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
Do you thrive with routine, or with a life that throws new situations at you left and right? How do you think you would fare on the road, having every day be a new adventure? On one hand, it could be an incredible and mind-blowing existence. On the other, having stability can really be a must for mental health.
Musicians don’t often have the luxury of choosing, since touring is such an integral part of the business. While artists cope with the pitfalls of van life, touring can be an eye-opening experience. Madeline Hawthorne’s new track “Strange Familiar” examines the concept in a way that is almost thrilling. Her angelic vocals float across stirring guitar chords, humanizing a life that is strange, yet also familiar.
“Strange Familiar” for me is about struggling to find normalcy in a world where everyday is new and different. It’s about trying to find a place where I can thrive everyday without routine; routine like waking up at the same time, waking up in the same place, going to bed at a normal hour…those aren’t routines afforded to most touring musicians, especially when you’re just getting started. And yet we all have to find a way to be in it and enjoy it; even in the dark crevices of 4ams, 10 hour days on the road, empty shows and long stretches of time away from home.
I remember closing my eyes when I wrote the first line of this song and put myself back in the tour van with the band. The van (affectionately known as Loretta) was my normal life. Getting to Loretta after a show and being with the band felt like being with family. So I just tried to paint a picture of what I’d see everyday, getting into the driver’s seat and taking off for the next town. The rest of the song fell into place pretty easily after the first few lines. I know many of us are struggling to find normalcy everyday, regardless of whether or not we go to bed at the same time or wake up in the same place. This is a song that encompases that feeling for me and I love the groove we came up with in the studio. Hope you enjoy!
The release is technically out tomorrow, but we’ve got your exclusive first listen.
September is already halfway over. Don’t ask us how it happened, we feel like we blinked and the month is already gone. However, the level of talent in the music industry just. Doesn’t. Quit. With so many incredible project releases on the horizon toward the end of the year, we’re raking in the single releases like crazy. Here are a few of our favorites.
If you’ve been looking for a new track with light as a feather vocals cascading over stunning – yet simplistic – guitar and piano, then Emily Frembgen‘s bittersweet new “He Held Onto Me” will be just up your alley. Truly a blues song at its core, Emily has recognized its topic as something highly relatable.
“He Held Onto Me” is obviously about some kind of relationship ending. I remember writing it really quickly as I was rushing out the door, it was a feeling that I urgently needed to express. I’m real proud of this one & Hugh Pool and Brian Mitchell’s evocative instrumental touches are so perfect here. I’d say it’s a good way to close a breakup album, wouldn’t you?
A song that almost relies on the silence between the notes for impact, “He Held Onto Me” is a sweet whisper of a song that will bring back feelings from loves past, if you choose to let it. Experience it for the first time below!
Bo Armstrong was just as captivated as the rest of us when he viewed the Billie Eilish documentary earlier this year. So much so, that he chose to cover “When the Party’s Over,” an already devastatingly beautiful and heartbreaking song. His version of the song takes a more delicate hold than even Eilish’s, building slowly with the introduction of each new instrument. The sadness is palpable in his vocals, as he reflects on the subject matter and its devastating impact.
I lost someone else to suicide a few years prior, and my response was somewhat similar —it’s just hard to feel anything but helpless. But after watching the movie —and hearing those first few notes of “when the party’s over” over and over again in my head —I had the idea to record a version of the song and use it as a tool to help me raise money for organizations that are working to promote mental health awareness and prevent suicide. It felt like it could be a way for me to not do nothing.
We are going to be sitting in the corner with our goosebumps, surrounded by his gorgeous voice.
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
If you thought that new music hit a plateau this summer while you were taking some time off and really trying to find a self-healing routine… I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Gritty, raw, beautiful music has continued to be created and released at a clip we almost can’t keep up with. So check back all August long to hear our favorite new releases of August, and be sure to “like,” “follow,” and “add” your favorites!
Talented pop-tinted duo Flora Cash recently announced the upcoming release of their album, our generation, in late October of this year. Along with that announcement comes the premiere of their latest single, a haunting track titled “We Use to Laugh/9 to 9”.
The pair is privy to the overarchingly sad effect the song has on people. After all, this single has a bit of a melancholic subject matter to it, outlining the heartbreak that Shpresa has experienced. “That moment you realize everything you thought you knew about somebody was a lie. Sadly, it’s a feeling a lot of us have experienced. In many ways this song describes a sober, honest reflection on a relationship defined by narcissism and manipulation.”
Reflecting back on memories within an unhealthy relationship can be a difficult thing to do, however much easier when you find people who can relate and survive their own memories alongside you. Check out the new single below.
In 2020, we all experienced a new circle of hell. In 2021, we are learning to live with that new “normal,” but we don’t have to sacrifice great art to do that. In fact, our creative endeavors are getting more exaggerated, more incredible, especially if the music video releases of August are any indication. With new videos from Seether, Shakka, Southern Avenue, Amiyelle, Neal Francis, and more, this soundtrack is absolutely going to hold a few defining 2021 tracks for you.
Peep our collection below, and check back throughout August and beyond for more additions from this month in 2021!