Every year, the newest soon-to-be stars in music take over New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon for five days of non-stop music across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Being based out of New York, we typically look forward to this the way kids look forward to Christmas. Here are some of the bands we’re most excited to see this year.
The History Of Apple Pie
Yes, that’s actually their name, but don’t let that put you off. This London-based quintet is one of the most impressive guitar bands out there right now, playing a modern take on shoegaze and dream pop with excellent male/female vocal dynamics. Imagine Slowdive, but not nearly as precious. Their debut album Out Of View was an impressive first go-round for the band, and we can only expect them to get better as they keep going.
Lost Boy? have been dishing out scuzzy, garage-tinged indie rock for a few years. As one of the cornerstones of the Brooklyn DIY music scene that has produced the likes of Titus Andronicus and The So So Glos, the band’s live shows are often an embodiment of that scene’s “anything goes” spirit. True to form, Lost Boy? are eschewing the traditional CMJ venues in favor of Williamsburg’s DIY mainstay Muchmore’s. Come for the cheap beer, stay for the amazing tunes (Listen here).
Equal parts post-punk and garage rock, Darlings recall the primal urgency of Joy Division’s early records with Pavement’s wry lyrical output. Their new album Perfect Trip was one of 2013’s unexpected delights, offering a tuneful take on lo-fi indie rock that thankfully emphasized melody and composition over atmosphere and aesthetics. Given how strong their new album is, this could be the year that a lot more people find out about this excellent band.
Few bands survive the blow when their lead singer departs, but Yuck have somehow managed to get better since the departure of former frontman Dan Blumberg. Glow & Behold, the latest album from the 90’s-loving Brits, explores new sonic avenues their debut only hinted at while showcasing the dual vocal talents of Max Bloom and Mariko Doi. The combination of the two bring back fond memories of Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher at their peak, which can only be a very good thing in our eyes.
This New York-based shoegaze outfit took us by surprise when they showed up at CMJ 2012. Now, they’re back to win over even more devotees with a new EP (Twins) that stands as one of the best independent releases we’ve heard in a long time. (You can get the EP here.) In a Brooklyn scene that’s become crowded with imitators of all stripes, Sua rise up as one of the few thrilling, truly original groups around now. Take notice.