CMJ IAMSOUND Records Showcase

For one week in October, CMJ Music and Film Marathon took over New York. Artists from around the globe came to showcase their latest work and to hopefully garner the attention of some industry insiders… and student radio DJS.

WUSB student DJs were given the opportunity to take part in CMJ this year. I attended the IAMSOUND records showcase at the Bowery Poetry Club on Oct. 21. The showcase featured five bands: New Villager, Apache Beat, Suckers, Golden Silvers and Fool’s Gold.

New Villager was the first to perform at the showcase, which was packed with industry professionals and student radio DJs wearing orange CMJ badges around their necks. The band played a mix of electro and eclectic pop-rock. They’re extremely new to the scene and are self-described as “working by the sea and in the city on their new album.”

The second band, Apache Beat, came out covered in sequins and drenched in sweat. The five-piece band filled the tiny stage with their energy, and despite having released four digital albums and touring with bands including Chairlift and Crystal Castles, have not yet garnered their own acclaim. The band’s debut CD will come out in 2010. The single is described as being electronically based driven pop with strong female vocals. This could be the single that will steer them in the direction of headlining tours.

The next band, Suckers, also formed in Brooklyn at the same time as Apache Beat. Suckers is considered a band to watch by many online music blogs and they have a sound similar to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! The album was notably produced by Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder and the band’s live performance is full of energy and crowd participation. The band features chanters, an assortment of instruments, and like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, a lot of shouting.

Golden Silvers was a clear departure from both of these bands. This band is from London and signed to XL records. Golden Silvers has a very distinct pop, upbeat sound that is also reflected through the band’s lyrics. Its single and title track, “True Romance,” is easy to dance to, yet carefully crafted as an excellent indie pop standalone song.

The final band, Fool’s Gold, is garnering quite a bit of attention in the independent music scene. The band is made up of members from We Are Scientists, Foreign Born and The Fall, yet they play music unlike any of those bands. The music is very free flowing and instrumental, and mostly sung in Hebrew. The band’s front man, Luke Top, was born in Israel and provides the vocals, which have led to the band being labeled as “otherworldly” and “afro pop” by independent music reviewers.

All five bands made a great showing at the CMJ showcase, but in my opinion, Fool’s Gold has the brightest future of them all. Hopefully the showcase will help to enhance all of their careers. A good time was had by all either way.

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