Teeny Lieberson was playing in the indie-psych band Here We Go Magic when a break from the group led to the writing of a batch of songs that formed the groundwork for what would become TEEN. Joined by two of her sisters and a friend, the band plays eerie, swirling psych-flavored pop music with a heavy emphasis on lyrics and vocals. The quartet treated us to a stripped-down set in the studio and chatted with Maia about their history and, curiously enough, dingy Nova Scotia venues.
Originating in New Orleans and currently based half in Brooklyn and half in Providence, RI, Callers is a group with strong convictions and creative musicianship. Their latest, Reviver, is said to be “a statement on power, rhythm, beauty and language, and an exploration of inner vastness.” In the process of crafting the LP, Keith Souza and Seth Manchester went from collaborating in the studio to joining the band, adding more support to the already complex songwriting and orchestrations of Sara Lucas and Ryan Seaton. Not a band beholden to any particular genre, Callers often incorporate shades of Fleetwood Mac, Dirty Projectors, and all the art rock, motown, experimental punk, and world music in between.
The Bowery Riots are a 3 piece rock n roll band who take their name from the turn of the century gang The Bowery Boys and the 1849 Astor Riot. Devoted to early rhythm & blues and British invasion rock n’ roll, their self-imposed mission is to make honest, literate music that pays tribute to their city and — perhaps more importantly — keeps people moving.
Brooklyn-based electronic/psychedelic producer Erin Rioux (pronounced ree-yoo) is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who blends organic instrumentation with custom samples and beats. More than just a dance music machine, Rioux explores the realm of audio/visual pop experimentation, drawing inspiration from the Berlin nightlife scene and his own background growing up in Detroit.
Beach Day come from a surreal place they call Hollyweird, Florida (actually Hollywood, but the nickname seems to fit). The retro aesthetic of their hometown seems to have left quite an impression on the trio, whose music embodies the same sort of sunny pop as girl groups of the 50’s and 60’s. Capturing as much of their live vibe in the studio as possible — both on their records and in this session — the band proves that, though their surroundings and inspiration may seem frozen in time, their music is very much alive.
Beat Radio is the perpetually-evolving project of Bellmore, Long Island’s Brian Sendrowitz, who’s been crafting hazy, literate, heartfelt pop songs under the name since 2005. In its current form as a duo (joined by a second Brian on drums), the band has been working on a fourth full-length album, Hard Times, Go!, with the additional help of a network of friends and collaborators. Inspired by nostalgia for an innocence that may or may not have ever been (mixtapes, sitcoms, pure pop music) and driven by a strong DIY ethic, the LP is an expansive, adventurous concept record that makes good on its promise to find a space that falls comfortably between Sendrowitz’s musical heroes: Bruce Springsteen and Robyn. Even BTR Live Studio’s host, Maia Macdonald, gets in on the fun, joining the band for a duet on vocals for the song “Stars Collided In Our Hearts” for this special session.
Lee Bains III And The Glory Fires learned to construct music in the churches of their childhoods, then learned to destroy it in the punk clubs of their subsequent youths. With strong influences running the gamut from country and roots to punk and power pop, this distinctly Southern, soulful, inspired music is a force to be reckoned with. Pulled together by Bains as he returned to his home of Birmingham after a stint in Tuscaloosa institution the Dexateens, The Glory Fires match the passionate frontman with intense urgency and musical prowess. Their debut album (and titular single, featured here), was inspired by the mishearing of a line from an old hymn – as “There is a balm in Gilead,” became a bomb, ready to blow up any minute.
Lightning Love are an indie pop trio from Ypsilanti, Michigan. The band began with Leah Diehl’s solo demos of voice and piano, and was later fleshed out to a fuller sound with the help of her brother Aaron on drums and guitarist Ben Collins. Using simple pop structures as a basis for strong, confessional songs with a sweet, self-deprecating tone (sure, call it twee if you must) has worked well for the band, leading to extensive touring and growing national attention.