Fresh off a Grammy win for her vocal contribution to Kendrick Lamar‘s “These Walls” on To Pimp A Butterfly, pop siren Anna Wise released her debut solo EP The Feminine: Act I earlier this year. The EP marks a bold entrance onto the pop stage for the soulful singer — sonically as well as lyrically — addressing germane subjects such as wage equality, slut-shaming and feminine sensuality. Recently she teamed up with director Emma Kanter to create the music video for the power anthem “Go,” which features Wise as a badass, rule-bending, rollerblading nun that sparks a full-on congregation dance party. The vid is sure to get you dancing into your weekend so watch below.
Canadian artist Hannah Georgas may not be a household name just yet, but as the recipient of Emerging Artist of the Year at XM’s Verge Music Awards in 2011 and numerous accolades since, it’s obvious that she’s a rising star. The Toronto-based singer has released three albums to date, including her latest, For Evelyn that came out June this year. The new critically-acclaimed record, named in honor of Hannah’s “compassionate, patient, kind and beautiful” 98-year-old grandmother, was produced by Graham Walsh (Preoccupations) and mixed by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, The War on Drugs).
For Evelyn encompasses a range of emotions and offers an intimate look into Hannah’s psyche as she navigates her insecurities and anxieties surrounding loss. Musically, she sits somewhere between the vocally emotive sounds of singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles (whom she’s actually toured with), and the synthpop stylings of Metric. Her album, however is deeply personal.
Currently on tour this month in support of the LP, the songbird will be gracing the District with her presence at Songbyrd October 6 alongside Firekid and DC’s Wylder. In advance of the show, Hannah took the time to talk to CCP about the inspiration for the new record, working with Graham Walsh, finding balance, being featured on HBO’s GIRLS, and her dream of performing on Jimmy Fallon.
First off, give us a bit of background info. How did you get into music and when did you first discover that you had musical ability?
My dad was a really great piano player and performer. He was always playing the piano and singing around my family when I was little. I think his energy rubbed off on me. My mom put me into piano lessons when I was five, and I started writing songs as soon as I could figure out my way around the piano. Music was an important topic and outlet in my household.
On your last couple of records you worked with seasoned producer Graham Walsh. How did that come about and what was it like working with him?
The new album, For Evelyn is dedicated to your grandmother. Can you speak about the significance of your relationship with her and the thematic connection to the record?
What is your favorite song off the new album to perform?
It’s been really fun performing “Crazy Shit” and “Waste” with my band. We have those two songs placed towards the end of the set and I always look forward to playing them.
I’ve watched every single episode of that show. I’m a big fan of Girls and love Lena Dunham, so I was super excited to find out that my song would be on the show.
Who are some artists you’re listening to at the moment? Do you have a favorite album of the year?
I’ve been listening to the new Frank Ocean album a bunch. His last record inspired me a lot too. My friend Jeffrey Innes has a project called High Ends and he put out an album called Super Class. I listen to it a lot. Sylvan Esso, Perfume Genius, Wye Oak, Christine and the Queens are other artists I’ve really gotten into over the past couple of years.
You’ve received numerous awards and accolades in Canada . . . what does success mean to you? Any other goals you’re currently striving for?
I feel like success is being able to create a balance between your work and personal life and finding happiness amongst it all. I feel really thankful that I do what I love for a living, and I’m still sometimes trying to find that balance. There a lot of things that I’d like to accomplish and goals that I would love to achieve with my music. I want to continue to work with people that I really admire and make music that’s inspiring. I also want to play on Jimmy Fallon because he’s the best.
Last but not least, what is the best and hardest thing about being on the road?
The best thing about being on the road is getting into a groove playing live and feeling really comfortable on stage. The worst thing about being on the road for me is living out of a suitcase and not having the comforts of home. I also misplace things a lot and that sucks when you’re running around from place to place!
Watch a video of Hannah performing the track “Lost Cause” live, and if you’re in the DC area be sure to check out her show at Songbyrd this week! For Evelyn is out now on iTunes and available for streaming on all major digital outlets.
Beat Connection released their long-awaited sophomore album, Product 3 last month on ANTI- Records. Since their formation in 2010, the Seattle-based band has grown from a duo to a quartet and is currently comprised of Reed Juenger, Jarred Katz, Tom Eddy, and Mark Hunter, who are all accomplished instrumentalists. Together they create bright, exuberant beats and rhythms that blend together in seamless and satisfying ways that still manage to surprise.
We featured one of the album tracks “Illusion” back in September, but since then they’ve released a seriously slick video for the effort, featuring the moves of renowned flex dancer Brixx. Watch the video below and pick up the LP Product 3, teeming with more electronic synth jams on iTunes. Beat Connection is currently on tour in support of the album, performing at DC9 this Thursday, November 19 (more tour dates below).
In light of the fact that Jungle is playing in DC this week, we thought now would be an appropriate time to share the amazing video for their single “Time.” Co-directed by Oliver Hadlee Pearch, the London duo premiered the video a week before releasing their smash self-titled debut this July. The short—similar to the last one for “The Heat”—centers around two older gent’s proclivity for dance, culminating in a full on dance-off in a high school auditorium. Watch the fierce battle that transpires below.
Can’t wait to catch these cats tomorrow, September 30 at Black Cat!
And just for kicks — we also wanted to share the new Joy Orbison rhythmic rework of Jungle’s “The Heat.” One of the few remixes that Jungle have permitted, UK’s Joy O brings some intricate synth work and basslines to the groovy original. Right on time.
Arcade Fire need no introduction. The Grammy award-winning rock band from Montreal have been on tour for their latest album, Reflektor, and will be performing at DC’s Verizon Center this Sunday, October 17. Watch the excellent video for standout track “Afterlife”— a cinematic feat directed by Emily Kai Bock below.
Flume also recently reworked the track into an epic ten-minute, sonic space-age engagement. Devoid of his usual massive drops, the Australian producer opts instead for a minimal atmospheric production, maintaining the melancholy of the original while also giving it an edge. Check it out after the video.
D.D Dumbo is the moniker of Australian artist and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hugh Perry. The structure of his songs are minimal, authentic and complemented by Perry’s reverberated vocals. Looks like a promising future for this young artist that just signed to 4AD, and recently supported Tame Impala and tUnE-yArDs on tour. Watch his impressive performance of unreleased track “Walrus” from an NPR Music Field Recordings session below and purchase his self-titled EP here.
D.C. artist Young Summer first made waves, literally, with the track, “Waves That Rolled You Under” last summer off her debut EP Fever Dream. Now the synthpop project is back in the studio, getting ready to release their first full-length album, SIREN — set to release August 26.
This week Young Summer premiered the video for the lead single off the album, “Taken,” the visuals for which are as stunning as singer Bobbie Allen’s vocals. Filmed in Bryce Canyon, Utah, the desolate scenes of the desert are befitting to the song’s theme of solitude and love lost. Director Allister Ann also adds a kaleidoscopic effect, serving to enhance the shimmering beauty of the ethereal track. Watch the mesmeric video below.
Formed at the start of 2013, Jungle is the enigmatic new London duo consisting of best friends “J” and “T”. The loneliest place is in your own head, so you have to share it with other people to make it real, says J. They’ve already built up quite the fan base in the blogosphere over the past year, so much so that their first show in London this past December sold out in less than 24 hours. They will be supporting HAIM in March around Europe as well as a handful of places in the U.S., so check out their tour schedule below and catch this promising group live if you can.
Stream their song “Lucky I Got What I Want” from their debut EP The Heat, and watch their groovy video for the title track below. Co-directed by J and T, the vid featuring the dance moves of Icky and Silence from the High Rollaz UK skate crew.
2014 Tour Dates:
3/1 – Le Trianon Hall, Paris *
3/3 – Paradiso, Amsdterdam *
3/4 – Village Undergound, London
3/6 – Brixton Academy, London *
3/7 – Brighton Dome, Brighton*
3/8 – Rough Trade, New York
3/9 – Mercury Lounge, New York
3/10-14 – SXSW, Austin
3/17 – The Echom, LA
3/20 – Hare+Hounds, Birmingham
3/21 – Exchange, Bristol
3/22 – Deaf Institute, Manchester
* with HAIM
On the heels of my best of post, I had to sneak this last one in before the new year. This deep house cut comes from young producer Allen Hansrisuk, or Shmallen as he goes by. Sampling from Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman,” this sexy rework is the perfect track to play at your NYE party, so scoop it up gratis below.
And for the idyllic feel-good track to celebrate and reflect on the past year, I leave you with Beyoncé’s “XO.” Happy New Year everyone!
The Brooklyn-based trio Au Revoir Simone have been on my radar since 2007, the year they went on tour with Peter, Bjorn and John and I was discovering the wonders of dreampop. Described by London’s The Times as “a collision between the Waitresses, Stereolab and Kings of Convenience, their music has power from what it holds back rather than spells out, and is just waiting to be fallen in love with (or to).” Indeed, their whimsical Still Night, Still Light LP from 2009 was on heavy rotation in my playlist at the time and still is — sample a few favorites off the album below, including a rad remix by Neon Indian and a disco edit of “Only You Can Make You Happy.”
After a long hiatus the group released a new full-length album last month, Move In Spectrums, which debuts a more space-age pop sound that diverges from their prior lighter fare. While it may not hold the same charm as their previous efforts, they have definitely paved the way for many female bands in existence today (ah hem, HAIM).
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Oct 15 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
Oct 16 – NYC – Highline Ballroom
Oct 18 – Boston – Brighton Music Hall
Oct 19 – Montreal – The Belmont
Oct 20 – Toronto – The Drake Hotel
Oct 22 – Los Angeles – Echoplex
Oct 23 – San Francisco – Slim’s
Oct 25 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
Oct 26 – Vancouver, Canada – Electric Owl
Oct 27 – Seattle – Neumos
Oct 28 – Chicago – Lincoln Hall