Indie music acts to catch live in NYC in October

Brooklyn-based indie pop band Plastic Picnic will take the stage at Baby's All Right this month.  Photo Credit: Bronson Snelling

Brooklyn-based indie pop band Plastic Picnic will take the stage at Baby’s All Right.

Brooklyn-based indie pop band Plastic Picnic will take the stage at Baby's All Right this month. 
Brooklyn-based indie pop band Plastic Picnic will take the stage at Baby’s All Right this month.  Photo Credit: Polly Higgins

Shows at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and MetLife Stadium suck up a lot of oxygen in the press, thanks to  supersized headliners. But where the New York 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 concerts featuring independent or new acts, headlining in one of these smaller clubs. It’s a chance to not only discover your new favorite artist, but also be telling the truth when, five years from now, you say to your friends, “I saw them when they were small …”

Max Kakacek of the band Whitney, which will play Brooklyn Steel this month.  
Max Kakacek of the band Whitney, which will play Brooklyn Steel this month.   Photo Credit: Timothy Norris

Whitney 

Members of the late indie-rock collective Smith Westerns formed this band after the Chicago group’s breakup. Five years later, they’ve released a couple of well-received albums and are performing multi-night stops in Brooklyn. When it was released in August, Pitchfork called the album “Forever Turned Around” “welcoming and woolly.” (Thursday and Friday, Brooklyn Steel)

Stream: “Used to Be Lonely”

clipping. 

The Daveed Diggs-led hip-hop trio returns, leading with two appropriately-experimental tracks: “La Mala Ordina,” which dissolves into noise starting around the three minute mark (when the song still has another 2:30 remaining) and “Nothing is Safe,” on which Diggs raps what sounds like a sample from the score to “Halloween.” (Oct. 9, Elsewhere)

Stream: “Nothing is Safe”

Plastic Picnic will perform in Brooklyn on Oct. 16. 
Plastic Picnic will perform in Brooklyn on Oct. 16.  Photo Credit: Jake Hanson

Plastic Picnic

The Brooklyn-based indie pop band describes its work as “sad music to dance to,” and its latest EP, "Vistalite," confirms it. The quartet is composed of transplants from the Pacific Northwest, and the debt owed to Death Cab for Cutie is noticeable, though not overwhelming. The sound is closer to an ’80s version of what Ben Gibbard might have listened to before forming DCFC. (Oct. 16, Baby’s All Right)

Stream: “September Second”

Vivian Girls will play Warsaw in Brooklyn this October.
Vivian Girls will play Warsaw in Brooklyn this October. Photo Credit: Chris Chang

Vivian Girls 

The reuniting trio may have moved away to Los Angeles’ warmer climes, but the band is still playing Brooklyn early in its reunion tour. Warsaw will host the first non-Southern California show of the trek. The new album “Memory” has received praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and AllMusic, picking up right where the shoegazing indie rockers left off. (Oct. 17, Warsaw)

Stream: “Sick”

Caroline Polachek

The former Chairlift singer-songwriter is releasing her first album under her own name on Oct. 18 (former solo aliases have included Ramona Lisa and CEP). She’s worked with Chali XCX, Solange, and Beyoncé previously; the lead singles from her latest effort indicate strong Imogen Heap vibes. (Oct. 27, Bowery Ballroom)

Stream: “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings”

Robert Spuhler