Shows at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and MetLife Stadium suck up a lot of oxygen in the press, thanks to the biggest of headliners. But where the New York City music scene shines is in the clubs and venues open most nights of the week, with bands that may be the next big thing, or have found their hard-core fans, or even are just getting their start in the industry.
Each month, we bring you five different indie-rock concerts at some of these venues, where bands and artists come from all over to impress the country’s biggest market.
Here are five bands you should get to know — or revisit all over again—before they hit New York City.
Shamir’s career has taken an interesting path since his 2015 debut, “Ratchet,” became a hit among tastemakers. His signature electro-pop has been replaced by a basement rock sensibility, one entirely edgier and sharper than what he’s left behind. He’s also certainly hit fast-forward on his album release schedule, with three albums in 2017 and 2018 alone — and for his winter tour, he’s talking about playing “a bunch of new stuff.” (Feb. 2, Brooklyn Bazaar)
Sharon Van Etten
Pitchfork calls “Remind Me Tomorrow,” Van Etten’s latest, “the peak of her songwriting.” Its Jan. 18th release date may make it the first great album of the year. With an acting role in “The OA” and an appearance on “Twin Peaks” in the past couple of years, it feels like this might be the time for the folk-rock singer-songwriter to go from an underground favorite to a mainstream player. (Feb. 9, Beacon Theatre)
The alt-rock all-star comes to the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center for what is likely to be a twisted-but-lovely Valentine’s Day. She’ll be playing, alongside collaborator Thomas Bartlett, the stripped-down, piano-centric versions of her “Masseduction” album that she released last year as “MassEducation.” Those alternate versions still don’t tone down the bittersweet taste of a song like “Slow Disco”: “Slip my hand from your hand/leave you dancing with a ghost.” (Feb. 14, The Appel Room at Lincoln Center)
The band returns to one of its several homes (founded in Toronto, raised in New York, recorded in London and Los Angeles) in support of “Art of Doubt,” which may be the synth-rockers’ best release in nearly a decade. Brooklyn has a special place in the heart of the group; lead singer Emily Haines and guitarist Jimmy Shaw lived in a loft in the borough with members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio during their fledgling years. (Feb. 18, Kings Theatre)
Now indie-rock veterans, the band released its eighth album, “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?,” in January, to critical praise, with many reviews calling it some variation of Deerhunter’s most accessible work. Counting his three solo works as Atlas Sound, lead singer Bradford Cox has written 11 albums over the course of 15 years. (Feb 27, Brooklyn Steel)