At LocalBozo.com, we travel New York City from borough to borough bringing our readers the best in live music coverage, from shows at the Barclays Center and Forest Hills Stadium to Irving Plaza and Terminal 5. But we also like to expose you to some artists that you probably haven’t heard from- perhaps some up and comers on the Indie scene. And here now, is our latest entry into LocalBozo.com’s “Indie Music Spotlight.”
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
January 6, 2014
Concert Review: Broadcast Hearts at Mercury Lounge
There’s a long lineage of bands that have graced the stage at Houston Street Lower East Side rock club The Mercury Lounge. Since opening more than twenty years ago, the intimate 250 person venue has been visited by the likes of Mumford & Sons, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National and was actually the place where The Strokes were initially discovered. Monday evening, Trumbull Connecticut’s Broadcast Hearts took over the diminutive room for the 10pm late show, bringing with them a refreshingly novel and guitarless approach to pop rock.
Led by frontman Avery Bazan, the four piece band’s forty minute set was a mostly fast paced journey through the group’s two EP releases, with some fun cover songs thrown in for good measure. With a sound extracted from some fairly obvious influences, Broadcast Hearts pleasantly forges an amalgam of music all their own. While the focus remains mostly on Bazan’s vocals which alternate between a riveting high pitch and a slower, more calculating melancholy, drummer Ted Ferik remains the group’s ebullient catalyst- even if he’s performing in front of a small audience, you tend to believe that he thinks he’s in front of thousands of screaming fans. But its that singular belief in their music that resonates with their live performance- its both relatable and despite the close proximity, larger than life at once.
In between a set comprised mostly of original tracks, the band tore through a ‘Pitch Perfect’ like mash-up featuring the likes of “Fix You” from Coldplay and “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, but it was their entirely inventive take on Mumford & Sons‘ “The Cave” that was creatively entertaining. Bazan’s keyboard was turned vertical mirroring Justin Molfese‘s bass guitar now firmly placed upright on his piano stool, and the band effortlessly pulled off the familiar track masterfully. While you’re unlikely to have heard some of the band’s written music, tracks like the haunting “The Captain’s Call” and the slow building “Go Blind” are particularly rousing worth checking out. At points during the show, you’ll often wonder how the group is pulling off their eclectic sound without the use of an electric guitar (though synth player Blake Burgess does briefly whip one out) but more frequently, you’ll marvel at Bazan’s immense talents of which he is seemingly only scratching the surface of. Capping the show off with “Sails, Wings & Wheels,” the group saved their finest material for last- the catchy, energy-laced track was on our minds long after we left the venue. And it was only when we finally arrived back home that the words from the song’s infectious chorus finally left our minds.
Broadcast Hearts has a slew of dates in the northeast lined up through the end of March which you can find here.
- Jane Van Arsdale