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June 2015
Annique Monet
"Phantom Letters
"
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Some records have the ability to plunge the listener into some kind of alternate reality. Annique Monet's uber-psychedelic debut album 'Phantom Letters' will do that to you. It took a few notes for opening track "Salt, Veruca," (streaming) to hypnotize us with its haunting beginning: a simple electric piano part, whistles, a fake horn section and a droney verse slowly led us towards a celestial chorus, which was quickly fogotten - for good - in favor of a baroque, droney outro. The following track 'Voodoo', a grottesque and dissonant waltz, took us to a really weird (and scary) place: we saw the devil looking at us through the speakers, from Vienna. With a beautiful melody, the first few bars of "Nowhere"  brought back some hope for a return to light, but the song didn't go anywhere - we should have expected it, considering the title. 'Relapse' delivered another waltz - a more subtle one - but filled to the brim with eerie and decadent melancholy. From its plodding intro, Turtlenecks in July resurrected the ghost of The Beatles' psychedelic pop, although sounding nothing like it, while in '52,' Greek mermeids lured us with the most ghostly of lithanies, asking us to join them - and drown. The following two songs on the record kept this beautifully absurd, elusive dream going, with noteworthy track "Unchange" closing the collection.

Although we often praise structure in songwriting (many songs here would benefit from more of it), there's very little structure in a dream - which is what this album is. In a scene that seems to have lost the imagination of its peak years, this is a record that will hopefully inspire other NYC artists to be more daring.

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

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
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
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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Music Submissions roundup: Grassfight, Syvia, Anjelia

Music Submissions roundup: Grassfight, Syvia, Anjelia

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.


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