There’s a very strong twee game going on in Brooklyn right now. (I like to think I’m an expert on this, as I sorta have bangs.) Though its hyper-sensitive counterpart — what’s commonly referred to as the “emo revival” in the corners of the music press that care about this sort of stuff — has been generating more story lines over the last year, the clusters of buttoned-up indie pop bands emerging throughout the East Coast are equally, albeit shyly, making the case for heart-on-sleeve emotion in the face of technology-aided everything.
Wednesday’s show at Death by Audio is the CliffNotes to the State of Twee in 2014, with aptly named openers Gingerlys and Kissing Is a Crime positioning themselves among Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux and Mitski as major/unassuming players in the local scene. The former forges from fuzzed-out guitars, the latter roughens up sweet-tooth sentiments with brutal basslines. Together they represent two shades of the rainbow-pastel genre.
Repping the out-of-state contingent is Baltimore’s Expert Alterations, who aren’t doing anything to refute C86’s legacy, and Philly-based headliners Literature. While the foursome’s album art makes consistent use of helvetica typeface and abstract flowers, few bands occupying the space sound like they could beat up Stuart Murdoch in a fight if they had to (they’d end it in a hug), or are casually cool enough to pull off a curse word amidst a string of whip-smart lyrics. Their newly released Slumberland debut Chorus is an actualization of 80s Glaswegian pop, by non-Scots, not in the 1980s, and an evolution of the perfected jingle-jangle (this song!) on previous albums.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.