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.
The Brooklyn stop is a part of Folick’s first North American headlining tour, in support of her 2018 debut LP, “Premonitions.” Her nimble voice and versatile indie pop has racked up millions of Spotify streams, thanks, in part, to a placement in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” and she’s earned the attention of Pitchfork and NPR, among others. (Elsewhere, March 2)
Song to stream: “Thingamajig”
The indie pop of Kelsie Hogue is poison-laced bubble gum, funny and catchy while also being laser sharp and, at turns, dark. Her album “Crush on Me” sounds like what might have been overproduced into a pop diamond 20 years ago, but with a knowing wink and very 2019 neuroses and problems explored. It’s gotten love from Stereogum, MTV and Paper. (Baby’s All Right, March 8)
Song to stream: “Flirting with Her”
The Canadian troubadour returns to the states in support of 2018’s “More or Less,” another entry in his canon of personal, gorgeous songwriting. It’s a stripped-down look at the singer, whose last album, “Club Meds,” including more in the way of synths and reverb. He’s been chasing the release with covers on Spotify, including versions of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.” (Mercury Lounge, March 14)
Song to stream: “Fool for Waiting”
Dead Soft is keeping the grunge flag flying in 2019: the Canadian foursome’s EP from last year would not sound out of place on alt radio from 1991 (or today, considering the lack of growth on radio station playlists). The band doubled in size before recording “New Emotion,” giving founding members Keely Rochon and Nathaniel Epp not only more sounds to play with, but also room to relax a little on stage. (Saint Vitus Bar, March 24)
Song to stream: “Kill Me”
Better Oblivion Community Center
The all-star pairing of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst released a surprise album of indie folk in January, with help from Nick Zimmer (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and the Dawes rhythm section, among others. The self-titled release showed up only a short time before the band’s television debut on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” (Bowery Ballroom, March 29, Music Hall of Williamsburg, March 30)
Song to stream: “Dylan Thomas”