32 New Albums & Artists to Know About — Made in NYC, LA, and Nashville

May 30, 2013 by  

As new records by Savages, The National, Vampire Weekend, The Flaming Lips and Daft Punk spin on high rotation chez SonicScoop, we’re hearing about so many new projects coming down the pipeline that we thought we’d share in a new column.

Get ready for the details of some buzz-worthy new and upcoming record projects in production (or recently wrapped) all over the country. Read up on what’s happening, and hear some new music below!

Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band, the new project from TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe with [Tall Firs drummer] Ryan Sawyer, Josh Werner and Alex Holden, have a new EP – mixed out of Strange Weather Recording in Brooklyn by Daniel James Schlett (DIIV, Janka Nabay). Adebimpe told Spin, “If you like Can or This Heat, you’ll probably be into it.” A couple of the tracks on the EP were produced by Bill Laswell. Coming soon!

Meanwhile, TVOTR has been working on new material as well, out of band-member and producer Dave Sitek’s LA studio. They’re reportedly not in full album mode quite yet, but we can expect a single to come out on Sitek’s Federal Prism label this year. The band recently split with Interscope.

Also produced by Dave Sitek, Brazilian dance-rock troupe CSS has a new album, Planta, coming out June 11 on SQE Music. Listen to an advance track “Hangover” below…

Back to Brooklyn, songwriter Damon McMahon has been making a new Amen Dunes record with Schlett out of Strange Weather Recording as well. “It’s one of the things I’m most excited about right now,” says Schlett of the album. When we spoke to him, Schlett had also just finished Luke Temple’s (Here We Go Magic) new solo record and was about to start a new Heavenly Beat record for Captured Tracks.

Switching gears a bit, pop singer Brenda Radney (aka Bren) has a new single coming out on Justin Timberlake’s RCA imprint, Tennman Records in July. The song, “Ain’t You”, was produced by Vel Songs founder/producer Camus Celli out of his studios in DUMBO. Next door, another Vel songwriter/producer, Josh Grant, has been remixing under the moniker DJ Chuck Buckett, and has new remixes coming out on DFA for Joy Wave, Allies for Everyone and The Crystal Ark.

Australian electro-pop band Architecture in Helsinki has just finished mixing their new record with Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Killers) and “Somebody I Used to Know” engineer/mixer Francois Tetaz (Gotye, Kimbra) at Taylor’s studio in Montreal.

Also in Montreal, BRAIDS made a new record – recorded and produced by the band in their studio, and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering. Listen to a new track “In Kind” at Pitchfork. The full-length LP Flourish // Perish will come out August 20 on Arbutus Records.

Killer Mike and El-P have a new album coming out this summer on Fools Gold. Production on the album, Run The Jewels, was handled by El-P and features co-production from Little Shalamar and Wilder Zoby. The album was mixed by Joey Raia at his //231 Studios, with additional vocal recording done by Nick Hook at The Space Pit – both located in Greenpoint – and was mastered by Joe LaPorta from his new studio at Sterling Sound. Listen to a track off the album here:

Dum Dum Girls have an album in the works that’s due out on Sub Pop later this year. As on previous albums, Richard Gottehrer and Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes are producing, with Alonzo Vargas recording and mixing. Basics for the album were tracked at EastWest Studios in L.A., and vocals were recorded in NYC. LaPorta will also master this record, which reportedly evolves from Dum Dum Girls’ lo-fi roots with modern textures.

Sune Rose Wagner also produced the new LP for San Diego rock band, Crocodiles, Crimes of Passion. Album influences include the Soft Boys, Street Hassle-era Lou Reed, the Jackson 5 and no wave guitar guru Glenn Branca. Click to listen to the first single, Cockroach” via Stereogum.

A promising new NYC artist named Sean Wood released his debut album Sudden Love independently a few months back, when we were tipped off by the album’s producer/engineer, Mario McNulty. A folk and R&B-inflected modern pop album, Sudden Love has moments that will recall Prince, Frank Ocean, R. Kelly and even experimental folk a la Dirty Projectors. Wood recorded the album between The Magic Shop, Headgear and Studio G; McNulty mixed the release out of his own Incognito Studios. Listen to Sudden Love on Bandcamp.

NYC indie rock band Born Cages will release The Sidelines EP on June 18 via Razor & Tie. The EP was produced by Jon Kaplan (Walk The Moon, Augustana) and Oliver Straus at Mission Sound in Brooklyn. Listen to the Born Cages song “Don’t Look Back” at Vice Noisey.  The song is available on iTunes HERE.

Seattle indie-folk band The Head and the Heart have been making a new album with Peter Katis up at his Tarquin Studio in Bridgeport, CT. Katis also has just wrapped a record with Brooklyn-based anthemic indie rockers We Are Augustines, and mixed the new National single, “Sea of Love”, off their new album Trouble Will Find Me. Watch the video below…

Talented NYC-based French jazz singer Cyrille Aimée has a new album coming soon, produced and mixed by Fab Dupont at Flux Studios, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. The concept of the record, says Dupont, was “to marry Cyrille’s voice with the sound of different kinds of guitars – gypsy guitar by Adrien Moignard, electric guitar by Michael Valeanu and nylon guitar by Guillerme Monteiro. The three virtuosos blend styles and eras into a new sound that marries the old with the new.”

Speaking of amazing voices, Swedish singer and songwriter Nina Persson, of The Cardigans and A Camp, is making a solo album! Working with bandmate and husband Nathan Larson (Shudder To Think) and Eric D. Johnson (of Fruit Bats), Persson has recorded new songs at Vinegar Hill Sound in DUMBO – with Geoff Sanoff engineering.

Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples. Photo by Spencer Tweedy.

Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples. Photo by Spencer Tweedy.

And a national treasure, Mavis Staples has another Jeff Tweedy-produced album, One True Vine, coming out next month via Anti- Records. Music on the album was reportedly performed almost entirely by Tweedy and his son Spencer, and recorded at Wilco’s Loft in Chicago by Tom Schick.

Jimmy Eat World will release their new album, Damage, on June 11. The album was produced and recorded at Alain Johannes’ (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures) studio and mixed by James Brown at his home studio in Park Slope.

We Are Scientists will have a new album out soon – produced and recorded by Chris Coady and mixed by James Brown at Germano Studios.

Speaking of Coady, he’s been working on a new album with a reunited Yuck (sans lead vocalist Daniel Blumberg) – at the converted-church studio, Dreamland, just outside Woodstock. See this Spin article for more on that.

Sam Hillmer of Zs has just released a new album of his solo sax/electronic project, Diamond Terrifier, via Chris Taylor’s Terrible Records. The album, The Subtle Body Wears A Shadow, was mixed by Taylor (Grizzly Bear) and mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering in Greenpoint. Listen to a track off the record via Spin.

HAERTS – a new Brooklyn band led by Nini Fabi with Ben Gebert (of Nini & Ben), Garrett Ienner, Derek McWilliams, and Jonathan Schmidt – have two new singles out via Columbia Records, produced by Jean Phillip Grobler of St. Lucia.  “Wings” was mixed by Michael Brauer and “All The Days” was mixed by Tom Elmhirst – both out of Electric Lady Studios. And both songs were also mastered by Kadry at Timeless Mastering.

Listen to “All The Days” here:

Down Nashville way, Kings of Leon just wrapped up work on their soon-to-be-released new album, The Collection Box – produced by Angelo Petraglia and recorded by James Brown at the band’s new headquarters, Neon Leon, in Nashville. Brown mixed the album in Blackbird Studio A.

A new Atlantic band, Saints of Valory, is recording their debut album at Blackbird as well. Saints of Valory hail from Rio de Janeiro and were signed following the success of their debut EP, The Bright Lights. They’re recording their debut with producer Joe Chiccarelli and engineer Ernesto Olivera.

Another Atlantic band, modern rock trio NEEDTOBREATHE, has also been making an album at Blackbird with Chiccarelli producing. Lowell Reynolds is the engineer.



Tam Lin – an inspiring singer/songwriter we profiled awhile back –  has a new recording coming out soon. Paul Weinfeld aka Tam Lin recorded his latest, Medicine For A Ghost between Electric Lady Studios and Marc Plati’s studio, Alice’s Restaurant, with producer/engineer Mario McNulty.

Brooklyn via Washington D.C. punk band Obits have a new record in the works – the band recorded at Upstairs in Arlington, VA to 8-track (with engineer Nikhil Ranade), and then brought the recordings to co-producer/mixers Geoff Sanoff and Eli Janney, who each mixed five songs on the album. Coming soon on Sub Pop Records.

Production on the anticipated new Maxwell album, Summers, continues with Mike Pela (Sade, Maxwell) mixing several tracks.

Psych-folk band Horse Thief is making a new record at Sunset Sound in LA, with Thom Monahan producing. Monahan also just produced/mixed an album with heavy blues rockers The Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Urban folk singer Jen Chapin has a new album out this week, called Reckoning, which was produced and mixed by the great Kevin Killen and recorded in part at Mission Sound in Brooklyn.

Singer/actress Rebecca Pidgeon has a new album coming out, which she recorded and mixed with S. Husky Hoskulds in L.A. and producer Tim Young. Hoskulds also recently made an album with Adam Levy and Shelly Segal, Little March.

The Spanish indie-folk singer known as Russian Red (Sony Music) is making a new album in Los Angeles, at Sunset Sound, with producer Joe Chiccarelli and engineer Ken Sluiter. Chiccarelli has also been at Sunset working on the new album for Britt Daniel’s other band, Divine Fits, for Merge. Look out for that, and a new soul-ful Spoon album. Says Spin.

And hopefully you’ve made it to the end, so we can tell you about UK/Spanish electro-pop/rock band Crystal Fighters who have a new album out this week on Atlantic, Cave Rave, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnson and mixed by Manny Marroquin in L.A. On our recent visit with Marroquin, he’d just finished mixing the record, and described the band as “MGMT-meets-M83” – check out the transporting “Wave” below and get ready for summer!

Producers, engineers, publicists, managers, artists…Fill us in on cool records we should know about by emailing names, links and production details to submissions@sonicscoop.com!

Studio Tour: North Brooklyn, Part 2

April 14, 2011 by  

NORTH BROOKLYN: Our neighborhood studio tour continues with four more decidedly uncommon studios in North Brooklyn. We talked to the owners of Strange Weather, Headgear, Metrosonic, and the Fort about sessions, toys, and building an active niche in this teeming slice of the city.

South Williamsburg (Coming Soon: Williamsburg/Greenpoint)

Those familiar with the SonicScoop blog-roll may recognize the name of Marc Alan Goodman, who’s been recounting the saga of building Strange Weather’s new, full-service tracking studio on the Greenpoint/East Williamsburg border. In the meantime, it’s a small secret that his current location already hosts one of the most impressive collections of hand-picked ear candy in the city.

Strange Weather is built around a 24-channel API 1608 console

More than anything, this is a studio for artists and engineers with boutique tastes. No summary can do justice to the extensive selection of gear that includes names like Neve, API, Purple, Gates, Federal, ADL, Neumann, Coles, dbx, RCA, and Bricasti. Strange Weather is also home to a startling collection of guitars, drums, and keyboards at the ready for capturing any sound musicians can imagine.

Most surprising of all, according to Goodman, is the price, and the fact that all his vintage treasures are in prime working condition.

“I wanted to build a studio where people can walk in and use world-class gear at an affordable price in a functioning atmosphere,” Goodman says. “There’s nothing worse than booking a day at a studio where nothing works. I feel like that’s the rule rather than the exception in the commercial studios I’ve worked in.”

In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter has recently been in for some sessions at Strange Weather, and this kind of attention to detail has it fast-becoming one of my favorite places to work. Owning a studio has begun to turn Goodman into a capable tech in his own right:  his racks are over-stuffed with impeccably maintained vintage gear, and  handmade re-creations of studio classics like the LA2A, LA3A and 1176.

Built around a new 32-channel API 1608 console brimming with the choicest EQs, Strange Weather turns out to be an ideal room for overdubs, mixing, or any sessions that don’t require a cavernous live room.

When asked about his niche in the studio scene Goodman says: “Ideally everyone would complete their records from start to finish in a studio, but today it seems more common for musicians to combine studios with smaller at-home or portable rigs. We’re focused on making that process as seamless as possible; to give musicians and engineers used to working at home a place they can walk in and use great, often rare equipment in a functioning environment.”

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Rates: Click for Room + Engineer Rates
Room Rate: $600/day; $550/day for blocks of 3 days or more.

If there’s any truth behind the idea that Williamsburg is a great place to make music, a lot of responsibility for that would have to fall on studios like Headgear Recording. Since opening in 1998, Headgear has been the birthplace of seminal records from  TV On The Radio, Massive Attack, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Animal Collective, CocoRosie, Nada Surf, My  Morning Jacket, Son Volt, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Moby and Santigold.

Although the “Room For Rent” model of studio has waned as competent owner-operators create their own personal oases of sound in every corner of the city, Headgear remains one of the most accessible and freelance-engineer-friendly studios in New York.

Headgear boasts one of the largest live rooms in the ‘hood, plus two iso booths.

In addition to house engineers Alex Lipsen, Scott Norton, and Dan Long, Headgear has been home to projects from a who’s who of hip and distinctive producers and engineers, including John Agnello, Peter Katis, Dave Sitek, John Hill, Chris Moore Gordon Raphael, TJ Doherty, and Chris Coady.

Headgear is also no stranger to Film and Television Post. Recent clients include “Grey’s Anatomy,” MTV’s “Skins,” “CSI: Miami” and the Columbia Pictures comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

According to studio manager Jackie Lin Werner, the studio’s appeal is personal as much as it is technical: “ We’re not stiff or pretentious. We’re down to earth and like to be helpful. Beyond the gear and the size of our rooms, I believe people trust Headgear as an established studio with a respectable client list.  Headgear probably appeals most to indie bands and major label bands looking for an affordable, high quality studio in a space that has a creative vibe. “

Headgear’s A-room houses an automated Trident 80C console and offers a choice of Pro Tools HD and 24-track 2-inch tape. A well-equipped B room is also available for mixing and overdubs.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Contact for rates.

Neve Console. Pro Tools HD. Ampex 2”. Engineers who know what they’re doing. What more could you need to know?

Metrosonic’s vitals = Neve 5315, Pro Tools HD, Ampex 2”

According to Metrosonic’s Pete Mignola, it’s the people who make a studio: “The people who built it, the people who run it, the people who use it,” he tells us.

“Everyone who comes to Metrosonic talks about the vibe. Of course they like the great gear, the affordable rates, the windows & city views, but they always say that they love the vibe here. There’s human element to this that makes each studio unique and special in its own way.”

Metrosonic has always had a large, comfortable control room. More recently, the studio’s originally modest live room underwent significant renovations in 2008, and now, Pete and the crew are excited to bring a new 850 square-foot live room into the fold.

Bushwick, Brooklyn

Rates: $40/hr, including Jim Bentley as Engineer.

Over the past decade, North Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood has filled up with enough small private studios to fill an area twice its size. In that time, Jim Bentley’s studio The Fort has stood as one of the neighborhood’s active mainstays.

Mission control at The Fort, equipped with a Neotek Elan console

Persevering in this competitive new territory since 2003, owner/operator Bentley has hosted noteworthy clients including Brit Daniel of Spoon, Doug Gillard and Kevin March of Guided by Voices, James McNew of Yo La Tengo, Jennifer O’Connor, John Agnello and  Jemina Pearl.

This especially affordable studio is equipped for both analog and digital sessions, offering a Neotek Elan console, Tascam 1” 16-track, and a 24-channel MOTU/Apogee system. The studio bills at $30/hr on weekdays from noon to 6pm and at $40/hr 6pm-midnight or weekends, and includes Bentley’s services as engineer.

Bentley is most proud of his live room, a large, vibey space with vaulted, heavy-timber ceilings: “I love to track full bands in the room live for feel and then sauce it up and make it sound supernatural from there,” he says.

Bentley’s down-to-earth approach is made clear in his parting words to us. The Fort, he says, “appeals to the clients who realize making records is more about the man and the performance than the machine or the media buzz behind it.”

Justin Colletti is a Brooklyn-based audio engineer and music producer who’s worked with Hotels, DeLeon, Soundpool, Team Genius and Monocle, as well as clients such as Nintendo, JDub, Blue Note Records, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visit him at www.justincolletti.com.

TV On The Radio Album, “Skins” Soundtrack Recorded At Headgear

March 3, 2011 by  

The upcoming TV On The Radio record, Nine Types of Light — due out April 12 on Interscope Records — was largely recorded at Headgear in Brooklyn last May.

TV On The Radio's "Nine Shades of Light" due out April 12

TVOTR’s David Andrew Sitek produced the sessions, with engineer Zeph Sowers tracking. Headgear’s Scott F. Norton also engineered a couple of days of tracking sessions with the band. Stream the awesome new track, “Will Do” below…

More recently, Headgear — the studio and friends/family of the studio — has had a hand in multiple tracks featured on MTV’s Skins.

First, the Skins theme song, “Lina Magic” by 3D Friends (Daniel Chavez-Wright), was tracked at Headgear by producer/engineer (and former Headgear intern and assistant) Gabe Liberti.

Another featured track, Unsolved Mysteries‘ “You Only Live Once,” was also tracked at Headgear and engineered by former Headgear intern, Colin Alexander. Alexander is the electronics maestro in Unsolved Mysteries and he releases his own original music under the name Tiny Specks of Many Things.

Next, the Many Colors song “Peaks and Valleys” also soundtracked a recent episode of Skins — Many Colors is Jackie Lin Werner, otherwise known as Headgear’s studio manager. “Peaks and Valleys” was mixed by engineer Nick Smeraski, another Headgear alum.

Keepaway‘s song “Evil Lady” was also featured on Skins, and was tracked with Headgear’s Kyle Boyd for their Baby Style EP.

Meanwhile, producer/engineer John Agnello has been working out of Headgear a bunch, most recently with Joy By Proxy, Andy Shernoff and Sons of Bill. Coming up, Cymbals Eat Guitars will be tracking and mixing their new album at Headgear with Agnello producing and engineering.

And back to TV On The Radio, listen to the advance single “Will Do” off Nine Types of Light here:

TV On The Radio – “Will Do” by Interscope Records

Check out Headgear’s new website for more information on the studio and recent projects, and to get in touch.