We hope you are all as jazzed about CMJ as we are! The festival is the College Music Journal’s “Music Marathon”- a completely amazing (and exhausting) week (October 21-25, 2014) of live music, giving the music community a chance to catch the best new artists from around the world before they blow up. There are literally thousands of bands playing as many official (usually cost a few bucks) and unofficial (free or cheap) shows as they can, getting their music out there and hoping some fans and blogs take notice! Lucky for these 12 musicians, their internet presence was enough, and we fell in love before CMJ even began! Without further adiue, we present 12 bands to catch during CMJ next week!
AGES & AGES (Portland)
They Say: “Do the right thing, and do it all the time.”
Press Says: “Ages and Ages shower audiences with pure joy. The songs are unabashedly inspirational, thoughtful and crazy-catchy.” -NPR
We Say: Beautifully crafted alternative rock anthems that really mean it. Best listened to fireside.
Listen to: Superb 2014 Debut Album Divisionary
AMANDA X (Philadelphia)
They Say: “With an uninhibited musical dynamic that could only be birthed from three friends, Amanda X delivers with ethereal vocal harmonies, heavy hits and solid guitar work.”
Press Says: “…slinky guitar parts, pounding drums, and vocals that range from fierce to fragile. Also, the chorus[es] fucking howl.”- Stereogum
We say: Kickass girl-fronted post-punk rock with emo, progressive, grunge, and pop influences (and killer guitar riffs).
Listen to: Heavy-hitting 2014 album Amenesia on bandcamp.
DOPRAH (NEW ZEALAND)
They Say: “A sinister and evil cult which lures young people into drug-taking.”
Press Says: “Beautifully understated compositions rooted in Radiohead’s family of theremin synths and the weaving texture of male and female vocals.” – Pigeons and Planes
We Say: A dramatic soundscape of popping electronic beats, waterfalls of sexy vocals, driven by smart, orchestral melodies. Often times very much like Polica in an art-pop kinda way.
Listen to: Their self-titled EP on Spotify.
DREAM POLICE (NYC)
They Say: “a cloud of future primitive psychedelia bursting with glimmering electronics and cinematic, vibrato storytelling. The result of that process is Hypnotized: something borne from The Men, but free of it.”
Press Says: “….something that’s certainly leaner but no less fierce than their other band”- Stereogum
We say: Bury the country guitar line in The Men’s latest album in a pile of reverb, pair it with some 80’s-sleek synths, shoot that sound into outer space, and listen to it fall back down.
Listen to: Their only realease, and the basis of their hype, “Hypnotized” on souncloud.
They Say: “Experimental Pop”
Press Says: “…Hypnotic…” – Stereogum
We say: Scenic, catchy electronic pop songs with a lot of mainstream potential.
Listen to: Their brand new EP1 on Spotify
They Say: “The streets stay the same, but now we all know her name.”
Press Says: “Harvest of Gold is the sound of an artist pushing herself into dynamic places”- Rolling Stone
We Say: Sounding like Lykke Li’s Australian counterpart, the lovely Gossling’s childish, witchy vocals give her otherwise golden pop songs an irresistibly creepy edge.
Listen to: 2013 EP Harvest of Gold on Soundcloud
KING HOLIDAY (NYC)
They Say: “…compositions are cosmic landscapes rich in lyrical and melodic textures”
Press Says: “…[They] make music that’s impossible not to dance to. You may have to call in sick the next day.” – NY Magazine
We Say: Feverish soul-funk-jazz-pop with political undertones and party overtones.
Listen to: Their single “Breathe” on Soundcloud.
See Them At: THURS 10/23 @ Rockwood Music Hall
ME CHINESE (Orlando)
They Say: “Our band began in the midst of an avant garde punk scene that usually plays out in the ViMi district of Orlando in Florida.”
Press Says: “I don’t know whether calling one’s band Me Chinese is an inherently racist act.” –Brian LaRue
We Say: Expect a name change from the band in the next few months but remember their epic sound. We knew organs and electric guitars went well together, but the combination is reaching all-time highs alongside lead singer doo-wop vocals.
Listen to: Their 2-song release “The Single” on Bandcamp
Horse Thief (Oklahoma City)
They Say: “It’s about losing yourself in the sound and creating an experience that sticks with you long after the show is over.”
Press Says: “This is mountain music brought to sea level for stargazers and those searching for Old America.” – OKC.net
We say: Educated Midwestern folky blues rock that’s classic beyond its time.
Listen to: 2014’s Fear In Bliss on Spotify
They Say: “We’re writing more interesting songs, not straight-up pop songs. We want to make our album out-of-control, as good as it can be.”
Press Says: “sunny-yet-scuzzy guitar pop” – Sudden Impact
We say: The perfect 1990’s take on 2014’s take on 1960’s psychedelia.
Listen to: 2013’s perfect LP, Comfort, on Spotify
See Them: Everywhere, all the time. TUES OCT 21 @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar (Official, $20) // WED OCT 22 @ Pianos (Day Party, $FREE) // THURS OCT 23 @ Cameo (Official, $15) // FRI Oct 24 @ Knitting Factory (Day Party, $FREE) // OCT 25 @ Pianos’s ($10) — Birddog CMJ
They Say: “WHILE NOW SEPARATE LIVING IN MONTREAL & NYC [bros Andy & Edwin White] CONTINUE TO CREATE MUSIC ALL THE FUCKING TIME”
Press Says: “one of the most unique bands out” – Noisey
We Say: It’s pronounced “TAHN-starts-bandit,” it’s one big space jam.
Listen to: Loud & Proud LP Overseas on bandcamp.
See Them: WED Oct 22 @ Shea Stadium ($8)– BirdDog At CMJ
They Say: “Equal parts girls and guys, delivering a raw punk take on AM studio pop.”
Press Says: “This sophomore effort (Picture You Staring) certainly deserves accolades. Every second maintains a certain perfection.”- The Huffington Post
We Say: Low-key, nostalgic pop songs with emotional lyrics. Sometimes jazzy, sometimes drowning is space pop, other times, drawing on folk influences.
Listen to: Last months’s release, Picture You Staring, on Spotify
COLONY HOUSE (Tennessee)
KING GIZZARD & THE WIZZARD LIZARD (Australia)
Norwegian Arms (Philadelphia)
Emily Wolfe (Austin, TX)
Adult Jazz (UK)