ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ALVVAYS
Sometimes you hear something and for some reason, you cannot quite put your finger on it, it sounds like now. Alvvays, a Toronto-based band, has been kicking around the indie-pop scene for a while now. Their self-titled debut album, released in 2014, topped the US college charts. Their second album won the prestigious Canadian Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in 2018. Both albums were short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. And this latest effort is garnering some really strong positive reviews. But the band continues to punch below its weight, commercially. Record execs are hoping that they will suddenly morph into a modern-day version of Talking Heads and become global hit makers. But this band remains determinedly unconcerned with success and the result is that they can really experiment with their music. This track, Very Online Guy, off their third album Blue Rev, is a deconstruction of a pop song, full of clashing sounds and bouncing echoes. The video has the singer, Molly Rankin, pixelated as if the whole band had been sucked into some kind of metaverse filter. The result is unsettling, but it feels important. Expect other, more commercial bands to borrow many of these musical tropes and spin them into chart success.
#allvays #indiemusic #toronto #junoawards #polarismusicprize
AD OF THE WEEK: OCEAN SPRAY “JIGGLE”
There is no reason to select this ad other than it is just hilarious. Ocean Spray’s latest holiday campaign, “Power Your Holidays” puts a twist on the traditional holiday family dinner, featuring jiggling logs of Ocean Spray’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce, straight out of the can. It’s so weird (and kinda revolting) that you just cannot keep your eyes off it. A kind of purple dog food for humans. Directed by OPC’s Jeff Low and Edited by Arcade’s Jeff Ferruzzo, the wiggling and jiggling cranberry logs slowly build momentum with the crowd following their lead, eventually sending the table into a full-on dancing frenzy. Just in case the original version is not odd enough for your taste, someone has uploaded a version with Louis Theroux’s Jiggle Jiggle and it plays right after. I am not sure which is more awfully brilliant.
ADIDAS HAS OFFICIALLY TERMINATED ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH YE
After mounting speculation, Adidas has released a statement officially announcing the termination of its partnership with Ye. The statement, released on the Adidas website, reads: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
The statement continues: “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect. adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.”
FABRIC SET TO BECOME “WORLD’S FIRST” NIGHTCLUB-IN-RESIDENCE AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
MIXCLOUD LAUNCHES “TRACKS” FEATURE, ALLOWING ARTISTS TO UPLOAD ORIGINAL AUDIO
Mixcloud has introduced an all-new feature titled ‘Tracks’ allowing artists to upload original snippets of audio.
Since launching in 2008, Mixcloud has concentrated on long-formed audio including DJ sets, podcasts and radio shows — though this is the first time the platform has explored shorter-form uploads.
Audio uploaded via Tracks can be original and be between 30 seconds and 15 minutes long — and no shorter than 30 seconds.
Tracks will be alongside any long-form shows in a separate tab on a creator’s channel.
Users with a basic Mixcloud account can upload three tracks yet those with a pro subscription can upload as many as they wish.
fabric has partnered with the Museum of London to create the “world’s first” nightclub-in-residence.
The partnership celebrates the Museum of London’s move from its current London Wall site to the General Market in West Smithfield, across the road from the Farringdon nightclub.
The residency will kick off next with a one-night-only performance commissioned by artist Ta Shani titled My Bodily Remains, which includes a live score by Shani’s long-term collaborator Maxwell Sterling as well as Richard Fearless aka. Death in Vegas.
In 2024, fabric will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with the museum hosting its own exhibition on this milestone looking into the club’s impact on London’s nightlife and music scene.
YOUTUBE CREATOR BRICK TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE A DRUM MACHINE OUT OF LEGO
YouTube creator Brick Technology has made a drum machine crafted entirely out of Lego Technic pieces.
The fully operational drum sequencer, which draws from a Roland TD-9 drum module and drumming production software (Toontrack’s Superior Drummer 3), uses Lego pegs to mechanically hit piezo pickups that trigger the drum sounds. You can then alter the patterns by swapping out the pins into the different holes on the belt.
Check out the creation via video above, which features a ‘Guess The Song’ game with well-known drum patterns faithfully recreated by the machine, including Blur’s ‘Song 2’ and Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf