Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Yung Lean, Kirin J Callinan, Sound of Ceres

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Two very different Australian acts will play the city this week. Kirin J Callinan is a mad scientist of a musician, whose strange and unsettling persona is paired with bombastic (though equally strange) music. Twerps are a simple, jangly guitar pop project whose music is perfect for sipping a beer and chilling with your friends as the summer winds down. If you’re looking for something a bit more homegrown, head to the Rockaways for a free show featuring Brooklyn DIY punks Weeping Icon, or scoot over to Sunnyvale to take in the math rock trio Peaer.

8/28
Sound of Ceres, Foxes in Fiction
Alphaville
8 p.m., $8

Sound of Ceres include members of dreampop band Candy Claws, the Elephant 6 psychpop group Apples in Stereo, and surfpop locals the Drums. What emerges from the combination of all these elements is a mélange of influences, from bossa nova to shoegaze. Last year’s album, Nostalgia for Infinity, explored concepts of cosmic importance (black holes, universal expansion), filtered through metaphorical references to the classic bossa nova tune “The Girl From Ipanema” and Proust. Their new album, The Twin, out this fall, starts off with an eerie, gorgeous song that sounds straight out of an episode of Twin Peaks. But you don’t need to know all that — Sound of Ceres’ music also easily appeals without any of that fancy conceptualizing.

Liars, Angus Andrew (DJ Set)
Brooklyn Bazaar
7 p.m., free with RSVP

In 2014, after the debut of Liars’ Mess, Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen wrote about what kept the band interesting over the years: “They make two kinds of albums: ones where they don’t know what they’re doing, and ones where they’ve figured it out.” Liars’ newest release, TFCF, falls solidly in the former category. TFCF, which stands for “Theme From Crying Fountain,” is the group’s first release since the departure of one of its founders, multi-instrumentalist Aaron Hemphill, leaving Angus Andrew as the sole remaining original member. What’s resulted is an album that sounds darker, more warped, and smaller in scale than most of the group’s previous work. Astonishingly, the record features acoustic guitar, and at times is reminiscent of experimental folk-pop groups like Modest Mouse or Sunset Rubdown — a great departure from their last release’s dance-punk. The album sounds exactly like what it is — a postmortem of a breakup. And that’s exactly what makes it so gripping.

8/29
Kirin J Callinan, Bernardino Femminielli, Andrew VW DJ
Mercury Lounge
9 p.m., $10

“Taking the piss” is a British-English colloquialism that means, loosely, “kidding around.” It’s also exactly what Australian artist Kirin J Callinan is doing on the cover of his new album, Bravado, a demented take on pop, EDM, and the rock star lifestyle. Is Callinan being serious when he sings about the joys of late-night parties (on “S.A.D.,” or Song About Drugs) or over ridiculous trance drops worthy of Deadmau5? The real question is, Who cares? Callinan’s commitment is the real draw here — whatever his intentions, these songs are 100 percent straight-faced and completely insane. We can’t wait to see him live, piss and all.

Radiator Hospital, Lost Balloons, Midnight Calls
Saint Vitus
8 p.m., $12–$14

Philly’s Radiator Hospital excel at penning concise, angst-filled, catchy power-pop tunes that cut right to the heart of their subject matter. They’ve achieved this again on their new “Dance Number,” the first single off their upcoming album, Radiator Hospital Play the Songs You Like. The song, clocking in at just under two minutes, is a burst of heartache for our troubled times. “I find meaning in this life/When I wake up every day/But I’m feeling sick and tired/In new and frightening ways,” sings bandleader Sam Cook-Parrott. We can relate.

Peaer, Steve Hartlett, Coaster, Water From Your Eyes
Sunnyvale
8 p.m., $10

Peaer, a math-rock trio from Connecticut who are now based in Brooklyn, manage to make the often dry and academic genre pulse with life and emotion. Songs like “Pink Spit,” off their self-titled sophomore album released last year, demonstrate the band’s range, combining angular riffs, sparse percussion, and melodies reminiscent of Nineties groups like Built to Spill. As with that band, there’s something in these tightly arranged, simple songs that tugs on your heartstrings, conjuring lazy summer days and nights staring at the stars.

9/1
Twerps, Free Time, Lionlimb
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10

Australia’s Twerps, formed in 2008, play the kind of laid-back, slacker jams that epitomize the genre known as “dolewave,” a joke that became a descriptor of music made by the young and disaffected. Their jangly, soft-spoken pop is catchy and charming — music that brings simple pleasures more than anything cutting-edge. Their Velvet Underground–esque “I Don’t Mind,” off their 2015 record, Range Anxiety, encapsulates the best of the band’s work — articulating the angst of feeling aimless, adrift, and not giving a fuck.

Yung Lean, Sad Boys
Warsaw
10 p.m., $28

The 21-year-old Swedish rapper Yung Lean has already experienced some major highs and lows in his short career. He came on the scene in 2013 in a haze of codeine and Arizona Iced Tea, catching the attention of American rap fans with his references to depression and pop culture and his seemingly intentionally amateurish videos. Lean is known for his monotone vocal delivery and generally banal subject matter, along with icy beats that have little joy in them. But through this style, Lean cultivated a significant cult fan base of Tumblr hypebeasts and SoundCloud nerds. Now, after overcoming obstacles including the tragic death of his manager in a car crash, problems with addiction, and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, he’s ready to tour the States again. His fans are ready.

9/2
Weeping Icon, Giggly Boys, the Seminals, Dethmelt
Rippers
5 p.m., free

Brooklyn noise-punk group Weeping Icon are a swirling vortex of fury. Their headbanging guitar lines and the constant crash of their percussion envelop confident, echoing vocals that sometimes sound like early Bikini Kill. The band is also steeped in Brooklyn’s DIY scene, featuring former members of ADVAETA, Lutkie, and Mantismass. Weeping Icon’s single “Warts,” off the album Eyeball Under, released in July, drags through your brain like a razor blade, guitars buzzing with energy, as spoken-word phrases repeat dreamily over the top. They’ll play this evening show at Rippers, the Rockaways’ iconic beach bar, a perfect way to mosh away the dying summer.

9/3
Cities Aviv, Dreamcrusher, Yatta, Ariadne, GENG, Münki, Beau
H0L0
7:30 p.m., $10

A coterie of experimental artists play the new Ridgewood, Queens, venue H0L0 this week. Starring is the rapper Cities Aviv, who came up in the underground with his spacey beats and stream-of-consciousness rhymes mixed with aggressive noise. He’ll perform alongside the noise guru Dreamcrusher and the avant-dance producer GENG, who recently played a scorching set at MoMA PS1’s Warm Up.

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