TRACK REVIEW: Goodman “Hiccup”

With a very Beatles-esque vibe, Goodman is here to bring a bit of sunshine and chill to your dreary winter days with his latest single “Hiccup.”

Singer/songwriter Michael Goodman delivers us this feel-good track that walks the line between pop rock and surf rock, and it’s got us feeling all sorts of feels. Its repetitive beat, peppered with claps and hiccups, will have you grooving in your seat.

Keep an eye out for his full-length album The Vicissitudes, which is expected to drop in February on Invertebrate Records.



Brooklyn-based duo Cool Company are releasing addictive, smooth, jazzy hip-hop tunes that’ll make your toes tap and your head sway. It’s the sort of music you want to be the soundtrack to your life, filling you with confidence and chill as hell vibes as you go through your everyday routine. Although we weren’t able to make our busy New York schedules align perfectly for a sit-down interview, I was still able to chat with Cool Company about how they got together, their musical influences, and their plans for the future.

AudioFemme: How did you meet and start making music together?

Yannick: We met way back in my junior year of high school. We were sat next to each other in choir, and then we both went on to make it into the honors choir the next year. We didn’t start making music together for another four to five years, though.

Matt: I had got into producing rap beats, but I didn’t really know any rappers, so me and my friends would get high and write joke raps. We kept inviting Yan to join—finally he did, and to be honest, it wasn’t that special at first haha. But we kept making stuff together, and he kept getting better and better exponentially faster than anyone else I had worked with, so soon enough we decided to give it a serious shot.

Do you have more in-depth backgrounds in music?

Y: I was always singing and dancing around the house as a kid, so my mom made me join church youth choir. I wasn’t that into it at the time, but I guess it all worked out because it eventually led to this.

M: I started playing trombone in fifth grade because I thought it was funny how the slide went in and out and you could poke people with it. I picked up the guitar a few years later when I got into music, then piano, then bass. I’m known to pick up a ukulele from time to time, and I love playing with various percussion instruments, which incorporate into my production a lot. Next on the list is the flute.

I also sang in choir, where I met Yan.  I went on to study classical composition in college, which has influenced my production a lot, even for the pop/hip-hop songs.

What was the inspiration behind your upcoming full-length?

Y: We wanted to make something really upbeat and fun while still having some substance and thoughtfulness. I’d say the project was inspired a lot by the ups and downs of a Brooklyn summer. Life.

M: Each song is basically a journal entry for both of us. Whatever was stimulating us at the time led us to create what we created. So since we both see the world in a particular way as individuals, this album really gives you a taste of our personalities. In the time since our last album, we’ve created maybe 50 or so songs. We had to say goodbye (for now) to a few good ones, but I think we picked the strongest and most cohesive combination.

Do you have any favorite songs off it?

Y: They’re all my babies, but if I had to choose right now I’d say “Slice of Paradise,” “Faded,” and “Life.” “Life” is really one of the more dynamic songs we’ve written. It really takes you on a journey.

“Slice of Paradise” is one of those where, as soon as we had the first cut, I hit up our manager ASAP because I knew we had a major song there.

M: It’s hard to say because they were all my favorites when I made them, but mine right now are “Slice of Paradise,” “Life,” and “End of the Night.”

Who are some other musicians you draw inspiration from?

Y: I grew up hearing a lot of MoTown from my parents, and I can never seem to shake the influence that has on my songwriting. More recently I listen to Frank Ocean, Chance, Kanye, The Weeknd and this artist named Kamau whose latest EP has become one of my all-time favorites. Outkast is a classic influence. They pushed the boundaries for sure.

We pride ourselves in writing catchy songs and hooks that are uniquely distinct from a lot out there right now. Fresh ideas that still have that pop/commercial sensibility, but are new and avant-garde in a way and just chill AF. There are a million recycled ideas out there, but it was and is the greats that push the boundaries of music and genre.

M: My earliest influences were Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” The Beatles, and this compilation album “Pure Funk” that I made my dad buy me when I saw the ad on TV as a kid. Then 2000-era pop radio, lots of Neptunes and Timbaland produced stuff, though I didn’t know the producers at the time. It was Nirvana and alternative rock that actually got me into making music, though I don’t listen to or make that stuff anymore. More recently I’ve drawn influences from hip-hop, R&B, jazz, classical, afro-beat/highlife, pop, and electronic music. I don’t use all these influences in one song, but it helps to have lots of different techniques up your sleeve so you don’t just sound like a copy of another band.

Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes band stories you like to share?

Y: When we were working on “Lighten Up,” one of the songs on the upcoming release, Matt kept trying to get me to sing with a lighter, smoother, more relaxed tone. He ended up having me lie down in bed, then position the mic over my face. I fall asleep really easily, so I kept taking little naps while we worked, but I ended up getting the relaxed tone he wanted. I kind of wish we could do that for every song.

M: Back when we worked on the first album, I recorded little farting sounds with my hands, then bet Yannick I could fit it into a song. He declined to take me up on the bet, but I did it anyway—the synths on “Yourself” are modified hand farts. There was also a song I incorporated burping into, but that one didn’t make the cut.

What plans do you have for the future?

Y: We’ve got a couple videos in the works. A beautiful one for “Slice of Paradise,” which we look forward to releasing very soon. Plus a full-length album in the coming weeks of September. And of course, we’re always making new music. We continue to write and write and have a nice little stockpile of music.

M: We’re also teaching our live band the new songs, maybe putting together a small tour. Or a big one if you ask nicely.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Infinity Shred “Choir VI”


At first, you might think the video for Infinity Shred’s single “Choir VI” is a video game demo or a preview of an upcoming trippy movie. It pulls you in with its fascinating 3-D graphics and captures your entire attention, to the point that you won’t even realize that it’s been three minutes since you began watching it. The entire track tells a story of wonderment and intrigue, as you follow an adventurous skateboarder into a church in the woods where he has an ethereal experience as he warps and twists and floats away after skating around a bit. The song features chills-inducing drums by Clara Warnaar and entrancing synths, all of which work together to create this piece full of nostalgia and innocence. It’s the first single off Infinity Shred’s upcoming full-length Long Distance, which is due out on October 14.

TRACK REVIEW: Sleigh Bells “Hyper Dark”


The second the spiraling music of Sleigh Bells starts and the distant “Uh-oh’s” sound, it’s apparent that “Hyper Dark” is a more than appropriate name for this new release. It’s a whole new sound from their past work, which is more upbeat and in-your-face, but it’s definitely a side of Sleigh Bells that we’ve been craving without even realizing it.

“Hyper Dark” is a slower piece that feels like it’s working toward something huge from the get-go. It gets in your head and builds you up until you’re sitting up straighter in your chair, waiting on the edge of your seat for the action. And when it doesn’t quite come, you realize that was never the point of the track anyway. Then you listen to it again, because you can’t and don’t want to shake a quality track.

Get caught up in Sleigh Bells’ new whirlwind of a song “Hyper Dark” as you patiently await the release of their upcoming fourth album.

VIDEO REVIEW: Phantogram “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”


Phantogram’s latest video for “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” is an empowering blast that’ll have you ready to cut that lingering crush out of your life for good, while leaving you deeply unnerved. The video is dark, a bit disconcerting at times, and full of bondage. Like we said, it’s empowering as hell, and it’s also going to send more than a few chills down your spine.

Frontwoman Sarah Barthel leads the charge (and wears the bondage), her vocals packing a punch while also coming across as incredibly tantalizing. The video and song are enough to put you on the edge of your seat and get your heart racing, but it’s a feeling you’ll want to keep chasing. In fact, the rush from the video is so addicting that it’s almost ironic given the title. Keep an eye out for their upcoming album Three, which is expected to drop on October 7, and then get your fix and watch the video for “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” again.

TRACK REVIEW: Lié “Failed Visions”


The world isn’t feeling too positive lately, so a grungy garage rock song feels like just the thing we need to get these emotions out. It’s the sort of track where you can choose to head bang and shout your heart out, or just sit and soak in it, letting it fill you up and expand inside. We have just the right song for these types of moods and circumstances: Lié’s “Failed Visions.”

This trio of Vancouver badasses are cooking up some deliciously grungy post-punk music. Their debut album, Consent, provided social commentary about rape culture as told from the perspective of these three rockin’ ladies. It’s pretty damn relevant to some recent events, and great to hear the voices of strong women speaking their truth and not backing down from some of the more infuriating parts of our system.

“Failed Visions” is a single from their upcoming sophomore album Truth or Consequences, out August 12. Check out their single and let these tunes fill you up rather than rage, disappointment, and the slew of other negative feelings many of us are holding onto lately.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Savoir Adore “Giants”

Savoir Adore

You know what the world has been seriously lacking? New music from Savoir Adore. Well luckily, the dry spell seems to be broken with the latest release of their new single, “Giants.”

In the time since we last saw a lot of activity from the group, there have been some changes, which includes the departure of cofounder Deidre Muro. Fortunately, their music is as electrifying as ever, and you’ll be instantly hooked on this new version of Savoir Adore.

Unsurprisingly, “Giants” lives up to its name and makes a huge impression. The track is full of colossal drums and perky vocals from frontman Paul Hammer. It’s an anthemic jam that’ll have you amped up from start to finish, without any wavering in between. The overall feeling of the song encompasses optimism and embodies an eagerness for the future—or maybe that’s just how we feel waiting for more teasers from their upcoming full-length, The Love That Remains.

Currently the group is planning a brief tour for August with hopefully more dates to be announced. The album drops on August 12, so try to contain your patience for just a few more months!

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An entrancing voice and charismatic presence are the perfect ways to define singer/songwriter Shira and her recent show at Rockwood Music Hall on January 26. Shira captivated the audience by playing tracks from her upcoming album, Subtle Creature, as well as chatting with the crowd in between each song.

Sitting on the stage basked in dark red and purple lights, she crooned and jammed out on guitar, breaking from her normal routine of sampling and electronic influences. She played singles like “Heartbeat is a Prisoner,” “Dark Snow,” and “Tiptoe,” making sure to provide a background on the process behind the songs and what they meant to her. It was a more intimate setting for what felt like a personalized show—watching her perform and engage with fans, you recognize immediately she isn’t holding back; she has an honest connection with music, and delivers it as such.

After seeing Shira perform, I pretty much knew I had to talk to her, even if just for a little bit. Luckily I got the chance to have a brief email interview with her, which can be seen below.


Nicole Ortiz for AudioFemme: I remember at your show you mentioned that you have an album coming up. Can you tell me about the album and the work that went into it? What’s your favorite song on the album?

Shira: I’m releasing “Subtle Creature” this August 2016! I’m so excited about it. It’s been two years in the making. I wrote primarily on the Roland-404 Sampler, then added a ton of textures: drums, electric guitars, synth, cello, horns. It’s turned out to be a really undefinable, genre-switching album. I got to work with some of my favorite artists: the sister-trio Joseph, Shannon F. of Light Asylum, Neon Music of Youthquake, Jamila Woods, Mal Devisa, and cellist Emily Dix Thomas. My favorite song is the title track. It’s eight minutes long—the longest song I’ve ever written and produced. It really got away from me and started doing it’s own thing. It’s got like four verses and two choruses and tons of swimmy instrumental sections! I tried to reign it in and hold it down, but it refused. I like work that guides the way and demands you to stretch. Now when I listen to it, I hear an epic. I trusted where it was going (eventually!), and it lead me somewhere far vaster, cooler, stranger.

NO: I know you’ve been considering making another music video as well with a director whose work really spoke to you. What do you hope to show through this collaboration?

S: I recently saw the video for the song “Relief” by Wilder Maker directed by Evan Cohen. It’s an incredibly patient, inventive video. We live and work in such a fast-paced culture that, to see a video that sort of asks the viewer to lean in, that doesn’t beg or hit over the head, really stayed with me. I immediately got in touch with Evan. We’re both excited to get lost in the creative process together, to make something tender and unexpected.


NO: During your show, you mentioned a song about your grandmother and also spoke openly about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which resonated with me as I’ve suffered from anxiety for most of my life. Do you think this awareness and openness come into play in your creating process? How do you think it affects your music?

S: If we’re lucky, our art makes us more honest. It demands us to look closer at ourselves and the world. There’s a realness, a rawness it desires. It acts like a friend who would never let us fool ourselves. I know that it’s a choice I make to reveal parts of my personal life, including my health, but in some ways I don’t feel I have a choice. To be quiet, or stealthy, about vital parts of my being feels like choking myself, my truth. It’s just a part of my nature—I feel compelled to be honest. I know that when we risk honesty, we reap intimacy. I have no shame about my mental illness, and I want to welcome others into the conversation. That’s why I speak about it. As for my music, it’s a literal record of my life—how amazing is that? To have a lifelong sonic diary. When I look back on my life, I’m excited to have literal “records” of 2002, 2006, 2010, and so on and so on. When I look back, I want to see/hear where I was at truthfully, not a costume of where I was at. This requires a certain willingness to be transparent and take risks.

NO: I see on your site that you also create poetry, art, offer classes, and have a zine—you’re kind of an artistic jack-of-all trades! Do you ever showcase these pieces as well? Which outlet do you feel the strongest connection with?

S: Each outlet fulfills a need. Sometimes I don’t want to talk or think or make a sound, so I draw. There’s a quiet, a privacy, that my whole being desires. That’s why I endeavored on my SQUARES project, a year-long visual diary built of 1 x 1 inch squares. To daily enter that quiet [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][and] just be with myself. Sometimes I need to untangle a moment that got stuck—often that’s where poetry comes in. I’m working on a poetry manuscript, “Odes to Lithium,” which is entirely composed of praise-poems to the medication I take. Nearly every poem in that collection is me running my hands along a moment of stigma, mistreatment, or misunderstanding and breathing new understanding into it, or at least acknowledgement. Then there’s music—that’s like getting set loose in a candy store. I just lose myself. I never had a sister, so maybe it’s a bit like that, having a sister—I make a sound, [and] it becomes separate from me, almost like another’s voice. There she is—I listen to her, I hear what she has to say, I feel less alone. Ultimately it’s all about connection. Connection to myself. Connection to others. The Zine, the classes I teach, the work—it all fosters that, just from different angles.

NO: Do you have any other upcoming shows planned, or are you going to tour anywhere?

S: Yes! I constantly play in New York. You can always check my site for updates. I just got back from a month-long Writing Residency at Vermont Studio Center after touring the Midwest with Andrea Gibson. I’m cooking up plans for spring and summer shows as I get closer to the album release.

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