Posts by Philip Kennedy

The sweet electronic sounds of ‘Interconnected’ by Steve Hauschildt

After releasing the excellent Just To Feel Anything with his band Emeralds earlier this year, the American electronic musician Steve Hauschildt is back once again with the release of his new LP Sequitur. It’s an album filled with futuristic compositions, sweet vintage synths and that great pop-sensibility that we’ve come to love from Hauschildt and Emeralds.

The stand out track for me has to be beautiful Interconnected. Opening the album, Interconnected really warms you up with its mix of ambient vibes and and its rich synthesizer textures. It’s a warm, beautiful and playful piece of music that really is a joy to hear. Its glimmering video is the perfect visual companion to the music. Created by Sabrina Ratté, it fills the screen with great colors and vintage video transitions. Go check it out!

Photographer Nicholas Haggard hangs out with Victoria Bergsman for Creatures of Comfort

Telling you that this is a video of Swedish singer Victoria Bergsman (aka Taken by Trees) hanging out in a beautiful wooden house should really be enough to encourage you to check it out, but in case you need to know a little more about it, I’ll do my best!

It was filmed by Nicholas Haggard as a promo for Creatures of Comfort’s Spring/Summer collection for 2013, and Haggard really does a fantastic job of creating the look of a lifestyle you’d just love to have. The track in the video is from Taken by Trees’ new album and it’s called Only You. Beautiful stuff!

Ed Ruscha, Woody, and the World’s Hottest Pepper

Despite Ed Ruscha being one of my favourite American artists from the Pop art movement he’s someone who I don’t know all that much about. That is until now. Filmmaker Lance Acord has recently created a short film called ‘Ed Ruscha, Woody, and the World’s Hottest Pepper’ and it gives a beautiful insight into Rushcha and his work. It’s a really nicely put together short and Rushcha comes across as being warm, charming and a generally all-around excellent guy. I particularly like how describes himself as being a ‘linguistic kleptomaniac’ and it’s great to hear him talk about his influences – particularly his feelings about the desert and the city.

The film was created as part of the second annual Art+Film Gala at LACMA which paid tribute to both Ruscha and Stanley Kubrick. The aim of the event is to raise funds to support LACMA’s initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming, while also funding LACMA’s broader mission. Last year’s Gala included a great portrait of John Baldessari which I posted about earlier in the year and it’s also well worth checking out. I would love to see more films like these please!

‘Born to Win, Pt. One’ by Hurray For The Riff Raff

There must be something in the air at this time of year that makes people want to listen to more folk music. In last week’s podcast of The Build Up Bobby talked about listening to a lot of folk acts over the last few weeks and now I too have caught the bug, tuning into all sorts of folk, country and Americana.

I was recently introduced to the beautiful sounds of Hurray for the Riff Raff through an old episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered and since then I’ve been listening to their album Look Out Mama pretty relentlessly. Hurray for the Riff Raff is the music of Alynda lee Segarra and her band.

The album, which was released back in August, is the result of almost two years of touring across the US in small bars and clubs. It’s an album filled with a variety of influences ranging from Motown, soul, country, surf-rock and even a bit of psychedelia. Yet despite this eclectic mix of sounds the whole album is pinned together beautifully by Alynda lee Segarra sweet vocals and the band’s unmistakable love for classic Americana. The album’s stand-out track for me is the short-but-sweet Born to Win, Pt. One which really comes alive with a rollicking sing-a-long chorus. It’s a beautiful uplifting track!

Urbanears and Harris Tweed team up to make beautiful headphones

When I first heard that Harris Tweed were teaming up with Stockholm’s Urbanears to create a pair of headphones I was intrigued to see what they’d look like. It sounded like an odd combination of brands but it was certainly a pairing that could yield some interesting results. When I finally got my hands on a pair of them last week I was not only surprised with how well the crossover works but I was also properly impressed with just how genuinely beautiful they are.

Urbanears have always made good headphones and it’s nice to see a company that’s producing something with style, a good sense of design and a passion for making things that’s just that little bit unique. Their Plattan series is really nice and I reckon that this new Harris Tweed edition is by far the finest in the range.

Harris Tweed is an important part of Scottish heritage and it’s the only fabric in the world that has its own Act of Parliament to ensure its authenticity. These headphones are wrapped up in over 150 years of tradition, and they’re made out of the finest hand-woven virgin wool. If you ask me, they may just be the most stylish headphones around.

The Plattan Tweed Edition Urbanears are also a joy to use. They offer a rich, secluded sound and are filled with lots of nice detailing – from the beautiful brown cushions and fabric cord to the little subtle use of color on the orange cables. I particularly like how they have an extra jack on the side of the ear cap which allows a friend to plug in and enjoy the music your listening to.

These Harris Tweed Urbanears are a limited edition. You can find a pair in shops or order them online here. They really are the perfect look for this time of year!

Sweet Animation in ‘For Hire’ – A Look at Rickshaws in Bangalore

“The blood in the veins of Bangalore” is how the Berlin-based animator Xaver Xylophon likes to describe the city’s rickshaws. 450,000 of them make their way through the streets of Bangalore everyday and their drivers bravely do battle with the traffic just to take their passengers from A-B.

In 2011 Xylophon spent a month living in the city and the he produced a number of drawings while there. That work would go on to become the groundwork for this great short animation called For Hire!. The film shows a day in the life of a Bangalorean rickshaw driver and it’s an insight into both the daily life of the driver and also the life of the city. There’s a real simplicity in Xylophon’s animation and although it seems to be created digitally I love the painterly quality to his work. His story is a simple one, but it’s told so effectively and with such great restraint. I love it and I really recommended you check it out!

‘Rainstorming’ – A Series of Haunting Photographs by Lúa Ocaña

Rainstorming is the name of an ongoing series of photographs taken by the Spanish photographer Lúa Ocaña. Started in 2007 and shot on 35mm black and white film, the images feel raw and beautiful. Her photographs are mysterious – they’re filled with shadows and dark dingy corners. There’s a dream-like quality to the places and things she shoots and in many ways her series feels like a dream world, one of uncertainty and vagueness.

While I don’t speak enough/any Spanish to understand Ocaña’s description of the work, I feel her series stands well on it’s own too and I like the mystery the images are shrouded in when viewed without context. I highly recommend you visit her site and take a look at the ongoing collection of photographs. It’s a really beautiful set of images

A Boldly Designed Event Poster by Sarah Vanbelle

I was checking out the work of Belgian designer and illustrator Sarah Vanbelle the other day when I came across this beautiful little poster she created for Huis Van Het Nederlands. The poster is designed to promote an event called Bite in Antwerp which is organized for people to meet up, practice their Dutch and meet new people. Sarah’s illustrations are really simple and fun and I think they work terrifically well for an event like this. It makes the whole thing look like a lot of fun and I know it would encourage me to get involved – goodness knows, I’d love to look as cool as one of her salsa dancers!

The poster is just a taste of the bright, fun and colorful work which Sarah makes. You can go check out more of what she does by visiting her website here.

‘I Need To Sleep’ by Snow in Mexico

I’m not sure how Snow in Mexico’s self-titled EP found its way into my musical collection but I’m glad it did. Released back in 2009, it was a sweet compilation of shoe-gazy dream pop which reminded me of bands like The Radio Dept. and My Bloody Valentine. As debuts go it was a promising release and its four tracks left me wanting to hear more.

Earlier this year the Italian duo released their follow up, an EP called Prodigal Summer. Offering more of what I feel in love with first time around, the release is filled with beautiful post-rock sounds all wrapped in an air of mellowness and tranquility. Picking a favorite track to share is a hard ask but ‘I Need To Sleep’ is certainly a suitable taster for the flavor of the EP. Currently both releases are available at a name-your-price download from their page on Bandcamp. If you like what you hear, go check out some more and give these guys what you can.

Beautiful auditoriums illustrated by Eoin Ryan for Wallpaper

Vienna by Eoin Ryan

Carnegie Hall by Eoin Ryan

West Wing by Eoin Ryan

London-based illustrator and artist Eoin Ryan has a wonderfully unique style of illustration. His images are filled with contradictions – his color pallet is always soft and gentle yet his images are filled with sharp geometric shapes and patterns. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition that he creates and he always seems to strike the perfect balance between organic natural forms and sharp linear shapes.

The images above come from last months issue of Wallpaper*. The issue was guest-edited by the Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang and Eoin’s illustrations show a collection of the various auditoriums where he Lang has performed. Eoin’s work really is like nothing I’ve seen before and you should really take a look at more of what he does online here.