Music

Press Play: Connecticut's Underground Music Scene

 Press Play is a column by music writer  Michael Hamad exploring the underground musicians of Connecticut. If you have new music to share, send it to  him at mhamad@courant.com.

  • Indie-Classical Composer Molly Joyce Explores Hidden Collaborations

    Indie-Classical Composer Molly Joyce Explores Hidden Collaborations

    "Lean Back and Release," Molly Joyce's debut EP for New Amsterdam Records, gathers two compositions similar in length and scope, for violin and something other: live and pre-recorded electronic sounds, acoustic and MIDI violin parts, a sound engineer lurking behind the scenes. Joyce chases intersections...

  • Indie Rock Band Brazen Youth Dares To Be Perfect

    Indie Rock Band Brazen Youth Dares To Be Perfect

    Artists: Never compromise. Just don't. "The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man," the second album by the New London group Brazen Youth, took two years to finish. Every sound falls exactly where and how its creators — Nicholas Lussier and Charles Dahlke, both 18 — wanted. "There's not one restriction in...

  • Political Animals Channel The '90s On 'Egobese'

    Political Animals Channel The '90s On 'Egobese'

    As 2016 winds down (thank god), I find myself revisiting "Egobese," an LP by New Haven hip-hop/rock band Political Animals, released in September. The word "Egobese" is derived from "ego" and "obese," an overblown, overindulged sense of self. You'll hear it in "Wackness," the third track, where...

  • Soulful Quartet Vinegar Mother’s Original Songs Yield To Rich, Visceral Vocals

    Soulful Quartet Vinegar Mother’s Original Songs Yield To Rich, Visceral Vocals

    Vinegar Mother, a jazz-pop-soul quartet from southern Fairfield County, has a few things going for it. There's Julia Zivic's voice — rich, pitch-perfect, chilly and expressive, capable of flitting between a gentle mid-range vibrato and red-lining a throaty growl. There are the many talents of Itamar...

  • Music As Therapy 'Until Her Body Breaks' For Olive Tiger

    Music As Therapy 'Until Her Body Breaks' For Olive Tiger

    'Until My Body Breaks," the title of Olive Tiger's debut album, also serves as a mission statement. "I'm here to make music for the long haul, and this is really the first brick in the road," says singer-songwriter Olive (she prefers not to use her real name in interviews). "I'm planning on doing...

  • Mercy Choir Owes Its Steady Presence To Its Flexibility

    Mercy Choir Owes Its Steady Presence To Its Flexibility

    On Friday, Mercy Choir, a New Haven band that was never really a band, begins a monthly residency at Never Ending Books — a New Haven bookstore that's not really a bookstore. "It's a local hangout that's barely open," says singer-songwriter Paul Belbusti, who's been recording and performing as...

  • The Right-Offs: A Straight Out Rock Band, Unrestrained

    The Right-Offs: A Straight Out Rock Band, Unrestrained

    God ropes off a special green room in heaven for musicians who play to less than enthusiastic crowds, who leave a pint of blood onstage and walk off amid demands for an encore. On a dreary Saturday, facing a sparse audience at this year's Meriden Daffodil Festival, the Right-Offs — singer and guitarist...

  • Adam Matlock's Accordion Compositions All About Improv, Irreverence

    Adam Matlock's Accordion Compositions All About Improv, Irreverence

    The accordion is an analog machine, an assemblage of manuals, buttons, bellows and reeds, manipulated by arms and fingers, usually heard in traditional and folk-music settings. Adam Matlock's "Lungfiddle," an album of seven single-take improvisations (four songs and three "sketches"), sounds at...

  • Dr. Martino Morphs Into A Trio Exploring An Off-Beat Musical Universe

    Dr. Martino Morphs Into A Trio Exploring An Off-Beat Musical Universe

    Simone Puleo, Amy Shaw and Mike Kaminski — at that time, half of a South Florida indie-rock band called Dr. Martino — moved to Willimantic three years ago. Puleo had enrolled in a doctorate program at the University of Connecticut. Shaw and Kaminski didn't want the band to fold, even as three other...

  • Zach Rowden Uses His Double Bass As An Acoustic Playground

    Zach Rowden Uses His Double Bass As An Acoustic Playground

    On "Wellhead," a collection of seven improvisations, Zach Rowden prepares his double bass with a cowbell, binder clips and wooden dowels. He places bubble wrap on the strings, or weaves it in-between. He bows and plucks; muted pitches hang briefly in aural space, next to harmonic-filled squeals...

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