Monday, January 23, 2017

Bernhoft: Visceral + Falter

This week Norwegian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jarle Bernhoft aka Bernhoft dropped his second stellar EP in less than a year. The six-track 'Stop/Shutup/Shout It Out' was released in May 2016; the brand new collection 'The Morning Comes' contains five songs.

I generally don't post lyric videos, but last year's Alex Vargas-meets-Justin Timberlake track "Falter" is so good, I had to include it.

And speaking of lyrics: pay close attention to the powerful words penned by Bernhoft for his outstanding song "Visceral" which sadly couldn't be more topical in light of the increasing amount of xenophobia and racism shamelessly expressed on social media or in person by politicians and non-politicians. The excellent video was created by Swedish director August Segerholm and features his fellow Swede, acclaimed dancer-choreographer Fredrik QuiƱones whose parents are Chilean.

As of now, only a few performance dates have been announced for 2017: two shows in Switzerland this weekend plus one concert in Oslo March 2. An additional gig in Norway is scheduled for summertime: August 18 in Harstad. (The light touring schedule is no doubt due to the fact that the 40-year-old artist and his wife are expecting their second child next month.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SOHN: Hard Liquor

London born producer/singer-songwriter Christopher Taylor aka SOHN ["son" in German"] lived in Vienna for half a decade before relocating to L.A. in 2015 and replacing his generic hooded sweatshirt with a dapper hat.  The City of Angels however proved to be too distracting a place for the artist in which to focus on a his second full-length; 'Rennen' ["to run" in German"] therefore was both written and recorded at a friend's rural wine country ranch in Sonoma, Northern California. Since arriving in the U.S. he has also married and become a father. Big changes all 'round.

The brand new album's superb opening track "Hard Liquor" was co-written together with his pal, acclaimed singer/songwriter Sam Dew of Chicago. 

The stunning video accompanying the song was shot in Belgrade by New York-based Serbian director-photographer Jovan Todorovic and features a haunting performance by Bosnian-Herzegovinian actor Dado Cosic.

SOHN has a busy tour schedule starting next month:
Continental Europe/Scandinavia February 13 - 27
London March 1
U.S/Canada March 19 - April 21  (incl. two performances at Coachella April 14 & 21)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Frights: Afraid Of The Dark + Kids

Marc Finn, Richard Dotson, Mikey Carnevale

Founded in San Diego by three high school grads in 2012 primarily as a joke, The Frights soon grew into a bona fide band when they were signed to local label Postmark Records which released the two EPs 'Dead Beach' plus 'Fur Sure' as well as a self-titled debut full-length in 2013. The split EP 'DeathFrights' came out in 2014. In 2015 the trio signed with Dangerbird Records and last year the label dropped the second studio full-length entitled 'You Are Going to Hate This'; by then original drummer Adam Lomnitzer had been replaced with Marc Finn. Produced by Zac Carber of FIDLAR, the ten superb songs on the album combine the best of Beach Boys and The Ramones into a beautiful sound which the members themselves astutely describe as "surf-punk, dirty doo wop."

Marc Finn, Richard Dotson and Mikey Carnevale have six dates scheduled for next month in Southern and Northern California; the February 14 show at the El Rey is already sold out.

The videos accompanying the two album tracks "Afraid of the Dark" and "Kids" were published last year. (The first spooky clip was co-directed by Richard Dotson together with Peter Novoa. No notes are provided by Dangerbird Records on YouTube on who created the second very funny clip.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rag 'N' Bone Man: Human + Disfigured + Is This Love

I can't think of a better way to kick off 2017 here on The Nightfly than to post three flawless live performances by Rory Graham aka Rag 'n' Bone Man. The 31-year-old UK singer-songwriter has been doing music since his early teens, collaborating with various people and releasing several EPs. Though hip hop was his first love, once he discovered he was far better at singing than rapping, he decided to shift his focus and hasn't looked back since. It's a beautiful thing when an artist finds his/her true calling.

The debut 12-track full-length 'Human' drops February 10.  (A deluxe edition of the album will be released the same day and will contain 19 songs.)

Rag 'n' Bone Man will be touring continental Europe and the UK from late March to late April. On May 20 there's a show scheduled in his home town of Brighton, and in early June the festival gigs commence, among them: the Isle of Wight June 8-11. (More festival dates are sure to be added as we get closer to summer.)

The three videos:

His powerful 2016 hit "Human" was the song that put him on the map and deservedly so. The studio version is superb; the live version is sublime.

The outstanding title track from his 2015 EP 'Disfigured' was performed in London last year at the ongoing concert series Sofar [Song From a Room].

And finally: the best cover I've yet heard of Bob Marley's "Is It Love" from 1978. (Much credit must be given to the person responsible for the fantastic arrangement of this classic; quite likely it's the accompanying keyboard player whose name unfortunately is not listed in the notes for the video.)