Brendon Avalos, the bassist and vocalist of Brooklyn rock band B Boys, has given us a present with solo effort Gift Wrap. “Either Way,” the first single from his upcoming full-length, Losing Count, is a no wave gem. The percussion is gleaming, a shimmery metallic base for the blanket of synths and vocals he weaves overtop. He chants the chorus like it's a mantra, the repetition reflecting the song's inward-looking gaze: "Self-reflection, dissent is normal."
“The song is about trying to understand yourself better through meditation," Avalos told AdHoc via email. "I took some drugs that messed with my head, so I started meditation as more of a restorative thing, and then kept pursuing it because it really helped with some other anxiety-related problems I was experiencing. This song in particular is more of an ode to how meditation was really helping me through some stuff at the time.”
Losing Count comes out on March 2nd on Captured Tracks.
Portland-based Haley Heynderickx has been making waves with her spirited musings on self reflection, religion, and growth. Her new single, "Worth It," explores the difficulties of defining oneself in the shadow of other's expectations. The ways in which the song unwinds itself, with a faster tempo in a dramatic buildup, is reminiscent of the triumphant feeling of overcoming those anxieties. Over winding guitar riffs, she sings, "Maybe I've, maybe I've been selfish/ Or maybe I've, maybe I've been selfless / Maybe I've, maybe I've been worthless, or / Maybe I've, maybe I've been worth it."
Over email, she told AdHoc a little bit about the song's origin story. "I was living in a house with six women at the time and attempting to pursue music as more than a bedroom act," she wrote. "In this, I was struggling to find confidence and purpose in it. Writing 'Worth It' was a cathartic release at the time, just allowing myself to take up space and make as much noise as I could in our basement without driving my roommates too crazy. After several weeks, this song got carved out. It has been through a lot and it means something new to me each time I hear it. (Unfortunately, not a Missy Elliot cover.)"
Listen to "Worth It" below, and catch her 2/9 show at Berlin.
Triathalon craft subdued yet affecting pop music. Full of warm synths and clever, minimal beats, their songs feel best suited to solo listening sessions aboard cramped trains, hurried walks home in the rain, and intimate conversations with friends in your bedroom. And since they relocated to Brooklyn from Savannah, GA, the trio has been hard at work, recording and gigging around the city as they prepare to drop their latest full-length, Online, via Broken Circles next month. We spoke to Adam Intrator about the band's move, the New York scene, and the challenges of being on the road ahead of their upcoming tour, which they'll kick off with a record release show at Baby’s All Right on February 28.
Big Bliss are speeding into 2018. Named “New York City’s Hardest Working Band of 2017” by Oh My Rockness, they played a whopping 150+ shows last year. On February 2, they're releasing a 7-inch double-single through Exit Stencil Recordings. Their newest music video, “Contact,” is a testament to their ability to plunge you into a dream world with their effects-laden post-punk.
"Contact" is a driving whirl of sound. The pinging guitars perfectly accentuate the shimmering cymbals. The gently insistent timbre of the vocals pulls at you and lulls you into a trance as Tim Race and Wallace May plead, "Give me every moment, give me all your time." The video is gorgeous in its own right. Haze and rich colors engulf the band as the camera cocks from one angle to the next. The band pushes themselves into panes of glass, contorting their lips and noses as if they're trapped. They rub their faces, then rub red and black paint onto the glass.
Over email, guitarist and vocalist Tim Race told AdHoc, “'Contact' is about attachment and anxiety of distance, and how it’s dealt with considering modern communication. In the video, we used a giant piece of plexiglass, paint, and a ton of smoke to gradually obscure the image in between us and the camera to illustrate the idea."
Big Bliss plays with Psychic Selves, You’re Jovian, and Birds at Alphaville on February 8th.
Brooklyn producer R.E.L. keeps the tempo high and the rhythm driving on “906,” an outer-limits blend of acid-soaked keys and cavernous handclaps. It's a crate-digger’s dream, piling on infectious drums, sinister bass rumble, and divine ambient synths in search of that perfect dancefloor high.
The man behind the moniker, Ariel Bitran, has been cooking behind the scenes for quite some time, notably as a booker for gone-but-not-forgotten BK haunt Palisades, Sunnyvale, and currently, Mercury Lounge. Though he’s made the leap into Manhattan nightlife, Bitran remains firmly indebted to the scrappy ethos that carried him there. Via email, he explained to AdHoc that the sonic legacy of “906” is “in many ways a reaction to my personal discovery of the NY DIY dance/electronic scene while running Palisades.” Fresh, aggressive, and packed with instrumental flavor, “906” brings a vivid image of that scene to life.