Who | Prince Rama
When | Thursday, May 12
Where | Kantine am Berghain, Berlin
For fans of: Gang Gang Dance, Animal Collective, YACHT
I’m not sure you can get much more over-the-top than Brooklyn trio Prince Rama: blown-out 80s perms and neon spandex to match their retro drum machine beats and exaggerated synth sequences. Throw in a few Enya-style call-response sections, bombastic sing-along choruses with the vocal intensity of Bonnie Tyler, and pummeling guitar riffs, and what you get is a slightly confusing but altogether awesome hodgepodge of infectious dance pop. Somehow it’s no shocker that the members of this self-proclaimed “now age” outfit have roots in a Hare Krishna commune in Florida, as their music has a ritualistic, almost transcendental quality to it. True to its name, Prince Rama‘s latest album, Xtreme Now, is a blast of pure energy from start to finish, leaving me eager to see how insane their live show will be.
Who | Andy Shauf
When | Saturday, May 14
Where | Musik & Frieden, Berlin
For fans of: Elliott Smith, Natalie Prass, Jens Lekman
While Andy Shauf may play all of the myriad instruments on his chamber pop songs, and while he may have a sweet, charming voice that melts, his real strength lies in his seemingly innate ability to tell a story. Against a backdrop of soulful string and clarinet orchestrations and jaunty piano and guitar lines, the Canadian singer-songwriter’s vivid lyrical snapshots and character portrayals attribute poignancy to even the most average of topics. This month sees him releasing an earnestly awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2015 album, The Bearer of Bad News. Out on May 20th, The Party is a thematic album detailing the people and situations encountered at your typical party, and how our pitfalls and flaws influence these interactions. Don’t fret, though: I have the feeling Shauf‘s performance this weekend will be a musical celebration of the best kind.