Video: Cloud Nothings – Up To The Surface

On the heels of their recent performances at Panorama and Lollapalooza, Cloud Nothings are back today to share a new video for Life Without Sound highlight Up to the Surface as they prepare for their North American tour with Japandroids this fall. The video marks a tonal shift from what fans have come to expect from a Cloud Nothings video as the band enlisted multimedia artist AUJIK to create the clip.

Speaking about the decision to commission AUJIK for the video, Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi said, “I really liked AUJIK’s previous work (especially the Spatial Bodies videos he has on his Vimeo), so got in touch and asked him to make something along those lines for ‘Up to the Surface.’ He agreed way more heartily than I thought he would and decided to make a sort of continuation of that Spatial Bodies series, but this time with more focus on the hobbies of little blocky computer people. I think they’re cute, even though they inhabit some kind of desolate future void world.”

Fitting for AUJIK’s imagined world, the video was debuted by Nerdist. Speaking of the clip, AUJIK says: “The video depicts a brutalist version of Kyoto and its suburbs from the perspective of a Japanese giant hornet. It sweeps through convenience stores, classrooms, Shinto temples, zen gardens and humongous brutalist structures; witnessing all sorts of human behaviours before it reach its hive.

“It’s a comment on the absurdity of modern life seen in a future nostalgic context., influenced by South Korean brutalist architect Lee Guō and Italian futurist Antonio Sant’Elia.”

Life Without Sound is out now on Wichita Recordings.

Kedr Livanskiy – ACDC (feat. Martin Newell)

Moscow-based electronic singer/producer Kedr Livanskiy will release her eagerly-awaited forthcoming debut album Ariadna on September 8 via 2MR. Pre-order here.

The album is Kedr’s escape from reality. She was born into a shifting and critical time for Russia’s Soviet Union – old values had been exhausted and were anathematized because of reconstruction. A sense of displacement drove Kedr to find herself. ‘Ariadna’ repeatedly explores the imagery and ideas of romanticism, mythical and fairytale themes.

Kedr also channels the places in her neighborhood on the outskirts of Moscow (affectionately dubbed by her as “BORDER MOSCOW”). There’s a river there where identical Soviet high-rises stand on both sides, with a bridge and garbage processing plant adjacent. Where nature and industry meet. The whole scene looks very apocalyptic, but also mystical and mysterious, especially at twilight.

Her inspiration for this record comes from the Izhevsk (sometimes referred to as “the capital of Russian electronic music”) sound of the 80s, including groups like Stuk Bambuka V XI Chasov (Bamboo Crash at 11AM) and Samtsy Dronta. The movement in Russian experimental music is especially inspiring, with acts likes Valery Chkalov, Sergey Kuryokhin and Pop Mechanica; in general, the late-Soviet period was very inspiring with all its figures in music, cinema, their energy and their approach towards life and art.

Lindstrøm – Shinin (feat. Grace Hall)

Norwegian producer Lindstrøm will release his fifth solo album, It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, on October 20 via Smalltown Supersound. Pre-order here.

The album, presented as one continuous stream of nine interlocked tracks, shows Lindstrøm refining his love of arpeggiated synths, relentless uplifting beats, warm and steamy analogue bubble baths and ear-worm melodies. In conjunction with today’s album announcement, he shares the shimmery electronic pop of lead single Shinin featuring Grace Hall. It’s one of three songs on the album with guest vocalists; the others feature Jenny Hval and Frida Sundemo.

Based in Oslo, Lindstrøm has always made a virtue of his obsessive work ethic, turning his city centre studio into a factory floor for churning out monster tracks, then punching out regularly and going home to his family.

He’s collaborated with the likes of Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, and Todd Rundgren, remixed a slew of acts, including LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Ray, Haim, Grizzly Bear, Flume, RAC, London Grammar, and more. On It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, he aggregates all the best elements of his long and varied career and newly reveals himself to be a commanding mood sculptor.

METZ – Mess Of Wires

METZ will release Strange Peace, their highly-anticipated third full-length album on September 22 via Sub Pop, and Royal Mountain in Canada.

Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) recorded the album at Electrical Audio in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) back at home in Toronto, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh.

“The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty,” Edkins explains. “They’re about recognising that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

New single Mess of Wires is the latest, and arguably greatest, song to be released from METZ’s forthcoming album Strange Peace. As described by METZ Frontman, Alex Edkins, ‘Mess of Wires’ is “a reminder to myself to speak out and say what I believe. To be honest with myself. It is common to feel that your thoughts are inconsequential, a drop in the echo-chamber, but silence can be worse. Speak out about what you believe in, loud and often. In the spirit of this song, I want to strongly condemn the violent and hateful actions of the white-supremacists and neo-nazis in Charlottesville, VA. this past week. Their vile attempts to incite division and fear through intimidation and violence have no place in this world.”

Strange Peace is out September 22 on Sub Pop and Royal Mountain Records. Pre-order here.

Cults – I Took Your Picture

Cults, the duo of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, will release their forthcoming new album Offering on October 6 via Sinderlyn Records. It marks the band’s first full-length since the release of 2013’s Static.

Last month, Cults announced their new album Offering and shared the title track from the record. Today, they give fans another taste of what is to come with single I Took Your Picture. Of the single the band note, “‘I Took Your Picture’ was inspired by falling into a deeper love with 80’s power pop bands like The Motels and The Cars. It’s a song about fleeting moments and how we let past feelings interrupt the possibility for good things to happen. ‘Tinge of blue, to the end, left our hearts, with regrets, I’m learning.’ It’s a daily struggle to try and stay open and available but it’s probs worth it. And you can dance to it!

Cults made their name in black and white. A pair of film school dropouts who burst onto the New York scene with a perfect single and a darkly retro sound, the band’s first two albums play like noirish documentaries on a lost girl group. Four years after Static, Cults returns with Offering, an exciting collection of songs bursting with heart, confidence, shimmering melody and buzzing life. The time off has given the band new energy and new ideas–Cults are working in Technicolor now.

The core duo remains the same. Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, both 28, still live in New York. They still finish each other’s thoughts and still share a love of catchy music and black humor (this is a band that sampled cult leader Jim Jones on their first hit). But the pair have put some blood on the tracks since their breakout debut: they’ve toured the world, built a devoted audience, survived a breakup, grown up in green rooms, parted ways with their old label and made a home of their new one.

After the whirlwind of Static died down, Follin and Oblivion made a conscious decision to shift gears: “I feel like we stepped into a tour van when we were 21, and basically didn’t get out of it for the next few years,” Oblivion says. “We wanted to give ourselves some space to have normal lives, and wait until there was something new to say.”

“It was exciting, because writing stopped feeling like a homework assignment. I was able to sit down and do it only when I wanted to,” says Follin. “These songs are less art projects, less thinking ‘this is a heartbreak song, what would Lesley Gore do?’ and more reflective of things that have happened in our own lives.”

Moon King – Ordinary Lover (feat. Natty G)

Moon King (Daniel Benjamin) shares a visual for the alternative-version of his single Ordinary Lover, which features vocals from Detroit singer Natty G. Following the release of his dance / lo-fi pop tape, Hamtramck ’16 on Arbutus Records, Daniel & Natty G share, “We hope this video can be a helpful tool in the fight against FOMO – if you feel like you can’t make it out the door to the rave or perhaps don’t know when your next rave sesh will be, peep this vid for some inspiration, motivation, liberation, and/or perspiration.”

Director Bronwyn Ford adds, “…it’s inspired by the 1995 Gabber documentary “Lola da Musica”. In the documentary, there are scenes of people dancing in front of a white backdrop. As a homage to this, and the classic era of dance music and early music videos, the dancers are shot in front of a similar setting. This simplicity allows the focus to remain on the dancing and music.”

Moon King new cassette Hamtrack ’16 is out now on Arbutus Records. Get it here.