The Hairs

Three NYC bands playing NYC Popfest in May: Lake Ruth, The Hairs, and Big Quiet

We are always curious to see what local bands make it into the yearly NYC Popfest - a festival that deserves credit for scouting talented emerging pop acts and keeping things on a medium to small scale, which is what The Deli is all about. This year's edition will see three NYC based acts involved, and we are very intrigued in particular by Lake Ruth (pictured), a band that evokes aural specters of early Belle & Sebastian led by Trish Keenan of Broadcast. The trio is really, reall new, but its members have played in established acts like Enon and Holy Fuck, although they sound like a development of NYC's guitarist Hewson Chen's psych-pop project The New Lines - with a different singer. They have dropped two digital releases so far, for a total of three tracks, debuting in February 2016 with two stylish and mellow songs in 'The Inconsolable Jean​-​Claude' EP, followed just two months later by the more uptempo and summery 'Through The Lychgates,' streaming below. Singer Allison Brice's soprano is honey for the ears, and the band knows how to let it flow.

The other two local acts playing this year's popfest are garage pop trio Big Quiet, which we booked at one of our latest CMJ shows, and self-defined "freak-pop" band The Hairs, brainchild of Brooklyn songwriter Kevin Alvir, who are about to drop their first release since 2013, a n LP entitled 'While, I Hated Life, Barbarian.' Check out preview single 'Fave Shit 15.'

   

The Hairs plays Glasslands on May 18 with Big Troubles

Playful pop with a lo-fi edge by way of two minute songs is the domain of Brooklyn's The Hairs. “I Remember Alien Gonzales” serves up word play though a song title and chorus that cleverly references a headline grabbing story from a decade ago. “Duh” (streaming below, video here) is happy, foot tappin’ garage-punk, with traces of Robert Smith guitar interplay. “Ghetto Control” continues the lo-fi sonics, with lyrical references to cops and social disobedience. “Houseplant Songgg” is a compact 1:39 in length while still fulfilling the requirements one expects from a song, while the amusing (if redundantly) titled “Feeling a lot of Feelings” keeps the loose good times going. The band plays Glasslands on Friday with Big Troubles and Punks on Mars. - Dave Cromwell