Deli Magazine

CMJ Marathon 2013 - Runners' Diary: Kayla Day 3
- by Kayla Hay

J. Fernandez 

Organ driven enthusiast, J. Fernandez (pictured on the right) and his band performed at Pianos (upstairs) on the 4th day of CMJ 2013. Reigning from Illinois, this Chicago based band has a mood all its own. Their electronic pop highlights a trippy hammond sound that blends with Fernandez’s voice to cratf a style somewhat comparable to a more psych version of the Smiths. With influences ranging from Pink Floyd, Zombies and, “Nirvana but not so much anymore”, this is music better appreciated under the influence.

The Range

Next up after J. Fernandez at the Pianos Bar was DJ James Hinton or The Range. Never have I've seen a more upbeat and energetic man dancing to his own beat. Hinton has an unclassified style difficult to pick up; my attempt to put his music into words came out effortlerrly when he started playing. His Numark turntables and the Serato DJ application on his MacBook conjured up some spacey techno and underground electronic pop. He composed the perfect combination of trippy pop, fast tempos and a shout out to Chicago style of music/dancing called Footwork. Which is street dancing involving the fast movement of your feet with twists and turns usually taking place during a ‘battle’. Embodying the stereotype of a DJ completely, Hinton says that his motivation arises from UK artists Photek and D-Bridge. Starting as a drummer and now a DJ, James has a fun play on the electronic world, and his music and performance are a breath of fresh air from the indie rock groups I have seen so far.

Cyrille Aimee

Brooklyn based, French jazz singer Cyrille Aimee was was born in the wrong generation. Her smooth silky voice is easily comparable to that of Billie Holiday. With only a cello and an acoustic guitar she took the stage by storm, stopping everyone in the room to watch her play. Besides being an amazing lyricist and performer, she is (a lot) into scat. Aimee has won awards at various singing competitions including first place at the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition and has even landed some of her songs on feature films around the world. You'll hear from 

Such Hounds

Described online as "thick folk", Such Hounds can now be portrayed as alternative rock, with some country and punk influences, and soft-spoken lyrics that perfectly fit this warm NYC Fall. After they formed the band as a way to blow off steam after work (like all emerging musicians, these guys work full time jobs) they started picking up some fans, which lead them to start recording and then releasing songs. They put together a compelling, enjoyable show.

Wild Rompit

So according to a random stranger inside Ella’s Lounge, I was told the lead singer of the Philly band claims to be Jesus reincarnated, if you say so... I thought I'd ask him if he had groupies and he laughed saying that the band is his groupie. Then, pointing behind him he says: “No the groupies are filling in as we speak”, and sure enough as if they were waiting for him to announce them in, the girls came piling inside the small venue. The performance was absurdly good, with the band's competent arrangements and feel good harmonies highlighting his vocal melodies. With a series of songs following on the steps of Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant and The Cold War Kids the group got the whole crowd dancing. They were also some of the best performers I have seen so far this year at the CMJ, with plenty of movement and jumping on stage.  

Buy The Sky

Alternative Indie Rock group Buy The Sky hosted the showcase at Ella Lounge last night, with many amazing bands performed including themselves, and I had the pleasure of meeting lead singer and manager Dan Melnick. With vocals reminiscent of Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20 and strong Beach Boys influences, their music made me want to move back to Florida and lay on the beach down in Key West. They had their drummer missing but was replaced with an African drum, wihch obviously changed things quite a bit from the recordings. 

Everest Cale

Filled with unconditional love is the indie rock group Everest Cale, another band missing their drummer for the night. Nostalgic feel mixed with dreamy sequences created the mood in the beginning, until front man Brett Treacy opened his mouth and out poured a mix of rugged, soothing sounds reminiscent of Bright Eyes, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam and Damien Rice. An unforgettable performance with haunting lyrics opening up a sealed door from my past, “I didn’t write it for you, I wrote it for me to forget”. The three band members got the crowd laughing during some songs as they danced happily around each other and jammed in sync with their guitars. Treacy’s voice is so unique it took me all night to figure out whom he sounded like. Raspy and self assured, his voice melted in my ears, and every verse of every song kept me enchanted. I was surprised that not more people came to see them perform but if you did miss out, they are having an EP release party on October 25 at Pianos.

Tan Vampires

New Hampshire's Tan Vampires rocks out to their own beat. Since I checked out their Facebook and band page before the show I already knew I would like them, because indecent humor and a strong personality are a huge thumbs up in my book. Keeping fans on their toes, the band blends a variety of influences including indie folk, rock and some electronica. “We’re children. We say stupid shit constantly.” When talking about the origins of their band name, “It’s memorable, which is really important for a band name… and of course, as soon as we started playing more and people started to notice us, that's when Twilight and Vampire Weekend came out.” The band however had developed its own character, even on the visual side of things: beards, trumpets, mental lapses and conspiracy theories make this group so incredibly... peculiar. 

Junior Prom

Mark Solomich and Erik Ratensperger of Junior Prom put on an astounding performance at Rockwood Music Hall, exploiting their guitar playing skills, and strong vocals and harmonies. They stole the room with only a drummer and a guitar - with some help from their Ableton Rig producing a perfectly blended bass riff. After I got home I went to their band-camp page to listen to more, and came across their single off the new album scheduled for released on October 20th, "Sheila Put The Knife Down" which managed to keep me up a few more minutes late at night after an exhausting day.