Ivana XL’s music sounds like it’d perfectly complement a Tim Burton landscape, as it conjures shadowy forests, stretching fog fingers and creaking attics in Antebellum mansions. Her breathy, beautiful voice floats atop the complex arrangements like a chilly breeze sneaking into the room through a drafty window. The sparse, almost haunted songs sound like something Joanna Newsom might produce if she spent an entire winter in the house from "The Shining" taking Xanax and staring into the snow-blanketed landscape. Though IvanaXL is essentially just one woman with an acoustic guitar, her music brilliantly defies the tones and tropes so often associated with that set-up. The term "singer-songwriter" couldn’t be more misleading than in the case of this promising young Brooklynite. – Read David Schneider interview with Ivana here, and see Ivana live at The Outpost (Clinton Hill) on 11.21.
Weekly Special #180a: Dead Leaf Echo
Although Dead Leaf Echo began as an “art experiment” in Morningside Heights, this band is far from amateur or unpleasantly bizarre. Dead Lead Echo has worked with a cadre of professional mixers such as John Fryer and Ulrich Schnauss to perfect its dreamy post-punk. The band creates a blossoming world where Cocteau Twins and My Blood Valentine influences swirl and mix with Vladimir Nabokov and Ernest Hemingway love letters. Dead Leaf Echo entices listeners with its shimmering guitar work and closes the deal with crashing waves of hypnotic harmonies. If the wait is unbearable for a full-length record, Dead Leaf Echo will be releasing a 7-inch featuring “Half-Truth” and a previously unreleased b-side “Babyeyes” this fall. – read Nancy Chow’s interview with the band here.