Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Brooklyn songwriter Katie Lau has used the time to add the finishing touches to her new album “When You Found Forever”, her first project to be released in five years under the Painted Zeros name. It’s an uncompromising journey into a person stricken with a battle of the psyche, overcoming a tumultuous relationship with alcohol and breaking free from the clutches of an old love (see “”). Lau is fearless in showing the pains of addiction mixed with the beautiful colour palette that returns once its been abandoned. On her latest single that we’re thrilled to premiere, “I Will Try” Lau takes the various shades that make up ourselves to create an anthem endowed with a restored affirmation in her identity and making the best of the future.

A beacon of hope soars high as Lau’s ever so graceful guitar tugs at your heart strings, championed by an endearing drum pattern guiding her along the path. Swells of emotion pour out as the track weaves its way across glistening lyrics emboldened by Lau’s honesty, “When it comes, I’m still here / The dark dissolves, to stay another year”. As Lau details, “I wrote this song channeling the feeling of gratitude I have for what really feels like getting a second chance at life thanks to getting sober, and getting on the other side of a difficult time onto a path of emotional/mental health in general. Now, every day I wake, I’m just trying to do the right thing/live an honest, useful life, and trying to help others however I can. When I was still drinking and using, life had become so dark and miserable, and now, being in recovery for three years, my life has changed beyond recognition; it’s better than I ever could have imagined it could be.”

Classic-sounding post-rock energy fuses with gently-communicated truths then blazes on “I Will Try” the powerful, pristine new single from Katie Lau’s Painted Zeros The track is taken from the “When You Found Forever” LP that she releases this Friday, May 29th. You can order digital and vinyl versions of it from and it’s available from her Bandcamp page as well.


Releases May 29th, 2020
Written, performed, engineered, and mixed by Katie Lau
Drums played by Jared Kaner on tracks 3 & 8
Bass played by Jim Hill on tracks 3 & 8

Kristin Slipp, also a member of Dirty Projectors, is the voice of Brooklyn– and Philadelphia-based collective Cuddle Magic, who recorded their new album Bath in a bathroom. You can preview its twinkling, understanding “Working On Me” here.

Big news: we have a new song out today, “What If I,” and we’ll have a new album out soon. It’s called ‘Bath’ and it’s coming out on July 3rd on Northern Spy.

Please take a moment right now to pre-save the album, follow us on your chosen streaming platform, and listen to “What If I” (the link below should let you do all three of those things). It’s the first song we all wrote together and we’ve been wanting to release a recording of it for a long time. We love how it turned out and hope you do, too!

Band Members
Benjamin Lazar Davis, Alec Spiegelman, Kristin Slipp, Christopher McDonald, Cole Kamen-Green, David Flaherty

The album is released on July 3rd by Northern Spy Records, and you can pre-order the digital version of it by visiting the band’s Bandcamp page now.

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A couple old unreleased tracks are out now: A version of “Alien Sunset” that was Cut from “Hollow Ground” for reasons I don’t recall. features @jonathanrado (who also produced it) on Drums, percussion, and I think some keyboards? and a demo called “Conspiracy Theorist Blues”


released May 1st, 2020

Alien Sunset recorded July 2016 Los Angeles, CA at Dream Star Studios
outtake from JAG310 LP Hollow Ground

Produced by Jonathan Rado
All instruments and voices, Max Clarke
except drums, percussion, keys Jonathan Rado

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This summer, Dirty Projectors will release “Flight Tower”, the next in a sequence of five EPs to come ou in 2020. Each EP will feature a different band member on lead vocals — Maia, Felicia, Kristin & Dave — with everyone trading verses on the fifth and final installment. ‘Lose Your Love’ has plenty of the sonic trademarks that have made Dirty Projectors such a wild project. Heavily experimental pop that is both immediately alluring and completely disorientating.

On Flight Tower, Felicia is in the captain’s chair. Each track is built around her mellifluous alto and empathetic eye, and Felicia and Dave wrote the lyrics together. Longstreth tills the other side of the screen, letting the sonic seeds planted on 2017’s Dirty Projectors and 2018’s Lamp Lit Prose blossom into something weird and new.

Dirty Projectors are releasing five EPs this year. Five. Why? Who knows. “Lose Your Love” we’re putting out five EPs this year, and the boxset of all five EPs


Felicia Douglass lead vocals and completely shines out the front. She sings all the songs on the Flight Tower EP from which this comes. It’s out next month.

releases June 26th, 2020, Domino Recording Co Ltd

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Today, Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors bandleader, has shared a cover of “Isolation” by Plastic Ono Band. It is available exclusively on Bandcamp; listen below. My cover of Plastic Ono Band’s “Isolation” is up for streaming & purchase exclusively on Bandcamp. All proceeds through April 3rd are going toward MusiCares’ COVID-19 relief fund for musicians and music industry folks whose work has been disrupted by the crisis It’s a very fine version of John Lennon’s great song from his legendary John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album. And when coupled with a great cause, what’s not to like?.


On the track, Dave said,
“All proceeds through April 3rd are going toward MusiCares’ COVID-19 relief fund for musicians and music industry folks whose work has been disrupted by the crisis. So I encourage you to buy it (pay-what-you-wish) and we can be a part of helping combat this together

released March 19th, 2020

Written by John Lennon, Produced, performed and mixed by Dave Longstreth.

The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser’s fourth solo album is unashamedly old fashioned. It’s certainly not what you’d call a change of pace, after all, the band’s debut artwork was a sepia photograph from 1910, and he was only 21 then. Leithauser has evolved in the 19 years since – The Walkmen no longer even exist – but the storytelling intent signalled by that photograph and the three working class factory boys it depicted remain at the heart of his solo work, and provide the concept for this record; a storybook of sorts, with each song telling a different person’s tale. It’s the kind of record which defined the 70s singer/song-wiriter mould, making it feel joyously traditional, and not just because of amounts of upright piano which would make Randy Newman blush.

Produced and mixed by Leithauser alone in his DIY studio The Struggle Hut, there is a decidedly homely quality to the music. The album is bookended by “The Garbage Men” and “The Old King”, two songs which feature his wife and daughters as backing vocalists, and even their pre-school teacher sings on half the songs too. Eschewing the sleek production of Electric Lady Studios, which must have been mere blocks away, gives the album the raucous feeling of a bar-room jam.

The impact of his previous album, a collaboration with Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend, has not been lost. Like Batmangij’s productions, the drums on these songs resonate loud in the mix, cutting through sweaty saxophone riffs, jubilant piano and Leithauser’s own signature bellow, and ‘bellow’ he does. He seems to only have this mode – one where you can almost hear the veins straining – but while some variation may wouldn’t have gone amiss, amongst the chaos of these songs he makes himself heard.

Despite this, Leithauser is eager to ensure that it’s the characters of his tales which sit at the heart of the album. The swinging “Cross-Sound Ferry” recounts a world-wise stranger he met on the ferry from Orient Point to New London, while vaudeville lead single “Hear They Come” depicts a friend of his hiding from life’s problems in a cinema, the lights coming up as the real world refuses to stay outside.

“Don’t Check the Score” is made distinct with chanting female vocals, erupting into a beauteous crescendo with piano from Stuart Bogie and clattering percussion. It reminds of the down ’n’ dirty musical theatre of Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs, but not as much as the off-kilter vamps all over it’s successor “Til the Ship Comes In” which delivers the delicious shanty “I love you now / I loved you then / gonna love you / til the ship comes in!” When the backing instrumentation drops out to leave Leithauser booming those words into an empty room, the album is at its most powerful.

This isolated moment is part of the power of the record. Unlike the songs of obvious parallel Springsteen, Leithauser tells these tales from the rear view mirror, looking back. The woozy drum beat which opens “The Stars of Tomorrow” announces itself as a moment where Leithauser is about to leave it all on the floor. The story is one of a Polish woman he met one night in the wake of a terrible fight with her husband, about to vanish in her red Chevy Silverado truck. Leithauser excuses himself from the song halfway through to pronounce: “I’m just a singer / and you’re just in my heart / I wish you the best of luck / I wish you a brand new start”.

Like all of these songs, this is just one page from a journal recited aloud by a man in a DIY studio with only these memories for company. The album as a whole is a tribute to muses like these; the man who wrote “The Rat” and “In The New Year’ revealing the loves of his life: a smorgasbord of people who animate his pen and breathe lives lived into his songs.

The stirring and singular harmonies of Hamilton Leithauser make the failed dreams, broken promises and anxiety in “The Garbage Men” feel like an uplifting fairy tale.

Official Audio for “The Garbage Men” from Hamilton Leithauser’s album “The Loves of Your Life

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Domino Recording Co is proud to introduce a new signing, Colombia-born/raised and Brooklyn-based Ela Minus, and present her new single/video, “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.” Ela melds machines with her living body, creating complex electronic music that exudes a vibrant warmth, and a stark, celebratory affirmation that our breaths aren’t infinite. Self-made and punk in spirit, Ela uses only hardware synthesizers to perform, write, and record.

Its accompanying video, directed by Will Dohrn, begins with fog and mountains, a direct homage to the Andes of Colombia. Ela pierces through its disorienting, desaturated and strange world, and brings light and color to it. Using choreography and aesthetic transformations, the “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong” video tells a story that lifts from heaviness to joy. It’s a powerful visual statement of contrasts: between the organic and the technical and industrial, light and darkness.

Before forging her path as a solo electronic artist, Ela was a drummer in a teenage hardcore band. She joined the band when she was just 12, performing with them for almost a decade. Ela then moved to the United States to attend Berklee College of Music, where she double-majored in jazz drumming and synthesizer design. This roving background instilled in her a belief that we all have the power to change things, and as she delved deeper into her work with synthesizers, she saw a clear connection between the freedom of the DIY scene she grew up in and club culture.

The title of this debut single for Domino, “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong,” could easily be a line shouted by Fugazi, a band Ela cites as an inspiration. Over an invigorating beat and staccato synthesizer, Ela’s controlled, breathy vocals are motivating: “if you have to go to the bottom of a hole to find what’s wrong just let it go // everyone told us it’s hard, but they were wrong // when you love, you love it all and nothing seems impossible.”

On “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong”, Ela says,“When everything is taken from us, the ability to choose our attitude and create our own path forward is the only certainty we have.”

Ela Minus“they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.”, out now on Domino Record Co

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Belle Mare is a collaboration between songwriters Amelia Bushell and Thomas Servidone. The duo met at an open mic in Brooklyn during the winter of 2012, and recorded an EP that was released the following year. With the addition of Tara Rook (Keyboards), Rob Walbourne (Drums) and Gary Atturio (Bass), Belle Mare performed a live video session at Manhattan’s Electric Lady Studio, at which they caught the attention of Grammy-winner Tom Elmhirst and Ben Baptie. Elmhirst offered the band his studio at Electric Lady to record with Baptie as producer, and began work on what will be their debut full-length album, with sessions spanning the better part of two years.

While preserving the foundations of their songwriting and maintaining the stark minimalism of their previous work, Belle Mare’s first album is new territory for the band. Compositionally diverse arrangements, and instrumentation more in line with their live performances, resulted in a far more expansive sound. Although the results are dramatically different, the sincerity and fragility of Bushell’s voice resonates distinctly throughout the album, as do the themes of longing and the passage of time.
Prior to their full length, Belle Mare released the aforementioned EP, The Boat of the Fragile Mind in April of 2013. A collection of eight songs described as “spaciously eerie” by SPIN. The EP was written and recorded by the duo in the modest confines of Servidone’s Brooklyn apartment. It is a strikingly different experience from the Electric Lady recordings, conjuring “a sense of timeless unbeholden to a specific time.”


Languorous and lost blissfully in a daydream, “What Haven’t I Done” is a flickering escape and the pristine latest single from Brooklyn’s Belle Mare. It’s a pastel cloud whose generous expanse shifts from misty to precise in chromatic turns. You can stream the track right now on their Soundcloud page, and you can find each of their previous releases by visiting their Bandcamp page.

Steve Gunn released Acoustic Unseen on Matador Records, a new EP of intimate acoustic versions of songs from his critically acclaimed latest album, The Unseen In Between. Accompanying the news of the release is a short documentary titled Unseen Anthology which opens to a scene of Gunn performing outside one of London’s thirteen green cab shelters, diminutive sheds which were originally introduced in 1875 to provide shelter for cabmen – and also to keep them out of the Victorian pubs.

The Unseen In Between is befitting of its title; a mysterious and mesmeric edgeland offering glimpses into the underbelly of a half-remembered neighbourhood, and the trials and habits of its outcasts. It could be argued that the view is too familiar for some, causing them to wander and grow listless. Upon looking deeper however, many will find solace in the oblique tales and tragedies. Those relatable human moments, which can be found right under your nose….” . The EP features a stripped down perspective on the stately set and disclosing the songs’ rich individual elements in Gunn’s dexterous and lyrical guitar style. Steve says: “After being on the road with the band since January, I wanted to spend an afternoon capturing the songs from The Unseen In Between as I originally wrote them, with just me and my acoustic. Mid-year, I went back to the great Strange Weather Studio in Brooklyn, and played through the songs in their most basic form. It felt good.”


Directed by The Mitcham Submarine and edited by James Harman, the documentary weaves together footage from touring, live sessions, official and unofficial music videos – including a breath taking session for Toutpartout in a transformed convent in Ghent, on the road footage captured on a Fisher-Price camera by Steve and his band, and acoustic videos filmed across London, including a Cecil Court bookshop. Taken together, it’s an engrossing live document of an artist in need of little more than a guitar and his voice to conjure a transfixing atmosphere, and a perfect visual companion to the EP.

released October 15th, 2019

Steve Gunn – Guitar & Vocals,
All songs written by Steve Gunn

Hey everyone,

We hope you are all getting through these unusual times and washing your hands a lot.  Unfortunately, we don’t have an update on rescheduling Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta or Denver, but rest assured as soon as we do, we will let everyone know what is happening.

In the meantime, we’re continuing with Unified Fridays and releasing another live show on Bandcamp today.  Part of the proceeds from your Bandcamp live show purchase go to various venue employee funds of places we’ve played recently and, in some cases, released live recordings from.  In the past month, generosity from The Unified Scene has led to donations to the employee funds for Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn), White Eagle Hall (New Jersey) and The Crocodile (Seattle).

We will continue contributing to these funds together until we’re able to play live shows again.  Many of the people who work across all the venues are responsible for helping foster the environment to make Constructive Summer, The Weekender, and Massive Nights such amazing experiences.  You can also donate directly to these funds below:

Seattle/The Crocodile,New Jersey/White Eagle Hall, Brooklyn Bowl

Our last shows before this lockdown happened over The Weekender III – an incredible weekend in London in early March. The Weekender has become a fantastic part of the THS calendar, and the audiences in London are simply amazing to our band. For our next live release, we’re flashing back a year ago to the second night of The Weekender II- March 9th, 2019 at Electric Ballroom. We got on stage to “All The Young Dudes”, opened with “Stations” and the night unfolded. This one contains the live debut of “Denver Haircut” and a “Discouraged’ dedicated to our friend Scott Hutchison. Pretty rocking four song encore to close it out too. Thinking lovingly of The Weekender and how awesome it will feel to do this again. In the meantime, check out this show.


Recorded live at Electric Ballroom in London, United Kingdom on March 9, 2019.

For each Bandcamp “Unified Fridays” live recording THS releases, we’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds to a staff fund from one of the past shows.

released April 17th, 2020

The Hold Steady are: Bobby Drake, Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Franz Nicolay, Galen Polivka, Steve Selvidge

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Positive. The Hold Steady.