CMJ 2010: Eight New Artists to Watch

    Before Surfer Blood, the xx, and Local Natives blew up, they all shared one thing: gigantic buzz following their string of CMJ 2009 shows. In advance of this year’s festival, we’ve compiled a list of eight bands that are poised to create some buzz of their own when they take over the city this week. If last year’s trend continues, it’s only a matter of time until these groups start soundtracking car commercials and selling out Governor’s Island, too.


    Who: MillionYoung
    Sounds like: It’s “chillwave,” and it’s good. What’s even more impressive is that the smooth vocals and palpitating beats of MillionYoung are manned by only one person, Mike Diaz. His Be So True EP, released via Arcade Sound Ltd. earlier this year, sold out because of intensely satisfying tracks like the one below. His highly anticipated full-length is expected to drop by the end of the year.
    Where: Arcade 44 Showcase @ the Bowery Hotel on 10.21; the Sky Report Showcase @ Bar Matchless on 10.22; Floweringbooking Showcase @ Pianos on 10.23.


    Who: Oberhofer
    Sounds like: Jingly indie rock, complete with whistles, toy pianos, and lyrics about young love gone seriously awry. The lo-fi sound is topped off nicely by Oberhofer raw vocals, which sound more like barks and howls at times. He released a free EP o0O0o0O0o months ago, and it’s since gone viral. He’s in the midst of dropping a 7-inch, while also working on a proper full-length.
    Where: The Music Slut party @ Pianos on 10.19; the Deli showcase @ Brooklyn Bowl on 10.20, Yours party @ Glasslands 10/22



    Who: Braids
    Sounds like: Experimental, ambient pop. The Montreal group’s beautiful meanderings evoke Explosions in the Sky, while their louder climactic moments are like Broken Social Scene bliss. Nothing is as easily endearing as these lengthy and well-crafted songs. Braids just signed with Kanine Records (Surfer Blood, The Depreciation Guild) and their debut full-length is expected to drop in early 2011.
    Where: M for Montreal showcase @ Arlene’s Grocery on 10.21; Kanine Records/Music Slut party @ Cake Shop on 10.22; Flavorpill party @ Southpaw on 10.23.

    Who: Kisses
    Sounds like: Dark, new-wave beats meets reinvented disco. The Los Angeles duo’s music is mysteriously, sexily contagious. A dance party is expected to break out wherever Kisses is this week. Their full-length The Heart of the Nightlife, comes out next month.
    Where: IAMSOUND showcase @ Santos Party House on 10.19; The Hype Machine party @ Backstage on 10.21; Force Field PR/Windish party @ Arlene’s Grocery on 10.23.

    Who: High Highs
    Sounds like: Gentle, calming folk-pop — the light and delicate vocals are a real gem. The Australian duo, who now live in Brooklyn, features Jack Milas (Pip Branson Corporation) and Oli Chang (Theatre of Disco). What initially caught my eye was their cover of Wild Nothing’s “Live in Dreams.” High Highs are currently working on their debut full-length.
    Where: Cameo showcase @ Cameo Gallery on 10.19; Windish showcase @ The Studio at Webster Hall on 10.22; Tara Westrocks showcase @ Bowery Electric on 10.23.

    Who: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
    Sounds like: Fun, shimmery and swelling synth-pop sprinkled with some folk stylings. The group hails from Detroit and released the Horse Power EP this past summer. They are ready to drop a remixes album next month and a full-length in early 2011.
    Where: Terrorbird day party @ Cake Shop on 10.20; Stereogum/Popgun party @ Santos Party House on 10.20; Paradigm Agency showcase @ Mercury Lounge on 10.22.


    Who: Dominant Legs
    Sounds like: Clap-your-hands, sway-your-hips brand of indie-pop. The San Francisco boy/girl duo borrows a bit from Belle & Sebastian and also has the dreaminess of that other hazy twosome Beach House. Dominant Legs features Ryan Lynch, who can also be found in the band Girls. Lefse Records (Keepaway, How To Dress Well) recently released its Young at Love and Life EP.
    Where: Lefse/I Guess I’m Floating showcase @ The Delancey on 10.20; Music Snobbery showcase @ The Living Room on 10.23; The Fader Fort on 10.23.


    Who: Diamond Doves
    Sounds like: Exuberant, soulful, indie rock. They make up the “Dearland” in Elvis Perkins in Dearland, and include people like Little Wolf, Nick Kinsey and Brigham Brough. The band has played a handful of shows around the New York City area since its stage debut back in April, but not nearly enough, so see the show this week.
    Where: The Rock Shop on 10.19.