Emefe

New(YC) Releases: Homeboy Sandman, Emefe, Mutual Benefit, Olga Bell and Frankie Cosmos

Here's our usual, "blurbless" appointment with tracks recently released by NYC based artists that are either "not so emerging" (but also not so famous!) or have already been covered a lot in the past in ths very blog, enjoy!

Read our past coverage about these artists here: Homeboy Sandman (pictured), Mutual Benefit, Olga Bell, EMEFE

   

A Deli NYC Premiere: EMEFE unveils new single "Confess" + opens for Antibalas on 11.04 at BK Bowl

In a musical landscape that doesn't have funds to invest in artist development, and in a city that's becoming incrisingly unaffordable for struggling musicians like New York, the artistic growth of EMEFE is nothing short of a small miracle. The collective started in 2010 as a horn driven, instrumental project with heavy afrobeat, funk and jazz influences (if you like the sound of that, check out 2012's LP "Good Future"), and slowly evolved into a more experimental, and somewhat darker sounding hybrid, featuring occasional vocals and synths, as you can hear on their sophomore, self titled album, released earlier in 2015. The record showcases a band more aligned with that tradition of edgy NYC music we like to celebrate in this blog, borrowing from the experience of another local band famous for incorporating world music influences: The Talking Heads. Brand new single "Confess" (premiered below), with its pop structure, memorable melody, and clear emphasys on synths and other electronic effects, represents further evidence of the band's new direction. A direction that elegantly and compellingly marries the body-moving power of afrobeat and funk with the propensity, typical of the best NYC artists, for cerebral experimentation within the pop and rock realms. 

EMEFE will be opening for legendary NYC Afrobeat masters Antibalas on November 4th at Brooklyn Bowl - a show that should not be missed. - Photo by Austin Hein

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

   

Zach's CMJ Day 5: NY Lights, Grey McMurray, EMEFE, Lazyeyes, Nuf Said

Saturday night at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village started with the serene songs of Huntington, Long Island-hailing quintet NY Lights (pictured). Sounding out few kinds of genres - indie, psychedelic rock, and Americana, amongst them -the one-year-old band struck an intriguing balance between warmth and edginess, its drum slaps and sandy vocals riding along the ear with steady drive.

Later, on the Lower East Side, in the oaken cellar of Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, the standout of this viewer's CMJ experience was seen: Grey McMurray. Enveloped in a low red light and aided by a trio of deft musicians (including a cellist), the Brooklyn-based artist played a kind of freak-soul as he dipped down into often uncomfortable yet sometimes inviting visions of spirituality and love, his drooping guitar and cavernous voice simultaneously chilling and moving the listener. Antony Hegarty and Nick Hakim are probably his musical siblings but McMurray conjured a creepily warm aura in Rockwood's downstairs room that is perhaps his own.

Upstairs on Stage 2, fellow Brooklyn act EMEFE blasted its synth-lined afrobeat, its rubbery horns and perky electronics showing reverence for Fela Kuti and Talking Heads while culminating in its own pop-oriented, bold funk. The six-piece also allowed for some spontaneity, though, bandleader Miles Arntzen during one track recording the audience's handclaps for inclusion on a forthcoming song.

Next door on Stage 1, Brooklyn three-piece Lazyeyes broke into a relentlessly ringing set that, during one song, brought to mind the rough innocence of 'Pablo Honey'-era Radiohead and, during others, the foreboding catchiness that Joy Division displayed on "Disorder." Towards the end of its set, the frontman Jason Abrishami of the young group said that they "have a couple of songs left" while bassist Paul Volpe joked that they "have a couple of years left" but one hopes that they keep up their compellingly raw energy.

Back at Stage 2, New York outfit Nuf Said ended the night with its jazzy R&B, the group's swirling horns proving a pleasant and compelling addition to the gently strong vocals of lead singer Ioana Vintu and the mellow guitar-bass combination in the background. Like other New York outfit Mad Satta, Nuf Said seamlessly melds genres such as jazz, R&B, and funk while showing that they can end a talent-packed festival such as CMJ with festive boldness. - Zach Weg 

   

Thursday: The Deli's Fuzz Rock + Afrobeat CMJ Stages at Spike Hill

The third day of the 2014 CMJ marathon reserves a rather unusual double Deli bill at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. We'll start with 90 minutes of semi-unadulterated wall of fuzz with 3 noisy but melodious Brooklyn bands, and progress to a late night of afrobeat and funk!

Check out the lineup below and do not dare missing this one - whichever of the two genres you are into.

Full Deli CMJ 2013 schedule here.

FUNK/AFROBEAT + FUZZ ROCK** STAGES
Spike Hill - $6

 

Heeney **
8.30  Dead Stars **
9.00 Slonk Donkerson **
9.40 People's Champ
10.30 Sway Machinery
11.30 EMEFE
12.30 Mammal Dap (Boston)

 

   

EMEFE headlines Deli CMJ Funk/Afrobeat Stage on 10.17 at Spike Hill

EMEFE, pronounced “M-F-A,” begins with a strong foundation in traditional Afrobeat, but their musical director, Miles Arntzen, strives to create greater depth and breadth in his compositions. Compounded by the shakes and bangs of an evolving and dynamic percussion section, few further tricks are necessary to engage even the most complacent crowd. It comes down to a matter of swagger, and EMFE serves it up in true Brooklyn fashion. Their Afrobeat aesthetic is characterized by nods to the funk of Prince as well as some aspects of psychedelia and art rock. See them live at Spike Hill when they headline the Deli's Afrobeat/Funk Stage on Thursday 10.17.