Miles Kane of The Last Shadow Puppets discusses his new solo album, Coup De Grace
"Being on stage is my favorite thing ever. [It's] where I come alive."
When he's not playing in The Last Shadow Puppets with Alex Turner, Miles Kane pursues his own truth, blending rock and roll nostalgia with the coiled, fuzzed-out severity of today's lo-fi garage rock movement. With the release of his third solo album, he's exploring new sounds but focusing on the same thing; namely, producing good music and cutting out the fluff. Coup De Grace makes a rare double move, in that it deviates from Kane's prior work but is still uniquely his. We were lucky enough to catch him before he embarks on a European tour and talked with him about his new musical direction, his influences, and his creative process during this Popdust exclusive interview.
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Production on the end of the world has been a mess since day one
With June of 2020 nearly here and no sign of the final cataclysm we've been promised, it's beginning to seem like The End Times will forever be near, without ever being upon us.
While the early phases of civilization's collapse into a burning hellscape were promising, progress on the more dramatic culmination of armageddon has been repeatedly stalled by restructuring, miscommunication, and the high rate of turnover within the ranks of the Great Old Ones' loyal subjects.
"The slow burn is great and all," said John Knӕlgghyrt, née Phillips, who was briefly the high priest of Cthulhu's Dark Order—prior to being scooped unceremoniously into his lord's tentacled maw—"but trying to get the big stuff done has been a real challenge." The main struggle he points to is the lack of cohesion and structural order among the death cult working haplessly to hasten Earth's return to a state of desolation and chaos. "It's like herding cats sometimes. Insane, death-obsessed cats."
She Has Been on the Rise for a While, Now her EP and Music Video will Blow You Away!
Have you ever asked yourself what Alt-Pop means?
Well, you might just be able to answer your own question if you give a listen to Josephina. Her sound takes everything you think you know about modern pop and feeds it back on itself through a blurry ethereal lens. In the last few days, she has dropped the video for single "Miles On Miles," and her debut EP follows sharply on its heels.
Her work may be hot off the presses, but we've been seeing Josephina on the rise for a while. At age 16, she took her singing talents to social media where she quickly gained a major following, and eventually earned the attention of management and production companies across the country. The video for her song "Feelings" dropped on EARMILK in February and she performed the song live on Perez Hilton to great acclaim. Her single "Pleasure and Pain" debuted on Ones To Watch last year to similar positivity, and now the stage is set for her to really explode. The EP is produced by Grammy-winning production team The Stereotypes, and we are here for it.
"Miles On Miles," the EP's lead single, typifies Josephina's sound. Other-worldy, retro-future, almost Vangelic synth forms the bulk of the sound. Reverby clicks and pulses make up a lot of what's left, with unexpected patches of acoustic instrumentation adding wholesome flavor to the piece. Her vocal style is a mixture of ultra-produced and sing-songy, creating an ambivalence of maturity that is further complicated by lyrics that speak to a greater emotional depth. To that end, the song feels like a melancholy parable sung in the voice of young girl. Hauntingly good.
The video echoes this sentiment, seeing Josephina alternately strutting through gothic, wintry desert landscapes, and driving a vintage car down long, empty roads. It feels vaguely post-apocalyptic, but more than anything, it speaks to the distance implied in the song's lyrics. "The director and I sat down and were thinking we wanted something to match the vibe of this song. The desert seemed perfect that day… perfectly gloomy," says Josephina about the shoot. "It fit the sadness of the song so well. Although I was freezing cold every second, it was worth it."
After "Miles On Miles" opens the EP, the rest of the tracks fall in line behind it. "Money on My Mind" feels like a post-modern take on a "goin' to the club" track. "Feelings" blends an off-beat sensibility with playful lyrics that perfectly encapsulate her happy-sad aesthetic. "Guilty by Association" feels like the departure track of the bunch, with abrupt snare-claps and smooth lyrics that drive through the song like
Snowpiercer. It almost feels like an '80s Soft Cell track. Finally, "Pleasure and Pain" feels like the orphaned love child of an Adele and Sia song, though with less of a belt than either of those two. Instead she allows the production to ramp up the stakes.
Overall, Josephina has made quite the impression here. She blends styles and modes of expression with remarkable ease. Lyrically she goes places you wouldn't expect a pop act to go, and musically she makes calls that you don't see coming from a pop act. Her future in the industry definitely seems bright, but the future is tomorrow. Right now just sit back and enjoy yourself some Josephina.
Thomas Burns Scully is a Popdust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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