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Music in motion…

In the wee small hours of this morning, Mumrunner posted their first-ever music video, for ‘Cascais’. One of several standout tracks from their top-rated Gentle Slopes EP, Mumrunner have added a compelling visual imprint to their already intense musical imprint. And, at least around these studios, Mumrunner has been dominating the charts for compelling new music. It’s great to see such an impressive band stretch their boundaries visually.

The band discussed the genesis of this video: “The idea of the video was to put the band members amongst the scenario and scenery of World War II. The video was shot with an old 16mm film camera from the early 1960s to achieve a similar feeling and picture quality with the used archive material, so it’s hard to tell which shots are old and which are new.”

Director Otto Heikola continued: “The inspiration for the song had come from an actual event in which boyish behaviour led to tragedy. In the music video we decided to do something thematically similar, but on a much larger scale, set in the violent events of World War II, with the band becoming part of the action.”

We can’t tell you why it works. Just as we can’t tell you why Mumrunner can’t fail at producing great music. It just works, and they just do. We’d go so far as to say, Mumrunner is the most compelling new band of the last three years, and every new music announcement is a date to mark on our calendars. Solti has got another winner on their hands.

Follow Mumrunner on Facebook and Twitter, and pick up your own copy of Gentle Slopes at their Bandcamp.

In advance of their forthcoming debut LP, due 24 March, Vikings in Tibet unleash its first single, “Silver Years”. Part of the Pelican Sessions series, this sees Vikings in Tibet in live session, recreating the angular math-inflected dream pop they’re known for. This energetic restlessness is captured in full force here: harsh verses are thrown at you one after the other, building up towards a conclusive chorus. The song oscillates between a dry groove and cinematic interludes, but always plaintive and tuneful. Check out the video, below.

Big things are expected of this combo, and their unique stamp on indie dream rock. Follow Vikings in Tibet at their website, and check out the full Pelican Sessions series here.

Over the weekend, Seattle’s most respected musician and producer debuted the first single from his upcoming third full LP, Lost in Slow Motion, releasing April 29th. Erik Blood’s “Quiet” is a most unusual creature, in that it seems to present a dream pop anthem (two terms you don’t generally see together). Simultaneously released with a video produced by Kyle Porter of Unsound America, the visual layers overlap in much the same way Erik Blood’s sonic elements overlap, merge, then disconnect. Layers of synth wash set warm tones, chimes add tasteful sparkle, and slowly building choruses give way to a grimy guitar flourish at song’s end, punctuating the proceedings.

Erik Blood’s “Quiet” is now available for free download via his Soundcloud site, and will genuinely pique your curiosity as to how the album will unfold. Lost in Slow Motion is available 29 April, 2016, on vinyl through Homeskillet Records, and on cassette from No Genre Tapes.

Follow Erik Blood via his website, on Bandcamp and Twitter.

 

 

Austin’s incomparable Bloody Knives released the first single and video for their forthcoming EP, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This. Tuneful, compelling, bleak, nobody makes an amazingly joyless noise like Bloody Knives. Your closest comparison is A Place To Bury Strangers, and still, this is not that. Signed to Saint Marie Records since forever ago, Bloody Knives have brought a controlled chaos to their output that is strong enough to peel paint from the wall near your hotplate. This single only amplifies the band’s aesthetic, and stakes a claim to dominate the noisier axis of shoegaze in 2016. “Reflection Lies” is all that and a bag of crack. All hail the kings.

Plans for a Spring tour are in the works, including several dates along the West Coast. We’ll keep you posted as we learn them, because we (like you) really don’t want to miss this live show.

Follow Bloody Knives on Facebook and Twitter, and check out their prior releases via Bandcamp.

Today Shojo Winter released their debut video, for the single “chosen terrors”. The lead track from their forthcoming second EP somewhere else, this single further explores Cure-era textures and moods they’d dabbled in on their first EP. They’ve described it as dreampostgothwave, so obviously they’re going for an entirely different feel than you’re used to. Though Shojo Winter is fronted by Crisis Arm members Kevin and Pat, this is an exploration of an entirely different moody world. “Chosen Terrors” is shot entirely by Pat and Kevin on VHS and color reprocessed, with Cameron and Chris of Crisis Arm providing editing and finishing services.

The track “chosen terrors” itself is haunting, almost impenetrable, but grows more and more with repeated listenings. The song itself is about being uprooted, leaving the home you’ve known for years, and stepping out into the unknown.

Official release of somewhere else on SalopeCassette on December 18th is kicked off by two release shows: Friday 18 December at The dA Center for the Arts, and Saturday 19 December in Lawndale. somewhere else will be a limited cassette release, including a download code for the first two Shojo Winter EPs.

Check out our earlier interview with Shojo Winter for more background, follow Shojo Winter on Facebook, and harass them on Twitter. Follow Salope Cassette via BigCartel.

The new single from Italy’s The Yellow Traffic Light dropped today on WWNBB Collective. Sharing some similarities with the jangly DIIV sound, and bringing an energy and tunefulness all their own, “Cole Drives Too Fast” delivers a mildly controlled chaos, much like an out-of-control driver on a highway late at night (even the drums seem near to flying away at times!). The video itself premiered last week on rockit.it, the single is now available worldwide through your favorite retailer. It’s the first salvo from their new EP, scheduled for release on We Were Never Being Boring in September. Another fine signing by a well-respected label.

The Yellow Traffic Light charted at #32 in our year-end Songs of 2014 list with the epic “Care”, so we can only hope they continue to bring the jangle and shimmer before the year is out!

 

“Cole Drives Too Fast” is available now via Amazon, iTunes, and even eMusic. Follow the progress of The Yellow Traffic Light on Facebook.

Powerful forces dwell just beneath the murk. In the case of Maria False, the power is in the songcraft, snatches of attitude and confident lead lines, buried beneath the murk of light distortion and heavy tape manipulation, layer upon layer. It’s a heady confection, to be sure, but it draws you in even as it makes you dizzy. You may lose your bearings, but Maria False has become too adept at guiding you through the haze to simply leave you lost. The lead single from their new album When is a prime example of this mastery. “Shoot It” is the sound of a confident band who knows the sound from the inside out, and sculpts a work from the fragments of dreams.

Like the song, the video for “Shoot It” is woozy and layered. Motion, open fields and architecture all compete for supremacy through bokeh filters and pale green hues. DKFM is proud to present the video premiere for the Maria False single, “Shoot It”.

“Shoot It” is one of the most compelling songs on When, in an album full of compelling tracks, and is sure to end up on our year-end “Best Of” lists. Right from the opening chord of “Shoot It”, Maria False reminds you why you love this music.

Stream and purchase Maria False When at their Bandcamp site, purchase vinyl and CD via A Quick One Records. Follow Maria False on Facebook and Twitter.

All of four hours old, the amazingly tuneful Star Horse released the video for their new single, “Slower Now”. While we’re traditionally not “about” videos, it’s always amazing to see a credible independent band grab the medium by the horns and shake it. And last week’s release of the towering single cried out for some panoramic vistas and gritty accents. Classic 80’s/90’s basslines uplift slightly off-kilter chords, leading to Maja Thunberg’s sweet harmonies in the chorus. Certainly “Slower Now” will be in consideration for top 50 end-of-year lists when it’s all said and done.

For Sweden’s Star Horse, it’s an amazing refinement of their sound, and welcomes newcomers to explore the brilliant world they inhabit. It’s hard not to cheer from the sidelines when a really talented band comes into their own. Star Horse is NOW.

Check out Star Horse releases on Bandcamp, and follow them on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

 

If shoegaze and dream pop were a market, we’d be “long” Tennis System.

Why? What does this band do that others don’t? Songs. Hooks, feelings, musicianship, surely, but the key is songwriting. Ultimately our Tennis System fandom lies in the fact that they write quality songs, then bathe them in fuzz and shimmer. But the songs come first, they’re not an afterthought. This is key, in a genre that sometimes cuts corners, that in some cases is willing to settle for texture, color and reverb alone.

And it didn’t happen overnight. Tennis System have been through several lineups, and slogged it out in the trenches of recording and touring for years prior to the release of Technicolour Blind on PaperCup Music (our #6 Album of the Year in 2014). The album proved they were ready for the spotlight, and they’d got their chops down. Now, on the eve of their month-long residency at The Echo in LA, Tennis System release a new video for ‘Such a Drag’, one of the more shimmering, wistful tracks on the album.

Quintessentially Los Angeles, the video for ‘Such a Drag’ by Wylde Co. gets both the locale and mood just right. These are feels, set to hooks, set to visuals, and it all comes into focus for the uninitiated. We dare you not to get hooked yourself.

Tennis System residency at The Echo began last night, and continues through the end of the month. If you’ve not caught Tennis System live, it’s a rare treat we wholeheartedly recommend.

Follow Tennis System via their website, on Facebook and Twitter, and pick up Technicolour Blind via PaperCup Music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The much-rumored US tour of Italy’s Be Forest is official as of this morning. If you’re on the West Coast (as we are), you’ll be able to catch them with Tennis System at most stops along the Pacific. But, as if that weren’t enough, Be Forest’s label We Were Never Being Boring simultaneously dropped a video for the band’s cover of the Beat Happening track “Indian Summer”.

Tennis System will be playing in support of their upcoming LP, Technicolor Blind, due October 21.

Be Forest – 2014 Tour Dates
10/22 – New York – Terrorbird CMJ Party @ Cake Shop
10/22 – New York @ CMJ – DROM
10/27 – Philadelphia @ Milkboy
11/02 – Cincinnati @ The Rake’s End w/JERK
11/03 – St. Louis @ Plush
11/04 – Chicago @ The Empty Bottle
11/05 – Milwaukee @ Quarters Rock ‘n Roll Palace w/Sat. Nite Duets
11/06 – San Diego @ The Hideout w/ Tennis System
11/07 – Tucson @ Solar Culture
11/08 – Phoenix @ Rips Bar – Obscura w/ Tennis System
11/10 – Los Angeles @ KXLU – Part Time Punks
11/11 – Los Angeles @ Los Globos w/Tennis System
11/12 – Oakland @ Night Light w/Tennis System
11/13 – San Francisco @ Knockout w/Tennis System
11/15 – Sacramento @ Witch Room w/ Tennis System
11/16 – Portland @ Rontom’s w/Ghost to Falco
11/18 – Seattle @ KEXP
11/19 – Coeur d’Alene @ Hanging Dcuk w/ Tennis System
11/21 – Seattle @ Hollow Earth w/ Tennis System
11/22 – Arcata @ The Alibi w/ Tennis System

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