Who | Gengahr
When | Monday, November 2
Where | Privatclub, Berlin
It’s always a good sign when you’ve yet to release an album but you’re already opening for the likes of alt-J. Such is the case with UK band Gengahr, who seem like they’d just been gathering steam and waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce. Their long-awaited debut A Dream Outside, which came out this past summer, only further cemented their standing as a definite act to watch. The album is insanely catchy, laden with hooks from start to finish (seriously, those earworms dig deep). Upon hearing singer Felix Bushe’s shaky falsetto and the swirling, psychedelic guitars, you could certainly draw parallels between these young Londoners and indie giants MGMT. But you can also hear hints of 90s-era shoegaze peeking through on tracks like ‘Lonely Shark,’ along with their blatant affinity for Pokémon (come on guys, ‘Haunter’ by Gengahr, really?). Nerdiness aside, Gengahr have hit the nail on the head with their oh-so-infectious blend of pop and psych.
For fans of: MGMT
Who | Julia Holter
When | Thursday, November 5
Where | Kantine am Berghain, Berlin
Julia Holter is not an artist who shies away from challenging her listeners (see: her 30-minute mix composed entirely of found sounds). Her experimental baroque pop style, compounded with the bookish quality of her lyrics, evoke immediate comparisons to quirky songstress Kate Bush and folk harpist Joanna Newsom (who—funnily enough—will be playing the same evening). The LA-based musician’s latest release, however, finds her rather pushing her own boundaries, crafting music that is perfectly balanced between avant-garde and pop. Yes, there are still Whiplash-esque passages characterized by erratic drum patterns and saxophones, plus the occasional ambient poetic recitation, but as a whole, her sound is simultaneously intriguing and accessible. Honestly, Holter’s LP Have You In My Wilderness is really just what it sounds like: an immersive journey into her whimsical, dreamy world, full of unexpected twists and turns, yet altogether welcoming.
For fans of: Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush