These are the 10 bands you can't miss at this year's CMJ
To be a music fan in New York City is to know the torture of endless options.
During the annual CMJ Music Marathon, the agony is amped up to 11, as hundreds upon hundreds of up-and-coming bands colonize the city for five days in search of any sliver of attention they can muster.
In the face of such audiovisual overload, hard choices must be made, so here are 10 acts worth a look:
People Get Ready
Bridging the worlds of art, music, film and dance, this ultra-new, NYC-based quartet is already wowing crowds with their infectious joy and Tom Tom Club-style tunes.
This DIY noise-pop duo from Denver boasts a booming- echo-chamber sound that calls to mind a more menacing Panda Bear.
Those in search of sweetly throbbing, industrial synth-pop with spooky vocals should look no further — Nika Roza Danilova’s spectral, opera-trained voice can crawl into your soul.
Dum Dum Girls
This West Coast act was one of a recent wave to meld girl-group magic with gritty garage rock, but their recently released second album (“Only in Dreams”) has them channeling the lean pop energy of The Pretenders.
With little more than a piano and a cello, this Massachusetts duo crafts diaphanous, barely-there pop that floats and falls like leaves on the autumn breeze.
Sea of Bees
Sounding something like a young Stevie Nicks crossed with Elliott Smith, Julie Ann Bee is a one-woman folk machine with an eye for the exquisitely timed release.
Pat Grossi constructs elaborate soundscapes that mate his angelic, choir-boy voice to twitchy, Vangelis-inspired electronica — and it works wonderfully.
Much like a latter-day Iron & Wine, this inventive Montreal foursome infuses esoteric folk blues with unexpected African polyrhythms and the occasional apocalyptic flourish.
Not to be confused with reclusive hip-hop wunderkind the Weeknd, this Frisco-based lo-fi trio pumps out paint-blistering basement jams that pulse and burn with young energy.
This Brooklyn trio plays a particularly frenetic version of Oneida-style noise rock, with songs often clinging for dear life atop a clattering beat until they sail off the cliff into an ocean of jagged feedback.
If you go: The CMJ Music Marathon runs Tuesday through Saturday. For full schedule and venue info, go to schedule.cmj.com.