Hot off a few gigs during Miami Music Week, the electronic trio Cash Cash stopped by the offices of their label Atlantic Records in New York to perform a couple of their hit songs. However, instead of playing percussive dance versions, the trio Jean Paul Makhlouf, Alex Makhlouf and Sam Frisch decided to strip down the music and go acoustic. They were joined by vocalist Maria Dontas and a string quartet to showcase the songs in front of label execs, media and other guests. The catchy songs were felt comparatively soaring to their electronic counterparts with the vibrant strings and live instrumentation. Cash Cash answered a few questions following their set, including the ever-challenging, ‘would you rather have a time machine that only goes backward in time or only forward?’ and to give a non-committal response to whether or not they prefer to play acoustic or electronic. You can decide yourself by checking out some video clips below, including the official NSFW “Surrender” video.
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Neither the name nor the face of Wolf Colony were very familiar to me before his show on March 2nd, but the description on his Facebook page, “a new blend of electronic-pop, drawing influences from ‘80s synth-pop to indie rock, while slipping in subtle stylistic nuances inspired by various contemporary electronic artists. Rather than indulging in over-production, Wolf Colony adorns his songs with relatively bare arrangements, leaving ample room for his unique vocal presence and deeply personal lyricism”, had me intrigued.
Though Wolf Colony‘s performance to celebrate the release of his debut album Unmasked wasn’t more than 40 minutes long, it was enough time to bathe in the rich sonic palette, particularly the lovely “Beauty”. The audience, which included friends and well-wishers of the mastermind, genuinely howled, in addition to typical applause, to show their appreciation for the man behind the mask. Wolf Colony collaborators, including record producer Neal Sarin and a goggled dancer who was likely Storyboard P (who features in a remix for “The One” by Lucious Fox), were watching close by. Below you’ll find a stream of some music, some videos and photos of the performance including a few of opener Of the Beast, who mixed synths and electronics with a stringed duo.
The free Pandora Holiday Discovery Den event was a fun party for the young crowd that managed to get in and escape the deluge outside. The original bill for the event included Rudimental, the Neighbourhood and Charli XCX, just a week or two ahead of the release of her second album Sucker. However, because of some apparent conflict, the British Charli XCX had to drop off. So the organizers tapped Canadian singer Kiesza to fill in, though they did bump up the Neighbourhood to be the headliner.
WNYC’s New Sounds series allowed me to catch the Gloaming for the first time, a band I had been following for the past nine months or so having missed their prior performance in New York with the Kronos Quartet. During that time, their debut self-titled album was released and though it may have only found a small audience so far, it earned massive applause from the primarily European outlets that picked up on it. The Gloaming has its primary roots in Ireland and consists of Iarla Ó Lionaird’s traditional sean-nós vocals and organ, Thomas Bartlett / aka Doveman on piano, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh playing the hardanger fiddle, Martin Hayes on fiddle and Dennis Cahill on guitar.