Stream

Earlier this year Tim Showalter released Hard Love, his latest album as Strand Of Oaks (which Dead Oceans released). He was supposed to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 14, but that just happened to be the day of that pesky blizzard, forcing the show to be rescheduled for May 8.

Showalter joked about the blizzard trying to stop the show from going on, and cheekily told the blizzard to fuck off. He and his band quickly made up for the lost time by opening with “Taking Acid and Talking To My Brother,” one of the standouts on Hard Love. Now with months of touring under their belt, Strand Of Oaks played even tighter performances of these songs than I heard them play at Union Pool back in February, as a warm-up show of sorts for this very tour.
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Sunhaze – “Always You”

By Will Oliver, May 20th 2017

Sunhaze are an indie-rock outfit hailing from San Francisco. They captured the West Coast sound very well on single “Always You,” which is taken from their debut album Wishful Thinking, which was released last October.

“Always You” wastes no time introducing you to some surf-rock guitar riffs, dreamy female-led vocals, and a dreamy atmosphere that sounds both melancholic and with a gaze towards the golden days of summer.

Take a listen to “Always You” below and check out the rest of the album at their bandcamp page if you like what you hear.
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Grizzly Bear have officially announced the release of their new album Painted Ruins, their fifth, which will be released on August 18 via RCA Records, their first for the label.

In addition to the album announcement, the band has released a brand new track from the album entitled “Mourning Sound,” following “Three Rings,” the first song released from the album.

While “Three Rings” was more of an Ed Droste track, “Mourning Sound” feels like a more shared, collaborative effort being the band, although kicked off by Ed, Daniel Rossen’s vocals are welcomed in a big way during the chorus of “we walk with the mourning sound.” It’s another pretty track from the group, who sure are back in a big, big way.

Stream “Mourning Sound” below, and check out their newly announced two dates, which include two shows at Brooklyn Steel.
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Arni Ehmann – “Staring At The Moon”

By Will Oliver, May 17th 2017

Arni Ehmann is a singer-songwriter out of Reykjavik, Iceland, who is preparing the release of his debut album. He’s recently shared the first single from the LP, “Staring At The Moon.”

Considering he’s a new talent, “Staring At Moon” remarkably takes no time to win you over with it’s dreamy melody, and smooth vocals that hook you in with ease. It’s got it all, a nice melody, a big hook, and crisp production that puts your mind at ease. It’s got a slight 80s feel to it, in the best way possible.

Take a listen to “Staring At The Moon” below, and keep an eye out for more news from Ehmann soon.
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The Black Lips at Webster Hall (May 5, 2017)

By Will Oliver, May 16th 2017

All photos by Daniel Topete

On May 5, the always reliably wild The Black Lips returned to New York for a performance at Webster Hall. The show came in support of their new album Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, which was recently released via Vice Records.

Daniel Topete was there to capture the action for us. Check out his shots from The Black Lips set posted in the gallery below, along with their setlist.
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Tycho at Brooklyn Steel [night 2] (May 4, 2017)

By Anthony Bauer, May 16th 2017

It may be hard to believe but, the last time we saw Tycho in New York City was three years ago back in the fall of 2014. We were there for his stellar set at Terminal 5 and were beyond thrilled to hear he was returning to NYC for not one, but a two-night run at the newly opened Brooklyn Steel.

The mastermind behind Tycho, Scott Hansen, is out on the road with his band in support of his absolutely fantastic new album Epoch which was released digitally early last year and physically this year via Ghostly International.  Along for the ride and kicking things off for the night, was Thai-surf infused funk trio, Khruangbin.

Khruangbin

The first time I heard of Khruangbin was back in 2013, on Bonobo’s Late Night Tales curated album mix and was immediately hooked. When I saw they were opening for Tycho, I knew the night would be something special. The three-piece’s chilled out vibes groves along on a relaxed pace that never feels rushed, and was a perfect match for opening up the show. Standout tracks from their set included, “A Calf Born in Winter,” “Dern Kala,” and “People Everywhere (Still Alive).” The last full length album the band put out was released in 2015 but we can’t wait to see them return to New York City and can’t wait to see what’s next for the band.

Tycho

Over the past few album releases, Hansen began including live instrumentation to his songs that have helped give each song a slightly warmer feel and not so cut and paste (sonically speaking). What’s truly incredible is to see just how well that studio recorded mindset translates to a live environment, especially with only a four-piece band. Hansen, with the rest of the band, are able to seamlessly reproduce and mesh countless computer-generated elements with live instrumentation to the point where you don’t know where one element begins and where another ends.

Scott Hansen

The live band consists of Zachary Brown on guitar and bass, Billy Kim on synths and bass, Rory O’Connor on drums and the mastermind behind Tycho, Scott Hansen alternating between guitar and synths (or both at the same time). The band played a slightly extended set full of his most popular songs, with some old classics, as well as a few surprises. Hansen didn’t talk to the crowd much and mostly let the music do the talking but towards the middle of the first set he hopped on the mic and introduced the first surprise, Thomas Mullarney from Beacon as they ran through a remix Beacon worked on of the song “See.”

Thomas Mullarney from Beacon

Before I go any further, I just want to take a quick moment to remind you of the origins of Tycho, if you don’t already know the story. What started out as a side project for Hansen, has turned into a full-fledge live band that now tours the world. Before Tycho became a full time thing, Hansen was a graphic designer for 14 years. He still gets to do design work, especially for Tycho, by outfitting the project with some of the best looking and most cohesive graphics in the game. If you haven’t already seen it, I’d highly recommend reading the in-depth story behind the album art for Epoch he posted on his blog (you won’t be sorry). By designing everything himself (i.e., album art, t-shirts, posters, various other tour merchandise, photo passes, projected visuals for his live set, etc), the overall aesthetic of Tycho remains consistent wherever it may be. This even goes down to the granular level of the projected visuals during his set – specific songs off certain albums that contain similar color schemes, from album art, to the videos playing, which is such crazy attention to detail, I’m not sure anyone even notices it.

Tycho with ‘Montana’ single artwork

The last song in the first set was the title track off the most recent album, Epoch. The near six-minute track flows in and out of a driving baseline that thumps the entire way through the song and slowly builds up each sonic element. Its position within the setlist was perfect – the track felt more lively than the studio recording, which had everybody in the venue dancing along and definitely left the crowd wanting more. The strangest thing happened next, which was a literal intermission. This wasn’t an encore break, but a legit break of at least ten minutes that the band took before coming back out to play six more songs before the actual encore. After the break, Hansen hopped back on the mic when they came back and asked the crowd, Hhey guys! how was your break?”

The second set after the intermission started off with the dreamy standout track from Epoch, “Receiver” which hit the ground running and never looked back. The then 1-2-3 ending of the second set was an unapologetic force to be reckoned with, consisting of his most recent hits “Awake,” “Horizon,” and closing things out with Epoch single, “Division.”  The band walked off stage and then returned again for a one song encore of “Montana,” a song off his last album that was the perfect way to cap the night. The song was a louder, more dance-driven take on the song that had an energy to it that was absolutely unmatched to the studio recording. At the end of the song, Hansen and the rest of the band put down their instruments, waved to the crowd and said goodnight. When we saw the band in 2014 we didn’t think it’d be this long between shows in New York City, so we’re hoping Tycho comes back really soon.

Find Tycho’s setlist posted below, along with photos from his set and openers Khruangbin.

Tycho Setlist:
1. Glider
2. Spectre
3. Daydream
4. Source
5. PIP
6. A Walk
7. L
8. See
9. Hours
10. Epoch
– intermission-
11. Receiver
12. Ascension
13. Rings
14. Awake
15. Horizon
16. Divison

Encore:

17. Montana

Khruangbin:

Tycho:

Jacob Banks at Mercury Lounge (May 4, 2017)

By Will Oliver, May 16th 2017

Rising singer Jacob Banks was born in Nigeria, but now calls Britain home. Soon enough, his name will be one known in many more countries. Banks voice is a powerful weapon, one that doesn’t take long to impress. In fact, he became the first ever unsigned act to appear on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, and is already signed to Interscope Records, who released his new EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom in April, and will also release his debut album, due sometime this year.

Banks has stopped through these parts before as an opening act, but on May 4 he headlined a sold out Mercury Lounge, a show that apparently sold out in about 10 minutes flat. It didn’t take long for him to win over the packed crowd, stunning us with “Worthy,” a track that appeared in the soundtrack for the movie Beyond the Lights. Although all is going quite well for Banks, the man was remarkably humble throughout the show, seemingly impressed that he sold out a show in New York and grateful for all who showed up for him.
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Rostam at Bowery Ballroom (May 3, 2017)

By Will Oliver, May 15th 2017

Now tackling his solo career full on, former Vampire Weekend member Rostam will release his debut album later this year. He’s been teasing the release with new songs here and there, but the latest confirmation came with the new music video for “Gwan,” the first release from his album.

On May 3 Rostam showed off some of his new material at Bowery Ballroom, the second show of small run of East Coast dates. The set featured cuts that Rostam previously released such as the aforementioned “Gwan,” “Wood,” “Don’t Let It Get To You,” “Gravity Don’t Pull Me,” and “EOS,” some of which included two dancers moving along with the music. The 15-song set list also included new material that we can only assume will be on his record, all of which had that signature Rostam feel – along with those familiar string arrangements – connecting with the crowd right from the get-go.
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All photos by Bryan Lasky

British rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen are still riding high on the wave of their sophomore record The Ride (released via Capitol Records), continuing to tour in support of it throughout this year. On May 2 – just a few days before their show at Brooklyn Steel – the group stopped in to Clifton Park, New York, for a performance at Upstate Concert Hall.

Find some photos from their performance, along with openers The Worn Flints, posted below, all taken by Bryan Lasky.
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