New Haven folk rock act Mercy Choir is the musical outlet of singer-songwriter Paul Belbusti. Since the inception of his project in the mid-2000s, Belbusti has been exceptionally prolific with his main act (never mind his work as one-half of the experimental group Rivener), releasing at least eight albums that dabble in various genres like Americana, baroque pop, and lo-fi experimentation.
Even this year alone, Mercy Choir has put out two drastically different releases: the orchestrally elaborate Like a Fountain Stirred and its more stripped down counterpart Fair Games. With such an expansive discography, it may be difficult to know where to begin.
Fortunately for those new to Mercy Choir, the band has created an introductory Spotify playlist, This is: Mercy Choir, that includes music from many of the project’s various releases (with even more to be found on Bandcamp). We are happy to know that it starts with one of our favorite Mercy Choir songs, the synth heavy “Birdwatcher.” Check it out below.
Mercy Choir will be playing Neverending Books in New Haven on Oct 27th with Daphne Lee Martin. Event Page here.
Hartford, CT future soul group Broca’s Area have released their debut full length album, See the Light, and it’s a total trip. Free floating through realms of R&B, soul and hip-hop, the quartet have plugged into a unique channel on the same console as Hiatus Kaiyote, The Roots, and Erykah Badu.
This release flaunts a welcomed grit around Broca’s typically smooth edges. Mike Carabello’s dense cluster chords color the band’s infectious grooves, contoured by Josh Uguccioni’s fluid basslines. Soaring overhead, Mary Corso delivers her most dynamic vocal melodies as percussionist Stephen Cusano digs into every backbeat pocket he can unearth. Recorded at Hartford’s Funkhaus Music studio, See the Light is a spacey, steadfast contribution to the diverse “Hartford Sound.”
Broca’s Area will play Real Art Ways’ Creative Cocktail Hour on October 19th in Hartford. Event page here.
Listen to See the Light by Broca’s Area below.
Hartford, CT musician Chris Bugnacki writes and records synth pop music under the name Pearl Sugar. According to Bugnacki, Pearl Sugar is “heavily influenced by bands like Porches, Blood Orange, Kate Bush, and any music that uses a Yamaha DX7 or Juno 106.”
A mellow and melancholy pop affair, first single “Alright” is lightly decorated with light 80s synths and minimal percussion. While “Alright” is currently Pearl Sugar’s only officially released single, Bugnacki will be releasing more in the not too distant future.
Listen to “Alright” by Pearl Sugar below:
Hartford alternative rock four-piece Spillway makes riff-heavy rock music that diverges into a wide variety of styles, from singalong punk-pop to angsty shredding mini-metalisms. Earlier in September, the band announced their new EP, Fish Can Drown, and released it’s first sample of new music, the wide-eyed power popper, “New England Expatriates.”
Today, we are premiering another new song off the new record, “Stage Four”. Written by main vocalist Matt Palmer, the song stands in stark contrast from that first preview, forgoing a major key appeal for a moodier alt-rock waltz, a shredding bassline, and a forlorn wailing vocal that evokes heavy catharsis about removing the cancerous elements of your life in order to make it through.
Spillway will be playing their release show at Blind Moose in Bloomfield, CT on October 27th with Jelani Sei, Bat House, and Glambat. Event page here.
Fish Can Drown will be released on October 20th.
Boston indie rock band Pup Dignity is the lo-fi bedroom pop project of singer-songwriter Joe Martorelli. Martorelli, who has also played in the NYC / CT based Analog Sunset, has complemented his other project with a it’s more downtempo and downtrodden counterpart. Check out the band’s debut EP on Bandcamp above and below:
CT / NY progressive R&B five-piece Jelani Sei have released their new LVNDR TWN EP for streaming on Bandcamp. It is also available for purchase at a generous 5.99. It is the band’s newest release since 2016’s awesome KAARIA EP.
Earlier this year, the band commented:
This year has been incredibly difficult for a majority of us,
There’s way too much uncertainty in this world and we’ve been stuck in a constant juxtaposition of two binaries, steadily trying to break each other.
This is the idea behind LVNDR TWN.
This EP is a culmination of our journey so far as a band and a reflection on the current ideologies and events in the world around us. Through over a year of writing, recording, rerecording and revising we are pleased to announce and in due time share with you this embodiment of sound.
Jelani Sei will be playing two release shows, one tonight at Dennis in Bloomfield, and one tomorrow at Trans-Pecos in NY with Mal Devisa.
Listen to LVNDR TWN below:
Meriden, CT based Black & White Envelope is the solo indie pop project of Mike Stanton. Earlier this summer, the musician issued the debut album of Black & White Envelope You And I, Animals on Bandcamp and streaming services.
According to Stanton, the project draws from many mid-00s indie highlights such as Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Peter Bjorn & John, and more. While these influences are apparent, Black & White Envelope uses these influences as a springboard for sturdy songwriting and memorable arrangements.
Listen to You & I Animals below: