Eastern Hollows is a Brooklyn quintet led by Travis DeVries, whose previous solo efforts and work with The Turn-ons received critical acclaim. Drawing on strong shoegaze and brit pop influences, the band has been blasting through the Brooklyn scene with moody, psychedelic jangly guitar pop.
Brazos is the musical project of Martin McNulty Crane. Raised in Texas and currently residing in Brooklyn, his 2009 debut brought instant notoriety and gigs with notable acts such as Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, The National, Iron & Wine, and pals White Denim. Back on the scene with an album recorded with new bandmates Spencer Zahn (bass) and Ian Chang (drums), Martin has further honed his unique style of pop storytelling. In this episode of BTR Live Studio, the trio plays some new songs and reveals the background of the project’s name.
Big Tree, currently planted in California’s Bay Area, has spent the past five years establishing a fan base on both coasts. With a lush sound that blends folk and pop, the 5-piece band crafts songs of an epic nature, full of movement and melody. Here they discuss their bi-coastal existence, as well as their experience with an eco-friendly touring van, among other things, with guest host DJ Wynn.
Not Blood Paint are quite possibly robots, or maybe aliens, or, at the very least, four musicians with a serious penchant for completely over-the-top theatrics. Musically, the quartet treads heavily in pop of the bizarre, glammy art-rock territory (strains of Bowie, Of Montreal, Dirty Projectors, etc), pumping out tightly constructed gems solid enough to blast past all the makeup and costumery. Every show is a different experience — “experience” being the key here — and their reputation absolutely precedes them. Take a trip with the band for some extreme eye contact, guitar-shredding silver humanoids, and an introduction to the New Suit Methodology.
Chalk and Numbers is the indie pop duo of Sable Yong and Andrew Pierce, based in Brooklyn, NY. Joined live and here in the studio by a keyboardist, bassist, and guitarist to fill out their sound and drawing heavily on the famed Phil Spector-style girl group sound, the band has a knack for carefully crafted pop songs with a timeless quality.
Shades of classic rock and 50’s/60’s pop permeate The Blank Tapes’ stoner/pych-rock vibes. Hailing from San Francisco, Matt Adams is a prolific songwriter — not to mention a talented visual artist — with a timeless approach to music. Now in perhaps its leanest and strongest form yet, The Blank Tapes are a trio these days, featuring Adams along with girlfriend/resident-Moe Tucker-style-drummer Pearl Charles, and D.A. Humphrey on bass, and they’re ready to spread their songs across the land, taking us all on Vacation.
Conor J. O’Brien — whose Dublin-based band, Villagers, has been nominated for a Mercury Prize, won an Ivor Novello Award, and shared stages with some of the biggest names in music — delivers an intimate, solo performance of his songs here on BTR Live Studio. In a departure from his previous effort, O’Brien embraces collaboration, instrumental music, and a whole lot of symbolism and poetic storytelling to achieve something that he feels is secular yet spiritual, and which sings the things that he can not say.
While Prince Rama is a band in the sense that it contains people making music, recording albums, and going on tour, there’s a whole world of other activity going on with this Brooklyn-based group. Taraka and Nimai Larson have been experimenting with their music in different forms over the years in vastly different environs: living in ashrams, working for utopian architects, writing manifestos, and delivering lectures from pools of fake blood. They’ve used a clever blend of mysticism, technology, aerobics, and props, to build a constantly evolving world filled with inspiration and music.
Fear of Men are a band from Brighton, England, born of an art school project by vocalist/guitarist Jessica Weiss and her home recordings of ambient soundtracks to short films. Now a four piece and drawing their inspiration from art and philosophy, Fear of Men deliberately juxtaposes iconic museum imagery and lyrical themes of loneliness and fragmentation with buoyant pop melodies, resulting in songs with often bleakly nihilistic subject matter swimming in hummable pop tunes.