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PREMIERE

0 Stars - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

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Gerard Marcus

Mikey Buishas is a Brooklyn-based artist who has the amazing ability of depicting the emotional energy of passing thoughts. His new single from his project 0 Stars, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” is a one-minute melancholic tale of fear, self-analysis, and love. Buishas says his inspiration for the song was “an immediate response to Leica [his dog] barking herself awake after a baby in the adjacent apartment screamed.” In this short minute, he explains his reasoning for not reprimanding Leica, choosing instead to sympathize with her, understanding that barking in this situation is just her way of expressing fear. And everyone should be allowed to express fear without judgement. The attention of the song then shifts and Buishas turns the lens on himself, using Leica’s fear to analyze his own sadness at driving away someone he loves. But if he’s the reason for them not being there, is it fair for him to depend on them to make him feel better? It’s beautiful, simple songwriting about a complex idea, presenting its emotional weight in a tight package, allowing it to linger long after its short running time is over. “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” is the first single off of 0 Stars debut album, ‘Blowing on a Marshmallow in Perpetuity,’ coming out August 30th on Babe City Records. Pre-order the album HERE.

PREMIERE

David Vassalotti - The Light

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By Jordan Feinstein

David Vassalotti’s “The Light” is a song about the very specific moment when someone has messed up and is terrified that it will end their relationship. But instead of anger at his partner, David experiences relief that everything is out in the open now, and he can now exist with and see them honestly.

“The Light” is filled with beautiful lyrics and sounds, both taking a quasi-psychedelic approach to its themes. “There’s no beast left to fear behind the door… it’s good to see you here // it’s good to be with you here // why did it take so long to turn a light on?” Describing this unknown as a feared beast behind a door is a beautiful and fantastical metaphor. They entered the room, turned the light on, and instead of a monster, they’ve only found themselves together in a new, well-lit room. This warmth and comfort is paralleled in the aural landscape of the song: a warm bath of guitar, drums, and gentle singing. A repeated “boom” sounds throughout the track, perhaps meant to be the revelation in the relationship. But it’s non-threatening, mixed softly under the calming guitars and drums–an explosion that wasn’t. The song ends with a psychedelic journey of sounds as they “go out the back door,” awash with potential and optimism for what comes next

“The Light” is a beautiful take on a moment that could have been terrifying, but instead turned mesmerizing and exciting. It’s a complex and mature conclusion from a songwriter comfortable exploring themselves honestly, and more than capable of translating it into a gorgeous song. It’s no easy feat, and makes me nothing but excited to hear what David Vassalotti does next.

“The Light” is from David Vassalotti’s new album Guitar Dream out on 1/25/19 and up for pre-order here.

VIDEO PREMIERE

Trees Take Ease - Birds Like Leaves

Gerard Marcus

The music of Brooklyn-based musician Trees Take Ease holds a special place in my heart. It perfectly captures the emotional space where my oldest memories reside, dancing in and out of fantasy. With its earnest sensibilities and lo-fi feel, his 2017 record ‘Magnetic North’ is easily one of my favorites from last year. He’s had two releases since then, but I’m happy to see him return to Magnetic North to create a beautiful video for its track “Birds Like Leaves.”

Directed by Kathleen Elizabeth Dalton and Stephen Becker (Trees Take Ease), the power in the “Birds Like Leaves” video is its ability to draw attention to its fringes. Scraps of paper trapped by the wind, hands without bodies, shadows dancing and connecting on the ground—the entire video hints at the presence of more while focusing on the less. Is there a grace in how the wind carries the paper? Do those shadows connect us more completely than we do in the flesh? The video, like the music of Trees Take Ease, asks us to pay attention to that middle ground between reality and fantasy, the etherial and the concrete. A world where contemplation on the big and small can hopefully lead to deeper knowledge.

VIDEO PREMIERE

Obvious Creature - Hiding (Video by: Lobo Incognito)

Gerard Marcus

Through all the histories I’ve read in my short time here on earth, I've learned that hiding has been a crucial elements of human survival. Hiding from danger, hiding from the truth, hiding who one really is–it’s a skillset one develops in order to protect or withhold one's personal world from outside influences. As important as hiding has been in the past, it's interesting to think about the modern-day climate of shared information where everything you do is recorded. Nowadays, where can you truly hide? Artist Lobo Incognito takes on this question his video for Obvious Creature’s track “Hiding.”

The video is a mixed collage of found-footage and hand-shot imagery exploring the idea of where we go when we hide. Some of the imagery seems almost voyeuristically intimate, while at other times it is distant and cold. It's the balance of these contrasting elements that Incognito nails beautifully in this video, perfectly capturing the tension of hiding in a modern world where nothing is really secret. Images distort, repeat, and cut to the point where they only fly past as reference. Color change to impossible hues. And digitally-constructed images bend around the analog. Nothing seems stable, and it feels like at any moment all the secrets held within the video will be revealed–but it never happens. Incognito is able to hold it all together with a strong sense of style and aesthetic, teasing at a digital realm where all secrets lie. The video's warped digital style, paired with the chill jazz stylings of the Obvious Creature’s track, creates a dueling experience that breezes through subliminal messages and shows us the reality that today, we all hide in plain sight.

PREMIERE

Dances - Never Sexier Than When I'm Alone

Gerard Marcus

You meet someone and immediately hit it off. It quickly becomes almost shocking to think of a time before or after them. You start spending more and more time together, growing more and more connected, bringing an ease to life you’ve been looking for for a while. The only problem is that they now have to go. Far away. It’s a weird feeling, wanting to be near someone when you can’t. That rawness of a recent lover lost to distance is the central theme of Dances new single, “Never Sexier Than When I’m Alone.”

The video, directed by Alec MacDonald, is an intimate portrait of longing. Dances' lead singer and songwriter Trevor Vaz sits alone in local Bushwick dance spot Mood Ring contemplating moments that he wishes to share with a distant lover. As the night progresses and the alcohol flows, he finds himself wandering towards the back room alone, thrashing around while draped in silver and gold ribbons. Production choices like having Vaz function as his own bartender, or the subtle realty vs. fantasy element of watching himself on security footage, drive home the track's deep longing. The video beautifully portrays the solitude of yearning to be somewhere else, anywhere else, with the person you love. 

Venus Figurine comes out 10/12 via the new label Jubilee Gang with a release show on 10/13 at Trans-Pecos with Zenizen and Realworld