Tag Archives: Mercury Lounge

Obsessed: VHS Collection

NYC-based VHS Collection shares their new track “Fire“. The track, recorded in London with Chris Zane (Passion Pit, St. Lucia), is from their forthcoming debut LP, more details to be announced soon. “We all have a devil on one shoulder and ‘Fire’ is dedicated to him,” explains the band’s Conor Cook, “The song celebrates our evil ways. It sonically blends synths and guitars in a way that is both nostalgic and modern. The groove of this tune is one that you don’t typically hear these days, which sets his track apart.” The band’s James Bohannon explains that “’Fire’ paints a descriptive vision of rebellion, religious confines, and pent up desire. It’s a seedy jam that has elements of classic southern rock, evolved into our signature synth/guitar soundscape.”

VHS Collection is a rock band from New York City that has gained a reputation for high energy live performances and a unique blend of rock, electronic, and disco influences.

VHS Collection’s songs have been streamed over 20 million times on Spotify and the band has seen festival performances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bunbury Festival, and Okeechobee Festival in the last year.  VHS also sold out a headline show at Bowery Ballroom in February and Music Hall of Williamsburg in June, in addition to sold out club dates throughout the mid-west and throughout the west coast.  The band has released two EP’s to date and will release its first full-length record late this fall.

“Lean” the single off the band’s first EP hit #8 on the Spotify Viral Charts last January.  “Waiting on the Summer” the single off of the band’s 2nd EP Stereo Hype hit #14 on the Spotify Viral Charts and has been streamed over 12mm times to date.  The “Waiting on the Summer Dave Edwards Remix” was also #1 on Hype Machine in April.

VHS Collection got their start in the winter of 2014 but the three members, James Bohannon, Conor Cook, and Nils Vanderlip have been playing music in one form or another together since they were kids.  Conor and James grew up across the street from each other in NYC and attended the same grade school where they began jamming on acoustic guitars; Nils and James met in high school, where they started their first band together and recorded an album.

Years later, with all three members back in NYC, VHS pulled together a collection of electronic rock-influenced bedroom recordings and posted them on Soundcloud.  Encouraged by the volume of hits the tracks received, VHS began performing a live set at friends’ parties and around NYC’s small clubs.  2015 saw multiple sold out nights for VHS at the Lower East Side’s indie-rock launching pad, the Mercury Lounge.

2016 saw the band’s first major festival performances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, in addition to sold out club dates on both coasts in addition support dates with Bloc Party and Powers.

VHS has remained independent and is self-managed. They are able to reach a growing audience via Spotify and other social media outlets without a label and have also built a live following by word of mouth.  The band sold out Bowery Ballroom and NYC’s 700 cap Music Hall of Williamsburg in the last 6 months and also played several major West Coast headline dates, including LA’s famous Troubadour.

VHS has created a writing process which is unique and serves them well.  It starts primarily with each member individually writing and producing dozens of bits and pieces of songs on their laptops.  The band spends months working on these initial song ideas virtually, sending each other files and collaborating via Dropbox.  Every few months, the band heads to a cabin in upstate New York where they lock themselves in for 7 days at a time to complete the songs during intense writing sessions.  During these sessions, the three members collaborate on every element of the song, with each member playing various instruments on the tracks.  The band then weeds out the best of these home produced tracks to bring into the studio.  For their upcoming record, VHS is working with producer Chris Zane who has also produced albums for Passion Pit, St. Lucia, and Friendly Fires.

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Album Stream: High Waisted – On Ludlow

High Waisted

“Each of these 12 tracks is a party unto itself, complete with scuzzy bass, bright vocal harmonies, and enough reverb to fill a decently sized punch bowl.” Consequence of Sound

“The band’s mastery of 50s era vocals and classic surf guitar will have you dancing in your chair while considering buying tickets to Hawaii.”Noisey

[Lead singer Jessica Louise] Dye sings with an easiness that disguises how technically demanding the parts are. Translation: girl can sing, and she does.”Brooklyn Vegan

“Somehow, they’ve managed to balance organic, unfiltered energy with the finesse necessary to craft lush and dreamy soundscapes that make you want to both chill and get up to dance and freak out – which is quite a feat.”Alt Citizen

In advance of the March 4 release of their debut LP, NYC’s High Waisted is now streaming On Ludlow in full on Consequence of Sound. After paying their dues and building up a bad-ass reputation in the Lower East Side, the band is ready to release their sunny surf-pop to the rest of the world. In the midst of a dreary winter, Jessica Louise Dye and her band of long-haired hunks bring back the feel-good, warm summer vibes the city so desperately needs.

After the nonstop Winter Whatever tour (shot by the band for Impose), a trip to the Daytrotter studios, summertime shows on boats, and fundraiser “baked” sales, High Waisted is definitely due for a full album. On Ludlow will be self-released on March 4 with a hometown Lower East Side release show on March 3 at Mercury Lounge. The band will also be playing multiple showcases at this year’s SXSW.

High Waisted thrives on letting the city that never sleeps join in as another member of the band, holding just as much influence as any of the members and serving as the perfect backdrop to the endless summer nights spent on rooftops, the crushes gone wrong, and the friendships and memories that make it all right again. On Ludlow is Jessica Louise Dye’s narrative of love and life in the Lower East Side filtered through a lens of reverb and sunshine.

Album Stream: High Waisted – On Ludlow

Catch High Waisted Live:
March 3 – New York City – Mercury Lounge
March 14-20 – Austin, TX – SXSW

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Check ‘Em Out: The Point

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“…the kind of chilled-out indie pop that makes you open your eyes a little wider, O’Neill’s meandering vocals anchored by an 80s-inflected beat” BlackBook 

Brooklyn-based synth pop duo The Point share second single “Procrastination” from their forthcoming follow-up EP South Second due out August 12th. The new EP includes previously released track  “Fuck Money” as well as a cover of beloved Big Star classic “Thirteen”. The Point is the newly formed project of couple Michael O’Neill (JD Samson & MEN, Ladybug Transistor) and Sammy Tunis (formerly of The Lisps) who have translated their personal relationship – past, present and future –  into one of eclectic artistic collaboration. O’Neill says of the new track :

As a perfectionist, I constantly feel like I should be working or doing something “productive”.  But being so hard on myself is so overwhelming, it often leads to doing nothing at all.  In turn, I have felt creatively stifled, wasting countless hours feeling insecure, anti-social and bored.

One day, I went on a walk with no intended destination. Instead of staying home and staring blankly into a computer, i got up and suddenly left, walking around aimlessly for about 2 hours. In that time, I had a simple purpose – to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy myself and my surroundings.  I came home from that walk and immediately wrote this song.

The new collection of tracks follows the late spring release of their debut Somes Sound EP which explored electronic folk soundscapes and lilting narratives about failed relationships.

The Point was formed in the summer of 2013 when O’Neill and Tunis left New York City and temporarily moved to Maine, where a collection of ethereal songs emerged from the intimacy and isolation of city exile. They spent September on Mt. Desert Island, where they stayed in a friend’s home and recorded a demo in a barn over-looking the ocean.

The first of a series of three EPs, Somes Sound (named for a body of water on Mt. Desert Island) is, in Tunis’ words, “break-up songs we probably should have written years ago.” With a nostalgic and haunting 80s feel, these songs speak to a forgotten need for closure and a reckoning with the past, and they set the stage for the next two EPs, which deal with the present and future.

For those in the New York area The Point plays August 21st @ Mercury Lounge w/ Midnight Masses

thepoint

Listen: The Point – “Procrastination”

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Strange Talk – “Cast Away”

Melbourne’s four-piece Strange Talk return to the fray with a new single, “Cast Away”, the first offering from their debut album due out in early 2013.

A laid-back cavalcade of synth washes, toms, layered vocals and organic instrumentation, “Cast Away” perfectly showcases Strange Talk’s ambitions to bring together futuristic soundscapes with hook-laden direct songs.

Key songwriters and producers, Steve Docker and Gerard Sidhu’s influences (the pomp and clout of Queen, the dream haze of M83) are as diverse as their backgrounds (Steve a classical violinist, Gerard a club DJ).

Strange Talk have already commanded airwaves and online with their previous singles “Climbing Walls”, “Eskimo Boy” and “Sexual Lifestyle”. They’ve followed this up with key performances at the likes of Falls Festival, Parklife and supports slots for the likes of Kele, Marina & The Diamonds, Foster The People, The Rapture, and Art Vs. Science.

STRANGE TALK USA DATES:
THU 10/11 – SAN FRANCISCO @ RICKSHAW STOP w/ Violens (tix Rickshaw Stop)
FRI 10/12 – LOS ANGELES @ ECHO w/ wildcat! wildcat! (tix Echo)
WED 10/17 – NEW YORK @ Mercury Lounge (CMJ) (tix Mercury Lounge)
THU 10/18 NEW YORK @ TBD (CMJ)
FRI 10/19 – NEW YORK @ Terminal 5 w/ The Presets (CMJ) (tix Terminal 5)
SAT 10/20 NEW YORK @ TBD (CMJ)

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New Download: Spirit Animal – “Crocodile Skins”

“Hey! You! Over there!”

New York City’s psychedelic rock beast Spirit Animal has announced plans for their next full-length album, Spiritia Animalia, which will see a release later this year. Today, the band is sharing the first single, “Crocodile Skins,” which is available as a free download through the band’s soundcloud page, along with an album teaser video featuring studio footage of the band at work on Spiritia Animalia. Onstage, Spirit Animal is at once manic and precise, with a non-stop show full of big solos, tight grooves, wild sing-along moments and sweat-drenched performances. Check out this recent live footage from Mercury Lounge for an idea of what their live show is like! With mixing underway on their follow-up full length, Spiritia Animalia is poised to deliver the back-breaking rock and shit-kicking funk missing from the modern music landscape. The band, led by Steve Cooper, has already drawn comparisons to LCD Soundsystem and Animal Collective for their blend of irresistible hooks and riffs, complimented by the bands’ tight rhythm section. Add in a healthy dose of frontman freakout, and you have Spirit Animal.

In 2010, the band released their debut LP, The Cost of Living, a unique and powerful blend of rock, psychedelia and dance. The album garnered broad radio play and earned them placements on ABC’s “Happy Endings” and FOX’s “New Girl.” The band recently released a 7-inch for “I’m Around” on Mecca Lecca Recording Co. The video was also used in an HBO “How to Make It In America” promo.

Download: Spirit Animal – “Crocodile Skins”

Upcoming US Tour Dates

  • 2/27 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat
  • 3/09 – New York, NY – Fountain Arts show @ 69th Infantry Armory
  • 3/14 – Fort Worth, TX – Where House
  • 3/15-18 – Austin, TX – SXSW
  • 5/17 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery

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New Music: AVAN LAVA

The new AVAN LAVA EP Flex Fantasy shows the band in a more high-energy and dance light in contrast to the shoe-gaze chillwave style of their 2010 debut EP Vapors. The self-released six-song EP, mastered by Tom Coyne at Sterling, with the first single “It’s Never Over” and highlights “Slow Motion”and “Feels Good” will be available on February 21st. After a sold out Mercury Lounge show, AVAN LAVA added more shows quickly, with 2/11 at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn and 2/25 at Mercury Lounge to preview their EP and before traveling down to Austin for their first ever SXSW Festival in March. Their show has been described as “a trippy MTV Europe Music Awards performance” with energetic sing-along pop tracks and slow R&B-Prince swooners, all while the band’s moves are choreographed by TC and Vanessa Walters (Fischerspooner).

AVAN LAVA have worked as producers, composers and mixers for recorded works and live performances with bands such as Cold Cave, Fischerspooner, CSS, Frankie Rose, SSION, Lemonade, Lia Ices and the prestigious The New York Philharmonic, and have created remixes for R.E.M., Passion Pit and New Villager among others. The band began as a conversation between producers/musicians Le Chev and Ian Pai during an overnight bus ride after performing at the Sao Paulo Bienal with Fischerspooner, a band with which both still work and perform.  That night in the fall of 2008, en route to Rio de Janeiro, Le Chev and Ian shared their love of Prince, Daft Punk, electronic beats, R & B, and indie music and contemplated how those things could all be melded into one sound, one band.  A few months later, back in New York, while at a reading of “The Last Goodbye”, a musical adaptation of Romeo & Juliet set to the music of Jeff Buckley, they discovered vocalist TC.  They knew that they had found the perfect vocalist for their new band the moment he sung the first words of “Corpus Christi Carol.”

AVAN LAVA is singer TC and producers/musicians Le Chev and Ian Pai. Their live performances are with the help of musicians, vocalists and technicians Andrew Schneider (The Wooster Group), Drew Citron and Jo Lampert.

It was like if Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and the Spice Girls all came together and decided to have a sing/dance off.”Charged.fm

Listen/Download: AVAN LAVA – “It’s Never Over”

AVAN LAVA – Flex Fantasy EP track listing

01.  Tear it Down

02.  It’s Never Over

03.  Pure As Love

04.  Slow Motion

05.  Sisters

06.  Feels Good

Click here to listen to the Flex Fantasy EP Minimix

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Newest Love: Caveman

Gino DePinto, AOL

Caveman is pleased to announce the digital release of their debut album CoCo Beware on September 13th, followed by the physical CD and vinyl release on November 15th. Exploding out of the New York scene over the last few months, the band has decided to get this “hot off the presses” album out as soon as possible via a digital self-release. The fans wanted it, so the fans get it — a straight-ahead ethos for a band that’s about the music FIRST.

In honor of the New York five-piece’s first release, the band has made “Old Friend” available as a free download, premiering the track with Fader Magazine this morning. Recorded and produced by Nick Stumpf (French Kicks), CoCo Beware showcases the dreamy chamber pop and multi-part harmonies that have been turning heads at the band’s live shows for the better part of a year. Leading up to the release of their debut, Caveman will also be heading out on tour with The War On Drugs, hitting the east coast, midwest and Canada before returning to New York to celebrate their album release at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday, September 15th.

Listen/download: Caveman – “Old Friend”

For Caveman, the last year and half have been a whirlwind. Formed in New York back in January of 2010, the band has gone from relative unknowns to opening for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic, Cursive, Wye Oak and Yuck in a little under a year. Listening to CoCo Beware, it’s easy to see why the band has garnered so much attention in such a short period of time. Caveman’s lush four-part harmonies, spaced-out guitars, and inventive percussion come together perfectly on the tracks “Easy Water” and “My Room.”

To get a further taste of the album, watch the quintet perform their tracks “Vampirer/Old Friend” at the Fader Fort HERE. Also, in a more public setting, Caveman run through “Decide” on FADER.tv HERE. And you can see a live version of “Easy Water” on IFC HERE.

Upcoming Caveman dates:
* w/ The War On Drugs
08/06 – Montauk, NY @ The Surf Lodge
08/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *
08/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Cameo *
08/21 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
08/22 – Burlington, VT @ Monkey Bar
08/23 – Montreal, CAN @ Casa del Popolo *
08/24 – Toronto, CAN @ Drake Hotel *
08/25 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig *
08/26 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern *
08/27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Club Garibaldi *
08/28 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
08/30 – St. Louis, MO @ The Biliken Club *
08/31 – Lexington-Fayette, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s *
09/01 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe *
09/02 – Washington, DC @ The Red Place *
09/15 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (Album Release)

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