Today continues the Frontier Psychiatrist alphabetical breakdown of last week’s CMJ Music Marathon, focusing on all the letters between Knock and Out. Check out the previous entries, and stay tuned for the rest of the playlist.
Kids of 88 (Trenchtown, NZ) – “My House”
New Zealand has had quite a renaissance in the last 10 years, with successes from Peter Jackson, Flight of the Conchords and now Kids of 88. This pop-electro-dance twosome have enjoyed success in their homeland, going so far as earning a record deal with Sony Music and a spot at this year’s CMJ. Listing influences of “groove, mood, and slutty arrangements”, Kids’ first single, “My House” showcases all three. As of now, it remains to be seen if their potentially homogenous hipster-dance will catch on, but this track is quite infectious.
Lower Dens (Baltimore) – “Hospice Gates”
If MTV still played videos, “Hospice Gates” would have that little “buzzworthy” stamp at the bottom right. Fronted by Jana Hunter, who you may know from her frequent collaborations with freak-folk troubadour Devendra Banhart, the Lower Dens are oddly labeled as “dance”, but that should be taken loosely. If one were to groove to “Hospice Gates”, we imagine it would be more like the goth kids in South Park. Not to slight this track, the beat becomes a hypnotic build which eventually becomes chills on your neck. Also, they sound as if they’d be excellent live.
Milagres (Brooklyn) – “Glowing Mouth”
On paper, Milagres are perfect for FP: they’re from Brooklyn, are doing a Daytrotter session tomorrow, and know the merits of a six-and-a-half minute pop song. Formerly known as The Secret Life of Sophia, not much is known about Milagres. “Glowing Mouth”, the newest track on their bandcamp, is a well constructed psych-pop number that sounds like Jeff Buckley traded his guitar in for a less interesting synth. Not exactly new ground, but it’s still a decent jam.
Nightmare & The Cat (Los Angeles) – “Sara Beth”
Nightmare & The Cat are possibly the youngest band profiled in this series; smooth-voiced and babyfaced lead singer Django Stewart is just 19. Nightmare use their young ages to their benefit, however, giving their songs a certain freshness that isn’t often found. We dig the ethereal vibe these tracks have. If anything, Nightmare becomes a little too polished, but “Sara Beth” shows the band hitting all the right notes.
O’Death (New York) – “Fire On Peshtigo”
Folk rock and punk rock are perfect bedfellows. Mix in a little literary tongue a la The Decemberists and some gothic dissonance like Ugly Organ-era Cursive, and you have O’Death. Actually, it’s pretty hard to list the influences of O’Death, since they are so diverse, so we’ll leave you with this: looking for some swashbuckling this Halloween? “Fire On Peshtigo” is for you.