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July 2015
The Great Void
"Shift Age

If you're one of the few not plagued by thoughts of mortality and burdened by self-reflection, consider yourself lucky. If you're a brooder, however, then Shift Age, by NYC dark electro-rock project The Great Void, might be the record for you. It bears all the outwards signs of happy pop music, though the longer you listen, the more surreal it gets. Especially vivid is “Medicine Ball,” whose plunky synths and new-wave vocals divert bleakly-rendered lines like, “I know we'd have fun/But you're much too young.” By “Shift Age (Part 2),” it's clear the gloss is just a cover for deconstructing nostalgia itself. “Out with the days of the old ways” sings leader Josh Ascalon before a barrage of high-pitched squeals surge towards an apocalyptic finale. Or maybe that's just the hardware inside his keyboard threatening to fry out? - Brian Chidester

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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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