Contact Us

CMJ 2013: 5 U.K. Acts You Need to See

Shirlaine Forrest/Getty

For New Yorkers who enjoy discovering new music, the annual CMJ Music Marathon is the place to be. And luckily for us, it isn’t just homegrown acts that play the five-day music bash and showcase their best sounds. Each year brings a tide of great artists from across the Atlantic, and after scouring the 2013 lineup, we’ve rounded up this list of 5 U.K. acts you need to see.

Morning Parade



These five guys from Essex aren’t all that new, but if you don’t know them and are planning on swinging by CMJ, this is the time to get to know them. After releasing their self-titled debut album in 2012, they supported the Smashing Pumpkins on a U.S. tour, and now they’re back in the States, supporting their musical heroes Biffy Clyro. In between tours, they’ve been working on album number two — which they recorded in Atlanta in August — and they’re looking at a March 2014 release. It promises a more upbeat, energetic sound than their debut, and we can’t wait to hear it.

Morning Parade are playing:
10/16 – 9:30-10pm – The Box
10/17 – 9-9:45pm – Santos Party House
10/18 – 5-5:45pm – Knitting Factory





Wish you could watch Thom Yorke play a tiny showcase (y’know, without getting a time machine and sending it back to the 90s)? Well, it might be tough to get in close proximity to him at a Radiohead show these days, but London five-piece Duologue might just be the next best thing. They’ve been drawing a helluva lot of comparisons to Yorke and co., especially since their debut album, ‘Song & Dance,’ hit U.K. shelves in February. They also made a made an insanely cool interactive 3D video for their track ‘Machine Stop,’ which you can check out by visiting And if you need any more convincing, actor Robert Sheehan is a huge fan and starred in their video for ‘Push It’ (see below).

Duologue are playing:
10/15 – 9-9:45pm – Rockwood Music Hall
10/16 – 8:45-9:15pm – The Box
10/17 – 1:15-2:15am – Pianos (DJ Set)
10/18 – 8-8:45pm – Spike Hill


Holy Esque



This lot from Glasgow has the U.K. abuzz, and given their dark sound, they’ve drawn comparisons to the likes of Joy Division. That said, frontman Pat Hynes’ uniquely warbly, love-’em-or-hate-’em vocals remain pretty unrivaled. You can stream their 2012 four-track EP in full on SoundCloud now and watch the video for their more recent single ‘St.’ below. These guys are definitely ones to watch out for.

Holy Esque are playing:
10/15 – 10-10:45pm – The Raven
10/18 – 8:15-8:45pm – Cake Shop


Joanna Gruesome



If you’re after some lo-fi indie-pop grunge mixed with thrashing guitars, clanging drums and vocals that sound intentionally washed out, then this Cardiff-based crew with the strange/uncomfortable/awkward/somewhat humorous band name might be for you. Check out their debut album, ‘Weird Sister,’ which was released in September, and whether you plan on catching them at CMJ, feast your eyes on their brand new video for ‘Sugarcrush’, which screams Lisa Frank/Goosebumps hybrid on acid.

Joanna Gruesome are playing:
10/16 – 12:10-12:40am – Baby’s All Right
10/16 – 3:30-4pm – Pianos (Kanine Records and SESAC’s Trick or Treat Party)
10/16 – 7:45-8:15pm – Pianos upstairs (Old Flame)





For their latest music video, Leeds-based Eagulls featured a melting, maggot-hatching brain. It’s something you might not particularly enjoy watching, but it’s certainly memorable, and it took second place in the inaugural Diffuser Top 10 video countdown. Good news is it’s not just the rotting organ that’s scuzzy and memorable. Check out ‘Nerve Endings’ below, plus give the single’s B-side (a cover of Killing Joke’s ‘Requiem’) a spin over on SoundCloud.

Eagulls are playing:
10/16 – 5:45-6:15pm – Pianos
10/16 – 11-11:30pm – Glasslands Gallery
10/18 – 11-11:45pm – Mercury Lounge


Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!