brooklyn bands

BAND OF HORSES MAKES EVERYTHING OK
June 17, 2016 12:43 pm

I have been waiting for this for a while now, to hear the symphony of genuine plight orchestrated by the most amazing band on the fucking planet. Am I being a little biased? Nahh *See ‘yes’*.

Band of Horses new album Why are you OK is everything I ever hoped it would be, and more. It’s a thought-provoking nostalgic dream filled with heartache and redemption- a typical commodity for BOH. It’s a sweet summer day, peacefully transporting you to old dreams and love’s past.

This album has a lot of surf-rock rhythm and hints of old country songs your grandfather used to escape as he sipped his barrel-aged bourbon. The lyrics on this album are bittersweet as is every croon of Ben Bridwell’s vocal splendor.

This album speaks to me for other reasons as well. Bridwell spent nights writing this album whenever he was able to get his four children to sleep. Being a musician and a parent myself, I understand how distracting and disheartening it could be to not lose your drive and momentum. Children are wonderful but so is creating music. Ben Bridwell hit this one out of the park.

The drums are a musician’s wet dream with a raw sound subtly filtered through modern recording quality. The bass is a subtle ebb and flow, accenting that old country style. This album takes you into a different dimension as Bridwell’s vocal techniques and dreamy guitar tones sway in your ears.

And oh, I’ve seen it too many times//It’s a test of the spirit versus//The health of the mind

-“Barrel House” from Why Are You OK

With the slow and easy tempos, the solemn “Barrel House” becomes one of my top favorites on the album.

Another fond favorite is “Even Still” which is a slow but desperate heart-wrenching plea for a lover to remain how they once were, when it seems all is over. The song is reminiscent of a lover’s struggles while being a touring musician- or any traveling professional- when all they want is to stay home with their loved ones.

The book marks the page//Sittin’ out in the room//The alters of candles//Castin’ shadows on you//I see the bed in the dark//I could just sleep//I could just sleep

And hear me babe//When I don’t want to say it//See it through//I’m back home and stayin’//I can’t be//alone any more//And I don’t blame you//Or pretend to know//The right thing to do’

-“Even Still” from Why Are You OK

He seems to corral hearts with his incomplete thoughts, because he uses just the right phrases, and emphasizes the important parts, the painful parts. This album had me at OK.

Artist of the Month: Multimagic
September 28, 2015 9:39 pm

It’s that time of the year again, when spots throughout New York City transform from concrete jungle to music mecca. CMJ is upon us and the beasts could not be more stoked! For one week in the middle of October, it will be impossible to walk down the street without hearing sounds from emerging artists across the globe pulling you into bars and clubs from all directions.

Even more impossible – selecting one of these artists to feature as our October “Artist of the Month.”

We landed on Multimagic and the landing stuck.

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Multimagic is a five-piece Indie-Pop outfit composed of Singer/Guitarist Coran Stetter, Keyboardist Brian Davis, Guitarist/Singer Ben Hines, Bassist/Singer Mia Carruthers, and Drummer Sebastien Schultz. They all met in Cincinnati, OH where they were each involved in the local music scene in different capacities. When I asked how the band got started, Singer/Guitarist Coran Stetter said “Once the five of us were in the same room, it was clear that something was happening and the friendships blossomed out of that realization and commitment to the project.” The take-away word there for me is “friendships.” You can really feel the friendship in the way their music comes together with such ease– whether it’s the keys and the guitars riffing off of one another or the vocals sliding in and out of harmony seamlessly.

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Of their musical influences, Stetter cites Arcade Fire, Wild Nothing, and Tame Impala. However, he also mentions the significance that local Cincinnati bands like Molly Sullivan and The Yugos have had on their music.  There is something magical (dare I say multimagical?) about this band. Maybe it’s the energy booming from the up-tempo bass/drums? Perhaps it’s the dreamy quality of the ethereal synth pads fluttering beneath bouncy guitars? For me, it’s the way the band seems to blend large scale indie-pop sound with their own local flavor in stand-out anthems like Let Go.”

With only three songs released to date, Multimagic’s appearance at this year’s CMJ is a testament only to the strength of the music—a refreshing change of pace in today’s pop music landscape.

As for what we have to look forward to from this band, we’ll have to wait and see. They’re currently in the studio recording their debut full-length record, though they have no set release date. While I personally am on the edge of my seat waiting for more music from this group, I did find comfort  in knowing that I get to see them play live at CMJ in just a couple weeks. If you’re in the New York area, be sure to check them out on Wednesday 10/14 at The Holy Underground showcase at 7:30 . You do not want to be the one who missed this band when they’re playing sold out venues later down the road. See CMJ tour dates below!

MULTIMAGIC CMJ DATES:

TUESDAY 10/13: DoNYC CMJ Kick-off @ Arlene’s Grocery – 4pm

WEDNESDAY 10/14: Holy Underground @ Berlin – 7:30pm

THURSDAY 10/15: Birddog Day Party @ Bowery Electric – 2:30pm

Band Mom Presents @ Passenger – 1:15am (Thursday Night)

SATURDAY 10/17: Hallelujah Blackout @ The Rock Shop – 4pm

LUCKY CHOPS, ON A MISSION TO BRIGHTEN UP THE WORLD
July 27, 2015 10:00 am

Born and bred in Brooklyn, boy band/brass band Lucky Chops is on a mission to change the world. This band formed by members Josh H, Daro, Leo, Kevin, Josh G, and Buyo came to be in the year of 2006. Their passion and desire to bring positive music that can heal and inspire others is what drives this band to perform in a multitude of places. You can find them occasionally jamming to covers of your favorite pop songs in your local subway station. This is when you look around and realize that this is where the party is at, and everyone is talking about it. People watching all have their phones out recording and snapping photos ready to share across the social media board! This band is truly taking New York by storm.

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I got the opportunity to interview Lucky Chops and learn more about this amazing live band and what sets them apart from other brass bands around.

How did you guys meet, and how did the band form?

We actually formed while in high school together at LaGuardia Arts in Lincoln Center. We were all in band class (obviously very popular kids) and Raphael decided to put a band together to perform at the NYC Filipino day parade. He promised us fame, riches and glory. We were duped. Regardless, we’ve been together ever since!

Why the name ‘Lucky Chops’?

One of our original members just came up with it one day. It had no meaning actually, ha. Since then though it’s come to mean a lot. Chops is a slang word for lips and when we play our lips get extraordinarily bruised and battered, before each show we all desperately hope for “Lucky Chops.”

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One of your subway performances just got more than 1 million views! How happy are you about this and how do you think this will affect the band artistically?

We’re pumped! A few months back the same video circulated around and got almost 6.5 million, so we’ve got our fingers crossed with this one. It’s been great to connect with a global fan base and it’s awesome to see brass music lovers all over the world.

Are you signed to a label yet and if not, who would you like to sign with?

We’re the house band for a new weekly talk show on MTV called “Girl Code Live,” airing late this summer. We’re excited to work with MTV and it’s going to be a great show!

If you guys weren’t doing music, what other career paths would you have picked?

We all have diverse interests and that’s a fun question to ponder. Raphael is a registered nurse, Daro has a degree in anthropology from Columbia, Kevin would most likely be a pro wrestler, the Josh’s would open up a pizza and wings restaurant together called “The Josh’s’s” and Leo would take the modeling world by storm.

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Who are among ‘Lucky Chops’ main influences?

We draw all of our inspiration from the people we meet every day. We believe that music is a medicine of healing and we play our music to affect the hearts and lives of our audiences. That’s our mission and it’s a joy to work at it every day.

What inspires your compositions/songwriting?

All sorts of things. We have eclectic taste and it all comes through in our compositions and arrangements. I wrote most of our songs while commuting back and forth between Queens and Manhattan, it gives me a lotttttttt of time to think!

Best/worst part about performing?

Best part: we never know what we’re going to do next

Worst part: we never know what we’re going to do next

What would you like your fans to know about you that they may not already know?

Raphael’s sousaphone is named Walter and he’s got quite a personality!

What are you most likely doing when you’re not busy performing? (Hobbies, interests, sports, etc?)

Camping, enjoying nature, reading, watching Battlestar Galactica, talking with people and trying to spread positivity.

Most memorable performance thus far? Good or bad.

Too hard to choose! We play every Thursday night at our home base, Five Mile Stone, and each night is always awesome.

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Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

We’d like to continue spreading positive and encouraging music across the globe. Our plan is to open centers for music therapy and fund research about the relationship between music and mental/physical health. We want to do our part to make the world a better place.

Any collabs you’d like to do?

We’ve recently begun working with Ivan Jackson, a fantastic producer known for his work with Brasstracks. Stay tuned for exciting releases of our collaborative efforts!

Finally, where can we expect to see Lucky Chops in the next few months? Any tours?

We just got back from the Ottawa Jazz Festival (which was awesome!) and we’re about to head to Denmark/France for most of July. We also have a new record coming out and we’re playing a big cd release show at the Knitting Factory. It’s going to be CRAZY!!

Sounds exciting! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you guys!

This is a band who is truly passionate about music and who understands the unique effects it can have on your mind and your soul, because music is more than just lyrics and catchy beats; it’s therapy. Music can make you feel things. This is the message this amazing brass band from Brooklyn, New York is trying to send out to the world, in hopes of a more positive and brighter world. And I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t support that.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

FALLING FOR HOWARD
July 13, 2015 2:32 pm

Six years ago while in college, Howard Feibusch, Myles Heff, Chris Holdridge, and Alex Chakour wouldn’t have imagined they’d leave their hometown Massachusetts to live in New York in pursuit of making their musical dreams a reality; but they did. The Howard band members now all live in Brooklyn and they’re one step closer to their goals.

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Howard officially formed in 2009. Their first record Religion released this January, produced by their fourth member Alex. Gaining the attention from multiple indie music enthusiasts and blogs, Howard is making their mark with a very unique sound. Soothing vocals, calm guitar riffs that make you reflect on everything that’s ever been good in your life, Howard just has that magic.

While chatting briefly with the band back in June, I got the chance to learn what influences have played a major role on these guys’ unique sound. I found out a variety of genres have influenced the Brooklyn rock band (besides rock of course), from electronic music to folk to classical. Bands they listen to and have been inspired by include Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, and the Fleet Foxes. Growing up in a Jewish household in Brooklyn also influenced a fair share of what they are all about.

The band hopes to be touring more nationally and internationally in the next couple of years. This summer you can see them touring locally in the city, and in nearby locations. We hope to see them participate at the CMJ music marathon again this year, the band is currently working on making this official as we speak. We can expect new music from them by early next year.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

POSITIVE VIBES HANGIN WITH LAZYEYES
June 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Brooklyn natives Lazyeyes is a three-piece garage/shoegaze/dreampop band made up of guitarist/vocalist Jason Abrishami (The Twees), Paul Volpe (Triple Cobra) on bass, and Jeremy Sampson (Eastern Hollows) on drums. They met through mutual friends and formed during the summer of 2012. After starting out timidly testing the waters of performing, you can barely peel them away from a stage. Very soon we’ll be able to see them as they embark on their first North American Tour, stealing your hearts along the way.

Their self-titled EP released in January 2013 with 4 tracks that give you a bold taste of what shoegaze styled music is. The Deli Magazine described them as “Best Psych/Shoegaze band in New York.” They received widespread acclaim from a multitude of underground NYC music bloggers, setting them as an example of a band that has the capacity to erupt at an explosive level. Both moody and anthemic, this record gives you the perfect balance of shoegaze and dream pop melodies that you can’t help but rock out to! Their sophomore EP released this past January, titled New Year with 5 tracks.

I got the chance to chat with vocalist Jason Abrishami about their new album before their show this past Friday at The Knitting Factory, which was perfect. It was also Jason’s birthday – Happy Birthday Jason!

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How did Lazyeyes meet/form?

We met through mutual friends. Started out testing the waters and here we are now!

That’s awesome. Can you tell us more about your New Year EP; what inspired the songwriting?

Lots of things! Life experiences, friendships, love. Basically everything we’ve been through in the last years.

Favorite song from New Year?

‘Islip’

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What’s your favorite city/state to have played so far?

New York! (laughs) Everywhere has been great, honestly.

As a band, what message do you want to send out to your fans?

Good question. Positivity, for sure.

Definitely something worth spreading. So, what are the future goals for Lazyeyes? What is your next step?

Hopefully to tour more, maybe go overseas, to the UK. And record a full-length album!

The Atypical Sounds team would definitely like to see that happen. So you were at the SXSW music festival this year, how was that?

Insane! In between all the drinking and technical difficulties, it was so much fun. I’ve always wanted to go. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for four years and it finally happened!

Wow four years, that’s awesome! You were also in last year’s CMJ. Can we expect to see you guys there again this year?

Yeah hopefully – I need to check with my booking agent, but yes!

Hope to see you there! So you’re heading off to your first North American Tour. Where can we expect to see Lazyeyes?

We’ll be touring all over the Midwest for 2 weeks.

So there you have it, beasts.

Lazyeyes is an amazing band hailing from Brooklyn just looking to spread positivity and good vibes all around. Expect to see a lot more from them in the near future. The ABA team will definitely be keeping track of their footsteps.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: HONDURAS
May 31, 2015 6:41 pm

If you’ve been to see a hard rock show in the last month, Honduras has probably opened it. The Brooklyn based quartet has recently opened for Metz, Fidlar, Sunflower Bean, Twin Peaks and Blurr. Honduras seems to be playing a new show before you can even sign on to Twitter and hear about it. Perfectly blending surf and indie rock with punk, vocalist Pat Philips calls on the ghosts of little anarchists such as The Ramones or The Sex Pistols.

In textbook punk rock fashion, the Brooklyn based band (by ways of Missouri), doesn’t have much of a musical background other than just playing guitar “because there was one around my friends’ house and I fell in love” says guitarist Tyson Moore.

Pat and Tyson have been writing songs together for ten years. “Maybe it was weird collaborating when we first started out but I don’t remember, we always agree,” Tyson jokes. They have some unexpected influences considering the spirited anarchism in their music, citing Tom Petty and Wilco. Pat even went through a hip-hop, free style rap phase in adolescence. Clearly being in NYC has distinctively shaped their current sound. “I didn’t go through a true punk rock phase until I lived here” Pat says, “that’s when I got into Lou Reed, the history of CBGB and all that shit.”

“I think Pat is really good at pushing personality through in his vocals, which makes it unique and easy to get into” Tyson remarks. “A lot of bands get stale to me because of their vocals”. When writing together “Pat will usually come to me with a basic idea, and we’ll sit in my room and make a shitty ProTools demo with fake drums just to shape it and get a better idea what it sounds like” Tyson says. “When we first started out, chillwave and MGMT were really big, so we have been holding on for a return to guitar and bass music.”

Their track “Ace” is the perfect anthem for this comeback. The song could almost pass for a high-strung surf rock tune until you hear “destroy” shouted over and over again, with angst, to really drive the point home. The song, while wearing a mask of screaming bravado, is really just about personal weakness and feeling vulnerable with someone. “You’re my ace….destroy destroy destroy.” Many of the songs on the band’s album, Morality Cuts, express the same heartfelt, personal sentiments and are expressed through shouting vocals and the drone of an electric guitar. Honduras harnesses the universal quality of punk music that has been lost. Everyone has their demons, but we all have the same urge to dance, shove and scream when one of these songs play. Pat says that he uses his songwriting to work through things in his life, which is the opportunity Honduras affords the listener. The songs on Morality Cuts bare personal feelings with repression ecstatically escaping through every strum of the electric guitar.

When Atypical Sounds saw their show at Baby’s Alright last month, the band performed their new single Paralyzed. The track holds a trademark that has that raw, in your face attitude and serves as a promising preview to their upcoming album, entitled “Rituals” which we can look out for this July.

Photo credit: Brock Fetch 

Written by Alessandra Licul