An impressionist of sound, Brooklyn’s Rioux plays a brand of electronica that’s as translucent as a Monet painting. Following his ‘Here Comes Now’ LP last year, Rioux is announcing the release of the ‘Evolver’ EP this spring, a record made between his hometown Detroit and New York City. The record is presented as a life cycle in miniature, exploring metamorphosis and the various states of being in the evolving human experience. Rioux will be playing an intimate premiere of the new material with the live band at Union Pool on 04.08. Stream the EP’s first single "Unfeel", below.
In a musical landscape where electronic pop seem to have become a bedroom hobby that rarely translates live, Brooklyn’s Avan Lava stands out as the exception that confirms the rule. The trio of Ian Pai, Le Chev and TC Milan expands on stage to include several frantic musicians and a noteworthy light show, pulled off in a remarkable DIY fashion. Musically, rather than wooing the old guard of Brooklyn hipsters, the band seem to "pursue" the new wave of party goers that’s been pricing them out of Williamsburg: if you prefer upbeat fun and catchy melodies to moody experimentation, this is the Brooklyn band for you. Avan Lava is releasing their new EP "Make it Real" today and will celebrate it with a show at Bowery Ballroom on April 4th. Check out single "Leave it All Behind," streaming below.
The Family Almanac’s self-titled EP, out earlier this month, starts as it promises: “Dream I’m In” is like a sleepy sequence from a foggy Sunday, or a pleasant hangover morning in the Gorge. Vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Pixley-Fink gentle voice delights in the mood. The EP carries us to sleep, or to the edge of it; that is a place where the band’s music might do instead of sleep.
The slow, soporific mood carries on through the short EP. The first half of the record, including a stuttering jam by the band’s other vocalist Blake Mason, sound like the warm and sultry tunes of ‘70s harmonizers like Steely Dan and the sonic landscapes of Fleetwood Mac.
The fourth song on the EP is “White Sugar”, a slow, bluesy ballad with doo-wop echoes in the background. The song builds to a beautiful chorus, about as loud as the band ever gets. But the sleepy tone is back for “Susie”. If the skin started to cook with “White Sugar”, here it is enjoying the shade once again on a hot day.
The last track is another by Family Almanac’s male vocalist. “So It Goes” is a bouncier track than the rest, played with as much urgency as the band musters on this EP.
Recently I had the pleasure to see the Family Almanac play a house show (the perfect venue for their lighthearted soft rock anthems) and found a lot to be excited about. With its talented members, Family Almanac has plenty of leverage to evolve in the future. I only hope they will release a longer album soon for those lazy Spring mornings when their sounds can start the spinning of my mind with ease.
– Eric Togethoff
Some people buy some records just because they like their cover art. NYC’s Slap Bracelets‘ debut EP "The Wendigo" might not inspire that kind of impulse, but once you break through the cover art "barrier" (hopefully there’s a good story behind it) you’ll be rewarded with a delicate and beautifully crafted electro-pop single with new wave overtones, and an almost shoegazey development in the second half of the song. The single in question is the EP’s title track, streaming below.
This artist submitted music for coverage here.
When a real drummer can imitate that slowed down and choppy groove from 90’s hip hop, it sounds like pure gold. It’s a tough pocket to master, that’s for sure. Hartford hip-hop/soul fusion group Broca’s Area grooves and sways, while Mary Corso’s smooth-like-butter vocals string you along. The interplay between her and rapper Ghazi Omair’s angular flow would be enough for a killer group, but these guys push it over the edge with a groovy drummer, Steven Cusano, whose timing creates a backbeat that puts the world in slo-mo. And that’s not even mentioning the absurdly tasty keys. They’ll be playing a show at The Spot Underground in Providence April 1st, don’t miss it! They’re new album is available here, and a portion of the proceeds from each CD goes the Connecticut Brain Tumor Association. – Paul Jordan Talbot
I love how when you close the big doors of Boot & Saddle, it can turn into a sweet listening room. There are very few places in Philly (if any) that can do that. Tonight will be a good oppurtunity for you to take in the cosmic sounds of Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler. The duo’s harp and synth interplay truly deserves your undivided attention. They’ll be supporting good pal and NYC guitar maestro Steve Gunn. This will be a good warm-up for the gang because they’ll be taking their acts on the road together to Europe during the months of May and June. Also along for the journey this evening will be multi-instrumentalist Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers). Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., 8pm, $12, 21+ – H.M. Kauffman
It seems like Rob Garcia and Sarah Everton have put Bleeding Rainbow to rest (at least for now). The duo has teamed up with Paul Brinkley on a new project called Telepathic. You can stream and purchase their debut six-song EP Powers of Ten (below), which will also be available on limited cassettes. The album was recorded/self-released by the band, and mixed by Kyle Gilbride (Swearin’, Waxahatchee, Radiator Hospital, etc.). You can catch Telepathic performing live on Saturday, April 25 at Everybody Hits.
Local powerpop quartet The Weaks premiered a new single, "Frances Quinlan Will Have Her Revenge on Philadelphia," a play on Nirvana’s "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" and homage to good friend and Hop Along frontwoman, via Impose Magazine. The track is off the group’s forthcoming album Bad Year (Lame-O Records). The Weaks will be spending most of April on the road (some of which will be opening for Brand New) with a homecoming record release show on Monday, April 27 at PhilaMOCA. (Photo by Jessica Flynn)
San Francisco based psych revivalist band, The Love Dimension will be headlining a night at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on April 2nd. The Love Dimension always puts on a wonderful live show. Their music shoots out vibes of peace, love and rock and roll! Neo shoegaze band, The Spiral Electric will also be performing on the BOT stage. This Brian Jonestown Massacre, paisley underground influenced ensemble creates really nice and dreamy rock soundscapes. San Francisco based rock band, Trendy Dad will be opening the night with their own brand of 60s revivalist pop rock and roll.
There’s absolutely no way you won’t be moving and shaking on the dance floor throughout this entire show! Don’t miss a great night of music at Bottom of the Hill!
The term “Poser Pop” shows up sometimes in the words Austin’s future-leaning Your Plastic Toys have written about themselves. Check their online shit, and you’ll see those two words more than once, those two descriptors that aren’t really a genre as such, but more a stance by Your Plastic Toys on their own place in music. In our estimation, the idea is that Your Plastic Tree poses at pop, refusing to make the standard plays while still fully playing a pop game. They are as art-aware as they are pop-aware as they are experimentally on point, and their music is at once a serious approach to pop music making and a bit of a mockery of the pop that’s already out there (in the fine tradition of acts like Talking Heads, The Fugs, or the very contemporary PC Music label out of the UK). A band that views the pop rulebook through half-broke virtual reality goggles.
In that same vein, you’ll also see a lot of abstractions and hyper-modern shit on Your Plastic Toys’ various web profiles, like glitchy saturated pixel-heavy images created by the band itself, short thoughts and quotes decoupled from their source and presented as something to be considered on their own, and not a single clear photo of the band to be found. This digital obfuscation of the band, its image, its motives, its views, evokes a highly modern feeling of existing in a never ending swirl of bit-noise and net fuzz, and it’s exactly what Your Plastic Toys’ sound is like.
On the just-released album OOO, shoegaze-gone-modern swells and currents of sound layer over tight digital beats and the vocals are threaded in and out heavily tweaked and disaffected, sometimes even disdainfully so (to great effect, it must be made clear). Your Plastic Toys comes through like a band seen and heard through a diabolical storm of TV snow on a channel that’s shakily fading in and out of a 1990s tube TV in a busted up apartment with a courtyard pool in the summer. It’s music that rides on that bright burning edge of culture just curling out from the future and into the present, and that throws back a tech-addled vision of what it sees to those still lingering in the cultural past. Take a listen to one of Austin’s most forward-thinking bands below, and inject their entire new album here.
Big Thief is Adrianne Lenker’s collaborative songwriting project. Several songs have been posted since her last official release, "a-sides" in 2014. Her music is often sentimental and rarely steps outside conventional folk arrangements, so what is that in there—bold and arresting? She stands apart from many musicians carrying on the folk/bluegrass tradition in that she never gets lazy—all her tracks are different, her songwriting is on point, and her voice can stand perfectly alone as well as melt into anything it touches. She delivers clarity. The vocal harmonies in “a-sides” thaw over spare strumming and tell stories of death by Lake Superior, travels by the Mississippi River, and countless other places impossible not to fall in love with. Her earlier records “b-sides” and “Ours Were The Birds” can’t go without mention as they offer a great catch of Lenker’s even more powerful solitude. Big Thief played a bunch of shows in March and we’re looking forward to hearing more. – Leora Mandel
We added this song to The Deli’s playlist of Best folk songs by emerging NYC artists – check it out!
Lost Boy ?’s debut LP due March 31, "Canned," is a collection of old favorites and soon-to-be-hits that marries clever riffs with playful, creative ambition. Sandwiched between “Hollywood’s” relentlessly catchy riffs and “Hemorrhage’s” disaffected vocals (courtesy of Luke Chiarutinni) you’ll find 11 tracks of perfectly unpolished, irreverent pop goodness. Davey Jones’s bedroom project-turned-band scatters doses of seriousness around the record but still manages to approach it all with refreshing levity. Although Jones has upgraded his recording quality infinitely from his earlier recordings, he kept a crafty, lo-fi approach, with delightfully messy leads and chirpy vocals permeating the majority of the record. "Canned" proves that, for Lost Boy ?, not taking themselves seriously is serious business. See them live at Shea Stadium on 04.18 for the record release party. – Michael Sosnick
We added this song to The Deli’s playlist of Best punk/garage/slacker rock songs by emerging NYC artists – check it out!