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Charly Bliss - Heaven
Charly Bliss - Heaven

Charly Bliss - Heaven


If “Heaven” is your introduction to Charly Bliss, you might have a few misconceptions about the band, none of them particularly harmful. First, you will not know that guitarist Spencer Fox voiced Dash in Pixar’s The Incredibles, and while this fact is not strictly relevant, it is very, very interesting. More importantly, you might think singer Eva Hendricks lives her life in a state of (don’t say “bliss”) constant wonder at all the things going right in her life, and not in a state of self-destruction (“I’m gonna die / In a getaway car”) and self-doubt (“Am I the best / Or just the first person to say yes?”) as she does on the band’s breakthrough debut album Guppy

Written as a challenge to write a love song instead of a three-minute coping mechanism, “Heaven” shows off Charly Bliss’ bubblegum-punk style and Hendricks’ characteristic howl in a somewhat sweeter setting, waltzing through the walls of distortion we have come to expect from the band. With “Heaven,” Hendricks sets sights on a bright future for herself and for the band, an assertion that they do not need to fundamentally change to be versatile.

Daniel Shanker on October 5, 2018
Mona Lisa Tribe - Safe

Mona Lisa Tribe - Safe


Folk quartet Mona Lisa Tribe are back at it again with their latest single “Safe,” another beautifully orchestrated and blended indie folk track that demands to be listened to. The all-female band have come together to create a song that evokes the listener’s emotions and brings them to a place that feels vulnerable yet safe. With its well-crafted and impressively executed harmonies, combined with a heartwarming mix of gentle piano playing and strings, the track expresses the feelings one feels when in the arms of their love at night in bed together. The well-written lyrics match the feelings expressed in the instrumentation, especially the line “We need each other to get some rest / need your arms around me with my head on your chest / my world is a place / in your arms I feel safe.” (photo by Imani Givertz)

Alessandra Rincon on October 4, 2018
Big Bliss - Duplicate

Big Bliss - Duplicate


The heavy drum beat at the start of Big Bliss’s newest track “Duplicate” carries the weight of its substantial theme. The band notes, It’s so easy to value oneself based on a projected identity; a separate self constructed of external factors like social standing, occupation, or social media “likes."The calculation of self-worth comes down to comparing these factors against one’s peers, which is a slippery slope, and a painful, distorted way of dealing with life. One will only see what they can’t control or don’t have, leaving little space for basic gratitude and contentment.” It’s a relatable notion that Big Bliss fiercely captures their raw, gritty sound. The anxious vocals and guitars feel as though they’re ready to break free from societal norms to create their own unique identity. And from what we can hear, they’ve done just that.

Shayna Chabrow on October 4, 2018
Mustardmind - Saving Face

Mustardmind - Saving Face


“Saving Face,” the latest single by Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Mustardmind, jumps head first into a rhythmic pattern of guitars and drums, before softening down to a strumming of a guitar. Then enters the raw voice of lead singer, Bobby Lewis, which serenades alongside the purposeful clashing of instruments. Together, they rise and fall throughout the entirety of the song. “Saving Face” moves through moments of quiet, acoustic melancholy, followed by an almost-brash aching and then back again, giving the listener a sense of being in two places at once. Mustardmind will be playing in Brooklyn this month, you can catch their performance at Our Wicked Lady on October 24.

Tiffany Hernandez on October 4, 2018
Axel Flovent - Slow & Steady

Axel Flovent - Slow & Steady


"Slow & Steady" is an emotional piano-led single by Icelandic singer-songwriter Axel Flóvent. The song is his third single off of his upcoming EP Youthful Hearts. When it comes to the meaning behind the song Flóvent says, "Slow & Steady is the healing process on the journey of fear and anxiety. Finding patience and comfort in awareness and clarity. Finding answers within the broken walls. Puzzling the pieces and gluing them back together." Flóvent's vocals are as full of raw emotion as the words he sings. While he's still trying to find the balance in his life, there is a solace found in song, a glowing hope that is almost tangible. Be sure to catch Flóvent's last two singles "Years" and "Close" off of Youthful Hearts out soon.

Dara Bankole on October 3, 2018
Yumi Zouma - Powder Blue / Cascine Park

Yumi Zouma - Powder Blue / Cascine Park


Yumi Zouma is back with a song we can't say enough good things about. "Powder Blue / Cascine Park" is shimmery without being flashy, sonic yet organic a balance that's hard to find but beautiful when achieved. The dream-pop four-piece from New Zealand are back with a new EP entitled EP III. "Powder Blue / Cascine Park," the leading track off of the EP brings a modern take on 80s pop. While it's a song you could imagine playing in a disco-ball lit auditorium or a roller-skate ring, it's also fresh and contemporary. Fans of the new Bad Bad Hats album will also love what they hear in "Powder Blue / Cascine Park." The lightness of Christie Simpson's voice lends nicely itself to a song that lyrically is heavier than what would appear to be so. Lines like, "Half a moments living in the sunset of our youth" reveal the true nostalgia and longing in the song. Whether it's a moment or a place, change has taken place that leaves the present a little less glamorous than the past. Make sure to hear the rest of EP III out now! 

Dara Bankole on October 3, 2018
England - Grace Gillespie

England - Grace Gillespie


Grace Gillespie, a London based artist and producer, has released a AA-side single “Lady Make Believe” / “England.” Gillespie says that “England” is largely is about being reconstructing her British identity during the fallout after Brexit. Gillespie’s raw debut “Restoration” was released earlier this year, revealing a tone similar to Bon Iver or Joni Mitchell. “England” is slightly more dream pop than her last release, with vocal harmonies humming over an acoustic guitar which jumps in and out of the song, providing texture and interest throughout. The delivery on the song is heartfelt and warm, allowing the lyrics to move to the forefront of the sound. Her delivery is impressive in its confidence and tenderness, making the work both calming and thought-provoking. We look forward to seeing where Gillespies career goes, and expect only beautiful work from her in the future.

Samantha Weisenthal on October 2, 2018
Triathalon​ - Distant

Triathalon​ - Distant


Brooklyn-based lo-fi dream pop group, Triathalon has succeeded once again in creating an undeniably groovy (end of) summer bop with their latest release, “Distant.” As per usual, the track is flooded with wavy guitar lines, punchy bass, reverb-flooded vocals, and a mild dose of old-school R&B — a brand they have quickly established for themselves. The quartet’s commitment to planting a dreamlike landscape is fully exhibited in “Distant’s” chill, low-key sonic environment. Even the track’s lyrical content exudes feelings of drifting, laid-back days. The male-lead vocalist instantly places us in an all-too-familiar natural, suburban setting within the first few lines of the song, “I just wanna ride my bike / I’m just sick of always watching the news / I just wanna go outside / Spend the weekend way up top with a view.” 

Within the first seventeen seconds of "Distant", Triathalon manages to capture what it genuinely feels like at the end of the summer— whether you’re sixteen and dreading going back to school, or twenty-five and quaking at the thought of those long, sun-less winter months of work-related stress. No one is immune to the end-of-summer sadness, but everyone is constantly seeking an escape from their nostalgia. In fact, it doesn’t just come at the end of a season. We all long to escape from the real world more than just a few times a year. In “Distant,” Triathalon allows us to infinitely access that escape.

Andrea de Varona on October 2, 2018
Workman Song - In The Palm

Workman Song - In The Palm


In today’s music world, where each song seems to be getting sleeker and sleeker, it’s refreshing to hear something a little bit more raw. A great example of this is “In The Palm” from Workman Song, aka Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sean McMahon. Seemingly untouched, imperfect guitar riffs ring out on top of a cowbell (not enough cowbell, ever) and McMahon’s organic emotion really shines through in his vocal delivery. While there’s a folky twang to it, there’s also no shortage of head-bang-worthy material. Queen-esque guitars and a chorus made up of falsetto chimes in towards the end, making it a song we’ll be rocking out to for a while.

Kirsten Spruch on October 1, 2018
Jackie Cohen - Darlin'

Jackie Cohen - Darlin'


Jackie Cohen’s “Darlin’” gleams amidst music’s nostalgic revival trends. With wistful synths and haunted piano a dash out of tune, Cohen subtly emulates the simplicity of rock’s roots. But it is with sleigh bells, shifting fills, and Cohen’s distinct vocal tone that the track achieves its distinctiveness. Her world-wearied vocals create an ear-catching juxtaposition amidst the gentler harmonies in the chorus, their differences blooming with color and vulnerability. The song exudes an atmosphere, bringing to mind a stage production: melancholic star center-stage as dancers swirl around her, bathed in blue lighting as- who knows- a disco ball spins overhead. Cohen has achieved a tall task in filling each piece of the simplistic production with luminosity. The ending result is a song you can sway along to in solidarity, and you almost don’t have to think about it.

Talullah Ruff on October 1, 2018
BOYO - Hit or Miss

BOYO - Hit or Miss


From the opening bends of “Hit or Miss,” BOYO saunters through the summery shimmer of psychedelia and sunshine. BOYO is the project of Los Angeles’s Robert Tilden, who, at only 22 years old, has created his own brand of surf rock too hip to be associated with those actual surfer boneheads. Instead, he takes a page from bands like Portugal. The Man, layering falsetto vocals and strumming with such heavy laid-back chorus effect as if to say, "I don’t even care if I’m in tune." What might appear sluggish or lazy if performed by others comes off as effortless and suave. This is the kind of California Cool-with-a-capital-C that must accompany discussing Films-with-a-capital-F, which, for the record, is something the BOYO Twitter account is full of. “I know / I’m hit or miss / Oh no,” Tilden worries, but it doesn’t seem to bother him too much.

Daniel Shanker on September 28, 2018

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