Friday, June 16, 2017

New Stuff from Lyons, YJY, Fruit & Flowers. They All Play Asbury Park This Weekend.

Lyons just released their s/t debut EP.

Solid Weekend Coming Up

Gonna try and get right to this before we slide into CoolDaughter #1's big, frantic graduation day. Three of our faves around here released new stuff today and are playing Asbury Park this coming weekend, so yeah... Here goes.

Lyons,  Lyons

This Asbury Park five-piece just released their self-titled debut EP with In The Clouds Records, and it's a stunner. CoolDad Music has had Lyons on a show or two in the past, and I've always loved their surfy, dream poppy, post-punk.

On Lyons, singer / guitarist Amy Malkoff belts out swirling vocals as Sharon McDonaugh provides those chiming leads that I always love so much. The rhythm section of Jenny Vickers (drums) and Lisa English (bass) contribute to that post-punk vibe, and the added prominence given to Charleen Artese's keys on the recording is a major (and welcome) sonic component to several of the songs here.

Sounds range from the new-wavey darkness of "Wrapped Up" to the epic post-punk of "Midnight Drive" or "Walking the Line" to the melodramatic, retro-inspired "Cloudless Blue." It all adds up to a collection that picks, chooses, and re-assembles influences that I've always loved into something I've had on repeat all morning.

Lyons celebrate the release of Lyons, with a free show this evening at Anchor's Bend to close out the Asbury Park Night Bazaar that also features The Cold Seas and Holiday.

YJY, The Enduring YJY

I premiered this one here the other day, but I don't think I really gave it any kind of review.

This one's tough. YJY are another band who have been a big part of CoolDad Music over the last few years. Little Dickman Records and I had them at one of our Sundown at the Carousel shows, and they played the CoolDad Music Indie Pop Winter Formal a couple years back. In addition to that, I've become good friends with Steve Sachs, Dave Sachs, Ricky Lorenzo, and Tim Fitzpatrick; and it's sad to know that this is the band's first and last album.

They do go out on the top of their game with this one, though. In my conversation with singer / guitarist Steve Sachs earlier this week, he said he hoped that people would notice the band's progression in terms of songwriting and production; and it's not really something you could miss. From the very early strains of "Passport Photograph," the pains that YJY took in the studio become apparent.

While YJY experiment a bit more here, they do stick with their formula of producing infectious pop music. Steve Sachs turns his sometimes snarky vocal delivery to something more pleading on "Somebody Take My Phone;" and Ricky Lorenzo, who's often contributed some of the more shoegazey or noisy songs to the YJY catalog turns into a pop songsmith on "Loathe" with its "doo doo doos." Ricky and the band are back to something a little more manic with "Cold."

About two years ago, I shared YJY's first single, "Couch Surfin' USA," with you right here. For The Enduring YJY, the band have re-recorded the sing along crowd-pleaser which seems wholly appropriate for a farewell release. Give the people what they want, you know.

YJY simultaneously mark this release and the end of the band with a show at Asbury Park Music Foundation this Saturday, 6/17, with help from NGHTCRWLRS, Julian Fulton & The Zombie Gospel, Avery & The Man Devils, and Jeff Lane.

The Enduring YJY is out now via Sniffling Indie Kids.

Fruit & Flowers, "Subway Surfer"

Fruit & Flowers released a video for "Subway Surfer" off of their upcoming Little Dickman Records debut, Drug Tax, today. The song has been a favorite of mine from the band's live sets for a while. Lyzi Wakefield's bassline and the triple-shouted "HEYs!" always hit like huge, bold-faced exclamation points.

The video finds the band and their fans going wild at a live show, while it also shows Fruit & Flowers snaking their way through the subterranean world of the city they call home.

Fruit & Flowers play Sunnyvale in Brooklyn tonight to celebrate the video's release along with Kino Kimino, Good Tiny, and Big Bliss. Tomorrow they come down this way to play Bond St. Basement with GayGuy / StraightGuy and Plus Plus Minus.

Drug Tax comes out on June 30th.

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