The brotherly duo England in 1819, comprised of Andrew and Dan Callaway, have taken an interesting path to crafting its brand of electro-infused indie rock. The brothers Callaway played in rock bands at a young age while they lived overseas in the hills of the English countryside. Upon moving back to the states, they both spent time in conservatories, studying composition (Andrew) and french horn (Dan). Now, the duo purveys in a variety of indie rock that’s primarily electronic in its instrumentation. Summer Lighting EP, the duo’s latest release, is a further expansion of its sound, particularly with a noticeable incorporation of ‘80s influences.
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The long-running alt rock group Cracker has taken on a bold task with its latest LP, Berkeley to Bakersfield. As its title suggests, it’s a California-centric musical journey that spans the hip Bay Area to the desert environs of the Central Valley. The record, a two-disc affair, captures each area with a particular style: the former with a “punk” and “garage” oriented rock with “funky undertones”, the latter with a twangy country style reminiscent of the famed Bakersfield sound. Below you can stream “Waited My Whole Life”, a tune from the Berkeley portion of the journey.
Marta Argenio (aka Silty) and Mo Stellato go by the name the Actions when performing music, which they have been doing a lot of lately. Coming fresh off of a series of shows with Green Day in Europe, the duo is gearing up for its latest single, “The Echo”, which will be released during the throes of the holiday season. “The Echo”, driven by an insistent bassline that’s placed front and center in the mix, is a somewhat brooding tune. Silty’s distorted vocals sound especially unsettling juxtaposed to the minor chords played by the guitar, which has a jazzy tone to it.
Stuyvesant formed in the early ‘00s as a new project involving many musicians involved in the ‘90s indie rock scene in New Jersey. Ralph Malanga (guitar and vocals) played in the band Footstone; Sean Adams (guitar and vocals) and Brian Musikoff (bass) performed with Friends, Romans, Countrymen. Having now been performing as Stuyvesant for over a decade now, the band has settled into a comfortable yet energetic rhythm. The group’s newest LP, the forthcoming Shmyvesant, displays its ability to write a toe-tapping, party-starting groove. “Alright” is a case in point here; with its driving power chords and backing horns, the song captures the youthful zeal of these longtime performers.
Surely, Balance Problems, the latest LP by the New York chamber classical outfit yMusic, is a misnomer. Tackling compositions by various composers (including Nico Muhly and Sufjan Stevens) is no easy task, but this collective of six musicians has proven itself able to balance the variegated compositions it plays. yMusic is made up of Rob Moose, CJ Camerieri, Clarice Jensen, Alex Sopp, Hideaki Aomori, and Nadia Sirota, all impressive musicians in their own right. When they all come together as yMusic, however, the results are even more stunning.
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