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Artist of the Month
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January 2015
Bonsai
"self titled EP
"
mp3

Our regular readers may have noticed that we like to highlight residencies played by local artists in local venues, but admittedly we entirely missed Bonsai's November one at Pete Candy's Store - admittedly, we weren't aware that the lovely east Williamsburg venue actually had residencies! Well, not only they have them, but they also pick good artists for them, since Bonsai's music is an absolute delight. Their self titled debut EP is a delicate and dreamy alt folk gem. Opener "Bonsai Trees" - the most accomplished track on the record, streaming below - shows the trio's interest in revisiting traditional American music in new ways, employing intriguing percussive textures, inventive and appropriate guitar parts, and a production that's edgy without being over the top. Of course, all this wouldn't do much if Simone Stevens' vocals and melodies weren't spot on, confident and compelling. The magic continues with "When it Rains," a more subdued track floating in oozes of reverb and supported by what sounds like an acoustic guitar two-note sample loop. Atmospheric ballad "I fashion you are a dreamer" turns up the melancholy big time with a verse as intense as it gets, only to deliver one of those powerfully uplifting choruses that - unless you are fully corrupted by life - can touch you in deep ways. Upbeat pop number "I Like You Man" and final folky song "Messed Up" fill up the record competently, but without reaching the heights of the first three tracks. This is a small, beautiful record with the power to awaken emotions and make people closer, i.e. exactly what the doctor orders every time a new year begins.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of
Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 
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
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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
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Grizzly Bear
 

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scene blog

From the digital submissions: Bird Dog, live at The Rock Shop, 08.29

From the digital submissions: Bird Dog, live at The Rock Shop, 08.29

Singer/songwriter Ben Chase might be the Devendra Banhart of Brooklyn fried soul. Like Banhart, his folk revival group Bird Dog expresses the undercurrents of Americana soul told through an urbanite’s eyes and unique experiences.

While his gritty voice has the ability to chop up lines like a rusty nail, Chase’s matter-of-fact storytelling on songs like ‘Lost Teeth’ (streaming) and ‘Hard Luck Kids,’ belies the Brooklyn singer’s imaginative imagery and warm spirit. With lyrics like ‘I fell into a feeling I can’t explain’ from his just-released ‘River’ EP, it’s hard to think he’s quite as rugged as his last (and louder) release ‘Cabin’ conveyed. But their mix of salt-of-the-earth truth and idealistic romance will make Brooklyners feel at home on the range.

See the band perform when they play Spike Hill on Sun, July 15th with Lynette Williams. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - This artist submitted their CD for review here.

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