Hey Anna is a band with a distinct advantage over most: their core members have been playing music together their whole lives. The Rauch-Sasseen sisters (Anna, Erin, and Katie) hail from New Jersey and swap lead vocals and instruments in the band, which is rounded out with drums and lead guitar from two long-time best friends. The result is a mixture of gentle vocal harmonies, solid pop jams, and alt-rock hooks.
Endless Jags is a Portland, Maine-based rock band, comprised of members of Brenda, Gully, Foam Castles, Haru Bangs, Jaw Gems, Astronautalis, and more. With jangly guitars, dual lead singers, killer pop melodies, and a uniquely collaborative approach to songwriting, they’ve quickly made a name for this group with potential to eclipse even their existing — and well-established — other groups. The guys stopped by the studio on a recent tour to play some songs, and to chat with guest host Bryan Bruchman (of Portland music blog, HillyTown, and BTRtv) about their songwriting process, and how they’re not a supergroup, despite being a pretty super group.
Tall Tall Trees, an NYC-based band formed in 2008, is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Mike Savino. Though typically performing as a quartet, Savino often — as during this session of BTR Live Studio — performs solo, utilizing only his banjo, modified by an arsenal of effects and looping pedals. Even without the accompaniment of his bandmates, the sound is full and dynamic, from booming drum hits to playful banjo runs and perfect vocal melodies. Mike played a few songs and sat down with Maia to talk a bit about his — and the project’s — musical trajectory.
Dynasty Electric is an internationally-touring Brooklyn band making psychedelic electronic dance rock. Built on the foundation of Jenny Electrik’s seductive vocals and featuring the production of Seth Misterka, their retro-futuristic pop sound falls somewhere between Madonna, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Jefferson Airplane. With the help of hip-hop mogul Damon Dash, the duo recorded with producer Ski Beatz and crafted an album of dance-pop gems, perfect for the New York nightlife scene. Hot off a massive remix project for their song “Golden Arrows,” via Indaba Music, the band hit our studio to share some songs, and to chat with Maia about making the transition from an electronic duo to a larger group with more live elements, and the surreal experience of performing at Burning Man.
Boytoy is a new band featuring members of You Can Be A Wesley and Beast Make Bomb. Split between Boston and Brooklyn, the trio had only played together a few times before their visit to our studio, but their chemistry was immediately apparent. With a bassless, twin guitar approach, they bust out woozy pop songs with a punch. They played a few of their new songs and revealed the secret to their musical magic (Spoiler: Brazilian butt exercises).
Union Street Preservation Society is an Americana/bluegrass band based in Brooklyn, NY (yes, on Union Street). This quintet is most at home around a single mic, slinging harmonies and strumming folk instruments with remarkable skill. The result is lively roots string music in the truest sense, and though the songs are new and original compositions, they feel immediately familiar and timeless.
Vandaveer is the song-singing, record-making, globetrotting project of alt-folk songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger. Currently situated in Washington, DC, the band exists in many forms, featuring a rotating cast of characters with Heidinger always at the core of its Americana rumblings. Here, as a trio with Rose Guerin and J. Tom Hnatow, the band plays some tunes and chats about the Federal Reserve Collective and recording murder ballads in a farmhouse.
John Jagos began his chillwave project, Brothertiger, during his freshman year at Ohio University, challenging himself to develop a nuanced sound that blends the human and animal elements suggested by its name. More than just a button-pushing electronic artist, Jagos is a prolific one-man-band here, playing synths, singing, and running an array of sequencers and samplers to craft a complex, layered soundscape full of warm, tasteful melodies.