There are a few things that are always guaranteed in New York - there’ll always be something wrong with the subway, people will line up for hours just to be the first to try the latest new Instagram-friendly food trend, and the city will always be a haven for brilliant new music.
Transport solutions and 2018’s answer to the cronut might not be our areas of expertise but we’ll gladly point you in the right directions for that last point. Whether you’re after new tunes, news, or gigs to add to your diary, we’ve got you covered in the latest New York, Neu York.
You need to hear…
Native Sun - ‘Always Different, Always The Same’ EP
According to the band themselves, Native Sun’s second EP “serves as a deeper exploration of a band facing hostility and impassioned by it.” That comes across in its six tracks, which are full of defiant attitude, thoughtfully crafted twists and turns, and an urgency that compels you to get up and do something. The Brooklyn four-piece say ‘Always Different, Always The Same’ deals with “daily struggles that range from complacency and devotion to immigration and the destructive nature of social hierarchies, exposing one’s self for solidarity in the human condition.” That might sound like a lot to take in on one EP, but they’ve got a knack for turning those big issues into blasts of rock’n’roll joy, like the bright swing of ‘Sweet V’ (even when frontman Danny Gomez sings, “I just wish I could die”) or the fuzzy squall of highlight ‘Big Succ (ess)’.
The ‘Always Different, Always The Same’ EP is released on 9th November via PaperCup Music. Listen to it in full below.
Noah Chenfeld - ‘Lucy’
Native New Yorker Noah’s latest, ‘Lucy’, is the kind of crystalline pop that sounds like its been discovered in a dusty attic somewhere - nostalgic but somehow still sounding completely fresh. Now, it comes with visuals via this Matt Mayle-directed video, in which the musician searches for the titular woman but spends most of his journey getting tailed by eerie masked figures instead. Watch it below now and put his next show at Mercury Lounge on 9th January in your diary now.
Gnarcissists - ‘Gnarcissists’ EP
Gnarcissists’ self-titled debut EP is relentless on many levels. Relentlessly fun, with persistent garage-punk riffs that make you want to get in the pit immediately. Relentlessly relatable, like when frontman Matthew Orr yowls, “We all just wanna live in New York City/We all just wanna get by/We all just wanna live in New York City/We all just wanna get high.” And relentlessly chaotic, like the flailing, bitesize ‘Models’, which feels like it’s constantly spiralling out of control until it abruptly comes to a halt.
You need to know…
The Britanys’ New Millennium Mini Mart
A few months ago, we reminded you that The Britanys aren’t a band who are happy to sit back and follow what everyone else is doing. They’re proving that again with their latest venture, the New Millennium Mini Mart. The first edition will take place tomorrow (8th November) and will see the Bushwick band play alongside Rebounder, Office Culture, and Nasim Sideeq. It’s not your standard gig, though. There’ll also be booths run by local artists, writers, and tattoo artists where you can shop for zines, vintage clothes, books, and get inked.
“It never felt right - the standard show layout, the stage-audience dynamic,” the band say. “The audience always seems to get the short end of the stick - having to wait, not being able to see, and not having a real opportunity for interaction. The New Millennium Mini Mart is a first step for us in our pursuit to shift the dynamic at our shows from a one way street to a two way street. The goal is to build a more inclusive and interactive ecosystem.”
You should have been at…
Cold Fronts/Rich Girls/Polyplastic/Vasillus @ Trans-Pecos, 19th October
It’s rare to find a show that’s both filled with variety yet also manages to feel coherent, but tonight’s manages to pull that off. Headliners Cold Fronts deliver a set of fun, thrashable garage-punk, while Rich Girls cast darker sounds over the DIY space, coming on like the sound of the shadows come to life; all creeping but serene pop. Opener Vasillus, aka Albuquerque’s A. Bilal, brings experimental synth sounds to build songs that are as energetic as they are intriguing, but its LA’s Polyplastic who are the most spellbinding of all. Despite technical difficulties, the post-punk group shine, their expanded line-up tonight making the industrial glimmer of the likes of ‘Next Slide’ - one of the year’s most underrated songs - sound even richer, beefier, and downright brilliant. A handful of new tracks, meanwhile, suggest the wider world won’t be sleeping on Polyplastic for much longer.
You need to be at…
Grim Streaker @ Sunnyvale, 16th November
Brooklyn punks play a benefit for salon Pickthorn, which was recently affected by a fire and whose owners are deeply involved in the local music scene. Go see them deliver a set of taut, noisy thrills, like recent single ‘Mojito’ and do your bit to help out.
Uniform/The Body @ Market Hotel, 17th November
Expect a lot of noise at this one as NY’s ear-drum battering Uniform and Rhode Island’s The Body come together for a special collaborative set. Catch them playing tracks from their joint album ‘Mental Wounds Not Healing’, a record about hopelessness, anxiety, and depression, and don’t forget your ear plugs.
EVA/Sir Babygirl @ Baby’s All Right, 26th November
Get down to Baby’s at the end of the month for a triple dose of pop brilliance. EVA, who’s previously sung back-up for the likes of Solange and Lykke Li, makes PC Music-tinged gems, while Sir Babygirl’s bubblegum pop takes inspiration from everyone from Avril to Charli and will be stuck in your head for aeons. Grace Ives, who released an EP of reinvented nursery rhymes earlier this year, will open.
Gobbinjr @ Baby’s All Right, 30th November
Emma Witmer - aka gobbinjr - makes indie-pop that’s as charmingly off-kilter as it is stupidly catchy. Recent album ‘ocala wick’ is full of all kinds of delights, like the kazoo-heavy ‘afraid of me’ or ‘joaquin’, which starts as if Emma is singing to herself in the street before cutting to a tender acoustic recording.
Sunflower Bean @ Warsaw, 7th December
The Bean cap off another jam-packed year with a homecoming show at Greenpoint’s Warsaw. Expect to hear all the best bits of their superlative two albums, plus new tracks like the glam, disco-flecked beaut, ‘Come For Me’.
Got a New York tip for us? Let us know at [email protected]
Photo: Rachel Cabitt