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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
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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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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