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February 2015
Dolly Spartan
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartan; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
The 60's
Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Sonic Youth
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
Swans
The Feelies
Laurie Anderson
They Might Be Giants
John Zorn
Arto Lindsay
Sonic Youth
The Fleshtones
The 90's

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Yo La Tengo
Soul Coughing
Cat Power
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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Swear and Shake release "Maple and Ridge" album on 07.06 at Mercury

Swear and Shake release "Maple and Ridge" album on 07.06 at Mercury

New York indie folk quartet Swear and Shake played the Hillstock fest last week, and will cement their status with a CD release party at Mercury Lounge on Friday July 6 with These Animals and Tall Tall Trees.

The moniker itself captures a certain quality to the group’s vibe, evoking the rhythmic and fitful, but most distinctly their togetherness - as if these four, somewhere on a playground long ago, entered into a pact of musical dimensions. Undoubtedly there is a spirit of play to the music, resulting in songs that toss between childlike vulnerability and wonder, and resounding harmonies that beautifully elevate the stuff of good old indie-folk - The vocals alone, shared between Kari Spieler and Adam McHeffey, are fodder for obsession.

Yet don’t be fooled. If we are to start on the playground, “Maple Ridge” maps the art of growing up. That is, despite its homespun feel, the album achieves definite sophistication. From the first track, the delightfully singsong “Marbles” (streaming below), the band looks to the future with all the tenderness of youthful promise: “I swear I’ll clean up good/I bought us a piano so our kids would grow up smart”. “White Walls”, on the other hand, displays an early world-weariness- an acknowledgment that relationships seem to impact our personal growth more than we’d like. Still, the wistful “Wrecking Ball” addresses our craving for such (literal) impact. The group freely admits another reality of adulthood: that sometimes, though we’ve sworn a person off, we ultimately can’t shake them. - Kristina Tortoriello

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