The Grasping Straws
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The Grasping Straws

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Zach's CMJ Day 3: Second Child, Ezra Fuhrman, The Grasping Straws and French Horn Rebellion"

Back at the End, New York four-piece The Grasping Straws drifted into slow, drum-marched songs that, particularly with frontwoman Mallory Feuer's drawn-out and bluesy vocals, recalled the lo-fi glory of early Cat Power. Taking their time rather than rushing towards easy shock, these tracks intrigued with their very patience and calm and, perhaps most importantly, were ultimately moving, their tumbling quality enabling the audience to both engage and reflect. - The Deli

"The Grasping Straws Set the Mercury Lounge on Fire"

The Grasping Straws packed the Mercury Lounge for the album release show for their debut full-length cd a couple of nights ago, treating the crowd to a performance that even by their standards was pretty pyrotechnic. Intense singer/guitarist Mallory Feuer’s band, which began as a collective with a rotating cast of characters, has solidified with a tight, dynamically shifting rhythm section of former Beast Make Bomb bassist Sam Goldfine and drummer Jim Bloom. This time out, they had Feuer’s brother Harrison – of Nobody Takes Vegas – snarling and wailing and machinegunning his way through volleys of metallic menace, then descending to a suspenseful jangle that he’d explode out of in a flash for more fireworks. Meanwhile, the bandleader didn’t even play guitar on the first number, wailing and shrieking, twisting and undulating, eyes closed, a shaman either banishing or mind-melding with some mysterious demon, finally ending with a slinky flip of the mic cable behind her back and then back around. It was dangerous in a lot of ways, not the least being that she might have spent all her bullets in the first four minutes of the show. Was she going to be able to keep that up for a whole set?

As it turned out, pretty much. As a singer, Feuer sometimes wields her vibrato like a metal guitarist, shivering and bending through the wall in the least likely places to max out the otherworldly factor. When she does that, she’s the blues valkyrie that Robert Plant always wanted to be. But more often, she just bends the notes a twinge – and then holds them there in a strange purgatory, letting the unresolved, enigmatic ambience linger, ramping up the suspense. The band took their time building to a sunbaked sizzle from rainy-day jangle in Going Going Gone. They followed with another jangly one, On the Line, from their more jazz-oriented early days, then took a volcanic stomp through the wickedly catchy Just a Memory, part minor-key Randi Russo menace, part early Iron Maiden, maybe – with Heart’s Ann Wilson out front, outraged.

From there they stampeded through State of Affairs, a surreal, distantly terrorized Hurricane Sandy tableau, then took a vividly overcast detour into Home, which began as brooding Laurel Canyon psychedelia and then exploded in shards of distortion and reverb on the chorus. Enjoy the Trip and Sunshine balanced bittersweetly nebulous jangle and clang with jaggedly noisy crunch. They closed with Who Do You Think You Are, taking a long climb upward to a blissfully mighty payoff on the chorus.

They also played a cover, an aptly insistent, hard-hitting cover of White Rabbit, Bloom leading the band through some deliciously subtle, tricky syncopation at the end – as one astute longtime LES music maven observed, it wasn’t Elena Zazanis, but it was pretty close. The Grasping Straws kick off their North American tour on July 11; dates are here. - New York Music Daily

"The Grasping Straws Release Their Savagely Intense, Tuneful New Album at the Mercury"

New York band the Grasping Straws have been through a lot of changes, but their latest incarnation is absolutely spine-tingling. Their ambitious debut ep – streaming at Bandcamp – introducd them as a rainy-day, jazz-tinged, jangly project in the same vein the Cardigans or Comet Gain. Their forthcoming album takes the energy up several thousand volts – wow! Frontwoman Mallory Feuer blends an otherwordly, raw, bluesy edge with the fearlessness of pre-meltdown Courtney Love, both vocally and guitarwise, instantly putting this group on the map as one of New York’s most distinctive, individualistic, exciting new bands. They’re playing the album release show on June 30 at 10:30 PM at the Mercury/ Sultry punk-folk-soul siren Liah Alonso – formerly of politically fueled rockers Left on Red – opens the night at 9:30 PM. Cover is $10.

Although there are some identifiable influences in the band’s sound, Fiona Apple first and foremost, their sound is unique. Feuer’s chords ring out with a reverbtoned, enigmatic edge, her vocals wailing, murmuring or occasionally rising to a goosebump-inducing scream with a sardonic lyrical bite while hard-hitting drummer Jim Bloom holds the songs to the rails. Sam Goldfine – formerly of popular alternative rock road warriors Beast Make Bomb – completes the picture as the band’s latest addition. Recorded in analog to half-inch eight track tape, the album’s production has an immediacy that captures their rollercoaster live show.

The jaggedly catchy opening track, State of Affairs reflects the disarray left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the year Feuer, a native New Yorker, founded the band. She switches gears with the ghostly, stark intro to Home, building to an uneasy, acidic vintage Sonic Youth grit. Just a Memory welds wounded, blues-infused paisley underground psychedelia to a late 80s Seattle assault.

Bloom pushes How Will I Grow with a scrambling punk rock pulse; Feuer’s indignant vocals channel Heart’s Ann Wilson as second guitarist Rob Krug adds acid blues textures. Feuer takes Say It Ain’t So up to a frantic doublespeed attack, then flips the script with Your Face, which begins as a hauntingly spare reflection drenched in natural reverb, then rises to a shatteringly epic peak (listen to those multitracked screams at 2:17 – bone-chilling!). The final cut, Don’t Hold Your Breath, looks back to the enigmatic, jazz-inflected vein the band mined in their early days. First-class tracks wall to wall with this one: put it on the shortlist for best full-length debut of 2015. - New York Music Daily

"NYC indie musicians bring their folk-punk-jazz stylings to Cobourg"

Two dynamic young musicians are bringing their unique musical brew to a downtown house concert in Cobourg on July 17. Cannonball Statman and Mallory Feuer will be joined by award-winning Cobourg poet Stuart Ross, who will open the evening.
Brooklyn native Cannonball Statman’s debut album, Icepick, was released in spring 2014, followed by a U.S. tour with NYC-based art rock band the Grasping Straws. In 2015, Statman continues touring, recording, and performing, with a U.S./Canada tour that will bring him to Cobourg. His acoustic folk punk, his over-the-top lyrics and his frenetic guitar wizardry have won him a great cult following.
Mallory Feuer is the singer-songwriter for the trio the Grasping Straws, another indie NYC act with a dedicated audience. Feuer’s folk-jazz vocal stylings and plaintive guitar work achieve impressive acrobatic ranges. For the Cobourg house concert, she will be performing solo. The Grasping Straws self-titled debut CD is has just been released.
For Cobourg resident Mark Donnan, this is his first experience hosting a house concert. “I was excited by these musicians,” he explains, “and sometimes, in a small town, if you want something to happen, you have to organize it yourself!” He hopes the weather is good on July 17, so the show can happen in his backyard. Otherwise, he’ll be presenting the acts in his living room.
Opening for Statman and Feuer is Cobourg poet Stuart Ross, whose recent book launch at the Human Bean drew a standing-room-only crowd. Ross, who is a big fan of both musicians, explains how he came to hear Statman’s songs. “Cannonball is the grandson of the legendary New York poet Kenneth Koch, who has been a big influence on me,” explains Ross. “So naturally I was curious about Statman’s music, and his amazing and crazy work led me to Mallory’s more jazz-influenced music. I’m thrilled to share a stage — or a lawn, I guess — with them here in Cobourg!”
The show takes place at a residence in downtown Cobourg at 7 pm on July 17. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Tickets are $15, and all proceeds go to the visiting musicians. For tickets and location, call Mark Donnan at 289-829-1591. - Northumberland View

"Boog City Festival"

It begins with the driving, chaotic jazz-rock explosion
“Strange State of Affairs,” inspired by the impact of
Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Continues into “Home,” a
slow, melancholy song about the experience of leaving
a childhood home, and losing all the memories it
holds. “Home,” like the following song, “Just a Memory,”
captures common human experiences of lost time, lost
love, and the limitations of memory, and presents them
to the listener in clear, carefully crafted songs. Stories
and experiences are collected, like fireflies in jars, and
let out into the world as oversized butterflies, who may
boast intricately patterned wings, but remain true to
their origins.
This is the world of The Grasping Straws, as heard
on their self-titled debut album, slated for release this
spring. The Straws formed in the summer of 2012,
fronted by East Village-based musician Mallory Feuer.
Two years of consistent performing in and around New
York followed, with several major shifts to the band’s
lineup and sound.

The CD spins onward, with “How Will I Grow”
and “Say it Ain’t So,” two songs about a destructive
relationship, with a whirlwind of confrontational,
nightmarish lyrics over dense, complex musical
arrangements. If the first three tracks were a weather
report to alert us of a hurricane of troubled dreams
and memories, we’re now swept into the eye of the
storm, and all those troubled dreams and memories
become reality. Vocals once contained, careful, and
detached, are now untethered, raw, and emotive. As the
storm passes, we’re eased into the slow, hard-hitting
break-up ballad “Your Face,” where we’re faced with
the eerily repeated line “I can’t believe the things
I’ve seen.” The album closes out with “Don’t Hold Your
Breath,” a platter of mixed feelings and images of a
hopeful new relationship forged in a world of trauma
and distrust. This brings a different kind of chaos. The
slower music, subtly modulating between major and
minor keys, is set behind words eternally modulating
between the joy of falling in love and the biting pain
of uncertainty and hesitation.

The album was recorded last year, in an analog
studio in Woodstock, N.Y. with Basement Floods Records.
It’s a record of one of their previous incarnations, a
rock quartet with Jim Bloom on drums, Sam Goldfine
on bass guitar, and Rob Krug on lead guitar. Bloom
and Goldfine hold down the rhythm section nicely,
and Krug’s guitarwork adds a lot of extra flavor and
expression to the mix. As of January 2015, The Grasping
Straws perform as an acoustic trio, with Mallory
Feuer on acoustic guitar and vocals, Oliver Budiardjo
on cajon, and Jake Strauss (of New York-based band
Thaddeus Strauss) on upright bass. The band’s spirit
and passion remains intact with its new lineup, and,
as heard on the album and in live performances, the
Straws are great at creating beauty from confusion and
contradiction. The music is grungy rock, except when
it’s jazzy folk. The lyrics are strong, heavy, and firm,
yet fragile, subtle, and unstable. The stories are clear
and literal, but mysterious and open-ended. It’s sure
to leave any listener grasping at Straws. Mikhael Muya
photo. —Jesse Statman - Boog City

"The Straw... She Is Grasped"

Thursday, April Fourth, is gonna be a fantastic night at the Sidewalk, featuring the likes of Hat Puzzle, Barton Lewis, some chick named Debe Dalton… fun performers, each and every one. But the funnest of them all (sorry guys!) is the Grasping Straws, brainchild of one Mallory Feuer, who’s been Sidewalking for something less than a year. How do I know that? From the answers in the interview below. Read all about the artist and her act, so you can appreciate The Grasping Straws’ stunning show with more strident success.

When did you start writing songs? Other things?
I’ve always been singing, but I didn’t really start writing songs until I bought a guitar shortly after my 20th birthday. I was very inspired by Jeff Buckley, so I decided I was going to make my 20th year the year I bought a guitar and got into music.

When did you start playing songs?
After I had written my first few songs, my boyfriend at the time used to encourage me to perform them for any friends who came over. It really helped me get more comfortable playing guitar and singing in front of people. One of our friends, Andy Choi of St. Lenox heard some of my music and told me about the Sidewalk along with some other local venues that hold open mics.

When did you find the Sidewalk? How?
The first time I went to the Sidewalk, it was to see St. Lenox perform in the Anti-Folk Festival last summer. I remember he played with the Charles Mansfield Band, and generally being really impressed with the sound and the vibe of the venue. I came in for my first open mic shortly after that.

How did you collect your Straws?
I started playing with Rob (the guitarist) over the summer. I had written a bunch of songs by then, and I was looking for someone to help arrange them because I was unhappy with my guitar parts. My brother recommended Rob, the bassist of his band, Nobody Takes Vegas. One day, Rob and I were busking under the arch in Washington Square Park, and I called up my friend Oliver to come jam with us on his cajon. I was always really impressed with my friend James’ saxophone playing, so when he asked me if he could be in the band, I was excited to see what he would come up with. James’ friend Jim is our most recent addition on the drum set. April 4th will be his first show with us!

What’s your academic program?
I’m an anthropology major and a creative writing minor at NYU. I chose anthropology because I think human evolution is really interesting. I took my first creative writing class to fill a requirement. I had no idea I would develop such a deep love for poetry. I wound up taking so many poetry classes, the minor just sort of happened.

What do you plan to do after school’s done?
As my last semester at NYU comes to a close, I’m experiencing a great amount of anxiety surrounding that question. I hope to be able to find a day job that is not entirely soul-crushing so that I can continue to live in the city and play with my straws. You know anyone who’s hiring?
- Sidewalk Music Blog


The Grasping Straws released their first album on June 30th at Mercury Lounge in NYC. It was recorded in analog to half-inch eight track tape by Alex P. and Basement Floods Records, and mastered by Jon Hildenstein. It is streaming and available for download at:

The Grasping Straws released their 3-song debut in May 2013 with the help of Jon Fang and ZIN Records. It is streaming and available for download on



Psychedelic art rock with an injection of grunge and a hint of jazz. The Grasping Straws have been consistently performing in and around New York City since 2012. In July 2014, the group went on their first national tour with fellow NYC-based artist Cannonball Statman. The band's founder, Mallory Feuer, has since gone on to tour Canada and more of the US as a solo acoustic incarnation of The Grasping Straws to support the June 2015 release of the band's debut album at the Mercury Lounge in New York. The Grasping Straws continue to tour and perform locally around NYC, while working on writing and recording new material.

Band Members