Saturday, 20 August 2011

Musical Roots: New York City

It seems that every day a new indie/hipster/electro-pop band emerges from the towering skyscrapers of the city that never sleeps, many sounding not dissimilar from their predecessors. However, amongst them several stand out, and my favourites, I've shared below.

The Antlers
Recommended by Pitchfork a couple of months ago, The Antlers have quickly become one of my favourites bands of 2011. With songs such as 'Putting The Dog To Sleep' and 'Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out' from their 4th studio album 'Burst Apart' , you wouldn't be wrong in thinking that they're just a little 'wierd'. However, on closer inspection of the songs you'll find a hidden depth to them - the mix of vocalist, Peter Silberman's haunting voice, and the simple yet beautiful lyrics convey deep emotions, and the perfect soundtrack to a rainy afternoon. 

Au Revoir Simone
This chirpy trio from Brooklyn combine simple melodies and chords to produce gentle 'lullabies' and a quirky genre of music, described as 'electric dream pop'. And dreamy the music most definitely is - it's romantic innocence is soothing without being too twee, and it's individualist style stands it out from many other bands hailing from New York today.

The Drums
The Drums' electro-pop pays homage to bands of bygone eras like The Beach Boys and The Smiths with their slightly sadistic lyrics such as 'you were my best friend but then you died' juxtaposed with jaunty melodies and happy whistling. Shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2010 and having recieved critical aclaim for their eponymous debut album, The Drums are in a good position for the release of their second album 'Portamento' on the 12th September.

Grizzly Bear
With a rating of 9.0 on Pitchfork (high for a site that often writes particularly scathing reviews), Grizzly Bear's third studio album 'Veckatimest' was the one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2009, and they certainly didn't disappoint. However it seems that for the moment, they've disappeared off my radar slightly. Two years on, they're still riding on the success of their third album, and only recently has a fourth been sighted on the horizon - it's rumoured that they started recording at the end of May, and so I'm hoping it won't be long before album number 4 sees the light of day. It's handy however that Grizzly Bear's indie/folk rock, is one that can be listened to over and over without tiring, and so until the next album is released, their previous ones will keep me going.

Simon and Garfunkel
Although Simon and Garfunkel's greatest success was in the 60s, providing the soundtrack to 1967's 'The Graduate' and having numerous hits with songs such as 'Mrs. Robinson', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and 'Cecilia', today they still have a huge impact on the world of music, with many bands citing them as their inspiration. And if it ever seemed that they were slipping away, '500 Days of Summer's' use of their song 'Bookends' made sure that they were propelled back into being one of the most popular duos of the last 60 years.


  1. Love your blog! Not such a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel but love the Drums so will definitely check out the other bands as well :)

  2. The other bands are quite similar to The Drums in a way, so I'm sure you'll like them as well :)
    Flora x


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