16 Bands You Cannot Afford To Miss At CMJ 2014

Starting on Tuesday, CMJ Music Marathon is just that – a five-day endurance test of a festival where over 1,000 new bands play hundreds of venues throughout New York City. We’ve got our own NME showcase at Glasslands on Wednesday night, with Fat White Family just announced as the (not so) secret special guests. Read more about that below, along with all the other acts playing CMJ we think you need to take note of. That’s not all either – everyone mentioned below is playlisted at the end of the article.

Fat White Family
The Londoners play their only show of CMJ at NME Radar’s showcase on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Miss it at your peril. The rest of the bill isn’t too shabby either, even if we say so ourselves: Bo Ningen, Public Access TV, Twin Peaks, Happyness, The Wytches and Girlpool.
Key show: Wednesday, from 8pm, Glasslands



The Boston heroes finally look set to break out next year, with album ‘Lucky Leaves’ out on new UK label Steak Club this winter.

Key show: Saturday, 11:30pm, Silent Barn


A bunch of Aussies who sound like Oasis at their most mid-90s beatific. Bet you weren’t expecting //that// in 2014.

Key show: Friday, Midnight, Mercury Lounge



Word has it that Alicia from Bully interned at Steve Albini’s studio before the Nashville-based band took off. But that’s probably the least interesting thing about them, because tunes like ‘Faceblind’ and ‘Milkman’ are among the years best.

Key show: Thursday, 10pm, Pianos

Ryn Weaver

Having worked with Charli XCX, Cashmere Cat and Passion Pit, Ryn’s already on the path to hugeness. But as she rolls into CMJ there’s an air of expectation there – could she be 2015’s Lorde?

Key show: Wednesday, 11pm, Bowery Ballroom


Recently featured in NME mag’s feature on new music from Austin, Texas, this Iggy-influenced lot have been treading the rickety stages of Sixth Street for years now. This year they look set to make it elsewhere too.

Key show: Saturday, 5:20pm, Cake Shop

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

Freshly signed to Heavenly in the UK, the Melbourne act are a sprawling, haphazard psyche beast. Think Pond but even more off the wall.

Key show: Wednesday, Knitting Factory, 10:55pm


One of our favourite emerging acts of the year, Montreal’s Heat sound warmly lo-fi, like an old Lou Reed bootleg but without all the moaning.

Key show: Friday, Shea Stadium, 10pm


Yet more Aussies. You’ll probably already know this lot, of course, who were on Luv Luv Luv and did well in the UK in the wake of Palma Violets, Peace et al. Now, key members Toto and Sasha have moved over to New York, rehashed their sound (more synths, apparently) and given everything a fresh going over.

Key show: Thursday, time TBC, Cameo Gallery


With a sound that veers from sounding weirdly like Peace (‘Shithole’) to a more modernised Doors (‘Motorcycle’), the Toronto act are fresh on the city’s aptly-named Buzz Records.

Key show: Thursday, 11:30pm, Shea Stadium

NME will be reporting back from CMJ, bringing you all the news, galleries and best new discoveries after the event, both online and in the magazine. Listen to all the acts mentioned in the playlist above