The Best NYC Shows This Week: Jlin, Forest Swords, Soccer Mommy


Several producers who are driving innovation in dance music will perform in the city this week. The U.K.’s Forest Swords will bring his ominous soundscapes to Good Room; at Elsewhere, the Indiana-born and -based techno-adjacent producer Jlin will perform her intricate, constantly surprising music. Later on, the hyper-experimental producer Rabit will unleash his elliptical new material at Secret Project Robot.

Bully, Aye Nako
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9 p.m., $18

On their second album, Losing, Nashville’s Bully have settled into their Nineties grunge–inspired sound. There aren’t any tracks here that pack quite the punch of their early single, “Trying,” which had hooks so forceful you could start singing along as soon as halfway through your first listen. Instead, lead singer Alicia Bognanno and her band trade off for dominance, to great effect. Bognanno’s jagged screams are still one of the band’s biggest draws, but the new material’s confessional nature, and her bandmates’ instantly gratifying riffs, have lifted the group to new heights.

Soccer Mommy, Yohuna, Emily Yacina
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10

With a name as painfully twee as Soccer Mommy, this Nashville bedroom pop project from Sophie Allison could have been disastrous. Instead, Allison makes the kind of intimate indie pop that’s as soothing as wrapping yourself up in a fuzzy blanket. Her new album, Collection, finds her with a larger backing band, stretching out her cloistered sound to excellent effect. She’ll play here with local indie pop favorites Yohuna and Emily Yacina.

Circuit des Yeux, Ka Baird
Rough Trade
9 p.m., $12–$15

It’s hard to neatly encapsulate the music made by Circuit des Yeux, the experimental folk project of Haley Fohr. Fohr’s sweeping, dramatic work can excite comparisons to anything ranging from Kate Bush to experimental opera to country. Her stunning 2017 album, Reaching for Indigo, chronicles her life after a dramatic physical illness reshaped her conception of reality. This is her most direct effort yet, and it connects deeply.

Dream Wife, pronoun, Native Sun
Baby’s All Right
7 p.m., $12–$15

Three musicians from separate backgrounds — two are from different areas of the U.K.; the third is from Iceland — met in art school and formed a fake band as a fun side project. Not long after, that “fake” band turned into the very real project Dream Wife. The three-piece electro-garagepop group makes music in the tradition of brash, fun, yet political groups like Le Tigre, Peaches, and Blondie. The trio relishes in reenacting girl-pop stereotypes as it subverts them — and it manages to write some damn good pop songs, too.

Jlin, Total Freedom, AceMo
The Hall at Elsewhere
10 p.m., $15–$20

“You start off as this blank sheet of paper, this innocent thing. And then life starts bending and folding, bending and folding.… I’m still being bended and folded. We all are.” That’s how the experimental dance music producer Jlin explained the title of her new album, Black Origami, in an interview with Pitchfork. Jlin, who hails from Indiana, creates electronic dance music that traverses unknown realms and draws from a vast array of genres and styles, yet manages to remain cohesive. Her songs’ twists and turns are achieved naturally — she produces in a stream-of-consciousness style, never going back and editing or rearranging earlier parts on the track. Black Origami, unlike much today, feels truly new.

Hot Snakes, Savak, the Piggies
The Bell House
9 p.m., $28.50–$33

The Southern California post-hardcore outfit Hot Snakes sound undeniably like the early Aughts, the era in which their punky sound thrived. Now, Hot Snakes — who broke up in 2005 and briefly reunited for a tour six years later — are back preparing their first new record in over a decade, which they plan to release next year. The band is known for its supergroup status; its members have also played in the likes of Drive Like Jehu, Pitchfork, and OFF! Their frantic, driving punk should sound great to new fans and old at Brooklyn’s Bell House.

Downtown Boys, Olivia Neutron-John, Big Huge
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $13–$15

In some ways, Downtown Boys are a classic rock ’n’ roll success story. Having risen from its DIY anarchist roots in Providence, Rhode Island, the deeply political punk band, led by powerful frontwoman Victoria Ruiz, is now signed to Sub Pop and scoring gigs at Coachella. Their second album, Cost of Living (released this August), used these improved fortunes to expand and mature their sound, the enhanced production heightening and clarifying their message. Downtown Boys’ shows are often more like protests or church revivals than your typical rock gig. Prepare to participate, not watch, and you’ll have an incredible experience.

Fatima Al Qadiri, Rabit, Asmara, Sharp Veins
Secret Project Robot
9 p.m., $12–$15

The Texan producer Rabit, whose real name is Eric Burton, has always pushed the edges of what could be considered “dance music.” But on his latest release, Les Fleurs Du Mal, he abandons any pretension of making music that could be dropped in even the most adventurous DJ set. On this dark album, sounds, melodies, and beats drift in and out as they please. The result is a gripping and bewildering journey through Burton’s mind. He plays here with the similarly excellent electronic artist Fatima Al Qadiri at Bushwick’s Secret Project Robot.

American Football, Land of Talk, Pure Bathing Culture
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $30–$35

In 2016, the midwestern emo pioneers American Football released their second album, their first in seventeen years. During that span, the emo genre has made a serious comeback among fans who were toddlers when the band released its first LP. This new interest for their spacious, yearning rock music is what drove American Football to record again — they’ve said they made the new LP mostly so they could play new songs while touring. They’ll appear here with Land of Talk, another indie rock band that has returned recently after a significant hiatus.