New York Tunes: The Big Apple’s Artists of the Here and Now
Blues, jazz, hip-hop, house, disco, doo-wop, punk… the list of musical genres synonymous with the Big Apple could go on for pages. But it’s the music of the future that’s truly exciting, so we’ve enlisted a selection of New York’s top music companies to pick out a few of their favourite, new local bands and artists for your listening pleasure. And after listening back, we reckon that New York’s musical ‘now’ is set to be as exciting as that of its past… Enjoy!
Tracks 1-4 from Mike Perri, Music Supervisor, Amber Music
1. AM to AM "Meet The Wrecking Ball"
AM to AM, from Brooklyn, NY, is fronted by Will Tendy, who has contributed his insane musical skills to artists such as Morningwood and Melissa Auf der Maur and Broadway productions such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Clueless: The Musical. AM to AM released their new album, Shadow Bully, on August 14th, 2015. Their song, "Meet The Wrecking Ball", makes me want to punch through a brick wall.
2. Escort "Actor Out Of Work"
Escort is a contemporary disco band from Brooklyn, NY. Their live show features upwards of 17 members. Just announced, they'll have a new album out on October 30th 2015. Keep an eye out, because any time they put on a show in NYC, it's an event not to be missed.
3. The Racer "In Stereo"
The Racer is a 5 piece band based out of Monroe, NY, located just 60 miles North of Manhattan. They can be seen every Tuesday night in September at their residency at Pianos on the LES. They are just finishing up their new album, GIANT, with producer Dan Hannon (Manchester Orchestra). Check out "In Stereo" off their last album, Passengers. Also worth checking out is the music video, which features a transformation in to Glow Stick People. Rad stuff.
4. Tribe Society "Kings"
Tribe Society is a band based out of Washington Heights and was recently made it on the United States Viral 50 on Spotify. This year, they have opened for X Ambassadors and Incubus. Their song, "Kings", has reached over 500,000 plays on YouTube. They can be seen at Pianos on August 25th with The Racer and DJ ABD of Bad Rabbits.
Tracks 5-8 from Dave Hodge, Partner/Creative Director, Finger Music
5. Caer “Buscabulla”
This is a super cool artist on the Kisuné label, who lives in Williamsburg. I met her in Miami, at a Kitsuné night at Soho House there. Super cool.. love her stuff.
6. SBTRKT, Ezra Koenig “NEW DORP. NEW YORK”
Now. technically, they are not from New York. But. It's the coolest track to listen to, driving in to New York, especially at night… great NY moody anthem.
7. Leisure Cruise ‘Double Digit Love’
Best band out of New York in a long time. Go buy their album. You'll be happy.
8. David Liebe Hart, Jonah Th' Mole Mociun ‘Artist & Creator’
And this… well.. this is just the freakiest vibe I've ever heard. Brooklyn public access guy, who's absolutely out there…but.. this stuff gets stuck in your head… saw him live, and my jaw was on the floor the whole show. This is our bonkers shock value pick! ;) hehe
Tracks 9-13 from Jessica Dierauer, Co-founder and EP, Able Baker
9. Sinkane ‘How We Be’
Sinkane is a really fun band to see live. They can get everyone dancing. I really love the groovy, laidback 70's funk vibe of this song. His album, Mean Love, has a lot of incredible Pan-African and East African influences. I love everything Ahmed Gallub does as well...He surrounds himself with and collaborates with very talented folks like Jaytram on the drums!
10. Mac DeMarco ‘The Way You'd Love Her’
I love how playful Mac's music is. This love song is sardonic and sunny at the same time. He just did a four night run at several NYC venues. Mac is very approachable too. He hosts bbq's, posting an address and invite on instagram, as well as coffees at his house in the Far Rockaways, hiding this address and invite in song lyrics. We're planning to ride out there for a work fieldtrip before summer's end.
11. Empress Of ‘Kitty Kat’
Loreley Rodriguez is definitely someone to watch. She produced, recorded and engineered her upcoming album, Me, entirely on her own. I first saw her perform a couple of years ago at SXSW and have caught her live a few times since here in NY. Her work has evolved and Kitty Kat is an example of her developing a powerful new voice and sound.
12. The Can't Tells ‘No Televison’
These guys live in Bushwick and describe their vibe as “the alternate reality where Elvis Costello was in Mission of Burma and they all played Spoon songs at twice the speed.” This is what i listen to when I need some energy - it's fast and a bit jittery. This song is all about the perils of TV and maybe our industry by association. They just played some banging new songs at Rough Trade this past weekend. Keep an ear out for them.
13. Luluc ‘Passerby’
Now for NYC's more acoustic and folky side. Luluc is a couple of Aussies (Zoe and Steve) who live in BK and write very pretty and graceful music. Zoe's voice is so pure and their lyrics are the kind that require a few thoughtful listens to figure out. This has been a great year for Luluc. They played a magical set at The Newport Folk Festival this summer. We also just had them in at the Able Baker studio for a performance and it was a really special evening. If you like Vashti Bunyan or Nick Drake, or even Fleetwood Mac then you should check them out.
Tracks 14-18 from Annick Mayer, Senior Producer, Butter Music
14. Guards 'I Know It’s You'
Love these guys, interviewed them a while back when I was working on the media side of the industry. They were such a tight and positive crew, seemed to love every minute of playing together and it showed on stage. Good tunes all around.
15. HAERTS 'Wings'
Great band from Brooklyn. This song sounds like what it feels like to be a teenager with a crush.
16. Doe Paoro 'The Wind (feat. Adam Rhodes)'
Doe Paoro is an insanely talented vocalist, originally out of NYC but splitting her time between NYC and LA. She is also a lovely person and one of the first people I met working in NYC :)
17. Jai Wolf 'Indian Summer'
Heard this song on Vice over the summer, one of those tracks that just puts you in a good mood.
18. Le1f 'Wut'
I saw Le1f play with Danny Brown a while back, he was wearing these amazing drop crotch pants with a 'frowny' face on the front. He was awesome, a real performer and AMAZING dancer. I follow him on Instagram @LE1F and I basically just always want to be doing the things that he is doing.
Main photo credit: Javier Gil