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.
Charlotte Cornfield’s songs are going to pair well with this road trip season. Her lyrics are imaginative and vivid, and these tunes seem to create their own music video in your head when you listen, perfect for day dreaming on a long car ride. Some of her more Americana tracks are reminiscent of classic folk songwriters, like Dylan and Young. Her most recent album “Two Horses” has a balance of pensive folk ballads, and a few up-tempo folk-rock tracks. Being a gifted lyricist and a unique and memorable vocalist, are the two keys to success as a folk songwriter, and Charlotte definitely has both qualities. - Paul Jordan Talbot
In the States it seems like hardly anybody is familiar with the phenomenal British band Tindersticks, which could be described as a less dramatic, less soulful, more spoken-word version of Nick Cave's tense, orchestral noir rock. With this precedent, Brooklyn band Ancient History - which offer a similar formula, but slowed down to an almost ambient extreme - should probably think about moving to the UK, where Tindersticks had a pretty good career in the aughts, and Cave got appreciated WAY earlier than in the US. I guess those decadent Europeans can somehow deal with this kind of darkness, while - it's true! - a majority of Americans only dig upbeat stuff - I learned that the hard way at poker night. - PDG
When you listen to Free Time, you'll think you're occupying a space in lead singer Dion Nania's mind, and are hearing the song directly from there. For the video to the latest track in the band's odyssey of slowly moving beach rock, 'I Lost Again' (song streaming below) you're journeying with him as he picks up bandmates scattered over various floors on a large freight elevator. His mind works in mysterious ways... check it out here and see the band when they play Shea Stadium on June 21. The band is schedule to release their self titled debut album on Underwater Peoples on June, and tour the East Coast that same month. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
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