Brooklyn

PREMIERE

Field Guides - Lucky Star in the A.M.

By Abigail Clyne

Brooklyn collective Field Guides’ newest single “Lucky Star in the A.M.” is a sparkling musical meditation. The folk pop track is the band’s second single in the lead up to the release of their album, This Is Just A Place, out September 27. Written in the wake of a breakup, singer/songwriter Benedict Kupstas uses percussive rhythm and powerful vocals to paint a picture of a relationship on the rocks, singing “We were all waiting for some change in the season.” Kupstas’ invocation of Nabokov’s novel, Pale Fire, paired with his reference of the Chinatown bus to Boston, the title and chorus of the track, artfully invokes high culture against the pedestrian. The closing line “all the happenstances have been adding up apocalyptic” relays the need to filter our experiences through the lens of the world, the turmoil of our current times.

Alena Spanger, of Tiny Hazard, provides a beautiful female counter to Kupstas’ baritone in the chorus. The expansive instrumentation and the tempo of the single feels like watching the world world go by while aboard mass transit–the track, like a good bus ride, is a trip well spent.

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.

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

JOBS - Pink

Gerard Marcus

Perfection is weird; it's by its very definition never obtainable. According to Merriam-Webster, perfection is “freedom from fault or defect.” But who decides what’s a fault or defect? JOBS' new video for their single “Pink” considers that question at its core, turning what some people might see as faults into a video that is pretty close to that elusive perfection.

“Pink” the track is a wild combination of pulsing rhythms, distorted guitars, and surreal vocals that more directly evoke imagery than meaning. It’s a song of sensation that ask you to listen deep without any expectation of reward. Directed by Britt Ciampa, the video portrays two characters dragging objects through what seems like a parade of ghosts. JOBS' singer-guitarist David Scanlon’s distorted image is overlayed throughout, creating a beautiful collage of hyper-stimulating imagery. Britt Ciampa's work as a visual effects artist really shines in the video. Using visual ideas he discovered through failures at creating photorealistic fixes in his usual work as a vfx artist, he creates a visual language for this video that pairs excellently with the driving pulse and distorted sounds of JOBS track. He created perfection out of imperfection, and what’s more perfect than that?

PREMIERE

Moonheart - Breaking/Broken

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Gerard Marcus

Have you ever loved someone-a mother, a friend, a life partner-who’s emotionally sporadic? It has a way of making you lose yourself in anxieties that aren’t your own. Finding your way out of the maze of another person’s emotions is hard, and it can force you to learn how to emotionally separate yourself from aspects of their life. It’s not easy, not being hugged when that’s all you want, not seeing a smile after you told what you know is the funniest joke ever. But love keeps you there.

Moonheart’s new single “Breaking/Broken” reminds me of this space. The track is simple-lush synths layered over cavernous percussion and flickering electronics, with singer Kim Iman’s voice ping-ponging in stereo like rippling water running over it all. This simplicity is all in service of my favorite aspect of this track: its structure. The song opts-out of a familiar verse-chorus pattern, and instead floats through a lyrical stream of consciousness. It evokes the contemplation one has after yet another failure to connect with someone they love, remembering all the good and the bad in the relationship, while trying to figure out what comes next. This emotional middle ground is hard to grasp, but Moonheart has captured it perfectly.