After a week off, we are suddenly waist deep in fall releases and an assortment of other sonic terrors that seemed almost inconceivable last time I checked in. Thus, before we get too far behind—and because I’m on new kitten duty (metal, I know)—let’s get at it before it gets away.
In the sea of cynicism, sarcasm, and post-whatever irony that is New York City, LVL UP’s latest opus, Return to Love, possesses an endangered quality: Earnestness. A neo-biblical tale of finding a reason to wake up in Brooklyn circa 2016, the band’s third LP—which drops Friday via Sub Pop—provides the focused indie-pop answer to their previously sprawling rock n’ roll rabble, capturing in its 10 hook-stuffed tracks the true bleary-eyed spirit of LVL UP.
As you’ll no doubt notice from the notable LPs—or lack thereof—below, the fall release season has yet to kick into full, fire-breathing gear. Use the extra listening time this week to get caught up on what you missed so far this year, because no matter how kvlt you are, I guarantee you haven’t heard it all.
Remember all those mean things I said about August last week–how the pickings were slim, there weren’t many shows, and so on? Well I take it all back. This week makes up for it and then some, so let’s thank the almighty law of averages and get on with it.
We’re all familiar with the ghost stories of NYC venues past. CBGB gets co-opted by John Varvatos — CBGB-ish peddler of Billy Joe Armstrong-approved looks and wares. North 6th is snatched up and scrubbed down by Bowery Presents and Ticketmaster’s hamster-powered server farm. 285 Kent and DBA finally slip into Murdoch’s yawning cultural detritus, with lines of former and future Vice employees lining the South 2nd sidewalks in those final weeks to glean Snapchat capital/”say goodbye”/covertly peruse their new cubicle spaces.