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Artist of the Month
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June 2015
Annique Monet
"Phantom Letters
"
mp3

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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Ravens & Chimes announce release of sophomore album "Holiday Life"

Ravens & Chimes announce release of sophomore album "Holiday Life"

Ravens & Chimes showcase the kind of urgency you usually expect to hear from folk frontmen desperately running from a broken heart and delaying the pain of unrealized expectations. Lead singer Asher Lack may share many of these same issues, but on sophomore record "Holiday Life" (out April 3rd On Better Looking Records), he handles it all with deft songwriting and a wandering curiosity that launches this record to some surprising places. Filled with sudden stops and orchestral interludes, "Holiday" is very bit a symphony as much as it is a Baroque pop classic. Like them or not, one thing you have to respect about these five NYU grads is how demanding their music can be. This isn't a group to leave on while cleaning the dishes. Their latest single 'Night' contains the kind of contradicting multitudes Whitman might have been proud of. The influence of Asher's downtown artist dad Stephen Lack must be rubbing off... Check out 'Night' below and see them when they play in Zurich, Switzerland on March 6... or just wait until they come back to New York at WNYC Greene Space on June 1st. - Mike Levine (@goldnuggets)

Mp3: Ravens and Chimes - Night

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