Friday new music round-up: Half Waif, Cheap Blue Yonder, The Wrong Shapes and more


This monthly feature highlights recently released tracks by bands from the Northeast, focusing on local acts from New York, Boston and surrounding areas. 

July 4th has come and gone, and maybe you’re getting tired of this heat. This past month’s roundup gives you both chill, folksy tunes as a poolside soundtrack and a straight rockin’ party starter. And two husband-and-wife duos, so maybe there’s also some worthwhile dating tips within these tracks, too.

Girl-fronted synth pop always hits our heart hard, so tailoring this formula alongside folksy melodies ala Sylvan Esso surely is a winner. Half Waif, the alter ego of Brooklyn singer Nandi Rose Plunkett, releases her crowd-funded debut LP “Kotekan,” which features “Ceremonial.” Many compare her project to Enya, and it’s not too far off. This track lets us into her headspace which jumps from bouncy pop to ethereal melodies. Catch Half Waif at her release party this Friday (7/11) at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn. 

Rootsy folk rock sure is in the limelight these days, so it’s always exciting to hear other takes on the genre. NYC’s Cheap Blue Yonder do just that, intermingling Americana-influenced tunes alongside ’60s rock. On the short ditty “When You Woke Up to Just the Sun,” lead vocalist Troy Chryssos ponders a morning of heartbreak, or maybe lack thereof.

A soft, fragile voice, edgy cellos and the aura of a fall’s night characterize The Wrong Shapes’ “Easily Swayed.” Off their newly released debut “Reverse the Phase,” the track is a nice introduction to their baroque pop vibes. And a great middle ground between ambient minimalism and pop. They play Cafe 939 in Boston on August 2. 

Riff-heavy, hook-laden, Joan Jett-loving rock isn’t new — but When Particles Collide definitely do it with sweaty gusto. Fronted by chemistry teacher by day and Northeast rocker by night Sasha Alcott, the Bangor, Maine-based husband-and-wife duo have an simple, upbeat, catchy rocker in “Enough.” On the aggressive love song, Alcott wails “I know you haven’t had enough.” We haven’t. They’re currently in the midst of a US tour, but return to play Church of Boston on August 29. 

This is part of a Metro Boston and New York music column called Locally Amped. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  


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