Vol. XVII 2014
CLEAN BANDIT GORGON CITY KONGOS ELLA FYRE
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? HALL & OATES
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LETTER FROM Elise Yablon Editor Dear Readers, Music is a universal language. It connects us with people thousands of miles away in far off lands, as well as with the person next door. As I look at all the talent that we have for you in this issue of NewSound, I am intrigued by the sheer vastness of the global music landscape their work represents. With artists from Australia (Bellusira. Gotye), South Africa (Kongos), Denmark (Mr. Probz), England (Gorgon City), and right here in the United States, there is so much great music being made and shared worldwide. With the diversity of music assembled in these pages, I invite you to take a look and a listen to some of the best artists the world has to offer. Your new favorite artist could be just a page away.
“New Sound M talented artists the next big n the truly brilli We’re finding the song you’l yo
M THE EDITOR
ISSIO N TEMEN T
Magazine spotlights both young, s that have the potential to become name in the music industry, and iant bands which already have. g the voice you’ll fall in love with, ll play over and over, the concert ou won’t want to miss.”
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CONTENTS Album Reviews 6 O.A.R. 8 Anberlin
Check It Out 46 48 50 52 54
Sigma Duke Dumont The Story So Far Korbee Maggie Koerner
Features 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 40
Gorgon City Mr. Probz Clean Bandit John Newman Ella Fyre Bellusira Gotye Kongos
Where are they now? 58 Hall and Oates
| | O A R
.A.R, or “Of a Revolution,” is a band that has probably been on your radar for quite some time. In the early 00’s, this band had seen much commercial success. You probably know them from their two biggest hits, “Love and Memories” and “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)”, which has played countless times on the radio airwaves and some movies. The Rockville, Maryland band formed in 1996, and is made up of members Marc Roberge (lead vocalist/guitar), Chris Culos (drums), Richard On (guitar), Benj Gershman (bass), and Jerry DePizzo (saxophone/guitar). With 8 studio albums and 5 live performance albums, O.A.R is energetic, fun, and exuberant. Their latest album, The Rockville LP, was released this past June and perfectly demonstrates O.A.R’s ability to mix genres and play it off well. In their albums we’ve seen
elements of pop, rock, and light ska, and in this new album you see a well-blended combination of all. In songs like “Peace,” you can hear a pop-country sound as Roberge sings, “I want love, I want us, I want you, I want me, I want peace.” It’s light, playful, and a very cute song. Another standout song is “Two Hands Up,” a song that combines an unusual mix of pop and reggae that O.A.R is so good at doing. O.A.R gained mainstream success in 2005 after the release of their fifth album, Stories of a Stranger. Featured off this album are the singles “Love and Memories,” which was the band’s first track to really grab the world’s attention. It was the first single to chart and to receive airplay, and helped Stories of a Stranger reach #40 on the Billboard 200 chart. The year after the album release, O.A.R sold out Madison Square Garden. A lesser known song off the album is “Lay Down,” which really shows their
BY OLIVIA JANNUZZI
light-ska ability. You hear a good, head-nodding beat met with the signature ska saxophone which makes it a very fun listen. Surpassing “Love and Memories” on the chart was their 2008 hit “Shattered (Turn the Car Around).” This song received so much airplay, I’d be shocked if you haven’t heard this song already grocery shopping or driving around. It was everywhere. Coming off their sixth studio album, All Sides, the single reached #2 on the Adult Top 40 chart. This song is stripped of the ska and focuses on pop fundamentals. It’s a sweet and honest song, definitely worth a listen if it somehow managed to slip under your radar. Six years after reaching commercial success, O.A.R released their seventh album, King, which became the highest charting album for the band so far, debuting at #12 on the Billboard 200. They took a new direction with this album, introducing new lyrical
styles and instruments like horns and turntables. The standout track of the album is “Taking on the World Today,” which has a smooth jazz sound thanks to saxophone playing a big part. Though many fans prefer their old jams, this one is still a cool listen with an uplifting message. O.A.R is a perfect example of a band using their fame to help make the world a better place by participating in many charitable events. Some of their charitable works include creating the Heard the World foundation to support youth and educational programs in the U.S and overseas, teaming up with US defense contractor SAIC (now Leidos) to raise money for paralyzed vets, and raising money for Habitat for Humanity during their recent tour with Phillip Phillips. Be sure to see for yourself how O.A.R grew as a band since their formation in 1996. The relatable lyrics, the uplifting tunes, and the mixed genres are definitely worth checking out!
BY OLIVIA JANNUZZI
n July 22nd, Anberlin released their seventh and final album, Lowborn. So far it has received positive feedback from critics, being described as strong, chaotic, and emotive. After twelve years, this alternative rock band is going out on the right note. Anberlin started in 2002 in Winter Haven, Florida, with their current lineup featuring Stephen Christian (lead vocals), Joseph Milligan (guitar), Christian McAlhaney (guitar), Deon Rexroat (bass), and Nathan Young (drums). When the band first started, they signed on to Tooth & Nail Records and under that label released their first three records. For Lowborn, Anberlin returned to Tooth & Nail Records after three records under the label Universal Republic. Being a band for twelve years, Anberlin is no stranger to success: in 2008, their hit song, “Feel Good Drag,” claimed the number one spot on the Alternative Songs chart, their third album, Cities, reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200, and their fifth album, Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place, sold over 1,000,000 albums, just to name a few successes.
Knowing that Lowborn was their last album, Anberlin put everything they had into it-and it definitely shows. According
to AlternativeAddiction.com, the band did not record the album together and instead recorded their parts separately with the producer of their choice. Front-man Stephen Christian told Alternative Addiction, “I wanted to enjoy the creative process one more time, with no restrictions, no one breathing down my neck for a single. Just unadulterated creative freedom.”
Lowborn is absolutely stunning. The first track, “We Are Destroyer,” starts off creepy, electric, and aggressive. Right off the bat I could tell this album was going to be a fun ride. The second track, “Armageddon,” is one of the tracks that stood out as my favorite. This song transports me to absolute chaos: walking through the end of the world, with turmoil and disorder all around. It’s haunting, emotive, and really makes me want to start a riot. Then there’s the track “Dissenter,” which took me back completely, as it does not even sound like past Anberlin songs. It’s an intense track, and Christian’s vocals are incredibly raged and frenzied, but after a few listens I definitely fell for it. It’s fast, furious, and packs a heavy punch. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Anberlin’s old favorites, like “Paper Thin Hymn” or “Unwinding Cable Car,” because those songs are still great listens even today. Lowborn is diverse, fierce, and contains all the fundamentals of a great rock album. From the passionate lyrics to the rapid guitar riffs, this album is the perfect way for Anberlin to say goodbye. So long Anberlin, you did the alt-rock world well.
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BY OL IVIA
orgon City is a young duo from North London that had certainly made a splash in the growingly popular electro-house world. Gorgon City is made up of Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Matt “RackNRuin” Robson-Scott, who each worked by their individual stage name before collaborating with each other. They are signed to Black Butter Records, an independent label in London. The duo first collaborated on The Crypt EP, which was released in February 2012. The three song EP features other Black Butter artists like Navigator, Janai, and Rubi Dan. The songs start slow and build into these gritty dub breakdowns that contrast the Jamaican vocals well. Their next EP, Real, gained the duo a lot more attention. “Real” is also the name of the first song off the album, which was released February 2013, and features beautiful vocals from singer/songwriter Yasmin. It’s a song with simple beats and a real cool tone, but not much excitement or a big drop to it, which is fine because it allows the song to be more relaxed and chill. The song hit #44 on the UK Singles Chart and #7 on the UK Indie Chart. In May 2013, Gorgon City released the single “Intentions,” featuring fellow Black Butter electronic group Clean Bandit. This song is sleek and has a really gorgeous and sublime sound made between the two groups. Following “Intentions” is “Ready For Your Love”, which features soulful British singer MNEK. The single was released January 2014 and became Gorgon City’s highest charting song to date, reaching the UK Single Chart at #4. The song starts slow, like most Gorgon City songs, but quickly grows into deep bouncy house beats that blends with MNEK’s passionate vocals. The duo also collaborated with indie rock band Klaxons with the single “There Is No Other Time,” which came out in March 2014. Gorgon City recently completed an Australian tour with label mate Rudimental, played shows at the SXSW festival, and just finished their first UK headlining tour, “Welcome to Gorgon City.” We can expect Gorgon City’s debut album, Sirens, to be released October 6, 2014. For fans of simple but electric beats, subtle powerful drops, and a clean yet abstract sound, be sure to visit Gorgon City, you won’t be disappointed.
MR. PROBZ BY OLIVIA JANNUZZI
roviding you with the perfect chilled-out summer hit is Mr Probz. Together with the help of DJ Robin Schulz (who remixed the track), they released the hit single, “Waves.” It is truly a beautiful song matched with beautiful lyrics, like “I’m slowly drifting, wave after wave…” It tells the tale we all know of straying farther away from someone we once knew, using the metaphor of drifting away by the sea. Thing is, the song actually makes you feel like you are lying on your back being carried by waves, thanks to Mr. Probz’s incredibly smooth voice, and the addition of bongo drums, cymbals, acoustic guitar, and a summery beat. You can practically smell the ocean listening to it. Even without Robin Schulz’s help, the song “Waves” is still just as beautiful, perhaps even more. It’s obviously a lot slower, but it’s so soulful and sweet-sounding. There is a melodious arrangement of trumpet, violins, acoustic guitar, piano, and of course cymbals to create that effect of a wave crashing. It’s so euphonious, it will cause shivers.
Dennis Princewell Stehr, known as “Mr. Probz,” is a Dutch singer, songwriter, rapper, and producer, known for his lyrics in both English and Dutch. He was first noticed in Amsterdam’s underground hip-hop scene early in his career. In 2007, he collaborated with U.S. artist Joe Budden on “Long Way to Go.” He was nominated in 2010 for a BNN State Award for Best Artist, and was the first unsigned artist ever to receive this nomination. However, Dennis Stehr is no stranger to tragedy. In August 2010, he was shot down in the streets of Amsterdam with Flex, a fellow rapper. According to an interview with Idolator.com, Stehr’s house burned down in 2013. He says, “I lost everything. I had a box of papers, and a bag of clothes and my laptop, which contained the album that I was working on. Everything was destroyed, like literally everything. Everything around the laptop was melted: my clothes; my guitar; everything was gone. Two days later, I’m on a TV show, playing the song, and I walked outside, and it went number #1, and that’s when everything changed.” Six months after getting shot, Mr. Probz’s Dutch hit, “Meisje Luister,” a collaboration song with Kleine Viezerik, reached number one on Funx Hip-Hop Chart. He’s worked with some huge artists in hip-hop, like Raekwon, Joell Ortiz, and 50 Cent, among many others. On September 16, 2013, Mr. Probz released his debut album, The Treatment, which is free and available through Soundcloud. Though known for “Waves,” Mr Probz has a variety of hit songs. My favorite is “Hate You.” It’s really bitter, rapping about the moment when you are officially fed up with your relationship and that you realize it’s not going to work. It’s a song from the dumper’s point of view, singing “I hate you, and I don’t like you anymore.” Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there before. It’s incredibly catchy and I feel really bad for whoever got dumped by Mr Probz. Mr. Probz is a rising star in the hip-hop industry and he is definitely someone you should look out for. His songs are perfectly chilled out and great for the summer. Play “Waves” at your next beach trip, “Hate You” for the next time you’re feeling bitter, and be sure to check out the rest of his jams. You won’t be disappointed!
clean bandit BY LISA HOL AHAN
hen scrolling through someone’s iPod there are usually multiple genres of music to choose from. But what if there was a way to mix various genres into one? Depending on the type of music, the sound could range anywhere from awful to something that is pure genius. Whatever the case may be, mixing music seems to be Clean Bandits thing, and they do it very well. Founded in 2009, the group Clean Bandit became known for what they call “electronic chamber music,” merging both electronic sounds with segments of classical music. The four-piece group is made up of Jack Patterson (Bass/Sax/Deck), Luke Patterson (Drums), Neil Amin-Smith (Violin) and Grace Chatto (Cello/ Key/Synth). They have recently reached chart topping success with their hit single “Rather Be”, and the quartet doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. The Cambridge, UK natives began their journey when band members Jack Patterson, Grace Chatto, and Neil, AminSmith met while studying at the University of Cambridge. Grace Chatto and Neil Amin-Smith were childhood friends and had played music together since they were five. The two friends decided to take their talents to the University of Cambridge and play in the string quartet together. Chatto was also Jack Patterson’s girlfriend at the time and Patterson would go watch and record her performances. After a while, Patterson began to remix the recordings, which Chatto enjoyed, and the three friends eventually came up with the idea of forming a band. When asked by The Guardian in an interview, why the band chose to combine genres on such opposite sides of the spectrum, Patterson explains, “Both types of music take people on a journey, with highs and lows: for example, Op 132, the Beethoven string quartet, has the biggest drop on any song I’ve ever heard. The band actually began as Grace’s string quartet, and I started adding sampling and beats.” Shortly after the three members discussed making music together, Jack asked his brother Luke to join the band as their drummer and once all elements fell into place, Clean Bandit was formed. So what does Clean Bandit mean exactly? Well, Grace went abroad to study for a year in Russia and translated something similar to the English phrase “complete
P HOTO BY M IKE M A SSARO
bastard,” her sister pointed out that “ultimate bandit” would be more close of a translation but something about “Clean Bandit” just stuck for Chatto and the boys. The group began to record together and released their first single “A+E” in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2013 when they released “Mozart’s House” that they got the proper recognition they were looking for. The song reached number seventeen on the UK Singles Chart, which made it their first top twenty hit on the chart. A year later the band had outdone themselves when they released major hit “Rather Be” featuring vocals from Jess Glynn in January 2014. The instantly contagious love song climbed its way to the very top of the UK Singles Chart, making it the group’s first number one chart topper. However, it wasn’t until this summer that Americans were rewarded with the sweet tunes of “Rather Be.” In an interview with Radio.com, Chatto describes the song as “A love song about being completely content with the person that you’re with.” She also explained that the song created a different kind of song writing process. “We usually write songs by writing all the instrumental parts first and only when that’s finished start on the vocal. When Jack wrote the original line, we didn’t know it was going to be a love song at that point and then it developed into this really happy, sentimental thing.” Clean Bandit released their debut album, titled New Eyes, in May 2014. The debut full-length features guest appearances from artists such as Jess Glynne, Love Ssega, Stylo G, and Elisabeth Troy. The album consists of thirteen tracks and overall has been well received from music critics. Some tracks that are absolutely worth listening to are “Telephone Banking,”“Dust Clears,”“Mozart’s House,” “Extraordinary,” and of course “Rather Be.” Each individual of the group is so talented that when they all come together it makes for an exceptional experience and fantastic live performance. Clean Bandit is currently on an international tour throughout this summer but be sure to catch them during their US tour this fall at Webster Hall in New York City or a city near you!
PH OTO SO URCE TH E VIBE GUIDE
JOHN NEWMAN BY OLIVIA JANNUZZI
ringing the soul of Otis Redding to today’s mainstream music is UK born John Newman. Best known for his single “Love Me Again,” this 24-year old is extremely talented. He has only been in the music industry for a few years and already has made a huge splash. He told The Guardian, “you hear all these stories about the blood, sweat, and tears of working towards success in America and here I’ve just walked in and had the best week of my life.” He has been nominated for three BRIT awards, including British Male Solo Artist at the 2014 BRIT awards, sold over 1.3 million records in the United Kingdom alone, and “Love Me Again” reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
His quick ascent to fame is definitely stunning. It all started when Newman’s vocals were featured on British band, Rudimental’s track “Feel the Love.” Instantly, this song hit number one on the UK singles chart, as well as became a top five hit in Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, and New Zealand, and became double platinum certified by the Australian Recording Industry Association. Not to mention, the song appeared in video games and television episodes of shows like Teen Wolf. With the success of his vocal appearance, John Newman landed on the music industry’s radar. After that success, Newman released his single, “Love Me Again.” Full of
4 mu si c .c o m
swagger, confidence, and ambition, Newman graces the world with a perfect jam. He has soul-soul like Amy Winehouse, James Brown, and Ray LaMontagne - it’s powerful, and something that is hard to find in artists today. “Love Me Again” is the kind of single that gets your hips swinging and feet moving, asking the question, “I need to know now, can you love me again?” Lesser known but just as stylish is his other single, “Cheating.” With horns, fast piano, and a melodious gospel choir, “Cheating” is amazingly euphonious. It’s sassy, quick, and rhythmic, which is just
received excellent feedback, and each song (there are only four on the album) reached the UK Singles Chart.
Newman’s style. This song, along with “Love Me Again,” is featured on his debut album, Tribute, which was released October 2013 through Universal and Island Records. The album hit number one on the UK Albums Chart. All of the songs
Every single John Newman creates is nothing short of awesome. Every track he has produced, for the most part, has been a success. Sure, his amazingly strong vocals help, but it’s also the music that makes him stand out even further. It has influences from all over the music scene, but also mixes genres like hip-hop, soul, house, R&B, and pop. You can hear generations blending together to create this futuristic soul sound. John Newman has only just started, so be sure to watch out for this soulful star on the rise!
MISSION STATEMENT “New Sound Magazine spotlights both young, talented artists that have the potential to become the next big name in the music industry, and the truly brilliant bands which already have. We’re finding the voice you’ll fall in love with, the song you’ll play over and over, the concert you won’t want to miss.”
Info@NewSoundMagazine.us (631) 757-3187 29
BY LISA HOL AHAN
orn on April 1, 1994, 20 year old singer Ella Eyre proves to be no joke with her outstanding vocal range and soulful rasp. Ella Eyre has got that something special which separates her from the rest. Ella McMahon, known by her stage name Ella Eyre, is a rising UK sensation who is ready to take the world by storm. The British singer-songwriter caught her big break in 2013 when she collaborated on a track called “Waiting All Night” with the UK group Rudimental. The hit single reached all the way to number one on the UK Singles Chart, which made it her first number one single in the United Kingdom. The feisty singer followed her chart topping success by touring the world with Rudimental and Naughty Boy for the majority of 2013, and it was on tour that she began to gain inspiration for writing her solo material. However, music was not Ella’s first career path. Before realizing that singing and songwriting was what she wanted to pursue, Ella was in training to become a competitive swimmer. She soon figured out that even though she had great swimming skills, her heart was with music. Eyre attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which is known for its famous alumni including Adele, Jessie J, Leona Lewis, and Amy Winehouse. At the school, she took part in musical theatre which ultimately triggered her decision of not only taking on her passion of singing, but writing her own songs as well. “I love singing but I didn’t want to sing other people’s songs. Doing musical theatre, I had to pretend to be a character, whereas now I get to write my experiences down and have people relate and communicate to me when I perform live,” Ella
q explains to I.D.-Vice.com. Eyre was first discovered by her vocal coach in 2011, she spent the rest of her time at BRIT working in the school program and, on songwriting. After touring with Rudimental and Naughty Boy, the West London native was able to snag a record deal with Virgin/ EMI (now Virgin Universal), excited to finally work on her own material. Although, before releasing her solo stuff, Ella was featured on a few big name tracks, like Naughty Boy’s “Think About It” from his 2013 album titled Hotel Cabana, which also featured Wiz Khalifa. On Tinie Tempah’s album Demonstration, Eyre was featured on the track “Someday (Place in the Sun).” The track landed at number 87 on the UK Singles Chart despite never being released as a single, further proving the incredible reaction Eyre was receiving from fans and first time listeners. Ella was able to make her official debut in December of 2013 when she released her solo EP titled Deeper. The EP consisted of five tracks: “Deeper,” “Love Me Like You,” “Going On,” “Deeper (Friend Within Remix),” and “Deeper (Oflynn Remix).” The EP received outstanding reviews from critics, like Manchester Evening News, who put emphasis on how talented the rising star is, saying “The word unique is thrown around an awful lot but this girl with crazy brilliant hair, soulful voice and bags of personality really is something special.” Ella was faced with the challenge of the common question, “Does this artist have what it takes to go the distance and become a star?” Well, her EP slapped the sense into anyone who previously questioned the talents of the R&B/pop princess. In fact, Deeper leaves listeners begging for more and anticipating her next release. Due to her exceptional efforts in music, Eyre was nominated and became runner up for the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award and for the BBC Sound of 2014 Award. In the beginning of 2014 she released a track called “All About You” from her debut full length album. Ella has recently confirmed via Facebook that her fans can expect her debut album to be released sometime in October 2014. Until then, it looks like the young and talented singer has an amazing career ahead of her. Her soulful yet raw vocals are exactly what the industry needs and what fans fawn over. The crew over at BBC Radio is huge fans of Ella, claiming that she is definitely the girl to watch out for. One of their main DJs and Broadcasters, MistaJam, sums the singer up best, “Ella’s voice is so soulful and powerful, she could sing the contents of the phone book and it would still move you. She’s the truth!”
Bellusira BY ROD WHITFIELD
ellusira, the formerly Melbourne, Australia based rock act, have had quite the journey. The band itself has had more than its fair share of ups and downs, even for the hurly-burly world of original rock music, since their formation. The latest chapter in their story has seen the band get signed to a prestigious American management company, co-run by a member of Evanescence, no less, and re-locate to Los Angeles. The two main members, frontwoman Crystal Ignite and New Zealand born bassist and backing vocalist Mark Dalbeth (who also happen to be married), have also led storied lives individually. Ignite joined us recently from LA to tell us about their humble beginnings, the decision to uproot their entire lives and move to the other side of the world, and what they have planned for the future. “Where do you begin?” She questions, regarding her earlier life. “I was homeless for a good four years of my life, living in refuges. I’m also an abuse survivor, pretty serious abuse for a long period of my life. So I found music, and I found Mark, and that’s what gave me reason to live. “But I’m a very happy person now, and I’m living my dream!” Crystal and Mark first played together in a more metal oriented band called Fallacy in the mid 2000s, but broke away from that project in 2008 and honed their style into more of a dark, hard edged but soaring alternative rock sound. Together they came up with the name ‘Bellusira’, which comes from the Latin words ‘bellus,’ meaning beautiful, and ‘ira,’ meaning anger. ‘Beautiful anger’ is an altogether appropriate description of this aggressive but polished and melodic rock act. Bellusira went through tough times of its own in its first four to five years of existence, with the release of two EPs and heavy touring in its native land, before it got
to where it is today. “It’s a tough slog, especially as it was in Australia,” she recalls, “even just being female fronted, and the genre, the lack of support for our genre, commercially. There’s not a lot of edgy rock getting played on our radio stations, unless it’s American.” 2013 saw everything turn for the band, however, with the release of their debut album Connection. With its world class production and crunchy but varied and accessible songs, the album garnered rave reviews across Australia and internationally. The record and its accompanying, very clever video for first single Cachango, came to the attention of Stephanie Christie of Stephanie Christie Management and Publicity, which just happens to be corun by a very well known figure on the American rock scene, Will Hunt. “We thought we would go straight to the source, and get over to America,” Ignite says, “we got signed by a couple of amazing managers, one of which is the drummer from Evanescence! Which is awesome for us, them being one of the most influential female fronted bands. “So here we are!” She continues, “we’re recording with an awesome producer, Ulrich Wild, who’s worked with Pantera, Static X, White Zombie, just some amazing names, so we’re just in the middle of that.” The decision to turn their lives upside down and move to the other side of the world was not an easy one, but Ignite tried her very best to take it in stride. “You go through a process of many different things, but I tried not to go into a ‘fear state’ with it,” she explains, “I really didn’t focus on that. It was like ‘this is what I’m doing.’ I’m a pretty intuitive person, so I knew where I wanted to go. I could feel it in my body that it was time to leave Australia. “Australia is my home, and I can’t wait to go back, one day, to live. But not during the peak of my musical career, which hasn’t even begun yet.” The financial woes of the music world have been well documented in recent times. However, a new option for artists to finance their endeavours has recently become popular. A ‘crowdfunding’ campaign, where artists get their fans to pre-buy their album or EP, as well as assorted
other items of potential interest to the fans, to fund the recording and/or promotion of that recording. Many acts are utilising this source of valuable funds, and Bellusira are heading down that path as well. “The details are being released very soon,” she states. “We’ve just got a video element to complete. It will finish on the 10th of September, so it will go for just over a month.” So by the end of 2014, you can expect a brand new single, and possibly even an EP from the band, while their sophomore album should hit the stores and download sites in early 2015. With the memories of tough times fuelling their fire, you can expect big things from this feisty Aussie/Kiwi act in the coming years.
GOTYE BY E L I S E YA B LO N
veryone knows Gotye from his wildly viral hit “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The song has been all over radio and YouTube, selling over 7.6 million digital units in 2012 and spawning thousands upon thousands of parodies and covers. But not many are that familiar with his other works, which differ greatly from his smash hit. Wauter “Wally” Andre De Backer, has released three albums under the name Gotye between 2001 and 2011. His first album, Boardface, was released in 2003 compiling the EPs that he made between 2001 and 2003. Like Drawing Blood was released in 2006, which featured the singles “Hearts A Mess” and “Learnalilgivinanlovin.” Said singles flew up the Australian singles charts, putting Gotye’s name on the map. After a remix album, Gotye put out what would become his most popular album yet, 2011’s Making Mirrors. Featuring the runaway hit “Somebody That I Used To Know,” the album peaked at number 1 in a number of countries, including Australia, Greece, and the United States. Making Mirrors won a Grammy in 2013 for Best Alternative Album. What makes “Somebody That I Used To Know” so infectious is the way in which the song is presented to the listener. Gotye puts a lot of emotion into his performance of the song. You can hear and feel the anger in his Sting-like vocal as he tells off his ex-partner. It is a rarity nowadays to get so much depth in a pop song that it actually makes you feel something. Beyond “Somebody That I Used To Know,” chances are you haven’t listened to his other works. Gotye gets very experimental with many of his pieces, exploring new and different sounds with every track. “The process I used on previous Gotye albums involved a lot of sampling of old records, cassettes and videos etc. There was no
field recording,” he says in his website bio. A listen to his second album, Like Drawing Blood, will include anything from pieces of old news broadcasts and speeches, old jazz and blues recordings, drum loops, deeply mixed-in vocals, and random sound effects. For Making Mirrors, however, much more was done live, including the recording and use of a large musical installation in Winton, Australia called the “Musical Fence,” which is featured in the beginning of “Eyes Wide Open.” Even though Making Mirrors is less electronic than his previous two albums, it is still not without its quirks. Take “State of the Art” for example. The synth-driven piece, with it’s warped vocals and twitchily inserted news breaks, is even a bit out there for a world where EDM has exploded. While Gotye has become known for his experimental pop, he has been playing music for a lot longer. De Backer got his start playing with his high school friends under the name Downstares until their dissolution after graduation. Alongside his solo work, De Backer also plays drums for The Basics. Since 2004, they have released five studio albums, a “Best of” album, and an album of rarities. In August, Gotye played his first gig in two years as part of a benefit for the Thin Green Line Foundation. He has most recently been playing with The Basics, who have a number of shows scheduled throughout Australia in the coming weeks. It is very rare for such an experimental artist as Gotye to hit the mainstream in the way that he has. If not for the extreme popularity of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” we would not be talking about his previous works at all. And while he has not released any new music since Making Mirrors, it will be interesting to hear what direction his sound will go in next.
BY E L I S E YA B LO N
outh African band of brothers Kongos have been taking the world by storm with their massively popular hit “Come With Me Now.” The song has become a radio sensation, a sorely needed rock tune in a sea of pop nonsense. The sons of famed South African/ London-based musician John Kongos, who himself has had two top 10 hits in South Africa with “He’s Gonna Step on You Again,” and ““Tokoloshe Man,” the band were perhaps destined for musical greatness from the start. First starting to play together in 2003, in 2007, brothers
Johnny Kongos (accordion/piano/ vocals/ synths/programing), Jesse Kongos (drums/ vocals/guitar/bass/synth/programing), Dylan Kongos (vocals/bass/pedal-steel guitar/guitar), and Danny Kongos (slide guitar/guitar/vocals) released a self-titled EP exclusively in South Africa. In 2012, the band released their debut full length, Lunatic, on their independent label, Tokoloshe. After their first single, “I’m Only Joking,” started to get airplay around South Africa, the band decided to release the album in the United States in 2013. Again, singles “I’m Only Joking” and “Come With Me Now” shot up the charts. “Come With Me Now’s” popularity has become so rampant
that it has been used in a number of TV commercials and movies, such as WWE’s Pay-Per-View Extreme Rules, Expendables 3, and the trailer for Holy Motors. All this ultimately lead up to the band signing with Epic Records, who re-released Lunatics in February 2014. Kongos truly have a unique sound, far from anything you hear on the radio nowadays. Much of their sound is driven by these pounding drum beats, which are almost African-like in nature. This is the case with their singles “Come With Me Now,” “I’m Only Joking,” and “I Want To Know,” which all feature drums prominently in their
composition. However, there is also a folk element to their sound, like Mumford & Sons without the banjo. Just as recognizable as “Come With Me Now’s” cadence is the use of accordion as the song’s lead instrument, giving the song an underlying folk jig quality. Not all of Kongos’ songs are as upbeat as the well-known singles, however. “Traveling On” is a waltz-paced, drum-less departure from what has come to be expected from the band. The band cites many influences in their music, including African genres like Kwaito and Maskandi, rock music, and even their father’s music. Dylan told South African website The Assembly: “We’ve been influenced by everything from the Beatles to opera to music from all over Africa. Our dad also definitely influenced our music – you can especially hear it if you listen to his two major hits, ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ and ‘Tokoloshe Man.’” When it comes to writing songs, Kongos have a very democratic way of doing it. In an interview with ArtistDirect.com, Danny revealed that each member writes songs,
saying “We bring individual songs to the table and construct an album from there.” Kongos are currently touring the states with Kings of Leon and Young the Giant, and will be embarking on a tour of Europe in October and November with One Republic. According to an interview with Infectious Magazine, the band’s live shows are filled with improvisation, which the band says “makes it more fun not only for the audience, who come to a live show to experience something a little different from the album, but also for us. Playing the same songs at each show requires some spontaneity, otherwise you risk having your performance become mechanical.”
Kongos have had a big couple of years with their album Lunatic and runaway hit “Come With Me Now.” Their melding of various influences from folk to rock to African cultural gives them a unique take on the modern rock sound. Perhaps Kongos will spark a renewed interest in the rock genre as it relates to popular music.
1. “Magic Mountain” – The Drums
6. “Ammonia and Bleach” – Emily’s Army
2. “Stranger Ways” – Anberlin 7. “Small Talk” – NGHBRS 3. “Cecelia and the Satellite” – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
8. “Just One of the Guys” – Jenny Lewis
4. “Smooth” – Vinyl Thief
9. “Black Me Out” – Against Me!
5. “Back to the Shack” – Weezer
10. “Get Hurt” – The Gaslight Anthem
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SIGMA BY OLIVIA JANNUZZI
ritish drum and bass duo Sigma is definitely worth checking out. Made up of Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie, this pair made it into the spotlight when their single, “Lassitude,” made it to spot 98 on the UK Singles Chart. Drum and Bass is a type of electronic dance music with super-fast backbeats and heavy bass lines. The duo met at Leeds University in 2006, and moved to London to chase their musical passion. Back then, Sigma was a three-person group, but due to long distances, former member Ben Mauerhoff left. Not long after, the pair created their own record label, Life Recordings, and started making music. In 2010, “Lassitude” was released
as a collaboration with DJ Fresh and Koko. It’s a single off DJ Fresh’s album, Kryptonite. In addition to its spot on the UK Singles Chart, it also reached #11 on the UK Dance Chart. Then Sigma toured internationally, opening for DJ Fresh. Sigma has remixed many songs, including tracks of Sway, Ellie Goulding, and Stylo G, just to name a few. They also remixed the song, “Bound 2” by Kanye West, making it fast, energetic, and a great dance jam. It’s hyper, and makes you want to jump around and swing your hips and arms. The track topped the UK Singles Chart shortly after release. They signed onto 3Beat Records in 2013 and have been steadily climbing the ladder of musical success since. They have several songs that standout in the electronica
genre, including their hit, “Nobody to Love,” which was released in April 2014. Also be sure to check out “Rudeboy,” perhaps their most successful hit thus far. It features Doctor and was released in 2013. It peaked at #56 on the UK Singles Chart and #12 on the UK Dance Chart. With the addition of Doctor, the fast paced dance jam is met with a Jamaican voice and sound. It’s an intense track, perfect to get anyone hyped or in the zone. If fast paced dance tracks with heavy bass are your thing, definitely take a few listens to Sigma. They’re just beginning to make their splash, and since they have confirmed a collaboration with Shakka, we’ll definitely be hearing more of them soon!
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BY JACQUI SAHAGIAN
uke Dumont is an English house and electronic music producer and DJ known for last year’s hit “Need You (100%),” which saw him gain a Grammy nod while it climbed the charts in the U.K. and other European countries. Recognition has eluded the DJ thus far in the U.S., but his upcoming debut record could break ground in America if he’s able to make the changes necessary to the no-longernovel EDM formula. Dumont, real name Adam Dyment, spent his early career being mentored by the producer Switch, who has worked with M.I.A., Santigold, and Beyonce. Dumont started out remixing pop songs before moving to the English countryside to focus on writing original material.
“Need U (100%)” features Sierra Leonean-born British singersongwriter A*M*E*. The silly music video, which currently has over 17 million views on YouTube, shows the trials and tribulations of a man who has a tape player playing the song over and over lodged in his abdomen, causing all around him to spontaneously break into dance. The second single from the upcoming record, “I Got U,” features Jax Jones and samples Whitney Houston’s “My Love Is Your Love.” That song hit number one on the U.K. singles chart in March, Dumont’s second number one in the U.K. during the past year. “Personally, I’d say it’s one of my favourite Whitney songs, especially the later Whitney period,” Dumont told MTV’s U.K. branch of his decision to use “My Love Is Your Love.” “It got to a point [during the recording process] where I thought maybe it might be worth bringing a singer
in and changing it but I thought you know what, out of respect as [the track] started off working the song around “My Love Is Your Love” I kept it in.” Dumont has a residency with his record label, the Blasé Boys Club, at the nightclub Sankeys in the EDM mecca of Ibiza, Spain every Monday in September. Over the summer, the producer played at festivals such as Lollapalooza and Reading, and opened for Chromeo and Cut/Copy at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. He will be playing shows throughout the fall around the U.K. Despite all that success in his home country, Dumont has yet to make the Billboard charts across the pond in the U.S., though a successful gig at Lollapalooza could help change that in advance of his album release later this year.
THE STORY SO FAR BY JACQUI SAHAGIAN
he Story So Far are a pop-punk group from Walnut Creek, California that have emerged as Warped Tour favorites in the past couple years. Their latest full-length release, What You Don’t See, was produced by Steven Klein of New Found Glory, a band that The Story So Far have toured with and definitely serve as an influence to the younger carriers of that strange torch that is the pop-punk genre. What You Don’t See actually managed to gain some traction for the very young band on the Billboard charts, debuting at No. 46 on the Billboard 200 and placing in the top ten on the alternative and independent charts, at a time when pop-punk seems pretty dead. The emo and hardcore-influenced pop-punk group, like many of their peers, espouses ethos that they refer to as ‘punk’ but their commercial leanings would make the hair of any Sex Pistols fan curl. The genre has had its high points, like Green Day’s 2004 rock opera American Idiot, but it seems like it’s really been awhile since bands like Green Day and Fall Out Boy were carrying the sullied
punk banner across Top 40 radio. The Story So Far could be the group to change that and lead a nostalgia-filled pop-punk revival. The Story So Far is composed of singer Parker Cannon, guitarist and vocalist Kevin Geyer, bassist Kelen Capener, guitarist William Levy, and drummer Ryan Torf. The group formed in 2007 and has found a supportive community and great exposure amongst the Warped Tour gang. The band branched out into new territory with an acoustic EP released earlier this summer, titled The Songs of The Story So Far. The songs are softer, but the vocals are still characteristically whiny and defiant. For now, the band is continuing to tour around the country through the end of the summer, and has a slew of dates in the U.K. scheduled for the fall. They seem to be fighting an uphill battle as to whether popular tastes will ever again embrace the whole poppunk thing, but the group may be content to work within the small Warped Tour niche for the time being. They’re perfectly poised to benefit from an upcoming wave of early Noughties nostalgia, whenever the world decides it’s time for that. NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM
BY E L I S E YA B LO N
If the name Jenn Korbee sounds familiar to you, that’s because she has been in the public eye before. In the past, she has danced around on television as a member of Hi-5, has had various acting gigs in movies and on television throughout the years, and, along with her husband, made it through the Hollywood round on the eighth season of the popular singing show American Idol. She also released a country album, Give A Girl A Reason, in 2007. For the last five years, Jenn has been working with her husband, Tom, on their musical duo, Korbee. Even though they have been married since 2006, Korbee really started in 2011 when the couple, along with Daniel Jones (of Savage Garden fame) were playing shows under the name of Korbee Jones. In 2012, the Korbees went “solo” and released their debut EP, Better Life. The duo released their second EP, Great Escape, in 2013. Tom Korbee also has quite an accomplished resume to his name. Besides his appearance on American Idol, his solo music
writing credits include penning and performing songs for the documentary Shunned and composing for movie short Collision. He also has a photography business and website, where he guarantees headshots that, according to his website, “tells your personal truth and at the same time sells your best features.” Korbee has a very full, heavily piano-driven sound with just a tinge of country. Both Better Life and Great Escape are great vehicles for showing off the duo’s powerful voices. Their EPs are filled with songs containing giant swells and soaring melodies. Latest single, “Great Escape” has a certain power that draws you in. “Paralysed” has an 80s fuzzed-out, power-pop vibe going on. It’s amazing how all this power can come out of only two people. The songs are complemented by how perfectly blended Jenn and Tom’s voices are against the piano’s backing. It really makes slower songs like “Can’t Say You Won’t” and “I’m With You” even more beautiful. The duo of Jenn and Tom Korbee have a beautiful thing going with their music. Having two well-received EPs under their belt and voices that meld together like no one else’s, Korbee is set to break out and share their talents with the world.
P HOTO CO URT ESY O F KO RBEE
iano rockers Korbee have been releasing music together for only a brief time, but have been getting a lot of attention for their sound and personnel.
BY JACQUI SAHAGIAN
ew Orleans is one of those places that has always been the epitome of cool, way cooler than the booze and boob and tourist fest that is Mardi Gras every year. The city is content to slip in and out of the limelight, with the people there always knowing that there’s no where else in the world like it. Recently, the city’s cool creepiness has been getting some attention from shows like American Horror Story: Coven and True Detective. The darkness and the history that’s focused on in those series is an aspect of New Orleans that’s been inspiring artists and musicians for years, since even before Dylan wrote “Tambourine Man” about his own experiences at Mardi Gras. One new singer that’s been tapping into that energy is Louisiana native Maggie Koerner, who has been cutting her teeth touring with the long-standing funk-fusion group Galactic. Koerner has co-written some material with Galactic, including the song “Hey Na Na,” which was used as the opening to the New Orleans-hosted season of Top Chef, and has been garnering rave reviews for her vocal performance with the band. Koerner has been touring like crazy with Galactic, playing shows that see her responsible for the majority of the vocals around the country and in Europe through the summer. Koerner, a native of Shreveport, LA, moved to New Orleans between the recording of her first album, Quarter Life, and her second, Neutral Ground. She says the influence of New Orleans on her work is obvious if you compare the two records. “You can hear New Orleans got into my veins in some of the darker songs on Neutral Ground,” she said in an interview with New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune late last year. The darkness is more than apparent in the creepy nine-minute video for “Neutral Ground,” a slow-building intense blues cut reminiscent of Neil Young’s score for Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man, but with a possessed butterfly-eating voodoo priestess of a soul singer belting along with the ambient blues guitar riffs. Koerner’s voice is reminiscent of Joss Stone or Adele, but with more dedication to her unique, New Orleans-inspired vision of soul rather than popular tastes. Combine a great soul voice with a dedication to New Orleans’ completely unique aesthetic, full of voodoo and debauchery and a cultural fusion not found anywhere else on earth, and you get Maggie Koerner, a woman who will soon be making a name for herself outside her work with Galactic.
Delta Spirit at Bowery Ballroom, October 1; Music Hall of Williamsburg, October 2
Chet Faker at Webster Hall, October 16
La Roux at Terminal 5, October 4
Basic Vacation at Irving Plaza, October 19
Bassnectar w/ Paper Diamond at Madison Square Garden, October 4
CMJ Music Marathon at various NYC venues, October 21 â€“ 25
Cloud Nothings at Irving Plaza, October 7 Bastille at Radio City Music Hall, October 9 & 10
Bombay Bicycle Club at Terminal 5, October 22 Moon Taxi at Gramercy Theatre, October 24
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HALL and oates BY E L I S E YA B LO N
Pa int ing By N atalie S hue
aryl Hall and John Oates have been fortunate enough to have a long and successful career. Putting out hit after hit for the last four decades as Hall & Oates, the duo is still influencing fans and artists all over the world. Best known for songs like “You Make My Dreams,” “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” and more, Hall & Oates got their start in Philadelphia in the 1970s. Over the last 40 years, Hall & Oates has released 16 studio albums of original songs, 11 live albums, numerous greatest hits albums, a covers album, and a Christmas album, all with varying degrees of chart success. Based off a mutual love of classic R&B, the duo released their debut album, Whole Oats, in 1972. It wasn’t until their second album, Abandoned Luncheonette, in 1973 that their mixture of rock and soul started catching on. The 1980s was the duo’s biggest selling decade, with Voices (1980), Private Eyes (1981), H2O (1982), Big Bam Boom (1984), and Ooh Yeah! (1988), all hitting platinum status. Now in 2014, the duo’s influence has finally been recognized. After 17 years of being eligible, Hall & Oates were finally honored with a place in the prestigious Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Inducted by The Roots’ Questlove, their induction was more a testament to their fans’ adoration than anything else. Over the last few years, there has been an outpouring of fans and younger bands expressing how important and influential the duo’s music has been to them. “I felt if it happens it happens,” Oates told Rock Cellar Magazine in April. “I was totally aware of it and I think the fan base were way more aware of it and way more vocal about it. For Daryl and I it wasn’t gonna change our lives. In a way, though, it did; the blowback from being inducted is pretty powerful.
The world cares about it a lot more than we did and that’s okay because that just helps us.” Just because there hasn’t been a new Hall & Oates studio album since 2006, does not mean the two haven’t been busy making music. Much of the last few years have been devoted to their respective solo projects. John Oates is currently promoting his fifth solo album, Good Road to Follow, released in 2013. Good Road to Follow is a 15-song, three disc set, and features collaborations with Ryan Tedder (One Republic), Vince Gill, and Hot Chelle Rae, among others. He will be touring behind the album on and off throughout the rest of 2014. Daryl Hall has taken a slightly different path in the last several years. Since 2007, Hall has been filming his monthly television/ web show, Live from Daryl’s House, interviewing and collaborating with established musicians as well as some of today’s hottest artists. The list includes the likes of Gavin DeGraw, Darius Rucker, Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top), Minus the Bear, Joe Walsh, Jason Mraz, and many more. Hall has also been recording solo, and released his sixth solo album, Laughing Down Crying, in 2011. While a new album from Hall & Oates is very unlikely right now due to their separate work schedules, they are still actively playing together. The duo has a number of tour dates scheduled throughout fall 2014. All dates can be found at www.hallandoates.com. Hall & Oates have been influencing music lovers for generations. The duo continues to reach new audiences through their extensive archive of music and recent projects like Live from Daryl’s House. Now with their induction into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, Hall & Oates will surely influence many more generations to come. NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM
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