A Very Special Episode rip (in moderation) on "Cut for Time," play Our Wicked Lady 3.14

Brooklyn post-punk trio A Very Special Episode know how to keep things in control. While discordant, shoegazing guitars and a healthy serving a feedback perforate their 2018 EP Cut for Time, the production and format hits a finely-tuned middle ground between cacophony and run-of-the-mill indie rock, opting to incorporate Fender-friendly sounds in a manner that’s aggressive, yet well-curated. At the center of the storm is singer and guitarist Kasey Heisler’s impressive vocal performance, one that imbues the band’s latest offering with an energy that’s characterized by an energy that’s as devil-may-care as it is triumphant — standout song “Crazy” is a succinct encapsulation of what makes AVSE tick, a track well-suited for a highway singalongs and pit-opening alike. Give it a listen below, and catch the band at Our Wicked Lady on March 14th for the Rizzo’s sixth annual PROM FOREVER.


PREMIERE: Bask in the Silk War’s beauty and grit on “Velvet” (show 3.17 at TV Eye)

The coexistence of “beauty and dissonance” are key themes to understanding the Silk War’s sound, and new video “Velvet” is the band at their most aesthetically scuzzy. A midnight ride through the psyche of front person Alexandra Blair, one that incorporates proportionate handfuls of vulnerability and strength, the visuals incorporate a limited palette of high-contrast monochrome performance shots and blood red scenes of nocturne activity. Such a striking difference emphasizes the opposing themes inherent to band’s artistry (as well as the dichotomous nature of the song itself), which set against the music video’s backing track, heightens their post-wave goth rock sound; their overdriven guitar solos opposite cool keys and downtempo percussive tempo feel all the more polar, yet a sense of haunting unity prevails when soundtracking director Shelby Sells’ mise-en-scene. Partake in its dark indulgence below, and catch the Silk War at TV Eye on March 17th, performing alongside Pure Adult.


PREMIERE: Charlie and the Rays evoke folk's political tradition on "There Goes My Baby,"

The opening drums of “There Goes My Baby” immediately bring to mind the vintage R&B of the 1960s — its initial rim accent sounds like the introduction to a Motown hit of yesteryear — but the track’s lyrical content couldn’t more contemporary. Such classic influences infused with extremely contemporary subject matter is the calling card of indie folk Brooklyn duo Charlie and the Rays, whose sunny, harmony-filled songwriting and acoustic-centered output belies the seriousness of this single. Inspired by America’s “lack of gun laws and failed mental health and healthcare systems,” and the fact that public schools are often in the crosshairs of violence bread by these two failures, the band’s choice to rebel against senseless violence in the form of a song characterized by bright, poppy vox, metaphor-laden lyrics, and noodling electric guitar lines interwoven among syncopated strumming recalls Paul Simon’s early work, demonstrating mellifluous, politically-charged craftsmanship that’s never heavy-handed. Listen to our premiere below, and catch the band at Muchmore's on April 24th.


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Rio Tigre keeps the party going late on soft jam “Tornado”

Those seeking a soft, late-late night jam will find danceable solace in “Tornado,” the latest offering by Brooklyn-based synth pop project Rio Tigre. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Raphaël Pazoumian, Rio Tigre prides themselves of seeking to emulate the experience of “driving across the Williamsburg Bridge at 4am, the twinkle of Manhattan fading away in the rearview mirror.” Such aesthetic influences metabolize in “Tornado,” its tactile 808 accents and minimalistic, often single note keys providing an upbeat yet ultimately hushed effort, the type of soundscape you’d expect from a DJ at a Bushwick loft hang that’s run its course (or, better yet, is quickly turning into an afterparty). Atop such dreamy synthetic flourishes, Pazoumian’s lazy vox drifts through the scene, equally muted and lounge-like, further endowing this offering with the energy of a night you’d prefer not end, despite full knowledge of the sun’s coming approach. Recommended for fans of The xx seeking something that leans more on the side of hyphy, check out our premiere of the track below. Photo by Sarah Moussa