New York City is a breeding ground for new music, so it can be hard to keep with all the new buzz bands emerging out of such a saturated music scene.
We’ve sifted through the best and the buzziest acts to bring you the 10 hottest, most exciting new bands coming out of NYC right now.
As you might infer from their band name, Acid Dad are a band rooted in all things psychedelic. The Brooklyn five-piece’s self-described “psych-punk” genre comes across instantly through their new single ‘Brain Body’, an intoxicatingly mind-bending five-minute trip.
Word is that their live shows – aka “house parties which last until the cops show up” typically turn a bit chaotic, and that’s always the best kind of live show. Acid Dad began writing and recording some new tunes earlier this year, so there’s more to come from them soon.
AVAN LAVA aren’t new – their debut EP Vapors was released back in 2010, and they started off with a relatively large audience to draw from, with two thirds of the band coming from Fischerspooner. But if you're not familiar with them, they really are worth checking out, as they’ve found a home amongst New York’s pop-loving nightlife (their live shows are massive and confetti-filled) and they’ve recently captured the attention of Annie Mac.
Their songs pack a Prince-meets-boyband punch, and the falsetto vocals of TC Milan can perfectly soundtrack any good night out. AVAN LAVA’s new EP Make It Real is out this week via Atlas Chair.
Exocomet (a duo originally from Bosnia, now based out of Brooklyn) sound like a cross between The Velvet Underground and Bauhaus, and it’s the perfect musical pairing that you never knew you needed. Information on them is scarce, but the good news is that their entire self-titled album is available to stream online – with opener ‘Mercy Tongue’ being the standout.
“We went to Nashville, hung a mic in the room of a haunted house, took acid, and hit record on an old reel to reel. This is what happened.” That is the story behind High Waisted recording ‘Acid Tapes Vol. 1’. Plus, they set the accompanying video to the poppy scene from The Wizard Of Oz. Really, you know they’re fun before you even give their music a listen – but the 60s-inspired, lo-fi surf-rock pop jangle of ‘Trust’ and ‘Shanghai Spy’ certainly help.
Jack + Eliza:
Last year, college sophomores Jack Staffen and Eliza Callahan, who had grown up together in NYC, released their debut EP No Wonders to a staggeringly positive response. It was even enough to capture the attention of Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, who offered to help produce ‘Diamonds’, the first single taken from the duo’s forthcoming LP, Gentle Warnings (out June 9 via Yebo Music, produced by Chris Zane).
With comparisons to the likes of The Mamas & The Papas and The Beach Boys, Jack + Eliza offer an endearingly stripped back 60s pop vibe.
You might already recognize some of Reputante’s members, either from Zoe Kravitz’s band Lolawolf or from Mother, the musical project spearheaded by Penn Badgley (of Gossip Girl fame). They’ve been signed to Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records, so you know they have to be cool, plus, they snagged Michelle Williams to star in one of their videos. But if they’re yet to appear on your musical radar, then now is the time to pay attention to them. Vocalist James Levy has a strikingly deep voice reminiscent of Ian Curtis, giving Reputante the feeling of a more upbeat, modernized Joy Division – albeit, still with an 80s-sounding twist. The Brooklyn band have gone a bit quiet as of late, but they promise that there’s new music on its way soon.
Like most great new bands growing out of NYC, Sannhet (aka Norwegian for “truth”) are based out of Brooklyn. But when it comes to their music, there’s not much out there that sounds quite like them. They’re an instrumental, experimental black metal trio that also put on one hell of a light show during live sets. You’d be surprised how much gorgeous noise a guitar, a bass and a drum kit can make. Sannhet’s second album Revisionist was released earlier this month, and you can stream the whole thing on Soundcloud.
Suspicious Light are a three-piece from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their new track ‘Burned’, which was released earlier this month, was apparently recorded in band member Hannah Moorhead’s living room, but it sounds just as polished as if it were recorded at a major studio. ‘Burned’ sounds the kind of song that you’d hear during some epically pivotal moment in a film. They seem to be a fairly new act with not much other material available online, but they’ve reportedly got a new album in the works that’s certain to pick up some steam.
They love The Misfits and Dolly Parton, their debut album might be released by Rough Trade Records and they’ve got a ukulele. Plus, they have an awesome band name. Really, what more could make you want to give them a listen? If you appreciate the lo-fi, dry, witty humor of The Moldy Peaches (these gals have warranted plenty of comparisons to them), then The Prettiots are for you.
If you can get past the band name of Vivienne Eastwood (your call whether it’s outrageously clever or incredibly cheesy), you’ll find an exceptionally stunning shoegaze atmosphere in their song ‘Facelift’. The band have been gradually teasing new track ‘Nons’ with short musical/video snippets on their YouTube channel over the last couple of weeks, and so far it seems to match the beauty of ‘Facelift’ – and if it is, then this is a trio to watch.