Prinze George – “Airborne”
With a huge 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. Also 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 relatable best, 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 and bass work and subtle but effective backup vocals, in what is a true team effort. Keep an eye on their Facebook page if you want 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. Also be sure to listen to his most recent release, “Maybe, I.”
Crock Taylor – “No Competition” (feat. Harvie Lite) [Prod. Save Allen]
In verse two of “No Competition,” Crock boasts that he’s “all over these tracks like a Manhattan rat,” and the rest of the verse makes it impossible to argue with him. Together with fellow NYC native Harive Lite, he delivers expert rhymes that lull you into relaxation and then always morph right at the moment you get comfortable. For more Crock Taylor, check out the new mixtape he dropped on September 28.
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 increasingly many artists are blending R&B, ambient, and electronic influences, “Sirens” demonstrates that Yellow Shoots is capable of standing 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 a explosive synth-laden chorus that wakes you up to the important 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. Also be sure to listen to their full album, Amends, on Bandcamp or other streaming media.
Half Waif – “Torches”
Half Waif’s music lives in a somber place–one where emotions are not fled from, but felt fully. “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. When you walk around at night, you might feel scared; you might 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.