Tag: Italians Do It Better (Page 1 of 3)

GLÜME The Internet

Described as “black lodge music for the blue youth of the internet age”, GLÜME is the Los Angeles-born “Walmart Marilyn Monroe”.

Like a tattooed Norma Jeane Mortenson dropped into Twin Peaks, having been a child actress and studies music before being diagnosed with a serious heart condition, GLÜME often reflects on her fragile hold onto life and how it keeps her detached from the real world in which she has live in.

But while her music often projects a tragic heartfelt quality, it is also strangely engaging and delightful.

Beginning with the forlorn Marilyn homage ‘Arthur Miller’, the afflicted drama accompanied by electric piano, organ, solemn strings and music box signals the forgotten yesterday mood that colours her first long player ‘The Internet’. Meanwhile ‘What Is A Feeling’ places GLÜME into a synthwave backdrop of sombre staccato bassline sand melancholic counter melodies. Highlight her own insecure emotions with the world are “my undoing”, this contrast of Norman Jean meeting ‘Drive’ only makes the scenario even more otherworldly and engaging.

The indie synth anxiety of ‘Nervous Breakdown’ dials largely down the Marilyn coos for some appealing melancholic pop while more off-kilter and detuned is ‘Crushed Velvet’ which recalls Nordic artists such as FARAO and GRETA.

Constructed around a distorted synth arpeggio, the haunting ‘Body’ reflects on illness with an emotive resigned acceptance with further tension provided by electric guitar. But things get glorious for the brilliant roller coaster of ‘Get Low’, the combination of rumbling synthbass and electronic stabs musically not that far off an experimental OMD B-side or LADYTRON!

The eerie chill of ‘Blossom’ outlines American suburban wifey aspirations like a ‘Twin Peaks’ song that Lana Del Rey wouldn’t shy away from and as the dream decays, GLÜME asks “which god do you prey to?” before stating “you can be really mean?”. 

The vibey ‘Don’t @ Me’ is a metronomic spoken word piece with echoes of JOY DIVISION’s ‘Decades’ in its repeated riff while utilising real strings blended with sparkles of synth, the finger-clicking album title song confronts online trolls and stalkers with references to a “worldwide bitch”.

A burst of a brass ensemble punctuates the film noir atmosphere of ‘Heatwave’ with some frantic if understated guitar work to accompany GLÜME’s Lana-like delivery albeit without the rasp. ‘Porcelain’ offers Trans-Atlantic trip-hop, before the orchestrated ballad ‘Chemicals’ closes ‘The Internet’ with the frustrations of medication and wanting them to “play nice”.

While it does not include her marvellous chilling cover of THE FLEETWOODS’ ‘Come Softly To Me’, ‘The Internet’ will satisfy anyone intrigued by GLÜME’s singles. With a variation of atmospheres and tempos plus an aura of charming vulnerability, featuring one of the best songs of the year in ‘Get Low’, the album is more than consistent with the Italians Do It Better brand identity and showcases GLÜME as their shimmering new star.


‘The Internet’ is released by Italians Do It Better on 30th April 2021

https://italiansdoitbetter.com/glume/

https://www.facebook.com/babyglume

https://twitter.com/babyglume

https://www.instagram.com/babyglume/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
29th April 2021

GLÜME Get Low

If LANA DEL REY is the “Gangster Nancy Sinatra”, then Los Angeles-born GLÜME is the self-styled “Walmart Marilyn Monroe”.

Like a tattooed Norma Jeane Mortenson dropped into Twin Peaks, GLÜME is a shimmering new starlet in the Italians Do It Better stable with her debut album ‘The Internet’ is due out later this year. While ‘The Internet’ does not include her marvellous chilling cover of THE FLEETWOODS’ ‘Come Softly To Me’, it will feature a previous single ‘Body’ and her latest offering ‘Get Low’.

‘Get Low’ is an intriguing slice of accessible avant pop about the high of falling for someone and how it effects your brain chemistry and nervous system. While that may seem exceedingly cerebral, GLÜME suffers from autonomic dysfunction and a heart condition. So the feelings conveyed are from her own personal experience and reflect how her love ride can feel like a roller coaster.

Directed by We Suffer For Fashion Films with choreography By Mark Marchillo, the video accompaniment for ‘Get Low’ is mysterious but glamourous and sees GLÜME tap, fan and ballet dancing while also plonking away on a primitive electric keyboard. Applying some rumbling electronic bass, stabbing vintage synths and simple but prominent digital drum beats, ‘Get Close’ comes over like a wonderful experimental B-side by a fragile girly OMD!

Described as “black lodge music for the blue youth of the internet age”, with song titles like ‘Nervous Breakdown’, ‘Crushed Velvet’, ‘What Is A Feeling’ and ‘Don’t @ Me’, expect GLÜME’s debut album to be a melancholic but enticingly celestial affair.


‘Get Low’ is released as a digital single by Italians Do It Better

https://italiansdoitbetter.com/glume/

https://www.facebook.com/babyglume

https://twitter.com/babyglume

https://www.instagram.com/babyglume/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
19th February 2021

DESIRE Zeros

Releasing ‘II’, their only album to date in 2009, the reputation of DESIRE was reinforced when one of its tracks ‘Under Your Spell’ was included on the influential soundtrack to the film ‘Drive’ starring Ryan Gosling.

Fronted by the vivacious French Canadian Megan Louise, DESIRE also feature Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker of CHROMATICS.

Jewel is also the founder of the highly regarded independent record label Italians Do It Better and after a period looking after royalty accounting, Megan Louise became company president.

A second DESIRE long player has been eagerly awaited for some time now and in 2020, a series of singles including ‘Boy’ ‎and ‘Liquid Dreams’ ‎were released as teasers although as with CHROMATICS ‘Dear Tommy’, it did not actually materialise.

But there were several excellent tracks released among these trailers. There was the deviantly amorous ‘Black Latex’ which was a spoken word art piece in French and English inspired by Andy Warhol, while the brilliantly naive escapist electronic disco of ‘Escape’ imagined BANANARAMA fronting NEW ORDER.

Talking of NEW ORDER, when DESIRE embarked on the ‘Double Exposure’ world tour with CHROMATICS and other Italians Do It Better label mates in 2019, they performed a faithful note-for-note cover of ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. On stage, Megan Louise literally got into the spirit of the song’s title and passionately kissed her live keyboardist Aja of IDIB act HEAVEN in full-view of her beau Johnny Jewel. But for the new DESIRE single ‘Zeros’, Megan Louise has found a new keyboard partner-in-crime in Korean-born model Soo Joo Park.

A gorgeously dreamy electronic dance track produced and mixed by Johnny Jewel, the seductive opening line “Hey Mr Midnight, I’ve been waiting for you” signals the intent and its sunset noir cinematics are captured in the accompanying video shot in the desert of Palm Springs. Directed by Kirill Nong, it sees Megan Louise and Soo Joo Park burying their past. Reflecting the lockdown fatigue many are feeling, there is resignation that things are “Adding Up To Zero Every Single Day”.

Of ‘Zeros’, Megan Louise said: “As the calendar pages fly by, we are all reaching for a new normal on what sometimes feels like an endless loop. The cyclical music echoes flashback sequences of a recurring dream, chanting ‘Falling like a feather… Never touch the floor’. We sampled the incessant strikes of a grandfather clock, stopwatches and digital alarm clocks to keep the time. From sunrise to sunset, every single day is adding up…”


‘Zeros’ is released by Italians Do It Better as a digital single available on the usual platforms

https://italiansdoitbetter.com/desire/

https://www.facebook.com/PRIMITIVEDESIRE/

https://twitter.com/primitivedesire

https://www.instagram.com/desire_megan/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
4th February 2021

Introducing GLÜME

From the Italians Do It Better stable, home to the likes of CHROMATICS and DESIRE, comes rather a lovely eerie ‘Twin Peaks’ styled cover of ‘Come Softly To Me’ from the mysterious but glamourous GLÜME.

Her bio says GLÜME was born and raised in the City of Angels.

She worked as a child actress and then juggled her time between training her voice, exploring music and wrestling with her health, a situation that perhaps adds a vulnerable edge to her doll-like demeanour and leaves her feeling incompatible with the outside world.

Written and made famous by THE FLEETWOODS in an almost acapella rendition in 1958, GLÜME’s version of ‘Come Softly To Me’ (exec produced by Italians Do It Better head honcho Johnny Jewel) is more chilling and metronomic, capturing the innocence of forgotten yesterdays in the pursuit of today.

In some respects, the hypnotic arrangement with its lush but tragic Marilyn Monroe meets Julee Cruise delivery and the original acapella hook transferred to synth has the air of a 21st Century take on ‘I Know How You Love Me’ by THE PARIS SISTERS; it was used when Becky was being driven away by Steven in his Thunderbird convertible during episode 5 of ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’.

The first GLÜME single ‘Body’ was positively Autumnal, capturing an aural wash of fading colours with its mix of synths arpeggios, digital drum machine, distortion and six string strum in a manner not unlike COMPUTER MAGIC who herself covered ‘Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart Rockin’ from episode 14 of the original ‘Twin Peaks’.

Meanwhile, adopting a Marilyn does Britney approach, the B-side of ‘Body’ saw GLÜME perform a stripped down interpretation of ‘Baby One More Time’ with accompaniment from Johnny Jewel on guitar. As GLÜME puts it herself: “…I’m Not Whispering…It’s A Scream!…”


‘Come Softly To Me’ and ‘Body’ are released as digital singles via Italians Do It Better

https://italiansdoitbetter.com/glume/

https://www.facebook.com/babyglume

https://www.instagram.com/babyglume/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
10th October 2020

CHROMATICS Teacher

In Autumn 2019, CHROMATICS broke a seven year silence between albums with the release of ‘Closer To Grey’.

However, scrutiny revealed ‘Closer To Grey’ to have a ‘VII’ subtitle in blood red on the artwork, despite it being their sixth long player. That was because an album called ‘Dear Tommy’ had been announced in 2015 and yet to be released as album number six.

Legend has it that producer and Italians Do It Better head honcho Johnny Jewel decided he wasn’t happy with the record, so destroyed all 15,000 CDs and 10,000 vinyl copies that had already been pressed.

One record that suffered a similar fate was ‘Techno Pop’ by KRAFTWERK which was actually advertised in the German press in 1983 before being delayed and reworked. It was then released as the disappointing ‘Electric Café’ in 1986 with some additional new tracks, while its original lead single ‘Tour De France’ was omitted. Then in a bizarre revisionist twist, it was remastered and renamed ‘Techno Pop’ with a slightly amended tracklist in 2009!

The ‘Dear Tommy’ saga has become much talked about by observers and fans with speculation rife that it had been shelved. But in the interim, the quartet of Johnny Jewel, Ruth Radelet, Adam Miller and Nat Walker have continued to release singles while also touring the world.

The ‘Dear Tommy’ announcement has been trailed by a purple hazed video for a great new airy synth driven song entitled ‘Teacher’, of which Johnny Jewel says “The apple obscured in fog is enigmatic & open to the interpretation of the viewer. Are we sinking into the unknown or rising from beyond the grave?”

As with KRAFTWERK, the original ‘Dear Tommy’ lead single ‘Shadow’ has now been dropped from the revised tracklist having become ubiquitous, thanks to its inclusion’ in ‘Twin Peaks: Revisited’; also missing are ‘Cherry’, ‘Camera’, ‘In Films’ and ‘I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around’ which have all now been previously released in one form or another.

But included are the previous singles ‘Time Rider’ and ‘Just Like You’, while many of the eighteen tracks announced appear to be completely new with only a few like ‘Fresh Blood’, ‘She Says’, ‘Endless Sleep’ and the title track remaining from the original ‘Dear Tommy’.

A release date for ‘Dear Tommy’ has yet to be confirmed so this saga could go on. However with so much expectation, this album is in danger of underwhelming audiences like ‘Electric Café’ did. With that in mind, it therefore something of a strange coincidence that CHROMATICS and KRAFTWERK had both been due to perform on the same bill at London’s All Points East festival in May.


‘Teacher’ is released by Italians Do It Better via the usual digital outlets

https://italiansdoitbetter.com/chromatics/

https://www.facebook.com/CHROMATICSBAND/

https://twitter.com/chromatics

https://www.instagram.com/chromaticsmusic/

https://twitter.com/idib

https://www.instagram.com/italiansdoitbetter/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
22nd April 2020

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