The Deli NYC #49 - Best 2016 Records by Emerging NYC Artists, Big Thief.

Page 6

Feature | Best 2016 Records by Emerging NYC Artists


Paolo de Gregorio

With the closing of many historical music venues, record stores and rehearsal studios, the last couple of years have been rather brutal to witness for anybody “invested” in the NYC music scene. The utterly depressing normalization of Williamsburg and the recent demise of the CMJ Music Marathon could be seen as the nails in the coffin of the so-called “NYC Scene Renaissance,” which started in the early aughts, when bands like Interpol, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio were coming out with critically acclaimed, early releases that would end up becoming incredibly influential. However, for those who are quick in downplaying the importance of NYC’s current musical output, we have two simple answers. The first one concerns bare numbers: Thanks to its various colleges and hip


the deli Winter 2016

companies always on the look for talent to hire; NYC will never cease to be home to an enormous community of creative young people. Their unique ability to share their flats with an unconscionable number of other creative souls will allow them to make the city’s lifestyle affordable—until they can’t take it. The second answer is in this list of great emerging NYC-based artists who released amazing new records in 2016 - all of which we have been covering in our NYC scene blog (, before most music critics realized of their existence. Don’t let perceptions distract you; it’s a transitional period, but the NYC scene is alive and kicking.

NYC 2016, WOMEN RULE In the last few years, we’ve had the clear feeling that a lot of the best music made in the region covered by this magazine (NYC/ NJ/LI), was created by women. You may have gathered that we are big fans of Big Thief and Forth Wanderers - both featured in this issue. Respectively fronted by Adrianne Lenker and Ava Trilling, the two bands released some of the best indie-rock singles that we’ve heard in a while. Mitski’s “Bury Me at Makeout Creek” was our Record of the Month in November 2014; her 2016 follow-up, “Puberty 2,” develops her elegant power pop in ways that are retro and avant at once. Crying, fronted by Elaiza Santos and also our Record of the Month back in September 2014, lost its playful lofi, 8-bit character in new release “Beyond the Fleeting Gales,” but made up for it in number of fans, with a record that’s pure power-pop joy.