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Japanese Breakfast, Rostam and more indie bands playing NYC in January

Our look at bands hitting the indie scene.

Keep Japanese Breakfast's

Keep Japanese Breakfast's "Boyish" on repeat until the band hits Brooklyn Steel. Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella/Matt Cowan

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.

Zola Jesus at Ecstatic Music Festival

A collaboration between the electro-goth singer-songwriter Brooklyn’s William Brittelle and Los Angeles’ wild Up experimental orchestra, this show may sound little like any of the three collaborators’ individual work. It’s a part of the Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival, a series of events premiering new works by interesting and genre-defiant collaborators. (Jan. 7, Kaufman Music Center)

Stream: “Wiseblood” 


Is doom-rock a thing? The Brooklyn trio creates music to run from an assailant to. 2018’s “Shadow on Everything” cleans up some of the fuzz from earlier works and adds in a western vibe that makes parts of the record sound like the soundtrack to the bloodiest shootout film ever made. (Jan. 12, Rough Trade)

Stream: “Backyard”

Japanese Breakfast

Michelle Zauner’s latest album, “Soft Sounds From Another Planet,” received high marks from Pitchfork, The A.V. Club and British magazine Q, among others. She’s been on the road consistently since the 2017 release — this may be the last chance to catch her touring behind it, before she heads back into the studio. (Jan. 17 and 18, Brooklyn Steel)

Stream: “Boyish”

Radar State

January will be busy for the emo band, made up of members of the genre-defining The Get Up Kids and The Anniversary. The group's debut album, “Strays,” comes out on Jan. 11, with the single “Spinning Wheel” somehow sounding exactly like escaping fifth period and going to the mall. (Jan. 25, Saint Vitus Bar)

Stream: “Spinning Wheel”  


The ex-Vampire Weekender and multi-instrumentalist may now be better known for his work outside the Brooklyn collective than in it, thanks to his 2017 solo effort and his work with Haim, Charli XCX and Frank Ocean, among many others. It’s an entry in the Lincoln Center American Songbook series, which also features St. Vincent, Oscar Isaac and Son Lux. (Jan. 31, Appel Room at the Lincoln Center)

Stream: “In a River”


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