For Francophiles, the OohLaLA! CMJ Showcase at the Highline Ballroom in New York was the place to be Wednesday. Where else during CMJ could you catch promising French acts like Tomorrow's World, Housse De Racket and Lescop?
The CMJ showcase featured the New York City debut of Tomorrow's World, the new project from Jean-Benoit Dunckel, who is half of the popular electro-pop group Air. Longtime fans of Air would find a lot to love in Tomorrow's World, and Dunckel's fantastic production work. Joining Dunckel was London-based singer Lou Hayter, in a sparkling dress and icy vocals that pierced through the synths.
Fans at Highline Ballroom also got a chance to see UK-based Citizens!, whose debut was produced by Alex Kapranos, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand. Fans of Friendly Fires would find much to like about Citizens! and their take on pop-rock, easy to dance to and quite infectious. Fans at the Highline Ballroom had plenty of fun with the band.
Closing the night was another act with an impressive pedigree, Housse De Racket. The duo of Pierre Leroux and Victor Le Masne has worked with acts like Phoenix and Gonzales and has played some of the biggest festivals, including Coachella. The music was simple and effective, urgent rock that was never too serious. The tight guitar riffs won over the crowd rather quickly and Leroux’s sense of humor had fans laughing throughout the set that ended just after midnight.
CMJ 2012 is all about discovering new acts, and at the Highline Ballroom, many attendees witnessed three very promising acts.