atypical artist

JAPANESE WALLPAPER EMERGES FROM ITS COCOON
October 27, 2016 9:28 am

When I was 17 years old, I was doing what most other 17 year old teenagers do; playing sports, doing homework, driving a car for fun, I was even playing guitar a lot by most standards. But I was creating nothing like Gab Strum did in his seventeenth year.

He started the electronic pop project Japanese Wallpaper and released his first single “Waves” back in 2014. Even at this early stage in his career, the sounds he created were nearly on the same level as ambient titans Tycho and Boards of Canada. The ethereal, jovial tunes started drawing attention from some pretty well-known folks in the industry such as fellow Australian, Chet Faker. Also in Gab’s seventeenth year, he won Triple J’s Unearthed High competition. Oh, and his track “Breathe In” was also featured on the soundtrack for Zach Braff’’s follow-up to Garden State, Wish I Was Here. Seventeen! I think this goes to show how the state of modern music equipment has altered the music scene. If a high school kid fifty years ago wanted to make music with more than a guitar, he would find it incredibly difficult to do so. The tools to do so weren’t easily available yet. Now we can download software on our laptops and create magic.

Gab did his first tour of Australia back in 2014 with great success. He has since been putting out EP’s with some fantastic remixes in the last couple years. Most recently this year he released the single “Cocoon.” Earlier this year, he released a deluxe edition of his self-titled EP that came out in 2015 with a slew of new remixes. The remix of Between Friends” by Sable is a noteworthy track from the record. The single “Forces” featuring Airling is a smash. I think it’s safe to say that Japanese Wallpaper has a promising future ahead of him. He has a few tour dates left in 2016 if you happen to live in a major Australian city. I imagine he’ll make his leap over to the states soon enough and I for one will be right there in the crowd grooving along to these incredible tunes.

PAINTED PALMS: LONG DISTANCE DOES WORK
August 30, 2016 11:59 am

Painted Palms had an interesting start to their career. Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme were two cousins growing up together on the same block in Louisiana. But it took Donohue moving to the west coast for the two to begin writing music together. They exchanged tunes online for several years while they both finished working on their degrees. These exchanges resulted in the debut EP Canopy. After the release of Canopy, Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal heard the tracks and invited the duo to be main support for Of Montreal’s tour in 2011. Thus began Painted Palms.

Their music consists of memorable melodies accompanied by balmy synth pop. It’s easy to feel the urge to get up and move when a Painted Palms track starts playing. Their debut EP was only a small taste of what was to come. In 2014, they released their debut album Forever. The album garnered an overall positive review from Pitchfork. The single “Carousel” is a great example of the psych synth pop sound that represents Painted Palms. Their follow up to Forever came two years later in 2015.

Horizons opens up with the single “Refractor.” The video for the song was debuted on Billboard. The video is an interesting combination of live-action and animation. This sophomore album had a large emphasis on the synth pop sound. The melodies continued to flow effortlessly from track to track. They toured that album with another fantastic electronic pop act, Small Black. The consistent aspect between all of Painted Palms releases thus far is their listenability. While their music fits much better soundtracking a summer drive than a cold winter night, if you put on any of their albums you’ll find yourself enjoying it from start to finish.

BLOOD ORANGE’S FREETOWN SOUND
August 23, 2016 11:26 am

 

Blood Orange is fucking awesome. Like his namesake citrus, Dev Hynes’ newest album Freetown Sound is a delicious mix of sweet and sour, oscillating between phat beats/enduring hooks and raw frustration/societal truth.

Dev Hynes began his musical career as a member of The Test Icicles, after moving to London from his home in Edinburgh, Scotland to attend art school. He released his first Blood Orange album, Coastal Grooves, in 2011 and has since worked as a songwriter for an increasingly impressive series of artists: Theophilus London, Florence + The Machine, Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, Foals, and Britney Spears, to name a few. His chillwave core has taken on 80’s and 90’s influences over time, and his message has become decidedly more political.

Sometimes refreshingly calm, sometimes painfully poignant, Freetown Sound has struck a keen balance between what people today want to hear and what they need to hear. It’s smooth, angry, sexy and frustrated, but never ambivalent or verbose. It’s cool and clear, crisp and modern, but also intense and passionate and vivid and timeless. It’s about racism. It’s about sexism. It’s about religion. It doesn’t mince words addressing these sensitive issues truly and directly, and it couldn’t possibly be more relevant to the modern zeitgeist. This is what we need to be talking about, and Blood Orange is doing it’s damnedest to get the conversation moving. All you have to do is go listen to the music.

Glad to see someone as awesome as he is addressing what really matters in the world today.

ORTHY DANCES INTO THE HEART
August 8, 2016 12:08 pm

Ian Orth is an Austin, TX songwriter and producer. His dance project Orthy is a perfect example of the wide variation of music coming out of Austin. Besides the more well known acts such as Spoon, Okkervil River or Explosions in the Sky there is another side to the Austin music scene that Orthy well represents.

The project was inspired by a combination of events. A weekly dance party hosted by Orth in Austin went by the name of Learning Secrets. This was an event that Orth and others would host to try and introduce people that were typically fans of rock music to the electronic dance music scene. They would bring in the best DJs around to try to expose the crowd to a night of good vibes and stellar beats. Orth had been writing music for a good period of time, but never felt the urge to share the music with anyone.

That all changed when he met his soon to be wife. Orth said in an interview, “…Then I fell in love with my fiancée, and I know it’s kind of cliché or easy to say, but I just started writing all of these songs and all of it sort of started coming out.” After that, the music had to go somewhere. It came out in the form of Orthy’s first EP in 2011 called Suenos. The three tracks on the EP have a very organic feel to them, as far as electronic music goes. There’s a bedroom production quality to the tunes that is undeniably attractive. The track “City Girl” is a standout cut.

Orthy came back in 2014 with another EP called E.M.I.L.Y that garnered the band a little bit of critical success. They were featured on NPR’s World Cafe later that same year. Most recently, in 2015, the act released yet another EP titled Listen to Her Heart after the Tom Petty classic. Orth reworked the Petty song into a slow pulsing electronic groove. The EP also contains remixes of a few tracks that appeared on 2014’s E.M.I.L.Y.

Orthy will be playing at the Sound on Sound festival in Sherwood Forest outside of Austin with a killer lineup featuring Courtney Barnett, Run the Jewels and Phantogram to name just a few. Keep an eye out for Orthy in the future as they have to be poised to release a full length record at some point.

BROODS: NEW ZEALAND’S LATEST POP WONDER
July 21, 2016 11:41 am

Name every band you can think of from New Zealand.

Most people will say Lorde. Some people will also say Flight of the Concords. A few people might say The Naked and The Famous or Kimbra. Those few people might also know Broods, but that could be changing soon.

The band is made up of the Nott siblings, Georgia and Caleb. Georgia providing the lead vocals and Caleb on production as well as a wide variety of instruments. Their anthemic electro-pop tracks contain melodies that will have you hooked from the first listen. They released their first single, “Bridges” online in October of 2013. The track was quickly picked up by music outlets and quickly reached 200,000 streams in just a week. Comparisons to Lorde came immediately. Beyond the darker, catchy electro pop sounds and female lead singer from New Zealand, Broods has worked with producer Joel Little who produced Lorde’s hit single “Royals.” While those comparisons rolled in, Broods was determined to have an identity of their own.

Broods released their sophomore effort, Conscious, on June 24 this year and it is poised to gather a large number of new fans for the duo. This album takes a slight departure from their 2014 debut album Evergreen. Caleb Nott calls it “…a punch in the face compared to the last one. Evergreen was very subtle and airy, this one really goes for the throat.” The contrast in sounds can be easily seen in the opener of each album. Evergreen’s opener “Mother & Father” shuffles along with a chamber pop type groove while the Conscious opener “Free” begins with Georgia repeating the phrase “I’m free…I’m free” before dropping into a heavy, industrial pulsing rhythm that opens up into a chorus expansive enough to explore for days.

The curse of the sophomore slump was very real for BroodsTheir debut Evergreen won a plethora of awards including Album of the Year, Best Pop Album and Radio Airplay Record of the year for the song “Mother & Father” at the 2015 New Zealand Music Awards. Broods also won Best Group. Following up a debut of that nature can always be hit or miss. However, it’s safe to say they have delivered a sophomore album that does everything except slump. Riding on the same wave of popularity as Chrvches and Purity Ring, Broods is proving that they can not only write airy, swirling pop songs but also heavier, mysterious tunes that maintain the same heartfelt lyrical content. A great example is the overly catchy track “Heartlines” that was co-written with Lorde.

Broods is now located in LA and is taking off a North American tour starting August 1 in Washington DC with Jarryd James.

The band also has an interesting quiz on their website. Curious which song from Conscious fits the moment you’re currently in the best? You can take a two question quiz that will give you the perfect Broods song to soundtrack the moment you’re in. “Hold the Line” was chosen by the site for the soundtrack while writing of this article.

OVERCOATS: AN UNQUENCHABLE NIGHTTIME HUNGER
July 14, 2016 11:02 am

The purpose of an overcoat is to act as a tough exterior, protecting our clothing from all of the elements the world throws at us. It protects what we consider to be sensitive. The vulnerability that comes with exposing our clothes that are tarnished by the weather allows everyone to get a look at what we’ve experienced. Even though it’s merely our daily outfit that we’re hiding, nobody can pinpoint exactly what our outfit looks like. We leave that to the onlooker’s imagination until we decide to reveal ourselves.

The music of the now New York based outfit, Overcoats, mirrors much of the same characteristics possessed by the article of clothing they take their name from. The moniker stems from the strength Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell find in making music together. Each note helps build up a warm layer of protection for the vulnerability that the lyrics contain. Their sound is dark and captivating, spare and rhythmic. The Overcoats EP released in 2015 gave a glimpse into what the group is capable of. They combine dance beats with spare electronics and folk harmonies to create a unique sound that is reminiscent of Sylvan Esso combined with The Staves, but more subdued. The focus lies on the emotional picture painted by the lyrics, framed by honesty and shimmering electronics. Their 2016 single, “Nighttime Hunger,” gave us a perfect example of that. It begins with knocking. Once inside, the world is overcome with a fear of the night and what the darkness brings out in all of us. “Little Memory” is a reverb laden journey down memory lane. “We like to write about interpersonal things that aren’t spoken of, or are slightly taboo, “Little Memory” is about memories, time, timing, dreams and regrets. It’s always sad with us,” said Hana Elion in an interview with LA Music Blog. Similar sentiments are further explored on other standout tracks, “Smaller Than My Mother” and “The Fog.”

Since releasing their debut EP last year, the duo have been on a very successful tour in Europe. Their shows are said to be captivatingly beautiful. Seeing the playful vocal interplay between the two is a sight to behold. The European tour was crowned by a headlining performance in the popular Dublin venue, Whelan’s, as well as a set at the Longitude Festival alongside the likes of James Blake and Alt-J. Once back in New York, they set up shop and played a few performances including a show at Mercury Lounge. They have been garnering critical praise as well as an excited fan base ever since. The band has been featured multiple times by NPR, All Things Go, and even Perez Hilton. They also ranked third in NPR’s fan poll for favorite new musicians of 2016 so far. Their appeal seems to know no bounds.

Overcoats is currently in the studio recording what is already a highly anticipated debut album. If the small taste we’ve gotten from their EP and single are any indication, we are all in for quite a treat when this album drops.

HINDS IS THE NEW STANDARD FOR INDIE ROCK
July 13, 2016 3:35 pm

Wow! Just, wow. HINDS is everything an indie rock band could ever dream to be. This indie rock band from Madrid is so powerfully raw that you’ll think they are the ones who created rock music.

Starting in 2011 as a duo doing primarily covers, Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote built a small following with their strong vocals and guitars skills. After recruiting Ade Martin on bass and Amber Grimbergen on drums, the duo became an epic foursome of spirit and attitude for the indie rock scene.

Their first album, Leave Me Alone, came out January of this year full of smashing hits. There is something impressively simple and thoroughly amazing about this these four girls. I realized it sounds like they are the first people to ever pick up guitars and drums and sing at the same time. I mean this in the best way possible, as if they are the first ones to discover what rock music could be. Their style is all from them, no outside influences or pressures from the world, you hear these artists pour every ounce of their soul into every track. The guitars meld together on every song and their layering vocals are so sweet and driven by emotion, it’s addicting. I hope you can hear it the same way I do, and the more you listen, the more you see their raw talent and personality in every note.

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Their new music video for “Warts” is a punch in the face message about loving the wrong person and watching a train wreck of a relationship. The description in the video says, “have you ever seen a couple that shouldn’t be a couple? Have you ever seen your friend’s girlfriend’s warts before he does?…..She is gonna beat him bad, but he only hears parabarabaraba.” It has everything a indie rock band should have: style, originality and a sound that stay with you all day.

Enjoy this wonderfully bittersweet music video and check out the rest of the album Leave Me Alone, with songs like Bamboo, Warts, San Diego and Garden, you’ll never want to listen to anything else this summer.

COLONY HOUSE; YOUR NEW HOME FOR ROCK
July 5, 2016 12:36 pm

When we think of Rock N’ Roll, a slew of different artists and styles enter our minds. We imagine The Beatles rocking out with thousands of screaming fans and Iron Maiden storming the stage with face melting guitar solos, or Queen’s poetic, slightly softer rock and Green Day’s heavy punk attitude. Rock encompasses a lot, but the band Colony House describes themselves as “rock n’ roll” with “stripped down instruments,” which couldn’t be more accurate.

Colony House was once a mad rock trio made up of Caleb Chapman (vocals/guitar), Will Chapman (drums) and Scott Mills (guitar), but recently added a fourth, Parke Cottrell (bass), creating an epic rock quartet. All four of these guys came from Franklin, Tennessee. The band name comes from a humble apartment complex in Franklin that all the band members have grown to call home in one way or another.

Colony House has that perfect simplicity and creativity that the world needs and you can hear it in their new single “You Know It.” Their music is fast, full of energy and purity. I love the straightforward formula, great chords on the guitar, varied drums and strong vocals, an easy hit for the summer. They are coming out with their second full album Only the Lonely on September 16th, so although we’ll have to wait a bit, it will be worth it.

If you can’t wait till then for the pure Tennessee rock of Colony House, check out their last album and EPs here. Roll down the windows, drive fast and blast “You Know It” for the whole summer. I know I will.

GO LOCO FOR HEYROCCO
June 8, 2016 5:36 pm

Do you ever just need a shot of some straight-up rock? Something new that fills your need for strong guitar, fast drums and a slick bass? Heyrocco comes from South Carolina with tons of energy and gumption. With songs like “Yeah and “Elsewhere,” they will fill your cup to the brim with attitude. Nathan (Nate) Merli leads with vocals and guitar, Christopher Cool struts the bass and Tanner (Taco) Cooper keeps it together with the drums. Their new EP Waiting On Cool is a breath of fresh air that brings the listener to rock that sounds straight from 1990.

Heyrocco is ATYPICALSOUNDS’ Artist of the Month and in honor of that we got an awesome interview with Taco:

Can you tell me a little about the band?

I met Nate in 6th grade, he was playing guitar and we would play together and go skateboarding, your average bad boy stuff for 6th graders. We met Cool in high school and played blues with him and a girl named Sarah, but we parted ways with her and started up Heyrocco.

How was it different playing in Europe compared to the States?

Its weird, one of the biggest differences was the hospitality from the venues. We’d show up and have an apartment or room for us, [they’d] feed us and [offer] free drinks. They really just tried to make us feel welcome, it was really cool even though we were pretty small.

What is your secret formula for creating music?

Keeping in constant inspiration. If we sit around in the house too long it shows in our music. [When] we are on tour or visiting a place, meeting new people or anything exciting, that is the fuel for our music. We also do the fresh ears, trying to cleanse the palate with ATL Trap music and really hardcore hip-hop.

What is the song that best represents your band?

(Chuckles) That would be a different answer from everyone. I’ll check with them and let you know. I would say “Slice of Life.” It started with trust and it is about trust. I think it represents us and what we’re going to be doing.

*Christopher Cool’s: “Perfect World

*Nathan Merli’s: “It hasn’t been written yet.”

Was there anything that inspired Waiting On Cool specifically?

It wasn’t a person or band. It was an area. We spent two months out in Venice Beach recording a lot of music. It was mostly being in that area and listening to West Coast music, whether it be hip-hop or grunge. That is what really influenced the EP.

You guys have a very specific style, do you try and keep it that way? Or are you open to different stuff?

We just write a lot of songs, there are a lot of outliers on the albums, but there are way more weird ones that we keep in the garage. It gets pretty crazy and weird. We like to try to release a lot of different music, we like bands that have a large variety. I don’t like picking up an album where every track is pretty much the same four chords.

Would you ever consider making a B-Sides Album?

Oh yeah! It’s going to happen for sure. It’s just a matter of time.

Has Heyrocco’s growing fame affected how you write or the band in general?

Overall, it has given us confidence in our writing. With that support we can write new stuff without real hesitation.

13263672_1131803193508394_6257844899282959215_nWhat are you listening to now?

A lot of 2Pac and Miles Davis. Oh, and this band called Rehab, they have this hilarious song called the “Bartender Song.”

Do you see the band moving into different styles in the future?

There’s no way to say exactly. We are going to start recording LP two next month, and are super excited about that. Maybe not a new sound, but new instruments and new arrangements of music. The next one won’t be your standard album, it’s gonna be a lot more experimental.

A lot of focus on tones, I think that the next album will represent the band and what it will be from there on out.

Any new instruments that you’re excited for?

I got Conga drums! They are great, and adding them to any song just makes it funkier, which is awesome.

What are some albums or bands that are essential for rock enthusiasts?

Slanted and Enchanted by Pavement, and Jimi Hendrix, all of his work. If you haven’t listened to his stuff, you need to right now.

As a band, is there anything that you want your fans to walk away with?

Out of everything, we want them to walk away with positive inspiration.

 

Now I need to brush up on my Hendrix, but we were grateful for his time…Heyrocco just got home from a 16-hour drive from Chicago.

After finishing up a European Tour last year, Heyrocco are working on some shows but focusing mostly on recording and hanging out at the beach. Waiting on Cool is a fantastic blend of quick and powerful anthems and slow, thoughtful pieces. I particularly love the slower songs like “Slice of Life.” They have a certain depth that is really hard to achieve for most bands but for Heyrocco, it comes with ease.
Check out their new EP and look out for their new LP hopefully coming out later this year. Listen to it on their site, and check out their other amazing songs like “Mom Jeans” and “Melt” and you’ll have new music to rock out to for the month.

AQUASONIC AND THEIR BEAUTIFULLY CREEPY MUSIC
12:17 pm

I’ll say it right now, this band is pretty amazing. I don’t care how weird or eerie their music sounds, they are super creative and deserve recognition. Also, I know that a lot of videos say “use headphones or loud speakers to feel the full effect.” Don’t ignore it this time, DO IT! Honestly you won’t get much out of this if you don’t, and it’s well worth it.

Between Music is the music company/group based in Denmark that produces this underwater concert called AquaSonic. The act itself has been in the works since 2006 with a huge number of people working on a band that plays entirely underwater. With custom instruments made (a lot of them), discovering new ways to sing underwater (inside an air bubble held in one’s mouth), ways to record the music underwater….the list goes on and I’m seriously impressed they can get it all functioning at once to be honest. Between Music has been researching for years how to create a magical way of playing music underwater. Check out their history section to see the enormous amount of work that has been put into their underwater concert.

Their debut concert was actually a little over a week ago, May 27th in Rotterdam, Holland. They caught the attention of various media groups like NowThis and the BBC. As of now, they don’t have any upcoming tour dates that I could find so if you want to see them, it might be a while unfortunately.

AquaSonic is actually the first of a four part series that Between Music is producing. The quadrology is called Human Evolution, and without question water is the first step of (hu)man’s life, an interesting concept to say the least and well represented by AquaSonic in my opinion.

If all else fails, any horror movie with an underwater theme could talk to AquaSonic for a hypnotic and haunting soundtrack. If Saw 8 ever happened, their only path to take would be a shattered submarine, with accompaniment. Love it or hate it, either way, you can’t deny the powerful waves of sound that come from AquaSonic, a truly impressive work of art.

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