lives in Brooklyn, but she takes her musical cues at least in part from her native North Carolina. Her brand of folk is straightforward at its core, but then nicely fancied up, with piano and strings allowing the intricacies and peculiarities of her massively affecting vocals to shine through. Her debut full-length, Rest Our Wings
, was released at the end of last year, and you’d never guess it came from here—which is what’s so great about it, really.
It seems like people are either loathe to talk about genre at all, or they’re obsessed with it to the point where they wind up concocting some crazy, mostly imaginary mix of styles in a way that is ultimately off-putting and meaningless. With The Immaculates
, though, it’s simple: they set out to play soul music, and so now they play soul music. Employing only bass, drums and vocals, they wind up with a necessarily stripped-down sound that their considerable technical proficiency alone wouldn’t be able to sustain for long without the boundless energy of singer Jay Heiselmann.
It’s not often we get to write about bands from Queens (it’s one of the five boroughs, you know… the one where the Mets play), but Island Twins
are giving us more than enough reason to start. They play a fuzzy, blaring type of power-pop that sounds like what happens when pop-punk kids hear Pavement for the first time. It’s scrappy, unpredictable and distinctly youthful in a way that makes you wonder what they’ll do next.
Facebook page describes the trio’s music as “happy rock,” which, listening now, seems right on the mark. They recall all the college-rock bands of the late 90s that are typically referenced whenever anyone plays upbeat, fast paced and with reckless energy, particularly towards those more earnest than ironic. There are prickly Vampire Weekend-like guitar runs and sincere drum bashing. Let’s call them a noisier version of The Promise Ring.
The first 50 seconds of Hunters
’ Nick Zinner-mixed EP, Hands on Fire
, is not a complicated 50 seconds. Just a drum thwack on repeat and a blown-out bassline to match the side-by-side shrieks of singers Isabel Ibsen and Derek Watson. But it throbs and churns and collides head-on, relying on heavy post-punk tactics to raise your blood pressure and remind us of how cathartic it is to see a band err on the side of aggression rather than politeness.
The self-directed video for the song “Don’t Need It Anyway” puts an unexpected, endearing twist on Coleman Guyon’s music (don’t want to ruin the surprise, but it involves a piece of fried chicken). As the newly minted Brooklynite (via Lexington, Kentucky) operating under the name Trailblazer
, his songs smash krautrock influences against a wall of distorted, whirring drum machines, appealing to serious-minded noise enthusiasts (fans of Weekend and The Soft Moon, take note)… while sneakily keeping it playful and melodic.
Field Mouse | Ski Lodge | Daytona | Evi Antonio
Black Marble | Starlight Girls | Plates of Cake | Ravens & Chimes