Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

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To fully understand the energy of frontwoman Eva Hendricks and Charly Bliss, you gotta see them live. I learned that when the Brooklyn four-piece totally smashed the stage the first time I saw them. Not sure why I was surprised, but any doubts I might’ve had about Charly Bliss were effectively squashed. Hendricks is a dynamic instrumentalist and her distinctive high-pitched voice stands delightfully front and centre on a range of harmonies. This is a killer indie power-pop band.

Indie rock quartet Charly Bliss have an otherworldly knack at rendering certain playful images just as sinister: “cardboard cereal,” a bleeding snow cone, a mouth red with Gatorade. 2017’s Guppy established the band as masters of this subversion. Their crunching guitars and Eva Hendricks’ sweet, pointed vocals sliding through increasingly pop arrangements are the vehicle for a creeping dark that filters through each track’s observations of the mundane humour and horror of human affection. 2019’s stellar Young Enough polished its predecessor’s frayed, glittering edges for a slow burn of synthesizers and sharpened focal points; that cleaner sound also made room for a deeper emotional reservoir. Both are examples of kinetic and potential energy refined to an art.

“We’re young enough / To believe it should hurt this much.” They’re old enough to recognize it.

Listen / Buy Young Enough

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Girl Skin are a Brooklyn-based indie-rock band, led by singer/songwriter Sid Simons. They combine aspects of fragile folk and delicate art rock to create ethereal chamber-pop songs that are unafraid to wear their vulnerable hearts on their sleeve.

This six-piece based in Brooklyn known as GIRL SKIN has a much softer approach to music-making. Their latest single, “Forever & Always,” comes to us from the band’s debut album, Shade is On the Other Side, which will be available on April 17th through Jullian Records. At the helm of this endeavor sits singer-songwriter Sid Simons who wrote and recorded the album at his Brooklyn home with the help of his musical entourage. “Forever & Always” starts and ends with a simple indie-folk sound, but between those two points, the song swells and assumes different forms, sometimes achieving orchestral proportions. The love song sentiment is strong in “Forever & Always” and it definitely pulls on the heartstrings… even on a grumpy old writer like myself. This song has the power to lift spirits to the lofty heights of new love. Check out Girl Skin below

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Brooklyn-based indie-folk band Girl Skin have just released the latest single from their debut album, ‘Shade is on the Other side’.  Front-man, Sid Simons says of new song ‘Soft Gun’: “I was in my living room one day working on a song that wasn’t really going anywhere and my brother and his soon to be ex-girlfriend were upstairs arguing. They were arguing loud enough that I could hear almost every word, so I started writing down some of the things they were saying to each other and then began singing the lines I wrote down. By the time the argument was over and my brother had come downstairs, I had a song.”  Well, that’s how to write a song.  It’s warmly textured, summery fuzzy-folk, complete with dreamy, drifting vocals.

Band Members:
Sid Simons,
Sophie Cozine,
Stan Simons,
Ruby Wang,
Noah Boling,
Wyatt Mones,

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been creating incorruptible independent pop music since the late 90’s. Mirah recently announced the reissue of her debut LP, You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This, accompanied with a full tribute LP with contributions from over 20 artists. The reissue is out July 31st, 2020 on Double Double Whammy. 

Mirah has shared the full album streams for the double LP 20th anniversary reissue of You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This. The reissue includes a remastered version of the record as well as a tribute to the album that features covers by Mount Eerie, Half Waif, Hand Habits, Palehound, Shamir, Sad13,Allison Crutchfield and more. The LP established Mirah as one of the smartest and most exciting young artists in America. It also went on to inspire a new generation of indie musicians, drawn in by Mirah’s deft and introspective songwriting.”

“To get to hear my songs performed by all of these amazing folks was like having a weird cool dream about my life 20 years ago,” Mirah said of the tribute album. “You know that way that dreams can feel both real and surreal at the same time? I love getting to float above myself and listen in on all of the brilliance that the musicians on the covers album gave to this project.”

Additionally, to celebrate the reissue, Mirah has announced a series of live streams featuring performances of songs from her first three records that kicks off on 8/11 with You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This. 

20 Year Anniversary Reissue of Mirah’s first album You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like. This was originally released on K Records in 2000 and has been out of print on vinyl since 2014.

Double album with the first disc a straight repress, but the second has a long list of notable artists covering the record including Phil Everum, Hand Habits, Jenn Wasner, Half Waif and many others.

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Gatefold 2xLP featuring the remastered full album and tribute covers LP.

Released July 31st, 2020

Earlier this month, the members of the dearly beloved and dearly departed band Krill announced they were reforming, with an additional guitarist, as Knot. Their self-titled debut is going to be out at the end of August, and they’ve already shared a promising first glimpse called “Foam,”

Today, they’re back with another one. Knot’s latest is called “The World.” Here’s what Jonah Furman had to say about it:  “The World” is supposed to be about the experience of wanting to change the world — or maybe the experience of insisting on wanting to change the world. I guess in some basic way it’s just about anti-escapism — what it means to accept the world, your life, the political situation, as real, as something one cannot retreat from, and as something one should try to not want to retreat from, but to push through, look in the face, and demand some kind of transformation. In my head there was the phrase “another world is possible,” which is heard in movements and protests, and seems to be consciously or unconsciously associated with the idea that we can build something parallel or separate from the corrupted and horrific institutions and instantiations of actually-existing society. I want on some level to reject that; not that change can’t happen, but I want to insist that it happens through, not around, the sick and failed parts of human political experience.

The Band:
Jonah Furman: Vocals, Guitar
Joe Demanuelle-Hall: Guitar
Aaron Ratoff: Bass, Guitar (4, 9)
Ian Becker: Drums

Knot from the upcoming LP, “Knot” out August 28th, 2020 on Exploding in Sound Records.

Max Clarke, aka Cutworms returns with “Castle in the Clouds,” and an accompanying video. Clarke wrote “Castle in the Clouds” in April 2019, after tours supporting his 2017 EP Alien Sunset and 2018’s Hollow Ground. The songs came quick, then, too many to count. Eschewing demos for in-studio spontaneity, he finished “Castle in the Clouds” on a flight to Memphis, TN, and then recorded it the next day at Sam Phillips Studio with Matt Ross-Spang (John Prine, Jason Isbell, Margo Price). The resulting track is somewhere between a lonesome cowboy lullaby for the restless, and a doo-wop sci-fi elegy for the daydreaming teenagers of Mars. Its video, homemade by Clarke, pulls together luminous animations and mid-20th century stock footage.

Cut Worms, moniker of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and multi-disciplined visual artist Max Clarke, announces his new double album, “Nobody Lives Here Anymore”, out October 9th on Jagjaguwar Recordings. Today, he presents two new singles – “Sold My Soul” with an accompanying video and “God Bless The Day.” Nobody Lives Here Anymore is the haunted reverie of an American landscape in-and-out of Max’s mind. Recorded between May and November 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee, the album is a snow globe of the mid-twentieth-century’s popular music filled with jangling guitars, honkey tonk pianos, and Telstar organs.

“‘Castle in the Clouds’ was the first one we did,” says Clarke. “I remember being in the studio, thinking the control room looked like the bridge on a spaceship. It reminded me of the old Carl Sagan Cosmos, where he’s kind of hovering above, transporting you across the universe. I always really liked the theme song. I think that spirit found its way onto the recording.”

Max immediately started writing material for his sophomore LP after an extensive eighteen-months of touring in support of 2017’s Alien Sunset and 2018’s Hollow Ground. Mining his life-long devotion to the lost American songbook for inspiration, he stockpiled nearly thirty new songs  Unlike earlier works that were meticulously demoed, Max opted for rough drafts to capture something more immediate and honest. Most of the initial takes were tracked live with Noah Bond on drums, while Max sang and played rhythm guitar. Max then built lush arrangements around these intimate performances. A skeleton crew of friends and Memphis all-stars were called in to lay down pedal steel, sax, and strings. When all was said and done, they had recorded 17 new cosmic Americana gems.

“Sold My Soul” and “God Bless The Day” follow previously released singles “Unnatural Disaster,” “Baby Come On,” and “Castle in the Clouds.” “Sold My Soul” takes a look back and ahead at the choices we make, with a thinly veiled punchline to soften the blow. Over jaunty guitar, Max’s voice is expressive as he sings “I sold my soul somewhere so long ago // Oh I didn’t think too much at the time I was young and I didn’t know // oh till I saw it late one night on the antique road show // expert collectors to appraise.” The accompanying video, directed and shot by Caroline Gohlke on Route 66 from Chicago to Oklahoma, captures the aura of stumbling through a deserted time.

Max sees this record as a figurative shot across the bow to the modern attention span. He says Nobody Lives Here Anymore is about “throwaway consumer culture and how the postwar commercial wet dreams never came true, how nothing is made to last.” He considers the golden years of a society on its last leg with poignant curiosity, suggesting not only that nobody lives the American dream, but that nobody lives here, in this moment, anymore. “It’s about homesickness for childhood, for a place that never really existed,” says Max.

A loss of innocence lingers through this 80-minute opus as Max attempts to harbour love and meaning inside a world that sold itself out. While his grand anthems overflow with timeless pop charm, his ability to dig deeper than lollipops and holding hands sets his work apart from the days of 45s and Top of the Pops.

“Nobody Lives Here Anymore” the new album by Cut Worms out now on Jagjaguwar Recordings.

Having recently put out their third album, ‘Interzone’, Brooklyn duo The Vacant Lots are today sharing a new video for ‘Fracture’. The song’s hazy 80s synth-pop paired with visuals recorded by the band in isolation and directed/edited by Sam Quinn.

Interzone is the third full-length album by New York’s electro post-punk duo The Vacant Lots, to be released on Fuzz Club Records, Friday, June 26th, 2020. A genre-blending synthesis of dance and psych, Interzone is made for secluded listeners and all night partygoers, meant for headphones and the club.

Uninhibited by the limitations of two people and continuing their mission of “minimal means maximum effect,” The Vacant Lots’ Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen create an industrial amalgam of icy electronics and cold beats with detached vocals and hard hitting guitars. Interzone’s trance-like opener ‘Endless Rain’ and the kinetic krautrock stomper ‘Into The Depths’ are followed by scintillating dark disco anthems ‘Rescue’ and ‘Exit’. Side 2 kicks off with 80’s synth-pop track ‘Fracture’ and haunting after-hours minimal wave ‘Payoff,’ while ‘Station’ and album closer ‘Party’s Over’ deal with disillusionment and conquering one’s indifference to make real change.

The album creates order from chaos and delves into escapism, isolation, relationship conflicts, and decay. With nods to William S. Burroughs and Joy Division’s song of the same name, “Interzone is like existing between two zones,” Jared says. “Interzone doesn’t mean one thing. It can mean different things to different people.

“Jared and I bounced ideas back and forth while working in seclusion on opposite coasts. We would just send files to each other until the songs were arranged. Then we met up at the studio in Brooklyn where we were fortunate enough to borrow Alan Vega’s Arp synth and finished recording with engineer Ted Young. We then worked with Maurizio Baggio to mix it,” recalls Brian. After the band finished producing Interzone, long term visual collaborator Ivan Liechti designed the album artwork.

The Vacant Lots have released singles with Mexican Summer and Reverberation Appreciation Society, collaborated on their debut album Departure with Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom, their second album Endless Night with Alan Vega, and most recently on their two EPs, Berlin and Exit, with Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe at his studio;s in Berlin.

released June 26th, 2020

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When Rachel Angel sings “I wanna be a renegade,” she is speaking to the experience of personal transformation and resilience, like putting on a protective coat of armour to meet the world with grace and courage. The songs on her upcoming EP were inspired by the spirit of outlaw country, her sense of the outlaw is metaphorical rather than literal. These songs are about taking the unconventional artists path, and staring in the face of danger, fear, and pain. This country-folk troubadour takes the listener on a wild journey— physical, emotional, spiritual, and everywhere in between. Both referential to great American songwriters, and wholly original, Rachel’s songwriting prowess and her powerful and evocative voice are not to be missed.

Recently re-located to Miami, Alt-Country songwriter Rachel Angel is currently gearing up to the August release of her latest EP, Highway Songs, coming out via Public Works Records. This week we premiered her fantastic new single, “Strapped”, a stunning reflection on what is is to be human and what is it to be free.

“Strapped” · Rachel Angel  Public Works Records Released on: 2020-07-22

Worriers are a band from Brooklyn, New York, centered around the songwriting of Lauren Denitzio, with the help of friends Mikey Erg, Nick Psillas, and more. They released their 2nd LP Survival Pop   SideOneDummy Records and have toured with John K Samson, Against Me!, Julien Baker, Anti Flag, and more. Worriers’ debut album “Imaginary Life” was produced by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! 

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Lauren Denitzio has been one of pop-punk’s sharpest songwriters, and Survival Pop is the personal, affecting album that scene has long needed. Worriers are a melodic punk band from Brooklyn. The band’s music is centered around the songwriting of Lauren Denitzio, with the help of friends Mikey Erg, Lou Hanman, and Nick Psillas, among others. They’ve released records with Don Giovanni, No Idea and Yo-Yo Records. Worriers‘ first LP “Imaginary Life” was produced by Laura Jane Grace and was released on Don Giovanni Records in 2015. 

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Worriers have done something rare: made a big rock record with subtle melodies that continue to flourish over time.

All songs written by Lauren Denitzio (BMI)

On this record, Worriers is:
Lauren Denitzio – vocals, guitar, keys
Mikey Erg – drums
Nick Psillas – bass
Frank Piegaro – guitar

Released March 6,th 2020

Will Butler has been a member of the band Arcade Fire for over 10 years. This is his first release under his own name. in the five years since Will Butler released his debut album, policy, he’s toured the world both solo and as a member of Arcade Fire, released the Friday Night Live album, recorded and released Arcade Fire’s international #1 album everything now, earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, hosted a series of touring town halls on local issues (police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, voting rights), and spent time raising his three children.

He also found the time and inspiration to write and record a new album, “Generations”. “my first record, Policy, was a book of short stories,” Butler says. “Generations” is more of a novel despairing, funny, a little bit epic… a big chunk of this record is asking: what’s my place in American history? what’s my place in America’s present? both in general as a participant, as we all are, in the shit that’s going down but, also extremely particularly: me as Will Butler, rich person, white person, mormon, yankee, parent, musician of some sort, I guess. what do I do? what can I do? the record asks that question over and over, even if it’s not much for answers.” while the songs on Generations contain their fair share of dread and regret, there is ultimately a lightness that shines through Butler’s music. that brightness is at its most intense when he and his solo band Miles Francis, Sara Dobbs, and Julie and Jenny Shore perform on stage. their electricity is palpable throughout Generations, with the bulk of the new songs having been worked out live. wild synth production gnarly bass synths with live drums and anthemic backing vocals as on first single “Surrender” are punctuated by intimate, direct moments.

Butler’s voice cracking on “Fine” as he conjures his ancestors, and “promised,” a meditation on friendship, how lives are built together, and how and why they drift apart. generations was recorded and produced by Butler in the basement of his home in Brooklyn. tracking finished in March 2020, as New York closed down for the pandemic. half the record was mixed in Montreal by longtime Arcade Fire engineer Mark Lawson, the other half by Brooklyn-based producer Shiftee (who is, incidentally, bandmate Julie Shore’s husband and Will’s brother-in-law). generations opens a dialogue with the world. it posits answers and deals with those answers being refuted. ultimately, it navigates the conversation as a way to find the truth… or at least a way forward.

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In the five years since releasing his debut album Policy, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler has toured the world solo and with his band following their international #1 album Everything Now. He’s also earned a master’s degree from Harvard, raised three kids and written – quite frankly – a brilliant sophomore solo album. If Policy was a book of short stories, Generations is a despairing, funny and epic novel.

The Band:
Will Butler: singing, synths, piano, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, drum machines, snare, claps
Miles Francis: drums, drum machines, percussion, synths, acoustic guitar, singing, claps
Sara Dobbs: pre-production, singing, claps
Julie Shore: synths, piano, electric guitar, singing, claps
Jenny Shore: synths, singing, claps
Stuart Bogie: clarinet, tenor sax
Matt Bauder: bass clarinet, tenor sax, alto sax, baritone sax

Releases September 25th, 2020

Public Practice, the Brooklyn-based quartet who blends elements of new-wave, punk, funk and ’70s era New York disco in order to create uniquely danceable tracks, have the disadvantage of their reputations preceding them. Ever since the release of their 2018 EP Distance Is a Mirror, they’ve proven their penchant for clever song writing, instrumental prowess and, especially among New York fans, a live show that entrances so successfully that it’s almost physically impossible not to shake one’s ass. Yet, on Gentle Grip, the band’s debut full-length album, there’s a sense that the formerly embedded scrappiness and punk edge were sacrificed for slicker, more stylish sounds. This isn’t to say there aren’t gripping moments of sonic intensity on Gentle Grip that more than satisfy the more frenetic yearnings of Distance Is a Mirror. While magnetic singer and lyricist Sam York and guitarist and principal sonic architect Vince McClelland (who both played together as members of the meteoric yet shortlived NYC post-punk outfit WALL) take an almost anarchic approach to song writing, Drew Citron, on synth and bass, and drummer/producer Scott Rosenthal (both previously of Brooklyn indie-pop favourites Beverly) bring a more traditional, pop sensibility to the table. These contrasting styles challenge and complement each other, resulting in a sound that is full of spiralling and exhilarating tensions. Lyrically, York explores the complexities and contradictions of modern life overtop grooves and choruses that disarmingly open up the doors to self-reflection. “You don’t want to live a lie / But it’s easy / Your house is important / Your car is important / Your shoes are important / Dinner’s important“ she sings on “Compromised,” begging the question: how does one balance material desires with the desire to be seen as a good person? Changing pace, the supremely groovy “My Head” is about tuning out the influx of external noise and staying true to your inner creative force.

But whether they are poking holes in commonly held ideas centered around relationships, creativity, or capitalism, Public Practice never lose sight of the fact that they want to have fun, and they want you to have fun too. After all, who needs a soapbox when there’s a dark, sweaty dancefloor out there with room on it for all of us?

From the debut album ‘Gentle Grip’, out now.