As summer approaches its inevitable end and another semester begins, student musicians and music-lovers alike find themselves immersed in the creative capital of the world, New York City, once again. While some students may be preparing their Quizlets for the upcoming academic year, artists are busy tuning their guitar strings, updating software and testing their mics, as it is already looking like a solid semester for local music with the following up-and-coming artists.
To say that Clive Davis Sophomore Sabrina Song’s repertoire is intimate and emotional is an immense understatement. With a soulful bellow, she laments heartbreak and the melancholy of young adulthood over chilling piano arrangements on each of her released tracks. Her most vibrant and buoyant single to date remains “Heartbroken” — a true highlight in this singer-songwriter’s budding career. Yet, while “Heartbroken” stands out as a bedroom pop track, its frank lyricism and earnest demeanor still play to Song’s rhythm and blues approach.
Mia Berrin, Clive Davis senior and front woman and singer of Pom Pom Squad, takes an unapologetic approach to songwriting with her signature rugged blend of pop and indie rock. Empowered in lyricism and performance, Pom Pom Squad delivers a certain punk flavor that works delightfully alongside her more soft spoken tracks. Berrin shows off wild side on “You/Him (Maybe),” a fervent track on their 2017 extended play “I Hate It Here,” which is reminiscent of Courtney Barnett.
Another highlight from the EP is the titular “I Hate It Here.” With emotional vigor through and through, Berrin displays the sincerity and vulnerability that has seen Pom Pom Squad’s success thus far.
Clive Davis sophomore Harrison Li, known by his stage name Harry Teardrop, has been making waves in the music community ever since the release of his single “Chinatown” earlier this year.
Drawing memories to other current artists such as Clairo, Bane’s World and Field Trip, Teardrop manages to stand out among the top artists in his genre. Illustrating transcendent, delicate guitar riffs over iridescent dream pop synths, Teardrop’s “Chinatown” is consistent with grade A lo-fi.
Another hit of his remains “Mercedes-Benz,” also a 2018 release. This time, Teardrop trades dreamy instrumentation for a more upbeat tone, a stylistic choice which will inevitably induce mass head-bopping. Coupled with a memorable guitar riff and witty lyrics, “Mercedes-Benz” solidifies the fact that Teardrop holds much promise for the future.
A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 26 print edition. Email Nicole Rosenthal at [email protected]