Brooklyn has always been a place teeming with artistic talent, musical or otherwise. If Brooklyn were an independent city, it would be the third most populous after the rest of NYC and Los Angeles. With so many people crammed into the BK and all the diversity, it’s no wonder we hear about so many bands emerging from Brooklyn, such as one we recently covered called Free Whenever.
Two Brooklyn-based psychedelic acts making some noise are Marjorine and Duel Ferns. Their split cassette Live 2022 will be out on Postseason Franchise Records on May 26. If you’re in Brooklyn, you can catch a release party booked for the Rubulad on May 25.
Marjorine is a four-piece psych rock band from Brooklyn that was formed by Nicholas Comaratta in 2021. Comaratta initially formed the project alone in California, releasing the debut single “Salton Sea.” This was followed by the EP, Mattress 4 U in 2022.
After returning to Brooklyn, Comaratta recruited three members to the band (David Arthur on bass, Matt Carroll on drums, and JD Slater IV on guitar and synth). Forming a full band led to a series of adventurous live shows across Brooklyn and upstate New York in the summer and fall of 2022.
With one album in the books, Marjorine is gearing up to release Live 2022, a split cassette with Postseason Franchise Record label mates Duel Ferns, on May 26th. The album features live sets from both bands, including a recording of Marjorine’s debut performance in July 2022. Marjorine will be busy for the rest of 2023, with more local shows and a Northeast tour planned this year around an album release in the fall.
About Duel Ferns
Duel Ferns is also a psych-rock band from Brooklyn. They were formed by TJ Perrin and Nicholas Comaratta (also of Marjorine) in 2021, initially as a simple two-piece noise experiment out of their Brooklyn studio apartment.
Like Marjorine, Duel Ferns sought to expand their sound and play live music, so they added additional bandmates. After adding a guitarist (Atedhe Rexha) and an electronic musician (Evan Dice), the final piece of the puzzle was Charity Souza as the lead singer. Charity is a newcomer to music, but according to the band, she brings raw energy and charisma to the stage.
With the five-piece band intact, Duel Ferns began performing live in Brooklyn in the summer of 2022, including the performance captured on Live 2022. The band looks to refine its sound this year with an eye on a debut album release on the horizon for Postseason Franchise Records.
Live 2022 is a split cassette that features recordings of both bands’ performances at DIY rooftop shows in Brooklyn during the summer of 2022. Duel Ferns’ performance is on Side A, consisting of seven tracks (two of which are available to listen to now on Bandcamp).
Duel Ferns’ set is a meditative journey with hints of post-punk, trip-hop, and motorik sprinkled throughout. There’s plenty of energy, with somewhat distorted and urgent vocals from Charity Souza. There are also many guitar effects and fuzzed-out riffing that psych and stoner rock fans should enjoy.
If you buy the cassette, the Duel Ferns’ side will be where you lay back, light the incense, maybe smoke a J, and just chill. It has that shoegaze feel where you can’t necessarily understand what the vocals are about, and the singing is itself just another instrument in the songs.
On the Marjorine side of the cassette, the band powers through a carefully paced 30 minutes of garage rock, shoegaze, and space rock goodness. How Many Times starts things off in a high-energy way with plenty of guitar distortion that the shoegaze genre is known for.
Empty Dog Park comes next; it has a title that I like and gives off a melancholy feel. What’s sadder than an empty dog park (for a dog lover like me, at least?) Comaratta’s voice echoes through the Brooklyn summer night on this recorded track, carrying the same urgent energy as the previous song.
Otherside is the next song, which chugs along quickly over its brief, less than three-minute span. At this point, I noticed the vocal effects more and really began to enjoy them. I also noticed the punk-rock influence of the song, making me think of the strong early New York City punk scene.
Things slow down for just a moment before Santa Jam, and considering this was recorded in the summer, it was like Christmas in July, I suppose. This track features an extended solo by guitarist JD Slater exclusively.
Rather than heading down the whole track list in detail, I will just say that the rest of Marjorine’s performance is very enjoyable. Presents is a slower song than high-energy ones that kick things off.
Other Mirror is distinguished by its driving and groovy rhythm section. Rotarians 45 has a slight surf rock feel, especially in the guitar tone and playing. Marjorine closes the set with a brief and facetious cover of Hey Jude, calling it Oh Sweet Soundcheck, which I imagine was also a nod to the Velvet Underground. An excellent way to close things up!
I’ve never spoken directly to anyone in Marjorine, but I’ve noticed the band as a Third Eye follower on Instagram, and I appreciate them reaching out to me about this split cassette. I enjoyed the live performance thoroughly and thought the sound quality was great, if not a bit rough around the edges. However, a few flaws here and there in a live record can give it more character, right?
The Duel Ferns performance will get you in a psychedelic mood and help you clear out your chakras, and then the Marjorine side of the cassette will knock you off your chair. Both sides of this split contain great psych, krautrock, and shoegaze music worth your attention.
Pre-order the Live 2022 digital album or cassette on Bandcamp here.
Support Marjorine by finding them on Bandcamp or on Instagram.
Support Postseason Franchise Records by finding them on Bandcamp or Instagram.
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