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Artist of the Month
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January 2015
Bonsai
"self titled EP
"
mp3

Our regular readers may have noticed that we like to highlight residencies played by local artists in local venues, but admittedly we entirely missed Bonsai's November one at Pete Candy's Store - admittedly, we weren't aware that the lovely east Williamsburg venue actually had residencies! Well, not only they have them, but they also pick good artists for them, since Bonsai's music is an absolute delight. Their self titled debut EP is a delicate and dreamy alt folk gem. Opener "Bonsai Trees" - the most accomplished track on the record, streaming below - shows the trio's interest in revisiting traditional American music in new ways, employing intriguing percussive textures, inventive and appropriate guitar parts, and a production that's edgy without being over the top. Of course, all this wouldn't do much if Simone Stevens' vocals and melodies weren't spot on, confident and compelling. The magic continues with "When it Rains," a more subdued track floating in oozes of reverb and supported by what sounds like an acoustic guitar two-note sample loop. Atmospheric ballad "I fashion you are a dreamer" turns up the melancholy big time with a verse as intense as it gets, only to deliver one of those powerfully uplifting choruses that - unless you are fully corrupted by life - can touch you in deep ways. Upbeat pop number "I Like You Man" and final folky song "Messed Up" fill up the record competently, but without reaching the heights of the first three tracks. This is a small, beautiful record with the power to awaken emotions and make people closer, i.e. exactly what the doctor orders every time a new year begins.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of
Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 
The 60's
Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Sonic Youth
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
Swans
The Feelies
Laurie Anderson
They Might Be Giants
John Zorn
Arto Lindsay
Sonic Youth
The Fleshtones
The 90's

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Yo La Tengo
Soul Coughing
Cat Power
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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Shana Falana's residency at Pete's Candy Store + "In The Light" EP October release

Shana Falana's residency at Pete's Candy Store + "In The Light" EP October release

Emerging from Brooklyn's crowded field of shoegaze-influenced artists comes the unique vocal talent of Shana Falana. The current weekly residency at Pete's Candy Store for the month of September (there are two more shows, the 21st and 28th at 10:00 pm) is leading up to her the release show for her new EP ""In The Light" on October 6 at Shea Stadium. Produced by Kevin McMahaon (Swants, Titus Andronicus) and mixed by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Mogwai, Interpol) the record perfectly captures what Shana does best: positive music of wonderment and discovery. Inspired by Bulgarian folk music, her sound often reflects the genre's asymmetrical rhythms. “Light The Fire”is hypnotic, chill-enducing and powerful. “In The Light” presents vocals that are pure and straightforward, with diction having only the slightest of creative affectation (“everything” becomes “Av-erything”). A strong cello undercurrent allows Shana to soar above with multi-layered choruses of her own vocals. Never unappealing sleigh bells usher in “Yeah Yeah.” An even more ethereal choir sings those words to varying patterns. The guitars begin to chunk along and the drums thunder in kind. Her vocal production embraces the same cathedrals Simon & Garfunkel explored during their finest moments (think “Only Living Boy In NYC”). Catch Shana at one of her upcoming shows for a truly rewarding listening experience. - Dave Cromwell

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