You don’t see the sort of instant success that Canadian artist Tobias Jesso Jr. is currently experiencing all that often. What makes his quick rise among the ranks so amazing is how naturally it unfolded. He released a few songs last year, which got heavy praise from publications and blogs alike. He played Pitchfork Paris, and soon was playing late night TV with The Roots. For those knew to Jesso Jr. it probably seems like he came out of no where and is suddenly everywhere all at once.
Jesso Jr.’s songs are instantly contagious, memorable, and likable. The thing is, 6’7 tall Jesso Jr. is an extremely pleasant and likable presence, quick to tell a joke and always sporting a contagious smile. You can’t help but take a liking to Jesso Jr., it also helps that he’s releasing some great tunes along the way.
He just released his debut album Goon on True Panther Sounds, and it’s been one of the best reviewed albums of the year so far (rightfully so). This week he made his return to New York City for his first set of official New York City performances (we saw him play a show at a loft last November). On Thursday night he played Mercury Lounge, and last night he played Baby’s All Right, selling out both shows with relative ease. Continue Reading >>
Oscar’s“Daffodil Days” is one of first best songs that 2015 has graced us with. It’s the way a good pop tune should be, capturing your attention right away and never letting go. It’s been on repeat ever since it’s been released.
Yesterday he let go of it’s official music video and it’s wonderful. The video was directed by Laurie Lynch and features actress Sabrina Barlett. It features a story of young love and heartbreak, and even an Oscar appearance here and there. It’s a short film in its own way.
After only a few listens to Villagers’ new album Darling Arithmetic, I’m positive it’s going to end up as one of my favorite albums of the year. It’s not a surprise, as Irish native Conor O’Brien has given us nothing but great folk-records in his short, but impressive career. Darling Arithmetic will be released next month (April 13 via Domino Records), so O’Brien is in town to start the promotion of the new record, which included two shows in New York. The first came on Monday where he opened for Laura Marling at Warsaw. The second came on Wednesday night where he headlined the intimate Union Pool.
Union Pool was the perfect venue for a intimate performance from O’Brien, who was accompanied by only a harpist, who also played keys and added backing vocals. His new album is his most sparse and bare yet, which he wrote, recorded and produced at home. It resulted in some of his most personal and affecting recordings to date, which you can feel pouring out him with every lyric shared. New songs such as “Courage” and “Everything I Am” fit snugly alongside cuts from previous albums like show-opener “Nothing Arrived” and “Ship Of Promises.”
The 2-song encore of “27 Strangers” and Darling Arithmetic was a gut-wrenching finale, with a good bit of humor involved for the former, when O’Brien realized that he unintentionally wrote in a sexual innuendo (“So I walked home / Just feeling nothing on my own / noticing that tree of yours / I’ve been watching it grow”). He paused in the middle of the “tree” line, laughed and explained: “Every time I sing it now, I realize it’s an euphemism for a penis. There goes that song…bye bye.” After both the crowd and he recovered from a shared laugh, he kicked back into gear and somehow managed to finish the song, with some help from the crowd during the sing-along bit of “oooohs.”
It was great to be able to see Villagers play in what felt like a one-on-one experience rather than a show. He’ll be back soon for a proper tour for the new record, and while I’m sure the shows will be great, I doubt they will be able to reciprocate the personal nature of his Union Pool performance from Wednesday night. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Find photos of the show posted below, along with Villagers setlist. Be sure to pre-orderDarling Arithmetic, it’s fantastic.
Villagers – “Hot Scary Summer”:
Villagers – “Courage”:
1. Nothing Arrived
2. Everything I Am
3. Dawning On Me
4. So Naive
5. My Lighthouse
6. Hot Scary Summer
7. The Soul Serene
8. Ship Of Promises
10. Darling Arithmetic
12. The Waves
13. That Day
UK spoken word/rapper/poet extraordinaire, Kate Tempest joined us in Brooklyn Wednesday night at Rough Trade NYC. She walked on to stage looking completely nonchalant, like any other person you would see walking down the street and not take a second glance at. In fact, I saw her standing in the audience prior to her performance and didn’t realize at first that was her. Later she mhe made that fact known as she spoke out numbers from her 2014 debut album Everybody Down. Continue Reading >>
It seems today that when it comes to musicians, you’re not popular unless you’re a total jerk. You’ve got your teen idols that spit at their young fangirls, your rappers that rudely interrupt others during speeches, and music legends that publicly insult and humiliate their fans. Some people can look past it, saying that they must have a hard time dealing with the public eye being on them all the time, or that having the paparazzi in your face 24/7 would make anyone crazy.
Los Angeles rockers Wand released new album Golem on March 17 via In The Red Records. It’s a heavy-hitting record of sludgy garage-rock goodness.
They’re bringing their tour to New York City for a pair of shows this weekend, with the first coming at Baby’s All Right (they’re at Mercury Lounge on Sunday). I haven’t seen the group live yet, but I have no doubts that the show will be a vicious display of guitar rock goodness. Support will come from BABES and Scully
French alt-pop duo Lilly Wood and the Prick are coming to New York on April 2 for a show at Irving Plaza with French Horn Rebellion. Tickets are still available to purchase, but we got a pair that we’re giving away to one lucky winner.
To enter the contest, send me an email at email@example.com with “Lilly Wood and the Prick” as the subject. I’ll pick a winner and notify them closer to the show. Good luck!
Earlier in the week The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers returned in a big way with new solo single “Can’t Deny My Love.” It marked a step into a world of big glossy 80s synth-pop, more aligned with The Killers’ Hot Fuss than his debut solo offering Flamingo. “Can’t Deny My Love” is on his new album The Desired Effect, which Island Records will release on May 18. On Tuesday night Flowers played an intimate show at Webster Hall to share some songs, both new and old. Continue Reading >>
Laura Marling has established herself as one of the best folk-rock artists that Britain has to offer. Her latest album, Short Movie (released yesterday via Ribbon Music) is a testament to that. It’s very much a Laura Marling record, but it takes a new, more rock and roll infused approach to bring its ideas of self-discovery to life. On Monday night she played to a sold out crowd at the always wonderful Brooklyn venue Warsaw, leading the way for a totally enchanting night of music. Continue Reading >>
On March 15 Kindness took over Rough Trade NYC for a sold out show in support of his 2014 album Otherness (out via Mom + Pop Music). Kindness is the project of British singer Adam Bainbridge, who was backed by members of Blood Orange’s band. The show also featured support from rising rapper Pell as well as producer Obey City.