brooklyn music

SXSW SPOTLIGHT ON: MAINLAND
March 18, 2016 10:31 am

With their feel good vibe, and button down shirts, Mainland brings a California feel to the East Coast. Even their name reminds me of a classic surf-rock band, however there’s no surfing in New York.

Mainland is a Brooklyn based four-piece who recently put out an EP called Outcast. Sunny yet dark, their eclectic mix of West Coast pop and East Coast punk gained the attention of bands including Atlas Genius and Marianas Trench.

While more recently the term “vintage” has been used to describe anything quirky the band actually has a real vintage aesthetic that’s fun and fresh. I don’t feel like I’m watching a sad “Grease” parody when I’m watching their videos. As Spring is coming closer and closer the bright sound of Mainland HAS to be on everyone’s driving playlist.

Mainland will be preforming at ATYPICAL SOUNDS’ annual SXSW day party at Darwin’s Pub in Austin, Texas on Friday, March 18th at 3:15 PM. Don’t miss it!

SXSW SPOTLIGHT ON: THE DISFUNCTION
March 16, 2016 11:26 am

When you think of a city that produces fresh musical talent, how long would it take you to think of Rincón, Puerto Rico?

A long time, right? Maybe never.

It’s entirely possible that before reading this, you were unaware that a city called Rincón even existed on the northwestern tip of a tiny island nestled snugly between the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Well exist it does. But then, why should you care?

It so happens that this isolated little surf town in the middle of the Caribbean Sea has produced a band of surprising novelty and popular appeal, one that has been making a splash far, far from home all the way up in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Disfunction is a band that you love to love, because they play music for what we like to call the “right reasons.” Theirs is the classic story of a group of childhood friends coming together to play music, just for the fun of it. Isn’t that what music is supposed to be about in the first place?

Is there anything more authentic, more real?

Ok, yes, that opinion may sound a little trite.

But in today’s world of manufactured pop-stars, lone-wolf basement producers, and melodramatic indie acts, wouldn’t it be nice to just listen to a band have fun every once in a while?

disfunctionThe Disfunction is a band that sound like they’re having fun.

Their music is as laid back as the beach scene they came from (and still often play to; they split their time between New York and Puerto Rico, playing shows to a very proud home crowd).

Think of them as a less frenetic Libertines, but with a killer keyboardist and drum pads. Like British Punk without the politics, or like American Indie Electronica without being so over-the-top dreamy.

The Disfunction plays the sort music you’d like to hear as the sun goes down, right as the tiki torches are being lit and another lazy day somehow transforms into the electric atmosphere of the night time party scene.

Expect more good things.

They are currently at work on their new studio album, titled 1,2,3…Testing, while simultaneously touring back home in Puerto Rico. 

And if past efforts are any indication of future progress, you can expect an upbeat album replete with richly layered synth and bass, and topped with smart, punky vocals.

It’s fun, but not frivolous. Carefree without being careless.

It’s music that glorifies all the good in life while silently acknowledging all the bad that hides in the darkness.

The Disfunction will be on display Friday, March 18th at this year’s SXSW at Darwin’s Pub, presented by yours truly, ATYPICALSOUNDS.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: ALICE PHOEBE LOU
December 31, 2015 3:38 pm

Alice Phoebe Lou is a self proclaimed “blues/folk/whatever” artist, sometimes even venturing into the world of “folky blues stuff with psychedelic lead,” the genre she classifies herself under on her
soundcloud
page. Alice hails from
Kommetjie Cape Town, South Africa and the wacky South African accent is nowhere to be found in the musical tapestries she constructs in her songs.

Growing up in Cape Town, Alice Phoebe Lou was rarely without a guitar in hand. She traveled Europe and found a home in the street musician scene of Berlin, where she has resided for the last 3 years supporting herself through busking. She has played all over the world, “from Palestine to New York.” She released a live album in 2015 and is currently in works with her musical collaborator multi-instrumentalist Matteo Pavlov. 

Alice Phoebe Lou weaves together cacophonous vocal melodies and delicate guitar lines. Alice Phoebe Lou’s bluesy and soulful voice provide an interesting contrast. As opposed to fighting the arrangement of her music, Alice’s voice is merely the broadest and most vibrant stroke in a beautiful painting. This is most evident in songs “Deep Blue Sea” and “Society.”

One of Alice Phoebe Lou’s other musical strengths lie in the poetry of her lyrics. She uses idiom phrases such as “all is fair in love and war,” and “throw caution to the wind” but pairs them with relevant narrative, like in her song “Society,” a piece which depicts her strong views on individualism and how society attempts to brainwash its members. In this way Alice’s music is very classic folk; using her guitar to convey her personal opinions on a broad, worldwide issue. “Deep Blue Sea” stands apart from the rest of her Soundcloud tracks because while retaining Alice Phoebe Lou’s trademark lyricism, the rhythm on the track switches meter (similar to a Beatles song!) and keeps you engaged and waiting for the chorus.
Check out Alice Phoebe Lou on her Soundcloud page because the Beasts will be bumping it all month in anticipation for her 2016 full length album release!

Written by Alessandra Licul 

“LOVE FOR THAT”- MURA MASA FEAT. SHURA
December 9, 2015 2:35 pm

I have listened to “Love For That” by Mura Masa feat. Shura possibly a hundred times. I have watched the music video maybe a million times. No shame because how could I not?! Masa’s fun flute and steel drum sound mixed in with Shura’s magical lungs that reach the most beautiful pitch gives my ears such a buzz. The music video only adds to the charisma of the song. Theatrics, dancing and an enticing storyline will leave you absolutely falling in love with everything about this single. Check it out below!

Alex Crossan, the 19 year old “beat-slayer, heart-breaker, producer, singer, writer, lover” has got some serious musical chops. Appearing on BBC’s Sound of 2016 List and featured on Spotify’s Spotlight UK, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more of this kid. He sets on a European tour starting in the spring, so if you’re around you better not miss this!

His EP Someday Somewhere released earlier this year and has gotten some great reviews.. that’s just judging by the comments on his Facebook page. For lack of a more intricate description upon first listen to the EP, it is pure fire. The funk and high pitched sounds are similarly stimulating to that of a Years and Years/Frank Ocean musical brain child with a heavy dash of electronics to give it the edge so prominent in his sound. This guy needs to come to the US asap. I’m serious.

THE UNIQUE SWAY OF MOTHERS
November 12, 2015 8:00 am

As if I Ever Could Keep a Promise –Mothers 

Mothers is a band from Athens, Georgia, and they hold a very unique sound. Their surf-rock vibe is mirrored by a high pitched yet powerful vocalist. Kristine Leschper has a way of swaying her vocals that reminds me of the front lady of Lightening DustAmber Webber. I find it hard to discover female vocalists who can command a room in the same way I imagine Mothers does live, and she plays killer guitar too!!

The lyrics are so deep and personal that you feel almost every feeling she is describing in such an honest way. This is the type of band you put on after a brutal break up or any other genuine heart ache. But you shouldn’t think that is the only aspect of their music that is important.  They surprise you in their song ‘There is no Crying in Baseball’ with some chant like singing and you might think she is actually scolding you!

The Beasts appreciate their unique blend of genres and their honest sound. We hope you’ll take a listen to their commanding tunes.  Check out their live session at Audio Tree Live!

Låpsley CONQUERS ROUGH TRADE NYC
November 11, 2015 2:18 pm

For most artists, Monday night performances are something of a death sentence. Aside from the ubiquitous handful of college students with nowhere to be on a Tuesday morning, the rest of us aren’t usually willing to risk the 4 days of sleep deprivation that inevitably follow pulling an all-nighter so early in the week. That’s why it was particularly impressive that Låpsley not only attempted a Monday night show, but sold out the venue.

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Låpsley (born Holly Lapsley Fletcher) is a singer and electronic musician from England whose powerful voice has earned her a devoted fanbase before ever releasing an LP. With her debut album scheduled to come out early next year, Låpsley spent the night at Rough Trade performing 10 songs from her previous EPs.

Listening to any of her recordings makes it obvious what a talented singer Låpsley is, but hearing her sing live is a whole other beast; the audience was spellbound, myself included. During her performance of “Station”, Låpsley alternates between microphones, singing both the soprano and bass parts of the song. In “Painter (Valentine)”, her voice floats above the crowd, her flowing white dress glowing ethereally under blacklight.

After thanking the crowd for coming, Låpsley closes the show with “Hurt Me”, an ode to a jerk and her most recent single. And that’s it. 10 songs. No more, no less. Every one of them worth the sleep deprivation.

BROTHERTIGER: READY, SET, TOUR!
October 26, 2015 8:14 am

Brothertiger, known to friends as John Jagos, is setting out on a 20+ date tour. He will be performing with JR JR (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) for the remainder of their tour, and then setting off on his own to show the U.S. what he’s got. While preparing for this potentially-intimidating undertaking, Jagos took some time to get us prepared.

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You’re about to start a pretty long tour that will last until December. Does that seem overwhelming to you, or are you looking forward to it? What are you doing to prepare?

I’m a bit nervous, but I think I’m ready for it. I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it’s a true testament to why I wanted to do music in the first place. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and now it’s finally here. So I have to do it, and I have to do it right. I’m bringing my friend Will to do sound for me, so I think a lot of the stress of having things sound right will be taken care of. I’ve also rehearsed the set about 300 times.

You’re opening for JR JR during some of your upcoming tour dates. Have you worked with them before? How did you get involved with them?

I’ve never worked with them before! But I’m so pumped to hop onto shows with them. My booking agent connected us and made it happen.

As a resident of NYC do you have any fond memories of Webster Hall, where you’ll be performing with JR JR?

I have seen plenty of my friends’ shows in Webster Studio, the basement venue, so it’s really awesome to play in the main room after all those shows!

Has anything happened to you during a performance that has particularly stood out to you?

When fans know almost all of your lyrics, I think that’s particularly memorable. I played a show in Brooklyn a few months ago and there was this group of people who were singing along to almost every song. I thought it was some weird echo going on with the room, but I noticed them singing out the corner of my eye. It was quite a thing to see. Very awesome.

What can you tell us about your LP coming out in December?

Well, it’s 47 minutes worth of what I think are the most honest songs I’ve made so far. It’s a big jump from the stuff I made in the past, but I think people will dig the direction I’m headed with it.

You’re a Brooklyn resident, but grew up in Toledo, OH. When did you move to the city? Did you experience any culture shock?

I moved to Brooklyn right after I graduated from school in 2012. I didn’t really experience that, mostly because I had interned in Brooklyn the summer before my junior year, so I knew what to expect.

How do you feel about the pizza in NYC versus the pizza in Ohio? Where is your favorite place to get pizza in NYC?

Ha. Pizza is pizza to me. There’s so much pizza in NYC that it’s hard to figure out what makes it so unique compared to anywhere else. The best pizza I’ve had in the city is the kind that has been hastily prepared, with lots of toppings thrown onto it in a careless way. Artisanal pizza has no life in it. It’s too perfect. There’s an awesome bar by my apartment called Pizza Party. It looks like a teenager’s bedroom in 1987. They’ve got amazing pizza.

I’ve heard that Brian Eno and M83 are two of your biggest influences. Which albums or songs affected you the most?

Eno – I got into him when I was in high school, when I heard a semi-new electronic album he made called Another Day on Earth. I really loved the production, so I dug deeper into his discography and found stuff like Music for Airports and Apollo. The first time I heard “Always Returning,” it really affected me, and it definitely changed my approach to music.

I found M83 in high school as well, after sifting through similar artists of other bands I had found on allmusic.com. M83 is the band that really made me want to make electronic music. I just loved how much emotion was in the music, how important the overall human experience was for writing that material. Saturdays = Youth was and still is my favorite album of theirs.

Many of your releases are available on vinyl, as well as digital formats. What appeal do you see in releasing vinyl records?

I have been collecting vinyl since I was a teenager, so it’s still mind-blowing that my own material has been pressed onto wax. I see a huge resurgence in vinyl sales. CDs have no life to them. A vinyl record is a true physical piece of music. You can feel it in the grooves. I love how much customization you can have with vinyl as well. All the colors, the options, and the sleeve art are so important in conveying the message of an album.

What can we expect to see from you during your tour?

I guess you’ll have to come out and see for yourself! Expect to see a show I’m incredibly excited to play every single night!

 

Upcoming tour dates:

10/21/2015 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl at Center Stage
10/23/2015 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge
10/25/2015 – Birmingham, ALSaturn
10/26/2015 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
10/27/2015 – St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre
10/28/2015 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
10/30/2015 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
10/31/2015 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
11/2/2015 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
11/3/2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
11/4/2015 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
11/5/2015 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
11/6/2015 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/7/2015 – Albany, NY – The Hollow
11/10/2015 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
11/11/2015 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar
11/12/2015 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre
11/13/2015 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theater
11/14/2015 – Chicago, IL – Metro
11/16/2015 – Rock Island, IL – Rozz-Tox
11/17/2015 – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
11/20/2015 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge
11/21/2015 – Fort Collins, CO – Downtown Artery
11/24/2015 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
12/3/2015 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
12/4/2015 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
12/5/2015 – Los Angeles, CA – The Lost Room

DEAD MEAT AND ZECHARIAH FUNKHOUSER @ BROOKLYN’S NEW VENUE
September 14, 2015 1:01 pm

Dead Meat is a self-described “music haberdashery” who recently had revealed their debut showcase at Bushwick’s new venue “Bushwick Public House” (a block away from The Palisades). The carefully curated lineup consisted of Tingles, Cigarettes After Sex, Pet Gracie and headliner Zechariah Funkhouser. Bushwick Public House is a cafe lounge upstairs and a spacious, indie, DIY heaven downstairs. The space is reminiscent of your best friend’s basement in high school, except with a leveled off stage area and a bar.

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The most particular feature of the show was the striking merchandise received on entry; limited edition Dead Meat baseball cards designed by Drew Albinson. The eye-catching cards revealed the shows line-up, a three song download of headliner Zechariah Funkhouser, and a delightfully exotic stick of gum. The cards reflected the aesthetic of “Dead Meat”  – sadcore with a nostalgic twist.

Opening act Tingles were a crowd favorite. Their high-energy indie pop mashed with punk captivated the audience guided by the raw talent of Ryan Clark’s powerful drum rhythms. Cigarettes After Sex followed with a dreamy shoegaze set, the highlight being the perfect soundscape in “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby.” Local Brooklyn group Pet Gracie bordered on experimental noise while their songs remained grounded by a talented rhythm section. Next up was Zechariah Funkhouser, playing his NYC debut. Funkhouser was dynamic and charismatic throughout his swoon worthy set. Definitely an act to watch out for.

Written by Alessandra Licul 

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“JOURNALISM” IS TAKING THE IRONY OUT OF MUSIC
July 14, 2015 11:00 am

Journalism is a Joy Division for this decade. The four piece rock outfit is particularly interesting because they manage to meld pop, garage rock, shoegaze and post punk influences. I got to hang out with singer Kegan and drummer Brendan and talk to them about their music and the state of things right now.

While Journalism certainly has a solid pop outline, their sound has depth and subtlety. The song “Passenger” has a powerful and infectious bassline that substantiates its pop instrumentation and dancey melodies, while a song like “I See Everything” is slightly heavier and showcases their post-punk influence.

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Coming off a kick ass performance opening for Wild Nothing at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the band is also currently working on an album at Spaceman Sound (“Their shit sounds so amazing” Kegan says) and getting ready for their set at Brooklyn’s Gigawatts Festival on 7/24. Tickets are available here. On living in Brooklyn, Kegan says that “the best part about living in Brooklyn right now is everyone is making music. There’s so much of it that you can be very choosy and sometimes you really like the music your friends are making. We are going to be working with some of our friends soon”.

“I wish their was less irony in music; if you like something you should just like it without the pretext.” Brendan remarks. “I would love to open for people who really love guitar music, we should open for Third Eye Blind” Kegan jokes. This attitude is very apparent in their music. Clearly the boys of Journalism know what they like but they aren’t going to stick to their one niche. They are influenced by what they like and what they want to sound like with nothing artificial or ironic about it. You can check the band out on BandCamp, Instagram and Facebook.

Written by Alessandra Licul