Here's our (almost) weekly appointment with the best records we found through our digital music submissions system (any artist can submit their music here).
Grassfight might be the gazillionth indie band referencing Joy Division in their sound, but their songs are so good that we are definitely not going to complain about that. Besides, there are a lot of other elements here that make things interesting: this is compelling psych-goth rock that's dark enough to be credible, noisy enough to be truly edgy and punchy enough to be entertaining. As an added bonus, lead singer Nathan can pull off some seriously high tension cadences a la' Nick Cave - something that pushes the songs' climax to thundering heights (see EP opener "Never you Mind," streaming below). The guitar work in the EP is also pretty impressive, ranging from stabs of pure noise to fuzzy walls of sound, to simple acoustic parts to psychedelic, blurred background textures. If you like some sonic horror in your music, keep an ear out for these guys.
A collaboration between lead singer/songwriter Ruthy Mirsky and multi-instrumentalist/producer Simone Ghetti, Syvia is an electronic NYC outfit that crafts ethereal electronic pop and does it well. Their songs shine in particular in the melody and harmony departments, with Ruthy's voice adding the right amount of character to the mix. See them live at Cake Shop on November 23.
Anjelia is a talented, emerging NJ based singer songwriter - and actress. Her song "A Long Way" is the highlight from her repertoire, and although it's probably a little too mainstream for us, it's undeniably a very good song with a catchy, interesting melody featuring an inpeccable vocal performance. Considering also the lady's looks, there's potential for a new, slightly more upbeat Lana Del Rey here.
Ambient and slightly androgynous, the duo Belle Mare released their dreamy debut EP “The Boat of the Fragile Mind” earlier this spring. The EP resonates with somber tones and almost whale-like howls, unraveling soft acoustic guitar, simple piano melodies, and occasional subtle drones. The title track features the quivering vocals of Amelia Bushell, one half of the Belle Mare duo with guitarist Thomas Servidone, painting a dreamscape portrait of longing. Charade (streaming below) gently develops an unexpected blue melody that can lull you into the deepest of sleeps - I've heard of people dreaming of sleeping, in NYC. The duo met at an open mic night in Brooklyn and recorded the album in Servidone’s apartment, but notwithstanding the DIY approach, the record is full of character and the sound mature. With their mix of rich surrealism and an almost gothic aura, these song sounds as if played through an antique phonograph inside a parlor room... located in the deepest of our subconscious. While “The Boat” could easily draw comparisons to other dream-poppers Beach House, Belle Mare’s subtleties and extreme sparsness create a stronger emotional drive and more nostalgic appeal. - Devon Antonetti