8 Bands You Need to Hear 

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The day we were scheduled to begin shooting the bands you’ll read about on the following pages, the Market Hotel finally got the city’s nod of approval on the renovations needed to bring the building up to code and ultimately return it to its rightful place atop Brooklyn’s DIY music and art scene, a post it abandoned when it was unceremoniously closed in April 2010. The last show I saw there was two young Brooklyn bands, Woods and Real Estate, both of whom were riding a sizable wave of blog-induced buzz. Just outside, at the intersection of Myrtle and Broadway, the buzz was softer. The streets were nearly desolate. That sort of thing changes pretty quickly in New York, though. As the venue works toward reopening in the next few months, the neighborhood is bustling, and Woods and Real Estate are no longer merely promising upstarts.

One thing that doesn’t change, though, is that New York is full of young bands working on their craft, hoping to contribute something to the city’s considerable musical legacy. Who will be the next Woods and Real Estate? Here are eight we’re willing to put money on.

(Photo by Katie McCurdy)


Slideshow
Inside The Market Hotel
Inside The Market Hotel Inside The Market Hotel Inside The Market Hotel Inside The Market Hotel Inside The Market Hotel

Inside The Market Hotel

By Katie McCurdy

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Free Time


“I’m going to hold my horses, it’s not a race,” Free Time frontman Dion Nania insists over unhurried guitars, drawing out the word “race” for a good couple seconds as if to prove it to us. Or maybe to himself. Coming from a track titled “I Lost Again” on his band’s self-titled debut (out May 28 via Underwater Peoples), the play on tempo and subverted ideas of victory speak to a sly self-deprecation that cuts the record’s face-value pleasantness. The Melbourne transplant hones the same seemingly effortless pop of bands like Real Estate or Scott & Charlene’s Wedding (both of whom have shared members with Free Time) but also Kurt Vile’s psychedelic meanderings and Jesus and Mary Chain’s nonchalant cool. He’s straight-faced till the end.


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Your first show in NYC as Free Time—where’d you play? How’d it go?
It was at ‘Steve’s Loft’ in Greenpoint with King Cyst, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding and Ducktails. It was super fun. It was more fun than our second and third shows.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
Ex Tropical by Lost Animal on Hardly Art, She Beats by Beaches (out soon on Chapter Music), and maybe the second Carlton & the Shoes album.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
The Twerps, Garbage & the Flowers and R. Stevie Moore with us on the New Zealand inter-island ferry.

Favorite song about NYC?
I’m gonna say “Shattered” by The Rolling Stones.

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
Tokyo.


Photo by Katie McCurdy




Slideshow
The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time
The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time

The 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Free Time

By Katie McCurdy

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Parquet Courts


Whatever direction rock music has taken in the past few years, it’s comforting to know that bands like Parquet Courts still exist, leading us to believe that even way off in the distant future, people will recognize that the right kind of jangly guitar sound is enough to make you get sloppy drunk (age permitting) or at least jump up and down a bunch. Andrew Savage, who served honorably in Brooklyn-via-Texas outfit Fergus & Geronimo, takes center stage on Light Up Gold, its relentlessly hooky guitar-bass-drum rush providing a perfect soundtrack to every Saturday night for anyone between the ages of 10 and 50.


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What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
I guess a lot of people from outside New York, especially people from outside the country, think that there is a real tight-knit scene here, and that isn’t really the case. I have a lot of friends in the DIY community here, but I wouldn’t describe the scene as tightly knit. But I think that’s changing, too.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
ABBA, Gold; Woo, It’s Cosy Inside; Skrewdriver, All Skrewed Up.

Ideal four-band bill —who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
PC Worship, Tyvek and Yuppies at Death By Audio.

Favorite song about NYC?
“Rockaway Beach.”

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
I probably wouldn’t relocate to another city. If you’re gonna live in a city, this is the place to be. When I leave NYC it will be to sink into hermitude.


Photo by Ben Rayner




Coastgaard


Three or four years removed from the reign of Brooklyn beach bands, Coastgaard emerges with the cards stacked against them: the unusual vowels in their band name, track titles referencing tidal waves and islands, and desaturated oceanfront album art might give the impression of being stuck in 2009. Here’s the catch: They’re much more an evolution of the surf-rock trend than a rehash of the recent past. Their forthcoming self-titled debut glides by on elegant pop sensibilities, but its purveyors have the hindsight to mix it up. As such, jangly 90s rock sneaks its way in momentarily to rough up otherwise pristine three-minute patches. Frontman Matt Miller flippantly recounts, “We were too dumb to care/Fucked on fresh air.” That’s the age-old secret, right? Mask the emotion with buoyant pop. Then it doesn’t hurt so much.


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Your first show in NYC as Coastgaard—where’d you play? How’d it go?
Cameo Gallery. The crowd seemed to enjoy Sean (keyboardist/guitarist) and Matt bickering like an old married couple.

What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
That we all watch Girls. (Only three of us do).

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
David Bowie, Hunky Dory; Neutral Milk Hotel; In the Aeroplane Over the Sea; Tame Impala, Lonerism.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Beach House, Grizzly Bear and The Walkmen at Bowery Ballroom.

Favorite song about NYC?
“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem.

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
El Dorado.

Looking a year down the road, where do you hope to see the band?
On an European tour—specifically, northern Italy so that we could swing by (bassist) Paolo’s house and eat some homemade gnocchi.


Photo by Katie McCurdy



Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard

8 Bands You Need to Hear: Coastgaard

By Katie McCurdy

Click to View 5 slides



Juniper Rising


There’s been some hint of country revival in certain corners of the Brooklyn music scene, per the latest records by The Babies and The Men (whose bassist Kevin Faulkner appropriately doubles on lap steel here). Juniper Rising takes the suggestion and jumps about five steps ahead, sinking their self-declared reverence for Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and other boldly un-urban legends into the lo-fi fuzz common to so many bands in the city. Their debut cassette, out now via noted rock peddlers Burger Records, pulls off that neat trick of sounding timeless while also clearly being the product of 2013, sweetening up Vivian Girl garage rock not just with ample twang but also pastel-colored filters and Spector-fied harmonies. Turns out Brooklyn can sound quite pretty.


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Your first show in NYC as Juniper Rising—where’d you play? How’d it go?
Don Pedro in Bushwick. It was good—a bit nervous but a happy crowd. A huge fight broke out during the last band’s set... some guy in the audience pulled the drummer off his throne during a song!

What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
It seems people outside of New York think Brooklyn bands have an advantage over bands in other places.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
Neil Young, On the Beach; Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska; Hank Williams’ and The Everly Brothers’ Best Ofs are a tie.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Loretta Lynn, Natural Child (TN), The Sterling Sisters (MD). At Loretta’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, in the spring.


Photo by Katie McCurdy




Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising

8 Bands You Need to Hear: Juniper Rising

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Celestial Shore


Just a split second passes on Celestial Shore’s debut LP 10x before guitarist Sam Owens starts in on a winding vocal melody. Though a warm welcome, his voice—a helium-enhanced version of Brian Wilson’s—doesn’t allow a lot of time to get settled. It’s an album that falls down a rabbit hole of clipped hooks, spacey pop and contorted melodies, flashing through glimpses as varied as Grandaddy and Weezer. But even amid the brainy, odd time signatures from David Longstreth’s playbook, there’s a deep vulnerability at play, too. Lines like, “I wish I had never met you at all” are given the space they need to sink in—to both the heart and head.


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Where was your first New York City show?
Glasslands with Body Language. It was our first show ever so it kind of sucked, but it could’ve been worse. We probably should have played some house shows before taking to the Glasslands stage.

What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
We’ve racked our minds and can’t think of any misconceptions, but I can talk about our experience in the city: we work all the time to pay rent and definitely don’t get to practice enough. We play a ton of fun shows and are lucky to have a community of amazing musicians and friends surrounding us.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
The Ventures, Ventures in Space; Bubbly Mommy Gun, Ain’t Got No Favorite Color/Sand Roses; Shaquille O’Neal, Shaq Diesel.

Favorite song about NYC?
“Central Park in the Dark” by Charles Ives.

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
Moon base or New Orleans.


Photo by Katie McCurdy




Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Celestial Shore
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Celestial Shore 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Celestial Shore 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Celestial Shore

8 Bands You Need to Hear: Celestial Shore

By Katie McCurdy

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Caged Animals


This Summer, the latest EP in a string of synth-pop offerings from Caged Animals, is equally bummed out and hopefully longing. It is the exact soundtrack that played in your head when you left summer camp, graduated high school, and rode the ups and downs of your first quasi-legit relationship (we ran tests in a lab just to be sure). And so there’s that—the immediate nostalgia attached to bittersweet hooks and 80s-tinged keyboards for anyone flirting with adulthood—but there’s also bright, crystallized beats and Vincent Cacchione’s softening croon that make songs jump off the page in context of the half-formed synth bands in prominence today. They’re gearing up to release a new album this year; we suspect it will break hearts—and also mend them.


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Your first show in NYC as Caged Animals—where’d you play? How’d it go?
The band started as a home-recorded project. I had almost no intention of performing it live, but our friends were throwing a huge party on this rooftop in Bushwick, and it was too tempting. We pulled it together in about a week and performed a chaotic set dressed in all white. The show was eventually shut down by the police because there were, like, 500 people on the roof! A legendary summer night.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
We just got home from a six-week tour, so I can tell you definitively: Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, John Prine’s first album, and Prince’s Dirty Mind. But we’re more of a singles band in the van.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Jeff Mangum, Beck, John Frusciante, Caged Animals. The Apollo Theater.

Favorite song about NYC?
That’s way too hard! Here’s our top five: “Positively 4th Street,” Bob Dylan; “Romeo Had Juliette,” Lou Reed; “Walk on the Wild Side,” Lou Reed; “NYC,” Interpol; “Frank Mills,” from Hair, “Empire State Of Mind,” Jay-Z—it doesn’t matter how played out it is, it’s beautiful and true. Sorry, I think that’s six.

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
Honolulu.


Photo by Katie McCurdy




Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals

8 Bands You Need to Hear: Caged Animals

By Katie McCurdy

Click to View 15 slides



Big Ups


Big Ups is fighting rock music’s plague of self-seriousness with one head-spinning, fist-swinging tirade at a time. In turn, they leave you fighting for fully functioning auditory senses in the tradition of Dischord Records’ entire roster, but it’s a fair price to pay for witnessing frontman Joe Galarraga wail lines like, “TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT IT’S NOT OVER YET/WON’T GIVE UP ON THE DREAMS THAT WE DREAMT” over the airtight jackhammering of his band. (There’s no doubt that his lyrics are translated into all caps on paper.) They’re pouring everything they’ve got into each second, then pairing it with lovable slacker personas to hide the fact that they actually care about this stuff. Quite a bit.


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Your first show in NYC as Big Ups—where’d you play? How’d it go?
Basically, we couldn’t get booked anywhere, and at the time we were in college and wanted the show to allow for all ages. So we played our first show on the roof of Joe’s building on Flushing Avenue. We ran extension cords out of the window of his apartment and onto the roof to plug in the PA, amps and lights. It was really awesome. A lot of our friends came out, and it felt good to pull it off.

What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
I think a lot of musicians come to New York because they think that it’s a great city for music. And that’s certainly true, but it also seems that this place is oversaturated with musicians at times. Everyone’s in a band, and everyone wants you to come to their show. It’s a little too overwhelming at times. As mentioned before, we couldn’t get a single venue in the city to book our first show, so we had to make it happen ourselves. I think other cities are a little more welcome to bands that are just getting their start.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik; Nirvana, Nevermind; Fugazi, 13 Songs. Honorable mention: Weezer, The Blue Album.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Flagland, Vulture Shit and Low Fat Getting High at Shea Stadium. And after all the bands are done playing, we pull down the projector screen and watch Contact until we fall asleep on the floor.

Favorite song about NYC?
The So So Glos, “Diss Town.”

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
We just got back from tour in the middle of March, and we had the chance to play in a lot of really awesome places with some really great bands. New York rent is too damn high! Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Buffalo are awesome Rust Belt cities—beautiful in really weird ways, and they’re great places for music. But for right now, we’re staying put.


Photo by Katie McCurdy



Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups
8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups 8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups

8 Bands You Need to Hear: Big Ups

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The Denzels


The Denzels are a band you want to have around all the time, always. If you’re having a good day, their garage-rock tumble can only enhance the mood; if you’re having a rough go at it, its incredibly infectious lilt will get your mind off things for a bit. Their mostly upbeat Easy Tiger EP swings toward elegantly wasted party anthems, but Tommy Hinga’s voice is rich and soothing—he’s an old soul, if we had to put money on it—making the music a toss-up between instigator and source of comfort. Their songs are there for you. They’re whatever you need them to be.


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Your first show in NYC as The Denzels—where’d you play? How’d it go?
Our first show as The Denzels was at Goodbye Blue Monday, a quirky little spot in Bushwick. Our guitar player showed up with a mustache painted on his face that was a bit controversial, and we ended up having to walk all our gear home. But I think the show was pretty decent.

What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
A lot of people think that because we play in a band here we’re probably partying all the time: drinking, doing drugs, getting super weird. But we’re not really into that type of stuff. We do a lot of meditation and yoga.

On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
The five of us (keyboardist/guitarist Aman Ellis is not pictured) are all over the place with what we’re listening to on our own, but we could all get into Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest, Tame Impala’s Lonerism and The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder.

Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Caveman, Skaters and The Teen Age in the middle of Maria Hernandez Park.

Favorite song about NYC?
“Waiting for the Man” by Velvet Underground.

If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
Probably San Francisco. There’s a lot of good music coming out of there right now, it’s closer to home for most of us, and there’s better Mexican food.

Looking a year down the road, where do you hope to see the band?
Hopefully we’ll be replacing The Roots as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I think we would be fantastic for the job, so that’s really our main goal at this point.


Photo by Austin McAllister



Slideshow
8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels
8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels 8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels

8 Bands You Need to Hear: The Denzels

By Austin McAllister

Click to View 11 slides



Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.

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