Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

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Brooklyn alternative-pop duo Overcoats have announced a new EP, featuring a new single with fellow pop innovators Tennis. “Used To Be Scared Of The Dark” features contributions from Middle Kids, Lawrence Rothman, and Ryan Hahn of Local Natives. The EP is based on self-growth and the quest for stability, and all of the collaboration was done remotely to show how trust transcends physicality.

“The Hardest Part” is a summery folk-pop jam aided by Alaina of Tennis’ buttery-smooth vocals and sparkly keyboards to create immersive harmonies that are easy to get lost in. Reflecting on the making of the song, the Overcoats said:

This song is about coming to terms with a relationship being over. And the hard reality that you may never know where that person ends up or what they do. It’s about letting go. We brought this song to Tennis because it needed their nostalgic retro pop sound to help tell this story. And it needed to be cooler.

“Used To Be Scared Of The Dark” is out June 4th via Loma Vista.

The band will be launching Overcoats – Spotlight Sessions, a series of conversations about each song with their collaborators. You can catch the first episode featuring Tennis on April 14 via Spotify.

I’d never heard of Brooklyn’s Cassandra Jenkins before her latest album, but she’s well-credentialed. She was set to tour with Purple Mountains before David Berman’s suicide and has also worked with The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and The Fiery Furnace’s Eleanor Friedberger. Berman is referenced on ‘New Bikini’ – “After David passed away/My friends put me up for a few days/”

An Overview on Phenomenal Nature” sounds dubious on paper, an indie-folk record that celebrates nature, adds monologues about how men have lost touch, and incorporates the kind of new-age textures you’d expect on a 1980s Van Morrison record. But it’s lovely in practice, pretty and warm. Jenkins’ vocal is intimate and she’s a good enough lyricist to keep things interesting, casually dropping the word “panoply” into ‘Crosshairs’ and titling a song ‘Ambiguous Norway’.

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Jenkins’ main collaborator is producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman. Kaufman’s a member of the amazing Bonny Light Horsemen and who has worked with The National, Taylor Swift, and Josh Ritter. The arrangements are often key with lovely woodwind parts, while the dual lead guitar parts on ‘Ambiguous Norway’ are gorgeous.

A gorgeous, shimmering set of songs that combines ultra-smooth pop sounds (recalling the softer moments of Destroyer’s “Kaputt”) with sweet ambient textures. Fantastic song writing work, as well. A joy to listen to, and a clear early contender for 2021’s album of the year. 

For UK Dinked special edition, go here: dinkededition.co.uk/cassandra-jenkins-an-overview-on-phenomenal-nature

The Band of Musicians:

Cassandra Jenkins– vocals, guitar
Josh Kaufman– guitar, voyager, harmonium, banjo, synth, bass, piano, organ
~and~
JT Bates– drums, auxiliary percussion
Eric Biondo– drums
Michael Coleman– synth
Stuart Bogie–  flutes, saxophone
Doug Wieselman– sax
Oliver Hill– violin, viola, string arrangement  
Annie Nero– bass
Aaron Roche– synth
Will Stratton– guitar
Ben Seretan– drone

All songs written and performed by Cassandra Jenkins
Produced and mostly engineered by Josh Kaufman
at The Boom Boom Room, Brooklyn, NY

Released February 19th, 2021

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 w/ 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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This song was originally recorded for a Rancid “…And Out Come The Wolves” tribute comp which will be released later in 2021.

From The Old Friends EP, track releases March 5th, 2021
Performed by Worriers

 

Juliet Quick builds worlds. Her songs are stark, sweet, weary, frank, immediate, vulnerably plainspoken, always sharply observed. On her forthcoming “Glass Years” EP, she carves out a space of her own by combining spare acoustics, playful synths, frenetic strings, and weeping lap steel. With these tools, the Hudson Valley-born, Brooklyn-living singer and songwriter reflects on climate terror, misogyny both subtle and unsubtle, self-interrogation, and holding on to hope.

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Nathan Kamal (violin, mandolin)
Philip Joy (drums, synth)
Josh Marre (lap steel guitar)

Releases March 5th, 2021 Substitute Scene Records

All songs by Juliet Quick

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It might be a stretch to say Psymon Spine is a group inspired by LCD Soundsystem, as the boisterous, colourful sound they create as a unit stretches well beyond the parameters of James Murphy’s discography. With the gleaming, taffy-like synths that open Psymon Spine’s sophomore album Charismatic Megafauna, the Brooklyn-and-Berlin quartet flexes a muscle it previously showed only occasionally. Although the band’s 2017 debut LP You Are Coming to My Birthday often comprised muddy, thickly overdriven rock experiments, the edges of tracks such as “Transfiguration Church” and “Shocked” glowed with traces of sugary psychedelia. This melty, gooey sound comes into full view on Charismatic Megafauna lead-off “Confusion,” which springs vividly from the uniquely joyous soil where the roots of psychedelia and pop wrap around one another. It’s a fitting intro: Charismatic Megafauna is far more vibrant and colourful than its challenging, formidable predecessor

The latest sample from their forthcoming Charismatic Megafauna is PS at their most extreme—particularly signified by the strained vocal performance from Noah Prebish (who you may also know as a member of Barrie). “‘Channels’ was written in Acadia National Park, Maine, where we stayed for a few weeks to begin writing Charismatic Megafauna,” Prebish shares of the cathartic recording experience. “We spend the majority of our time in Brooklyn, NY absorbing energy, stress, and excitement, then go into the middle of nowhere to process all of those feelings through writing/recording. 

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Additional composition, keys, and vocals on ‘Milk’ by Barrie Lindsay. Percussion on ‘Modmed’, ‘Jumprope’, and ‘Channels’ by Pablo Eluchans. Violin on ‘Different Patterns’ by Ruby Z Wang.

Released February 19th, 2021

All tracks written and performed by Noah Prebish, Peter Spears, Brother Michael Rudinski, Sabine Holler, and Nathaniel Coffey.

Holy Sons from Brooklyn, New York, The music of Emil Amos is at once intimate and expansive. Under the name Holy Sons, as well as with bands OmGrails, and Lilacs and Champagne, Amos harnesses boundless sonic textures to embellish delicately crafted songs. His music balances cues from classic and indie rock traditions with a tenderness and sense of foreboding through unparalleled artistry. Holy Sons’ first double album “Raw and Disfigured” showcases Amos’ mastery of songcraft through a seemingly impossible combination of subtle yet potent gestures, bold arrangements and resolute vulnerability. Raw and Disfigured stands as Amos’ most ambitious and comprehensive album yet, a panoramic gallery of songs as beautiful as they are crushing. 

Raw and Disfigured draws thematically from the archetypal tale of Quasimodo and classic ghost story imagery to illustrate the “hero’s journey” in the time of a coming apocalypse. Album opener “The Loser That Always Wins” acts as the album’s thematic thesis and traces the tale of an underdog triumphing against all odds. From the opening swells, Amos creates a sense of mystery and tension. Melodic sections pierce through the thick fogs of unease with gliding choral harmonies and guitar lines. The looming threat of apocalypse hangs in the air of “Cast Bound King” and “Permanent Things” which gives way to sun dappled catharsis.

Songs like “Lady of the Hour” and “Transformation” serve as vistas amidst the gloom with sweeping pastoral layers and melodies that grasp towards hope rather than resignation. Amos pays homage to one of the greatest champions of the underdog in outsider pop music with an anthemic cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Held the Hand.” Closing piece “Bloody Strings” quietly draws the curtains on the album, borrowing melodic phrases from “Permanent Things” and reconfiguring them into a funeral march towards acceptance of our inevitable decay.

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The recording of Raw and Disfigured took place largely at Sonic Youth’s studio Echo Canyon West. Amos, who plays the bulk of the instruments and sings the majority of the vocals throughout the album, is joined on a few pieces by drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), as well as album and WFMU in-house engineer Ernie Indradat. The swirling atmospheres of “Lost in the Fire” and “Slow To Run” (featuring Shelley) invoke the spaced-out textures of Spacemen 3 to colour Amos’ moving pop structures. “Coiste Bodhar” buttresses the album’s cinematic undercurrent across nine minutes of instrumental grandeur as affecting as the touchingly raw electric piano and voice duet of the album’s final minutes.

Holy Sons’ songs contain entire epochs, elegantly stretching the bounds of pop songs. Amos’ lyrics are as immediate as they are haunting, spilling out across the expense of entire lifetimes. A keen observer, Amos describes the world from the darker side. Rich vocals draw you into an exotic atmosphere of mystical musical sounds, while classic lilting guitar lines entice you further. Raw and Disfigured proves the enduring power of the rock ballad without dwelling on the nostalgic tropes. The ballads of Holy Sons are ballads for these dark times.

Emil Amos’ (Grails, OM) fantastic double LP from last year, “Raw and Disfigured”, is back on orange wax.
The first press of this sold out super quickly, 

Releases October 30th, 2020

Ahead of much-anticipated full-length releases due later this year, friends and fellow Brooklyn musicians Nico Hedley and Benedict Kupstas (Field Guides) are releasing a limited edition split 7″, due out February 14 on Whatever’s Clever. (The first run of 100 copies come in Risographed sleeves designed by Kupstas.) 

Nico Hedley is a singer-songwriter from New York City who has played in numerous bands over the last decade, including Drew Citron, Beverly, Ben Seretan Group, and Alpenglow. Field Guides—the Brooklyn-based collective fronted by Benedict Kupstas—have been described as “sprawling, dense, and mysterious” by Big Takeover. Their sophomore album, “This Is Just A Place” also released on Whatever’s Clever in 2019—was hailed as “one of the year’s most rewarding discoveries” by GoldFlakePaint. Hedley and Kupstas have been frequent collaborators over the years (they once toured together in a maroon conversion van with a temperamental engine and a Settlers of Catan bumper sticker).

“Worldly” and “The City Is A Painting” are taproots of connection in a time of continued lock-downs and social distance. Whisky-soaked voices and wistful lyricism reflect what it is to watch the world unfurl into new uncertainties. Recorded together on an 8-track tape machine in Hedley’s home studio, both songs carry the clear influence of Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.), sharing his raw and poignant approach to dynamic Americana songwriting. Hedley’s forlorn pedal steel provides a ghostly tapestry across the two sides.

The songs were mixed by the brilliant and idiosyncratic songwriter/producer, Katie Von Schleicher, who also played piano on Field Guides’ “The City Is A Painting.”

Hedley played all the instruments on “Worldly,” a melancholic slice of alt-country that sounds beamed in from some distant lonesome highway, imagining what could have been. “I’ll believe it when I see it coming ’round,” Hedley sings, bolstered by the sparse, home-spun arrangement. The dynamic 3/4 dirge rises and falls, the instruments reflecting the pathos of lines like “For our hearth is warmed with loving coals / but is stoked by only wanting.”

Nico Hedley produced & engineered both songs. He played all the instruments on “Worldly.” He also wrote that tune. He played drums, bass, and pedal steel—and sang—on “The City Is A Painting.”

Benedict Kupstas wrote “The City Is A Painting,” on which he sang and played guitars. He also did the art & design; this was printed at Eureka! in Kingston, NY, Sean Mullins played some tambourine on “The City Is A Painting.”

“The City Is A Painting” foregoes Field Guides’ usual lush orchestration for a more direct but no less stirring song situated at the twangier edge of the band’s oeuvre. The fuzz guitar solo calls to mind Destroyer circa Streethawk: A Seduction, while Kupstas’s earthy baritone is joined by Hedley’s harmonies for the buoyant chorus, melancholy yet hopeful: “I know all she’s got left to spend / is her time on me, so let’s pretend / that I’ve got all the time in the world…”

Considering this period’s forced isolation, a certain commitment to camaraderie runs through these recordings. The two songs appear as signals to each other, gestures reaching out in the dark. The split 7” is intended—as its release date suggests—to be a valentine, a love letter to the artists’ cherished community of peers and collaborators. A video for the songs feature collaged clips from many of those fellow artists. Kupstas had this to say about the video:

“Back in the beginning of this collective fever dream, Nico and I recorded some music and conceived of a split 7” as a love letter to our cherished community. Then, as a way to keep from slipping into the discombobulating muck of isolation, we asked some friends to send us clips to accompany our songs. If we’re being honest (and we’re lousy liars anyhow), we really just missed seeing our friends’ faces. I can’t begin to convey just how much these folks have buoyed me during this bizarre and often sombre period. I’m not sure how many music videos have been such overt acts of self-preservation, but this one is more than a mere palliative for these lonely times: it’s a quilted mirror, a goofy celebration of our community (and of community as a concept). I hope it brings you at least a small bit of the delight it brings me.”

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“Worldly” and “The City Is A Painting” are out February 14th on Whatever’s Clever Records.

Katie Von Schleicher mixed both songs & played piano on “The City Is A Painting.”

Released February 14th, 2021

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PALEHOUND – ” How Long “

Posted: February 2, 2021 in MUSIC
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East Coast based Palehound was halfway through their first national headline tour supporting their newest album, “Black Friday”, when the world turned upside down. Everyone one of us probably remembers exactly where we were and what we were doing on that fateful weekend in mid-March, 2020 when we were all suddenly directed to scramble for cover… or, as the authorities called it, “shelter in place”. 
 
Everyone has a story. No two stories are the same. We all see the world a little differently now. And so, what appears on the surface to be a short & sweet guitar-driven ditty about a hot summer day becomes something else entirely. 
 
“How Long” kicks off innocently enough, a brisk, rockabilly-inflected twang of acoustic guitar hitting a fun, upbeat vibe. Or wait, is that actually anxiety fuelling that propuslive beat? Who can really tell these days — days that bleed one into another as if there’s no end in sight…

How long ‘til a sweetness melts, How long til there rings a bell
That signals us, Return from hell?”

“This is a true story about a day I had back in July, where a few friends came to meet us at a swimming hole,” Kempner explains. “At first it was a blissful day which then took a sharp turn when a bunch of biblical omens came suddenly from nowhere, water snakes, dark storm clouds, hail. It felt very familiar, and seemed to mock us.” Sound familiar?

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Brooklyn based songwriter Juliet Quick has released “Circles” the first single off of her upcoming EP “Glass Years”.

The 5-minute song is one drenched in both sadness and perseverance. The song advocates for zoning out those who constantly try to give you advice on your life and career, noting that sometimes it’s what you need to do to keep your sanity. Juliet Quick builds worlds. Her songs are stark, sweet, weary, frank, immediate, vulnerably plainspoken, always sharply observed. On her forthcoming Glass Years EP, she carves out a space of her own by combining spare acoustics, playful synths, frenetic strings, and weeping lap steel. With these tools, the Hudson Valley-born, Brooklyn-living singer and songwriter reflects on climate terror, misogyny both subtle and unsubtle, self-interrogation, and holding on to hope.

The two verses that showcase this are right in the middle

Men tell me all kinds of things, I tend not to believe them
posturing over me, they say, they’re just using reason

Don’t listen to the crust punks, they have no coherent politics
you chase yourself around like that, you’ll wind up broke and nauseous again

Juliet’s singing has a similar style to Alexandra Savior. The instrumentation on “Circles” while minimal, letting her voice do the bulk of the work, perfectly compliment the song. The strings swirl around the track, coming in and out to accent Juliet’s lyrics. The drums only bang as the song swells to it’s peak and disappear almost as quickly as they came. Take a listen below and look out for the full EP coming out on March 5th.

All songs by Juliet Quick
The Band:
Nathan Kamal (violin, mandolin)
Philip Joy (drums, synth)
Josh Marre (lap steel guitar)

Released through Substitute Scene Records 2021, releases March 5th, 2021

My 2xLP Record Store Day release “All These Perfect Crosses” will be available digitally on 2/26/21 on Partisan Records. Accompanying the release, we’ve partnered with Neighborhood Comics to create a standard and deluxe print edition of Andrew Greenstone’s All These Perfect Crosses comic. To celebrate, we’ve released two versions of “Calvary Court” (full band and piano versions), which is one of a number of songs illustrated in the comic book. You can pre-order both editions now below.

The vinyl is still available in some stores, check your local record shop. Huge thanks to Andrew Greenstone for creating something so cool around these songs, and to Neighborhood Comics for making us the first release on their publishing imprint. Stay Positive.

‘All These Perfect Crosses is a collection of songs that came from the sessions for Faith In The Future, We All Want The Same Things, and I Need A New War. For Craig, these three records are one body of work, and the songs on this collection are pieces of that larger narrative. For various reasons, these songs didn’t appear on the records they were recorded for, but they still tell a part of the same story: modern people trying to make it through, to keep their heads above water, to live past their mistakes, to survive.

‘All These Perfect Crosses’ out February 26th.