If you want to know the next big thing out of the New York music scene, then Saturday night's showcase at Cameo Gallery by The Deli Magazine was your answer. It was a proverbial who's who of quality under-the-radar bands that could be the latest in a long-line of great bands to come from the area or just another band to add to the near-do-well list. I tend to think the bands on the bill will do just fine in this crazy town.
Starting with my peoples in the Starlight Girls. I'm excited for them, and you should be too because nobody else in the area sounds like them. They have this film noir/pulp fiction cinematic pop sound with a fierce sinister edge. At the same time, you might be compelled to dance along. You have a bouncy organ line with sweet vocals and punchy guitars to make a mix that makes you think of dark alleys and get-away cars. They have an EP of five-songs that you can download over at the Bandcamp page.
You know ARMS leader singer/guitarist Todd Goldstein with his time with the departed Harlem Shakes. ARMS is now his full-time gig as he released a full album last November called Summer Skills. The skills in this case are long, expanding rock and pop soundscapes with urgency and flare. As they call it, "The resulting noise calls to mind the atmospheric clarity of British pop experimentalists like Talk Talk or Kate Bush, with a nod to the minimalist melancholy of Red House Painters and the end-over-end urgency of early REM." Sounds good to me. I do know that their live set was intense.
I love seeing a band for the first time, not knowing anything about them and then being majorly impressed by their sound. Snowmine falls into that feeling. It took me a while to wrap my head around their sound because there's a lot good thing happening. You have the smooth harmonies, the electronic soundscapes, the mellow vibe that expands to hit you like a lightning bolt. Members of the band come from jazz, classical and opera background, and it shows in their craftsmanship. Best of all, these guys rock, leaving the crowd asking for an encore. You can check out a few tunes over at Bandcamp.
It doesn't take a genius to know that Lucius are going to be a band that everyone will talk about. Maybe not this year, but somewhere down the line, they will sell out shows and people will be name dropping them into conversations. The running joke of the night was that every band was sticking out to see Lucius thrown down. I don't blame them, the five-piece have already gotten props from the NY Times as "The next Feist" having "luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies".
You start with the two vocalists, who come together as one and provide a captiviting dynamic. They go from soft and gentle to powerful and soulful in the same song. Their main stregth is capturing and defining a mood. Thus, they are a must see act on any stage in any city. Lucius isn't some "stand around a play neo-folk tunes" band, they beat the hell out of their instrument and play like it is the most important show ever. I'm marking my calendar for when they are playing next.