Bridges & Powerlines, Dead Heart Bloom, Wolves, Strange Names

Bridges & Powerlines

Dead Heart Bloom


Strange Names

Thu, April 18, 2013

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Bridges & Powerlines - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Bridges & Powerlines
Their music is equal parts grandiosity and intimacy: psych-informed, experimental songs with chamber pop strings and horns, gospel-influenced percussion, dense backing vocals, looped guitar riffs and propulsive bass lines. Citing indie forefathers the Zombies, Guided by Voices and the Elephant 6 Collective as a starting point, the band lovingly terms their music 'optimist fuzz pop.'

Meeting in New York City in late 2005, the members of Bridges and Powerlines realized a common love for intricately arranged three-minute pop songs. The debut EP that followed met with critical acclaim, described as "an exhilarating racket," (sixeyes) and "a taught example of why [Bridges and Powerlines] should be added to your list of bands to watch." (
Dead Heart Bloom - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Dead Heart Bloom
Dead Heart Bloom is comprised of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Boris Skalsky, guitarist Paul Wood (both formerly of Phaser) and drummer Jason Molina (formerly of Longwave). With tracks reminiscent of classics such as Urban Hymns by The Verve and Ladies and Gentlemen… by Spiritualized, the 10 latest songs recorded by Dead Heart Bloom mark their full realization as a band. This collection serves as a logical, yet more mature follow-up to their prior releases, including their album Chelsea Diaries, which was nominated for the Shortlist Prize alongside acclaimed works by Wilco, Arcade Fire and Spoon.

The band meshes visionary lyrics and dreamy melodies with warm, stirring lead vocals and expertly-mixed harmonies. Recorded and produced by Carlos Anthony Molina of Mercury Rev in Kingston, New York, the songs swell and soar at all the right moments. Molina’s production effort with Dead Heart Bloom is notably inspired by his recording experiences and friendship with iconic producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Tame Impala, MGMT).

"Our favorite albums have always combined classic songwriting with cinematic atmosphere”, says guitarist Wood. “This band has a natural inclination for big choruses and instrumental effects. The new tracks are a great balance of live energy, sweeping arrangements and a Wall of Sound production we've been building up to over the past few years."

Looked at as whole, these new songs are a testament to the disappearing craft of album-making. With this refreshing combination of classic songwriting and deeply memorable hooks, Dead Heart Bloom reset the blueprint for analog emotions in a digital world.
Wolves - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Wolves are a band from NYC. Formed in 2012, they spent most of that year writing songs and rehearsing in their West Village space. In 2013, while still finishing their EP they started playing around the city.
They make shoegazy psychedelic-rock music
Strange Names - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Strange Names
Strange Names

It’s only been a few months since Strange Names landed in New York City, but the time for this daring pop trio has most definitely come.

On May 19, 2015, this triumvirate of twenty-somethings—Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and Liam Benzvi—is releasing Use Your Time Wisely, a firecracker debut LP jammed with energetic, angular, romantic songs that sound at once ageless and completely contemporary.

The band came together while Ximenez and Benzvi were students at the University
Of Minnesota; they were each part of other groups but ditched them to play together. The pair cycled through a series of bassists and drummers, until after their fifth show Aleckson approached them and said, "Francis, you know what the problem is here. Give me a call when you want to upgrade." With that, the group cemented itself as a three-piece and one of the Twin Cities’ most talked-about acts until, with an eye toward bigger things—and graduation over and done with—the band picked up and moved to New York.

While Strange Names’ rambunctious sound and sly take on modern life is completely of the moment, the band, which came together amidst the close-knit Minneapolis music scene, can’t help but see their first record as something of a second chance.

“This record was fully recorded back in Minneapolis and then we re-recorded it when we got to New York,” Benzvi explains. “And this one is so much better. We wanted to get it right; we had to.”

What they ended up with was a collection of TK driving songs that are deceptively simple, raucously compelling and defiantly youthful.

The album’s first single, “Ricochet,” is a prime example. “There are some songs on the record with profound lyrics that come from a place of great pain,” explains Ximenez, “but this song’s lyrics are just about trying to get with someone at a party.” There’s more to it than just getting laid, however: The song addresses the push-and-pull of ideas and of people; it addresses the contradictions of love and lust—and you can dance to it.

Other tracks, like the unforgettable “Neighborhood,” use a similarly easy-to-swallow delivery to take on the idea of finding your place in the world. But nothing ever gets too heavy. Indeed, the guys strive to echo the inclusive vibe of the New Wave bands they love, groups like the B-52s, Human League and the Talking Heads that didn’t leave anyone out of their party. “We’re always fighting the avant-garde within us,” Ximenez says with a smile. “We’re trying to find a middle ground where the music sounds like us but is still accessible.”

The band recorded Use Your Time Wisely at The End in Brooklyn, New York, with producer Andrew Maury, and found the sort of sound they think best fits their music.

“When we first recorded, we did it in a large studio and it came out sounding kind of garage rock, even though that’s not our style,” Benzvi explains. This new process was in a small room, something real cozy like a blown-up version of recording in a bedroom, and we got a really clean and controlled sound.”

Since they first posted demo tracks online, buzz around Strange Names has been growing steadily. Ximenez recalls, “There was a moment in the first semester of our senior year when we were finishing our degrees but didn’t know what we were going to do with ourselves. At the same time, we’d been making music and as soon as we put it up online, we started getting emails asking, ‘What is this.’”

What those early adopters heard was the beginning of something exciting, energetic and undeniably enjoyable. Now, with the release of Use Your Time Wisely, Strange Names has made an album that not only holds on to the dynamism that’s been apparent since those early tracks but also displays their progress and undeniable forward momentum.

It’s something they think has been meant to be since they first started out. “It just seemed right,” Benzvi says. “It was what was supposed to happen.”
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002