Pink Martini frontwoman China Forbes has written and recorded a song for a film, but not just any movie. Rather, her sister Maya wrote and directed the critically acclaimed new film Infinitely Polar Bear, starring Mark Rufallo and Zoe Saldana, which is based on the sisters’ life with their manic depressive father. The song itself is a sweet, gentle little tune, and Forbes was intent on making both the track and the accompanying video as personal as possible.
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Odd Hours mine the darker territories of art rock, championing a mash-up of genres. Equal parts post-punk, industrial, and glam rock, they are experimental to the core, but pepper their songs with myriad earworms. The Detroit quartet — singer Natasha Beste, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Timothy David Jagielo, bassist Clint Stuart, and drummer Randy Hanley Jr. — is out there enough to be compelling, but not so far beyond to be baffling.
On Wednesday, July 15, this group of nocturnal provocateurs is releasing their third EP, entitled norepinephrine + dopamine. Coinciding with the five-song record’s unveiling is a music video for lead track “SWTS” (an initialism for “Sleeping With the Sun”), filled with images of needle-punctured Voodoo dolls, tinsel slurped liked noodles, smashed fruit, and lipstick-smeared phone receivers.
The brainchild of singer-songwriter Michelle Birsky, Birch took shape during a songwriting sojourn in Vermont in the summer of 2014. A year later the project has expanded to a proper band, a debut EP is on the way, and best of all, there’s a fantastic, stylish new video for the contagious track “Halfway” that shows just how well-rounded Birsky’s brand of indie rock is.
Boasting raw talent so precocious that you find yourself wondering why in the hell you didn’t do anything like this when you were 20, Matt Jaffe sounds like he’s already hit full stride on his debut EP Blast Off. Like a cross between Stiff Records post-punk (think Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe) with modern rockers the Gaslight Anthem, the Bay Area prodigy’s music is not only relentlessly hooky, but wickedly clever too, as you hear on his song “Stoned on Easter”, the video of which can be seen below.
Just a few weeks ago Dead Confederate frontman T. Hardy Morris released his second solo album, the crazed, prickly Hardy & the Hardknocks: Drownin’ on a Mountaintop. Its title track, a manic Americana-gone-punk hybrid that careens from four-on-the-floor speed to a 6/8 downshift so abrupt you get whiplash, is the latest single, which is presented in the form of a whimsically animated lyric video below.