Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Happy New Year everyone. Hope you’re doing alright in these ceaselessly overwhelming times. I’m emailing you to let you know Nation of Language have just released a new song today, and to share an early link to pre-order the 7″ vinyl record that it will be on, alongside our song “A Different Kind of Life”.

The new song is called “Deliver Me From Wondering Why“. We let ourselves get a little weird on this one. We hope you enjoy it. Maybe put it on and go for a drive, or just sit on the couch and stare into the middle distance.  Both songs were produced by Nick Millhiser, who some of you may know as one half of Holy Ghost!, with whom we’ve shared stages in NYC, DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Both songs were also mastered by Heba Kadry, who has worked on all of our releases.

Brooklyn synthpop group Nation of Language are back with a very catchy new single that is reminiscent on Human League and OMD. “‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ is a bit of an exploration, rooted in a desire for something repetitious and a bit spacey — something that would make you really want to zone out or go for a long drive on the highway,” says Ian Devaney. “We worked on it with Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!) and it was just a really fun exercise in letting the track carry us wherever it was going to go. The backbone of the steady synth arpeggios and rhythms just leads endlessly forward and lets the mind wander around it.”

Now, unfortunately, due to supply chain problems, these records probably won’t be pressed and shipped until some time around June. But at the pace time has been moving the last 12 months, I’m sure June will be here disturbingly quickly.  

With love and light,

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Gustaf is a throwback art punk band from Brooklyn currently getting rave reviews. They’ve opened for many high-profile acts, including Beck, even though their debut single, “Mine,” is less than four months old. Fans of bands like Talking Heads and Television, Bodega, Patti Smith will want to keep an eye on this band. From: Brooklyn in New York City , USA

The have Impossible-to-resist grooves matched with the performance style of a former improv comedian. You’re going to love them: If super serious scene bands send your eyes rolling to the back of your head, Gustaf will win you back around. The Brooklyn five-piece might only a couple of singles to their name so far, but they’ve cultivated a reputation as one of the most fun new bands across the five boroughs (and, perhaps, beyond) thanks to their enthrallingly joyful live shows and inability not to inject everything they do with a playful spirit.

A song about the overly entitled and underwhelmed. Hi!! Produced and mixed by Chris Coady

released October 8th, 2020
Written and performed by Gustaf.

Gustaf is
Lydia Gammill (vocals)
Tine Hill (bass)
Melissa Lucciola (drums)
Vram Kherlopian (guitar and vocals)
Tarra Thiessen (vocals and percussion)

We’re thrilled to announce that at long last our first single/music video “Mine” is out today! It’s part of a 7inch vinyl that’ll be available December 4th 2020 on Royal Mountain Records.

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Blissed out 80’s synth inspired album that is refreshing and spectacular. Brooklyn-based synth auteurs Nation of Language entered 2020 as one of the most heralded new acts of recent memory, having already earned high-praise from the likes of NME, Fader, Pitchfork, Stereogum and countless others for their ability to blend the upbeat with a healthy dose of sardonic melancholy on their early singles. Inspired by the early new-wave and punk movements, the band has quickly earned a reputation for delivering frenzied nights of unconventional bliss to rapt audiences, and established themselves as bright young stars emerging from a crowded NYC landscape. After much eager anticipation, their gloom pop debut album Introduction, Presence is finally released. For fans of OMD, The National, New Order and Tears for Fears.

Brooklyn-based band Nation of Language, led by vocalist and songwriter Ian Devaney and featuring his wife Aidan Devaney on keys and Michael Sui-Poi on bass, unleashed their debut album Introduction, Presence in 2020, and it’s crowned them as the most exciting new synth-pop act in years. The band has been releasing invigorating, ’80s-indebted singles for about five years now—tracks like “I’ve Thought About Chicago” and “Reality” are undoubtedly direct descendents of Pet Shop Boys, A Flock of Seagulls and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, but there’s also a subtle glow that recalls 21st century anthemic indie rock à la Arcade Fire, The National and The Killers. While their decade-spanning influences can certainly be scavenged, their songs always sound bigger than them Devaney’s song writing feels essential and eternal.

“Rush & Fever’ began with the idea that I wanted to write a song around an unchanging bassline. I’ve always been interested in the concept of keeping certain aspects of a song static and then looking at what can change around that core element, and how those evolutions change our relationship to whatever has remained constant. The bass helps give the song this relentless forward motion that I think serves the theme, which is essentially an examination of a relationship of questionable seriousness or value, and how our minds can stumble forward over themselves as we try to process these relationships.”

Nation Of Language “Rush & Fever” from Introduction Presence

Will Butler has been a member of the band Arcade Fire for over 10 years. A few years ago Will Butler put out one of the best rock records of the year and he returned this year with one that explores what it is to be American. It also contemplates what one can do to help and how to be better from day-to-day. On “I Don’t Know What I Can Do” this seems pretty self-explanatory. “Close My Eyes” has this feeling of despair while trying to figure out how to not only combat that, but the daily struggle of the news constantly coming at you with no end in sight. There are foot-stomping rockers like the 50’s era “Surrender” and the more punk rock vibe of “Bethelhem”. The background singers Sara Dobbs, Julie Shore, and Jenny Shore shape this album with their harmonies and clapping almost as much as Will himself.

“Hide It Away” would have felt right in place on “Everything Now” by that other band he’s in. The beat and production on Will’s voice on “Hard Times” feels like he was listening to Billie Eilish while making this song. It’s an interesting outlier on the album and shows that he’s always up for experimenting. “Promised” could have easily fit onto his first record musically. “Not Gonna Die” a disco-laden tune and “Fine” a quiet story of a song close the record out. Will usually gets overshadowed by his brother, but his two solo efforts have truly been great.

Policy is American music—in the tradition of the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, The Modern Lovers, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, The Magnetic Fields, Ghostface Killah. And John Lennon (I know, but it counts). Music where the holy fool runs afoul of the casual world.


Released September 25th, 2020

Songs by—
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

Zachary Cale is an American songwriter/musician based in NYC. “False Spring” is his 6th full length album. To be released May 29th, 2020.

“False Spring”, Zachary Cale’s sixth full-length album, explores the spaces between the cold we left behind and the uncertainty ahead, between that fleeting, green warmth and its lack. “Shine a light on the path so I can see,” Cale sings on the album opener, “Shine,” making a plea for hope and happiness rather than merely claiming it, starting the search for whatever possibility may exist. And the album explores so many possible paths in ever-shifting textures. On “Come Morning,” Cale admits “I’m just sitting on a fence, two fingers out to test the wind” while on others songs — the disorienting anxiety of “Mad Season”; the bittersweet travel of “By Starlight”; the mix of hope and regret that comes from staying afloat on “Slide” — False Spring vacillates between facing down the troubling now, reckoning with and paying tribute to then, and sifting through the dark to find the faintest match-head of light for tomorrow.

Cale’s poetic lyrics etches out all these themes in complex layers and careful melodies, but the band he assembled for False Spring drives home the sense of openness and possibility in these songs. Cale is accompanied here by Brent Cordero on piano, Wurlitzer and organ, James Preston on bass, and Charles Burst and Jason Labbe on drums. Cale brought the songs to the studio and enlisted the players to flesh them out. He didn’t write parts for the musicians; they figured out their own way through these tunes. The record is the sound of the band finding itself, capturing these songs live in all their subtle, ragged glory. The album’s 16 songs run just over an hour, but the expansive record is, at every turn, an intimate affair, the listener invited in as these players find connections between this part and that, between one song and another, between melody and feeling.

Stylistically, the band never hems itself in, expanding its sound and morphing it over the album’s extended playing time. Early tracks set up shop within lean, dusty folk rock, but things change from there. There are touches of cosmic Americana and country and some Petty-esque tight yet gauzy rompers. Several tracks are instrumentals, acknowledging roots and stretching exercises for Cale and the band. The sweet, solo guitar of the title track, for instance, uncovers some of the early country-blues sounds humming under these tunes, while “Magnetic North” whips up a full-band blues stomper. These instrumentals, and the album as a whole, explore tangents and push at borders, but while they add variety they also — on a more fundamental level — suggest cohesion at the heart of the album’s wide-open sound and aesthetic.


False Spring is Cale’s first album in five years, since the gauzy and atmospheric gem, “Duskland”. The album was received well, a tour followed but within the year Cale refocused his energy on writing new material. In 2016 he went on a solo tour opening for Dan Bejar of Destroyer in smaller cities across America. More recently he’s been playing in a spattering of other bands and supporting other musical projects.

And all that time, he’s kept one foot in the studio, recording lots of material, several albums worth. And all of this on top of a full-time job. In short, like so many independent musicians, Zachary Cale has been working.

This new album, though, isn’t the sound of work at all. It’s the sound of setting thought aside to feel the music. This doesn’t set out to make a product; this album explores a process. And, as a result, these dusty, bittersweet tunes stretch out, they breathe. They live in all the in-between spaces Cale evokes so beautifully in his lyrics. The fleeting spring can leave, the new growth may get marred by frost, but the warmth of these songs — in all their hope and worry and anxiety and open possibility — will stay with you long after the final note ripples out of the speaker.

Released May 29th, 2020

Performed by:

Zachary Cale: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric piano, synthesizer
James Preston: bass
Brent Cordero: piano, wurlitzer, organ
Jason Labbe: drums, percussion
Charles Burst: drums, percussion

Rising from the ashes of Brooklyn’s Grooms, Activity tread a similar dark, unsettling groove with krautrock rhythms, slashing guitars and creepy, surreal atmosphere. “Unmask Whoever” is doppelganger music for a parallel universe. This supergroup featuring members of Grooms, Field Mouse, and Russian Baths. Produced by Jeff Berner of Psychic TV. Mastered by Heba Kadry, known for her work with Bjork, Slowdive, Deerhunter, Japanese Breakfast, Cass McCombs, et al. Activity are an avant four-piece featuring Travis Johnson, and drummer Steve Levine, both from the band Grooms, bassist Zoë Browne from Field Mouse, and guitarist Jess Rees from Russian Baths. Their debut forms a casually menacing framework for lyrical themes of paranoia, exposed character flaws, and the broader human capacity for growth when an ugly truth is laid bare. Lead single Calls Your Name, establishes the record’s spectral aura with nauseated electronic bells, and a relentless Geoff Barrow-esque drum beat beneath a half-sung, half-spoken lyrics inspired by C.S. Lewis’s 1945 novel The Great Divorce.

In the novel, characters stuck in a grey, joyless conception of hell repeatedly deny opportunities to be taken into heaven, instead making excuses as to why they should remain in their embittered purgatory states. Allegorically, this speaks to the kind of opportunity for metamorphosis and positive change that’s possible when the depths of disillusionment are reached, an idea which permeates much of the album. Despite recurrent aches of discontentment, each track glows with radiant waves of catharsis while elegantly evoking jubilation and anguish within the same breadth, showing that the two are always around the corner from one another. For fans of Blonde Redhead, Clinic, Deerhunter and Broadcast.

“Earth Angel” is both sinister and sensuous and when singer Travis Johnson sings “I wanna fuck around” barely above a whisper, danger lurks.

When Claud Mintz’s mother finally heard the 13 songs on her kid’s magnetic first album, Super Monster, she asked a concerned question: Just how many people had her 21-year-old dated? From beginning to end, these sparkling pop tunes capture the assorted stages of a relationship’s delight and dejection—the giddy sensation of a first kiss during the beaming “Overnight,” the heartsick longing of a pending rejection during the yearning “Jordan,” the reluctant call for a requisite breakup during the smouldering “Ana.” Claud, though, replied that these songs detailed the phases of only two or three relationships, simply written during them or at various points after they were over.

The debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, “Super Monster” is a vertiginous but joyous coming-of-age reckoning with such young love. Claud sees relationships as games of endless wonder, intrigue, and second-guesses, a roller-coaster thrilling you even when it’s terrifying. If “Gold” turns the tension and indecision of a bad match into an undeniable bit of lithe disco, “That’s Mr. Bitch To You” uses a spurt of righteous indignation to fuse a little soul and emo into one breathless hook. Super Monster is like a compulsive compilation that Claud culled from a lifetime of musical enthusiasms—the arcing alt-rock of ’90s airwaves, the rapturous pop of ’00s chart-toppers, the diligent genre-hopping of modern online life. Claud emerges as the chameleonic mastermind of this mélange, channelling all of love’s emotions into songs so sharp they make even the hardest times feel fun.

Perhaps you are in the throes of one of these romantic moments yourself right now, resentful of a frustrating paramour like Claud during “Pepsi” or indulging in lust like “In or In Between.” Or maybe these songs recall those wild days and tough situations. Incisive, instant, and addictive Super Monster works on either level—to remind us of love’s wild ups and downs or to help us deal with them in real time. In that way, Mom, these songs are about dating, well, everyone.

Discovered through SoundCloud demos and DIY shows in Chicago, the artist formerly known as Toast is the first signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records imprint. Their tender, dreamlike melodies touch on relatable coming-of-age themes like unrequited love and the vulnerability of youth, but Claud also makes room for underrepresented snippets of life and love within the young LGBTQ+ community. Look out for Super Monster, Claud’s debut album, when it drops on. 

Claud from the album ‘Super Monster’, out February 12th 2021 on Saddest Factory Records.

“Clash the Truth” is the second studio album by American indie rock band Beach Fossils. It was produced by Ben Greenberg (formerly of The Men) and songwriter Dustin Payseur. It was released on February 18th, 2013, through Captured Tracks, After recording the first Beach Fossils album in decidedly lo-fi fashion and mostly by himself, Dustin Payseur decided to make a change for the group’s second album, 2013’s Clash the Truth. First, he teaming up with producer Ben Greenberg (of the Men) and headed to a real studio (then another after the first one flooded during Hurricane Sandy). He also replaced the drum machine he’d been using with a real drummer, Tommy Gardner, and recorded the bass and drums live together. For many bands that start out as intimate bedroom recording projects, this kind of shift signals the beginning of the end as the very things that made them interesting (intimacy, weirdness, and immediacy) are discarded in favour of fidelity and some degree of professionalism. In Beach Fossils‘ case, moving to a studio with better sound has served to strengthen the impact of the music. Payseur and Greenberg don’t change the basic reverb-heavy sound or the surf-riding guitars or the general feel of the music; instead they make it a little clearer and more punchy, which helps the songs hit harder. I originally preffered their first two EP’s, but fell in love with Clash the Truth because of the substance and depth it has in comparison to their early stuff.


The live bass and drums, too, give the songs a raw energy that their previous recordings didn’t have. Gardner turns out to be an ideal addition to the sound, never just playing the beat robotically but colouring it in with crisp fills and strong cymbal work. Payseur sings a little louder and with more force too, delivering some aggression on the up-tempo tracks and giving the slower, more introspective ones some extra depth. There’s a nice bit of variety, as well, with quite a few songs that stretch the Fossils‘ range. While most of them fall right into the sweet spot of hard-charging, underwater indie pop — with a couple (“Careless,” “Shallow”) sounding like modern reverb-pop classics — there are diversions into acoustic balladry (on the absolutely beautiful “Sleep Apnea,”) jittery post-punk (“Caustic Cross”), and best of all, a wonderfully atmospheric shoegaze dreamer that features Payseur sharing wistful vocals with Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino. All in all, Clash the Truth is exactly the record Beach Fossils should have made at this point, reinforcing all the things that made them good while adding some excellent new wrinkles and boosting the production values.

Originally released February 19th, 2013

The Antlers are very pleased to share another new song with you today. This one’s called “It Is What It Is,” and it’s out now via Anti Records and Transgressive. “It Is What It Is” is a song about hindsight. It considers what might have changed had you handled things differently back then, and the reluctant acceptance that it’s too late for all that now. It the inevitability of changing seasons, transitions that feel like loss in the moment, but come to represent growth over time. Accompanying the song is another beautiful video. 

The Antlers shared the video for new single ‘It Is What It Is’, which sees the New York band enlisting the skills of world-renowned contemporary dancers Bobbi-Jene Smith and Or Schraiber.

Describing the new offering, lead singer and songwriter Peter Silberman said:
“‘It Is What It Is’ is a song about hindsight. “It considers what might have changed had you handled things differently back then, and the reluctant acceptance that it’s too late for all that now. It’s the inevitability of changing seasons, transitions that feel like loss in the moment, but come to represent growth over time.”

The latest effort comes after they returned last month with ‘Wheels Roll Home’, which ended the long wait for new material from the band, whose last album came in 2014

There’s a new Rilo Kiley covers compilation titled No Bad Words For The Coast Today: The Execution Of All Things Covers Comp, out today via Bandcamp. The compilation features Sad13, Mannequin Pussy, Diet Cig, Adult Mom, Lisa Prank, Anika Pyle, Gladie and more. Half of the proceeds will go to the artists and the other half will go to G.L.I.T.S., a NYC-based non-profit, social justice, advocacy and service organization addressing the health and rights crises faced by transgender sex workers.


No Bad Words For The Coast Today: The Execution Of All Things Covers Comp is a compilation featuring 14 artists, celebrating Rilo Kiley and their seminal 2002 album.

Released November 6th, 2020