Radio Free Brooklyn and Bushwick Daily are proud to announce a new weekly local-music column that will focus on artists that call Bushwick home. Each week, a Radio Free Brooklyn personality will pen a record or performance review of a different Bushwick based artist, with a curated selection of the best upcoming local gigs in the neighborhood for the following weekend.
Brooklyn quartet Sooner kicked off the final month of 2018 by releasing their second EP, Stranger. Recorded in a home studio, the six songs on Stranger belie this recording experience in some ways. Sooner manage to bottle up a highly enveloping dream pop sound that’s vast and textured, but not overbearing, and intimate without being too taciturn. If you enjoyed the group’s 2017 debut self-titled EP, then Stranger will not disappoint, as it further builds off this delicate balance, giving Sooner their own alluring brand of soft shoegaze.
The songs on Stranger can be best described as a modern day shoegaze leaning indie-pop that’s reminiscent of early Cocteau Twins and Slouvaki era Slowdive. Sooner’s style blends the melodic strength of Elizabeth Fraser and the immersive guitars heard on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. From front to back, the guitars on Stranger remain soaked in reverb, with lead vocalist Federica T’s soft, wispy voice accentuating the whirlwind of sounds surrounding it. At the crux of the EP is “Mean,” a track that begins with a gentle melodic lull, but slowly treads into a rich cacophony of guitars. Other standouts include “Regrets (Lily)” and “Notes From The Underground,” which both feature dramatic, crushing endings that showcase the band’s flair for creating sonically lush outros. Overall, the songs on Stranger channel just the right amount of familiarity while Sooner continues to grow into a sound that’s uniquely their own.
You can purchase Stranger via Bandcamp.
Tis the season to get out and see some live music! Don’t miss these gigs this week:
Wednesday, December 19th
Coco Verde, Jane Church, Da Pop, Pinot and the Noirs at Sunnyvale, 8pm
We may be approaching the dead of winter, but the sunny psychedelic sounds of Wednesday’s lineup at Sunnyvale are sure to warm you right up. Headliner Coco Verde released their debut EP Marathon back in September, and it features their shimmering single “Savannah.” This gig is also one of your last chances to see Jane Church before primary songwriter Matt Stevenson relocates to Los Angeles. His debut album, Calimocho Molotov drops on January 19th via Greenway Records. Rounding out the bill are Da Pop and Pinot and the Noirs. Da Pop released their debut EP Yes Dad back in July of this year.
Thursday, December 20th
Salt Cathedral, Jackie Mendoza, Pecas at Elsewhere, 8pm
Thursday night at Elsewhere features three of Brooklyn’s best electronic pop artists. Duo Salt Cathedral released two mesmerizing singles in 2018, “Rude Boy” and “No Love.” They most recently supplemented those fine tracks with two hypnotic remixes of “Rude Boy.” Also performing is former Gingerlys vocalist Jackie Mendoza, who continues to wow crowds with her eclectic solo material, which blends electronic indie-pop, latin pop music, and folk. Opening is Pecas, who adds a bit more R&B/Soul stylings to this triple bill. She released her second EP, After Dark, back in August
Friday, December 21st
Bay Faction at Elsewhere, 6pm
Bay Faction are celebrating the release of their debut album, Florida Guilt, this Friday at Elsewhere. Thematically, the record delves into identity struggles and sees the group moving away from their pop-punk roots toward a more solid indie-rock sound. Expect to see and hear more from this budding young trio, as the group is currently finalizing plans for a permanent move from Boston to the New York City area.
Saturday, December 22nd
Ovlov, Mister Goblin, Rock Solid at Trans-Pecos, 8pm
Local label Exploding In Sound Records is showcasing three bands that released excellent records with them in 2018. Catch the bands this Saturday night at Trans-Pecos. After a five year hiatus, Connecticut band Ovlov returned with their stunning second album, Tru. Don’t miss your last chance to see the newly reunited group this year, as they’ll be joined by Mister Goblin, who just released a brand new cassette EP, Final Boy. Arrive early to catch Rock Solid, who released their debut EP, Something Solid, in June of this year.