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The best kept secret in music


""past loyalties...""

Levy's "Rotten Love" overflows with lovesick lyrics and desperate cries for past loyalties. However, the band manages to set their mopey, amorous feelings over truly beautiful guitar and synth parts. The click of the snare drum moves the album from song to song, pulling at various stages of the band members' heartache.

The title track is about Russian beauty and musician Regina Spektor, who's also rumored to have dated Julian Casablancas of the Strokes and James Levy (lead singer and guitarist), delicately places his puppy dog lyrics about how much he misses her over light, descending guitar riffs. The entire song has a sweet hush about it, and gives the listener a hint to quiet down and contemplate and pine for relationships past.

The album picks up on occasion, but it's the slow jams that really melt the heart's crust. "For years, I've dreamed of you," James Levy sings in a strained, teary wail on "Rector St." On "Fall for You," the sexiest, most raunchy song on the album, Levy rasps with a defiant sneer, "You're in my head with a loaded gun/But I will not fall for you."

Some of the songs are obviously influenced by the band's place of origin, the lower east side of New York City. The Strokes poke through on "Jewel" in particular, which has those easy-to-imitate-via-air-guitar riffs and similar lyrics line. However, James Levy uses his natural vocal talent to highlight the track, differing his band from its New York counterparts.
-R.A. - The Eagle College Radio


Do you have that disease? that sickness? the one where you need, you desire, to discover something new, something that lifts you up above the muck for a moment or two. I've had it for years, although the yearning is no longer as strong as it was when I was eighteen. No, I am not referring to drugs, but it is a chemical reaction, some strange union between mind and body when you listen to music that touches you. If you are slowly and softly nodding your head in agreement and recognition, I've got something for you. Levy.

Currently signed to One Little Indian in the UK, the band Levy consists of singer and guitarist James Levy, Mike Jones on drums, James Broughel on bass, and Matthew Daniel Siskin on guitar. Just celebrating their first year together as a band this is how guitarist Siskin describes their beginnings:

"We met by accident at a bar, January 2003 (James Levy and I) and said, "Lets start a band", it was as easy as that. (We) played our first show, July of 2003, and I think its been about 60 shows since then."

Their music is a sweet indie concoction, just great pop songs made distinct by the bands separate personalities and by no obvious influences. Oh, there are some influences in the young bands music, but for a group of men living in New York and that cities' dominating and domineering music scene, to find your own voice so early in a career is saying something. Keep your ears open they will be saying more. - SIXEYES Magazine

"LEVY: The Artistic Frontiersmen"

Amidst the white-collar criminals in downtown New York City, appearing like a flower that grew from the concrete is the Knitting Factory. And just as it is unusual to see this venue in between these huge corporate buildings, is it unusual to find a venue that stays true to music’s artistic values. Meaning that the bands that play here want to stay in the underground. They don’t want to become commercialized products. With musicians such as Pearl Jam and Fugazi setting an example on how to maintain complete artistic freedom, yet still able to establish flourishing music careers, LEVY, the incredible NYC underground indie band, plans to follow that same path.

Consisting of singer and guitarist James Levy, backed up by Mike Jones on the drums, James Broughel on bass, and Matthew Daniel Siskin on guitar, forming LEVY one year ago, believe in their art, and so do many underground fans. “This is our art, no one is gonna tell us how to do it,” confessed Jones, as this may be partial reason why the band is currently unsigned. All born and raised in New York City where the music biz for years has looked for that “next big thing” have been catching on these last few years with the discovery of The Strokes and many others. Levy, whose punk ambiance is bravely apparent, believes that good music is just not out there. “All music now just sucks. I mean…Radiohead, but I’m talking about on a smaller level,” explains Levy, exhibiting why LEVY’s music is absolution in comparison to overly commercialized rock.

Their first LP, Rotten Love is as refreshing as cold lemonade on a hot day. Visualize a mixture of Interpol, The Snow Patrol, a dash of Coldplay with a deep and dark kink, and you would have Rotten Love. With euphonic singing by Levy, who has English-sounding vocals, blends perfectly with the synthetic instrumentals of the rest of the guys. With a wide variety of musical inspirations from the early sounds of Motown, to Nirvana, LEVY stands as critical musicians that know exactly what music is.

With a follow-up EP completed and due to be out any time, LEVY has proven to be musical connoisseurs. With a more up-beat sound, in comparison to Rotten Love, the new EP shows LEVY’s musical diversity. “One we recorded in a blizzard in the middle of winter, upstate, totally miserable in a house, and the other one we recorded in sunlight in Williamsburg,” explains Jones. On the new track “Children of the Street,” the entire band is heard vocally, as they charmingly sing together, “The children of the street are singing for me,” reminiscent of naïve and carefree children playing in the concrete jungle of NYC.

Appearing modestly on stage around 10-oclock, LEVY inverted the tiny crowd of fans into an abundance of LEVY devotees, as suddenly the Knitting Factory was filled. With a stage-presence that many underground indie NYC acts all resemble because of the small stages they perform on, playing still and rather calm, LEVY was still able to move the crowd. The energy was ceiling high, even when Levy went solo on “Wednesday.” Proficient through both songs from Rotten Love and the new EP, a 45-minute set seemed just too short for the usual LEVY followers and myself. I felt I could watch LEVY play all night, leaving me in awe as they left the stage.

Its true that many musicians today are looking to music as a moneymaking outlet, rather than an artistic way of expression. This is what makes LEVY’s music so pure and the band members just that much more amazing and intriguing. They are in music for the right reasons, and I can easily admit that these guys might change your life. They have changed mine.

For more information on LEVY, including tour dates and CDs, click the link below. - WestChester 1

"favourite obsession"

A new favourite obsession of ours is Levy. Behind the eponymous Vermonter James Levy (emphasis on the long e’s), this four-piece act has been seen all over lower manhattan in recent months. After short stint at Niagara, a weekly series of gigs at the Mercury Lounge, a phenomenal show at Pianos, and a recent night at the Knitting Factory, these guys are quickly honing their stage skills and becoming one of the better downtown rock bands. Levy’s vocal phrasing is a obvious tribute to Morrissey, complete with the requisite rich, deep, and slightly mournful tone. The band (Matthew, guitar, Simon, bass, and Mike, drums) sounds like sober Stooges — more downtempo and straightforward than the Smiths, with a New York earnest candor. Far more polished than most new bands, the only thing belying their age is perhaps the depth of the lyrical subjects. But the melodies resonate for hours after the set ends — a rarity indeed for a ballad about a girl and a boy in love.

And best, Levy has made eight recordings available at www.levytheband.com. Highlights include the beautiful, haunting Rector Street, the addictive You Be Sweet, and the very Lower East Side Rotten Love. Upcoming gigs are announced on their mailing list, and are definitely recommended.
- breakdown industries


LEVY - ROTTEN LOVE LP (2005) One Little Indian


Feeling a bit camera shy


LEVY formed one year ago in New York City. Recently signing with One Little Indian Records, their debut album Rotten Love will see its international debut by the fall of 2005. Rotten Love, the first LP from LEVY is a refreshingly pretense-free entry into the sensitive (and angst-free) indie-rock world. With OLI standing strong behind them, LEVY will venture across to the pond to the UK to begin a full out summer assault of high profile shows & press showcases.

If there is one thing that LEVY cannot be accused of, it’s a lack of confidence. One could misconstrue it as arrogance, but in reality it is pure passion. A passionate attempt at rescuing what they see as a dying breed.
“It just seems like the music scene in New York five years ago was a lot stronger,” James L, said. “ I think it is sad that there hasn’t been an inspiring record anywhere in the last few years. Don‘t get me wrong, I mean there are some things, some sparks, but there hasn’t been an all-out great record in the last two years.” 2004 saw them rise rather quickly among New York City’s musical elite through an onslaught of high-profile supporting slots for hotly tipped bands ranging from Razorlight to Athlete, Regina Spektor, The Zutons, and Adam Green.

Additionally, Mike Jones, their drummer, makes it clear that there is a lot of heart behind the wall of confidence. “For us it is all about getting out and connecting with people. That is what great bands and great songs do. We want to connect with that kid in his bedroom listening to CDs non-stop like we all were."