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May 2015
Pop and Obachan
"Dream Soup
"
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Dreaming has always been a prerogative of the young. But seeing the raising wave of dreamy NYC based bands, we start to wonder if dreaming becomes a necessity for those who choose to settle in that post-industrial wasteland that is "non affluent Brooklyn." Or maybe it's the other way around: would anobody who doesn't have a dream to nurture settle in a place like Bushwick? Whichever the answer, that gray urban ugliness is producing many colorful psychedelic flowers. One of them is Pop and Obachan, a duo that, in just over a year of existence, released two EPs that show a radical metamorphoses - one that veers towards dreaminess. Their debut EP 'Unfurl' was a modest, sparse and sleepy alt folk record featuring just voice, ukelele and acoustic guitar. Its melodies and chord progressions owe a lot to the roots of American music. But this year's 'Dream Soup' sees the band entirely transformed - and for the better. An enriched instrumentation - now featuring also drum machine, keyboards and electric guitar - supports, through inventive arrangements, some truly imaginative and personal dream-pop songwriting. The highlights are opener 'Holly' and 'Dry Land,' with their impressionistic sound, beautifully whimsical melodies, and perfectly balanced production. If this is what "non affluent Brooklyn" can do to a band in one year, there's definitely nothing wrong with it, no matter how expensive the rent is.

 
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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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