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Dolly Spartans
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartans; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
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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. You can catch Annique Monet live at Baby's All Right on May 26.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best psych songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 

May 20, 2015
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Eula’s magnetic front woman Alyse Lamb and her musical partner/illustrator Chris Mulligan have added kickass avant-garde saxophonist Kate Mohanty to their project Parlor Walls. As great as their self-titled EP is to enjoy at loud volumes (not to mention free to download off Bandcamp), this is a band you really must experience live. Aside from rocking our favorite stages, they played a live score to a screening of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari in March. Their songs navigate through tense, distorted worlds with a driven voice, colorful brass howls and hiccups, and bouts of enthusiasm. Even if you hate moving your feet, don't be surprised if you've caught yourself with a case of bobble-head syndrome. Parlor Walls is playing a slew of shows this summer, beginning with: 6/2 at Shea Stadium, 6/5 at Big Irv's (381 Hooper St., BK), 6/10 at Alphaville, 6/25 at The Cake Shop, and Alyse's birthday show on 7/2 at Alphaville. Eula is playing Palisades 6/13 with Xiu Xiu. - Leora Mandel

May 19, 2015
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This Friday May 22nd, Brooklyn’s Pavo Pavo will play their first ever show at Mercury Lounge. As heard on debut singles “Ran Ran Run”(streaming) and “Annie Hall,” the Yale-trained quintet offers spacious yet tight pop that is immediately pleasurable and continually intriguing. Their preference for mid tempo, fully arranged tunes enriched by lush vocal harmonies puts them on Grizzly Bear's musical path, although this band is not afraid to take unexpected turns - like in Ran Ran Ran's unpredictable bridge (minute 3.12). "Annie Hall" is a slower, soaring track that would find itself at home in a rock'n'roll opera's bittersweet finale, and confirms the group's remarkable musical sensibility. Cerebral and warm music like this is cause for excitement. The group’s debut album 'Young Narrator' in the Breakers is scheduled for release later this year. The band is scheduled to open for Deli favorite Lucius at Celebrate Brooklyn on 06.13, which is also a very good sign. – Zach Weg

May 19, 2015
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The Black Atlas is the art rock project of NYC's multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Peter Koronios. Towards the end of 2014 the band dropped debut EP "The Other," featuring three brooding, mysterious and rather unpredictable songs, monopolized by Peter's austere tenor. We are now premiering single "Black Milk" from upcoming EP "Devils,"scheduled for a June 23rd release. The tune reveals an extra push in the band's dark, complex and imaginative sonic soundscape. After a two plus minutes long textured instrumental intro, a melody as ascetic as the one in Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" emerges, filtered through the lens of Pink Floyd's epic, post-modern psychedelic exhistentialism. The chorus unexpectedly alleviates the grieving, giving release to the verse's tension, but without losing edge, thanks to the sudden introduction of an odd tempo that keeps things subtly unsettled. The Black Atlas will be celebrating the 'Devils' EP release at The McKittrick Hotel on June 16 - the perfect venue for a band that likes to dwell in mystery.

May 19, 2015
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Since the band is comprised of musicians already active in semi-established acts LVL UP and Porches, Brooklyn's Downies earns automatically the not so prestigious title of "semi-super-group." But the one song they have available online indeed showcases a band with semi-supernatural musical powers, in particular in the speed and melodic departments. "Widow" (streaming below) is a terrific pop tune that proceeds at dangerous pace, while unassuming vocals barely float in a sea of distorted guitars. You could call this pop punk, if the genre didn't bring to mind a million screaming Greenday derivatives. Rather, Downies' music seem to draw influences from the more humble records of the pioneers of melodic hardcore, Husker Du, although with a dreamier vocal style. This is stuff with potential, we are looking forward to hearing more at Palisades on May 21, when the band will support Big Ups and Krill at Palisades.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Bestpunky songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

May 19, 2015
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NYC synthpop couple Wonderful Humans (who recently made our Best of 2015 Emerging NYC Bands list) unleashed a series of single in the last year that gathered interest on Soundcloud. Earlier this year they released "Just What I needed," which evokes East Village era Madonna. Yet, a practical approach to love, in lyrics like, “I wanted more/But I think you got it/Now that I know you're/Just what I wanted,” is a slightly-cynical reboot worthy of the Girls epoch. More recent single "Don't You" (streaming), references the '80s in a darker way, adding playful fake saxophones (an instrument that defined that decade) to an otherwise fully electronic arrangement.

May 19, 2015
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