I was lucky enough to speak to some emerging talent by the name of The New Tarot recently. Always a fan of lady-fronted acts, this one took me by surprise. There’s a bit of melancholy, a bit of indie, a bit of alternative and a whole lot of rock here. Take a listen, you might be surprised when you see them on the lineup at Gov Ball 2017. If you can’t wait for that, head to Le Poisson Rouge on March 26th to catch them live. )
The New Tarot – Interview by Terry Gotham
1. How is Brooklyn treating you? Are the reports of the death of the borough greatly exaggerated?
Brooklyn is awash with the prickly pine cactus leaves of February’s desert – chewed up pine needles, sticking like burrs to the bottom of bored, lavished tongues lashing out
2. Now that you’ve got a supporting cast of musicians, do you ever mix up performing/production duties, or are your roles pretty fixed from tune to tune?
Our roles are pretty snug, but there’s plenty of room to grow. I hope we’re a great production team one day; right now recording the shit we hear in our heads is our music school and every time we walk in the studio or into a gig, we’re there to grow and to learn. Maybe that’s why we haven’t released a full length yet; we’ve been focused on the quizzes, and, yeah it’s about time to take the test.
Jae Jin – Kairos
I spoke to Jae Jin a little while back, during his last stint of NYC performances. Easily one of the most electrifying new voices of my generation, I think there’s a certain explosive potential in this kid. He’s put it all on the line and if you were one of the chosen few who helped him crowdfund (with a hefty chunk going to charity no less) his debut album, you have not been disappointed. For everyone who wasn’t smart enough to get in on that action, you can grab it here, which I highly recommend.
When It Finds You is one of the best vocal tracks I’ve heard in years. This has pop/rock anthem written all over it. It delivers with hints of gospel, a heaping dose of soul & just a dash of euphoria. The call & answer section is a wonderful throwback & the tune reels you in and doesn’t let you go. Expertly arranged, it busts the door down for the album.
Running pulls a little more in the indie direction, showcasing Jae’s range and ability. The mastering & additional elements added in to support his buttery vocals are the right choices, with the track gliding along. I’m surprised I haven’t already heard it on the radio. Ain’t About Love brings it back down to almost a blues vibe, but the ditty uses piano & snaps to emphasize just how good Jae Jin is at this.
Don’t Fall Too Late is a rambling, relaxed soulful meditation, but by this point, you should be expecting that. It harmonizes & blends well, giving Jae Jin another chance to knock it out of the park. Which he of course does. The guitar & piano are front and center, but neither dominates. Everything is necessary and it all works. Moon & Stars modernizes that soulful vibe, centering on some soaring chords. It has almost a country vibe, feeling like it could be played at an indie show or even a NASCAR race. It feels very American, if that means anything anymore.
Honestly, I could keep going on, listing each track and telling you how good they are, but that’s just taking time away from you listening to & buying the album. Each track is expertly arranged and continues to show new sides of Jae, ones I didn’t even know he had, and I knew the guy years ago.
I want to wrap this up by saying that this guy’s sound is screaming to get paired up with DJs & producers here in NYC. This guy’s vocal work is beyond compare and any producer or label that picks him up will be lucky. He’s pulling his weight in gold, to quote Gallant, and Ed Sheeran has nothing on this kid. Pick the album up here and enjoy!
I don’t make it down to Ludlow as often as I used to anymore. I hadn’t found myself in a sweaty basement full of hard-working, hard-drinkings in a while. The allure of DJs and all of that right? A very good friend, a very old friend was performing, and I couldn’t miss it. To the point, he had given me the privilege of being my very first interview. It was a rare full band appearance, so I took my place at the bar, sipping a vintage Miller Light for effect. Continue reading
(I first saw Hank & Cupcakes at an underground warehouse off the N train way a while back. They’ve since gotten a kickstarter fully funded, an album released and are about to launch into a massive tour! I caught up with them as they were packing…)
1. It’s been a long road for you both since the underground festival at Wonderland in Queens when I first saw you, how have you been?!
Long road is right and winding too! With obstacles surprises & uphills. But we understand that as long as we keep walking that road…
I can’t say I’ve ever heard of these guys before, but I’m a serious fan. Fresh New Tracks pushed this EP this week the day after 420, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it. I’ve not heard quality grunge in years, and the combination of indie vibes, hip hop lyrics, a dash of blues and some competent/inventive beat work really got my attention. Check it out, and make sure to hit The Blancos up, because any band claiming to rock out from Gotham City will get infinite props from me.