CMJ 2014: Day 3 at Santos Party Haus with ZELLA DAY & VÉRITÉ.

You know the drill by now, right?...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with CMJ, it's a five day music festival that invites a thousand or so new, indie, and/or up and coming artists from around the world to New York City with one goal: the discovery of fabulous new music. For more info, check out CMJ.com.

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Zella Day. (C) MelismaticBlog.com
DAY THREE (Thursday), I was off to the one venue I was already familiar with -- Santos Party Haus, a small, fog-machine fueled, black-light errwhere nightclub meant for disco-y beats and (probably) debauchery.

Basically, it's the kind of place that you don't really want to sit down in if you know what I mean. I'd been there to see Dragonette in 2009 and had seen my girl Pastele there about a year ago.

Santos was packing them in on Thursday night with two different stages running different artists at the same time. Downstairs, the performance space was quite a bit smaller -- kind of like a cave but with slightly better audio. That's where we (we being myself and Music Is My King Size Bed) started out our night, seeing another buzz artist in Zella Day -- whom I had wanted to catch at some point during CMJ but wasn't able to schedule in a time that worked so it was a bonus happy surprise.

Her alt, ethereal kind of sound was dreamy and hypnotic. Dressed in black velvet and lace, she looked like a flower child of a different decade. She included in her set an unexpected and fabulous cover of The Zombies' "Time of the Season" complete with crowd handclaps. If you haven't checked out her latest self-titled EP, you should -- if only for "Sweet Ophelia" alone.


After Zella's set, we ran upstairs to catch the tail end of Aurora (Aksnes)'s set which was running at the same time as Zella's but had apparently started a little late (setting off a domino effect of delay that I'll rant about in a second). Aurora is an utterly adorable little teenage thing with her blonde bob -- all the way from Norway. She has a limited selection of songs to peruse on Spotify but check out "Awakening". 

VÉRITÉ. (C) MelismaticBlog.com
Aurora was followed up by a British four-piece straight-ahead rock band called Circa Waves. Their beachy brand of rock-pop is much more enjoyable via their self-titled EP, most likely due to the utterly terrible sound system at Santos. "Young Chasers" has a Ramones-y kind of vibe.

WARNING: RANT ALERT. It was so loud, my ears were still ringing when I got home that night. It inevitably didn't help my mood toward the showcases's ridiculous delays (it should be said CMJ usually runs on a super tight ship so Santos allowing this to happen was really irritating) so I probably didn't enjoy Circa Waves as much as I should have.

Then came VÉRITÉ (pronounced: vehr-eh-tay), a hometown artist I'd been gathering a lot of love for over the past few weeks. Her ECHO EP was released last week and is available for perusal on Spotify. The entire thing is great pop from beginning to end -- fitting right in like a hand in a glove in this tidal storm of dark female electro-pop.

My favorite is "Weekend" (below). If you're a fan of Lorde, give VÉRITÉ a spin.



For more on these artists mentioned, get to know them on Twitter via @ZellaDay, @AksnesAurora, @CircaWaves, and @Verite, respectively.

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