Untitled Fest Artist Spotlight #2
Another Michael weave together a patchwork quilt of electronic pop, dream pop, indie, and even early 2000’s R&B. The innovative young group out of Philadelphia, by way of Albany, has developed their own unique soundscape; leading to tours with the likes of Bellows and Pinegrove this past year. While their debut record, Sans, is a sweet and harmony-heavy lo-fi indie record, Another Michael’s 2018 release LAND marks a clear shift in their sound. It’s also a clear demonstration of how dynamic and multifaceted the group really is. Across the record, Another Michael blends their own instrumentation with electronic drum beats and tasteful vocal effects that you’d expect to hear from hits crafted for the radio; on tracks like “Score” think Ariana Grande meets hellogoodbye. Another Michael is Michael Doherty, Nick Sebastiano, Alenni Davis, and Jacob Crofoot.
For fans of: Blue Ranger, Field Medic, Bellows
Erik Garlington, Eli Watson, and Natasha Johnson are Proper., and they are forging their own path in Brooklyn’s DIY punk scene. Proper’s The Suburbs Ruined My Life is incredibly honest, exploring themes of police brutality, homophobia, and casual microaggressions in their day-to-day lives. They don’t sugarcoat things in metaphors or self-indulgent angsty language. Proper creates emo-tinged pop punk that is refreshingly authentic and diverse in a genre that is increasingly cliche. They’re turning heads in the emo/pop punk scene, and hopefully inspiring more “true outsiders” to reclaim their space in punk.
For fans of: Awakebutstillinbed, Pity Party, Prince Daddy and the Hyena
Fronted by Nicolle Maroulis, Hit Like a Girl is a Montclair indie emo outfit. Despite starting out as a solo acoustic project, the band has operated as an evolving collective, which involves an ever-changing lineup for live performances. Frederick Pruden on the synth, however, remains a constant on Hit Like a Girl - adding dreamy atmospheric layers to Maroulis’s yearning lyrics. The result is extremely stirring and lush indie/emo pop, showcased on their two releases You Make Sense (2017) and What Makes Love Last (2018). The group’s contributions don’t stop with their music. As non-binary/queer-identifying artist, Nicolle Maroulis wanted to help others through the expensive and emotionally-taxing process of transitioning. They run a non-profit organization called No More Dysphoria. Hit Like a Girl sells merch at all of their shows that directly benefits their organization, helping gender non-conforming and transgender people pay for different components of their transitions. The profits from those merch sales go straight to assisting people with things like hormone replacement therapy, behavioral/occupational therapy, and gender reassignment surgery among other aspects.
For fans of: Harmony Woods, illuminati hotties, Absinthe Father
There is a refreshing sense of experimentation and youthful curiosity in Lawn’s music. Hailing from New Orleans, Lawn is Mac Folger (Guitar/ vocals) Rui De Magalhães (bass/vocals). After sporadically writing and recording the tracks that would eventually lead to their 2016 debut EP BIG SPROUT, Folger and De Magalhães formally created Lawn. The group’s sound is difficult to pin down with just one genre -- especially on their 2018 release Blood on the Tracks. Angular and jangly, the record has a foundation in indie rock with clear post-punk and Americana influences (just listen to those guitar lines on “Rats” or the harmonies on the title track!). Their unique sound has landed the group support spots for tours with Hoops and The Drums. Lawn is innovative and exciting, and they’re bound to keep you guessing what their next move will be.
For fans of: Spirit of the Beehive, Strange Ranger, LVL UP
Dust off your pastel peach wigs and little black dresses - it’s time to get down with NOVA ONE. Sleek and refined yet heart-wrenchlingly intimate, Roz Raskin and friends create some of the most dreamy minimalistic pop you’ll ever hear. NOVA ONE’s billowy yet gloomy sound evokes a haunting post-modernist feeling, but one you can’t help but sway to. Despite any traces of futurist pop, there is a timeless energy to their 2018 release, secret princess. It’s truly a testament to the universal nature of wishing to be wanted and feeling out of place in society. With NOVA ONE, we are given a chance to celebrate our own insecurities and revel in the feeling of longing.
For fans of: Lala Lala, Lomelda, IAN SWEET