Tag: Bowery Ballroom

Co-founded back in 2018 by three New York music industry vets and longtime friends, former Lorimer Beacon founder and head Mike Bell, Kanine Records‘ founder and label head Lio Kanine and Kepler Events and Dedstrange Records co-founder Steven Matrick, The New Colossus Festival over the course of the past couple of years has featured several hundred handpicked, emerging indie bands and artists from Canada, the UK, the European Union, Singapore, Hong Kong and of course, the US. 

By design the festival has taken place about a week or so before SXSW with the idea that New Colossus would be a pre-SXSW stopover that will give the acts in each year’s lineup an opportunity to organically gain exposure while filling a critical void in the city’s festival calendar. 

New Colossus Festival’s third edition will take place March 8, 2023-March 12, 2023 and will take place in some of the Lower East Side’s best and renowned independent venues including Mercury LoungeBerlin Under A, Arlene’s GroceryBowery BallroomThe Bowery ElectricHeaven Can WaitPianos, and more.  New Colossus Festival closes out the calendar year with the announcement of its second wave of artists that will be playing at showcases across the Lower East Side. And much like the first wave of artists, it’s a highly curated collection of artists who hail from the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere.

Some of the new additions including Bilk (UK), Demob Happy (UK), Grand Sun (Portugal), Low Island (UK), Yndling (Norway), Kamikaze Nurse (Canada) and A Place to Bury Strangers, who are returning to headline their Dedstrange label party after not being able to perform at the 2020 edition. Additionally, Beverly (US), Eternal Summers (US) and The Depreciation Guild (US) will be playing reunion shows for Kanine Records’ 20th Anniversary Party.

Of course, more details are coming.

SECOND WAVE ADDITIONS:

A Place to Bury Strangers (US)

Beverly (US)

BLACK MARACAS (ES)

Bloomsday (US)

Borito (IL)

Closebye (CA)

Demob Happy (UK)

Emmrose (US)

Eternal Summers (US)

First Crush (US)

GHUM (UK)

Gold Lake (ES)

Gossamer Blue (CA)

Grand Sun (PT)

HNRY FLWR (US)

jackie (CA)

Kacey Fifield (US)

Kamikaze Nurse (CA)

Kryxis (US)

layzi (US)

Low Island (UK)

MAUVEY (CA)

Miesha and The Spanks (CA)

Noah And The Loners (UK)

Nutrients (CA)

Paper Lady (US)

Percocet (US)

S.C.A.B. (US)

The Chairs (TW)

The Depreciation Guild (US)

The Down & Outs (US)

The Silver Lines (UK)

The Vices (NL)

to the wedding (US)

Totalement Sublime (CA)

VLURE (Scotland)

Yndling (NO)

Yo Diablo (ES)
 

Full list of showcasing artists and bands can be found here: https://www.newcolossusfestival.com/artists2023?utm_campaign=7965f0f8-b1ca-4719-96c9-c158666e5210&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail_lp&cid=ac466ae2-d0c6-4e01-845f-c3b1ed63bbda. Actual schedules and set times are forthcoming, so be on the lookout,

You can purchase a badge here: https://dice.fm/event/ee7n6-new-colossus-festival-2023-8th-mar-various-venues-nyc-new-york-tickets

Co-founded back in 2018 by three New York music industry vets and longtime friends, former Lorimer Beacon founder and head Mike Bell, Kanine Records‘ founder and label head Lio Kanine and Kepler Events and Dedstrange Records co-founder Steven Matrick, The New Colossus Festival over the course of the past couple of years has featured several hundred handpicked, emerging indie bands and artists from Canada, the UK, the European Union, Singapore, Hong Kong and of course, the US.

By design the festival has taken place about a week or so before SXSW with the idea that New Colossus would be a pre-SXSW stopover that will give the acts in each year’s lineup an opportunity to organically gain exposure while filling a critical void in the city’s festival calendar.

New Colossus Festival’s third edition will take place March 8, 2023-March 12, 2023 and will take place in some of the Lower East Side’s best and renowned independent venues including Mercury Lounge, Berlin Under A, Arlene’s Grocery, Bowery Ballroom, The Bowery Electric, Heaven Can Wait, Pianos, and more.   The festival’s organizers announced the first wave of artists that will be playing at next year’s festival, a highly curated collection of artists and bands from across the world — and the first wave bands and artists are below:

36? (CA)

802 (CA)

Adwaith (UK)

Anthony OKS (CA)

Arverne (US) 

Astronomies (NO)

Ava Vegas (DE)

BIG SEA (IT)

Bloomsday (US)

Blushing (US)

Bonnie Trash (CA) 

Boy With Apple (SE)  

boy wonder (CA)

Buff Ginger (US) 

Bummer Camp (US) 

CHARMAINE (CA) 

Claudia Bouvette (CA) 

Clea Anaïs (CA) 

Colatura (US) 

church crush (US)

Data Animal (DE) 

Day & Dream (US) 

Dead Tooth (US) 

Deep Sea Peach Tree (US) 

Diary (US) 

Dirty Freud (UK) 

Father Koi (US) 

Fears (UK) 

French Cassettes (US) 

Gäy (DK) 

GIUNGLA (IT) 

Hang Him to the Scales (US)

Heaven For Real (CA)

Helen Ganya (UK) 

Her Dark Heaven (US) 

Her Skin (IT) 

High. (US) 

His His (CA) 

Hoorsees (FR) 

Hope (DE)

InCircles (US)

J. Pastel (US) 

Jane Inc. (CA) 

Jeanines (US) 

Jolé (UK) 

Julia Logan (SE) 

Kali Horse (CA) 

Keegan Powell (CA)

Keeper E. (CA) 

knitting (CA) 

KOKO (IT)

Lahnah (US)

Lauren Lakis (US) 

Laveda (US) 

Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys (DE)

Lukka (US) 

LUNACY (US) 

MANE (AU)

Marci (CA) 

Mary Shelley (US) 

Monsoon (US) 

My Son The Doctor (US) 

Nat Vazer (AU) 

Naya Ali (CA) 

NEVVA (US) 

O. Wake (US) 

Oh Imanuela (UK) 

Pale Dīan (US) 

Phillip Jon Taylor (UK) 

Picture Show (US)

Plàsi (SE)

Pons (US) 

Poster Paints (US) 

Public Body (UK)  

Pulsr (US)

Punchlove (US) 

Ringing (US) 

Robber Robber  (US)

Roost.World (US) 

Saloon Dion  (UK) 

Secret American (US) 

Shallow Waves (CA) 

Shanghai Qiutian (CN) 

Shred Flintstone (US) 

Sid Simons  (US)

Silverbacks (IE) 

Slow Fiction (US) 

Slut Magic (US) 

Snotty Nose Rez Kids (CA)

Sobs (SG) 

Spirits of Leo (US) 

stranger waves (US)

Teenage Halloween (US) 

Ten Minute Detour (CA) 

The After Hours (US) 

The Garrys (CA) 

The Pleasure Majenta (DE)

The Tarrys (US)

The Vices (NL)

THUS LOVE (US)

Two-Man Giant Squid (US) 

Web Hex (US) 

Windier (US) 

Work Wife (US)

Wynona Bleach (UK)
 

New Colossus also shared a curated playlist of the first wave artists and bands below. It’s 98 songs and over 5 hours — but it features some incredibly buzz-worthy acts, some emerging artists and bands that might break out next year, JOVM mainstays, and more, including Thus Love, Blushing, Dead Tooth, Shallow Waves, Spirits of Leo, Shred Flintstone, Pale Dian, Monsoon and more.

The full lineup will drop sometime in February but I’m looking forward to catching another edition of New Colossus.

Festival badges are on sale right now. You can purchase yours here https://dice.fm/event/ee7n6-new-colossus-festival-2023-8th-mar-various-venues-nyc-new-york-tickets

  

New Video: Say She She Shares Slinky Ballad “Fortune Teller”

Deriving their name as a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to the legendary Nile Rodgers — “C’est chi-chi! It’s Chic!” — NYC-based funk and disco act Say She She features three accomplished, strong female lead vocalists: founding members Piya Malik, who has spent time in El Michels Affair79.5 and Chicano Batman; and Sabrina Cunningham; along with Nya Gazelle Brown, a former member of 79.5. 

The rising New York-based outfit can trace their origins back to when Malik and Cunningham found themselves living in the studio apartments directly above and below each other. The pair would hear each other singing through the floorboards and quickly became friends. “I knew the girl below me had the most beautiful voice as I would hear her early in the morning and she would hear me late at night. Between the two of us I don’t think we got a wink of sleep. Then again I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they moved to New York City to sleep,” Malik says in press notes. 

After spending years singing in other people’s bands, Malik and Cunningham felt they were finally ready to step out into the spotlight with their own project. At first, they wrote tongue-in-cheek songs about bad boyfriends, band breakups and bad politics. But shortly after, they started writing much more serious and vulnerable tunes, like much-needed therapy sessions, detailing the lives of post-modern women. Since then, their material frequently touches upon love, lust, sex, heartbreak, betrayal and hope. 

A few years after they started the project, the duo recruited their close friend and Malik’s former 79.5 bandmate Nya Gazelle Brown to join them. At that point, the act’s core lineup was settled. 

Sonically, Say She She’s sound nods at 70s girl groups — multi-part female harmonies paired paired with funky, disco-inspired arrangements played by a backing band featuring some of New York’s most talented and accomplished players, featuring former members of  AntibalasCharles Bradley and His ExtraordinariesSharon Jones and The Dap KingsThe ShacksTwin Shadow and others. Locally, they’ve developed a reputation as a must-see live act, playing sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom, Nublu 151Brooklyn BazaarC’Mon Everybody and Baby’s All Right among others. 

Released earlier this month through Karma Chief Records, an imprint of Colemine Records, Say She She’s eight-song, Sergio Rios-produced, full-length debut Prism was recorded on old tape machines 
in the basement studios of friends. The album features guest spots from The Dap Kings‘ Joey Crispiano and Victor Axelrod, The Shacks’ Max Shrager, Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez, Antibalas‘  Superhuman Happiness‘ and Low Mentality’s Nikhil Yerawadekar, Twin Shadow’s Andy Bauer and NYMPH‘s Matty McDermot. 

Over the course of the year, Say She She have released a handful of attention-grabbing singles that include:

  • Forget Me Not,” the New York-based act’s debut single and their debut album’s first single. Featuring a strutting bass line, glistening wah wah pedaled funk guitar, fluttering flute and dreamy three part harmonies “Forget Me Not” is one part Patrice Rushen, one part Tom Tom Club’s “Gangster of Love,” one part ESG, one part Mary Jane Girls, centered around righteous feminist lyrics. “Forget Me Not” premiered on KCRW‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic and was played in heavy rotation, with a KCRW DJ describing the song as “The funkiest shit I’ve heard in a while!” They performed the song for a Paste Magazine session. The song has started to receive airplay on BBC6.
  • Blow My Mind,” a slow-burning, sultry bop centered around the trio’s yearning and impassioned cries, shimmering Bollywood-inspired riffage and a strutting bass line that’s about returning to a former flame, who you’ve managed to hold feelings for — even after some period of years.
  • “Trouble,” which landed at #7 on  KCRW’s Top 30, with the station saying “”New York’s Say She She are always on the assignment of making it as funky as possible, and with their new single they’ve cranked up the lovers rock lever.”
  • NORMA,” a defiant, politically-charged, glittery dance floor anthem — and urgent call for action, for all of us. Written in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the song is a powerful reminder that the fight to have this country live up to its ideals ain’t over — and that women’s rights and their right to choose what’s best for them need to be protected. 
  • Prism,” a glittery and silky ballad centered around glistening keys, a supple bass line and metronomic-like drumming paired with the trio’s lush harmonies. The end result is a hook-driven song that sonically nods at The Supremes, psych pop and psych soul, and sounds as though it could have been released in 1968, 1978, 2008 or — well, today. 

Prism’s latest single “Fortune Teller” is glittering and slinky disco ballad built around fluttering vintage synth-driven arpeggios, twinkling keys, a tight, strutting groove paired with the trio’s gorgeous three-part harmonies. The song’s narrator is making an urgent plea of devotion to a lover: that although they can’t possibly be a fortune teller or a mind-reader, they will do what they can to protect them.

The accompanying, gorgeous video for “Fortune Teller” continues a run slick and hypnotic of visuals inspired by Bollywood: We see footage of edited stock footage of Bollywood dancers, home footage of the women dancing and performing as little girls, and the trio in pastel hues and flowing taffeta doing a Bollywood inspired dance.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Preoccupations Share Brooding and Lysergic Chad VanGaalen-Directed Visual for “Slowly”

Canadian post punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Preoccupations —  Matt Flegel (bass, vocals), Mike Wallace (drums), Scott Munro (guitar) and Daniel Christiansen (guitar) — just released their fourth album Arrangements today.  Longtime label home Flemish Eye will handle the release throughout Canada while the band will self-release the album outside of Canada. 

Initial work on Arrangements began in the fall of 2019, when Flegel and Christiansen met up with Munro at his Montreal-based Studio St. Zo. The trio wrote the album’s material and recorded all of the bed tracks together. Wallace then joined in and recorded his parts. With all of the instrumental parts laid down, the band planned to reconvene in a few months and decided what else the songs needed.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the JOVM mainstays’ plans to reconvene in person were understandably halted. At the time Munro was in Calgary on tour with his partner when the shutdowns began, so he wound up staying with his parents for the next 16 months. He whipped up a make-shift studio in his parents house, and the rest of the record was finished remotely with Munro and Flegel sending tracks back and forth to each other: Munro’s vocal and keyboard parts were completed in that set up while Flegel’s vocal parts were laid down in New York. Holy Fuck‘s Graham Walsh mixed the record and Total Control‘s Mikey Young mastered it. 

Pandemic isolation helped to encourage the band to reconnect with elements of their earlier releases: Munro, holed up in Calgary with endless weed gummies, obsessively doubled keyboards on guitars and vice versa, sampled the recordings using an old Ensoniq keyboard sampler and made new parts out of the samples. While on 2016’s self-titled and 2018’s New Material, Munro was committed to making keyboards the centerpiece, Arrangements sees guitar returning to the spotlight — an instrument that he describes as much more fun and visceral to play. Throughout most of the album, Christiansen employs a unique tuning that sees him blurring and smearing his parts while Munro’s standard-tuned riffs provide melody and clarity. The end result is an album that sonically will see the band weaving their guitar-heavy origins with their more synth-based recent work to create what may arguably be their most intense and playful album to date. 

Much like its predecessor New MaterialArrangements‘ title is simultaneously literal and cheeky — a sharp contrast to their overall aesthetic. Thematically, the album is dark and direct: “The lyrics are pretty conspicuous and self explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world blowing up and no one giving a shit,” says Flegel. 

“I’m certain that I’ve been writing about the same bleak things over and over again throughout the lifespan of Preoccupations,” Flegel adds. “This time around the themes of isolation, anxiety, trepidation, imminent self-annihilation, fear of totalitarianism, and general malaise unintentionally all feel a little more relevant than they have in the past. I guess that’s not a great sign, but I think we’ve taken this culmination of dark things, and turned it into something that can happily be listened to loudly, and that is maybe even…fun?”

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I’ve written about two album singles:

  • Ricochet,” a murky and dark churner featuring layers of glistening and distorted guitar slashes, rolling and lashing snares,atmospheric synth arpeggios and a propulsive bass line paired with Flegel’s mournful, embittered delivery and their penchant for rousingly anthemic hooks. And while being a slick and seamless synthesis of their earliest work and their most recent work, “Ricochet” manages to evoke the creeping, existential dread we have all felt lately — and perhaps continue to feel — during one of the most heightened and uncertain periods in recent memory. 
  • Death of Melody,” a brooding and tumbling track centered around textured, reverb-drenched shoegazer-like haze, martial, machine-like rhythms paired with Flegel’s plaintive delivery fed through even more distortion. Sonically “Death of Melody” is a one-half funhouse in hell, one-half vacillating thoughts tumbling about in the mind of an anxious, uncertain person. 

Arrangements‘ third and latest single “Slowly” begins with a murky prog rock-inspired bass and drum driven introduction before quickly ditching it for brooding atmospherics that fit the song’s malaise, self-flagellation and uneasy acceptable of annihilation.

Directed by Chad VanGaalen, the lysergic animated visual for “Slowly” fully embraces the song’s dark thematic concerns: The video begins with Picasso meets Dali-like animations that transform from humanoid to other object and back. We see a man turn into a skeleton lying at the bottom of a grave; faces turn into natural flora and fauna and so on.

Deriving their name as a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to the legendary Nile Rodgers — “C’est chi-chi! It’s Chic!” — the rising NYC-based funk and disco act Say She She features three accomplished, strong female lead vocalists: founding members Piya Malik, who has spent time in El Michels Affair79.5 and Chicano Batman; and Sabrina Cunningham; along with Nya Gazelle Brown, a former member of 79.5. 

Say She She can trace their origins to when Malik and Cunningham found themselves living in the studio apartments directly above and below each other. The pair would hear each other singing through the floorboards and quickly became friends. “I knew the girl below me had the most beautiful voice as I would hear her early in the morning and she would hear me late at night. Between the two of us I don’t think we got a wink of sleep. Then again I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they moved to New York City to sleep,” Malik says in press notes. 

After spending years singing in other people’s bands, Malik and Cunningham felt they were finally ready to step out into the spotlight with their own project, at first writing tongue-in-cheek songs about bad boyfriends, band breakups and bad politics.  Shortly after, they started writing much more serious and vulnerable tunes, like much-needed therapy sessions, detailing the lives of post-modern women. And as a result their material that touches upon love, lust, sex, heartbreak, betrayal and hope. 

A few years after starting the project, the duo recruited their close friend and Malik’s former 79.5 bandmate Nya Gazelle Brown to join them. At that point, the act’s core lineup was settled. 

Sonically, Say She She’s sound nods at 70s girl groups — multi-part female harmonies paired paired with funky, disco-inspired arrangements played by a backing band featuring some of New York’s most talented and accomplished players, featuring former members of  AntibalasCharles Bradley and His ExtraordinariesSharon Jones and The Dap KingsThe ShacksTwin Shadow and others. Locally, they’ve developed a reputation as a must-see live act, playing sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom, Nublu 151Brooklyn BazaarC’Mon Everybody and Baby’s All Right among others. 

Slated for release this fall through Karma Chief Records, an imprint of Colemine Records, Say She She’s self-titled, Sergio Rios-produced, full-length debut was recorded on old tape machines in the basement studios of friends. The album features guest spots from The Dap Kings‘ Joey Crispiano and Victor Axelrod, The Shacks’ Max Shrager, Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez, Antibalas‘  Superhuman Happiness‘ and Low Mentality’s Nikhil Yerawadekar, Twin Shadow’s Andy Bauer and NYMPH‘s Matty McDermot. 

Over the course of the year, I’ve managed to write about the rising New York act’s first two singles:

  • Forget Me Not,” the New York-based act’s debut single and their forthcoming debut album’s first single. Featuring a strutting bass line, glistening wah wah pedaled funk guitar, fluttering flute and dreamy three part harmonies “Forget Me Not” is one part Patrice Rushen, one part Tom Tom Club’s “Gangster of Love,” one part ESG, one part Mary Jane Girls, centered around righteous feminist lyrics. “Forget Me Not” premiered on KCRW‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic and was played in heavy rotation, with a KCRW DJ describing the song as “The funkiest shit I’ve heard in a while!” They performed the song for a Paste Magazine session. The song has started to receive airplay on BBC6.
  • Blow My Mind,” a slow-burning, sultry bop centered around the trio’s yearning and impassioned cries, shimmering Bollywood-inspired riffage and a strutting bass line that’s about returning to a former flame, who you’ve managed to hold feelings for — even after some period of years.

The act’s third single of the year, “Trouble” landed at #7 on KCRW’s Top 30, with the station saying “”New York’s Say She She are always on the assignment of making it as funky as possible, and with their new single they’ve cranked up the lovers rock lever.”

And adding to a growing profile, the trio’s music is featured in the trailer for Lena Dunham’s upcoming feature-length film Sharp Stick.

The act’s latest single “NORMA” is a dance floor friendly anthem centered around glistening synths, a sinuous bass line, propulsive four-on-the-floor, a funky and forceful horn section and bursts of Latin-influenced percussion paired with the trio’s gorgeous harmonies delivering a defiant and much-needed call to action — for all of us. Written in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the song is a powerful reminder that the fight to have this country live up to its ideals ain’t over — and that women’s rights and their right to choose what’s best for them need to be protected.

With collective backgrounds working in education, speechwriting and nonprofits, Say She She’s three frontwomen have no shied away from their intention to use their voices to share important and powerful messages. The band’s decision to name the song after Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. Jane Roe, who the Supreme Court decision was ultimately named for wasn’t an easy one. McCorvey’s life and story were complicated. uneasy and controversial: After fighting vehemently for years in support of the decision to protect a women’s right to choose, she changed position a number of times, before finally admitting on her deathbed that she had only done so in exchange for payments from an ultra-conservative, Evangelical movement in a bid to undermine the law. But that in her heart, she always supported a women’s right to choose. The trio thought of this as an example of how the vested interests of the ultra-religious and conservative patriarchy pose a corrupting and unyielding threat not to be met with complacency.

When asked about the inspiration for “NORMA,” Say She She’s Piya Malik says;

“Our friend Dina Seiden – who is an activist, writer, comedian and musician once said to us during a rally for Planned Parenthood, ‘I reckon feminists need to start touring the way bands do.’  It resonated and we felt a sense of urgency and obligation to recognise the opportunity we had to use our voices in a concerted way to protect what we believe to be fundamental to women’s rights.

“Call it blind idealism — but I still believe that policy, public opinion and protest can push change towards a fairer and more equitable society. After years working in Parliament where tireless hours are spent implementing Bills only for them to simply get amended or scrapped by the opposition once there was a change in the administration,  I knew I wanted to find a new medium for the message.

“We are using our song and music to let other women know we are here and we stand with them ready to fight.  But behind the scenes we are also working with a number of grassroots organizations to develop a policy position paper around SCOTUS Reform which we aim to publish as a coalition soon.

Sabrina Mileo Cunningham adds:  We believe in using the tools at our disposal — from grassroots activism, to the power of voting awareness and letter writing campaigns. And to us, being able to use our voice and music as a force for change and to send our message to the powers that be on behalf of all women who support the right to choose what happens to our bodies is a gift we want to harness and direct.”

Nya Gazelle Brown adds: Ultimately, we recognize that all lives are complicated and that the story only serves to prove how important it is for us to collectively use our voice to raise the importance of protecting our right to choose.”

The new single was released exclusively on Bandcamp on June 21, 2022, just days before the Supreme Court’s official decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was made. 100% of the proceeds from Bandcamp sales will continue to be donated to NARAL” Pro-choice America. So if you have a little bit of cash on you, support the new track — and give money to a worthy and necessary cause.

https://saysheshe.bandcamp.com/album/norma

I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the legendary and influential  Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate. Now, as you may recall, the band, which originally formed way back in the early 80s — currently featuring founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) —has managed to split up and reunite a few times throughout their extensive history, including their most recent one in 2017.

Since 2017, The Dream Syndicate have released a run critically applauded albums that have seen the acclaimed psych outfit at their most uncompromising — while boldly pushing their sound in radically new directions.

2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular: 

  • Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
  • Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock 
  • Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
  • Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation 
  • Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion. 

The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.

The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns reportedly sees the band adding British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs. 

So far I’ve written about two of the album’s singles:

  • Where I’ll Stand,” the album’s expansive fist single, which begins with a twinkling, synth-led prog rock intro that nods at Trans Europe Express before morphing into a circular chord progression centered around twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning groove.  “It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn explained in press notes. 
  • Damian,” a brooding and slow-burning song that may arguably be their most AM Rock-inspired song of their extensive — and still growing — catalog: Centered around a shuffling groove, the song has a California beach sheen but with a gritty and lurking sense of evil and unease.  Fleetwood Mac meets Steely Dan, perhaps? 


The Emil Nikolaisen co-written “Every Time You Come Around” is a melodic and crafted bit of psych pop that feels like a subtle refinement of The Dream Syndicate’s classic era sound but paired with fuzzy, feedback laden guitars and achingly wistful lyrics. The new single has “a sense of arrogance and fragility in the lyrics which Jason [Victor] had the good sense to fully obliterate with a tsunami of fuzz guitar” the band’s Steve Wynn says.

The JOVM mainstays will be embarking on a lengthy international tour to support the album. The tour includes a September 17, 2022 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the rest of the tour dates below. 

TOUR DATES

11 Jun: Loaded Festival, Oslo, Norway

27 Jul: Soda Bar, San Diego, CA, US
28 Jul: Lodge Room, Los Angeles, CA, US
29 Jul: Harlow’s, Sacramento, CA, US
30 Jul: Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA, US
15 Sep: City Winery, Philadelphia, PA, US
16 Sep: City Winery, Washington D.C., DC, US
17 Sep: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, US
18 Sep: Crystal Ballroom, Boston, MA, US

07 Oct: Auditorio, Murcia, Spain
08 Oct: Loco Club, Valencia, Spain
10 Oct: Universidad, Cadiz, Spain
11 Oct: El Sol, Madrid, Spain
12 Oct: Sala BBK, Bilbao, Spain
14 Oct: SPAZIO 211, Rivoli, Italy
15 Oct: Locomotiv, Bologna, Italy
16 Oct: Magnolia, Milan, Italy
18 Oct: Lafayette, London, UK
19 Oct: Petit Bain, Paris, France
20 Oct: Het Depot, Leuven, Belgium
21 Oct: De Zwerver, Leffinge, Belgium
22 Oct: Ekko, Utrecht, Netherlands
10 Nov: Turf Club, Minneapolis, MN, US
11 Nov: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL, US

New Video: Say She She Shares a Mind-Bending Visual for Sultry “Blow My Mind”

Deriving their name as a silent nod to the legendary Nile Rodgers — “C’est chi-chi! It’s Chic!” — the emerging NYC-based funk and disco act Say She She features three accomplished, strong female lead vocalists: founding members Piya Malik, who has spent time in El Michels Affair79.5 and Chicano Batman; and Sabrina Cunningham; along with Nya Gazelle Brown, a former member of 79.5. 

Say She She can trace their origins to when Malik and Cunningham found themselves living in the studio apartments directly above and below each other. The pair would hear each other singing through the floorboards and quickly became friends. “I knew the girl below me had the most beautiful voice as I would hear her early in the morning and she would hear me late at night. Between the two of us I don’t think we got a wink of sleep. Then again I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they moved to New York City to sleep,” Malik says in press notes. 

After spending years singing in other people’s bands, Malik and Cunningham felt they were finally ready to step out into the spotlight with their own project, at first writing tongue-in-cheek songs about bad boyfriends, band breakups and bad politics.  Shortly after, they started writing much more serious and vulnerable tunes, like much-needed therapy sessions, detailing the lives of post-modern women. The result is material that touches upon love, lust, sex, heartbreak, betrayal and hope.

A few years after starting the project, the duo recruited their close friend and Malik’s former 79.5 bandmate Nya Gazelle Brown to join them. At that point, the act’s core lineup was settled. 

Sonically, Say She She’s sound nods at 70s girl groups — multi-part female harmonies paired paired with funky, disco-inspired arrangements played by a backing band featuring some of New York’s most talented and accomplished players, featuring former members of  AntibalasCharles Bradley and His ExtraordinariesSharon Jones and The Dap KingsThe ShacksTwin Shadow and others. Locally, they’ve developed a reputation as a must-see live act, playing sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom, Nublu 151Brooklyn BazaarC’Mon Everybody and Baby’s All Right among others. 

Slated for release this fall through Karma Chief Records, an imprint of Colemine Records, Say She She’s self-titled, full-length debut was recorded on old tape machines in the basement studios of friends. The album features guest spots from The Dap Kings‘ Joey Crispiano and Victor Axelrod, The Shacks’ Max Shrager, Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez, Antibalas‘  Superhuman Happiness‘ and Low Mentality’s Nikhil Yerawadekar, Twin Shadow’s Andy Bauer and NYMPH‘s Matty McDermot. 

Last month, I wrote about “Forget Me Not,” the New York-based act’s debut single and their forthcoming debut album’s first single. Featuring a strutting bass line, glistening wah wah pedaled funk guitar, fluttering flute and dreamy three part harmonies “Forget Me Not” is one part Patrice Rushen, one part Tom Tom Club’s “Gangster of Love,” one part ESG, one part Mary Jane Girls, centered around righteous feminist lyrics. 

Building upon a growing profile, the disco and funk outfit’s latest single is the slow-burning, sultry “Blow My Mind.” Centered around the trio’s yearning and impassioned cries, shimmering Bollywood-inspired riffage and a strutting bass line, “Blow My Mind” is a song about returning to a former flame, with who you’ve managed to hold feelings for — even after some period of years. “‘Blow My Mind’ is about a love that you can’t seem to get rid of and you can’t quite get enough of,” Say She She’s Nya Gazelle Brown explains.

Directed by Spencer Bewley, best known as Reelloopy, the accompanying video for “Blow My Mind” is fittingly mind-blowing as it’s chock full of trippy imagery. Bewley predominately works in found and self-produced 16mm film footage, which he culls, reframes and radically re-contextualizes, juxtaposing as many four projected images at a time to create reckless, riddling and yet fully synthesized visual poems. “Blowing minds is a subject very close to my heart and the fact this was a rare case of me liking the song EVEN MORE after the dozens of times during editing I had to listen to it made this an absolute joy to work on,” Bewley adds.

As I mentioned, the band’s full-length is forthcoming but in the meantime, they’ll be releasing their debut 45rpm “Forget Me Not”/”Blow My Mind” through Colemine/Karma Chief on May 20, 2022.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Genesis Owusu Shares a Frenetic New Ripper

2017’s  Cardrive EP saw Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly establishing himself as a perpetually restless, genre-blurring chameleon with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms. Cardive EP eventually garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NMEi-Dmixmag and others. Adding to a growing profile across Australia, Owusu has opened for Dead PrezCol3traneSampa The GreatCosmo’s MidnightNonameAniméRuel and others. 

Back in 2020, Owusu-Anash released a handful of highly-celebrated singles including the fiery mosh-pit friendly banger “Whip Cracker” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and here in the States on KCRWKUTXThe Current and Alt98. Those singles prominently appear on Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth.

Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. CallinanTouch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about three of Smiling With No Teeth‘s singles:

  • The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.
  • Gold Chains,” a brooding yet seamless synthesis of old school soul, G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, stuttering boom bap beats, squiggling blasts of guitar and the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist’s Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.” 
  • Same Thing,” a jolting and uneasy future funk banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, bursts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a propulsive bass line and infectious hook serving as a silky bed for Owusu’s alternating dexterous and densely worded bars and soulful crooning. But at its core is an unflinchingly honest — and necessary — view of mental health struggles. 

Owusu-Anash capped off an enormous 2021 with the Missing Molars EP, a five-track accompaniment to his critically applauded full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP material didn’t make the album — but further continue the soul-baring narrative of his debut. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explains. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Recently, Owusu-Anash made his Stateside, late night TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he performed SWNT standout single “Gold Chains” along with his backing band. 

And as you may recall, the Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay had to reschedule his January Stateside tour to March-April as a result of the Omicron variant. The rescheduled tour includes an April 2, 2022 stop at Bowery Ballroom. (As always, you can check out the tour dates below. And check out the following for tickets and more information: https://www.genesisowusu.com/tour)

in the lead up to his Stateside headlining tour, the acclaimed Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay shared Smiling With No Teeth‘s sixth and latest single, “Black Dogs!” may arguably be the most post-punk/punk rock leaning song on the entire album. Centered around a propulsive and angular bass line, a relentless and forceful four on the four, twinkling and fluttering synths, bursts of angular guitar paired with Owusu-Anash’s angry snarls, “Black Dogs!” is a mosh pit friendly stomp, fueled by simmering rage. It’s a rage that’s deeply familiar to me as a Black man frequently in era white spaces: Maybe you don’t get abused by the police at all, but the constant microagression, the backhanded compliments, the outright insults get deep into your soul. For me, it often feels like life is a series of insults, of someone always saying “you ain’t shit.”

Directed by Daniela Federici, the accompanying visual for “Black Dogs!” is split between a sumptuous and cinematic black and white and vivid color and captures Owusu-Anash’s frenetic, captivating energy.

“I really wanted to capture the tension and the rising chaos of the song in video form, and Daniela Federici knew how to bring that energy in spades, but also in a really artful way,” Owusu-Anash says in press notes. Of “Black Dogs!,” he adds, ” “It’s a straight-to-the-point song encompassing a day in the life of me, or just any Black person in Australia. It’s not that I’m getting abused by police every day, but it’s all the little micro-aggressions. Sonically speaking, it plays into how I feel every day, going into white spaces and feeling a bit paranoid.” 

Live Footage: Genesis Owusu Performs “Gold Chains” on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

2017’s  Cardrive EP saw Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly establishing himself as a perpetually restless, genre-blurring chameleon with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms. Cardive EP eventually garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NMEi-Dmixmag and others. Adding to a growing profile across Australia, Owusu has opened for Dead PrezCol3traneSampa The GreatCosmo’s MidnightNonameAniméRuel and others. 

Back in 2020, Owusu-Anash released a handful of highly-celebrated singles including the fiery mosh-pit friendly banger “Whip Cracker” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and here in the States on KCRWKUTXThe Current and Alt98. Those singles prominently appear on Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth.

Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. CallinanTouch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about three of Smiling With No Teeth‘s singles:

  • The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.
  • Gold Chains,” a brooding yet seamless synthesis of old school soul, G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, stuttering boom bap beats, squiggling blasts of guitar and the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist’s Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.” 
  • Same Thing,” a jolting and uneasy future funk banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, bursts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a propulsive bass line and infectious hook serving as a silky bed for Owusu’s alternating dexterous and densely worded bars and soulful crooning. But at its core is an unflinchingly honest — and necessary — view of mental health struggles. 

Owusu-Anash capped off an enormous 2021 with the Missing Molars EP, a five-track accompaniment to his critically applauded full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP material didn’t make the album — but further continue the soul-baring narrative of his debut. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explains. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Recently, Owusu-Anash made his Stateside, late night TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he performed SWNT standout single “Gold Chains” along with his backing band.