It was a sunny, yet lonely Thursday in New York City, and I was set to play a show at the Delancey. Due to an odd chain of events, I almost did the unforgivable – I almost canceled my set. But somehow, I pulled myself together, bought a cheap Squire Stratocaster, and played what was probably the most stripped down set I’ve ever done. There was only about 4 people there to witness it – my close friend Carlos and the members of the band A Very Special Episode.
One thing you experience when playing live music is that most of the time, the other bands show up just to play their set and then abruptly leave, sometimes bringing a crowd, sometimes not. It gets really easy to take it personal when you establish yourself as one of those musicians that treats music like a career – you show up early and you stay late, not because of some obligation, but because you love what you do. And also being empathetic of “the struggle” that we all go through as musicians, we all know it means the world to look out from the stage to see a just a few unfamiliar faces that stuck around to support what you do. This was my first impression of AVSE – although my set and mood were terrible, they stuck it out with me, laughed at my crude sense of humor, sang along when I couldn’t and spoke with me after the set.
That first impression spoke volumes as to the dedication and character of the 3 piece that makes up AVSE, and watching them follow me only uplifted that. Their set had the energy of a punk outfit with obvious shoegaze and pop influence. I was instantly mesmerized – while singer/bassist Kasey Heisler steals the show the moment she takes the stage and hits her first note, the guitar work by Patrick Porter is where the band truly shines, and their new EP Cut for Time, which will be released August 31, 2018 on Knuckle Down Records, is a true testament of a band that is sure to go places.
Formed in 2016, the band’s first release, Censored Dreams, was comprised of home recordings by founding members Heisler and Porter. Cut for Time seems to pickup where Dreams left off, but with better production. The opening track, and arguably the strongest, “Gravity” instantly propels you into the dream-like guitar work brought by Porter, drenched in delay and reverb, which sets the stage for the rest of record. The EP also includes a reprise of the crowd favorite “Crazy”, which is faster and more ferocious than its predecessor. My favorite, alongside “Gravity”, is also the track “Invitation to Delete” – the two tracks highlight Heisler’s impressive vocal range, the latter also demonstrating her lyrical angst.
The record is an absolute must for fans of bands like bands like Metric, Best Coast and Sonic Youth and will be available Tomorrow August 31st, and to celebrate the band will be playing at Gutter Bar as an EP Release show alongside The Rizzos, the Loneliers and But, Pyrite. To listen to more of AVSE be sure to follow them on Soundcloud, Facebook and Spotify.