Back in 2011, we named Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ellis one of our favorite finds at the CMJ festival. Four years later, he’s cut his long locks, signed to a hip Americana record label, and earned a ton of accolades for his 2014 album The Lights from the Chemical Plant. It was so successful, in fact, that today he releases a deluxe version of it, complete with a bunch of demos and a live cover of Richard Thompson‘s classic “Tear-Stained Letter.”
This past week, New York City swarmed with bands, bloggers, and industry folks looking to discover the next big thing at the 23rd annual CMJ Music Marathon. Over 1,200 artists played parties and showcases, often two or three in a day. We ran around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn like everyone else, trying to catch as much hot new music as possible and hoping for that left-field cover to blow a show wide open. Like we did for SXSW (here and here), we’re going to round up our favorite CMJ discoveries in a series of posts. These artists have never appeared on Cover Me before, but you can count on hearing from them again.