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New Paltz, New York, United States | INDIE

New Paltz, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Pop EDM


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"Live show preview: Setting Sun & Quitzow tonight at WonderRoot"

Gary Levitt brings his Setting Sun to Atlanta tonight along with Quitzow (Erica Quitzow). Setting Sun’s new release, Fantasurreal (Young Love Records), has been compared to “Beck’s most insular moments and the giddy excitement of MGMT, simultaneously undercutting the vitality with raw, emotive vocals and lyrics that channel Bright Eyes or Elliott Smith.” Music fans will agree, that this description at least makes one curious. And their MySpace page describes them as "Electroacoustic / Pop."

Setting Sun’s video of “Make You Feel” is a visual and auditory psychedelic dream (“No one’s gonna make you feel as good as you do”). It’s a beautiful song that is aching for some radio play.

Quitzow, led by Erica Quitzow, shares four members of Setting Sun, explaining their co-headlining tour this summer. Spin Magazine says “Quitzow gives her cello and Moog art whimsy a bubbly groove and defiant summer strut.” Watch her new video “Cherry Blossom” HERE. Quitzow’s new album, Juice Water, is out now (also on Young Love Records).

Also on the bill at WonderRoot are Chris Bell, Otium, and The Law. WonderRoot is located at 982 Memorial Drive and the show starts at 9:00. Admission is only $5!


In 2008 a songwriter by the name of Erica Quitzow released a critically acclaimed, Art College. It catapulted her from virtual obscurity into the lounge rooms and onto the dance floors or the world. The follow up, Juice Water, hits the airwaves this June and promises to be just as catchy. A multi-instrumentalist, Quitzow has been compared to Lady Gaga, sans the hype. Quitzow provides more substance than show by way of layered instrumentation- violin and cello lines she plays herself- and toe tapping disco beats. "The Cut" promises to become a quick favorite with tour dates throughout Europe and America booked and ready to wow. - ZINK MAGAZINE- SUMMER 2010

"Alejandro, Baseball, and more new music"


"- Quitzow. Oh, words can't express how much I adore this woman (full name: Erica Quitzow). If you dig Peaches, Le Tigre and early Liz Phair, she'll be right up your alley. Her new album is called Art College. I want to be her roommate."


"De l’electropop a la sauce Riot Grrrl saupoudre e de violons : voila ce que nous propose Erica Quitzow"

A-Z Toutes nos chroniques classées par ordre alphabétique : A-Z Pop Rock Electro A-Z Jazz A-Z Classique Avec de nombreux extraits ! Véritable femme-orchestre, Erica Quitzow chante, joue de la batterie ou du violoncelle chez ses camarades de label, Setting Sun (écoutez “Children of the Wild”, de la pop dorée au soleil, parfait complément à “Art College”), du violon pour le Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, du moog ou autres claviers dans d’autres formations de New York ou San Francisco... Pour ses projets personnels, Erica conjugue tous ces éléments dans un ensemble disparate, original et souvent déconcertant qui mise autant sur les rythmiques que sur les harmonies, même dissonantes. “Art College” est un collage qui évoque Robots in Disguise en moins agité, Peaches en moins provoc, Le Tigre en moins poilu... Quitzow rappelle toutes ces filles qui font Grrrl, mais avec un côté plus pop (Erica cite les Beatles en référence), plus aérien (elle est fan d’Erik Satie), en plus folk (elle invoque aussi Lisa Germano). Ça donne “Peanut“, du hip hop rigolo, “Better Than Ever”, de l’electrorock sautillant, ou encore “Love”, ballade amoureuse... - ARTE.TV (French and German TV show)

"Quitzow Music Feature"

QUITZOW New York's Quitzow uses a swill of humor and keyboard-based melodrama to illustrate the superficial and sometimes slaughterhouse rules with which people tend to curse one another. Alternately dreamy and debauched, always smart. 11:15 p.m. —GC - INDEPENDENT WEEKLY (Chappel Hill, NC)

"Art College Review"

On her second one-woman band album, singer and multi-instrumentalist Erica Quitzow stakes out a triangulation point between the electroclash aggression of Peaches, the melodic richness and cross-genre fearlessness of the Magnetic Fields, and the disco-classical fusion of the late Arthur Russell. Art College's 12 songs are largely built on a variety of electronic keyboards and rhythm boxes, but Quitzow adds guitar (both delicate acoustic filigrees and noisy feedback), cello, violin, and live percussion to the loops and samples for a hybrid sound that deepens and enhances the songs. Resulting tracks like the ghostly "Rhythm Machines," built on a nursery rhyme-like vocal melody and a halting rhythmic hook, the insistently catchy "Stay Away from John," and the needling electro-stomp of "On TV!" are impressively varied given the bare-bones production aesthetic, testament to Quitzow's songwriting and production skills. (The mid-album respite of the melodically gentle but vocally melodramatic, cello-based "Love" is a particular high point.) Art College isn't fundamentally that different from any number of similar D.I.Y. records, but the quality of the songs and performances lifts it out of the indie-electronic ghetto. - ALL MUSIC GUIDE- 2008

"OKGNews The collaboration between Erica Quitzow's synth-pop and Setting Sun's expressive folk works, somehow"

When conjuring up the best collaborator for Erica Quitzow, a classically trained violinist and music teacher with an affinity for writing complicated, ’80s-inspired electronic pop, Gary Levitt is probably not who comes to mind. As the songwriter and guitarist behind New York’s introspective experimental folk act Setting Sun, Levitt acknowledges the disparity behind the match, both in the studio and onstage.

“We definitely have a different approach. She’s a lot more analytical,” he said. “I kind of just go by my gut.”

Quitzow and Levitt are longtime musical cohorts, although each writes his or her own songs and retains creative control of individual projects. They’re co-owners of independent label Young Love Records; they co-habitate in a house/recording studio in New Paltz, N.Y.; and they’ve toured together almost nonstop over the last few years.

Their newest records — “Juice Water” for Quitzow and “Fantasurreal” for Setting Sun — were both released on June 1 by Young Love. Yet, despite all this overlap, audiences remain perplexed about the partnership.

“The comment we usually get is, ‘Wow, I can’t believe how different the sounds are from the same batch of people,’” Levitt said.

quitzow_7-06x10-76cm.jpgQuitzow’s “Juice Water” is a synth-heavy, danceable record cut with intricate layers of orchestration and alternately revealing and emotionless lyrics, while Setting Sun’s “Fantasurreal” leans more toward the expressive folk made famous by artists like Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes. Trraces of each exist on the other, however; Setting Sun’s “Don’t Grow Up” features prominent cello solos, while Quitzow’s “Money Talks,” if unplugged, easily could have found a second home on “Fantasurreal.”

“Erica is a music teacher, so this is going to hurt her industry. I was drawn to the guitar because my friends were playing, and my older brother and father played,” Levitt said. “I took two lessons from this guy, and he kind of killed the urge that made me want to pick up the guitar in the first place. I was more into exploring it on my own, rather than being formed and shown where to go.”

Levitt also engineers other artists’ discs — a “day job” of sorts, to which he attributes much of his tendency to experiment with Setting Sun.

“Certain things, because I do them every day, become so routine that I don’t want to do them when I’m doing my own music,” he said. “Also, certain things are very easy. Getting an acoustic guitar sound — I can do that super-fast. When things become so easy, it also makes some things mundane, so I’m forced to do things differently when it comes to my own music.”

Quitzow, when she is at home, teaches her students via the Suzuki method, which educates using a combination of musical immersion and environmental encouragement, rather than the strict adherence to technical skills as she was taught.

“I’ve recorded a lot of classical musicians, usually string players, and most of them can’t improvise at all, even though they’re amazing players and can do amazing things,” Levitt said. “I actually had one cellist have a nervous breakdown in the studio. She started crying and just scraping the strings with her bow violently. The outro of the song was just the C chord to the F chord — it’s very, very simple. We said, ‘Just do whatever,’ and she said, ‘I can’t do whatever. What do you want me to do?’ She needed something written in front of her.”

Conversely, Levitt said he requires the absence of over analysis in order to write and perform effectively.

“If I start to not trust my instincts and try to analyze it, I start to glitch,” he said. “She’s able to chart things out, and I’m not really able to do that, but we’re still able to totally work it, even with our differences of approach.”

Despite Levitt’s admission that the gaps in style and method have worked thus far for the pair in the live setting, he said, “We do think this will probably be the last tour we do together, unless there’s a special request for both bands. It might have run its course for now.” —Becky Carman - OKLAHOMA GAZETTE- AUGUST 2010

"Qutizow, Setting Sun, and Jen Moon"

Erica Quitzow's solo music under the name Quitzow is club-ready, electric dance-pop that stands markedly away from her work as a classical violinist and cellist. She's also a member of Setting Sun, the musical project of fellow upstate New Yorker Gary Levitt,… - THE PORTLAND MERCURY- AUGUST 2010

"Setting Sun and Quitzow"

After hearing their music, acts Setting Sun and Quitzow may seem like polar opposites, but the two actually share a lot in common.

"We've been life partners for 10 years," said Erica Quitzow. "We run the recording studio together, we run the label together, we do it all together."

"The comment we get most is 'wow, I can't believe you are the same people playing in these two different bands,'" said Setting Sun leader Gary Levitt. "People are really shocked that such different music can come out of the same batch of people, I think that's pretty cool."

Erica Quitzow has been making music for a number of years, starting in various bands around L.A. then moving on to her collaborations with Levitt in Setting Sun. In addition to singing, she plays violin, bass, cello, drums, synths and guitar. She branched out from Setting Sun a few years ago to start her own project, simply titled Quitzow. She released her second full-length, Juice Water, earlier this year.

She describes the record as, "crazy '80s weird dance pop."

"My first album was cathartic emotional music, and I've just been on this journey toward making music that creates a rush of pleasurable endorphins. A lot of pop music does a good job of utilizing elements that can get under your skin and make you feel good, take you out of your pain. I want to learn to do that, I want to be a painkiller through my music. I want to take someone who's hurting and give them a rest from it, give them a rush of feeling good and dancing."

Setting Sun, on the other hand, is the brainchild of Levitt, who has been writing and composing crafty indie folk for the better part of the last decade. Levitt and Quitzow both started out in the Los Angeles area, but moved to upstate New York around 2006. Setting Sun's fourth full-length record, Fantasurreal, was released earlier this year.

"I think it's a crossover of folk and indie and psychedelic and electronic. I'm starting to call it electro-acoustic pop rather than indie pop. The past albums have been heavy on strings with a little bit of synthesizer, but this one has lots of horns, strings, and lots more synthesizers and random electronic sounds," said Levitt. "It's a natural progression from spending time in the recording studio, just constantly trying new things and experimenting with new sounds. But the focus is still on the song and the hook."

Quitzow and Levitt have always toured together; it makes sense to them emotionally and economically. They've also partnered to run their own record label and recording studio in New York. But as their respective bands garner more and more attention, they'll inevitably have to part ways.

"We tour together out of convenience and for fun, but we're thinking about branching out a bit and touring with other bands that maybe we have a more synonymous sound with. Quitzow and Sunny Sun definitely appeal to different people," said Quitzow.

"It's come in handy because we get to travel together and we both love playing twice, playing two sets and sharing a band," said Levitt. We've done it for two years now, two European tours and a couple U.S. tours--and it might have run its course for now. We've been talking about switching it up a bit."

Both bands have experienced limited success. Levitt blames that in part on their move from California to New York.

"I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot on that one," he said. But neither seems too interested in the whole money thing and the couple is happy touring in their car and sleeping wherever they can.

"Right now we're touring as a three-piece in a Subaru. It's our tour bus, the Subaru tour bus. It's incredibly cheap on gas, environmental and the air conditioning cools off the entire car, which is quite sweet," said Quitzow. "You end up sleeping on a lot of college kids' dusty carpets, with people smoking and partying all night. But it's not as challenging and grueling as you might think; it's been pretty nice. We've played some good shows and been put up by really nice people in comfortable houses with cats, puppies ... it's been amazing."

Unfortunately, Boise didn't leave the best impression last time the couple came to town.

"I'm not sure if this is principle," said Levitt hesitantly. "But I think I got roofied in Boise. We got put up by someone and we went back to their house, and they gave us a bowl of macaroni and cheese, everyone in the band, we all ate it and woke up the next day not remembering what had happened--none of us remembered going to bed. We remember eating macaroni and cheese while watching some science fiction movie, and then the next thing we knew were waking up. It was really freaky, I tell that story all the time and the fact that it happened in Boise. It was very strange, we all were like, 'What the hell happened?'"

Regardless, Levitt and Quitzow are happy to bring their bands back to Boise, and look forward to bringing their indie rock double feature to the Bouquet.

"We've always played at the Neurolux and they're a really nice batch of people. We're playing the Bouquet this time, and I'm really psyched. This will be our fourth or fifth time through, and it'll be nice to be back."

Monday, Aug. 9, FREE. The Bouquet, 1010 W. Main St., myspace.com/thebouquet.

"Quitzow, Battlehooch, and Setting Sun at the Rickshaw Stop"

As Quitzow, the trio was vampish to Setting Sun's brooding, sleek and retro-futuristic to Setting Sun's rootsy and organic. (Fittingly, Erica Quitzow had traded her black dress for a leopard-print skort.) Here the live setup -- Erica on synths, Levitt on bass and Pancake on drums -- added a welcome pulse to the electroclash-with-feelings formula of 2008's Art College and this year's Juice Water (which is the first album I've ever seen that includes a colophon). Rooted in that low-end crunch, Erica let her sprightly voice pant and belt (and skort, I guess), from the nuanced flutter of "Talk To Me" to the pep-rally chirp of "Cats R People 2." The few dozen guests who stuck it out to the end grooved along with evident delight. "This song is called 'Magic,' and I can't think of a better city to play it in," she said before launching into a driving number from Juice Water. Sample line from the first verse: "I'm trying to be gentle/ But what the hell is subtle?" - SF WEEKLY- AUGUST 2010

"Quitzow makes you feel good"

Quitzow makes you feel good
by Ana Ammann on August 3, 2010

With the unlikely pairing of classic string arrangements and electronic beats, progressive singer/songwriter Erica Quitzow is setting out to create music that makes you feel good. Quitzow, performs August 4th in Eugene at Muse Lounge (all ages) , and in Portland on August 5th at The Woods performing with Setting Sun and Jen Moon.

Her music has been called “a triangulation point between the electroclash aggression of Peaches, the melodic richness and cross-genre fearlessness of the Magnetic Fields, and the disco-classical fusion of the late Arthur Russell” by All Music Guide, but all she really wants to do is rock your world.

Talking with Quitzow is an inspired experience–she is imaginative, intelligent and ingenious. From the way she describes her music to the way she thinks and she perceives the world, she is an artist in every possible way.

Not too surprising, given she was born the only child into a family of “hardcore artists with liberal views” in Berkeley, CA. Her father, a “renaissance man,” was a painter, dancer and piano player; her mother a dancer as well.

Quitzow began to cut her musical teeth at a young age. “I was fascinated with the violin and begged my parents for lessons. I remember that at the age of 6, the violin seemed like a fantasy instrument from a parallel universe where unicorns and pegasus existed. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that it was tangible and real. It seemed like a relic from another time–a time when women wore petticoats and men wore suits of armor.” Her love affair with the violin began.

While she took lessons to develop her skills to play the violin, her talent for drawing came effortlessly. “I have a natural ability to draw and can create a portrait with an incredible likeness. I never had to develop that skill. My father made a living as a portrait artist for most of my life and I watched him do it so much that I think it somehow translated into my muscles. “

By the time Quitzow hit her teens, her desire to play classical music waned. “As a teenager, I lost interest in playing in orchestras and was more interested in boys, cigarettes and listening to Led Zeppelin. I began to take drawing and painting more seriously, it was a big part of my life.” As Quitzow was progressing down the path of a fine visual artist, she recalls the night when that changed. “I remember having an epiphany one night as I was watching two friends playing guitar and singing together. They seemed so connected to each other and I began to imagine my future–that of a lonely artist locked in my studio, versus playing music with people in any form. The feeling was so strong that first thing the next day, I went home and took out my violin. Shortly after, a friend gave me a guitar and I started to learn how to play. At 16, I chose to focus on music.”

“When I first started recording, I made heavy rock music. It was a youthful, adolescent angst thing where a lot of emotion needed to come out. I really respect that kind of music. I think it can be incredibly comforting for the person making it as well as for the person hearing it.”

Taking comfort in music and having music be the catalyst to turn a mood around was intriguing to Quitzow. “I’ve had a lot of death and illness in my family and people around me. Dealing with the illness of someone very close to me, I remember the moment I heard some sort of electronic pop music and noticed I was getting an endorphin rush that made my hair stand on end. I was getting these waves of pleasure through my body that were bypassing my brain despite what I was dealing with. It was in this moment I decided that was the kind of music I wanted to put out in the world. It became a goal to create pleasure through certain sounds and rhythms; ones that would make me want to move, make me feel a certain natural high and give me a respite from pain.”

Quitzow’s introduction to creating electronic music was somewhat happenstance. She made her way to Los Angeles where she became part of the Los Angeles-based, indie-pop trio called Inner with Jennifer Turner (currently a member of Here We Go Magic). “The band was living in a 4,000 square-foot warehouse space and Jennifer had a Minimoog from the ’70s just sitting in a corner. I was making a really goofy hip-hop track with two of my friends one night and we busted this Moog out. I had no idea how to use it, but we made some really cool sounds come out of it, we just didn’t know how to make it melodic. I needed to spend some time with the knobs to understand how to get it out of spaceship mode, into melodies, and then back into spaceship mode. I started playing it in Inner, then spent a lot of time in the basement playing around with it. I now have an MG-1 which is a model that was designed by Bob Moog and licensed to Realistic in the ‘80s. It operates very similarly to the Minimoog, the set up is very similar.”

It was around the turn of the millennium that Inner wound down and Quitzow began to experiment with home recording. “I recorded a bunch of material that I put together into an album and passed around to my friends and people I knew in LA. I got a lot of really good feedback.” The eponymous album was her first release under the name Quitzow.

It wouldn’t be long, however, before her love affair with stringed instruments returned. “Someone gave me a cello and I became really fascinated with string arrangements. I moved to New York and joined an orchestra.”

She utilizes her prowess as a violinist and cellist, her intrinsic relationship with rhythm, and her love for otherworldly synths to make these experimental pop songs.

“The music I am making today is electronic pop, living somewhere between indie-rock and commercial pop. It borrows elements of super-pop, which is in a really creative place right now. There is so much creative freedom with a lot of production happening in laptops and people’s homes. Radio pop isn’t going to blow your mind, but it’s that one song out of 100 that has something incredibly new, or that is borrowing from something we haven’t heard in a long time–maybe from Daft Punk or something from 20 years ago like the sounds Kraftwerk made–translated into a pop formula. Because pop is in such a creative state right now, I can’t help but feel really inspired by it. I like to take the lyrics a little beyond the norm–like a tremendous wave of emotion that is about being madly, passionately, desperately in love; talking about what happens after the honeymoon wears off, about communications.”

Church of Girl loves how Quitzow incorporates a vibrant range of influences to her music and performances and her instrumentation is impressive, too: MPC, Reason, live drums layered with Moogs, Korgs, Rhodes, Casios, classical and electrical guitars, bass, cellos, violins, and an array of percussive implements are spliced together with her uniquely expressive vocal stylings. –Mary Ann Naylor, Founder of Church of Girl, an online gathering place for fans and musicians alike to learn about new and emerging female musicians and artists.

These days, home for Quitzow is in the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she and partner Gary Levitt, a recording engineer and the solo artist behind Setting Sun, live and create their music when they are not on tour. Both Quitzow and Levitt occasionally collaborate on each other’s projects, and perform with one another onstage, although they are creating very different sounds. There is no guitar in Quitzow, and there are no synths in Setting Sun. When touring together, Quitzow and Setting Sun like to have a local band play in between their sets. Their performances are often a point of intrigue to musicians, who find it compelling that the music can sound so different in each set, even though the same people are making it.

Quitzow gives her cello and Moog art whimsy a bubbly groove and defiant summer strut. —Spin

To get their music out into the world and heard, they spend a lot of time on the road. “We always tour our albums, in Europe and nationally. Licensing placements help, we’ve had songs on the shows Gossip Girl and The Good Guys, as well as in a snowboarding documentary. In addition, we run a label called Young Love Records that has international distribution, so we are focusing more having the record in music stores throughout our tour route. Music stores are a great way for us to get our music out. Local music stores attract music lovers, you know the people that work there and you get to talking about what you like and what they like, so it’s great to be in the stores and not just on iTunes.

In terms of what comes next for Quitzow, “I am constantly listening to music and looking for new inspirations. When I hear electronic sounds that are inventive and have that irresistibly good quality that makes you want to move, I get really excited to go back into the studio and experiment. I’m also delving more and more into MIDI programming. My next frontier is to dig deeper into the electronic world and finesse my groove electronically. I’m switching over to Logic from ProTools which is designed for making electronic music and really friendly.”

“By finessing electronic music and incorporating acoustic elements, my real goal is to make music that has that endorphin, adrenaline rush that makes you feel good.”

See firsthand how this unique artist blends her many musical and artistic proclivities into an inventive performance that “Whips up the dance-floor with skittering beats, butt shaking thump, electronic evil-robot voice effects- into a fresh and pure pop meringue.” –Marie Claire, June, 2010

Quitzow performs August 4th in Eugene at The Muse Lounge (all ages), and in Portland on August 5th at The Woods (21+) performing with Setting Sun and Jen Moon. Would you like to receive three free Quitzow MP3’s? Just visit www.youngloverecords.com and sign up for their mailing list.

Ana Ammann is a business consultant, published music journalist and advocate of women in the arts. One of the original founding directors of Portland’s Rock & Roll Camp for Girls, today Ammann coordinates Portland’s annual “Support Women Artists Now” (SWAN) Day celebration and contributes to the leadership of the Siren Nation Womens Film/Art/Music Festival; Portland Women’s Film Festival (POW Fest); and the women's creative networking group, pdxCreativeXchange. Her writing has appeared in ROCKRGRL Magazine, Moss Magazine and in the book, "Knowing Pains," which was featured on NBC's Today Show. "I love Fender guitars, music that moves me and music that makes me move - especially British '80's Alternative. I have a passion for learning about the people that write the songs that speak to me; delving into their history to find out what helped shape them as artists and uncovering the stories behind their songs."

"Love and Records Dynamic Young Love duo"

Oliver Morgan of local indie band Landing on the Moon described Gary Levitt and Erica Quitzow this way (I’m paraphrasing because it was after a long night at O’Leaver’s): They each do their thing, completely, separately, and it’s obvious when you listen to their bands, but there’s no mistaking they’re together in everything — their music, their business, their lives.

Levitt and Quitzow are owners/operators of Young Love Records, the label that signed Landing on the Moon earlier this year. In addition to running a label and recording studio, each has their own band that the other plays in — Setting Sun and Quitzow. The two couldn’t sound more different.

Setting Sun, Levitt’s project, is low-fi, mainly acoustic, neo-psychedelic indie rock reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Decemberists, even a bit of Arcade Fire. The single “Driving” off the just-released Fantasurreal chugs like a tidy indie freight train, while “Make You Feel” is as psychedelic as you can get with a trumpet playing a counter melody. Levitt played most of the instruments on the album, but Quitzow added backing vocals, bass, violin and cello.

Then there’s Quitzow, Erica’s sassy, sexy dance project, whose goal is making the audience forget their dreary lives for a little while and have some fun. Juice Water, her just-released second album, is a synth-driven dance-floor ass-shaker, thick with beats, bass and Quitzow’s snarling, cooing, barking vocals. Levitt produced the record and added some percussion and bass.

“I mixed both the records, but we mostly write by ourselves, though we do help each other in bits along the way,” Levitt said.

The couple met playing music together, eventually becoming collaborators on more than just music. “We’re not married and we really don’t relate to the idea, though we fully respect anyone who does,” Quitzow said. “Marriage doesn’t fit in with our approach to life, we’re either together or we’re not. I don’t participate in any other religious institution, so why this one? Ultimately, music brought us and keeps us together, it’s our biggest passion.”

It made sense for them to start a record label, which Levitt quipped was a “really smart career move.” Young Love began in 2004 as a musicians’ collective. They now have four bands on the roster, rounded out by Seattle band Skidmore Fountain.

So how did a label based out of New Paltz, New York discover and sign a band from halfway across the country? “We knew Oliver through his brother and played together in Omaha,” Levitt said. “We also hung out and housed Little Brazil and Ladyfinger when they played in New York. I can’t remember which came first, but we hit it off and fell in love.

We love their music and hard working spirit and also their genuineness.

“Each band on Young Love Records is part of a family,” Levitt added. “If a brother or sister does well, they help their siblings along the way. This interview is probably a case in point. I’m not sure you’d be talking to us right now if it weren’t for Oliver Morgan and Landing on the Moon.”

Pulling from everyone’s resources seems an obvious recipe for success, and one of the only reasons to be part of a label in this age of record industry decay. Unless, of course, your label is Merge.?

“It would be great to become as influential as Merge Records,” Levitt said. “I would still want to record bands all the time, but it would be a dream come true to own some more great gear. If we sold as many records as Neutral Milk Hotel or Arcade Fire, I could probably get that Fairchild 670 I dream of.”

With their label having just signed a deal with distributor Red Eye (Kill Rock Stars, Barsuk, Warp), that two-channel compressor just might be a little more within reach.

“Success is defined in many ways for us,” Quitzow said, “by people coming to our shows knowing the music because they downloaded it for free, or when people sing along and dance at a show, but financial success may continue to come primarily from licensing. Oh, how I fantasize about BMI checks.”

She also fantasizes about being alone, something that rarely happens when you’re on the road with the guy who isn’t your husband. “Right now I’m on tour and exhausted from connecting,” she said. “I’ve been connecting so intensely with people at shows and people who we stay with. The music is a vehicle for conversation and sharing experiences, and I’m pretty tapped from meeting so many shockingly like-minded people. I want to be in a padded room or a stimulation-deprivation tank for like 10 days.”

Setting Sun and Quitzow play with Landing on the Moon, Thursday, Aug. 12, at The Waiting Room. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $7.

"Songs You Need to Download Now!"

"Upstate New York singer songwriter Erica Quitzow gives her cello and Moog art whimsy a bubbly groove and defiant summer strut." - SPIN MAGAZINE, Sept 2008

"Beyond the classical crowd; Multi-instrumentalist Erica Quitzow at Pianos"

“One of the few pop-culture albums my parents had was Magical Mystery Tour,” says multi-instrumentalist Erica Quitzow, whose solo act, aptly named Quitzow, begins a Piano’s residency on May 18th.
“That album,” she continues, “is literally a collage. It’s okay to hear the cut, the editing. They were fine with that. I love that idea, that everything is okay. That you don’t have to polish your work to the point that the process is invisible. If you want to cut two songs -- or three! -- in the middle that are unfinished and make it all a montage, then you’re allowed to do that as an artist. That inspires me on so many levels.”
Though most of Quitzow’s recorded work, a whimsical, homemade blend of classical, electronic, and pop, maintains a skeletal synth feel, her approach to songwriting heavily reflects the collage aesthetic favored that the late-career Beatles impressed upon her at a young age. In fact, her favored method of composing is to add more and more layers of tracks to a given idea using other instruments and then seeing what develops. Eventually, she begins to take away elements but by that point the ultimate shape of song has still been determined by this process of addition.
The daughter of professional dancers, Quitzow grew up immersed in classical music. (Her grandfather and father were both pianists, and she remarks that the latter was self-taught and quoted 19th-century French impressionist composer Eric Satie as an influence.) Quitzow began formal training at the age of 7, at first on piano, which didn’t initially grab her, and then on the violin, which to this day strikes a deep, personal chord. She describes feeling immediately natural with the instrument and thinking on first impression that it “seemed to come from a parallel dimension.”
But the seeds for her own creative urges weren’t planted until years later, when as a teenager Quitzow discovered the guitar. Quitzow was impressed by seeing people around her learning guitar informally by watching others and then feeling free to just play whatever they could. Unbeknownst to her at the time, this would set her on a path that would encompass an eclectic roster of playing experiences in various cities -- including, at one point, New York), as well as multiple instruments.
“Picking up a different, unfamiliar instrument,” she explains, “can break you out of theory.”
Especially for formally-trained musicians -- who don’t generally take the ability to compose for granted -- this experience can be a life-changing revelation. Quitzow, who currently lives and teaches music in the Hudson Valley and plays in the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, sees this phenomenon at work in the contrasting mentalities of her young students and adult classical musicians. Naturally, she finds herself in a position to impart a sense of exploration through teaching and appreciates how vulnerable creativity is.
“I’ve been having good luck with it,” she says. “My students that have been playing just a few months have been writing little pieces. I have a method that makes sense to me. I teach them one scale, and then I have them choose three notes and play around with those notes. In doing this, they’ll create harmonies. I think it’s important to do this from the very beginning. I’ve seen too many classical musicians wither in the shadow of these great composers. They think they can’t create melody that could ever compare. I just don’t even want to let that idea get planted. When people are playing Twinkle Twinkle, they can come up with a melody that’s comparable.”
Indeed, Quitzow’s own music breeds in the relationship between freedom and parameters. Recording Rhodes, Moog, bass, guitar, violin, cello, drums, voice, etc. all on her own poses the challenge of how to arrange the material for the stage.
“The live show and the recordings don’t have to match up,” she offers, again referencing the Beatles. “That’s a question that, as I’ve matured as an artist and been around other musicians who are maturing, they ask ‘am I allowed to record something that I can’t reproduce live? Do I need to make a recording that’s completely reflective of my live sound?’ And no, you don’t have to.”
For her live setup, Quitzow employs drummer Gary Levitt, whose project Setting Sun she also plays in. Both she and Levitt play samples, but Quitzow weighs the ethics of sampling heavily and has a defined sense of their role, as well as their discreet artistic value unto themselves.
“It’s an aesthetic thing,” she says. “It just feels right to me to have electronic sounds being replicated electronically and the more organic sounds happening on stage. But I’ve been breaking out of that structure because I’m so attracted to having strings involved. I really don’t have a problem having them on a track. Also, my live show has backing tracks on about fifty percent of the songs. I like to keep that contrast happening and go to something barebones. I think it makes the backing tracks more interesting. And when the intention is ‘okay, make it sound like it’s on the radio!’ I don’t feel it’s something I want to be a part of.” - New York Press

"Editor's Pick"

Wonderfully tough to classify, this self-described "neo-post electro-pop" record leans on the synths when it needs to, but wisely incorporates live instrumentation (guitar, cello, violin) that really warms up the already complex and distinct sound. While rumbling Moog lines and old school-ish MPC beats fill out the low end, additional keyboards flutter on top, slipping in and out while rallying behind the driving melodies. Oh, and did I mention this is the carefully crafted (or possibly mad scientist influenced) output of a one-woman band? While that may be a bit surprising, it also explains why these tracks are so focused, and why each stands individually while also fitting perfectly in the whole of the album. The lyrics are intelligently oddball, with songs like "Cats R People 2" managing to be both tastefully quirky and supremely dance-worthy. The same can be said for the rest of the album, where the production and musicianship demand to be taken seriously, but the beats are so infectious that you'll be hard pressed not to move something.
Recommended if you like Le Tigre, Peaches. - CD Baby

"Comfort yourself"


"She specializes in a blend of live, acoustic strings and electronic pop, and her voice superficially resembles the cool, reserved tones of Metric's Emily Haines. If anything, the music sounds European, even when she's messing about with throbbing Timbland-style synth lines. Her greatest asset is her gift for writing strong, simple yet elegant hooks for strings. In particular, "Better Than Ever" glides along with a sort of menacing grace that contrasts with the track's hesitant bass groove and stuttering percussion." - Fluxblog

"Quitzow at Mercury Lounge"

Indie-pop crooner Erica Quitzow favors droll arrangements that mash up strings with hip-hop beats. Her mordant wit helps tie the weird mix together. - Time Out NY

"Juice Water Quitzow"

The latest from knobtwiddler Erica Quitzow is full of blippy, synthy, sing-songy goodness, a little lighter and more accessible than 2008’s Art College. New Wave
gems like “Whatever” and “Cherry Blossom” channel the ’80s as much as they do LeTigre or Peaches, while the epic two-part “Race Car” seems more uniquely her
own. (myspace.com/quitzow) - CURVE MAGAZINE, July 2010

"Juice Water Quitzow"

On her latest outing, Erica Quitzow shows off plenty of funky soulfulness throwing down a batch of dance happy pop tunes that sound like they were marinated in a bowl of funky ‘80s new wave hits. The album is bookended by two solid tunes that let out her inner Prince. "Let Out All the Crazy" kicks things off with a bubbly bite of glossy funk that could be a more sedate cousin of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," while the album closer, "Whatever," is a wordy, rhythm-heavy funk/hip-hop hybrid that harks back to the salacious overkill of Dirty Mind. Prince seemed outrageous in the '80s, but after years of gangsta rap pushing the sexual envelope, Quitzow sounds relatively subdued when she sing/raps, "Smoke black tar in my mom's car, skip lunch and go to a strip bar," it just sounds like good, dirty fun. The tune is helped along by a primitive, playful rhythm track. Juice Water may be a funky change of direction, but her mischievous lyrics, hook-heavy playing, and pop savvy are still intact. Other solid tracks include "The Cut," a stomping disco-meets-Suzi Quatro style rocker, the archly humorous "More Keith Richards," which combines drum loops, mellow cello, girl group backing vocals, and spacy moog for an ode to excess; "Money Talks," which is as close as she comes to modern R&B with her purring vocal and steady backbeat; and "Race Car 2," an acoustic ballad featuring acoustic and slide guitar and a processed cello adding to the tune's anguished vibe. Quitzow is one of the few female auteurs in pop. She wrote, produced, and played most of the instruments on Juice Water, and it's a blast from start to finish. It's possibly her best work yet. Juice Water may be something of a funky change of direction, but it's also a playful reminder of what makes her music so engaging. - ALL MUSIC GUIDE, Summer 2010

"Quitzow, Juice Water"

Erica Quitzow, a multi-instrumentalist who records as Quitzow, is the breezy, blonde embodiment of DIY spirit, releasing her sophomore CD, Juice Water, on Young Love Records, a label she helps run. It’s easy to picture Quitzow locked in a recording studio, or more likely, her bedroom, banging away on her unlikely collection of guitar, vox, and Moog, concocting this collection of dance songs full of braggadocio and self-confessions.

As with many musicians who hole up in their bedrooms, her production level varies. Several tracks open with electronic beats and blips that pulsate on their own, at times sounding thin and tinny, but when strings and background vocals are added, the machines come more to life.

Tracks “Cherry Blossom” and “Whatever” are fueled by a chanting swagger, the latter where Quitzow brags about doing whatever she wants, including drive-bys in her PJs, dressing like your new age mom, and designing your logo with a crappy font.

Like Mick Jagger does on Ke$ha’s massive radio hit, Keith Richards’ pops up in Quitzow’s lyrics, also amid descriptions of drinking and dance floor debauchery. “More Keith Richards” is about dating and drugs and set to a bouncy blend of spacey keyboards and girl-group “aah, aah, aah”’s. Quitzow campaigns throughout the record for people to let loose, and here makes a plea for “More Keith Richards, less Betty Crocker / Less nice dates / More dangerous stalkers.”

“Race Car 2” is mostly shaved of electronic embellishments, allowing Quitzow’s voice to shine as it soars from angry to plaintive along with acoustic guitar strumming and a tambourine, before being joined by a chorus and violin in the end.

Juice Water is the perfect fit for your iTunes library between Princess Superstar and Regina Spektor.

""Cherry Blossom" Quitzow"

"Whisper voiced Erica Quitzow whips up the dance-floor with skittering beats, butt shaking thump, electronic evil-robot voice effects- into a fresh and pure pop meringue."

- MARIE CLAIRE, June 2010

"Setting Sun + Quitzow"

"Quitzow - the band as well as the woman who spearheads it - seems to be all about the pleasure principle. Synthesizers and programmed dance beats are the order of the day on Juice Water and if you can't take lyrics about parties, romantic encounters, their fallouts, and illicit drug taking, there's the door." - BLURT MAGAZINE, Summer 2010

"Juice Water Quitzow"

Multi-instrumentalist Erica Quitzow has a love for dance and for music, so maybe it should be unsurprising that she makes dance music on her latest album, Juice Water. The album is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2008 album, Art College from which several songs were licensed to Gossip Girl.
Now, any time Gossip Girl comes knocking to use one of your songs, you know you have a commercially accessible record and the reviews proved it. Art College was critically praised but never quite caught on commercially. I am not sure why. Quitzow does not have a unique sound but rather focuses on having unique arrangements. Which is to say, Quitzow’s albums feature the kind of snotty female vocalist that has become very popular right now. Listening to Juice Water, you would see what I mean. The album’s first single “The Cut” is a good example. Quitzow utilizes a chanting vocal style that reminds me of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ “Heads Will Roll” or The Ting Tings‘ “That’s Not My Name”. The track features dirty synth sounds that are popular in the music of Daft Punk and The Faint. The song is very well done and catchy as hell, but not extremely unique. So Quitzow adds little extra touches to set herself apart.
When possible, Quitzow adds cello to the mix of electronic instruments. “More Keith Richards” balances classical influences with the standard dance music fair. The track has the sound of a stringed quartet being remixed by Armand Van Helden. The song actually reminds me of something from Her Space Holiday‘s The Young Machines album.
While the majority of the songs on the album are above average, there is a decent amount that fail to rise above mediocre. The album’s closing track “Whatever” is on the cusp of unlistenable. Quitzow’s attempt at snotty hip hop style vocals is vexing. It sounds like being taunted by girls at school when you were a kid (but maybe that was just me). A couple other songs have similar problems, but overall the album is pretty solid. The album definitely has some mainstream appeal and with the esoteric instruments brought into the mix, I’m sure it will repeat Art College‘s critical success. - SURVIVING THE GOLDEN AGE, June 2010

"Quitzow - Juice Water [Album]"

I’ve the advantage of being incredibly close to the indie-electro dance scene of Portland and the Northwest. Bands like Yacht, The Blow, and Anna Oxygen have been making an impact and getting the indie kids out on the dance floor for a while here. The vibe has been spreading. The Dirty Projectors 'Stillness Is The Move' single from last year helped cement the idea nationally, and now we have the relatively newcomer Quitzow. "Juice Water" is an excellent blend of indie eccentricities and four beat dance grooves. An instant hit for the dance floor and college radio, Quitzow will snap your hipster moustache off and set your ass to boogie speed.

Quitzow has created some stand out tracks for "Juice Water". Namely in 'Let Out All The Crazy,' 'The Cut,' 'More Keith Richards,' and the bratty 'Whatever'. 'Let Out All The Crazy' starts "Juice Water" off right, exposing us to the central themes. Beat looping, eclectic sampling, deep grooves, and the enchanting multi-layered vocals of Erica Quitzow. A dance track high in fiber and indie cred. 'More Keith Richards' finds a more reflective and emotionally fuelled Quitzow, floating poignantly between the strings and drum machine. I can’t help but sing along with the strikingly brilliant hook, “More Keith Richards, Less Betty Crocker.” The brat-tastic end track, 'Whatever' seems a cutting satirical look at indie art culture and teen angst. The concepts seemingly interchangeable over the bad-ass sampled beats.

As always, Quitzow is just fun. "Juice Water" is an excitingly fun album. Well paced and plotted, "Juice Water" gives an even distribution of experimentation to dance party with every track. The whimsical and capricious nature of Quitzow is an undeniably entertaining force. Get down, maybe get a little fresh, and definitely get funky with it. - ALT SOUNDS, April 2010


1. "Quitzow" 2004
2. "Art College" 2008
3. "Animal Nature" 2008
4. "Juice Water" June 2010

"Art College" spent 8 weeks on the CMJ charts, had a song placed on FOX Network's 'The Good Guys' and received international positive press response in such publications as Spin Magazine and Arte TV (Germany and France).

"Animal Nature" had two songs placed on 'Gossip Girl', an HP advertisement, and a song in 'Beatuy and the Briefcase'.

'Juice Water' has reviews in Marie Claire, USA Today, Zinc, Blurt, Curve, and Venus Magazines as well as a positive press response in UK and EU press. Track 10 from 'Juice Water' is currently being played on SIRIUS Radio as well as the entire record on college radio throughout the US and EU, and 'G by Guess' has licensed a track and video for play in national train store.



Adhering to the sentiment of her last record and EP, Art College and Animal Nature, the new Quitzow record "Juice Water" does more than simply get the party started. Exuding "the aggression of Peaches, the melodic richness and cross-genre fearlessness of the Magnetic Fields, and the disco-classical fusion of the late Arthur Russell” (All Music Guide), she continues to blur genre lines with dance-driven pop songs evolved with fresh instrumentation and infectious hooks. With music that celebrates the moment, Erica Quitzow keeps her sound sexy and fun.

Erica is fascinated with hair raising, beat heavy music. Drawing inspiration from electronic innovators Kraftwerk and Daft Punk and 80's classics Prince and Bell Biv DeVoe, this record is her answer to a pop radio-feel good experience. Statements like “upstate New York singer songwriter Erica Quitzow gives her cello and Moog art whimsy a bubbly groove and defiant summer strut” from Spin Magazine and "Prince meets Pavement" from Limewire aptly describe the dancey palate created from such exotic instrumentation as an MPC 2000 and a string section. The lyrical content includes odes to her artist friends who drink on the job, ditties about sexual reassignment surgery, and late night laments about too much partying.

Raised at her grandmother's dance school in Berkeley, CA surrounded by dance and music, Erica grew up playing violin and in time pursued the guitar. She eventually translated her musical knowledge onto synthesizers, bass and drums. She has lived alternately in Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as a side-woman playing various instruments in rock bands, violin in orchestras, and experimenting with recording. It is with Quitzow that Erica puts it all together. Strings cascade around square waves of Moog atop a suggestive dance beat to create something at once familiar and new.

She now resides alternately between Hudson Valley and Brooklyn. Erica also plays in indie-pop band Setting Sun, alternating on violin, cello and bass. Past projects include Inner, a Los Angeles based band that released three records and worked with Grammy winning producer Nellee Hooper. Erica plays with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra as well as on an array of recordings by other artists, mingling credits with such luminaries as Tony Levin, Garth Hudson, and producer Malcolm Burn to name a few.

Quitzow toured Europe spring of 2010 and throughout the US summer of 2010 receiving very thorough press coverage from local and national publications on both continents. The live performances is currently a 3 piece ensemble of drums, bass, and Erica on Moog, synths, guitar and vocals.