Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: CMJ Edition

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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: CMJ Edition

CMJ guides us through their must-listen picks from this year's festival.

Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Matt McDonald, Amy Hintz, Marisa Aveling, Lisa Hresko, and Paul Rocha of CMJ give us their picks from this year’s edition of New York’s long-running festival.

1. Kvelertak, "Mjød"

This song isn't particularly new, but it's by a band that should be on everyone's must-see CMJ list, even those who gravitate to lighter fare and don't understand Norwegian lyrics. Why? Because they’re fantastic live, and their genre-hopping keeps you guessing as they jump from intense black metal to gritty punk to sweaty hardcore to slick arena rock in a way that just works.

Listen: "Mjød"



2. Boy & Bear, Moonfire

Critics have compared Australia's Boy & Bear to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, but their just-released debut, Moonfire, should set them apart. Lush instrumentation, complex harmonies, and lead singer Dave Hosking's smoky-sweet vocals coalesce into a sound that displays a maturity their peers have yet to match. They have all the percussive drive of their neo-folk counterparts, with none of the hoedown hokeyness.

Listen: "Feeding Line"



3. Gotye, Making Mirrors

Australian-born, Belgian-bred Wally De Backer hunkered down and holed up in a barn outside of Melbourne to record and produce Making Mirrors by himself. He flung this collection of skewed pop songs out into the Australian ether earlier this year, and the nation responded to the album with such rabid enthusiasm that it landed at No. 1 on the Australian album and single charts at the same time. Gotye makes music that's catchy but complex. He's committed to the idea that being inclusive doesn't have to mean dumbing anything down. 

Listen: "Eyes Wide Open"



4. Davila 666, Tan Bajo

Davila 666 is Puerto Rico’s Spanish-language answer to trashy Southern rock ‘n’ roll. (Really. It’s got a track called “Basura,” which translates to “garbage.”) A bit sloppy and heaps of fun, the San Juan outfit had released recordings on beloved garage labels HoZac and Rob’s House before putting out its second full-length Tan Bajo — that’s “so low” in Spanish — on In The Red this past March.

Listen: "Esa Nena Nunca Regreso"



5. Hoop Dreams, XCPR

Hoop Dreams is one of the latest bands to be signed to Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label. I recently had the opportunity of seeing them open for CT labelmates Widowspeak, and they totally blew me away. Not only does this Blacksburg, VA sextet kill it on their debut 7" XCPR, but they also have an incredibly exciting live show. A definite must for fans of the early Cure/Josef K/Orange Juice brand of post-punk.

Listen: "XCPR"