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by Sachyn Mital

14 Dec 2015


Glen Hansard recently earned a Grammy nomination in the category of “Best Folk Album” for his second solo album Didn’t He Ramble. The Irish singer has been touring hard to support the album and recently did two shows in New York City, the second of which, at the Beacon Theatre, was sold out (the first night at Kings Theatre wasn’t).

Hansard did much of the same set as he did at Kings, including several of the same stories, but since his music is so enjoyable, it was great to see him perform again, as he includes several of his The Swell Season favorites into the set. Check out photos, a video clip (cameras were frowned upon) and the setlist from the show below.

by Sachyn Mital

7 Dec 2015


When I first heard about the Winter Hoot ahead of the 2015 event, I pictured a lot of bearded Brooklyn transplants hanging out, drinking craft beers and listening to music on wooden benches. I didn’t anticipate that it would be a family friendly affair with lots of parents and their tots in tow or in slings listening to music sitting on wooden benches. The Winter Hoot is an annual event thrown by the Mike + Ruthy Band that will be returning for its fourth iteration in January. The Hoot will have fun for all ages including, “the ever-popular blacksmithing demos, sledding, all-ages crafts in the FiberFlame room (leave your child for an additional childcare fee), an array of upstairs parent-child activities, an instrument petting zoo by Hungry For Music (please bring an instrument to donate to kids in need) and intimate mini-concerts in the Pewter Shop filmed and recorded by Beehive Productions.” The Pewter Sessions were a particular highlight, I caught David Wax Museum there and the Hoot has archived some clips on YouTube here.

I really enjoyed their vibrant folk sound when I saw them, so much so that I went to catch Mike + Ruthy perform in New York City twice afterwards including once at a Fracking awareness show at Brooklyn Bowl and another time at Rockwood Music Hall in July, where they performed songs from their newest album Bright As You Can and invited friends like Aoife O’Donovan on stage to join them. A particularly large crowd gathered on stage near the end of the show as everyone took part in a sing-along of “On My Way Home” (which I captured as video below). Their shows are fun, friendly and intimate and anyone who likes their home-spun Americana served with jollity would be wise to catch them live.

by Sachyn Mital

24 Nov 2015


The BBC thought Marina and the Diamond‘s Froot should have landed a nomination for the Mercury Prize which was awarded last week to Benjamin Clementine (for At Least for Now). Over the course of 2015, I have found Marina’s album to be an extremely engaging pop record, enough so that it stands in the genre as a favorite (alongside Say Lou Lou) of the year. So I had to see her once more—with the bonus of having Christine and the Queens as openers.

by Sachyn Mital

23 Nov 2015


BOOTS, the musician Jordan Asher, isn’t a household name. He isn’t even the easiest internet search. But he has made his name producing tracks for Beyoncé, FKA twigs, Run the Jewels and more. With the release of his debut album AQUARIA this month, BOOTS decided to forgo any of the celebrity connections and do a record that lets his skills as a singer/rapper/producer/guitarist shine—he’s got almost as many slashes as Grimes does. The New York Times describes the album as, “a post-apocalyptic soundscape that’s simultaneously desolate and pressured.”

by Sachyn Mital

20 Nov 2015


French singer Héloïse Letissier isn’t a known name in the United States. Neither is her group, Christine and the Queens, at least not yet. Christine performed in New York City for four nights in November, two opening for Marina and the Diamonds, one headlining Webster Hall and a final late night spot on The Daily Show. Her personality and presence could be described as a mix of Florence and the Machine and Stromae—a combination of ferocity, dance moves and Frenchness (Stromae is Belgian but does sing in French). Her song “Tilted” is perhaps the standout of her debut album Christine and the Queens (Neon Gold / Because Records) and it was one of a couple of songs she played in front of a live studio audience.

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