Musical collaborations like that of The Familiar’s are becoming more and more common with what technology, email and smart phones allow us to do. Ruth Mirsky is based out of Brooklyn and Mads Martinsen is in Tromsø, Norway, deep into the Arctic Circle. Ruth and Mads met at a Christmas party some time ago where Ruth shared her music with Mads and the rest is history. Neither felt daunted by the whopping 4000 miles between them and what came of their collaboration was something beautiful. Just shy of two years ago, I interviewed them about their collaboration (you can read it here) and a couple weeks ago they released their newest music video for the track, “Stuck Together.”
“Stuck Together” is a cinematic beauty in both a sonic and visual sense. It glides through that electro-pop sound that The Familiar has claimed as their own, the video following the love between a young boy and girl from start to finish. The video jumps around in the timeline of the couple’s lives together, just like our minds fly through memories and try to predict the future. The track together with the video creates something that is both sweet and tender but also painful, in a way. Check it out:
Follow The Familiar on Facebook and Bandcamp.
C.O.W. 牛 always brings something a bit unexpected to the table, whether it’s sonic or visual. The German-Chinese electronic duo has an incredible way of merging beats with bizarrely rich visuals of gaudy indulgences. Characters in their videos are often decked out with over-the-top jewelry, moving in slow motion to whatever juicy track C.O.W. 牛 created. The most recent release, “Glitch”, was a major collaboration with both acclaimed electronic musician, Alxndr London, and dancer, Amie Georgsson Jammeh. Alxndr London just released his latest EP, 2023, and it’s already receiving a lot of attention. Clash says 2023 “merges murky electronics with future soul to create something incredible, and truly other-worldly.”
In my opinion (may be biased as I am a dancer myself), Swedish/German dancer, Amie, makes the video. Her movements are not inspired by the music, they make the music. Each jolt, pop and glitch comes from her body. Her freedom of movement mixes flawlessly with the wild beats; smooth and melancholic, sharp and natural. Amie had this to say about what dance means to her:
“Dance is something so essential to all living creatures, and I never really thought about why I do it. It just happens. Because why not. Why not express yourself through dance and movements. It’s just another language really. Another voice. And it opens up so many possibilities. Possibilities to express, explore and discover new things. It’s a great way to test the limits in all aspects of life.”
You can follow C.O.W. 牛 on Facebook, their official website and all those other ways we do social media.
“Armchair Expert” comes to us from Scottish-born Johnny McFadzean who makes music under the name, The Woods. Johnny spent his childhood as a classically trained member of a world class choir and is now making hypnotically stunning electronic music. “Armchair Expert” is an excellent example of this. The accompanying music video tips you sideways. You’re not quite sure whether the armchair is laying on the floor or propped up against a wall with a carpet behind it. Neither really makes sense until objects start to appear, unfolding, crawling and making bizarre shapes. The track builds in complexity throughout with McFadzean’s mesmerizing voice hovering above.
This is what McFadzean had to say about the track:
“The song is a wee response to all the ‘armchair experts’ who tell you what you can and can’t do, that it’s a terrible idea to step out and take a chance for fear of failing. I don’t mind falling out of trees because it turns out I love climbing them.”
Now check it out for yourself:
Follow The Woods on Facebook and Spotify.
MFL and Maybelleen have had a longstanding musical relationship. The brother duo (Pierre-Louise Camiré and Charles-Emile Camiré) was one of MFL’s first interviews back in 2015. Since then, they’ve consistently been producing the classic Maybelleen poprock. The brothers have nailed a genre that both represents something fresh and current but also has a classic retro rock sound to it. Upon interviewing them a few years ago, I was instantly caught by how motivated the young brothers were. Now they’re at it again with the release of their newest single, “Hey Ruby”, which is off of their upcoming EP, Neon Lights & Magic Moments, due out May 18th.
This is what Maybelleen had to say about their new single/music video that they produced themselves:
“It introduces you to short clips of life events, ranging from astronauts trainings to romance scenes from the 20th century. We obviously got inspired by our UK tour and all the people we’ve met through our journey. We wanted show different state of minds/emotions that we all experience when laughing, saying goodbye, being focused or having one’s head in the cloud. We played this gig in Glasgow, one of our best night, the crowd was really into it and we decided to go at the after party… There was this girl that no one really knew, standing alone, she looked mysterious. We decided to chill with her and we soon got to know each other’s names. Hers was Ruby. Everyone was just jamming with guitars and this song popped out. We pretty much jammed until the light of day.”
Stay tuned for more from Maybelleen and keep your ears peeled for Neon Lights & Magic Moments (May 18th).
“Silence Overgrown” is an example of just what Kane Strang does best. If you’re expecting something outrageous, infectious hooks or poppy melodies, you’re listening in the wrong place. If you’re hoping for some good old, even-keeled, simply solid drowsy pop, Kane Strang is the band for you. His clever cut and dry lyrics go hand in hand with the simple melodies. The video for “Silence Overgrown” is a collection of shots from Kane Strang’s previous tour. Kane commented on this experience:
“Landing in New York ahead of our first overseas shows and walking around that night was hands down the most surreal moment of my life. I never even thought I’d visit America, let alone be there for my music and I’m so glad we managed to capture fragments of that and the rest of this crazy year on camera. This goes out to everyone who has come see us play or let us crash at their houses or bought the album. Thank you!!!”
String Cheese, Kane Strang’s previous release, was one of my favorite records of 2016. It was stark and kind of bizarre listening for me at first but once I settled into the austerity of it, I loved it. Kane Strang’s new record, Two Hearts And No Brain, is out now on Dead Oceans.
Photo Credit: Loulou Callister-Baker
When I saw these three names appear together in one email, I immediately stopped what I was doing. Who wouldn’t want a music video directed by and starring the lovely Jemima Kirke, set to the tune of the one and only, Alex Cameron and featuring siren songstress, Angel Olsen? The video not only features Cameron’s exceptionally eccentric dance moves but Kirke’s interpretation as well. Cameron’s lyrics, gyrations, and overall musical intellect is bizarre, undoubtedly from another time and so inexplicably delicious.
Cameron’s upcoming record, Forced Witness, is out September 8th via Secretly Canadian.
Th gals, Eline Brun, Gøril Nilsen, and Lill Scheie, call their newfound genre, ‘float pop.’ You’ll understand it when you hear it. Genre appropriately named, their newes single, “DA RAM”, is loaded with fantastic harmonies and glittering instrumentals that most certainly give their music a ‘floating’ sound. The video is a piece of eye candy, similary equipped with glitter, bounce, and an overwhelming sense of peace at it’s end. Check it out:
I See Rivers is releasing their first EP, Standing Barefoot, next month (April), keep your ears peeled and in the mean time follow them on Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter and Instagram.