New Music Seminar: Three Acts That Impressed At This Year’s Event

New Music Seminar

The New Music Seminar is a gathering of the musical brains of sorts. It’s a three-day jaunt where aspiring musicians and figures from the music world come together to talk about innovations and to see some up-and-coming acts; an Avengers-esque class of 2015 if you will.

While I was there, there were three acts in particular that caught my eye as I tried to run all over Ludlow and Delancy street so you didn’t have to.

1) Fictionist: This rock/indie band hails from Provo, Utah which happens to be a hometown shared with tour-mates Neon Trees. It’s quite possible that you have heard a Fictionist song without even realizing it, considering the infectious stylings of indie rock muzak which can easily get stuck in your head. The band’s recent single, “Free Spirit,” has been making the rounds as of late and they impressed with their showcase in the studio at Webster Hall. I can definitely see Fictionist making big impressions with their unique twist on the indie/rock genre for months to come.

Fictionist feature

2) Grace Weber: Anytime I listen to soulful music, it’s all about the voice to me and how you contort it to convey the emotions in your songs. That’s just as important as the composition and structure of your music. If I can’t feel what you’re saying, I’ll never be able to connect with your music. When I saw singer-songwriter Grace Weber, it was the first time in a while that I connected with soul music in a live capacity. Songs like “Oil & Gold” and “Till I Hurt You” show off Weber’s penchant for introspective lyrics to match her impressive octaves. I would definitely give her 2014 album, The Refinery, a listen. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Grace Weber

3) SPZRKT: I made a venture to DROM over on 85 Avenue A in search of somewhere a little more low-key. It seemed like everybody was concentrated over at the Pianos and Cake Shop shows to the point where it got packed like the 2 train on the subway at rush hour. At DROM, however, the opening act of the night was pop/R&B artist SPZRKT (Xavier Adams). There were many friends and family wishing him well as he played through his roughly 45-minute set. “Hours Spent Loving You” should be on every romatic person’s playlist. The reason I actually ventured to this in the first place was the story he told mid-set. Adams pointed to his DJ who was an old friend and stated that he was touring with him just to help him out on his journey. When you’re trying to make a name for yourself, you don’t have access to the spoils of bigger artists – but therein lies the beauty of the grind. The constant travel on your own dime to make impressions on a number of people to fulfill your dream.


I think for a while there, we got caught up in the glitz of reality TV shows where everything seemed as easy as a vote or a top-dollar vocal coach. It’s really the bedrooms, the small, consolidated venues and the ups and downs that makes a strong artist. Each of these artists were able to convey their own stories and hopefully will experience some semblance of success because they deserve it.

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