Roomful of Teeth GRAMMY Press Round-Up

New Amsterdam is proud to announce that Roomful of Teeth has been awarded a GRAMMY Award in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Category as part of the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Following their win, Roomful of Teeth was featured by NPR MusicClassicalite and Vents Magazine.

Roomful of Teeth also performed at the GRAMMY Pre-Telecast Awards Ceremony, and The Rolling Stone declared it “one of the best musical moments” of the evening. RantChic also included the performance in their “20 Best Moments from The GRAMMYs” and the Daily Illini called it “the best performance you probably didn’t see.

You can view the performance here at the GRAMMY website at 1:09 and the announcement and acceptance at 1:24.

For more information on Roomful of Teeth’s GRAMMY-winning album, click HERE.

itsnotyouitsme’s This I: Press Round-Up

This I, released November 19 on New Amsterdam Records, is the fourth recording from itsnotyouitsme, the duo of the two prolific and highly regarded New York musicians guitarist Grey Mcmurray and violinist/composer Caleb Burhans. The album has already received a substantial amount of praise from multiple press outlets.

This I was featured as Q2 Music’s Album of the Week, and Q2’s Hannis Brown described it as “an enveloping cloud both profoundly intimate and chillingly distant.” In addition, WNYC’s New Sounds included the album in their November 2013 New Releases and The Big City Blog praised the duo and album as “The only band that can play ambient/drone music, actu­ally play it live with instru­ments, and make it grip­ping…Their most mys­te­ri­ous and reward­ing release yet.” The album was also reviewed by New York Music Daily, describing it as “Moody, Hypnotically Shapeshifting Soundscapes from itsnotyouitsme.”

Like the duo’s first three albums on New Amsterdam Records — walled gardens, fallen monuments, and everybody’s pain is magnificent — This I continues itsnotyouitsme’s exploration of ambient sound worlds, but for the first time, creative voices outside the Mcmurray/Burhans mind meld are welcomed into the fold. The duo welcomes two highly influential and widely admired artists, bassist Skúli Sverrisson and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, to expand itsnotyouitsme’s sonic horizons and breathe new life into their compositional process.

Congratulations to itsnotyouitsme and their collaborators! For more information and to buy/stream the album, click HERE. In addition, read an interview with Greg and Caleb about the album HERE.

Andrew McKenna Lee’s The Knell’s: Press Round-Up

The self-titled debut from The Knells (a new ensemble formed by composer/guitarist Andrew McKenna Lee) featuring Mivos String Quartet and more, released on November 19 on New Amsterdam Records, has already received a significant amount of press coverage and acclaim.

The New York Times’ Jon Pareles praised Lee’s “ambitious, accomplished rock side” as exhibited in the album, and Textura stated that the album “must be one of the most original-sounding albums released in 2013.” In addition, The New Republic’s David Hajdu included The Knells in his Best Albums of 2013 list #6, and Ted Gioia also named the album #5 in his 100 Best Albums of 2013 list. Most recently, the album was honored as one the Best Overlooked Albums of 2013 by The New Yorkers’s Sasha Frere-Jones.

The Knells is the name of both Lee’s adeptly-composed hour-long song cycle as well as the hybrid ensemble Lee assembled to perform the project, consisting of three stunning female vocalists (Nina Berman, Amanda Gregory, Katya Powder), dual electric guitars (Andrew McKenna Lee, Paul Orbell), drums (Michael McCurdy), mallet percussion (Jude Traxler), electric bass (Joseph Higgins), and the critically lauded Mivos String Quartet. Blending Renaissance polyphony, symphonic lieder, jazz, classic and progressive rock, and even ‘60s Motown vocal music, The Knells finds Lee expanding his creative scope, embracing many of the stylistic streams that have come to define modern song in a remarkably cohesive and unique experience.

Congratulations to Andrew and The Knells! For more information and to buy/stream the album, click HERE. In addition, read an interview with Andrew about the album HERE.

Press Round-Up: Daniel Wohl’s Corps Exquis

Daniel Wohl’s debut album Corps Exquis, featuring performances by TRANSIT, Julia Holter, Aaron Roche, and So Percussion and released June 25 on New Amsterdam Records, has already been receiving a great amount of praise and critical acclaim from multiple press outlets since its release. Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene called it ”beautiful and maze-like, with sounds emanating from all directions in your listening space”, and Steve Smith of The New York Times praised it as a “boldly surreal aural experience”. The album has also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and as Album of the Week on Q2 Music. In addition, Peter Margasak of The Chicago Reader named it a “fantastic new album” while NewMusicBox’s Molly Sheridan called it “endlessly interesting…a seamless marriage of acoustic instruments and electronics that opens its mouth and sings, up close and personal, in a language that retains its vibrant human energy”.


Congratulations to Daniel Wohl and everyone involved with the album! For more info on Corps Exquis, click HERE.

Press Round-Up: Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society’s Brooklyn Babylon

Brooklyn-based composer-bandleader Darcy James Argue and his innovative 18-piece big band Secret Society released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Brooklyn BabylonApril 30th on New Amsterdam Records, and the album has already been receiving a significant amount of praise from multiple press outlets.

Downbeat Magazine recently named the album an Editor’s Pick for May 2013, stating that “Argue refuses to be easily boxed and defined, except by one word: amazing.” The New York Times called Argue’s vision for the big band “vital and absorbing” and the Los Angeles Times called it “remarkable.” The album has also been featured on eMusic and in The Boston Globe. In addition, Argue recently participated in an interview with Studio 360 to discuss the release.

Brooklyn Babylon was conceived in collaboration with Croatian-born visual artist Danijel Zezelj, whose narrative inspired Argue’s mash-up of musical styles. Zezelj’s artwork places the action in a larger-than-life, mythic Brooklyn, where past, present, and future coexist. Plans are afoot to construct an immense tower — the tallest in the world — right in the heart of the city. Lev Bezdomni, a master carpenter, finds himself torn between his personal ambition and his allegiance to the community when he is commissioned to build the carousel that will crown it.

Premiered to wide acclaim at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in 2011, Brooklyn Babylon is a long-form, structurally-integrated work combining Zezelj’s animation and live painting with Argue’s music. But like great stage works, such as Stravinksy’s Petrushka or Debussy’s Jeux, the composition works powerfully on its own.

The 53-minute work shows Argue taking a novelistic approach to long-form composition: a prologue, eight chapters separated by brief interludes, and an epilogue. The album opens with the actual sounds of Brooklyn — a sonic collage of recordings of the borough captured on Argue’s portable digital recorder. The ensemble gradually comes into focus and introduces the Prologue, from which every subsequent musical theme in Brooklyn Babylon derives. Argue reconfigures these themes using a broad array of techniques, inflected by contemporary indie rock, classical music, and jazz, particularly from the often maligned 1970s: the earthy avant-garde of Dewey Redman and Lester Bowie; the intricate large-ensemble sounds of Thad Jones and Don Ellis; and the sophisticatedpopulism of Donald Byrd and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters. Waltzes, marches and — naturally — fairground carousels also fold into the mix.

For more info on the album, click HERE.

Jace Clayton’s The Julius Eastman Memory Depot Press Round-Up

Jace Clayton (also known as DJ /rupture) has been receiving a significant amount of press coverage for his new album, The Julius Eastman Memory Depot, recently released on New Amsterdam Records.

Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene gave the album a 7.8 score, stating that Clayton has a “searingly immediate communion with Eastman’s vital, contrary spirit.” Textura called the album “fascinating on multiple levels” and “a powerful homage by one bold figure to another,” while the album has also received favorable reviews from The Chicago Reader, Groove Loves Melody, and Guerilla Stoemp.

In addition, Clayton recently spoke to NPR’s Weekend Edition and The Wall Street Journal about the new album.

For more information on the album, click HERE.

Press Round-Up: Roomful of Teeth’s Debut Album

The adventurous and renowned vocal octet Roomful of Teeth released their debut self-titled album in October 2012, and have already received a significant amount of press coverage praising their debut album.

Jayson Greene of Pitchfork called the album “exhilarating,” stating that “it will send an unnameable thrill down your spine,” while the album was also named an eMusic Pick by John Schaefer, awarding the album 5 stars and praise for it’s “richly-textured sound that uses a seemingly endless palette of vocal techniques.” In addition, John Schaefer named composer Caroline Shaw’s Passacaglia, which is included on the album, as one of his 10 Favorite Songs of 2012 for Soundcheck WYNC.

The album has also recently been featured on NPR’s Deceptive Cadence, where Merrill Garbus’ Quizzassa can be heard. In addition, it has been featured as album of the week on WQXR’s Q2, where the full album can be streamed for free.

Roomful of Teeth’s debut album features seven composers who each incorporate the ensemble’spolystylistic virtuosity in unique ways. From Rinde Eckert’s neo-alpine yodel “Cesca’s View” to Caleb Burhans’s post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in “No”, the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation’s most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two stunning compositions. Garbus’s tunes find a range of world-inspired grooves, from African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, and Appalachian hymn tunes to bracing eastern European belting, all filtered throughher powerful compositional voice. Composer-to watch Caroline Shaw uses her insider vantage as a Roomful of Teeth vocalist to create four sonically exquisite and emotionally charged journeys through the ensemble’s soundworld. New Amsterdam co-directors Judd GreensteinSarah Kirkland Snider, and William Brittelle each contribute debut pieces highlighting Roomful’s blazingly unique skill set.

For more info on the album, check it out here at New Amsterdam Records.