Best of CMJ 2014

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Top 5 CMJ takeaways from KCRW Blog Contributor Nassir Nassirzadeh:

Amason performing at School Night Showcase at The Bowery Hotel - Photo by Ellei Johndro
Amason performing at School Night Showcase at The Bowery Hotel – Photo by Ellei Johndro

Amason — Favorite Band

I love everything about this band.

The music always puts me in a good mood, reminding me of some of my favorite bands including Cat Power, Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and more.

Aurora captivates the crowd at Brooklyn Bow

Aurora – Rising Star

It was a joy to watch the comfort, charm and authenticity of this 17-yr-old Norwegian star.

There were some very radio-friendly hits in her set and I would expect her next US visit to make a huge splash, thanks to backing from The Windish Agency and Glassnote Records.

Two lead vocalists from King Gizzard  at Pianos adding harmonica and flute to their repotoire
Two lead vocalists from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Best Live Show

Yes that is their name and they will wear you out. The seven-piece Australian psych rock band has an unforgettable live show featuring two drum kits pounded continuously in perfect harmony. Seemed to be the talk of the town, filling every venue they played.

This is the dazzling installation that Cathedrals played in front of. Photo by Myles Grosovsky
This is the dazzling installation that Cathedrals played in front of. Photo by Myles Grosovsky

Cathedrals Best Production

My high expectations were certainly met by this boy/girl duo from San Francisco, who had an amazing installation featured in their video. Expect them to make a big impact around SXSW next year.

Jack and Eliza — Most Pleasant Surprise

Really great songwriting from this very young NY based-folk rock duo. Expecting big things from these guys, especially after they record new material with Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear.