Pleasure Beach is a band formed in Middletown, CT, in early 2015. Taking cues from post-punk and new wave groups, the band also cites the musical history of cities like Minneapolis and Los Angeles as influential. Taut guitar lines and warm synthesizer texture stretch and pulse through the band's sharp and present songwriting. At times tense and sparse, the arrangements also reach lush peaks where the group's playing interlocks in compelling form.
Reduction Plan's music comes from within solitude's frigid embrace. "I will
never get what I want," broods frontman Daniel Manning on self-released debut,
Paradise. The heavily reverberated breaths and ominous atmosphere that open
Reduction Plan's latest full-length album, Somewhere, evoke that same sense of
solitude, one that is almost palpable.
Pulling from 80s goth, 90s shoegaze and industrial, and the anti-folk tendencies
of acts like Grouper and Mount Eerie, Reduction Plan uses both noise and
space to illustrate the power of silence. A swell of synths, pulsing drum
machines, and haunting murmurs is the foundation upon which the project
draws its sound.
With Somewhere, Manning takes a leap forward in both songwriting and
production. Recorded and mixed entirely independently, the record’s 10 tracks
are more fleshed out than anything the project has released to date. A testament
to this is “On Your Own”, a re-recorded and re-worked version of a track that
initially appeared on Reduction Plan’s debut, Paradise. Side-A closer “Julia” is
driven by waves of synths that would feel right at home on a Disintegration cut,
pushing the song to a powerful climax. Meanwhile, opener “Without An End” is a
cacophonous goth-rock anthem built upon an intoxicating drum-machine
Somewhere is Manning’s third full-length under the Reduction Plan moniker,
following the Child of Light EP, which saw him branching out stylistically to
collaborate with fellow musicians. On the project’s first two full-lengths, 2015’s
Paradise and 2016’s Shade, Manning’s compositions were frigid, harsh, and
unrelenting. Here, the songs let the light in; blossoming into lush, melancholic
pieces that maintain the bite of the project’s roots.
The majority of the record was written shortly after Manning graduated from
college, and deals with all the feelings of displacement, discontent, and
dissatisfaction that followed. Somewhere represents a seemingly intangible
sense of comfort and belonging that Manning searches for throughout the
album’s brooding tracks.
Although a solo endeavor in concept, Manning is accompanied live by Luis
Durango, who breathes new energy into the songs on second-guitar and synth.
Together, the two have shared the stage with acts such as Xiu Xiu, Boyharsher,
Planning For Burial, Torres.
Quiet Giant (Telegraph Recording Company) is a Connecticut four-piece that makes heavy, dreamy pop with heart. The band is Danielle Capalbo (guitar, vox), Jared Thompson (drums, vox), William James (lead guitar) and Mark Almodovar (bass), who together issue forth a memorable blend of haunting melodies, ethereal vocals and reverb-laden arrangements. Since forming in 2015, the band has played across the Northeast, including New London's I Am Fest. QG have released a well-received full-length record, loom, and in Spring 2017 a follow-up EP called You're In Heaven that trades swirling dreampop for heavier-hitting rock-and-roll.