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Named for the ramshackle keyboards they first jammed on, Norwegian group Casiokids mix sparkling synths, Afrobeat, and techno for indie-pop that’s a bubbly and whimsical treat to the ears. The band carries a bit of mysteriousness around with them — for example, they only sing in their native language and their latest album Aabenbaringen over aaskammen (meaning The Revelation Over the Mountain) is about a hidden, almost mythical rain forest — but it only makes their pop hooks even more curiously infectious.
Named for the ramshackle keyboards they first jammed on, Norwegian group Casiokids mix sparkling synths, Afrobeat, and techno for indie-pop that’s a bubbly and whimsical treat to the ears. The band carries a bit of mysteriousness around with them — for example, they only sing in their native language and their latest album Aabenbaringen over aaskammen (meaning The Revelation Over the Mountain) is about a hidden, almost mythical rain forest — but it only makes their pop hooks even more curiously infectious.
Hailing from Portland, ME, Sunset Hearts play ‘80s/new-wave inspired pop that can easily pack a dance floor and even stir up some synchronized handclaps and bell jingling. Each of its eight members is a seasoned musician, having come from other local Maine bands. Lead singer Casey McCurry is an emotive frontman, immediately attaching himself to his microphone and allowing for Sunset Hearts’ contagious and synthy melodies to capture him. While the band’s size may cause some crowding on stage, the octet’s chemistry is solid, the sound strong and robust — proving that there is power in numbers.
Brothers Nick and Pete Furgiuele, along with Peter DeLorenzo and Chris Kaufmann make up the Atlanta-based band Gringo Star. Together, the foursome infuses classic rock ‘n’ roll and garage rock with pretty indie-pop. Though most of their songs are simple and catchy — perfect for sing-alongs and continuous toe-tapping — they still retain a unique, Southern rough-around-the-edges grittiness.
The indie-pop gems of Los Angeles group Saint Motel shimmer brightly and sweetly, with a radio-ready polished sound. Recalling the inviting keyboards of Keane, the whimsical tone of The Morning Benders, and the pitch-perfect harmonies of Local Natives, “Puzzle Pieces” is a rollicking anthem that swells up and sweeps smoothly through in all the right places. Although known for presenting themed concerts, like “Zombie Prom,” Saint Motel have also played alongside acts like Girl Talk, Ariel Pink and Best Coast, and seem poised to own the big stage.

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