Sydney-based, 21-Year-Old Producer/Beat Maker, Flume

Photo by Wilk

Already a huge presence in Australia, Flume has been gaining a lot more attention in the US, especially with the recent release of his self-titled debut on Mom + Pop Music. I was lucky enough to catch his recent sold out performance at the Echoplex in Los Angeles.

Truth be told, I don’t go to a lot of EDM shows, but after hearing his album I was hoping to see some of the guest vocalists that are heavily featured on his debut. WIth the likes of George Maple, Chet Faker, Moon Holiday, and Jezzabell Doran all appearing on his record, it would have been extra special to see some of them perform live. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, BUT I did manage to dance my ass off with a crazy sold out crowd to his ear-shattering beats.

Songs like “Insane” featuring the before mentioned Moon Holiday had the crowd singing along and jumping wildly to every beat. He’s currently in the midst of a US tour with shows coming up at Portland’s Mississippi Studios on March 31st and a sold out show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 2nd among others. In May he’ll be back in Australia for his first headlining tour titled, The Infinity Prism Tour with Chet Faker supporting. Check out the video for Left Alone and definitely try to catch him live before he heads back down under.

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Video Watch: Copenhagen’s Indians, I Am Haunted

Søren Løkke Juul aka Indians released his debut album, Somewhere Else on 4AD this past January and I was lucky enough to catch him perform earlier this month at New York’s Mercury Lounge.

With the help of two additional musicians, Heather Woods Broderick and Laurel Simmons, the songs sounded extra lush. The added harmonies and a slowly grooving crowd were just what I needed to get lost in his hypnotic voice and electronic soundscapes. Check out the video for I Am Haunted and see why the Village Voice calls him, “Denmark’s Bon Iver“.

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Scottish Electro-Pop Trio Chvrches

Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry performing at the Echo on March 12, 2013 – Photo by Raymond Lew

You could have blinked and missed getting tickets to this hotly anticipated show by Glasgow’s Chvrches at the Echo in Los Angeles last week. Opening the show was France’s Isaac Delusion who played very danceable music to the early arrivals and Denmark’s Karen Marie Ørsted aka stirring up the crowd with her karate styled dancing and ponytail flipping… yup, I’m obsessed with her… check out the video for Pilgrim to see for yourself.

With a pumped up and lively crowd waiting, Chvrches took the stage and played a tight set starting with one of my favorites, Lies. Since this was only their second show ever in the US, their first being the night before at San Francisco’s The Independent, the excitement level was pretty high throughout the show. Other standout songs was their new single Recover as well as the very catchy, The Mother We Share that ended their short, but sweet set.

Definitely a band to keep an eye on, even with the buzz, they delivered a knock out performance. Check out the video for Lies and remember to act fast when they come back to town because I’m sure it will be another quick sell out. You can pre-order their EP, Recover from iTunes out on March 26th.

 

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Australia’s Alpine Ready Their US Debut, A Is For Alpine

Alpine performing at Bardot (School Night) on March 4, 2013

As I write this, Alpine just wrote on Facebook that while on tour in the US, their video for Villages went past two million views. With solid reports coming out of SXSW about their many performances and KCRW picking their songs Lovers 1 and 2 as a recent double header Top Tune, it won’t be long before this Aussie six-piece finds their way into your ears.

I was lucky enough to catch them live at both Bardot in Hollywood and at Brooklyn’s Glasslands and both shows had me dancing from the first beat. Filled with energy, singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James get the crowd moving with their catchy tunes and lovely harmonies. I guarantee that once their album is released in the US, you’ll be hearing a lot more of them.

Alpine’s debut album, A is for Alpine will be released in the US on May 21st on Votiv Records. Check out the video for one of my favorites, Gasoline directed by Kris Moyes and be sure to catch them when they’re stateside again.

 

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Australia’s Gypsy & The Cat had their U.S. Live Debut at Hotel Cafe

Gypsy and the Cat performing their U.S. live debut at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, CA, February 19, 2013.

With the success of Australian bands like Cut Copy and a huge Grammy win for Gotye‘s Somebody That I Used To Know, I expect more and more pop-infused indie bands from Down Under will be making the long trek to try and win over American audiences. The Vaccines‘ recent show in Los Angeles had San Cisco open to a very enthusiastic crowd that sang along and went wild for most of their early set. Gold Fields performed to a sold out crowd last night at the Troubadour and Melbourne pop band, Alpine should be reaching our shores again any day now. When I was invited to the Hotel Cafe last week to see the American debut of Gypsy & The Cat, I had high expectations and wasn’t disappointed.

Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers, former Melbourne DJs released Gilgamesh, their highly successful debut album back in 2010. It garnered rave reviews in both the Australian and European press, but failed to reach much of a U.S. audience. I’m guessing that’s why they ditched their major label and went with their own on their latest release, The Late Blue on Alsatian Music. It’s currently available on iTunes and definitely worth a listen.

Their U.S. debut at the Hotel Cafe was a perfect start to what should be a very fruitful year for the band. They played songs off both of their albums including their 2010 hit, Jona Vark that had more than a few people singing along. Newer songs like Bloom and Zombie World sounded very strong with the addition of a touring drummer and bass player. “Anyone here have our music?” Xavier asked the large industry heavy crowd to which a few clapped as they began playing Human Desire from their debut, Gilgamesh. The band were more than gracious through their short, but sweet set and finished with their new single, Sorry. Check them out this weekend and next when they perform at the  Future Music Festival in Australia.

 

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Electronic Duo Matmos Release The Marriage of True Minds

Photo by James Thomas Marsh

Matmos – ESP (Live at Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary) from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

You do remember electronic duo Matmos, don’t you? They’re the DJ’s that worked with Björk on Vespertine and also toured with her around the world, that’s how I first heard of them anyway. Well, they just released a new album, The Marriage of True Minds on Thrill Jockey earlier this week and from their press release it looks like it could be something very special.

“The Marriage Of True Minds is Matmos’ first new full-length album in five years and follows 2012′s The Ganzfeld EP, which was the culmination of four years of parapsychological experiments based on the Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment. Test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. The resulting transcripts of the videotaped psychic experiments became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album, which prominently features vocalists and voices for the first time in Matmos’ work. Guest musicians include Dan Deacon, Dominique Leone, DJ Dog Dick, Leslie Weiner and Holger Hiller (Palais Schaumberg), Jason Willett (Half Japanese), Angel Deradoorian, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and more.”

See what I mean? The whole project sounds incredible and they’re currently on tour in the U.S. with only a handful of shows left, including a date at Public Works in San Francisco on  Sunday, February 24th and a show at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Monday, February 25th. The last two shows before heading to Europe in March are at The ND in Austin, TX on February 28th and Zanzabar in Louisville, KY on March 2nd.

Check out their amazing version of the Buzzcocks‘ ESP that was shot live at Thrill Jockey’s 20th Anniversary show last September in Baltimore where they are currently based. This should cement the idea of seeing one of their upcoming shows.

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Brooklyn’s Buke & Gase Release Dizzying Video for their Catchy Single, Hiccup

New York’s Buke & Gase recently released their second LP, General Dome on Brassland to great reviews. Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez have once again succeeded in creating a unique sound based on their homemade instruments as well as Dyer’s amazing voice.

“Buke = (pronounced “Byook”) a self-modified six-string former baritone ukulele.”

“Gase = (pronounced “Gace”) a guitar-bass hybrid of Aron Sanchez’s own creation.”

They’re currently finishing up their North American tour with a stop tonight at the Echo in Los Angeles and also a show at the Casbah in San Diego tomorrow, February 20th before heading to Australia and Europe. Check out their new video for their very catchy single, Hiccup and grab a ticket to one of their last shows of the tour.

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M. Ward’s “A Wasteland Companion” at the Orpheum Theatre

M. Ward with (not so) surprise guest, Zooey Deschanel performing at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, February 7, 2013.

 

The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles played host to M. Ward last week to a very enthusiastic crowd. The show was supposed to happen last October, but was cancelled due to illness. “I was sick as a brick”, he said after coming home from Mexico with a fever. The show featured songs from his last album, A Wasteland Companion as well as 2009′s Hold Time which were well received when crowd favorites like Primitive Girl and For Beginners were played.

“As you can see behind me, it’s a beautiful evening”, Ward said referring to the five windowpane backdrops that projected various outdoor scenes throughout the evening. The mostly seated crowd finally got up to dance a bit when Ward played his Buddy Holly cover of Rave On even moving two couples to swing dance in the aisles which security unfortunately put a stop to. The show reached a deafening peak when Zooey Deschanel came out to sing She & Him‘s You’ve Really Got A Hold on Me and Magic Trick, one of my favorite earlier tunes from Ward. They ended the show with the Rivieras’ version of California Sun which had the whole crowd finally on their feet.

Karen Elson opened with a haunting set of songs from her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks including an incredible version of Donovan‘s Season of the Witch.

M. Ward will be back with Zooey Deschanel with the release of She & Him, Volume 3 on Merge Records on May 9th.  A North American Summer Tour will follow including a date at the famed Hollywood Bowl for KCRW‘s World Festival on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

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