newengland

Burlington's Emma Cook & Questionable Company release breezy "You Know Why" & play ArtsRiot (8.9)

The Burlington-based folk trio Emma Cook & Questionable Company has a mythic origin story; co-creators Andy Feltus and Max Guyton began playing music together as roommates at the University of Vermont, and later met Emma — with whom Andy fell in love. The trio played their first show together on Halloween in 2012, and have been an unstoppable force ever since. Yesterday, the trio released their newest single “You Know Why” (streaming below), a jazzy folk track that leverages Emma’s incomparably smooth vocals to create something that sounds close to magic. Their next show will be at ArtsRiot in Burlington on August 9. - Lilly Milman, photo by Kayhl Cooper

   

Berta Bigtoe hit the sweet spot of lo-fi on 'the gap [demos] @ rat city'

Everyone knows that a demo tape is going to be a hit or miss. In the case of Boston duo Berta Bigtoe (made up of Ben Astrachan and Austin Koenigstein,) their debut the gap [demos] @ rat city exists within the sweet spot of lo-fi where the gentle hums of lo-fi and the excitable shouts of talent meet. Sincere in its delivery, exhilarating in its musicality and indicative of much greater heights, this tape has earned its place in the limelight. - Lilly Milman

Stream our favorite track “doggie den” below. 

   

Samuel Sandoval releases poetic 'Tupper' EP

The most recent release by Samuel Sandoval, the singer-songwriter from Meriden, Connecticut, Tupper (streaming below) is meant to be read almost as much as it is meant to be listened to. Take for example the opening line of “Philly, City of Brotherly Love” (“I knew they were rich by the way they left their plates on the table”) which uses simplicity to snap a cultural criticism into place. Sandoval’s sharp wit, colored by his experimental folk-leaning arrangements, interrogates, but it also soothes. The whispers are just as important as the shouts, a balance that is curated earnestly by Sandoval’s hand. - Lilly Milman, photo by Zack Gomez

   

The New Review bring inventive funk-soul to Foam Brewers (8.11)

The New Review, the Boston-based funk-soul eight-piece, are known for bringing an uncontainable energy wherever they go — and their newest single “Portrait of a Man” (streaming below) is no different. With every piece of soul they create turning to gold, it’s no surprise that a video of the band performing the song landed them a spot headlining the Tiny Desk Submissions Showcase hosted by NPR in New York City. The melody of the heavy-hitting track takes it easy in all the right places, ebbing and flowing with an intuitive sense of rhythm only accessible to the very best. The New Review will be performing in New York City at DROM on August 10, and then heading back to New England for a show at Foam Brewers in Burlington, VT on August 11.  - Lilly Milman, photo by Madison McConkey

   

A Q&A With Justine Bowe of Photocomfort, playing Music Hall Loft (7.28) & Great Scott (8.16)

After spending a few years touring with the indie-pop darlings Magic Man, Boston-based Justine Bowe decided it was time to take a step back and focus on herself — a decision that manifests itself most clearly in her solo project Photocomfort. Although she’s been working on music under the moniker for years, she only recently released her official debut EP, a triumphant five-track project called Understudy. Not only does this release showcase Bowe’s skills as a lyricist, producer, and vocalist, but it is also provides a nuanced portrait of the artist as a young woman. It’s thought-provoking, dynamic, and vulnerable — and yet, it’s light and easy to listen to. All in all, Understudy is required listening for anyone who has dealt with imposter syndrome, struggled to find a voice for themselves, or even just had a really bad day. Justine Bowe has finally taken center-stage, and it’s exhilarating to watch. - by Lilly Milman, photo by Andrew Janjigian

You can catch Photocomfort playing live at Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on July 28, as well as at her record release show at Great Scott on August 16.

Read a Q&A with Justine of Photocomfort and stream Understudy here.