pianos

LOVE YOUR BOYFRIEND
April 1, 2016 10:47 am

Boyfriend is hard to miss. She’s the one wearing vintage lingerie, her hair in rollers, and depending who you ask, may have started a cupcake fight during this year’s SXSW. You may have caught her last year when she toured with Big Freedia, or learned about her three EPs, LoveYour Boyfriend, parts 1, 2, and 3. The performer from New Orleans is also a brilliant conversationalist, a connoisseur of diners. 

We met up with Boyfriend at Hey Cupcake! in Austin to enjoy some beautiful weather and even-more-beautiful cupcakes.

It’s been raining here, and the mud is full of clay.

BF: You can eat it if you’re starving. It has minerals. My grandmother grew up in the 1930s in rural Alabama, and she was telling me how when they were out working sometimes, they would scoop up a little clay and be like “om nom nom.” That is so Alabama.

I think they used to eat sparrows during the depression, as well.

BF: Oh dear. That’s disgusting to me. Those disgusting, starving people.

They probably don’t have a lot of meat on them either. They’re so small and have all those feathers.

BF: They barely have marrow in their hollow bones. I’m vegetarian so I’m a little out of my realm, so who knows.

I was raised vegetarian – my parents are hippies.boyfriend_2

BF: Did you revert?

I eat fish.

BF: I eat fish occasionally. If it’s a nice sushi place.

Is there good sushi in New Orleans?

BF: I love oysters. Raw gulf oysters. Sorry Pacific and any other place that has oysters, I’m all about the gulf oysters; I mean they’re the biggest and the most delicious. But I’m biased because I grew up on the gulf coast.

How is it in New Orleans since the hurricane?

BF: It’s thriving and vibrant and expanding and gentrifying, and all of the -ing words that you associate with a hip place. Much like Austin, or Nashville, or Asheville, or Brooklyn, just a neighborhood that you used to not go to, you now go to. I think that New Orleans, specifically, is back with a vengeance. There’s just so much going on there right now.

Do you feel like you have everything you need to run your career from where you are in New Orleans?

BF: I sort of resist the narrative of being a “blank-based artist” because I think anyone who’s being realistic knows that you’re an internet-based artist, and that physically you might be in one place but your emailing with people in different places every single day, and you’re going to places for meetings, and for sessions. So, could I have stayed in New Orleans and not leave, and become who I’ve become? No way. But I don’t think anyone could stay where they live and become who they’re going to become. You should always reach out. I’ve always been very much a tumbleweed, gypsy lady.

Have you lived in other places?

BF: I grew up in Nashville, I lived in LA for five years, then I lived in New Orleans. But during all of that, I’m also traveling constantly, bouncing around the country. It’s the nature of the life.

What are your favorite places to listen to music?

BF: I used to really enjoy Cheer Up Charlies, but I don’t know if I’m going to be allowed to go there anymore. Even back when it was called De Ville, it was a great space. I think our days are numbered.

What happened?

BF: I performed there the Friday of SXSW, and I brought cupcakes from Hey Cupcake! Before a show, I want a hot bath and I want a cupcake, and having been to Austin several times before, I was familiar with Hey Cupcake! and how delicious their stuff is, especially their cream cheese icing.

The person I shared my Lyft car with this morning said the same thing.

BF: So I’m not alone. So I was having one, and I said to the manager, “We need to make sure that everyone at the show tonight has one of these. I think that would be very special”. I was the final set of the night, so everyone was going to be hungry and drunk. We’ve got to feed them. So we brought 250 cupcakes to the show to make sure everyone there got to have one, and things got a little bit rowdy as they tend to at the end of a show. And, unfortunately, the venue was kind of upset about that.

Did you have to stay behind and mop the floor?

BF: Well, I didn’t.

Was this your first SXSW?

BF: My second, technically my third. I was there, sort of as a ghost my first year. As a spirit, haunting the place.

Did you perform?

BF: I did, unofficially. I enjoy.

Your costumes are great [she’s wearing a 1950s-style satin bra and panty set with a dressing gown].

BF: Thanks. Believe it or not, this was from a fan. I perform a birthday bash every year in New Orleans and it’s become sort of a thing where I give everyone gifts. I pretty much give everyone gifts at every show; cupcakes, tampons, something, but since it was my birthday I decided to really go all-out. So anyone who came in lingerie received an actual present in a bag. And that’s something I do for all my birthday shows – you dress up in lingerie, you will be rewarded.

Well, I started receiving gifts as part of the whole exchange and someone handed me this beautifully wrapped, it was wrapped in an antique mat with a sprig of lavender, and [gestures to her dressing gown] this robe was inside of it. She just took it upon herself to make this for me. So then I reached out to her on Instagram, my favorite place, and said “I love the robe, I want something to wear under it.” and so she found this vintage pattern, and I sent her my measurements, and I picked out the color, and it matches my nails. And there we are.

It looks great.

BF: Thank you! It feels great. I’ll never wear another thread of denim in my life. I need something slick.

Denim can chafe, especially if it’s hot out. When I was researching you for this interview, I noticed that certain publications were trying to describe your performance style. I think NPR called you a “mysterious, raunchy, feminist”, and Paper Magazine said you were “endearingly weird.” Do you feel like those descriptions are accurate? Or rather how would you like people to see what you’re doing, and what would you like them to get out of it?

BF: I practice bathtub meditation, and one of the things I focus on when I am neck deep in bubbles, is not being invested in the reaction of others, for I know I have no control over that. I can control whether or not my nails match my outfit, I can control how much champagne in pour into my flute before I get into the bathtub, but I cannot control how people react to me. So they will choose their adjectives and I’d say that NPR chose some pretty good adjectives. I hope other people agree with those adjectives. I’m sure there’s a few flying around after Cheer Up Charlies. I love the English language, whether the adjectives are favorable or unfavorable.

A lot of your songs focus around feminist issues. Would you say you became interested in that because they’re issues that effect you directly, or are you interested in feminism as a whole, or is it a combination of the two?

BF: Feminism as a whole, and feminism as an individual, and feminism as an unconscious mode of being. As being a woman, born into the world, and walking around the planet as a woman. These are just the things that I experience and encounter, and those are the things I comment on.

Have you performed in New York?

BF: I have. I was on tour with Big Freedia this fall, and we performed at Irving Plaza. And I’ve performed at Pianos, and I’ve performed at Joe’s Pub. I especially love Joe’s Pub because the cabaret setting is the perfect setting for Rap Cabaret.

What’s coming up for you this year?

BF: I released an album yesterday. It’s a baby, an infant, it has not yet suckled at my teat, it’s so young. So that was Love Your Boyfriend, Pt. 3. and it is the third and final part of the Love Your Boyfriend EP.

Do you listen to a lot of rap?

BF: I’ll tell you this: I don’t think that Harper Lee read a novel and turned around and wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. I think that she grew up in the south, as a woman, experiencing things, observing things, and then she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. And that would be my answer to who influences me, and why I avoid talking about music that I listen to. Because I think that journalism, the knee-jerk reaction is to be referential, saying “If you’re this band, you must like this band, this band, this band.” And the band says “Yes, we do like this band, this band, this band.” It just becomes a list instead of a dialogue. Waiting in line at the bank might be as influential on a song as a concert you saw when you were four years old.

I did actually go to the Lilith Fair when I was eight. My mom loved Sarah McLachlan, but when I was eight, I was loving Jewel. Pieces of You is like my jam. Yeah, I loved the Lilith Fair.

Do you have any last words before you hit the road again?

BF: Let them eat cake.

GOOD AFTERNOON (MEN)
January 13, 2016 3:47 pm

New Yorkers, feast your ears on the new kids (excuse me, men) on the block. They’re called the Afternoon Men, and they rock. They rock with a sound that is equal parts nostalgia and freshness. Their music bounces seamlessly between genres, touching on influences from Springsteen, The Hold Steady, Counting Crows, The Decemberists, Titus Andronicus, and more.

The five-piece stepped on the scene back in October of last year, releasing their first single, “Parking Lots and Basements.” The music is catchy, with that oh-so-pleasurable balance of 90s Alt-rock, 00s Pop-punk, and contemporary Indie-rock. The lyrics are painstakingly truthful, as the singer navigates the trials and tribulations of trying to land himself a lady as a broke musician in the country’s most expensive city. The song’s overall force is only magnified by the clever lyric video accompanying it.

The men have released a couple more tracks on their Soundcloud page. While these tracks feature a more toned-down sound and oblique lyrical message, the narrative established in “Parking Lots” continues throughout. The result is an overall cohesiveness to their catalog that serves as a refreshing deviation from today’s pop music landscape dominated by one-off singles.

Having already caught the attention of Deli Magazine and sold out the main stage at Pianos, Afternoon Men are gearing up for an exciting 2016. The men are set to release their fourth single with yet another lyric video, “The Books in Her Closet” in the upcoming weeks. They’re also gearing up to headline The Bowery Electric on January 22nd. You can get tickets here!

Sure, this band is new and they’ve got a lot to prove in a city riddled with fellow newcomers. But if what they’ve released so far is any indication, they’re certainly worth checking out live and keeping on your radar.

THE BEST OF CMJ
November 16, 2015 9:02 am

Another year, another CMJ. It’s no doubt that CMJ Music Marathon is one of the best music festivals held in NYC where you can discover both local and international bands. The city turned into a playground for bands and made millennials stay up all night dancing to some catchy tunes. Not only did CMJ offer great music to our city but also incorporated daytime programming where people could learn about music politics, attend Q&A sessions with radio promoters, and even have a cheeky breakfast with music industry individuals.

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Here at ATYPICALSOUNDS, we’re all about celebrating indie music so we curated three killer showcases with the best bands you need to know right now. Our first showcase on Thursday featured artists like Stolen Jars, Weaves, Methyl Ethyl, and IDGY Dean who slammed drumbeats along her soulful voice. Our biggest day party was on Friday at The Delancey and we had a lineup to fill all three floors. We managed to squeeze in Bent Denim to our lineup who were perfect to start the day with their calm shoegaze tunes. The rooftop crowd was amazed by Avi Jacob who nailed “Cannonball.” Wolkoff and Caveboy were also astounding artists who added an extra umph to the show. Beverly played at our last showcase at Cameo Gallery and performed smoothly with her breathy vocals. Lena Fayre, who’d been in all three showcases, closed the night with her deep, dark, and emotional tones that gave chills throughout the room.

Throughout the week there were many more artists we discovered that blew our minds. Australian band Good Morning played the Cake Shop on a Tuesday night and talked about their favorite video games after the show. We headed to The oberjikjDelancey later that night to check out City of the Sun who never fails to leave us in amazement with their rhythmic skills. Birch was playing on a Wednesday night at the Bowery Electric and energized the room with Michelle’s electric blue hair and dancy beats. Cosmo Sheldrake was a pleasant change from the guitar and drums we’ve been used to listening to. A multi-talented instrumentalist who creates a piece by putting together different sounds especially wowed the crowd with his improvisation skills. We headed to see the Brooklynite Oberhofer own the stage at Mercury Lounge and had a chat about his album Chronovision after his show behind the merch table. Saturday at The Delancey were dedicated specifically to bands from Australia. Gordi caught my attention with her acoustic guitar folk tunes and calming voice.

The BEASTS are are pretty damn good at this whole “knowing where to find good music” thing. Last month’s CMJ was an obvious reminder of that, and there will be plenty more where that came from. Just wait for SXSW….

SAY GIRL SAY SPEAKS AT CMJ
November 2, 2015 4:46 pm

Who knew there’d be a whole showcase dedicated to bands from Texas? CMJ was packed with delightful bands playing around the city, but the “Texas Takeover” at The Delancey was something that was worth checking out and helped me discover some bands outside of the local scene I’ve been stuck in lately. Even if you missed it, no worries! We got to speak to one of the talented bands, Say Girl Say, and hear what they had to say about music, tacos, and their bond to mother nature.
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How’s CMJ so far?

Suzan: SO COOL. We started off with the kick-off party at Pianos on Tuesday and then we played a private dinner party at the Chef Club.

Was it part of CMJ?

Suzan: No, not really, but it was really cool. It was like a Houston by New York mixer. So it was like Houston culture being introduced to New York. It was just us. There were a couple of chefs there from Houston that are pretty well known and got some really awesome food down there.

What’s your favorite food?

TACOOOOOOS(in unison). Straight up!

I thought you’d say BBQ!

Suzan: We’re known for that, but we’re vegetarian. But tacos…Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos. Put eggs, veggies, mushrooms, spinach, avocado, onion, red pepper, green pepper, jalapeno, sriracha!

So have you discovered any good taco places around New York?

Suzan: We stay away from that food when we’re here because we can have it when we go back home. We’ve had pizza and bagels- The food’s great here.

How did you guys get together as a band?

Suzan: Bridget and I worked at an environmental non-profit and we immediately clicked once we found out we love music and at the time I just learned how to play the ukulele and later on Bridget bought a ukulele and started playing infront of friends at open mics. There’s a local bar called the Avant Garden that we play at on Tuesday nights and that’s where Luke met us!

Luke: They were actually on stage when we walked in. I immediately flored at their voices and performance. Both these girls were singing into one microphone and they both had ukuleles and were playing it into the other microphone. It was funny, but I loved what I was hearing.

Bridget: It’s pretty DIY

And how many years ago was this?

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Luke: This was on October 10th, 2011.

Suzan: Wow, Luke remembers the date!

All this face paint- Tell me all about this tribal look you guys portray!

Suzan: So we have a lot of tribal rhythms in our music. Luke uses a lot of different instruments- jambes, tables, steel drums, so there’s a wide range of influences globally to our music. So yeah, the African beat man. We have a connection to mother nature, so we really like to look like we’re coming out of the dirt sometimes, like we’re growing out of the earth. And so the more face paint, the more raw it looks and closer we are to ourselves.

How would you describe your sound in one sentence?

Suzan: Let’s make it a long sentence. Indeginous free folk soul R&B world awesome. Everything we do is very organic. The way that we write music, so it’s really cool that technically we’re all just friends, and it’s awesome that brought us together. So we like to just sit down and mess around, constant jam sessions. That’s how we write music so we just produce what comes out in the moment. We channel our productivity. We feed off each other very well, very naturally.

CMJ RECAP WITH THE HARPOONS
October 28, 2015 12:14 pm

If you were lucky enough to be a part of CMJ this year, you may have caught a set by Melbourne quartet The Harpoons. Comprised of brothers Henry and Jack Madin, Martin King, and singer Bec Rigby, the band swiftly demands attention in live performances from Rigby’s powerful vocals and unique sound.

Ready For Your Love, the band’s newest single, features a melody that could only be inspired by a vacation in the Australian bush. Pair that with a music video recapping their recent Japanese tour, and you’ve got something special.

We spoke with Bec about her performing at CMJ 2015, discovering new music, and performing across the world.

 I saw your CMJ performance at Pianos and was blown away. Bec, how long have you been singing for? How did you and the band work out the unique sound you’ve all developed?

BR: Thanks a lot! We’ve all been singing pretty much our whole lives because we all come from musical families! We’ve been besties (and two of us are brothers!) for many years. We just kind of created this weird thing together from talking and playing and loving the same types of music.

There were a significant number of bands from Australia at this year’s CMJ. Were you able to catch any of their performances, or meet up with friends in bands who also traveled to New York from Australia for CMJ?

BR: Yes! Lots of our favourite bands played actually, so happy to see them all there. Friendships are one of our mega fave duo of legends – although Mish from Friendships fell off a roof really early in the week and broke her arm! She’s doing well now and her bandmate Nick did a KILLER job, he played his heart out, played for two. We also loved seeing Sui Zhen, who wears glorious shiny turtlenecks and sings about emotions and losing her internet connection. </3

Sadly we didn’t get to see many others – CMJ is a busy time!

Harpoons_2How did your CMJ go? Did anything stand out to you about your 4 performances?

BR: New York is amazing. They were all great. What stood out was how friendly pretty much everyone who came to see us was! We had super nice crowds.

How did you prepare for CMJ? Was it intimidating that you were booked for a series of dates at a music marathon on the other side of the world?

BR: For sure! We prepared by getting pretty stressed about it and practicing a lot, trying to make sure we were covered for the intense types of shows we’d be playing – 10 minute change over, 25 minute set – it can get pretty tight!

Who were your favorite bands from this year’s CMJ? Did you discover anyone new?

 BR: Yes! We saw this incredible trio of singers 90’s-style power pop singers with perfect synchronised dance moves at Pianos one night after we’d played, they were called Romance. If you ever get the chance, SEE THEM. Also blown away by GEORGIA at Rough Trade. She is so musical, watching her slam her songs on the drum kit and whip her hair around and say “WHOO” was mesmerising. Plus there was free packets of Pocky!

You performed in London immediately before coming to New York for CMJ. Do the crowds in the two cities differ at all?

 BR: We’ve played in Japan, UK and now USA and what was really cool for me is that we could see that people had the same connection to the music everywhere we went! It’s pretty inspiring playing a room full of people who haven’t seen you before and they seem to get where the music’s coming from, and get the emotions it’s trying to convey!

Were you able to try the pizza while in New York? How did it compare to the pizza in Australia?

 BR: I basically lived off $1 slices for a while there, and may I say the $1 slice is HIGHLY variable in quality. I had some best and some blurst ones. But the sheer joy of getting a slice bigger than your head for one measly dollar pretty much beats the disappointment of a bad one every time for me. NY pizza has stolen my heart.

I know you have a few more live performances scheduled for when you get back to Australia. Is there anything else fans can expect to be seeing from you in the future?

 BR: We have a lot of new music in the works actually, so fans can look forward to that coming out over the next year or so!

ON THE SIDEWALK WITH THE MILD HIGH CLUB
October 19, 2015 12:36 pm

Timeline by Mild High Club is one of those albums that makes you forget which decade you’re in, and like you’re melting into a shag carpet. Those are both compliments, in case it wasn’t clear.

Alexander Brettin, the man behind Mild High Club, is an LA-based musician who recorded the album with a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder, MacBook, 12-string electric guitar, PortaSound keyboard, bass, drum machine, software instruments “and whatever was lying around,”.

Brettin was in town to play tracks from the album during this year’s CMJ, part of a 20+ date tour, but did us the honor of a quick chat after his October 17th set at Pianos.

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I’ve never done an interview while sitting on the sidewalk before. Do you do that often?

AB: No, I don’t do too many interviews.

Well, I appreciate you talking with me. You’re in the midst of a really long tour right now, and you’re going to the UK next week. Are you looking forward to it, or are you fried?

AB: I’m totally looking forward to it. I couldn’t be more excited. I wish I had 30 hours in the day so I could sleep a little more, but I’m totally excited.

When I first heard your album, I thought you might be English because of how psychedelic it sounds. Do you get that a lot?

AB: No, I definitely listen to the Beatles way too much, though, so they’ve probably rolled off my tongue at times.

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You also get compared to Mac DeMarco a lot, and you’ve performed with him as well. How do you feel about that comparison?

AB: Mac is a friend of mine, I think he’s a great songwriter and a fantastic dude. If the comparison is menacing by any standard, I think people are missing the point of why we make music in the first place. I take it as a compliment, the dude’s great. I get compared to everyone and their mother, so there’s nothing you can really do about critics. I think people run out of words to describe stuff, and then it’s easy to just say, “Oh, that sounds like David Bowie, or the Beach Boys, or Mac DeMarco, or Tame Impala, or Connan Mockasin.” I’ve gotten them all, and those are all great songwriters. I’m flattered.

Is this your first CMJ?

AB: Yes it is.

How is it going so far? I know you’ve done a number of shows as part of CMJ already, and you have another one tonight.

AB: It’s great. It’s fun to play music, and get out there, and do it.

Has anything happened during your shows this week that has stood out to you?

AB: A baby stood up at one of the shows and yelled at me, and that was cool. That was at the Knitting Factory. There was just a baby in a stroller, and I guess he liked it. He got up and hollered at us, and it was cute.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

AB: I have a couple tricks up my sleeve, I can’t say what. I never stop working, that’s for sure.

Can you give us a hint?

AB: It’s gonna be something musical, that’s all I’ll say. I won’t divulge too much.

Sol Cat Keepin’ it Trippy
July 18, 2015 9:00 am

If somebody’s going to name their band Sol Cat you’d think that they’d be a groovy, old school jazz orchestra…or at least have a liking for cats. “I’m super allergic to cats and I don’t like dogs either. I’m actually not an animal person for the record. Except fish, I love fish” lead singer Brett Myers tells me. Apparently the name was given by some “‘bohemian roulette dealer” that he came across while taking a vacation in the bahamas. “I could be hallucinating still, I still can’t figure out if it happened or not.”

This five piece band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee played a trippy show at Pianos and seemed to attract a wide range of fans from young hipsters to middle aged men in suits. They stay true to their dance-y psychedelic tunes and it’s clear that they’ve pulled influences from classic rock. Brett’s deep vocals echo through the room sending good vibes to everyone in the room who start swaying their body to the music. There’s something nostalgic about their sound that no other band has achieved so far, instantly bringing you back to the 90’s music scene.

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These kool kats met in college while Tom Myers (drummer) was schooling at a different location and eventually connected through mutual friends. “We were most like acquaintances in similar groups that kind of overlapped, so the band didn’t click until pretty much my last semester of college.” They originally envisioned Sol Cat as a World Music genre with “crazy, eclectic, Latin, African percussive influences with more contemporary pop American sort of things. So the original demos are very hilarious.” As much as we’d like to hear Sol Cat jam on congos and bongos, sadly, they are no where to be found on the interwebs.

They’ll be touring pretty much non-stop this month which means they’ll be spending most of their time in a van, sleeping and talking about “weird stuff.” “Jaan threw up a caesar salad on the way to New York [laughs]. We left really early and I don’t know why we had to be up here so early. That’s the most interesting thing that’s happened in the van so far.” Living their life in a van for a month seems pretty adventurous and fun, but Tom mentions the downside of it – “I miss my fiance. I should also plug in my dog, I miss my dog. I miss consistency, being home, and sleeping in my bed.” On the other hand, Brett seems to prefer the tour life. “I enjoy being on the road for the most part. I would say I miss being able to not have a schedule. I just miss waking up whenever I want to and work on music, be productive and just lay low.”

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Unlike every other band that writes music on the road, Brett prefers to write in the comfort of his home. “I don’t really do writing on the road thing. I hardly ever write anything when I’m on tour. My theory is that if I don’t write anything while we’re gone for two weeks, by the time we get home just by the nature of life, I have things that I need to get out after that. So it’s almost like – you’ll fill the glass up for two weeks, and then when you get home you just spill it. I find it really hard to sit in the van or venue and try to write. I think it’s awesome when dudes can go sit in the corner of bar and bring a notepad and channel it, but I can’t do that.”

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Being able to work as full time musicians now, he talks about another great job he’s had in the past working at a zipline when he was a teenager…Which turned out to be sort of a life lesson. “I loved pushing kids off that zipline! Think about it, this kids crying and you’re 40/50 ft up in the air and have a 100 yard zipline rolling down that makes them nervous, but guarantee every time they got to the bottom they came back and wanted to do it again. And that’s life. You just gotta push people ’til they fucking feel so uncomfortable they have nothing to do but have a good time and they come back for more.” So deep.

They released their EP “UNO” a few weeks ago and have another called “DOS” that should be out “August-ish.” They also have an appearance at Austin City Limits at the end of the summer, so don’t forget to give them some love if you come across them!

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Shakin it up with Big Mama Shakes
July 13, 2015 2:15 pm

No matter what you call them—“Soul Rock,” “Americana,” “Southern Rock with Bluegrass Harmonies”—Richmond’s own Big Mama Shakes is a force to be reckoned with. Their music is fun and captivating, and their live shows are powerful yet personal. Singer/guitarist Brady Heck, singer/keyboardist Elijah Righter, singer/guitarist/mandonlinist Caleb Austin, singer/bassist Peter Cason, and drummer Chandler Matkins have developed an impressive musical chemistry and recently went on tour down the Atlantic coast, stopping to talk with me before their show at NYC’s Pianos. We stood on the sidewalk together and discussed their Southern roots, Northern adventures, and life on the road.

So you guys are from Richmond, Virginia?

Elijah: Yeah, we’re based out of Richmond, but most of us are from Williamsburg, Virginia, about an hour south. Brady, Peter and I went to high school together—Chandler too actually.

Peter: We just threw Chandler on because he knew how to play drums and… why not!

Elijah: But we three were in a band in high school together that went through a number of phases and eventually turned into this. Caleb and I go way back too.

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And you just released your new album?

Peter: Yeah, May 5th.

Brady: Cinco de Mayo, baby.

Peter: Cinco de Mama! (laughter)

And this was your first album?

Peter: Our first full album. We had done a four song EP that wasn’t really released—I mean it was on soundcloud—but this is our first big venture into really releasing an album.

How do you come up with your material?

Elijah: Most of it’s Brady, actually.

Brady: Yeah I write half a song, then I go to Elijah and say “hey what order should these parts go in?”

Peter: Elijah does a lot of the arranging.

Elijah: We all come from a broad range of influences, so a lot of that comes out in the music. This is probably the most collaborative creative process that I’ve ever been a part of. Even when we first started working on material it was apparent how every member had something creative to contribute, which is really cool. A lot of the time you just have two people in a group trying to spearhead their ideas, but with this Peter writes a lot of stuff and Chander writes stuff too.

Peter: Yeah we all come from different musical backgrounds, and it all meshes together really well.

That’s awesome. Are you happy with the album?

Brady: We think it came out beautifully.

Peter: We’re very, very happy with it.

Elijah: Yeah we’re real proud of it. A lot of the songs there we’ve been kicking around since high school, so it’s great to see them fully realized here.

Congratulations! Now you guys are touring down the East Coast right now right? How do you like touring?

Brady: Well, we haven’t killed each other yet. (laughs)

Peter: Yeah that’s pretty good. We attempted to grab some dates in between our Portland and Hartford shows, but it didn’t pan out so we just kind of had a mini vacation in Portland with some friends and then went on tour.

Elijah: Yeah the first show in Portland was really successful. We had people hoppin’, we made a killing on merch, so that really kicked it off with high morale.

Brady: But this is the first time that we’ve done this. I mean, we’ve traveled before…

Peter: …we’ve gone to a city to play a show, but we haven’t gone city to city like this before.

What’s your favorite part about it so far?

Brady: It’s a bonding experience, more than anything. I mean, I’ve learned more about Chandler in three days than I would like to have known. (laughs) But yeah, getting to know each other is really fun. I think the most important part of touring isn’t making money, but really for this first tour it’s about seeing how we work outside of our comfort zones, how we work as a unit.

Elijah: I really like seeing the reactions of people. Like, a crowd in Virginia is really different from a crowd in Hartford or a crowd in New York. So the different cultures of people is great, you really get to see who your music resonates with.

Brady: From our experience I’ve learned that Richmond people are head bobbers whereas Maine people go fucking crazy jumping around and stuff.

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What’s your favorite city to play in?

Brady: You mean other than our hometown?

Elijah: Maybe New York!

Chandler: DC has always been a great reaction. We’ve never played a bad show in DC, they’re all so much fun.

Brady: I think it’s because the DC kids don’t know what the fuck we are, they’re like “what are these country bumpkins doing here?!”

Chandler: If you’re gonna go anywhere in DC—like if you’re gonna drive from point A to point B—it better be a good show. So outside of Richmond, probably DC.

What would you say is your least favorite part of touring?

Brady: Peter snoring.

Elijah: Yep! (laughs)

Peter: They all bought earplugs. I’m fine with it though, I don’t know what they’re bitching about.

Chandler: I bought a second round because I lost mine and they’re completely necessary.

Of course. So just the hassles of touring: long rides, close quarters, etc.

Peter: Yeah, basically.

Brady: The great part about being with everybody is also the shitty part about being with everybody, really getting to know each other good and bad.

Classic. So you’re going down the coast, you’re ending up at home again, and then what?

Brady: Then we take a short break…

Peter: We have like a mini southern tour at the end of the month, going down to Charleston, SC, and then up to Boone, NC…

Chandler: …2 shows in Richmond and a show in Charlottesville, at UVA, which should be fun. And then we have a fair amount of festivals coming up in August and September around Virginia. We’ve been playing quite a few festivals.

Do you find that you’re growing in popularity?

Chandler: Locally? Definitely. We’ve had an absolutely amazing reaction and support system from Richmond. They’ve been absolutely wonderful to us. We actually just started selling our CD back home in a record store, a very popular store in Richmond, so that was a cool thing.

Who’s in charge here? Who does the logistics?

Peter: Chandler like 80%, 12% me and 8% the rest of them.

And who’s car?

Peter: Mine and his [Elijah’s].

Elijah: Yeah the gear is in my car and the people are in the other car.

Well, that’s lonely for you

Elijah: Well I have a copilot (gestures to Caleb).

That makes sense. So you drove all the way up from Virginia to Maine? What is that, like 15 hours?

Chandler: 12 or 13 with a little bit traffic here and there. We had a really nice time. Portland was amazing. We went to this river called the Saco River and had a blast rope swinging and jumping off cliffs and stuff.

Brady: Yeah you want to see something great, watch him fall off a fucking cliff.

Peter: Yeah, I didn’t fully extend my arms, so when my full weight hit my arms it snapped the rope out of my hands. My chest still hurts!

Brady: These guys [Caleb and friend] jumped off a 60 foot cliff.

Wow!

Brady: Yeah, I mean you gotta get the jitters out before the first show.

How long have you guys been a band?

Brady: It will be two years in August. But we didn’t play our first show for awhile.

Peter: We’ve been playing shows since… not this past February but the one before that.

So you guys spent what, eight months in rehearsal?

Peter: For the first six month we were just practicing.

Brady: So when we hit the stage we hit it like we knew what we were doing.

Elijah: Again though, we were in a band since high school. And so we already knew each other. Caleb and I have been playing in bands off and on since middle school. Chandler… the way we actually got hooked up with Chandler was he played in the “other band” when we were in high school.

Peter: Yeah there was our band, and then there was “that other band.”

Brady: To be fair though, this all started with that handshake outside of the gas station.

How do you book most of your shows? Just however you can?

Brady: A lot of them have been people contacting us.

Peter: Yeah, like all of our recent Richmond shows have been people coming up to us being like “hey we want to play with you guys”, and then up here we had a friend’s band that we played with in Portland, in Philly we had some friends that we played with, and the whole last leg of our tour we’re with one of our friend’s bands from DC.

Brady: Are you familiar with In The Valley Below?

Yeah!

Chandler: Yeah, we opened up for them a little while ago in Richmond. They hit us up about it. Well actually the radio station hit us up about it, but it’s basically the same thing. We didn’t go begging for it.

Peter: Tell him about Big Field Day

Brady: We opened up for Incubus…

Elijah: That was the thing, though. That was the thing that got us hooked up.

Do you guys take all the shows you can? Do ever say no to show?

Brady: We’re trying to stop playing Richmond so much, just to not oversaturate it.

Peter: Most of the shows we have to say no to are simply because one or two of us actually can’t do it. Like we turned out a festival because he’s on vacation so… can’t do it.

You guys seem to have a lot of fun together. One question I like to ask is: which of you is the best dancer of the five of you?

Peter: Caleb, definitely. (laughter)

Caleb: Yeah, it’s true. The mashed potato is my specialty.

Brady: He gets those hands going and the ladies just faint.

Caleb: I get a lot of moves from Elijah.

Elijah: We got kind of a duo routine going on.

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Do you guys stand next to each other on stage?

Caleb: Yeah

Elijah: Well I sit at the keyboard.

Brady: He gets to watch. He gets to judge—he’s the one who holds up the scorecards for everyone. (laughter)

How would you define your sound in as few words as possible?Elijah: Oooh, we talked about this.

Brady: Americana Rock (unintelligible arguing) No, never mind. Strike that from the record.

Peter: Soul Rock.

Elijah: Well we have to have “Southern” in it somewhere… so it’s Southern Rock…

Caleb: What’s wrong with Soul Rock?

Chandler: Soul rock was the moniker we were going by.

Brady: Richmond Magazine dubbed us “Soul Rock.”

Chandler: So Soul Rock would be the best way to put it. We have influences from so many different artists that it’s hard to put a label on it.

Elijah: When we started out it was kind of the Allman Brothers and Leonard Skynyrd, then we picked up The Head & The Heart influences.

Chandler: Yeah it started off super bluesy and Southern Rock, but now also we’ve got our bluegrass harmonies down pat.

Peter: Chandler’s weird hip-hop beats.

Chandler: We’ve got some Kings of Leon in there, Black Keys here and there, stuff like that.

That’s awesome, I’m excited for the show. Anything else you want me to know?

Peter: Check us out on Facebook and Instagram and all that shameless plugging stuff.

Brady: We have T-shirts and CDs for sale. It’s on iTunes, it’s on Spotify.

Awesome, thanks so much guys!

New Myths Are Making Moves in NYC
July 10, 2015 10:18 am

New Myths captivated the BEASTS’ musical hearts last year.

Now with the release of their latest video for “Howl” they have once again reeled us back in for more.

New Myths is a NYC-based band that blends electronic elements with a new wave/rock sensibility. This all-female trio is comprised of Rosie Slater (drums and vocals), Marina Ross (bass and vocals) and Brit Boras (guitar and lead vocals). The three ladies knew each other individually but not all together until forming the band in 2012. Marina and Rosie played together in another band throughout high school, Rosie and Brit went to the same jazz conservatory for college, and coincidentally, Brit and Marina were neighbors growing up.

New Myths Band

Over the past year the bands live show has only gotten stronger.  There is a pulsating energy in the room when you see these ladies live. You get that strong feeling of just knowing this band is going to get huge.

Ethereal and spectral, melodic and eerie, NEW MYTHS create a sound that catches you and keeps you. Their songs create a seductive, brooding atmosphere that creates a perfect backdrop for the lilting and lyrical refrains that propel each track to its symphonic conclusion.

New Myths Band

 

They set out to write music that they loved, and started by combining elements of bands that influenced them such as Blondie, The Cure, Heart, Nirvana, Kate Bush and Joy Division. Since releasing their debut self-titled EP in March 2012, their song “False Gold” was featured in the girls Spring 2013 digital ad campaign for California surf company REEF and was also picked by Lou Reed to be featured on his Sirius XM radio station. Building a following with a powerful live show and a uniquely eerie and danceable sound, NEW MYTHS have released their debut full-length album titled “Give Me Noise” via Taming Ghosts.

We expect to be hearing a lot more from these fierce ladies.

New Music Seminar Takes Over the Big Apple
June 30, 2015 1:20 pm

“Do you want to be part of the largest movement to build the music business- to be part of the community that is affecting change?”

As a music enthusiast, it’s important that you know about one of the most important music events in the city. Being able to attend the New Music Seminar this year, I’ve been really fortunate to be a part of the music business movement and to be able to engage with colleagues of the same interest.

By attending panels that tackled discussions such as the role of artist managers and where indie labels stand in the industry right now, I was able to expose myself to a range of knowledge and ideas that I wouldn’t have been able to answer myself. It was motivational seeing important music business individuals express their informed opinions and give us advice on how to handle situations. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited sitting through these discussions and taking notes like I was back in college studying for a test.

While these mind boggling topics of the music industry kept me occupied during the daytime, I’d have to say that I was pretty impressed with the festival performances that went on in the evening. The opening night red carpet was helday1_DIY-movementd at Webster Hall with an extensive line up of talented musicians including Alessia Cara, Fictionist, Bad Veins, Belmont Lights, Jay Stolar, Grace Weber, and Melanie Martinez. Although Webster Hall is one of my least favorite venues in the city, NMS managed to glam it up with a beautiful red carpet. The show started later than expected and I was pretty exhausted from all the waiting, but I was blown by the amount of talent I saw that night.

I discovered Alessia Cara for the first time and was astonished by her soulful voice. I was also taken aback by Belmont Light’s powerful stage presence; so much so that it was impossible to think a record label hasn’t picked them up yet. Expecting Melanie Martinez to make a grand entrance on stage as a last act, she peacefully strutted her way on stage with no shoes on while hardcore teen fans raged. Although she seemed reserved at first, her confidence projected through the room when she started singing. Her songs may sound depressing with lyrics like “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” but it gets pretty contagious and you’ll be singing it to yourself the next few days.

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The next two nights followed with an overwhelming line up of musicians who performed at DROM, Cake Shop, Pianos, and The Delancey. I ended up staying in Pianos for the first night seeing Little Racer, Lewis Lane, and Dear Rouge. Tuesday night had a line up which was tough for me to choose since my favorite bands were overlapping with each other. Most venues were pretty close to each other except for DROM, in which I exhausted myself running back and forth. I started the night with mellow tunes from Frances Cone, and checked out the indie-pop sister band Chaos Chaos afterwards right next door. I traveled all the way to DROM to see the last set of The Collection and made my way back to the lower east to see some Fort Lean because that Northside Festival showcase wasn’t enough for me. I definitely didn’t want to miss City of the Sun because no matter how many times you listen to them, they will never disappoint. There’s something about their tunes that put you in a euphoric state that leave you with the chills.

All in all, the New Music Seminar was a successful evening bursting at the windows and walls with talent, successful professionals, and innovative artists who live, breath, and work the ever-changing music industry!

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