Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Compared to the manic and raw original from the Pixies, Beacon takes its time to build upon the lyrics on their rendition of “Wave of Mutilation.” It’s a stripped-back approach that focuses on soothing piano balladry, eliciting feelings of placidness and occasional dips into the eerie territory. The original increases pulses and provides a constant stream of aggression, so Beacon going in the complete opposite direction was an interesting take, but one that inexplicably works in their favour. The vocals are charged yet subdued, wrapping itself around listeners with a tight grip, but one would be hard-pressed to want it to release. Both provide emotive experiences that can satisfy varying moods, and it’s because of this that Beacon should be lauded, taking something old and turning it into a wholly new creation. A wholly new experience, one that will sure to leave listeners in awe.

Band Members:
Thomas Mullarney III, Jacob Gossett

Gravity Pairs out now on Ghostly International on November 2nd, 2018:

A modern classic with a timeless sound! Filled with hooks and great lyrics the result is a 17 track beast of superb song-writing!, The shopping malls have closed down, the dressing rooms are filled with ghosts, and the carousel is covered in cobwebs. “Nobody Lives Here Anymore”, the latest and greatest from Max Clarke as Cut Worms, is the haunted reverie of an American landscape in-and-out of Clarke’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 chiming guitars, honky-tonk pianos, and Telstar organs.

A constant creator – be it his Cut Worms alter-ego or his day-job illustration work (designing brand logos and beer labels with madhouse technicolour pictures) – writing and making records has always been Max’s driving force. So after an extensive eighteen-months of touring in support of 2017’s Alien Sunset and 2018’s Hollow Ground, he set about sifting through the fragment pieces and sketches of tunes he’d accumulated, along with a jet-stream of new compositions, mining his life-long devotion to the lost American songbook for inspiration. By the time he flew to Memphis to work with producer Matt Ross-Spang at Sam Phillips Studio, he’d stockpiled more than thirty new songs.

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A loss of innocence lingers through this 80-minute opus as Clarke attempts to harbour love and meaning inside a world that sold itself out. He explores the wistfulness of the past in search of answers for tomorrow. And 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.

Released October 9th, 2020

2020 relents… finally some good news. And an antidote to the “Emerald City” earworm that’s been driving me to distraction since the Melbourne and Castlemaine gigs a lifetime ago now!. Luluc will release their fourth album Dreamboat next week, and ‘Emerald City’ is a brilliant first taste. Zoë Randell’s voice is right up front, while some anxious and jittery beats scurry about beneath her. It all sounds very restrained, but there’s actually quite a lot going on when you pull it apart. This track was one of a couple that sees the group again team up with Aaron Dessner on production, and, while it sees the duo retain their identity with strength, it also shows a gentle evolution thanks to some charming new elements.

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Releases October 23rd, 2020

Told Slant is Felix Walworth’s dark and evil band based in Brooklyn, New York.

Told Slant has released the third song from their upcoming full-length “Point The Flashlight and Walk”According to songwriter Felix Walworth:”‘Run Around The School’ is about the allure of loving another regardless of reciprocity or the promise of being loved. It explores the beauty and delusion of pining, and of love’s power to satiate us even with its table scraps.”

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releases November 13th, 2020

All instruments and words by Felix Walworth
Arranged, performed, and recorded by Felix Walworth

“The track transforms a playful playground taunt into an affecting quiver that lays bare some serious emotions. It’s twinkling and sad, weighed down by the heaviness of life never living up to expectations.”
—Stereogum

“A song that is equal parts pure joy and hidden anguish, “Run Around The School” is exactly the tone that we know and love Told Slant for.”
—Beats Per Minute

Told Slant is Felix Walworth’s dark and evil band, Told Slant, the solo project of Brooklyn songwriter Felix Walworth, has announced a new album “Point the Flashlight and Walk”, out on November 13th via Double Double Whammy. It’s the follow-up to 2016’s Going By. Told Slant also unveiled two singles from the new album— “Family Still” and “No Backpack”—which come with lyric videos shot by Emily Sprague (Florist).

“Family Still” is a poetic exploration of interpersonal dynamics. “Power isn’t taking / It’s making you give in freely / And I hope you don’t come home / and think it’s enough to be near me,” Walworth sings in a gentle tone. This layered acoustic track excels in its dissection of the complicated shades of intimacy: “What can be said of desire / when every longing instilled in my heart was instilled in such a violent world?”

“No Backpack” also delves into closeness, mixing in both cynicism and romanticism. There’s cherished imagery of angled zippers on a leather jacket and a life packed inside a Honda, which plays into the song’s core conflict—its competing views of love: cautious and self-protective or idealized and reckless. “I don’t want to run with you / when there’s someone you’re devoted to / You’re always living with a trapdoor under you,” Walworth sings.

Walworth said of the new songs:

“Family Still” and “No Backpack” are meant to be listened to in succession. They explore the concepts of devotion and togetherness as both liberatory and self-negating, and mount these explorations from a place of sober reflection and indulgent fantasy.

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Releases November 13th, 2020

instruments and words by Felix Walworth
arranged, performed, and recorded by Felix Walworth

Based out of Brooklyn, Caitlin Pasko is a songwriter, pianist and, “weaver of dreamy, elegiac meditations”. Caitlin first emerged back in 2017 with the beautiful Glass Period, “a small chapel to personal grief”. After three years, this week Caitlin has released the much anticipated follow-up, “Greenhouse”, named in tribute to the, “structures that protect plant life from unfavorable external conditions, and from environments in which flora adapt in order to survive and sustain other life forms”.

Caitlin Pasko’s songs are rooms where silence and language are granted equal weight. Her singing is precise, but soft and reserved, and her piano-playing drifts and floats. Caitlin talks openly of how the album emerged from an emotionally abusive partnership, and the record chronicles the wider themes of relationships failing, be they romantic, familial or otherwise. Working with producer Henry Terepka, Caitlin sets these ideas into a stunning musical landscape; a world of spacious, elegant piano lines, intricate, deliberate vocals and swirling electronics. It’s a sound entirely Caitlin’s own, equally nodding to classical composers as it does to Caitlin’s contemporaries from Cross Record to Tenci. Particularly jarring and wonderful is the album’s centrepiece Horrible Person, a fusion of gorgeous vocal melodies with unnerving electronics and a lyric that seeks to flip the tables on an abuser who has always dragged you down; “you know you are a horrible person, and I could never really be fully at ease around you, like a cat on a hot tin roof wondering when it should move”. While this is undeniably a record that walks the darker streets, at its close it does offer a certain resolution, in the shape of final track, Intimate Distance. The track finds Caitlin at her piano, picking out bold piano chords and singing to herself of fresh growth and progress, “it took a fallen snow to feel that growth and letting go are so complexly intertwined”. Few albums live up to their title like Greenhouse does, it is a record that exists like a bubble, a place where emotions are laid raw and protected from the toxicity and harshness of the world at large, a place where against the odds, new shoots of life, love and hope will find a way.

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Piano, Vocals, & Synths (Dave Smith Tetra, Moog Minitaur)
by Caitlin Pasko
Guitar, Percussion, & Synths (Dave Smith Tetra, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha TX7)
& Additional Piano on “Horrible Person” & “Mother” by Henry Terepka

Released August 28th, 2020

All songs written by Caitlin Pasko

“Interzone” is the third full-length album by New York’s electro post-punk duo The Vacant Lots, to be released on Fuzz Club, 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 depending on their interpretation. Working on this album was a constant struggle reconciling internal conflicts with all that’s going on externally in the world. Interzone in one word is duality.”

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 in Berlin. The group has toured with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Suicide, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Growlers, Dean Wareham, The Dandy Warhols, and Spectrum.

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Reflecting on the new album, Jared says, “We don’t want to waste people’s time and we want people to play it over and over. Our mantra is ‘is it bulletproof? 8 songs. 30 minutes. It’s about intention and vision.”

Released June 26th, 2020

All Songs & Music Produced by
the Vacant Lots,  Are Jared Artaud & Brian Macfayden

Brooklyn’s Jeanines specialize in ultra-short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — Messthethics, the Television Personalities, Marine Girls, early Pastels, Dolly Mixture — they’ve crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Alicia Jeanine’s pure, unaffected voice muses wistfully on the illusions of time, while My Teenage Stride/Mick Trouble mastermind Jed Smith’s frantic Motown-esque drumming and inventive bass playing provide a thrilling rhythmic foundation.

“Winter In The Dark” and a lovely, jaunty cover of The Siddeleys’ “Falling Off Of My Feet Again” provide great insight into what Jeanines are about. 60s-meet-80s melodies combine with timeless guitar jangle in a way that recalls everything from The Aislers Set and Saturday Looks Good To Me to more recent DIY pop groups like Parsnip and Chook Race. Album opener “Either Way,” “Hits The Bone” and “Where We Go” hearken back to some of the most intriguing bands of the C86/C88 era, when bands like Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk.

Gorgeous songs like “Where I Stand,” “Too Late” and “In This House” are windows into Alicia’s lyrical style and inspiration. She expands: “I’m kind of obsessed with mortality and how weird the passage of time is so I think my lyrics reflect that. I definitely lean into that kind of melancholy state of mind when trying to think of lyrics, while trying to avoid cliches!” The marriage of the minor-key melodies and melancholic lyrics is powerful and make Alicia’s songs all the more memorable, especially so on songs like “No Home,” with its echoes of girl harmony post-punk groups like Grass Widow and Household.

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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, along with Smith’s versatile but ever-economical musicality, ensure them a place of their own in today’s crowded but boisterously healthy DIY pop scene.

Originally released June 14th, 2019

Oceanator aka Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Elise Okusami, is releasing her debut album, “Things I Never Said”, on August 28th via her own Plastic Miracles label. She has shared a new song from it, “Heartbeat,” which is about the anxiety that comes from having a crush on someone.

Okusami had this to say about “Heartbeat” in a press release: “This song is loosely about having a crush, and both the grounding feeling and the anxiety that feeling brings. We recorded it all together like a live performance, and then I went back and added the lead guitars and the vocals. Guitar and vocals by me, bass Eva Lawitts (they), drums Aaron Silberstein (he).

Things I Never Said includes “A Crack in the World,”. Then we loved the album’s next single, the more synth-poppy “I Would Find You,”.
Things I Never Said was originally due to come out on Tiny Engines, but then that label pretty much imploded after it was revealed that it was having difficulty making royalty payments to its artists, so Okusami is putting out the album on her own label instead. Although the British label Big Scary Monsters has just announced that they have signed Oceanator and will be releasing the album in the UK.

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Releases August 28th, 2020

All songs written by Elise Okusami

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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