By Danielle Modica
While we’re all still stuck at home, why not explore new music? Fresh and exciting songs are closer to home than you think - here’s a list of 10 New York-based musical artists that you can use to start your journey of music discovery.
Boy Jr. - Rochester, N.Y.
Genre: Garage Pop, Electronica, Hyper Pop
Standout Song: “Are They Actually Attractive?”
Boy Jr. is the stage name of Erica Allen-Lubman, a
Rochester native that creates un
ique and upbeat music. Lubman’s work has a distinct sound, relying on electronic keyboard effects, heavy bass, and trippy vocals that add up to create mind-bogglingly fun tracks. They often write covers of popular songs and shift them to their own style. So far, they have covered songs like Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love.” Lubman also has gained an audience on TikTok, with over 129 thousand followers.
Gracie Martin - Rochester, N.Y.
Genre: Dream Pop
Standout Song: “10%”
Gracie Martin is distinguished by her hypnotic, operatic vocals and dreamlike backtracks. The Rochester-born musician calls upon her childhood and dreams as inspiration for her bedroom pop music. Martin’s music is lighthearted and reflective, her tracks are similar to Melanie Martinez’s style of having twinkly melodies behind a fairy like voice. Her most recent release, “Dreams Die'' was written during quarantine, as she reflected upon her childhood home - which is a very relevant feeling for young adults stuck at home right now.
Joywave - Rochester, N.Y.
Genre: Indie Rock
Standout Song: “It’s a Trip!”
Joywave, hailing from Rochester in 2010, gained increasing listeners after their debut LP album "How Do You Feel Now" in 2015. They have multiple hits, including “It’s a Trip,” “Tongues,” and “Destruction” - all of which are racking over 30 million listens on Spotify. Joywave is made up of Daniel Armbruster, Joseph Morinelli, Benjamin Bailey, and Paul Brenner. The band’s style is most similar to artists like Alt-J and Saint Motel with their electronic grooves that border alternative rock music.
Laveda - Albany, N.Y.
Genre: Dream Pop, Rock
Standout Song: “If Only” (ConKi & Nexeri Remix)
Albany-based band Laveda is best characterised with their use of beautiful harmonies backed with bedroom pop beats and solid guitar riffs. Laveda’s “If Only” is the type of song that would be trendy enough to be played for a Hollister commercial (in the best way!). Their songs emit the feeling of being on a dreamy beach scene. Laveda is comparable to indie soft rockers Beach House. Both use powerful vocals and mesmerizing synth riffs. Laveda’s music makes you feel like you’re the main character in a coming-of-age film.
Noods - New York, N.Y.
Genre: Indie, Jangle Pop
Standout Song: “Donkey Kong”
The Noods are a great example of a good old-fashioned home-grown band. Made up of musicians Trish Dieudonne, Nick Seip, Shane Danaher, and Mandy Romano, Noods has mostly indie pop/rock songs, with relatable every-day lyrics. They are reminiscent of 90s garage bands and sing about life's experiences. The guitar riffs are infectious - you’ll find yourself humming the melody hours after listening. Noods is an uncomplicated and unique band that embodies the classic indie spirit of jamming out to self-made lyrics and seeing what sticks.
Phantogram - Saratoga Springs / Greenwich, N.Y.
Genre: Indie Pop, Electronica
Standout Song: “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”
Phantogram, a musical duo made up of multi-instrumentalists Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, has gained a following similar to Joywave. Both bands had a small local fan base until they got signed to record labels - after that, the two bands have been opening at festivals and getting major radio airtime. Phantogram has become popular amongst indie lovers, with over one million monthly listeners on Spotify. Their songs are characterised by a combination of repetitive electronic keyboard tracks, guitar riffs, and drum beats, backing Barthel’s airy, yet powerful voice. Phantogram is another band that makes you feel like the main character.
Retrolux - Brooklyn, N.Y. / Toronto, C.A.
Genre: Indie, Electronic
Standout Song: “Orange Soda”
Retrolux is the furthest band on the list, having bases in both Toronto and Brooklyn. The band is made up of duo Anna James and Maynard Shaye. Their music is flowy and easy to listen to, some of their songs are comparable to music artists like Lorde, and use similar beat techniques as The Chainsmokers. Retrolux’s poppy upbeat music is great for relaxing, jamming out, or even rollerblading - a reference to their single “Roller Rebel.”
Senior Living - Albany, N.Y.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Standout Song: “Pretty New New”
Get ready for some moshing if you see these guys play live. Senior Living is sure to excite a crowd. These Albany natives are reminiscent of 90s rock and grunge bands. Senior Living is versatile, shifting from all genres of rock. For example, their latest release "The Paintbox Lace" has headbanging hard rock songs, while 2019’s "35mm" focuses on more soft grunge. If you’re into music you can blast and jam out to, Senior Living has your fix. While the band doesn’t have many releases on Spotify, there are more demos and singles available on their Bandcamp.
Sydney Irving - Syracuse, N.Y.
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock
Standout Song: “What Have You Done”
Hailing from Syracuse, Sydney Irving is a vocalist and guitar player who powerfully conveys emotion through song. Drawing inspiration from Taylor Swift, her music shifts from folky acoustics to more dynamic rock. Irving’s lyrics are poetic rather than punchy, and serve great for easy-listening. Irving has been nominated for three Syracuse Area Music Awards.
The Stone Lows - Rochester, N.Y.
Genre: Indie, Soft Rock
Standout Song: “Nothing Else”
The Stone Lows’ bio on Spotify reads: “The Stone Lows are a band that seems to relish the idea of never making the same music twice.” That's the honest truth. No two songs on their discography are the same, ranging from jazzy funk, soft rock, and indie rock. Made up of Rochester natives Liam Welch, Henry O’Brien, Edward McAndrew, and Alexander Klick, The Stone Lows are a great way to explore different music genres.