Tipsy Oxcart

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From: Brooklyn, NY

Sounds Like: The kind of Eastern European music that Kanye West would sample.

“We want to share what we love. We’ve been digging deep into the Balkan style, but we love a whole range of different music styles, too,” say Connell Thompson, saxophonist and clarinetist of Tipsy Oxcart, a Brooklyn-based group that plays music inspired by the jubilant spirit of Eastern Europe and specifically the Balkan region, “By combining intricate Eastern European melodies with elements of the rock, funk, jazz and reggae we grew up with, we hope to open the minds of those who wouldn’t think to listen to this kind of music. We want as many people to hear and love it as we do.”

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Though none of the band members are originally from Eastern Europe, they all grew up loving and performing the Balkan style, and some actually traveled to the region to play with local musicians to hone in on their skills to be as faithful to the aesthetics of the region, both in sound and performance. The band appreciates this musical style for its hospitality and exuberance (even the sad ballads sound festive) and they try to emulate this uplifting mood and mix it in with some of their own western influences, including Kanye West, “Tutti Frutti”, and their own hometown of New York (their song “Sevdah One Eight” is a play on their area code).

The band also makes a point to play in atypical venues – subway stops, your friend’s living room, etc – to make their performances as intimate as possible and to bring joy and dancing to the places where you’d least expect it.

Their latest album ‘Upside Down’ is available now. Check out their Bandcamp here.

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber