Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Jeanines is a compact, breezy distillation of the stripped-down essence of what indie-pop is, and has been, about. On their 16-song, under-30-minute debut album, the duo of Alicia Jeanine and Jed Smith remind us again that sometimes all we need are simple, heartfelt sentiments, sung sweetly to catchy melodies over minimalist guitars and drums.

Brooklyn’s Jeanines specialize in short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — Television Personalities, Marine Girls, early Pastels, Dolly Mixture — they’ve crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Jeanines specialize in 60s-meet-80s melodies that combine with timeless guitar jangle in a way that recalls the UK’s C86/C88 era, when smart young bands crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk. Clearly, with 16 great songs included, there is a lot at work here on this standout debut album. Jeanines have been compared to such cult pop icons as Dear Nora, Black Tambourine, and more recent acts like Veronica Falls and Girl Ray, but their dark, modal melodies and pensive, philosophical lyrics ensure them a place of their own in today’s crowded but boisterously healthy DIY pop scene. Throw in a cover of the Siddeleys‘ classic “Falling Off My Feet Again” and any indie-pop fan should be besotted and besmitten.

Taken from their self-titled debut album, out now on Slumberland Records.

All 27 minutes of Patio’s debut album “Essentials” are artful and purposeful. This Brooklyn three-piece ,Alice Suh, Lindsey-Paige McCloy and Loren DiBlasi aren’t the most adroit post-punk band going today, but what they create out of sparse sounds is impressive. The satisfying contrast between DiBlasi’s pointed deadpan and McCloy’s soft vocalizing is just one reason for their intrigue. The vocal interplay between DiBlasi and McCloy on “Boy Scout” is the best example, and it also displays the full range of their lyrical charm. Lines flicker between self-deprecating or violent to wry or just plain sad. DiBlasi sings, “I just feel like I always lose / I think I’m going to go home and listen to Washer / Instead of spending any more time with you.” McCloy’s delicate vocal harmonies on “End Game” are welcome pillows of melodic pop, and DiBlasi’s punky, disconsolate grandeur on “Open” struts slowly with grace.

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Inspired by classic British post-punk, the songwriting of Cate LeBon, and the close-knit Brooklyn DIY community from which the band first sprouted, Patio now release their long-awaited debut full-length Essentials, a fundamental collection of new music for 2019. Building upon the delicacy of the band’s prior work, Essentials presents fuller sounds, heightened emotions, and grander thematic complexity. Its 10 tracks are dark and introspective, yet hopeful, and often humorous—from rambling spoken word meditations to sparkling melodies and soaring riffs. Melodramatic and grotesque expressions abound, as do soft, subtle moments of quiet self-examination. Mixed by Amar Lal (Big Ups, Ovlov).

Released April 5th, 2019

Alice Suh – drums
Loren DiBlasi – bass, vocals
Lindsey-Paige McCloy – guitar, vocals

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London quartet Honey Lung are one of the most promising bands of the past few years, and their recent vinyl-only EP, Memory, released on Brooklyn’s Kanine Records, is further evidence of their striking melodic intuition and incredibly moving woe. The eight-track EP, which was recorded with help from Yuck’s Max Bloom, consists of four singles and four demos that range from dejected lo-fi sketches to some of the most satisfying hook-driven rock tracks of 2019. Young adult depression, self-deprecation and the undying need for companionship fill the lines of Memory, and though post-night-out exhilaration and downcast, sleepless nights are what largely characterize this EP, Jamie Batten’s compassionate vocals and invigorating melodies are restorative. Honey Lung made their U.S. live debut at this year’s SXSW, where they also recorded an exclusive session for the blog Paste, performing two songs from Memory and an unreleased track. Following their EP, they released a new single and their best track to date, “Nothing,” which marries the off-kilter flourishes of their demos with the fierce catchiness of their singles.

Things are looking very bright for Honey Lung in 2020.

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EPs that follow a larger album event—especially an album that’s already practically perfect on its own—can so often feel pointless, like excess Thanksgiving leftovers you freeze for later and ultimately decide to chuck. But Supermoon, the punchy five-song package Charly Bliss delivered in October, several months after their rock-solid sophomore effort Young Enough, feels vital and sequential, like the Brooklyn-based band were on a roll and they just couldn’t stop. These songs reasonably fit in Young Enough’s cracks. Eva Hendricks balances existentialism with nihilism on the power-pop ripper “Feed,” bemoans bygone celestial events on the title track and drops the vivid phrase “Blinding sun, demented shade / It’s easy to love you from far away” on the rocking “Slingshot.”

The EP also houses the band’s “first love song” “Heaven; a single released in 2018 between the band’s beloved 2017 debut Guppy and Young Enough, making for an apt bridge between the two. 5 Guppy-style rockers! Slingshot is gorgeous, sounds as good as the Breeders or Veruca Salt ever did!

Listen to the Supermoon EP released October 30th, 2019

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On her song, “Forgive Yourself,” Nicole Rodriguez, who records under her moniker Pearla, details events in her past, from the routine (“Can you forgive yourself for missing the last get together? / It’s alright to stay inside if you think that will make you feel better”) to the traumatic (“Can you forgive yourself for turning your back in fear / When that man died on the welcome mat at the coffee shop that you worked at last year?”). Quilting & Other Activities, Pearla’s consistently beautiful debut EP—and first release on EggHunt Records, Lucy Dacus’ former label—is full of flashes like this. Rodriguez cleverly tosses a lot of curveballs: a bizarre drum fill here (“Daydream”), building guitar feedback there (“Somewhere”).

This is the sort of dependably gorgeous singer/songwriter release that almost sounds like a lullaby at times, but Rodriguez refuses to allow you the nap, using creative methods to throw the listener for a loop.

She demands your attention, and it’s nearly impossible to turn away, frequently recalling the best of Phoebe Bridgers or Julien Baker.

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The debut album from Russian Baths has been a long time coming, and for anyone who’s kept tabs on this Brooklyn duo, there weren’t many surprises when the record was released last month. “Ambulance” and “Ghost” were shared as singles all the way back in 2016, while “Parasite” and “Tracks” began floating around the web this summer. Of the six new tracks, though, “Tremble” is the standout, positioning Jess Rees’ castrato vocals against the band’s sludgy instrumentation to provide the perfect hypothetical grunge horror movie soundtrack composed by a metal band. Stepping out of the shadow of producer Ben Greenberg’s career in noise rock, and checking their evident reverence for A Place to Bury Strangers at the door, “Tremble” is a uniquely chilling outro (not considering the even-more-chilling, nearly ambient proper closer, “Guts”) to their introductory LP

Sometimes a rock band exudes such swirly, Goth-tinged intensity, you’d swear you can actually hear the smoke machines and foreboding light.” ~ NPR Music
an ambient wash of artfully loud rock music, pushed and pulled by lulling vocals and echoing yet powerful riffs.” ~ Stereogum

Russian Baths is Jess Rees (guitar, vocals) and Luke Koz (guitar, vocals), joined live by Kyle Garvey (bass) and Steven Levine (drums) from Brooklyn, NY. They have shared stages with Black Midi, Drahla, Uniform, Horrors, We Are Scientists, Bambara, and others.

Good Eye Records Released on: 2019-11-08

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One thing you won’t be able to avoid on Bambara’s “Stray” is death. It’s everywhere and inescapable, abstract and personified  – perhaps the key to the whole record. Death, however, won’t be the first thing that strikes you about the group’s fourth – and greatest – album to date. That instead will be its pulverising soundscape; by turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling and at times – on stand out tracks like “Sing Me To The Street” and “Serafina” – simply overwhelming

Bambara are twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh, singer/guitarist and drummer respectively, and bassist William Brookshire – have been evolving their midnight-black noise into something more subtle and expansive ever since the release of their 2013 debut Dreamviolence. That process greatly accelerated on 2018’s Shadow On Everything, their first on New York’s Wharf Cat Records and  a huge stride forward for the band both lyrically and sonically.

The album was rapturously received by the press, listeners and their peers. NPR called it a “mesmerising…western, gothic opus,” Bandcamp called the “horror-house rampage” “one of the year’s most gripping listens,” and Alexis Marshall of Daughters named it his “favorite record of 2018.”  Shadow also garnered much acclaim on the this side of the Atlantic. Influential British 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq, dubbed them the best band of 2019’s SXSW, and Joe Talbot of the UK band IDLES said, “The best thing I heard last year was easily Bambara and their album Shadow On Everything.”  The question was, though, how to follow it?

To start, the band did what they always do: they locked themselves in their windowless Brooklyn basement to write. Decisions were made early on to try and experiment with new instrumentation and song structures, even if the resulting compositions would force the band to adapt their storied live set, known for its tenacity and technical prowess. Throughout the songwriting process, the band pulled from their deep well of creative references, drawing on the likes of Leonard Cohen, Ennio Morricone, Sade, classic French noir L’Ascenseur Pour L’Echafraud, as well as Southern Gothic stalwarts Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews.

Once the building blocks were set in place, they met with producer Drew Vandenberg, who mixed Shadow On Everything, in Athens, GA to record the foundation of Stray. After recruiting friends Adam Markiewicz (The Dreebs) on violin, Sean Smith (Klavenauts) on trumpet and a crucial blend of backing vocals by Drew Citron (Public Practice) and Anina Ivry-Block (Palberta), Bambara convened in a remote cabin in rural Georgia, where Reid laid down his vocals.

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The finished product represents both the band’s most experimental and accessible work to date. The addition of Citron and Ivory-Block’s vocals create a hauntingly beautiful contrast to Bateh’s commanding  baritone on tracks like “Sing Me to the Street”, “Death Croons” and “Stay Cruel,” while the Dick Dale inspired guitar riffs on “Serafina” and “Heat Lightning” and the call-and-response choruses throughout the album showcase Bambara’s ability to write songs that immediately demand repeat listens.

While the music itself is evocative and propulsive, a fever dream all of its own, the lyrical content pushes the record even further into its own darkly thrilling realm. If the songs on Shadow On Everything were like chapters in a novel, then this time they’re short stories. Short stories connected by death and its effect on the characters in contact with it. “Death is what you make it” runs a lyric in “Sweat,” a line which may very well be the thread  that ties these stories together.

You may have seen Meg Duffy in the past, shining on stage as Kevin Morby’s touring lead guitarist. But with Hand Habits, Duffy has shown their own polished arsenal as a songwriter and their sophomore record, placeholder, dropped today on Saddle Creek Records. Hand Habits’ music gives rise to calming evenings and humble wanderings of the mind. Duffy’s sweet melodies provide a solace for a troubled heart and a salve for a heavy conscious. The gently operatic “What Lovers Do” and the wonderfully reprised version of “Yr Heart” are notable doses of what Hand Habits doe’s best: provide sheer comfort through song.

Meg Duffy describes the songs on their second full-length release, and first for Saddle Creek, as their most direct to date, crafted with clear intention.  Instrumentally, Placeholder can be situated alongside some of Meg’s folk-adjacent contemporaries like Angel Olsen or Big Thief, and the guitar work on this album proves that Meg continues to be one of the finest young musicians working today. Placeholder is another entry in the Hand Habits songbook, but it’s also a valuable testament of our time.

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Hailing from Brooklyn, Jeanines are the indie-pop duo of Alicia and Jed. After catching the ear of many with their recent self-titled LP, released via the legendary Slumberland Records, the band are currently plotting touring plans for 2020. This week the band have shared their first ever, “proper”, music video, for their seasonally titled, album stand-out, Winter In The Dark.

Brooklyn’s Jeanines specialize in short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — Television Personalities, Marine Girls, early Pastels, Dolly Mixture  they’ve crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Jeanines specialize in 60s-meet-80s melodies that combine with timeless guitar jangle in a way that recalls the UK’s C86/C88 era, when smart young bands crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk. Clearly, with 16 great songs included, there is a lot at work here on this standout debut album. Jeanines have been compared to such cult pop icons as Dear Nora, Black Tambourine, and more recent acts like Veronica Falls and Girl Ray, but their dark, modal melodies and pensive, philosophical lyrics ensure them a place of their own in today’s crowded but boisterously healthy DIY pop scene.

Winter In The Dark is a fine example of Jeanines’ sound, a style pitched between 60’s pysch-folk and C-86 jangle-pop, Alicia spits out her words like a stream of consciousness, as bright airy guitars sit beneath contrasting the sublime bass-runs and urgent rhythms. With Slumberland turning thirty in December, you’d forgive them a little nostalgic naval gazing, instead with bands like Jeanines, they remain as exciting and forward thinking as ever, here’s to another thirty!

The Jeanines’ self-titled LP is out now via Slumberland Records. Taken from their self-titled debut album, out now.

Margaux is a singer-songwriter living between Seattle and Brooklyn, NY. Brooklynite, Margaux Bouchegnies, Aka simply Margaux to the record buying public, is set to release her lengthily titled debut EP, “More Brilliant Is The Hand that Throws the Coin”, next week. Ahead of that release, this week Margaux has shared her latest offering, “Cave In”.

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Cave In a fascinating game of two halves, starting life all airy and intricate, like those lo-fi early Angel Olsen recordings, before suddenly exploding into life at the fifty second mark when a rumble of claustrophobic bass slams into view. From there the track, starts to gently distort and warp, reinventing itself as a slice of emotive 90’s rock nodding to Julia Jacklin or Snail Mail. Lyrically, the track seems to deal with a futile attempt to reinvent yourself in the eyes of another, one second, “climbing out of somebody’s memory”, the next, “haunted by the same old, same thing, everything”. A track that’s got more intriguing ideas going on than many people’s whole albums, Margaux is arriving in style and doesn’t look like going anywhere.

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More Brilliant Is The Hand that Throws the Coin is out November 15th via Massif Records.