PWR BTTM is the New York-based queer punk duo of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce. Switching off between drums and guitar, the band’s latest release examines their experiences with queerness, gender, and adulthood while living upstate. Full of fun, fuzz, catchy melodies, and extreme finger-tapping, their songs are just too good to not love. They stopped by Serious Business to rock out, share some stories of songs, and to give Maia a fabulous makeover.
Julien Baker is from Memphis, Tennessee, and currently in school at MTSU. Regionally, she may be better known as a member of the punk-influenced indie band, Forrister, though in recent months her solo work has caught the attention of the national music press. What makes her stuff stick — beyond an undeniably great voice — is the way she effortlessly spins heart-wrenching, brutally honest, confessional lyrics over sweetly melodic, looped guitar. Without much more than a few songs floating around to hear, she’s managed to captivate more than a few new fans, ahead of the release of her full recorded debut. She stopped by Serious Business Music to play a few songs and chat with Maia about her upcoming plans for both her solo work and band.
Brooke Annibale is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who credits much of her musical direction to experiences growing up around her family’s music store. This musical direction led her to Nashville, where she attended college and lived, returning often over the years to record there even after returning to her home city. She stopped by Serious Business Music in DUMBO to share some tunes and talk about how she crafts her timeless folk songs. Brooke Annibale’s new album, The Simple Fear, is available now.
Julien Baker is from Memphis, Tennessee, and currently in school at MTSU. Regionally, she may be better known as a member of the punk-influenced indie band, Forrister, though in recent months her solo work has caught the attention of the national music press. What makes her stuff stick — beyond an undeniably great voice — is the way she effortlessly spins heart-wrenching, brutally honest, confessional lyrics over sweetly melodic, looped guitar. Without much more than a few songs floating around to hear, she’s managed to captivate more than a few new fans, ahead of the release of her full recorded debut. Here, she performs “Sprained Ankle,” the title track from her debut album which will be released October 23 on 6131 Records, recorded during her recent visit to BTR Live Studio.
Air Waves is the long-running musical outlet for New York’s Nicole Schneit. With a five year gap between records, Air Waves has finally returned with a solid set of pop-leaning indie rock and a fresh band (featuring members of Hospitality). The group came by to play some tunes and chat with Maia about taking a break and then getting back into it, plus Nicole shares some useful advice for musicians.
Mal Blum is a New York-based musician who crafts excellent, revealing narrative-driven pop songs that tend to be endearingly sentimental. There’s punk, anti-folk, and folk vibes in every word, whether the performance is solo or with a full band. In whichever form, Mal Blum (the person or band) is a special joy to be around and listen to — not to mention, usually pretty hilarious. They brought the full band experience to Serious Business Music for this episode of BTR Live Studio.
Worriers is a Brooklyn-based punk band featuring an ever-evolving cast of collaborators that revolves largely around the songwriting, vocals, and guitar work of Lauren Denitzio, formerly of The Measure [sa]. Currently on the road to promote their most recent full-length, produced by Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!) and put out by New Jersey’s Don Giovanni Records, the group stopped by Serious Business Music to play some of their fiercely honest and super catchy songs.
Good Old War found a great shortcut to a solid band name: combining elements of the three founding members’ names (Goodwin, Arnold, and Schwartz). Now a duo, the Philadelphia-based band excels in the sort of foot stompin’, clappin’-n-hollerin’ indie pop that’s been growing in popularity in recent years, and are known for their rousing live shows. The guys stopped by Serious Business Music to play some tunes and chat with Maia.
Shana Cleveland is a Seattle-based musician, artist, and writer. A member of the band La Luz, she also records and performs her own music under the name Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles. Her soft, mesmerizing vocal style and distinct acoustic guitar picking makes for both catchy and hypnotic folk songs. She stopped by Serious Business Music in DUMBO for an intimate solo performance, and to chat with Maia.
Will Sprott is a musician with a memorable voice and songwriting style. Whether it be with his previous project, The Mumlers, or his current solo effort, there’s a timeless quality to his work. Originally from San Jose, California, and currently based in Seattle, there’s a sort of melancholy paired with sunny, West Coast vibes to Sprott’s tunes. He stopped by Serious Business in DUMBO, Brooklyn on his first solo tour (with La Luz) to share some tunes and talk about the project.
The Glazzies are the duo of Peter Landi and Dave Horn, based out of Sag Harbor, New York. With a heavy nod to fuzzy ’90s alt rock, their songs touch on grunge, psychedelic, and punk. Their love of the heavy, hooky style is so deep that they even had Dinosaur, Jr. drummer Murph play on their EP. The guys came by Serious Business in DUMBO to rock out and chat with Maia.
PWR BTTM is the New York-based queer punk duo of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce. Switching off between drums and guitar, the band’s latest release examines their experiences with queerness, gender, and adulthood while living upstate. Full of fun, fuzz, catchy melodies, and extreme finger-tapping, their songs are just too good to not love. They stopped by Serious Business to rock out, share some stories of songs, and to give Maia a fabulous makeover.
The Black Lillies is an indie roots band from Knoxville, Tennessee, headed up by singer/songwriter/producer Cruz Contreras. Drawing on Americana, rock, country, gospel, and more, this hard-touring Appalachia-inspired group is ready to stomp their way into your head with their tight, catchy tunes. They stopped by Serious Business Music in DUMBO to share some songs from their new, PledgeMusic crowd-funded record.
Lisa Alma is a producer, vocalist, and visual artist from Copenhagen, Denmark. Her synth-heavy, downtempo pop music, often accompanied by her own striking video work, tends toward introspection and melancholy, making it perhaps better suited for soundtracks than dance floors. She stopped by while in NYC working on new music, and shared a few songs and stories with Maia at Serious Business Music in DUMBO.
Julien Baker is from Memphis, Tennessee, and currently in school at MTSU. Regionally, she may be better known as a member of the punk-influenced indie band, Forrister, though in recent months her solo work has caught the attention of the national music press. What makes her stuff stick — beyond an undeniably great voice — is the way she effortlessly spins heart-wrenching, brutally honest, confessional lyrics over sweetly melodic, looped guitar. Without much more than a few songs floating around to hear, she’s managed to captivate more than a few new fans, ahead of the release of her full recorded debut. She stopped by Serious Business Music to play a few songs and chat with Maia about her upcoming plans for both her solo work and band.
The Brooklyn-based production duo of Devon Craig Johnson and Nasimiyu Murumba are musicians who play a variety of instruments in other projects, but here their powers combine to make the hooky pop hits of Baeb Rxxth. There are touches of trap, dance, rock, jazz, and soul in what they’ve got going on, but it all feels totally unique. They young band stopped by Serious Business Music in DUMBO to share some tunes and chat with Maia.
Bodega Bay is a New York-based art rock sextet. The band uses familiar musical ideas (think Velvet Underground, Pavement, Wire) in tandem with improvisation, sociopolitical commentary, performance, text, disruption, and assorted experimentation to arrive at their own distinct creations. Their latest release arrives in the form of a 33 1/3 lyric and art book, accompanied by a download code for 33 songs — which are, unsurprisingly, overwhelmingly good. There’s a freedom and playfulness in what they’re doing that underlies the very plainly stated truths of so many of their songs — which, again, are really, really good.
The Velvet Teen is a California-based indie rock trio. Begun as a solo project by Judah Nagler in 1999, the group has evolved over its 15-year career, and is currently playing in support of a strong new album. The band stopped by Serious Business in DUMBO to rock out and chat with Maia about their work.
Lindi Ortega is a country/roots songwriter and performer from Toronto. Currently based — appropriately — in Nashville, Ortega’s latest album takes a look at heartbreak, failure, fear, and misfortune in saloons, flophouses, and cheap motels. She stopped by Serious Business in DUMBO to share her soulful style and chat with Maia about her music.
Sye Elaine Spence is a singer/songwriter living in Atlanta, though she is originally from New York City. Spence spent time as a professional songwriter, collaborating with artists and producers and releasing some of her own pop-rock and soul songs before taking a break to refocus her musical career. Eventually, she met Michael Lesousky and set off on her current path of a quiet, poetic style of songwriting. Sye and Michael took a bus up from Atlanta to play a few songs and talk about the music at Serious Business in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Reservations is a rock band based out of Austin, Texas. Beginning as a collaboration between songwriter Jana Horn and guitarist Paul Price (who also leads the band Good Field), Jason Baczynski eventually joined on drums after the band’s home-recorded debut EP. Now, with a fuller sound (achieved live with an expanded lineup) and a spectacular full length under their belt, Reservations is making their way around on tour and starting to get some much-deserved attention. Horn’s soft, dreamy vocal style pairs perfectly with the band’s fragile balance of reserved grooves and spaced-out guitars, drawing frequent comparisons to Mazzy Star. The band stopped by Serious Business in DUMBO to play some songs and chat with Maia about the ideas behind their new record.
MYZICA is the Nashville-based pop duo of Isaaca Byrd and Micah Tawlks. Still a relatively new project, things got started when Micah crafted instrumental tracks and asked Isaaca to lend her vocals. Things quickly grew as the two began writing together, leading to the sort of catchy, anthemic synth-pop the twosome expertly delivered in a dreamy, danceable dose to the Serious Business studio for this session.
Busty And The Bass is a feel-good, nine-member party band that formed in Montreal. Incorporating elements of funk, soul, jazz, and hip hop into their eclectic music, there’s no question that these guys mean business, and want to get you out on the dancefloor.
Krystle Warren is a songwriter originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and currently based in France. Known for her dedication to analog recording techniques (even going so far as recording her latest double-album live with 28 musicians and no editing), Krystle possesses a striking, soulful voice that leaves an impression, and has even made the rounds on tour with the likes of Green Gartside, Robyn Hitchcock, Joan As Police Woman, and Rufus Wainwright. Here, she stops by Serious Business Music in DUMBO, Brooklyn, to share a new song and chat with Maia about her music.
Laura Burhenn, a Los Angeles-based musician who has toured with Bright Eyes and The Postal Service, is the songwriter at the core of the Mynabirds project. The band, which is filled out by various friends in the studio and on stage, makes expertly crafted indie-pop that showcases Burhenn’s pristine, soulful vocals. Here, she presents some of her latest work in a uniquely raw, stripped down form.
Dead Stars is a Brooklyn rock trio with a huge, fuzzy, and explosive sound. Jeff, Jaye, and John wear their 90s alt-rock influences proudly on their collective sleeve (Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, etc.) and it comes through in their hooky, nostalgia-laden sound. They’ve played their way through the local scene for the past few years, catching the eyes and ears of plenty of critics and festival bookers, and are poised to keep riding high with their upcoming record.
Matt Pond (whose band, Matt Pond PA, many will be familiar with, already), recently released The State Of Gold, a rich album full of potential pop hits. Currently enjoying life in New York — upstate, a bit outside the clamor of the city — Matt and bandmate Chris Hansen joined us at Serious Business Music in DUMBO, Brooklyn, to share some tunes and chat with Maia.
Diet Cig, which may or may not require a government warning, is actually New Paltz, New York-based duo Alex and Noah. They’re a young band cranking out satisfyingly concise and pointed slop-pop tunes with a thousand volts of fun. The two are caught in a whirlwind of touring, but found some time to stop by the brand new Serious Business Music in DUMBO to talk about their experience and to help break in the new live room.
You won’t believe the raw power of the garage rock band Winstons. BTR catches up with Lou Nutting and Ben Brock Wilkes who make up the garage soul duo shredding up New York City.

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