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Thelma

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Thelma releases sophomore LP "The Only Thing" 02.23 at Secret Project Robot

Is it a paradox for playfulness and gravity to exist in the same breath? It might be easy to jump to that conclusion, but if we’ve learned anything from Kate Bush, it’s that whimsy can often be a great vessel for complexity. If anyone has taken that message to heart, it would be Natasha Jacobs, the brain behind Brooklyn based musical project Thelma. Her debut self titled album, an alt-folk meditation on chronic illness and loss, brimmed with unconventionality, whether it be from a surprising electronic breakdown or a yelping vocal performance. Jacobs writes songs that practically do dances around your mind, distracting you with baroque glitter for just a moment before pulling you back to reality again with a masterful lyric. Thelma is poised to release her second album The Only Thing on February 22nd (with release party at Secret Project Robot the day after) Below you can have a listen to single “The Only Thing”, a lyrical exploration of identity that practically saunters into your ears. - Sunny Betz

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Thelma step things up with new single + plays Trans-Pecos on 12.20

One of the most difficult tasks for a musical artist is to develop her project's sound after a first, well-received album. Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and a genetic joint disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, conditions that affect vocals and instrumental ability, certainly doesn't make the challenge any easier. None of this prevented Brooklyn songwriter Thelma (aka Natasha Jacobs) from taking her music to the next level in less than two years. Her 2017 self titled debut LP was a collection of heartfelt and somewhat odd orchestral ballads. From the sound of the first single from sophomore LP "The Only Thing," Jacobs is upping the ante of her songwriting by amplifying the oddness and intensity of her chord progressions, lyrics, melodies and arrangements. A sparse and imaginative mid-tempo featuring acoustic drums, synths and harp, Take me to Orlando" is an ode to illusions, a poem dedicated to a yet-to-be-met lover to whom Thelma sings: "I love how you play with illusion / cause you know how badly we need them / But honey you’re so real / and you dance around fear [...] and you don’t make me feel like I’m the woman I am not." Which sounds like a cleared-sighted expression of the healing power of art-making.

Don't miss Thelma's live show at Trans-Pecos on December 20th and look out for her new album, scheduled for a February 22 release.

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Great New Emerging NYC Folk: Swimming Bell, Thelma, Pueblo, Hayes Peebles and Swoon Lake

Once again, 2017 was a year of experiments in modern folk music. Two NYC acts that pushed the boundaries of the genre and further defined the slightly fuzzy definition of neo-folk were Swimming Bell and Thelma. “The Golden Heart,” the former’s debut EP, carved fresh arrangements and harmonic material out of familiar instrumental textures. Thelma’s self-titled record meandered into darker lyrical and melodic territory, though with a consistent crystalline vocal perched atop often dissonant chords and rockier textures. That being said, Pueblo and Hayes Peebles, on the rootsier end of the spectrum, shone with stellar songwriting and nuanced arrangements, offering up an enlightening modern take on a more traditional sound. Pueblo released their flavorful record “Boring the Camera,” stirred memories of an electric Simon & Garfunkel. Hayes Peebles’ “Ghosts EP” offered breathtaking melodies with lush, sentient lyrics, while peppering in a twangy guitar or two. We also really enjoyed Swoon Lake's lush ballads from her sophomore self-titled EP, although the artist doesn't seem to be very active live. - Geena Kloeppel

Here's a playlist with a song each from these five artists. 

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Thelma brings her world of haunted beauty to Alphaville on 04.29

Have you ever wondered what the genre "alt-cherub" sounds like? Listen to Thelma to find out - these keywords are listed as the genre on her Facebook page. It's a pretty accurate description; her sound is sparse, though at times breaking into affected drum arrangements; falsetto gliding overlapping in canons and synths building drama make sure you never feel quite at ease in Thelma's world. The song "Peach" highlights that conundrum and puts inner turmoil into sound form, while debut album opener"If You Let It" (streaming) methodically builds itself in ways that are at once operatic and experimental. Check out Thelma live at Alphaville in Brooklyn on April 29th. - Geena Kloppel

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