Doldrums, Strange Talk, Hundred Waters, Duologue, Mozart's Sister, High Highs, DIANA

CMJ Windish Showcase

Doldrums, Strange Talk, Hundred Waters, Duologue, Mozart's Sister, High Highs, DIANA

Wed, October 17, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Doldrums (DJ Set) - (Set time: 1:00 AM)
A hypnotic mixture of beat-laden trance, sensuous pop, sample collage and noise experimentalism, Doldrums come to us by way of Toronto, with numerous cult favorite releases, including a split with Portishead on XL, three 7" records on We Are Busy Bodies, and a VHS split with Parrot Talk.
Strange Talk - (Set time: 12:00 AM)
Strange Talk
It's fair to say Strange Talk is passionate about pop, right down to the lyrics tattooed across the forearms of singer Stephen Docker. You can hear this passion and precision in their debut single 'Climbing Walls', a song that took them from a bedroom studio in Melbourne to shooting a film clip on a over-sized chess board in the middle of the Mojave desert.

Strange Talk is Stephen Docker, a former classical violinist from the Australian Youth Orchestra, and Gerard Sidhu, a DJ/Producer. At a house party in Melbourne, drunken bonding over pop heroes Michael Jackson and Queen – as well as new production outfits like Justice and Starsmith – inspired them to combine their musical abilities towards a sound that was classic in its approach but forward thinking in its production. The spark that flew was the track 'Climbing Walls'. This revved up dance pop track delivers what Neon Gold calls "an unwavering refusal to settle for mediocrity… with vocal chops that will set hearts on fire" – being the first melody ever written by Stephen, and his debut singing behind a microphone!

'Climbing Walls' hit No.1 on the Billboard's Uncharted Charts, No.1 most popular on Hype Machine, airplay on Radio 1, Triple J and Nova (as well as being Unearthed by Triple J), and receiving over half a million views on YouTube.
Hundred Waters - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Hundred Waters
Hundred Waters’ members (Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, Paul Giese, & Zach Tetreault) formed the group in 2012 when they became housemates in Gainseville, FL. The four found themselves inclined to collaboration while living under one roof, sharing a communal mentality that yielded a beautiful blend of musical contradictions: mournful yet colorful, introverted yet aware. Their self-titled debut soon attracted the most unlikely of allies, Skrillex, who signed the band to his OWSLA label that same year and gave the album a full-scale release, leading to worldwide touring with such diverse acts as The xx, Alt-J, Grimes, &Julia Holter.
Duologue - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Duologue
In today’s fast-paced world time is precious. Some bands deserve your time, and this is one of them. Duologue are the antithesis of pop music’s current disposable cultural impasse. Their debut album is an immersive experience intended to be absorbed and cherished with repeated listens, not to be heard once on laptop speakers and disregarded. Much like a great novel, this one is hard to put down and will stay with you forever.

The London five-piece are a product of the modern world and its easy access to music. Bonding over a mixture of the best in electronica and guitar-based music, they’ve fused this eclecticism into a truly inimitable sound of their own. “You could pick some songs and we’d be likened to a folk act, another few and we’d be called dubstep,” explains front man Tim Digby-Bell. How many bands can you say that about? Their cerebral experimentation may not be mainstream, but it’s fast becoming a favourite among the cognoscenti. The journey began with two original members – Tim Digby-Bell and Toby Leeming (vocals/live programming and beats) – producing on a computer whilst at Edinburgh University. Both realised what they were creating was too big for just a couple of people to play. Seb Dilleyston was brought in to add emotive atmospheres on violin having previously trained with world renowned violinist Maria Eitler. Toby Lee was next on guitar, and then bassist Ross Stone completed the line-up.

Early gigs in their nascent career were explosive in more ways than one. Aside from gaining a scintillating live reputation they were also becoming known for having things blow up onstage. A show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush saw the lights shatter above their heads as soon as the set began, and at The Barfly in Camden Town there was an electrical fire halfway through their performance. Whether or not the crowd thought these mishaps were all part of a unique live show will remain a mystery but one thing is for certain, their status on the road grew exponentially and support slots for everyone from Matthew Dear to Clock Opera have followed.

What makes the band so compelling is that they are just that, a band. Refusing to rely too heavily on programmed elements, each layer comes to life in the live arena. “We wanted to have moments where we can strip it down to the bare essentials, really intimate moments, and then to build up to these epic electronic parts too. It needs to feel like a real journey,” says Tim. Their debut album is the culmination of a year’s preparation honing and self editing their eclectic sound and huge catalog of demos in preparation to record. Having already self-produced and released two EP’s showcasing their ability to encompass a wide range of sounds and references the final piece of the puzzle came with the introduction of producer Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Ladytron). In 2012 the band and Jim holed up in a Chatham studio and began work – with many of the parts already formed and recorded, Jim took on a co-production role, intuitively helping them further enhance their sonic make-up. Digital synths were replaced by richer analogue gear, real strings replaced programmed ones, and even the inclusion of a church organ. “The church was really chilled. I slightly lied. I said we’d dropped £15 in the collection box,” laughs Toby. Nonetheless they’ve been blessed with a great collection of songs from the process.

‘Push It’ is the lynchpin. A four-four dance beat gives structure to a hauntingly atmospheric six minute epic of lyrical self-doubt. Soaring strings and guitar melodies combine in the pinnacle which sees the guys playing to the limit, giving their all in a song replete with daedal rhythms. ‘Escape Artist’ shows they’re equally adept at the other end of the scale. At their most stripped back, this one is rooted in simple harmonies combining live vocals and looped brass samples, yet carries as much emotive weight as the more layered moments. ‘Gift Horse’ is a beautiful lullaby mixing swooning strings with electronic glitches in a contrasting way that will leave audiences rapt. It’s a debut showing courage, refusing to take one path or another, daring to avoid being pigeon-holed yet cohesive enough to stand firmly as an impressive body of work.

Tim’s powerful voice ties all the diversity together, a rich falsetto, he floats effortlessly amid an ever changing backdrop of beats, synths, and strings, molding his own melodies on a patchwork sound-mosaic already replete with creativity. ‘Constant’ sees his melismatic vocal style delicately accompanied by lilting guitar picking in a real highlight.

Out now, this record is the culmination of a journey, yet it’s just the beginning of one too for an intelligent group of musicians intent on longevity. Such experimentation, bold self-belief, skillful songwriting, and unique fusing of musical genres are incredibly rare, and this is only the first album…

Duologue are:

Tim Digby-Bell (Vocals), Toby Leeming (Live programming & beats),

Seb Dilleyston (Violin), Toby Lee (guitars),

Ross Stone (Bass). http://logbook.duologuemusic.com
Mozart's Sister - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Mozart's Sister
Mozart’s Sister is the captivating solo project of Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant. Staggering between beautiful, bursting synth-filled pop melodies and the complicated, often harsh consequences of reality in her lyrics, she unites these elements together in an explosion of vibrant emotion and hypnotizing intensity.

Taking shape in early 2011, Mozart’s Sister thrives on complex layering, melding upbeat, sparkling dance loops with tremendous, belting vocals, only to morph into pulsating sci-fi drones and dark rhythms atop sensuous, assertive vocals.

This sense of unexpected fluidity and change flows throughout Dear Fear, her self-recorded and self-released debut EP of 2011, dancing between the rhapsody and destructive components of sex, love and relationships. Labeled “bedroom paranoia,” Dear Fear explores the wild, untamed energy manifested within the confines of one’s own space and the inner power developed to break down these walls. In “Don’t Leave It To Me,” Thompson-Hannant belts, “I wrote this song after I met you,” a statement that Pitchfork praises, “if it resulted in a pop gem like this – you’re left feeling grateful for that chance encounter.”

Influenced by mainstream R & B and Prince, ‘90s trip-hop and Björk, and the current shift in electronic music, Thompson-Hannant incorporates this sense of collage into her work, constantly transforming her voice and sound against a gorgeous, direct aesthetic with an uncontainable passion and sense of expression. Mixed in with the sassy, riveting confidence of defining groups like TLC and Salt-N-Pepa, Mozart’s Sister is also both influenced by and a part of the groundbreaking modern Montreal electronic music scene, characterized with the same vigor and charisma as such female contemporaries she’s shared the stage with, Grimes and tUnE-yArDs.

Look for an upcoming release from Mozart’s Sister in 2013, one that leaves behind the bedroom paranoia and grasps control with a glittering, entirely arresting radiance.
High Highs - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
High Highs
Widely tipped as “indie darlings” and a “band to watch” on the strength of an acclaimed EP, some high profile film and TV placements, and a series of hypnotic live shows, High Highs are set to deliver on their early promise with a debut LP in late January 2013.

Critics have embraced the four-track High Highs EP as “simply spun and exquisitely enthralling,” and singer Jack Milas’ falsetto as a “weapon of mass emotional destruction.” Milas and co-founder Oli Chang create an “unholy” blend of acoustic-guitar textures and synthesized atmospherics. The band’s signature sound has struck the blogosphere as “shimmering” and “stunning” “sun-kissed sadness.”

High Highs kicks off with “Flowers Bloom,” with its “delicate synth soundscapes [and] haunting vocal harmonies.” It also features the “sweeping” “folk-pop” of the single “Open Season,” the “gorgeous” “Ivy,” and “Horses” – which has drawn multiple favourable blog comparisons to Neil Young.

Milas and Chang began making music together as High Highs in their native Sydney, Australia, while working at the same recording studio. Chang was in another band at the time, but found himself drawn to Milas’ writing style. The pair plunged into a world of collaboration and invention. They discovered the basis of a band aesthetic by marrying Chang’s passion for electronic indie with Jack’s penchant for classic acoustic rock.

“There’s obviously a lot of scope for what you can do with a laptop and a keyboard,” Chang explained. “It’s more straightforward which palettes of sound work with acoustic guitar, drums, and voice. That helps narrow it down a bit.”

Lead vocals were a responsibility Milas initially was tempted to shirk. “I just had so little confidence in my voice,” he confessed, “and singing in falsetto was the only way I knew how to get any vague vibe out of it.” Chang concurred. “Singing in falsetto, you don’t have to be confronted with yourself,” he said. “Your speaking voice is you. With falsetto, you can become someone else. You don’t have to deal with listening to yourself.”

When Milas took an opportunity to work and live in New York, Chang soon followed. The duo settled in Brooklyn, re-committed to making High Highs music, and joined forces with drummer Zach Lipkins – who is also handling mixing duties on the forthcoming LP. “It’s awesome that Zach is a really talented producer as well as a great drummer, especially because a lot of the time the drum arrangements are really minimal and heartbeat-like. He knows how to ride a gentle dynamic wave.”

Live gigs presented the trio with a new set of musical challenges. “We had to figure out ways to get this delicate, soft music to have impact in a live kind of atmosphere,” Milas said. “We’d be going on after a heavy metal band, or a synthy pop-rock thing, and it was like we had to match that in scale, create a big sound, and cut through the noise. We realised there has to be scale and dynamics to the performance, within its small intimacy, because if it’s all too quiet and hushed and atmospheric, it doesn’t engage us or the listeners.”

High Highs played well-received gigs to expanding audiences in New York – including a packed residency at Pianos on New York’s Lower East Side – and in London to a sold out crowd at the Old Queen’s Head. Their widescreen sound meanwhile attracted the attention of college radio programmers and music supervisors alike – which landed a coveted slot in ABC’s taste-making Grey’s Anatomy, another in the hit film Pitch Perfect, and another in a heavily-rotated spot for the Amazon Kindle.

The band’s debut long player will feature EP favourites “Open Season” and “Flowers Bloom,” live standouts “Once Around The House” and “Phone Call,” and more brand new songs. Tour dates around the release date will be announced in late 2012.
DIANA - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
DIANA
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com