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Brooklyn’s Emanuel and the Fear — a large eclectic ensemble sometimes boasting as many as 11 members — play a genre-bending style of orchestral-pop. Led by fiery frontman Emanuel Ayvas, the band’s poetic, yet bold, songs infuse classical music à la Beethoven, chamber-folk à la Arcade Fire, and straightforward intense rock.
San Diego five-piece Cuckoo Chaos create intricately layered indie-pop that’s peppered with surf rock and Afropop. Their songs, full of sweet harmonies and jangly guitars, have moments of unpredictable creativity and instant catchiness. Live, the band — made up of Jackson Milgaten, Scott Wheeler, Dave Mead, Jeremy Scott, and Craig Barclift — show not only their energy, but also the technical skill and precision of their music. Here they perform four brand new, previously unreleased songs off their forthcoming album.
Hailing from New York City, Casey Shea and his four-piece play music that wavers between booming rock ‘n’ roll and piercingly heartfelt folk-rock. Led by Casey Shea on guitar/vocals — who previously fronted bands in Nashville and Tallahassee — the group also features Matthew Basile (bass), Len Monachello (piano/vocals), Dave Burnett (drums/vocals), and Gilber Gilmore (guitar/vocals). Many of the band’s songs, their sincerity accented by Shea’s passionate voice, have been featured in a number of TV shows and films.
Although she grew up in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, singer-songwriter Madi Diaz now calls Nashville home. Her folk-pop songs are enchantingly light and sweet, despite their sometimes somber lyrics. Diaz once appeared in the documentary Rock School (which influenced the Jack Black film), and her songs have been featured on various TV shows. For years she’s collaborated with musician Kyle Ryan, whom she met at Berklee College.
Comprised of Greg Walters and Cason Kelly, Tiny Victories experiment with countless sounds and samples to create exhilarating electronic music that combines chillwave and dream-pop. The Brooklyn-based duo make their futuristic pop anthems come to life with waves of noise that throb, buzz, and ripple with real sonic power. Walters’ deep, Joy Division-like vocals also give the songs an added gritty texture.
Formerly a backup singer for Lindsay Lohan and the Spice Girls’ Emma Bunton, Nefatari Cooper has taken her dancehall pop music to center stage. Simply known as Nefatari — a name inspired by the Egyptian queen Nefertiti — her newest single “Day U Mess Up,” is a sensual, yet bold and cheeky anthem for women. Her Jamaican roots also shine throughout the song, with all its pulsing and hypnotic beats.
Noah and the MegaFauna is an eccentric ensemble that sounds like a jazz-infused version of Devotchka. Influenced by “gypsy jazz” pioneer Django Reinhardt, the Los Angeles-based band features sharp blaring horns, big swinging rhythm guitar, frontman Noah Lit’s chilling, pained vocals, and an overall eerie and brooding, yet carnival-esque vibe. Their concept album, Anthems For A Stateless Nation, is a modern-day take on the Noah’s Ark story.
Hailing from Sheffield, UK, Slow Club — a music duo consisting of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor — play charming, sentimental folk-pop. Their mix of melancholy lyricism and toe-tap worthy melodies call to mind an English version of Mates of State. Taylor’s graceful vocals sound especially delicate and airy, as though they drift seamlessly over the synth-tinged songs. Here they perform as a four-piece.
Channeling Queen, Of Montreal, and the Fiery Furnaces, multi-instrumentalist Bryan Scary makes psychedelic-pop that’s overflowing with dramatic, whimsical and swooping hooks. The inventive and somewhat oddball Brooklyn musician created Daffy’s Elixir — a new, double disc conceptual album set entirely in the wild, wild west — thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $16,000. Featured song: “Ballroom Kid”

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