This year 28 NYC "scene experts" helped us with our Best of NYC Poll 2012 for Emerging Artists by choosing their 3 favorite up and coming NYC acts. These jurors are comprised of local venue agents and other industry people who work with many local bands throughout the year (full list coming soon). Their votes this year produced a list of 68 artists, which means that - as always - most jurors voted for different bands. But some bands appeared more thans once in the "ballots": below we compiled a list of the artists who accumulated more points through the jurors vote only. Kudos to Foxygen (already on the cover of our 2012 CMJ issue) for getting the top spot.
The Best of NYC 2012 Readers and Fans' Poll - including all the nominees - will start in a few days - stay tuned (since we have one of these polls happening in each scene we cover, we need to schedule them carefully to avoid to overload our server - thanks for your patience!).
The third day of CMJ is the festival’s Humpday. Once Day Three ends, the festival is already more than half-over. Now that I’m halfway done with running the CMJ Marathon, I feel pretty good about my journey towards the finish line, although I realize that while my marathon numbers are solid, they aren’t as good as Paul Ryan’s. Of course, Ryan made up his marathon times on the spot, so at least I’m winning in the endurance department. - Read the full report by Josh S. Johnson here.
MS MR plays moody and sensual electro-pop, enriched by an interesting, dark soul component - the overall musical formula may bring to mind early Eurythmics, minus Annie Lennox band's "electro-futuristic" signature element. Led by female voice to kill for, the NYC band's sound is haunting and barnstorming at once. Although the band just released their debut EP, they have already sparked a tremendous buzz in early 2012 with their stellar single "Hurricane" and with the previous single, almost as good, "Bones". In the two songs (both featured in the band's debut EP "Candy Bar Creep Show") canned and contained percussions provide a clear runway for Lily’s powerhouse vocals and Derek Davies subtly tenseelectro-orchestral arrangements. When you hear the tortured hook in ‘Hurricane’ ("welcome to the inner workings of my mind, so dark and foul I can't disguise") you know you’ve been taken out to far deeper waters than most Pop. It’s like Portishead meets Lana Del Rey meets Florence and the Machine meets ‘My So Called Life.’ The other two tracks on the record - the chorus-less but hook-rich "Dark Doo Wop," and the more experimental and complex "Ash Tree Lane" - confirm this is a band with superior songwriting chops, and whose comfort zone is to be found in slower BPMs and sparser atmospheres.
MS MR headlined a packed Santos Party House on Wednesday with support from punk rockers Beast Make Bomb.
Brooklyn’s Beast Make Bomb backed up some catchy tunes with undeniable stage presence. Lead singer Ceci G radiated swagger as she led the four-piece band through a fast, loud, and downright fun set. The highlight of BMB’s performance was a song that sounded like the punk rock cousin of “Kashmir.”
MS Mr’s sound was an entirely different animal, but the four-piece band was just as entertaining as it’s opener. All of the focus was on the gorgeous vocals of their lead singer, the eponymous MS. Her powerful voice combined with the indie-pop sensibilities of her band resulted in what I imagine Adele would sound like on Matador Records. MS MR ended its set with the buzzy single “Hurricane,” which received the biggest reaction from the crowd.
Beast Make Bomb will play NYC again on July 13th at the Bushwick Walkabout Fest and on July 30th at the Studio at Webster Hall. MS MR won’t be back until August when they play with Marina & the Diamonds on the 16th and 18th. - Joshua S. Johnson.
After months of ambiguity, MS MR have finally begun playing live, giving only a slight glimpse into the world of the mysterious duo. Comprised of a woman and man (the MS half may or may not be named Liz), MS MR has released a demo album and a single with accompanying music videos, but that’s about it. Following the example of another rather successful NYC boy/girls duo, Cults, they don’t divulge their identities, they don’t show their faces on press photos, and they certainly don’t grant interview (at least for now). But, really… do we care about all this stuff? No we don’t, all we care about is their music, and the single “Hurricane” has a lot of things to say: a tremendously enjoyable blue soul-pop gem, the song is built around MS’ beautiful melody - the lady has a voice to kill for, with a peculiar mixture of sweetness and severity. In the background, a light and ambient trip-hoppy electronic arrangement work some magic against pounding mid tempo electronic drums. The band is also likely to be originally from the UK, which is possibly where their dream and drone sound originates. They may not be eager to expose their inner workings, but MS MR do have a musical focus to back their secretive attitude. See them at Santos Party House tomorrow June 27 before they leave for a July west coast tour. – Devon Antonetti
We blogged about MS MR a couple of weeks ago and we hear they have now released the video for the new single "Hurricane" - a very DIY, cut and paste thing. The song is a stunning take on the neo-soul path inaugurated by other NYC based artists like Santigold, Body Language and Ava Luna, and more recently also Friends and The Stepkids. This is a project with big potential.
Ms Mr is a NYC based duo that plays moody and rather sensual electro pop, with an interestingly dark soul component, and a female lead singer with a voice to kill for - by the way, we'll have to write a feature about the resurgence of soul in NYC... Although the band is very new (so new that we can't find images of them - ah, these clever promotion tactics!), they seem to have everything in place to build some serious promotion in the upcoming months. They already have a summer tour booked opening for Marina and the Diamonds, plus 3 east coast shows in August - one of them at Webster Hall. This song streaming here called "Bones" is very intriguing, and we heard some unreleased material which sounded even more promising. You may want to keep an eye and a couple of ears on these guys.