songwriter

The Golden Age of the Mature Hipster: 70s-inspired Dreampop From Williamsburg’s Glass Valley

Williamsburg-based singer/songwriter, and dark-humored Brad Cantor released his first solo album a couple weeks ago, under the moniker Glass Valley. The 60s and 70s-inpired dreampop album—which takes a few whispery pages from Velvet Underground and Elliott Smith—brings you on one man’s journey as he closes the door on his 30s and enters his 40s. Brad, a self-proclaimed “aging Brooklyn hipster,” wrote 22 songs after a trip to Joshua Tree, where he had time to reflect on the past decade of his life. When he returned to Brooklyn, the songs quickly poured out in an emotional stream of consciousness, and nine of them made it onto his debut album An Intimate Man. There’s a section in the track Young Hip and Old where he croons, “Everything’s gotten boring and we lost our way. Every party feels so forced, we ran out of things to say. The nights got less glamorous as our friends starting dropping off,” reflecting his stunted coming of age in early 2000s Brooklyn.

I chatted with Brad about how, in the music world it’s a little unusual for anyone to release their first album at age 40. “We don’t value older artists,” Brad says. “We don’t value their creativity. We don’t value their experience.” There’s a general consensus that when you’re younger you “embrace the craziness and rash decision making,” and as you age, you slowly shut down the most creative parts of your brain. “Fear makes people say things like that,” Brad says. So while on this album he may be resigning himself to getting older (on Golden Age: “It’s romantic to think that we’ll conquer the world, But most roads lead to rust belt cities, and gray rivers flow to dead ports, while strip malls decay in neglected suburbs. There was never a golden age, but life has a way of making it seem that way”), the brilliantly-executed record as a whole defies the idea that creativity fades after people reach a certain age. Continue reading

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The Gunfighter Meets His Match: Abby Payne’s Wild West Concept Album Release Show May 28 at 9pm

© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during the release show for "Vampire Song" at Pianos.
© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during single release show for “Vampire Song” at Pianos.

“I’m going to town today to buy me a reputation,” the lean and lovely indie-rocker and Greenpoint resident Abby Payne lilts in the opening of the song “The Gunfighter Meets His Match.” She wrote that unapologetic line in 2011 when she was struggling with the idea of retaining a publicist to promote her name.

“The music business had changed so much, and it seemed like a lawless and kind of wild place where nobody knew what was going on. This Wild West story of good versus evil, of complicated pasts and emotions and dreams, was really a way for me to work through what it means to me to be a musician and an artist.” Continue reading

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