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.
Indie surf rock trio Dentist had a 2018 that many groups would envy. The trio released their stunning third full-length album, Night Swimming, were featured as an official act at the annual South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, and toured the entire country. Now, the Asbury Park, New Jersey based trio is kicking off 2019 with a short tour that features an appearance right here in Bushwick on Friday, Jan. 18 at Gold Sounds. I caught up with the band earlier this week to chat about their accomplishments in 2018, their upcoming gig in Bushwick, and their plans for 2019:
Happy New Year! You had a pretty big 2018. You released your third full-length album Night Swimming, booked your first national tour, and appeared on TV in San Diego and Philadelphia. What was the highlight of 2018 for the band?
We love being on tour, and although it always has its ups and downs, that was definitely our favorite part of the year. We also had a really good time during SXSW 2018. That’s always a big party, and it’s great seeing our friends from all over the country.
With several milestones under your belt, how do you feel you grew as a band this past year?
We’ve done some things that we have always wanted to do, so that definitely feels good. We always wanted to drive across the country, be an official SXSW band, put out a record on a label, etc., so it was awesome that those things happened. I don’t think progress registers as much as you’d like it to, though, so the reflection on the good stuff doesn’t always happen, and you just keep trying to move forward. We are overall very grateful for the year we had, though.
Your latest release, Night Swimming, seems to incorporate several stylistic influences. You maintain your signature “surf pop” sound, but the record is aggressive and darker at times. What influenced that and how would you describe how your sound has evolved?
The band has different personalities like a very poppy side, but also a punk side, etc. We tried not to worry too much about diving deeply into one of the styles we like, so this album maybe has more variety and is more ourselves. I think it still has an overall cohesiveness because we still end up sounding like us, and the lyrical themes tend to overlap.
In the time between your 2016 record Ceilings and your latest record, you downsized from a four-piece to a three-piece. What was that adjustment like?
It was very liberating overall. Most people tell us they prefer us as a three piece, so that was great to hear. We had to make some adjustments, but I think we were meant to be a three-piece.
You’re playing Gold Sounds here in Bushwick on Friday. Do you get to play in Brooklyn often? If so, what do you enjoy about playing in Brooklyn?
We end up playing in Brooklyn every couple of months. It’s hard for Jersey people because of the traffic and the tolls, but we love playing in New York City. There are a lot of great bands in the scene that we look forward to visiting the city to perform with.
What are your plans for 2019? What are you most looking forward to?
We hope to play a ton of shows in 2019. We have a few tours in the works. Hoping to release one more video from our last album, and are also hoping to release a couple new songs this year. Probably won’t see another body of work from us like an album until 2020, but new music should arrive in some form this year.
Don’t miss Dentist this Friday, January 18th at Gold Sounds. They’ll be performing with Mutual Interest, Grim All Day, and Nude Shoes. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $8 dollars if purchased in advanced, and $10 dollars on the day of the show.
You can purchase Dentist’s third album Night Swimming on vinyl via Bandcamp.
This week features another great string of shows in Bushwick. Take shelter from the cold by attending one of these hot gigs:
Wednesday, January 16th
New Love Crowd, Blaketheman1000, Freddie Nunez at Alphaville, 8 p.m.
The Wednesday show at Alphaville features three acts with lo-fi pop sensibilities. New Love Crowd will add a bit of warmth to the bill, as they started off the New Year by releasing a twangy new single entitled “Cotton Candy.” Blaketheman1000, the delightful project of singer-songwriter Blake Goldberg, will also be performing his own brand of endearingly sweet indie-pop love songs, which include “Library Love Song,” and “If I Had A Car.” Rounding out the bill is Freddie Nunez, who hinted at a new batch of songs for 2019 via a recent Facebook post.
Thursday, January 17th
Mora-Tau, I Am The Polish Army, Castle Black, Molten at Gold Sounds Bar, 8 p.m.
Expect to hear some darker sounds this Thursday night at Gold Sounds, as the bill features four bands that meddle in the gloomier grunge sounds of indie rock. Headliners Mora-Tau describe themselves as “heavy grunge” and were recently featured in the Aquarium as one of 30 NYC Bands You Need To See Live In 2019. They’ll be joined by the ever impressive I Am The Polish Army, whose principal songwriter Emma Decorsey released her first ever solo EP The Dream back in November, and post-punk trio Castle Black. The sludgy, Melvins-esque sounds of Hoboken, NJ’s Molten will kick off the festivities.
Friday, January 18th
Acid Dad, Big Bliss, Poppies At Market Hotel, 8 p.m.
This Friday’s lineup at Market Hotel is an all-Brooklyn affair featuring three of the borough’s top acts. Greenway Records standouts Acid Dad shared their self-titled debut album in March of last year, and followed that strong effort with a spooky psychedelic punk gem of a single called “Living With A Creature” in October. Big Bliss started off 2019 by premiering the breathtaking remix of their single, “Surface,” a more goth-y take on their Joy Division style of post-punk. Opening this locals only bill is Poppies, who are expected to release their follow up to 2017’s delightfully jangly “Good” sometime this year.
Saturday, January 19th
T-Rextasy, Zenizen, Human People at Trans-Pecos, 8 p.m.
T-Rextasy are wrapping up a month-long tour in support of their sophomore release, Prehysteria, on Saturday at Trans-Pecos. The self-produced album builds off of their pop-oriented punk rock sound with a polished record that touches on issues of identity and coming of age. To celebrate the release of their new record, they’ll be performing alongside their friends, R&B artist Zenizen and indie punk foursome Human People, whose album Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears remains one of the standout Brooklyn releases of 2018.