This week, we’re taking a look at the CMJ Music Marathon, the nation’s second-largest indie music festival. Little-known acts like The Arcade Fire, The Killers, and Mumford & Sons have emerged from the festival way, way bigger than when they arrived. We asked some of this year’s most promising, face-meltingly good CMJ artists to share what they’re listening to right now and what we should be too. We’re kicking things off with the swoonworthy September Girls.
Dublin-based noise pop quintet September Girls brought their special spooky, doom-filled rock to CMJ this year. With witchy girl group harmonies and a layered, moody feel, it’s really hard not be charmed by them. It’s easy to draw comparisons to artists like Phil Spector, Velvet Underground, and Big Star (after all, they got their name from this track), but the September Girls deliver their own patented cool. Earlier this year they released their first full-length album Cursing the Sea and on November 25th will release their latest EP, Veneer.
September Girls Picks:
Ty Segall – Manipulator
Without a doubt, this is the best thing I’ve heard this year. I had the pleasure of seeing him at SXSW a few months back and I remember hearing the second track off this “Tall Man Skinny Lady” and being like, “Shiiiiiit, that’s good.” It’s a bit less cruddy, sonically, than his previous releases, but maybe spending more than fifty quid on making a record isn’t always a bad thing. It sounds a bit like David Bowie and T Rex in places, and Ty has glitter on his face in his press shots, so it’s safe to assume that this is his ‘Glam’ phase. I also think his hair is much better at the length it’s at now, for the record.
Listen to: “Tall Man Skinny Lady”
The #1s – Self Titled
The #1s are a band from Dublin. They make unbelievably catchy power pop in the vein of the Undertones and the Nerves. They are kind of like a boy band, everyone has their favorite. The record has 10 tracks and clocks in at about 20 mins which should give you an idea of the pace of this thing. If you like the Cribs’ first album, I’d definitely recommend you check this out.
Listen to: “Heartsmash”
Pins – Girls Like Us
We like these guys a lot. Sure, they are our friends, but only cus we made them be. I had heard their first tape and mailed them asking could we support them sometime, they said yes, and it went from there. This is their first album, they’ve just finished recording their second album in Rancho De La Luna in the desert. I heard some of the new songs at their CMJ show the other night and I think it’s going to be amazing.
Listen to: “Waiting For The End”
Royal Headache – Self Titled
First off, I’m going to say that this band have already broken up, because when you hear this record, you’ll immediately want to hear more and THERE WON’T BE ANY. It’s punk I guess. But the singer has this amazing soul voice which sounds totally at odds with the music. ‘Girls’ was the first song I heard off this and I think I listened to it non stop for about 4 days.
Listen to: “Girls”
Happy Mondays – Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
Thought I’d throw in one old one for good measure. I’ve been listening to this record a lot again recently. The whole album sounds like cheap drugs and being on the dole. My favorite song is “Bob’s Yer Uncle.” It’s dark and seedy and a bit uncomfortable.
Listen to: “Bob’s Yer Uncle”
Listen to the latest September Girls track below: