BreakThru Radio Presents
Worriers, Diet Cig, The Ghost Ease, Palehound, Sweet Spirit (JUST ADDED IN THE 8PM!), Beverly, Gramma's Boyfriend, Morgan Erina
152 Ludlow Street
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 12:00 PM (event ends at 7:00 PM)
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
BreakThru Radio Presents
BreakThru Radio (BTR) is devoted to giving a voice to talented, upcoming artists and empowering DJs to pick and play their own music. We sift through hundreds of unsigned and indie artists each week to bring you the cream of the crop. Unlike traditional radio, we have no restrictions on style - we're happy to play rock, punk, hip hop, electronica, alt-country, reggae, metal, soul, et al. Our only requirement is quality. At BreakThru Radio our motto is "Radio rediscovered."
Lauren Denitzio is a maven at writing pop-punk anthems. Playing music for over a decade —beginning with the New Brunswick punk band The Measure [sa]—we had yet to see what Denitzio could accomplish as a sole songwriter until recently. Worriers, the Brooklyn-based band fronted by Denitzio and joined by friends, has released the 7" "Past Lives" on No Idea Records in 2011, the 12" EP "Cruel Optimist" on Don Giovanni Records in 2013, as well as the 7" "Sinead O'Rebellion" on Yo-Yo Records in 2013. This summer, Worriers brings us their finest work to date, with Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! as producer, on their first full-length release Imaginary Life.
Being released by Don Giovanni Records, Imaginary Life is Denitzio's first time single-handedly generating an entire record's worth of material. Accompanied by Rachel Rubino (Each Other's Mothers, Troubled Sleep) and John McLean (Dead Dog, Todd Killingz) on lead guitars, Audrey Zee Whitesides (Mal Blum, Little Waist) on bass, Mike Yannich (The Ergs) on drums, and Lou Hanman (Caves) on backing vocals, Denitzio also asked Laura Jane Grace to produce the record. Working with a woman producer, and someone who came from a DIY background, was crucial to Denitzio. Grace enthusiastically agreed and brought on Marc Hudson, Against Me!'s front-of-house sound person and tour manager, to engineer the record at his studio in Fenton, MI. Grace also took Worriers on a nine-day tour with Against Me! in February to become better acquainted with their sound. In the studio, the group worked meticulously on the tracks—even creating multiple versions of certain songs using Casio beats—to give them time to develop into exactly what they were looking to create.
"I was writing songs that had to do with moments in my life that only happened very briefly, or things that could have happened had things gone a little differently, both in positive and negative ways," says Denitzio. "I don't mean regrets, but how life could be entirely different if you make a couple of different choices."
While Imaginary Life doesn't stray too far from past Worriers' releases, it resonates stronger than ever in both sound and message. It flows fittingly backwards, opening with "Jinx," a softer song that barely hits the one-minute-mark. We are presented with what seems to be a reflection of the current state of life and a fear of change, how goods things have been and wanting to hold onto that. From here, the album cracks wide open into all that ever came before. "Glutton for Distance," with it's mathy guitar leads and overflowing lyrics, depicts the desire to sustain a long-distance relationship. In "Chasing," there is a bit of a departure from what we've come to know of Worriers; it's pop beat is reminiscence of something we'd hear on the radio rather than at a punk show. It's unexpected but natural, juxtaposed to dark lyrics about giving into unrequited love and carried along by Denitzio's polished vocals. In the resolute political ballad "They / Them / Theirs" we are questioned regarding notions of the gender binary and the frustrations that come with it. "Plans" and "Most Space," two of the catchiest songs on Imaginary Life, are reminders of what tripped us up over Denitzio's songwriting in the first place—fast and infectious guitars, anthemic lyrics, and unyielding vocals that Worriers never fails to provide.
"Over Easy, their debut EP, is the product of that labor, a collection of brisk, personal pop-punk that recalls '90s bands like Beat Happening or Tiger Trap in its simplicity and Eternal Summers in its tone." - Pitchfork
The Ghost Ease
The Ghost Ease revel within the warm folds of a sort of soft savagery, pin-pricking holes into the fabric of the astral veil, and creating hypnotic, raw opuses by way of heavy guitars, frenzied drums and lilting vocal timbres.
Created in 2010 by vocalist/guitarist Jem Marie as a solo project,
The Ghost Ease evolved into a three-piece with the addition of drummer Nsayi Matingou in 2012 and bassist Laurence Vidal in 2014.
The Ghost Ease's woozy and vivid self-titled debut was released on Talking Helps in 2013 before the Portland trio partnered with Cabin Games for the powerful/seething Quit Yer Job EP (May 2015) and upcoming Steve Fisk-recorded full-length—aptly titled RAW—due out September
RAW is simultaneously heavy and ethereal
like an amethyst raincloud. The 10 tracks ebb and flow from softened layers of melody to frenetic shreds of distortion. Matingou's drumming moves nimbly while Vidal's bass ensures the album's swirling moments crash comfortably into the angular grunge freakouts. The dreamy intensity of Marie's guitar sounds are neatly woven around her voice. Her lilting cadence casts the album's moods like spells. From the tuneful crusher "PJM" to the swelling of "Gemini Rise" and the majestic piano of "Bye, Love", RAW embodies its name.
Ellen Kempner, the 21-year-old guitarist and songwriter behind Boston based project, Palehound, is even more prodigious than her age suggests; influenced by her musician father, she struck out on the songwriting path while she was still in elementary school. "I was kind of a shy kid," says Kempner. "Music was a good way for me to express myself – I had a hard time socially, and it was a way for me to feel like I could contribute something and impress people in some way."
"I envy 10-year-old me," she laughs. "I would sit in my room for an hour, write a song, and be done. Now, it takes more time." The eight songs that make up Dry Food, which Kempner wrote from 2013 to 2014 and recorded with Gabe Wax (Wye Oak, Speedy Ortiz) last summer, are wry and confessional, full of unexpected twists and turns. Kempner's whispery alto gives the album a raw, confessional feel, even on louder tracks like the crashing, reverb-augmented "Cushioned Caging." That's partially because Dry Food is a snapshot of a time in Kempner's life defined by instability and shifting, leaving Sarah Lawrence before her eventual move to Boston.
"I was coming off a transitional time in my life," says Kempner of the period when Dry Food was written. "I was struggling in college, and with mental health issues. The album is a snapshot of a weird time for me, where I was transitioning from being in college to getting a job.
"The year between 19 and 20 is this weirdly insignificant time – you're kind of an adult, but not a real adult. That was kind of hard for me, to think, 'I'm not a kid, and there are things in my life making that very, very obvious to me, but I also can't really fathom being an adult yet.'"
Despite the underlying factors, though, Dry Food is confident and cohesive, full of sophisticated songwriting and guitar playing. Kempner cites Elliott Smith and Kim Deal, as well as Angel Olsen and her childhood musical hero Avril Lavigne, as songwriting influences. ("I was obsessed with Let Go, and I still love that album," she declares. "I was in third grade and would wear ties to school.")
The glistening, complex guitar work on the dreamy "Cinnamon" and the fuzzed-out textures on album opener "Molly" makes plain that Kempner's musical roots grow deep. "Wes Montgomery is one of my biggest guitar influences," she notes. "I studied his music in college, and I still will pull up a chart of his and try to figure it out."
Kempner played everything but the drum parts on Dry Food, but live, Palehound is rounded out by drummer Jesse Weiss, of the gnarly Boston act Grass Is Green, and bassist David Khostinat, who had previously worked with Weiss in the band Supervolcano.
Teaming up with Weiss and his crisp, steady drumming was, for Kempner, serendipitous. "I heard [Grass Is Green] when I was 16 or 17, and I thought they were the best thing I'd ever heard in my life," she says. "Particularly the drummer. I saw them live for the first time right after I'd turned 18, and I watched Jesse the whole time. I worshiped him.
"He has this innate sense of how to work his kit. I can just get onstage and know that he's going to play perfectly, and I can rely on him."
While Dry Food chronicles a particularly rough patch in Kempner's life, it does so with verve and grit, not to mention sterling musicianship and wry lyrics. Dry Food is a flag-plant by a young woman with a lot on her mind and talent to burn.
Sweet Spirit (JUST ADDED IN THE 8PM!)
With notorious ferocity and powerful hooks, Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen's newest musical project, Sweet Spirit, has quickly garnered critical praise and captivated the Austin music scene. Known to long-time Austinites for their work in A Giant Dog and Bobby Jealousy, Sweet Spirit proudly strengthens a decade-plus collaboration between the writing partners.
From their first performance at the 2003 Spring, TX homecoming dance as ad-hoc cover band Youth In Asia, Ellis and Cashen have refined their partnership, and by 2014 needed a new outlet for songs ill-fitting the garage-rock restraints of A Giant Dog. Following sage advice from the young producer mystic Tom Brenneck, Ellis rounded up Cashen and a troupe of fellow far-flung service-industry daydreamers to produce a throwback country soul group. Through their first year as a band, Sweet Spirit developed their sound with a diversity and balance of influences, for which the group quickly gained acclaim. Delivered in sultry harmonies with as many guitars as possible, Sweet Spirit gives exuberant voice to the struggles of loving and living.
Drafted alongside Ellis and Cashen are lifelong pianist Jake Knight (also of Bobby Jealousy), drummer Daniel Blanchard (Leatherbag, Wire Tree), Megabig bassist Jon Fichter, and charmbomb guitarist Josh Merry. The Sweet Spirit house band features vocalist/percussionist Cara Tillman (Burgess Meredith), Leslie Matthews on alto sax, and trumpeter Samuel Rives.
Sweet Spirit's sound reflects an intimate and reverential familiarity with American pop, illustrating the emotional tribulations of this year and yesteryear. Mike McCarthy will produce their first record, due in summer 2015 on Nine Mile Records.
by Emmet Duff
BEVERLY began as a recording project between Drew Citron and Frankie Rose. During numerous tours, the two started collaborating and sharing aspirations for making simple, clutter-free music. Their debut LP "Careers" is a result of those ideas, and came out in July 2014 on Kanine Records. The album combines raw pop, post-punk, and dreamy harmonies, drawing inspiration from lofi & shoegaze greats such as The Amps, The Clean and Mazzy Star.
To support the record live, Drew is currently joined by Jamie Ingalls (Chairlift) on Drums, Scott Rosenthal (Class Actress/The Beets) on bass, and Caitlin Frame (FRAME) on guitar and synth. The four piece band packs a tight punch with a barrage of guitars and a wash of heavenly vocal harmony.
Drew is currently back in the studio writing and recording, while they prepare for their fall US tour supporting The Drums.
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