07/22/16 9:58am

Harris’ new EP, ‘Where I Go’, a “serious” jazz and R&B record, is out today. Album art by Emily Niland

Camille Harris wears many hats. Most notably, two of her hats are that of a comedian and a musician. She incorporates comedy into her music, and music into her comedy: Harris penned a romantic comedy musical, The Muffin Man, that made it into the NYC Fringe Fest in 2009 and was then printed by Samuel French, a world-renowned play publisher. She has won the New York City Funny Songs Festival, been on IFC/College Humor’s Hall of Fame, and plays music for babies with her “Silly Jazz with Camille” program that she does with the Brooklyn Public Library.

Her latest effort, though, is a more serious effort: she went for a “cool R&B and jazz record that sounds cool,” she told us. Her new EP, Where I Go, officially drops next week—with a big release party at Littlefield to celebrate it—but you can preview you it here.

Harris began doing her brand of silly musical comedy in order to find joy in an otherwise not-so-joyful world, but over the course of preparing this “serious” album, she’s found that joy can be found elsewhere, too.

“I feel like it’s so easy to be sad because everything sucks, but the challenge in life is to find the joy and happiness. I used to think I had to do that through comedy, but I realized that I can do serious stuff and still find joy. Like this album.” (more…)

07/15/16 9:57am
Heliotropes has gone through several lineup changes. Apparently this one involves a lizard. Photo by Matthew Cylinder, courtesy of Facebook.

Heliotropes has gone through several lineup changes, always with Jessica Numsuwankijkul at the helm. Apparently this one involves a lizard. Photo by Matthew Cylinder via Facebook.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. For Jessica Numsuwankijkul, 33, of Bushwick’s Heliotropes, it came in the form of the WWI and WWII documentaries she found herself watching during the winter of 2014, a time when she felt too depressed to do much else. This resulted in a softer, gentler Heliotropes than we’ve maybe seen before on their last album, 2013’s A Constant Sea. The record is really rad, and features some snippets of bizarre, forgotten history, plucked from those documentaries and hidden in the guise of a sweet duet.

“I took inspiration from pieces that are not musical,”Numsuwankijkul said. “I think that’s really important, because it means you’re not rehashing all these tropes that are used in songs all the time.”

Plus, I know from personal experience that Heliotropes also does a mean Weezer cover set, and they’re preparing to take their music on the road (quite literally) as the travelling band for a Record Store Crawl, a bus tour of NYC record shops. So basically, Heliotropes is very Brooklyn, and their new album Over There That Way drops today. (more…)

07/08/16 11:17am
The Julie Ruin, courtesy of Facebook.

The Julie Ruin, courtesy of Facebook.

Part of being a woman in New York City, especially in the summertime, is dealing with a veritable Greek chorus of pick up lines. People process this phenomenon in different ways. Just take this beautiful poem I wrote, for example:

Hey, sexy! SEXY!

Why you walking away? Bitch.

I’s tryna be nice.

Some women write haiku to process their experiences with street harassment, while others address it through music — especially raw, powerful, female-fronted music, like the kind legendary riot grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna makes. Extra bonus points if said music is catchy as hell and fun to dance to, like the kind she makes with her latest band, The Julie Ruin. Their second album, Hit Reset, drops today, and it totally rips.  (more…)

07/01/16 10:22am
Brooklyn institution  Maxwell drops his fifth studio album, his first in seven years, today. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Brooklyn institution Maxwell drops his fifth studio album, his first in seven years, today. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

New York is the kind of place that draws creative types. Some of us relocate from other places, but some of us have been here forever. And the thing about being a creative type anywhere, but especially in New York, is that you usually can’t survive on your art right away — unless, of course, your creativity leads you to forge your own currency, but that could lead to other problems. But usually, if you want to be able to make great art, you kind of have to work your ass off.

Take neo-soul powerhouse Maxwell, for instance. Born and raised in East New York, he worked odd jobs as a teenager to support himself as he attended school, and, somehow, managed to write more than 300 songs before landing a deal with Columbia (and four platinum records). He’s sold out shows all over the world, but next weekend he’ll come home for a show at Coney Island. Maxwell’s fifth album, blackSUMMER’Snight, drops today. (more…)

06/24/16 11:39am
The Felice Brothers on stage, being bros. Via Facebook.

The Felice Brothers on stage, being bros. Via Facebook.

It’s good to have bros. Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned bro-down? (I would like to note that, for the purpose of this paragraph, the word “bro” is gender neutral. I would also like to note that, for the purpose of this paragraph, I’m using “bro” in a positive manner, like folks who love each other, not referring to the plagues of brocusts our dear editor Sam Corbin referred to in this brilliant Passover piece.) Hell, we are BROkelyn after all.

It’s all very apropos for this week’s New Music Friday featured band, for they are a group of bros. Their website describes them as “a band of two brothers and three lifelong friends,” and after 10 years together, that camaraderie comes through by way of the most cohesive, yet raw, jangly, roots-tinged folk rock you can imagine. I’m referring, of course, to The Felice Brothers. Their ninth album, Life In The Dark, drops today. (more…)

06/23/16 11:41am
Now serving: Piping hot memes. Via @NoMe_Simpatizas

Now serving: Piping hot memes, trending playlists. Via @NoMe_Simpatizas

“Brunch” and “Williamsburg” are two New York City things lots of people who have nothing better to argue about get irrationally passionate over. There was a time [he said, scratching his long and tangled gray beard] when “Williamsburg” was used synonymously with “hipster,” then the neighborhood changed, became scary to Omar from The Wire, got less weird, got more condos, and now when you say the word Williamsburg, it conjures up images of the neighborhood’s transition into becoming the new Soho.

So I’m not sure what scene is even meant to be invoked by calling a Spotify playlist “Williamsburg Brunch” any more, but it’s definitely a hit: The playlist, made by an arm of Sony, has more than 8,400 followers, a huge number that even President Obama’s playlists can’t match.  (more…)

06/17/16 1:00pm
caveman 3

Caveman can see the light on their new album, Otero War, out today.

Caveman has never claimed to have invented the wheel, but they may have reinvented themselves along the way. Formed in 2010, these Brooklyn bred indie rockers have carved out (pun intended) a name for themselves among festival goers, film buffs, music fans and the like. Their new record, Otero Warcomes out today, and it’s the band’s first release with local label Cinematic.

When I spoke to frontman Matthew Iwanusa on the phone, at the beginning of the call he told me “I apologize if it gets a little loud, I’m right by the bridge.” Turns out, he was actually between two bridges — the band has a practice space in Dumbo.

“It’s kind of the perfect spot for a practice space,” he said, “because of all the noise from the bridge. Nobody complains about the noise coming from us.” (more…)

06/14/16 10:04am
eliza from jack and eliza

Eliza, from Jack + Eliza, played Shea Stadium Friday. Photo by Jody Beth LaFosse/Brokelyn.

Brooklyn’s Northside has become quite massive, and its abundance of events is something we can either feast on with cranberry sauce or cower from with option anxiety. The weeklong festival, encompassing “Music, Innovation and Content” across a few coveted stops on the G and L trains, just turned eight, and with that history it’s in a place where it can attract some serious national and local talent. Yesterday we shared some of our favorite scenes from the weekend’s activities; Today we’re focusing on the music itself. Here are our picks for the best music of the fest, and some acts on the come up you should start paying attention to now.  (more…)

06/13/16 9:57am
Pity Sex. Photo by Mary Dorn/Brokelyn.

Pity Sex. Photo by Mary Dorn/Brokelyn.

As far as kickoffs to summer go, you can do a lot worse than spending a weekend saturated in the music, art and street style that takes over north Brooklyn for the annual Northside Festival. This year’s fest wrapped up last night and featured four days of events spread across Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Musical highlights included the reunited Wolf Parade rocking a free show at McCarren Park on Thursday night and Brian Wilson bringing the beach to the city on Sunday and King Khan and the Shrines showing us that every band needs more capes.

On Sunday, as the nation reeled from the news in Orlando, Brooklynites expressed their feelings in paintings and other street art in the middle of Bedford Avenue, which was shut down for the weekend for the annual Williamsburg Walks in conjunction with the festival. Here are some of the best scenes from the weekend; stay tuned for our wrap up of breakout bands from the fest to watch, coming shortly. (more…)

06/09/16 3:55pm
Lift your musical spirits with a bunch of free shows at Northside fest this year. Via Flickr user Juan Monroy.

Lift your musical spirits with a bunch of free shows at Northside fest this year. Via Flickr user Juan Monroy.

Festival season is upon us, and guys, we’ve got a really good one, right in our fair borough. Northside Festival is this weekend, and whether you’re keen on seeing Brian Wilson croon all of Pet Sounds, you wanna get emo with Conor Oberst, or you just feel like supporting some really kickass local musicians, this fest’s got you covered. Pretty much the only way it doesn’t have you covered is if you feel like perpetuating rape culture (sorry not sorry, Good English) or if you, you know, hate good music.

Basically, Northside is an incredible celebration of music and of Brooklyn. But it’s one of those where there are SO many shows by SO many bands that it can be a bit daunting. We gave you our 15 overall picks of acts not to miss here, but what if you can’t afford a whole festival badge situation? Fear not! We’ve compiled this handy list of shows you can get to for free and cheap shows that cost $10 or less. (more…)