What is your favorite band?
glamglare newsletter #2
When we were in Austin for SXSW a few years ago, the cab driver who took us from the airport to the city asked Elke and me about our favorite bands. For a music blogger, this is a loaded question. It’s hard to have a single favorite band. Maybe you can narrow it down to one for each genre or each decade. “It depends,” is the answer that comes to mind first, perhaps followed by something like “currently I’m kind of digging XYZ.”
At that moment, however, I did not want to evade the question. I’m not famous, and I was talking to a cab driver, not a Rolling Stone journalist, so whatever answer I chose would be inconsequential. So I went ahead and said, “Warpaint.”
He did not know Warpaint, and in case you don’t either, they are an indie rock quartet from California who have just released their brilliant fourth album. I went to countless shows and would credit them with being the spark that brought the predecessor of glamglare to life. So Warpaint felt like a good, reasonable choice.
But now it is out. “What’s your favorite band?” is actually a popular question when you tell people that you run a music blog. And since I made my choice, it is an easy one to answer.
So what is your favorite band or artist? Maybe the answer has been in your head all along, like for me?
Elke, by the way, didn’t flinch either: she said “The Strokes.”
Song Picks of the Day
Art d'Ecco - Midlife Crisis
Art d'Ecco's music sounds pleasantly familiar in its nod to 80s synth-pop and paired with fantastic vocals and imaginative songwriting. We first came across the Canadian artist, at home in Vancouver, British Columbia during this year's New Colossus Festival and were immediately hooked. "Midlife Crisis" marks Art d'Ecco's latest single and will be on his upcoming album After The Head Rush, out on June 24, 2022, via Paperbag Records. The accompanying video, directed and edited by Brandon William Fletcher, sees Art d'Ecco in different situations, visualizing the state of feeling bogged down. The track's chorus "It's so heavy, I can't seem to pick it up off the ground" is as catchy as it is relatable and oh-so-glorious and we can't wait for the album! The album is produced by Art d'Ecco himself and mixed by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, The Unicorns).
Listen to "Midlife Crisis," our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the video too:
Connect with Art d'Ecco here.
Sorcha Richardson - Archie
"Archie" is a beautiful and emotional song about the inevitable changes that happen while we grow up and start pursuing our dreams. "If you get a way out, call me when you land," Irish singer/songwriter Sorcha Richardson quotes her lost friend. And she did - she lived in Brooklyn for a while - but the old friendships still faded away. Sorcha says:
"'Archie' is a song about teenage hopes and dreams and about losing touch with the people who you once shared them with. I wrote the earliest version of it at a writing camp in the Spring of 2021 with some of my favorite Irish songwriters. It was the one song from the camp that I kept coming back to but I would have left it off the album if not for Alex Casnoff's influence. He was a real guiding light with this one."
"Archie" will be on Sorcha's second album, out later this year. Listen to our Song Pick of the Day on your favorite streaming service or watch the video for "Archie," directed by James Baldwin below:
Victory Chimes - New Mode
When I first came across Victory Chimes, over three years ago, I was immediately hooked by the mesmerizing, brooding vibe and the very intriguing vocals. No different now with "New Mode," the recent single from the just-released album When the Fog Rolls In. Victory Chimes is the musical project of Montreal singer/songwriter Jeff Louch, who says about his new album and "New Mode" in particular:
In contrast to the first two Victory Chimes singles ("Holiday," "Conductor") which are narratives, our new song, "New Mode" doesn't tell a literal story but instead links together a series of images. It touches on the issues of identity, facing demons, death, rising to potential and new beginnings. "New Mode" was written around this circular bassline. The wavelike feel inspired some of the water imagery in the lyrics that were written in a one stream of consciousness session. The perspective shifts from specific friends to a fictional character to myself. It turned out to be the featured song on the record because, for me, it represents the overall vibe of our new album.
Stunning! While I haven't listened to the entire album yet, I'll have it scheduled for tonight's happy hour, which I'll spend with my favorite person in this world. Listen to "New Mode," our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the cinematic, band video too:
Connect with Victory Chimes here.
Hazel English - All Dressed Up ft. Day Wave
For her new song "All Dressed Up," L.A.-via-Australia singer/songwriter Hazel English is joined by her co-writer and -producer Jackson Philips aka Day Wave on vocals. Both also star in the beautifully washed-out video that perfectly reflects the summer vibes of the track. "Maybe we should be together," is the song's sentiment, and watching them having fun in nature, you probably agree that they indeed should.
"All Dressed UP" is the third single of Hazel's new EP "Summer Nights," out on June 24. Watch the video below or listen to our Song Pick of the Day, "All Dressed Up," on your favorite streaming service:
ASHRR - No Garden
ASHRR is the musical project of Grammy award-nominated producer Ethan Allen, vocalist Steven Davis, and pianist and multi-instrumentalist Josh Charles, who blend their collective sum of influences into mesmerizing interplanetary recordings for the desert, the city, or the beach. Yesterday, they released the gorgeous and instantly irresistible "No Garden." Asked about "No Garden," Ethan Allen offers:
We've all passed through periods when it seems Murphy's Law seems to stack the deck against you at every turn. To me, this song is about human resilience, determination, belief, hope; in the face of unrelenting resistance and obstacles. 'I won't let you take me down' is a personal declaration that you won't allow your dreams or yourself to be defeated. "No Garden" is a comment on how creativity and life only offer abundance when you place intention towards them. It doesn't happen by accident. Self awareness leads to manifestation.
What a beautiful sentiment, for a magnificent, and highly captivating song. Getting older, it also becomes true by the day that one must put intention towards one's dreams because you can't let fate make the decisions. Listen to "No Garden," our Song Pick of the Day, and continue listening with the gorgeous remixes:
Connect with ASHRR here.
Kleo - Miss You
In "Miss You," Danish singer/songwriter Kleo reaches out to someone with a heartwarming, disarming openness. With that, she invites us to do the same to push back negativity and brighten up our world. She says:
The song is about carrying your heart in your hands, letting yourself be vulnerable and opening up to the darkness so the light can flow in.
Listen to "Miss You," our Song Pick of the Day, on your favorite streaming service or below on YouTube:
David Poe - Post
Los Angeles-based artist David Poe delights with the ultra-catchy "Post," his latest single release to announce the upcoming album Everyone's Got A Camera set due September 23, 2022. Poe proves that a good song doesn't need to be drowned in auto-tune and gimmicks, but puts the focus on songwriting that is relevant and irresistibly gorgeous. The beautiful beginning of "Post" sets the vibrant and melodic mood; this is music that gets me from the start and only tightens its allure as it unfolds. The subject matter might also resonate with anybody who's going through a break-up, with social media's toxic omnipresence.
Poe has toured the world with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tori Amos, The Jayhawks, and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. He is a composer fellow of the Sundance Institute and has his work featured in numerous film, TV, dance, and theater projects.
The accompanying music video is really where "Post" sets itself apart from other music clips. Just let the many cultural nods and references sink in. Don't they make "Post" all the more mesmerizing? This is done superbly! Special kudos to the director Phillip Hodges, the cinematographer Al Sgro, and of course the artist himself who came up with "Post" in the first place: David Poe.
Listen to "Post," our Song Pick of the Day, and make sure to watch the brilliant music video:
Connect with David Poe here.
Albums that stick: Ibeyi
I find it rewarding to take a break from listening to the latest new music and revisit old favorites. But it turns out that there are preciously few albums that really made a lasting impact and evoke emotions by just looking at the cover. So this new series is dedicated to them.
When I prepared for SXSW in 2015, one of the first bands I noticed on the lineup was the French-Cuban twin sister duo Ibeyi. The submitted track was "Mama Says," a song about grief, which struck a chord with me back then. The rest was pretty much out of my musical comfort zone: just sparse piano, vocals, subtle percussion, and some chants. But I loved it, and by the time the self-titled album came out on February 17, I was a fan, and their shows were a personal highlight of SXSW 2015.
Ibeyi's debut record – produced by Richard Russell of XL Recordings – marks the transition from the original DYI sound of the sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz to something bigger. As such, it is a unique, unrepeatable piece of work. Because from that point on, Ibeyi has inevitably been sucked into the trends of pop, hip hop, and R&B. Undoubtedly, the follow-ups Ash and the just-released Spell 31 are good records, if alone for Lisa's and Naomi's beautifully contrasting vocal timbres. But the unique magic of their debut has waned.
I hope that made you curious, so head over to our favorite album page and give "Ibeyi" a spin.