cmj

New to NYC, from Israel: Tesha's brings her stylish synth pop to CMJ

Few things are more effective in grabbing our attention than really good press pictures, and Israeli electronic chanteuse Tesha - who recently moved to NYC - sure knows a thing or two about that. But looks are irrelevant if not supported by good music, and, in this case, support was found. Tesha plays a stylishly cinematic, vaguely jazzy form of synth pop, reminiscent of some of the less trippy trip hop bands like Lamb and Morcheeba, but entirely her own. Her voice is confident and full of character, and her comfort zone is in the downtempo side of things, which opens space for the creative electronic arrangements. On her Bandcamp profile you'll find an instrumental single and a three song EP, entitled "Crystallization," both released in 2014. We paricularly enjoyed opening track "Over the Edge" (streaming). We have three opportunities to catch her live this week within the CMJ music marathon.

NYC Negative Gemini plays three CMJ shows this week - Bowery Electric Tomorrow (10.14)

Queens-based Negative Gemini - a project started by composer/programmer Lindsey French after her hip hop group dismantled - has been getting some attention this year after the release of debut EP "Real Virtual Unison." Her electronic sound escapes the synth-pop cathegorization, borrowing insatead from the dark, tense, and drony aesthetics of the early new wave (as in the more electronic, less extreme cousin of post punk). Our favorite track "Forget Your Future" (streaming below), never lets the tension fade, flirting with dissonance, while extremely filtered vocals harmonize in a crescendo of desperation. Negative Gemini has three shows scheduled this week within the CMJ Music Marathon, the first one at Bowery Electric on Wednesday 10.14. - Photo by Julia Nichols.

A Deli NYC premiere: Big Quiet's video for "Maura & Dana"

Most pop and rock fans are struck by the passion for music in their teens or early twenties, years that are emotionally rich and normally infused with optimism, excitment and some degree of rebellion. That makes them the perfect time to get high on rock'n'roll. We don't know if it's possible for adults to enjoy music as much as their teenager selves - we doubt it - but this adorable new song and video by Brooklinite garage pop trio Big Quiet awakened the teenager in us, and... well, it felt great! The song, entitled "Maura & Dana" is a super-catchy and uptempo power-dream-pop tune (with unintelligible lyrics) that's bound to set any indie fan's body in motion. The video, which appears to be shot in super-8, beautifully tackles the summer activities of two music loving young ladies, during the most fun filled years of their lives. You can find other songs by Big Quiet in their self titled debut album, and you can see them live at The Deli's Garage/Slacker Rock CMJ stage on Thursday 10.15 at Muchmore's.

Shayna Steele plays The Deli's CMJ Roots/Soul stage on 10.14

There's no shortage of self-released solo albums by backup singers and Broadway celebrities, two posts which Shayna Steele knows well. Rise is her latest release, recorded between stints with Bette Midler, Moby, and the revival of Hairspray. Mellow cuts recall '80s Sade, though lively soul numbers like “Everybody's Crying Mercy” (streaming) make a solid case for Steele’s own spotlight. Shayna will be performing at The Deli's CMJ Roots/Soul stage at Rockwood Music Hall this coming Wednesday 10.14 - full schedule of our CMJ shows here. - Brian Chidester

For Lean releases debut LP 'Quiet Day' + plays CMJ at Pianos on 10.13

On October 2nd, Brooklyn stalwarts Fort Lean released their debut full-length album "Quiet Day" on indie label Ooh La La Records. Establishing themselves on the local scene over the last few years through a number of singles, EPs and live performances, the band delivers with its latest release their most accessible but also best orchestrated work to date. Standout track “Might’ve Misheard” (streaming) emphasizes the verse/chorus structure by aligning it with quite/loud production values. While the verses are sonically spacious (allowing for intimate detail storytelling), the bombastic chorus delivers a memorable vocal hook bathed in a sea of distorted guitars. “I thought you said we could both disappear – then we’d get away” provides both auditory and emotional release, while cleverly embedding the songs title within follow-up lyrics. Previously released opening single “Cut To The Chase” builds around clean, undistorted guitar figures over a 50’s stroll rhythm. Melancholy bridge chords emerge as the lyrics turn pensive and confessional. “Never mind, it’s alright, you can lie, you can say that it’s ok” comes as the defining hook. Title track “Quiet Day” burns slowly as a steady bass guitar pattern runs through it. Mental turmoil is suggested not only through lyrics but via audio textures that play like a tense psychological dramatic film soundtrack. Catch them at Pianos during the CMJ Music Marathon on October 13. - Dave Cromwell - The Deli interviewed Fort Lean in 2012.

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