Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

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Mackenzie Scott, the singer-songwriter who performs under the pseudonym of Torres, has released a new cover of Portishead song ‘Wandering Star’. The Brooklyn-based musician, who is in the middle of a tour which has her scheduled to perform in Zurich, France, Italy and more, recently encountered a major financial struggle in order to get emergency flights back to America.

Now, while self-isolating like millions of people around the world, Scott has released a cover of the Portishead classic to help ease the struggle in quarantine. Given the recent success of Bandcamp’s campaign to help struggling artists at the time of the coronavirus campaign, Torres has made her ‘Wandering Star’ cover available to buy through her account on the streaming platform. It follows her January album Silver Tongue.

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Garden Centre are both subtle and not-at-all subtle. Their sound is led by chief singer/songwriter Max Levy, whose voice sounds like Wand’s Cory Hanson if he inhaled a ton of helium and lived in a mushroom-shaped dwelling from a children’s book. Levy’s high-pitched vocals might be off-putting at first, but it doesn’t take long to warm up to them, especially when they pair so well with his fantastical lyrics and off-kilter instrumentals. Garden Centre released their latest album, A Moon for Digging, last year on Brooklyn’s Kanine Records, and its leisurely, oddball pop songs à la Daniel Johnston are heartwarming at the very least, and at most: an absolute emotional tidal wave.

From the album “A Moon for Digging”

Album of the Week: THICK – ‘5 Years Behind’

When I call Brooklyn’s punk trio Thick, I have no clue that their YouTube video for their new single, “Mansplain”, is going viral, in part, It’s not necessarily unexpected for people to get offended by Thick; men, especially in punk, tend to take it personally when powerful, unapologetic women have a platform. This is nothing new for Thick. The band’s 2019 self-titled EP was full of fast-paced tracks with abrasive yells and confrontational lyrics, including a song titled “Your Mom”.

“I knew the comments were gonna go in this direction, and I had been emotionally preparing myself for quite some time,” Nikki Sisti (guitar, vocals) says of the “Mansplain” video, “but it definitely exceeded my expectations.” Her bandmates — Kate Black (bass, vocals, guitar) and Shari Page (drums, vocals) — agree, and they repeatedly make the disclaimer that they don’t give that much and they laugh. It’s very much this complex sisterhood that is encapsulated in their music — a reckoning with serious turmoils, but against a playful backdrop of catchy riffs and fun wordplay (“Fake news/ Send nudes!”). They adeptly mix up styles across the 11 tracks and evoke bands like The Breeders and Cayetana. Comment sections aside, you get the sense that each song acts as a cathartic outlet for the band.

t all comes together to form an imperfect portrait of hope on their debut album, 5 Years Behind. Things are messy, but Thick are here to show us the light that persists through the darkness and to remind us that we still have community and solidarity.

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Bambara have been around long enough that you should know by now what to expect from one of their séance-punk records, but “Miracle” is still a “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–caliber opener. If vaguely familiar VH1 talking heads ever heard this song, they’d be like, “I remember exactly where I was when I heard Bambara’s ‘Miracle,’ and I remember I just froze. I was like, ‘umm, what is this!?,’” or something to that effect. With Stray being particularly infused with themes of death, the album’s opener introduces the impending macabre with chilling gothic blues that strip Pop. 1280 of their title as best Nick Cave homage.

Band Members
Reid Bateh,
William Brookshire,
Blaze Bateh

Wharf Cat Records Released on: 2020-02-14

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Brooklyn’s Jeanines specialise in ultra-short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — the Velvets, the Shop Assistants, the Television Personalities, Dolly Mixture, Veronica Falls and Girl Ray — they’ve crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Frontwoman Alicia Jeanine (guitar/vocals) multi-tracks her vocals, delivering delicious harmonies, and Jed Smith (bass/drums) infuses bounce and punch. The melodies are perfect pop sugar, and the themes are melancholic with a dose of sunshine — delivered with a direct and sincere lyricism.

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. the tunes on this exclusive 4 track single hearken back to some of the most intriguing moments of the C86/C88 era, when bands like Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes and Talulah Gosh crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk.

Alicia Jeanine explains: “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, with its echoes of girl harmony post-punk groups like Grass Widow and Household.


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.

Jeanines will be playing their first european shows this spring:

released March 6th, 2020

Alicia Jeanine – Vocals, Guitar, Violin
Jedediah Smith – Bass, Drum, Guitar, Organ, Mellotron, Backing Vocals

all songs written and arranged by Jeanines

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Brooklyn baroque shoegazers Peel Dream Magazine have shared another track from their upcoming album Agitprop Alterna which is out April 3rd via Slumberland Records. “Emotional Devotion Creator” chugs along at a quick motorik pace with more than a little Stereolab in there. Frontman Joe Stevens says the song is about “personal liberties and manipulation,” explaining, “an ‘Emotional Devotion Creator’ is a marketer or brand that tries to get you to feel attached to a product in order to get you to buy it. The song is asking, ‘where do you draw the line?’ Does everything have to be something special? Am I supposed to buy my way through everything now?’”

Peel Dream Magazine is the musical vehicle for NYC’s Joe Stevens, who launched the band in 2018 with the critically acclaimed album “Modern Meta Physic,” a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of ‘90s dream-pop that found its place on numerous “Best of 2018” lists. Now Peel Dream are back with “Agitprop Alterna,” an album that pays homage to the fuzzy, mod-ish pop of acts like My Bloody Valentine and early Stereolab, but it’s also indebted to stateside bands like Yo La Tengo and Rocketship that were cut from a similar cloth. “Agitprop Alterna” finds Stevens channeling the collaborative spirit of the band’s live incarnation in the studio, deepening the connection between the existential and the interpretive first explored on “Modern Meta Physic.” It is a rejection of manipulation in all its forms and a buzzsaw against complacency; it’s a rare trick to agitate without being obvious, and perhaps that makes “Agitprop Alterna” the most Peel Dream Magazine-like statement yet.

Taken from Agitprop Alterna, out 4/3/20 via Slumberland Records.

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There’s more than a little Orange Juice in this jangly song from Brooklyn’s Pale Lights (which features members of Comet Gain, Crystal Stilts, The Ladybug Transistor and others). It’s a new 7″ that’s part of Slumberland Records’ 30th Anniversary singles series. Pale Lights formed 2011, in Brooklyn. Lead singer and songwriter Sutton was a founding member of Comet Gain, and has played with a number of groups over the years, mostly drumming for the likes of Velocette, The Soft City, The Projects, Kicker, and Cinema Red and Blue. Adler played bass for Crystal Stilts, and Cinema Red and Blue, Nienaber has been a member of Great Lakes, and Goldstein drummed for Kevin Alvir’s Knight School. Across two albums and a clutch of in-demand singles the band has established themselves as exemplary exponents of a classic style of pop that aligns with them groups like Felt, The Go-Betweens, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, and just about all of the best bands from the Flying Nun and Creation catalogs.


In other words, just the sort of band that we love here at Slumberland. “You And I” is Pale Lights‘ contribution to our SLR30 Singles Series and it’s a lovely way to spend three minutes and twelve seconds. Sporting an indelible melody and some very fine guitar strum ‘n’ jangle, it is the sort of tune that 7″ singles were invented. By the time Gary Olson’s trumpet comes in at the mid-way point you know that you’re in the presence of greatness. On the flip “Say You’ll Be The One” is a winner as well, slowing things down for a stately bit of late-night rumination. One of the finest indie-pop singles this month and a very worthy addition to the SLR catalog.
releases April 24th, 2020

Pale Lights are from New York. They are:

Philip Sutton: rhythm guitar and vocals
Suzanne Nienaber: vocals and keyboards
Andy Adler: lead guitar
Maria Pace: bass
Lisa Goldstein: drums

WILSEN – ” Ruiner “

Posted: February 22, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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With producer Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver, Big Thief, SASAMI) at the helm, Wilsen’s new album “Ruiner” dissolves both the heavy reverb and ethereal moments found on their first recording by instead letting the band’s essentials – drums, bass, guitar, and vocals – have centre stage. In the album’s opening moments, you might hear a knotted wash of guitars and Wilson (Tamsin Wilson – the singer) softly humming, for a very brief moment returning you to their dreamscape but sharply, a driving rock rhythm comes into focus and so too does a revitalised band.

“Making this record was somewhat of a coming of age process,” Wilson explains,“We’re getting older and becoming more deliberate, less precious, less measured. Overthinking less and trusting instincts.”

Brooklyn-based trio Wilsen are today sharing the follow-up to their debut album I Go Missing In My Sleep. They’re back with Ruiner, a record that singer Tamsin Wilson described as going through a “coming of age process.” “We’re getting older and becoming more deliberate, less precious, less measured,” she said in a press release. “Overthinking less and trusting instincts more.

Wilsen new album “Ruiner”

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Personal Trainer are a garage-pop trio based out of Brooklyn and Philadelphia. The members originally met while studying at Vassar College, apparently bonding over their shared love of, “academia and Alanis”. Originally formed in the summer of 2018, they’ve been honing their sound ever since and emerged this week with their superb debut single, “Backyard”.

Discussing the track, Personal Trainer have suggested “Backyard” is a song about missed opportunities, of growing up and afraid to express yourself, a track, “for anyone who cares to re-imagine what their childhood may have looked like had they been unafraid to love honestly”. Throughout, Personal Trainer pitch us back to images of teenage parties, to moments of kindness and insecurity, to wanting to kiss someone and stopping yourself, “you’ve got long hair just like mine, you’ve got lips and so do I”. Musically, the track is punctuated with a steady heartbeat like bass-drum, you can almost feel it bursting out of a collective chest, as it’s adorned with lush harmonies, driving bass and delightfully twiddly guitar lines. Yes, this is as early in Personal Trainer’s musical journey as we could possibly join them, they couldn’t sound more ready though, a single track that makes a compelling case for declaring Personal Trainer your new favourite band.


Lead vocals/guitar by melina harris
lead guitar/vocals by molly buckley
bass/vocals by alix masters
drums by sarah galdes

Backyard is out now via House Of Feelings.

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Brooklyn punk trio Thick have seen a lot over their six years as a band. They’ve seen venues close, and they’ve been repeatedly tokenized by men in the music scene, so they’re not sorry who’s offended by their in-your-face punk. Last year, they signed to Epitaph Records, and their debut album, “5 Years Behind”, is finally coming out on March 6th. Expect jumpy, melodic punk where the personal is political. Samples of men using phrases like “Girl bands are really in right now” characterize “Mansplain” while the rambunctious title track perfectly depicts internal combustion: “I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed / If I didn’t let time take control.”

The band’s third EP and first release since signing to Epitaph Records, THICK bottles up the reckless energy of their live set and adds new textures to a gloriously scrappy sound they’ve labeled “girlwave.” The three-song release also reveals THICK’s particular brand of lyrical genius: calling out the stupidities of the status quo and claiming their own space apart from the masses.

THE BAND:– Kate Black, Nikki Sisti, Shari Paige

“5 Years Behind” by THICK from the album ‘5 Years Behind,’ available March 6th