Monday, 13 May 2013

Preview: The Village Voice 4Knots Music Festival


The Village Voice are currently going through a staff crisis at their Bowery headquarters. Two senior editors have left the publication after being told to 'lay-off five (out of 20) staff' members. It's not all fun and games in the East Village, but for one day only The Village Voice can surrender their revenue pressures to enjoy music. 4Knots Music Festival is now in its third year. It oversaw the rise of Doldrums at last year’s festival, with popular acts such as The Drums taking centre stage. Situated in the glorious South Street Seaport, this year’s 4Knots will again be a blast.

Parquet Courts will show off their Brooklyn punk rock sound. Last year's Light Up Gold was a splendid half-hour of simple punk for a modern audience. If that stint of punk rock isn't enough, then The Men are certainly ready to plug in the chord for a noise filled afternoon. Likewise, last year’s New Moon bolstered quality tuned down punk rock with an influence of roots rock. Also from Brooklyn, The Men have released four albums in as many years giving them plenty of material to play on the main stage. The Village Voice have kept with the same genre and the same area of New York City for this year’s festival. Hunters descend as an exciting up and coming band. After releasing an invigorating EP back in 2011, the quartet now signed to Mom + Pop are ready to release their debut album and the stage is set for what will be a powerful performance.

Downtown New York will for one day cancel out the noise of construction with the noise of fast paced punk. Vancouver, Canada's White Lung will emit the loudest and high shrieked of noises. Their sophomore album Sorry is only 20 minutes long but has a long-lasting effect on listeners who more than likely listen back to back. In contrast, a melodic newcomer will unearth the psychedelic rock and shoegaze roots of New York City's underground scene. Heliotropes who take a major influence from American 60s psych and 80s British space rock are releasing their debut album A Constant Sea this June, just in time for 4Knots.

4Knots isn't all about the electric guitar, and though it does feature the best female artist to shred a guitar in decades, it does however feature an eclectic line-up. Texas rapper Fat Tony is a hotly tipped artist to break through the hip-hop barrier this year. His eccentric performance is bound to receive a few glancing looks from passers-by. Likewise will The Babies, a garage rock band from.... Yes you guessed correctly, Brooklyn. Their sophomore album wasn't quite as tasty as other indie pop / garage rock releases, however it's good enough and suits the South Street Seaport winds and public sunglasses. Another garage rock / 60s influenced artist Reigning Sound will take the stage. their 50s / 60s sound is a little out of fashion, but has been coming back in recent years thanks to a surge in bands such as The Drums and Allah-Las.

Marnie Stern is sure to create an atmosphere with her math rock / indie rock sound. This years The Chronicles of Marnia is a standout album not just in name, but in sound. She has lost drummer Zach Hill but makes up for it in her spectacular guitar structures. She is one artist not to be missed, especially when you're not paying for it - don't waste this opportunity to see Marnie Stern in New York City, without an enclosed roof in the sun. This year’s 4Knots festival is headlined by Kurt Vile. The indie rock / experimental musician who used to front The War on Drugs released his fifth solo album this year Wakin on a Pretty Daze. His blend of indie rock fuzz and lo-fi experimentation is a blessing that has taken the music world by storm in recent years. The past three Kurt Vile studio albums have all been positively received and include fabulous material. Backed by The Violators, Kurt Vile's enigmatic live performance is one not to be shunned for something else happening in New York City that night. 

With these free summer events, the community of New York City comes together to appreciate the city, the culture and the audience that come out to participate in the festivities - you can't put a price on New York City. The Village Voice may be facing an exodus, but they’re thankfully putting on a day festival with top bands from across the USA. There will again be two stages at South Street Seaport. If you're planning on coming down, it starts at 1pm on 29 June, ending at 8pm that very night. All ages, I’m sure Fat Tony has been warned. 
~Eddie

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