Lynchburg, VA-to-Brooklyn, NY transplants, Moniker, recently returned from a mini tour to support their latest release All Things Excellent. Being part of the same Virginia music scene, Toldeo worked with the band and had a hand in recording their early material. Spearheaded by it’s principle songwriter, Jordan Scott, the band’s bedroom Americana (see “Rest My Head“) reminds me of early Spoon tied in with the alt-country of early National.
NE-HI of Chicago made their return to Baby’s All Right, after playing the venue this past summer. Though the band has been touring for much of the fall, they’ve been working on a new record that’s slated for release mid-next year. Their brand of lush garage pop is immensely catchy and it’s hard to let go of once you’re a few seconds deep into their music, prime examples being the reverbed sprawling “Drag” and the anthemic roller “Time Wanna.” Much of their set consisted of brand new tracks they’ve been working on with the most notable one being the jangly new waver “Oasis,” which has us already wishing they’d hit the studio ASAP and bang out a recording of it.
After 5 years of amassing a large amount of material (and fans) on his Bandcamp page, Will Toledo’s signing to Matador is quite fitting, which is the home to many of his influences, like Pavement and Yo La Tengo. His label debut, Teens of Style, is a reworking of ten previously released songs (with one new one). In an interview a few months back, Toledo mentioned that he would be expanding the line-up to a four piece for this tour, which added a bit more punch into their live set. Opening with post-rock tinged epic “Ending of Dramamine,” he made his way through the re-worked favorites such as “No Passion,” “Times To Die,” and swapping instruments with drummer Andrew Katz for the closing to “Strangers.” There were a strong sing-alongs from the crowds with favorites like the mercurial “Bodys” (with one dancing shoe-less Will included) and the emotionally stirring solo performance to “Sober To Death.” After the band’s loud (and playing dead) ending to the set closer, “Oh! Starving,” the band moved right into a faithful cover of the Talking Head’s classic “Psycho Killer.” Already having his next release ready to go, Teens of Denial is slated for an early 2016 release (via Matador), made up of entirely new material.