Harlem Shakes: 'Red Right Hands'

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Harlem Shakes' new EP is Burning Birthdays hide caption

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Harlem Shakes' new EP is Burning Birthdays

After a whirlwind of label interest and blog frenzy over the past few years, Harlem Shakes have reformed, reevaluated and rediscovered themselves. They self-released their debut EP, Burning Birthdays, this month.

Produced by Chris Zane (Asobi Seksu, Human Television, Les Savy Fav), the five-song EP evokes all of Harlem Shakes' character and melodies, maintaining its catchiness, while adding the energy and depth they evoke live.

Burning Birthdays is full of creepy pop songs with diabolical, yet touchingly hopeful, lyrics.

The EP opens with the Spector-esque "Carpetbaggers," leading right into "Red Right Hands," a barn-burner that can send you to the dance floor.

Closing is "Old Flame," featuring guitars and pianos with a hint of flute.

Harlem Shakes have proven themselves to New Yorkers who've heard them over the past few years, opening for acts like Arctic Monkeys, Fiery Furnances, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Deerhoof.

They recently played several well-received shows with Beirut, whose own John Natchez played saxophone and accordion on the EP. With Burning Birthdays, Harlem Shakes have opened up their hearts, minds and melodies, redoing the archetypal pop song.

Harlem Shakes are Lexy Benaim (lead vocals), Brent Katz (backing vocals, drums), Kendrick Strauch (backing vocals, keys), Todd Goldstein (backing vox, guitars) and Jose Soegaard (backing vox, bass)

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