sentiments guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
Beirut band WonderGaap presented the Karl Hadife visuals for “Gothic Park” that features the band performing about & exploring a haunted house. Observe as every room has some sort of eccentric weirdness at work that showcases a would be haunted house that stands as a fun house for the group as they try to find some form of comfort within. In WonderGaap’s own words on the new track & video:
“Gothic Park” is our interpretation of a comfort zone. We, as well as most of you have been cursed by this spell. It is only true to say that we decided to take the leap and leave. The house in the video represents a comfort zone, perceived by an outsider as being unlivable, whereas inhabitants of this house perform their everyday activities within. We’ve been in the zone for almost two years, it’s time to say goodbye and venture into new grounds and new sounds.
Venezuela artist Dhanya is readying their self-titled album for release February 2 & presented the life affirming single “Lesson”. The wisdom of the past, present & future collects on Dhanya’s track like a team of fireflies bringing beacons of light outward to the entire world.
Touring with Neko Case, Mt. Joy dropped the rustic & passionate single “Jenny Jenkins” from their debut album available March 2 from Dualtone Records. The band pours out their hearts in a ballad of fist clenched confessionals that sings out a storm of affections & care.
In case you missed it, enter into the universe of Galanos’ recent album Deceiver Receiver (Pyrrhic Victory). With word of a new album in the works, read the band’s track by track breakdown feature here courtesy of the Kingston, NYC group of Netochka Nezvanova, Gregory D. Jaw, Joe Pugsley & John Steele as they explain the arrays of inspirations behind their maudlin aesthetics of sound.
With word of the new album The Free Life available March 9; rock out to Turbowolf’s new single “Domino”. Like a sidewalk/front porch step sport played with friends; the Turbos turn up the chords to levels of realized catharsis.
Délage brought a listen to the moody synth melodies & brooding tones of “Call Me Today” featured off the upcoming album Loverboy Beatface available March 2 via Field Mates Records. The electro-minimalism drives home the desires & wishes to receive a special phone call from a beloved individual as the titular hook becomes caught in your mind on an infinity loop of love.
Bermuda Angel presented a look at the video for “I Should Be Shot” starring & directed by front woman Sophie Kadow in an assemblage of screen tests & city scape vistas. Aspects of violence both real & imagined are entertained in a dystopian universe that appears to be not unlike our own.
Giving Up unveiled their Whitney Weir video for “Fun” from the Sophomore Lounge Records album Garner Cardinal available February 16 followed by a tour. All the fun with foods & fashions collide in the group’s experimental visual that compliments a song about ecstatic excitement appropriately.
Bringing you news of the new album New Pocket available February 16 from Tiny Engines, the second album from Cleveland’s own Runaway Brother who delivered a listen to “Conscience In Tumult” that illustrates beautifully the balance of cognition sought whilst in chaos. The strums & delivery fall like fog on a sunny day where every chord strikes a certain familiar nerve of reflective reflexes.
Houston’s Narrow Head is made up of Jacob Duarte, Carson Wilcox & William Menjivar who present a listen to their incredible new single “Bulma” available via Very Jazzed. It’s everything you loved about the dream-machine weapons of yesterday, where whirling guitars & vocal execution ride the reefs of your mind.
Dizzyride, Montreal’s Zoë Kiefl & Venice’s Nicola Donà present the Nicole Della Costa video for “Roma Lento” perfectly suited for clandestine lounge atmospheres of pure evening. Crooning & dancing the night awake, Zoë & Nicola bring an alluring aesthetic of eternally aloof & mysterious manners that makes you feel as if you are joining them at some privy night club somewhere far away.
Misty Boyce presented the animated video for “Johnny” from James Holcombe off the upcoming album Get Lost (co-produced by Lera Lynn) available February 16. Romantic sentiments are sung out like rose petal penned love notes sent to the throes of the wild winds in the hopes that they will be intercepted by their intended recipient.
Glasgow’s The Spook School offered a viewing of their video for “Body” off the upcoming album Could It Be Different? available January 26 from Alcopop!. The band tackles concepts of mental health, self-care, self-esteem & body image issues that permeate the heartfelt single that offers a hymn for all of us in an anthem of self-acceptance.
Featured off the Fight of Flight EP, Isadoré offered a look at the expansive & breathtaking visuals for “Sky” from Ita Sypniewska & Abhishek Samariya. Between images of ancient structures, seashores & everything between blue skies & sandy landscapes; Isadoré entertains all that exists between the celestial heavens & the waters & lands of earth.
Check out the Aaron Eisenberg video for The Soft White Sixties’ new single “Brick by Brick” that mixes vintage visuals with the television CRT glow that segues into the current crises of our life & times. The band’s modernist sound is ushered into the contemporary era of obsessions, addictions & fixations that seeks to tear down the callous divisions, barricades & xenophobic walls of Wall Street backed political confusions & quagmires.
Presenting a listen to the new single “Best Days” featured off Lissie’s upcoming album Castles available March 23. Seen recently performing “Wild West” at the Bang Bang Bar Roadhouse in Twin Peaks: The Return, Lissie brings a brand of Americana nouveau that seeks to find meaning & purpose in the whirlwinds that define these wild days of our lives.