Caveman

Caveman-a five-man vibe collective from NYC-released their first album in 2011. As first albums go, CoCo Beware was something akin to a moody statement of intent, a blueprint for a band quickly learning how to create horizon-wide rock songs that were equal parts intimate and expansive. Initially self-released and later snatched up by Fat Possum for re-release in early 2012, the record brims over with four-part harmonies, crystalline guitar lines, and tracks that see-sawed between echoey lullaby ("A Country's King of Dreams") to shoegaze-by-way-of classic-FM-radio sprawl ("Old Friend"). The album quickly elevated Caveman from local band to watch to a sizable touring draw and formidable live act, as evidenced by stints on the road with the likes of The War on Drugs and Built to Spill. Despite being the work of a brand new band, CoCo Beware displayed a kind of Zen-like ease. It was the sound a five friends settling into a nice groove; the music that happens when, for whatever reason, a lot of seemingly disparate elements finally fall into place.
On their self-titled sophomore album Caveman stretch their legs in a number of different, albeit cohesive, directions. While the dreaded second album experience tends to be fraught for many bands, in the case of Caveman it proved to be the opposite. Having ridden a fast-growing wave of support for CoCo Beware-which, after two years of touring, ultimately culminated in a series of big hometown NYC shows-recording a follow up proved to be a genuine good time for the band.
"We all went up to Jimmy's grandmother's place in New Hampshire," says singer Matthew Iwanusa. "That's where the new record kind of started. It was literally the attic of her barn, lit up by Christmas lights. We'd all sit in this one room together and one by one we'd all go into the bathroom and record ourselves making the most psycho noises possible. It actually felt kind of like a weird breakthrough. We were all confident and comfortable enough with each other to try out these experiments, which extended itself into the making of the new record...which is really just an evolution of this vibe that we'd been cultivating for long time."
With that, the guys holed up in Brooklyn's Rumpus Room to start recording in earnest with Nick Stumpf (who produced the band's debut album) and Albert Di Fiore behind the controls. They routinely turned out all the lights in the studio and "vibed out the space" while recording, which makes sense given the warm, big room feeling that saturates the record. The album is a kind of sonic microcosm-a series of emotional yet tough mini-narratives operating within the same quixotic musical universe.
It's fair to say that the songs on Caveman benefited from a solid year of touring on the band's part. "We really learned how to play together," says keyboardist Sam Hopkins, "the shorter songs from the first record got longer and longer when we played them live. We learned how to stretch ourselves in different ways." As a result, the guitars on Caveman are bigger and more expansive, the rhythm section is tighter and more adventurous, the keyboards more opaque and pronounced. Like a marriage between Tangerine Dream, late period Slowdive, and Lindsey Buckingham, tracks like their new single "In the City" and "Ankles" boast synth lines that sound simultaneously retro and futuristic, while "Pricey" and "Never Want to Know" overflow with guitar sounds that could have miraculously floated off an old Cure album. (It should be noted that James Carbonetti, the band's primary guitar player, also happens to be one of the most highly regarded guitar makers in New York City.) And while Caveman's music could certainly operate on the level of dreamy soundscape and still be excellent, the depth of feeling in front man Matthew Iwanusa's lyrics helps weave the songs deeply into your memory. As is the case with many a band on the rise, the price of popularity often comes at the surprise expense of everyone's own personal life; a topic that fuels many of the record's best tracks. When Iwanusa sings Where's the time to waste on someone else's life? on "Where's the Time" it's hard not to read between the lines. Wonder and regret seem to fuel the record in almost equal measure.
"We all got so close since the making of the last record," explains Carbonetti, "Eventually it was like all of our lives were kind of blending together and several of us found ourselves going through the same kinds of struggles in our personal lives. We also realized that we all kind of loved each other-that we'd passed the friend test-and that we all just wanted to hang out together all the time, basically. All of those feelings eventually bled into the record we ended up making."
The words "dreamy" and "cinematic" and "vibe" might be some of the most lazily overused descriptors in the music-writers lexicon, but it's hard to think of another contemporary band that so completely embraces those terms as both an adjective for what they do and as a goal for the art they are trying to make. "A lot people don't relate to the idea of cinematic music-something that sounds like a film soundtrack-but I love that notion," says Iwanusa. "I love music that conjures a mood, sets a tone, and inspires a certain kind of visual. I hope people can get that from this record: a sound that accompanies this big ship flying through the trees, this big, crazy light that just fills up the sky."

Empress Of

Songs and Sounds by Lorely Rodriguez.

French Horn Rebellion

As 2009 drew to a close, for Robert and David Perlick-Molinari (aka French Horn Rebellion), two brothers born and bred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the world was a very different place to the one that started it. Since the release of their debut single "Up All Night", FHR have been swept along by a flurry of accolades from radio, press and bloggers alike, including a Record of the Week from BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw and the coveted Single of the Week slot in French music bible Les Inrockuptibles, who described the band's sound as the "euphoric soundtrack to 2010".

Now back in their current residence of Brooklyn, NY, after a whistle stop trip to Europe for a series of madcap shows and radio interviews, FHR are already planning a speedy return with "Beaches & Friends", their new EP (with a difference) and recent Hype Machine No.1 slated for a March 1st release. And with the brothers currently cooped up in their studio lairs concocting some brand new musical potions for their forthcoming debut album, all bodes rather well for 2010.

"Up All Night", released on new UK indie Once Upon A Time Records, also received radio plays from the likes of Kissy Sellout, Alex Metric, new boys Jaymo & Andy George and Zane Lowe on Radio 1 and from XFM tastemakers Eddie Temple Morris and John Kennedy. Mixmag made it Electro Tune of the Month, Artrocker gave it 5 stars for its "sparkling synths and vocal bridges of epic scale" and to top things off French label Kitsuné chose it for the highly prestigious opening slot on their latest Kitsuné Maison 8 Compilation. FHR also found themselves fans outside music circles, most notably in Graham Linehan, comedy writer (IT Crowd, The Fast Show) and member of Twitter's royalty, who tweets about the band at every opportunity.

New single "Beaches & Friends" co-written with Brazilian duo Database, friends and recent touring mates of FHR, is not quite what you would expect though. Robert explains: "The coolest thing about 'Beaches & Friends' is that the original track doesn't actually exist. It was the result of a big collaboration between us and a bunch of our friends. We and Database came up with the vocal hooks and synth lines, and from there all the different versions were created. The French Horn Rebellion NYC version, Database's Club Edit, the Twelves' Radio and Remix versions, and finally the Hey Champ Remix. Every track is a variation on a theme, a similar idea to Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations." In fact the Beaches & Friends EP is kind of a modern-day Enigma Variations." For David: "it's a story about the search for your muse."

The media response to Beaches & Friends has even eclipsed that of "Up All Night" with continued radio support from Radio 1 including DJ's Annie Mac, Nick Grimshaw, Jaymo & Andy George and new queen of daytime Radio 1 Fearne Cotton giving the single heavy spins. Tips for 2010 in Time Out London, influential dance magazines DJ and Mixmag and The Guardian, an NME Radar feature and another Single of the Week in Les Inrockuptibles continues the press support. And on the live front a UK tour, a prestigious support to Hot Chip in New York, an appearance at Paris Fashion Week, a busy schedule at SXSW and a European tour in May including dates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with Sebastian, will ensure the buzz continues to build well into 2010. The Oxegen, Relentless Boardmasters and Bestival festivals are confirmed with more in the pipeline.

2007 feels like a long time ago now, when younger brother Robert, an accomplished French horn player, found himself as principal horn chair of the prestigious Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra. Standing at a crossroads, and fundamentally frustrated by the demands of mastering such an instrument (that he knew would never allow him to fully express himself), he finally asked his brother David to rebel with him, and together they embarked on a life-long creative journey. That journey is well under way.

Joywave is a Rochester, NY indie pop band. The band released its first track "Golden State" on January 4th, 2011 via its website, and followed up with their 77777 Mixtape in March 2011. The collection is a complex arrangement of original works, covers, and sample based songs featuring various stems combined with Daniel Armbruster's vocals.

In August 2011, Joywave released a limited edition, double a-side 7" vinyl through blog-turned label Tympanogram, featuring "Traveling At The Speed Of Light" from their 77777 Mixtape alongside "Ridge".

Joywave released its debut EP, Koda Vista on March 27th, 2012. The 7 song release deals with the influence of environmental factors on personal experience, painting a picture of predestination born long before each of the band members.

On January 2, 2013, the band released its first ever concert film, "Joywave // Live at the Planetarium", filmed at a a sold out EP release show at the Strasenburgh Planetarium (Rochester), marking its first musical performance in over 20 years. The band gears up for its first ever appearances at SXSW 2013.

A lot has been said about time spent in the woods in solitude. From classic Thoreau literature, to music from the Big Pink, or Bon Iver, all examine shutting out the world, losing, and perhaps finding yourself. In the fall of 2010, Hockey left behind the flowering fields of Oregon for the tiny town of Hillsdale, New York. The band toured almost non-stop in support of their debut album "Mind Chaos" (2009) and the desolate forests of upstate New York seemed an appropriate place to get away and work on developing new material.

Hockey started as a duo (Ben Keys, Jerm Bass) at The Johnston College in Redlands, California in 2002. After stints in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Spokane, the band eventually landed in Portland, OR. In the summer of 2008 they embarked on a quixotic tour of the West in a converted van running on vegetable oil. Despite serious car trouble, the tour was a success. On the road, the band caught the attention of influential BBC radio host, Zane Lowe. After a few spins and a spot as "Reaction Record of the Week" for song 'Song Away', the band signed to Capitol/Virgin/EMI and things began to soar. Over the next two years, the group toured worldwide, focusing heavily on their large influence in the UK. After appearances on 'Later with Jools Holland', 'Live from Abbey Road Studios', and 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon', Hockey booked gigs with Friendly Fires, Passion Pit and Phoenix, as well as headline tours in the US, UK, Europe and Japan. Festival spots for 2009 and 2010 included: Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Islie of White, Peace and Love, Hove, Eurocannes, Laneway, Bonaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza. In Aug 2010, following the many tours and the subsequent breakup of their live band, Ben and Jerm decided to head east and start work on their next record.

Arriving upstate, the band set out on what was ostensibly a short time in the woods, to get away, write, and think. The result was twenty two months of creating and recording what eventually became the band's sophomore effort, "Wyeth IS". Using vintage keyboards and drum machines made famous by 80's hip hop, as well as a "half time" technique which resulted in a deeper, more lush sound, the band began to re-imagine themselves, to evolve, and mature. Under considerable pressure from Label and Management about "hits" (a la Song Away) the duo eventually parted ways with both, freeing them to follow a new path. During this time the band almost changed their name. But they ultimately stuck with Hockey, while Ben replaced his last name, Grubin, with his middle name Wyeth.

After months of breakthroughs and defeats, Ben and Jerm whittled the work down fromover fifty demos to a final eleven songs. From the broad, universal perspective of "Wild Style" to the self reflective triumph of "Thought I was Changing", Hockey created an album about change, resilience and authenticity. This is the record they found in the woods, after they took the time to look...

Little Daylight

What's in a name? There's little daylight at the start of a day, but equally so as it turns to night. Brooklyn's Little Daylight has incorporated this dichotomy into every element of their sound. Their penchant for contrast leaves room for percussion big and small, vocals at once intimate and soaring, gravelly guitars tempered by shimmery synths and whispering pads. From the pounding drums of "Overdose" that provide the foundation for frontwoman Nikki's sensuous lilt, to the stormy night drive of "Name In Lights," theirs is a world of lush pop where the song reigns supreme.

A three-headed hydra at work, Little Daylight fired the first shot in 2012, priming the world for their pop aesthetic through a series of official remixes for the likes of Passion Pit, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Freelance Whales. A fully collaborative effort, the re-works paved the way for their own originals to do the heavy lifting, as the band slowly unveiled their full artistic vision as both producers and songwriters.

The band started in the summer of 2012 when Little Daylight's Nikki, Matt, and Eric spent a month at an upstate lake house, sketching the ideas that would become their first singles. Since then, they have stayed true to their DIY approach, even creating the video for their first single "Overdose" themselves. A few days after Hurricane Sandy, Little Daylight took to the street with a team of friends armed with cameras. While Con Edison attempted to restore power, the band raced against the clock, shooting in darkened neighborhoods as Nikki danced in the shadows without a plan or pretence. The result was a clip that captured an infectious, after-hours joie de vivre and further communicated the band's singular perspective.

Little Daylight plans to maintain their hands-on approach, even as their music begins to reach a larger audience, thanks in part to tours with pop luminaries such as Charli XCX and Marina and the Diamonds. Rather than transition from their home recording spaces to a more lavish studio setting, they've opted to recreate the intimacy of the lake house. They'll spend the summer holed up in a Brooklyn carriage house where they'll be recording their debut full-length -- ready to emerge in fall of 2013 with another round of releases.

TV Girl is Trung Ngo and Brad Petering, friends who spent many Southern California summers together absorbing pop music and forming a succession of bands that tried to sound like the Beatles.

TV Girl was formed with the intention of combining the duo's love of girl-group pop with a budding interest in hip-hop. They released a self-titled EP in September 2010 which was immediately given a high profile boost when their song "If You Want It" was featured on taste-making blog Pitchfork. The EP subsequently spread throughout the blogosphere and was written about by big name publications like The Guardian, The Atlantic, and NPR, who praised the group's knack for re-appropriating pop history through knowing lyrical allusions and carefully chosen samples.

After another well-received EP, they released a full length Mixtape with the help of hip-hop Label Greedhead, run by Himanshu Suri of Das Racist.

2013 promises another EP and a debut LP of their post-modern pop.

Belle Mare

Featuring london native Amelia Bushell and Thomas Servidone, Belle Mare is a twist of old-time chanteuse, adorned with glinted pianos, and spacious textures. Always catchy yet never trite, the music moves like honey and sounds as sweet.
The band is based in Brooklyn, New York.

HIGHS is a pop band. Formed in Toronto in late 2012, the band had its beginnings with a trio of bedroom demos created by guitarist Doug Haynes. These demos, with their driving afro-beat rhythms, guitar hooks and layered harmonies, provided the initial musical foundation for the band when it expanded into a five-piece. The demo tracks were put out online, garnering recognition from a variety of international critics and providing the band with a foothold to play a significant number of shows including prominent Canadian festivals like NXNE and Canadian Music Week. These formative songs would have their sound developed and diversified when HIGHS was fully formed with keyboardist Karrie Douglas, drummer Kevin Ledlow and guitarist Joel Harrower.


In July of 2013, HIGHS released their “monstrously upbeat” debut, self-titled EP. The 5-track EP was recorded over six months at Verge Music Lab with Steve Major, who acted as both engineer and co-producer for the album. Influenced by time spent in Tanzania, the EP is a collection of songs that reflect on growing up, the concept of home, and spirituality. The live performance of these tracks, and many others that the band has yet to record, aim to distill some of the fun and energy that the band is experiencing into the audience. Performed with up to four vocalists on a given track, HIGHS’ show is said to be tight and calculated while remaining true to the whimsical nature of the songs.

With her 3-piece band, New York based Wilsen blends contemporary folk
songs with ethereal, electric arrangements to create a full and
intricate sound tagged 'dream folk.' She released her debut LP Sirens
on July 25th 2012. Available now at sirensofthedawn.com

"Sirens vibrates in a way that I associate only with Sufjan Stevens'
2004 gold-star Seven Swans: enigmatic and restrained. WILSEN manages
to be so patient, every musical move so careful that it almost feels
like you aught to not move while listening. There's a darkness equally
with that fragility and the instrumentation is at the beck and call of
the negative spaces in all the songs. It is space that need not be
filled, but indeed is intoxicating for repeated listens." (Mila
Matveeva - Listenbeforeyoubuy.net)

How Sad

How Sad started out in Montreal as the nom de guerre attached to a handful of personal bedroom recordings, but quickly morphed into a band playing hook-laden synth pop tailored towards live performance. There's an underlying sombre tone to the lyrics, but having those themes juxtaposed with relentlessly energetic music makes for an explosive combination.
Their unpredictable live setup finds them pounding on drums, passionately shouting over sampled beats and screeching with warped guitars. After building a reputation for themselves in their hometown they set off to tour Canada and the U.S. in 2012 playing alongside acts like Purity Ring, Twin Sister, Rich Aucoin, Darwin Deez, and many more. Having played NXNE in Toronto, Sled Island in Calgary, Evolve festival in Nova Scotia, and Pop Montreal and M for Montreal, they released their first E.P. in August 2013.

Deirdre & The Dark

Before expanding her moniker, Deidre released her debut EP Curious Parcel. Like a femme fatale who gets distracted and falls in love, it’s filled with vulnerability, pleasure, suspicion, and tragedy. Mixing sounds of the blues, gypsies, surf safaris, 60s a-go-go and more, she melds numerous influences into songs of love and horror - a totally new sound for the singer who also performs in Brooklyn bands Savoir Adore and French Horn Rebellion. Songs from Curious Parcel have also found numerous homes, such as “Classic Girl” being the theme song to Bravo’s “Gallery Girls” and helping to launch Forever21’s Hello Kitty line, as well as “Don’t Blame Me Now” being featured on Good Morning America.

Curating and hosting conceptual parties at various venues in Brooklyn over the last two years, Deidre began to harness her storytelling skills and style. She and her husband, producer David Perlick-Molinari (French Horn Rebellion, MGMT's Time To Pretend), have started to capture and define that energy in these first few recordings, with much more to come.

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