A week ago, as many of us were facing the hard realization that Summer is fast riding off into the proverbial friscalating dusklight, CMJ announced the first round of artists for this year’s CMJ Music Marathon (with some key assistance from Orchard favorites Weekend). Newly invigorated with sunny optimism, we thought we’d highlight a few of them. We’ll continue to update this list as CMJ draws closer, but for now, allow us to present ten artists with recent releases that will definitely be worth a look.
1. Fuck Buttons: Released earlier this summer, the UK duo’s third album, Slow Focus, is easily one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, earning raves from Pitchfork ["Best New Music"], SPIN, NME ["all-consuming and consistently impressive"], Pop Matters ["2013’s most unexpectedly danceable long-player"], Stereogum, and scads of others. Their live show is killer too. Check out the video for the lead single “The Red Wing” via Pitchfork.
2. The Cloak Ox: This Minneapolis group, featuring former members of Fog and guys who’ve spent time playing with Andrew Bird and WHY?, will release their debut album, Shoot The Dog on September 17th. In addition to sounding “like a proto-metal band playing R&B… or a fusion group covering Tom Petty… or Manchester alt-dudes doing Americana,” [Crash Music] it features appearances from Justin Vernon [Bon Iver], Tunde Adebimpe [TV On The Radio], and Nona Marie [Dark Dark Dark]. Stream “King Rope (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)” via Rolling Stone.
3. Jessy Lanza: Most recently heard singing on Ikonika‘s July 2013 single “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple),” this Canadian Electronic Pop artist’s debut album, Pull My Hair [out September 9th] was co-written and co-produced by Jeremy Greenspan [Junior Boys] and has received giddy advance press from The Guardian, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, XLR8R. The video for lead single “Kathy Lee” has received nearly 60K YouTube views [watch it via Pitchfork].
4. Shigeto: Trained as a Jazz drummer, this Detroit producer’s compositional and melodic sensibilities have earned him comparisons to likeminded artists like Flying Lotus, Dabrye, Teebs, and Four Tet. “If he isn’t already, Shigeto should be counted among some of the best contemporary Jazz artists alive, and [his latest album], No Better Time Than Now is the reason why.” [XLR8R] You can listen to the second single “Ringleader” via Ear Milk.
5. Them Swoops: This Melbourne, Australia duo is rapidly rising in their native Australia where lead single “Work Around It,” ["one of those Indie Pop gems so perfect that playing it three times in a row is not nearly enough," Nylon], has received airplay from national alternative music powerhouse Triple J. They’ll make their U.S. debut this fall. Their debut EP Glimmer was mixed by Mark Needham [The Killers, Bloc Party] and features a remix of the aforementioned “Work Around It” from Ben Browning of Cut Copy.