New York has been a fertile breeding ground for the "shoegaze" or "psych rock" sound for what seems like forever. Beginning with The Velvet Underground in the late 1960's, where else but NYC for continuing this part dreampop, part improvisational/experimental, part simply noise driven sound. It is a music that embraces harsh, agressive feedback and drone along side of sweetly melodic pop songs. Thematically often capturing feelings of heartbreak and longing for something you just can't have.
Broolyn based and Kanine Records signed Dream Diary successfully stradle this line between romantic enthusiasm and slightly off-kilter sonics. Guitar hooks are strong, and background vocals mesh with enough percussion to avoid over-sweetness.
Kordan follow a more synth-driven path, with blended boy/girl vocals and stark keyboard arpeggios that mirror the early-to-mid 90's Projekt records sound, that is dark and moody.
Invisible Days make vocals a priority (not often the case on the 'gaze' front) and flex superior harmonizing capabilities. The dream textures are still there, just not overpowering.
The Rassle present a bratty vocal style and ramshackle rock band sound on songs like "Celebrate the Days" and "Full Speed Ahead." Positioned between the happier side of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Mick Jones' Big Audio Dynamite.
(The) Tony Castles work the dreamier, more romantic side of things as on their song "Black Girls in Dresses." There is a distinctly soulful element displayed here.
Coasting emphasises single-note guitar rhythms and Ventures-style drumming to get their point across. Two-girl vocals complement each other in a joyously trashy way.
Boy/Girl electronic duo Further Reductions marry static electronic percussion and synths to Sisters of Mercy style vocals.
Yellowbirds mesh western twang with a mid 1960s vocal style, while maintaining an edgy vibe to their songwriting. French Camp employ counter-melodies via snaking guitarlines and pulsating keyboard embellishments.
Although New Jersey's Big Troubles point to bands like Lilys, Swirlies and even pre-Loveless MBV as influences, one could make the case for them being the love child of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. "Freudian Slips" has the bouncy happy hooks, head bobbing good vibe with just the right deviation into Reid Brothers sugary "Just Like Honey" smooth vocal textures.