Future Punx: Spike Train

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

In their single “Spike Train,” five-piece Brooklyn act Future Punx blends chanting vocals with sweet synth lines, funky live drums and guitars for an interesting contrast. Their overall fast-paced, energetic vibes make for a fun (and sweaty) live show—as their performances at Cake Shop, The Silent Barn and more showed this past week. They’ve got the rare power to convince attendees to loosen their death …

Tkay Maidza: U-Huh

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Zimbabwe-born Aussie teen songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza graced the East Coast with her presence at multiple CMJ showcases this past week at Pianos, Santos Party House and more. Her confidence-boosting single “U-Huh” fuses pop, rap and electronic music for a track that’s as catchy as it is fierce—her lyrics reference “shooting” away the haters (metaphorically, of course). While the M.I.A and Azaelia Banks comparisons …

Courtship Ritual: Kingdom of Beauty

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Courtship Ritual can be spotted performing their restrained tunes with an equally minimal setup in Brooklyn venues like Baby’s All Right—regularly joined on stage by hired belly dancers whose hypnotic choreography enhance the otherworldly mood. “Kingdom of Beauty” is a particularly poignant track that demonstrates Monica Salazar’s covetable vocal timbre, along with her and guitarist Jared Olmsted’s penchant for augmenting sparseness to great effect. Courtship …