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

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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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QVALIA Releases “This Is The Color Of My Dreams”

QVALIA

Immediately drawn in by the name, meet QVALIA. Newcomers to the New York scene, the group formed in 2014, and have just released their debut album, This Is The Color Of My Dreams, earlier this week. My ears were certainly pleased, that’s for sure. 7-tracks fill the record, and my only regret is that there aren’t more songs…just yet at least.

Invoking a bit of CHVRCHES flare, QVALIA sure does deliver. The catchy and brilliant piece “Sound the Alarm,” kick off the record with a powerful force of synths, pianos, and ASTONISHING vocal work from singer Michael Hazani. Tracks such as  “Breach,” offer a new twist on a nostalgic 80s sound. The musicianship seems extremely smooth and appears to come naturally to the band.

“Stardust,” takes the record down with darker undertones which are wrapped in the arms of sugary harmonies and heart-wrenching vocals. “I Won’t Let Go,” brings the dance party back into full force, which is a track I have been blaring endlessly from my stereo speakers. The instrumentation is stunning on every level and it is almost hard to believe the band have only just begun.  This is the work of seasoned musicians. “The Feel of Not to Feel It,” and “White Bones” evoke the sounds of the 80s without hesitation as it recalls powerhouse synths that are prominent and unforgettable. Closing out the record is “150,” a slow and heartfelt way to end the collection of songs. Check out QVALIA’s This Is The Color Of My Dreams, as it will not disappoint.

 

Grab the album on Bandcamp HERE

Watch the album trailer HERE.

BRAIDS Make Lemonade

It takes a lot for four best friends from Alberta, Canada to convince each other to skip college and move across the country to Montreal. At only eighteen, the music geniuses BRAIDS  released a  self recorded/self produced album known as Native Speaker.

With its single “Lemonade” now debuted on Stereogum, new fans can’t wait for the LP’s release on January 18th. The critics can’t wait either, as Filter magazine described the album as “an amalgam of feminine assertion and unabashed lust.”

Illustrated as brilliant in detail and  luminous structure, none of the songs on Native Speaker ever come in under four minutes and most average about six. Such pattern has not bored listeners, but only seemed to sugarcoat the already radiant sound. Leading up to the release, the band will be playing the following shows. Catch them in your city!

***Tour Dates***

11/17 – M For Montreal  With We Are Wolves  Montreal, QC
11/18 – Cabaret Du Mile End WIth Land Of Talk   Montreal, QC
11/30 – Knitting Factory With The Radio Dept.  Brooklyn, NY
12/1 – Bowery Ballroom With The Radio Dept. New York, NY

Les Savy Fav Release New Album and Video

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Les Savy Fav: their 2007 release, Let’s Stay Friends, earned them critical buzz and highly coveted spots on many year-end lists. The Brooklyn band has picked up where they left off with critics, receiving rave reviews for their latest LP, Root For Ruin, released in September on Frenchkiss Records. Unlike the roster of guest stars included on Let’s Stay Friends, Root For Ruin finds the band working as a quintet once again. Guitarist Seth Jabour described their latest recording as revelatory, explaining that “it turns out we enjoy making love to one another more than with a group of strangers.” The raw energy and jangled guitars that Les Savy Fav are known for are still there, and on Root For Ruin you can actually hear the guys getting comfortable with their own legacy as indie rock veterans.

The lead single from Root For Ruin, “Let’s Get Out Of Here” now has an amazing video to accompany the track. Check it out below, along with a handful of tour dates to close out the year:

2010 Tour Dates
November 15 – Komedia – Brighton, UK
November 17 – Gebäude 9 – Cologne, DE
November 18 – Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE
November 19 – Trouw – Amsterdam, NL
November 20 – Nouveau – Paris, FR
November 21 – Trix – Antwerp, BE
November 22 – Electric Ballroom – London, UK
December 4 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
December 5 – Neumo’s – Seattle, WA

Bad Books Rocked Out and Sold Out at the Bowery Ballroom -CMJ

Doesn’t matter if you enjoy reading or not, Bad Books carved themselves open at the CMJ this year. We’re talking about a music side collective consisting of New York local artist  Kevin Devine and Andy Hull, the frontman of an Atlanta-based indie-rock group Manchester Orchestra.The band’s material is founded upon the close friendship between Hull and Devine. The two produce a contrast of buoyant folk-rock  while  interweaving threads of swelling alternative rock. With lyrics that are histrionically driven and dizzying spontaneity, the Bad Books won themselves a sold out show on Wednesday night at the Bowery Ballroom.

Bad Books released their self-titled album You Wouldn’t Have To Ask, on Tuesday, October 19 just a day before their New York show and will continue on touring across the nation through the month of December.

***Tour Dates***

Bad Books at  North Star Bar w/ Right Away, Great Captain!, Gobotron & Hardello, Philadelphia, PA

Sat, October 23 @ 6:00 PM

Bad Books at  Ottobar w/ Right Away, Great Captain!, Gobotron & Hardello, Baltimore, MD

Sun, October 24 @ 6:00 PM

Bad Books at  FG Present: “The Stuffing” @ The Center Stage Atlanta Music Complex, Atlanta, GA

Wed, November 24 @ 5:00 PM

Bad Books at  Andy & Kevin Devine @ Cats Cradle, Carrboro, NC

Wed, December 01 @ 8:30 PM

Bad Books at  Andy & Kevin Devine @ New Brookland Tavern, West Columbia, SC

Thu, December 02 @ 7:30 PM

Bad Books at  Andy & Kevin Devine @ The 567, Macon, GA

Fri, December 03 @ 8:30 PM

Bad Books at  Andy & Kevin Devine @ The Social, Orlando, FL

Sat, December 04 @ 8:30 PM

Bad Books at  Andy & Kevin Devine @ The Orpheum, Tampa, FL

Sun, December 05 @ 7:30 PM

-Viktorsha Uliyanova

 

 

 

“Memorial Day” by Drew Danburry


The saddest news in indie rock came this year when Drew Danburry said that he was retiring from music. While we all hope he’ll one day come back, we only wish him the best. He released his last record, Goodnight Dannii, earlier in the year to critical acclaim.

Whenever Memorial Day comes around, it makes me think of Danburry’s song by the same name. As far as I know, the only indie song about the holiday. The song is from his record This Could Mean Trouble, You Don’t Speak for the Club and quite frankily, just one listen will have you hooked for life. He’s even toured with the likes of Modern Mystery fav’s Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. It’s a must hear for any fan of good music, that’s for sure.

Here it is in all of it’s glory. “Memorial Day” by Drew Danburry.
Drew Danburry – “Memorial Day” by modernmysteryblog