Dec 16 2014

ODESZA live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

odesza 2013 quinn tivey 1 670x447 ODESZA live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Currently on a world tour, conquering the DJ scene, and ODESZA pit-stopped at the Bowery Ballroom to take over NYC. With a wide array of fans, ranging from college-students (who blatantly snuck into the venue) to 30-somethings just ready to let loose on a fine Thursday night in NYC – the Seattle duo allowed everyone to do just that: let loose.

Weaving in and out of favorites, ODESZA designed their set to keep the crowd moving. Upbeat chillwave tracks like “Sun Models,” and “How Did I Get Here” had the audience swaying in a deep groove. The first to really explode was “My Friends Never Die,” which could best be described as dirty pop – with its repetitive piano line and a nasty trap beat over the catchy, yet tampered with vocal line, the Bowery transformed into a full blown dance party.

They hypnotized their audience one last time with their remix of ZHU‘s “Faded,” then released them back to consciousness with their ubiquitous “Say My Name” which they had recently welcomed any and every DJ the chance to remix for them. Unfortunately, they did not touch upon RAC‘s take on the hit single (which is my favorite) – they merely allowed their fans to sing along with the original.


Post by Amanda Jabes


doublecougar ODESZA live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Nov 26 2014

Tove Lo live @ Webster Hall, NYC

tovelo wh 06 Tove Lo live @ Webster Hall, NYC
With the release of her first full album ‘Queen Of The Clouds‘, Swedish pop star, Tove Lo is on the rise and I had the fortunate opportunity to see her latest New York appearance.  Her infectiously catchy tunes and lyrics telling of relatable drug and love stories drew in a packed house of 20-somethings for her sold out show at Webster Hall.
Once the lights came down and the enthusiastic cheering began, a haunting black and white video projection of just a mouth began speaking to the crowd.  Monologuing about a time she was high with a stranger, Tove Lo painted the story of how they danced all night without touching until he finally held her face with both hands and told her “you are fucking perfect” and kissed her.  The raconteur finally emerged on stage, backed by the high powered beats of “My Gun,” the first song off her debut.
Connecting lyrics off of tracks from her EP, she quipped “I’m usually high all the time, but tonight I’m not on drugs, I’m just high on love”  to segue into “Not on Drugs,” which was backed by the only other set of visuals of the night – a kaleidoscope effect on some photos of her.  Accompanied otherwise by 3 dudes on synth pads, computers, and the occasional harmony – Tove was the main entertainer, maintaining high energy in the audience, merely mirroring off her energy.
She finished out her set with a piece of life advice: “You wanna die thinking ‘I got my heart ripped to pieces while I was having the time of my life.‘”  The beat picked up dramatically, as she quickly spat out the wordy “TIMEBOMB.”  Her encore surprisingly included the Lucas Nord song she is featured on, “Run on Love,” but unsurprisingly she ended the night on a high with “Habits” (pun intended.)
Post by Amanda Jabes

doublecougar Tove Lo live @ Webster Hall, NYC

Oct 22 2014

CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview

cmj2014600x600 CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Cougar Microbes is excited to be headed back Stateside in October to attend New York City‘s legendary CMJ Music Marathon.

Now in it’s remarkable 34th (!) year the urban festival keeps growing in scope with 80 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn welcoming 1000+ acts. As is expected for this kind of thing some of the industries leading names will also be discussing the state of the industry on daytime panels.

With a track record for making and breaking some of the artists we’ve loved and written about over the years the festival is truly a platform for new music to shine. With so much talent due to perform it’s almost impossible to pick a highlight but here are 10 acts we are particularly looking forward to catching at CMJ Music Marathon 2014 :


cathedralscmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Solid indie rock fulfilling all your dreampop needs, with echoing vocals and quick but flowing guitar lines, it’s unsurprising that this San Francisco band is Neon Gold’s hottest new act.

hoodlemcmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview

The sensual, deep, yet strangely airy vocals of Melbourne-based indie electronic group will suck you in quickly. It’s the slow soulful experimental beats that will make sure you stay though.

Made In Heights
madeinheightscmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Indie duo fronted by female vocals that range from breathy and smooth, to deep and sexy coupled with clever electronic beats and drumpads are a clear recipe for the hottest new indie act. Did I mention their fearless ability to sample a Sufjan piano composition?

AM Aesthetic
amaesthetic CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
These guys have twisted lyrics, guitar breaks that they simple shred on, and an overarching melancholy that makes them a whole lot more enticing than your average alt-rock band.

Ryn Weaver
rynweavercmhj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
If you’ve been anywhere near the internet since June, you know that this chick is the next big indie-pop act. Having a good friend in producer Benny Blanco doesn’t hurt her sound either.

bornscmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
With only one single available, this Michigan native still holds much promise and excitement for what else he is capable of. His smooth vocals backed by dreampop instrumentals make BORNS one of our must-see acts of CMJ.

Secret Someones
secretsomeonecmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
A trio of ladies from Brooklyn and their dear male drummer providing plenty of catchy indie pop rock to share with this year’s CMJ audience.

skyroads band image CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Hailing all the way from Tel Aviv, this 5-piece group gives us the taste of electro-funk dance rock that we’ve been missing from our lives. Consider them to be your modern day Jamiroquai.

Emily Wolfe
emilywolfecmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Texas rock in female-form finding the happy medium between Black Keys grit, and a softer Grace Potter sound on vocals.

Alexz Johnson
alexzjohnsoncmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Alexz shows how relocating to NYC can turn a good-girl Canadian singer-songwriter into an edgier pop artist with a taste of rock.

Snir Yamin

sniryamincmj CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview
Singer-songwriter Snir Yamin takes his confessional sounds to his adopted home of New York City performing CMJ for the first time. Expect delicate melodies and a little veering into electronic territory.

Words by Jabes

doublecougar CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Preview

Oct 19 2014

Field Day 2014 Reviewed

field day 2014 metronomy Field Day 2014 Reviewed

Victoria Park in London has its spots where, if only for a brief moment, you see no buildings, hear no cars and you can allow a gentle sense of escapism to creep into you. As 30,000 people descended on the east London park, the trick of Field Day is to make everybody feel miles away from the city, whilst being at the heart of the vibrant music culture it attracts. Field Day has found continued success in producing a line up which attracts people who know good music, rewards them with undiscovered treats and keeps them coming back by having a fresh, yet unpredictable mix of high calibre acts every year.
The day began with the synthesiser sorcerer Rizan Sa’id creating frantic dancing to the infectious dabke before Omar Souleyman graced the stage bringing an influence which appeared calm, yet it initiated swells of frenetic appreciation of the Syrian from the packed tent. At times I’m sure the vibrations felt on the floor were only half provided by the speakers, the rest coming from dancing feet as heart rates increased and shapes thrown became slightly overambitious.

Jamie xx drew a huge audience in the Bugged Out! tent as his technical prowess stitched together songs which really shouldn’t have worked. Throughout the set ran a continuing thread with an emphasis on listening to the understated intricacies of the tracks such as “Sleep Sound”, but still acknowledging the fact that in that moment, crowds will be vocal in their appreciation. The seeds of the songs had been sown in the crowds’ subconscious long before they found themselves belting out the lyrics to “I’ll Take Care Of You” or “You’ve Got The Love”.

From the distance, a pulsating, magnetic beat began drawing me towards it. The hypnotic repetitions and ever so subtle variations and nuances produced an allure which kept me taking great strides towards it. Time appeared to distort as giant orbs bouncing from the crowd into the sky travelled slowly and elegantly. A lone shuffling onstage figure offered contrast to the gliding spheres as Jon Hopkins’ continuously fine tuned his mesmerising techno to show off all the rich textures and delicate layers hidden behind the vivid beat. Despite the daylight detracting from the famous visuals, by way of an apology the sun covered the joyous crowd in a golden glow which gave a nod to the organic samples the distorted tracks found their origin in.

To close the day, Metronomy emerged in sharp white suits to begin a dazzling show full of glitzy hits, such as “Love Letters” and “The Look”, brooding undercurrents of “She Wants” and the disco ball illuminated the thousands during the pretty “Everything Goes My Way”. Closing on “You Could Easily Have Me” the driving, scuzzy riff topped with a shaky tiptoeing synth line from ‘Pip Paine’ showed the band being keenly proud of their past, a past which involved them humbly playing football in the very park they now were headlining their first ever festival in. A past which seems simultaneously distant, and yet inextricably intimately linked to the present, a contrast fitting of Field Day.

Words by Sam

doublecougar Field Day 2014 Reviewed

Oct 13 2014

Weekend Videos: NETA – “Silly Life”

Haunting vocals blend with an electronic downtempo rhythm in NETA’S single, “Silly Life”. A taste of his upcoming project, “Heroes in a Tale”, the song and its video reflect the depth of an artist at his ripest, delivering artistic, poetic and emotional maturity with a shot of irony. Pastel wallpaper is interrupted by the unmoving stare of eyes that have seen the world spin many times over. Sweet lyrics of forgiveness and freedom are contrasted by symbolism of human instinct at its rawest. “Silly Life” and its visual discussion of satiety give insight to a project that follows a hero starring in the tale of his own incredible musical life and spiritual journey.

NETA’s musical journey was sparked by one of the purest of relationships – childhood friendship. NETA grew up and later worked with musical icons Rami Fortis, and Berry Saharov. Together they toured Europe in the 80s and 90s, after which he settled in Amsterdam’s bustling music scene. Years of musical exploration soon lead to NETA’s first solo project. It was released five years ago under the pseudonym “The Alchemystique”, garnering critical appraise in addition to airtime on Israeli national TV and radio.

Several years of personal turmoil arose following his success, leading to hardship and quiet. Nevertheless, NETA chose to become the hero of his own tale, and soon he met his match. “I am usually the master of destruction. But this time, she destroyed me.” The woman who destroyed NETA is the woman responsible for his destruction and his emotional and musical rebirth. In interview, NETA has described his wife as the ultimate push, yet also the ultimate support for both his personal and artistic transformation manifested in his debut single video for “Silly Life”.

The album is a culmination of electronic elements with influence from a vast array of artists covering Bowie to Garbage, Zepplin to Jeff Beck, and Zero7 to Lana Del Rey – with everyone in between. Renowened Israeli producer Eyal Katzav has co-mixed and mastered the album, which also features brilliant drummer Boaz Wolf and phenomenal vocalist Doron Talmon.

“Heroes In A Tale” is due in November 2014, “Silly Life” is out now.


Post by Betty


doublecougar Weekend Videos: NETA   Silly Life

Sep 30 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris Preview

pitchforkparis Pitchfork Music Festival Paris Preview

Following our planned October foray over to the United States to attend CMJ and Culture Collide festivals, in New York City and Los Angeles respectively, we are excited to confirm our attendance at the 2014 European version of Pitchfork Music Festival coming October 31st, November 1st and November 2nd. Time off work has been booked, flights have been confirmed and we found a hotel deal at Venere which means we can’t wait to land in Paris and enjoy what the city and especially the festival have to offer.

Pitchfork Music Festival is set in the historic surroundings of the Grande halle de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. The former slaughterhouse and it’s neighbourhood had fallen on some dark times towards the end of the last century and by all accounts didn’t represent the safest area to walk around in. However, following a regeneration boom the area now truly offers one of the city’s most buzzing music scenes with The Grande Halle representing the jewel in it’s crown.

There really couldn’t be a better venue to host 3 days of exciting talents featuring some of the artists whose releases we have enjoyed the most in recent years. With the likes of headliners and perennial favourites Belle and Sebastian playing on an expansive stage alongside relative newcomers such as Future Islands, Chvrches, The War On Drugs, Jungle and How To Dress Well. Elsewhere artists who have established themselves with brilliantly with their recent releases including the likes of Caribou, Four Tet, St. Vincent and James Blake show up on a bill that looks packed with talent from top to bottom.

Tickets for individual days are now available through the festival website although it seems like the Saturday night show is already sold out (general three day passes are still available for 110€).

Paris already represents one of the most visited cities in the world and Pitchfork have put on an event that can rival most of the other major festivals on the European circuit in terms of venue, bands confirmed and sheer vision. We can’t wait to report from France.


doublecougar Pitchfork Music Festival Paris Preview

Sep 28 2014

Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John)

Bonnaroo 20141 1024x768 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John) Together with approximately 80,000 other people we headed to Manchester, TN to witness this year’s edition of Bonnaroo. With great vibes and amazing music on display throughout the 4 days it is clear that Bonnaroo isn’t outdone by any of the other global festivals.

 Vance Joy

Vancy Joy bonnarroo 1024x768 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John) I awoke early for my last day on the farm, and came to Centeroo to catch Australia‘s newest acoustic sensation, Vance Joy. Backed by 3 other band members – drums, keyboards, and a bass – Vance played some simplistic, standard, singer-songwriter arrangements such as “Snaggletooth.” The only unique part of his set was when he performed “Play With Fire” on ukulele. I was surprised to see how well he kept the crowd despite how ordinary he turned out to be. Then again, like myself, we all might have been hanging around to hear him close out with “Riptide,” which is, undeniably his best composition by far. With its vocals that climb and fall down the scales much like that of an ocean wave, bolstered by a Hawaiian type strumming, “Riptide” is the standout favorite worth waiting for.

 Little Dragon

Little dragon Bonnarroo 1024x768 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John)

Fresh off the heels of their latest album release ‘Nabuma Rubberband‘, Little Dragon sauntered onto the stage for an especially mellow show, just as the night time was approaching. Despite the volume of chanteuse Yukimi Nagano‘s multi-colored full-length skirt, her vocals were way too low for the first half of the show. A gradual progression of better sound mixing, alongside the steadily increased BPM, songs like “Klapp Klapp” slowly and steadily came together. The highest energy of the show was brought on by past electropop favorites from ‘Ritual Union‘. Then, with the sunset backdrop, it was time to bring it down a notch to end the set. Amidst the haunting piano introduction of “Twice,” the entire audience held up their lighters – not their phones – for a moment of nostalgic concert-going beauty that closed out the show in sweet melancholy.

 Elton John

elton john bonnaroo Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John)

With his natural panache, the 67-year-old Sir Elton John made his way onto the What Stage, dressed in a blazer adorned with sparkly rainbows on the sleeves and pockets. Seated behind a bright red grand piano, he performed for 2 hours straight, breezing through old favorites, such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie & the Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Your Song.” An amusing moment was when a festival-goer released the enormous Buzz Lightyear balloon he had been toting around perfectly in sync with the first chorus of “Rocket Man,” eliciting massive cheers from the audience. Later in the show, Elton invited friend, and fellow piano connoisseur, Ben Folds, to the stage to perform a tune off of “Yellow Brick Road“, “Grey Seal.” The only disappointment was the lack of Lion King songs, which were heavily expected to be slipped into the night’s repertoire. Thankfully, we were given “Crocodile Rock” to close out the night – and all of Bonnaroo – on a soaring high. —– Words by Jabes —– doublecougar Bonnaroo 2014: Day 4 (Feat. Vance Joy, Little Dragon and Elton John)

Sep 27 2014

Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)

Bonnaroo 20141 1024x768 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)

Together with approximately 80,000 other people we headed to Manchester, TN to witness this year’s edition of Bonnaroo. With great vibes and amazing music on display throughout the 4 days it is clear that Bonnaroo isn’t outdone by any of the other global festivals.

 Royal Canoe

royal canoe Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)

After two days of clouds and sporadic rain, Saturday brought the first truly hot summer Tennessee day of Roo. Seeking shade, I caught Royal Canoe cozied up on the small stage under the Cafe Where tent. Upon playing “Birthday,” I couldn’t help but compare their sound to Flight of the Conchords (sans comedic lyrics,) which was so bizarre to me since Flight is only two dudes. Royal Canoe has 2 drummers, a guy on synth/keyboards, a lead guitarist, a bass player who looks exactly like James Van Der Beek, and a lead singer who showcased an array of talents jumping from synth to tambourine to guitar throughout the set. “Hold Onto the Metal” was the most playful, but with it’s bouncy 80’s synth instrumentals, along with it’s staccato vocals and quick lyrics, all I could think of was Flight – and I mean that in the best way possible. They closed out their set with the slow grooves of “Summersweat,” and just as the lead singer said at the time, it was applicable.


Haerts Bonnarroo 1024x768 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)

Elegantly clad in a white dress with a deep V-neck that nearly reached her belly button, lead singer Nini Fabi graced the stage with her band HAERTS. With only an EP under their belt, many songs were new to the throng of devoted fans drawn out of the heat and into The Other Tent. Considering the depressing concept that it’s based on “Hemiplegia” was well received, strengthened by dream pop instrumentals and Fabi‘s legato crisp and pure vocals, it was difficult to not be mesmerized. They closed out with their first single “Wings” which is exceedingly more popular due to being the most upbeat of the set. Considering that single was released in 2012, I find that this band’s whole existence is based on the premise that slow and steady does, in fact, win the race.


Cayucas bonnaroo 1024x682 Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)

Saturday was a great day for steering clear of the thousands flocking to the big acts, and checking out the smaller stages instead. Drawn in by the California vibes coming off the Solar Stage, I caught indie-pop band Cayucas. With catchy choruses such as “High School Lover,” this 4-piece act hosted an adorably small, sun-drenched dance party in the grass. Surf pop at its finest, complete with a song titled “Hella,” with had a chorus that merely repeated the ever-present SoCal slang word, with some hip shaking music behind it. Later in the day I overheard them playing the catchy chorus “hella, hella, hella” again, for a quick second chance to dance over to the next act I was heading for.

Skrillex Superjam

skrillex live Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)
If there is one thing that makes Bonnaroo unique amongst all festivals, it is Superjam. The annual tradition of hosting a wide array of artists to jam together on a stage to make beautiful music, is still at its height after 13 years. This year, Bonnaroo went over the top with Superjam, by having not one, but three separate jams – and the one I chose to attend was easily the most hyped up, and the most talked about for the rest of the festival: Skrillex ‘s Superjam.

Similarly to the masses, I quickly assumed that this event would be a solid lineup of musicians playing their tunes with heavy EDM blaring behind them from Skrillex‘s laptop. We couldn’t have possibly been more wrong. To paint the picture, Skrillex was actually on electric guitar for the better part of f the 3-hour set, with Big Gigantic acting as house-band.

There’s no way for me to properly explain what I witnessed, other than to merely list all of the awesomeness as it happened. Warpaint opened up the night with Techtronic‘s “Pump Up The Jam,” which got the crowd going, only to have everyone let loose on “Let Me Clear My Throat.” When Janelle Monae joined on stage, she played her own “Tightrope,” then had the whole tent chanting “mamase mamasa mamakusa” as she rocked out on Michael Jackson‘s “Wanna Be Startin Something,” and segued into “I Feel Good” channeling her best James Brown. Robby Kreiger, now the only living member of The Doors, took over the stage to wail on guitar for “Break On Through,” something my father would have fainted at the sight of. Other highlights included stellar covers of Bill Withers‘ “Use Me” and Toto‘s “Africa,” but unfortunately due to my distance from the stage, I have absolutely no idea who performed these songs.

As the set came to a close and the crowd dissipated, a few of my friends and I stayed for what was hands down the greatest highlight of all of Bonnaroo: Ms. Lauryn Hill came out for a half hour encore. With Big Gigantic replacing her own new afro-fusion band (which I seriously disliked at her solo set) Hill took off rapping in double time to “Lost Ones” and “Oh La La La.” They closed out the whole night with Hill serenading the crowd Fugees‘ “Ready or Not.” It was absolutely fantastic.

Words by Jabes

doublecougar Bonnaroo 2014: Day 3 (Feat. Royal Canoe, Haerts, Cayucas and Skrillex Superjam)