Brooklyn’s Castle Black are not the kind of band that toils for years over new material. With no lack for inspiration, their catchy brand of grunge-inspired post-punk rock promises songs that are catchy, emotive, and always memorable. Today the band releases a new gem, with their music video for “Broken Bright Star” which premiered on Kill the Music earlier this week. The track comes off Castle Black’s EP Trapped Under All You Know, released last August, which received critical acclaim and praise from both fans and press alike. Cranking out new content left and right, the band has a new EP coming this summer, alongside non-stop tour dates – and Castle Black has no plans of slowing down.
Filmed and directed in Brooklyn, NY by Jeff Allyn Szwast, the theme for “Broken Bright Star” appears to further explore the group’s affinity for spells, dark magic, and pagan-inspired rituals, which is evidenced by their previous visual offering for “Seeing In Blue”. A longtime collaborator with Castle Black, Szwast also directed and filmed the band’s 2016 video for “Dark Light”. In similar fashion, “Broken Bright Star” once again showcases Szwast’s keen and artistic eye for composition, lighting, and mood. The continued collaboration also provides a certain degree of aesthetic continuity between videos, which allows for both Szwast’s and the band’s unified creative vision to come full circle. Szwast commented on how sharing common interests and creative concepts helped to fuel the collaborative process, “I love working with Castle Black, because I feel like we get to make these fun, narrative mini-films. Leigh and I have similar tastes in aesthetics and themes, and all of us enjoy infusing the work with a certain amount of 90s head-nods, as we all draw a lot of our early influence from that era.”
Szwast’s use of mysterious imagery and dark lighting lends itself perfectly to the tone of the music which seems to forebode the arrival or return of an ominous and unwanted force. Lead singer and guitarist Leigh Celent’s powerful vocals shine brightly and her effortlessly cool snarl projects the melody with a Courtney Love level of confidence. When asked to weigh in on the process of filming “Broken Bright Star” Celent shared, “Jeff’s style is super artistic, and his shots are all beautifully executed, and that’s how I envisioned the look of “Broken Bright Star”. Very beautiful and dramatic. We specifically planned this video for winter, as I wanted the atmosphere to match the song, just very stark and bleak and cool feeling. We oddly got one of the warmest days in January for the shoot, which was an awesome bonus, as we were outside pretty much all day. Even though it wasn’t super cold out, lying down on the concrete for the aerial shots definitely got cold quickly!”
Castle Black will celebrate with a video release show at The Well in Brooklyn this Friday, April 27, joined by Mora Tau, The Judex, and Bloody Your Hands. If we’ve come to learn anything about this band since they broke onto the scene, it’s that these promising grunge-rockers are always cooking up something brilliant in their sonic cauldron and we can’t wait to see what bubbles to the surface next. With recent time spent in the studio, the band is preparing to release a fourth studio EP, The Gods That Adored You, this summer. It was recorded by Michael Abiuso (The Venetia Fair, Kiss Kiss, The Gay Blades) at Behind the Curtains Media studio. The band called upon the notable ears of legendary engineer, producer and musician Mark Plati (David Bowie, Prince, Spookey Ruben, The Cure, Duncan Sheik, etc) to mix a number of the new songs, with additional production. Mastering was completed by Jamal Ruhe, of West West Side Music.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
Thursday, April 26 – Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
Friday, April 27 – Castle Black Video Release Show at The Well, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, May 12 – King Killer Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Friday, May 18 – NJ Shore Festival at EJ’s, Seaside Heights, NJ
Saturday, May 19 – 33 Golden, New London, CT
Friday, June 8 – TJO Presents Showcase (Northside Festival), Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, June 28 – The Well, Brooklyn, NY
Friday, July 6 – The Comet, Cincinnati, OH
Saturday, July 7 – TBA, Rock Island, IL
Sunday, July 8 – Bremen Cafe, Milwaukee, WI
Tuesday, July 10 – FireHouse, Lancaster, OH
Wednesday, July 11 – Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Thursday, July 12 – The Cure Lounge, Louisville, KY
Saturday, July 14 – Camp Champe, West Branch, MI
Sunday, July 15 – Kelly’s Bar, Hamtramck, MI
Monday, July 16 – Strum Around Productions, Sandusky, OH
Saturday, July 21 – The Uke, Manchester, NJ
Friday, August 3 – 9th Annual Elephant Talk Indie Music Fest, Mays Landing, NJ
Saturday, August 4 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
MORE SHOWS TBA
WHAT THE PRESS ARE SAYING:
“Castle Black’s sound is an inventive and stimulating mixture of genres, including classic rock, alt. rock, punk, post punk and grunge. The infusion of various genres also makes Castle Black’s style one of a kind.” – Best DIY & Indie Rock of 2016 on Indie Rock Cafe
“NYC’s Castle Black have a lot more going for them than just a great band name and clever EP titles; the trio seamlessly blend ’80s punk with the heyday of grunge across powerful tunes that roar with a gritty melody.” – New Noise Magazine
“Castle Black’s weighty fuzz tones and rough life anecdotes define New York indie grit.” – Music Existence [Top 10 Alternative Rock Picks of 2017]
“Broken Bright Star is one of the half-dozen best songs of 2017, hands down.” – NY Music Daily
ABOUT CASTLE BLACK:
Castle Black is a Brooklyn-based rock band, bringing a powerful and thunderous sound, full of hard-hitting jams, never sacrificing the hook. Described as drawing from punk, post-punk, grunge, alternative and new wave, Castle Black refuses to be pinned down to a genre. Each song careens through an almost stream of consciousness depiction of life stories, social anthems and raw emotions. Gritty female vocals, roaring drums, melodic bass, and guitar-forward hooks collide, staying in your head for days on end.
They have been described as “the kind of band you want to catch on the way up” (New York Music Daily), whose “sound is an inventive and stimulating mixture of genres,” making “Castle Black’s style one of a kind.” (Indie Rock Café) Castle Black is “capturing the NY sound with a subdued, crunchy Garage-band sound with a slight L-7-esque edge to their own concoction.” (Musically Fresh) Indie Rock Café selected Castle Black for their Best DIY and Indie Rock 2016 list. NY Music Daily included the EP Trapped Under All You Know on their Best of 2017 list, the EP release show on their Best Shows of 2017 list and the single “Broken Bright Star” on the Best Songs of 2017 list. Music Existence named the band among their Top Alternative Rock Picks of 2017.
Their first EP, Find You There, was released in August 2015, with a follow-up single “Dark Light: A Plague Revisited” released in May 2016. Their second EP, Losing Forever, as well as their video for “Dark Light” were released in October 2016. A limited-edition lathe-cut record for their single “Blind Curtain” was released in April 2017, on Leesta Vall Sound Recordings. Their third studio EP, Trapped Under All You Know, was released in August 2017. “Seeing in Blue” premiered on The Big Takeover, followed by a full EP premiere on AXS. The video for “Seeing in Blue” was released in December 2017, and will be followed up by the video for “Broken Bright Star” in April 2018. The fourth studio EP will be released in summer 2018, and includes mixes from Mark Plati (known for his work with David Bowie, among others).
Castle Black has played several popular festivals, including Mondo Fest, Northside Fest, NJ Shore Fest and Staten Island’s PrideFest. The band was selected through an audition process as one of a handful of female-fronted groups for Summer on the Hudson’s Make Some Noise Festival in 2017, which highlighted women musicians making an impact on the NYC music scene. They have opened for several notable acts, including Richard Lloyd (of Television), Big D and the Kids Table and POD. The band regularly tours the United States. Their songs have been played on both domestic and international radio shows, including Strawberry Tongue Radio, Banks Radio Australia, Vulcan Sound Radio, Rock Radio UK, Radio Free Brooklyn, Radio KSCR, Lionheart Radio UK, Lucky Star Radio, Radio Tatras International, Kane FM, Valley FM 89.5, 3rd Strike Radio, Riviera FM and many more.