New York City band Hollands (husband-and-wife duo John-Paul and Jannina Norpoth) lets it all rip -- clever lyrics, charming harmonies, a string interlude, a whole lot of groove and even more fuzz -- on the new track "Great White Shark." A song with so many elements shouldn't have so much bite, but somehow its orchestral-rock teeth sink in deep.
CMJ Music Marathon 2014 is happening, and there's no better city than New York for it. So much diversity in a city bustling with such enigmatic and exuberant life.
The anti-SEF band S features Jenn Ghetto from long-lost, pre-Band of Horses cult group Carissa's Wierd with production assistance from Chris Walla from very-much-not-a-cult-band Death Cab for Cutie. "Brunch" is as delicious and darkly satisfying as indie guitar pop gets.
Opening with guazy folk-tronica and shifting into a tense but still spectral indie-rock sound, "Riddles" by Portland, Oregon band Old Wave (formerly known as Adam Brock 4; good call on changing names) is nothing if not hard to solve, even as it's quite an inviting listen.
The band Young Tongue surely knows from whence comes the phrase "heavy metal" (that would be Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild"), but there's nothing pedantic (let alone metal) about the new track "Heavy Metal Thunder." It's a blast of classic, harmony-and-riff-driven rock 'n' roll.
You don't get the impression that Sharon Van Etten is a tour-de-force talent when you're talking to her one-on-one. But that's exactly what she is -- an artist with a simple sound of great magnitude. At first thought, the Luminary seems like a small venue for such an growing artist. But the intimate space only allowed her to shine brighter.
Not to be confused with the actual, government-sponsored campaign of the same moniker, Philadelphia rockers the War on Drugs give the impression that maybe we should all be taking something.
tUnE-yArDs at the Ready Room stole the attendance award on Thursday night in St. Louis. As the Demo's neighbor nabbed heads for Merrill Garbus' looped avant-pop recital, Wampire stared down a mellow gathering of perhaps 25 fans. It's worth noting that October 7, 2014 was the release date for Wampire's sophomore effort "Bazaar." Few in that room, save for the band, seemed to be aware.
It wasn't until tUnE-yArDs' fourth song that singer Merrill Garbus finally picked up her baritone ukulele and the crowd cheered. "Oh you like this thing?" she smiled coyly before strumming chords over looping, flanged beats.