The Tines are a New Haven base indie alternative outfit. They play cleverly crafted indie rock that focuses on the balance of tension and beauty.
Both born in Dallas, Texas in 1997 to respective Smith families, singer-songwriter Jonah Paul Smith and guitarist Julian Paint Smith met in elementary school. An organic orange juice debacle at Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts’ cafeteria cemented their partnership. In 2016, the two enrolled at The New School and moved to New York City. They formed a band and released the EP “Boring the Camera” under the name Pueblo in 2017. Through their collegiate years, the band developed an idiosyncratic folk-rock sound, combining elements of Elliott Smith’s baroque-pop songcraft, Aimee Man’s irreverent adult contemporary, and The Dandy Warhols’ lighthearted, college rock singalongs. Attending Jazz Studies and English Literature courses by day, the band played shows across NYC, headlining venues like Elsewhere and Baby’s All Right, sharing the stage with rising indie contemporaries like Ritt Momney, Wallice, Mamalarky, and Toledo.
In April 2022, Closebye released their debut album, “Lucid News.” The 9-song collection anxiously processes time’s relentless passage, charting a chronology of reverie and reconciliation, estrangement and acceptance, sadness and self-forgiveness. The record’s multiple sessions took place in Bearsville, NY with Producer Tim Bright (Kate Davis, Lisa Loeb, Grey Reverend), and in Fort Worth, Texas with Producers Josh Block (Leon Bridges, Caamp, White Denim) and Robert Ellis at Niles City Sound. Upon the album’s release, the band expanded to become a solidified lineup of 5, adding multi-instrumentalist Ian Salazar, bassist Margaux Bouchgnies, and drummer Simon Clinton. The resulting live show is a testament to the quintet’s ripening sound – sweet, sharp and pithy, like the Texas oranges upon which their destiny is staked.
Paul Bergmann’s latest opus of agony, No Masters in Paradise, isn’t angling for approval or affirmation in the way early- and mid-career albums often do. A man with a pickaxe at the wall of existential meaning, Bergmann has never failed to make the pain of our time excruciatingly personal, and you can hear it in his voice in these tracks. “Piss in my Hand” recalls Tom Waits, Iceage, or late-era Leonard Cohen, where the voice itself has been denuded of warmth, when Bergmann sings “Don’t make me plastic/Don’t make me care/Don’t think there’s a part of me/I want to bare.” He’s still looking for answers, and you can hear from the resignation in his voice that he’s pretty sure there’s nothing to find—“We’re getting old/Nothing is won.” If there are no masters in paradise, it seems like the culmination of Bergmann’s oeuvre to lament that there is no paradise in mastery, either.
For some time, Paul has been writing and singing as if from a vantage point far into the future; as though uncovering rather than composing his own body of work. To date, his thirteen releases have ranged broadly across the landscape of the indie singer-songwriter. Early work in folk-pop, recorded while signed with Fairfax Recordings, has found its way into TV and film, but to dip into Paul’s work at random is to discover many different versions of the same artist. This scruffy folk punk, electro-piano torch crooner, analog psychedelian, and, occasionally, strident Neil Young disciple par excellence has crisscrossed the country in concert in support of one project or another, opening for the likes of Angel Olsen and Lou Barlow, selling out the historic Cairo Jazz Club in Egypt. Such peregrinations have concretized Paul’s thematic obsessions of the years: the life, and death, of the Creative; human desire; aging; the follies and false promises of stature and fame. In his relentless oeuvre-building, Paul has amassed an especially articulate kind of existentialism: what it means to persist, and to create, in a world which dies in the near distance. In No Masters in Paradise, the form of the songwriter’s ballad, in the hands of an expert, is turned inward for comfort, resisting the base lure of worldly approval.