Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

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If you heard new solo electro-rock act Des Rocs’ first single last month, “Hvy Mtl Drmmr,”you’d know that he carries the same theatricality as the rock greats before him — only he’s far from old and crusty. In fact, he’s bringing the genre back with a freshness and modernity that’s a breath of fresh air for those who miss the days of blaring guitar solos and fuzzed out “We Will Rock You”-type anthems.

Before Des Rocs, Danny Rocco was just one half of the electro-rock duo Secret Weapons, who broke through with their soulful pop sound with the underground hit, “Something New.” When it comes to this new project, Danny says, “Des Rocs is something I’ve felt inside myself since the first day I started making music. It’s a more personal expression of the energies that make me tick.”

He is releasing his second single from the project, “Used to The Darkness,” a pulse-pounding, vocally soul-filled, fuzz boxed tune about being lost. But what does our new favorite rock star have to say about the supposed demise of rock music?

“Rock was the most culturally disrupting movement in music history, yet somehow today the word has lost something. So many artists worry about sub-genres and lose the greater energy of what it means to say you’re a rock artist. I think there’s a lot of great songs out there waiting to be revealed if we could embrace the “rock artist.”

Des Rocs may be a relatively young rock artist, but he’s already secured opening gigs for some of the biggest names in the biz, including The Rolling Stones and The Struts. His discography consists of an EP and a handful of singles, but his live performances are enough to satiate fans while waiting for an album.

Des Rocs just recently started playing live shows — and if you’ve seen his artwork, you’ll notice something important:

“I want you to see the artwork and think, ‘this is live.’ When I was a little kid and before I knew anything about recording, I would hear a song on the radio and thought these guys just went in there and played into microphones and that was the record. There was a certain live energy in the presentation of the music then that you don’t have today, and that is what Des Rocs is all about.”

He played stripped-down versions of two of those songs, “Let Me Live / Let Me Die” and “Used to the Darkness,” plus an unreleased track, “Hold On,”

Songs :1. Let Me Live / Let Me Die 0:30 2. Used to the Darkness 5:30 3. Hold On 12:15

Des Rocs Live at Paste Studio NYC live from The Manhattan Center

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Recording an excellent debut album is mostly a blessing, of course. But there’s some curse involved, too, in that you have to figure out how to follow it up. That’s not easy to do. Usually, it means refusing to stagnate, lest you be labeled a one-trick pony. So you must try to record a set of songs that showcase some artistic growth and aesthetic ambition, but at the same time, you don’t want to stray too far from what worked so well the first time out. On their second album Young Enough, Charly Bliss navigates these various pressures and pitfalls without overthinking them. The hotly tipped New York City combo broke through nationally in 2017 on the strength of its debut album Guppy, a perfect—yeah, I said it—10-track blast of sweetly serrated pop-rock supercharged with punky energy and plentiful hooks. Two years later, Young Enough introduces new moods and textures without tamping down the band’s irrepressible likeability. There is unquestionably a centerpiece song on Young Enough, and that’s the title track, which clocks in at 5 minutes and 20 seconds long—an epic by this band’s standards. It’s time well-spent: slow-burning, dynamic, emotionally resonant and representative of Charly Bliss in 2019. Here, you can hear how the synthetic sounds better contextualize Hendricks’ desperate words by drawing out their meaning and feeling rather than running roughshod over them like Guppy’s rollicking arrangements. In doing so, they also open up a promising path forward for the band. That sophomore album challenge? Charly Bliss have nailed it.

Charly Bliss release their sophomore album, Young Enough, on May 10th, and they’ve shared a second new single from it, “Hard to Believe.” It’s a little more guitar-oriented than synthy first single “Capacity,” and Eva Hendricks says, “Sam wrote the guitar riff very early on in the writing process of Young Enough and we’ve always been obsessed with playing it because it’s so insanely catchy.” She also says the song is “about being addicted to a bad relationship, and the endless cycle of trying and failing to end one.”

Eva is the only woman of Charly Bliss’ power pop Brooklyn-hailing foursome, and her three bandmates’ male voices swirl flatteringly around her own in earworm harmonies on their second full-length, Young Enough. The title track tells a story of failed teen romance, with the resounding chorus “We’re young enough / To believe it should hurt this much,” ten words managing to convey both the masochism of starry-eyed youthful interactions and the age-earned knowledge that love shouldn’t be so painful. This record is one about growing up, detailing how expectations change and evolve as we experience disappointment and betrayal and heartbreak.

Charly Bliss second album released 10th may 2019

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Uni, the NYC-based psych band that includes David Strange and Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger’s Charlotte Kemp Muhl and new singer Jack James, have a new single: the heavy, big-riffed “Destroyer,” which comes with a phantasmagoric video full of freaky claymation and apocalyptic visions. The Band describes it like this:

“I write this letter from a fallout shelter below the wreckage of the earth in the year 2042. Some said it was the exploitation of the poor. The rich blamed the marxist revolt. Some say the feminists had turned their backs on the men, while others blamed toxic masculinity. Helter Skelter played its part. There were clashes of political ideology, religion, race and gender as well as environmental catastrophes. Hurricanes, draughts, earthquakes and wildfires ravaged the earth. Needless to say, the firmament didn’t hold and the nuclear war left nothing but ash. Now that humanity has been razed and only the mutants are left to wander, I reflect on what could have been different from within the walls of my concrete fortress, waiting for the rations to run out.

It was neither one of these factors nor all of them responsible for what happened. It was something older than the universe itself, embedded in every molecule exploded from the Big Bang and crawling as a single cell from the primordial sludge to the White House lawn. It lives inside all of us like reptilian DNA. It is dormant when ignored but spreads like fire when fed. It is a glutton and we willingly shoveled the fuel intoit’s filthy gullet, like a cordycep fungus controlling the brains of ants. It takes many forms but each are a manifestation of the single deadly entity. It is Destroyer.

“Destroyer” premiers here, you can watch it below.

You can catch Uni this spring on the road this spring with The Claypool Lennon Delirium the band which features her GOASTT bandmate, Sean Lennon, as well as Primus’ Les Claypool.

PILL – ” Soft Hell “

Posted: December 14, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Pill is a busy band. Their debut EP was released only three years ago, but since then they’ve poured out an additional two albums and an EP, culminating with Soft Hell, their best release to date. Being one of the few bands to solidly and successfully work a horn as a major aspect of their sound, they stand solidly outside of the obvious parts-comparison of bands like Morphine, and instead stride into something channeling swagger and noise, a riveting embrace of the dark in analyzing a modern life.
“Soft Hell”, is Pill’s second full-length album, is a raucous, splintering dispatch from New York City, animated by the madcap ingenuity of a foursome finding a palpable sense of joy and play in expressions of caustic, black humor. Like the contradiction of the album title, which references our acceptance of everyday miseries, it’s a slew of dichotomies, a frenzied cutup. It’s bleeding saxophone and lustrous feedback sounding somehow pastoral, and winking hooks subtly infused with venom.
released October 26, 2018

Peel Dream Magazine is the nom de plume of New York City-based musician Joe Stevens. A nod to BBC Radio 1 legend John Peel, arbiter of all things underground, Peel Dream Magazine is highly evocative of a certain strain of independent music. Stevens harkens back to the early 1990s, when The Velvet Underground resurged as an inspiration to a new set of bands wielding synthesizers, off-set guitars, and a political bent. The Peel Dream experience is defined by a gentle, fuzzy psychedelia —it’s a hypnotic bit of mod-ish lo-fi pop, recalling the best of early Stereolab, Lilys, and other shaggy haired kids with vintage fuzz pedals, slim trousers, and good record collections.

Written and recorded over a four-week period in the fall of 2017, Peel Dream Magazine’s debut album “Modern Meta Physic” fixates on the New Age universe of the Catskills region of New York. Stevens deals in esoteric bohemian fare — Far East philosophy, Native American tradition, mid-century modern cool — as he appraises the world according to privileged urban expats who increasingly call the upstate paradise home.

Leading off the album, “Qi Velocity” is a metronomic take on French pop that yields to a lush chorus reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian. “Deetjen’s,” named after the much-loved bed & breakfast in Big Sur, would fit snugly on Unrest’s best Teen Beat material. “Due to Advances in Modern Tourism” displays a soft take on Neu!, while the organ that enters could be a sly wink to Steve Reich’s “Four Organs.”

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There is an economy to these tracks — everything is distilled down to it’s essential elements, no gestures are wasted, no superfluous ornamentation taking up space. While Stevens is more than happy to show his influences on his sleeve — mind you, they’re great influences — it’s clear Peel Dream Magazine isn’t just a “sound.” The guy can write songs. Where he goes next is anybody’s guess.

While the influence of John Peel has never been in doubt, we must admit we were a little surprised to hear that a young, New York based songwriter, would have named his band after the great man – yet that’s exactly what Joe Stevens did. That band, Peel Dream Magazine, are set to release their latest record, Modern Meta Physic in October, and listening to the latest cut from it, Qi Velocity, we are certainly transported back to late nights in the late 1990’s listening to that wonderful strain of indie music Mr Ravenscroft Senior used to play to us so regularly.

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Peel Dream Magazine’s sound is a winning blend of pop-drenched melodies and fuzzy production, marking them out as part of the same lineage of The Velvet Underground through to Jesus & Mary Chain and Belle & Sebastian. The trick here, on Qi Velocity, is the way nothing is wasted, nothing is superfluous, just an expertly judged production that flows perfectly. Biting guitars provide bursts of energy one second, then warm buzzes of organs and electronic twinkles offer moments of dreamy escapism, the whole thing held together by Joe’s unwavering, almost unemotive vocal. Old influences, stitched together into a perfect modern tapestry, in our opinion, Peel Dream Magazine are doing music exactly the way it should be done.

Modern Meta Physic is out October 5th via Slumberland Records.

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It’s been 12 years, but Elephant 6 legends The Essex Green are back this 2018 with “Don’t Leave It in Our Hands.” Written about our generation’s increasing reliance on phones and technology, it’s a song that’s charged with equal amounts anxiety and pep, with the New York City trio’s power pop prowess shining through in the track’s brilliantly melodic chorus.

From the album Hardly Electronic, out June 29th, 2018 on Merge Records.

Wild Pink only released its self-titled debut a year and some months ago; a sensitively-drawn rock record that could get a little jagged in places. Now, the NYC trio is already back with Yolk in the Fur , with a selection of John Ross‘ songs with the lessons from a year’s experience. Turns out that change is on his mind.

“Lake Erie” certainly carries Wild Pink’s awed wonder, with Ross‘ impressionistic detail to the movement of life (“But it seems like there’s a reason for it all / Why some ancient slime crossed a line / Now there’s a war on all life on earth.”)

“This song is about growing up and moving on and about the struggle to not get caught up in anything that doesn’t really matter. It’s also for the Western New Yorkers in my life,” says Ross .

But where the band might have turned up the distortion to drive a point home before, Wild Pink leans into a softer-hard dynamic with spacious pedal steel and crisp, lively percussion. When Ross breathes his last sigh — “I thought I’d never get out” — the song expands with his exhale.

Wild Pink “Yolk In The Fur” out July 2018 on Tiny Engines

Acid Dad (Credit: Kelsey Wagner)

NYC freaks Acid Dad are here with their first music video, primed and ready for your viewing pleasure. “Marine” is taken from Acid Dad’s self titled debut LP. Acid Dad is available on limited edition vinyl, cassette, cd

NYC’s Acid Dad released its debut S/T LP in March via Greenway Records, to praise from The New York TimesConsequence of SoundBrooklynVegan & more. A follow-up to 2016’s Let’s Plan A Robbery EP, it showcases the band’s diverse yet accessible sound, from the driving, punk-infused openerDie Hard to the jangly guitars and hazy psych-pop melodies of lead single 2Ci.”

Having just wrapped up a US tour in support of the new release, Acid Dad is gearing up to play Canadian Music Week before heading to Europe for dates in the Netherlands, the UK, and France. Ahead of the tour, they’ve shared a new video for album track “Marine,”

Acid Dad – Marine – 2/23/2018 – Live in the Paste Studios – New York –

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When you listen to the Shacks’s self-titled debut EP, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are much older than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hear the youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiar and completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute.

Since the release of their first single, “Strange Boy”, which they recorded with El Michels Affair, The Shacks have been compared to 90’s indie icons like Mazzy Star, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Broadcast. As good as those bands are, you wouldn’t find a single one of their records in Max and Shannon’s music collection. All these bands are drinking from the same well, just 20 years apart.

Highlights from The Shacks EP include a cover of the Ray Davies-penned “This Strange Effect”, which Shannon sings as if it were written for her, giving the song an unnerving edge that’s way more interesting than Dave Berry’s tepid original. Also included on the EP is “Orchids,” one of Leon Michels and Max Shrager’s first co-productions, recorded at the legendary Diamond Mine studios. “Orchids” is a truly original piece of music that showcases The Shacks’ adventurousness in the studio. “Left It With the Moon” is a lo-fi lullaby written by Shannon and recorded to 4 track cassette at Max’s home studio in Princeton, NJ. And “Hands In Your Pockets” features the Frightnrs rhythm section laying down a pitch-perfect rocksteady backing track behind Shannon’s deadpan delivery a la Jane Birkin.

Trackslist: 1. Strange Effect 2. Left It With The Moon 3. Orchids 4. Audrey Hepburn 5. Tidal Waves 6. Rain 7. Hands In Your Pockets

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Me Not You, the project started by Nikki Taylor and Eric Zeiler, have developed into one of the best indie success stories in recent memory. Their debut single, “Bulletproof”, became a viral hit with nearly 5 million streams on YouTube and counting. Since that momentous day, they’ve played to sold-out venues across the US and opened for Gary Numan on a handful of dates. To keep the momentum going, they released their second EP, Reckoning 2

The record showcases are band that is not only maturing, but also getting bolder. A band willing to take a few chances in the name of their art. Whereas “Bulletproof” was a trip-hop / electro-pop track, Reckoning is more electro-rock. They exchanged the delirium of their beginnings for a heavier, darker, and edgier approach. It is the sound of a band not prepared to stay in neutral.

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Opener “Surfers” immediately opens the doors to Me Not You’s new approach. The synths take a back seat to the coarse rhythms and searing electric guitar, which drive the melody. A haunting chill, as such, develops and envelopes around Taylor’s vocals, who recalls a chance encounter not too long ago that would change her life. Like the band’s reinvention, the song represents Taylor’s awakening. Both transformations continue on the mystifying and cosmic “Talking To Myself”. The tantalizing and trippy “Chemical Cure”, meanwhile, sees the band slightly channel their early day with a Phantogram-meets-Crystal Castles synth number, but Taylor’s message of continuing down this new path remains.

The delicate ballad, “Eventually”, is most straightforward track on the EP, but for original fans it is a welcome treat. With “Everafter”, however, Me Not You take us to the far reaches of the galaxy on this stunning interstellar love song. It commences with a breathtaking introduction before intensifying slightly to make us feel like we’re drifting aimlessly through asteroid belts and pass distant planets. The stark bass line and beats and the shallow strikes of the electric guitar take the song to its dazzling heights.

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The record closes with “Straw Man”, which is the band going outside its comfort zones. Suspenseful, brooding, and dark, the duo craft a political song set in the future. As the deep echoes of the bass and beats throb in the background, Taylor tells the tale of the rise of a tyrant whose sole intention is to reign unopposed. Who wants to cut us down to feed his insatiable thirst for power. With more songs like this and more steps into bolder territory, the stars are the limit for Me Not You, and they will be the ones who reign over our hearts and minds.

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Reckoning 2 is out now, and it’s available on Bandcamp,