Prinze George – “Airborne”
With a colossal beat and confident, flying vocals, Prinze George’s “Airborne” feels like a long-anticipated burst of celebration, a perfect pat on the back for any time you have managed to transcend the haters, or a perfect vessel to get there if you need a lift. Check out the new music video to “Mind Over,” which came out last month.
Gabriel Royal – “Notice”
Gabriel Royal’s new album, Miss Once In A Blue Moon, was released on September 7. “Notice” is Gabe at his most relatable, with lyrics that gracefully capture the confusing emotional push and pull of a past relationship and smooth vocals that sound comfortable upon a cloud of looped cello. To get to know Gabe better, check out our interview feature from August or snag tickets for his live show at Joe’s Pub on October 26.
Queue – “Float Away”
Queue delivers a masterclass in satisfying shoegaze with “Float Away.” Wistful guitar and expressive lead vocals are catapulted to an even higher place by humble, perfect drumming, bass work and subtle but effective backup vocals in a genuine team effort. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to catch a live show.
Des Rocs – “Used To The Darkness”
Des Rocs wants to bring good old-fashioned rockin’ rock back to the people like it used to be. “Used To The Darkness” is an expertly conceived ticking rock bomb: it feels like every mechanism was placed there by a thoughtful hand and polished to an immaculate sheen. Listen to his most recent release, “Maybe, I.”
Yellow Shoots – “Sirens”
Yellow Shoots is the moniker of producer and singer/songwriter Greg Matthews since he moved to Brooklyn from Philadelphia in 2014. At a time when many artists are increasingly blending R&B, ambient, and electronic influences, “Sirens” demonstrates that Yellow Shoots can stand out from the crowd. If you want to see the magic happen in person, catch his show at The Knitting Factory on October 18.
Tanners – “This Crazy”
On “This Crazy,” Tanners first draws you in with funky guitar and shoegaze-style vocals, then delivers an explosive synth-laden chorus that wakes you to the critical realization that sometimes shoulder-dancing is not enough. Catch her live show at Rockwood Music Hall on October 11.
Active Bird Community – “Unwind With Me”
Active Bird Community is more than just a great band name–they are documentarians of the malaise and paradox of their kind of contemporary Brooklyn, which they exhibit with a dry sense of humor in the music video for “Unwind With Me.” Come for the Weezer-worthy guitar rock; stay for the stone-faced spraying of potted plants. Listen to their full album, Amends, on Bandcamp or other streaming media.
Half Waif – “Torches”
Half Waif’s music lives in a somber place where emotions are not fled from but felt truly. “Torches” is a dark catharsis, a tumultuous figuring-out of self in the form of a sonic poem. This and other songs on her recent album, Lavender, are well worth the journey. Walking around at night, you might feel scared and bump into something, even if you’re in your own house. But sometimes, that’s the only way to get what you need.
Mutual Benefit – “Shedding Skin”
The multi-layered experimental folk of Mutual Benefit is transcendently calm on “Shedding Skin,” a song about the passage of time and moving on. The combination of bird sounds, violin, and a panoply of strummed instruments is equally well suited to lull you to sleep or start your day off right. Listen to the full album, Thunder Follows The Light, released on September 21 on Bandcamp and other streaming media.