Northside Festival has always been a mix of indie heavyweights and up-and-comers — for every Sharon Van Etten or CHVRCHES, there’s a half dozen sound-alike alternatives. These newbies might be scruffier and a little less well known, but watching them play live makes it clear that they’re steadily forging a path to a sound that is 100% their own. Here are a few names we recommend you check out based on some of our established favorites, plus where you can see them tonight.
If you love Woods, check out: Kevin Morby, Juliana Barwick
Kevin Morby plays guitar and performs vocals in Woods, but his solo efforts offer more straightforward songwriting and a little less fuzz. Forlorn anthems like “Miles, Miles, Miles” proffer a glimpse of what it must be like to spend so much time on the road. Meanwhile, Juliana Barwick’s dreamy soundscapes and looped vocals lend themselves to the prettier side of the psych-folk spectrum. Catch both Woods and Juliana Barwick at 50 Kent tonight, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
If you love Frankie Cosmos, check out: Roya, Hop Along
Earlier this year Frankie Cosmos blew up the underground with a likable album of sugar-sweet indie-pop. Give yourself the full blown toothache — check out the fresh-off-the-presses Brooklyn trio Roya, which traffics in the same brand of elusively simple pop. Philadelphia-based Hop Along mixes it up a little more, cutting their folky stylings with some serious barbs of punk and indie rock. Catch Roya at Knitting Factory tonight, 7:00pm – 10:00pm. Hop Along and Frankie Cosmos will be at St. Vitus, 8:00pm – 12:30am.
If you love Nite Jewel, check out: Psychic Twin
Both play smoky, ephemeral electronic pop music. Also, lucky, you, they’re both playing the same showcase tonight. Stop by Cameo Gallery, 6:00pm – 11:15pm. You can also catch Psychic Twin at Muchmore’s, 8:00pm – 11:00pm.
If you love Albert Hammond Jr., check out: My Teenage Stride
Albert Hammond Jr. was a driving creative force behind a kind of slick indie rock mentality that defined a generation. My Teenage Stride favors jangle over polish, and might be less well known, but the pop hooks are still undeniable. Catch them tonight at Pet Rescue, 9:00pm – 12:30am. You can also see Hammond, playing Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8:00pm – 11:00pm.