A first listen to self-proclaimed 'trap-pop' act Jamaican Queens hints at a band sprouted from Pitchfork's petri dish. After all, their two singles are beat-dominated tracks with fuzzy, distorted vocals and a likeness to Diamond Rings or maybe Yeasayer.
Dig a little deeper and you'll find a duo from Detroit which grew out of Prussia, a catchy, art-pop act which disbanded just a year ago. This past summer, lead singer Ryan Spencer and his partner/guitarist Adam Pressley shaved their act down to a duo and got more dance-y.
Since then, they've quickly taken all the stops towards internet buzz: incessant touring, features in influential music publications Nylon and Noisey, their debut album, "Wormwood," out in March and dates lined up for SXSW in Austin.
Locally Amped caught them at Glasslands in Brooklyn last Wednesday, where they played their short set to a smaller crowd than anticipated. Their songs showcase Spencer's airy, seemingly apathetic songs about much harsher subjects — "Kids Get Away" talks about some kids in a bad neighborhood slicing up a friend's face.
The duo were best when Spencer's wavy, reverb-y voice was meshed with a stripped-down guitar/drum combo. Although not a particularly memorable set, a friend put it best. "Detroit's such a shit hole, I admire them for [their sound]."
Even in this internet age, place does matter and they do have that on their side. If these guys continue playing their cards right — or maybe exaggerate their southern rap influences, they could be opening for an artist on the scale of Washed Out down the line. Locally Amped sure wouldn't mind seeing that bill.