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by Jedd Beaudoin

3 Mar 2016


Portugal’s Sinistro delivers an eerie and beautifully unsettling track with “Semente”, the title tune of the group’s upcoming full-length. A dark and unsettling music bed that summons memories of Antimatter, Portishead or Ulver’s stopover in the realm of motion picture soundtracks while vocalist Patricia Andrade evokes even more mystery with her seductive and deeply emotive voice.

The song is derived from an improvisation the band conducted in the final hours of the writing stages. Andrade improvised the lyrics and recorded three takes though the first, as it happened, was the one that made the album. Director José Dinis conceived the slow-motion sequence shot which took a little more effort to get right than the song itself, although the visual results are equally stunning.

by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Chicago’s Waco Brothers released their latest album, Going Down in History, last week and previous to that, we had the pleasure of premiering the album’s first single, “Had Enough”, in audio form. Now the band has released a beautifully shot lyric video for the song, which goes well beyond the standard lyric video and feels a lot more like a short film. Chicago filmmaker Dave Anderson made the video and filled it with intense imagery to match the tune’s visceral anger over income inequality. The thing is that we need this brand of outraged, but hooky UK punk very much in these troubled times. The tune manages to channel Joe Strummer every so often and the visual energy of the video matches up perfectly with Waco Brothers’ having “had enough”.

by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Photo: Chris Hiltz

Chicago’s Fort Frances have come a long way in just a few years as they have greatly expanded their sound from their indie rock roots and scored major success in Lithuania, of all places, for their take on the hip-hop classic “Summertime”. That song got the group on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, as well as giving them the chance to play a major rock festival in Lithuania. Following the international experience, the band has been growing their sound with every new song and that new material will see the light of day when Fort Frances releases their new album, Alio, on April 22th. By way of preview, “Take the Wheel” is their latest single and it features a soulful, groovy form of indie rock that shows how the ever fertile neo soul scene is making inroads into rock music, which is a very good thing.

by Sarah Zupko

2 Mar 2016


Photo: Joseph Daniel Robert O'Leary

The Lowest Pair‘s two members, Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee spent the winter of 2015 in the cold and ice of Minnesota composing and playing new songs for a planned record in spring of 2016. Those sessions proved to be so fertile that the duo wound up with far more songs than they expected and the tunes seemed to fit naturally into two separate releases. So, Winter and Lee decided to put out two simultaneous albums on Team Love Records, Fern Girl and Ice Man and Uncertain As It Is Uneven. Uncertain As It Is Uneven fits perfectly within their existing, known sound that features delicately constructed spare arrangements melded with gorgeous vocals and harmonies. Meanwhile, Fern Girl and Ice Man finds the group experimenting a bit and creating a batch of songs that basically imagine being backed by a larger band. Regardless of the differences, both are stunning records with really beautiful melodies and instrumentation and they work ideally as a duo, just like the Lowest Pair themselves.

by PopMatters Staff

2 Mar 2016


In the great folk tradition, Memphis singer-songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart has written a humorous country/folk song look at the sad state of US political affairs in the age of Donald Trump. Stuart goes after hate, terrorists, cellphones and a culture of complete media saturation and violence that is causing us all to lose a bit of our humanity. Folk has always been the perfect vehicle for critiquing society and politics and it’s always been a potent form of protest. The day after Donald Trump’s victories, we could use a tune like this.

Stuart tells PopMatters that he “imagined Jesus looking down from his cloud shaking his head in disbelief and thinking, ‘What have y’all done? You can have it, I’m not coming back…’”

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'The Chamber' Keeps the Drama and Suspense Going

// Short Ends and Leader

"The Chamber is the filmic equivalent of a fairground ride, the stimulation of emotion over ideas.

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