CMJ RECAP from Mike Rusenovich

Below are some of Mike’s favorite acts from CMJ last month. Enjoy!


Cultfever is a two-person band from Brooklyn, NY. They’ve got a poppy sound that holds hidden depths on a close listen. Their second album comes out soon!

Simian Ghost

Simian Ghost came out all the way from Sweden, and we were happy to catch them at Manhattan’s Cake Shop. “Never Really Knew” has soft chimes, soft vocals, and a beat that just makes you feel nice.


Paws is a rock band from Glasgow, and they’ve opened for Dum Dum Girls and toured with Japandroids. Their live show was full of energy and precision.

Future Loves Past

Future Loves Past played at Pianos on the Friday of CMJ. Hailing from Phoenix, AZ, they opened the afternoon with a fantastic set that stuck in our minds long after they left the stage.

Go Wolf

Go Wolf also played on Pianos on Friday, just upstairs. They have a classic sound that doesn’t sound dated, and a smooth delivery that never becomes saccharine.

Lydia Ainsworth

Lydia Ainsworth is a artist and composer from Toronto. Her music is both dark and personal. We were struck by how orchestral her set was – it completely filled the small, packed room.

Ryley Walker

We caught Ryley Walker at Rough Trade, which was too big and overmic’d for him to shine. But when we looked him up later we were entranced.

Norwegian Arms

By far the smallest show we caught, Norwegian Arms still kept us enraptured for the entire time they played. One of our favorite bands!

Big Harp

We knew LA’s Big Harp by their deliberate but expressive ballads, but they took a whole new direction on the songs they played off their upcoming album. It was great

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Big epic jam band. Their live show had two drummers.

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