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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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Awesomely weird NYC band: Sewing Machines

Awesomely weird NYC band: Sewing Machines

If Brian Eno produced a slightly more Americana version of TV on the Radio, you might get a band sounding something like Sewing Machines. The group has a penchant for sculpting beautiful and natural soundscapes out of the most synthetic of sources. Keyboards and drum machines overlay functionally tweaked vocal energy... and still, all of it is catchy as hell. But if there's one thing to separate the band from the legions of loop machine tinkerers surrounding Brooklyn, it's the unexpected humanity and simple fun the band always make sure to include in their experiments.

If this duo is halfway serious about their band name, they could not have done any better. Between the inspired, and heavily looped banjo and violin work of Sam Moss, and the well positioned vocals (and drum machine madness) of co-conspirator Max Horwich, this band is more than apt to cut and purl their way to an entirely new means of utilizing sonic materials. Check out their new album 'February' on their Bandcamp profile. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)



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