indie rock

Madrugada – Only when you’re gone


Kevin Morby – Harlem River

Before heading out on his own as a singer/songwriter, Kevin Morby was best known for his work with two different Brooklyn bands, the Babies and Woods. Based in Los Angeles, Morby originally moved from his native Kansas City to Brooklyn in the mid-2000s, eventually joining the noise folk group Woods on bass. While living in Brooklyn, he became close friends and roommates with Cassie Ramone of the punk trio Vivian Girls, and the two formed a side project together called the Babies, who released albums in 2011 and 2012. Following his move to L.A., Morby recorded a collection of songs with Babies producer Rob Barbato that was intended to be an homage to New York City. The new songs represented a stylistic shift into a more roots-oriented indie sound and also featured Babies drummer Justin Sullivan along with several other guest artists. Released in 2013 by Woodsist Records, the eight-song collection was called Harlem River and became Morby’s debut as a solo artist.

In August of that year, Morby relocated from his Brooklyn dwellings to Los Angeles, quickly beginning work on what would become his second solo album, Still Life. The album was released yet again on the Woodsist label in late 2014. His next record was informed by two developments: he moved to a house with a piano; and he played in the Complete Last Waltz, a group formed to pay tribute to the music of the Band. The first changed the way he wrote songs; the second meant he hooked up with fellow bandmate Sam Cohen of Yellowbirds and the two began collaborating. The recording of Morby’s first album for his new label, Dead Oceans, took place in Woodstock, New York and featured appearances from keyboardist Marco Benevento and Quilt’s John Andrews on musical saw. Singing Saw was released in April of 2016. The following year, a companion-piece album, City Music, was released. Recorded at the analog-centric Panoramic House studio in rural West Marin, California and prominently featuring its 19th century pump organ, the album saw Morby channeling Lou Reed and Patti Smith in a collection of introspective vignettes.

David Candy – Diary of a Genius

David Candy is a pseudonym of Ian Svenonius (formerly of Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, and currently Weird War). Only one album was released under the name David Candy, Play Power. The character of David Candy was part of a series of “Magazine-Style Records” conceived by Mike Alway (produced by Jez Butler and John Austin), which included other imaginary acts such as Death by Chocolate, Maria Napoleon, Mild Euphoria and Lollipop Train.

The David Candy persona is that of a pretentious, over-opinionated, egotistical, self-absorbed, pseudo-intellectual hipster who has perhaps spent too long alone, absorbed in The Doors’ American Prayer. This choice of character traits may have been a form of self-mockery by Svenonius, or perhaps a commentary on the personalities of the indie rock scene in general. Much like the assumed personas and personalities of all of Svenonius’ bands and projects, a make-believe mythos surrounds the character of David Candy.

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes – NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros can’t exactly slip into an office building unnoticed: Clad in the same clothes they’d worn at a concert the night before, the L.A. band’s 10 ragtag misfits would have fit in far more seamlessly at, say, Burning Man. Seeming to exist in a blissed-out alternate universe — during the wonderful “Home,” singer Jade Castrinos exclaims, “Good morning, everybody!” as the clock behind her reads 2:10 p.m. — this is a band whose performances beg to be seen as well as heard, not to mention shot through a wide-angle lens.

The biggest band to play a Tiny Desk Concert – the 10 members of The Magnetic Zeroes played three songs from their debut album (Up From Below).

The set included:
– Janglin
– Home
– 40 Day Daydream

The Family Crest – NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

There’s a decent chance you’re about to discover your favorite new band. Based in San Francisco and led by Liam McCormick, The Family Crest builds its songs from a combination of infectious enthusiasm and powerful talent. The group owes its huge sound not just to its seven members, but to the community that records and plays with them. Eighty people are credited on The Family Crest’s first album, Beneath the Brine.At the Tiny Desk, we heard from seven players with training in classical and jazz, as well as instruments including violin, cello, upright bass, flute, trombone, drums, guitar and McCormick’s voice. And what a voice: Trained as an opera singer but with a hunger for jazz, he’s one of those fortunate souls with plenty to express and the range to deliver. The three songs performed here give you a sense of what The Family Crest can do, though Beneath the Brine is what you’ll want to hear once your jaw has dropped watching this.