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Raia Was's "Reprise" is a powerful exercise in restraint, plays Berlin 3.6

The atmospheric, often ethereal soundscapes of Brooklyn’s Raia Was are perfectly executed exercises in restraint, where a powerful vocal performance sharply navigates the dimly lit labyrinth of downtempo art pop. Her most recent release “Reprise” is a focused, minimalist effort - a song that reads as a lonely internal monologue on a cold, winter night. Was’s vox never explodes or relies on any melodramatic twists and turns, but rather plays counterpoint to the track’s synthy elements, finding strength in its hushed, sometimes breathy qualities; it serves as a preview of more carefully crafted tunes on Raia’s forthcoming debut record, Angel I’m Frightened (Side A/ Side B), which drops this spring.

Raia Was will perform tracks from her upcoming LP at Berlin on March 6th, supported by fellow Brooklynite Harb. Stream “Reprise” below. -Connor Beckett McInerney (@b_ck_tt), Photo by Lissy Laricchia





Pynkie brings her bed-dream pop to New Colossus Fest on March 9

Pynkie, the stage name of New Jersey's Lindsey Radice, is one of the musicians from the NYC area most often photographed while smiling - and we certainly like that. She will bring her charming bed-dream pop to Pianos on March 9 within the New Colossus Festival, a LES/East Village based city festival debuting this year that looks to fill void left by the death of the CMJ Music Marathon. Pynkie's 2018 debut album Neoteny is filled with delicately performed songs that are at once inventive and intimate. 

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Holy Ghosts announces new LP + unveils single

NYC synth music makers (and huge lovers of anything synth) Holy Ghost! just announced the upcoming release of their first album since 2013 "Dynamics." Preview single "Epton On Broadway (Part I & Part II)" keeps faith to the uplifting, '80s influenced synth-soulpop sound of previous releases. The album represents the culmination of a transactional period, and preview single "Epton on Broadway" underlines this, as explained by frontman Alex Frankel: “Lyrically, ‘Epton On Broadway’ is a bit of a choose your own adventure. But to me: The verses are lamenting the end of a really fun era: “All my favorite places closed” - “nostalgia for the laughs and the afterglow.” 





Harrison Lipton gets smooth on "Cannonball (feat. Huck, Quelle Rox)," plays Zone One 2.15

New York’s Harrison Lipton lays down some heavy alternative R&B vibes on “Cannonball,” with help from friends Quelle Rox and Huck. Accompanied by smooth, jazzy seventh chords and shuffling percussion, the song is a testament to the experience of becoming singularly fixated on a romantic interest, wherein all other thoughts fall by the wayside as paltry in comparison. Lipton’s first verse sets the mood with images of sultry baths and popping pills, enabling Huck to wax poetically on taking tequila shots and the passage of time as the track winds to a close, becoming increasingly more ethereal and echoing as it all fades to black. It’s a suave single, best enjoyed under the haze of cigar smoke and whisky, and guarantees a good time when Harrison takes to Zone One at Elsewhere on February 15th for its release party, supported by Melt the Band and Walker Landgraf. Stream Cannonball below. - Connor Beckett McInerney (@b_ck_tt)

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Amulets

A while back I had a friend ask me why I listen to ambient music. For a bit, I rambled on about the way ambient music can be a soft place to mentally curl up in. It provides you room to think while also gently guiding the direction of those thoughts. However, if I had been asked the very same question today, I would have just made my friend listen to Amulets' Future Fog. Each song creates a vastly different mood, but it’s done so subtly and gracefully that you don’t pick up on it unless you’re paying close attention. You don’t get lost in his music, it gets lost with you.

Amulets, who also goes by Randall Taylor, has most recently released Mountains Past / Immortal Yeller. Created in conjunction with fellow drone artist Bus Gas, the album explores the relationship between cause and effect. It does so beautifully. “Mountains Pass” in particular stands out. The song maintains a balance between emotional distance and bare-bones vulnerability. Not too mention this doesn’t even touch on live performance. With the use of handmade cassette tape loops and live guitar loops, Amulets focuses on recontextualizing his soundscapes to produce unique and immersive experiences for every audience.

Amulets' next show will be Saturday, April 6th at the High Mark. Slow Crush, Holy Fawn, and Long Hallways will also be performing. 

  -By Avril Carrillo, photo by Thomas Fang

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