It’s that time of year, when the music industry flocks to New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon. (It’s definitely not a sprint.) If you’re in town for the week, here’s a selection of acts to check out. Pace yourself.
Slam Donahue – “I Turn On”
A couple of Brooklyn everydudes put honest, relatable lyrics in weird pop contexts. It’ll make you feel better.
Avan Lava – “It’s Never Over”
These masters of futuristic funk put on an unforgettable show. Everything’s better with confetti cannons.
Le1f – “Yup”
Still going strong from the success of “Wut” this summer, the New York rapper has been continuing his upward trajectory on a tour with Das Racist and is set to play a number of high profile showcases this week, including MTV Hive’s and Pitchfork’s events. This song contains the line “The fabric of my life is a sexy fucking textile.”
Team Spirit – “Teenage Love”
Team Spirit, led by former Passion Pit keyboardist-turned-garage rocker Ayad Al Adhamy, just signed to Vice Records–in blood. (They’re otherwise not particularly comparable to Joy Division, though.)
Skaters – “Fear Of The Knife”
Skaters’ debut EP Schemers serves up some damn fine lo-fi rock. “Fear Of The Knife” suggests something bigger and brighter, a beach day song that still sounds good in the off season.
Osekre and the Lucky Bastards – “Why Are You Here?”
With an energetic live show, the Afropop outfit has become a fixture on the Brooklyn scene. New single “Why Are You Here?” is catchy and immediately memorable.
We Were Evergreen – “Baby Blue”
This London-via-Paris trio effortlessly charms with plenty of hooks and sweet harmonies. Indie pop doesn’t get much better than this.
Yan Wagner – “Forty Eight Hours”
This Parisian singer/producer punches up new wave influences to make sharp, resonant electro pop delivered with wit and wisdom.
Gold Fields – “Moves”
The rising Australian band makes driving electro-rock that’s set to take them far. The frenetic “Moves” showcases their sound.
Local Natives – “Sun Hands”
You loved this in 2010 and you still love it now, right? The LA indie rockers are back, and hopefully better than ever.
Follow Katie Chow on Twitter.