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Band Alternative Pop


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The best kept secret in music


"Internationale online Music Magazine"

Taken from the International Online Music Magazine

There is alternative pop in the world that raises eyebrows and there is the kind of alternative pop that's a little less common and that raises your praise and appreciation a few degrees past the last grade on the scale. Needledrop's self titled six track offering does that to whatever range you had in mind and they seem to do it effortlessly. Based in New York City, US born Steve and Ireland born Amanda have managed to produce a superb collection of tracks destined for the kind of spotlight you'd see spread over equally superb bands like Garbage, Mimi Ferocious, Ana Lovelis, The Clouds, Coldplay, and Texas.

All night long opens the album up with nice pads and guitar sprinklings before Amanda's often ethereal and ambient vocal demands your utmost attention. She's an amazing singer equipped with all of those things that the likes of Sade and Nina Simone happened to be born with. All night long is a mellow track with it's smooth sax inserts and superb bass treatments adding to an arrangement that is quite simply first class!

Murder arrives with a catalystic spread of guitar over an introspective yet casually brilliant vocal. Here we have some reflections of what the production team around Shirley Manson achieved to wide critical acclaim for both Garbage and Garbage 2.0. Steve's arrangement is outstanding and the production shares the same kind of accolade. Murder is one of those tracks you get to review and have a very hard time moving on from.. it's sticks with you until a few plays become so ingrained that you feel a kind of empathy with the concept that the song sprang from.

Strange is one of the finest tracks on this album with some truly brilliant vocals that would make a live performance absolutely spell binding. Again, the arrangement is quite synchronous with the vocal style and the lyrics are quite exceptional. A sensibly adjusted audience, some fine sound equipment and a couple of blue lights here and there for this one would make the song as visually stunning as it is in terms of it's production!

Up in smoke features the production style that made Garbage soar but with Needledrop's touches of uniqueness especially in the lyrics and vocals. As I implied earlier, these two guys know a thing or two about what makes alternative pop vibrant and colourful. I've been told that Steve and Amanda met in Ireland while Steve was on tour.. What a remarkable chance meeting and what a remarkable track to highlight the gratitude your ears feel as a result! Feels like meanwhile, takes the listener to the upper floors of where Sade once roamed with her very smooth and sultry vocal escapades. Amanda picks up where Sade left off and expands those horizons even further. With such a beautifully accomplished voice, with such perceptive lyrics, and with an arrangement that is dutifully bound to make sure everything is as it should be, this song exudes brilliance and I can't wait for their next album!

The final track on this fine album is aptly titled Just .. at over four minutes in length, and throughout it's entirety, you are in for one very special encounter with just about every ounce of sensual delight you were ever acquainted with. I have to say that, with only six tracks to be introduced to Needledrop with, Amanda is now one of my favourite singers in the world, Steve is one of my favourite composers, and this CD is one of the most sensible purchases you'll make this year! The thing is... and I say this without hesitation, the longer you wait... the more you need to be ashamed of your lack of true common sense!

Colin Lynch - May 18 2005

- Womda

"Needledrop: The criminal who found a better life"

Belfast Telegraph
Belfast Archive

Needledrop: The criminal who found a better life

12 November 2004

Trip-hop duo Needledrop are causing something of a stir at the moment in the pubs and clubs of New York City.

Comprising Irish vocalist Amanda and guitarist/sampler Steve, the two musicians are in the middle of their first ever UK tour.

While Amanda is virtually unknown to most punters this side of the pond, some of you may recognise Steve as the former drummer for those dapper chappies, Fun Lovin' Criminals.

"A lot of people ask me if Needledrop sound like Fun Lovin' Criminals," says the good-natured New Yorker. "When I was in FLC I was a third of the song-writing team, so I think it's kinda obvious that Needledrop are going to sound a little like my previous band.

"But the music Amanda and I are writing now is a lot darker and moodier than anything I've done before."

It's safe to say Steve's departure from Fun Lovin' Criminals in the late 90s was rather controversial. Although most of the events have been shrouded in secrecy, Steve appears happy to talk about what happened that fateful day.

"I was called to a meeting of the band and I thought it was going to be about finding a replacement drummer for our new tour, as I'd broken my hand and couldn't play for a while," he explains.

"However, the guys told me that they found a new drummer for the band and I wasn't needed anymore. To this day I still don't know why I was fired but I honestly think that it was all to do with money.

"With hindsight I have no regrets about the whole thing. I got to tour the world and live like a rock star and it was a fun time in my life."

It was during a tour of Ireland with FLC in 1998 that Steve met Amanda in a pub in Dublin. It was a night that would end up changing both of their lives forever.

"The first time I saw Amanda it was love at first sight," says Steve. "She was serving behind a bar and I went up to talk to her. The first thing she asked me was if I was in Fun Lovin' Criminals and then she told me she absolutely hated our band.

"I thought to myself right then that she must be pretty cool to actually say something like that to my face! So we saw each other for a while and I asked her to move out to New York to live with me - which thankfully she did."

As Steve began writing new songs in the living room of their apartment following his exit from FLC, he asked Amanda to sing for him. Although she had never performed in front of an audience before, her raw and untrained voice complemented Steve's music perfectly.

"Amanda never wanted to be a singer," says Steve. "But there is something about her voice that sounds perfect with my music. We're in the middle of recording our first record right now. I'm the type of guy who has to write something every day, but Amanda only writes something when she feels she needs to, so we're not gonna rush things too much. We want everything to be just right."

Needledrop play Katy Daly's, Belfast, on November 17, with support from the Fluids. Admission £6.

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© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd
- Belfast Telegraph

"Ando's reveiw"

Ando’s review

I stumbled across this band, I was on looking for the new release by Lennon (she’s another story), I decided to check out the hot releases Needledrop was the big seller and the weeks hot releases, I read the synopsis and decided id take the chance and purchase their debut album.

Its good actually, pretty out there and different. It has a myriad of styles in it; we have break base drums rubbing shoulders with ambient effects topped off by Amanda’s sensual breathy vocal, with layers of funky guitar provided by ex Fun Lovin drummer Steve O. The downsides to the album? Well as it’s only really meant to be heard by record executives it only weighs in with 7 tracks. I’m gonna keep a close eye on this band as I expect them to become fairly successful providing they get the proper promotion and backing by a decent label.

Overall: 7 quality tunes that will lodge in your head and have you begging to hear more by them

Final score: 4/5 Nice.

Reviewed by Ando Aug. 18 2004
- cdbaby

"Plus One Magazine"

Needledrop: featuring Steve Borgovini from the Fun Lovin‚ Criminals‚. We all know Huey and Fast, so you assume the unknown drummer, right? Wrong. Steve was the drummer for FLC until 1999, when Huey and Fast kicked him out of the band. Steve broke his hand and the band told him they would need a temporary replacement for an upcoming tour. After stringing me along for two months, Huey finally phoned me and told me I was kicked out of the band. Five years later and Steve still seems genuinely hurt. “I had to be in another band ya know, because it‚ what I do. It‚s like being a painter, you gotta paint.”
The New York-based band features Steve on guitar and girlfriend, Amanda on vocals. Sticking with the laidback, distorted guitar of FLC, Amanda‚s husky voice is peaceful yet invigorating and soulful yet gutsy. Samples gave the trio the extra padding they needed to complete the sound. This is an edgier Morcheeba, with darker parts similar to Garbage and Portishead. The most lively person onstage got a spontaneous chant from the crowd, Steve-o! Steve-o!‚ Where FLC have lost their edge in recent years, Needlepoint are on a new horizon. Nice guys don’t always finish last.

- Plus One Magazine

"Jaypeedee Review"

A sultry, sexy, smouldering classicReviewer: Jaypeedee
Reminiscent to varying degrees, and at different stages, of Snowpony, later Madder Rose and Sade, Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out by Needledrop nevertheless manages to be a wholly unique and thoroughly enjoyable musical experience, albeit (at just 6 tracks) a lamentably short one. It would make a very good instrumental album; the arrangements and musicianship are first rate. However, the addition of Amanda's sexy, sultry, smouldering vocals turn it into an absolute classic, perfectly complementing and enhancing Steve's seemingly effortless - and effortlessly varied - instrumental accompaniment. The stand-out track for me is Strange, which beautifully highlights the full flavour and range of Amanda's voice, whilst simultaneously giving a perfect demonstration of the fact that power and impact in a song do not necessarily depend on cranking up the volume knob. Hopefully there will be a follow-up to this, and if so I will certainly be among the first to buy it.


"Martin's Review"

Terrific debut EP. Every track stands out! Needledrop's debut EP grabbed my attention from the moment the first track, All Night Long, began. Amanda's beautifully mellow vocals compliment ex-Fun Lovin' Criminal Steve's tracks perfectly. All Night Long is one of them tracks, for me, which is perfect for sitting outside at about two in the morning and chilling. Track two, Murder, wakes you up a bit with a more twangy sound but equally laid back (in a good way) vocals. The scratching and catchy chorus also make this a great track. Track three, Strange, reverts more to the style of the first track with a more loungy feel. I don't really like many bands with female vocals but Amanda's wide range of different singing is outstanding throughout this record, as is shown in Strange. Up In Smoke (track four) is another wake-up tune which again illustrates both Steve and Amanda's incredible talent - it says in their website bio that they clicked immediately on meeting in Dublin - this is very evident. Track five, Feels Like, has got a really cool tune and wicked horn (sounds like a horn to me - whatever it is, it's sweet), and again Amanda's lyrics and singing is faultless. I think the sixth track, Just, is a phat ending. It's like a morning-after track. The kind of track with a catchy beat and chorus that you find yourself whistling in work. Overall the ep is brilliant and I can't wait for the next Needledrop installment! - CDBABY

"South of mainstream Review"

Tune In Turn On Drop Out

reviewed by kickmesign

The first track opens up with and ambient trip hop sound with vocals that you could almost imagine coming from a Dido or Portishead disc. There's nothing wrong with this...many folks enjoy this musical style. But it didn't do anything to really turn my head. Four of the six songs on this little EP had much the same sound. Competent, soothing, even relaxing. Lucky for me there are two standout tracks that made me stand up and take notice, and allow me to give this talented group a better rating than those 4 songs alone would merit.

"Murder" has a sedate, but sinister guitar riff that should bring to mind early 90's Depeche Mode...think "Personal Jesus". The vocals stay away from shoegaze styling, giving them a bit more power, and the overall sound is trip hop with attitude, like the stuff Moby does when he collaborates with some of the current roster of female pop divas. "Murder" draws you in, and while it's not speedy enough to really wiggle to, you're going to find your hips trying to keep up with the riff. The repeated refrain about the "chain gang" is sultry and never gets boring, sung in the vocalists very pleasing tone and style.

"Up In Smoke" takes the same sound a step further. It sounds like something Garbage would have done when they were still in their indie prime. Before they turned their eyes to pop appeal. It's got the same dark and sinister guitar sound, a faster beat and the vocals are again stronger and more intriguing. It's a great dark pop sound.

I'll definitely keep my eye out for future releases, as these two songs were enough to make this 6 song disc worthwhile. I hope to hear more of this darker, heavier and faster sound in future Needledrop releases.

#2 | Murder
#4 | Up In Smoke



2004 Tune in , Turn on , Drop out.- E.P.
Streaming tracks on various websites.
For example, cdbaby, numberonemusic, itunes, Womda international online music magazine....etc.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Needledrop Bio

Needledrop is a New York City based Trip/pop duo consisting of Amanda on vocals and Steve on guitar and production of their music. Steve is originally from New York, while Amanda is originally from Ireland. They first met in Ireland in 1998 where Steve was on tour with his former band Fun Lovin' Criminals. Realizing their instant chemistry the duo briskly moved back to New York and started writing the music that would become Needledrop.
Steve creates the instrumental tracks for Amanda's haunting lyrics and vocal melodies. Their eclectic style comes from a wide range of influences, taking from the spectrum of modern music such as Nina Simone, Sade, Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Green Day, Alice in Chains, and the Ramones. They are currently performing in venues around New York City, Ireland and the U.K.