Discovering New Bands at CMJ

Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch, front man for Dominant Legs. Photo by Sarah Ventre for NPR. hide caption

itoggle caption Photo by Sarah Ventre for NPR.

One of the most challenging things about being at a large scale, five day music festival like New York's annual CMJ (College Music Journalism conference/music marathon) is the sheer number of bands and venues. It’s hard to filter out who you should see when there are literally hundreds of choices in one night.

Hannah Hunt

Hannah Hunt of Dominant Legs. Photo by Sarah Ventre for NPR. hide caption

itoggle caption Photo by Sarah Ventre for NPR.

When I was preparing to go, Bob Boilen told me that my job was to find one band to completely fall in love with. I found them.

They’re a San Francisco duo called Dominant Legs, fronted by Ryan William Lynch of the dreamy, indie rock group Girls. He and keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Hunt have a sound that is slightly gritty and unpolished. It features ultra sweet vocals and harmonies, it’s catchy, without being overly poppy, and danceable without being overwhelming.

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The band opened last night for Johnny Flynn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. While most people in attendance that I talked with weren’t familiar with Dominant Legs, (their debut album came out a mere month ago) nearly everyone in the crowd felt compelled to dance and sway along.

They’re endearing, unpretentious, and just plain fun, which makes Dominant Legs really easy to fall for.

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