Defining itself as “a collective of musicians with backgrounds in contemporary classical, metal, jazz, and folk music, all who happen to play rock music [sic]”, Brooklyn outfit Emanuel and the Fear (led by Emanuel Ayvas) proved to be an incredibly eclectic, skillful, and striving troupe on its previous two LPs, Listen (2010) and The Janus Mirror (2013). Channeling the instrumental prowess and/or symphonic melodic grip of ELO, Frank Zappa, and the Dear Hunter (among many other diverse acts), the group always takes its listeners to unexpected places while also maintaining certain distinctive traits. Fortunately, both expectations are met on “Meredith”, the first single from their upcoming third studio album, Primitive Smile.
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With its 2014 debut LP, The Fall, “dark, alternative, new-wave duo [sic]” Se Delan (English multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves and Swedish singer Belinda Kordic) proved itself as one of the most distinctive and auspicious new acts on Kscope. Brimming with ghostly vocals, gritty atmospheres, and a gregarious balance of chaotic density and moody sparsity, the collection was a haunting opus that left fans eager for a studio follow-up. Fortunately, the twosome’s sophomore effort, Drifter, will be arriving on April 29th, and to assuage the wait a bit, they’ve just issued the first single from the record, “Going Home”.
Parlor Walls is a “trash jazz” trio comprising of Alyse Lamb of post-punk outfit EULA, avant—saxophonist Kate Mohanty, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Mulligan, Lamb’s partner in the multi-media art collective Famous Swords. We were fortunate enough to have Parlor Walls open our CMJ showcase with a totally transformational performance. The dexterity of each member, from Mulligan’s multi-tasking drumming and keyboard tapping to Mohanty’s beautifully interwoven sax playing, as well as Lamb’s full throttle command of the stage, made for as memorable a CMJ performance as any given by better known acts on the festival’s roster.
The muffled shuffle of Adian Coker’s “Been There” begins with a minimal line of percussion, soon eased into a more wholesome groove of metronomic hip-hop. This sampling of the South London rapper’s impressive talents features on his latest EP, Time Out of Mind, which has already gained some traction in his native UK. Having explored a gamut of pop-music styles, Coker’s hip-hop rests comfortably in a secured space of influences pooling from both sides of the Atlantic. There is indeed a good chunk of East Coast hip-hop in his work that is essentially the tether of which the grime, dubstep and electro-funk elements are attached.
“Nouveau Wave” collective Dead Leaf Echo released single “Lemonheart” back in September. A highly limited, clear 7” of the song quickly sold out, but “Lemonheart” can still be streamed in its lush and chiming glory via Soundcloud.
“Lemonheart”’s b-side, “Sunlessoul”, is more somber, the setting sun to “Lemonheart’s” daybreak. It’s a lucid meditation that gives way to a beautiful coda, with guitarist / keyboardist Ana B’s backing vocals working in gorgeous contrast to frontman LG’s dreamy delivery.