Friday was the busiest day at CMJ, with over 300 bands playing in Manhattan and Brooklyn. A couple of bands stood out across the busy night, Mammut and Stolen Jars, and here’s why.
The Icelandic six-piece band, Mammut, played a free show at Rough Trade in Williamsburg. Based off appearances, it looked like Friday’s audience was in for a treat. Lead singer, Alexandra Baldursdóttir, wore a burlap poncho with a giant orange circle in the middle. She looked like a cross between Björk and Sissy Spacek. The comparison to Björk seems even more valid when you hear her sizzling screams, which tip-toe on the edge of control.
Mammut has a lot of power in their lyrics, vocals and harmonies, and it will be a band to watch and a treat to see how they further develop.
Another unexpected delight was Stolen Jars, which played in Pianos’ main room. Though six people in all, Stolen Jars is led by Cody Fitzgerald and Molly Grund, they maintain a long-distance working relationship, Grund in college in Connecticut, and Fitzgerald a recent Brooklyn transplant. Their performance of “Folded Out” was downright awesome with Matt Marsico on drums and Connor McGuigan on guitar, wowing the crowd. Fitzgerald is a fantastic guitarist in his own right, as he showed later in a few shredding sessions.
They like to “re-orchestrate everything,” in Fitzgerald’s words, which helps explain the favorable reception they received throughout CMJ: everywhere they played they kept us guessing. Takeaway: a funner version of Chairlift stuck in 2015.