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.
Emerging as a solo artist after her time as the frontwoman of surf-pop band High Wasted, Jessica Louise Dye returns with a new side to her musical persona under the moniker Hello Lightfoot. Taking cues from her experience DJ’ing at clubs and throwing chaotic themed parties, her solo work takes listeners into a more intimate look at herself while keeping a gritty and high octane indie-pop sound. Hello Lightfoot’s sophomore single “shame” is no different, serving as an anthem for personal release.
Backed by a punchy synth-pop instrumental, the track rebels against trauma with an emphatic drive to take back control of one’s own emotions. The beat and vocal melodies in this song does a great job of sonically painting a turbulent journey out of a storm- psychologically speaking, as if Hello Lightfoot and the listener fights through their demons with a sense of optimism and relentlessness. Whereas other songs on similar subjects captures a feeling of suffering, “Shame” feels like a middle finger to your inner self’s spiritual attacker, daring it to try hitting again. On the single’s message, Jessica explains:
The concept of feeling shame is one I can relate to and is distinctly tied to feeling embarrassed or even just shy in social situations. It’s something I’ve worked on a lot. I consider myself an extrovert with introvert tendencies. The line “muzzle be damned” is a reference to silencing your own opinions around others as a means to be more amicable. It’s very easy to lose yourself if you’re catering to the likes and dislikes of others. Being a nice guy can be a curse sometimes.
“Shame” is out on all platforms and stay tuned for Hello Lightfoot’s upcoming project.
New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Christina Nicole is not afraid to bare her soul to an audience if her music will linger as an emotional spark to others. Sculpting her vocal skills in school talent shows and academic programs from middle school to college, Nicole turned to songwriting as a special gift for her artistry.
Her sophomore single “Drifting” captures a range of different emotions washing over herself as if she’s going through a therapeutic experience shocking her system. The sparse instrumentation, with shades of Lorde’s minimalist ambient sonics, is eventually rocked by choppy spurts of synths and drums jabbing towards the back half of the track. This production choice induces a sense of disturbance of one’s moment of peace. Nicole’s pained contemplation, especially “Your oceans they took me, Your oceans they broke me/Your oceans they hurt me, Your oceans they’re too deep”, brings the song to life as an inner sensation of drowning when a special connection of love shifts from a fun ride to a turbulent one. Nicole explains:
This song is about an ocean ruining a person as they sink into it. I chose to use an ocean to represent this story using an ocean for specific reasons. Oceans appear absolutely stunning and entrancing when looking at them from a distance. But as you go in, deeper and deeper, you can no longer keep your head above the ruthless water. Something that appeared so beautiful could easily take everything from a person. This theme can apply to so many scenarios in a person’s life.”
“Drifting” by Christina Nicole is out on all streaming platforms.
Porches (aka New York-based musician Aaron Maine) has just released the video for “Back3School,” the fourth single from their fifth studio album All Day Gentle Hold ! out Friday, October 8.
The visuals for the ecstatic, synth-driven track observe Maine as he glides around an all-white soundstage while performing the song for a teacher wearing a transparent nylon mask.
Over the runtime, the video evolves from having straight-on shots of Maine singing to producing sweeping camera angles and rapidly flashing lights as he draws the audience into the crashing conclusion.
This song is a mystery to me, impending doom mixed with total bliss,” Maine said about the single. “The ‘back to school’ trope, but with an underlying anxiety that something might be terribly wrong, or maybe everything is just fine.
Watch the video for “Back3School” below!
Porches 2022 Tour Dates Mar 21 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB Mar 22 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace Mar 24 – Detroit, MI @ El Club Mar 25 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues Mar 26 – Saint Paul, MN @ Turf Club Mar 28 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater Mar 29 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge Mar 31 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret Apr 1 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos Apr 2 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom Apr 4 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent Apr 5 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater Apr 6 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar Apr 8 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues (Cambridge Room) Apr 9 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn Apr 10 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room) Apr 12 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West Apr 13 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In Apr 15 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Apr 16 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage Apr 18 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom Apr 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg Apr 21 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club Apr 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The First Unitarian Church May 13 – London, UK @ Lafayette May 16 – Paris, FR @ La Maroquinerie May 17 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet May 18 – Cologne, DE @ Artheater May 19 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Have you ever been intoxicated by how in love you are with someone?
Canadian bedroom rocker Ryan Bourne certainly has, as he declares on his latest single “Wasted World.” The new track is one of many from his upcoming album Plant City that Bourne orchestrated with beloved psych-folk singer-songwriter Chad VanGaalen and JUNO Award-winning drummer/producer Chris Dadge.
The melody for “Wasted World” came from a dream, with lyrics playing on the theme of being hopelessly love-sick. “I got this sickness” – all the ecstatic, chaotic, nauseating overwhelm of being “in love”. Groaning synths off the top embody the anticipation of excitement to the point of nausea; bleak lyrics are juxtaposed with thumping toms and power chords because let’s face it, it can also be fun as f*ck.
Watch the video for the song co-directed by Bourne and Rebecca Reid below!
Pearl & The Oysters are celebrating not only the release of their third album Flowerland, but the title track has itself a gorgeous music video to accompany it now. Filmed as though it’s aged decades to mirror the French-American Psych Pop duo’s audio energy, the art lies in the video’s visual “imperfections.” The lime green hues in the feedback add a boost of color to the otherwise largely dual-tone shots.
Hints of navy blue and flashes of magenta give the video dimension, and a sense of nostalgia, as we enjoy Juliette Pearl Davis (lead vocals, flute, synths) and Joachim Polack (keys/synths, backing vocals, bass, guitar, violin, percussion) enjoy an afternoon amongst the flowers.
Directed by Pearl & The Oysters Edited by Juliette Pearl Davis Analog system video processing by Vinyl Williams Music by Pearl & The Oysters
The world very largely feels like it’s falling apart at this time. During moments of darkness, we search for the light. We crave creativity. We rely on authenticity. And – while it can often feel overwhelming to seek the good – artists are ready to provide us hope, beauty, and escape. This feels especially true with the captivating glam rock project Tony & The Kiki, which just released the lead single and music video for their upcoming EP. Fronted by the talented and charismatic Anthony Alfaro, Tony & The Kiki truly captures your attention with a vibrant individuality and keeps you going with a message of inclusivity.
“Extra Express” is an anthem for the ages. With an energy that can get anyone up on their feet, the track boasts fantastic, wide-ranging vocals, and enough edge to really breathe new life into your day. The video is entrancing, depicting Alfaro with a backdrop of bright, flashy colors and images as a call to authenticity oozes from every facet of production. We’re big fans of the fashion, big fans of the energy, and insanely fond of this video.
We were lucky enough to ask Alfaro a few questions during release week.
Do you think where you’re from has any bearing on how you create?
Oh absolutely! Queens, New York is unlike anywhere else in the world. A stone’s throw from my childhood home is the most diverse section of THE PLANET. The most varied collection of cultures, races, languages, ethnicities, and nationalities in one single area. I pride myself on being an eclectic artist. While yes, rock and roll is my mother tongue I draw inspiration from all genres, mediums, and cultures, and I’d like to think that comes through in the work. My mom is a real-life disco queen and salsera and my dad is an incredible DJ who would mix Grandmaster Flash with Zeppelin back before mashups like that were en vogue. This kind of variety and culture clash is in my blood, my voice, and therefore my artistry.
I’m so glad you’re bringing flare back to rock. Big look, big voice, big vibes. What has been your favorite part of the journey creating this EP?
Ay Gracias, mami! Yeah I think the second we abandoned the crippling responsibility of being “cool” things really started to crystalize and get exciting for all of us. We’re an honest to goddess pack of weirdos and mystics…and instead of trying to be trendy and sexy for the masses we’re leaning into our queer, diverse, funky energy. Frankly, that’s been deeply liberating and joyous. LONG LIVE THE FREAKS! And F*** BEING COOL! Cool is boring and sterile… the absolute antithesis of what rock n’ roll is. Ain’t nobody got time for that no more!
What was it like recording at the storied Dreamland? Did you draw inspiration from Woodstock at all, or were you pretty sure of the direction it was all going in beforehand?
Well …we were on a tight and ambitious schedule so we had to arrive ready to slay the house down boots, mamá. On the other hand, Woodstock and that good chill hippie energy has always been a source of inspiration for us… the peace & love & vibes of it all. So I’d say we had a clear plan of attack but left some room for the delicious brand of magic that is so abundant up at Dreamland. Using their varied, vintage instruments (toy piano, guiro, Moog Synth etc.) and their mystical acoustics as yummy layers to add into our cauldron. Once we got the crux of what we needed we definitely got to play around and experiment. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced as an artist. A true playground. Or in our case …a witch’s potion lab (cackles in Spanglish)
The message in the song “Extra Express” is so important, and it is such an anthemic blessing right now. Was there a moment that triggered you into writing it specifically?
Thank you for saying that, mi amor, we think so too! A specific moment? No, mama. Our whole gay lives led up to the creation of this song. People like myself and my bandmates Max Vernon and Rodney Bush have been out here and queer for years and feel a great sense of responsibility for the legendary children that have and will come after us. They need something to listen to and be like “oh, yeah…that’s mine, that’s for me” This song is for them first and foremost.
The music video for “Extra Express” is like a kaleidoscope. Where did the vision come from?
The Extra Express has always been like a psychedelic, queer, rock n’ roll cousin of The Magic School Bus and in this case I’m Miss Frizzle (LOL) and the listeners are my class of students. We wanted to evoke the vibes of Dorothy landing in OZ or Alice plopping down into Wonderland. We set out to create a portal into the land of THE KIKI, with all of its vibrant queer magic and electric, colorful vibes. An invitation and a welcoming.
What a FANTASTIC reference, especially for millennials. (I am SO pleased!) What do you hope fans glean from your music, in general?
I want our fans to be invigorated and vibrationally lifted by our music. We want to provide an antidote to all the heaviness that can come with living life in the 2020s… a warm sparkling hug; a fabulous coven, welcome to anyone who needs a good Kiki. Er’body is welcome here, mi vida… we are raising the vibes and getting asses shaking! Come thru!
Do you have anything else to share with your new bevy of fans?
Yes! I’d like to say “Hola Mi Kiki, Welcome… we see you, we’re here for you, we honor you, and we love you… f*** the haters and do you bb! Life is meant to be LIVED! Fasten your seatbelt cause it’s time for lift off… the new age is now! Vamos!”
Also follow us on IG and TikTok @tonyandthekiki and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more funky glam rock brujería heading your way. xo
Video Credits: Wardrobe by Max Vernon, David Quinn, Anthony Alfaro Makeup by Max Vernon Hair by Anthony Alfaro Choreography by Anthony Alfaro Song Credits: Track Produced by Max Vernon Track Mixed by Lloyd Kikoler Track Mastered by Ryan Smith of Sterling Sound
Have you ever had a case of massive bitterness over love lost or heartbreak in general? Glittering synth-pop project This Coast Bias really wades through it with new track “Waste of Time.” Despite the danceable pop composition, the song itself does not waste any time in dissecting that past love. The music is like candy to your ears, almost detracting from the reality of it all. Even so, it gets to the point, expressing the worthless nature of the relationship, and then cuts out clean. Explains the artist of the new track:
The ‘Waste of Time’ chorus kinda popped into my head when I was brushing my teeth one night. I wanted a hook that was unquestionably directed at the listener; one that didn’t dance around the issue. It’s kind of a brutal verbal dagger. The instrumentation also harkens back to a more indie sound that I’m steeped in usually, with minimalistic percussion and a little lofi synth solo in there.