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best-emerging-bands-artists

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Idgy Dean takes her energetic solo show to Baby's All Right on 11.22

Idgy Dean is a performer. More than just a talented musician, her shows are a rapture of energy, untamed and unrestrained. She performs with a sense of freedom; an independence and willingness to abandon constraints. Skipping between instruments as she loops sounds and constructs her own sonic world, Idgy Dean is in control. It may feel chaotic, untamed and unrestrained, but she is in control. As she pounds on the drums, slides across the neck of the guitar, slurs into the mic, Idgy Dean is in control. There are plenty of videos showing her restless, solo live performances (the best one is streaming below), but they are something worth experiencing in person. You'll have an opportunity to do so tomorrow (November 22) at Baby’s All Right. – Cameron Carr

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Debut Stoops EP Available for Streaming & Download

Kidhood, the debut EP from Stoops, was co-produced with Keith Abrams (Pine Barons, Tremellow), who also recently worked on The Districts' latest LP Popular Manipulations. Warping keys and a rhythmic bass, "Flashlight" shines through the darkness with its existential love song sound, while “Loser Denial” wants to break loose from its opening, but you get a sense that its protagonist feels trapped. There’s a tight, melodic, storytelling quality with a hint of instrumental force that makes one wonder where the next recordings will go.

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Hi-Lo Jack (Dolapo Akinkugbe + Lawrence + Stolen Jars collab) unveils debut EP

Maybe the NYC indie scene has really entered a "post-white" phase, finally! When we started this blog back in 2004, indie rock, soul and hip hop really felt like separate scenes. The few notable exceptions, like TV on the Radio, paved the way to a rediscovery of soul music that reached maturity in the following decade, and that doesn't seem to slow down. Hi-Lo Jack, a collaboration between Dolapo Akinkugbe (of DAP The Contract), Clyde Lawrence (of soul-pop band Lawrence), and Cody Fitzgerald (of indie-rock band Stolen Jars, who graced our the cover of our last ever CMJ issue in 2015) is the latest NYC based project mixing the warmth of soul with the edge common to indie music. Check out single "So It Goes," streaming here.

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New Power Animal Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

We've been enamored with the production abilities of Keith Hampson, who records and performs under the moniker of Power Animal, for years now. We remember receiving his early demos on CD-R (remember those!), and obsessively listening to the beautifully textured tracks on our headphones, in awe of the recordings' creativity and originality. We highly recommend that you grab yours and take Hampson's long-awaited, new album, Good Wind, Part. 1, for a spin below, and grab yourself a copy while you're at it because 50% of its Bandcamp sales will be donated to The Emergent Fund, "an organization launched in the wake of the 2016 election to support grassroots movements in marginalized communities." Enjoy!

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gobbinjr's psychosocial drama takes stage at Mercury on 12.06

gobbinjr is the brainchild of Wisconsin native Emma Witmer, whose rawness and minimalism in 2016 EP vom night might bring to mind a more synthpop version of Frankie Cosmos. Atop self-produced tracks filled with ethereal synths floating over slow-pulsing drum machines, and bursting with a wide variety of influences, lay Witmer’s intensely antisocial lyrics (the irony being that the songwriting itself has become the vehicle for sociability). They paint a picture of a helplessly shy writer with the song as her one authentically viable communication outlet. Lines like “I feel creepy all the time / ‘cause I like everybody more than they like me” and “maybe we all end up in space / undeserving of this friendly place” serve as social critique cloaked in the aesthetic of teenage diary entries. In this light, vom night proves to masterfully balance the head and the heart, becoming a provocative witness of the times with a simple, pop-centered approach.

You can catch their next show on Wednesday, December 6th at Mercury Lounge. - Andrew Strader

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