EL VY Proves to Be More Than Just a Side Project, with Debut Release, “Return to the Moon”

el vy

The much buzzed about EL VY creates an inspiring album, Return to the Moon, out now via 4AD. Consisting mainly of Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls/Menomena, what the duo creates is something honest, heartfelt, and truly unique.

Like when all high profiled musicians break off from their main band, there seems to be a bit of a back and forth skeptical reaction that travels throughout the internet. I believe it was in Pitchfork that I had read a blurb stating that Berninger and Knopf were “incompatible” as musicians. To be honest, yes, they kind of are incompatible as musicians; but on the bright side, that is exactly what makes this combination work well.

The first two singles shined light on the blending of two parties; first with “Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)” and the follow up “I’m the Man to Be.” The first singles were definitely a departure from Berninger’s deep and heavy sounds of The National, but it allowed us to see a more upbeat version of what he has to offer. Knopf on the other hand, brings a stunning element of instrumentation to the table that sometimes provides a lively vibe, and other times, a haunting and unusual sound. The mixture of these elements seem to work completely, as they weave throughout each track of the record.

The biggest misconception that a listener can have going into this, is that it’s going to sound like a “National” record. It’s not. Then Berninger would just be working on National songs right now (Right? Right.). What would be the point? The voice is there, but the content isn’t always as heavy. You’re going to dance, you’re still going to get depressed as hell, and you are going to love every moment of it.

Releasing a series of lyric videos directed by the multi-talented Tom Berninger, it provides multiple songs with an intimate look to capture your attention even more. Tracks such as “Happiness Missouri” bring a haunting, yet determined sound into play, while harmonies fill the album in pieces such as “Silent Ivy Hotel,” or the chilling musicianship of “Paul is Alive.” Songs such as “No Time to Crank the Sun,” offers up Matt’s signature delicate crooning, as “Need a Friend,” shares a more vibrant sound, that brings Knopf’s intricate brand of musicianship to the table. Together they create a truly special musical experience within Return to the Moon.

Each piece on the record is strong enough to stand on their own, which is perhaps why the group decided to release a track one at a time leading into the record. Return to the Moon is perhaps the finest record of 2015; mark my word.

EL VY is currently on tour, recently kicking off their Eastern U.S. dates, with two stops in New York. Friday at Bowery Ballroom, and Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. See you there kids.

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Space Travel with Cosmonauts

Time warps are possible and space travel is real.  That is only if you got to see Saturday night’s performance of a California-based quarter, Cosmonauts. As one of the five openers for the Growlers’ Caravan of Stars tour, sponsored by Burger Records, the band unplugged the audience from their physical plane and inculcated Bowery Ballroom under a tide of distorted drone flood, and psychedelic haze. It is evident to note that with their cosmic-inspired name, and palpitating energy,  the group heavily filters 90s psychedelic drug-rock pioneers, Spacemen 3. The band reconfigures repetition and utilizes sound monotony that bring the listener and the performer onto the same wavelength. Throughout their deliverance of convoluted layers of guitar and noise riffs, Cosmonauts step away from the logical and transcend into a new dimension of space rock.

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Catch these guys before they float away!

10.8 @ TERMINAL WEST, ATLANTA, GA

10.9 @ MERCY LOUNGE, NASHVILLE, TN

10.10 @ Lamar Lounge, Oxford, MS

10.11 @ FITZGERALD’S, HOUSTON, TX

10.12 @ THE PARISH, AUSTIN, TX

10.13 @ The Karova, San Antonio, TX

10.14 @ The Monarch, El Paso, TX

10.15 @ Club Congress, Tucson, AZ

10.16 @ Black Cat Bar, San Diego, CA

Royal Baths Drown Bowery Ballroom

Opening up for a sold out show with eruptive headliners  like the Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles sets out towering expectations on a Friday night at Bowery Ballroom. One of the opening acts, a recently migrated San Francisco quartet Royal Baths hyped the energy with their multi-layered screeching guitar rips and liquidating phased vocals, building a brooding wave of ear-candy distortion. A brainchild of shoe-gazing  low-pitched drum progressions and scorching melodic ranges, Royal Baths are a change of taste in the New York horizon.

 

Viktorsha Uliyanova

Catch CASEY SHEA with TALLY HALL & APRIL SMITH and the GREAT PICTURE SHOW, FRIDAY NIGHT @ Bowery Ballroom


One of our brand new favorites, Casey Shea, is heading to the Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night, Friday, August 19th. What is to be one hell-of-a-show, Shea will be performing on the line up with Tally Hall and April Smith and the Great Picture Show.

A little bit of southern charm, the New York by way of New Orleans singer-songwriter is set to release his third record, In Your Head, on Family Records, October 11th.

Influenced by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, BEck, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, you know Shea has a good musical head on his shoulders.

Being no stranger to the music world, Shea has been a member of several bands, pop, rock and soul alike, bringing his sound on the road.

Download an MP3 of “Chelsea” HERE

http://caseysheamusic.com/

PICTURES: Sloan @ the Bowery Ballroom, June 29th, 2011


Our favorite indie rockers, Sloan, did double duty in New York a few week ago and we were there to catch all of the action at their Bowery Ballroom show. Check out the photos below and stay tuned for an exclusive Modern Mystery interview with Jay Ferguson!

Check out MORE PHOTOS HERE and HERE!

#Winning Sundays! : Company of Thieves & The Gift in NYC!


Sundays are for winning, right? Yea, we thought so. Modern Mystery is giving away some free show tickets for your listening pleasure. If you are in the New York City area (or are willing to travel to it), check out the TWO CONTESTS that we have in store for you. To enter, just send an e-mail to ModernMysteryBlog@yahoo.com with your name and phone number. Please put in the title the contest you would like to be submitted for. This will end on June 9th, Thursday.

The winner will recieve two tickets to the show of their choice.

So….here is what we are bringing to the plate.

Company of Thieves at the Bowery Ballroom – June 13th
(they have toured with OK Go and the Hold Steady)

or

The Gift with Xylos at the Bowery Ballroom – June 14th
(Portuguese psych-pop group is making a rare U.S. appearance)