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Psych

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NYC Record of the Month: The Shacks' self-titled EP

Feel like sending a chill through your old, mortal soul? Put on the eponymous, debut EP from The Shacks, which is our new, NYC Record of the month. Shannon Wise’s adorable, whispery voice and her simple but memorable melodies certainly charmed us to the core, but it was Max Shrager’s production, which updates the dream-pop genre in welcome ways, that brought the point home. Catch a cover of Ray Davies’ “Strange Effect,” which - slowed and stripped down - is the haunting opener. The more experimental “Orchids” – for which there is a music video, as shown below, follows lullaby "Left it With Moon," and shows off the musical variety and exploration for which The Shacks strive. More traditional dream-folk track “Tidal Waves” evokes dreams of summer, while the reggae-infused “Hands In Your Pockets” – with joyful bursts of slide guitar and innocent-sounding harmonies – bubbles with repressed youthful angst; a beat holding back a torrent of emotion. Least but not last, the collaborative track 'Strange Boy (with instrumental NYC band El Michels Affair), offers a glimpse into the ways this band's sound could evolve in the future with a more produced approach.

The Shacks just announced an early 2017 extensive tour in support of Chicano Batman – Will Sisskind

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Surf Rock Is Dead Release New Single “In Between”

Rising up over an eternally dreamy shoreline comes the latest single “In Between” (streaming below) from Brooklyn’s cleverly named Surf Rock Is Dead.  Over a forward driving quickly-paced beat, layered reverberated guitars create immediate blissful waves.  Those soaring guitar lines fill a number of instrumental passages while shimmering chords create lyrical space.  Vocals hark back to the style of early 90’s MTV stars like The Ocean Blue which conveyed a sentimental nostalgia via a clipped, conversational delivery.  “Go on, go on, back to where you used to be” ultimately emerges as the catchy dual voiced chorus hook, expressing that “in between” feeling of not knowing where you belong.  Having recently wrapped up a 10 date tour supporting Australia’s The Jezabels, the band now prepare to release an EP this Spring. -Dave Cromwell

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Contemplate & Reflect w/Shadow Band at Magic Pictures Dec. 11

An effusion of sonic delight flows from the shroud of nostalgia to the present. Shadow Band’s music constructs a bridge to an ephemeral sabbatical, unfastened from the rapid advance of time. The group is a collective effort operating around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, whose compositions present a movement that feels both wistful and celebratory. The band produces a rich and expansive environment that encapsulates the singular advance of a sparse melancholia, cerebral psych-folk for contemplation and reflection. Shadow Band recently signed to Mexican Summer, who released their digital EP Eagle Unseen last month. Bruno and the gang will be performing tonight in South Philly at Magic Pictures, an evening that will also showcase the twisted enchantment of fellow Philadelphians Evil Sword and Chicago-based doom outfit Blood Licker. Magic Pictures, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), All Ages, 8pm, $8 - Josh Kelly

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New Valley Exit LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

What started out as a solo avant-garde, electro-noise project from the mind of Jeff Zeigler has now grown to a full-fledged band with the backing of Josh Meakim (A Sunny Day in GlasgowThe Fantastic Imagination) on guitar, April Harkanson (MyrriasDowntown Club) on guitar/keys/backing vocals, and Steven Urgo (The War on DrugsChris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band) on drums. Valley Exit is creating noise-pop at its finest, tiptoeing the line between inventiveness and accessibility. That is what you’ll find on Valley Exit’s debut self-titled LP, which is now available via Soft Dystopia, Zeigler’s fledgling record label. You can stream and purchase the album below, and check out our recent interview with Jeff HERE!

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New Aunt Dracula EP Available for Streaming

Aunt Dracula's forthcoming album, YULE, is a completely solo effort from Scott Daly. Gone are the languid, heady psych-pop soundscapes found on previous recordings; instead, you'll discover Daly traversing brutally abrasive sonic terrains, while his avant-garde sensibilities still remain in the form of a "one man wrecking ball". The EP was recorded this past fall at Castle Drac Studios in Fishtown, and will be officially released on December 21 via Bromius Records.

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