With the first incarnation of Indie Pop Prom occurring in both Philly and Brooklyn, the two sold-out shows doubled as a birthday party for curator Maria Sherman. As she revealed in a personal Time Magazine piece, the proceed from the event went to directly benefit The Pink Fund as her mother had been stricken with cancer last Halloween.
The only other act specifically on the Brooklyn show, local favorites T-Rextasy opened the NYC Prom decked out in their finest prom attire. Vocalist Lyris Faron truly commanded the room on and off the stage, serving 1960s East Village realness in a paisley ensemble, while bassist Annie giving us Al Capone vibes. Her bandmates held down the rhythms and supplied the Greek chorus on tracks like “Gap Yr Boiz” and at points chimed in with responses to the vocal calls.
Musician Nandi Rose Plunkett is best known with her work in Pinegrove (her fellow band members not present for this show), as Half Waif she transforms from alt-country keyboardist to confessional shapeshifting electronica. Her voice evokes St. Vincent while her distinct compositions comprise of collage-esque layers of fractal sounds interlocking and pulsating, thrusting listeners into a universe transcending genres. Wearing her actual prom dress from high school, the artist released her latest EP “form/a” at the show, loaded with synths and production equipment.
Sports played Indie Pop Prom shows two years ago, and returned for both nights of this year’s Prom. Primarily playing off their latest record “All of Something” the band began to incorporate more new material, even with a cover of Josie and the Pussycats on stage. While the last time they took the Indie Pop Prom stage, the band was five-piece, the band has since become a more consistent quartet, with the members working more tight and cohesive as ever since they have all graduated college.
With her debut LP “Slugger,” Sadie Dupuis (the famed frontdemon of Speedy Ortiz) tackled feminist ideals, consent, and witchcraft wrapped up in a sleekly produced package as Sad13 (pronounced ‘Sad thirteen.’) On stage, her veritable who’s who of local talented femmes (Jade Payne of Aye Nako, musician Emily Reo, and Zoe Brecher of Hushpuppy). Lyrically, Dupuis remains as tongue-in-cheek as ever with lines like “Objectify these boys” and the annalingus-referencing “They still wanna lick my asshole” on set-closer “Hype.” The group’s impeccable chemistry shows the level of dedication they’ve put into the project, working as a well-oiled machine, juggling the many moving parts of Dupuis’ compositions. For her own prom date, Dupuis brought Cloud Nothings’ frontman Dylan Baldi to both shows.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart came full circle this evening, having played the first ever Indie Pop Prom, and now returning with an almost entirely different lineup. The new group features Jess Weiss of Fear of Men who made her presence known singing lead on the track “Kelly.” With leader Kip Berman wearing a prom suit (similar to the one he wore four years ago), the band felt like a fitting ending to the long evening. Playing a blend of 80s and 90s alternative and synthpop taking references from shoegaze and pop, making themselves the ideal prom band. With sparkly synths soaring above layers of guitars and the backbeat of the drums accented Berman’s subdued, yet fully present vocal style. The night felt fully like a throwback to your own prom or for those who didn’t attend, the idealized John Hughes film version loaded with pageantry, great music, and hopefully more diversity.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart