The first week of May provides an opportunity here to feature three bands I've recently profiled in The Deli Magazine.
Brooklyn's dark rock band Tyburn Saints released their new EP "You and I in Heaven" on March 27. Containing four original tracks, songs like "Broken Bottles" alternates bright guitar figures against synth lines evoking peak 80's era U2 and The Cure. The lyrical tone and subject matter lean more towards the later, however. "Last Time I Sing For You" positions a solid drum beat central in the mix, allowing shards of strummed guitar bursts to dance left and right through the stereo field. While title track "You And I in Heaven" reference a similar 80's pop-goth vibe, it's overall spirit leans more towards Bowie/Psychedelic Furs elements.
New York City quartet Vaura have just released their debut album "Selenelion" via the Wierd record label. Lead track "Vanth" combines a number of elements, demonstrating a higher than average level of songwriting and musicianship. Dark, echoed vocals over a medieval plundering beat gives way to near prog-rock interludes. "Obsidian Damascene Sun" (offered as a free download at their bandcamp) takes the propulsive drumming and hyper guitar strumming of black metal and pairs it with slower, more melodic, lyrically intelligible vocals. This is a formula that could create crossover appeal to those who find certain aspects of pure black metal a bit too harsh.
Stepping out of their roles as supporting musicians, drummer Sam Levin (Sea Sick, R Stevie Moore) and guitarist/vocalist Indigo Street (Jolie Holland, Gregory Sauner of Deer Hoof) have a new project called Shy Hunters. Tracks which can be found streaming on their bandcamp demonstrate a keen sense of songwriting at work. "Time Bomb" emphasizes tomahawk drum stomps as rhythmic base, while alternating spoken word and sung vocals are further enhanced via multiple guitar textures. "Stained Glass House" sticks with this musical formula of a structured drum pattern providing sole rhythmic foundation, while vocal melodies soar along complimentary guitarlines, creating a lovely romantic atmosphere.