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Weekly Feature: Royal Baths, CD Release at Death By Audio on 02.07

Old school rockers Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer not only acknowledge their retro influences, they wear them with pride. Royal Baths’ music is reminiscent of the dozen or so artists they cite as influences – drawing from the darkest corners of sixties garage rock as well as old-fashioned bluesmen and acid psychedelia. The instrumentation is rickety and the vocals drone. Tuning seems incidental as they bash out songs about drugs, girls and girls on drugs, though not necessarily in that order. Having recently moved to New York from San Francisco to establish their sound in the local scene, their latest album Better Luck Next Life (scheduled to be released on February 7) is a nostalgic collection – highlighting the band’s ever-expanding pallet. Don't miss the band's CD release party at Death By Audio on February 7th. - Read Dean Van Nguyen's Q&A with the band here.


 

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Live Reviews: High Highs at Pianos

High Highs kicked off their month long residency of sorts at Pianos last night – they’ll be playing every second Wednesday in February. These New Yorkers by way of Australia bedecked the stage in white lights and immediately captivated the audience with their brand of dreamy electro; as the set began, the sizable crowd stood rapt and respectfully silent. Between notes, between songs, you could hear a pin drop – or more likely some dude slurping his drink.
Jack Milas’s confident falsetto carried over soft waves of trance-inducing electronics. Standing on his toes to conquer the high notes, he switched from electric to acoustic and back again. The trio’s genuinely pretty beats have a pied piper effect – the melodic beauty lures you in so you fail to notice at first how incredibly haunting it is.
High Highs ended the night with the first track off their self-titled EP, “Open Season.” This song, executed with great inspiration, packed the eerily lush punch that lends High Highs depth. - Corinne Bagish

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Record of the Month: Night Manager, "Ghost" - Live at The Knit on 02.21

This might sound kind of trite, but imagination is one of the crucial deciding factors that makes us pay attention to music we get introduced to. This is a quality that is definitely not missing from Night Manager's music, lead singer Caitlin Seager's melodies in particular. The Brooklyn via Paris/San Francisco band offers some of the most refreshingly catchy pop lines we heard in a long time. The gorgeous single "Ghost" (streaming below) is a glorious melange of genres, somewhat reminiscent of the carefully constructed songs from The Throwing Muses' pop masterpiece "The Real Ramona" - one of the most underestimated pop album of the 90s. Unpredictable melodies blending Cocteau Twins' heavenly beauty and The Beach Boys' harmonizing mastery, float on top of what could be described as a grunge-style track, although drenched in reverb and filtered through the NYC DIY sound of the new millennium, with all its homages to the new wave and the garage sound of the 60s. But the sonic character of the track is kind of contingent here, because the actual song is so good that it would work in any instrumental context. The other two tracks on the 7" (the band's third release), present a similar recipe, with a heavier influence of the 60's surf pop element, which awakens comparisons to west coast breakout band Best Coast. The "Ghost" 7" caught the year of the folks at Rough Trade in the UK and Big Love in Japan, who will be releasing it starting today in those countries.

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The Debutante Hour plays Union Hall on 02.10

One of the most fun rootsy groups in NYC, The Debutante Hour sounds like if The Dresden Dolls met Tegan and Sara and had beautiful vaudeville cabaret babies (which isn’t surprising considering Brian Viglione, drummer for The Dresden Dolls, collaborated with the group on various songs). The three-woman band sings songs covering subjects that span from zombies to self-confidence and shell out covers including the likes of 90s super- group TLC’s hit single “No Scrubs” (streaming below). Their charming matching outfits perfectly compliment the charming harmonies they produce as well as the captivating personalities that shine through their playful lyrics. The band will be playing at 8 p.m. at Union Hall in Brooklyn on Friday, February 10th. - Christine Cauthen

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Lia Ices releases new video for "Little Marriage" + Pink Floyd cover

I don't think we need to reiterate how much we love Brooklyn songstress Lia Ices, who graced the cover of our Winter 2011 issue of The Deli. Lia has recently premiered a new video of the arresting single"Little Marriage" (streaming below) and also released a newly recorded cover of Pink Floyd's ginormous single "Wish You Were Here" on Fader.


 

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