Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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.

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.
released June 14th, 2019

The previous Oso Oso long-player, 2015’s ‘Real Stories…’, was released with the caveat that it was a record which “sets pop against punk, lets them tear into each other until the result is as ragged as it is anthemic.” While such sentiments certainly ring true, perhaps what new record “The Yunahon Mixtape” represents is the heartfelt aftermath of such a fight. There’s little raggedness here, just simmering sentiments and an abundance of memorable hooks that seem to frame the record as one considered and whole piece; the same face, perhaps, but somewhat weathered and cracked by the passing of time.

From the opening track, “The Yunahon Mixtape” rips. Opening track “The Cool” does as all the best opening tracks do and immediately sets the tone for what follows; staggered riffs opening up in to something far more widescreen as Lilitri’s homely vocal beings its journey as chief protagonist, dictating the mood and tone through every twist and turn the album has to offer. Seemingly shaped by reflections on a relationship, both good and bad, a number of the songs have a lyrical bite to them that lends a greater depth to the endearing immediacy of the hooks; for which there is an almost endless array.

“I know I’m different now, my ocean’s swelling up inside whenever you’re away;  oh no, big wave,” Jade sings on initial stand-out “Reindeer Games”, exemplifying the unshackled nature of his somewhat conversational tone which leaps off the page at various junctures across the whole record. “I love how when you say my name it hurts, in the worst way. I’m poking fun at the coffee stains on your tie dye shirt, and I’m always just a beat or two behind,” he proffers on “Shoes (The Sneaker Song)” while “The Secret Spot” is just as lyrically engaging: “It’s funny how the things we one day could praise, tomorrow be the force that pushes away.”

As with all classic emo records, it’s the way these endearing turns of phrase tie themselves in to the surrounding instrumentation that truly defines it – and that’s where The Yunahon Mixtape truly comes alive. Finding that perfect balance between words, wisdom, and musical endeavour, every track here has a grin inducing moment, be it the landing of a huge chorus, a suddenly pummelling of voice or tool, or each and every element suddenly colliding in beautiful confusion. And, in its most chest-thumping moments – the emphatic strut of “The Walk”, the slow-burning closing track “Out Of The Blue”The Yunahon Mixtape offers something so resoundingly nourishing, that chances are you’ll be feeding of it for many a week, month, year to come.

Released January 13th, 2017, “the yunahon mixtape” was recorded in the November-December 2016 in Port Jefferson, NY

oso oso “reindeer games” from the yunahon mixtape

Haybaby is a band of total babes that play honey-ass heartbreak crooning sometimes screamy sludgy pop & slop rock that willmake you have some feelings. They are “weird and magnetic” and “heavy as shit,” according to Time Out NY and some guy on the internet. These are well-executed, razor-sharp punk songs that are as itchy and nervy as they are a blast to listen to. These songs are built on a foundation of anxiety and disquiet, but they come across as self-assured and in control, at least as far as the music goes. 


“Animosity,” is a prickly song about that bitter feeling inside that just won’t seem to go away. Leslie Hong begins with a full-band address: “Haybaby, why can’t you keep it together for a minute?/ The whole world’s falling apart and you’re so caught up in it,” before sliding into a more personal reckoning. The new songs have grown a pricklier layer of skin as a result, Lead single “Total Bore” keeps the same twitching underbelly of their earlier stuff but expands into glittering heights a sense of tenderness towards themselves and the world is still in abundance.. The second single from the band’s sophomore effort is “Get Down,” a cathartic indie-rock ode to self-sufficiency.

“Joke/Rope” rocks above an abyss between laughter and total misery. There’s no surface level here; we’re deep in the depths of gripping anguish, and Haybaby rock hard enough to carry it. The DIY regulars play with suspense…through ever-foreboding melodies and fluctuating murmurs and howls.

Haybaby are everything you love about grunge, punk, art rock, indie rock and riot grrrl rolled into one adorable three piece band. Brooklyn sludge punk trio Haybaby pack a punch of bombastic, lively melodies that are sweet enough to rot out all of your teeth. Haybaby hold the knack for crafting distorted, fuzzy guitar riffs with heartfelt and sincere songwriting.

released June 7th, 2019

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B Boys’ meaningful punk vibe sees them fall in line with a growing number of bands who recognise that rock n’ roll has always had a role to play in subverting the most destructive aspects of mainstream political discourse. B Boys’ particular method of critique is artful enough to avoid the traps of being considered preachy; it’s more about leaning in close to see just how much they have something to say. B Boys’ anarchic, anti-capitalist analysis of ‘I Want’, which is plucked from the press release, is particularly helpful in steering us to where their head is at:

“’I Want’ was inspired by the frustration of having to demand for the things you innately deserve. It’s about overconsumption and dissatisfaction, as well as the infinite process of personal improvement” ”

Emphasising their allegiance to critical thinking further is the fact Veronica Torres of politically riled post-punk band Pill, is a guest on this track. Sonically, it’s adorned with complex rhythms underpinning commanding riffs with The Wire, Talking Heads, and The Clash great reference points.

Official music video for “Energy” by B Boys off their album, Dada. on Captured Tracks

Directed by Jarod Taber, it’s an artsy, tongue-in-cheek visual and loosely explores the single’s central theme of capitalist greed. Acted by B Boys frontman Britton Walker, the main character is a besuited, lonely man unblinkered in his adherence to the daily grind and desire for things. But the amount of agency the protagonist has is left up to question if we consider the following quote from the band about ‘I Want’ from the press release: “Sometimes life puts you in an ill-fitted suit, but you still have to wear it.” This leaves us some sympathy towards him and questioning of the power structures surrounding us.

Band Members
Andrew Kerr, Brendon Avalos, Britton Walker

New York-born trio Guards have a new album due out after their six-year hiatus with each new single they put out the upbeat howler “You Got Me” the latest offering from their long overdue sophomore album Modern Hymns.

A guitar-buzzing, rollicking romp of noisy sonics, “You Got Me” is a breathless sprint from start-to-finish that has frontman Richie James Follin wailing in sweet surrender.

Guards themselves were formed back in 2010 between Follin, Loren Humphrey, and Kaylie Church—after Follin had completed work with his sister Madeline Follin’s band Cults. Like Cults, Guards has a penchant for taking vintage sounds of the 60s-70s and overlaying those textures with modern sleekness. Follin’s vocals crack and fray over the static of clashing guitars and rushing percussion on “You Got Me,” and while the song has its callbacks to some unhinged rock classics, it’s injected with a personality that’s all Guards own.

“This is a rock and roll song and the world needs more of those right now. Not in a holy preaching kind of way, but I think the world will always need more reinterpreted rock and roll music. I wrote this song after listening to “State trooper” by Bruce Springsteen. I love the howl. It’s a basic blues riff, which is something we don’t really get into, but it felt right so we kept working on it. Lyrically, it’s got born to lose type of theme. Being aware it’s not going to work, but going full on into it, because you are hooked. It’s about a feeling, and the process of the journey more than the end result.“

Guards previous single release “Beacon” was another impressive track. Follin says, It is my birthday today & I couldn’t have asked for a better gift than for this record to finally be released. This is the best I can do…haha…all of myself is in this record. So, I hope you love it. I hope this music makes your life a little better in any way it can. That’s what I get from music and hope to give that back to anyone listening. I am so thankful to everyone involved…especially my musical partner in crime Loren “Ted” Shane Humphrey.

Guards first album in six years Modern Hymns is out May 22 via AWAL.

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The follow up to their 2018 self-titled LP, “Living Theatre” conjures moments of stark minimalism and cinematic maximalism, most potent for Shaffer and Butler’s lyrical intimacy and vivid arrangements. The title was inspired by the experimental thespian movement in New York of the same name, in which actors broke from tradition by creating an experience of communal expression. Their songwriting palette takes cues from influences as disparate as avant garde punk, psychedelic folk, and experimental electronic music. Inspired by both freedom and restriction in their creative practice, the pair set to record the album in a constrained period of 3 months after spending a year on the road touring without a home base. They wrote all summer, in a space with no windows, molding private conversations into more expansive works that address concepts of home, spirituality, and ancestry in a contemporary landscape.

The album was conceived alongside percussionist Booker Stardrum and co-producer Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) in collaboration with Eliza Bagg, Frank Maston, Peter Wagner and Benjamin Levinson. It was recorded at Comp-NY in Los Angeles by Jarvis Taveniere with additional help from Vishal Nayak at The Black Lodge in New York City.

released May 17th, 2019.

It’s hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to the band 75 Dollar Bill. Are they the best band in New York City? Best band in the USA?.  Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you’re gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown. They’ve definitely nailed down a thrillingly original sound, centered around Chen’s specially designed quarter-tone guitar something about his tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown’s impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix. The whole thing is a little hard to describe, but trust me on this: 75 Dollar Bill is amazing. On the band’s latest release, Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock, the group expand the lineup baritone saxes, droning violas and contrabass — and deliver their most powerful music yet. Things feel a bit more composed and fleshed out as opposed to the improvised feel of some of their earlier recordings, but it works just fine: four mindbending tracks, each one a delight.” –


They’re just a great band. You hear African elements, Middle Eastern, and Delta Blues. They’re a really good reminder that there is this kind of music that just travels from culture to culture—even Appalachian folk music and things like that—where people see how far they can dig into drone and repetition, and something that is hypnotic and trippy. It’s the kind of thing I’ve always gravitated towards.”


After three years on the road, the New York singer Mal Blum returns with a refreshing directness, a hungry turtle and upbeat, punk-pop power chords and infectious lyrics.

A few months ago, Mal Blum put out “Things Still Left To Say” their first new song since 2015’s You Look A Lot Like Me. Now they’re back with a whole new album, “Pity Boy”, that’s due out in July.

“Honestly, I think it was just, like, the next chapter of my therapy session,” Blum said in a press release about the album. “The last record was like, ‘Oh, okay, for the first time I’ve admitted to myself that I am struggling’ But after that, you have to take all that self-examination to the next step, which is: ‘Why do I do the things I do? What are these cycles in my life that are or are not helping me?’ That’s the place that I was in when I wrote almost all of these songs.”

Blum is sharing “I Don’t Want To,” a song about rebelling against the things that society says you’re supposed to do, like pay your bills on time and being more honest and get your act together. There’s a sense that Blum recognizes that we all have to grow up sometime, but its chorus is a rousing pushback nevertheless: “I don’t want to, so I won’t,” Blum sings. “I don’t want to, I don’t need to, or I’m not going to, at least right now.”

Hannah Cohen will release her third album “Welcome Home” on 26th April via Bella Union Records.

“It was the beginning of September and NYC was in the midst of a big heat wave.” Cohen says of the track. “I was staying with my partner at the time and had locked myself in the bathroom to work on this song. It was very early in the morning, the air conditioner was buzzing away. At the time we were searching for our first apartment together, and had seen about 27 apartments in person. All were gross or out of our price range. It was definitely a catalyst for wanting to move out of the city – and it all came rushing at me. I really needed a change. Locked in a boiling hot bathroom, playing my nylon-string guitar, I realized that this is it… my life is crazy, it’s time to make a big move.”

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, “Welcome Home”, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

With Welcome Home, “I don’t feel I have to cover up anything, or not be able to share,” Cohen says. “There’s less to interpret, I’m more visible. And as to reflecting on the past when things didn’t go well, I’ve left that behind. It was all worth it, to make my way to this point.”

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Welcome Home is almost brutally honest in its self-examination, as Cohen couches home truths in velvet-lush settings. As she explains, “A lot of the album is about checking in with reality and taking the wheel, being honest with myself and my intentions. Being transparent as much as possible. They’re about exploring why I’m here. And the songs question love – if it’s real or something else, finding love that’s healthy, mature and supportive.”

All of Cohen’s new material was crafted in Brooklyn except ‘Big House,’ which was written in an isolated stone farmhouse in upstate New York where they sometimes recorded, preserving the intimacy at the core of Welcome Home. The album was mostly tracked with a live rhythm section: bassist Brian Betancourt (from Evian’s live band) and drummer Vishal Nayak (Nick Hakim). Says Cohen, “We wanted to capture the essence of the song, quickly, and not toil over details for two years.”

That straightforward immediacy marked an important change in Cohen’s relationship with her music and the recording process. After growing up around professional musicians, she moved to New York from the Bay Area at 17, an intrepid adventurer who was drawn to New York’s singer-songwriter world. “New York became my world and my community, and formed me as a person, though I have never felt settled here until the last two years.” Her first two albums, Child Bride and Pleasure Boy, document the sound of a young artist finding her feet on a stage populated by established performers, a very public evolution toward the lived-in experience and command of Welcome Home. The desire to live on her own terms has recently led her to the less-crowded vistas of Woodstock, NY, a no-less iconic musical destination.

‘Old Bruiser’ documents that feeling of escape, specifically a west coast road trip (“Made it back to the city by daylight and we turned to each other as if to ask why /did we make something special just to go and leave it all behind?”). ‘Build Me Up’ also reflects Cohen’s desire to move: “Living in the city has such extreme effects on your body, your nervous system, the constant grind, living on top of people and never really having any true personal space. I am naturally a very sensitive person, I feel a lot of energy and people are really intense in NYC. I have been inspired by that energy but after fifteen years it became exhausting trying to keep up with the grind and hustle. I wanted a change of scenery and a new pace. It was hard to let go after putting so much time and work into building my life and community, and in a way I went from one extreme to another. But I felt I needed to make a big move to break free from all the noise. Welcome Home chronicles my last year in New York City before moving on. Onward and upwards.”


releases April 26, 2019

Foxygen are back with a new album called “Seeing Other People”. It is due out April 26th via Jagjaguwar Records, and its lead single “Livin’ a Lie” has been released today. The track comes with a music video directed by previous collaborator Alessandra Lichtenfeld. It was filmed in Calabasas and the band’s hometown of Westlake Village, California in the wake of the Woolsey wildfires.

Foxygen – “Livin’ A Lie,” taken from ’Seeing Other People,’ out April 26th, 2019 on Jagjaguwar Records.

Seeing Other People was produced by Foxygen, engineered and mixed by Shawn Everett, and features superstar drummer Jim Keltner. It follows 2017’s Hang. “I remember a quote from [Jonathan] Rado sticking with the press a few years ago about how we’d lived every rock’n’roll cliche in, about, one year,” Foxygen’s Sam France said in a statement. “Well, here’s the album about it. Another movie. I don’t know what’s next. But here’s a snapshot of it all.”


The duo’s new single arrives with a music video filmed in California in the wake of the Woolsey fires

releases April 26, 2019