Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Since 2011, the New York band LVL UP has grown up from a dorm room demo collaboration into a full-fledged songwriting force. From their indelibly catchy debut album, Space Brothers, to their 2016 Sub Pop Records release, Return to Love, the band never lost the spark that made their warm hearted indie rock tick. Now, after seven years together, LVL UP are calling it quits, but not before issuing an emotional swan song. “Orchard,” the group’s final single, feels like a fitting end to a musical project based on college friendship. It’s the sort of tune you might imagine playing over the closing credits of a buddy movie as the sun sets in the rearview mirror.

On “Orchard,” thick guitar chords and a haze of synthesized flutes evoke the feeling of humid summer air, while downturned vocal melodies convey a sense of nostalgia for a time that hasn’t quite ended yet. Midway through the track, all the instruments save the drums fall away, leaving the vocals bare. “Watching water run through the fingers,” sings vocalist and guitarist Mike Caridi, as if he’s trying to freeze time as it slips by. By the end, though, drummer Greg Rutkin has shifted to an upbeat pattern, putting an optimistic spin on the melancholy mood. It’s as if a new beginning were forming inside the song’s finish, a new era emerging from the close of the last one. “Orchard” may be the epilogue to a great rock act, but it’s also a reminder that there’s life after the breakup of a band.

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Katie Von Schleicher recently announced the release of a special 7″ single to come out on Full Time Hobby on May 4th. The track ‘Glad To Be Here’ was launched online a couple of weeks ago, and today we bring you the flip side ‘Party Dawn’.

The confidence that Von Schleicher exudes on the new single belies the fact that she just released her debut album, Shitty Hits, last year. ‘Party Dawn’ is a song that crackles with thoughts and memories, electrified by Von Schleicher’s brooding voice. The atmosphere of the song is heavy, accentuated by rumbles of thunder and delicately splashy percussion. Although always seemingly on the verge of breaking into a fully cathartic moment, she keeps her patience and her poise throughout, only letting minor surges of feeling eke out at a time, ensuring that ‘Party Dawn’ maintains its focus and magnetism throughout, and is all the more impressive for that.

Von Schleicher says about the new songs: “On a break from touring this winter I went alone to Maryland, where I am originally from, and made these two songs, taking the gear I’ve very happily accrued since making my album Shitty Hits. I built a fire, I set up my gold drum kit, I saw a ton of stars and felt smushed by silence, and it was lonely, so I made these songs. “Glad to Be Here” is where I find myself right now. “Party Dawn” is tied to Maryland, to my friend and our adolescence. Both are a bridge toward the subject matter of my next record. Back in New York, my collaborator Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland, Buck Meek) contributed guitar and bass, and Julian Fader (Ava Luna, Frankie Cosmos, Nadine, Palehound) mixed it.”

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Released May 4th, 2018

gtrs, piano, synth, drums, vocals – kvs 
gtrs, bass – adam brisbin 

More spicy-hot gumbo to spoon into your ears. LVL UP write great songs and there is just something charming  about them. This band is simply infectious! For me, The Closing Door might be among my favorite songs thus far of theirs. It hits all the right spots and is a song anyone can get into. Definitely recommend giving this band a listen. Hopefully some new product will be out this year.

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Originally released July 16th, 2015

LVL UP is Greg Rutkin, Nick Corbo, Dave Benton and Mike Caridi. Susannah Cutler makes keyboard contributions on The Closing Door.

The character in ‘Blur’ is a person who despite his demeanors, is living in loneliness and nostalgia. There’s something subtly striking and tragic about someone living in the past, which the character in Blur is doing, in an increasingly monotonous and cyclical sense throughout the video.” the idea of a character doing burnouts in an empty lot. I thought that was a hilarious but depressing visual, that said so much to me about this character’s inner life, and we jumped off from there. Mike’s songs deal a lot with nostalgia, loneliness, and memory, so it felt right to document and dramatize parts of his life that he’s put into the music as well.”

Lazy days

With his new album You, Forever, Sam Evian, the project of New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer Sam Owens, is here to add some eternity to that sentiment. You, Forever is Owens’s first foray into a more soul-baring sensibility and places the artist directly in the sightlines and heartlines of his listeners. The album (as well as 2017’s Need You, a collaboration with the multi-hyphenate musician Chris Cohen) was written on the heels of his experience touring Premium with his band and was recorded across the latter half of last year. The tours – which included opening shows for bands like Whitney, Teenage Fanclub, Luna, Nick Hakim and Lucius – taught him much about feel and interaction. Further fueled by a desire to escape from the glow of screens and to embrace a sense of limitation, he quickly developed a new set of instrumental songs written for a band rather than just himself and recorded them on a Tascam four-track cassette recorder in his parents’ house in North Carolina. Inspired by these limiting techniques, Owens borrowed an eight-track reel-to-reel tape recorder from a friend, rented a house in upstate New York, and took his band – Brian Betancourt (bass), Austin Vaughn (drums), Adam Brisbin (guitar), and Hannah Cohen (backup vocals) – there to record the new album in July of 2017. Focusing on instrumental grooves and the vibe he had achieved on the original four-track recordings, Owens found the process so enlightening he decided to up the ante yet again by banning tuning pedals from the house. For fans of Whitney, Bonny Doon and Woods.

Recorded to 8-track reel-to-reel and released today on Saddle Creek Records, the sophomore album from NY songwriter Sam Owens has a stomping, 1970s soft-rock vibe to it. “Country” details a dust storm encountered on a cross-country road trip.

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Mandy Gurung is probably best known as front-woman of Brooklyn-trio The Rungs, who formed back in 2012, and have so far released, well, not a great deal. This week Mandy has stepped out in a, sort of, solo style, with a new project, Song Journal. As Mandy herself explains, it is, “a place for me to share raw demos, continuous and open like a journal.” A place for Mandy to explore the rougher, less produced sound that previously she found too raw to release.

Mandy has also this week shared the first offering from the project, New Town. The track explores the idea of fleeing your problems and heading to a new life in a new town, as Mandy sings, “all my mistakes I’ve left them behind in a place you won’t find them, every sidewalk is a new step.” This fantasy new life is tempting, a chance to be a whole new you, even if ultimately you can’t change the person inside. Musically, it’s a raw slice of grungy power-pop, nodding to the likes of Diet Cig or Frankie Cosmos. As Mandy says of this new project,“I want to let these songs exist with all the errors and nuances that make them special to me.”Honest, raw, and very exciting, Mandy’s Song Journal might be something special to a lot more people than just herself.

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Classic and cutting-edge music, with New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer Sam Evian live in session.

Sam Evian, (real name Sam Owens) is responsible for recent Riley favourites Health Machine and IDGAF . He’s in the UK for a brief tour before releasing his second album You, Forever in June..

With his new album You, Forever, Sam Evian, the project of New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer Sam Owens, is here to add some eternity to that sentiment. “This is you, forever: deal with yourself,” he says. “It’s about accepting that you are responsible, that you are in charge of your actions. Everything that happens to you is because of you; no matter what happens, go there and learn from it.”

It’s a mantra that powers self-starter Owens, who released his debut Sam Evian full-length, Premium, in the fall of 2016. You, Forever (as well as 2017’s Need You, a collaboration with the multi-hyphenate musician Chris Cohen) was written on the heels of Owens’s experience touring that first album with his band. The tours—which included opening shows for bands like Whitney, Lucius, Luna, and Nick Hakim—taught him much about feel and interaction. Further fueled by a desire to escape from the glow of screens and to embrace a sense of limitation, he quickly developed a new set of instrumental songs written and recorded on a four-track cassette recorder in his parents’ house in North Carolina. Inspired by these limiting techniques, Owens borrowed an eight-track reel-to-reel tape recorder from a friend, rented a house in Upstate New York, and took his band there to record the new album in July of 2017.

That sensibility is both practice and theory on You, Forever. Dreamy album opener “IDGAF” provides suitable exposition with its notion of embracing one’s passions and pursuing one’s goals no matter the impositions in their path. “Health Machine” is a crunchy, slow-burning but deliberate stomper glowing with warm electric guitar noodling, saxophone wailing, and Owens’s reverb-laden lyrics that he says detail an abstract version of how he relates to his own physical form. “It’s about the unattainable health that I would like to imagine for myself on tour. Health is your job if you’re touring as a musician, although it’s a job I don’t do so well.” The song was the last recorded in the summer session, with Owens playing acoustic guitar through a heavily distorted microphone.

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“There’s a ton of romance on the record,” he says. “It’s all romance. It’s also about living in New York and trying to separate myself from any idea I had previously of living in New York, and how I’ve kind of designed my own world there.” Whether traveling through America, navigating the bustle of his adopted home, playing festival stages with rock legends, or getting back to basics in his parents’ garage, no matter where Sam Evian goes, there he is… forever.

releases June 1st, 2018

This album has a way of digging deep inside the listener, hooking on to emotions saved only for the most solemn or ethereal experiences. Adult Mom is real life magic and this album is proof of that.

its cute and simple and very pleasing, Stephanie Knipe brought totally loving love songs and truly hateful hate songs, like a home-made lo-fi cassette version of the SZA album. Adult Mom shows off the acerbic wit that turned heads on tapes like Sometimes Bad Happens and Momentary Lapse of Happily. Nine songs in 26 minutes, peaking with “Same,” where Knipe strums a hate letter to somebody barely even worth the time it took to write the song.

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Released in celebration of the one year anniversary of Adult Mom’s critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Soft Spots, these 9 demo tracks are stripped down and straightforward, yet equally as moving and powerful as the fully orchestrated songs they would eventually become. Intimate, deeply personal and without pretense, Soft Spots (Demos) showcases what Adult Mom’s Stephanie Knipe can do with their voice, a guitar and an iPhone.

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Band Members
stephanie knipe, bruce hamilton, liv battell

The Brooklyn-via-Omaha indie-pop quartet are set to release their debut full-length album,”Poach”, later this year on Modern Sky USA. The 14-track LP was mixed and mastered by none other than guitar maven Delicate Steve, who was an early champion of the band. In 2016, Navy Gangs released a self-titled EP highlighted by the punchy guitars and beautiful vocal interplay of “Special Glands” and the hazy, relatable jangle pop of “Mondays.”

New York band Wild Pink released one of 2017’s strongest debut albums with their self-titled effort, but frontman John Ross isn’t ready to take a break just yet: He released an ambient solo album as Eerie Gaits last year, and now Wild Pink is already back with their second album: The band just announced that Yolk In The Fur and the opening single “Lake Eerie,” a bright alt-country single that manages to work in some of the grunge edge found on their debut album, although it definitely doesn’t focus on it. Ross said of the track, “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.”

I was a fan of this indie band’s 2017 debut, which applied mid-tempo emo dynamics to John Ross’ autobiographical storytelling songs. On the forthcoming Yolk In The Fur (out July 20), Wild Pink gets expansive, playing invigorating wide-screen synth rock that recalls Ross’ classic-rock heroes like Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne. This nouveau heartland rock sensibility comes across most vividly in “Lake Erie,” which will surely go down as the year’s best War On Drugs song in a year without a new War On Drugs record.

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

Katie Von Schleicher follows up her 2017 album “Shitty Hits” with “Glad To Be Here”, available now and as a 7″ on May 4th just in time for her upcoming US and European tours. Produced & engineered by Von Schleicher, herself , Glad To Be Here incorporates the warmth and saturation of Bleaksploitation and Shitty Hits, while nodding towards what’s next.  “On a break from touring this winter I went back to my childhood home in Maryland. I built a fire, set up my gold drum kit, saw a ton of stars and felt  smushed by silence. It was lonely, so I made these songs. ‘Glad to Be Here’ is where I find myself right now. ‘Party Dawn’ is tied to Maryland, to a dear friend and our adolescence,” says Von Schleicher. Bringing the songs back to New York, she finalized them with collaborator Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland, Buck Meek) and mixed them with Julian Fader (Ava Luna, Frankie Cosmos, Nadine, Palehound).

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This Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Katie Von Schleicher, who’s hitting the road with Mitski this summer, treated Paste to her stirring, emotion-packed songs.

Katie Von Schleicher