“Pop music shouldn’t always get a bad rap,” says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. This post features two indie electronic acts fronted by adorable females: Sweden’s Little Dragon and Brooklyn’s Friends.
After the release of their understated 2011 album, Ritual Union, Swedish pop musicians Little Dragon are back with a brand new track, “Sunshine”! A recent trip to Sasquatch Festival in George, WA was largely underwhelming save for a few acts, and Little Dragon were definitely one of the standouts. Their charmingly innocent approach to experimental electronic music is made all the more impressive when one considers that they play every single part of their music live. No samples.
“Sunshine” will be released June 28th via Peacefrog, in conjunction with Absolut Vodka (you can see a video related to that HERE). Included below is a J Boogie remix for “Crystalfilm”, its original music video, and the band’s upcoming tour dates.
Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Two autumnal records are on the horizon, courtesy of Midwest musicians Night Moves and Merseyside, UK’s Stealing Sheep. Lots of satisfaction that you can feel in your bones here, as both bands transmute psychedelic habits into burnt country backdrops to create mesmerizing, earthy tracks.
Minneapolis musicians Night Moves remind one of Portugal. The Man‘s Americana-influenced psych rock on their latest singles, “Headlights” and “Country Queen”. Speaking vaguely about feeling directionless, the band questions personal comforts (“I just don’t know who I am”) while simultaneously providing comfort in the form of gentle falsetto mantras (“It’s alright”) that bring the song to a slow and smooth close. Their debut album, Colored Emotions, comes out October 16th on Domino Records. Full tracklisting and tour dates to follow.
With every new album they release, Yeasayer’s fame grows rich with new haters and new fans. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about their opening single, “Henrietta,” and still am — but they could be doing worse, and the new single, “Longevity,” definitely pleases me at least a little bit. Be warned: the direction they’re heading is definitely hella pop — more similar to Odd Blood than All Hour Cymbals, by a long shot. So, those of you who are mourning Yeasayer’s past need to just get over it, and they’ll tell you that in their “be here now” affirming “Longevity”. Both “Longevity” and “Henrietta” can be heard below via prismatic vignettes — or music videos, for laypeople — created by video artist Yoshi Sodeoka. For the latter, the band themselves recommend drugs. Fragrant World comes out August 21st on Secretly Canadian.
In REDEFINE’s first bi-lingual interview, we speak with Gabriele Ottino, director behind the acid trip visuals for Italian electronic artist TOMAT’s latest track, “1984″. Taking inspiration from George Orwell and a wide cross-section of human affairs, the video mixes archival footage of events between June 1st and June 6th, 1984, glitch and pixel elements, and modern day footage of the musician into a brightly-colored visual slideshow.
“The denser the number of events a second, the more we lose the facts itself, gaining objectivity but losing humanity.” – Gabriele Ottino
MUSIC VIDEO AND INTERVIEW CONTINUED BELOW
Directed by Gabriele Ottino and produced by Superbudda Studio
“… All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” – George Orwell, London Letter to Partisan Review
Whim is a weekly collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week we feature the incredible new Grizzly Bear track, an Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti cover, a brand new Jens Lekman cut and more. So yeah, it’s been an insanely busy week for music junkies. And a good one too.
Putting some of my personal fixations with Grizzly Bear aside, the release of their brand new song almost imploded the internet last week. “Sleeping Ute” is taken from the bands yet-to-be-titled album, due out later this year on Warp, and is an explosive mix of scaling guitars and the band’s collective vocal range. It’s incredibly reminiscent of member Daneil Rossen’s Department of Eagles project, digging into darker, more cathartic sounds on the third verse. It’s different from “Two Weeks,” which is kind of a bold statement considering the success of that song and Veckatimest as a whole, but “Sleeping Ute” is expansive and brilliant. So for now at least, they have my attention.
CocoRosie’s latest release, a 7″ featuring “We Are On Fire” and “Tearz For Animals”, is the duo’s first release in two years, taking their hip-hop-influenced vibes into an epic realm of movement, smoke, and costume in this slow-motion music video for “We Are On Fire”, directed by Emma Freeman. More cutesy is their collaboration with Antony Hegarty, of Antony And The Johnsons, with its lyrical hopefulness for humankind, its bizarre vocal melodies, and its drums like dove wings’ flapping.
Hear both tracks and read more details about the release below.
Through the years, long-time collaborators and friends Lazerbeak and Minneapolis video artist Matt Scharenbroich have worked together to match their passions with one another’s. In this feature below, we look back at their projects together, and Scharenbroich comments on his latest video for “Life Every Voice”, which is a rippling animated delight that falls downwards through glitter and varying levels of psychedelic intensity.
INTERVIEW WITH MATT SCHARENBROICH CONTINUED BELOW
“The falling in the video could be paralleled with that of Alice falling down into the rabbit hole or the sensation of one’s body falling into a dreamy hypnotic state. There is a certain freedom and release associated with this transformational and transcendent state. That release from the boredom and restraints of life can be incredibly uplifting.” – Matt Scharenbroich
The rambunctiously chaotic music of Portland’s AU is translated into bright visual forms when processed by Japanese animator and video artist Takafumi Tsuhiya. Both the director and AU’s frontman, Luke Wyland, speak below about their collaborations for this year’s “OJ” and 2010′s “Ida Walked Away”, along with how they’ve each grown in that time period.
AU – “OJ” MUSIC VIDEO
“I believe there is something universal in [how] sounds correspond with visuals [that] is over the boundaries of language.” - Takafumi Tsuhiya