Jordan Klassen hits the ground running, Autogramm make a killing, Silver Lake Chorus tie you up in nots, Carla Geneve has a clothes encounter and more in today’s high-quality Roundup. Lace up your running shoes. You’re gonna need them.
1 Some guys take this video stuff seriously. Case in point: Jordan Klassen. The superb and moving clip for the B.C. singer-songwriter’s latest track Virtuous Circle is basically a five-minute YA movie, complete with plotline, character arcs, conflict, comedy and climactic ending. The only flaw: The video — directed by Farhad Ghaderi — is so engrossing it distracts you from the beauty of the song. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This story is about embracing the idea that we are deeply flawed and contradictory creatures, yet still capable of loving in our own imperfect ways,” says Ghaderi. “I tried to bring as much of my own lived experiences and feelings into the film. Revisiting memories of my older brother and I growing up so close.” Take a lap:
2 What’s your favourite part of summer at the cabin? Canoeing on the water? Barbecuing on the deck? Hanging with family and friends? Committing mass murder? If your answer is ‘all of the above,’ Vancouver power-popsters Autogramm have you covered with the grisly video for their latest single Cool Kids Radio. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video was inspired loosely by 1974 Canadian psychological slasher film Black Christmas. Shot on location at Lakeside Motel and Campground on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.” Careful with that knife!
3 The Silver Lake Chorus know how to make friends. The L.A. choral group has teamed up everyone from Sia and Tegan and Sara to Bon Iver and the legendary Van Dyke Parks. Now they’ve added another name to the list: Brooklyn popsters Lucius, who composed the SLC’s latest single, the seductively lush and beautifully wistful Not Not. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The chorus opted to follow the songwriters’ lead, singing in perfectly aligned unison, as Lucius’s frontwomen Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig are known to do, until the harmonies delicately split then build to a powerful and affecting crescendo. The recurrent phrase “none of this means nothing at all” swells alongside soprano Jett Kwong Kelly’s solitary and evocative guzheng accompaniment, and by the song’s end, the lyrics’ double negative implications leave us with a cleansing sense of loss and clarity.” Don’t not watch:
4 What the heck is going on in Australia these days? Seems like every time you turn around, you bump into another great indie-rock singer-songwriter. Here’s the latest arrival: Carla Geneve, whose muscular number Yesterday’s Clothes will be on her self-titled debut EP, which comes out tomorrow — like I didn’t have enough new music to listen to already. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song is about falling out of love with someone and feeling guilty about it. I wrote it at a time when I was burning the candle at both ends and had no energy left to try to deal with the end of a relationship. Most of the words came when I was doing a long drive back from some gig or another in regional WA. I’d been up all night and had to be somewhere the next day, so I hadn’t had a shower or changed clothes.” Try it on:
5 Some people are self-conscious about dancing in public — never mind on camera. Clearly, this does not apply to anyone involved in the endearing and energetic one-take clip for Seattle trio Dude York’s rousing single Box, from their forthcoming full-length Falling. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The delightfully melodramatic Box sounds like a lost gem from the NYC early aughts post-punk revival, with deep, emotive singing that playfully nods to The Killers and Dashboard Confessional while sneaking in lines of a fallout that cut deep—“Now on your own/There’s no one left for you to hide from behind your phone”—before soaring into the Cure-like chorus “I’ll never love again.” Hit the floor:
6 A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Similarly, so does the video for Nova Scotia electro-pop duo Smaller Hearts’ sweet single Circuitry, the latest taste of their July 12 sophomore album Honesty. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The track is a buoyant ode to natural rhythm. Hinged on a pulsating bass synth and alluring punctuated vocal lines, Circuitry creates a steady and optimistic march forward blending atmospheric strings, arpegiatted melodies, and sneaking digital undertones.” Just watch where you’re going, OK?
7 Smaller Hearts aren’t the only electro-popsters taking you for a stroll today. Toronto’s sean + ur not — the alter-ego of producer Sean Andernacht — wanders his home town’s Allan Gardens in the video for his bouncy instrumental Seasonal Windbreaker, from his fittingly named Walkabout EP. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The closing track of his Walkabout EP pulsates with bells + plucking synths, wearing a layer of vocals + strings, over an organic cotton beat. Accompanying the song is a walking tour video that leads the viewer through lush greenhouses in the heart of Toronto’s Allan Gardens + blends real world audio with the song itself. The effect is inspired by videos of pop songs re-mixed to sound like they’re being heard in an empty shopping mall. Step into this glass enclosed soundscape.” OK, but my feet are starting to get tired:
8 California, here he comes. Right back where he started from. At the end of the month, singer-guitarist Dave Alvin is reissuing his 1994 album King of California in a deluxe edition — and to preview it, here’s a previously unreleased instrumental titled Riverbend Rag, co-starring pedal-steel virtuoso Greg Liesz, who also produced the original disc. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The expanded edition includes a previously unreleased track from the recording sessions, Riverbed Rag, an instrumental designed for a guitar-dobro duel by Alvin and Leisz, and inspired by the usually dry San Gabriel River that both musicians grew up exploring.” Bend your ear:
9 To the uninitiated, Night Moves might sound like the name of a Bob Seger tribute band. But these Minneapolis vets are anything but. Give their vibrant, old-school disco extravaganza Recollections a spin and hear for yourself. Then remember to come back for their June 28 album Can You Really Find Me. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recollections showcases John Pelant’s falsetto alongside the flourish of a rousing string section and an unexpected, yet enveloping vocoder break.” A fine find:
10 Those who have been waiting for a new Whitney album will soon have their patience rewarded: The Chicago band led by vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek just announced they’ll release their sophomore album Forever Turned Around, on Aug 30. And it gets better: They also released the tender, nostalgic pop-rock single Giving Up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Giving Up is its triumphant opener – a heart-rending and relatable song about the ups and downs of long-term relationships.” Give it up:
11 Need a new punk anthem to complete your Thursday? Look no further. Sibling-led Calgary rockers Crooked Spies have exactly what you need: The raucous, brawny (and misleadingly titled) stomper Chasing Light. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is a song we’ve wanted to write for a long time both lyrically and musically but for separate reasons. We draw from a ton of influences, to date, most of our releases reflect our garage rock, grunge, and blues backgrounds. But growing up, pop-punk, punk, and hardcore were super prevalent in all of our lives. We haven’t really showcased our love for these genres in our music yet and the song is in response to needing to flex that muscle a bit. It’s a sound that we haven’t had a chance to fully explore and one that we’ve been reinvigorated to move towards in some regards. Lyrically we just wanted to vent a bit but from a somewhat optimistic view point.” Light it up:
12+13 I’m a sucker for a good anthology — and here’s one that sounds like a doozy. Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection digs through the crates of an eclectic Chicago label that put out everything from blues and jazz to gospel and hip-hop during its 40-year run from 1959-1989. The set arrives July 19, but to get you primed, here are a couple of sneak peeks: Andre Williams’ smoky Please Give Me a Chance and the rare Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon blues number Cadillac Baby, Come Pick Me. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Both offer an insight into the label’s aesthetic and provide blues lovers with the thrill of hearing elusive, difficult-to-find cuts.” Count me in:
14 You think your electronic workout is finished? Ha! Think again, bub. California’s Forgotten Child aims to get your feet moving, heart racing and blood pumping with the cathartically dark industrial propulsion of his commanding single Get Up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Get Up is an attempt to wake people out of their cell-phone slumber! Get up/Get Up get on the floor! As in stop taking selfies because you are ugly anyway and get on the damn floor and dance and bang! I wanted the lyrics to be clean, easy to sing along and have a positive message.” Your move: