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.

  • West Hartford Rapper L.E.X Makes 'Abstract Dreams' A Reality

    West Hartford Rapper L.E.X Makes 'Abstract Dreams' A Reality

    L.E.X — Antoine Alexander, 35, formerly known as A-Lex — populates much of "Abstract Dreams," his first full-length album released on April 5 — with visions of success, longed-for spiritual satisfaction and the desire to be heard. On "Intro," he raps about needing only enough income to survive:...

  • New Haven's No Line North Evolves With 'Dream Of Trees' Release

    New Haven's No Line North Evolves With 'Dream Of Trees' Release

    New Haven's No Line North — four educators, a communications specialist and a journeyman musician and writer — behaves as more of a collective of musical friends than a band. "In the span of a year, we never had the same lineup on stage, which was awesome," says bassist John Leonard. "It really...

  • New London's Rivergods Protesting 'State Of Union' With New Album

    New London's Rivergods Protesting 'State Of Union' With New Album

    The Rivergods are you and me — assuming you also work a regular job, raise kids, play music as a way of socializing with friends, and sometimes feel completely and terrifyingly uneasy about the state of our country. New London couple Ben and Nancy Parent and their band release a great new album...

  • Fusion Band Recess Bureau Defies Logistics Of Nine-Piece Collective

    Fusion Band Recess Bureau Defies Logistics Of Nine-Piece Collective

    Bureaucracies cut through red tape more efficiently in the presence of a strong leader, elected or self-appointed. The Recess Bureau, a nine-piece fusion collective from Fairfield County, has one of those: bassist/composer Jeff Moro, who assembled the other players for his capstone recording project...

  • After Dashed Hopes And A Spiritual Landing, Ron Surrey Revisits The Dreams Of His Youth

    After Dashed Hopes And A Spiritual Landing, Ron Surrey Revisits The Dreams Of His Youth

    A few weeks ago, a tall man in a suit entered the lobby of The Courant. He was 30 minutes early for our meeting. "I don't like to talk about myself," says Ron Surrey, pastor of the New Mt. Olive Church of Christ in New Britain. An hour later, I had taken in the broad strokes of Surrey's life: his...

  • 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...

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