moon walker zombifies the end of the world in disgruntled punk release “give the people what they want”

moon walker zombifies the end of the world in disgruntled punk release “give the people what they want”

Between global pandemics, burnout culture, and the rise of AI, the future seems more bleak than ever. The alt-rock artist Moon Walker expresses his frustrations with the present-day in the track “Give The People What They Want”, tackling the defects of American society via an arresting punk rock song. The music video from Tiltshift Visual sets the song in a nondescript American office—aka, the source of many societal frustrations—and features a zombification of its workers.

Opening with an arresting dialogue between the guitar and bass lines, the music primes the video for its imminent belligerent energy. Amid the beats of drums and panning synths, zombies type away at keyboards and make trips to the fax machine, ambling their way through dimly-lit, whitewashed corridors. Anyone who’s ever worked a corporate job can easily relate to this shuffling, fatigued movement. All the while, Moon Walker’s electrifying voice echoes the sentiments of discontented people across the globe: “We want children we can’t care for, houses we can’t pay for, jobs we can’t stay awake for”. 

The two zombies in the video are ghostly pale and dingy, covered in wounds as raw as Walker’s lyrics. Moon Walker’s guitar shredding accompanies the human coworkers running away from their zombie counterparts, terrified of the decomposed future they will inevitably embody. There is nothing subtle about Walker’s message: we’ve all become slaves and zombies to our jobs and the political climate surrounding us. The end of the video features a ticking clock, reminding us that time does not stop for anyone, and our zombification could be imminent if nothing changes.

In a world where solutions are few and far between, belting rock songs with catchy melodic hooks is a good form of escapism. “Give The People What They Want” previews the alt-rock artist’s third LP, the aptly named Apocalypticism, due out on October 20th. Walker will expose the most troubling aspects of society with this release, challenging the status quo and pushing for change. Additionally, get tickets now for Moon Walker’s debut U.S. tour in October 2023.

curling’s “URDoM” is a soul-stirring ode to inner turmoil

curling’s “URDoM” is a soul-stirring ode to inner turmoil

A soft electric riff of a guitar atop steady beats of the drum… It is that awfully calming but lingering aura that really sets this unsettlement within me. A constant motion that desires more. Curling‘s “URDoM” wraps me in its embrace, and I’m overwhelmed by a torrent of emotions.

“URDoM” thrives in its ability to evoke emotions without explicitly stating them. The production elements, such as the subtle layering of instruments and the careful balance between instrumentation and vocals, contribute to the song’s immersive quality. The minimalist yet well-crafted approach allows the listener to interpret and connect with the music in their own unique way. The song’s musical layers are carefully woven together, allowing each instrument to contribute to the overall mood. Distant echoes and subtle reverberations, add depth to the atmosphere, immersing the listener in a reflective space.

Throughout the track, the dynamics build and recede, creating a sense of tension and release that mirrors the emotional rollercoaster the song portrays. The instrumental and vocal synergy reaches its peak during the climactic moments, eliciting a cathartic release that draws the listener deeper into the narrative. The composition’s aural palette leans towards a fusion of alternative and ambient elements, creating a space that is both introspective and ethereal. The instrumentation, consisting of subtle guitar work, restrained percussion, and atmospheric synth layers, works in harmony to evoke a sense of inner struggle and self-exploration.

In the end, “URDoM” isn’t just a song – it’s an emotional journey. It’s a mirror that shows me my own complexities, my own struggles. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone in our battles, that music can hold our hands as we navigate the stormy seas of the heart. Curling’s creation isn’t just a song; it’s a lifeline, a chance to find solace in the shared human experience. And as the last note fades, I’m left with a profound sense of connection, a realization that I’m not alone in feeling alone. 

North American Tour Dates
^ = w/ Nation of Language
8/11: Portland, OR @ Fixin’ To
8/12: Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall ^
8/13: Portland, OR @ Gloomhouse
8/14: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater ^
8/16: Grass Valley, CA @ Unchuch
8/17: Upland, CA @ Hyrule Temple
8/18: Oakland, CA @ Oakland Secret
8/19: Seattle, WA @ Central Saloon
8/20: Centralia, WA @ Space Place House

barenaked ladies want another slice of life in new single “lovin’ life”

barenaked ladies want another slice of life in new single “lovin’ life”

The Barenaked Ladies are back at it with another feel-good song full of optimistic energy. “Lovin’ Life” is the Toronto rock band’s first musical release since 2021, and excitement for their comeback shines through in its accompanying rainbow-tinged music video. Band members Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart share their unhinged enthusiasm in appreciation of life’s highs and lows, reminding us to take a step back and smell the roses.

It’s hard not to smile while listening to “Lovin’ Life”. Even though it begins bleak, since “the world could end before the end of this song,” the band quickly jumps into why it is so important to not dwell on negativity and instead focus on living in the now. The chorus introduces keyboard synths and rockin’ guitar chords for a high-energy drop. Its catchy lyrics are an anthem to relishing the present moment and all the simple joys of summer. Life is not only “sweeter than a watermelon slice” but also as delicious as a gooey piece of pizza. 

The MV’s visuals jump back and forth between the band’s in-studio sessions and their onstage performance of “Lovin’ Life” during their almost-annual Last Summer on Earth tour. As 2018 inductees of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Barenaked Ladies have much to celebrate for across their 35-year musical journey. If you can’t get enough of this single, be sure to check out the Barenaked Ladies’ 2023 Last Summer on Earth tour.

In need of a pick-me-up? Have a listen to “Lovin’ Life” below:

daniel ellsworth’s what ep is a glowing prism of complementary musical styles

daniel ellsworth’s what ep is a glowing prism of complementary musical styles

Experienced multi-genre artist Daniel Ellsworth brings all of his prior skills to the table, presenting his first independent project in a set of four LPs. The newly released WHAT is Ellsworth’s first fully self-produced LP and is the third in the set of I HAVE / NO CLUE / WHAT / I’M DOING. Contrary to that title, Ellsworth certainly seems to know what he’s doing, as the five new songs in WHAT display a mature musical sensibility with their clever arranging and the mixing of musical styles.

WHAT holds the listener’s hand via lyrics that tell a story, a diverse array of synths, and a clear progression of styles. Beginning with the welcoming “Lost In the Rhythm”, Ellsworth introduces a beat and whooshing synths worthy of any dance party. It’s feel-good and optimistic, in touch with the speaker’s initial meeting with the love interest. 

“Blurry” heightens this euphoria, infusing its pop style with hip-hop influences, to evoke how the speaker is in complete awe of the lover. Panning synths in the catchy chorus create interest in the left and right ears, mimicking how it feels to have blurry vision in an auditory format.

“Flower Underground” flips the switch. Doubt sprouts in the speaker as the relationship with the lover takes a turn toward the uncertain. With indie-pop influences, this song has a myriad of synth timbres, creating an engaging collage of sound. The jazz piano solo hearkens to Ellsworth’s background in jazz piano, adding another new element to this LP. 

Ellsworth draws from his experience in techno-pop in “Operator Emma”, as the speaker is in contact with the lover via sparse phone calls. Pleading for “an answer on the line”, Ellsworth’s voice soars into its highest range so far. The sweeping synths toward the end seem to hint at a hopeful conclusion for this complicated situation.

The final track, “I Believe In You”, is about the sun rising at the end of a long night. Circling back to indie-pop, Ellsworth’s voice has that lo-fi, old-time-radio vocal effect. There’s even word-painting when rising synths accompany the lyrics “surrounded by the sunlight”. The relationship has been repaired, and the music reflects that sense of relief and contentment that comes after a test of trust.

Daniel Ellsworth’s WHAT is a prime example of how to intermix musical genres to tell a story. After many collaborations with other artists—Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Chaos Emeralds, and DARKMINDS—Ellsworth sets out on his own, carrying a vast scope of musical experience with him.

What should you be doing now? Listening to WHAT!

birthh teases a kaleidoscopic lp with the launch of “hyperdrive”

birthh teases a kaleidoscopic lp with the launch of “hyperdrive”

As Italian singer-songwriter Alice Bisi revs up for the release of her third LP, her new track “Hyperdrive” gives a taste of a new direction for the alt-pop artist. Though Bisi, or Birthh, is based in Brooklyn, her music sounds as though it originates from the fourth dimension, cleverly using synths and fast tempos to transport listeners through musical wormholes.

It’s hard to believe that the high-octane “Hyperdrive” started out as a slow ballad. When Birthh was having trouble perfecting the song to her liking, she enlisted the help of her trusted co-producer London O’Connor. After a year of tweaking in the studio, “Hyperdrive” morphed into an upbeat, euphoric depiction of Birthh’s inner world and dreams. The verses are poetic in nature, with such lyrics as “I’ll chase your face, to infinity and beyond” and “spinning round, galactic dancer”, as the speaker experiences a whirlwind romance with hopes of reciprocation from the beloved.

This track keeps the listener on its toes, constantly adding new layers and advancing the intergalactic journey through Birthh’s heart. After the verse, the chorus shifts into the titular “Hyperdrive” mode, with rhythmic variation, a denser musical texture, and an earworm of a melody. The synths, percussion, and high-pitched strings interact with the vocal samples in a bouncing vortex of musical interest. The closing portion introduces a slew of new aspects, with piano chords interrupted by vocal samples of other voices besides Birthh’s, as though it leads into another track. As of now, we can only speculate what might come next.

Birthh’s anticipated Moonlanded album is set to release on September 1 and is now available for preorder. Moonlanded is sure to be an epic ride, chronicling Birthh’s emotions around her birthplace in Italy all the way to her new home in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, stream “Hyperdrive” on all platforms and check out Birthh’s backlist of songs.

Can’t wait for Moonlanded? Give “Hyperdrive” a listen while you’re waiting!

river shook expands mightmare in the electrifying “can’t get what i want”

river shook expands mightmare in the electrifying “can’t get what i want”

When confronted with stretching hours alone during the 2020 pandemic, River Shook found themselves in a unique position to explore their own musical voice. Their solo project, Mightmare, was born, as an independent project separate from their country-punk band, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. Now, River Shook releases the first Mightmare single to feature a full musical cast, “Can’t Get What I Want”, with Blake Tallent on guitar and synth, Ash Lopez on bass, and Ethan Standard on drums. 

The lyrics of “Can’t Get What I Want” are immediately accusatory, as the speaker takes issue with the one-sided nature of a problematic relationship. Shook shines light on how the song “highlights a moment of clarity as our protagonist realizes in real time that demanding better treatment from an abuser is like expecting honey from a hornet’s nest.” Indeed, this realization stings with the arrival of the chorus, when Shook shouts the song’s namesake. The lingering dreaminess accompanying the lyrics “I can get anything I want” ends, as the tempo picks up and the rhythm changes to a steady emphasis on every downbeat. Reality sets in, as the speaker escapes fantasy and accepts that their abuser will not make any concessions.

Mightmare plants itself fully into the punk, indie-rock aesthetic, with the wail of its lyrics and head-banging instrumentation. Shook’s first solo album, Cruel Liars, features more of Shook’s punk sound. It’s a departure from the distinct country influences of Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, which is a testament to Shook’s musical versatility. Represented by Kill Rock Stars, this is sure to be only the beginning of Mightmare’s electrifying turn into the alternative scene.

In the mood to be vicariously angry via punk energy? Stream “Can’t Get What I Want” on these platforms now!

psychedelic vibeology: embracing the natural connection with valley

psychedelic vibeology: embracing the natural connection with valley

Introducing Valley, the Canadian indie-pop sensation that has captured hearts worldwide with its infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Now, they are back with their highly anticipated album Lost in Translation, a sonic journey that explores the complexities of love, self-discovery, and the universal quest for meaning. With their signature blend of shimmering synth-pop, lush harmonies, and introspective songwriting, Valley delivers an enchanting and relatable experience that transcends borders and speaks to the soul. 

One of the songs in Lost in Translation — “Natrual” — comes with its own music video that delves into themes of healing and natural bonds between different souls. 

The music video opens with an individual walking into some sort of a rustic, classically American bar, wearing what looks to be clean and sunflower-y but otherwise dull clothing. He doesn’t seem to belong, compared to the several groups of conversationalists and dart-throwers. Quick to change, he leaves from a changing area, donning a metallic top and unquestionably less stiff pants. And he comes back sporting top-tier energy. 

It’s not so much the outfit as rocking dance moves, this man has had a real confidence boost and he’s not afraid to light up the atmosphere. Most noticeably, the lighting is sunset-ethereal-like, but the majority of the space is enveloped in shadows. Somehow, I believe that the lighting represents the divide between the beautiful light, the facade we put on for the world, versus the shadows, our own dark inner worlds. 

There is a mirror, and the man is standing in front of it. He is alone when he wears his original attire, but when he wears his party outfit, others surround him, highlighting that his change comes in tandem with company. And of course, he is much happier. The cameras pan to him taking over the dance floor without a hint of his previous self. The transformation is remarkable as he moves with newfound confidence and uninhibited joy. 

The pulsating beats of Valley’s Lost in Translation provide the perfect soundtrack to this moment, amplifying the euphoria and capturing the essence of the album’s theme – the power of music to transcend barriers and transform lives. As the crowd joins him, their collective energy ignites, and for that fleeting moment, they are all lost in the music, lost in the magic, and united by the universal language that Valley so effortlessly captures.

out with a bang: turkuaz releases final two albums simultaneously

out with a bang: turkuaz releases final two albums simultaneously

As heartbreaking as the dissolution of an artistic endeavor is, Turkuaz couldn’t have done it more gracefully and completely than they did. Today, they released two albums – a total of 26 songs – within two overarching genres, conveying two concepts that fall hand-in-hand. Paradiso and Apollyon.

“The very big picture concept is that Heaven and Hell are two human constructs. The only place that they really exist is right here on earth, and which one you inhabit depends largely on how you conduct yourself and what you choose to believe,” explains Brandwein. “Life isn’t as simple as black or white, this or that. It’s not binary. We’re all a little bit of both… Beautiful and tragic chaos.”

Paradiso opens with a very alien appeal. Not only is the song titled “Strange People (Strange Times)”, but the vocals layered in with the synth action and sound effects make it feel especially otherworldly. A literal manifestation of the words in the track, it is a powerful opener to one of the two releases.

Turkuaz continues with this disposition – an effortless blend of upbeat synth-driven pop and standout vocals – throughout, guiding the audience through an oft-autotuned adventure of sorts. Favorites from this release include “Shakin’ in My Sheets”, steadily-paced “Rewind”, and literal disco dream “Disconnect in the Discotéque“.

Apollyon follows suit in its substance, however, its sound exists in a completely different realm. Funk-inspired and flavorfully layered, they approached this release as a full band in a room together. You can feel the party atmosphere palpably in the twelve-track album’s span. Favorites include “The Ever Watchful Eye” and leisurely “Pleasure and the Pain.”

Turkuaz’s Dave Brandwein is now focusing on work with New Originals and solo music under the moniker Band For Sale. Taylor Shell is now a member of Ghost Light, and the two plan to collaborate more in the future.