Mondo NYC 2018 Recap

From Oct 2 – Oct 5 2018, Mondo NYC once again brought many of the top industry leaders to speak and attend panels at the Williamsburg Hotel and brought the best emerging artists anywhere to various venues throughout NYC. I was able to check out some interesting discussions and to watch many of the finest acts during the festival for Indie Music Review, and here are some that caught my ear in particular: Dry Reef and Joe Wood at Pianos, Zach Cannella and Grayson Foster at Arlenes Grocery and Mars Motel at Berlin.

First up at Pianos, I checked out Dry Reef, a rock/reggae act with elements of indie-surf rock from Pennsylvania. They really got the crowd amped with their high energy and upbeat melodies and performance. You can hear influences ranging from Grateful Dead to Sublime to G. Love. I was impressed by their musicianship and the overall vibe they were able to portray as a group to the audience. Their record “Day Change” is out now on iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/daychange/1434364027

Up next was Joe Wood, who makes “synth pop for hopeless romantics”. Joe hails from Long Island and currently resides in Brooklyn. His songs are catchy and memorable and he has charisma on stage, a winning combo. Armed with just a guitar, a drummer, and a backing track he commanded the room and left the audience humming along. Get Joe’s “Parking Lots” on Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/album/0yyDcMSRr59hGts7ZsK4f3

Over at Arlene Grocery, I watched Zach Canella who took the trip up to Mondo from Nashville. Originally a classically trained Chicago native, his sound falls somewhere between Dave Matthews Band and Sufjan Stevens; bringing warm guitar tones, introspective lyrics and a strong but understated vocal delivery to the game. Check Zach out on Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/zachcannella

Grayson Foster started the night off by performing in Zach Canella’s band, as the two of them took the trip up from Nashville together. He’s got a sound reminiscent of John Mayer or early Ryan Adams meets the Avett Brothers and creates intricate vocal and guitar melodies that really shine. The audience was watching with laser focus for much of the set as Grayson took them on a musical journey into his frame of mind. Look for Grayson Foster music on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/GraysonFosterMusic/

Finally, I went to Berlin and was treated to a super fun set with Mars Motel. Influenced equally by bands from both the 80’s/90’s brit pop and the 2000’s rock scene, I can also hear them fitting in with new acts like The War on Drugs or the National as current contemporaries. Great stage presence; they had cohesion and played with precision. Check them out on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4vqEZRsXrDtINuQyVMBa_A

Zach Canella

Grayson Foster

Joe Wood

Mars Motel

Dry Reef

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