Tag Archives: Hymns


With a Brand New Album, Ex Cops Play Mercury Lounge Tomorrow

February 14th, 2013

Ex Cops began when former Hymns frontman Brian Harding (vocals, keys and guitar) moved in with Dan Shapiro, a recent music-school graduate interested in producing. They originally put out an EP, White Women, filled with sunny music and a lo-fi sound. And then the band began to grow, with Amalie Bruun adding another voice and then more additions: Sam Bair on drums, Leif Huckman on bass and Kai Kennedy on guitar. A few weeks ago, Ex Cops (above, playing “Millionaire” for their Track + Field session for The Bowery Presents Live) finally released their debut LP, the dream-pop-filled True Hallucinations. Check them out discussing making music and why sometimes trying isn’t the best policy, and then go see them play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.

(Amalie Bruun opens for the Friendly Echo tonight at Mercury Lounge.)


Jason Lytle Channels His Inner Outer Space

July 13th, 2009

Jason Lytle – The Bowery Ballroom – July 11, 2009

Jason Lytle
I remember seeing Grandaddy many years ago and being struck when they took the stage. This was a band that had the trucker’s caps and scruffy beards of a potential Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band playing gorgeous, otherworldly post-apocalyptic pop songs. I had the same impression on Saturday night when Grandaddy’s frontman, Jason Lytle, played The Bowery. Lytle’s voice was an ethereal rocket ship as he performed songs off his new solo release, Yours Truly, the Commuter. There was nothing esoteric about the tunes—love songs mostly, but sung like love songs from outer space, the outer space of slowly drifting orbits far and wide, devoid of any human contact. Between songs, prerecorded piano pieces were played, like a bizarro movie soundtrack, and then Lytle’s songs would come in: slow and moody to begin, utterly hypnotic then building to liftoff, leaving the atmosphere.

Brooklyn’s Hymns opened the show. It’s a rare and wonderful feeling when an opening band knocks your socks off, but off they came on Saturday night. Having hustled in sockless himself from Montauk, getting the last minute gig, the frontman showed no ill effects, raging full energy from the get-go. Seems these guys have been playing a plethora of gigs around town and it shows—very tight from guitars to vocals. The sound was the Rolling Stones via the BK (ca. 2009): pure rock and roll with all the associated underpinnings and the raw sexiness of unfettered guitar. As with most great and potentially great bands, the heroes are in the back line. The bassist played a nasty, groove-infusing Rickenbacker and the drummer thumped a rhythm all his own, which just happened to be the perfect one for every song. Hymns—check ’em! —A. Stein