The Mountain Movers
Watching the Mountain Movers progression over the course of the past decade has truly been a treat. Their earliest beginnings saw the band documenting Dan Greene’s vast catalog of songs, while displaying a rotating cast of New Haven musicians’ unique skills. The band produced three albums and several singles of polished indie rock in this incarnation. However, their fourth album, 2010’s Apple Mountain, saw the band transition to stranger territory; home-recorded and employing an arsenal of miscellaneous instruments, the record bore a folk-psychedelic element not displayed on their previous work. Shortly after Apple Mountain, constant members Greene and Rick Omonte were joined by lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene and drummer Ross Menze to form, what is now, the bands longest running lineup. The band has since produced a series of singles, lathe-cuts, cassettes, and 2015’s Death Magic, an album that melded Greene’s song writing with the bands ability to stretch out and improvise. Now in 2016, Sunday Drive / No Plans gives the first glimpse into the Movers’ session at former drummer John Miller’s home studio. Two instrumental improvisations clocking in at just under 20 minutes that bring to mind names like Neu! and Ash Ra Tempel, as much as they do any number of American psychedelic acts of the 1960’s. A wonderful preview of what promises to be one of the most stunning albums of 2016.
Stefan Christensen & Friends
Since the demise of long-running New Haven punk outfit Estrogen Highs, the bands' leader, Stefan Christensen, has stayed busy with an outpouring of solo recording. Incorporating influences ranging from Xpressway/Precious Metal Records artists like The Dead C, Gate, Alastair Galbraith, and Peter Jefferies, the UK DIY scene, Ohio weirdo and outsider punks, and the Twisted Village contingent, and always tinging it with his own personal brand of song writing and noise making, to create sounds that drive forward, despite their keen observance of the past. With songs ranging from 40 second damaged acoustics to 20 minute freakout noise jams, the exact sound is hard to peg down. The live shows see Stefan solo or joined by 'Friends,' a revolving door of New Haven noise makers, who create often lengthy free form rock music. Stefan's first solo cassette was recently reissued by Minneapolis' Night People Records, and two upcoming releases on Buffalo's the Loki Label loom just around the corner, with even more coming down the line on the newly minted C/Site Recordings.
Pieces of Fruit
Some of New Haven’s finest come together to play songs written by Jules Lefevre. Together they make mellow, jangly kiwi-influenced pop with a punk edge. Catchy melodies are punctuated by repetitive, hypnotic riffs and rhythms. 2015's 'Sowere SoSo' cassette was a stunner on New Haven's Elm Recordings and 2016 promises more recording, releases, and shows to further that the bands already sterling reputation.