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Spring cleaning time. Throw away those old shows and put these new shows on your calendar. Embrace the new, consider the nostalgia and make sure you get to Lizzo.

March 22

Homeshake @ Brooklyn Steel

On Helium, Montreal-based artist Pete Sagar doubles down on the bedroom synths of earlier records, turning inwards when many other of his peers and contemporaries have begun to stretch out. While that thought generally gives me pause, it works for the artist known as Homeshake: his vision of solitude and isolation is by choice, and it lies at the core of music that is deeply introspective. Sagar has become something of a reluctant indie darling since leaving the spotlight of the Mac DeMarco band, and his soft-spoken nature translates to live shows that are self-effacing, delicate, and gentle. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Read our 2016 interview with Homeshake

March 25

Mariah Carey @ Radio City Music Hall

Who in their right mind is going to miss a chance to hear “We Belong Together” or “Always Be My Baby” or “Touch My Body” live? Say what you will about “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but Mariah’s hits are undeniable. Also “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was a banger, is a banger and will forever be a banger. We’re lucky to live in a world where that song exists. -Kaylee Dugan

March 26, 27

Spiral Stairs @ Mercury Lounge (March 26), Brooklyn Brewery (March 27)

Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg is perhaps best known for his work as a founding member/occasional songwriter in Pavement, but his decades-long solo career is full of underrated gems and shaggy charmers. His latest LP, Doris & The Diggers, released in 2017, broke a nearly decade-long hiatus from recorded music, and he’s been slowly easing back into the limelight ever since. Attend a Spiral Stairs show and expect a career-spanning setlist and perhaps even a chance to scream along with a rowdy rendition of “Two States,” if you’re lucky. -Matt Byrne

March 27

Choker @ Rough Trade

Choker’s “El Dorado” was last year’s the song of the summer in my brain. I couldn’t get enough of his poppy, R&B-y, deconstructed jam and I am going to lose my mind if he plays it at Union Stage. Of course, all of Honeybloom, the follow up album to 2017’s Peak (which included “El Dorado”), is packed with loveliness. “Juno” is already a forever favorite, but the whole album is worth your time. RIYL: Frank Ocean and music that makes you feel like you’re walking through a funhouse in the best way. -Kaylee Dugan

March 28

Graveyard @ Brooklyn Steel

Swedish heavy psych rockers Graveyard have only gotten heavier and more psychedelic over the years, to the delight of underground hard rock fans/heshers around the world. Blending blues rock tropes with more mind-expanding passages and riff-heavy workouts, Graveyard is the dream band for a certain kind of rock dude, which you very much may be! -Matt Byrne

March 29

Swervedriver @ Warsaw

English shoegazers Swervedriver came back from a nearly 20 year hiatus in 2015 with the impressive I Wasn’t Born to Lose You and haven’t looked back since. Their new album, Future Ruins, is a similarly confident and consistent collection of songs, adding a slew of brain-melting cuts to incorporate into their always memorable live shows. -Matt Byrne

March 29, 30, April 1

Better Oblivion Community Center @ Bowery Ballroom (March 29), Music Hall of Williamsburg (March 30), Brooklyn Steel (April 1)

Neither co-founder of the feelings rock dream-team duo Better Oblivion Community Center is a stranger to the supergroup scene. Conor Oberst previously joined forces with folks like My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and M. Ward in the cheekily named Monsters of Folk and Phoebe Bridgers’ work last year with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus resulted in one of the year’s most acclaimed releases, the boygenius EP. Conor and Phoebe trade impassioned vocals and gleefully hop across subgenres on the Better Oblivion record, a surprise release dropped on our heads back in January. -Matt Byrne


April 1, 5

DMX @ Irving Plaza

In addition to having one of the best titles of all time, DMX’s debut album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot is an unfuckwithable collection of aggro rap bangers. Recently released from prison following a year-long sentence for tax evasion, X is hitting the road celebrating this clasic LP’s belated 20th birthday. Before pop radio crossovers like “Party Up” or “What’s My Name?,” DMX’s chaotic energy was more visceral, the edges sharper, more outwardly aggressive. Should be a good time! -Matt Byrne

April 2

Robert Ellis @ Rough Trade

With his white suit and cowboy hat, Robert Ellis dresses to impress. But it’s when he sits at the piano that things really get going. Don’t miss the multitalented piano impresario along with Ian O’Neil of Deertick as he tours his newest release, Texas Piano Man. -Johnny Fantastic

April 3

Remember Sports @ Brooklyn Bazaar

I don’t know when Sports became Remember Sports, but if you’re looking for something fun and sad and catchy, you’ve found it. Fans of Diet Cig and Charly Bliss and P.S. Eliot will feel right at home in their earnest lyrics and sweet riffs. Fill yourself with cheap beer and get ready to dance and also Instagram DM your high school crush. It’s inevitable. -Kaylee Dugan

April 4

Ex Hex @ Bowery Ballroom

How many high fives were doled out during the making of It’s Real, the second album from almighty D.C. trio Ex Hex? We’re talking hundreds, right? After every take? During takes? Because I’ll tell you what, this album makes me want to load my t-shirt cannon with high fives and unload at anyone in sight. It high fives my soul. Like most humans with ears, I greatly enjoyed Rips, the band’s 2014 debut. It was a breath of fresh air – energetic and massively hooky. It’s Real is a far groovier record. The herky-jerky stop-and-goes have been smoothed out. These are cosmic jams for cosmic caves and getting (responsibly) stoned on long drives. These songs are going to slay live. You can tell that Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris toured the hell out of Rips. These three have become an impenetrable unit. And if you don’t see them at least once in support of It’s Real, it’s time to renounce your rock n roll fandom. -Phil Runco

Read our 2014 interview with Mary Timony


April 5

Viagra Boys @ Rough Trade

It’s easy in music writing to fall back on reductive reasoning – specifically, to say that X band + Y band = Z band. But for real, Nick Cave (in swaggering, creepy Grinderman mode) + Butthole Surfers (in its slicker but still biting ‘90s major label phase) = Viagra Boys. It’s that simple. And as long as you’re not expecting a band to blow your mind with originality, Viagra Boys kinda rule. Perhaps you’ve heard “Sports” – the overtly satirical song that put the Swedish band on most listeners’ radars last summer – but the entirety of its debut LP Street Worms is an engrossing listen. (Or if you prefer to order off-menu, “Sports” b-side “Up All Night” is my favorite tune of theirs to date.) Go see these weirdos live, in a small room, with a stomach full of beer. You’ll sweat most of it out. -Phil Runco

April 8

Aldous Harding @ Rough Trade

I’ve been in love with Aldous Harding’s music for ages, but then again, I am quite the sucker for folk vibes. (And her tunes are chockablock full of ’em.) Party is a personal favorite for soundtracking my mind-wandering walks around the city (“What If Birds Aren’t Singing They’re Screaming” is a real heart buster), and Designer (which was just released) is likely to make a nice companion once it comes out on April 27. While I’ve never seen the New Zealander live, I would imagine the energy in the room is pretty magical and pensive, and you’re likely to head home feeling like you just witnessed something pretty special. -Megan Burns

April 9

Charlotte Gainsbourg @ Brooklyn Steel

I was fortunate enough to catch the legendary Charlotte Gainsbourg in Norway over the summer at Øyafestivalen, and wowee, talk about a surreal experience; I’d spent pretty much all of Fall 2017 listening to Rest (seriously, what a stunner of an LP) on my nightly post-work walks around Brooklyn, and I cannot tell you how many different music videos I dreamed up in my brain during that period of time. Of course, those music videos will never be made for a whole bunch of reasons (principally that I am not a director, and Charlotte seems to be doing just fine without my help), but who needs music videos when you can just witness the songs unfold on stage? 10/10 would recommend. – Megan Burns

April 10

Ella Vos @ Brooklyn Steel

I tend to like listening to music on my own more than I do in rooms full of people. (WOW, COOL HERMIT!) But there is something about Ella Vos’ music that I just feel like begs to be a shared experience? Like, I will stand near tall people and loud people and all people so that we can all just have this one moment together in angelic voiced harmony. -Megan Burns

April 11

Shy Boys @ Baby’s All Right

Lo-fi jangle pop will never die, and you know what? That’s totally alright with me. Press materials describe them as “The Beach Boys on Robitussin,” which is honestly pretty dead on. There’s a lot of buzz around this gang of Kansas City oddball poppers, and it’s easy to understand why: the lo-fi production belies tight songwriting and a knack for candy-coated harmonies. -Matt Byrne

April 12

Baroness and Deafheaven @ Terminal 5

Nothing better than a good old Weird Metal Doubleheader, you know? Sludgy space cadets Baroness have been holding it down for over 15 years at this point, crafting idiosyncratic, face-melting fuzz epics across acclaimed LPs like Yellow & Green and Purple (sense a theme?). Their co-headliners/tourmates in Deafheaven have found a similar level of acclaim in their career, but at a much more accelerated pace. Their novel combination of black metal vocals with shoegaze aesthetics has produced some of the most punishingly beautiful jams of the decade. -Matt Byrne

Deafheaven Pallbearer Brightest Young Things Farrah Skeiky 19

April 13

Chris Cohen @ National Sawdust

Chris Cohen’s new, self-titled album is full of the sort of the downtempo but friendly-sounding tracks that populate his discography, a perennially underrated catalog of deceptively simple, deeply felt psych-tinged folk pop. Find yourself at a live Chris Cohen show, and witness some of the layers peeling back, you’ll begin to notice the odd nooks and crannies of his songs, unveiling a singularly observed world. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2016 interview with Chris Cohen

April 14

The Wild Reeds @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Sure, The Wild Reeds spine-tingling harmonies sound good (great!) on record, but you hear these LA-based troubadours really get into it in real life, up on stage? Oh my lord, transcendent! -Matt Byrne

April 16

Telekinesis @ Rough Trade

Listening to a Telekinesis album is like witnessing a feat of strength. Songwriter Michael Lerner plays everything himself across these deceptively dense power pop nuggets, full of idiosyncratic hooks and secret earworms that will follow you around for days. Since he’s not actually superhuman, Lerner is joined in a live setting by a killer backing band, bringing these studio gems into the real world. -Matt Byrne

April 16, 17

Todd Rundgren @ Town Hall

Idiosyncratic classic rock icon Todd Rundgren is touring behind the release of his new autobiography, The Individualist, which gives an inside look at the life and career of the serial pioneer. Rundgren spent decades on the cutting edge and continues to chase his vision, which you gotta respect. -Matt Byrne

April 18

The Coathangers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

I don’t really feel like I need to explain why we all need to go see The Coathangers live whenever and wherever possible. If it is not obvious to you, you have some serious soul searching (and Googling) to do. -Megan Burns

April 19

ionnalee, Allie X @ elsewhere

The music of ionnalee is not (in my opinion) something to be understood, but more something to be deeply felt, if that makes sense. I genuinely don’t know how to describe the way listening to her tunes makes me feel apart from “completely on fire, but in a birthday candles way, like if the birthday cake in question were being carried across a glacier at sunset by one of the Wild Things from Where The Wild Things Are.” (Yes, I did just quote my own weird brain.) In other words, the ionnalee vibe is pure magic delivered by way of impeccably pensive pop, and it is not to be missed in any form. (Allie X rules incredibly hard, too, so be sure to get there for the whole shebang.) -Megan Burns

April 22

Anna of the North @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

I saw Anna of the North play a small spot in NYC’s West Village this past November, and WOW WOW WOW! If you’re not already hype on the Norwegian’s ultra-infectious dreampop tracks (I’ve listened to Lovers an embarrassing amount of times since its release in 2017) then NOW IS THE TIME, slash do not for any reason sleep on catching her live. -Megan Burns

April 23, 24

Julia Jacklin @ Rough Trade (April 23), Bowery Ballroom (April 24)

If you’re looking for Angel Olsen vibes by way of Australia, then Julia Jacklin IS YOUR GIRL 100%! I interviewed homegirl a few years ago (she’s just the loveliest, by the way) after she put out Don’t Let The Kids Win, and she’s back now with a whole new batch o’ tracks on Crushing. I am personally v. stoked to hear ’em live, as should you be, so be sure to grab those tickets or REGRET YOUR MISTAKE FOREVER. -Megan Burns

April 25, 26

Kodak Black, Roddy Ricch @ Hammerstein Ballroom

At the age of 21, Kodak Black has already had a career peppered with claims of “wasted talent” and “lost cause.” Kodak’s run-in with the law are well-documented, but none of that has precluded him from amassing a catalog of work that laid the foundation for many new rappers coming out of Florida. His 2018 Dying to Live was a great showcase of Kodak’s ability to communicate struggles of self-worth and doubt in an easily digestible stylistic package. Roddy Ricch, a 20-year-old artist from Compton, CA, is quickly becoming a personal favorite. Roddy’s blend of uptempo delivery, slick lyrics, and nascent attempts at something nearing R&B are intoxicating. His 2018 Feed the Streets II deserves to be in your heavy rotation. -Ruben Gzirian

April 26

Daddy Issues, Foxing @ Warsaw

This is reminder to always show up early for the opener. In this case, Daddy Issues is opening for Foxing (and Now, Now) at U Street Music Hall and I can promise you their set is worth skipping happy hour. Their grunge pop riffs are laced with lyrics that were made to be screamed out loud. “Dog Years” is one of the best songs to come out in the last few years, but their entire second album is filled with jams. As someone who has seen them live twice, I can promise you’re going to have a good time. And if you don’t, feel free to send all of your complaints to me. It’s my fault and I deserve it. -Kaylee Dugan


April 30

The Mountain Goats @ Brooklyn Steel

It’s hard to be just a casual fan of The Mountain Goats, they have a way of attracting enthusiastic fandom, if not obsession. If you’re in, you’re all the way in, spending hours pouring through their massive back catalog, getting small but meaningful tattoos featuring all sorts of references and obtuse lyrical snippets. Few indie rock concerts feel more like a group experience than a Mountain Goats gig, a temporary reunion of a massive family united around the work of their shared infatuation. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2015 interview with John Darnielle


May 3

Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith @ The Theaters at Madison Square Garden

From R&B promises to bonafide stars, Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith each had a 2018 to remember. From sold out shows at historic venues to releasing their debut albums to critical acclaim, these singers’ careers moved forward in oddly symmetrical fashion last year. I’m not sure if there was previously a friendship at the core, but I love that the Kali and Jorja tour is a thing that we are being blessed with. And while we can stretch the similarities – they’re both women of color in their early 20s, they’ve each dabbled in the hip-hop world – these are two incredibly versatile musicians who span genres and styles without compromising their unique identities.-Jose Lopez-Sanchez

May 4

Beth Hart @ New York Society of Ethical Culture

Drawing substantial acclaim for her innovative and thoughtful approach to “the blues” as it stood near the end of the 20th century, New Zealand songwriter Beth Hart has, alongside her frequent collaborator, Joe Bonamassa, become something of a global sensation over the last two decades. Hart’s 2019 tour follows a big 2018 for live albums, she put out two different live CD/DVD combos just a handful of months apart, acting as a two-pronged showcase of her refined performance chops. -Matt Byrne

May 7, 11

FKJ @ Webster Hall (May 7), Terminal 5 (May 11)

My friends have been going on and on about FKJ for months, and fairly so – the French producer and multi-instrumentalist creates sonic landscapes that feel out of this world. I didn’t fully get it until I came across this live set at the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia – the world’s largest salt flats. Watch/listen to this and tell me you don’t want to see FKJ work his magic live. It’s next level. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

May 8

The Dandy Warhols @ Brooklyn Steel

It’s not always great when your band is best known for a documentary about how you’re a bunch of dang weirdos, but it’s been working for The Dandy Warhols since Dig! came out way back in 2004. Joined by pals/rivals in The Brian Jonestown Massacre, audiences were offered a glimpse behind the scenes at what it was like working towards a breakthrough to the mainstream (or not), and all the self-flagellation and bitter feelings that come along with it. Either way The Dandies are turning 25 this year and I’m happy for them! -Matt Byrne

Read our 2014 interview with The Dandy Warhols

May 10

The Drums @ Warsaw

We have previously described The Drums as “the perfect band”, and this is still an incredibly accurate statement. Find all the justification you seek re: purchasing tickets right here! -Megan Burns

May 11

Field Medic @ Alphaville

Field Medic makes songs that make me laugh and songs that make me feel an insatiable longing. It’s a good combination. “OTL” will forever make me laugh and “POWERFUL LOVE” will forever be on repeat. -Kaylee Dugan

May 12, 13, 23

Lizzo @ Brooklyn Steel (May 12, 13), Terminal 5 (May 23)

Lizzo is another force who I do not feel needs any introduction. If you are scratching your head at this moment, it means you have somehow been living under a rock. Lizzo is God. Do whatever you have to do (including but certainly not limited to selling your dog and/or stealing from your grandma) to see Lizzo live. -Megan Burns


May 13

The Who @ Madison Square Garden

So it’s not like people show up to see a band like The Who to hear like, new songs. But you’ve gotta respect a band being able to maintain this profile 55 years in, still making records and hitting the road. Their 2019 tour is in support of their new album Moving On!, and will see the band playing backed by full orchestral accompaniment, fleshing out their already massive sounding hits. -Matt Byrne

May 14

My Brightest Diamond @ Rough Trade

Shara Nova, frequent collaborator with acts like Sufjan Stevens and The Decemberists during the reign of that specific strain of folky, hyperliterate indie rock, has continued to push the boundaries of her sound over the last 15 years. Via a deluge of albums, EPs, and collaborative remix albums and 12”s released over the last fifteen years as My Brightest Diamond, Nova’s powerhouse voice has been backed by various permutations of indie rock, baroque pop, and electronic music, each genre experiment engaging in its own way. Her newfound embrace of dancefloor-friendly beats and omnivorous songwriting approach makes her an especially engaging live performer these days. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2014 interview with My Brightest Diamond

May 16, 20

L’Imperatrice @ Elsewhere

Do you ever feel like you just want to pretend to be hot for a while? If so, L’Imperatrice make the perfect tunes for that! I mean, to be fair, all French music is p. sex dot com, but like…this is next level. Pop on “PARFUM THÉRÉMINE” and some sunglasses, and proceed to stare at yourself seductively in the mirror for a long, long time. (And then obviously catch L’Imperatrice live, because I can only imagine the vibes are amplified in a dimly lit room!) -Megan Burns

May 18

Running Touch @ Zone One

I first came across Running Touch on Hayden James’ infectious pseudo-electronic house single “Better Together.” The mysterious producer from Melbourne is a joy to listen to, creating layered intimate and personal electronica shrouded in an effervescent aura of smoke. Songs like “This is Just to Say” and “When I’m Around You” hit all the right notes of stirring emotion in a way only electronica interlaced with skin-deep lyrics of desire and lust can. This is a refinement of a genre above all else, but it’s one of the better refinements I’ve heard in a while. -Ruben Gzirian

May 20, 21

Chromatics @ Brooklyn Steel

Chromatics have been promising Dear Tommy, the follow-up to their masterpiece Kill for Love, for so long that it feels like indie’s version of Chinese Democracy. They also haven’t had a tour since 2012 (the photos below are from that tour), and while the band can notoriously shy, they create a sense of atmosphere that’s about as immersive and cinematic as anything you’ll see all year. -Alan Zilberman

Chromatics @ RNR July 19, 2012 Chromatics @ RNR July 19, 2012

May 22

Betty Who @ Terminal 5

Australian pop musician Betty Who’s newfound independence from the major label that determined the path of her career has her taking more risks, experimenting with bolder sounds, imagery, and collaborators. Her throwback approach to shiny, 1980’s-style synth pop made her a perfect candidate to record the theme song for the Queer Eye reboot that exploded Netflix last year, bringing even more fans into the fold. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2018 interview with Betty Who

All Things Go 2018

May 24, 25

American Football @ Warsaw

Accidental emo godfathers American Football returned in 2014 for a series of hotly-anticipated reunion shows, and have just sort of hung around since then, much to the delight of the cult following they’d amassed in the years following the release of their iconic 1999 debut and subsequent breakup. They released a solid followup album in 2016, and are back in 2019 with another new one, which features a series of huge guest vocalists, including Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell and Paramore’s Hayley Williams. -Matt Byrne

May 28

Yann Tiersen @ Beacon Theatre

Though perhaps best known for his work soundtracking iconic early 2000s indie films like Amelie and Good Bye Lenin!, Yann Tiersen’s collaborative, meditative album deserves just as much attention. Fusing delicate chamber music with more mainstream friendly indie and electronic flourishes, Tiersen’s amassed a huge network of collaborators, populating his albums with a variety of gifted musicians from backgrounds both classical and nontraditional. -Matt Byrne

May 29

Weyes Blood @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

I listen to Newtown Radio on a daily basis, and every single time I hear an unfamiliar track and am like, “Holy shit, who is this?! I NEED TO LISTEN TO HER FOREVER!” (ex: “Andromeda”), it’s almost always Weyes Blood. Her voice is too good for this world! Her songs make me feel like I ate the whole sun! Go feel like you ate the whole sun! Buy tickets to see her live before they all sell out! -Megan Burns

Read our 2016 interview with Weyes Blood

May 30

Lady Lamb @ Elsewhere

Lady Lamb has been a BYT household name for like, pretty much all time, you guys. Any opportunity to see her on stage is not one to be missed. Also I feel like Free Willy-style pumping my fist in the air anytime she releases new material, slash that is exactly what I did when I heard Even In The Tremor is out in April. HELL YEAH, GIRL! -Megan Burns

Read our 2015 interview with Lady Lamb

Lady Lamb

May 31

Kevin Morby @ Town Hall

Kevin Morby seems incapable of releasing a bad album. Dude is just massively talented, channeling the cosmic, soul-searching vibes of mid-1970s Dylan but unafraid to launch into an amphetamine-fueled Ramones tribute at the drop of a hat. I make a point to see our friend Kevin live every time he comes through town, the shows are always different, always engaging, and always an affirmation of just how freaking good this dude is at writing songs. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2016 interview with Kevin Morby

June 1

The 1975 @ Governor’s Ball

The 1975 are maybe the closest thing we have to a modern-day U2; they’re painfully sincere but can be goofy and self-aware, embracing modern rock and pop tropes while working to invert them at every turn. Also like Bono and the gang before them, the arena-packing live shows are the stuff of legendary transcendence to their legions of fans. One other way they are like U2 is that I don’t especially like what they’re doing but I’m pretty sure I respect it. -Matt Byrne


June 5

FRENSHIP @ Irving Plaza

The two main guys from FRENSHIP met while working at Lululemon, so good on them for getting out of retail hell and into the indie folk/crossover pop radio scene, you know? They’ve got a whole nice group vocals/harmony vibe going for them and I totally get why everyone is super into em. -Matt Byrne

June 6, 7

Local Natives @ Brooklyn Steel

Indie rock mainstays Local Natives are hardly reinventing the wheel or whatever, but what’s wrong with a wheel? People love wheels. Their massive 2019 tour announce came with a promise of new music, by way of their fourth album, Violet Street, coming out care of indie rock crossover house Loma Vista Recordings. -Matt Byrne

Read our 2016 interview with Local Natives

Local Natives

June 12, 13

Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers @ Joe’s Pub

More than just the frontdude from The Hold Steady, Craig Finn has built out a nice little solo career for himself, backed by a stable of musicians who have come to be known as The Uptown Controllers, who appear on all three of the solo works he’s released over the last five years or so. Less manic and boozy than his main band, Finn’s solo work gives our guy the chance to get (even more) introspective, full of personal details and observations filtered through the parade of character studies that populate any collection of tracks Finn touches. -Matt Byrne

Read our piece “How Long Does It Take The Hold Steady To Sing About The City?”


June 14, 15, 18, 19

Ariana Grande @ Barclays Center (June 14, 15), Madison Square Garden (June 18, 19)

Love her or hate her, Ariana Grande is a big deal. Personally, I love her. Even through my dedicated love of girly, unpretentious, fun-loving pop, Ariana Grande’s latest album has set her apart as a star with a lasting cultural impact. And it’s well deserved. Released a mere 5 months after Sweetner, thank u, next made its mark quickly and powerfully. Its an incredibly smart and emotional album but that doesn’t hold it back from being a dance-y pop masterpiece. thank u, next is absolutely infectious, mixing R&B sounds with bubblegum pop in a remarkable manner. Besides the ever-popular title track, the wonderfully witty “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” and the controversial “7 rings,” “fake smile” is a shining stand out among an album of strong tracks. With lyrics that refer to the “year [she’s been through],” “fake smile” is raw and honest in a deeply personal way, yet insatiably catchy and well sung. It sums up the album perfectly, a true testament to how far Grande has traveled as a musician and a person. She’s a dazzling diva of our generation, and I’ll pay good money to see her live. -Afriti Bankwalla

June 18, 19

Billie Eilish @ The Rooftop at Pier 17 (June 18), Radio City Music Hall (June 19)

Billie Eilish seems like a parody of the LA teen life. Her middle name is Pirate, she’s worn a designer ziplock bag on her head as fashion, oh, and at just 17-years-old Billie Eilish’s debut EP has amassed over 750 million Spotify streams. Now she’s back with her first studio album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? The full album is expected to be released on March 29, but the four songs she’s released so far have already blown up (for better or for worse). Eilish’s songs might seem to juvenile for some: After all, she’s a 17-year-old writing songs about the monster under her bed and problematically wishing boys were gay. But she has a lovely voice, and there’s a sheer absurdity in Eilish’s overly edgy, eerie aesthetic that makes her music particularly enjoyable and indulgent if you just let yourself lean into it. -Afriti Bankwalla

Billie Eilish

June 19

Dido @ The Vic

Guys, Dido’s back. And she’s here to prove she’s got way more to offer than the downtempo coffeeshop jams like “Thank You” and “White Flag” that first launched her to prominence back in at the beginning of the century. Her new album, Still On My Mind, has a massive synth pop influence, and has gotten pretty good reviews! Sure she put a record out a few years back but is about to embark on her first tour in 15 years, holy hell. Let’s all go welcome Dido back and show her a good time, you know? -Matt Byrne