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NYC Artists on the rise: Laurel Halo - CD release party on 12.03

Haunting in an almost religious way, Laurel Halo's electronic tunes are evocative of Cocteau Twin's ethereal, multi-layered dreams, This Mortal Coil's holy goth atmospheres, and (at times) Chairlift's poppier approach to synth pop. All the songs on Laurel's mypsace profile shine for unorthodox beauty. We recommend you listen to her music and go to her release party at Monster Island on December 3.

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Weekly Feature #226b: Bronze

After only a few short months of playing together, Brooklyn based Bronze has managed to find itself amid a flurry of buzz. Though they have only been performing a few months, the band has already played a slew of high profile dates opening for Free Energy, Snowden, Film School, and We Were Promised Jetpacks. It only makes sense that the band is on the fast track to success as 2 of its founding members were previously of NYC based, and French Kiss records alum, Detachment Kit. I managed to catch the band after an amazing performance at a sold out show at Union Pool in Williamsburg and got a chance to ask them a few questions about their history, influences, and the pains and pleasures of being a band in New York City. - Read David Hall's interview with the band here.

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Weekly Feature #226s: Lights Resolve

Not the typical rock troupe, Lights Resolve cater to hard rockers, pop fanatics, and everyone in between, with catching songs defined by non-conforming vocal melodies, distinctive guitar modulations that intertwine with ornate bass riffs, and complex, hard-hitting rhythmic styles. The band has three self-released EPs, beloved national status, top spots on The Deli’s charts, consistently sold out hometown shows, appearances in soundtracks for MTV hits, including “The Hills” and Season 1 of “Jersey Shore,” and striking numbers of “Rock Band” downloads of their single “Dreaming of Love” under their belts, but shockingly, early 2011 will mark the release of Lights Resolve’s first full-length record, “Feel You’re Different.” - Read Meijin Bruttomesso's interview with the band here.

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Non-chalant Minks release album on Captured Tracks in early 2011

Singing with nonchalance and slightly out of tune is an art in itself. Curiously, when found together (and in the right dosage), these two qualities work like a double negative and resolve to a positive - often identified as "character". Everything started here in NYC with Lou Reed - I believe - but Syd Barret was probably this particular art's unsurpassed genius, and bands like Pavement and more recently Crystal Stilts started new similar trends in the past 2 decades. Nonchalance seems to have become a defining trait for the 2010 Brooklyn hipster bands, and new Captured Tracks' signees Minks try to bring that quality to its extremes within the pop format. Their extremely structured songs, formally reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain with the Cure's rhythm section, are "nonchalanted" through weird vocal effects a-la' Ween (de-tuning, flanger, distortion and delay/reverb of course), or drunken, crooked instrument parts like int the song "Drunk Punks" here - again, Ween's  craziness comes to mind, although Minks is in no way a band of comedians like the PA duo was. Look out for the debut album in January.

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Gregory and the Hawk back with a new album

Gregory and the Hawk is the project of playful and dreamy singer songwriter Meredith Godreau, who moved to NYC from Massachusetts in the mid 2000 to find a record deal with Fat Cat Records. Intense and sleepy, Godreau's songs play with simple melodies that aim at the heart, and are the perfect soundtrack to sweeten up the darkest of seasons. The unconventional, sparse arrangements employ instruments as varied as strings, mallets and harp. This video of the song "For The Best" was realized using some of the artist's own drawings.

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