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September 2012

Much has been made of Wilsen’s unique combination of dream pop and folk, which has been dubbed as “dream folk.” Yet there is a much easier way to describe the NYC-based singer-songwriter: really, really talented. Her debut album, “Sirens,” is eerie, confident, and a fantastic first step for this bright artist.

“Sirens” opens with “House On a Hill,” which is highlighted by some strangely ominous whistling over a melodic guitar line. Wilsen then moves to her folk roots with “Dusk.” Here, her vocals softly shine while even softer instrumentation ornaments the dueling senses of comfort and apprehension.

Throughout the album, Wilsen experiments with different sounds and styles, although her overall sound keeps faith to early Leonard Cohen's sparse, pensive approach. The guitar work on “Lady Jane” has an almost Middle Eastern feel, while the vocals on “Springtime” bounce with a jazzy swagger.

Closing “Sirens” is the ten and a half minute epic, “Anahita” (see the video here). I’ve already sung the praises of this track, yet its breathtaking power cannot be overstated. The moment halfway through the song when the stunning guitar line gives way to aural chaos is one of the best recorded musical instances of the year. - Josh S. Johnson

The Vandelles to open for The Jesus And Mary Chain

Exciting news for The Vandelles! Having released a couple of weeks ago a new album, 'Strange Girls Don't Cry', the Brooklyn-based shoegazing surf-rock band just announced that it will be concluding its summer season by opening for The Jesus and Mary Chain over a series of six East Coast dates on its Glaswegian post-punk favourites' extra shows. This being The JAMC's first US tour in four years, chances are tickets will be selling out fast, but get on it quickly enough and you may be able to catch one of the NYC performances, scheduled for September 13th and 14th at Manhattan's Irving Plaza. Find more info here


Weekly Feature: Friend Roulette plays Delinquency 9.14

There’s a perfectly hummable sentiment somewhere in Friend Roulette’s “Sailing Song” that keeps working its way back to the surface, but only after first progressing through all manner of uneven meter changes, brass fanfare and incidental thematic adventure. At times stepping boldly into a space usually exclusive to the imagination of score composers like Danny Elfman, the group essentially writes baroque pop pieces for an imagined Brechtian musical, casting its talented singers/songwriters Julia Tepper and Matthew Meade as the show’s unlikely protagonists. They will be performing at Bushwick's Delinquency next Friday (9.14). Meanwhile, read Mike Levine's interview with the band here.


Weekly Feature: XNY headlines Bowery Electric 9.14

XNY have that rare kind of chemistry that must make other bands wonder what they're doing wrong. It isn’t every day that you hear something so large and well thought out, channeled through such piecemeal instrumentation. On their new record ‘Through the Wall,’ the band’s production has increased in scope, but the songs maintain a deeply felt relationship between these old friends. Make no mistake. With just two members, XNY have managed to build a world larger than most ensembles plenty times their size. They'll be headlining a show next Friday (9.14) at Bowery Electric. Read Mike Levine's interview with the Brooklyn duo here


On the road with Nude Beach for their 'Radio' music video

Past a first round of late 70s references de rigueur, Petty this, Thunders that, what you're left with is not a trio of hopeless retromaniacs, but a young rock and roll band looking for an adventure - like every other young rock and roll band before them. Through bits and pieces from personal archives, that's the side of Nude Beach we get further acquainted with on their new video, released yesterday, with a peak into the junk-eating, drink-downing routine of a trio having a laugh on the road, playing for new crowds and watching America pass by the windows of a van to the rolling beat of their nostalgic 'Radio' (off sophomore album II).

As of next week, Nude Beach will be heading off for a series of West Coast shows before catching up with Texan legend Roky Erickson whom they will be touring with throughout the month of November. If that ain't an adventure.. 


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