1_Lucius_Boston Calling 2015

Brooklyn’s very own Lucius came to the rescue after Chet Faker was forced to cancel his Boston Calling performance after a freak accident left him unable to perform. While I was intrigued to catch Faker perform, I was perfectly content with getting another shot at seeing Lucius perform.

The band, led by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, performed a stunning set of music that hit that mid-day sweet spot, winning over the entire crowd with ease. They also shared a brand new song which will most likely appear on their new album, the follow-up to their 2013 sophomore record, Wildewoman.

Find a video of the new song below, along with photos from their set.

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Bang Gang

This week Bardi Johannsson has returned with a brand new album under his Bang Gang moniker, an atmospheric electronic wonder titled The Wolves Are Whispering. While many other albums have been overhyped this summer, not many pack as many instant hooks and delights as Johannsoon does on his new LP. It may be an album better suited for late night listening during a cold winter night, but it’s magic is still plenty welcome in the summer.

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1_The Lone Bellow_Boston Calling 2015

Brooklyn group The Lone Bellow took over the Boston Calling stage with a passionate display of rootsy folk-rock tunes that made for a perfect mid-day Sunday performance.

They shared plenty of cuts from Then Came the Morning, their latest album, released earlier in the year via Descendant Records. The group, led by the passionate frontman and lead singer, Zach Williams, gave a memorable performance that reached down to the deepest part of their souls. The group’s strength is their ability to pile on their powerhouse vocals to create something very human and authentic. They’re the sort of group meant to be seen live, to touch you in the most natural way imaginable.

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1_ILoveMakonnen_Boston Calling 2015

You probably know ILoveMakonnen best from his breakthrough hit “Tuesday,” which came out of no where to be one of the surprise hits of 2014. It probably didn’t hurt that the track featured Drake as the featured guest.

ILoveMakonnen, whose real name is Makonnen Sheran, was a replacement for Jungle, who had to drop off due to another conflict. The younger fans who cheered eagerly in the front of the crowd were clearly pleased with his presence, although Makonnen didn’t do much for me at all. All those who watched his set were having a lot of fun, predictably erupting once “Tuesday” was played. It will be interesting to see what Makonnen does from here on out, and if he can replicate the success of “Tuesday.”

Find some photos from his set posted below.

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1_Halsey_Boston Calling 2015

Ashley Frangipane seems to have a blossoming career as the rising pop star Halsey. I came into her performance never hearing any of her music before. Her style of pop is hook friendly, with electronic undertones that give her a somewhat different spin on the genre, almost like a radio friendly Purity Ring or Sylvan Esso.

She’ll release her debut album Badlands on August 28 via Astralwerks Records. She’s also booked to open for Imagine Dragons tour later this year, so it’s safe to say that she’s well on her way to much bigger things.

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1_The Ballroom Thieves_Boston Calling 2015

If there’s one thing that Boston Calling gets overwhelmingly right, is giving an early day set to a local up-and-coming Boston band. This is a refreshing aspect that I hope more festivals do as well, giving the festival a well rounded and grounded feeling that you sometimes lose in the grand scheme of it all.

This year the festival gave spotlight to Boston trio The Ballroom Thieves. Mixing elements of folk rock and americana, The Ballroom Thieves delivered something that you could enjoy even if you’re not normally one for that genre. They played tracks from their recently released debut album A Wolf In the Doorway, winning over those early enough there to catch the group.

They may be a new name right now, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last you hear of The Ballroom Thieves.
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Tomorrow night Unknown Mortal Orchestra will make their long-awaited live return to New York for a sold out performance at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Tomorrow night will feature an opening set from Brooklyn resident Buscabulla

The performance is a part of their tour for their newly released album Multi-Love, which takes their sound to an even new direction than ever before. Hearing Ruban Nielson and the rest of his band play live is a completely different experience than on record. I’ve seen them a few times now, and their live shows always leave me impressed. It will be interesting and exciting to see how he mixes the new material with his old.

If you can find a last minute ticket, you should find your way down to Warsaw tomorrow night, it’s sure to be a good one.

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Beirut – “No No No”

By Will Oliver, June 18th 2015 — with 1 comment Alternative Indie Music Video Video

Beirut - No No No

It’s always good to get new music from Beirut, which makes it very exciting to announce that Zach Condon’s group will make their triumphant return with new album No No No on September 11 via 4AD.

Today they released the video for the ultra charming and very Beirut first single “No No No.” It’s an instant winner that is all too perfect for summer listening.

The video was directed by Brother Willis, who captures the band at their quirkiest with an live performance that goes awry. It’s a good time.

Check it out below, and if you’re free this Sunday night grab tickets to their show at Bowery Ballroom. The show was just announced and tickets are still on sale. It’s a little more intimate than their show at Radio City this fall.

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Steve Benjamins

Last month Toronto-based singer-songwriter Steve Benjamins released his new EP Sightlines.

Based on tracks such as “Sightlines,” the new release came just in time for summer. A glassy and smooth track that kicks off the EP softly but gradually builds into something much widescreen and ambitious, with a calm and moving atmosphere that certainly sets the tone for the rest of his release. The track never quite reaches its climax, but stays within itself, adding to its already calming state of mind.

Stream “Sightlines” below and grab a free download of his EP over at his website.

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Ransom Scenery

Ransom Scenery is a group that Springfield, Illinois duo Drew Lowery and Chaepter Negro began online, originally established through email. Soon enough they came together to create their debut album, Ear To Ear, which they self-released earlier this year through bandcamp.

Their goal was to create a collection of sounds that knew to genre, with warm melodies, rich soundscapes and interlacing layers. You can say they accomplished that with one listen to their track “Slowly Spinning.” It takes you on a visual and almost meditative journey, as if you’re floating into a complete and new world. It’s a wondrous trip, with vibes of Alt-J felt throughout.

Stream “Slowly Spinning” below.

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