The annual CMJ Music Marathon in NYC is a scavenger hunt of unfamiliar sounds, coming from 1000+ bands, over 5 days, spread across a whole smattering of music venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Using our methodical divide-and-conquer strategy learned after years of practice on The Farm, we, your humble Bonnaroo staff, have plucked a 24-pack of our favorite musical specimens from the year 2013.
Hit play on Spotify, read a quick rundown on the band and let us know which bands you like, which ones ya don’t like and anyone we missed in the comments!
Amazing Sgt. Pepper-esque psych rock from Amsterdam that belongs in a Wes Anderson movie. We dig.
Dynamic rock band who really turn it on live. Tight harmonies, intricate instrumentation. Expecting big things from these guys!
Record can veer toward catchy bubblegum pop but this girl is aggressive and punky on stage.
Lead vocalist seems like Alison Mosshart’s (The Kills, The Dead Weather) younger Aussie sister. This was rock n roll, SO much energy, she is such a babe and so bad ass, show was awesome. Seeing again. And again.
Imagine if the cast of Freaks and Geeks dressed up as The Rolling Stones for Halloween. ‘Nuff said.
Honest, earnest and intense songwriting. This endearing Australian girl writes rockers but can also flick the switch to beautiful, laid back songs. Worth seeing. Think Sharon Van Etten meets Heartless Bastards with a punky Dylan-esque pen in hand.
Incredibly talented deep house DJ. If you like Disclosure and losing your mind…
Guitar band in the vein of DIIV or Mac Demarco with more atmospheric synth layers. Soulful too!
Smooth R&B jams with incredible female vocalist and a tight band.
So much good music coming from Australia! Not sure what they’re doing down under but this jangly psych garage rock sound is working wonders for us.
She’s spunky as $#!^, bangs out a drum pad, full band was awesome and has so much fun that it’s contagious.
Folky, loose vibe from this 7-piece band of New Zealanders living in Brooklyn.
This Swedish band’s poppier songs are super fun – weirder songs are…weird. Crazy stage show.
Heavy psych band that’s not afraid to get into jammier territory while still keeping it tight.
Punk. Garage. Smack-in-the-face rock and roll with zero pretentiousness.
Arty rock band with a hint of Queen glam.
Cute, catchy singalong indie poptronica.
UK band that caught our ears with a punky atmospheric rock sound.
Super cute classic R&B vocalist singing with electropop accompaniment that’s infectious and sweet.
Fancy dancey rock that’ll get in your head.
A wild and unique sound combining classical instrumentation, funky basslines and gorgeous vocals. An Ennio Morricone spaghetti-Western soundtrack played in an NYC soul jazz club… but so much more than that.
Sandra Vu of Dum Dum Girls putting out dark but danceable “synth shoe gaze electronic dream” music.
Ummmmmmmm WTF totally amazing and insane. Canadian experimental band fuses metal, opera, psych and performance art.
This Welsh band is no BS punk rock. Get after it.