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Toot Sweet

Toot Sweet unveils title track from upcoming album 'Dilettante'

The uniquely evolving sound of singer/songwriter Mary Spencer Knapp’s “cabaret soul” brain-baby Toot Sweet shoots to grandiose levels on 'Dilettante,' title track of their upcoming album, scheduled for a March 25 release. Knapp seems to be focusing more on her vocal prowess, and the inclusion of the full-band feel, rather than the signature lost-art cool of her accordion. Thumping kick drum and bass start the track in a playful dance, as Knapp’s singing frolics on top, almost becoming part of the percussion section itself. It’s not long before the rest of the instruments swell and swarm around her voice — the crash of cymbals and fluttering trumpet eventually giving way to the audible clang of an old-timey piano, going back and forth in powerful contrast. Cool, ghostly backup vocals float in and out, adding to the ancient effect at the band’s, and Knapp’s, core. - JP Basileo


A Deli Video Premiere: Toot Sweet's "Stations" + live at Bowery Electric on 08.21

In Toot Sweet’s new video for “Stations,” a multi-faceted romantic conflict between land and sea, past and present, away and home, takes place in accordion funk outfit. The track is a slow moving, dramatic opus of stop-and-go. Double bass backing and oozing accordion chords bolster frontlady Mary Spencer Knapp’s vocals as they build up and burst and build up again throughout. The video, directed by Knapp and Rod Morata, opens with Knapp awakening in her bed to find ghostly pirate figures, whom she follows out the door on a seafaring voyage, which dances between the past and present, the living and the dead. As she steps through her sliding glass door to the outside, the color video transforms into an old-timey, granular black and white vaudevillian film visual, and we’re taken on a trip through time. Choral backings come in and out before a clean guitar replaces every other instrument beneath Knapp’s singing, creating a tremendous hollowness in the background, and highlighting her vocal power. Dramatic swells as grandiose as the ocean itself occur in the chorus, as Knapp hopelessly, heartily laments, “Do you know the way home from here? It’s getting dark and I’m afraid of fear.” A girl, an accordion, the ocean, and the past are intertwined to make a powerful visual accompaniment to a uniquely theatrical track. You can see Toot Sweet live at The Bowery Electric on August 21. - JP Basileo


Awkwarium, ghostpal, NoPop, and The Brooklyn What play The Gutter Tonight

After a successful kickstarter campaign, and a seemingly interminable build, the folks at the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen (MCFK) collective have finally completed construction on their new studio. To celebrate they’ve put together their second show this month, this time at the Gutter, Brooklyn’s premier bowling alley/venue which isn’t Brooklyn Bowl. The showcase will feature the gleaming psychedelic soul pop of ghostpal, Goodman’s excoriating garage pop (both Deli NYC Artists of the Month) as well as Toot Sweet, NoPop (whom are not to be missed), The Brooklyn What, and Awkwarium. Stream MCFK’s latest compilation below, and catch them tonight (1/23) at the Gutter. -Emilio Herce (@emilioherce) photo cred: Dan Bracaglia

Weekly Features: Toot Sweet - live at The Gutter on Friday 01.23

During my coverage of the CMJ Music Marathon 2014, I had the pleasure of being introduced to this Toot Sweet's (extremely fun) groove-tunes in a live setting; the band caught me completely off-guard. Their music oscillates seamlessly between the lighthearted and carefree, pained romanticism and everything in between, all with the nostalgic tone of an age lost to most modern culture, but with a euphoric freshness that instills new relevance and desire for such original songwriting. I had a chance to reach out to the band's front lady Mary Spencer Knapp, to ask a few questions about her band, her influences, and her accordion. It seems rare that a modern day band beckons the sound and feel of such a distant and specific place and time, that it makes you question age or origin. Or at least when done as well as NYC's Toot Sweet, who play a mean funk-infused cabaret style of pop, quite the drastic change from the 90's revival everybody's been talking about.

LINKS: Read JP Basileo's interview with Toot Sweet
UPCOMING SHOWS: Live at The Gutter on Friday 01.23 with Ghostpal, the Brooklyn What, Goodman, NoPop & Awkwarium.


Best f CMJ 2014: Toot Sweet

From JP's report of day 4 of the CMJ Music Marathon 2014: "After Johnie Lee Jordan & The Boys finished, I made my way over to Muchmore’s to see the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen showcase, featuring an insane twelve bands. I arrived at around 7:30, and saw the stage, but nothing on it. This was to be a floor show. Bands and gear were setting up on the floor. Cool. A drag queen MC started things off and introduced the first band, Toot Sweet. They had an accordion. Need I say more? Accompanying the instrument of instruments were keys, bass, drums, and two lovely backup singers. They played an obviously French-infused slow pop that was catchy and deep. Their third song sounded like something you’d hear on the soundtrack of a pirate movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. Midway through the set the mademoiselle on accordion hopped on the keyboard, and the dude on keys hopped on a trumpet! Things turned kind of synth-funky, proving these guys’ uniquely cool versatility. Oh. And this guy on trumpet? He could play. Take it from a so-so ex-trumpeter. The pace picked up a little towards the end of the set, and it was hammered home that this was a fun group. There was unbelievably enough seating for just about everyone, though people were standing, and those who were standing were dancing. Everyone bopped. Essentially, I came to this showcase for something different. I believed I was to achieve perfect diversity.


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