Articles by

Carena Liptak

LIVE REVIEW: Parlour Tricks @ Mercury Lounge

Lily Claire, frontwoman and primary songwriter for the New York-based Parlour Tricks, gets wild-eyed when she performs. Standing squarely in the middle of the stage at the Mercury Lounge last Saturday, wearing a white tunic with a black collar (her backup singers wore...

INTERVIEW: Lily & Madeleine

  Over the course of the past two years, Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz, teenage sisters from Indianapolis, have had a performance go viral on Reddit, written their first original songs, gotten signed to Asthmatic Kitty, released two full-length albums and an EP,...

PLAYLIST: A Spooky Scary Halloween Playlist

So you’re throwing your annual Halloween party but you shot your wad on all the holiday classics ( the Monster Mash, the Time Warp, the Purple People Eater, etc, etc) on last year’s mix. So you’re going as Will Smith circa “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and...

ALBUM REVIEW: Foxygen “…And Star Power”

When I was in college, I spent a lot of time dating musicians, which meant I spent a lot of time sitting in on band practice. By “dating,” I guess I mean puttering around somebody’s basement, falling asleep on an old,...

LIVE REVIEW: Imelda May @ Irving Plaza

Imelda May radiates light when she’s on stage–and not just because of her bright red lipstick. The Irish rockabilly singer brought an ebullient grace to her set last Monday at Irving Plaza, beginning with the immaculate-as-always platinum blonde quiff...

TRACK REVIEW: DMA’s “So We Know”

  When  DMA’s signed to Australian indie  label I OH YOU this February, the Newtown trio was so freshly minted that they hadn’t even played a show yet. That isn’t to say they were totally green–all three members (Tommy O’, Matt Mason,...

ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Townes Earle “Single Mothers”

The delightfully bespectacled Justin Townes Earle dependably releases a record every year or so, and has done so since 2007. He can be counted on for more than just punctuality, too. Not one of Earle’s records is a dud: at worst, he’s palatable and...

ALBUM REVIEW: ODESZA “In Return”

Since its inception in late 2012, the Seattle-based electronic duo ODESZA (Harrison Mills/Catacomb Kid and Clayton Knight/BeachesBeaches) has been both prolific and consistent. In particular, the pair made an unlikely fan out of this usually-EDM-ambivalent listener last November with the soulful and...

ALBUM REVIEW: Helado Negro “Double Youth”

After a slew of collaborations (Bear In Heaven, Devendra Banhart, Julianna Barwick, and others), Roberto Carlos Lange retreated inward to make Double Youth, his fourth full-length release as Helado Negro. Recorded largely in Lange’s home studio in Brooklyn, the album is constructed...

ALBUM REVIEW: Weyes Blood “The Innocents”

Just now, I googled “1960s witchy psychedelic folk,” grasping, I guess, for a manageable term that encapsulates both Nico’s glamourous theatrics and Brigitte Fontaine’s quirky darkness. I’m sitting at a table in the pool-house out back of a big...

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Adia Victoria “Stuck In The South”

“Stuck In The South,” the debut single from the little-advertised shadow figure Adia Victoria (along with her band: Mason Hickman, Tiffany Minton and Ruby Rogers), is a curious matrix, at once single-mindedly powerful and also complex, made up of conflicting impulses....

TRACK REVIEW DOUBLE FEATURE: New Singles from Ty Segall’s Label

Ty Segall‘s GOD? Records imprint, on Drag City, is only a little over a year old, but Segall has chased a visceral, DIY aesthetic since the imprint’s very first release. To that end, Segall is bringing out two new 7″s from noise...

TRACK REVIEW: Black Honey “Sleep Forever” (Demo)

Ask not for whom the gramophone croons. By now, Black Honey‘s obscured identity can’t be unintentional. Their demo “Sleep Forever” is hooky-as-hell, sinister pop noir, with a timelessness that’s strengthened by their mysterious identity. Lipstick-stained cigarettes and flickering neon come...

INTERVIEW: Jack + Eliza

Eliza Callahan and Jack Staffen grew up at the same time–and in the same zip code!–but as the harmony-happy folk pop outfit Jack + Eliza, the pair spans decades. “Hold The Line,” the first single off their forthcoming EP No Wonders (via...

ALBUM REVIEW: Cold Beat “Over Me”

As far as I’m concerned, Hannah Lew–though she plays the bass–is first and foremost a vocal magician. Admittedly that’s because of her work with Grass Widow, the wondrously spooky San Francisco female trio that operates as a kind of tapestry, weaving all...

EP REVIEW: The Peach Kings “Mojo Thunder”

No one could accuse LA outfit The Peach Kings of making records that are too long or boring. Since 2011, the group–cornerstone members Paige Wood and Steven Dies, along with a revolving assortment of friends and drummers–have put out three...

TRACK OF THE WEEK: DAMEHT “The Greek”

Only New York City could have produced DAMEHT.  This is a trio of musical omnivores, and they’ve soaked up influences in new-wave, electronic, top-40 radio, house and classic rock. Even elbows-deep in a dirty punk guitar riff, their songs ooze Michael Jackson-esque,...

ALBUM REVIEW: WIFE “What’s Between”

Shortly after Irish black metal outfit Altar of Plagues announced their breakup last summer, the group’s frontman James Kelly unveiled the first glimmers of a forthcoming album to come from his electronic side project WIFE. I–along with pretty much all the metal fans I...