The next step in hot rod hard rock is here. Dirty Fences have combined the joys of smoke-filled biker bars into songs that last at most 2 and a half minutes. New EP 'Too Kind to Kross' is two jams designed especially for speed and abandon. This is the kind of sunset strip metal that celebrates the roots of hardcore, and the future of good old fashioned, dirty ass hard rock is here. Grab the new record here, and if you missed your show at Irvin Plaza last Saturday (opening for Turbonegro), check them out when they head back to NY for shows later this year. The band will play three gigs in the West coast in late May/early June. - Mike Levine (@Goldnugets)
Keeping secret identities, rising R&B electropop artists ASTR are testing the waters with slick, slightly sinister club bangers. The “NYC Duo” mixes processed vocals, 808s and heavy bass drops, producing dance tracks that sound like they came from a seasoned hit factory. Dark undertones ground their handful of high-gloss tracks, but they never dive into the creep-pop or drug-stupor of influences like Purity Ring and The Weeknd. The pair’s latest single is a radio-friendly earworm called “Operate.” The twitchy, washed-out companion video borrows from NIN’s, “Closer,” with blood, guts and silent film footage spliced between shots of the glam, unknown singer, whose “Operate, Oh-oh” has a tinge of Caribbean accent. The sleuth behind the buttons remains a mystery. - Bianca Seidman
Mree's delicate voice and intimate songs have a resonating power that caught the attention of none other than mister Bon Iver. The "king of mellowness" recently shared Mree's music with his fans, creating quite a bit of buzz around this young artist. Quite impressively, this talented nineteen year old songstress and full-time NYU music student not only records and produces her own music, but also films and edits her videos (see them here). She plans to release her sophomore album, "Winterwell," on August 6. The album's first single, “Into the Well” (streaming below) features a long ethereal intro reminiscent of Enya's seas of sound, and then develops into a mid tempo electro-pop lullaby. It works. Once a cover-artist, recreating versions of tracks from Bon Iver and The Middle East, Mree seems to have found her own sound along the way. - Kristyn Potter
It's always refreshing to hear some clean, well-written Indie that isn't pretentious and is catchy enough to keep you coming back for more. BK's contemporary Indie surf-Rock quartet known as Coastgaard gives you just that. Their summer music sound arrived just in time and compares with Smith Westerns in a lot of ways. They seem to be a mix of their biggest influences, the Beach Boys and Neutral Milk Hotel. Coastgaard is set to play Pianos on 5.23 with Ski Lodge, LazyEyes and PacificUV - sweet lineup! Check them out via bandcamp below, video here. - Michael Haskoor (@Tweetskoor)
In the basement of the lit lounge last Thursday, a Brooklyn duo with a Spanish name played samples and sounds from around the world. Leaning over a card table with a platter of synths and samplers, electronica wizardry was showcased. Trabajo’s brand of ethnic EDM is like Massive Attack meets bhangra, with the edgy end of Aphex Twin. A constantly shifting, but never chaotic mix of ethnic instruments, wood flutes, crackling vinyl, cats (!) and more, cover hard beats and spaced-out synths.
Though Trabajo’s recorded material has squealing noise and other dissonance, the short live set was smooth enough for a lounge. TJ Richards and Yuchen Lin had an unspoken synergy, swapping button pushing and adjusting foot pedals by hand. The tamer sound fit well for a small venue, inviting casual bar-goers to follow the sitars down the stairs. Trabajo ended the set on a dime when one of Lin’s pedals didn’t cooperate, hopefully it will be fixed by their next gig at The Knitting Factory on May 26. - Bianca Seidman
A man known for making the old sound new again, Sam Amidon has made a career of taking folk's vernacular and re-making it to suit his needs. While some artists draw a line between roots and pop, Amidon takes all of it under his banjo's wing, and communicates a shared heritage common to all these voices. Now he's been signed to Nonesuch, and his new material showcases classic folk ('As I Roved Out'), contemporary pop (Mariah Carey's 'Shake it Off') and even a cover of a hymn his parents recorded on harps in 1977, 'Weeping Mary.' Always surprising, check out his moving cover of Tim McGraw's 'My Old Friend' below, and the new video for 'As I Roved Out here.' - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
What's worse than finding yourself lying awake late at night, requiring nourishment, but stuck with the realization that nothing all that edible is open at 3 in the morning? A Great Big Pile of Leaves can relate. When lead singer/guitarist Peter Weiland found himself in this predicament, his mind went about creating the Dismemberment Plan-sounding ode to this dilemma for the band's new track 'Snack Attack.' Frustrations be damned if this isn't one of the group's most satisfyingly catchy beach-pop songs yet. Weiland puts it best: "The song is like a trip to the boardwalk and a ride down the tallest, twisty-est waterslide on the hottest day." Just remember to take care of your munchies after going down that waterslide.
The band will release You're Always On My Mind on July 2nd (Topshelf Records). Join them for their record release at Webster Hall's studio on July 13th, and check out 'Snack Attack' below. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
You should know by now that we have a soft spot for Ditmas Park based roots pop band Lucius. We've been waiting for their debut full length for way too long, so we see the release of this new single "Until We Get There' as an encouraging sign. The band has actually announced that the album will be released this fall, after a late spring US tour.
NYC based shoegaze/psych radio show Dream Wave Radio (hosted by Steven Newcastle) and The Deli are sponsoring Brooklyn based international music collective The Process Records’ seasonal showcase, at Cameo Gallery tonight (May 16th). The bands on the bill are Weird Owl (pictured), Baltimore's Romantic States, and recent Deli band of the Month Throw Vision. These three extraordinarily hard working bands' laid back experimental and psych vibes will make for a strong and musically impactful show. Check out a very recent track by Weird Owl, streaming below.
Ambient and slightly androgynous, the duo Belle Mare released their dreamy debut EP “The Boat of the Fragile Mind” earlier this spring. The EP resonates with somber tones and almost whale-like howls, unraveling soft acoustic guitar, simple piano melodies, and occasional subtle drones. The title track features the quivering vocals of Amelia Bushell, one half of the Belle Mare duo with guitarist Thomas Servidone, painting a dreamscape portrait of longing. Charade (streaming below) gently develops an unexpected blue melody that can lull you into the deepest of sleeps - I've heard of people dreaming of sleeping, in NYC. The duo met at an open mic night in Brooklyn and recorded the album in Servidone’s apartment, but notwithstanding the DIY approach, the record is full of character and the sound mature. With their mix of rich surrealism and an almost gothic aura, these song sounds as if played through an antique phonograph inside a parlor room... located in the deepest of our subconscious. While “The Boat” could easily draw comparisons to other dream-poppers Beach House, Belle Mare’s subtleties and extreme sparsness create a stronger emotional drive and more nostalgic appeal. - Devon Antonetti