Breaking and new artists to see in NYC this summer

Catch these new artists, including Mikal Cronin, Lianne La Havas and Night Beds, before they break big.

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  • Photograph: Andrew Paynter

    The Milk Carton Kids

  • Photograph: Josh Wehle

    Joey Bada$$

  • Chvrches

  • Photograph: Denee Petracek

    Mikal Cronin

  • Photograph: Aubrey Swander

    Night Beds

     

     

  • Photograph: Alex Lake

    Lianne La Havas

  • Big Freedia

  • Lissie

  • Photograph: Fred Jonny

    Bernhoft

  • Photograph: Signe Pierce

    Northside Festival

Photograph: Andrew Paynter

The Milk Carton Kids

The summer-concert season brings some ginormous shows and festivals to town, for sure. But it also boasts a bunch of gigs by rising new artists. Find our best bets—sets by rapper Schoolboy Q and electropop crew Chvrches, among others—below.


RECOMMENDED: All summer concerts in NYC


 


The Milk Carton Kids

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Seeing this L.A. folk duo live is like being whisked back to an early-’60s concert hall, such is its old-fashioned banter and charm—only it’s way more fun and silly than that suggests. Musically, the pair combines what you love about Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers with something absolutely its own. Take someone you really, really like to
this show. $17.

  1. Bowery Ballroom 6 Delancey St, between Bowery and Chrystie St
  2. Sun May 19 at 8pm
More info

XXL Freshmen

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The hip-hop magazine’s annual trend-spotting list combines sure-to-be-big acts with a few long shots, all ten of which take the stage in NYC. Solid bets include two of Kendrick Lamar’s Black Hippy affiliates (stoned-rhyme slinger Schoolboy Q and free-associating oddball Ab-Soul); bling rapper Trinidad James; buzzy Brooklyn scion Joey Bada$$; gravel-voiced partyer Action Bronson; and brash confessional rapper Angel Haze. Lesser-knowns Kirko Bangz, Dizzy Wright, Logic and G.O.O.D. music signee Travis Scott round out the crew. $28.50.

  1. Best Buy Theater 1515 Broadway, at 44th St
  2. Tue May 21 at 7pm
More info

Chvrches

  • Price band: 2/4

Scottish electropop trio Chvrches (pronounced “churches”) caused a serious stir with its single “The Mother We Share,” a shimmering, gothic synth cut that fuses singer Lauren Mayberry’s vulnerable Glaswegian vocals with corrugated samples. Last we checked, the group was still working out the kinks of its live show, but we’re hoping a slew of spring dates have whipped them into shape for these two sold-out gigs. Webster Hall, June 17 • Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 18 • bowerypresents.com, sold out.

  1. Various locations 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Mon Jun 17 at 8:30pm, Tue Jun 18 at 9pm
More info
Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin

A member of prolific garage rocker Ty Segall’s live band, Cronin released his sophomore solo LP, MCII, via Merge earlier this month. Sunny guitar strums, Beach Boys harmonies, big hooks, meaty bursts of distortion…  It’s all there—often within the same track. And it’s to the credit of this pop-minded songsmith (who, don’t worry, can still rock out live) that the ostensibly cluttered mix works wonderfully. $12, advance $10.

  1. Bowery Ballroom
  2. Thu June 20 at 9pm

Night Beds

Night Beds’ Winston Yellen lives in Nashville, and his debut album is called Country Sleep. But Yellen’s take on all things Southern is deeper and darker than you might expect. It’s melancholy, but with a tinge of menace—going way beyond standard sad-singer-songwriter fare. Glasslands Gallery, theglasslands.com. June 30; $10 • Maxwell’s, maxwellsnj.com. July 1; $10.

  1. Various locations
  2. Sun June 30 at 8:30pm, Mon July 1 at 8:30pm

Lianne La Havas

This Brit paid her dues as a backup singer for Paloma Faith before Prince and Stevie Wonder started paying her compliments. She’s since been branded “the next Adele,” but the jazz- and soul-oriented crooner (and incredible guitar player to boot) takes her inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald and Emily Remler. Her honeyed voice should fit right in among the summer breezes in Central Park. summerstage.org, free.

  1. SummerStage Main Stage
  2. Mon July 29 at 7pm

Big Freedia

Often dubbed the Queen of Bounce Music, the New Orleans rapper hits town for some booty-shaking, glitter-laden madness. And the diva is not traveling alone, bringing a whole gang of electronic scenesters such as NYC natives Drop the Lime and Afrika Bambaataa, as well as L.A. producer the Egyptian Lover. santospartyhouse.com, $15.

  1. Santos Party House
  2. Thu May 23 at 9pm

Lissie

Although this Cali–based singer, née Elisabeth Maurus, has released a couple of EPs and a well-received debut full-length, most know her for her awesomely WTF cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” The guitar-toting blond has practically gained a cult following for her sultry rock interpretation of the hip-hop epic. Absorb the rest of her catalog at this concert, as she previews her as-yet-untitled follow-up, due in September. It’s catchy, whiskeyed, totally genuine stuff. boweryballroom.com, advance $18, at the door $20.

  1. Bowery Ballroom
  2. Mon June 3 at 9pm

Bernhoft

The Norwegian neosoul singer shows off his chops—the sultry vocals and intricately layered and looped arrangements we loved on 2011’s Solidarity Breaks—on the Lower East Side. Arrive early for Aussie one-man band Sun Rai, who sets the mood with his groovy  tunes. boweryballroom.com, $20.

  1. Bowery Ballroom
  2. Mon June 10 at 9pm
Northside Festival

Northside Festival

Launched in 2009 as a grassroots celebration of all things indie and Brooklyn, this boroughcentric throwdown has grown into a multifaceted extravaganza rivaling CMJ with its mix of live music, film and technological entrepreneurship. This year, Black Flag, Swans, Iceage, Son Volt and dozens of other bands will pack crowds into practically every nightspot in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Visit northsidefestival.com for details. Badge $80, premium badge $235.

  1. Various locations
  2. Thu June 13 - Sun Jun 16; Times vary


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