Newborn may be one of the seemingly endless “Brooklyn-based” bands in the world at the moment, but right from the outset of their Broken Virgo EP it becomes clear they’re of a different ilk than their neighbors in Williamsburg and Park Slope. Whereas the rock that comes out of this most unaffordable of the Five Boroughs trends toward the twee, Newborn inject a muscular, hard edge into their rock—check the metallic opening riff to “Passing By”. The catchy “Uma” even has a guitar solo that will satisfy fans of classic hard rock. Those looking for rock ‘n’ roll that’s willing to fall out of line of its regional scene should no doubt look into Broken Virgo EP.
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Last week, PopMatters premiered a new track by Jesse Harris and Star Rover, “Catch the Ash”. Now, we’re proud to premiere the full album by Harris and his collaborators, No Wrong No Right. Star Rover is but one of many collaborators on this recording; Harris also collaborated with renowned guitarist Julian Lage, notably on the gorgeous highlight “Kafiristan” (co-written with John Zorn). Drawing inspiration from Neil Young’s After the Goldrush album, Harris mixes together quiet acoustic numbers, full-band tunes with Star Rover, the aforementioned guitar duets with Lage, and a smattering of pretty instrumentals into a successful whole. No Wrong No Right marks Harris’ 13th solo effort, and by the sound of things he hasn’t lost any artistic energy, and won’t be losing any soon.
After being the runner-up to the fourth season of the American version of The Voice, Michelle Chamuel hasn’t let her musical ambitions rest. Having already cut her teeth in a group dynamic with the band Ella Riot (formerly known as My Dear Disco), Chamuel has now readied her first full-length pop LP, Face the Fire, following several solo EPs, a duo album (2011’s s/he), and an electronic album (2013’s All I Want, under the name The Reverb Junkie).
To get a sense of Chamuel’s pop smarts, you can stream her remix of Usher’s “Climax” below. (Usher was her initial “mentor” during her stint on The Voice.) She’s already proven her remixing chops before, particularly with her spin on Adele’s “Turning Tables”, and now she can add this fine interpretation to her résumé.
Kate Barker-Froyland’s 2014 film Song One tells the story of a young woman called Franny Ellis (Anne Hathaway), whose life is thrown into emotional tumult when her brother falls into a coma after a car accident. Set in the ever-thriving Brooklyn music scene, the film is as much about the music of the city as it is the people who live within it; unsurprisingly, then, reputable musicians Jenny Lewis (The Postal Service) and Johnathan Rice were called upon to write songs for this musical tale. Below, you can view an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Song One Original Soundtrack (OST), focusing on the song “Big Black Cadillac”.
Rozwell Kid has a penchant for the absurd. The rock quartet’s bio on their Facebook page simply reads: “‘whose line is it anyway?’ fantasy draft 2014 champions”. (One supposes congratulations are in order?) Then there’s a title like “Hummus Vacuum”, a track off of their new release, the limited edition cassette Good Graphics. The song is noteworthy for its delightfully chunk guitar distortion, but perhaps more so for its lyrics. Take, for instance, the opening lines: “My guts are twisting / From that burger I ate / In the parking lot / In the dark”. From there, more and more aliments get added into the equation, namely pizza and the titular hummus. Echoes of Weezer’s off-kilter charms can be heard in this pleasantly odballish tune by this equally odballish group.